Friday, August 28, 2009

Floral Designs

I made five arrangements as part of a floral tryout last week, and thought I'd share them on here.

Yes, those are poppy seedpods!

I really liked the seedpods and the sedum. Pretty unusual things to be using.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I thought I'd share some good news. I started an Etsy shop! It only has one item at the moment, because that's all I brought with me, but I will be making more when I have time. Please check back for more updates. Most likely everything that ends up there will be shown here first, so it may not be a surprise, but hopefully it will be a way for people to take home things they enjoyed seeing on this blog.


Friday, August 21, 2009


I'm pleased that I've been able to post pretty much every day recently, but things may get shaken up because I've just started moving into my new apartment in Somerville! I will certainly keep creating, though, so new backgrounds for the photographs could end up being the only change :)

Contact me if you want my new address!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Knit Bag

I started this project so long ago, and it waited around for handles for a very long time. I'm glad that I've been able to finish it finally! The body is a knit rectangle with cabling, and the bottom is crocheted.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I had two missions today: to see the exhibit on the roof of the Met, and the show of collected junk at the MoMA.

Roxy Paine's installation on the roof was pretty great. It had been described to me as "twigs", but when I saw it it seemed more chaotic than that.

I also wandered through the new American wing, and was surprised on stumbling upon the Charles Engelhard court:
I also loved the show at MoMA of things the artist's mother collected and kept in her home in China. There were so many things it would not have occurred to me to keep.

I really loved these: empty tubes of toothpaste, fruit wrappers and especially the tons of plastic bags carefully folded into little triangles.
The view from the second floor was also wonderful:

Wallet Project

Before I left school I tried sewing a wallet. It was a project I thought could be neat, but I ended up with too many unsolved problems, like the thickness of the seam allowance that ends up inside the wallet, and the general floppiness, and accidentally sewing over the business card holders, and making them too small... I would have to figure out a better standard size for wallets. But they could be a fun embroidery project.

Monday, August 17, 2009

NY Gift Show II

I returned to the Javits Center today to check out the parts that hadn't been open on Saturday. I did another circuit of the downstairs handmade section and also took the shuttle over to Pier 94, which had some interesting home furnishings.

Some things that interested me this time:

Teresa Goodall - I especially liked a necklace with strings of leather hanging down from the beads. Recently I've been into the idea of tying fibers to strung necklaces to give them more form.

Flying Anvil - I love the way she uses everyday black stones in her jewelry. It reminds me of an artist I saw in Somerville who had a necklace with beads of rock and twisted metal, like the votive contents of a child's pocket made elegant.

Elements, Jill Schwartz - jewelry and accessories with an eclectic antique look. I especially like her rings.

Colleen Toland - The color combinations in her beaded accessories are really inspiring. I have no idea how she comes up with them, but they must be fun!

Tesoros Trading - more recycled objects, with a message of empowering third-world artisans. This recycled paper piece reminds me so much of my tape coasters! I wonder how it was made.

Acacia Creations - Ethically-produced, surprisingly soft-toned recycled paper beads. The images on the website didn't load for me, unfortunately.

Architects & Heroes - They make wonderful "pulley" lamps, which descend using pulleys and ropes when you pull them. I couldn't even figure out how the mechanism worked, but it was very clean and smooth. I was reminded very much of similar lamps we saw recently in a historic plantation house in North Carolina, where such technology was used to replenish the oil-burning light.

Groundwork - I especially liked a "sedum table", which had plantings surrounding four brick placemats. I wish I could find a picture to demonstrate it; it looked so wild and natural.

It was really interesting to see more paper jewelry. It's a really great thing that it's mostly being done to bring better lives to artisans in other countries, but I'm surprised that I've generally seen only one type of design. It's inspiring me to perfect my method, keep being creative and start promoting my pieces!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Projects

I'm working on beading with the paper beads as accents. I'm not hugely satisfied with the red project - the colors didn't end up being as elegant together as I'd hoped. I'm more excited about the beige and metals project, but I ended up not having enough beads to go through with it at the moment...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New York International Gift Fair

Today I went to the NY Gift Fair at the Javits Center, thanks to my friend Cathy Simon of Global Solutions, which sells great scrapbooking supplies. My favorite product is her solution to messy sealing wax - wax rods that go in glue guns! I think it's really clever.

I stopped by while she was setting up, then headed out to explore the rest of the place. I was especially interested in the handmade sections. There seemed to be predominantly jewelry there; I was surprised, since I expected more felt accessories like in all the smaller craft shows I've been to recently.

Some of the vendors that caught my eye at NYIGF today:
Silver Seasons Jewelry - amazingly beautiful botanical casts, and I must say the booth was a lot more enticing than the site.
Sandy Vohr's Leather Zoo - I liked the pattern and weight of a lot of these unique stuffed animals, and I think using leather makes them less kitschy.
I also have to mention EcoCrafts because I spent a bit of time there checking out their paper bead necklaces! They seemed to focus more on eco-friendliness than design as their selling point, but it was still nice to see more of that technique even if it didn't inspire me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Topsail Skies

I just came back from five days in Topsail Island, NC, which was full of beach and sun, at least for the first couple days...

Isn't this an odd way for the sun to look?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Designing Headbands

I thought I'd publish some pages from my sketchbook to show how I draw out my ideas.

A bouquet, a thistle design, headbands and a necklace:

Headbands and fascinators:

I hope I find time to make everything!

Autumn Headband

I added the gold rose for accent, but I wanted to avoid fake flowers this time and go for more of an autumn theme. I stitched down the ends of the ribbon bow so that they wouldn't stick out in front of my face, and now they just hang down by my ear.

Paper Bead Necklaces

Yesterday I bought some thin satin ribbon and tried stringing my paper beads on that. The technique is very easy: knot the ribbon, thread on a bead, knot it again, leave an even amount of space and repeat. To make the doubled strands, I just filled a long length of ribbon and then doubled it up in a way that seemed pleasing. The bow accents came because of excess ribbon I left at the ends, but I think they're really adorable.

Autumn-colored beads on cream ribbon:

Variegated grey beads on navy ribbon, flanked by dark glass beads:
Summery blue-teal beads on white cord with silver glass beads:

I think my favorite would probably be the cream ribbon one because it's so girly, but I also really like the navy ribbon, it's more evening. I'm not a beachy kind of person so I actually don't think I'd wear the cord one as much, but I know other people would enjoy it.

When I move (in a few weeks!!), I'll start setting up an Etsy shop to sell these and all the other things I've been making. However, I can start taking orders now, so please let me know if there's something you'd like!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Industrial Crafts III

My latest and last project was making coasters from rolled discarded tape. I think they ended up looking a little bit shabby, but I'm interested in finding other methods for making coasters.

Industrial Crafts II

I also hung some chains of quilled paper from the architect's lamps we use for our work:

In the background are some creations by the other interns: one has a continuing project to create large balls of the refuse, and another made a house out of the discarded covering from about a thousand sheets of acrylic:

I'm really impressed. It's fun to work around these people.