Monday, December 6, 2010

Little Bits for the Holiday Season

 This weekend was the {New New} York Holiday Fair and boy was it spectacular! I have already scratched quite a few people off my Christmas buying list as a result of this gathering of awesome Etsy artists. One of the great things about these artists/crafters is that you don't have to go to one of these fairs to get their amazing stuff, you can also order a lot of it on Etsy. With that in mind I wanted to point you holiday buyers their way so you can share in the joy and share that joy with the ones you love!

The first seller I will mention was by far my favorite of the day (sorry to play that card, but it is too true)! My Zoetrope had some really mind blowingly cute artwork, was super sweet, and was ever so patient with me and my friend (especially me) as we stood in front of her booth trying to decide which of these colorful works we should buy (after all we only had so much money and so many people to buy for). I would seriously recommend perusing her shop and filling that shopping cart with some of her funky-fun art!

Another favorite seller of mine was KnitKnit. I had  seen her stuff at the shop on Governor's Island that the {New New} York had put up over the summer and fell in love. Her felted necklaces were too cute, colorful, and perfectly balanced to be true! Unfortunately at that time I didn't have the cash to splurge on myself...but at the fair this weekend I whipped out my wallet faster than I could say "I'll take it!" and bought a great necklace from her School series. Though this isn't what I got (mine was green with two notebook lines) it is pretty close and just as coolio! What I also really loved about KnitKnit's stuff is that the chains themselves are spectacular and add to the personality of the piece.

Next up was Caja Jewelry. While this jewelry is a little on the expensive side, for an urban - I spend all my money on crafts- lady, it is so beautiful with it's simple designs and perfectly cut shapes. Though I didn't leave with one of my all time favorite necklaces, I did leave wishing I could have. I'd say if you are looking for a quality piece that isn't over-the-top while still being catching I would be sure to stop over to this shop.

Two other sellers I need to mention are Sans Map, who has some amazing bags, and Wish By Felicity, with her vintage glass jewelery. I was able to pick up a couple pairs of earrings from Wish By Felicity for Christmas gifts and found myself jealous of the people I was giving them to. As for Sans Map, I wasn't able to dig that deep into my pockets this weekend, but someday I just think I might be back to buy the Shoulder Zip Bag.

Really, all the vendors were so nice and amazing and I would recommend to anyone to check out the {New New} blog for more great artists and tips on upcoming events!

Happy Holiday buying or crafting or just hugging the ones you love-ing!!

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Bit of an Excuse Leads to some Bits and Bobs

 F or most it might not seem like Christmas is fast approaching, but unfortunately for me it might be upon us all too quickly. Since I am making quite a few of my presents, although not as many as I originally wished to, I am in a bit of a frenzy to get them all done. However, since some of the people I am making gifts for read this blog I won't be able to post them until after the holiday season. So, if it looks like I am being super lazy with crafts as of late, it is quite the opposite. I look forward to posting about these various items in January and in the meantime I will try to post (for the few who care) occasionally with bits and bobs.  To show I am serious about this, please see below.

Bit number 1 of the holiday season:

Amy Sedaris has come out with a new book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. While this book doesn't really actually give you much insight on how to make worthwhile crafts, it is fun and the pictures are extremely enjoyable (especially the chapter on safety) for those aware of the little problems crafts throw at you every day. So check it out and take a second to laugh at the ridiculousness of the crafting craze.

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kurt Vonnegut

 ear Kurt Vonnegut,

Thank you for writing so many radiant books and stories and commentaries for so many years. You offered your truth and simplicity to the world, along the way inspiring me and many others. In pointing out so many flaws of our civilization, you were also able to illuminate so much of its beauty.

With much appreciation,

"I wanted all things to seem to make some sense, so we could all be happy, yes, instead of tense. And I made up lies, so they all fit nice, and I made this sad world a paradise."

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yarn Crawl Productivity - Well Kind Of!

 L et me first start by stating that after a few months of being personal computer-less, I am happy to now be making this post with my brand new computer! Super yay! Hopefully this will spur my ambition to post on that note let me jump right in!

As I posted a few weeks ago my friend and I were preparing for the Second Annual NYC Yarn Crawl and I was planning my purchases (quite a bit of alliteration in that sentence!). As soon as I made that post though I though to myself, "Watch me not get any of those yarns." Which really proved how well I know my future self because I came home with $100 more worth of yarn than I planned on and not one of the yarns I wrote about! Despite this I have absolutely no buyers remorse and have already started projects with two of the yarns I got. 

My friend and I started the day at Purl, for various unimportant reasons, and we swiftly set to work. While my lady companion had a list of what she needed for a particular project, I was well prepared to wing it and went on the hunt for multicolored yarn. Armed with my trusty t-shirt, I was ready to purchase enough yarn to make 100 scarves (although monetarily that just wasn't possible :)

My T-shirt (a present from my beau and from Threadless)

At Purl I made some really exciting purchases. They were:
One skein of Blue Sky Bulky (50% alpaca and 50% wool) in color grasshopper 1212
One skein of Manos del Uruguay Handspun Pure Wool Kettle Dyed in color Wildflower 113
One skein of Manos del Uruguay Handspun Pure Wool Kettle Dyed in color Fruit Salad 124
Then, on our way out, we got to do a quick raffle drawing and I won a tote with a fat quarter (I began using the tote immediately and it is now my primary means of carrying things) and the lady bee with me won two skeins of cashmere! How much fun!

After we hit up Purl my spectacular friend made it clear that she was here to support me in getting away from green. Now, she has nothing against green, but it is my absolute favorite color and so we decided since I have already bought so many green yarns that perhaps I should branch out. I must thank her for her unwavering encouragement to try new things because I was able to get some neat and different yarns by passing up some great, but similar, green yarns.

After Purl we headed out for lunch, which was super amazing butternut squash soup made by this Chiquita banana friend of mine. After this we went to another store, that since we didn't like I won't mention here, and then off to get some coffee. We headed over to Birch Coffee, both of us for the first time, and were blown away by the awesome yumminess of their cappuccinos (we both got soy)! Best cappuccino of my life!! On top of this they had a very comfy "library" upstairs where we got to sit and chat. 

Once our chatting was done and we had licked the last of the foam off our mugs we departed for uptown and String. I had seen mixed reviews about the service at String on Yelp, but was excited to go there because I had also read that they had some very nice yarns to offer. I was in the market for some cashmere or cashmere mix for a scarf for a family member, so I was happy to go somewhere that prided itself in offering great luxury yarns. Once there I understood why people might think it was a bit cold. The prices weren't marked on anything, which I hate (especially when buying fancy yarns), and while the woman on the floor got us whatever we needed, no one was over-friendly. However, they did have some really nice yarns. I found a blend with cashmere in it that I thought would be perfect for the family member in mind and I even got myself a little treat. I wound up leaving with:
Three balls of Sublime CMS DK (75% extra fine merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere) in color Carrots 219
One skein of Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca in color Plum 5653
Both of these are soooo soft and spunky fun colors! I had originally intended to try and get a pure cashmere, or at least a blend with more of it, but when I felt the Sublime CMS I knew that it didn't matter because it was as soft as I could hope for.

After String we moved on up the road to Annie and Co. Needlepoint and Knitting. While this was the last stop on our ride it was really where the party began! Annie and Co. is absolutely incredible!! This store was packed full of yarn with deals around every corner for the Yarn Crawl and the staff was A-mazing!! I went a little nutso here, I mean when everywhere you turn there is another fantastic yarn, it isn't hard to do. My craftista friend got a bag of yarn, more than enough to make a sweater, for a steal and I grabbed so many skeins they had to set some aside for me so I could grab more. In the end I bundled up:
Two skeins of Blue Sky Dyed Cotton in color Cumin 605
Two skeins of Blue Sky Multi Cotton in color Gherkin 6802
One skein of Cascade Yarns Eco Duo (70% undyed baby alpaca and 30% undyed merino wool) in color Zebra 1701
One skein of Malabrigo Rasta (kettle dyed merino wool) in color Baya Electrica 865
Two skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino (50% silk and 50% baby merino) in color Cape Cod Gray 429
I will for sure be going back to Annie and Co. for future purchases of yarn and embroidery supplies...I don't care how out of the way it is for me. Not only did I get great yarn here, but I also got a great experience (yes...I am aware that sounds slightly corny, but I don't care, it is true!). 

So, all in all I would have to say that the day was a definite success!! I got to spend super fun time with a super fun friend and go crazy on some yarn stores! I am already enjoying the incredible yarns I got and feel a tinge of happiness every time I walk past my stash. Also, the day after I felt so excited that I ended up winding all the yarn, minus the two skeins that were wound for me at Purl, and so now all that I need to do to get a project started is pick up the needles!!!

My spending spree results (no flash to show off true texture):

With flash to show off true colors:

 In the sunlight to try and do justice to both:

All wound up:

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap   

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Box it Up - In Style!

C heap, crafty, useful things are always so much fun to create because 1. you don't break the bank and 2. you end up with something that serves a purpose. Taking this sentiment I made some bins out of shoe boxes and fabric to store my craft supplies in. I will admit that for one of the boxes I ended up getting an expensive fabric, but by getting so little it wasn't too much of a splurge. The other two boxes I made with some great and wallet friendly fabric that was left over from another project (that I had purchased at FabricWorm).

This project is so simple to do and really helps to transform your space into something a little more personal. All that I needed for this was a shoe box, fabric, scissors, and a glue gun (with glue sticks). As I have already indicated on past posts I am not so great with measurements, so I primarily winged it. If you want the inside and bottom of the box to look perfect you will probably want to measure, but since I had no concerns about those two spots I just went to town. The first thing I did was to cut the fabric down some, so that I didn't have a long yard hanging down. After this I just went about putting glue on one side of the box at a time, and pressing the fabric down. I wrapped the fabric along in this way until the sides of the box were completely covered.

Once that was done I simply glued the edges down to the inside and bottom of the box. The same easy steps were done to the lid of the box (only I just laid one big square down and smooshed the sides down). The results of my day's endeavor were two matching boxes for my various craft supplies and one unique and funky box for my living room odds and ends.

Again, I must point out that if someone so inclined to wing it can pull of these little beauts then it should be no problem for anyone else...and for the price I would say it is totally worth a try! I know I am really satisfied with how nice these came out and how little they look like shoe boxes to the unsuspecting eye.

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap    

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

So many yarns, so many stops!

 N ot only is my computer still out of commission, but I have also been super busy lately, thus leading to a slight lag on the blog posting front. I really do have a few posts lined up, but since the only hour when I could make an in-depth post (my lunch break) is taken up for the next few days, I thought I would share a little info about some yarns I am itching to get my hands on.

This weekend in NYC is the 2nd Annual Yarn Crawl! My friend and I are super stoked and have been staging our plan of attack for weeks. On top of this I have also been saving my pennies so I can really go a little crazy (without feeling guilty). In preparation for this little splurge I have been trying to figure out what yarns I want the most. I am pretty new to knitting, but my pattern for buying yarn in the past (pun intended) has been to only buy for projects I know I need the yarn for. There have probably only been two exceptions to that rule, and so I decided that this weekend,  I will only be buying yarn that I have wanted or find dazzling...with no pattern in mind! There will be one exception to that, for a present I intend to make, but other than that I am just going nuts! So, in expectation of that joyous day, I thought I would share some of the yarns I have decided to hunt for.

First on my list is Rowan Big Wool. Almost every time I go to my local yarn shop I catch myself staring at this beautiful yarn. I really love the greys and light purples that they have to offer, so I will be on the look out for Smoky, Mulberry, or Glum. Since I love chunky, fall-all-over-your-neck, cowls I look forward to what I can make with this.

Next on the list is Spud and Chloe Outer! Since my first knitting class I have wanted to get this stuff. I absolutely love the colors and it certainly doesn't hurt that it is superwash! Even though I am not usually a pastels type of gal, I can't get over the subtle and yet eye-popping shades that are offered here. The carbon for sure catches my eye, but the Hedge and Bayou are fun and different for me. On top of this the yarn is so soft and works well with a bigger needle the project I do choose to do will probably be done pretty quickly.

The final yarn, but certainly not the last on my mind, is Habu Steel Wool. This yarn is just plain cool! With steel at the core and wool wrapped around this stuff can be used to make a nice lace item or just to add a little flare to a more standard knit. I plan on using it to add a little sparkle and staying power to a cowl or scarf (I am really starting to perfect the art of cowls :).

I'll be sure to put a post up soon about what I actually did haul away with me, but I hope that it at least includes these three great yarns! With so many awesome stores to visit though, I am sure no matter what I get will be super duper stupendous!

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap