Monday, January 31, 2011

Still thinking about Etsy

I have been dreaming of an Etsy shop since I learned about it. I cannot have one, because I have no credit card.
(Now, there are other venues, like Folksy, ArtFire and DaWanda, and eBay isn't too bad an option either... but they are not Etsy... :-D)

So I have been looking around in the internet trying to figure out what I could be selling in my shop, and collecting ideas and thoughts in a book.

I am a craftswoman, I can do about anything textile, like spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, sewing, patchworks, appliqué, macramé, quilting, lace in several different ways, and so on and so forth. I am also really good with paper and cardboard. (Fiber, isn't it?)
I am also a not too bad an artist.
[Funnily, I was looking at my book, and noticed that I had classified a lot of "art" projects as "paper craft" projects :-D To me things like scraps and paper dolls are not art, but pure craft. That's how "renaissance woman" I am :-D (To those who might not understand, or be sure, that means that there is no difference between art and craft.)]

But, several years ago I was thinking about [---] and to my irritation, someone else was thinking about it too, and now she has started a company specializing in [---] or similar items, and everyone is amazed by her ideas... *sigh* I wish... but no. There's plenty of ideas in the world, and several people get the same ideas at the same time. I didn't run with it, so the God of Ideas decided to give it to someone who ran... But... it is a bit irritating, anyway, as one of the reasons why I'm interested in Etsy is that as I am slightly disabled at the moment, I don't have much money, and I'd like to earn a little bit more, and arts and crafts is what I do.
Anyway, good luck to her and her company. May she thrive and prosper :-)

Yes, I'm babbling. Anyway, as I surf and look for ideas and inspiration, I find things. This time I found yubinukis...
People are making rings and bracelets and all kinds of things with this technique. Reminds me of temari balls. Very pretty.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My first basket :-)

I have finished my first ever basket, and I made it of newspaper wicker. :-)
I'm very proud of myself.
I also know that I NEED to learn more about basketry. My technique stinks :-D
Well... not really, the first basket, made as I remembered what I have picked up during these 40 years and some basic logic, actually holds. It IS a basket. It's not good, but it's not bad either. Very nice for the first attempt without "proper education" :-)
Also, I have bought some stuff from Tradera (internet auction in Sweden) and the things have arrived to the post office... I took the dog out to check how I'm feeling and now I'm fighting with a horrible anxiety. No going to post office today for me. *sigh*Also, my feet hurt. It feels like all the meat in the feet was bruised, and somehow there're thorns that dig in between the bones every now and then when I put my weight on the foot...

BTW, panic anxiety feels like you are in a photo and someone is crumpling the photo... the reality bends in a way that is not possible, making the walls fall on me, or my arm bend in an unnatural angle towards my breast... and none of this is happening, it's just in my head, it FEELS AS IF... Weird.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Being petty once more...

I get irritated by people who don't bother finding out simple things.

Wicker is usually willow switches. One can use also "cane of rattan stalks", reed and bamboo, split or not, or plastic, or even newspaper, but it's ALWAYS rather thick and stiff. You can't crochet wicker or make macramé out of it. You weave baskets.

This is a wicker handbag:

As you can see, it looks like a basket with some leather details. You just know it's going to be like a suitcase or a handbag made of plywood - with two hard sides and probably fabric lining that also makes sides, so that you can open the handbag while it hangs on your arm, without all that's in it falling out.

Wicker = hard

Now, THIS is not wicker.
 This is straw. It looks more like something you'd put in your head than something you'd use as furniture.
It's soft, but not soft enough to do much more than simple knotting and bending. Straw bags are usually made of braided bands.

A material little softer is seagrass. It is usually spun into thin rope-like material, and then woven into bags.

These are not wicker either

The blue one is crocheted, the cream one is macrame. I think the blue one is made of raffia bast and the cream one of hemp or jute or sisal, or some other plant fibre one makes hessian (burlap) out of. Both of these materials are soft and don't splinter like straw would. You cannot crochet wicker or straw, nor make macrame knots out of them. So these are not wicker bags nor straw bags.

Raffia reminds a bit of plarn (plastic yarn), so you can use plarn to make anything made of raffia.

The green and white one is raffia and leather (by Balenciaga) and the strawcolored (sic) and purple is Jimmy Choo's straw bag. See how hard and shiny it is compared to the other, raffia bag.

Most of the summer bucket totes the shape of the green and white one are made of raffia or straw. If it looks like it's woven (and slightly rough), it's probably seagrass,  braided strips, (and hard) it's probably made of straw, and if it looks like crocheted (and shiny), it's raffia.
This is NOT straw, even though they claim it is. You can't get such soft folds in straw. It is either seagrass or other spun plant material, but not straw. Straw doesn't have long fibres, so you cannot spin yarn (and not gold either) of straw.

This Kira "Straw" is not straw either. It's either seagrass or raffia, and considering the color and shine of the material, I'd say it's raffia. It is crocheted, so it cannot be wicker nor straw.
This Michael Kors Santorini "straw" tote is not straw either, even though it is braided bands. The material is too thick and soft to be straw. I would guess it's seagrass or cornhusks.

This is Straw Studio's Ingrid, and if you look at it closely, you'll see it's made of string, so it's not straw. I think it's made of seagrass.

This on the other hand IS straw. The spirals are hard, thin and shiny, like a straw hat.

This is not macrame, nor wicker or straw. It's braided and coiled raffia.

And here's a palmleaf tote. As you can see the soft, leatherlike material, similar to Kors' "straw" bag. It's coiled.
This raffia bag is coiled as well. It has that slightly plastic-y shine if you look at it closely...

These are not macrame. They are both crocheted. They are not wicker, straw or raffia, but quite ordinary cotton yarn. (or linen or hemp or ramie or some other ordinary spun plant fiber yarn.)

This is macrame. As you can see, it doesn't need to be "hippy craft".

Frankly, who am I to say that's hideous... there are people who like things like that. I don't. That's macramé in hemp.

This is macrame in jute.

This, again, is crochet, and horrible, I think. It too has its lovers...

This is called "crocheted bag". It's not. It's macrame.

Are you getting a hang of it? ;-)

P.S. This is Dalmatian. 
The dog from Dalmatia.
You know, Dalmatian, American, Russian, Brazilian, Croatian, Indian, African, European... Dalmatian.

Where the heck did you even get the idea of putting an -O- in there?

It's even less rocket science than seeing the difference of wicker and yarn, or crochet and macrame...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

a little origami :-)

cute paper hearts, for example as earrings

the classic mini puff stars

Really cute as a garland :-)
(Now, I don't know if LBCpaper has made her hearts the same way, but that's one way of folding hearts from a strip of paper. Also, it's not my idea, I saw it at her Etsy shop first.)

How to make a reversible felt bonnet folklore style 

Vintage sewing info: how to make hats 

Making faux lead glass painting

P.S. This is about as kitschy as it comes when it comes to crafting... and I respect her more than myself, because she does SOMETHING, and THAT is ALL that matters in the end... :-)
Well done, Reshmi :-) May I be inspired by your passion :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011


I found the Gifted magazine. Interesting.

They had a link to Nice Package blog on the last page, and even though it is a very beautiful, inspiring and interesting blog, I was slightly disappointed.

It did lead me to Sweet Paul e-zine, though, and to this recipe:

Purty! And sounds really delicious. The e-zine is full of nice recipes, beautiful photos and funny stories.

Well... the reason to why I found this was that I found Mimi Kerchner's "favorite" at Etsy, and there was Virginia and Costas the Owl... really pretty doll, made of air drying clay, not of porcelain clay or something other such material that is really difficult, practically impossible for me to use.
And then I found this aimi-dolls - a Japanese site telling exactly how to use air-drying clay to make these amazing jointed clay dolls...
(Here's Noah's doll, which was the tutorial I was thinking earlier... using materials that aren't very... available for me. Frankly, I can't even imagine where to find sawdust. Or what is "stone clay" and so on. So Aimi-dolls are practically the same thing, but made with air-drying clay.)

And one thing leads to another, so I found 365slöjd - a Swedish site with a craft project for every day of a year. It was started in May last year, so there's about a 100 crafts to do. It is in Swedish, but it's not rocket science to figure out what they are doing.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thinking about Etsy, again :-)

I love Etsy. I love this society of SO creative, productive and skillful people, blended with the less so, the obviously high so, the lying, cheating, deceitful so and others... I would so love to have my own Etsy shop, and be able to run it too :-D
Ideas I have plenty, skills also, but health, money and energy not enough.

Here's a couple of links for you to ponder and perhaps get inspired somehow :-)
TED - Technology, Entertainment, Design
1000 awesome things - like looking up and seeing your loved one looking at you with clear appreciation :-). That is awesome!

Makezine, Craftzine and Instructables, and Crafster. Just a reminder...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why didn't I think about it?

Funnily, my last post was my 500th post. Nice :-)

 This is Diane's paper doll... Why didn't I think about that?
I mean, I have been working with paper and cardboard all my life, and I'm really good with 3D thinking and patterns and such.
And I love dolls.
But no, this I have never thought :-D

Or this one...
I know they made furniture of papier mache back in France in the 18th century, and really pretty things too, as hard and durable as wood, if not more so.
That whole cabinet is made of corrugated cardboard (fiberboard). It is just as steady as a wooden furniture would be, but whereas carpentry is beyond my capacity, paperwork is not... also, there's plenty of material just lying around.
And for some reason I never thought of that.

Isn't it wonderful that there are people who do think about it? :-D
Because, another thing I'm really good at is copying. :-)

I love the cabinets with many drawers and doors and hidden compartments... I could make myself one, two, twenty... *sigh*
like this needle cabinet... or a hoosier (baker's) cabinet... "'Hoosiers" are distinguished by special features such as pull-out porcelain work areas, large flour bins, sugar bins, tin bread drawers, spice jars, pot and pan racks and many other features"
and secretary desks/cabinets... I just found out they make "secretary desks with curio cabinets":
Or the spice cabinets or apothecary cabinets...
Or antique filing cabinets, with the many different sized drawers... and haberdashery display cabinets and desks, "notions armoires", sewing cabinets and what nots :-D
I'm also pretty good at faux painting techniques... I COULD make it look like wood. Or something :-D

I don't NEED the item to BE old, just have the aesthetics...  Wood is, of course, the best, but I like the Chinese and Tibetan chests and Korean Dansus too, so painting the thing lacquer red and adding some details, like black handles and such... perhaps even make them out of polymer clay or salt dough or what ever ;-)
P.S. Go and admire this "Parian Peddler" doll... I'd like something like that... for my cabinet of curiosities...
P.P.S. If I had a house like House on the Rock collection, I'd collect:
suffragette memorabilia,
things about witches, witchcraft, divination, Paganism and alternative healing methods, and other such paranormal, supernatural, mythical, mystical and magical things :-)
Mythical beasts, especially dragons, unicorns and white deers
puppets - I want the world's largest hand puppet collection :-D
special effects
music boxes, clockworks and steampowered gadgets
Sabbath decoration - for each of the 8 Sabbaths, like some people collect Halloween, Easter and Christmas decorations
Musical instruments
Carousel animals and figure heads
Noah’s arks
peacocks and phoenixes