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Come and get it!
A whole bunch of awesome local crafters are clearing out their stashes to sell at thrifty prices, at the Workroom this Sunday. You may know that my craft shelf is a bit out of control, and so you might imagine that my fellow crafters also have a penchant for buying too many craft supplies on a whim or when they see a dreamy fabric or yarn and imagine a zillion possibilities for projects, or rounding up all sorts of collectables from yard sales from here to Montreal. Now is the time to take advantage of their (my) regrets. There will be a lot of good stuff: all sorts of craft supplies and vintage wares including (but not limited to) paper ephemera, vintage dresses, handprinted fabric remnant packs, buttons, findings, jewellery supplies, vintage fabrics, yarns & more!

So:
Pure Rummage Trunk Show
Sunday October 18, 2009
Noon-5pm
the workroom
1340 Queen Street West

be there!

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Last summer was Japan. Next I’d really love to spend some time in Sweden. I probably won’t be able to make it until next fall, 2010, but until then, I’ll peruse the photos in this great guide to Stockholm’s crafty places from craftzine.com‘s Travel Crafty series.
A basket of trim for sale at Folckers, by Sabrina Gschwandtner, craftzine.com
A basket of trim for sale at Folckers, by Sabrina Gschwandtner, craftzine.com

Orange and Blue, aren't you?
Last year after I discovered crochet and went nutso making stuff, I searched for an outlet for all of it, and came across swap-bot.

Swap-bot is an online service that organizes group swaps and a community of creative individuals. Swap-bot takes the hassle out of participating in group swaps by organizing all of the participant information and doing all of the partner assignments. On Swap-bot, you can host swaps, join swaps, and chat with other swappers from all over the world. Give it a try!

I made lots of stuff, and sent it off. Got lots of really cute stuff in return, a couple of less-than-cute things, but in general it was a good experience. I got a good rating, but eventually I just got bored with it and preferred making things for friends.
However, I did get something pretty amazing out of this: my crocheted starfish. I participated in the Octopus Amigurumi swap sponsored by Octopus Revolution. The idea was for everyone to start with a really basic pattern, and give it their own twist. The octopus I received was a super-cute Japanese geisha-octopus with little origami paper crane buddies. It was also stuffed so tightly, I don’t know how people do this and crochet the toys closed! I guess it might be the type of yarn because I always use natural fibers which stretch more than acrylic.
So the octopus I made was green, made with Cascades Pastaza llama yarn, and I designed a little starfish buddy for it.
octopus & starfish buddy
Everyone who saw this loved it, and I was asked where I got the pattern and if I could make more. So this is what inspired me to make starfish in a whole bunch of colors and to make more octopi, but with longer legs.

Here’s a photo Karyn took of me selling my wares in my very first craft fair, ever! I sold about half of my “stock” that day at the Kid’s Trunk Show at the Workroom. You can now get your own starfish in one of 8 colors, at my etsy shop, thanks again to the Workroom and City of Craft for giving me my start!
Trunk full of Starfish - photo by Karyn of the Workroom.
(looking at this photo reminds me that I really should make more of the albino starfish!)

So when I first learned to crochet, I kinda went nuts. After the blue bunny and the happy poo, I realized I could basically crochet any shape I wanted, and started crocheting all kinds of things. My friend Chris asked me to make him a bearded cap like the one made by Vik Prjonsdottir.

The beard caps refer to a traditional cap called “lambshed-hood” which was used in Iceland by farmers who in heavy snowstorms had to walk long distances between their sheds and to the neigboring farms. The cap covered both head and neck and had only a small opening for the face.

The Beard Caps, 100 % icelandic wool, 3 different colors and shapes
Bearded Cap by Vik Prjonsdottir of Iceland

The thing is that Chris is vegan, so he chooses not to buy wool (sorry Iceland sheep farmers!). I told him to find some appropriate animal-free yarn and I would make a bearded cap for him. Well, months passed and summer came and went, so I finally bought some brown 100% cotton yarn and got on with it! I created my own version of the bearded cap, and crocheted a separate cap & detachable beard with mustache. This way, Chris could use the hat all the time, and the beard only when he felt like putting some extra fun in his day, or some extra warmth on his face. The beard has a small mouth-hole and two buttons, and the hat has two buttonholes just above the ears. There is also a built-in mustache, but now that I look at it, maybe it should have been a little bit bigger!
beardo recipient

p.s. go vote for Chris & Stu at hypercube.ca! (Only an hour left, help these guys win some cars!)

an organized craft corner

an organized craft corner

Some of you may have seen my craft shelf, and some have seen it exploded on the floor.  It can get kind of crazy when I search for something or when I get new supplies that I have to put away.  I just bought a few boxes from Ikea to try and start organizing my supplies in a visually appealing way.

Need some inspiration? check out this mosaic of very well organized craft corners, selected by this crafty lady.