Let's crafty!

Let's crafty!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December crafty giveaway--embroidered flower pin!

Good news--my next blog giveaway is finally ready! This month, the prize is one of my new embroidered flower pins.

Newest batch of pins

It's easy to enter--just leave a comment on this post below including your email address and what color pin (from the picture above) you'd like if you win.

You can leave your email address in this format if you like: pickychickybird AT gmail DOT com, just to avoid spam.

The lucky winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, January 4th...I'll announce the winner here on my blog, so stay posted!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Seattle shopping extravaganza

We discovered some great places to shop in downtown Seattle...as well as (surprisingly) a great gift shop in our hotel. Also made a quick trip to the outlets and picked up some good stuff there.

Shopping: warm & cozy winterWarm & cozy stuff for the winter! Furry vest: Gap Outlet. Leather gloves: Fini. Socks: Free People. Wood rounds coasters: The Country Store at Salish Lodge & Spa.

More shopping in WA
I fell in love with this coat, even though I already have at least a dozen coats. It's super soft (not wool!) and has a great silhouette, plus lots of fun zippers! Coat: Free People. Shawl: The Country Store at Salish Lodge & Spa.

Shopping: more birdies & stuff
Carved wooden frame/wall art: Thailand Junkie. Birds flour sack dish towel: Watson Kennedy. Greeting cards: The Country Store at Salish Lodge & Spa.

Shopping: birdies and stuff
Some very cool (and mostly bird-themed) finds from Snoqualmie and Seattle, WA. Sweater: Gap Outlet. Birds flour sack dish towel: Watson Kennedy. Footie slippers: Free People. Metal chicken tray, greeting cards, chickadee figurine, and chickadee mini plate: The Country Store at Salish Lodge & Spa.

Yay for awesome shopping!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Inspiration in Seattle

Earlier this month, I spent a lovely week in Seattle and Snoqualmie, WA with some friends! What a relaxing time...we enjoyed the hotel spa, watched bad tv, went shopping (and eating!) in downtown Seattle, played board games, and enjoyed great food. Here are a few of my trip pics, check out my Flickr page for more!

Salish Lodge on Snoqualmie Falls
Our hotel, the Salish Lodge & Spa. 

Old rickety trainsHistoric Northern Pacific train depot

Locomotive silhouette

me again
Vicky in Pike Place marketPike Place

Pipes!Totem pole

Interesting fence

 Lovely tile selectionAwesome pear-themed display

Owls and keys at Fini

ProduceHandmade cheese!

Wow--that's a lot of cheese

Fartless Chili Makin's

And coming soon--a separate post with pictures of all the cool things I bought!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Craft fair takeaways

So I ended up doing two craft fairs this week, one at NPR and one at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in DC. Both were internal craft fairs, not open to the public, but they went pretty well.

I always bring materials so I can work on pins or other projects if things are slow at the table for a while. Yesterday this worked out great! I had a few potential customers come by who were interested in the pins I had, but wanted something specific--usually different sizes or colors. I was able to take their orders and make their pins right there, so they could pick them up at my table later in the day.

Felt flower pins

One of the requests was for a set of pins to wear for holidays--a pink/red one for Valentine's Day, a black-and-orange one for Halloween, a pink/yellow for Easter, and yes, a GREEN one for St. Patty's Day. Recall an earlier discussion with Brie where she thought no one would want a green flower pin? And I said they would for St. Patty's Day? Well I do...haha. So there!

I also got a few ideas from folks who wanted to see other animals/themes:
  • ladybug bookmarks
  • turtle pins
  • butterflies (wouldn't a monarch be cute on orange felt with black stitching)?
  • seals and frogs (a man came by who said he ONLY purchased things with seals or frogs on them!)
So my takeaways for the week?

1) Always bring projects to work on while you wait.
2) Make what your customers want! I seem to get a lot of requests for pink and purple pins for little girls...must make more!
3) Let visitors to your table know that you are happy to do custom work.
4) Brie is wrong about green things. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

You can dance if you want to...

I'm a bit behind on blogging and crafting lately, I've been super-busy with dance rehearsals and other stuff! Yesterday was the Southern Region Oireachtas (Irish dance competition) and it was a lot of fun. It was local this year, which was nice...we got to hang out at National Harbor for the day, plus I didn't have to fly anywhere :)

Our ceili teams did great...my four hand placed first (out of 7!) and my eight hand placed third. And our school got both 1st and 2nd in ladies AND mixed ceilis! A good day overall!

Today it's back to crafty, I have a bunch of felt tags and things that I need to get ready for a craft fair this coming Friday. And of course, a few more owl pins...

More new owls
This week's batch of hoot owls :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hoot owls--new colors

Another batch of hoot owls!
Here's my latest batch...I've been working on my owl pins and pendants in dark reds, browns, purples, and grays. I especially love the brown and gray ones.

Ok so it has been pointed out that I am a bit obsessive about the owls--I keep cutting more and more of them. I think I've made at least a hundred at this point, in various colors. I think I just want to try every possible color combination, and keep working on them while I'm on a roll. They're fairly quick and easy as far as projects go. I do  have a craft fair coming up in two weeks though and I should get to work on other items soon...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NYC weekend...a bit of inspiration

This weekend, I went up to NYC to visit my friend Francine and also attend my cousin's post-wedding celebration. What an awesome weekend!

This somewhat fuzzy picture is from my bus ride home...I love it! While there, we went to see a new play called The Language Archive, ate waffles and crepes with gelato, and went shopping in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. We discovered some awesome stores, including my new favorite, Catbird, where I bought these fantastic pussywillow earrings!

Catbird was full of tiny treasures, nautical ornaments, and amazing, unique jewelry. We also found some cool stuff at Pema, which had a great jewelry selection as well.

I had so much fun, I think more NY weekends are in my future!

Monday, November 22, 2010

More exciting news--now at VisArts Too!

As of last week, my crafty items will now be sold at VisArts Too! in Rockville Town Square. The VisArts space is really cool, I explored a little bit while I was dropping off my artwork. It's a brand-new space filled with lots of light and fabulous art! VisArts Too! is the retail store on the round floor. Upstairs, they have great studios, and you can walk around, explore, and ask the resident artists questions.

The shared studio of a group of 8 fiber artists upstairs was particularly interesting...they had great woven, dyed, and printed fabric pieces of all kinds. Definitely inspired me to go to December's meeting of the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild. My friend Krista went last month and had great things to say. I've been meaning to go for some time, and at the December meeting they're having their annual sale/auction/brunch so it should be fun!

This all came about because I went to Strathmore's Museum Shop Around this year and fell in love with pretty much everything at the VisArts booth! I bought a few things, including a gorgeous floral ceramic tray for my parents, made by Wandering Trail Ceramics.

Anyway, some of the items I have at the VisArts Too! shop are my handwoven chenille scarves, owl pins, felt tags, leaf coasters, flower barrettes, and felt purses. So if you're in the Rockville area, go check it out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

HOG (Hoot Owl Giveaway) winner!

Yay! The winner of the giveaway for a free Hoot Owl pin is....



Thank you all so much for entering, and a big welcome to the new folks reading my blog for the first time! Please stay posted...I will do another giveaway in December! :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My first blog giveaway!

I've been thinking of doing a giveaway on my blog for some time, and here it is! Hoot Owl Giveaway (HOG?)!

Line o' Owls!

That's right, you can get yourself a FREE owl pin! (Or pendant, if you so choose.) It's super easy...just leave a comment on this post below including your email address and what color owl you'd like if you win.

Keep the free hoot owl for yourself, give it as a holiday gift, or just wear it to make people jealous :)

You can leave your email address in this format if you like: pickychickybird AT gmail DOT com, just to avoid spam.

The lucky HOG winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, November 18th...I'll announce the winner here on my blog, so stay posted!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Octopus purse in progress!

I'm working on another custom piece, an octopus purse for Gleb's other niece, and came up with a few template options. I'm still trying to decide what to put on the back, along with her name. Ideas?
Octopus purses in progress 2

Gleb and I both liked the tie-dye one best...although the orange is more striking. The blue one was my first try, and I think it would look super-cute with some green tentacles!

Octopus purses in progress

I'm also thinking of doing a orange-yellow version, that would be striking as well on the purple background, and could have orange tentacles. The tie-dye one is probably a bit busy for tentacles.

I cut these out freehand, which was way harder than I was expecting. I am now the friggin octopus MASTER. The first one I cut out of light blue felt ended up being 2 inches too big in each direction to fit on the bag! However, it's super cute so I'm saving it for a wall piece or something. Gleb said, "I may have other uses for a large felt octopus. It is just the kind of life I lead." I think perhaps it would be a good piece to keep my felt Whaley company.

This also made me think of Doctopus:

I don't remember how we found him, but is he not fantastic???! In the good ol' days at Kaplan, we printed him out, colored him with crayons and hung him on the wall. Ah I miss that sort of ridiculousness!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Owls and updates...

I've moved on to purple owls now...just posted a few of them to my etsy shop. Take a peek:

Dark Purple Hoot Owl barrette ('n friends)

Purple Hoot Owl barrette

Dark Blue Hoot Owl pin

Helen suggested I use more photos of the backs of the pins, so I'm trying to do that consistently again in my etsy shop. I guess I got lazy about it somewhere there...

I have two new requests for pieces, one is an octopus purse for Gleb's other niece and the other is a piggy collage (or several small piggy artworks?) for my friend Emily for a baby girl's room :) Exciting!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More hoot owls--now in blue!

Ok so I've been working on these owls for like 3 days now, and surprisingly, I'm not tired of them yet. Today I worked mostly on blue owls, making both pins and pendants.

Next on my list to do:

1) Finish sewing princess purse.
2) Make felt cupcake pins & pendants. I couldn't find any I liked on etsy, which is shocking. Clearly this is a void I must fill.
3) Something holiday or winter-themed for the Washington Post Holiday Crafts Contest. I'm thinking something featuring images of either snowflakes or candles. I'm not really much of a snowman person though...can you see me carrying or wearing anything with a dang snowman on it?

Coffee-themed treasury feature

This morning my Brown Leaf Coasters were featured in a beautiful mocha-themed treasury by stampgirl45 on etsy.

Go check it out!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Little hoot owls!

So after my first few attempts at owls, I have come up with a template I love, and also managed to fix the problem with the eyes being overly googly. I just cut pieces for about 20 more owls in various colors and I finished 8 of them while watching Frontier House (one of my favorite PBS series) last night...they came out so adorable!

Hoot! Hoot! Hoot!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Craft project vote winners: Solar system felt tags and owls

I've been working on the items selected as my next craft project from the poll. My solar system felt tags are finished and I plan to post them to my etsy shop this afternoon!

Solar system felt tags

I also got started on the "something containing owls" craft project. I started by sketching the owl I had in mind (along with a candy corn felt purse that came to mind):

So on Friday I made my first owl...which is a little bit batlike for some reason...perhaps the eyes? Otherwise cute though, I like all the detail stitching.

Owl applique

Right now he's just an applique and I haven't decided what to put him on yet...maybe an eyeglass case?
After the first owl I decided to try a few without tails and made these adorable little guys, which are actually pins.
Two owl pins

I think I'll make some into barrettes and pendants as well. It would be super cute to have a necklace with an owl pendant and also some felt leaf pendants attached.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Help me pick fabrics!

Ok I've finished all the embroidery on the sides of the Princess Purse and now I'm trying to select a fabric for the lining. I've narrowed it down to my three favorites, a light pink with tiny hearts, dotted yellow, and dark pink with swirls. But I cannot choose! Please help by adding a comment below to tell me which one you like best!

Picking fabrics--back

Picking fabrics--front

Usually what I do to select fabrics for the lining is I narrow it down, and show a selection of 5 or 6 to my friend Brie. She picks one and I usually end up doing the opposite of what she suggested! Haha. She says the space purse was the first time I actually listened to her on my fabric choice. So getting the feedback really does help!

Space purse (SPURSE)

I entered my Solar System purse (or "spurse" as Jay calls it) in the NASA/Etsy contest earlier this week. I went over to Jay's and we had an amusing photo shoot for the purse, during which he spoke in Russian accents a lot (to mock my poor English) and we ate leftover pizza. Good times.


We had some lighting challenges since it was evening but otherwise everything went fine. I'm excited about the contest--I'm really hoping my spurse will at least be a finalist! I think there is some kind of voting after finalists are selected...I will be sure to post info about that later!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Votes and other notes

The results are in! It looks like I got some late voters yesterday on my "next craft project" poll...we had a tie between Solar System felt tags and something containing owls. The percentages don't add up to 100 for some reason though. I will have to brainstorm something good with the owls on it. Some options:
  • Felt purse
  • Coffee cup cozy (not that I drink coffee)
  • Eyeglass case (Brie has been telling me to make one for months)
  • Necklace pendant
  • Hairclip or pin
In theory I could make all of those. In other news, Glebby has requested a princess purse for her niece, who likes girly things! :) I had this purse already designed in my head so it was quick to start--here it is with the pieces cut, while I was still playing with sequins:

Princess purse in progress

The front will have a crown and Gleb's niece's name embroidered on it, the back will have a magic wand and some more sparkly sequins, of course. I finished stitching the front last night:

Princess purse--continued progress

Love how it turned out but stitching words freehand in cursive is NOT easy!
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