An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

An attempt to document my creative pursuits and spew inspiration into the universe.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Still Busy Making Stuff

The Trunk Show at SomaSpace last weekend went quite well. I had a nice spot in the main room,with nice folks on both sides of me. Actually, everyone there seemed nice; it was a real sweet vibe, with lively shopping music, folks strolling in and out, homemade chocolate samples... As expected, the fingerless Mitts for Musing just about sold out. Surprisingly, the slippers were popular as well.
In fact, someone ordered slippers for their entire family! Today was perfectly gray and overcast for doing a photo shoot. I was able to take many photos for the Green Grin Etsy shop. Here's my little set up out on the deck.
It's amazing how easy it is to create a whole little world in there.
So now I'm busily making slippers,
and some other mysterious things.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Preparing for Craft Shows part 2

My first craft show of the season is this Sat., November 21 at SomaSpace. The hours are from 1:00-4:00. For those of you readers living in the Portland (Oregon!) area, SomaSpace is located at 4050 NE Broadway, behind Trader Joe's. If you're out and about for the afternoon, stop on by and say hi. This free event is being billed as a "Trunk Show", and it's a smallish affair, held in a lovely street level dance/yoga venue. I did this one last year, and it was quite sweet and enjoyable. I'm scheduled for two other craft shows in Dec. The big one is sponsored by Handmade NW, and held in the Chelsea Ballroom, Dec. 6th. The third event is S.C.R.A.P.'s annual Bazaar and Bakesale, Dec. 19th. I'm very excited about being involved with this one, 'cause SCRAP is a great place, and I'm looking forward to meeting & hanging out with the good folks there, as well as other crafters working primarily with re-use materials. I'll post more about these events as they near. Meanwhile, I'm headed back into the studio to finish up a batch of cuddly hot-water-bottle cozies. Tomorrow will be my last day of sewing for this weekend's show. I'll work on a few more stuffed creatures. I was hoping to get some slippers done for this sale, but it's not gonna happen. Lots of Mitts for Musing!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Preparing for Craft Shows

Well, it finally stopped raining long enough yesterday for me to take some photos of my latest sewing adventures. I've lined up a couple of craft shows to sell at during the next month, so I'm busily stitching away. As you can see, much of what I've been making has been all about using up scraps. Will I ever use them all up? Will my studio ever have enough space to walk around in?
I've been loving sewing up these soft vessels. They use up the tiniest of scraps, and you know that makes me happy! The shapes remind me of ceramic pots. I'm keeping a couple for myself, just to have around the studio for holding things.These Hot Pot Handle Holders have been popular with the cast iron skillet crowd. Mine are in constant use. These are one of my lower priced items. More bunnies. These are the most fun to make. When I put on the faces and then sew the heads onto the bodies, they take on such personality. So cute!
This style is a bit simpler to make, and great for dressing up. I knit this free-form cape from some of my experimental handspun yarn. It can also be worn as a little dress. As I was making this, I was remembering when I was a kid, and how fun it was to play with a stuffed animal that had clothes and accessories I could put on and off.
Here's another attempt at making a simpler design. The idea for this came from a vintage Women's Day pattern (1967!) I picked up at S.C.R.A.P. The pattern sheets have full-sized patterns for 10 different animals. The original sizes are large, like a small pillow. They have cool embroidered faces, but I prefer using applique. Every year I want to make ornaments, and I finally came up with something this year. These are little angels. My embroidery skills aren't that great, so instead of looking cute, they look kinda' mischievous. I also wasn't sure how angel wings look (have you ever noticed how many styles of wings there are?) so some of them look more like flying creatures than angels. I think I'll be the only one who knows that these are angels! I'm also making these felt flower ornaments. (out of tiny scraps...I'm so happy!) Reading glasses cases. A while ago I made some for myself which I love. I thought I'd make some to sell, to see if other folks would like them. I was able to use some of my special vintage buttons on these. Getting all this stuff together and taking photos made me feel pretty good; sometimes I'm there in the studio stitch,stitch, stitching away, feeling like I'm not making much progress. Now I can see that I am actually getting a collection together. I'm looking forward to these craft shows. It's always so fun to interact with the folks who are drawn into to my colorful, squeezable display of goods.
Ready to go out into the world.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

cider pressing

Every Fall we press apple cider with a big, old apple press borrowed from a neighbor. Family and friends come out for a day of "appling" and socializing, going home with a few gallons of fresh cider.This year we had about 10 varieties of apples. The best cider is made with a blend of different types of apples.
My job was sorting and washing. I mixed several varieties together in every sink-full.
Next, bad spots are cut out, and large apples cut in half. Most of our apples are smallish, so we didn't have to do too much cutting.
Here Nita is tossing the apples into the hopper. The hopper funnels the apples into the hog, which roughly grinds the apples into small bits to prepare them for pressing. It is loud, and while the hog is going, there's not much conversation. The apple bits fall down into a large, wooden basket.
When the basket is about 3/4 full, we slide it forward under the press. Here Kether tightens the press down. Rather than ratchet the press down all at once, it is more efficient to wind it down until juice runs out, let it sit for a bit, then wind it down some more, repeating several times.
Ambrosial nectar drips. We filter the fresh cider through cheesecloth to remove the chunks of apple. Most of these jars will go into the freezer, to be enjoyed all year. What doesn't fit in the freezer must be consumed fresh within a couple of weeks. Some years we make hard cider, but decided not to this year. We had a few pears, so the last batch pressed was pear/apple, and that was the best! All together, this year we got 29 gallons of cider. The apple crop was slim this year; last year we had enough apples to press over 50 gallons of cider!
After the juice is pressed out, this apple pulp remains. It goes onto the compost pile..the worms love it!
Now I'm sitting here writing this on a chilly, grey, blustery day; looking at these pictures, I can still smell the apples and feel that sunshine on my face...hmmm..methinks a cup of hot, mulled cider is in order.