Wednesday, November 30


ポンflowers on small combs + pins

sewing kits

Here they are, all twelve of them, in their all-but-finished glory. Whew!

Everything is wrapping itself up now; I'm tagging, pricing, making signs, figuring out what to wear, finishing this and that. There are a few more things I'd like to make before Saturday, but we'll see. I don't have much midnight oil to burn these days.

Working on a large intaglio right now to go with the costumes for the printmaking ballet. Kind of exciting! Also kind of insane, as all are due in two weeks. C'est la graduate school!

Tuesday, November 29

ポンflower comb

Very large hair ornament, now residing comfortably at the Design Collective.

I've been really pushing it the past two days--after our last planning meeting for the No-Coast, I was inspired (er, by the fabric I bought) to go home and make some more sewing kits. So I got home, ate a bit of lunch, and then set to cutting. Well, all of a sudden I had 12 kits ready to go.

So that consumed all of yesterday evening (until early morning hours) and part of today, but they're 90% complete now. I should have taken photos of the kits in progress, because I was a machine--just one after another. They're really pretty--all good-quality cottons, bright colors.

I also made some tape measures, a whole ton of fancy pomflowers, more cards, and a few more ornaments. All this--and I rearranged my house! If I had whole weeks off of work + school more often, just imagine what would happen.

Sunday, November 27



for the No-Coast and also on my site

Saturday, November 26


And yet more peeking--although none too exact, none too close--at things for the No-Coast. Thrift-store sweaters+another hot wash+hot dry=nice thick felt. I sold out of all the pouches I brought to MCBA, and those were just the plain ones--I didn't think they would sell at all. So on Tuesday and Wednesday (although consumption is fickle and everything is a shot in the dark) I made 14 new ones.

Friday, November 25


I haven't been around since the MCBA sale because I sold out of almost everything (unexpected! but wonderful!) and I've been making just a ton of new stuff for the No-Coast, which is a week from tomorrow. Really, my mood and energy have been great! I'm almost a hermit right now (with a whole week off of school) and am cranking things out right & left.

Not too many new photos will be up here before the sale--I want to preserve the surprise!--but here is a sneak peak of the pencils I mentioned earlier. I have so many things I want to put up! --Only one more week!

I've also been working on the new shop, and hope to update it the night of Dec. 3rd. I'll publish the url here as soon as it's ready!

Saturday, November 19


The Minnesota Center for Book Arts Fall Festival is today from 10-5, and tomorrow from 12-5. I'm sharing a booth there with my friend Caroline; we're selling paintings, prints, gifty stuff, etc., etc.

If you're in the Twin Cities, come on over! There should be some pretty cool stuff for sale.

MCBA is located in the Open Book Building on 10th and Washington S, just inside downtown Minneapolis, near Seven Corners. Bus lines 7 and 19 pass directly in front of it; it is about 5 minutes walking (head northeast) from the Metrodome stop on the Hiawatha line. There is parking available in the Open Book lot. More details.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 16

kokeshi upon kokeshi

A new batch, ready to go to the MBCA Sale on Saturday and Sunday. After that, whoever's left will come with me to the No-Coast, and then I'll put a few up on my site.

I ordered some pencils made with a sweet slogan for a promotional event I'm taking part in in New York. I'm so excited to see how they turn out! Slogan = secret, but the pencils are natural wood with silver writing. Subtly girly. I should get them this weekend--I'll definitely have some of the extras at the No-Coast. I might bring some to the Design Collective next week--I have to bring in some pomflowers and maybe a few other things. I won't be debuting any winter collection items there until after December 3rd, but I have a lot of ideas. I looked over all my old sales reports and I'm doing really well there--selling more than one item per week on average.

Can't wait to see the pencils!

Tuesday, November 15


I began this skirt at 11:30 last night and finished it at 1:45. No pattern. The top layer is acetate or nylon I think ("unidentified fiber content" and I was too tired to do a burn test) and the bottom layer and waistband are a silk-linen blend. This is for critique in printmaking class today. I printed lithographs on the light fabric. I'm planning to use my stamps to print on the darker layer as well but haven't done it yet (the only colors of ink I have at home [where I got the idea] are red and tint base). There is machine embroidery on the waistband, and the puffs are hand-gathered. Three snap closures. It's part of my conceptual project for class, which is going to be a lithography ballet. I've been thinking about that since last year (how the two things are similar) and so now I'm making costumes for it. Not that it will ever take place, but making the clothes is fun. I imagine this will end up in the Design Collective eventually.

Monday, November 14

my great mom

My mom came over after work today and helped me put tags on everything: necklets, purses, sewing kits, the pomflowers pictured above. She also bagged all my cards, which is a task I hate to do, so that was great, and sewed some pins onto other pomflowers, likewise.

I just got done doing ads for the No-Coast, and now I have to make a skirt for critique tomorrow. It's hand-printed fabric, and if it turns out I might post it here.


And on stamps:

Elizabeth--you can use white erasers to cut into stamps; otherwise there are several kinds of soft matrices you can buy, but they can be a little dear.

I use oil-based ink from Graphic Chemical Company, a Speedball brayer, and a glass slab. Pfifer to clean up.


Four finished knit collars for the No-Coast (December 3rd). I've got 8 more to finish, I think. Among other things. (When are there not other things?) But it's coming together.

Sunday, November 13


Covered buttons (silk crepe from a vintage child's kimono). B. gave me the little bowl (it is the usual blue-and-white on the outside, but the inside has little white chrysanthemums outlined in red, with green centers, on a gold background--I love chrysanthemums!).

Yesterday I worked all day--made some prints, practiced screen; get tags, labels, and etc. printed off for MCBA sale; finished knitting two necklets and made pompons for them; sewed pins onto ten elephants and five ポンflowers; got packages ready to mail out; emailed my mailing list. Things are kind of snowballing now--the end of the semester is only 4 weeks away--but it felt good to spend a whole day working on bara stuff.

Friday, November 11


I've become mildly obsessed with paper flowers lately--researching how to make them, where they came from, what the history is, and of course how I can get my hands on them. These are ones I've accrued from estate sales, Paper Source, and a few random places.

Thursday, November 10

"e-z" cut

I'm so tired of the work that printmaking (among the rest of life) entails right now! I made these little stamps over the past 3 months or so--a couple are older, and there are a few large ones that are older still but aren't shown here--and I've been using them for all kinds of things, both paper and cloth. It's all right. Shouldn't post when I'm crabby, but do you understand how long it takes to drop a whole yard of cloth with a one-inch stamp? E-Z my arse.

(Of course the 'cut' is 'e-z.' But nothing else.)

Time for winter break yet?

こけし (kokeshi)

Four older ones (back row) and three I made this weekend. They're wood, painted with acrylic. A lot of fun to make!

They're part of the big news--my brother is finally redoing my site, so with any luck the shop will be newly stocked in a couple of weeks. Expect sewing kits, milk bottles, printed fabric and ribbon, Japanese goodies, and these guys, of course!

Wednesday, November 9

let it snow!

Usually by now we'd have had our first snow cover, but the temperature is hovering between 40 and 65 degrees--still! Today it's windy and slightly colder, and last night I dreamt about snow, so maybe there's a winter coming yet.

No surfeit of cute, however warm it may be. This morning I made this little guy; he's a Christmas ornament.

Bits of an old bedspread, some pieces of red wool from my mom, two buttons, and ta-da! I have a lot more that I've been making but haven't had time to put up yet, so there'll be a bunch of posts here over the next few days.

Saturday, November 5

ahh, neat piles of fabric

Spent the evening printing and then doing drawings for paintings. Also got obi cloth picked and ironed and made five zakka packets. MCBA is only 2 weeks away, and No-Coast is exactly one month from tomorrow! Oy gevalt.

I folded and arranged all my cotton and kimono fabric, too:

Made some tiny ez-cuts : a bunny, a slice of cake, a bonbon, a smiling star, a couple of birds. Secret doings with those (multiple!). Should be printing at school by next Thursday at the very latest. It feels good to get a ton done all at once.

I also cut my (right) hand all the way across the palm. When you stretch a screen and use spray adhesive and the cut the extra mesh off, the adhesive hardens the mesh on the frame. I let my slide through my hands yesterday, instead of carefully putting it down. The cut is like a really long, deep papercut. Most fun is that it reopens off & on as I use my hands.

Thursday, November 3


This is a Japanese site with some sweet examples of amigurumi. You can click on Volume 9 and then on the テーマ作品コンテスト link to see some examples.

編み針 or 編み棒 (amibari; amibou) means 'knitting needle'
編み目 means 'stitch' (amime)

編みぐるみmeans 'knit together.'
編む is the verb 'to knit' (amu)
ぐるみ means '-wide' or 'together' or 'whole' (家族ぐるみ-->whole family)

And here is Clover's USA site. They sell all kinds of notions and things.

Annnd, one more: check out these felt foods (this isn't the same link that's been floating around).  And these!

(I've noticed a recent interest in ez-cut/linocuts/printing/making stamps, so if you're into that you have to check out this link.)

Wednesday, November 2

うさぎ (bunny)

“うさぎ”は"bunny"っていう意味があります。 "Usagi" means "bunny."

I kind of like this bilingual thing. Some words (including, believe it or not, 'bunny') come more easily in other languages than English. I like using Japanese a lot for the visual effect as well.

He's about 1.5 inches long, and, although it's not really visible here, the insides of his ears are pale pink. He's frisking about on a scrap of vintage cotton from a child's obi.

Monday I undid all the kimono I bought, washed them, folded the fabric, and reordered all my fabric on the shelves. I have been thinking about selling some kimono fabric in my shop (besides packets of mixed pieces for kanzashi and small zakka), but I'm not sure how that would go over.

I did find a couple of really sweet kimono and an obi with all kinds of kanoko shibori (hand- and machine-done); the former in red, green, and brown, and the latter in oranges, peaches, creamy white, and red, with some silver embroidery. Can't wait to iron the fabric & put it to use!

japanese crafting

Here is a site I just found that has some good information for traditional Japanese crafts, like てまり (thread balls) and ちりめん (chirimen=crepe silk or rayon) zakka(ざっか or 雑貨, I think)/omamori (お守り). The directions are all in Japanese, but the diagrams are also pretty clear. If nothing else, it's good for ideas. (Just so you know, the buttons at the bottom of the pop-up pages say 閉じる[tojiru; 'close']. I didn't read them at first and thought there might be a few more pages of instruction, but what you see is what you get.)