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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Draculas & Witches

More Halloween here.
More Quilt Market here.

I'm in the lots-of-things-to-post-about-but-no-time-to-post phase. Hang in there. More to come.

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Made in 2007

Made in 2007
My second online year is coming to a close and I want to thank you all for the inspiration, feedback, and motivation. I really enjoy sharing the narrative of your lives. I love this crafty community! I can't wait to learn new things, see pictures of the next batch of babies, and witness the strengths of you all.

Many years ago, my very inspirational high school art teacher, Katie, had us imagine what a calendar year looked liked. Every one had such different ideas. What does *your* year look like? Can you make a representation of it? Or, is it too abstract? I'd love to hear/see what your year looks like, even if it doesn't make it onto paper, or some other medium. I'll share my idea in the comments after awhile, so I can leave you with a blank canvas.


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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho

Christmas Display
A winter scene inspired by and co-crafted by some online and real-world crafty friends. Merry Christmas!

Soft Trees inspired by the Little Birds pattern.
I made mine tall and gnome hat-ish.

Yo Yo Garland made by Two Lime Leaves

Red & White Needle Felted Mushrooms by Bitter Betty

Wooden Mushroom Gnome Home by Sarafoop

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays from Green Kitchen


Vintage Animal Set

I put together a free download of the images from this vintage French stamp set — they're so cute, they had to be shared. The PDF is vector-based, so if you are Illustrator savvy you'll be able to select and scale the images to whatever size you wish without losing image integrity. For those more comfortable working with raster images (Photoshop, etc.) you can go to the Flickr set and view "all sizes" for whichever image you would like to use, then choose the size closest to what you want. You can also change the finished printed size with your printer software.

My first thought was to do some embroidery with them, then I thought I should get some new stamps made, then kid's clothes, then...

Whatever you do, let me know, so I can see, too.

Download the PDF (8.5 x 11)
Go to the Flickr set.


Peace to all. Love, Green Kitchen.

P.S. I just noticed that the frog is not on the PDF, so I'll get to that ASAP.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Making Tradition By Hand

Growing up in a half atheistic, half non-church-going-believer type of family made my childhood holidays a find-your-own-meaning sort of situation. My mom created the mood, my dad tried to ignore the whole thing. I don't remember wondering what the meaning of it all was — I suppose getting presents was my main concern. But, I do remember loving the ritual of our family's traditions: opening family presents on Christmas Eve/Santa's in the morning; baking a long list of very specific goodies (Granny's Fudge, mom's Russian Tea Cakes, Becky's Peanut Butter Balls, grandma Ruby's Peanut Butter Cookies, Renie's Magic Bars, etc.); and, most importantly, the making of handmade gifts and decorations. We did *a lot* of making. We never stopped making, not even in those awkward teenage years.

When I was in college I printed a very small edition of miniature books about our family's Christmas traditions. Talk about being a dork! There is nothing more un-hip than illustrating Christmas when you are a fine arts major — my teacher was not impressed. It was an earnest book, though, full of love and memories. Each spread features an item handmade by family or friends: my sister's toilet paper tube angel; Wayne's machine-lathed aluminum tree; my soft sculpture snowman; Kathy's felt advent calendar; Patty's patchwork placemats; even our favorite baked goodies are in there.

My printmaking teacher might not have liked it, but it was tear-worthy over at our house that Christmas. It's probably the best present I ever gave to my mom. And, in a way, it's one of the best presents she gave to me.

Here it is:
Miniature Book

Becky's Angel / My Snowman:

Patty's Placemat:

Kathy's Advent Calendar:

Wayne's Aluminum Tree:

The Goodies:

The End:

Some technical info:
I printed the book on a stone lithography press with black ink. I hand-colored each illustration with Prismacolor colored pencils. The text is handwritten (I forget what kind of pen — heck, it was 20 years ago!). Each page is glued together accordion-style. The binding is red leather with what used to be gold ink.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Original G-nome

papa gnome

I wondered when I'd have a go at needle felting. Lucky for me my friend, Sara, has a craft supply shop in her garage. ;) First, I made a loose shape of a beard out of felt, then sewed the roving onto it in areas where it won't show. Then I made a lining of felt and hand stitched it to cover up the fuzzy edges and to strengthen it. Of course, it has fuzzy edges anyway.

What do you call a group of gnomes? A herd? A pod? A posse?
Halloween 2007

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Valentine Door

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
When I said, "Let's paint the windows for Valentine's Day," I didn't exactly mean the whole window. :) My mom had the idea of the heart cut outs.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Stocking Wall

Christmas Stocking Wall
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
Thirty-eight years of Christmas stockings. Can you spot the decades. Almost all are handmade by family or friends. I think there are four store-bought ones. Can you tell which one my four-year-old had to have?

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tis the Season

mele kalikimaka
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
This one is courtesy of my sister and brother-in-law — it's their Christmas card. They got the idea from MSL last year, but wanted a word more complicated than Joy, they picked Mele Kalikimaka. Not everyone is as lucky as I, to have such a great brother-in-law, one that is willing to wear hot pink stretch pants for a photo shoot.

Fa la la la la la la la la.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Advent Calendars 1976

Advent Calendars 1976
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
I was going to put together the list of all the advent loveliness out there, but Steph beat me to it. This photo is from Christmas 1976—I was eight and my sister was three. We're standing in our white, faux-wood paneled living room next to our Advent calendars that my mom put together with something like interfacing and Liquid Embroidery. I got to draw the scene on the top of mine, but mom did the Santa for sis. Each day had a present tied with ribbon to a little ring. I remember exactly what the rings looked like, how the ribbon felt, how cold the linoleum was. I probably examined each present for hours, never sneaking a peek, although I did do that with the big presents. I think the secret was that they were wrapped well and had lots of ribbon to keep it secure to the calendar.

It will be a year or two before I get it together to do an Advent calendar for my boys. So far I only have one present for Christmas, let alone Advent!

Go check out Kim's photo that my four-year-old thought was me.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Day of the Dead Couple

Day of the Dead Couple
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
Una señora y un señor for a Día de los Muertos group show I was in last year. It was my first show since college, 16 years ago! They are small, about 4 x 6 inches, acrylic with buttons and string.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Christmas in August

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
I've been saving these stockings to share at a time when everyone is not overwhelmed by the holidays. Hopefully they will inspire a whole mess of embroidery projects. I've had close up details posted at Flickr for some time now. I made seven of these for my family Christmas 2004. Looking back now, I remember that they were the beginning of my new craft era, and part of the catalyst for our wacky idea to put on a craft show.

P.S. Have you all been to Getting Stitched on the Farm? I think I'm in love: the painted wall; the socks for Vogue Knitting; the animals. Sigh...

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Don't Go Into the Light: A Valentine Confession

Valentine from 2003
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
I, too, am a holiday cynic...sort of. I liked Craftapalooza's truth hurts view of Valentine's Day. We share the same candy heart message of "Get Real." And, I'm dying to give someone the "You say potato, I say you look like one" card (and this coming from a pregnant woman). As you can see by the photo in my very first post, I love cynical holiday as a craft theme.

Having said that, I'm posting this photo to show my other side -- not the secret dark side, oh, that's around all the time, but the forbidden lighter side. It can happen to anyone. One day you have a kid and -- WHAMO! -- somehow you're not so cynical. Someone who was once known as Grumpelstiltzkin ends up spending hours taking photos and manipulating them to turn their child into a cupid. You might even find yourself getting weepy as you make a simple Valentine at preschool.

I'm not saying one way or the other is better, but, rather, to be authentic in your feelings and rituals that make up your holidays, be they dark or light.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hello Craft Bloggers!

Sad Snowman

Sad Xmas Tree
Dead Santa

After many months of lurking in the crafty blog world I've decided to start my own, which is proving to be bit challenging on my outdated Mac OS system. But the allure of the craft community is stronger than my I-don't-want-to-upgrade-my-system laziness. I want to thank all you crafty bloggers for giving me entertainment, inspiration, and an overall energy boost--each very necessary for me after my 2005 crafting rollercoaster.

2005 was a very crafty year for me. My child was old enough to allow me some craft opportunities, as well as enough time to co-host an alterna-craft fair called ¡CRAFTALICIOUS! The fair was great--we had over 50 vendors, over 1200 attendees, and a full-page color article in the local newspaper. The only real complaint was that it was crowded and sweaty. I made new crafty friends--I felt like I had found my people. But nobody warned me of post-show letdown. Actually, Leah, from Craftster, who had been generously answering my questions, told me that after her first Bazaar Bizarre show she couldn't even say the BazBiz words for months . At the time I didn't understand; I was riding the high of manic anticipation. But, after the show, I went through several months of craft depression. I was directionless. I only had the energy to do some silly felt portraits of gender-bending saints. Everyone was asking when the next show would be, but it didn't seem right to consider embarking again on a project where two people worked full time on a craft fair for five months, neither financially wise nor fair to the craft widows and orphans the time commitment had created. So, after wallowing in my depression for awhile, my crafting co-hort Meghan and I decided to apply for a local craft fair only to be denied by a committee that liked mohair teddy bears better than our kanzashi and George Bush toilet paper cozies. Luckily the rejection did not set off another bout of depression; I couldn't really get with the teddy bears, so why would I think they could get with our stuff. To each their own craft fair.

Enter the crafty and arty blog world. I fell in love with it as soon as I googled for a children's pants tutorial and found Red Current: a stay-at-home mom who admits to letting her children watch videos so that she can find time to craft. She only cleans for 20 minutes a day. Her photos are beautiful. What's not to love. I've made six pairs of pants based on her tutorial. From there I went to Angry Chicken and was immediately impressed with her small quilts. I was inspired to make a few for Christmas presents, but enjoy hers more. After seeing Susie's little paintings I did a 12 Days of Christmas series and was in my first art show since college. Recently I bought Jess' book and am excitedly anticipating learning to knit on double-pointeds. And, today I bought Camilla's calendar, which brings me up to date, literally and figuratively. I'm looking forward to posting more photos of things I make and hope to be an active part of this crafty community. Thanks again for everything.

The photos above are of a Dreary Xmas wallet series I did last winter. Somehow sad Christmas makes me happy.

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