Friday, February 25, 2011

OOPS! I thought this posted yesterday!
Its the end of February, and its already feeling a bit like spring. Bright blue skies, sunshine that warms you all the way to your soul and wind. Windy wind. These are some of my favorite days of the year, bringing me back to my childhood, where flying a kite was one of the most magical things in the world. My inspiration this week is the wind, here are just a few things that make me smile and take me back to flying kites.

This pillow cover from sukanart is super cute!

I love wind chimes; their sound is so calming. These handmade chimes from gardenjewels sing to me.

Ok, I am ordering one of these shirts from trulysanctuary! It speaks to my inner child as well as my inner hippie!

This kite pin from KathleenMarieKelly is made from recycled cement board. Its super adorable!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A quick etsy shop update!

I don't think I will be doing a colour post this week, I've got my nose buried in that color book I mentioned earlier and I've been working on our etsy site. So far I've added 7 new items...that's your cue to head over there and take a peek. :)

I'm working on my style with wheel thrown pieces and I'm pretty sure I know which direction I want to go in. There are certain things I get excited about making and that's what I'll be cranking out within the next few weeks. Not to mention, I've got an art show coming up and a series of sculptures I want to work on. Busy, busy times ahead!
Thanks for reading and have a super fantastic day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

National Drink a Glass of Wine Day

So I think February 18 has now become one of my favorite days of the year! Today is national drink a glass of wine day, and do I love me some wine. Now, I am not, by any means, a wine connoisseur. I don't inhale, swish and spit. I don't know aromas or all the other stuff. (I'm sure I just offended a lot of people, sorry). Merlot is my wine of choice, specifically white Merlot. Mmmmm. How bad is it to have a glass at 7:30 in the morning, I mean it is a national holiday, right? I will be a good girl. I will be a good girl.
To keep from offending the people who REALLY know their wine, I am going to focus on all the cute things to help celebrate this glorious holiday all available on etsy.

I adore the Keep Calm and Carry On posters, its phrase is one of my many mantras. So you know I had to pick this poster from PosterPop and they come in a ton of colors.

Aren't these GORGEOUS?! They are hand engraved from daydreemdesigns and I think they would make any wine taste a little bit better.

I really love the idea of wine charms, too many times I have lost my glass only to find it much lighter than when I left it. However, I have yet to find any I think are cute enough to hang around my beloved's stem. These charms from BijoDesigns are pretty darn cool though.
Re-purposed European coins?! You had me at re-purposed European!
So pull out your best glass, pour your favorite wine, put on some great music (I'm choosing Adele), and sit back. Here's to life and love and National drink a glass of wine day!!
p.s. keep in mind its drink a glass not a bottle :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hooray for Buttercup!

Sorry this post is a day late. I've been bravely battling a cold since Saturday night and finally I can breathe properly out of my nose. Anyways, the recent weather and a lovely picture has inspired me to do some research on yellow.

photo taken by Sandra Juto

Is that shade of yellow a buttercream, buttermilk, or buttercup? I'm leaning more towards buttercup and I adore it. It's not a garish rubber duck yellow but a soft, muted sunshine yellow which makes me think of summer naps and cold lemonade.

Wikipedia has a very detailed article about yellow, but I felt a bit disappointed after reading it. There didn't seem to be much talk of its history and how people were able to get the pigments and dyes they wanted. And that's when my research started to stray and fall off topic. I couldn't find much specifically about yellow, or at least the info that I wanted to know. Thus dyeing methods and materials became my focus. I found this great post on how to dye clothes naturally, not something that I've been thinking about but definitely something fun to try. As with all dyes, it is better to use natural fibers as synthetic ones cannot soak up the dye evenly. So grab a cotton t-shirt rather than a polyester/rayon one to experiment with.

palette: light grey, electric indigo, buttercup, opera mauve

More browsing led me to book searches and this little gem. My colour theory lessons at the university were very limited...I think we spent one week making our own colour wheels...CRIMINAL, I know! Color: A Natural History of the Palette sounds right up my alley with all of the history, research, and cultural background that goes along with pigments and their sources. I'm sure I'll end up a blabbing pot of knowledge after I read this poor friends will have to endure the random facts of pigments and dyes, or maybe I'll just post all about it here. :)

photo from Gardenista

Another great book I found is all about mushrooms and how wonderful they are for colouring fibers. It's written by Miriam C. Rice who is credited for "mushroom dyeing". Rice tossed a few mushrooms ( Naematoloma fasciculare) into a dye pot with wool yarn and ended up with bright yellow yarn. Both books are on my wishlist, although I'm not too sure where I will find mushrooms in the city. I guess I'll save mushrooms hunts for the weekends when I visit my family in North Georgia.

Oh and if you love colour and want to see more of the yellow, I added a few pics to my flickr favs.

Have a great week!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Celebration of Mauve

Today I wanted to try something different, something a bit more focused. This entry, as well as the ones to follow will focus on visual inspiration though colour along with a little history on the mentioned hue.

While browsing tumblr, I found a few Marie Antoinette pics with Kirsten Dunst in this gorgeous mauve dress. And so began my hours of research on the colour mauve.

Now her dress is more of an opera mauve (rgb 183, 132, 167), which was first recorded in the English language in 1927. Oh but there is so much more to this colour. The colour itself was first discovered in 1856 by William Perkins, a scientist who was analyzing quinine (an anti-malarial substance) and later noticed a purple residue in one of the tubes. This residue, containing ailine, was refined, patented, and named mauveine before Perkins was 18 years old. It was one of the first synthetic dyes, as most fabrics at the time were still being dyed with natural substances.

Tyrian purple, the purple dye before mauveine, was very expensive to produce because it was made from the glandular mucus of sea snails, thus most royalty wore it. It was a deeper purple and sometimes referred to as imperial purple or royal purple.

The popularity of Perkin's discovery and it's affordability resulted in Britain's "Mauve Decade" during the 1890's. Queen Victoria wore the colour as well as Eugenie de Montijo (wife of Napoleon III), thus creating more hype for the hue. I'm not sure if Marie Antoinette ever wore it since it came well after her time. I guess I should do more research about that.

So what happened to the ever-so popular mauve? Well, like most things that spark a trend, the colour became overused and people grew tired of it. Also, William Perkins proved that there was a market for synthetic dyes and more people began to experiment; therefore more colours were created and made available to the masses.

And with that I give you some visual stimuli. Here are some flickr favs with mauve.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Favorite

My favorite this Friday comes from a very personal place. As Emma said on Tuesday, our family is going through a very difficult time. One of my crafting idols, our grandmother, is losing her battle with cancer. Our grandmother is TRULY one of the most amazing crafters I have ever seen. Her skills range from sewing and crocheting to painting and wood carving, and seriously, those are JUST a few.

In honor of her and her amazing life, my sisters and I decided to create corsages from the fabric scraps that were hers. Since purple is her favorite color, I chose purple fabrics and made fabric yo yos. I adore yo yos. Not only are they absolutely precious and versatile, but they are full of history. Yo yo quilts have been around for a very long time, in fact my grandmother has one that belonged to her mother.
For those of you who don't know how to make a yo yo, they are extremely do-able. Check out Miss Bees Designs for an excellent tutorial on how to make a fabric yo yo.

I placed a button in the center of my yo yos and attached a pin back with hot glue. You could totally go crazy with these things, layering the yo yos making a sort of flower, adding feathers or tulle. Have fun with it. After all, that is what life truly is about. We love you, grandma.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dreary Tuesday

Now I'm a summer girl all the way, but sometimes I enjoy a foggy afternoon. Buildings and cars being blurred out and unfinished make me think of an expansive world I will never see the end of. Plus, the chill keeps me inside and focused. It's just after lunch and I've already filed my taxes and now I'm writing this blog, wahoo!

I don't want to go into too much detail or depress anyone, but my family is going through a difficult time right now. Sometimes it's hard to stay positive but I truly believe moments like these help you to know and feel your own strength. They give you confidence so the next time the world seems to be falling apart, you KNOW you can handle it. Another thing that helps me is watching inspiring movies. No I'm not talking about Rudy...I lean more towards the documentary type. Here are a few I've been thinking about recently.

Waking Life-This is not for everyone, in regards to plot and visuals. The power of the human mind never ceases to amaze me, even when it creates a negative reality. The fact that it can even do that astonishes me.

Babies-Another movie that isn't for everyone. The movie can be slow at some points due to lack of dialogue and babies crying for too long; but it is super interesting to see the differences and similarities of these children. Here's a little interview with the director, Thomas Balmes.

Between the Folds-Documentary about Origami and the people who love it. It may sound boring but I loved the different attitudes these artists/engineers have about paper.

Visually inspiring movies help out too. These are a few of my favourites!

Have a wonderful week!