Saturday, 26 January 2008

Craft-Free Zone

I've done nothing this week. Nuthin. I'm a lazy, lazy crafter.

I did join a gym and attend regularly and send two three Swap-bot packages and re-arrange my mess and deal with various problems and recover from my chest cold and work full-time and make two pages in my Art Journal. Here's a picture of one of them. It's a tribute to 'The Tennis', the two weeks of the year that I have any interest whatsoever in sport:

I took the photo myself when I was there and printed out a small version. I stuck it on the page and then drew a larger copy directly into my journal. For me this was a fairly big step as I was expecting to have to erase it many times and re-do it and basically stuff the whole thing up! Before, I would have been hesitant to do the drawing directly into the journal in case it wasn't good enough. But I didn't screw it up, and I think it was OK! I added my ticket and a schedule of play as collage elements, and surrounded the whole thing with blue paint to signify the blue courts at the Australian Open. I'm quite happy with it, and I think it represents pretty accurately my state of mind at this time of year.

More next time!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

More Faffing Around

I've been doing all sorts of stuff lately. Just no knitting or crocheting. My old staples. But I think this is good I've been branching out.

Over the weekend I decided to embrace the bandwagon and make a Dotee Doll. They're art dolls that you make from fabric and felt and decorate them any way you like. Here's a tutorial (links to Wayback Machine) on how to make one from the lady who invented them. She's Australian. Woohoo!

Here's a picture of one I stole off the internet (I heart Google images) to tide you over until I finish mine:

From My Spinning Head blog.
She has some great fabric postcards as well.

Last night I also started a Tennis page in my art journal in honour of Lleyton Hewitt losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open. I'm the most un-Australian Australian there ever was! Heh! Actually, I'd been planning it for about a week. I just need to buy some blue acrylic paint and then I can finish it tonight. I did some quick little watercolours as well on the lovely paper that Boy got me for Christmas. It felt great to be painting again after a few weeks of having no mojo.

And! Most importantly, I've taken a huge dose of Comfort Zone Be-gone!:
1. I've RSVP'ed to the Melbourne Etsy seller's picnic on the 9th of Feb. I'm absolutely shit-scared, but I have to do it. There's no corners to hide in in a park! Perhaps a tree?... I really am looking forward to meeting some of the other amazing sellers out there whose shops I've been admiring for a while, though. And it's a great opportunity to get some ideas and tips for putting my shop out there.
Will anyone come with me??
2. I've decided to go to the Melbourne Craft Mafia Market on 10th Feb. This will be slightly less scary, as I'll be going as a passive consumer, but I know that some other Etsy sellers will be there, and if I don't tell at least one person about my shop, I may as well go live in a cave in the mountains and eat grubs for the rest of my life! Or stop trying to flog my stuff, anyway.
3. Going on Swap-bot is a lot more social than I'd realised! Swapping with people actually consists of social interactions (uh duh!) as well as just stuff. People are looking at my profile and the links to my blog and shop! I'm finding this a little scary, but all of the people have been so amazingly wonderful that I just can't help getting out there and doing more. And ... they're looking!
4. The Big One. I've decided to change the comments setting on my journal so that anyone can make comments. It will be moderated for non-livejournal-friends though, cause I'm paranoid. So don't worry if your comment takes a little while to appear. But I do welcome comments, that's for sure!

So much change! Eeek! *runs away and hides in the Basement*

Thursday, 17 January 2008

A Whole New Obsession

I've completely lost it lately. Completely.

I haven't knitted a stitch, crocheted a loop or picked up a pencil at all for almost a week. I've been completely and utterly obsessed with Swap-bot. I cruise it all day long for new swaps, checking to see who my swap partners are and poring over their profiles for clues as to the perfect things to send them. I've even been looking at the forums, which I usually avoid like a chilli sauce enema. I'm hooked!

I hardly feel guilty at all for not having done any art or craft. I'm trying not to, anyway. I'd just like to think of it as a different way of being creative and seeking out inspiration. Or perhaps I've just lost my creative mojo and I'm trying desperately to channel my need to do something into a vaguely 'creative' outlet. That's kind of scary. I'm not going to think about that right now.
I have, however, seen some new crafts that I haven't heard of before on Swap-bot, such as inchies and dotee dolls. Both of these look very interesting. When other people do them!!
[Nah, just teasing myself.]

On a completely random note, I had a haircut yesterday! It'd been about 6 months (I know - ew), and I got it cut a little shorter than normal, as well. It looks so cute! So in honour of the occasion, I went to a kawaii photo booth shop and did some photos!

Awwwwwwww! So cute!

Yes, that also means that I haven't put anything on my shop lately, either, even though I have some things lying around. I had already figured out that adding new things regularly helps to keep your shop current and coming up in searches, and I had that reinforced yesterday when I was reading a series of 'Etsy shop make-over' articles. It wouldn't really be too hard to chuck an ACEO or two on there. It's much easier than taking photos of three-dimensional objects and having to get the light right, etc etc. I just can't be bothered!

I so don't deserve to be rich!

Friday, 11 January 2008

Peeking out...

Peeking out from the rock that I've been hiding under...

Yesterday I was surfing around on Ravelry. I had just entered some new wool that I'd bought (not worth writing home about) and I thought I'd see what projects there were out there using that wool. One of them was made by a user whose name I recognised, because they're also a seller that I have on my favourites list on Etsy (partly cause I really like their stuff, and partly cause they live in Melbourne). I had a look at their profile on Ravelry, and they have a blog. So I looked at the blog, and lo and behold! There was an ad on it for a Melbourne Craft Mafia Market!! I didn't think they had such things in Australia! I'm such a dumbass. Not only that, but it was held at the bar right next door to where Boy and I always go for dumplings!

And it was held last Monday night! Aiieeeee!!

Then later on when I was in bed, I suddenly realised that Boy and I had gone for dumplings last Monday night!! If only we'd walked there from the other direction, I would have seen it! But I figure it's a sign that I'll get even closer next time. It's held the first Monday of every month. So that's ok. I'm so excited! I'm gonna go! And I might just have the guts to mention that I have an Etsy shop. I even thought of making up business cards. That's a bit too scary for me right now though.
Though I did look up some pricing before.
Don't tell anyone.

Last week, my work colleagues found out about my shop. Well, I told them. It came up in conversation when we were talking about Flickr accounts. Part of me felt like I should tell them, tell as many people as possible, dammit! The other part of me was really embarrassed when they praised the shop and what I'd made. But I'll get over that. I'm determined.

My art journal entry for this week is from the Inspire Me Thursday website, and it's on the theme of The Best Thing I Did in 2007. This was learning to drive and buying a car! Hands down! Getting my Ps has given me so much confidence. If you'd said to me 2 years ago that I'd be in this position, I wouldn't have believed you. But here I am with my beautiful Tara and freedom! So I did a journal entry that reflected travelling and freedom:

I'm going to refrain from any comments about whether I think it's good or bad. See! I'm improving already!

I discovered something else wonderful this morning, that I heard about on the Craftypod podcast. It's Swap-Bot!




I am completely addicted to this site. I signed up to 14 swaps already today. Um, oops, actually.
How it works is that you join up and browse or search for swaps that interest you. When you commit to a swap, the site randomly allocated you another signee, and you send whatever it is to them. It can be anything from postcards to books to stories to toys to artworks to make-up to a tea bag and a magazine. As simple as sending one postcard to one person to as complicated as making artworks to send to 5 or more people. Your choice. BUT. The cool thing is that you get exactly the same back! There's a rating system to keep people honest and once you've participated in enough, you can make up and host your own. A lot of the people on there seem to be crafty (you can list your Etsy shop on your profile!) which is right up my alley. Many of them present particular challenges or inspirations, such as Write a story about how you would escape a zombie infestation.

The Internet has just thrown up some real gems for me in the last few days! I'm feeling really excited and ready to create lots of stuff. Sometimes I'm a bit lost as to what to do in all the choices out there though! I need some kind of Twister spinner, with different crafts on it. *brain goes bing!*

I love you all.


A sad Goodbye to Sir Edmund Hillary.

He was a great man, and a good man.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

I Heart MochiMochi Land

I never thought I could describe a blog entry using the words 'festering' and 'adorably cute' in the same sentence:

MochiMochi Land

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

No, Seriously

Okay, I do actually think it would be useful to set some goals for this year when it comes to knitting and arts/crafts in general. I achieved a lot last year, but it was really all over the place, and I didn't get some of the things done that I wanted to. So, this year I want to:

1. Finish one item off from my Long Term Projects list.
One of those has been on there since I was 14! I think it's time!
2. Finish one item off from my On Hold Projects list.
I think I'll feel a sense of achievement if I manage this. Most of these items are things I couldn't stand to look at after a while, or found too hard.
3. Learn a new knitting technique.
I don't know what it is yet, but I want to learn something new and original that I can incorporate into my work.
4. Take a drawing course.
For the last half of last year, I tried to start doing art, but every time, that stupid voice in my head that says I'm not good enough got in the way. So I figure - I should just get good enough! I have some good ideas, I think I'm good with colour, I just need the skills to draw what's in my head. So I've decided to stop whingeing and procrastinating and do something about it!
5. Keep a weekly art journal.
I think this will be a good way to make creating on paper and having ideas/inspiration into a habit for me and removing my 'fear of the blank sheet' that I've heard about and seem to experience so much myself.

Embarrassingly, here are the first two pages:

There are a few more spiritual-type things I'd like to do which I won't mention here, as they're a bit too boring private for the blog.

Check out the shop to see the new banner! I've also put the Left-Handed Monster and blue and fluffy red hat on there. I'll put another couple up tonight.

Monday, 7 January 2008

The New Years Resolution Bandwagon

I was gonna wang on and on quite a bit about New Year's Resolutions, but schnyeh *shrugs* They don't really work for me as I'm lazy and tend to forgive myself too easily, therefore can't drum up the guilt-driven motivation to actually stick to them. Plus, I've had the lyric from Crowded House in my head for the last week: "It's no New Year's Resolution, it's more than that..." Which is hardly encouraging. Nevertheless, I jumped on the bandwagon and wrote some in my notebook while I was waiting at the tram stop on Friday (the fact that I made them up 5 days after the fact shows just how into them I am).

At the risk of causing much running and screaming, I'm going to indulge myself and list them:

1. Go on a holiday - on a plane.
I'd already been wanting that for about 6 months, so I don't think that counts.

2. Keep a weekly art journal.
I did actually start this one. Currently it looks like something an 8-year-old would produce. I'll probably force myself for a month then it'll fizzle out.

3. Lose weight.
The most common and most pathetic NY Resolution ever. I just like food too much. It may just happen accidentally though, who knows?

4. Complete list of 1001 Things to Do Before I Die and do 10 of them.
Aside from the fact that there's currently only 880 items listed on it, I'll probably choose the 10 lamest and easiest things to do. It goes without saying that activities such as bungee jumping will not appear on the list.

5. Keep in contact with my friends more.
A Noble sentiment, some may say, but it don't say "The Knitting Hermit" up the top there for nothing.

Enough of this self-indulgent drivel. I finally got around to taking a photo of the hat I made about a month ago:

Who is that whimsical maiden?

I'm quite proud of it actually. I made the whole thing up from go to whoa. I even made up the decreases around the top (which is apparently called a star increase amongst those who like to give names to things). I'm always amazed when things turn out the way I wanted. It does happen, sometimes.

Then for about a week and a half, I didn't do anything. Well, that's not strictly true. I sweated, I moaned and I cursed. You know what I'm talking about. Well, my poor boyfriend does, anyway! Normally I try and be more philosophical about the heat, but when you're just itching to make stuff on the inside, it's hard. I did start making some puzzles for an activity-book zine that I'd been thinking of for a while. Crossword puzzles, mazes, that sort of thing. But even that was too much after a while.

Then finally it cooled down enough for me to play with my new needle-felting kit! Woohoo! I love it! I made a randomly-shaped blob to practice on, and I ended up with this:

Baby Monster!

I turned an amorphous green peanut into an Embryo with just a few stabs of a very sharp needle! This needle felting stuff is so fun! You can even make 3-dimensional shapes with it (see it's little arms). You can make proper sculptures with it, but you need a spongy foam block as a base, which I don't have at the moment, but I'm having tonsa fun with what I have. It's very cathartic, stabbing away....

I made the Embryo as practice, so that I didn't stuff up when finishing...
tadaaaa! The Left-Handed Monster!

Deformed love!

I really went to town on this one and gave him elbow and knee patches, 'claws' on each arm and leg, a lovely pink wart, and a funky little hairdo. I felt a bit sorry for him and gave him a little needle-felted rudimentary arm on his armless side, as well. I realised when I was some way into it that his arms are actually on his right side, but, schnyeh, who cares?

I just lurve heeeeem! Now I'm going to sell heeeem!

And I also made this I-Pod Cozy:

It was pretty crap before I put the embroidery on. Now it's almost half-decent. I went through an obscene phase of wanting to embroider stuff. Small stuff, too. Considering I violently hate anything that involves threading something through something else, I think I did OK. I'm currently working on another one with a felt backing. This time I did the embroidery first (onto a piece of felt). It's the crocheted backing I can't be bothered with. We'll see.

Bored now.