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Thursday, May 26, 2011

There Are NO Mistakes Only Opportunities!

Anybody with a 26 inch head?

Yesterday, I finished my funky looking knit hat .... and it was challenging.

I've never made this kind of hat before. I had to assemble the band first, grab more stitches along the edge before finishing the point. To my surprise, it took me three attempts at picking up the stitch along the circular edge. Whatever I did, it never looked right. Finally, it came together. For some unknown reason, the hat seem to grow as I was knitting it. Sounds odd? The 22 inch band grew to a whopping 26 or so inches.

It was not big but really big. Not even a giant could wear this hat. Ok, I'm exaggerating. As I learn from past experience, when life throws you lemons you had better learn to make lemonade. I'm really good at lemonade but I don't know much about felting.

There was no other option. I grabbed the finish hat and threw into an old pillowcase, tie it with a knot, and tossed it along with my wash and hope like hell for a miracle.

My miracle pillowcase...

It happened! Miracles to come true. This hat is better than it could ever have been if it was regularly knitted. I wonder if they have a good book, at the library, on felting. I'm feeling a new project coming up!

Voila! My lovely first felted hat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Les Doigts d'Or de Cyprus

I remember, as a little girl, this magazine called Les Doigts d'Or (Golden fingers).

One day, I thought, I will learn how to make dentelle (lacemaking). When I saw this video of women from Cyprus, I reached out for my magazine from 1973 that I have kept for so many years. The video revived my inspiration to learn this technique.

There's simply no comparison to handmade needlework. These women bring it up to an art form with traditional needlework. I'm sad to hear this woman talking that this tradition will come to an end. However, with the popularity of the handmade movement I hope this tradition will stay alive!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Burn Rubber Baby!

Well stock of Piccolo Pouches & La Piccola Wallets.

With the upcoming craft show season about to start... let there be rubber!

We're getting ready producing more recycle rubber inner tube pouches and wallets. It's hard to evaulate how many to make because we have only one show under our belt. Each show is so different from one another ...we can only guess.

It's in my nature to over prepare for any situation. So, I figure I've made enough and can make a last minute rush if need be.

So far we've made over 200 Piccolo Pouches. There's a major learning curve working with rubber. And, I'm happy to say that my confidence is high producing these little gems.

This year our goal is to participate in craft shows. We started off going to many to scout them out. It's a jungle out there. The amount of craft shows has exploded. From sustainable, farmer markets, festivals there's many to choose from. What's more amazing the cost can start at $25 to over $1000 for a selling space. Richard and I navigate through this maze and booked ourselves for the Summer. It starts this early June right through to November.

Some of these shows are very expensive and in order to participate we have partnered with our friend Helene. She is the Sewing Goddess and we're happy to be co-partnering and look forward to be working along side her.

For more details follow my Galstudio Facebook page!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Epic Expo

Someone offered me free tickets to this weekend's Epic Expo. It's been so long, I almost forgot about them and this morning Richard and I set out.

The super electric Bug!

Epic is the sustainable consumer show & eco-marketplace. Overwhelming came to mind. The quality of the show is quite high, housed under the very green newish Vancouver Convention Centre.

As usual there was hybrid cars. But, the most interesting was a converted VW Beetle with electric battery cells. This unique Beetle is from an electric car club from the engineer students from the University of BC. They tested this car by driving across the country in 14 days. Two students and a dog made the trip.

I was excited to see the Canada Post electric van and I hope to see this out on the roads soon. There was interesting things to learn. We talked to a young guy about bees. I didn't know that the bee population was going down. In some parts of the United States, bees are actually trucked in to pollinate. Sure makes you think how important bees are to our food supply.

There was plenty of free stuff. This is the best show for free samples. Beer, chocolate and more beer and chocolate and natural products are in abundance. Free samples are everywhere. An enjoyable sustainable day!

The future of electric mail?

Recycled plastic toys...

...made us thirsty for good beer!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mme. Bonbon meets the Bruges

I'm lost in my creativity. Where's time gone to? 

I have so many projects on the go that I wonder how I can ever get around to completing them. The good thing, yesterday I managed to finish two knitting projects.

The winter of 2009, I completed my first double knit project. When I purchased the bamboo yarn I thought it would be perfect. I love the way how double knit allows you to create a different pattern, on both sides, at the same time. Here, I kept it really simple with horizontal lines in the back and verticle lines in the front. It makes me think of one thing... a candy store!

I consider myself more of a knitter. The book, 'Crocheting Master Class', caught my attention because I wanted to know what the top crocheters of the world are doing. There's a fine line with crochet: either it's really good or tacky. No middle ground. This book represents the best and the worst of the crochet world.

I love the technique of Bruges Lace. I have seen it done before with fine cotton yarn. Then I saw it, in this book, with wool and I was inspired. I didn't follow the pattern exactly because I didn't have enough wool. Instead, I decided on modifying the pattern to make a nice long scarf.

It was so nice to crochet again. I'm planning my next crochet project, in fact, right now!