Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Future Projects

I need to make a list of things I want to try or learn so I won't forget anything:

In no particular order...

1. Baby bibs and burps cloths

2. Finish 3D shadow box

3. Knit dish cloths and scrubbies

4. Embroidered Roller Derby Shirt for Misty

5. Embroidered knitting bag

6. Learn to knit in the round/on circular needles

7. Embroidered sweater

8. Learn to sew clothing items

That's all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure I'll have more swimming around in my head soon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pillowcases finished!

Finally! A picture of my pillowcases. They've been finished for a couple weeks, I just hadn't taken the opportunity to get them washed and ironed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Decorated /Painted Picture Frames

I tried something new recently.

A good friend of mine and former co-worker invited me to her wedding shower last weekend. I knew I'd but her something from her registry, but I also wanted to get her something a little more personal. When I got married in 2002, at the shower that she and my other co-workers threw for me, she gave me a picture frame that said "Wedding of the Year" around the frame. Talicia (the co-worker now getting married) said that if she ever got married she was going to need a frame that said "Wedding of the Century." So I made one for her.
I bought 3 unfinished shadow boxes/picture frames, some acryllic paint, foam brushes, cheap small paint brushes, clear glass flat bottom marbles, decoupage medium and some craft glue.

I painted the frame.
While I let the frame dry, I cut out the letters I wanted and decoupaged them to the bottoms of the marbles.

Then I glued the marbles to the frame.

It turned out much cuter in person.

The second one I did turned out perfectly!

I painted the frame in dark purple and then a lighter purple around the edges.

After the base coat dried, I taped the sides and I taped a border stripe.

After the stripes dried, I sealed it and glued on some paper flowers that I got from the scrapbook section of Michael's.
That one is going to make a fantastic birthday present for a friend. I almost wish I could keep it!

Friday, May 2, 2008

For the Love of the Craft

I came back a couple weeks ago from the most wonderful vacation that my husband and I have ever taken. We went to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC and stayed at the Inn at the Estate on Monday and Tuesday. (I highly recommend this, BTW). Wednesday night we went to another (cheap) hotel in Asheville so we could look around town a little. We specifically stayed in Asheville for another night so that we would have time to go to the Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center with the Allanstand Craft store inside. I anticipated this being one of the highlights of the trip.

As much as I hate to admit it, I was disappointed. The exhibits were fantastic. I really enjoyed seeing the various crafts they had displayed and the history about how they developed in the area. Everything displayed had the name of the person who had done it, the name of the piece and how much it cost. Holy. Crap. Thousands of dollars for some of this stuff. I didn’t sweat it too much. After all, that’s why they have gift shops, right? So that people who aren’t made of money can shop a little too. Evidently I was wrong. That particular shop, as well as many others I’ve noticed recently, doesn’t think that way.

We walked into the shop and immediately started browsing. We picked up a pair of ceramic candle holders: $50 (each!). A ceramic coffee mug: $50. A medium sized glass vase: $42. A wooden box not big enough to hold a deck of cards: $112. A hand woven scarf: $66. An unframed print: $100. 5 inch carved figurine: $40. 10 inch cornhusk doll: $40. That’s not even a drop in the bucket. Without a doubt, some of the most beautiful work I’ve ever seen. Would I pay those prices for any of it? No. Not just no. Hell no. And I don’t know many middle class people who could afford to fork over that much money for something that wasn’t necessary either.

I don’t know everything involved in making every craft, not even a little, but I do know enough about the raw materials involved in some crafts to recognize that some crafters are making much more than a 100% profit from their work. Trust me when I say that the person who made those corn husk dolls didn’t spend even $10 in money or time, no matter how beautiful they were.

I realize that there is a fine line between what is considered art and a craft and that’s why such exorbitant prices are sometimes charged, but at what point are we doing whatever our craft of choice is for the love of the craft or the money it can potentially bring? I don’t understand it and probably never will. If I ever charge such outrageous prices for the crafts that I do and the few that I sell, I’d like for someone to kick me. Hard.