Friday, August 28, 2009

Bucktown Arts Fest this Weekend!!

This is one of my favorite shows of the year and it kicks off my busy Fall/Winter season.

The show runs from 11:00 - 7:00 m both Saturday and Sunday. I'll be at my usual location: Booth #181 on Lyndale Avenue, right by the information tent.

This has been such a wonderful summer for experimenting with felt. I have all sorts of new designs with hand-dyed silk and merino, cool new silks from the NYC garment district and my new addiction, vintage sari silk! The colors and patterns on these sari silks are just amazing and are so much fun to work with.

Thanks to my customers' requests, I also will have more wraps, shawls and capes. But don't worry, I'll also have my classic designs, along with the geode pincushion, bowls and felted flowers.

I may be jinxing myself, but it looks as though the sun may make an appearance this weekend! in case it doesn't, I'm offering a "Rainy Day" coupon: if it rains while you're at the show, take $5 off your purchase!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Complete Sensory Overload

I've been back several days now from my trip to NYC and I don't think I've recovered quite yet--I'm both mentally and physically exhausted. My primary purpose was to visit my cousin and to see the "Fashioning Felt"exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design.

The exhibit was really amazing--wonderful background of the origins of felt in Central Asia, to its contemporary applications in craft and its industrial uses. To top it off, the other exhibit there was on Design for a Living World, sponsored by the Nature Conservancy. The premise was to take 10 internationally known designers from various disciplines and have them explore the use of a sustainable resource in their work. While all of their projects were amazing, the one that sticks in my mind is the evening gown made by Isaac Mizrahi. He uses salmon skins (a waste product from the fishing industry) to make pailottes (a type of sequin) to cover silk chiffon. Elegant and amazing. For more on the exhibit, the projects and their designers, see this link from the Nature Conservancy.

Then there was the garment district. Oh, where to start? I was like a kid in a candy store--a really, really big candy store. Found some wonderful silks for my nuno felt, as well as wool lace and wool gauze (which I didn't even know existed). I can definitely see making a trip back here for fabrics--maybe even a day trip with a cheap fight. NYC style pizza makes for great sustanence during marathon shopping jaunts.

I wish that my hands would work as quickly as my mind--I'm trying my best to create as many pieces as I can in preparation for the Bucktown Arts Fest this weekend. Between the new silks I've purchased, the silk and fibers I've been dyeing and the sari silk I am now using, I have so many ideas and projects to make. But I guess I shouldn't be in such a hurry--I do have 8 shows this fall--plenty of opportunities to debut new items!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hmm...maybe I AM a bit of a Luddite....

So, I just got back from a fantabulous weekend in Cincinnati visiting my big brother, sister-in-law and adorable dog, Andy. It's been a while since I've done a long road trip and I was really looking forward to it.

A few days beforehand I thought--hey, I should get some books on tape from Cracker Barrel (back in the days of frequent road trips, I did this a lot). So, thinking that I was being organized and all, I called a Cracker Barrel just to make sure they still rented them. Sure the person said, we rent audio books. Audio books---so that's what they call them now.

I stopped at the first one outside of Chicago and sauntered up to the kiosk where to my dismay I learned why they now call them audio books: 'cause they aren't on tapes anymore. Damn....

My 10-year-old car only has a tape player. Reminds me when I learned the hard way that Blockbusters didn't carry VHS movies any longer. After my initial disappointment, I realized that I probably wasn't missing anything--the selection appeared to consist of self-help books and Danielle Steel romance novels.

Never fear, I foraged through my car and came up with a rockin, if not eclectic selection of tapes: Madonna, Led Zepplin, David Bowie, Gyspy Kings and others. Oh, I travel in style...