Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I like coffee... I like to draw... Let's combine the two...

Dino Disco Boogie Clutch-$75.00
     Recently, I've been thinking of other ways I can use my love of designing and creating on different mediums besides embroidering on leather. As much as I enjoy that, it's nice to change things up a bit.

    The requirements I made for myself for these new projects: I need the items to be affordable and desirable to both men and women.  I also want the new items to still fall under the "eco-friendly" category, like my wallets do with their mostly upcycled leather composition. What to do... what to do...

    Then I had remembered back to when I used to work paint on ceramics, both at work and for my own personal amusement. It was enjoyable, but the past products had mixed results because I have little patience for painting, and the glazes aren't true to color until they are fired in a kiln. This lead to some interesting color combos in finished products. (damn, I wish I had a picture of what I've made in the past to insert here. It would definitely be the punchline.)

So I did a little research and discovered a product that I LOVE!!! Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Paint Markers
Alfonzo approves of my choices
    They can be a little tricky to use since they have a tendency to clog. I've read this complaint over and over again, so I kinda wish they'd look into a better delivery system to the head of the marker. When they do work correctly, they are a joy to use. 

After much experimenting and research to make sure they are durable and safe, I looked for a product I could use as the vehicle for my drawings. I settled on a double wall insulated ceramic travel mug with silicone lid. 
Artemis looks like she NEEDS coffee, but I'm pretty sure that's not good for kitties
Diving into things the way I normally do, I just started drawing. I hate carbon paper, and I'm not a huge fan of tracing, so I usually draw everything by hand directly onto the surface of whatever it is I'm working on. Hours later, I was covered in paint and very satisfied with the results of my work. Here's the first batch of mugs I've made
Ahoy!-front of mug
Ahoy!- back of mug

Reveille- back of mug
Reveille- front of mug
Sweet Cheeks- front of mug
Sweet Cheeks- back of mug

As you can see, I drew a lot of inspiration from old sailor and circus tattoos. I find the line work of tattoo flash very conducive to drawing with these paints, but I'll be pulling from other sources for more designs on ceramics in the future. I need to do a few that are a bit more manly as well. 

So that's my new drawing endeavor--- What do you think? I still have a lot to learn, but I think it's going to be a fun journey. There is always opportunity to personalize these mugs, just ask me through the convo link on the left in my Etsy shop and I'd be happy to customize one for you! Or shoot me an email at sew.zinski (at) gmail (dot) com.

I'm thinking they'd be great gifts for the coffee loving man or woman you love.  Also a great disguise for the closet alcoholics in your life. 
"What's that Aunt Bessie? Yes, I'd LOVE to spend the Holidays listening to you be passive-aggressive about my cooking. Let me just grab my eco-friendly "coffee" mug."
Christmas shopping, done. 

Let me also take this moment to plug my most favoritest yummiest coffees in the world:
Seattle Coffee Works! Their single origin whole bean coffee is so outstanding, you'll wonder why you ever spent money on chain house coffee swill. If you don't know where to begin, I suggest my favorite guatemala-antigua-finca-aurelio-y-lorena. I don't know how to pronounce it, but I love to drink it. Plus only $5 flat rate delivery. Try it. I keep hoping they'll sponsor my crafting, but alas, it hasn't happened yet. 

I also have friend, Calee Himes, that paints lovely ceramics, be sure to check out her hand-painted goodies here. She's located in Des Moines, IA and can usually be found at Market Day.

Here' a How to from Louchelab on painting ceramics yourself if you'd like to give it a go. 

Thanks for checking out my new goodies!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I've been a Busy little bee...

Wow! Things just got rather crazy rather quickly. In the middle of getting ready for Stitch Rock I had a bunch of wholesale orders and custom requests come in. I had to decide if I wanted to take them, and not do Stitch, or go to Stitch and pass on the orders. 

After much pondering, I decided NOT to do Stitch Rock. YES, it's a fabulous show, YES, I'd probably make money, and meet TONS of sweet people, and YES I'm bummed I'm not going... but I'm trying to think long term too. I think either decision has it's positives and negatives, I hope I made the right choice. 

Sooooo....because I'm not doing Stitch Rock, and I already had a bunch of new merch done for the show, in the next couple of weeks my Etsy shop will be brimming with lots of new items I've never listed on there before. Headbands, hair clips, bracelets, rings, appliques, wall art, wool felt items, and (of course) WALLETS! 

That part is exciting for me too. It always seems like I push myself to create up to the last minute of a show, but I don't push myself as hard to create as many items for my shop. That has changed. I am going to concentrate a lot more on making for my shop as if it WAS a show. Because in reality, it is.... MY SHOW. It should always be full and stocked with the best and newest of my abilities. I'm EXCITED!! I'm INSPIRED!! (hence the multiple usage of CAPITAL LETTERS! AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!)

I'm working on some new items that got me giddy and my embroidery hands itching to get stitchin. I've acquired, through much sweat and toil over EBAY auctions, (damn things are so addictive) a bunch of vintage fabrics that I will be incorporating with my embroidery to create wall art and mixed fiber art pieces. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, it's time to just dive in and begin. The giant floor standing embroidery hoop is going to be my new BFF. The only downside is they might take awhile to complete, so I'm going to need to dig deep and be patient with myself. 

Oh, and here's a link to my Pinterest Embroidrery Favs. This list is constantly growing because I still haven't transferred all of my Favorite embroidery finds from my Flickr Favorites. I love looking through this Embroidery Group on Flickr as well.  

Here's a link to a blog that I think is clever and has a bajillion things I want and love: 
(She has an eye for design and a love of handmade that I admire) 

now... back to Stitching!

(one last thing, of course I still have time for more customs and orders. The holidays are getting closer, and I love making presents for you and your friends. Multi orders will get you a discount!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Perfect Laura Palmer

Soaking up the last languid days of summer require the perfect afternoon cocktail. Luckily, my friend Brenda has fixed that problem for me with her Laura Palmer Drink Recipe.  If you enjoy ice tea, vodka, and lemonade, this drink is for you. 

I recently found the PERFECT glasses for drinking this lovely libation out of. 
vintage ice tea glasses found on Winkinpossum's Etsy Shop

These glasses are the perfect height, frosted, with a kick-ass pony and black star design. Cool and a bit wicked looking at the same time...just like Laura Palmer. 

I also wanted to thank WinkinPossum for great customer service. She knows how to treat her Etsy customers right. 
Enjoy Your Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Angry Rooster

Angry Rooster
Got some props on Dude Craft. That makes a girl's day. I would definitely recommend checking his blog. 

Perfectly cool example of things he finds that I otherwise would have never heard about would be this fantasy tree house.
via DudeCraft more pics on Dornob
It's like Hansel and Gretel meets the Ewoks meets Lord of the Rings. Who wouldn't want to have that to play in as a child?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

mmm... BACON.

photo courtesy of mgbales on Flickr
It's Iowa State Fair week back in my home town of Des Moines, IA. This means it's hot as hell outside, and there will be about 100,000 people walking around with bellyaches from all the crazy food concoctions at the fair. Anything you ever wanted (and didn't know you wanted) can be found there to consume with fervor. Most of the food items on sticks. The Fair is full of people watching, beer, and gluttony. 

This got me to thinking that I never got to try the chocolate covered bacon at the fair last year. This is a travesty that must be corrected.

Now that I live in Fl, I realize that bacon love is not just a localized Iowa thing. Bacon worship can take many forms: Paintings, scarves, jewelry, housewares... the list goes on. Here are a few goodies to tempt your bacon loving tastebuds. The color combo of brown, pinks, reds and white are very pleasing, and a great way to saunter into fall. No napkin needed. 
Bacon bowtie $40.00 by Toybreaker
Guilty Pleasures no1. print $15.00 by twoofhearts

Felt Bacon Wristlet by purpleandlime $17.00

Bacon Coaster Set by diffractionfiber $18.00

Hand Carved Bacon Stamp by sugarskull7 $10.00
hand crochet bacon scarf by bernicesutherland $80.00

Lastly I thought I'd share my favorite bacon recipe of all time. It's called meat candy. Please to enjoy:

3 packs of little smokies
3 packs of really good bacon, none of that low fat stuff
1 lb. of brown sugar
cookie sheet
aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cut the bacon into thirds, roll a little smokie inside one of the thirds, spear with toothpick. 
Repeat until all the bacon and smokies are wrapped and lined up neatly in foil covered cookie sheet.
Then cover entire bacon/smokie line-up with brown sugar
Place in oven for about 1.5 hours. The brown sugar will caramelize the fats in the bacon creating a hard candy shell. 
After bacon looks cooked and crispy around the smokies, remove and transfer to another plate. If you let them sit too long, they will stick to pan.
Then scarf down your meat candy! Don't forget to share. If you bring this to a party, be prepared to be asked to make it over and over again. It is always a favorite.

Friday, August 6, 2010

First Florida Show

Craft shows. You never know what the day is going to be like. This particular show will be my first one since I moved down to Florida in January. Away from the familiar, I must admit I'm a bit nervous. 

Previous shows I've done in Iowa were with familiar places and friendly faces. Craft Saturday was a great gathering of local indie crafters from Iowa run by a talented and super accommodating crafter extraordinaire Danelle Williams. She always made me feel welcome, and brought in a great variety of artists and crafters. The best part was I could share a table with my fellow crafter, neighbor, and bestie Chrissy Jensen, who now owns Domestica

Showing up to her house early in the morning to tag my products, hauling the tables in and out of the venue, filling my travel mug full of secret cocktails to make the day more interesting, and laughing.... a lot.  She held my hand through a lot of the process and I liked it. 

Now, it's just me. 

Bigger venue, more crafters, more everything, and it's all new to me. No familiar faces, no return customers, no inside jokes. I'll admit, it's a bit intimidating, but this is what I asked for. I wanted to follow my dream of being ME. The me that I wanted to be. "BE Your Own Hero". That keeps repeating in my head after listening to Eps.34 on Indie BIz Chicks podcast by Chrissy Herron

I'm ok with the newness. I've made friends with it. It will be the motivation that makes me push myself. Without the familiar, there are no preconceived expectations, which means I can raise the bar as high as I want. 

Now it's not JUST me. It's me and whatever else I want to achieve.