Friday, February 26, 2010

Embroidery Artist: Maurizio Anzeri

Maurizio Anzeri's embroidered artwork is strangely inspiring. Using synthetic hair for thread, and old salvaged vintage photos, Anzeri has essentially given a new face to these forgotten captured souls. His pieces comment not only on the concept of identity and image but also the act of embroidery itself.

He says, “The intimate human action of embroidery is a ritual of making and reshaping stories and the history of these people.” I think that any craft done by hand has a sort intimacy involved with it's creation. That's why us crafty people enjoy and value what we do and strangely, Anzeri's work reminds us of that.

( Big thanks to my friend, Brian for telling me about this guy!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moldy muck muck

My little craft business came to a stand still on Wednesday due to a small household emergency. I discovered late Tuesday night that I had a pretty bad black mold problem growing it's way into my wardrobe in my closet. So for the past two days I have bleaching those little spores away and purging my closet of unsalvageable clothing and shoes. To say the least, it's been pretty draining and I have had to throw out some articles of clothing that had a lot of value to me, including my two prom dresses, a leather jacket, a pair of ferragamo shoes and much, much more.

I'm still trying to save my favorite mustard colored vintage coat and a couple of dresses. I was pretty traumatized to find that an original 1940's dress I had was no longer a nice crispy black but a splotchy musky mess. I was hoping to save it but the material is so old that the mold had pretty much eaten through it. Luckily I only paid $8.00 for it.

(buh-bye dress)

So now that my moldy adventures are almost over (still have 4 loads of laundry to do) I am hoping to return to my happier crafty endeavors very soon. Oh, and if anyone needs any advice on how to tackle mold, feel free to ask me. I'm pretty sure I am mold expert now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mini Update

Starting on some new projects for Spring. Been cutting back a little bit with all the online socializing. I don't think it is helping, marketing wise, as much as I wanted it to. Keep telling myself that things take time.On a happier note, I received my latest Etsy purchase in the mail today from Hollandsworth. I could not pass up these awesome bearded men pins. I was actually inspired to buy these for a very specific reason, which I will share with you later. They look awesome even in this crappy webcam pic!

I also grabbed my first Etsy Treasury last night! If you have a chance, please check it out Here. It is a paperdoll theme!

Hope you all had a swell Monday!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spotlight: Jennifer Andrews

These misty overcast days in the East Bay always remind me of the Northwest, and more specifically, Twin Peaks. So last night I decided to google Twin Peaks embroidery just for the hell of it, thinking my chances of coming across something cool were pretty slim. Boy, was I wrong!

Instead I discovered Jennifer Andrews and her stunning Twin Peaks portrait embroidery series she did for an artshow. Me and my scatterbrain would never be able to complete a big project like this so I applaud Jennifer for taking on a very exciting but obviously daunting project. Here are a few more of her pieces:I love how she takes the time to explain her stitch work in her blog as well.Bob's beard is made up of tiny colonial knots.**All images by childrenplayingwithfire

If you have a chance to peruse Jennifer's blog Children Playing with Fire, you will find she is quite creative. There is more eyecandy over at her Flickr account too including mustache cupcakes with life size noses. No, I am not kidding. Look for yourself.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Business tips with a little Spice

Jenn at Notepourri posted some really great business tips over at her blog today that I just have to share with you. If you are an Etsy seller, especially a new one, you should read over Jenn's newest blog entry. She has made a wonderful list of questions you should be asking yourself, especially if you are trying to improve your business.

Check it out HERE.

Also, have you seen these Old Spice commercials? Remember, anything is possible with Old Spice. That includes Etsy success. ;)

(I apologize if my blogging is a little unoriginal this week. I am *trying* to spend less time online and more time in the real world of crafting.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cosmo recommends . . . .

Hi there! I'm Cosmo. I'm Crooked Sister's furry little mascot. You can call me Cos, Little Man, or Gray man. Whatever you prefer. CS asked me to stop by and say a quick hi while she tries to finish a few crafting projects this week.

Believe it or not I've been CS's BFF since she was 12. Pretty crazy huh? I'm a pretty old guy but I still get around. Sometimes CS and I procrastinate together and do a little window shopping on Etsy. Here are a few of our favorite kitty designs:

Kitty Baby Love has excellent taste. Why would you buy boring straight crayons when you could have kitty crayons? I mean, really, Crayola was so last year.

I'm pretty sure FeltSewGood was googling handsome grey cats late one night and came across my mugshot, cuz this cozy plush cat looks a lot like me!

Do you miss your kitty cat when you're at work sometimes? If so, I suggest hanging one of these guys by Hollandsworth next to your desk to keep you company. Of course, I recommend purchasing the little blue/gray one but I may be a little bias.

I love pigeons but being an indoor cat, I never have the chance to get my paws on one. That's why SpellWell's dead pigeon head is on the top of my wish list. A cat can play out all their gruesome little fantasies on these decapitated creatures. You'll have to wait for SpellWell to reopen her shop on March 11th to get your own dead creature toy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm trying to take a small break from the world wide web this week. All this blogging, and twittering time needs to be devoted to actually making a few new creations. Don't worry, I'm not leaving you empty handed. Here are a few lovely things for you: You won't need to dog ear your book pages after learning this awesome embroidery project tutorial from Feeling Stitchy.I plan on making a few of these for my bookworm friends who still read books and haven't resorted to that awful plastic kindle thingy.

How to make an embroidered corner bookmark.

I don't want to break any copyright laws so I have no photos to share of this next embroidery project so be sure to click on the links. Cathy Gaubert's Mushroom Girl, Found HERE, is a perfect embroidery project for spring. Thank goodness Cathy Gaubert is kind enough to share her beautifully illustrated embroidery designs. See an embroidered sample of this design Here.

How funny (and accurate) is this embroidered design by Becky of Strumpets Crumpets.Visit her shop Here for more fun embroidered hoop decorations

Sunday, February 14, 2010

lipstick and love

I received some lovely V-Day cards from friends and family this year. My mom made the card with the fabric heart on it. This is the second card incorporating fabric and sewing that I have gotten from her. They are so great! Benny Kelly crafted the card to the left with some homemade erasure stamps. Very cool. And grandma sent me the beautiful card in the middle. Thanks everyone!

I also had a chance to stop by and pick up Cyndi Lauper's new coral red lipstick from MAC makeup today. Both Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga have teamed up with MAC makeup and designed two new lipsticks for the Viva Glam make-up series. The best part: 100% of the proceeds go directly to MAC's AIDS fund. I'm not a big lipstick lover but it was for a great cause and I love Cyndi Lauper AND Lady Gaga.

Friday, February 12, 2010

For Rosey

A weekly photo correspondence with my dear friend, Rosey.

Each week Rosey and I will corresponding with each other via photos. I will be posting each of Rosey's photo responses as well. So stay tuned . . .

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Long live McQueen

I was fortunate enough to see a few pieces by Alexander McQueen in person at the Gothic Dark Glamour show at FIT in NYC last year. To say the least, they were remarkable, dreamy, and utterly captivating.

R.I.P. Alexander McQueen- your genius will be missed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Embroidery Spotlight

I have come across some really amazing new blogs since I joined twitter. One of those is Mrxstitch. This site gives you the scoop on all sorts of contemporary needlepoint artists and projects. For example have you heard of the Fine Cell Work Project? Fine Cell Work is a UK charity that teaches prisoners how to do needlepoint and they help them profit from their work. The program is so popular with the prisoners that they have waiting lists for their classes! You *Must* check out the site, look at their products, and read ALL about it.

Here are a couple of pillows made by some of the prisoners:

Another cool thing that Mrxstitch has going on is their NSFW Saturday Feature. It's dirty, it's bad, it's hilarious. And it really isn't safe for work so view at your own risk.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Something Crooked . . . .

I love it when things are a bit off. So naturally, when I came across Pretty Neat Designs shop a few days ago, I was thrilled to discover her cute new journals with the most adorable crooked stitches. I also love it when people incorporate fabric with paper products. Cindy, the lady behind Pretty Neat, also has a wonderful blog. Be sure to Check it out

Look at those wonderfully crooked circles!

I have a hard time deciding which one I like more, but I think the yellow journal has won me over.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Morning,Walk: Route 1

Every morning I take a nice walk to work (well, rainy days usually result in carpooling) and it can be a pretty nice walk depending on the day. I also try to add a little variety to my morning venture and take different routes. So I'd thought I'd start sharing my Monday morning walk with you. Here is Route 1:

Start at front porch. Pass by the many artifacts of the Oakland streets.

If I left Oakland for another city, I might miss the sound of shopping carts strolling down the streets. Or I might not.

Those yellow flowers are my favorite part of walk Route#1.

There are tons of secret messages on the sidewalks, like this one from Slayer. The message is, "Slayer!"(in a crazy metal voice).

No traffic for me.

More secret sidewalk messages.

And here we are! Like my office view?

Stay tuned for Route#2- Next Monday.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Quick Social Update

Did you notice my new little icon to the right? Last night I decided to take on Twitter. So if you are on there, Join Me! I also joined Flickr but I'm not going to add a flickr button to my page (too many buttons!) But you can find me HERE.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Photo speaks a thousand words

I got featured on Craftgawker today. I'm just thrilled to have my little embroidered acorn sachets on the front page and the first row!! Here is a really awful tiny screen shot of it. So exciting! If you are on craftgawker please Stop By and add it as a favorite. All my hardwork in trying to get the perfect photo really does pay off. Thank God!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Spotlight: Owls, owls here and there! Owls everywhere!!

I know I am not alone in my owl fanaticism. What is it that is so captivating about these birds? Must have something to do with what the Giant said in Twin Peaks, "The owls are not what they seem . . . ."

I love, love, love this owl brooch! Kate from The Box of Bird Shop has some really darling animal brooches. Check 'em out.

Long ago I made the mistake of stretching my ears, thus sacrificing my ability to wear cute dangling earrings, like these guys. Crafted by Zosterops. Let bronze owls shine by wearing them out in broad daylight. They won't mind.

I love owls AND anything that might dark and spooky as well, so when I found this print I went a little crazy. I imagine this hanging on a stonewall hallway in a dark, eerie castle. Swan Bones shop is guaranteed to win you over. Take a look.

Want to bring some little owls into your home. Then check out Frolicking Leaves shop. She has a few owly magnet sets for you to peruse, but this one won me over. It has little hearts on its chest!!

Stare long enough at these stuffed owl dolls and you'll be hypnotized into buying them! Kate Durkin's owl embroidery design is amazing. You gotta check out her other embroidered plushies!!

I love beer and I love drinking beer out of a glass (no bottles please! Yuck!) I think this owl glass by Whimsical Wares would make the perfect beer drinking companion, don't you?