New Thing

Just a quick post, as I'm nearly out of food and want to get out to the store. Luggage tags! Becky sent me some inspiration a while back, and I'm just getting around to making some. I made this one last night. It's just a prototype, but it turned out okay. Sorry the picture kind of sucks. It's kind of crooked and the stitching is messy, so it's probably better this way.

Fresh Fabrics!

Here's another fabric post since I don't have much else to post. I've started a couple projects, but I don't like to post things until they're finished. Small steps, because I have lots to do! One thing I must do is shop for some health insurance. Shopping makes it sound fun, but it is certainly not. It feels like I'm shopping for a car at the junk yard. That's all I'll say about that. I don't want to turn this into a rant about things-that-piss-me-off because I certainly can. So, moving on....fabrics.

Just a few pics from my trip to the fabric shop last week. They had a food section that I found pretty amusing. Above, we have some berries, citrus, some corn and bananas. And below...let's see, I think that's squash, mushrooms, broccoli, parsley, cucumbers, blueberries and beans. They also had other foods; junk food and wine...but the fruit and veg was so fun and colourful, I had to share.

They also had a good selection of wizard of oz fabrics. I believe this was in the movies section. I wonder what a dress would look like made with this.

Fabric Love

My fabric arrived today! That was fast. Yay!! Look how pretty and so nicely packaged. The thing with nice fabrics is that it's so hard to start cutting it. So the top right pic is all my new fabrics! It doesn't look like much, but there's probably about 12 yards of fabric in those two stacks. I also have a few duvets and bed sheets stocked in the craft cave (my office). All I need now are some solid black fabric and some zippers.

The package made it here in one piece, but barely. The fabric was busting to get out!

This is not a very good picture, but this is the japanese fabric I got at pacific fabrics the other day. It's a nice linen/cotten blend and I can't wait to use it. It's the three little pigs! How cute is that? Next time I visit japan I'm definitely checking out some fabric and craft stores. But who knows when that will be given the current economic situation.

I never did post updated pictures of the craft room. So...this is the current condition of the craft cave. Messy and cramped. You can see why we call it the cave. It's so small and dark. Even during the day it's pretty dark. Actually, this picture was taken in the afternoon. I have to bring in an extra lamp to have enough light. It's also the coldest room in the house, so sometimes it's hard to go work in there, the dark, cold, tiny "craft room".

And yes, I keep my bananas in the craft cave. The temperature in there is just right for banana storage. I also keep potatoes in the there.

Random cat picture...Nemo says cheers

Fabric Reload

I've been running low on fabrics, and had been putting off going to the fabric store... mostly because neither of my fabric shops is a walkable distance. Alas, I finally had to go because the fabrics I wanted were 50% off at Joann's and the sale was ending. Alexander Henry fabric at 50% off! So, I really wanted to get some more of this Kleo fabric which is the flower fabric on the left. But they were out of that, so I got some Koto fabric instead, which is the gorgeous asian-themed fabric on the right. Then I headed to my favorite fabric store, Pacific Fabrics and used my gift certificate for more awesome fabrics. Thanks B! I don't have pictures, so I will post them later.

Today I did a bad thing and ordered more fabric off of etsy. There are some big discounts on certain fabrics. Many shops having sales before the fabric company hikes up the prices next month. So....I finally ordered my first Amy Butler fabrics. Yay!

The four on the right are all from Amy Butler's Daisy Chain collection. And the fabric on the left is Anna Maria Horner's Centerpiece from her Garden Party collection. All of them gorgeous, and should last me quite a while.

And while I'm at it, here are some other fabrics I have my eye on. I want to make another Weekender Bag for myself, but I haven't decided on the fabric. Ikea is too far, so I'm still deciding. I have other things to do anyway, before I make anymore stuff for myself. Two fabrics I'm considering are these japanese imports by Echino. Cute, eh?

Also in the mix is this Anna Maria Horner on the left. I forget what it's called, but I love it. The fabric on the right is just another fabric that I want. It's not heavy enough for the Weekender Bag, I just want it for my stash. It's another Amy Butler design. All these beautiful fabrics make it very hard to stick to my second hand fabric ideal.

Actually, I still use a good deal of recycled fabrics. I have a few shopping totes made from bed linens that i mean to post shortly. And I started on some wallets. stay tuned.

New Year Projects

Chinese New Year is coming up soon. It will soon be the Year of the Ox (Cow), so I wanted to make some cow crafts. Since I missed the boat on christmas gifts, I wanted to send out some chinese new year gifts. I'd been wanting to try making some shopping bags, and I thought some cow print bags would be some fun gifts to make. They turned out to be pretty simple to make.

Top view...I used a Target plastic bag as my template. They hold the same as regular plastic bags, but much more stylishly.

I added a snap to my latest version, so you can roll it up if you want. The polka dots fabric is another thrift shop find. It's from a duvet.

I made a small zippered pouch for Kate in japan. I'm going to hope she receives her package before she reads this post.

More Wallets...

I made some more wallets. These are actually at least a month old. I just never got around to taking photos. and these photos are pretty terrible. I just hadn't posted any crafts in a while, so I thought I'd post some quickies. The black one is ikea fabric and the hello kitty is from a bed sheet I found at goodwill. Nothing much else to say about that. I will have to set up a space for some proper pictures soon.

Some short videos....

Since I didn't have a blog on my first two trips to china, I didn't get to post these. One of my favorite things to do in China is to go to a local park and watch the locals. This was at the Temple of Heaven park in Beijing in August of 2006. People congregate in different areas and play games, dance, exercise, play music...

China: Music in the Park from craft berry on Vimeo.

Dance lesson in the park

China: Dance Lesson in Park from craft berry on Vimeo.

This is from my last trip to Shanghai in December 2007. It's like a playground for grown ups to do their exercises. I especially like the guy on the ski-type machine at the end.

China: Shanghai Park from craft berry on Vimeo.

I think this was near Xiamen about a year ago. We took a mini-taxi, which is pretty much like a three wheeled motorcycle with a small shed on the back. It just fit the four of us.

China mini-taxi ride from craft berry on Vimeo.

Free Stuff for the New Year

I was out on my weekly short drive yesterday to fill up my gas tank and go to the craft store. Since I started driving my car only once a week, I haven't had to put gas in my car since the beginning of October. And I still had half a tank left! No secret to it: plan ahead and combine your car trips, walk or bike when possible (for me, if it's less than 1.5 miles I grab my ipod and walk), and ride the bus. Of course, it helps if you live in the city where things are close by.

The reason I was filling up was because my supermarket gas discounts were expiring. I was driving around looking for parking when I came across some free furniture. Obviously I couldn't fit all of it in my prizm, so I snatched up a chair, a green vase, and a side table. I should have tried to fit in another chair. Greedy.

Just the day before, I was thinking how I'd love to work in our loft, but I needed a small table. The ceiling is low and it's accessed by a ladder, so I found myself wishing we had an extra IKEA LACK table sitting around. And then I found this on the street. Tadaa, the tomato loft office.