Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Hello, and Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely holiday and are getting the new decade off to a good start. It seems like it’s been a very long time since I posted here -for a minute I forgot how to upload images. I promised even though I ended U N journal I would be starting something new and it’s time to tell you about it.
I have a new site, mwmWORKBOOK, which is meant to be just that - a workbook of sorts. It’s essentially a space for me to put all of the U N collection galleries, inspiration photos, sketchbooks, photographs and any other projects I am working on. I will also be writing there and hope to post once a week. But you can read all about it over on the new site.
Thank you again for your words and friendship and taking the time to stop by here these past 3 years.
Note: I intend to leave U N journal up for a period of time but I’ll let you know if I move or remove it.
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. I wish I had enough scarves for everyone. The random number generator picked #113 - Rebecca. Congratulations!
“Architecture is a social act and the material theater of human activity.” Spiro Kostof
It’s almost the end of the year again. That means I’ve been posting here for over 3 years. It truly doesn’t seem that long. Lately though, I have to admit this journal has felt a little stale and I’ve wondered if it has reached it’s end. I find a lot of value in writing about my process and going back over old posts to see how things evolved. I think in general there is a consistency to my work and my process is iterative. It is naturally how I work. But sometimes it’s good to do something different - to introduce a change. This is something I talk to my students about all the time.
In architecture you are never really done with a project. There just comes a point where you need to stop. For me, many ideas and ways of thinking from that project are then carried forward to the next context, with new constraints and forces acting upon it.
I have come to that point with this journal. I’m not done thinking or writing about process, but in this context it is time to stop. So this will be my last post for the year, and the last post here in this space.
To me this space has come to feel a little bit like an architectural space - a social act. I feel overwhelmed when I think of the people I’ve met, friends I’ve made, inspiration I’ve found, conversations I’ve had and opportunities that have arisen all from just writing here. Thank you isn’t really enough, but it’s all I have. So thank you.
I’m still thinking about what the next context will be, and wondering what new constraints and forces will arise. Although my process and thinking and ideas will continue just as they always do, I need to introduce a change. I will share that with you in January.
Wishing you all much happiness and peace in the new year,
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Yesterday I found out I won a giveaway sponsored by Satsuma Press. I was stunned - I never win anything, and don’t enter that many giveaways. I am quite excited about what I won -a Heath Ceramics vase, some Skinny Laminx towels, Satsuma Press cards and gift tags.
So in the spirit of passing on my good luck, I thought I would have a little giveaway of my own. Leave a comment here and I will pick a random person to win a braided neck loop from the HANDCRAFT collection. Your choice of color, either heathered grey or purple.
I will close comments on Monday, December 14th and choose a winner then.
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
low water immersion dyed wool leggings
note: I’ve added some more plum wrapped necklace/scarves to the HANDCRAFT shop.
Along with the failed armwarmers, I had planned on making wool leggings for the HANDCRAFT collection. I had these mottled legwarmers last year, which were made out of a mid-weight wool jersey. I made a pair for myself, and wear them all the time. This year I found some lighter weight jersey and wanted to make actual leggings, or tights without feet.
Low water dyeing, the process I use to get a mottled effect, is different and much trickier with wool. The process is fast; about 30 minutes as opposed to several hours for cotton. I dyed up a batch of the light wool jersey and was quite pleased with the result. I was also happy with my simple pattern for the leggings, with one seam per leg.
But then came the waistband. I didn’t want to make a casing and insert the elastic because it just seemed too bulky. What I wanted was an exposed wide elastic waistband like on store purchased tights. Sort of like lingerie elastic, but much wider. I talked to several manufacturers of elastic but they all seemed confused as to what I was talking about. I found something that seemed like it would work except that it was 4″ wide. Not sure what you would use that for….
Hence, the wool leggings didn’t make it into the collection either. I could easily have made a casing at the top and called it a day. But it wasn’t what I wanted so I let it go. I will keep looking for this elusive product and in the meantime probably put a casing in these and wear them myself.
Here are a few links to some do it yourself legwear, along with a couple splurge worthy pieces worth mentioning:
DIY tie dye tights
DIY gradient dip dye tights (I think I’ve linked to this before)
DIY shredded tights (so awesome -wish I could pull this off)
DIY embellished Doo.Ri stockings (these would be perfect for a fancy holiday party)
DIY Rodarte cut out leggings (l o v e -best w/ tights underneath I think)
The ultimate basic: Smartwool tights
Shabd Crystaline leggings (not wool, but stunning).
Hansel from Basel Gargantuan Cable tights.
Isobel & Cleo handknit grape leggings (these are sort of strange…but intriguing)
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
When I was in the planning stages for my HANDCRAFT holiday collection, I had initially wanted to make some armwarmers or fingerless gloves. This is something I wear all the time, both inside and out since I’m always cold and you can sew, type and take photos without taking them off. I offered some in wool last year and they were quite popular.
In the end, I wasn’t completely happy with how these came out so they didn’t make it into the collection. The hemp + organic cotton jersey just isn’t as stretchy as the wool jersey was, so they don’t hold their shape as well.
I still like them though, and these will become gifts for family and friends. Armwarmers are really a great gift -they are ageless and can be unisex as well. If you leave out the thumb hole, they can be used as legwarmers, which would be perfect for those hard to shop for teenage girls. And legwarmers are adorable on babies.
Here are a few free patterns I found for making your own arm and legwarmers. Most of these can be made with thrifted t-shirts or sweaters for quick and inexpensive gifts:
A pattern using knee socks.
This one uses a felted sweater.
These are made from a t-shirt.
Leg and armwarmers for babies! Made from adult socks.
A knitting pattern for armwarmers with and without a thumbhole.
Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Hello December. I can’t believe it is almost the start of a new decade. Remember Y2K? It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.
Just a year ago, Habit was started by two women who wanted a format to document their daily lives through photographs and a few words. Each month they invited some friends to join them and I was part of the group that posted last April. Now, a year later, they’ve invited everyone back, and all 33 of us will be posting during the month of December.
I look forward to seeing the new dynamic that is sure to occur with everyone sharing the space at once-like one big crazy holiday party.
Sunday, November 29th, 2009
Hello. Did you have a nice thanksgiving? Or nice weekend if you don’t celebrate thanksgiving? Things were low key around here. Our first thanksgiving just the four of us, at home. We had lots and lots of food with a little flu thrown into the mix for excitement.
I had some time to browse the internets, and I’ve seen many great sales on lovely handmade items. My gift giving list, like many I assume, is quite pared down this year. I plan to make some gifts, and purchased gifts will be primarily be from small independent designers and makers.
Jan at Poppytalk has compiled a great list of indie makers offering cyber monday sales here. And for the next few weeks I will be posting more gift guides focusing on handmade items.
Tonight I just want to point you to one sale, Stock the Stocking, at my friend and artist Heather Smith Jones’ shop. Heather makes beautiful letterpress cards, watercolor paintings, photographic prints and so much more. She has many very affordable things right now, including these cute letter press gift tags. Please think about where your limited funds will go this season, and buy handmade.
Tomorrow (Monday, 11.30.09), I will restock my HANDCRAFT holiday collection and I will be offering free shipping all day. Because who doesn’t love free shipping? And for all of you scarf lovers, I’ve added gossamer scarves as well, with a few in the popular mustard gold color.
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
dipped horizon print, marfa path print + asphalt grass denim wool pillow
HANDCRAFT holiday 2009 collection
I’m glad you all liked the ORIGAMI wrap pattern. A few people have emailed me to say they have already made it! See, I told you it was easy:)
Thank you again for your support of my holiday collection. There are a few prints left, but otherwise everything has sold out. wow. Just a reminder that everything will ship on the 28th. I will be restocking all of the items again on November 30th, so if you missed something you were looking for, check back then. I hope to be able to restock once more after that as well.
I have one other little holiday surprise planned that I will tell you about after Thanksgiving, which I can’t believe is in 3 days. And I will also be posting some more gift guides. I really enjoyed putting together the one focused on geometry.
Twitter update: I think I like it. It’s a little noisy at times, but one of the best things is the interesting articles, tips, goods, giveaways, etc., that people link to. It’s like being able to see a huge number of blogs with interesting info all at once on one page.
Hope you all have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, if you are celebrating. I am very thankful for all of you.
Friday, November 20th, 2009
ORIGAMI wrap sweater
Thank you all for your sweet comments and emails about HANDCRAFT and to those of you who purchased something in my shop yesterday. It was a fun collection to put together and I’m so glad you liked it.
And now, as promised, I have a gift for you. There were a few things I had planned on for the HANDCRAFT collection that didn’t get realized. One of them was this wrap you see here, which was inspired by origami folding and the cocoon poncho I made for my last holiday collection. Since it didn’t make it into the collection I thought as a gift to you I would offer it as a free pattern. That way you can make one for yourself or for gifts for the holidays. It is super simple to make, even if you don’t have many sewing skills or even a sewing machine. Really. There are 3 seams that are quite short and can be sewn by hand. The most complex thing is figuring out the folding - just like in origami:)
added: I have already had a few questions about fabric. This is for a knit fabric. I used a mid-weight knit that is very drapey without a whole lot of stretch. I think it would work with a variety of knits, from t-shirt weight to something as heavy as a fleece. The weight/thickness and also stretch of your fabric will effect the size so do pin it together before sewing and try it on. In a lighter fabric or more stretchy fabric will make the fit bigger and looser, heavier/less stretch will make it fit closer.
So here it is as a downloadable PDF file. There are two pages, one with photos and instructions and one with some diagrams. Just click on the pages below and it should start the download (each page has to be downloaded separately).
Please let me know if you have questions -I think the diagram looks complex at first, but once you start working with the fabric directly it will make sense. If you make it, I would love to see photos. Maybe if there are a few people who do, I’ll start a flickr group. Oh, and one more little thing: this is a free pattern, and you are welcome to give it out freely to anyone who might like it. But please don’t sell it, or make garments from it to sell.
Thank you all again and enjoy!
ORIGAMI wrap pattern - click on pattern to download
ORIGAMI wrap diagrams - click on diagrams to download
Thursday, November 19th, 2009
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
Here is a little slideshow of images from my HANDCRAFT holiday 2009 collection. This collection is made up of small items and accessories perfect for gift giving. For this collection I wanted to work a little more slowly, focusing on labor intensive processes done by hand. I also wanted to use up some scraps of yarn and fabric I’ve been saving.
Each piece is made individually in a small batch, and so each one is slightly different and unique. The prints and fabric are block printed, the necklace/scarves are made from fabric scraps that are wrapped with waxed linen thread, and the texture on the pillows is sewn from small wool yarn scraps.
I am also offering a special on the prints: if you buy one of each, you will save $5. I will refund after purchase (unless I can figure out how to set it to do the discount in big cartel:))
You can currently view all of the items in my shop
and they will be available for purchase starting at noon CST today, 11.19.09.
Thank you all so much for your comments and support. And don’t forget to stop back here tomorrow for a gift from me.