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crafts
  • stash less & thoughtful crafting

    A month or two ago I discovered The Craft Sessions via the Woolful podcast, and it didn't take long once I'd wandered over to the website for me to add the blog to my blog reader. Felicia lives in Melbourne, Australia, and founded The Craft Sessions as a way to provide opportunities for craft and fiber retreats in the Australian craft community. I found myself reading backwards through the archives, and I definitely found myself drawn to a concept Felicia started writing about a few months ago: Stash Less. She also talked about Stash Less in the podcast, so here's a link to that episode if you haven't heard it.

    The Stash Less concept comes from a desire to be more thoughtful about what we make and why we craft. It's about intentional making. This quote from the post that introduced Stash Less really struck a chord with me:

    "'In the presence of good materials, hopes grow and possibilities multiply.' And I truly believe that is so so true. But I also think that there can be too much of a good thing. And that maybe that is where I am."

    I tend not to voice my own concerns with the materialism and consumption involved in the craft community too loudly - after all, I sell patterns, which also help to sell yarn, which helps local yarn stores and indie dyers and needle makers and all other sorts of folk in this beautiful web in a mutually beneficial way, and above all it helps encourage others to take up the needles and share this craft with more of the world. But it has not escaped my attention that the encouragement can go a little too far - we can become obsessed with this or that yarn, or dyer, or notions maker, and we can develop a fear of missing out that drives us to purchase things we don't need because we want them and we can probably find a way to use them later. 

    This isn't to say that I think having a stash of yarn or fabric is a bad idea. It's a totally good idea. Not only can it bring inspiration to be surrounded by beautiful materials, but you always have tools on hand when you want to try out something new. But I also believe that life is about balance, and after a period of acquiring a lot more yarn than I actually need, I'm starting to feel the other side of the stash more and more. It's making me want to slow down, pull back, and start to balance the scales. I know I'm not alone in this, but despite having a sizeable stash, I still tend to buy new yarn when I have a very specific project I want to make. This means that some of the stash yarn just sits there for years and years. Once yarn's been in your stash for nearly a decade, it's not likely to be super inspiring anymore, you know? 

    So Felicia's Stash Less concept really spoke to me. I don't feel the need to make it an actual challenge, like she has - or perhaps I'm just setting different parameters for myself - but I have noticed a change in the way I'm thinking about my projects, particularly after I wrote about wanting to take it easier this year. I'm definitely still thinking about the perfect slouchy cardigan I'd like to knit, among several other things I'd love to cast on for, but some time in the last few weeks I decided to make a real effort to finish all my current WIPs before beginning any new purely personal projects. Having 12 WIPs going at once stresses me out, so what's fun about that? I've managed to work my way down to five active personal WIPs since the new year (excluding my Beekeeper's Quilt, which is a leftovers-eater and will likely be going on for quite awhile), and you know what? That feels really amazing. Really amazing.

    I don't know that I'll ever be a totally monogamous knitter again. I'm not sure I can do just one project at a time; I've written before about the balance between having a complex project and a simple project going at the same time, and how it's nice to be able to pick up whichever I'm feeling up for that day. But it does feel extremely good to be working through half-finished projects that have been on the needles for ages, neglected as I distractedly run from one thing to the other, starting new projects with reckless abandon. I thought I'd share one of those projects here on the blog today since it's been a little quiet lately!

    This is the Splitta Genser, or Slitted Sweater, a pattern from the Pickles team (Pickles is a yarn brand/store in Oslo). I fell in love with the pattern right away when I first saw it on the Pickles blog, even though the sample is a vivid Pepto-Bismol-pink (I don't tend to go for pink). I saw potential, and I saw how the silhouette would fill a hole in my handknit wardrobe - namely that I don't have a lot of knits to wear with high-waisted skirts or dresses. I'm thrilled that the final result is exactly the sweater I had in mind when I cast on. Here's a peek at the back:

    The overlapping panels is the detail that really sold me on such a simple knit. I think it's a lovely feature and a little unexpected if you've only seen the sweater from the front. You can read my project notes and details over on Ravelry, and the pattern is available in both Norwegian and English.

    I started this sweater in April of last year, so it's a relief and a joy to finally have it finished, and I'm so happy it fits into my wardrobe in a way that nothing else I've made really does. It's quite in line with the Stash Less philosophy I've been swept up in, so I feel like it's helping me get off to a good start. I've been reorganizing the Paper Tiger studio again, trying to optimize the space to improve my focus and workflow, and I'm working on getting the whole yarn stash more or less into one place, where most of it is visible (see also: episode 11 of knit.fm, "Stash Control"). My hope is that this will help my shift in thinking, and prompt me to think about what I could be making with what I have on hand (and where that overlaps with what my own garment and accessory needs). 

    I'd love to hear about your own efforts at stash control or project planning. How do you keep things from getting out of hand?

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  • a visit to the voss folkemuseum

    On my trip to Voss last weekend we had a chance to visit the Voss Folkemuseum. While my trips to museums with groups are always shorter than they would be when I'm on my own (I spent so many hours at the National Museum of Iceland a few months back, which I am now realizing I never actually blogged about), it was a great visit and I think the museum's definitely worth seeing if you ever find yourself in Voss! The biggest reason for the trip to Voss in the first place was that our friend Marius, who's from Voss (but lives in Oslo now), was back home housesitting for a few weeks. Marius has a cousin, Bjørnar, who's a guide at the museum, so he gave us a little tour around, which was great.

    Marius & Bjørnar on the farmstead

    One of the coolest things about the Voss Folkemuseum is that it started with the purchase of the Mølster farmstead in 1917 (Mølster remained a functioning farm until a few decades ago). The museum building housing artifacts and exhibits was built next to the old farmstead. The buildings of the farmstead exist exactly as they did when it was a functioning farm, i.e. they're all in their original locations, sod roofs and slate roofs alike being maintained (Bjørnar explained that occasionally, the grass on top of the sod roofs has to be cut - in the old days, they'd just stick a goat up on the roof, but now the roofs are maintained by museum staff). The oldest building on the site dates from the 1500s, which is pretty remarkable. It's a great way to see what a typical Norwegian farmstead would have looked like, both outside and in, up until the mid-20th century. It also sits up on a hill, overlooking Vossevangen. It's a beautiful spot.

    I really enjoyed the inside of the museum as well. Being a folk museum, there were several permanent exhibitions showcasing what daily life was like for the people of Voss in decades and centuries past. Items used both in day-to-day life as well as more festive and formal occasions were on display. Unsurprisingly, I was drawn both to the knitting and wool-related items, as well as the items related to the bunad, or national costume, of Voss (for those who don't know, Norway has regional national folk costumes worn for celebrations like Constitution Day or weddings; Norwegians who can afford bunads traditionally receive them for their Confirmation).

    believe these are bunad bibs (the part in the middle of the bodice as seen on the bunad below) but for some reason I didn't note what this display actually said, so I could be wrong. In any case, there was a lot of beautiful embroidery and beading on display.

    A bunad from Voss. Voss is the only place in Norway where I've seen the two-pointed skaut shown here (skaut is the word for headscarf). For all regional bunads, traditionally the type of head covering often corresponded to one's age and martial status, and brides wore special bridal crowns and silver for their weddings. The page is in Norwegian, but you can see photos of different types of bunads from Voss here, and you can see the wedding crown from Voss here. It's interesting how the bridal crown maintains the unique shape of the skaut.

    On to the wool!

    The thing I enjoyed most about seeing the old tools for working with wool (prepping, spinning, ball-winding, etc.) is how very little these things have changed. The modern-made tools we use are the same in so many respects. I got especially excited about the umbrella swift in the bottom photo, which dates from 1842. The mechanism for adjusting the height of the moveable part of the swift appears to be a slim piece of wood removed and inserted into different holes, so that it effectively acts as a stopper. I'm not going to lie - this probably works better than the common wooden screw stopper version I have (like this one), which has a tendency to not hold the swift in place after enough use (leading to much grumbling and/or swearing).

    There were also some knitted items on display:

    They were well-worn and there was definitely some visible mending going on. I was pleased to see the long cap next to the stocking in the top photo on display; it's actually knitted, but was rather made using nålbinding (it was nålbinded? Nålbound? Needle-bound? I'm at a past participle loss!). The sign in the bottom photo reads "Når sokken er tre gonger påspøta, er det nok -". I'm utterly and completely unfamiliar with the word "påspøta" but I can only guess it has something to do with mending (the regular bokmål word for mending is bøte, which bears some resemblance to spøta, I guess). If that's the case, this would mean something like "When the sock has been thrice mended, that is enough." Fair enough! Of course, in Norway, once woollen goods reached the point beyond reasonable repair, they were often torn up and shoved into corners of walls and windows needing extra insulation, and then later, they'd be sent to the shoddy mills to be recycled into new woollen goods.

    My other favorite thing in the permanent collection may have been the fiddles.

    In Norway, there are hardingfeler and flatfeler ("Hardanger fiddles" and "flat fiddles," respectively). Flat fiddles are more like a typical violin, but the Hardanger fiddles are a bit more special. Sound-wise, the biggest distinguishing characteristic is that they have a second set of strings, set below the main set, which are called understrings. The understrings aren't played, but rather, they resonate when the main strings are played. I first saw a Hardanger fiddle up close and heard one played back in North Carolina when I was in college, and I remember thinking that the decoration was beautiful but perhaps a bit strange. I've really come to love them, though, having seen many more examples over the years of the lavish decoration that is typical of these fiddles. Patterns of black ink rosing on the body, inlay (usually mother of pearl, but sometimes bone) along the tailpiece and fingerboard, and an ornamental carving such as a dragon's head above the pegbox are all typical decorations. I especially liked the more simple one pictured at left, because of the eight-pointed star motif.

    There was also a temporary exhibit on display of photography by Christian Herheim, who was described to me as "Voss's first photographer." There were some pretty spectacular photos, both of daily life in Voss in the first half of the 20th century, as well as posed portraits for formal occasions. I was drawn to this photo below, of the Lirhus children (all eleven of them):

    Admittedly, the knitwear they're sporting is part of what drew me in. There was also this photo of a bride, who's an ancestor of both Bjørnar and Marius (I think Bjørnar said she was his grandmother). You can see what the back of the bridal crown looks like in this photo:

    We stopped by the gift shop on the way out where I picked up a bilingual book on popular bunads. It's been fun to thumb through it and read a bit about some of the different bunads I haven't seen before. All in all, a very worthwhile visit. Tusen takk, Voss!

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  • an FO!

    May has been a quiet month for the blog, as I haven't had much personal work to share. FOs have been thin on the ground lately, too, as I have about seven or more knitting projects going on at once (I really should finish something) and most everything else I'm working on is behind-the-scenes stuff, like pattern writing, illustrating (more on that later), and Nordic Knitting Conference prep. I'm also getting ready to head to Norway in a few weeks to take part in the International Summer School at the University of Oslo! While all of that is incredibly exciting, it doesn't make for the greatest blogging.

    However! I finally have an FO to share today. The last time I posted was the beginning of Me Made May, and I wrote about my plans to sew the Easy Short Sleeved Kimono Dress from Pattern Runway. I'm very pleased to say I got a chance to pull out the sewing machine over the holiday weekend, and now I have a new dress!

    This was my first time using a PDF print-at-home sewing pattern, and while it did take some extra prep work up front (aligning all of the pages that made up the pattern pieces), it was relatively easy to do. My finished dress isn't a perfect garment, but I think it is the neatest garment I've ever sewn, because I paid extra attention to the tiny details throughout.

    I have a few notes on the process:

    - I decided not to try and make any modifications to the pattern for this particular project (in length, for example) because it had been so long since I'd sewn a garment. I figured I could cut and sew exactly as written, and then based on the finished garment, I could decide whether or not to make modifications in the future. It was a little bit of a trial run.
    - I did end up making one small modification, because when it was time to cut out the pieces, my fabric (which I thought was 45" wide) turned out to be about 42" wide. This means my skirt came out a little bit narrower than it would have otherwise, but it ended up lining up and fitting well anyway. I fell between a size small and size medium, based on the size chart, so I had opted to sew the medium to have some wiggle room (literal and figurative).
    - On that note, while the top is designed to have a lot of positive ease, I think I'd be just fine working the size small next time (and perhaps shortening the bodice if I'm using a cotton fabric like this again. The waist of this dress wants to sit lower than my natural waist, which is quite high).
    - I'm quite happy with my understitching on the facings and my work on folding up and topstitching the hem! The geometric print definitely aided me in topstitching in a straight line, and consequently this is the best looking hem I've ever sewn. I'm not as happy with my seam "neatening" and I'll be working on improving that in the future. Has anyone tried this method? It looks pretty sharp, I might try it!
    - The fabric I ended up choosing was this midweight cotton from the Bee My Honey collection by Mary Jane Butters. The geometric effect from a distance is what initially drew me to it, but when you take a closer look, you realize the hexagon/honeycomb pattern is actually made up of honey dippers! It's kind of ridiculous, but hey, I'll celebrate bees. I love that it's more of a graphic print than a cutesy one.

    - Next time, I will definitely add pockets. Seems like it would be pretty straightforward with this pattern, and if I'm sewing my own everyday dress why wouldn't I add pockets?

    All in all, it was a totally positive experience (except for the part where I broke a needle, but that was easily replaced), and I think I ended up with a very wearable garment. I'll probably do the PDF print-at-home thing again, but I would spend more on a physical pattern where the option's available, I think. If you all have patterns you love, I'd love to hear about them!

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  • thursday thoughts

    Today marked the start of Me Made May, and while I'm not officially taking part in it, I hope I'll wear plenty of my handknits when the weather allows. The timing is cause for reflection, for me, as I've found myself itching to get back into sewing lately. I used to sew fairly often when I was in high school and through my first year or two of college, but as knitting gained greater prominence in my life, the sewing machine started gathering dust. I'm realizing now, as I'm thinking about taking it up again, that I've always been a bit of a "Well, that's good enough!" seamstress; a little sloppy, if functional. I'd like to do better than that. I decided to pick a simple project to get back into sewing. I want to sew something that's simple enough that I won't feel like I'm in over my head, but that will be something I'll actually wear regularly. I also decided I'd like to try a sewing pattern by an independent company, which is a corner of the sewing world I hadn't explored before. I'm pretty sure I've made my decision; I've already purchased the pattern, and I basically just need to choose fabric and pick up the few notions needed.

    (Image via Pattern Runway)

    I landed on the Easy Short Sleeved Kimono Dress from Pattern Runway, because it seems to be, well... easy, but also something I'll get a lot of mileage out of. No zippers and no darts is a huge plus, and I like the elastic waist (perfect with a belt). One of the biggest selling points for me was the step-by-step blog post on the Pattern Runway site that walks you through the whole process of making this garment. I'm happy to have a little bit of hand holding at this stage!

    I have a few weeks before I'll be able to start working on this, so I'm still trying to decide on fabric. When I was sewing a lot in high school I often didn't give much thought to fabric choice. Sometimes I bought fabric for projects, but most often I pulled something out of my mom's huge stash of old fabric. I think as my knowledge and skills in handknitting have advanced, and as I've started spinning wool and thinking about fiber and how and where it's sourced, it's affected how I think about textiles and clothing more generally. In this case, I think I'd like something light and airy, something that's easy to work with, and I'd also like it to be made of natural fibers - so perhaps a light-to-mid-weight cotton? It will give the dress a much more casual feel than the black fabric pictured above, but as I'm looking to make more of an everyday dress, that seems just fine. I prefer to buy fabric in person, so that I can see and feel it, so I'm planning to head to Drygoods Design sometime soon - there are a few fabric listed on the website that I'm itching to see in person.

    Are you taking part in Me Made May? I'd love to hear about your experiences with it! I'd also love any sewing advice you all have. I learned to sew as a kid, and I always thought that fact alone meant I was knowledgeable about sewing, but I feel like a total beginner coming back to it. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • norwegian sweater coloring sheets

    Here's a little holiday freebie for any of you who have kids, work with kids, or just like coloring inside the lines. My sister-in-law works with kids and I had a chance to help her plan a day of Scandinavian-themed crafts. We put a bunch of traditional stuff into the mix, but I found myself mind wandering into more creative territory... and I wound up quicky drawing up a couple of coloring sheets based on traditional Norwegian sweater patterns. They're not terribly polished, but I figured I'd offer them up as downloads for any of my readers who might want to share these with kids they know.

    I've simplified the motifs somewhat to make coloring easier, but I also wanted to stay faithful to the actual design, so these sweaters would still be recognizable. As such, the Marius sheet and the Fana sheet are probably best for kids with some real dexterity (though by all means, I'd be delighted if your two year-old went to town with some crayons and made a beautiful, colorful mess out of either of them - truly!). If the files open up in your browser, try right-clicking and selecting "save." You can also right click on the link itself.

    Download the Marius Sweater coloring sheet (pdf)
    The Marius sweater, or mariusgenser, is pretty iconic. In fact, it's arguably the most famous sweater in Norway. It's that blue and white sweater with a bit of red up by the collar (blue, white, and red being the colors of the Norwegian flag). It was initially made famous by Marius Eriksen, a well-known skier, figher pilot, and actor.

    Download the Fana Cardigan coloring sheet (pdf)
    The Fana cardigan, or fanakofte, is also incredibly recognizeable to Norwegians. Like many traditional Norwegian patterns, the Fana cardigan was a regional design and took its name from a place. It is named for Fana, near Bergen. The combination of the stripes (with the dots, or "lice pattern") with the star or flower motifs and the checkerboard is incredibly traditional.

    Download the Make Your Own coloring sheet (pdf)
    The third sheet is a blank sweater template. I'm the kind of knitter who believes that anyone is capable of designing a sweater, if they set their mind to it. You may have to learn some skills along the way, but everyone has that creative potential. I love to encourage that kind of creative confidence in children, and so I made a blank sweater coloring sheet so that kids (or adults!) could draw up any design they could imagine. Stripes, patterns, symbols, words, cats, dogs, snowmen, candy... the possibilites are endless. Even a solid colored sweater would look nice.


    These aren't perfect, and they're a little quick and sloppy, but I hope you enjoy them all the same. It may be a little quiet around here over the next few weeks as I'm traveling for the holidays, but I'm going to do my best to line up some posts!

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  • a knitter's gift guide

    'Tis the season for gift guides, and if you're anything like me at this time of year, you'll find yourself realizing you've only checked a few people off your list and you have a whole bunch more to go. I thought I'd put together a few of my favorite things that would be perfect for gifts - whether you're a knitter giving gifts to someone else, a non-knitter shopping for a knitter, or a knitter shopping/knitting for another knitter! I've tried to cover all the bases.

    Last-minute knits

    No matter how busy you are, you definitely have time to knock out at least one of these in the next few weeks. 

    1. Toatie Hottie by Kate Davies, available as a kit (including hot water bottle!) here. (£15.99)

    2. Brig, a hat and scarf set, by Veronik Avery for Brooklyn Tweed. I'm pretty in love with the simple seaman's cap that's a part of this set. Definitely a quick knit! ($6.50)

    3. Earl Grey Mitts by Bristol Ivy. Quick, simple, beautiful, unisex. How can you beat that? ($2)

    4. Whichaway Mitts by Karen Templer, a free pattern. These genius little colorblocked mitts can be worn in either direction.

    5. The Tolt Mitts & Hat, by Andrea Rangel. Designed for the opening of Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, Washington, either the hat or the mitts would be a perfect last-minute knit and a great introduction to colorwork. ($8)

    6. The appropriately-named Jul Hat, by Jenny Gordy ($6.50). 'Jul' sounds like 'yule' and it means Christmas in Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish. I love Jenny Gordy's simple knits and her styling is always impeccable.

    Project bags

    I tend to work on a lot of projects at the same time, so I'm of the opinion that you can never have too many project bags. My all-time favorite is my bag from The Fibre Company, but any of these would do well!

    1. Bento bags from Fringe Supply Co. ($16-$18)

    2. 'A Daily Dose of Fiber' designed by Vera Brosgol and available from Ravelry. They also stock this bag with the spelling 'Fibre' which you can find here. ($15) Update: it appears they only have the latter bags in stock (spelled 'fibre').

    3. Bags by The Fibre Company. Available in several places online, including here & here, or you can find a stockist near you here. (~$12)

    Magazines

    Subscriptions are available for a few of my favorites:

    1. Pom Pom Quarterly, filled with beautiful knit and (often) crochet patterns, with a focus on creative life in general. Wonderful recipes in the back of every issue. A subscription gets you four issues and is £37.

    2. Knitscene is perfect for any knitter, featuring a range of patterns in different styles, but none too complicated. Any knitter could confidently tackle a Knitscene pattern. I love these guys. A subscription gets you four issues and is $24.

    3. Extra Curricular isn't strictly a knitting magazine and you actually aren't likely to find any knitting patterns in this one at all, but they do always have some DIY project or another you can try out. This NZ-based magazine is one of my absolute favorites, and they're focused on creative folk of all sorts. A subscription gets you three issues and is $42 (NZ).

    Project Notebooks

    I might be a notebook hoarder, but like project bags, I really don't think you can ever have too many.

    Moleskine. Call me boring, but I have no interest in any of the busy new editions Moleskine keeps coming out with - I'm a devotee of the simplest, plainest, most elegant notebooks they carry. You can't beat a classic. Available here from the Moleskine website, where you can choose your size, paper type (plain/lined/graph), cover weight, and color, among other things. ($9.95-$20.95)

    In contrast to Moleskine, I love the special 'Colors' editions by Field Notes. Their most recent edition is pretty beautiful: Cold Horizon. These come in three-packs and they're pocket-sized. Good for almost anything. ($9.95 for a 3-pack)

    Knitter's Graph Paper Journal from Fringe Supply Co. How many times have I wished I had one of these on me? If you do any charting yourself, or you know someone who does, this is a perfect gift. The grid is laid out like a knitting chart, so the columns are wider than the rows are tall. Perfect for visualizing a colorwork design or working out the kinks of a new cable. ($12)

    Notecards

    Looking for the perfect card to go along with your package? Here are a few of my favorites:

    1. Set of 5 sweater notecards by Brooklyn Tweed ($25)

    2. 'Bummer' notecard by Knerd ($5)

    3. Notions notecards from Ravelry ($6)

    Are you knitting any gifts this holiday season?

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  • the new paper tiger hq

    A few weeks ago I made a very exciting decision - I signed a lease on a studio/office space for Paper Tiger! While there are some things I loved about working from home, I feel like making the leap to a workspace outside the home has been a fantastic decision for my creative work. Change can be a little scary, but over the past few weeks I've been working on putting together a bright, inviting space that is both comfortable and inspiring. It's still a work in progress, and there are a few more pieces of furniture I need to procure before it's "done" and presentable, but I thought I would share a sneak peek of a few details of the space in progress!

    For those who are curious: the succulent is Burro's Tail; the teal fabric on the wall is a Michael Miller print I bought at Drygoods Design (available here); the ombré curtain is from Target; the dreamy pendant lamp is the Garland Light by Tord Boontje; the mirror with Norwegian on it says "to dream and to do"; and the coat rack yarn holder was totally my husband's idea.

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  • urban craft uprising, day 1

    One of the largest craft fairs that happens here in Seattle, Urban Craft Uprising, is going on this weekend at Seattle Center. I got to go for the first time last December (they do a winter show and a summer show), and for anyone who has an affinity for the cute and the handmade, it is the ultimate collection of Stuff You Want to Buy. There are some mega-talented people selling stuff this weekend, and it feels great to be able to meet all the wonderful folks making rad stuff in the northwest.

    I swung by today for a quick peek at who was selling, and I'm headed back tomorrow to make a few purchases. One of the great things about having all these amazing artists in one place is that you can start a collection of business cards as you make your rounds, stash them in a box, and then pull them back out when a friend has a birthday coming up or the holidays are coming or you just want to buy something nice for someone (or for yourself). As a designer, it's always really fun to see what folks do with their cards, too. I thought I'd share a few of my vendors this time around, starting with...



    Jill Bliss!
    jillbliss.com
    I've actually been a huge fan of Jill's stuff for years now, so it was pretty thrilling to see a whole booth full of gorgeous Jill Bliss artwork, and to get to meet her too! She tends to illustrate plants and animals and natural things in some not-so-natural pastel shades which makes for a combination that is both striking and delicately pretty.




    Sycamore Street Press
    sycamorestreetpress.com
    I discovered these guys at the last UCU in December and I am such a huge fan of their letterpress notecards and prints. I was really happy to see them selling again this time around. Eva's business card is totally gorgeous, too - letterpress (of course) on a nice thick cardstock. It's a great card in that it totally represents what these guys are all about (which a good business card should do, truly). Somehow these guys are both chic and cheeky and it totally works.




    Blue Diamond Stamp Company
    bluediamonstamps.com
    I love stamps, but somehow I'd never come across these guys. The coolest thing about Blue Diamond is that they sell acrylic stamps - the actual stamp is a clear polymer that sticks to an acrylic block. You only need one block for all your polymer stamps, so you save a ton of space on storage. Plus, the acrylic block is totally clear, so you can see exactly where your image is going!


    I'll write about a few more vendors tomorrow, as well as share a few images from the event. If you're in Seattle, it's going on from 11-5 at Seattle Center!

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  • urban craft uprising, day 2

    Day two of UCU was just as fun as the first - and today I had my wallet with me. I went with my friend Jess and James at 11am this time, when the fair opens, and much to my surprise, we were close enough to the front of the line to get swag bags! The goodies inside were totally rad, too. The combined contents of mine and James' bags:

    1. Handmade vegan soaps, Estrella Soaps
    2. Bottlecap pin from Tami Potts
    3. Handmade glass bead, Hammer and Torch
    4. Selected buttons, Creation Station
    5. Gorgeous forest green ribbon from Midori Ribbon
    6. Little sheep (!) pouch, Maluhia Designs
    7. Needlework scissors from Pacific Fabrics & Crafts
    8. Fabric buttons from Laura Bucci
    9. Mega-super-adorable blue gingham buttons from Midori Ribbon
    There was also a headband from Texture but I forgot to throw it in the photo (whoops!).

    Pretty incredible freebies, to be honest. UCU does it right. And as for my purchased goods...

    I'd say I did okay! In the back is a gorgeous print from favorite Jill Bliss. Also pictured: an adorable card from Sycamore Street Press ("Great job on that thing you did, really super!"), some iron-on patches and a wooden button from R and L, and a DAVID BOWIE NECKLACE! from Fable & Fury.

    And as I mentioned, I collect a big stack of business cards as I go along, and you can see a few of the favorite vendors I've written about tucked in there:



    And speaking of favorite vendors, here's a few more additions to the list I started yesterday:





    Locket 2 You
    locket2you.com
    These lockets were both adorable and amazing, and the folks are super nice. They're based in Portland and they rotate their designs seasonally, so there's always rad new designs on the way.





    MuchoDesign
    muchodesign.etsy.com
    These guys had some stellar embroidered artwork and really, really gorgeous jewelry. If I remember correctly, much of the embroidered work was made with reclaimed textiles, which is really awesome. Also: embroidered Spock?! What's not to love?





    Princess of Patterns
    princessofpatterns.com
    Sarah's got a huge selection of gorgeous vintage knitting patterns available. Being a fan of both knitting and vintage clothing, I was swooning over her patterns just a wee bit...




    Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress
    bisonbookbinding.com
    These guys had some gorgeous cards but my favorite were the ones pictured above - letterpress notecards with recipes on the front!


    And for good measure, here's a few more photos...



    Brad slings Estrella Soap



    Jess peruses Attic Journals


    Gorgeous yarns from Yarnia


    Adorable laser-cut wooden plant labels from RandL


    Pretty little notebooks at the Jill Bliss booth

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