Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eco Yarn! Go Mother Earth! :)

Ok, so Saturday I took the Eco Yarn class I'd mentioned a few weeks back... Nate had given me a gift cert for a class at one of my most favorite places on Earth, The Stitch Lab , and I chose one with Vickie Howell  who has written a cool book called "Awareknits ".   Look what I did!
The navy ball and yellow ball are both old t-shirts of mine... the white ball is plastic grocery bags and the front ball is newspaper!!  I'm going to make a crocheted rug with the t-shirt yarn ("t-sharn") -- I'm seeing primary colors... maybe to add some color to the guest room.  The plastic bag yarn ("plarn") I'll make a tote bag out of, here's an example:
and the newspaper yarn is for multi-media projects... Vickie had a super cool wooden picture frame with the knitted newspaper yarn decoratively glued on.  Here's what it looks like knitted up:
Here are a few pics of me in action:
Also, I'd mentioned another sale at the Artisan Market during the SXSW music fest but, alas, I did not go.  I'm leaving town this Friday and had WAY too much to do around the house.  So, I didn't get to sell anything but I did photograph all of my new necklaces and earrings and plan to get them up on Etsy today or tomorrow.  Speaking of Etsy, major thanks to my MIL, "Tia" Terry who bought a necklace today!!!  Woot!!!  Thank you oh so very very very much!  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More new stuff! Earrings! Lemurs!

Since the artisan market is now two days away (it moved to Saturday!) I got busy last night and made my first official Hollyberry earrrings... I think they turned out alright... I would wear them. :)  Here they are:
I think they are fun and long and dangly and in keeping with my whole necklace vibe.  I'm hoping some cool rockers from out of town will visit my table and buy some jewelry.  Fingers crossed! 

I also made a couple new necklaces to fill in any holes left by the last sale, here they are:
Loves me some feathers:
and just some basic hang-y chain action:
The other day I heard a scary quote somewhere, can't remember it verbatim, but the gist was:  you can't swing a dead cat nowadays without hitting an owl!...  Ah man!  For reals?!  I hope my Hollyberry logo doesn't reek of trendiness with that little owl in it... I've liked owls for years!  Oh well..  the trend will die down and I'll still be sittin' here lovin' on my owls.  I actually like all woodland creatures... but I guess if pressed I'll have to admit my favorite animal of all time is the lemur.  Just in case I'm famous and y'all are on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" and the question is "what is Holly Ann Tuck's favorite animal ever?"... now you know.  Lemurs rock. You're welcome.  :)  xoxo

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring...

Actually, the "old man" didn't snore so badly last night... hee hee... but it WAS raining like crazy and still pouring today and it's making everything smell lovely and Spring-like.  Our Mountain Laurel is blooming and our Canna Lilies are sprouting and our lawn actually has GRASS (good job, husband!) !!  Springtime in Austin also means South by Southwest , the HUGE music fest and also, an opportunity for me to go a-selling again.  I'll be setting up a table this Sunday at the same artisan market I did a couple weeks ago.  So, after my weekend of sewing like a crazyperson, I am making some more necklaces and thinking about earrings too... maybe some cool chain earrings for ten bucks?  Since I sold one third of my inventory at the last sale I'm a busy bee making up new jewelry for this Sunday... here's a few newbies:
This is serious bling, not for the faint of heart... :) 
This one still needs to be soldered but I think I'll add a little more chain action before I call it good.
I just love the little lock and key
This one definitely needs some more chain action.  I'm not sure why they turned out so simple... maybe I'll start selling a few simple ones mixed in with the more chain-y ones. 
So, that's all for now... tonight I'll make some more jewelry while watching The Best TV Show EVER, American Idol.  Hopefully this week they don't send home someone with genuine talent and moxie and keep around another snooze.  We'll see!  

Thursday, March 11, 2010

All by myseeeeeelllllf.... I don't wanna be.... All by myseeeeelllllf....

So, last night I dropped off the love of my life at the airport, sending him away to meet his bro in Vegas.  I hate to see him go but the prospect of having the house to myself and all of my jewelry tools and sewing implements around me gets me excited for a crafting binge.  Last night I broke out the soldering tools and got busy with my new necklaces.  I really got at it with those needle-nose pliers...
Here's my state-of-the-art soldering station:
I finished up these two necklaces:
And this one, my favorite:
I call it "Mousqueton", french for carabiner.  :)  I sort of feel like it's exactly what I want to make... I do realize it's out-of-the-box and also, I may be the only person who would buy it but I'm totally digging it right now.  It's unique -- I've never seen anyone wearing a similar necklace, which is the idea I suppose.  

All of that soldering worked up an appetite for my staple meal I eat when I'm alone... baked brie.
It's a giant piece of warm brie topped with carmelized onions and mushrooms with a bit of white wine and fresh lemon juice reduction.  I ate the whole thing.  Cheese makes me soooooo happy.  It was divine but I felt like a 300-pound heifer when I was finished.  I'll have to go for a llllooooonnnnnggggg run today.  :)

Oh!  and I should admit I did have another boy stay over at the house last night... :)  I'm dogsitting for our little friend, Hobson.  Here's the three babies waiting to come inside, Hobson is in the middle:

So, all in all, my heart was aching from missing my mate but thankfully I found joy in cheese and dogs and rosin-core solder....  And one more piece of delicious happiness: 
My amazing Dad sent me his keyboard!  I was raised a pianist, went to college for piano and even taught for awhile... I'd say the keys are just part of my DNA.  I haven't had a piano since I moved from Seattle in 2006 so this is just like a beautiful homecoming.  I can't wait to get reacquainted with this long lost love.  Thanks Dad!!!!  Now I can supplement my income with teaching piano lessons and maybe even feel like I could be a Mom while teaching piano and making jewelry and I could finally ditch the day-job-in-a-cubicle dirge.   We'll see!  Maybe Nate will win BIG MONEY in Vegas and I could just play piano and make jewelry for fun and have all the brie I could eat.  :) 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Frida Kahlo, how do I love thee?

Ok, so I went out a-fabric-shoppin' for The Dress fabric for my brother's wedding.  BUT as I stepped into this adorable little shop, The Common Thread , there, on my left was THE ABSOLUTE COOLEST fabric I've seen in my life... are you ready??  Are you sure??? Ok, here it is:

My love for Frida Kahlo runs wide and deep... here's a photo of our family room (this hanging was a Christmas gift from Nate's parents):
Here's a photo of Nate and I for Halloween 2008 (I'm Frida, not sure exactly what Nate was, he started out as Shel Frankenstein...):
Here's my favorite sweatshirt (I designed it on zazzle ):
On top of this evidence I also have a Frida 2010 calendar, homemade Frida refrigerator magnets, several books about her and I own the movie.  I'm a total Frida freak.  As soon as I saw that fabric I lost all direction and totally forgot about The Dress fabric I was supposed to be shopping for.  I bought two yards and am torn between making two pillows or a cool Summer shirt for myself... we'll see.  :)

So, anyways, I DID find fabric for The Dress and it is absolutely ethereal.  Here it is!

I set a quarter on it for scale.  Isn't it lovely?!?  This picture doesn't do it justice but trust me, it's special and perfect for the Biggest Day of Jonathan and Missy's life.  :)  Can't wait!!  

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring has Sprung but I still loves me some owls!! Woot!!!

Soooo, I set out to make a few Spring-esque necklaces and ended up with two owls... I just can't get enough!   And since I had a pretty successful sale last weekend and have the best Mum ever (she bought a necklace through my Etsy -- thanks, Mum!) now I have to make more necklaces!!!  While watching American Idol last night I was marginally inspired to create so here's what I did so far:

Try and tell me you've seen a cooler owl... I dare you...

These are just leaves that are reminiscent of hearts... which I love love love... funny how this is another Autumn theme... falling leaves... what is with me?  I'm crazy for Spring and the warmer weather but I guess I'm just still feeling cozy...

Here's the other owl... he has crystal eyes and I've used his twin brother in a necklace on Etsy... I like the more simple design of this one.  

More freakin falling leaves.  Seriously.  I didn't even realize what I was doing until I started typing these captions!  Well, I'm going to plead crazysauce on this one.  Maybe the leaves are actually springing in a Southerly manor.  Yep, that's it.  
This last one I haven't finished the chain part that it will hang on... still trying to decide how simple or elaborate it should be but I like the tiny leaves and the little twigs hanging down the center.  Usually the necklaces practically design themselves so I'm just waiting for this one to get busy! 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Peddling my wares...

Here's my wee "booth" at the 78704 Artisan Market  this past Saturday... it was a beeeeee-yooooo-tiful sunny day and a fair amount of foot traffic so that was nice.  I made some cute little biz cards with my logo and put out the Grace Orphanage Africa info so people could read about where $1 of each purchase goes to.  I was more excited to talk about the orphanage than I was to talk about my jewelry!  I did pretty well (sold 5 of the 14 necklaces I brought) and lots of people would just walk by and say "pretty jewelry" but not stop and buy anything.  I do think the chains and stones looked extra purty with the sunshine on them!  AND I brought my cute little owl mascot which people liked, especially with my SUPER EXPENSIVE firewood displays. :)

Nate stopped by to keep me company and encouraged me to be more friendly and say "hello!" to every person who walked by... I found this nearly impossible!  I'm am SO not a salesperson.  I'm totally reconsidering this avenue for selling but I did make more in one day of market than I have made with two months on Etsy... sooo, we'll see.

What's next?  I'm going to work on my soldering skills and try more interesting necklaces like this one:
I really do want to commit to being a jewelry designer ... it would be nice to make some money at it and it we ever decide to bring some little rugrats into the world I could contribute to the family bank account with money from my hobby!  Speaking of hobbies, Nate gave me The Coolest Valentine's Day gift ever.  A gift cert to my favorite place on Earth, The Stitch Lab , for a class called "Awareknits: Eco-Yarn".  Here's the description: 

Go green by making your own string! Broaden your fiber repertoire by learning how to recycle everyday items into "yarn" you can use for knit, crochet and mixed-media projects! You'll make a ball each of workable yarn out of spun newspaper, cut t-shirts and grocery bags. Vickie will also provide a pattern for the Extra! Eco! frame front, as well as other project recommendations from her book AwareKnits.

Ok, also, btw, "Vickie ", the teacher, is like, totally famous.  She's on TV!

So, that's the haps for now!