Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fox Fur Earmuffs

Chester Greenwood invented the first pair of earmuffs in 1873 at the age of 15. It was a cold winter day in Farmington, Maine, when Chester brought some fur and wire to his grandmother to fashion him some “ear protectors”. He was fiercely allergic to wool and couldn’t wear the normal knitted muffler that most kids wore to protect their ears.
When he was 18-years-old he got his ear protectors patented, and just 10 years after the first pair was made he was selling 30,000 a year! Imagine!

I think earmuffs are brilliant, and very stylish! I’ve always admired fur earmuffs but I’ve yet to come across a pair. So, I decided to make a pair myself!

I used a silver fox pelt given to me by a friend and I naturally dyed silk with cutch and logwood for the lining and band. 

I found myself to be highly allergic to the pelt at first, and had to wear to protective gear in order to tolerate it. But tonight when I was doing the finishing touches I wasn't the slightest bit bothered by it! I guess my body just got used to it!

I'm hoping to have these earmuffs for sale at the Craft Council's Comfort and Joy exhibition which will be running from November 12th to December 19th!

Seeing as how it's one in the morning I should probably stop writing so that I can finish up my homework and get some SLEEP! 

Sleep tight everyone.
Thanks for reading. :)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

DIY: Circle Scarf

I found this tutorial on one of my favourite blogs: maya*made
It's super easy to follow and the results are adorable. 
Mya suggests using oversized jersey t-shirts, while I used some fleece and jersey fabric that I had. I like using fleece, it adds some much needed warmth. 

Check out her tutorial and make one yourself! :)

Nighty Night!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Craft Room Clean Up!

I got a little stir crazy while vegging on the couch all day. Being sick and tired makes me really anxious! I’m so used to being a non-stop-task-slaying-machine that having down-time just feels plain wrong. So, tonight when I got a wave of energy I decided to tackle my mess of a craft room. I’ve been putting it off since the summer so it definitely feels awesome to have it done, but boy am I tired! It took 5 whole hours! Madness!
Now, the room is actually a portion of the unfinished basement. It’s awkwardly shaped so it’s hard to get a decent angle to show what the space looks like, but I tried my best.

THE BEFORE (it’s kind of a big deal that I’m showing you this)

piles of heaping piles

my bulletin board was filled with outdated notes

things were constantly falling off the shelves

there was no space to lay a thing, except for on top of other things, hence the accumulating piles.

I had to deal with this....yep.

I organized all the embroidery floss neatly into these containers while Little Man watched intently.

And now for... THE AFTER!

aww, there's a Little Man in my shot. 

looooook! things are tidy!

neatly stacked

drawers are labeled

those drawers belong to this 100-year-old chest given to me by my friend Sally :)

the bulletin board is cleared :)

schoolwork and schoolbooks

my fabrics <3

All of this junk was in that room. 2 bags of garbage, 1 bag of paper and 3 bags of craft stuff to be donated.

This clean up will be wonderful for my relationship! Now when I’m looking for something I won’t turn into a crazy frustrated bitch! (heh, it’s funny now)...Everything has a home. Being organized is very satisfying. I just have to be able to keep on top of things. It can be difficult as I often have nights of madness and mayhem where every possible surface in the house gets covered in fabric and supplies. *sigh* I dream of the day when I’ll have a spacious studio to work in....

Martha Stewart's studio would be nice

Or any of these lovely spaces...

What would your ideal studio or workspace be like?

xo - KB

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Moans and Groans

Those are about the only sounds coming out of me today. I finally caught the cold that everyone around me has been getting. It was inevitable. Although I was mentally prepared for this, it doesn’t make it any easy to get through. I am miserable!

Sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, sinus pain, headache, water eyes, hot and cold sweats, exhaustion, AWFULNESS.
I’m just grateful that this happened after my midterm critiques. Although it’s not like school has slowed down since then, it’s actually just as intense as ever with Comfort & Joy, The Christmas Craft Fair, and Telio all on my plate. Today I’m missing Apparel class, which sucks because it’s one of my favourite days of the week. Today I was supposed to learn how to drape a dress on a mannequin, which I was really looking forward to. As guilty as I feel, I have to keep telling myself that I need to rest and recover to ensure that I don’t miss even more time. I can always catch up next week, and in the meantime I can watch youtube videos on draping a dress. Oh, how I love the internet!

Billy was kind enough to make me some breakfast before he left for his last exam. Scrambled eggs, sausages and white pudding....a traditional Newfoundland breakfast! White pudding is so good, but what is even in it?! Actually....don’t answer that, I don’t know if I want to know. It tastes good and that’s all that matters. Thankfully, I still have my appetite!

Ya know what it’s like when you’re sick, you need to be sooked and comforted endlessly until you feel better. Well at least I do! One of the most comforting things to me is a great mug. Today I chose to use Shanie Stozek’s mug from her Coastal Series.  I filled it with piping hot coffee and honey-lemon tea, and because of it’s bowl-like shape it’s likely to hold some soup later this afternoon!

I love how this mug feels in my hands! It's the perfect shape. Shanie is a potter living and working in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Check out her website and blog!

I plan to spend the rest of the day watching TLC's What Not to Wear and Say Yes to the Dress while snuggling up on the couch with blankets and tea. Gotta get my tender loving care, haha!

Hope you're all feeling better than I am!
Have a great day. :)

P.S: I should add that you can buy Shanie Stozek's mugs and her other pottery items at Alexis Templeton Studio on Quidi Vidi Road and Blue Moon Pottery on Outer Battery Road!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every moment of time.

I made it through midterm critiques! Hurray! It's hard to believe that I'm halfway through this semester already, how time flies...As hectic as school can be, sometimes I wish it would never end. I'm actually debating doing a third year at the ol' ATC, to perfect my skills before I dive into the world of being a self-employed craftsperson. Plus, it would be nice to feel like a kid for a little longer. I'm still working on my "adult" skills. For instance, time management! Because I was working all weekend I was left scrounging at the last minute to complete my goldwork before my critique. I thank coffee and PB&J cookies for getting me through. 

So! Goldwork is the art of embroidery using metal threads. It was originally developed in Asia and has been used for at least 2000 years. It reached its peak of popularity in the middle ages. Goldwork was often used   in royalty and ecclesiastical garments.

This is an early stage of my goldwork....

and this is what it looks like now that it's complete!

I really enjoyed making this.
Looking forward to my next project.

Man. I am tired. AND feeling a little under the weather.
I best head to bed to catch up on my sleep. :)
Thanks for reading and sweet dreams.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Silk & Leather

I finished my first outfit of the year in apparel class today! I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. 

This is my original fashion sketch for the outfit...

I hand-dyed habotai silk with logwood, lac, madder, myrobalan and cutch to make my top.

I forgot to take a good picture of the silk after the dyeing process, but you can see it here with my pattern laid out.

Habotai silk can be really frustrating to sew with. I hope to master it this year.

I found a large navy blue leather coat at Previously Loved Clothes and Things (got it 50% off, woo!) and repurposed it to make the skirt!

My Apparel instructor Barry Buckle teaching me the ways of the leather machine...