Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Today is a day when I don't want to write out my normal to-do list because the thought of how long it's going to be scares me a little! Yikes! I have a list of tutorials I want to make for the blog, orders to fill, art projects to begin, and I'm also planning a workshop for the Festival of Alabama Fiber Arts. I'll be participating in the festival by teaching a class on hyperbolic crochet at the end of March - if any of you are in the area you should definitely stop by and say hi (or even take the class if you are a crocheter)!
I'll be working hard all day, crossing things off the to-do list one at time.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Posted by Rachel at 7:10 AM
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I woke up this morning to rain, rain, rain - and it's still raining, in fact! I enjoy stormy days because they are quiet and my pace is a little slower. I lit some candles to add a bit of sparkle to the morning.
I also have a veritable mountain of embroidered notes to mail this afternoon, which makes me feel quite accomplished : )
I'm drinking a cup of coffee sweetened with maple syrup (mmm... maple syrup is nature's perfect food) as I get all the notes packaged and ready to ship - a nice treat!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Have you seen the Handmade Ryan Gosling Tumblr yet?
If not, you must check it out! I've been following this Tumblr feed for a while and it just cracks me up - crafty ladies will get it right away!
(p.s. you can follow on Twitter, too)
Posted by Rachel at 7:07 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I made time for a quiet breakfast this morning because things have been so busy lately. I love hustle & bustle and checking things off a to-do list, but eventually I will start to feel a little over stimulated : ) So today I am working in a peaceful atmosphere (no noise, distractions, or constant checking of email) and taking little breaks to read the book I've been trying to make time to finish for at least two weeks (Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up).
I also want to say a big thank you to everyone who has purchased one of my zines! I am making a trip to the copy shop today to have more printed - I love it when I run out : )
Posted by Rachel at 8:40 AM
Monday, January 23, 2012
This afternoon I will be taking photos of new pieces and beginning to list them in the shop!
This is phase one of my shop update and it includes items that are free standing (and a few that can be hung on the wall, too).
I have also begun working on phase two of the shop update... mini art quilts! I used to make quite a few small art quilts and I've been wanting to get back to it. So I am.
This little work-in-progress is based on a sea creature called a sea mat...
Friday, January 20, 2012
The weekend is almost here! I went for a run this morning so I'm feeling pumped up and motivated to get a lot of work accomplished today. That should give me a little time for working on my upcoming shop update over the weekend - I've been collecting interesting sea life images and have so many ideas about turning them into fiber pieces!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
This afternoon I squeezed in some time to re-shoot some photos for knitting patterns... I just wasn't happy with the photos I took before because I'm still trying to master photographing myself! I like the way the the new shots turned out, so I've been updating the pattern PDF's with the new images.
I really love wearing my wrist warmers while I work at the computer (and blog!).
And the Nimbus hat is one of my favorite winter hats because the stitch pattern is so cool... and I hardly every see other items in this type of pattern! It makes me feel unique : )
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Check it out - new pieces in progress!
I've been looking at amazing Ernst Haekel illustrations to get inspiration for my new work...
...and my new yarns are such a pleasure to work with! The cottons are so soft and have the perfect weight.
I tend to stick with neutral colors and blues & greens... I think I may need to add some orange and yellow to the mix. What do you think? Are those colors that you associate with ocean creatures?
I'm hoping to squeeze in a little more crochet today between working on orders for Valentine's Day notes in for the shop!
Monday, January 16, 2012
Wow, the weekend really flew by! I managed to squeeze in a trip to the yarn shop to pick out some amazing new yarns to work with - a batch or organic cotton and a linen blend with a rich sheen.
I also worked on a bunch of orders for the shop - Valentine's Day is fast approaching! I have quite a few notes and hearts being shipped out this week : )
Organization has become really important to me as I work on expanding my business - I am now the queen of lists and post-it notes! My notebook is overflowing with ideas, too. It's a fun and exciting place to be!
Friday, January 13, 2012
I have scheduled today as an intense work day - fortunately this is what my work day looks like!
I'm planning a big shop update for later this month with new designs, colors, and upgraded yarns (organic cotton & luxurious natural fibers) so watch out!
I can't wait to see the newest Wes Anderson movie... I just saw the trailer this morning!
Posted by Rachel at 6:11 AM
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I made this new soft sculpture using Debbie Bliss EcoAran yarn - it's organic cotton and the color is sooo gorgeous!
The sculpture has a loop on the back so you can hang it on a wall, but I also like to to display this type of piece on a table or shelf.
This piece is available in the shop, in case you were wondering : )
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Here is a little update to my original home/studio tour!
I've been having a lot of fun reading through the Style Your Space E-Course by Rachel Denbow - it has so much great advice. I've mentioned before that we rent an apartment in a 100 year old house that has great wood floors & windows, but a lot decorating challenges, too! Here is some cute artwork I made using one of the course tutorials:
The course covers some helpful topics like "working with what you've got," "scale, balance, & composition," "rules to follow / rules to break, " and my favorite "dealing with ugly." There are also DIY projects, inspiring house tours, and tips for photographing your home. Finding your style can be a challenge when you are on a tight budget, renting, or just starting out so it's really helpful to have a bunch of advice and how-to's from an expert!
I got inspired to rearrange our books around the non-functional fireplace (I found a similar fireplace arrangement here on Apartment Therapy).
Then I was able to re-use the bookshelf for storing shoes & accessories in the bedroom - something I've been needing since we moved in last year! The ceramic bowls on top hold jewelry and the vintage train case has scarves and other cute stuff inside.
I also hung a few pieces of artwork... I don't get to do too much of that because nails don't agree with our plastered walls. These pieces were all light enough to hang with tape: )
There's no place like home!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I'm in a really good mood today because I've been working on some apartment projects inspired by the Style Your Space E-Course I've been taking from the Red Velvet shop. I've been making some artwork & sewing new curtains -and I even ordered a new shower curtain : )
I'll post some photos of my work when I'm finished!
I was also accepted to Poppytalk Handmade for the upcoming online Valentines/Wedding Market - I'll post links once it's up and running!
Posted by Rachel at 7:26 AM
Monday, January 9, 2012
I received a copy of the awesome new book Stashbuster Knits last week (thanks to Potter Craft!) and I'd love to give you a peek inside! First you should know that I think this is a great book for serious knitters and yarn addicts - those of us who have a basket of beautiful yarn leftover from other projects (or luxurious single skeins squirreled away because we couldn't resist them!). The best part is that this isn't just a book of "one skein" types of projects to use up small amounts of yarn - it's about incorporating those bits into larger projects that are really creative and eye-catching.
There are a couple of other things about the book that are make it unique and fun to peruse - for instance, the projects are arranged by yarn weight so you can easily match a project to the yarn you have in your stash. The author (Melissa Leapman) also gives advice on sorting and storing your stash (or "personal yarn collection" as she calls it) and deciding on which color combinations to use.
One more thing - there is also a technique included in this book for making a "magic ball" from leftover short lengths of yarn and for joining the yarns to make a smooth ball without knots. I have been knitting for a long time now and I had never heard of this knot-less technique before! I have to say that I'm quite in love with the idea!
Now on to the projects! There are 21 projects in the book ranging from sweaters, wraps, and throws to hats, mittens, and cowls. Here are some of the options that caught my eye in a major way:
(I think this is my favorite project in the whole book! It has moved to the top of my project list.)
Fire and Ice Cozy Cowl
(I love the airy, feminine feel)
Waves of Color Shawl
(a ripple pattern for knitters!)
(great for using up scraps!)
Thanks again to Potter Craft for letting me review this amazing book!
Friday, January 6, 2012
I was out walking this week and happened to find these beautiful trees covered with bright pink flowers. It was a cool day and the sun was warm and shining directly overhead... I was reminded of the poem Afternoon on a Hill...
"I will be the the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
and not pick one"
--Edna St. Vincent Millay
Posted by Rachel at 7:17 PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I'm so excited to share this recipe with you - especially for anyone dealing with a food allergy or a resolution to eat a more healthful diet!
Here are the ingredients to make 2 dozen cookies:
3 ripe bananas
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 cups oats
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
*You can substitute dried cranberries or another dried fruit for raisins if you like. You can also substitute your favorite seed or nut for the pumpkin seeds if you prefer.
Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet with canola oil (or your favorite baking oil).
In a large mixing bow, mash the bananas until they are fairly smooth. Next, stir in the applesauce and cinnamon so that they are well incorporated. Then, add the oats and mix well. Last, add the raisins and pumpkin seeds and stir until they are evenly distributed in the mixture.
Use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of the cookie mixture onto the cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. In my oven the cookies are *perfect* after 15 minutes of baking, but you oven may be a little different - check them at 15 minutes and add a couple of extra minutes if needed.
Posted by Rachel at 8:33 AM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Hello, everyone! My name is Rachel and I'm the woman behind the Cornflower Blue Studio blog and handmade shop. My mission is to enjoy a life filled with handmade goodness and share what I learn along the way.
Here is a little tutorial for you!
But beware: crocheting these little hearts can be quite addicting!
Fantastic! You just made a heart!