Painting for the Holidays

My latest crafty project idea hit me while I was driving one evening: Hand-painted stationery cards, inspired by henna designs. I love getting henna or “glitter tattoos” applied at some of our dance events, and I could easily picture making blank cards with henna designs.

From the first set of cards

The second evening, I imagined the cards embellished with bits of glitter.

Embellished with gold glitter

 Then I imagined the cards painted in other colors besides brown (the color of henna designs on the skin).

The second sets of cards

The glitter accents looked good on color, too.

Only one card per set included glitter highlights

All in all, I created four sets of four cards each, one for my Mom, my sister, and for each of my nieces.

Two sets were painted in traditional henna colors

Two sets were painted in non-traditional henna colors

These have all been given away as gifts. But I plan to offer similar sets of cards in the etsy store in 2013.

I hope you all had lovely holidays. See you in the new year.

Inkle, inkle, tabby-weave inkle!

I started weaving narrow-wares with Card-weaving. And my first addiction to card-weaving was the Rams’ Horn pattern. I could not get enough time on my loom… it made me SO happy. I finished several rams’ horn patterned pieces and even taught a 2-hour workshop on my weaving method (now affectionately called “Gypsy Eyeball”).

The beginning of my love form Rams’ Horn card-weaving

So my dear friend of mine has a trait similar to me: A love for sampling different craft skills, one after another. Not every craft we’ve put our hands to has become an addiction. As she was experimenting with inkle looms and weaving, a friend of hers saw her weaving, went to her father who built and sold inkle looms, and procured a loom as a gift. By this time, my friend had moved beyond weaving to some other craft skills, but of course, the loom was so beautiful, she happily accepted the gift. A very LARGE gift. A very large gift that sat gathering some measure of dust, waiting to be used.

Enter my social media interaction and our participation in a Fiber Arts community. We were both at the same retreat, and during the raffle I did *NOT* win the large floor inkle loom. My friend noticed my disappointment and knew immediately she’d been fostering that loom on my behalf. She explained to me that she wanted me to inherit the loom from her, and several months later when I hadn’t yet visited, she found the occasion to bring the loom to me. (Of course, I still owe her the social visit! Coffee! Chatting! Scritching the kitties!)

The first day I had the loom, I simply *HAD* to learn how to use it. I’d heard over the years that weaving simply Tabby-Weave bands and ribbons was MUCH easier and faster than card-weaving, but I’d never put my hand to it yet. I’d also heard that you could create “continuous heddles” rather than hand-cutting and tying each heddle individually. So I made up a system, warped up my loom with random embroidery floss skeins, and set to weaving.

First warp
— Achievement Unlocked! (10/7)
Second warp
— warped by sunset and firelight, woven in the dark by firelight, drums, music, and dancing (10/8)
Close-up second warp
— approximately three yards, woven in the dark (10/8)

Finished first two warps
— “Sunrise, Sunset” for me, “Midnight, Twilight” for Sweetie #weaving (10/11)

Having completely caught the bug for weaving on the inkle loom for fast, production weaving, two looms now live in my car and travel with me. The card-weaving project still lives on my front seat, but I can fit this new *gigantor* loom in my back seat, too. Anywhere I go, I can weave.

I’m preparing now for a post-Thanksgiving sales event, trying to weave as much product for my booth as possible. I’m also learning how to experiment with simple tabby patterns. I’m not completely secure in planning the patterns on the fly, but I’m getting better with each piece.

So, please enjoy the photos I’ve taken for the past week. I know I’m enjoying them.

— weaving, and I can see the end in sight.
#crafty (11/13)
— playing with crayons,
to plan for weaving ideas #crafty (11/14)
— arrive at work early, warp a loom on your trunk.
Everyone does this, right? #crafty (11/15)
— New warp is ready to weave
#crafty (11/15)

— Pattern emerges
#weaving (11/15)
— Warp, contrasted with
woven inkle. #weaving (11/16)

— Dude! I can make things!
From threads! #crafty #weaving (11/18)
— so, yes, I love weaving.
#crafty (11/18)

— warp colors picked by Sweetie,
pattern created by me
#crafty #weaving (11/18)
— the pattern I created is growing on me…
Not an instant hit.
But getting better. #weaving (11/18)

— definitely like this better than
when I first started. #weaving (11/18)
— About half done
#weaving (11/19)