Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blog Give away!


I realized this morning that my 1 year blog anniversary just passed on May 19th. Although my ChicaCraft blog got off to a rather slow start and I only managed 30 posts in 1 year, I can feel it's momentum starting to grow. At least I am just as enthusiastic about the craft blogosphere as I was a year ago. In fact I am even more enthusiastic than ever, and for this reason I think it's time to give back to the blogging community! I really feel I've made a few friends through my blog and that is the most rewarding part of it all for me. Reaching out and connecting with other women who share my same creative interests and passion for fabric!

I don't have many sewn crafts on the go because I'm moving in 1 week. I do however, have lots of jewelry that would like to find a nice home. So, if you happen to drop by my blog before Sunday May 25th at 10pm, please leave me a comment and say hello and introduce yourself! Up for grabs are the two pairs of earrings shown here. The first pair are faceted aqua marine clusters with sterling silver lever back ear wires, and a finished length of 2 1/2". The other earrings are mother of pearl with a longer finished length of 3 1/2" Let me know in your comments which pair you would prefer.

If you are interested in any of the other jewelry I design, you can take a look over on my other blog Astarte Designs. I had great plans to re-open my Etsy store this month but the imminent move changed all my well laid plans! Hopefully by the end of August I'll have time to set up my shop again.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Should be packing...

But instead I'm sitting here carving rubber stamps. It's amazing how productive you can be when procrastinating about doing other more important things! You see, we are moving in 10 days! Yippee! We had a last minute opportunity to move into a 2 bedroom townhouse in a Co-op across the city. With the average price of a home in Vancouver now at $600 000 (yes that would be six hundred thousand)!! we have decided moving into a Co-op is the best option for us at this time. With the Winter Olympics being hosted here in 2010 the housing crisis is only going to get worse!

I've been sick with the flu for the past 9 days which gave me time to finally figure out how to save Illustrator graphics for the Web. Hence the new Blog banner and other embellishments. It took a year of me doubting my ability to teach myself how to do this, but finally - with absolute determination I gave myself an afternoon to figure it out. Low and behold I found a great tutorial on the internet and by following along, I was able to walk myself through it. If you are like me and still wondering how people put their amazing graphics into their blogs, check out this easy to understand tutorial. Just scroll down to the title "save for web".

If you haven't checked out Magda's blog Craft Pudding please do! You may just get the sudden impulse to start carving rubber stamps! I have all the supplies in my craft box from at least 10 years ago when I was messing around with printing on fabrics. My personal interests haven't swayed that much in all these least I'm consistent!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Woolly Embroidery

I've been meaning to share this discovery with all the embroidery enthusiasts out there. It's a new release from Chronicle Books titled Woolly Embroidery. Chronicle has been kind enough to translate the original version into English from Japanese. I love the modern simple shapes of the designs highlighted in this book, as well as the "woolliness" of them - which I guess is consistent with my love for crewel work.

If you collect books on embroidery you should definitely consider adding this one to you library!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fashion Conscious - Tarisan & Blinkley

As promised (although a bit delayed) - I want to continue sharing some of the inspirational designers I've stumbled upon in the past few years. What continuously inspires me are women who manage to combine their passion for design and craft with social consciousness. Another such woman who qualifies (in my eyes) is Sarah Takesh. Her heritage is Iranian but she was raised in the United States. After stints working as a design assistant for Donna Karan and Michael Kors, she now lives and works in Kabul Afghanistan where she creates her own line of gorgeous women's clothing.

Sarah works hard to create economic oportunites for the women of Afganistan that just wouldn't exist if people like her were not investing their businesses in this area. She employs the creative talents of local women to embelish her clothing designs of hand loomed silk with elaborate embroideries and bead work. She even encourages them to create their own designs instead of following a set template!

Her designs are elaborate and stylish without being too fashion forward. As you can imagine in a country with a history of the Burka, the clothing is also tastefully modest, but stylish enough to appeal to her foreign markets.

Check out some of her new clothing lines here.