Vintage finds and retro handmade--a sweet mix I know you'll love.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Oldies but Goodies: Handmade Edition

For the past month I've been working on a major reorganization of my stores, my store room, and even my personal bookshelves. It's been such a huge project that I haven't been able to post about the major holidays over the past few weeks. I really hope if you haven't finished your gift purchasing (say, for Father's Day or a birthday) that you'll pay me a visit with enough time to allow for shipping!

 It has occurred to me that the "visual clutter" I have recently removed from my stores may have been keeping you from seeing some of the great things I have. I thought I'd pop in today and show you some of the things you might have forgotten about, and tell you their stories.
A few years ago, I used my printmaking knowledge to carve and hand-print two designs of bookmarks. The first one is the first part of a Victor Hugo quotation I happen to like: "To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." It was a way of uniting my two loves--writing (and by extension, reading), and fine art. I invented my own smoke and flames inspired script for this bookmark.
My other bookmark design depicts a type of grass in an Art Nouveau style. I found a lovely tile motif in an old book on the New York Museum of Art website and decided to copy the lines of it. It was almost too delicate to cut out! These two bookmarks share the same plate, incidentally, and have to be cut apart after I ink them and apply the paper in the Japanese style.
I printed them in four color/paper combinations (three of which I still have). Unfortunately, there are few people in the world who appreciate a handmade bookmark when commercial ones are so easy to come by. If you are interested in something really special, they are all in the "Books and Bookmarks" section of my Artfire store.
Speaking of printmaking, I made this aquatic themed print in college. Yes, it does reflect my early interest in Art Nouveau and jellyfish. This was made using a technique called Monotype, which involved painting ink on smooth plates, removing layers of ink with tools, inking the plate again to layer the colors, drawing with colored pencil, etc. It can only be printed once per composition, unlike the bookmarks above, so whoever comes to own this one, called "The Reef After Dark," will have an exclusive piece of art.
Here is another early handmade item from my stores. I have a Japanese flowering plum in my front yard, and I think it's gorgeous in the spring. I decided to draw and hand-stitch a cluster of flowers on the end of a branch, using satin stitches, back stitching, French knots, and more. It took forever! If you like this one-of-a-kind piece, you can buy it here.
 I also have recently moved this little piece of rustic-style felt art to Ebay. It is all hand-stitched and dates to my junior high days. I was using a pattern, but I must say my success with it may be an origin for my pom pom animal line, which you may be very familiar with.

Yesterday, I posted on my Facebook fanpage about a decoupage project I made with friends over the weekend, just to get out of a crafting rut. I used a cardboard box I had purchased nearly a decade before to decorate, and layered on magazine clippings about Hawaii, circulated stamps from Micronesia, and a few vintage crate label prints from an old calendar. I'm not really serious about opening a decoupage line of products in my store (unless you ask, lol) but I plan to post a picture of my project over there if you'd like to stop by and leave a comment.

I am considering drawing some iron-on embroidery transfers and selling them as kits, because doing it myself would require me to charge pretty high prices for my time. Would any of my readers be interested?

What sort of things do you like to craft? Let me know in the comments.

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