Thursday, August 25, 2011


Hello, Super Crafters!!!

As I hinted at yesterday, I have some very exciting news to share:  on Wednesday, February 22nd, Handwerk BKLYN will go live as an Etsy shop.

Why February 22nd?  Why not today?  Well, there’s a lot of things to do to start your own business.

You wouldn’t believe how much there is to do: getting the right city, state, and federal licenses; obtaining trademarks and copyrights; opening a small business bank account; and then, finally, building an inventory of items so I can actually sell something.

Don’t worry, though, I will not be forgetting all of you.  I’ll still be updating the blog and posting projects and tutorials.  I’ll also be posting updates on the Etsy shop progress, so you’ll get to watch it grow.

Keep on craftin’.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big News On Its Way

Hello, Super Crafters!

Tomorrow is the one month anniversary of Handwerk BKLYN and the projects have been resounding successes. For those of you who check regularly, thank you so much!

Tomorrow will also bring an exciting piece of news, so make sure to check back in at 12 pm EST to find out!!!

Till then, keep on crafting ;D

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crafting & Me: The Early Years, Pt. 2

It’s kind of muddled up in my memory which craft I did first. Crochet? Cross-stitch? I have early memories of both. Each gave me so much: mountains of pleasure, peace, stability, creativity, a sense of accomplishment, pride, and a connection with the most influential person in my life — my Grandma.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My First Terrarium (La-La-La-Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaa)

I've been very interested in gardening and plants all my life, but started getting serious about it for the last couple of years. Living in a third floor apartment in Brooklyn, though, can be difficult when you actually want to get your hands to get dirty. To begin with, plants are expensive. You'd think they wouldn't be because they're plants, but at a shop near my apartment a philodendron costs $25.00! Then I have to make sure that any plants I get are pet safe because of my cat Bart. And, of course, there's the tendency my plants have of dying (no matter what I do to keep them alive.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boo-boo Kitty 2.0

Hello again from dark and stormy Brooklyn!
I know that it’s been a couple of weeks since my last project post and I feel really, really bad about it. I hope I can make it up to you, though, with my first foray into the world of softies.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sewing for Yourself

Many thanks to for not only providing a healthy dose of snark everyday, but for also calling the Times on their bogus trends reporting.

For those of you who don't read the New York Times or the coverage of the Times, there is usually a regular local living feature about trends sweeping the city and, thus, soon to be sweeping the nation. One article I remember was about glamorous young women riding bicycles. They tool around the city in their fashionable frocks and pseudo-windswept hair with big sunglasses and a droll attitude that says, "I'd rather be in Paris." FYI, it's not really a trend.

Today's NYTimes has an article about the latest craze sweeping Brooklyn — sewing. Now I'm not against sewing. I love sewing. I've sewed for a very long time. HOWEVER, I am with Jezebel on this one in that this is a non-trend. (BTW, here are the links to the Jezebel article and NYTimes article.)

Why do I think it's a non-trend? Well, I think it was a non-trend before this article. It'll probably become a trend now, but that doesn't really answer the question.

The thing is that crafts like knitting, sewing, woodworking, baking, etc. have been around for a long time (obviously), but they don't get taught anymore in school. People are interested in taking classes and reading books on these crafts because they weren't able to learn these crafts when they were younger. An excellent example of this comes from my own life.

It seemed like every time I'd want to take one of those classes in high school the school board would cut them from the curriculum. I really wanted to learn how to sew when I was 15. My grandmother wasn't able to show me at the time, so I was really looking to taking sewing in school. I postponed it by a year, though, so I could get my second year of French out of the way. I wish now that I hadn't because that was the year they ended Home Ec in all schools. I didn't think I'd ever be able to learn how to sew. Luckily, I had a college major that required craftsmanship. I got to learn more than just sewing. I learned woodworking, painting, molding and casting.

And maybe another reason why I don't like the article is because it makes me feel like I'm just another hipster Brooklynite. "Oh, you sew? Of course you live in Brooklyn!"

I live in Brooklyn because I like Brooklyn and I happen to sew.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Macrayou? No, Macrame!

Last Friday I was running errands — killing time before my emergency dental appointment — and I popped into Dick Blick to see if they had any good crafting magazines. I didn't find any magazines I liked, but I did find this awesome book.

If you've read my second post of this blog, you'll know how fond I am of the late 70s/early 80s and this book had my holy grail — my white whale if you will — a macrame plant holder!

I wasted no time finding the supplies I needed (100 feet of cotton rope and a 1-1/2" metal ring). I even bought a plant and a really cool looking metal flower pot at IKEA. When I got home on Saturday it was time to braid and knot some rope.

Now, because of copyright, I can't share with you guys the complete step-by-step for making the plant holder. Instead I took a series of photos and have listed them in sequence down below. After the pictures I have a brief review of the project.

This project has actually pretty easy. It took about an hour to make from beginning to end. There were just two things I wish they had mentioned in the "how to":
  1. That you should use spare pieces of of rope to wrap and secure the pieces. I used one of the main pieces and it ended up shortening one my rope groups.
  2. Have someone hold the plant holder while you figure out where the end knot will be because at first I didn't and when I finally got the plant in there (have someone help you that, too) I started futzing with the ropes and making them hold the plant evenly and the plant pot fell out of the plant holder.
That said, I will definitely be making more of these. The materials — rope and a metal ring — only cost me about $15 which makes this a pretty good project for house warming presents. Plus, once you get the hang of making the plant holder, the pattern is simple enough to make it with all types of heavy-duty string and rope.

A Whole New Appreciation for Vermont

So.... My friends T&T have two adorable children and the younger one (a BEAUTIFUL little girl) turned one yesterday; the party is this weekend and I thought, instead of buying a present, I'd make her one. I was hiking to Mood last Friday anyway and I decided to get some felt and whatnot.

The only problem: I had no idea, though, what I was going to make!

Luckily, I had my sketch book with me, so I whipped out my sketch book and started sketching. That's right. I was sketching out my idea in the middle of Mood!!!!! Plus, Swatch the dog was running and playing all over the store. The only way the day could have been better was if Tim Gunn stepped out and called 5 minutes left.

I used the weekend to finish a couple of other projects and started patterning last night. Did I mention that I've never made a stuffed animal before?

The hardest part, I knew, would be the head. It's the curviest part of the design and the most geometric. I came up with a pattern last night, but I wasn't happy with it, so I patterned more tonight. Well, neither pattern was really working. At all.

So, I've set aside that idea and I'm going back to the original plan of an Ugly Doll-style stuffed toy. Yep, I did what I always do. I think "Hey! I've never done that before. I think I'd like to try it." and then choose to do the hardest version possible. I don't have the time it'll take to tweak the patterns, nor a limitless amount of muslin.

It's literally back to the drawing board for me.

Monday, August 1, 2011