Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Annual trip to the Aberfoyle Antique Market

Every year, I visit the Aberfoyle Antique Market, located just outside of Guelph. This is a huge outside antique market, and I love spending the day looking for treasures. I like this market because the quality of the items is high, and the dealers must sell antiques, so it's not just second-hand junk. It's a great place to find collectibles and unique items - sometimes very unique items, like this truly ugly crab dish (pardon the photos, I didn't want to carry a camera so I used my cell phone); take a guess at the price ...

I recommend visiting either at the beginning (May) or end (September) of the season, as not only is it not as crowded, but not as hot. There is a restaurant and ice cream booth on site (yum!), and places to picnic.

Sometimes I have something in mind to look for, otherwise I just browse. Here's a selection of interesting things I saw (I'll leave it up to you to determine if I thought it was cool or not):

One of my favourite items was this cabinet - I would love to have a house big enough for this!:

I did manage to score a great deal on this set of melamine dishes, which look like they've been sitting in a cottage and hardly used (they happen to go great with our Formica table, which we rescued from the garbage):

We also picked up a fantastic orange stool for our cats, who are 18 and have some trouble getting up onto the couch. Here is Hank, trying out the new stool (this is his chair):

There is always a good selection of dishes, glassware, silverware, art, musical instruments, books, toys, cameras, tools, purses, jewellery, knick knacks and small furniture. I was hoping to pick up some vintage fabric this year but didn't find any. Can't wait until next year!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Getting ready for the fall

The fall and pre-Christmas craft show and shopping season is quickly approaching. After a slow summer, sales have started to pick up in both of my Etsy stores, and I have a few shows lined up. I was able to make a few items of clothing for myself over the summer, but now I need to focus on building up my inventory.

I just added a whack of new buttons and magnets in my Zippster store, many of them made with either images taken from vintage magazines or beautiful Japanese papers.

I've been shooting more on film lately, and hope to use some of those prints on a new line of greeting cards.

Show info to be posted soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Top

Tunic "O" from the Japanese pattern book Stylish Dress Book. The fabric is a batik called Willow (Aspen), by McKenna Ryan. I chose this top because of the shape, but I also wanted to learn how to do an elastic gathering. I hate sewing gathers, especially with elastic - I don't know how to gauge how much fabric and elastic is needed, or how to space the gathers so they look natural. I ended up removing the elastic after my first attempt because it was too tight, and replaced it with a longer length. This will be another nice top for fall; I love tunics, I find them really comfortable, and they help hide some of my more curvy bits.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Small zippered pouches

Just listed in my Etsy store - small zippered pouches, the perfect size for helping to keep your bags organized or for carrying the essentials.

[As a side note, I love the robot fabric - it's one of my favourites. This is the last of it.]

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Dress

Dress Y from the Japanese pattern book Stylish Dress Book. I'm so happy with how this turned out. Although I have to say, I found drafting the pattern more difficult from this book compared to other Japanese pattern books: all of the pattern lines are the same colour and the same pieces are used for variations, so sometimes I didn't know where the lines ended. And even though I'm using the next size up to accommodate for seam allowance, I still find it a bit snug around the bust/back, so for the next project I'll have to make some adjustments.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My craft room/office

A few people have asked me about the space I use for sewing and how I stay so organized and on top of things, considering I work full time, have two Etsy shops, have two retail consignment customers, do craft shows, and make a lot of my own clothes and gifts for people. Sometimes I think I'm crazy for taking on so much, but I'm not busy all the time, so I like to make sure I have projects ready to go for when I'm bored. I've been meaning to show off my space for a while but haven't had time to take pictures; it was a lot of work to get it the way it is, and even though it's not perfect, I'm very lucky to have a whole room to myself. I've been more productive creatively than ever before, which, as someone who has struggled with depression my whole life, is important.

In December 2009 I moved from a tiny downtown condo to a 1 1/2 story house in East York. This was a big deal to me, as it finally meant I had a dedicated space to work on projects - my condo was so small I used what kitchen counter space I had as an ironing board and would cut my pattern pieces out on the floor. I had little piles of boxes and projects all over the place. Not ideal. At my new place, I took over a small second bedroom and use it as my craft room and office. This is the before picture, but after we had already ripped out the carpet.

Here's the corner by the door. The small door is for a small closet - because the
house is 1 1/2 stories there is no attic, just a crawl space under the roof. My clothes are in there.

The dormer window (need to make curtains one day, I hate those plastic blinds!) is a bit of an awkward space, but I rescued an old metal card catalogue which fits perfectly. It holds all my photography, drawing, painting and card-making supplies, and other craft supplies (adhesives galore!). The white bin holds all my fabric: my rule is that I can't buy more than what can fit into the bin. And of course, because I'm a librarian, it's all sorted and organized in a very specific way.

This is my main workspace: it's actually IKEA kitchen cabinets and a counter top. All my tools, sewing supplies, mail and packaging supplies, Etsy inventory, patterns and current projects fit here (and yes, everything is labelled). The IKEA cabinets and counter tops were the only items I needed to purchase for this room (well, and the paint).

My two sewing machines (a domestic and a serger) sit on a IKEA countertop, which is on casters, making it easy to move out of the way in case I need to get to the stuff jammed in the corner (big rolls of cotton batting, and a big Rubbermaid bin holding all my craft show display items). The two windows let in lots of natural light.

And lastly, the "office" area. The crawl space closet holds all my junk - I need to make a curtain to hide it. Behind the desk on the opposite wall is a filing cabinet and my printer. I replaced a really awful ceiling light with adjustable track lighting, which is necessary for taking photos - the light bounces off the sloped ceilings and make weird shadows. Painting the room was a challenge because of the sloped ceilings, and one day I would like to put down new flooring, but for now it's fine.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another top

Here's another top I made from the Japanese pattern book "Tunic and One-Piece". It's actually a pattern for a tunic, but I shortened it for a top, and altered the neckline. Because the Japanese pattern books don't include seam allowance, I've discovered that using the next size up is an easy way to accommodate for this.