Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kansas Krafts

Right now, the Kansas State Fair is in full force. While there are a variety of attractions to suit many different tastes, the things that steal my heart are--of course--craft-related! I loved looking at the sweet and fuzzy animals that give us glorious wool, was thrilled when I saw someone actually dying or spinning yarn, and longed for the days when flour came in cloth bags.

I would have loved to get more pictures, but was busy taking it all in. I hope you enjoy what I have!

Fresh-cut wool...

Spinning!


Vintage flour sack quilt


Can you believe this is an actual CAKE?! I wouldn't dare ruin it by eating!


More luscious yarn...


Lovely and intricate quilt



Painting yarn!



A sculpture...made from butter.







Thursday, September 10, 2009

We have a WINNER!

Yes. It's a few days late, but that's just for the announcement. The winner was determined a few days ago. I am just now getting through my long TO DO list and gotta get this announced so the winner can claim their prize first by telling me what size they want!


So without further ado.....


And the winner is.....



Kylie!

Congratulations! Please let me know what size you want and your favorite color in an e-mail to emilyhoutz@hotmail.com


But wait.....

What's this? We have a runner up?

The runner up gets a surprise prize, but will still need to tell me your size and favorite color.

And just who is this lucky sun of a gun?


.....Bridget!

Congratulations to you both. Please e-mail me ASAP with the information requested above and contact information such as a mailing address.

Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CONTEST ANYONE?

Okay, so I've been a Summer Blogger Slacker! Sorry! But I am coming back with some good news for YOU- a contest. A contest where you can WIN something! Running through September 8, anyone who makes a comment below gets an entry. Repeat entries will NOT be accepted. It's as easy as that! Good luck!
















So what IS the prize? I thought you'd never ask: an official Wichita Handmade t-shirt! yay! All the cool kids are wearing one. You will be able to choose your adult size. So tell your friends to comment below and later steal their shirt if they win.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Taste of Knit Tagging



Yay!



This is what we want to do. What a fun way to "beautify" and get our message of awesomeness out. Soon, the streets of Wichita will be bedecked with all manner of colorful stitches...it's just a matter of when...mwah ha ha ha ha!!!

(And if that video didn't provide enough color for you...enter to win this week's giveaway on Folk Craft! Three, count 'em, THREE, lucky winners will be drawn sometime on Saturday, August 22nd. See the site for details!!)



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Links & Links

Could I get a cornier title?

I have two things for you in today's post.

Part Un: Links, as in jewelry links.

I made some cute jewelry holders that I wanted to share!! I think they're pretty cute, anyway, especially considering I possess little talent in the area of constructing things from wood and nails...although this particular project couldn't be more elementary.

To make these, I purchased some plain wood plaques, which can be found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, but if you have a local independent craft store who carries them, be sure to support their business and get your plaque(s) there! Then, I hammered some short nails along the bottom and also few at the top. Once you've done this, you will need to decide how you want to hang these; I used some parts found in a framing kit (unfortunately I don't know what those "parts" are called). Then, paint! I kept it simple with two colors: something for the background, and then a color for the bird silhouette. I freehanded these, but you can also draw your design out first, lightly with a pencil, and the paint should cover it up.



Part Deux: Links! (To websites!)

Here are a few helpful/interesting/fun links I have found on my many adventures through the internets.

For Etsy Sellers:

Craftopolis: Easily find out if you are featured in any current treasuries! (thank you for finding that, Mandi!)

Craft Cult/Heart-o-matic: See who hearts your shop, your items, and find out if you have recently been featured in gift guides/the front page!

Etsy Resources: Ever wonder where people get those adorable Etsy graphics? Sale banners? Vacation Avatars? Here's the place!


For every Crafter:

COLOURLovers: If you love color, this is the place for you! Great resource for graphic designers.

Craftster: Don't TELL me you don't know this one!

CRAFT: : This is the site of the Magazine, Craft:. And it has a lot of stuff to explore. :)

Fabric.com: I buy most of my fabric in town, but if I'm ordering online, it will probably be from this place. And you must check out their eco-friendly fabrics! And their bamboo fabric? Oooh so soft!

Spoonflower: This is the place to have your very own design printed onto high-quality fabric. I have yet to purchase any, but I know this place is gaining a lot of popularity in the craft world.


Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed my tidbits!
CRAFT ON!
Leanne

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hand-Make with Handmade Supplies!

Sometimes--not ALWAYS, but sometimes--I can be a little stubborn. I have been known to see a piece of clothing or jewelry or whatever else, and think, hey, why buy that when I could make that myself!? (Of course, it's a little different when we're talking about handmade goods, every one of which I consider a work of art, and I am more than happy to actually purchase something that a craftsperson has actually made, from his own creative genius and with his very own hands!!) But anywaaaayyy.....if you're stubborn like me, and want to d.i.y., (do it yourself), and yet STILL want to support other makers, gaze upon these handmade supplies and let the inspiration take over!



Let's start things off with some spinning!! Lovely wool by hedgehogfibres


Cute as a button...by aimoobaroo

Gorgeous glass beads, created for you by RoaLampworkBeads



Silk cord for that next jewelry project... ericawalker


I looooove mushrooms! And I love fabric! How great is this?! By cicadastudio


Luscious yarn, by artisanacre


Isn't this little guy precious? Baby gnome stamp, hand carved for you by Corrabelle


This could be used for so many things! Pencils, knitting needles, crochet hooks.....by BellflowerTextiles


This darling apron from momfetti should keep you neat!


Hope you've enjoyed my Etsy finds today!
Craft on!
Leanne



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Folk Craft Giveaway! or, Win a Sweeeet Clutch!

Tomorrow is my day to blog, but I wanted to let everyone in on the giveaway Leanne is having down at Folk Craft! Entering is easy, and the prize is super neat. :)


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy 1st Anniversary, FOLK!

{ Or, as I often call it, Shameless Self-Promotion... }

I am so sorry that I have missed TWO weeks, now, of blogging for Wichita Handmade. I'm terrible, I know. Forgive me! And forgive me also for not having much more substance than an ad...but hey, any port in a storm, right? You need an entry, and this is what I got. (I've been on "vacation," you know!) ;)

Next Wednesday, July 22, 2009 is Folk's 1st Anniversary! Yay! And in honor of that anniversary, I am having a big sale! Some "Anniversary Sale" items are priced ridiculously low. There are also other items in the shop that have been on sale for a while, and still a bargain. Help me reach 200 sales by next Wednesday, and own some adorable, lovingly handmade folk gear as well! :)

Here are a few of the lovely, low-priced items:




Thursday, June 25, 2009

Down the Rabbit Hole...and Out Again!

For my post today, I am offering up some sweet Etsy finds.  (I am too lazy to write, and plus I will use any excuse to virtually window shop!)  ;)  However, I thought I'd try to make things a little interesting; there will be no theme, per se, but each find will be in some way connected to the previous....let's see how things go!

My inspiration for this all begins with Alice in Wonderland...

...a red and black Mad Hatter painting by RW2Gallery


...leads to this red and black bracelet by lupin


...and a search for more bracelets lead me to this fabulous, reclaimed/recycled/repurposed crochet bracelet by fantasticplastics!


...so I searched for more "reclaimed" items, and found a mini zen garden by aimeesarmoire; (what a cool concept!)


...which leads up to lovely and unique yard art!  by steelknightdesigns


...so in connection with the Asian theme, I found this gorgeous "Opium" bracelet by lilikoicottage.


searching for more "drug-related" items, I stumbled upon this adorable little necklace by starsprinklez!


...and this brings us full circle. :)  a sweet print by thepoppytree.

Hope you enjoyed!!!

CRAFT ON!
Leanne

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Giveaway @ FolkCraft!

I haven't checked in with my cohorts to see if there's a Wichita Handmade giveaway this week, buuuut...... there IS a giveaway at Folk Craft!

Check it out, y'all!

Thanks and take care!
Leanne


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Say NO to Sweatshops

Reasons #173 to buy handmade*:


Imports suck!


Yes, I may have mentioned this once...or twice....or 50 times.   But it's so true.  Imports from China (and other assorted countries) may be cheap, but they are going to cost in the long run; and they are costing some people right now.


It's no secret that most manufactures use child labor.  And it's no secret that the working conditions are atrocious.  People working in the factories, whether they are children or adults, are underpaid and overworked.  My neighbor, who is from Cambodia, says that her cousin in Cambodia is paid $0.75 per hour at the factory where he works.  And that's not the worst!





Of course, I have seen the phrase "Responsibly made in China" stamped onto products.  This may or may not be true.  But, even when working conditions are good, the money you spend on a Chinese import is money that is being drained from our economy.  


I know that it is sometimes impossible to find and item manufactured in the USA.  I myself have searched for particular items and have not found a one that wasn't made in China. It's a sad reality. 


HOWEVER--if you can buy an item that is made here, and preferably handmade, do it!  You won't be sorry.  You can feel good about supporting people within your community.  And you can feel good about having something unique, well-made, beautiful, or all of the above.  


I hate to have this sound like a commercial for Wichita Handmade.  It isn't.  This is a call to take positive action.   Please, be a responsible consumer!  Buy handmade, whether it's from me, my friends, crafters in your community, or any of the other millions of good folks on Etsy. 



Lovely pillow found on Etsy, handmade for you by FennelStudio!


Craft on!

Leanne

folkcraft.blogspot.com


*There may need to be some clarification about the term handmade; when I say handmade, I am referring to items created by artisans, who create items because they want to. 

Monday, June 15, 2009

Island of Misfit Crafts

As a crafter, I spend a lot of time making stuff, and, obviously, that stuff doesn't always turn out just the way I planned. Sometimes, that's because I'm working on something new and have to figure out all the quirks and work out the bugs. Other times, it's because I'm not paying attention and I muck it all up! Case in point, the potholder I made on Friday evening as a gift for a friend.

That's "Exhibit A" there on the left. Pretty quilted potholder with a big blank field of blue! For some reason, it didn't register with me that I needed to add the embroidery before I sewed the whole thing together. Never mind that this is the fourth time I have made this particular potholder. Yep! I got to start over and make another potholder! That's it on the right, just so you know what it should really look like!

Anyway, the question is always what to do with these poor misfit crafts! The misfit potholder went to my kitchen to serve as a constant reminder that the embroidery is the middle step and not the last one! I also have a patchwork puppy on my couch. He taught me the not-so-good way to stitch up a puppy after stuffing him. I've also got a host of bags that I ran out of fabric on or forgot to put in the pockets or fastener.

Some of these pieces are given away; some are bad enough to be pitched in the trash. Most of them stay in my house - The Island of Misfit Crafts.

Emily's Tool Box #2

This week's tool is... is... well I don't know that it has a name. My figure painting teacher used one and told us how to make our own. I call it a "pouncer" and don't ask me why, except maybe it's because he said his daughter like to POP him on the head with it. Simply it is a long dowel with some pantyhose on one end, held on with rubber bands. The dowel acts as a resting place for your wrist to avoid laying your hand in wet paint. It helps steady my shaking hands as I paint fine details. The pad (pantyhose) on the end keeps the dowel from scratching the surface of the painting. Another simple, but handy tool I created myself and use all the time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Trinket Tuesday WINNER!

SHILOH
YOU WIN!

This set of Fire Cracker Pony O's are yours. Enjoy this piece of Wichita and think of us when you see them!
Congratulations and thanks for entering!
Be sure to check back next week to see what Wichita Handmade has to offer!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stitch like you know how.

Recently, I've been obsessed with crocheting baskets to use around the house. My first one was made with a giant hook and strips of cotton scraps; the result is a fabric that is thick enough to stand up well enough on its own and hold my current needlework projects. Now I'm working on a couple wool ones that will be felted (or "fulled") in the washer. And the crazy thing is that I don't know how to crochet!!


Okay...technically--or perhaps not-so-technically--I guess I do know how to crochet, or I wouldn't be doing it...but I don't know the right way to crochet. I don't think I'm making the stitches in the...ahem..."standard" way. I can't read a crochet pattern. All I know is that I'm pulling one loop through another loop. But you know what? It works! I'm accomplishing what I want, and that is to create a basket-shape piece of fabric.


When people are hesitant to try new things, I think that many times it's because they are afraid they'll do it the "wrong" way. Granted, there are some things that must be in a certain way, like, you know, performing surgery or repairing your car. However, this is not the case with crafting!


When it comes to crafts and the arts, I would definitely say that the end justifies the means. There may be an easier or more conventional way to do something, but it's all up to the artist. There is no cosmic rule that says "paint must be applied in this way," "your stitches must look like this," or "you must use this fabric." Though there are some people who might say these things, the craft gods aren't waiting to strike you down if one of these "rules" are broken.


Think about the very first artists. The people who invented knitting, weaving, the ones who did the first paintings on a cave wall. The first artists certainly didn't have anyone tell THEM what to do, nor did they have any training! They made it up, and it was alright. It was more than alright, in fact, it was the beginning of ART!




So to make a long rant short: when it comes to crafts, art, and creativity in general, do what you feel like doing. Some projects might not turn out as well as you expected. This is how we learn! And, on the other hand, you may stumble upon something original and completely fabulous.


Craft on!

Leanne

folkcraft.blogspot.com


PS--Folk Craft is having a giveaway! Check out the Folk Craft blog

and enter; a winner will be drawn on Friday, June 19th.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Trinket Tuesday GIVEAWAY

This Gorgeous Set of
FIRE CRACKER PONY 'S
Could be yours!


How to ENTER?
Leave a comment letting me know you want it
want ANOTHER entry?
"Follow" this blog. Add yourself over on the right sidebar
(Already are? You're automatically entered in, Just remind me)
Want to be added in again?
Make a post about this giveaway on your own blog with a link
(be sure to let me know)
Okay, another 5 entries?!?!
Go on over to Ribbon Candy and browse around for a while and pick your very favorite item in her shop. Tell me your favorite with a link in a comment.
********************************
Winner is chosen through a random number generator
The giveaway closes on FRIDAY, June 5th!
********************************
Would you like to be a sponsor for Trinket Tuesday? Email me !