All posts filed under: Create.

smudge.

OOoOo somebody snagged a bunch of extra plant goodies from the Plant Potions class! Thank you to Tracy for letting me take home some unused plants from the tablescape! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making smudge sticks so this was the perfect opportunity. I brought home (from left to right) sagebrush / desert sage, lavender, purple sage, and rosemary. Another friend just so happened to gift me an abalone shell, perfect for smudge stick holding because in smudge stick practice it connects you to the sea. Additional materials for smudge stick making: cotton cord, scissors, and garden shears To create: Trim plants to desired height. Create bundles. I had enough plant life to create three small bundles. Cut cord to about 6x the length of your bundles (can be more or less depending on how many times you wrap each bundle and how thick your cord is). I doubled up the cord when I wrapped since it was relatively thin. Tie a knot at the bottom, leaving enough of a tail to …

gouache.

I’ve been so curious about gouache paint, but hadn’t come across a short workshop until recently. How do you use it? Is it watercolor or is it acrylic? How do you even pronounce gouache? I had so many questions. Lucky for me, Cleo Papanikolas (painter, author, and illustrator!) taught a three-hour gouache techniques class at Handcraft Studio School. (This was my first class in the ‘new’ studio!) Also lucky for me, the class focused on paining flowers and I’m all about nature painting! Our stations were filled with Cleo’s painting diagrams, little floral bouquets, a paint palette, water, a selection of papers to test, brushes, a fan to help dry our paintings, and a water spray bottle to rehydrate our paints as needed. Also, her business card is a travel-sized paint palette; there’s paint on the inside and it comes with a brush – so clever, so cute! Cleo walked us through different gouache (like squash!) techniques and we dove in. We used Miya brand gouache paints, which she says are the best ‘cheap’ paints …

bookbinding.

I received a freebie ticket to a Paper Source workshop (Thanks, Craftcation!) so I took a bookbinding class. There were only two of us in class ~ semi-private class for the win! We were quick to finish too, so our instructor shared some bonus fun things we could add to our notebooks. Paper Source provided all of the materials and tools, plus a handy “book sewing” guide. I chose different papers for my front and back covers, and copper sparkle cord to bind my project. The most time consuming part was punching the sheets of paper for the notebook. Someone create a five-hole punch with 1/8 inch holes, please! We used binder clips to hold the stack of paper together while we added bookbinding tape to the corners. Then we glued on the front and back fancy papers using a liquid glue. Next time, I’ll try using glue stick – maybe it’ll dry faster. Then, bookbinding! Using the sewing needles made the process easy. We finished our projects in under an hour, so our instructor …

ceramics.

I took my first class at the Jenny Lemons shop! My friends Sarah and Connie and I took ceramics with Viv of Mud Witch. (PS When you sign into your first class Jennie hands you the cutest punch card – a fruit punch card. OMG so smart!) Viv taught us about different types of clay, how to handle the clay so it doesn’t explode in the kiln (important!), and how to build our pieces. We each got a slab of calico clay and started off with a basic pinch pot. My nails were too long so I had to get creative in my pinching technique. There were different tools available for smoothening out, scoring, flattening, and cutting our clay, too. We learned to score and attach pieces of clay together, and that using too much water can dry out the clay. We learned coil building, too, which seems like it might be an easy skill to pick up, but it is very time consuming. When we liked the shape of our pieces and if they …

maito.

Another reason why the Kuramae neighborhood in Toyko is my current favorite: Maito! I visited this beauty of a shop en route to our ink making appointment and drooled over everything. All the items in the shop are hand dyed and handmade, and soooo pretty. The colors they achieve are gorgeous. The shop is small, but I spent some time looking around. There was so much to admire. You can purchase dye kits and it appears they also teach workshops in the store, too! I ended up picking out some craft supplies (of course). I found two mini skeins of yarn and a set of buttons – all naturally dyed using locally sourced plant life. The reddish orangey pink was dyed with madder root and the light pink – sakura! I showed the worker my sakura nails because I was so excited. She said ‘kawaii!!!’ I’ve started to use some of the yarn to make tassels. I’ll have to decide on a few more special projects for my pretty finds! Any suggestions? Ahh, I want …

ink stand.

On vacation, I craft. 🙂 While in Tokyo I heard about a creative space called Ink Stand where you can design your own ink color. Lucky for us they had space for two while we were in town. We arrived a little early for our color appointment so we admired the space and all of the color inspiration on the wall. Ink Stand has a laboratory feel – the staff wear lab smocks and everything was clean. The glassware also added to the feel. We worked with beakers and glass stirring rods. Also, the staff use those magnetic lab stirrers to mix larger amounts of ink. Ink science! Each station has a 17-pigment selection (plus a dilution solution), mixing cups, a glass rod (for stirring), a paper pad, a pen (for note taking), a glass pen (::ahem:: a $300 handmade glass pen, for testing your inks), and a menu with a color blending chart. Each setting was neatly organized – the placemats had outlines for where everything was to be placed! At the beginning of …

marbled leather.

My last class (😭) at Craftcation was leather marbled keychains, and it just so happened to be taught by Sadye Harvey of Temerity who teaches at Makers Mess. I attended her marbling night craft happy hour earlier this year and loved it, so I was excited attend another one of her classes.   We used a lot of tools and materials for this project. Vegetable-tanned leather Trays Water Carageenan (a thickener) Acrylic dye (for leather) Paintbrushes Alum (a mordant) Resolene (a dye sealant) Foam brushes Precision knife or scissors Ruler Leather punch Rivet and rivet press anvil Mallet Key rings First, we cut out leather shapes. For shapes with a straight edge, I used a precision knife and ruler. For other shapes, I made a soft outline with a skewer stick and then cut with a precision knife. For anything that would become a keychain, we made sure to include a 2-inch tail at the top of our designs so they could be attached onto the key rings. We punched holes using a leather punch. …