Saturday, March 17, 2012

I drove an hour for yarn

I can't say that this has been the most ridiculous thing that anyone has done for their "Hobsession", but I can say this has been one of those moments where I questioned myself why I drove out an hour out of town to see some yarn when I can buy it at my local yarn shop.

However, once I got there, that feeling disappeared. I was giddy, I couldn't contain myself. I asked my friend Taj from "The Living Room Studio" to join me on this adventure, as she is usually up for any kind of adventure. She was also interested in the world of fibres, but has never dabbled in any of it's many wonderful forms. I think this trip has changed that.

Photo Courtesy of "The Living Room Studio"
So, where do I start?
The city of Abbotsford, BC held a gathering called "Fibreswest", which took place March 16-17 this year. I love the fibre (and craft!) community. Everyone is so supportive of each other, regardless of the competition. It was great seeing so many Fibre enthusiasts.

One of the most surprising things I learned at Fibreswest was how many people actually know how to spin yarn! Either with a wheel, or with a drop spindle. Harmonique, the Canadian Ashford representative, was giving a crash course to some kids on how to use their drop spindle. I lurked through their booth to find out more about where to get some accessories for my loom. As Harmonique is the wholesaler, they only sell to retailers, so I would have to find a retailer. It was a shame because they were RIGHT THERE! Oh well. It's best if I really think about these things before I buy them :).
A shop (of which I can't remember) selling
some gorgeous Madinline Tosh!
Fluffy Alpaca bears from "Alpaca Story Ranch"

Jane Stafford Textiles

Many great retailers, of which I have heard of, and some I have not. There was also quite a bit of local dyers and spinners. It was wonderful to peruse through everything. Feeling through every booth. I feel in love with some Cashmere/silk blends, and was so inspired by the dye lots that were available. Everyone is so talented and friendly!

There were not just fibre artists and retailers there, but other crafters as well. "Rainforest Pottery" had a booth there. While they are not directly working with a fibre, they do make yarn bowls. I haven't seen many yarn bowls in local craft shows as of late, so it was really nice to see that. I grabbed a card :). It would be nice to see more clay workers have these available. I once suggested it to an artist that was selling at the ferries. She has never heard of this, and I said they should look it up, because they are really hard to find.

My Haul:
The bottle of the left is one I already own, but the rest is from  "Twist of  Fate"
:) 50% off! I couldn't pass up grabbing every single fragrance left.
Yup, I'm pretty much set for life...
Some SweetGeorgia Yarns, and a stick shuttle in the background
I would really like to be more involved with the yarn/fibre/knitting community; to go to meet ups, stitch&bitch's, and get to know everyone involved in the community. However I guess my lack of actually making stuff is keeping me back from that. One day :) In the mean time, I am going to go frolick in some yarn.

Stay Crafty!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

So it's the new year...

Dear blog,

I've treated you like my past diaries: Neglected and probably lost somewhere under my bed. I know you're there, but I've seemed to just put you off to the side, collecting dust. You've probably been wondering what I've been up to since the last post...what?! Two months ago?! I am so sorry! Apparently journalism is not one of my strong suits.

Let's start where we left off!

My niece opening up her gifts
on her very first Christmas
December and the holidays:
Lots of day job work happened this month. I managed to get a week off our busy schedule for the holidays. A lot of us on our team really needed it, and I think it's about time we needed it again, heh.

During the holidays, my parents came to visit us for a change! It was nice seeing everyone. Laughs, and good times all around! My most precious moments were spent bonding with my niece. Since my brother and his wife are moving out much further than where they are now located by me, spending more time with them before they leave was very important for me. They are now only a half an hour drive away, but I guess that just means dropping by right after work to hang out for no apparent reason will probably not happen anymore.

Besides that, I only took one crochet request from my best friend, J, for the end of November going into December, knowing I wouldn't have much time because of work. She enjoyed my previous personalized cactus creations, and made a formal request for some smaller ones and personalized them to her and her friends as holiday gifts.

I am pretty sure this has been the craziest project (schedule-wise) I have ever worked on for my company! I haven't had much time at home, which is sad, but I'm trying to be optimistic about everything! Spending whatever precious time off I have with C and my family.

I signed up for weaving classes with Birkeland Bros. I am hoping that goes well next month. I've been mentally preparing myself for about a month. I'm pretty excited for some upcoming projects, once I get myself a loom! Nothing too fancy. I am starting out with a Knitters/Rigid Heddle Loom. I don't think I have the time or money to get and learn a floor or table loom at the moment. Maybe one day :) We'll see if I even like weaving!

And with this busy schedule, I have officially decided that I am not doing the spring market this year for Sublime, as much as I'd like to. I have (mostly) abandoned jewelry making -- trying to use up what I have right now, and focusing on fibre arts. I may make a few guitar pick earrings every now and then, because they seem to be popular, plus I have a TON of feathers left over. I have a bunch of requests lined up from coworkers and friends, I have no time to make a stock pile for a show, unfortunately. Oh well, maybe I'll just start thinking about the Christmas market now... =]

Speaking of feathers, C has taken on fly fishing! He received, and bought a bunch of fly fishing gear to use for this year. Before the "season starts", in the mean time, he has been making his own flies using my left over feathers -- which I bought from a fly fishing store, heh.

So there you have it blog, you have more posts than I have ever had in my diary, and probably more meaningful and exciting life events.

Until next time I remember about you... =]

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Craft Show Hopping (experience and "review")

I've taken the chance this year to visit as many local craft markets as I can. To be honest, I was surprised as to how many go on throughout the year, as well as how many shows cross over during the holiday season. November and December seem to have at least 2 happening in the Greater Vancouver area each weekend! I started to go to more in support of fellow crafters, to admire (and possibly purchase) their work. Also, as a crafter who's thinking about expanding into other craft markets, it's good to know which ones to apply for, so I was also doing research on how much tables cost, how much traffic, and what type of traffic they bring in.

Week before last, I wound up at the BAC Heritage Crafts Fair. My first time going, and definitely not my last. I really enjoyed my time there. Free admission, raffle prizes, and lots of talented artisans! I will definitely coming back next year :)

Last week, I went two craft markets (Craft and Bake Fair @ Nikkei Community Centre, and Fab Fair @ the Heritage centre) and a jewelry showcase (by Sugarlime: a new favourite of mine!). Unfortunately, I didn't take the opportunity to photograph.

Craft and Bake @Nikkei: very quaint. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, and for the most part, the crafts were VERY affordable. I found myself wanting a few things, but held back as this was the first one of the hop!

Sugarlime was almost the complete opposite, and a very enjoyable experience. The creator of Sugarlime set up a showcase at the Hart House, which is a local restaurant in Burnaby. Her jewelry ranged from $30-$100+, but very understandable pricing considering the materials and paying for the brand. I also found myself wanting a few things here, hehe.

Fab Fair was at the Heritage Centre, focused on Jewelry and fashion accessories. I'm not sure if it was the time that we went, but it didn't seem all too busy with shoppers. The atmosphere was quite nice though, and very well decorated by each booth. I was impressed at a few displays.

This week, I found myself at "I heart Crafts!", "Make it! Revolution", and "Dunbar Craft Fair".

I was quite disappointed with "I heart Crafts!" due to the size of the venue. They managed to fit around 10 vendors (if I remember correctly), and there was not much space to move around. I didn't mind paying the $2 entrance fee to support local artisans, but I wish there was a little more to see, and a little more space to breathe.

Phew! Got out of the crowd to take a photo!
Sorry for the poor quality, phone is not that great indoors.
Next stop was "Make It!". This probably had just about of breathing space as "I heart Crafts!" but on a larger scale. I happened to drive that day, and finding parking was a little scary. On the walk from the car to the venue, there was a woman yelling at another car for parking behind her car (in an alley, or in an illegal fashion), so she couldn't get out. Once inside, it was just packed, but it almost seemed like it was just one side. The other side was quite empty and had a lot of room to move around. I've been to Make it! before, and this year, it had definitely expanded since. I enjoyed myself here, bought a couple of things (for myself and gifts!) and picked up a lot of business cards!
Ended up leaving with this precious mis-match set :)
I had been eyeing Urbanfusions for about a year.
Managed to track her down at MakeIt!

Last stop of the day was Dunbar Craft Fair, held at the Dunbar community centre. I was very impressed with this one. It consisted of 3 floors of artisans. 3!!! I found that this show had more hobbier crafters, rather than crafters that make their craft into a full fledged business and brand, or at least seem that way. They didn't spend too much money on business cards, displays, what-have-you. It's just them, and they are selling their stuff. I really like that kind of atmosphere more as it reminds me of myself. They draw 3-5 admission tickets every 15 minutes for a prize.

All in all, every single weekend craft trip has been informative and somewhat of a good time, as well as productive (in shopping for gifts....or.....myself). I will be attending a couple of more before the year is up. This should be interesting :)

Stay Crafty~

Saturday, November 12, 2011

hahaha, what? Derpy

Is this thing on? Testing...testing...
I sure missed you bloggy.
What is it with me and these month long relapses of zero posts?
Life gets in the way, it happens.

Feeling like this right now

I've been told that fiber-craft is my calling, Yarn related, in particular. That may be so, but I have much more to learn. I was looking into getting a certificate to teach, however the program I'm interested in....I'm not sure if I'm ready for it yet. I must do more practicing with other fun projects and expand my knowledge! Currently, I have a very long post...possibly posts lined up for those interested in starting to knit, with zero previous knowledge. It is sitting in my drafts box until I can tweak it so that it makes sense.

In the mean time, what have I been doing lately? My main focus is on my day job career as an animator. I've been yearning to be inspired by something to create a short film or fun clips on my own for personal growth...that has yet to be fulfilled.

I've also just finished participating in craft shows for the year, and trying to plan for next year. I am trying to determine what my focus is for these things because I feel like I am all over the place. Visiting other local craft shows in my area, I discovered I am way out of my league. There are so many talented artisans out there, and I am just a wee inspired crafter just hoping that I can sell some things just so that I can continue paying for my crafts.

I made a revelation last night, in that I don't want to turn "Craftybun" into a brand, or a full fledged business. "Craftybun" is a representation of me, and I want to be able to make everything with my own hands, not create designs and send them off to China to get them made at a cheap price. It's about supporting local artists and their talents, the artist getting all of the credit (or making sure that whoever is involved gets credit as well). With that being said, considering that I have a daytime job, and not that much free time, my etsy store will end up being very sparse for the most part. I do want to focus on local craft shows if I can.

Last note before I leave you for the night: You can't please everyone, so take care of yourself first. You'll thank yourself for that.

Keep Crafty~

Friday, September 30, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Gift Card Magnet

Hello my crafty pals,

Maybe it's just me, but I can't seem to throw out a gift card (or even birthday card) if it's got such a fun design or witty saying on it. Some stores let you keep empty cards because it's not usable anymore, or you can refill it. But what's the point in keeping a cute card in your wallet and not being seen? I've held onto empty gift cards because I just didn't have the heart to just throw away a cute piece of plastic. So I came up with this solution! Here is a tutorial on something that I've been doing more often around the house, making magnets!

Magnet tape
A gift card you like
Gift Card Magnet Tutorial

Cut two strips just shorter than the height of the card (or one long strip the length of the card)
Gift Card Magnet Tutorial

Peel the paper backing
Gift Card Magnet Tutorial

Place the magnet strips on the back of your gift card (Since my card has some clear parts on it, I put the strip closer to the middle)
Gift Card Magnet Tutorial

Pop it on the fridge!
Gift Card Magnet Tutorial

Thanks to N and B for giving me the featured Starbucks card for my birthday earlier in the year, and to DG for the "Thank you" gift card in the picture above.

Hope you enjoyed my first (and very simple) tutorial! I'm hoping to put more up soon :) Thanks for reading! 

Stay Crafty