So as many of you know, I've been telling you that I'm applying to craft fairs and the like, but the reality is I've chickened out a little. It just seems so... intimidating. I mean, you need so much stuff - tables, chairs, canopies, and a way to transport all of it from A to B. Just thinking about it makes me anxious and my head starts to hurt.But I've heard from other artists and crafters that it's a must for growing one's business. So I branched out in August and applied to a place called Craftland! Why this one? Baby steps, people. Bear with me. It's a consignment craft fair in Providence. I send them stuff, they sell it for me, and for their troubles they get a portion of the profits. What a glorious thing.The application process was relatively easy and luckily I got in! I was super thrilled when I heard. Since it's so big (160 crafters) they asked for specific items and in this case my e-readers. So I streamlined what I would offer (which was a headache in itself) and sent them off last week. Even if I don't sell any, I figure it's great exposure! The show opens November 23rd, 2012 and if you're in the Providence area, check it out!

Sweets for my sweet...

After another 2 week long work trip, my boyf is coming home! So I thought I'd make him some macarons. Apparently I'm out of practice. I 'macaronaged' a little too much and then cooked the egg in my lemon curd filling. Tough day in the kitchen. But that's okay. The wafers taste good on their own!

Meet Gustav

Cute, right? His name is Gustav and he and Leonard are shipped off to a new home for some adorable twins I know. He was made from a pattern I found here using the sequin sweater. That magenta material? I found it at IKEA, of all places.

I'd like to think he gives new meaning to spotted pig.

From aunty, with love...

I found an awesome loop hole in the "Best Aunt" category. From now on, I will ask my sister and brother what their kids want after Christmas. This has great results for both parties: the kids get things that they didn't get but that they really wanted and I end up being the best aunt ever because I got them those items. It's win-win. It's brilliant. And on top of it, it's so overwhelming to open presents on the 25th, that to get another gift - and a gift you want, mind you - around New Year's is... well, it's like having Christmas twice

This past holiday, the stars didn't align. I tried my hardest to hunt down a sewing machine guard for my sister's machine. Her girls have been begging her to teach them how to sew except that her machine might take off the 6-year-old's fingers. Yeah, that would not be cool. Anyway, I was not able to find one for her machine, nor could I find a generic one. As far as my brother's kids, well, he never got back to me about what they wanted. So, I guess it's their loss. Kids, if you grow up and wonder why Aunty Tara didn't get you any Christmas presents the year of 2011, now you know. And now it's February. 

My sister had a sweet thought: her kids would be ecstatic if they received Valentine's in the mail from your's truly. What a great idea! The first thing that popped into my head was making origami hearts. But instead of paper, make them out of fabric. But I totally dropped that idea when I came across this origami money tutorial. 

And I thought how great would it be to get a small chunck of money in the mail in the shape of a heart?!? Um, I'd love to get that now, let alone if I was 6 or 9 years old!

So I commandeered some blank kitten cards that were lying around. I have no clue where they came from and they are so 90's ridiculous, on par with Ann Geddes baby portraits. Anyway, how else would I possibly use them except for nieces and nephews who still think a kitten stuffed into a typewriter is adorable? Another win-win!

 Then I added a simple message with different colored embroidery floss and cut a slit in the center:

 Then inserted the cash:

 And of course added a few hearts to the front to make them feel more Valentine's appropriate:

Voila! Valentine's out of kitten cards. Not meant to be a belated Christmas present, but a happy surprise on Valentine's Day!

Ironing Board Cover Love

My mother commissioned me to make her a pillow to give to her sister for her birthday. Easy enough! Although my cable and pattern scaling abilities are a little on the novice side. Blocking was definitely needed for this one.

Can we talk about the pattern on my ironing board in the above picture? Let's just say that not only do I love using my ironing board and don't mind leaving it out to store (not that there's anywhere to store it in this apartment), but I use it for everything. Especially wet blocking. I needed an ironing board cover replacement and everything commercial was so boring and commodified. But I finally found and purchased it at City Chick Country Mouse. They have a fun selection. I hope I don't sound like a 1950's housewife.

Anyway, I really enjoy this cable pattern. It's just so interesting and textured. I modified it from a coffee cozy pattern of all things, although I can't find the original link.

Rag placemats...

I've been doing a little more ripping lately and after inhaling a little too much fiber dust and practically coughing up a lung, have decided to wear a mask while doing this wonderful activity. And banish our cats from the room, due to the large amount of threads that come off the rags. I guess this is the occupational hazards of the job...?

After a stint of rag rugs, I decided to switch to placemats. One of the first things I made when I first got my loom 8 or so years ago was a set for my sister and since I haven't made any since, I thought it time to revisit that idea!

I decided to use a mercerized cotton flake for the warp to give some visual interest.