Monday, June 27, 2011

Printed a few linocuts...


This is one of the first prints from the linocut.  With limited space and supplies I think it came out pretty well.  I had the speedball ink and a brayer.  I used freezer paper to ink the brayer and a book and spoon to press.  I really like how it came out and I'm going to watercolor a few of them once it dries.

I'm going to do a few more of these, some small designs to put on cards.

Freedom Festival preparations continue...


I have taken up "knooking."  It is knitting with a crochet hook.  I knit pretty slow with needles but I crochet pretty fast.

 Here is my first go round at knooking.  It creates a true knit/purl stitch not a wanna be like Tunisian.  It worked up pretty quickly.  I did a garter stitch at the bottom, a mix for a few rows and a stockinette stitch at the top.  I like this a lot.

Well I've been super busy preparing for the Freedom Festival pretty consistently.  I was fretting that I wouldn't have a lot; however, I underestimate my generally good work ethic of the past...I already had a lot of stuff to begin with that I haven't even tried to sell.  I have over 25 hats and over 30 pairs of earrings now.  Actually more hats/earrings than that...that's just what I have set out so far for inventory.  I have improved the design of my Around Town crochet cap to include a ribbon band in bright summer colors.

 This is the first one that I had created in pink cotton yarn, perfect for summer!  I will probably list these for sale on my artfire after the Freedom Festival.  One more week to go!  I have to get some painting and artwork done also...I have so many ideas, it's just a matter of getting them all down.

This is the Around Town cap in bright green cotton.  I wouldn't have even thought to get this color; however, I was in JoAnn's (my current craft store obsession) and had a nice conversation with a sweet lady about yarn (go figure).  She thought it was pretty summery and would make a great hat.  Well I'd give anything a try (within reason) and I like the results so score one for nice lady in JoAnn's!

The denim ones are my favorite.  This doesn't have the ribbon yet; however it will be red...this design can work with or without the ribbon.  I will make one of these for myself...denim is universal.

Swirls denim cotton cap with flower and button accessory.

This black one is hotness!  I'm going to make one for myself.

I've made a host of others that I still need to construct the brim on.  Yes, I have indeed been busy.  I have been selling my hats locally with much success at a local store, Sid and Nancy.  I will definitely bring in some more of my hats after the Freedom Festival.  I will temporarily shut down my artfire store on July 3rd as my inventory needs may change after the festival.

I have more inventory than space!  These are crochet earrings hiding out in the most available space in my work area (living room).  Those ribbon bangles usually go over pretty big; however, I'm limited in how many I make at a time because of the materials that I use.  I have great demand with a great but slow supply so to speak.  There are about 18 pairs of earrings here.

Here are the earrings I completed today.  I had already crocheted was just a matter of putting them together.  The Africa earrings are cut from hard leather...that was quite an adventure let me tell you!  They came out pretty lovely though.  I still need to make some duplicates of these so I will get that done this week.  I did a trade of a few of my Rasta earrings...the lady I traded with makes the most A-W-E-S-O-M-E crochet bags and the one she sent matches my Mocha Queen earrings perfectly.  I just need the perfect outfit to set it off and I will post!

Since I started working with leather, I figured I would experiment a little bit.  I kept the kids at bay by telling them what leather was...they don't want to come anywhere near it now (yay!).  Ballpoint ink works beautifully on leather and research on the net found that acrylic and gouache work pretty well also.  With that knowledge in mind here is what I came up with:

Painted leather afro lady!  I created her to match my afro polymer/wood lady I made actually back in 09 and hadn't had the heart to ever sell although I've had many offers.  I think they make quite a pair!  I got some glossy acrylic sealer and I'm working on building up a sufficient layer on it.  The brown in her hair isn't as obvious in real life.  I will definitely do more of these but probably as appliques or magnets (or any other idea I can come up with).

I did a linocut.  I started on it yesterday morning and finished up this morning.  I had these linoleum blocks hanging around for the longest.  This is 6" x 9" and it is tentatively named "Black Man's Redemption."  Yes it was inspired by Bob Marley.  It originally had a map of Africa in the back but silly me, I forgot about the whole "mirror-image" thing so I ended up cutting it out as I had it in there the right way on the cut.  I think I still get the point across without it though.  I will print it later this week.

Hairpin lace is fun.  It worked up quicker than I had anticipated and I am well on my way to making a cute skirt using this method.  The yarn I'm using, a laine (wool), acrylic, nylon, polyester blend (a great fine) has awesome drape and is beautifully variegated.

On June 11, 2011 I took my two youngest girls to an open call at a local modeling consulting agency.  Folks had been telling me for the longest that those girls could model and I had brushed it off until now.  My youngest is five and has such a big six year old is more reserve but she also has that special spark.  I'm definitely going to put her in dance as she has natural ability in the future.  The girls made a splash.  They were first to get the ball rolling with their commercials and the runway walk.  They were called back a second time and were offered a place in the program.  It is mostly a program for acting courses.  They would learn monologues, stage presence, how to interview, improvisation and a host of other skills that would benefit them not only for potential work in entertainment but in life.  They already have great confidence and something like this would ensure that they maintain that high level of self-assurance they already possess.  We need some help helping the girls with the costs of the program.  It is with the Deabreu Modeling Consulting Agency and the company already has a pretty good track record and success rate.  Anyone watch Are We There Yet? on TBS?  The little boy, Coy Stewart, got his start at Deabreu.  The potential is there.  The girls think it is all fun and I want it to remain that way for them.  They are slated to start classes on July 9th and I hope that we are able to make this happen for them.  I'm pooling all of my craft funds, including the profits for the festival, into this for them.  Any purchase made on my artfire site or on the site I made for them, The Dream Girls Project, will go towards this.  We'd appreciate any amount or purchase because even $1 adds up.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Freedom Festival July 4, 2011


Great news!  I was selected again this year to participate in the Freedom Festival at the Villages of Sandhills in Columbia, SC on July 4, 2011!  I am ecstatic about being chosen again and I will be working double time this year to prepare enough items!

Go HERE to see the photos from the Freedom Festival 2010.  I am getting into sewing.  I already know how to hand sew and I'm now dabbling into machine sewing.  I was saving it for another time however I came across this neat little machine at Big Lots.  It came with over 100 accessories and I figured I could at least get the logistics down with it.  So far, so good.  I got it to work with no issues and it does a basic stitch.  I have sewing a straight seam down now.  I can't focus on it too much.  I have so much to do to prepare for the Freedom Festival!

This week is children's week.  If I finish early enough I'll start on earrings.

And so it goes!

I finally completed a new Rasta Drawstring Tam!  It goes great with the Rasta earrings and I loved working with the drop double crochet stitch.
I will place this for sale soon on my artfire site!