Monday, March 30, 2009

From drab to fab

When it comes to making jewelry, much of my energy is spent re-imagining and re-working previous efforts. That said, I am so happy with my most recently reincarnated piece, pictured here.

Formerly, each of the three gemstones had been the centerpiece of its own totally blah pair of earrings. All of which had been collecting dust in my re-do pile. And like a slap to the noggin, it finally dawned on me that grouped together, their mix of colors and shapes works really nicely together!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I got (new) skills

I recently (yesterday) spent a lovely afternoon at the home/studio of Caja Jewelry's Andrea and Juan, learning the basics of metal sawing and piercing. I was also joined by fellow student and {NewNew} member Lydia of Smallest Friend.

I can say with absolute certainty that Andrea and Juan have no cause to fear me as a future business competitor, however I was pretty darn pleased with the finished pieces that I came away with.

I was convinced that the below - my pièce de résistance - would look cool with a chain just going through the loop of the "i," but actually it doesn't hang so well that way. So now I'm looking forward to drilling a hole in it without the aid of real jeweler's tools.

And the work of someone with real skills, all available from Caja Jewelry:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Craft fair season is in the air...

I'll remind you as the date gets closer, but get excited for peak craft fair season with the {NewNew} York Etsy Street Team's Spring Handmade Cavalcade? Put a spring in your step and buy something fun for yourself gosh darn it!

Event Details...
Date: May 9 & 10 (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 10 am - 4 pm
Location: The Bell House, Brooklyn (149 7th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues). Click here for directions.

Monday, March 9, 2009

How to: Melt & Pour Soap Wedding Favors

The first of what I hope will be many more video how-to's. Here I'm joined by Michelle of Dirty Loves Clean, who had some great ideas for using melt and pour soap to make some simple, easy and elegant wedding favors.

This how-to was created by me and Michelle as members of The {NewNew} York Etsy Street Team.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crochet is my new BFF

I've been talking the talk about learning to crochet fo-ever. I'm finally walking the walk. While my mom was in town this weekend, I found a simple hat pattern that seemed like a great learn-by-doing project. It only required a couple of basic stitches - single crochet and a puff stitch. After learning these, I was anxious to dive right in.

It was a bit of a tag team effort, swapping off every few rows. And since my mom can work a crochet hook way faster than me, she definitely ended up doing more of the work, but that way we were able to get it all done before she had to leave.

I'm ready to try my hands at another hat before I forget everything and have to learn how to do a chain stitch for about the fourth time.

I was aiming for sassy, but I think I missed the mark. Looks a little pissed off, no?

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm back, baby!

Well, looks like I'm back in charge of my own destiny once again. No dream job will be handed to me on a silver platter, and that suits me just fine.

I have sorely neglected my crafting on account of all this Best Job brouhaha over the past several weeks, but watch out, because I'm back and feeling super motivated. I mean, if I can put that much effort into a pipe dream, surely I can be doing more in pursuit of real goals.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Destined for greatness?

This, my 30th year, is the year that great things are supposed to happen, at least that’s what they told me.

So when I learned of an intriguing opportunity being made available by Tourism Queensland, I naturally decided to go whole hog, full force and put all my eggs in this one basket. I mean, isn’t it obvious that THIS is the great thing I’m destined to experience.

As if you aren't already getting your fill of me, Yours truly on this or my other, completely self-involved blog - ilana turns 30 - you can now follow my efforts to land The Best Job in the World on my newest blog at

Keep your fingers crossed...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I resolve to buy majority handmade and vintage

I'm not quite ready to go cold turkey on my Old Navy/Target/Forever 21 habit. But I am making a concerted effort to keep it to a minimum, and put more of my hard earned money toward supporting handmade, and staying green by shopping vintage.

And to that aim, I discovered the absolutely cutest, somewhat new (since October) vintage store right here in good ol' Greenpoint - Old Hollywood.

I needed another clutch like I need a hole in the head, but I just couldn't resist.

And as a side note, every time I step into one of these super cute new boutiques, it makes me absolutely ache for the day when I can open my own. No, Yours truly hasn't abandoned her goals completely, don't fret now my dearies.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Something altogether new

I've been scheming on a new design for quite some time, with the idea of doing something with teacups. Why teacups? Who knows. Because they're cute, I suppose.

The clever folks at Domestic Construction beat me to the punch a bit with their Ted lights, which are fabulous, especially the clusters. I like to think I had a similar idea (or was at least on my way to one) before seeing their wares at last summer's Renegade, and since they seemed to be doing such a nice job with it, I set about to do something different.


And besides which, I think my choice of fabrics and pairings have somewhat come to define my work, so it's only fitting that this design is a continuation along that path.

Update:Yay! The lamp you see above was recently purchased by a lovely woman in Oklahoma (at least I'm assuming she's lovely, seeing as how I assume that of all my customers:). Better get to work on more tea cup lamps!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A couple of things around the house

I've been trying to make it a point to focus more of my crafting on things that I get to enjoy. So without further ado...

Now that Dylan and I finally have a real kitchen table, I wanted to doll it up a bit. I finally ditched our dollar store utensil caddy and voila!

I just happened to have a couple of canisters laying around that were made from cutting the tops off of wine bottles, and since I had yet to really do anything with them, things worked out rather nicely. I might make another - smaller - one from a beer bottle at some point - could be a useful addition. And to help keep things tidy, I placed everything on a super cute vintage serving tray. I'd also like to call attention to my amazing sugar bowl from Antonisse Ceramics.

Ever the organizer, I decided that it was time to do something now that we're up to 3 remotes. I had the thought of throwing something simple together with all the extra fabric I have around, but I don't have that kind of time. And besides, this worked out way better. I bought an inexpensive bedside caddy, which has a long flap designed to go underneath a mattress to keep it in place. I simply added a few grommets to said flap, used ribbon to secure it to the arm rail of our futon, and presto-chango, the remotes (and magazines and all sorts of other things) are out of the way, yet right where you need them.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Handmade Holidays

I always strive for at least a portion of my gifts to be handmade. Here are just a couple of the items I made for the loved ones this year.

H&M has great basics - tee's, hoodies, etc. - they are cheap, fit nicely, and perfect for embellishing. I bought this gray t-shirt on spec for my BF, not entirely sure what to do with it. I was simultaneously pondering what to do with a recently purchased vintage player piano scroll when divine inspiration struck. I used just a small portion of the scroll as a t-shirt stencil (in other words, there are a lot more t-shirts where this one cam from)!

And as for my dad, I figured his inherently 'whimsical' sense of style made him an ideal candidate for some self-referential irony.

And for mom, I went with the handiwork of another - this lovely top from KimmChi. I also included some earrings and a necklace that I made, which coincidentally coordinate quite nicely with the top (individually however, not together).

Oh, and for my brother, I discovered the most hilarious Etsy seller ever, and got this!