Thursday, April 30, 2009

let the games begin

ladies and gentlemen, start your crafty engines. the summit of awesome kicks off tonight with a meet and greet get together. the welcome wagon rolls in to town at 5pm and promptly parks itself in the eye of hurricane hello craft. gate 54 is hosting this evenings event and several other summit related happenings over the weekend.

this chickadee's speaking schedule is as follows:
  • friday, may 1, 10am-11:30am -- customer service: crafting with a smile (with caitlin phillips of rebound designs)
  • saturday, may 2, 10am-11:30am -- developing a product line: deciding what to make and sell (with ali dryer of pistol stitched)
to see the complete weekend schedule, click here.

see you and your awesome self there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a dash of sunshine, a pinch of pretty

if potholders and a totally cute tote bag aren't enough to bring down the gavel at the thurgood marshall academy shining star gala, maybe a sweet reversible chef's apron will be the icing on the cake. this is a new design, offering a little more wrap-around than the other models. double pockets hit on the hips of one side. on the other, a central pouch with asymmetrical pockets is ready to lend a hand in the kitchen. here's hoping that the apron along with the other matching members of the set bring in some dollars for a deserving organization.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

in the bag

here's the second part of the thurgood marshall academy triumvirate. it's a new slant on an old style of tote with plenty of pockets to boot. there's an inset zip on the front and a triple slip pocket inside with a place for everything from a pencil to a cell phone. the bag and the straps are reinforced with interfacing which gives shape and stability.

bright, happy and ready to be taken home by someone at the shining star gala and auction to benefit the students of thurgood marshall academy. tomorrow you'll meet the third part of this beautiful trio that's ready to be bid on.

Monday, April 27, 2009

the heat is on

it's going to be a busy week here at chickadee central. the summit of awesome gets started just a few short days from now and there's plenty of prep needed for the presentation sessions. to get your own self ready, view the updated schedule and learn more about each session by reading the descriptions.

and the finishing touches are being put on a special project for a special cause. some chickadee creations are going up on the auction block again. this time they are part of a fundraising effort for the thurgood marshall academy, a dc charter school. From their website:

Thurgood Marshall Academy was founded upon the belief—articulated by US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall—that all children have the right to a first-class education and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

As the District's first law-themed public charter high school, Thurgood Marshall Academy combines a comprehensive, standards-based curriculum with education about law, democracy, and human rights.

Thurgood Marshall Academy's goal is to help students develop their own voices by teaching them the skills lawyers have—the ability to solve complex problems, think critically, and advocate persuasively for themselves and their communities. We currently serve 365 students in grades nine through twelve.

they host an annual shining star gala and auction to raise funds to further their educational cause, and this chickadee is contributing a combination apron, tote and pot holders. today, meet the helpers that go between your hands and the hot stuff.

this tough twosome makes sure that your tender paws stay protected. they are double stuffed with special batting to absorb heat. and, as you'll see later, are stitched to match the others in the ensemble.

Friday, April 24, 2009

be awesome for free!

Photo credit: Awesome card by OrangeTwist.

hello craft is giving away two free passes to the saturday edition of the summit of awesome. to enter, just sent an email telling them why you are awesome (and you are!). for more information, see the original post. don't delay! the contest ends tomorrow, saturday april 25th!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

natural knitting

this post is a day late for earth day...but hey, shouldn't earth day be every day? here's a peek at a recent special order of assorted knitting project bags. danielle, from knit-a-gogo, had an earth day entrelac class this weekend and requested some custom bags for the participants. to go along with her green theme, the bags are a combination of linen and recycled cotton. there was an assortment of patterns but each one was constructed the same way: totally reversible with a tie top and handles. these bags are a bit larger than their sock project sized sisters since danielle's ladies were making scarves. something tells me that you'll be seeing some more of these in the near future...

triangles are a girl's best friend

how to make this chickadee happy (in four easy steps):
  1. find some gorgeous yarn that also happens to be super soft (malabrigo dos)
  2. knit an amazing triangle lace scarf (ishbel by ysolda teague)
  3. decide you don't like the color on you
  4. give it to your eternally grateful and extremely excited friend
and can you believe it? that's just what my ultra-talented, generous friend christy did! thank you, thank you, a million thank you's! this multifaceted gem of a kerchief has barely been anywhere else but around my neck since the gifting. it has already garnered numerous complements and deserves some time in the spotlight here as well. to see her other beautifully crafted handknits, check out her blog knitting pretty in dc.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

this chickadee on display at the smithsonian!

actually, that should read: "this chickadee helping to display the work of a very talented artisan at the smithsonian."

jaqueline sanchez is her name. she's an atlanta artist who has won numerous accolades for her unique, playful, and lovingly handcrafted jewelry. her most popular line, forever young (pictured below), earned her the achievement award from the american craft council. and her entire body of work earned her admission into this year's smithsonian craft show...quite an honor.

the opportunity to lend a hand to such a talented and successful craftsperson is exciting! it should be a fun, educational experience as well as great exposure to the contemporary craft scene. you can expose yourself too! the show is open to the public thursday through sunday. admission is $15. click here to learn more about the show and view the exhibitors. hope to see your smiling faces there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

craft week dc! (and md...and va...)

the craft craze has officially swept the nation...or at least the nation's capital. dc mayor adrian fenty has gone on record and officially declared april 22nd-26th craft week dc. of course the neighboring areas of maryland and virginia want to get in on the fun too. there will be events all across the region that focus mostly on "fine" craft, but what a way to usher in the summit of awesome and the new wave of making.

you can view a complete schedule of events here or if you are feeling overwhelmed with the choices, check out tim tate's craft week guide. his washington post article outlines three different tours that cater to a variety of interest levels.

if you've been thinking about the summit but can't commit to a full weekend, consider picking up a day pass. a limited number are available and they are on sale now! still thinking about all three days? email me about a discount code that's good until this thursday the 23rd.

Friday, April 17, 2009

ich liebe craft

traveling without moving! learn more about transcontinental craft by reading up on european supermarkt of making dawanda. scurry on over to hello craft for the what's, the why's and the how's.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

fair trade

last night was the pints and purls party at knit happens in alexandria (click knit 2, purl 2, sip 1 for the previous post). there were delicious cupcakes, tempting libations and the lady of the hour, karida collins, was there to sign books and model some of the projects. here she is with olga buraya-kefelian (a designer featured the book) showing off the lovely stockinette cowl from page 131.

and wait, what's that that she's wearing around her waist. why that looks like a chickadee original craft apron. by golly it is! karida has been so kind to me, gifting some of her yummy yarns and even a copy of her book. the craft apron was a fun way to give back.

congratulations to karida and her co-author libby bruce! and to all of the designers featured in the book. grab this book and your favorite potable...then purl away.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

la bandita

are you there spring? it's me, this chickadee. we've all been waiting patiently for you and your pretty little blossoms. the birds in the trees seem to think that you've arrived. the squirrels are saying that it is finally safe to pack up the winter woolens. that means lighter, airier knits are now on the this one done up in shades of pink, mimicking the cherry trees right outside the window.

the pattern is courtesy of the creative ladies over at kelbourne woolens. their springtime bandit is a breeze to knit and available for free! a lace triangle made with worsted weight yarn, it is light and warm at the same time. any worsted weight will do, but the subtle variegation of malibrigo merino was a complement to the charted pattern. working with a chart seemed daunting at first, but it was easy to get used to and fun. viva la bandita! viva spring!

Friday, April 10, 2009

play by play

the full schedule for the hello craft summit of awesome has been revealed! click the pic below to get the scoop:

handmade nation in the nation's capitol

even if you can't make it to the summit of awesome may 1-3 (really? you can't?), you can still benefit from the fun that is descending on dc that weekend. faythe levine's film handmade nation has been buzzing about in the craft hive for quite a while now. it is finally making a small tour of its country of inspiration and one stop on that trip is washington dc!

the premiere showing will take place on friday and viewing for the debut is limited to summit of awesome attendees. but if you aren't feeling awesome, you can still catch cinema d'craft before it moves on to the next town. the second screening is at 8:30pm in theater j at the washington dc jewish community center. $10 gets you a soft, cushy seat and perhaps even some popcorn to munch as you watch crafters from all over the country doing what they do best.

save your seat now! click it for tickets.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

how awesome is that?

this just in...this chickadee will be making two very special appearances at the hello craft summit of awesome!

saturday, may 2nd, the double sew dynamo of ali dryer (pistol stitched) and little old me will facilitate a discussion on "developing a product line: deciding what to make and sell." then sunday, may 3rd, the chickadee meets the book worm (caitlin phillips of rebound designs) to talk turkey about "customer service: crafting with a smile."

finally a chance to flex those dormant public speaking skills gleaned from high school student government. hopefully there will be a gavel and a chance to say "this meeting will come to order!" off to practice being authoritative... hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

brown baggin' it

here's a special request from some friends who are expecting the arrival of a wee one any day now. hopefully this will make it to them on time, so they can stuff it full of diapers, bottles, blankets, and spare onesies in case of accidents. babies do make mistakes...

this is another lightly modified version of lotta jansdotter's all-day tote from her simple sewing book. the first one was gifted to a friend and her lovely little girl last year (here's the link). since they have had great success with their bag, many of the alterations were made again for number two. the interior pockets are similar, with one inset zip and several slip pockets on the opposite side. the exterior pocket line-up also remained the same...with a bit of contrast fabric peeking through at the tips and snaps to keep things secure.

new this time were the dimensions; one inch of added height so that the bag now measures about 14" wide x 12" high x 6" deep. and because this one was made with two cotton fabrics, interfacing was sewn in to make it stiffer.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


usually a plane ride is the perfect time to knit; a nice long stretch with very few interruptions. from take-off to touch-down, this chickadee will be slipping stitches from left to right needle and sipping complementary beverages. but the skies aren't always so friendly and sometimes the sailing isn't so smooth, as was the case on a recent airline adventure. that trip was plagued by pockets of "bad air" and bumpy as all get out. the turbulence was tough on the nerves and evident in the end product. the tension in the air created a tight tension on the yarn, resulting in a hat a bit too tiny for my head.

which is such a shame, because the pattern was a super cute slouchy cap called felicty from knitology (you can download it for free from her website or ravelry). and the yarn, minnow merino by jil eaton, was a bright and beautiful aqua blue. if you are of the petite persuasion and in the market for a sweet springtime chapeau, this chickadee can make a donation to your cranium comfort fund. for even though you have less surface area than the rest of us, you still need to cover your noggin and conserve that heat to combat the early april chill.

Monday, April 6, 2009

something awesome this way comes

have you heard? the summit of awesome is rolling into town and scheduled to pitch its tents may 1st through 3rd in our nation's capitol. the lovely ladies of hello craft have been hard at work lining up all sorts of acts for the seminal event, which will feature seminars by superstars in the field and hands-on demonstrations by dynamite makers from all over the country. a few of the highlights include:
  • a screening of the film handmade nation
  • a chance to talk to etsy ceo maria thomas
  • time to sit and stitch with jenny hart of sublime stitching
  • the opportunity to network with other crafters, share stories and support each other!
this is just a taste of the activities going on under the big top all weekend. to see more, check out the schedule as it comes together on hello craft.

the crafty convention kicks off on thursday night, april 30th, with a maker mix and mingle party in downtown dc. there's sure to be some chickadee activity in the area over the weekend. and friend and craft companion dandelion blu is getting in on the action too! she'll be sharing her professional photography skills in a learning session on friday afternoon.

the line-up is still coming together, so there still may be some surprises in store. keep up with the happenings by following the updates on the hello craft site or stay tuned to this station. registration for the weekend is open and space is limited! so strike while the steam iron is hot, you don't want to be left out of the greatest show on planet craft.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

for the birds...

wow, the tail end of the week already and not a second spent in front of the sewing machine. plenty of time, however, spent right here in front of the computer transmitting tax information to our friends over at the irs. the times of total frustration almost feel worth it right now, as papers once spread loosely about are tamed and tucked neatly into manila envelopes and accordion files. arrivederci desk. ciao computer. this chickadee is taking some time off for good behavior.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

good day giveaway!

if you are here, that means that you probably like handcrafted cuteness. if you like handcrafted cuteness you'd probably also like FREE handcrafted cuteness. you are in luck lovelies! today is your day. friend and fellow blogger meaghan o'malley is playing craft genie over on her blog queering domesticity. she's giving away a couple of her own creations along with a few more from some of her favorite people.

earrings from meaghan's oh ginger line

click on over to her blog to see the other selections and put your name in the hat! while you are there, take some time to explore the space because it is chocked full of fun features, photography and info on more than just craft. check out her shop and blog o' the week features along the right hand side. and don't miss her very own etsy store, oh ginger, where you'll find more colorful, totally creative jewelry.