Monday, November 28, 2011

Pre-Christmas Sale at SweetShop Creations!!

Hello SweetShoppers! Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, those of you who celebrated.

Apologies for the lack of posts around here recently. My personal crafting time has gone by the wayside while I dive into the books and write essays and seminars and reviews, oh my.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to finish my winter sweater soon and I'll put a nifty post up about that...

Meanwhile, there's a sale going on over at SweetShop Creations (as usual...). Use the coupon code TURKEYSANDWICH to receive free worldwide shipping on any item! Now's the time to get those last minute little gifts and stocking stuffers for the funky fashionistas in your life! And if you can't think of anything immediately, may I suggest a pair of these...

..."these" being the SweetShop's signature Curly-Wurly earrings...find them and more at our shop, HERE!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Computer Love...(and occupational hazards...)

Hello SweetShoppers!

So lately I've been getting a lot of blog love, and I just wanted to share some of those links with you...

First up, Artistic Expressions By Elizabeth profiled me here, as part of an ongoing series. Every Monday Elizabeth profiles someone of color in the craftosphere, and this week it was lil' ol' me! Many thanks to Elizabeth, and to those of you who click over, check out her blog! Elizabeth is quite the elite crafter herself and one of the more positive people I've come across on the web.

Speaking of positive people, I've also been profiled by Knitella, who did a mini-interview on me here. Knitella's doing a similar series, profiling bloggers and crafters in the Greater Manchester area and I was fortunate enough to be asked some questions for a post. Make that TWO posts, actually...Knitella's got a jump start on the Christmas gift rush and also featured me in her Christmas gift guide here. Once again, check out the whole blog...some truly inspiring crafters have been featured on her site recently, as well as the work of Knitella herself!

Last thing...I'm keeping a close eye on the worldwide Occupy protests. They're of particular interest to me because I am, of course, part of the 99% (albeit a very fortunate segment of such) and also because at heart, they seem to be about one of my pet issues--the issue of paying people what they're worth for their work. This is part of why I started doing SweetShop Creations--it's one part supplementary income, one part charity donations, and one part sociopolitical statement. 

That said, I've long wanted to write eloquently on the subject but recently I stumbled across and discovered that resident seamstress/designer/DIY faerie Lex has already said what I wanted to say, far better than I ever could.

So, to end this post, I'd like to encourage you all to go over to THIS LINK and read about the creative process and cost balancing that goes into making a handmade item of clothing. Then come back here, comment, and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Work In Progress: Some Sort of Hat

Considering that I have the word "hats" liberally distributed through everything about SweetShop Creations, it has occurred to me that I should actually make some.

So here's what I'm working on right now...

...wonder what the finished product will look like...


Monday, October 10, 2011

I Buy Handmade: ForgetRegretArt

There are a few things that I love; pretty things, getting parcels in the post, and supporting other wonderful artists. I'm happy to say that today, I got to do all three of those things thanks to Demi at ForgetRegret Art.

The contents of my parcel! A card and some cards..

So I first met the lovely Demi, at the Cherry Events Craft fair, which I blogged about HERE. I had a great time meeting lots of local artists and artisans at that fair but what really caught my eye was the ForgetRegretArt stall, with its selection of handmade paper journals, notepads, and blank business cards.

Business cards? I've needed some business cards for some time, but hadn't seen any that I really liked until then. I asked about the blank cards, and was pleasantly surprised when Demi told me that for a small extra fee, she'd hand write the cards for me in calligraphy.

Handmade, distinctive, classy cards written in calligraphy? Consider me sold. I e-trotted over to the ForgetRegretArt etsy shop HERE and placed an order. After about a week, I checked the post this morning and found these waiting for me!

That's my name. Please wear it out.

Aren't they gorgeous! They're exactly what I wanted--simple, clear, and handmade! I absolutely LOVE them and couldn't resist doing a post to show them off. I highly recommend checking out Demi's shop--in addition to business cards, she also does sketchbooks, jewelry, and a wide variety of original art prints as well. 

The best thing about buying handmade goods from the artist directly, though, isn't the quality of the product. (Although it's always excellent!) The best thing is the personal touch that artists often add to their orders when sending them out. Considering how many companies see fit to use large and impersonal communcation methods(call centres, anyone?), there's something really special about doing business with a personal flair.

The most charming part of buying from ForgetRegretArt, then, was finding this in the package with the cards;
Handmade thank you card by ForgetRegretArt!
Nothing to say to that except thank you too, Demi!

To check out ForgetRegretArt(and I really think you should), click HERE. Peace!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SweetShop Creations in Etsy Treasuries!

Okay, first things first! The giveaway is still happening, but we need a few more facebook likes before someone gets a brand new custom crocheted pair of Curly-Wurly Earrings! Click HERE to like SweetShop Creations on facebook and enter the contest, if you haven't already...

Next things next...on Etsy, you can do these great things called treasuries, which are collections of etsy seller's work organized around a theme. It's a great idea, a wonderful way of showcasing lots of different artists together, and a lot of fun to do!

I've been fortunate enough to have been included in a few of these collections and to have made a few, which I'd like to share with you all.

Orange Cowl by SweetShop Creations, on Etsy
So first, my features...the Orange Cowl, which I'm still waiting for the right stylish neo-urban hipster chic to snap up and fierce her way into fall with, was featured in a treasury by TeoMaeDesigns called Surrounded By Autumn. TeoMae herself designs lovely silver toned jewelry, which is worth taking a look at as well.  Pretty cool, huh?

Also Knitella(who by now you should all know and love) featured my flowered Multi-Way cowl/scarf in a treasury called floral festivity. Knitella is a fellow yarn artist--she knits and is starting to add crochet to her repertoire of skills as well. Check her out, check the treasury out, and check out that cowl!

Okay, now that I'm done giving orders(but you did check all those things out right? RIGHT!?) I'm going to provide a few links to some of the treasuries I've put together. All of them feature work by artists whose creativity and presentation I really respect and admire, so please do click the links and take a look at some truly fantastic work.

Also, I have it on good authority that there's only 81 shopping days until Christmas, so if you feel the need to get a jump start on your gift list this year with any one of these artists or myself--we'd all appreciate it.

Take a look at:

Craft Menagerie - a collection of animal-themed items
Purple Haze -all things purple, curated while listening to Jimi Hendrix, of course
Ooh! Sparkly! - pretty much what it says on the tin...sparkly things!
and last but not least...
Keys To the Kingdom - because apparently there are a LOT of nifty things you can do with a key.

Thanks for taking the time to look at some new things, y'all! Peace!

(Wait! Before you go...did you like me on Facebook? Did you? Please do. These earrings need a good home...*puppy-dog eyes*)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Facebook Contest: Win a pair of curly-wurly earrings!

I meant to mention this in an earlier post but I'm giving a free pair of earrings to one of the next 25 people to like the SweetShop Creations Facebook page.

Actually, it's one of the next 22, now...since I announced it this morning the likes have been steadily rolling in.

Click HERE to like the Facebook page and enter yourself in the competition!


New Items! Blue Ruffled Scarf and Yellow Flowered Earwarmer!

*whew* It's the first week back at college and I am TI. RED. Too tired, in fact, to realize that "tired" doesn't look like much of anything when you try and separate out the syllables for emphasis.

Suffice it to say that it's been a long week. This patternista needs 5 more hours in the day so she can sleep. But despite that, I've managed to put some lovely(IMO) new items up in the shop today!

The first is this yellow earwarmer with a flowered accent, this time in a lacy ribbed pattern rather than a basketweave one. I'm thinking of making LOTS more of these because I really like them--hope this one sells online quickly and inspires me further. 

The other item is another curly, ruffled scarf. I don't care if these sell or not, I think they're amazingly cool and will probably make a million more. In this shot the scarf is tucked and wrapped to form a warm ruffly collar, but it's quite long and can also be worn draped like a regular scarf.

To find out more about each item, either click on the pictures or HERE to get to the shop. 

Now I'm off to finish a nifty custom ordered hat...


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Items: Fall Scarves...

So today is the first day that has REALLY felt like autumn to me...I woke up with the urge to crunch through leaves and make gingerbread. Wow.

I guess it's appropriate, then, that today I posted these two scarves in the etsy shop...
 The multi-colored ruffles scarf, which can be found HERE...
And the orange cowl(Can I just say, I LOVE this color?) which can be found HERE... goodness I am making a serious face in that last picture...sorry. 
Anyway, click and buy or appreciate or copy or whatever it is you need to do to keep warm this autumn weekend while you crunch through leaves and eat gingerbread...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Making myself a sweater...

So every year I make myself a few things for the winter...this year I'm doing a comfy sweater and probably a couple of pairs of socks. I'm working up a variation on the "Part of the Crew" pattern in Susan Huxley's book Crocheted Sweaters, size small, in James C. Brett Rustic Aran Tweed...this is my progress for today. Will be updating as it gets closer to completion. So far I'm not that crazy about the texture of this pattern, and I think I've made an error on one of the edges, but I'll sort that out tomorrow when I look at it again.

Anybody working on new personal knitwear for themselves this year? Let me know in the comments!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SweetShop Creations at the Cherry Events Craft Fair!

So this is where I say a very sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the Cherry Events craft fair this past Sunday, September 11th. I had a great time being there and meeting lots of cool crafters and handmade/vintage shoppers! A lot of ££'s were raised for Oldham Cancer Support and a lot of awareness and education shared, as well...overall, a very worthwhile day for all involved, I think!

The only negative note about the whole day was that I forgot my camera and had to settle for using my phone...thank heaven for smart phones, right? With that said, let the photo recap begin...
Here's our table, all set up. Attending this fair was the brainchild of the lovely Esra of Knitella , and I must say, she put a lot more work into this than I did. My few hats and cowls are on the near end of the table in this photo, whereas the HEAPS of  scarves(and the very cute teddy model) are all Knitella's work.

Speaking of's the lady herself! 

This beaded jewelry is the work of a neighbor of mine named Shirley. Shirley doesn't have a website or blog, but she does make very cute kids jewelry and I occasionally sell some of her things along with mine at craft fairs. 

This display is a combo of Shirley's more sophisticated beadwork and my very own Curly-Wurly earrings. Looks pretty nice, don't you think?
 Another shot of the table. You can't really see the colors as vividly as I would like(darn my forgetfulness), but  basically I'm sticking with a pretty neutral design palette until at least next summer...except for a few exceptionally neon earrings here and there. Lots of earthtones and pastels, as you can see.

Esra hard at work setting everything up...

 I have no idea who this is. No, really. She just grabbed my phone camera and started snapping away, all the while mumbling things about stitches and yarn and stuff...

That would be a boatneck sweater, some more of Shirley's beaded necklaces, the Papergirl Hat, and a neutral ruffled scarf...

This is another neighbor and knitting group friend, Michelle...Michelle is probably one of the most industrious people I know, and managed to set up a stand selling cards, jewelry, and cushions!

Now THIS...was pure, unadulterated torture. No, really. Right across from us, ALL DAY, was the Lily Bud Cupcakes stand. All day, I had to endure staring at a table full of cupcakes with flavors like raspberry white chocolate, double chocolate and toffee apple. I also had to watch happy vintage shoppers buy these cupcakes and wander over to my stall enjoying them, slowly, deliciously...

Eventually I succumbed to the peer pressure, wiped the drool from my chin, and got myself a toffee apple cupcake. Apparently "toffee apple cupcake" is a synonym for "ridiculously delicious". Who knew?

Well, that's enough blurry pictures from me...I suggest you visit the following pages and show them some love...

SweetShop Creations (yes, that's me...if you haven't already been, check out the shop)

Knitella (my partner in all yarn-related crimes and creator of all things cute and colorful)

Lily Bud Cupcakes (because look at that picture up there! Just look at it!)

Sewabee, the online home of Vicky, who masterminded this entire craft fair to fundraise for Oldham Cancer Support...

and Cherry Events, which Vicky is one half of and is the company that organizes wonderful fairs like this one!

Peace y'all!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

SweetShop Creations on Sewabee!

I feel so cool right now...

So this is kind of exciting...SweetShop Creations got featured on Sewabee! The feature is part of the lead into this Sunday's Cherry Events Craft Fair, which yours truly will be at sharing a booth with...drum roll...Knitella!

Is that enough links for one paragraph? Probably. Meanwhile, check out the SweetShop write-up HERE, check out the very inspiring Sewabee HERE and find out more about the upcoming craft fair HERE.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Item: Estonian Earwarmer!

Hello SweetShoppers! So do you remember last week's yarn of the moment? I'm happy to say it's been turned into this:

Basically, it's a thick basketwoven headband in a neutral multicolored yarn that goes with everything.
To find out more about this item and order one for your very own, click HERE and visit the etsy shop!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yarn of the Moment: Estonian Veljesta Pöllö

So when I was in Estonia last month, I saw quite a lot of knitwear and some pretty cool yarn. Applaud my self-control, fellow crafters...I only brought back two skeins. One was for my good friend Knitella, and the other was this lovely Veljesta Pöllö. I picked them both up for about 6 Euros. 
According to the all-knowing oracle that is Google Translate, "Veljesta Pöllö" means "owl wheels"...makes sense, since there's an owl on the label(which has, unfortunately and inappropriately, gone the way of the no pics). I don't know why it's called that, but I do know this...I LOVE the colorway of this's sort of a muted neutral pallette of brown and cream and tan, with speck of blue and green. It's 75% wool and 25% acrylic but feels more like acrylic than wool so far.

The project you see on my hook is an eventual earwarmer...although it's since been frogged since I thought it'd be prettier in a basketweave stitch rather than a ribbed one. 

Is anybody using any interesting yarn lately? If so, drop me a line in the comments box and tell me what it is!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Item: Papergirl Hat! (and yes, more earrings...)

Hello SweetShoppers!

I realized the other day that although one of my original ideas for the SweetShop was to make hats...I hadn't made one in a while. So I got out the trusty K hook and some gray acrylic yarn that was just begging to be used...and came up with this...
The PaperGirl Hat! See, it's not really a newsboy cap, so why not call it a papergirl. It was either that or call it  the Baggy Gray Pseudo-Rasta Tam with Curvy Brim and Elastic. Brevity always wins. 
Also, because I just cannot stop myself, it seems, I've made even more Curly-Wurly earrings...yay! (Or should that be, ~sigh~?) 

To check out the new hat and the earrings, and order them for yourself, click HERE
Peace, y'all!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Trying to think...

...of cute new names for the hat and sweater I've just finished. No pics yet, just finished product and no real idea of what these things are called.

Here's hoping I don't take the weenie route and call them, "brown sweater" and "gray hat".

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Yarn of the Moment: Mystery Thrift Yarn

Not a great picture, but this is my current favorite yarn...I got it for 50p (about 75 cents) from a friend who held a massive sale to clear out her cellar full of yarn. I got two giant cones of this type of yarn(the other cone is blue flecked with brown and orange). I have no idea what brand it is or even what it's made of(probably cotton or acrylic), but it's a great sport weight yarn and VERY versatile.

Yes, that thing in the background is a half-finished sweater. Is there really any other kind?

Friday, August 5, 2011

New Item: MORE Curly-Wurly earrings!

I just can't seem to stop making these. Put a new pair up in the shop today, in a funky burnt orange the pic to check them out!!

Peace, y'all!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Item: Curly Wurly Earrings!

So, we're back! Check out this week's new addition to the shop...curly spiral earrings!

Clicking on each image takes you to the shop page for that item...or, just check out SweetShop Creations HERE!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guerilla Knitting in Estonia?

So you may have noticed the shop is down at the moment, but the creative wheels are still turning here in the SweetShop. I just took a 3 week trip around Europe, starting in, of all places, Estonia.

This is one of the first things I saw...
It's a pillar in an underground bus terminal, wrapped in knitting! How cool is that?
Apparently this is a part of Tallinn's stint as European capital of culture for 2011, but I was immediately reminded of Knitta Please and Glitty Knitty Kitty.

Also, Estonia is apparently known for their high quality yarn...I bought some! Now I just have to think of what to make with it...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Item: Flamingo Rings!

So this morning I got mentally hamstrung trying to finish a new pattern...started playing around with some new yarn I have...wound up with this...

...which then turned into this!

You can get more information and order your very own Flamingo Rings HERE.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Video: Why I Buy And Sell Handmade...

Just a little ramble around the topic of buying and selling handmade items. I don't really make any points here, just talking up the basics.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Yarn of the Moment: Berroco Cotton Twist

It's too hot for most wools and acrylics, and I'm trying to use up my stash yarn. About 2 years ago I bought 3 skeins of Berroco Cotton Twist and I'm *finally* using it to make a cute shell pattern summer tunic. I just hope I have enough...Berroco discontinued this yarn a while ago, and an ebay search doesn't show anybody clearing it out of their stash just yet.

As cotton yarns go, it's not amazing. It's not very tightly spun so it's easy to split stitches and the skeins--even though they're from the same dye lot--have some color irregularity. Still, I originally bought it because it's a beautiful milky summer white, it has a little rayon blended in for durability, and at $5.00 a skein, the price was ok.

What's your favorite summer yarn? What's your favorite cotton?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Items: check the shop!

Hello SweetShoppers! Once again, we have more items in the etsy shop for you to check out!

2 Way Cowl

Cute Blue Beanie

Click HERE to visit SweetShop Creations at etsy and find out more about these items and place an order!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Items: Check the SweetShop!

Have I mentioned all the cool new stuff in the shop?

For more stuff, more information and to order, visit SweetShop Creations HERE. Peace!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

SweetShop Creations @ the Dam House Craft Fair!

Pins and cowls and jewelry, oh my...
Greetings SweetShoppers! Today was a pretty good day in our universe--not only does the world seem to be not ending, but we joined up with fellow yarn crafters Knitella to stock a table at the Dam House Craft Fair!

Whew, that was a long sentence. In contrast, it was a sadly short day--we had loads of fun chatting to folks in Astley, sold a few things, and enjoyed the beautiful and historic Dam House. Definitely check out that link. I was impressed and charmed by the historic manor house turned community center, and I will definitely be visiting again.

We hooked up with some cool crafters and even cooler people at the fair, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few of our snaps for the day!

As always, you can check out the SweetShop HERE and Knitella HERE. Loads more coming in the shop and on the blog, so click and subscribe!