Nov 10

Thanks for joining me the past several weeks as I took you on this odyssey of Knittn’ Kitten projects! Especially to those of you outside of Portland who can’t physically make it to the Kitten! For those of you who ARE in Portland but haven’t checked out the store, you really should! Make a date with your craftiest friend and hit this store up. I promise you won’t be disappointed!! Also, if you’re in the vicinity, you should definitely sign up for the store email list because if you do, you’ll be able to take part in super events like yesterday’s super secret invite-only sale! Susan, Diane and I went to the store with our invitations in hand (okay, not really – they were virtual invitations), parked in the back of the store, and entered in the secret invite-only entrance, and we found the mother lode of fabulous goodies to purchase.

Look: a bin of fabulous vintage fabric at super prices. Susan picked up that brown/black/cream piece to make curtains for her awesome retro rec room! I got some Betty Draper/Mad Men pink and beige plaid — fabulous!

I also snapped up this big piece of vintage Tall Ships fabric! I love all things tall ship, so this was a score. Not sure what i’m going to do with it, though – any suggestions? I got 3 yards.

I kept looking at this amazing hand-dyed silk ribbon (originally $25, only $5 at the Kitten), but I didn’t know what I would do with it. I left it there – wonder if anyone else snatched it up yesterday, or if it’s still there?

There was a stack of Christmas fabric (and some fall-themed fabric next to it that I didn’t photograph).

Ethel added some new vintage linens to the VL room!

Here’s Diane’s amazing sample project & accompanying sheet for patchwork dishtowels.

Which brings me back to this week’s project, which is by Bridget Benton and is super cool: a recycled t-shirt and doily scarf! So pretty! Bridget said about her project:

This project sheet was inspired by a scarf pattern I saw in Generation T: Beyond Fashion by Megan Nicolay and by all the awesome crochet-adorned garments in, yes, Crochet Adorned by Linda Permann. I can’t crochet, but I can sure as heck buy crocheted doilies from the Knittn’ Kitten, and experiment with 100 ways to get them off the couch and onto my clothes . . . I heartily encourage you to do the same!”

This is my last post about the free Knittn’ Kitten projects EXCEPT for the soon-to-be-released eBook collection of all these free patterns, which I’ll let you know about as soon as it is available.

Oh, and here’s a shot of Baby Gideon, who joined us for the shopping expedition:

He’s a month old today! Can you believe it?

Sep 21

I’m happy to announce that you can pick up your free pattern sheet starting tomorrow (Tuesday, Sept 22) for this Anthropologie-inspired “statement” necklace. If you are in Portland, OR, drop by the Knittn’ Kitten and ask for the sheet!

Knittn’ Kitten
7530 N.E. Glisan St.
Portland, OR.   97213

Tuesday through Saturday
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Here is a necklace from Anthropologie that inspired me when designing this project:

Autumn’s Bounty Bib (Retail: $80)

I found a whole bunch of different kinds of materials at Knittn’ Kitten that would make great statement necklaces:

I’ll let you visit the Knittn’ Kitten store itself to explore or the Flickr Group to see more of my quick snaps of potential materials.

AND A BONUS! To kick off the Project Sheet Party, I have also written a bonus project sheet for this PeaPod Necklace, inspired by (but a different technique than) Jessica’s Ribbon & Pearls necklace at Oh So Happy Together. Be sure to ask for the sheet when you drop by the Kitten!

You will find a huge variety of wooden beads and ribbon at the Knittn’ Kitten to make your own variation on this necklace! So schedule a trip into your week and get over there!

Be sure to share your version of the project, as well as any spoils from your own Knittn’ Kitten trip at the Knittn’ Kitten Flickr Group!

Stay tuned for more free projects, every Tuesday through November 10 from the following designers:

September 29 – Teresa Sullivan

October 6 – Diane Gilleland

October 13 – Joey Groendes

October 20 – Christine Blystone

October 27 – Susan Beal

November 3 – Lee Meredith

November 10 – Bridget Benton

Jan 11

Red Robin Antiques has a huge page of very cool antique jewelry photos and descriptions, perfect for some jewelry or art inspiration. Since I can’t easily stumble the pieces I like or add them to my wists because of the sheer number of photos on the page, I’m posting some of them here. Enjoy if you want!

There are hundreds of photos on the one page, but here are some that I thought were interesting.

Victorian Applied Gold Japonaiserie Bird Locket
This is
a lovely example of a Victorian piece done in the Japanese style with
applied mixed-metals (yellow and rose gold) features two birds in a marsh
setting.   These pieces were very popular in the late 1870’s and
early 1880’s.

(I love the buckle motif!)

Victorian Buckle Sterling Locket and Chain This classic Victorian piece
features the very popular buckle motif.

(I love that this has the daisy in various stages of blooming)

Victorian Daisy Sterling Heart Locket This lovely Victorian locket features
a daisy in various stages of blooming. The back
has been engraved with the initials that are too faint to read.  The
first initial is definitely an R but the other two are too hard to make out.

(This necklace is awesome enlarged–click to see it! Plus it’s my birthstone.)

Victorian Garnet Gold Necklace Lovely circa 1870 Victorian necklace set with a
series of three garnet drops (a total of 17 drops) on a 14k gold foxtail
chain.   The garnets are a pinkish lavender color and the drops
measure 1/2 of an inch in diameter.

Victorian Etruscan Stone Cameo Gold Festoon This striking Victorian festoon
necklace features three carved stone cameos set in elaborate bloomed gold
Etruscan style frames.

I wouldn’t actually want to own this brooch, but I think it’s interesting to find out about popular motifs of the day, like Day and Night.

Victorian Day Night Shell Pearl 14k Brooch Pendant Beautiful example of a
very popular Victorian motif, Day and Night.
This elaborate shell cameo features “Day” with the suns rays
behind her head and an out stretched eagle while “Night” has
poppies in her hair (sleep), a quarter moon and an owl.  The
brooch/pendant has a very elaborate frame of leaves set with seed

Edwardian French Cut Steel Earrings Gorgeous all original large French cut steel
earrings with glass drops.

Jugendstil Plique Marcasite Pearl Silver Pendant This gorgeous Jugendstil
pendant features  plique-a- jour enamel in a beautiful shade of
turquoise set with with marcasites and garnet pastes and accented with a
Mabé pearl and a large freshwater pearl drop.  The pendant is most likely German in origin.
A nearly identical pendant is featured on a very well known English web site
and was made by the firm of Levinger and Bissinger.

Edwardian Citrine Sterling Necklace Striking
Edwardian citrine necklace set festoon style with silver chain.  I
have seen this style done with seed pearls but not done with sterling
chain which makes this piece much easier to wear and not as

There are LOTS more very cool pieces on the page, but these ones will get you started. Which ones caught your eye?

May 4

Eva does the most amazing things with polymer clay. Her craftswomanship is superb, and her prices are super affordable.
Shop name/URL:

Green Leaf and Owl

Tell me a little about yourself:
My name is Eva Bush, I’m 25 and I live in Flint, Michigan. I’ve always been creative and really enjoyed art classes in elementary through high school. In undergrad I studied a bit of graphic design, web design and Postmodernism. During this time I met my the man of my dreams, was married and now have a sweet little boy. After my son was born, I was fortunate enough to stay home with him and also create small, colorful treasures to share with others. I opened Green Leaf and Owl on a whim to try my hand at selling my goods. I love my life and the freedom I have to explore new artistic endeavors.

What are your main inspirations?
I have many inspirations – Bright colors, textures and nature. The amazing work of other artists. Cute squirrels running around my yard. The idea of filling my home with handcrafted items made with love. I’m also inspired by the amazing old things I find hidden away at antique stores. I have a small collection of old typewriters and would have more if I had somewhere to store them.

What is your favorite material?
I love acrylic paint, but I also love using vintage materials in my work. Oh, and I love brass because it can achieve such an amazing color over time and it is great for sensitive skin.

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?large tree pendant

I’m always wanting to try something new. A couple months ago I taught myself to crochet and my mom taught me how to knit. I only made two crocheted beanies – one for my husband and one for my son, but it was a completely useful craft to learn. I also like to sew handy items to use around the house.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?
I?m super excited about my new line of vintage necklaces. I salvage old books from antique stores and use the original illustrations to make one-of-a-kind pendants. I?m striving to use non-toxic and reusable materials to cut back on pollutants and unnecessary waste in my home and elsewhere.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?
Create things that you love and don’t give up easily. Get your ideas out there and be consistent. Great customer service always helps too.

Apr 30

squid tieI love Jessica’s whimsical applique! Check her shop out for some wonderful one-of-a-kind items!

Shop name/URL:

Tell me a little about yourself.
My name is Jessica Wynne Plymate, I’m 33, I drink too much coffee and I have a very overactive imagination. Since I was very young I knew I wanted to be an artist. A few years ago I had my last exhibit as a painter. The show went well, but something was missing from my work- I suddenly felt like I was trying to be a part of something in which I didn’t really belong. I decided to take a break from it and, although I don’t remember the catalyst, I ended up putting my designs on clothes instead of canvas. It felt so natural to merge my hobby of sewing with my need to doodle. I find it more personally rewarding to see someone wearing my designs than just looking at them.

What are your main inspirations?
I find inspiration everywhere- a joke between friends, a song, a face, a feeling, my obnoxious dog, staring out the window… I am constantly amazed at the talent of others and it pushes me to think harder about what I’m doing and to put more of myself into it.

What is your favorite material?

With a little embarrassment, I have to confess my love of polyester. It comes in the craziest colors, prints, textures and it sews like a dream.

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?

Wow, I don’t know how to answer that. I have a lot of new ideas swimming around in my head right now but not enough time to make them all happen. Some of the very talented sellers on Etsy have given me a new appreciation for things like polymer clay and recycling trash into jewelry, but I’m pretty focused on continuing to grow in my craft of applique.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?

Right now I particularly like the jellyfish skirts and the way all the different trims and textures flow and intertwine when worn. I originally came up with the jellyfish as a way to use up my huge pile of notions. I quickly fell in love with the design and had to buy more rick rack and lace so I could make more of them.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?
Do what you love, not what you think will sell. Putting passion and personality into what you do is what makes you stand out in a crowd. Take risks, don’t be afraid of change, be willing to work harder than you smoking deerever thought you could and don’t give up.

Feb 16

Well, my mom and I have launched our annual baby quilt sweatshop with a few good hours yesterday (we laid out 13 quilts), and I continued today, laying out 2 quilts (and using up the balance of our blocks! boo-yah! That’s what we set out to do LAST year in our first annual baby quilt sweatshop marathon – and we only managed to do 20 last year, and still had tons of blocks left.)

Let’s do the math: 15 baby quilts at 81 blocks each = 1215 blocks so far!

Once we get these sewn together (they each take about 2 hrs per quilt top, and then another 30 mins of finishing work), I plan on starting on our bigger pieces of material. Must bust stash!