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Thursday
Apr012010

"Cringe or Crush?" The KNITS MEN WANT Sweepstakes

Crafting for a man can be dangerous territory, but author Bruce Weinstein has come to the rescue with his new book Knits Men Want: The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man. To mark the occasion, we're hosting Cringe or Crush? The KNITS MEN WANT Sweepstakes.

Think about a lucky fella for whom you have made something. Did he cringe and recoil when you presented him with your labor of love?  Or did he totally crush on it?   If you have a humorous, embarrassing, heartwarming, or tear-jerking tale about crafting for a man, this is your chance to share it! Spin us your best yarn and be entered to win one of four great prizes.

To enter, share your Cringe or Crush? story in the Comments section below before noon (EST) on April 30th, 2010.

After the deadline, we'll choose four entries at random.  All winners will receive a signed copy of Knits Men WantIn addition, the prizes below will be awarded in the same order winners are chosen--it's luck of the draw in this sweepstakes!

First winner: This print from Knits Men Want by photographer (and Brooklyn Tweed blogger!) Jared Flood.

Second winner: Two projects from Knits Men Want, knitted by author Bruce Weinstein: the Watch Cap (in red) and Fingerless Mitts (in olive).

Third winner: The Thick and Warm Socks (in green) from Knits Men Want, also knitted by Bruce.

Fourth winner: From ShibuiKnits, two skeins of their gorgeous Hand-Dyed Merino Worsted yarn, in “Stone.”

Think hard about your crafting history and be sure to check out these links!

Download the Knits Men Want Introduction for inspiration and advice.

Join the Knits Men Want Ravelry group to post photos of your crafting hits and misses and swap tips with fellow crafters.

Read the Knits Men Want blog for funny commentary and unique insight from author Bruce Weinstein.

Check out projects from the book in the Knits Men Want gallery.

Follow the Knits Men Want blog tour for book reviews, interviews, and special posts from Bruce.

Please note all entrants will be added to our e-mail list unless you tell us that you do not want to be added. For a full set of rules, click here.  Thanks--and good luck!

 
Monday
Mar222010

Natalie Chanin Interviews BurdaStyle / Alabama Studio Style Contest Winner

 

We began the Alabama Studio Style blog tour with the launch of the Alabama Studio Style Inspiration Challenge over at BurdaStyle. We conclude with Natalie Chanin's interview with the grand-prize winner of the contest, Gina Sekelsky.

Inspired by Natalie's work, Gina created the amazing skirt shown here. Here's Gina's description: 

This is a simple A-line skirt, cut on the bias, from two layers of cotton knit: a putty color over black. I freehand painted a favorite quotation on the skirt, then used the techniques in Alabama Stitch Book for the reverse applique. I love to combine my handlettering with garment design—an experiment in embracing imperfection (especially when I sneezed on the skirt moments before taking the photos. Did you hear me screaming?).

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” --Howard Thurman

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest and the blog tour. Here's the interview:

Natalie: Gina, I love how seamlessly you incorporated your work with words and font styles into the piece that reflects our work at Alabama Chanin.  While the techniques are (in a way) simple, the final piece is very rich and complex.  I also enjoyed the story on your blog about how you ran out of thread and switched colors and then decided to switch back again.  What were you thinking about when you started the project?

Gina: Last fall I spent a Saturday with a very dear friend cutting out some sewing projects to work on in the future.  We both love sewing, and like to have a stockpile of projects ready to roll.  I guess that’s our version of a quilting bee–pinning, cutting, asking advice of each other.  I’d been wanting to combine my lettering with your reverse appliqué techniques for awhile, and was planning to try it on one of the skirts I cut out that day, but felt compelled to wait until the “right” words came along.  I spend a little too much time dwelling on why I’ve been given my specific set of gifts, and how I can use those gifts thoughtfully.  Dr. Thurman’s idea that being passionate, being alive is the best way to honor life really speaks to me.  I also think about how much time I have to create (aren’t we all pressed for time?), and I really want the things I make to be worthy of the time given to them. 

Natalie: I, too, am a great lover of fonts and words.  When did you start paying attention to them?

Gina: I like to credit Mrs. Larson, my 5th-grade teacher.  I was a bit of a chatterbox in elementary school, and the punishment for talking out of turn was to write out our spelling words fifty times each.  I probably had that punishment just about every week!  I got bored with just writing the words as a list, so I used to draw outlines on the page and fill them in with the words–flowers, peace signs, typical 70s motifs. 

I grew up in a small  town in the Midwest and thought I had to choose a career with a name–teacher, doctor, lawyer.  When I moved to Minneapolis after college, I met my husband, Peter (an architect), and he introduced me to the design disciplines.  I spent some time studying architecture and interior design, but couldn’t find my groove.  When we decided to get married, I hand-lettered our wedding invitation.  Since then, I’ve put my hand lettering on just about anything that will stand still: walls, furniture, and a whole lot of paper [visit Gina's etsy shop here].  I am constantly inspired by other artists, and am so thankful that I can continue to generate ideas and create my art.

Natalie: My daughter LOVES rubberstamps and I would love to make some of her drawings into stamps.  Do you have any suggestions about how to do this?

Gina: Technology makes this so easy!  Black and white artwork translates the best, so you’re better off choosing art that doesn’t have shading or gray areas.  I use a wonderful company in nearby Iowa for my traditional red rubber stamps called Rubberstamps.net.  It is simply a matter of choosing from the many sizes available, scanning your artwork, and uploading it to their site.  I would be happy to help you!

Natalie: I really like your blog and especially adore this project:  42 Things About Me.  I wish that I had done something like this my whole life.  I feel like I know you through your writings but would you mind sharing 10 things that you think we should know about you that don’t come across in your blog?

Gina:

1.    I can’t answer a question without dishing up an anecdote on the side.

2.    My nickname at home is “the kitty.”  I label all my handmade clothes with “meow.”

3.    I am a morning person.

4.    I am thankful for every day I get to do this work I love.

5.    I hope I can keep doing it for a lot longer.

6.    “I invent nothing; I rediscover.”  Auguste Rodin

7.    I like ordinary days the best, when we’re holding hands around the dinner table and saying grace together.

8.    I feel content when my cupboards are full and the laundry is put away.

9.    Tomorrow I will think of ten different things I wish I’d written.

10. I am lucky to have had mentors.  I wonder how many people consider you a mentor?  (I do.)

Natalie: Is there something in particular that you would like to work on at our Weekend Workshop?

Gina: Have you heard of the book Style Statement?  It is a series of questions to help give your life some focus.  On the Fashion page, you’re asked to complete the following statement:  “If money were no object I would go out today and shop for…”  I remember quite clearly that I wrote “Alabama Chanin fall coat.” (Perhaps #11 above should be, “My eyes are bigger than my stomach.”)  Should I choose something small that would allow me to relax and enjoy others’ company?  Should I start a big project I can finish later?  Should I let someone else choose?  Do you have any favorites that were made at a Weekend Workshop?

Natalie: Everyone’s eyes are always bigger than their stomachs at our studio…the pitfall of the job– smile.  No worries, we will figure it out when you get there! Is there anything new coming up that we should know about?

Gina:I love sharing what I’ve learned.  I’ve taught handwriting locally, and have been working on a class for all the friends I’ve made online–actually two classes, one for those who want to improve their handwriting and one for those who want to embellish their handwriting.

Natalie: Thanks for sharing Gina. I'm looking forward to meeting you in Alabama!

Monday
Mar152010

Kata Golda's Workshops in New York Start This Friday!

Mark your calendars! Starting this Friday, March 18, Kata Golda, author of Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt, will be  in New York City to teach workshops, sign books, and give felt craft demos. Here's the complete schedule!

FRIDAY MARCH 19, 2010

3 – 5pm | Book signing & Felt Craft Demo | Kate's Paperie (Soho)

Kata Golda's charming handmade photo albums have been popular at Kate's for many years. Join Kata Golda at Kate's Paperie in Soho as she demonstrates how to make projects from her book Kata Golda's Hand-stitched Felt, including felt photo pockets and cute little finger puppets that nest in their own roll-up bed, which doubles as their carrying case. Kata Golda's felt craft DIY kits, her book, and bags of hand-dyed felt scraps will also be on sale.

72 Spring Street; New York, NY 10012 (between Crosby & Lafayette Streets),  (212) 941-9816

COST: Free. No registration required.

 

SATURDAY MARCH 20, 2010

2 – 4pm | Handmade Crafternoon | New York Public Library (Manhattan)

Crafty librarian Jessica Pigza and Crafternoon author Maura Madden welcome Kata Golda to NYPL's Handmade Crafternoon, where she'll share her process of making some of the sweetest felt creations to ever roam the earth. Learn how to make one of the finger puppets from her book!

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (Room 227) , 11 West 40th St.; New York, NY 10018-2788, (917) 275-6975

COST: Free. No registration required.

 SUNDAY MARCH 21, 2010

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Felt Craft Demo | Books of Wonder (Brooklyn)

Join us for some lunchtime stitching with author Kata Golda, who will demonstrate kid-friendly felt craft projects from her book Kata Golda's Hand-stitched Felt.

Books of Wonder, 18 West 18th Street; New York, NY 10011, (212) 989-3270

COST: Free. No registration required.

 

MONDAY MARCH 22, 2010

4 – 8 p.m. | Craft Night at Etsy Labs | Etsy Studios (Brooklyn)

Kata Golda returns to Etsy for her second felt craft workshop at Etsy Labs. This time she'll show you how to make one of her popular (and extremely charming) finger puppets. Drop in anytime between 4–8 p.m. Instruction will be given throughout the night as participants arrive, so don't worry if you swing by after work at 6 — you won't be missing out on the demo.

Etsy Studios, 55 Washington St., Suite 512 (5th floor); Brooklyn, NY 11201,(718) 855-7955

COST: Free; RSVP here.

Friday
Mar052010

Sunday March 14th @ Spacecraft Brooklyn - Alabama Chanin Bandana Workshop + Down Home Get Down! 

 
 

4-6pm. Workshop: Natalie Chanin, celebrated fashion designer, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, artist, and crafter, will be teaching a workshop on her Southern-inspired applique techniques using sustainable and earth-friendly materials. Cost is $100 and includes a signed copy of her new book ALABAMA STUDIO STYLE and all the materials and instruction to complete the bandana kit, plus gift bags courtesy of BurdaStyle.

RSVP: rsvp@spacecraftbrooklyn.com for questions or to reserve your spot. Space is limited!

6-9pm. FREE After Party: Don't miss this very special opportunity to meet Natalie and purchase a signed copy of her new book, ALABAMA STUDIO STYLE, if you can't make it to the workshop. Enjoy free beer, wine, and treats,  as well as live music from Free Advice (partytime bluegrass by way the McKibben Lofts!) and blues man-about-town Ernie Vega (aka: Lester Hawkins, Jelly Roll Robertson). Oh, and it’s Pi Day! So expect some delicious pie! Feel free to bring a pie to share as well!

 

Monday
Feb082010

Alabama Studio Style Blog Tour

Natalie Chanin's Alabama Studio Style blog tour begins today. Here is the schedule:

Feb. 9:  http://www.burdastyle.com/blog  Inspiration Contest Launch

Feb 12: http://eco-chick.com  Fan Love 

Feb 15: http://www.ecostiletto.com  Eco-Luxe Story

Feb 17: http://houseonhillroad.typepad.com  Projects and Palettes

Feb 18: http://rainakattelson.blogspot.com

Feb 24: http://www.trueup.net  Sourcing Sustainability

Feb 25: http://oliverands.com/blog  Review/ Q&A

Feb 26: http://whipup.net  Launching Your Own Line

March 1: http://www.purlbee.com  Quilts That Tell a Story

March 3: http://annamariahorner.blogspot.com  Design Process

March 5: http://heatherross.squarespace.com  Sweet Home Alabama

March 8: http://www.ecosalon.com Review

March 9:  http://www.etsy.com/storque  How-To Tuesday

March 10: http://www.ecofabulous.com Running an Eco-Business

March 11: http://sewmamasew.com Review/ Q&A

March 11:  http://www.etsy.com/storque  Craft Night Preview

March 15: http://www.sewn.net.au  Review/ Q&A

March 17: http://www.stylelist.com Modern Women's Wear

March 18: http://www.makegrowgather.com Show and Tell

March 19: http://www.cathyofcalifornia.typepad.com Review/ Q&A

March 22: http://www.melaniefalickbooks.com  Special Post

Leave a comment on this post by noon on March 22, 2010--about the book, the tour, or something you're making--and earn a chance to win the STC Craft book of your choice. Three winners will be chosen at random and contacted after the noon deadline on March 22. (We will add you to our e-mailing list if you leave a comment unless you tell us that you do not want to be added. Thanks.)

P.S. I reopened yesterday's box and here is a photo of the contents. Isn't it amazing to think that this pile of fabric, thread, and beads will become the Spiral Applique & Beaded Camisole Dress (except my base fabric  is black instead of green)!