Archive | January, 2011

One World, One Heart 2011

31 Jan

Welcome One World, One Heart bloggers!

I would like you to meet Shanti.

Shanti was handmade by my Aunt Jenny in 1985. At the height of the Cabbage Patch Kid craze, Aunt Jenny designed, handmade, and sold tons of these dolls.  But Shanti is special, she was the first made. Jenny handcrafted the clothes, finger, and toes of each doll. Shanti even has a belly button and handpainted eyes.

I come from a long line of very creative and crafty women. They crafted both out of need and desire; only they could tell you which was more important. My maternal grandmother tells stories of her mother standing (hiding) between the sheets hanging on her clothesline, counting stitches in her neighbors’ knitted and crocheted designs on their clotheslines. Apparently, the neighbor wouldn’t share the pattern, so Old Grandma (my great grandmother) simply figured it out on her own.

I work in a museum during the day, and I am a creative handcrafts  entrepreneur by night. My philosophy is to explore and design as I go. But this is only possible because I have been taught the basics by these talented and wonderful women, my aunts, grandmothers, and especially my mother. I hope to share my nerdtastic crafting with the rest of the crafting community.

Enter to win this knitted purse by leaving a comment below. Make sure I have some way to contact you! The door prize is open to all active bloggers worldwide. The winner will be announced Feb. 17th by blog post and email to the winner.

This delightfully soft purse is fully lined in chocolate brown corduroy and the handles are wood beads. The purse is cute and small, measuring approximately 10×6 inches, not including the handles.

Thanks for visiting!!

knitted purse


The Lisa Bag

29 Jan

Several years ago, I received two skeins of rainbow-hued frilly yarn as a graduation present from my friend Lisa.  Shortly after I moved to Savannah, I sat down one night and knitted up this purse. I put a cotton lining in the bottom but not in the handle (mistake 1). I also created an overly complicated closure, with two flaps and three snaps covered by buttons to make it look better (mistake 2).

The first Lisa Bag

Shortly after this new year, Lisa sent me a spontaneous present- a box of yarn and beads. Two of the yarn skeins were similar to that graduation present. So I decided to update purse and name it the Lisa Bag, à la Hermès.

beginning the bottom of the purse

I started with a rectangular swatch; then picked up three inches worth of stitches in the middle of the longer side. The material knitted off of this needle formed the bottom, one side of the purse, and then the handle.

I formed the bottom and side of the bag by first knitting a row, then picking up a stitch at the beginning of each row and knitting that stitch together with the next stitch. This connects the strip to the body of the bag without increasing or decreasing the width.

picking up stitches

partially finished bottom of the purse

Once the bottom and side were completed, I extended the long strip the same length to form the handle and sewed the end onto the opposite side of the purse to finish the handle.

nearly finished knit

To finish the purse, I fully lined it in black wool. The knitted fabric is very soft and pliable, so the wool makes an excellent contrast and gives the purse shape.

The lining consisted of one rectangle of wool wrapped around the bottom, and another very skinny rectangle formed the sides and handle. These rectangles were machine sewn together and then hand sewn into the knitted fabric. I like to use large safety pins to hold the lining in place while I sew it onto the knitted fabric.

the lining is pinned in the purse with safety pins

close up of finished bag

finished purse

The final version is available for purchase on my Etsy store, freestyle fashion.

Design*Sponge Blog » eco winter reads

29 Jan

From the always lovely Design*Sponge Blog comes a list of 10 books for winter reading.  Start planning for your organic spring garden (or at least dream):  Design*Sponge » Blog Archive » small measures with ashley: eco winter reads.

Knitting and Bollywood

27 Jan

For our last knitting night, I hosted with an Indian-spiced snack and movie. The movie was Bride and Prejudice, a Bollywood version of the Jane Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice. A stunning, colorful, modern version of my favorite book.  For the main snack, I mixed a dip of: 2 cups plain yogurt, zest of one lemon, juice of half a lemon, one or two cloves of garlic (minced), and lots of cumin, turmeric, mustard seed, and coriander.

Indian-spiced dip ingredients

The longer the dip sits in the frig, the better it gets because the flavors blend and meld. I sliced broccoli and red and green bell pepper for dipping. Super healthy and delicious. Dessert was my Indian rice pudding.

cure for winter blues?

26 Jan

While this”park in a storefront” is a fascinating idea, I don’t think the fake trees is what I need mid-winter.  openhouse gallery: park here.

A much better solution: the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens, one of my favorite places on planet Earth. The scent alone will cure you of almost anything.

better than scrapbooking

26 Jan

When I finished graduate school, a friend made me a collage of photos, favorite memories, and inside jokes. This collage is so much better than a scrapbook, because it is a piece of art that hangs on my wall, rather than a book on the shelf that I never think to look at.


Combining art, photographs, movie ticket stubs, and peppered with tiny flip-flops and a wee knitting basket, the collage hangs in my kitchen above my favorite cabinet.  Some of the pictures are simply of friends, others have longer stories that shall not be told outside our little band of brothers.  My favorite part is the background- white paper with lyrics handwritten in fountain pen.

“Take my love, take my land. Take me where I cannot stand.

I don’t care if I’m still free, you can’t take the sky from me.

Take me  out to the black, they’ll know I ain’t coming back

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can’t take the sky from me

Theres’ no place I can be, since I found Serentity

You can’t take the sky from me.”

Indie Fixx / Decorating with nature in the winter

24 Jan

One of the beautiful things about living in Savannah is that the city is green year-round. The live oaks and magnolias ensure against the city becoming bleak and gray. But for those who don’t have this luxury, I love this idea from the Indie Fixx blog / Decorating with nature in the winter.



24 Jan

I adore Skirt! magazine, and everyday they drop The Daily Muse into my email box. It’s a little clever or artistic something that starts my day off right. Today’s was a video that made me understand why Paris is called the city of lights.

Valentine’s Day gift idea

22 Jan

This is an adorable idea for Valentine’s Day: The Smitten by debs102 on Etsy.

Craft Organization: The stash is stashed

20 Jan

My crafting supplies were getting completely out of control. I was basket case- literally- I had baskets scattered everywhere. And it was getting worse, I also had cardboard boxes holding supplies. yuck.

Disaster area before organization

Disaster area before organization

A friend graciously offered a dresser that she no longer wanted. However, it was large, heavy, and would have been difficult to repaint. I decided to forage thrift shops for what I needed. I found this chest at Youman’s Furniture Warehouse. For less than $10 and a little elbow grease, I had a chest for storage that will triple as a way to carry items to craft shows and provide a cool display. The interior of the chest is lined with paper replicating old advertisements.


Trunk before cleaning

Trunk before cleaning

trunk interior

trunk interior


After rummaging through a bunch of Skidaway Road used furniture stores ranging from boring to skeevy, I arrived at my destination: Two Women and a Warehouse. Two Women and a Warehouse sells vintage furniture and decor items. While I found many pieces I loved, I also found a nice set of shelves that I could afford. A stop at the Sally Mood Drive Goodwill thrift store scored me yet another basket.

The trunk's bent metal hardware

The trunk's bent metal hardware

I spent the morning wiping down the shelves (I did say warehouse) and cleaning and fixing the trunk. Using a hammer and pliers, I bent some of the trunk’s metal hardware back into place. Then it was time for a massive organization. I put all of my scrap yarn into one basket, which was a delightful trip down memory lane: yarn used in my Jayne hat, yarn from sweaters, sock yarn, and mitten yarn. The final results:

Final results

Final results

Trunk and Pretzel Can

The pretzel can came from my grandmother's attic.

Galvanized Copper Tub

This copper tub was left in our backyard by a previous tenant.

A big piece of furniture may have been a cleaner, more elegant solution. But I like that I can see my supplies and don’t have to open every drawer to find something.  My solution was cheaper, supported local businesses and good causes, re-used rather than manufactured new, and was simply more my style.

Shelves from Two Women and a Warehouse

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