Thursday, April 16, 2020

Evil Eye Bangle and Earring Set


Sometime during our camping trip last summer the idea of an Evil Eye, Nazar or Mati design started rolling around in my head. I guess I've always been a little superstitious.  It can't hurt anything at least.  I keep 2 horse shoes turned up above the high traffic doorway to my house and above my studio door. I burn sage on occasion.  I suppose it's part intrigue, part hobby for me.


I started looking up a bunch of designs and meanings after a while.  I linked the Wikipedia page above. The evil eye talisman runs rampant throughout religions and history.  There are so many design options to work from, it's been fun just looking.


So I decided to pick one nice scrolling design and a simpler one with rays coming from the edges.  I drafted both of them and started with the simpler and slightly smaller design.  I'm not always sure I'll like how a design turns out. Sometimes the circles aren't quite right, or the color combination isn't quite right.  Neither of these issues came up in making this set.  I have one little blip in the design that I'm not sure anyone but me will notice.


I really like how the bangle turned out, I really LOVE how the earrings turned out.  There's something sleek about the diamond with the eye in the center floating alone.


I figured with this COVID-19 bad juju floating around some talisman jewelry pieces were in order.  I wonder what I should do next?  Probably that fancy scrolling version of the evil eye. In the meantime I'm wearing this set as much as possible.  I had to pick up more mask-making supplies from Joann's today and we grabbed carryout for our day off together and I wore them out.  Maybe I'll even shower at some point. I have sold 6 more masks in the past 2 days so I've got to get back to making those so that I have options for people.



Friday, April 10, 2020

Fabric Mask Making during COVID 19


Well, here we are needing to hunker down and stay home to keep from spreading COVID-19.  I told myself that I wasn't going to make masks, with working overtime I wanted to keep what free time I had to my artwork.  After I got off the phone with my dear friend Abigail on Sunday I decided it was time.  She is in Tenessee and they are required to wear masks if they are out in public for anything. 

I imagine Michigan is headed the same direction where we will be required to wear masks so I'm just getting a jump on it and have been testing out a pattern this week.  Joann Fabrics has been sending out a ton of imformative emails with different mask making patterns and suggestions.  I decided I like the more form-fitted ones versus the 6 x 9 rectangles with pleats.  THIS is the pattern I started with.


I printed the PDF for the mask that is provided in the pattern turtorial and made my first mask along with the video.  I already knew that I wanted to use elastic around the ears (so I could still move it away from my face to drink my coffee at work, not worry about it getting tangled in my hair etc.).  I also skipped the interfacing step to keep it simple and easier to wash and not be too stiff.  I also knew I'd probably be altering the pattern and might need less layers in the beginning.


I made my first mask (above) and wore it to work the next day.  I made the straps way too tight which hurt my ears and the mask kept moving down my nose as I talked to customers, trained on the computer programs and moved around the store.  It works great if I'm not talking to anyone though (or minimally).  When I got home that night, I dropped it into Photoshop and added a half inch to the length of the pattern.


My second day at work with the mask was much better, 7 inches for the elastic loops so it keeps the mask in place but not super tight, long enough that I could talk without it moving around and it still cupped my face.  The last issue was it needing to be a little bit tighter over the bridge of my nose.  I added darts on either side of the nose (below/middle of my eyes) and it works perfect.  I've been pulling fabric from my stash and buying some fun stuff to work with too. 


My coworker Russ wanted me to make him a mask first.  I wasn't really planning on making and selling them, but I feel like I'm filling a need for those around me, a little bit of protection for my bubble at least.  When I finished his mask we found his face was longer than mine and he was having the same issue I was with the very first pattern (so I've got a longer version now that I still need him to try but it's an additional half inch longer in the front, the back of the pattern is about the same, I moved some lines).  Another coworker has paid me for a Star Wars mask (he lit up when I told him we had bought some Star Wars fabric), a friend ordered 3 masks, I want to have enough to not having to do laundry all the time.  So I'm making masks.


Elastic!  Everywhere seems to be out of elastic from what I can tell.  Since I keep almost everything, I have been cannibalizing old camis for their elastic straps and edging.  When I noticed this I laced an order with one of my bead suppliers, Fire Mountain Gems, which still has some elastic options in stock.  I'm using what I have right now though, who knows when that elastic will get to me from Oregon.


My studio was getting cleaner until I switched gears, now there's a very narrow path between my loom and an ironing board to my sewing table.  Fabric is piling up, I'm thinking about cutting scraps into mini squares to make a quilt at some point in the distant future.


Bryan and I both are still going to work, I got an "essential" job at Home Depot when Talbots was forced to close it's doors and Bryan is in IT and we need the internet to keep running.  We are making sure to wear masks when we go out, especially to the grocery store and at work.   The key to these fabric masks is that they're machine washable and you need to wash after you wear them out.  I'm washing all of them first and bagging them (with freshly washed hands) for others.  I always suggest to air-dry things, especially since dryer heat and elastic don't mix.  But they are ok to put in the dryer too. 


You can see my weaving under the above picture.  I have been joining my fellow AA's on Zoom meetings in the evenings via my tablet and cutting fabric for the masks as we chat at my loom.  This is my life right now and I'm so thankful that we are happy, healthy, I have my meetings still to keep me in check with learning a new job and coming home and making masks.  I know so many people that are making and donating masks to medical workers, I figure since I can sew, I can at the very least make my own.  As much as sewing can be meditative and a fun little break for me, I hope to get to the point where I have a stock-pile of masks and I can get back to weaving!



Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Earring Commissions


Three weeks ago my day job closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  I immdiately was nervous about Talbots reopening and money from artwork and jewelry sales just trickes in, it's not a steady flow (plus many of my art galleries that carry my work were first to close).  So I put out there on my social media that if there was anything that people were thinking about purchasing, I had the time and now would be helpful if they wanted me to make something.  I had three earring commissions come through! 

First was Ginger, she asked about purple earrings, I sent her a photo of what I had in stock.  She chose the arrow striped ones but needed them a little shorter.  So we came up with these.


Second was Sally.  I had forgotten that when I posted my tiny leaf earrings around the holidays that she had commented that she wanted a pair of red and orange ones.  I sent her these two options.  


She picked the one I liked the most. :)  And off to Utah they went!


Roxy saw Ginger's earrings and wanted a neutral pair to go with everything (gold, silver tones with black).  When she mentioned matte black with it, I was in love.  I sent her the below photo with the two earring options, the shorter like Ginger's on the left but I wanted to try it with one more color, so I made the longer ones too.  She loved the longer ones, so off those went to Ohio.



I tend to give social media a bad rap for being toxic, but this gave me hope, and I'm seeing a lot of good come out on it the past 3 weeks.  Thank you so much ladies!  (And also to Danna for purchasing a huge weight out of my garage ;) ).

In the meantime I did get another job which I'm enjoying and has a ton of benefits and is considered essential right now.  While I had the orange beads out for Sally's earrings I made a pair of orange leaf earrings to match my Home Depot apron. :)


I also started making masks this week.  But that's for the next blog post...

Evil Eye Bangle and Earring Set

Sometime during our camping trip last summer the idea of an Evil Eye , Nazar or Mati design started rolling around in my head. I guess I&...