Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shameless promoting...

I hadn't talked a lot about my work lately, but I have been working really hard to meet the higher demand of tams as it has gotten cold in certain regions early this year.
I am a workaholic when it comes to crocheting for sale.
I feel good about my work and my handmade business. When you believe in something it is easy to pour your heart and hours into it.
(All new tams are available at my webstore Purple Sage Designz)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A crocheter's dream

Someone on my crafting group board posted a link to an ad on Craigslist NH.
Yarn and more yarn...up for grabs $1 a skein.
Pictures like this make my adrenaline rush and I can imagine going through all these totes and picking several hundred dollars worth of wools.
(Some people including my husband may be happy that New Hampshire is not within my reach).
The ad is here (if you happen to be a yarn addict and live in this area)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Poverty in the Western World -- In the back yard of the USA (Pine Ridge Reservation)

The Pine Ridge Reservation ranks #2 right after Haiti on the poverty list of the western hemisphere.

"Spreading the wealth around", is it really such a bad idea considering that even in bad economic times there is still an abundance of luxury in this wealthy country?

Even if the present government may not believe in social justice or giving to the poor with infrastructural programs, there are ways for us ordinary people to share what we may have to spare for people who need our help.

These are 2 organizations which I can recommend from personal experience as the donated goods reach directly the people who need help most.

Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation
Crafting For A Cause (crafter yahoo group which supports the Pine Ridge Reservation community services and 101 sponsorships for children and elders in need
Crafted items and store bought items are usually donated especially for the cold winter months)

Click to join CraftingForACause

Click to join CraftingForACause

There are more organizations out there and their non-profit status grants a tax-deduction for donations.
Now that Christmas shopping starts soon and we are lured into consuming more than we need, it's a good time to reflect on the needs of the poor right here in this country.

I refuse to feel helpless.
I believe we all can make a difference.

(More videos on the subject of Poverty which does not only refer to Native Americans can be viewed on YouTube, for example

Monday, October 20, 2008

Great book find -- Decorative Art 70s

Sid and I went book shopping yesterday since he was hunting for specific photograph volumes. I really didn't have a certain book in mind and just browsed through craft books, fiction and non-fiction bargains.
Besides another issue of Crochet Interweave, Candy Crochet (Candi Jenson) I discovered this life-style pop art book.
Edited by Charlotte & Peter Fiell.
Both a serious reference tool and enjoyable browsing material, this features over 600 images of decorative arts and design from the 1970s.
The futuristic, experimental aesthetic was everywhere, as well as a return to natural methods, an emphasis on craft, and pushing the logic of industrial living to its extreme. Once again, Taschen has assembled a comprehensive collection of photographs that define an era.
Out of print
I am fascinated with 70s culture.
As a lot of its architecture and fashion is considered a "hOW nOT tO dO iT" in our present design world, for me the 1970s represent a decade of experimental life-styles and social changes, reflected in both decor, community structures and self expression.
Many may call it ugly. But often we develop an unconditional love for the decade of our youth.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

PEACE -- Just something for us ole hippies?

I am not afraid to say that I am still a this a bad word these days?

I let John Lennon speak (sing)...Give peace a chance. Off to watch more CNN about the election race.
This is an exciting time.
Have a great weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just Do It

I found this article today How To Just do It when I was browsing online comments of handcrafting sellers on discussion forums (something I do very seldom these days, but sometimes I just can't help it, it's like reading a newspaper for my genre).
These questions come up all the time.
Should I have a blog? a website? go to craft shows? Try another handmade site like Dawanda?
Try to sell my handmade wares at all?
Of course it's reasonable and smart to do a research, gain as much knowledge and opinions beforehand as possible, but why not just do it and try for yourself?
Invest a little time, a small sum of disposable money and give it a shot.
Learning by doing is the best way to find out if something works for you.

And as much as I detest companies like "Nike" who have their merchandise produced under questionable work conditions in certain countries, their slogan is powerful.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's a shame

AIG luxury retreat scandal (AP report)
While people are worrying about fundamental issues in their lives like homes, pensions, savings, affordability of heating and goes on in the corp world as if nothing happened.
Insane spending on a luxury life style while the ordinary Joe and Jane suffer from anxieties about how to secure a standard modest life style.
Just another affirmation that I will never work for the corp world again.
When will ethics and responsibility which comes with handling other people's finances ever go hand in hand with making profits?
Shame on you.
There is more to life than spas, stuffing your face and hitting the golf ball in a luxury hotel.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Feature, dentist and new tams

Today I just would like to add a brief update, as there are not many new things happening around here.

This blog feature just blew me away:
Thanks so much Angie of iheartnorwegianwood for all the kind words and pictures about my products that she purchased for her store in Montreal.

The dentist saga just keeps going on...and I don't want to make anyone cringe listening to root canal treatments. I am grateful to have affordable health insurance...for now. Through Sid's employer. I still spend large sums on co-payments and the expenses after my insurance coverage has been maxed out. My son does NOT have health insurance. I strongly hope for change, so that everyone in this country CAN go to a dentist. A tooth cannot be fixed with an over-the-counter medication, just like cancer cannot be cured with aspirin from Walgreens. America, join the Western world on health care for your people already, please, it's the 21st century!

Now, the busiest time of the year for crocheted tams has just begun. And I will update with many more OOAK tams as I have a huge inventory of yarns in smaller quantities. Each one will be unique and never repeated.

Available on my site and in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bob Marley & The Wailers 'Could You Be Loved'

Raggae was the only music style I truly enjoyed in the early 1980s.
I had all his albums on those little cassette player tapes. A long gone era.
Could you be loved is one of my favorites by Bob Marley because of the energy in this song.
You just want to get up and dance.

I always post a video when I don't want to:
talk about Etsy
talk about buying/selling
my crafts
got no advice
didn't do anything interesting
got nothing to say.
Jamming is better than unmotivated bla bla:)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Long slouchy beanie tams...a few answers to your questions

Now, I have received several questions concerning the "long style hippie tam" pattern from last year, made in willow green wool blend.
I don't have this tam anymore, but I have quickly taken 2 snapshots of some longer tams.
As you can see, they are not round beret style tams. I start with an increase at the top like you would start a beret, but I stop increasing before I would end up with a dinner-plate size crown. I make the crown up to smaller dessert-style plate size:)
Then, depending on my pattern (in blue-brown it's an open weave with 1 dc, 1 chain, (skip one dc), 1 dc) and in orange it's the same with half-double crochet stitches.
I just add rows to the round crown until I have reached my desired length. I don't increase or decrease.
If it turns out really wide, then I will crochet 1 row where I decrease every 6th stitch by crocheting it together to reduce the width. As you can see in the orange tam, it comes in a bit towards the rim. If it's still too wide I repeat another decreasing row.
Last row usually is a row of single crochet stitches with a gap inbetween where I lace the tie-string through.
In the picture of the orange tam you can see the "underside" more clearly, where the rows are joined without a width increase, this will sit at the back of your head where it folds down and is invisible that way. Darker colors or variegated yarns usually hide the joining, that's why I picked this tam for demonstration.
To Fabien and other blog readers who had emailed me, I am not sure if this answers your question so far.
For the length I don't count rows, I have a measuring tape and go by inch length.
I estimate length 12" for a good size rasta tam, 14" for extreme long dreads, 10"-11" for moderate, maybe chin-shoulder long dreads, 8"-9" for short hair, with just a bit of slouch.
I lay the hat flat and measure from crown to rim. The width usually is an 12" average.
Any questions?
Please post in comments, I'll be happy to answer.