Category Archives: Etsy

March Phat Fiber Sampler – Inspiring Women Series

March is Women’s History Month and in honor of women all over the world we contributors to the Phat Fiber Sampler Box chose the theme of inspiring Women. I suggested this theme originally about a year and a half ago because I had a fabulous idea for an inspiring woman and I wanted to share her with everyone.

My inspiring woman is none other than Marie Curie, the Polish physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity and discovered the elements Radium and Polonium. I’ve been intrigued by her since I was in 7th grade and had to do a very in-depth book report about a historical figure – I chose Marie Curie, and the rest, they say, is history.

These stitch markers are awesome because they glow in the dark just like radium does! Marie Curie used to carry test tubes containing radioactive isotopes in her pocket because of the faint blue light that the substances gave off in the dark. Stick these stitch markers in your pocket and use them to help light up your projects in the night.

One of the first radium laboratories and refining plants in the United States was actually about 15 miles from where I live – Marie Curie supported it and toured it on her visit to the US before her death by radium poisoning at the age of 54. After they discovered how radioactive the material was, the entire complex had to be razed and buried under a mountain of dirt in the 1950s. The site is blocked off with a high fence and every so often the government comes by to check out how radioactive everything still is!

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from March 15 – April 15 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of the March Video (aka The Superbox) AND A $150 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and then post what you’ve purchased in the incentive thread.

Want  to know how you can get one of these boxes? For a Phat Fiber community edited guide to snagging a box, visit this thread in the Ravelry group. The cost of the box is $36 including shipping. Good luck!

Here I am in featured at the 10:50 mark in the Phat Fiber Preview video for this month:

Enjoy the new design, which is up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

February Phat Fiber Sampler – Doctor Who Series

Since my designs were sent off this morning to the Phat Fiber headquarters I thought I’d share with you everything I’m sending in this month for the Phat Fiber sampler box. The box is a great way to try out indie designers and dyers. This month’s theme is “geekery,” which really speaks to me, and that meant that I had far too many ideas! So since I couldn’t decide, instead of one design, I’ve included what seems like a billionty designs.  But they are all framed around one specific geek love of mine – Doctor Who. The first four designs pictured are part of my companion series and the next four are part of my regular Doctor Who series. And yes, everything’s up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

Rose Tyler

Donna Noble

River Song

Amy Pond

Bigger on the Inside (perfect for knitting the shawl of the same name)

The Last Centurion

The Doctor’s Wife

The Only Water in the Forest is the River

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from February 15 – March 15 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of the February Video (aka The Superbox) AND A $150 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and the post what you’ve purchased in the incentive thread.

Here I am in featured right at the beginning of the Phat Fiber video for this month:

Want  to know how you can get one of these boxes? For a Phat Fiber community edited guide to snagging a box, visit this thread in the Ravelry group. The cost of the box is $36 including shipping. Good luck!

Enjoy the new designs, which are up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

favoritethings

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things – Christmas 2013

Creating a new stitch marker design is a little bit like jumping off a cliff. Yes, I know that these beads and that charm and the little filigree accents are adorable, but will anyone else like it? Will it photograph well? Did I just spend a gazillion dollars on beads no one will want?! Eventually, you have to stop thinking about it and just shut your eyes and let go. The new design will either sink or swim, and there’s no way of knowing if it will succeed until you take that chance.

Suffice to say, when a design that I love takes off I feel immensely pleased with it, like a proud mama duck who’s duckling is clearly the best swimmer in the pond. And at the end of the year it’s always fun to look back and see which stitch marker designs were the most popular, most loved, and most talked about. So, without further ado, these are a few of my favorite things!

Flying Colors of the Storm

This summer I stumbled across these awesome little acrylic beads that have a handpainted effect created by being hand-dipped in a variety of painted colors. The double (or triple) dipping creates this amazing swirling effect, much like one of my favorite childhood desserts, the marble cake. I always wanted to make one because it looked so cool, so these beads were like having my cake and eating it too, only without all of the carbs. They eventually became my Flying Colors of the Storm stitch markers, and I was thrilled to see how much everyone else liked them as well – I’ve had to reorder the beads three times since August because I was overwhelmed by the demand!

Confetti

I have this awesome tissue paper that I love using when I ship out packages – it’s white (so it matches anything) but it’s got sparkles embedded in it that turns it from a Plain Jane into a Glittery Glinda type of paper. So when I saw these adorable enameled coin-shaped drops in what seemed like a million different colors I knew I needed to make stitch markers out of them. I usually avoid open jump rings because I’m paranoid about things catching on my yarn, but I made an exception for these little guys. They make the most perfect dangle-free stitch markers and they really do look like Confetti – I feel like it’s a party every time I use them.

Secret of the ChromastoneI first saw these color-changing beads over two years ago, and they took me back to the days of childhood when I had found my mother’s old mood ring – a large, oval thing set in brass with an adjustable band – and wore it around the house as part of my queen costume. That outfit consisted of a long rust-colored ’70s rayon dress with an attached cape, a real fox fur collar from the generation before that had been my grandmother’s, and of course, my scepter – a glittery silver star wand.

I actually think the Secret of the Chromastone design was one of the first times I took a chance that an investment in a design would work out – I saved up for months and months before taking a deep breath and placing the large order for them. Beads that change color can be expensive, so I knew I’d need to price these markers a bit higher than normal and I hoped that everyone else thought they were as great as I knew they were. And you know what? They did! Currently over 200 sets of these awesome little stitch markers are all over the globe, hanging on people’s needles and marking their stitches as they knit or crochet. They are probably the most favorite stitch markers of all.

I Love Coffee

I sang in an a cappella group in college, and one of my favorite songs we sang was an old classic from the ’40s called the “Java Jive.” The chorus goes, “I love coffee, I love tea, I love the java jive and it loves me! Coffee and tea and the jivin’ and me…a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup.” The way the words “a cup” roll off your tongue when you sing them repetitively is a great memory. Here’s a great version from a German a cappella group if you’d like to hear how the song sounds.

But I have a confession to make – I don’t drink coffee. I come from a family of tea drinkers, and while occasionally I have a toffee nut latte at Starbucks, it only happens once or twice a year. But you know what I do love? Chocolate-covered coffee beans. They are delicious! So nothing makes me happier than seeing cute little coffee beans hanging from knitting needles – especially when you are knitting in your favorite coffee shop.

Arabian Nights

There are some songs that just get stuck in your head like an earworm that will never leave. I Can See Clearly Now is one (I tend to sing that line when anyone exclaims, “Oh, I see!”) and for some reason, the Spice Girl’s non-hit If You Can’t Dance is another. Then of course there is the opening song to the Disney movie Aladdin. While I was first designing these stitch markers that song – ok, the chorus – rattled through my head incessantly. I love Moroccan lanterns and beads that seem to light up from the inside. The ornate brass accents and rich colors make these stitch markers seem like they could light up Arabian Nights very well indeed.

These are some of the favorites from my shop, but there are loads more. I have special memories attached to each, be it the song they were inspired by or even sometimes what tv show was running in the background while I was working on them. What stitch markers are your favorites?

Exchanging Fire Giveaway at Juniper Moon Farm

Juniper Moon Farm is celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with a spectacular series of blog posts and giveaways. Exchanging Fire was graciously asked to be the first “day of Christmas” and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Click here or the image below to learn how you can get a chance at a free set of stitch markers from Exchanging Fire! Plus, get a special coupon code for 10% off your order through all 12 Days of Christmas!

It’s time to shop like crazy on Black Friday at Exchanging Fire!

It’s that time of the year again. There’s nothing like sitting down in front of your computer in your pjs, a big cup of cocoa in one hand and a delicious leftover turkey sandwich in other, catching the best deals with your…big toe? Maybe you should put the cocoa down first. Then head over to my shop, Exchanging Fire and shop your heart out this Friday!

Use coupon code AFTERTURKEYDAY to save 15% off anything in my shop from midnight on Thanksgiving night to midnight on Black Friday! Customers who spend $100 or more receive a free gift of one of my favorite things.

Also, you’re invited become an Exchanging Fire Insider, if you aren’t already one. Sign up now to receive your super secret code for even deeper discounts during the Black Friday blowout!

Doctor Who Extravaganza!

I’m so excited to reveal to of you the new stitch marker designs I’ve been working on at Exchanging Fire since season seven of Doctor Who ended this summer. I’ve been preparing for the 50th anniversary and Christmas specials, of course. And what better way to enjoy them then knitting along with your very own DW-themed stitch markers? Most of the modern companions are included, as well as some of my favorite quotes and concepts from the show. I hope you enjoy!

November Phat Fiber Sampler: The Queens’ Jewels

For the November 2013 Phat Fiber box, which has a Renaissance theme, I was inspired by the wives of King Henry VIII. The Queens’ Jewels Collection represent three of King Henry VIII’s wives who were either beheaded or died tragically, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Kathryn Howard. The queens, or “queen consorts” as they were called, actually shared their jewelry. Well, not so much as shared by were given their predecessor’s after their death. So often in state portraits (which you can find online), you’ll see Catharine Parr wearing a necklace that once belonged to Katherine of Aragon, or even Queen Elizabeth I wearing her mother Anne Boleyn’s “B” necklace.

Anne’s Rubies

These stitch markers represent Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s mistress, wife, martyr, and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I.

Jane’s Sapphires

These stitch markers represent Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII’s mistress, wife, saint, and the mother of Edward VI.

Kathryn’s Emeralds

These stitch markers represent Kathryn Howard, King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, mistress, and their jealous May-December relationship.

 

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from November 15 – December 17 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of the November Video (aka The Superbox) AND A $150 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and the post what you’ve purchased in the incentive thread.

Enjoy the new designs, which are up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

October Phat Fiber Sampler: Flying Colors of the Storm

Here’s my official submission for the October Phat Fiber sampler box! The theme this month was “Brewing Up a Storm” and I was inspired by the rainbow you sometimes see during a storm.

Meet Flying Colors of the Storm, a set of eight handpainted beads in a rainbow of colors. Each stitch marker looks like it’s own little color storm.

Here’s my inspiration photo:

For the name I used the song The Storm by Flying Colors as my lyrical inspiration for the stitch markers I created:

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from October 15 – November 17 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of the October Video (aka The Superbox) AND A $150 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group and the post what you’ve purchased in the incentive thread.

Here I am in featured halfway through the Phat Fiber video for this month (at minute 4:28)!

Want  to know how you can get one of these boxes? For a Phat Fiber community edited guide to snagging a box, visit this thread in the Ravelry group. The cost of the box is $36 including shipping. Good luck!

 

chevron2

Meet My New Chevron Blanket!

I commissioned my friend Katie to make me a chevron cut chenille throw blanket and it arrived today! It’s absolutely gorgeous and I’m over the moon about it. I love the bright aqua chevron stripes with the contrasting sunny yellow edging and chenille-style backing. I was inspired by the work in her Etsy shop, Mr. Kitty Is My Name, and knew I wanted one of her fabulous blankets!

For those of you who have never seen this style of cut chenille, it’s created by a very time-consuming but worthwhile process. You sew half-inch to one-inch lines along a set of fabrics that have been layered together (a pretty fabric for the front and different colors of flannel fabric for the back), and then cut the flannel channels made with the sewing. When the blanket is washed and dried, the flannel creates the chenille because since it it is cut on an angle (the bias) it fluffs rather than frays.

I’d been lusting after this blanket since seeing the online tutorial for it about a year ago. However, I’ve loathe sewing machines since I was “taught” to use one in a 7th grade Home Ec. class back in the ’90s, so getting my dream blanket seemed like a far-off wish. Until Katie started her cute little shop and I realized my dream could be a reality! For this blanket, Katie went the extra mile, sewing along the lines of the chevrons to create a lovely zigzag pattern on the chenille side.

As you can see from the images below, I laid this out on the floor and went away to find my camera. By the time I had returned, someone had ensconced herself on the blanket. She didn’t believe me when I told her that white and blue do not match black kitties, promptly rolling over to show me her belly as a response. Sigh.

I love my new blanket, it’s totally awesome, and the perfect size for me to wrap myself in it and take a nap. Which I may or may not have already done. ;)

Hey Life Savers!

There was this great jingle in the ’70s for that life buoy shaped hard candy we all know and love – Hey LifeSavers! I was inspired to name these awesome rainbow stitch markers after the candy they remind me of. You can check them out in my shop, Exchanging Fire.

Hey LifeSavers!

And for all of you who want to hear the tune, here is the entire series of Hey LifeSavers! commercials. Enjoy the show!