Monday, August 20, 2012

August Featured Artist/Crafter - Lori "Gypsy" Damiani of Whopski Illusions

Lori's Bio:
Painter/ink/sketch/sculpting/ and many more...

1. How long have you been making jewelry?
I have been creating masterpieces for 22 years and counting.

2. What inspires you the most?
Helping others achieve their creative idea.

3. What is/are your favorite materials/supplies?
My favorite materials are a plain canvas or a blank sheet of paper. :)

4. Do you have a favorite tool?
A pencil.

5. What is your work space like?
My work place is...lets just say wish it was bigger.

6. When do you find the most time to work?
I have the most time to work during midday.

7. How does your work fit into the rest of your life?
I always make time for it.

8. How often a week do you get to work?
I get to paint/draw at least 2 to 3 times a week.

9. Do you sell your work? Directly? Indirectly?
I sell my work directly to customer.

10. Do you have a business (on or offline)? Consign?
I am a freelance artist at the moment wanting to start a full time business.

11. Do you have a website? Blog? Facebook profile or fan page? Myspace? Twitter? Pinterest?
I do not have any website yet, I use word of mouth at moment.

12. Where do you feel your work fits in your market? (Do you concentrate on high volume, low volume; do you make multiples or one of a kind only; Walmart or Bergdorf Gelman?)
I concentrate my work on a detailed one of a kind piece of work for my clients. My logo quote "if you can think it, I can create it "

13. What is your favorite part?
My favorite part is being able to help people create the image in their head to become reality.

14. How did you get into painting/drawing?
I got into painting and drawing when i was little, advanced through all art classes provided in public schools by 8th grade, and kept going...I would have to say i just have a natural talent.

15. Favorite deceased artist? Why?
Dali, Lipchiz, Monet, Picasso, Da Vinci, because they were called weird in their time for creating their imagination.

16. Favorite live artist?
Actually i do not have one.

Interested in contacting Lori for your own custom piece of art?  Need some truly one of a kind word in your home?  Use the link below!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August Product Review - Loops & Thread Impeccable Worsted Yarn

My personal stash as of today...

Acrylic naysayers aside I like Michaels brand Loops & Threads Impeccable Worsted Yarn.  At the current market price it offers good price value with respect to it's volume.  Locally it's available here for about $3.49 + sales tax (currently 5% ish).  The hallmark of the equation is the fact that similarly priced yarns have less yardage.  Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice is comparable in texture (both are soft acrylics) but L&T has a slightly different feel to it.  It also boasts only a yardage of 170 yards / skein for solids, whereas L&T comes out to 268 yards / skein for their solids.  A drawback is they don't have the plethora of colors that VC has, but they still to have the good ole standards and some interesting combinations in their variegated options.  This brand is also largely only available at Michaels stores, it's somewhat difficult to find online for sale like some of the other big name yarn company options.  All in all, I believe it's a good fit for someone on a budget, especially if you like it's color choices and I give it a 5 star!

Loops & Threads Impeccable Worsted Solids 

 Loops & Threads Impeccable Worsted Ombres

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August Craft/Art Form - Knitting

Hopefully if you're reading this you don't know what knitting is, that way you can Really get something out of this post.  But even if you are conversant in some aspects of knitting hopefully this post will serve as some additional instruction for you!

Knitting is not your grandmother's past time anymore.  When most people think of knitting, they likely conjure up itchy wool sweaters with reindeer or snowflakes on them, socks, scarves, hats, and the proverbial mittens.  These are well meant gifts from that older female relative that thought it would be sweet to make you a gift this year.  Then there is the "boyfriend sweater curse"...the one in which you make your boyfriend a sweater and he ends up never wearing it and quite possibly leaving you (and it) by the wayside.

Knitting is not those things anymore, it's so much more and thanks to kick ass designers like Debbie Stoller and her crew from the Stitch n' Bitch Nation (among the other myriad works she's compiled) knitting is hip, it's popular, it's cool, it's tre chic!  You can see knitwear in all the latest fashion mags, from simple drapes and sweaters to intricate and unique works of art.

So here's the down & dirty for ya...

What is knitting?

Knitting is "the turning of fibers (thread or yarn) into a fabric by means of using elongated and tapered needles and manipulating the fibers via rows of loops (eg stitches) in successive rows".  Now what all that jargon boils down to is this:  you have a bunch of loops on a knitting needle, and you make a fabric by pulling your working fiber (what comes off your skein, hank, cake, or cone) through the loops and transferring that new loop onto another needle.  Trust me, it's easier than it sounds.

And for those of you that wanna get "crazy" about what knitting is in detail check out the Wikipedia article about it...

How long has knitting been around?

Knitting is one of the oldest fiber arts with examples stemming back from Ancient Egypt (coptic socks).  Like many professions it was originally done by men only and for purely pragmatic use.  After it was industrialized it became more of a leisure activity and passed into the hands of women more.

How do you distinguish knitting from other fiber arts like crochet?

The biggest difference between knit & crochet is in the tools you use.  Knitting has a little more versatility in that you can do it three ways, crochet does not.  Knitting uses (when done by hand only) at least two needles (some styles use up to four or five, but only two are actively used at a time).  Crochet uses a hook.  Up until recently you couldn't knit with anything but a set of knitting needles (machine, or loom) but with the advent of Knooking that's changed.  However that's another animal altogether and it's not really's Knooking (knitting with a crochet hook).  Knitting also produces a widely different fabric than crocheting does.  Typically knit fabric is stretchy and lends itself well to things that need drape and is thinner, making it ideal for socks, and other garments where a lighter fabric might be preferred.  Crochet is purportedly three times thicker, and uses more yarn.  Knitted fabric is not the best for sculptural design given it's construction - you make an entire length of stitches at a time versus one stitch at a time.

As compared to weaving the stretch and give of knitting comes in handy making it much more suitable for garments (this statement is made were you to handweave & knit two different fabrics with the same type & size of fiber).  However weaving typically uses much finer fibers as a rule and in that case the bulk and drape of woven fabric is lesser and better than knitted fabric.

What types of knitting are there?

This is a two part question as it can be addressed in terms of the means by which one creates knitting as well as styles of knitting.  Knitting can be done by hand (the oldest and most popular method), by machine, or via a loom.  Knitting may also be characterized as Fair Isle, Intarsia, Entrelac, Flat Knitting, Knitting in the Round, Double Knitting, & Lace Knitting.  You can also characterize knitting as either Warp Knitting or Weft Knitting and within that English or Continental Knitting.

Important details about knitting?

The back of a knit stitch is a purl, and vice versa.  While there are only two "basic stitches" knit and purl, there are a plethora of stitches to create increases and decreases, each giving the finished fabric a characteristic look.  There are many techniques that involve the use of different stitch combinations within knitting, ribbing (vertical textured stripes), welting (horizontal textured stripes), and basketweave (a checkerboard like combination of ribbing & welting); that gives your knitted fabric more dimension.  There are many different types of stitches (Eg. Elongated Stitches, Left & Right Plaited Stitches, Cables) that give knitters and knit designers several options in their final pattern or design.

Have any questions about knitting?  Ask in our comments so we can revise the post or address it in another one!

Resources Referenced:


August Pattern/Tutorial - Knitting Through the Front Loop

This month's tutorial is the knit stitch, also referred to as "k" or "K" in abbreviated patterns.  The knit stitch is one of the foundation stitches of knitting along with the purl stitch.  For both you can work through either the front or back of the loop and how you work determines your knitting style.  When I learned I learned to knit through the back loop and for some time I only knit in that fashion, however when one comes upon knitting done in a particular style or with certain types of increases or decreases it's important to know both as one may be called upon specifically.  Here I'm providing a video tutorial of how to knit through the front loop.  (I'll be adding a photo tutorial later!)

I hope you enjoy and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more tutorials and goodies!

Monday, August 6, 2012

August Update!

So it's been a month of pre-planning and new schedule implementation.  It's been okay, but it's been a definite and interesting change!  We still have a great many things in progress as things get re-formatted to be newer and better!

What you may have missed:

  • Our Artfire & StorEnvy are both up to date (with the very few exceptions of new things just coming out!)
  • This development has been a bit up and coming for awhile, evolving as we develop it... new watermarking procedures.  You can note some of these in our latest listings.  We do love our pretty fonts!
  • Faith Works' Official Site now has all of it's buttons included!
  • There has been a lot of wonderful work with Laura Roeder (referred to on Marie Forleo's blog) so even more updates in our systems have occurred, all towards reaching You better!

What you can look forward to this month:

  • New & Improved Sales Schedule!  We're re-vamping our Sabbat Sales to start and end with time for shipping for your order to arrive to you the day of (or before) the Sabbat!  This will take some careful planning...
  • Some new products of course
  • A newsletter! (Available via email)
And for our special blog followers our Lammastide/Lughnasadh coupon!  (Released a little late I know!)  Use "L4MM4S" at checkout at Artfire, StorEnvy, or Our Official Site* for 30% off anything in the store - Limit one use per buyer!

*Coupon will be applied to the most expensive item after order is complete and refund will be sent with the Paypal email you have used.