Through the interwebs & twitter, I've come to know so many awesome yogis who are also really good crafters - y'know... people who are good with their hands, creating all these beautiful things out of nothing but their imagination, scraps of fabric and technical skillz (yes, with a "z").
First, there's Liz. Ashtangi-Extraodiniare who also has such a great sense of humour. She also hand-makes awesome bags for a living, and some of the bags in her range reflect this. Seriously, who wouldn't love a bag of these HUNKS with their furry moustaches? (Yes, their 'taches are made of "Pet Me Please!" furry cloth)
I have my eye on my all-time favourite, Mr. T with his furry tuft of a mohawk. How much more awesome can you get?!
Then there's Angie, fun-loving Iyengi (who knew "fun-loving" and "Iyengi" could co-exist?!) who hand-makes all kinds of yoga props with colourful fabric... bolsters, zafus, eye pillows... If Iyengar requires it, you can bet she'll make it. (She's still working on her website, so that link is to her company's Facebook fan page)
There's also Katy, who not only sells eco-friendly yoga mats (OK, she doesn't hand-make these, but she's also craft-y, you'll see!) ...but she also makes all kinds of gorgeous yoga-inspired jewellery.
And @sundarastudio who makes gorgeous yoga mat bags using Ikea fabric. (She's moving house now, so no bags listed at the moment but you can sign up to find out when her Etsy store is back in action.)
And finally, one of my old friends, @elenaho who designs and creates things digitally (we knew each other through work in post production), but I've only recently discovered that this clever girl also hand-makes a whole buncha things in the physical world. Like, a WHOLE BUNCHA THINGS... from knitted Star Wars figurines...
...to bags she used to sell on Etsy...
...to necklaces, clothes, yoga bags... the mind boggles at this chick's crafting skillZ. Her Flikr photo stream here.
So... being surrounded by all these beautiful people who are also so creative... it got me thinking... what else could I do as a form of expression... something I could MAKE and CREATE and call MINE?
You've seen my attempts at baking (I SUCK!)... I can't sew a straight line to save my life (at the tender age of 13 years old, my grandmother had to take my Home Economics project away from me to sew on my behalf, since I kept getting her precious sewing machine tangled in knots. Grandma got me an "A" on the project). :)
So... then I stumbled across a jewelry-making workshop in Newtown. I figured I spend A LOT of money on accesories (of the plastic variety, not the real precious bling), so I might as well learn how to make them and see where that takes me. I mentioned this briefly last week (how I think I've found a new hobby) and promised I'd write about it, so here it is.
Newtown's this really funky, vibey suburb close to town... quite bohemian, with lots of great cafes down the main street... a place where it's not uncommon to see guys in meggings (y'know... skinny jeans so tight that they become "men leggings"), the buskers there are playing tabla drums (very earthy and organic, nothing like the buskers in town with their electric guitars plugged into speakers)... I came across this cute store I'm sure Liz will go gaga over. I just like its name: All Buttons Great & Small. (yes, an entire store full of BUTTONS!)
It's a suburb so arty-farty that someone even put a bubble-blowing machine by their letterboxes, so bubbles were blowing out onto the people on the sidewalk. How could you not smile at this cuteness? (I'm also impressed that no one has stolen the bubble-blower either!)
I really, really like Newtown. Maybe I've got a bit of pretentiousness in me, but I really, really like these small details about a place that actually make it A PLACE. It's called CHARACTER.
So off I went to Etelage. Check out the ceiling where the signboard was hung. It's like from the original Victorian (?) era. I've forgotten all my Art History terms already... what is this ceiling bit called? Etchings? Cornishes? Ah, whatever. It's pretty.
I did 2 workshops that day - stringing and linking. I came out of it with 2 necklaces (with matching earrings) that I will probably NEVER, EVER wear again (coz they're so dainty and er... not me!)... BUT! With just these 2 simple techniques learnt, I'm fast realizing I can actually put pretty much ANYTHING I want together.
So I got a couple of DIY kits and spent last weekend MAKING STUFF!! :) :) :)
Er... I've even got me my own beading box now, and lots of magazines for ideas and inspiration... Yeah, BEADING MAGAZINES?!?!??? I am now officially a Bead Dork too. I got so engrossed in this that I actually missed last Sunday's practice, and er... I did the same thing again today too! (Stayed up late reading beading sites and couldn't get my ass outta bed this morning)
I made these graphic earrings:
I also made another gift for someone, but won't put that online till after she receives it, of course!
This weekend, I thought of making my own earrings for a friend's upcoming wedding where I'll be one of three bridesmaids. We've all got our beautiful dresses in the mail already, so I thought I'd make chandelier earrings to go with my strapless turquoise taffeta dress. It's a pretty predictable design coz HEY! It's only the 3rd item I've ever made on my own! (and this one was from scratch, no kit to follow!) It's made of Czech glass and Swarovski crystals.
While looking around at bead stores online, I found THE AWESOMEST tool kit and told Kelly that this is what I want for Christmas (even though I've already bought some tools to start off with. They're just boring, regular tools.)
Awww Chyeahh! A PINK tool kit with matching pink case!!! I'll be the most stylish beader in the village!! (OK, "Stylish" might be pushing it. I'll be the PINKEST beader in the village.)