Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Design ideas!

One of the big pieces of feedback that Tako Fibers has been getting is "The silkscreened image is so pretty on its own, I don't want to embroider over it!" So, my next idea for kits is to have a multicolored silkscreened image where you only embroider over parts of it. The silkscreened artwork would be part of the design. I have a kit from the '70s that uses that technique (even though its kind of an ugly image) and I think the idea is super. What do you think?

I am also super excited, because I have finally opened up a wholesale account at Brown Sheep! Yay! I am planning on selling crewel yarn by the yard in my Etsy shop, as well as packages of complimentary colors. Also, I am going to be selling hopsack by the yard so that more people can do crewel embroidery without needing to make one of my patterns! yay!

Happy new year to everyone, have a safe and happy eve! We are going to see We Wrote The Book on Connectors tonight at the Blue Moon! Awesome night, fun time!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

theremins and mellotrons

Being married to a musician is awesome, because I love music, and I get to learn all about crazy musical instruments.

For Christmas, Ben got a theremin (from me! made by this guy!) and my dad gave him a talk box (here is an example... think Peter Frampton).

One day, Ben hopes to have a studio with the most amazing instrument ever, a Mellotron! This is the trailer for the Mellotron documentary that is (hopefully) coming out soon!

Monday, December 14, 2009

look! I'm in a video!

Becky from Craft Magazine did a video re-cap of the Urban Craft Uprising show. Watch me be shy and nervous on camera! I make my debut around 2:40, but you should probably watch the whole thing and check out the other wonderful vendors, too! :)

Craft Show Displays

Lovely display we have there!, originally uploaded by maybeemily.

As you are probably aware, I participated in my first BIG craft show recently. While I had sold my wares at a small show in Savannah, this was the first one where I really needed to think through how I was going to display everything with elegance and functionality, cheaply! I didn't get anything from anywhere exotic - all the display pieces were found or put together from local stores - no ordering from display vendors or anything! It was all EXTREMELY affordable, and I would recommend going this route to anyone going to their first craft show.

1) Tables
The tables were narrow buffet tables from Fred Meyer. I scored these when they were 20% off, but these were the most expensive part of the display at around $25 bucks each. We used 2 of them. They are very lightweight, fold up easily, and I can use them around the house as well.

2) Table coverings
2 twin flat sheets and a tablecloth from Ikea. Cost under $20, and I got so many compliments on the color scheme.

3) Wooden shelves
I went to the hardware store and had a 4x4 cut into equal pieces. Then I painted the pieces. Stacked together as half a pyramid, it made the perfect, portable shelf for the bags of pins I had. Awesome!

4) Signage
My dear friend Hollie painted a sign with the Tako Fibers octopus logo and our slogan: "Crewel Embroidery and Other Fiberful Delights!" The whole sign cost maybe 3 dollars. The sign was painted with acrylic craft paint on a yard of craft felt.
All of our price signs were printed beforehand (looks much more professional!) and were displayed in little placecard holders from Ikea. They came in a package of 6 for 2.99.

5) Fake Grass
This was the MOST AWESOME find! There is a wonderful store in Portland called Cargo. It is a huge collection of crazy things from all over the world. They used fake grass as a display element for everything in their store, and they sold it too! I picked up 4 pieces and used them as shown above. I didn't go overboard and cover my whole table with it. Those little bits of greenery helped convey my product as natural and eco-friendly.

6) Smiles
Luckily, a smile is free! We gave out plenty and got plenty in return. Probably the best display item you can have is a great attitude.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


gouache, originally uploaded by maybeemily.

I am feeling drained. I feel like I have used all my creativity up recently. After spending so much time on my embroidery kits, I have wanted to make a few things for myself - paint and draw in my sketchbook, knit a scarf, make some flash animations. But, I seriously have NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE.
On a similar note, my husband hasn't been feeling very creative either. He has been sad lately, because he feels like he doesn't follow through on his ideas.
My question for you is, what do you do to inspire creativity? When you are feeling down or worn out, what makes you feel good? Where do you go or what do you look at to jumpstart your brain?

Look at all that gouache... it needs to be USED!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Best lunch ever!

Best lunch ever!, originally uploaded by maybeemily.

I have to share this amazingly delicious simple sandwich with you. IT WAS SO GOOD.

Extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced honeycrisp apples, a few very thin slices of onions between whole wheat bread, all pressed on our panini press (but could easily just be cooked in a pan like regular grilled cheese). AMAZING! amazing. I am such a big apple/cheese fan.

Now you know, and now you can enjoy the best lunch ever.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yeah Urban Craft Uprising!

What an incredibly awesome experience! I got great feedback from buyers and vendors, and sold a LOT of kits! I am so excited to make new fresh designs now. I'm gonna get crack-a-lackin'!

But, my holiday knitting has been being SO neglected... so I am going to go home, I am going to rest, and I am going to knit! And then i'll embroider some more.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I am going to spend all my money at Urban Craft Uprising...

my favorite cloud pin, originally uploaded by maybeemily.

Today Liz and I spent the afternoon setting up the Tako Fibers booth at Urban Craft Uprising. Oh. My. Goodness! EVERYTHING that I have seen there so far is AMAZING!!!!! I might spend my entire paycheck there. Its going to be really hard to buy gifts, because I want EVERYTHING!
The most beautiful felt paintings and amazing little animals from Softlife are in the booth next to us. They are so great! Liz and I both FREAKED OUT when we saw the amazingness.
We are also right next to Cake Spy, which I love already. We set up pretty early, so we haven't seen the cakey goodness yet, but I am super excited to be sitting between 2 awesome artists! Hooray!
Um... you ARE coming, right? Saturday and Sunday (December 5th and 6th) from 11am - 5pm?? RIGHT? You really should. Get all your holiday shopping done, and buy from local handcrafters!