by gwen harlow



Posted by on Feb 6, 2010 in craft, photo | 0 comments

Hey, what’s up with you on this fine, rainy Saturday?

I am taking pictures with the lightbox I just made* and I swear, swear, swear I am going to post some stuff on Etsy. No, really. I have a whole rack of earrings and a box of necklaces that I have made specifically for this purpose and they just sit, and sit, and sit, and I could offset the cost of some of my many beads if I would just make that teeny effort. And some of them are really cute and if I don’t sell them, I might start wearing them and I do not need more jewelry, believe that.


The lightbox came out pretty well, though some of the edges — let’s just say I am not a pro with the craft blade. I did learn that 1. it is good to start with a fresh blade and 2. it is good to change the blade more frequently and 3. I am not nearly as good at cutting straight lines as I used to be.

I need some better bulbs because the 20W CFLs are not hitting it, but that is all we have in the house so that is what I used. I think a trip to the hardware store is in order. I could stand having some smaller clip lights, too. And I want some other colors of poster board, the blue is nice, the orange came out pretty well, and the white — bleh! Very ugly with the CFLs. Maybe I’ll try some material, too. So the craft store.

Here is my narcissus photo from the other day. No lightbox!

February 2: Narcissus on mantel

And then. With lightbox!

Narcissus again

My favorite buttons that I am probably going to hold on to til the end of time because I will never come up with something deserving enough to use them on:

February 5: Gumbo Filé & vintage buttons

Some of my brooches. I don’t know why Obama’s in there, he’s supposed to be on my camera strap. He’s from a really cool show we went to last year where this woman had painted portraits of all the presidents and had them all lined up and I had photos but I guess I never edited and posted those:

My little blowfish from Archie McPhee, which just happens to be at the bus stop when you come from the Space Needle penthouse and stop by the bead shop on the way to C+E’s house. Our little cat loves him, luckily I got two. I was thinking of making earrings with them but that didn’t really work out:


* This is the lightbox-building tutorial I used. I have some others [some of which are more permanent, one of which is an actual contained-in-vintage-suitcase lightbox-lightbox like you view slides on] bookmarked here.

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Flower tutorials

Posted by on Feb 5, 2010 in craft | 0 comments

How About Orange has a great post of How to make flowery things links just in time for spring [ohpleaseohpleaseohplease come soon!], which reminded me of my own backlog of accessorizing to-dos:

Happy Find: Fabric flowers [check out her amazing flowery pincushions, they are unbearably cute]
dozi: Paper flowers
Hat Diva: Silk flowers [includes dying tutorial]
Swirlydoos: Burnt Organza Flowers
Burdastyle: Flowers for dress/skirt

eta! Totally Tutorials: How to make fabric roses, peonies and poppies

And if you like the peony clips tutorial Jessica linked, check out the following books, they both have tons of how-tos on all kinds of flowers using a variety of materials:

Making Flowers in Paper, Fabric and Ribbon by Steve and Megumi Biddle – buy used
A Passion for Ribbonry by Camela Nitschke – buy used

A few flowery things I’ve made
I’ve added some brief descriptions, they’re all pretty straight-ahead, but feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Craft night: hair bobs! #1 Bird

Hair clip: Layers of various silk flowers glue gunned then attached to clip

Button & lace pin #1

Brooch: Old lace sewn into a round with vintage button on pin backing

Gwen, fall

Necklace: Layers of silk flowers speared with a bead on a headpin through the middle and attached to old costume pearls

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It’s super-craft day!

Posted by on Feb 4, 2010 in craft | 2 comments

It’s super-craft day!

A lot of this going on today with a client call and some housework in between. In a bit I have weekly coffee with J., when we sit around working and talking and eating and drinking, then this evening is the first craft night of the new year at Julie’s, the best café ever.* You should pop by.

Starting February 4th, Julie’s will be open later on Thursdays for you to get your craft on.
DO whatever it is you do, and do it with friends at Julie’s.
Inspire and support each other on getting your projects done!
(The kitchen will close at 7pm, but drinks and baked goods will be available all night.)

I keep thinking about sewing and felt but I’ll probably stick to jewelry. This is a necklace I made a couple weeks ago, I am feeling a strong affinity for flowers right now.

Red flowers, pink ladybirds and grey leaves

[for my creative space thursday]

* As long as we’re talking about the 3/50 project, I’d also like to send a special shout-out to Ark chinese restaurant — some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had — and Raja Market [née Bonfare, where they now have several aisles of Indian spices and foods].

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January 16: Travel bracelet #1

Posted by on Jan 16, 2010 in craft, photo | 0 comments

January 16: Travel bracelet #1

I made this last weekend at a craft day from vintage beads I got at the antiques fair.

Limca is available at Raja Market in Neptune Plaza.

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January 10: One nation

Posted by on Jan 11, 2010 in craft, photo | 0 comments

January 10: One nation

I spent almost eight hours at a craft day at the house of a girl I met once ages ago. Very productive, I have two new necklaces and the best bracelet yet! and two pair earrings. Maybe I’ll photograph when there is daylight.

The little people are about 2/3 of the ones a guy was making for the background scene of some stop animation he’s working on. I don’t think I could make even one of those that well. The body is the top of a popsicle stick, so you have an idea of size. The uniformity of their heads blew me away.

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Say What O’clock!

Posted by on Jan 7, 2010 in craft, photo | 1 comment

January 6: What o'clock

I am so, so, so pleased with this combo bracelet/necklace [bracelace? necklet?].
Made from vintage watch faces and assorted beads from old broken jewelry from the Alameda antiques fair.

Red flower ring

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December 25: Christmastime was here

Posted by on Dec 27, 2009 in craft, photo | 0 comments

snow, globes at Daisy's
Esperanto green scarf with Esperanto green stars for Mom
Tiny reindeer
Necklace for momSnuggie!
Replacement for the Terminator cameraDecember 2: Self, birthday
Self, at Vera's opening

[the last two are not Christmas-related but I haven’t posted any photos of myself lately, they are from my birthday and a friend’s art opening a couple weeks ago, respectively. is that not the most fantastic coat? totally vintage **MINT**, my friend Laura gave it to me when she moved to Seattle — HOW NICE IS SHE?? — and I made the necklace to match. And that little sparkle is the ring Chad gave me on our last anniversary that I never got around to posting a photo of.]

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Count the fantastics, win a prize

Posted by on Nov 10, 2009 in craft | 0 comments

Reading: Back on my soapbox – Karen’s reading recs for National Bookstore Day [which was Sunday, but you can celebrate every day]

Listening: Killer Dude, my daughter’s friend’s band. I LOVE them. Updated late-80s R&B/electronic Prince-ish sound with — I am trying to remember who the vocals remind me of. But it’s this awesome little girl I’ve known since she was 12 and she is all grown up now and sounds like real music and they are seriously fantastic.

Making: Chocolate pudding

Winning: 2nd place in the Taco truck photo contest [prize being $5 towards tacos, which is a full lunch for two] and some cool housewares from Daisy’s [on Park next to Tucker’s, she just put out her always-fantastic collection of ornaments, and year-round all kinds of wonderful bits of decor].

necklace : i forgot the name i made up for this. something about the night sky

[I uploaded a bunch of photos of jewelry last night, here.]

My craft show reception is Friday. I forgot to take pictures of a bunch of the jewelry I made before I took them over to the café last week [I missed 5 necklaces, 3 bracelets, and 3 ribbon-ties, big oversight!]. I’m going for coffee with J. today so we’ll see if any of them sold already and shoot the rest.

That pudding was amazing except for not quite solidifying before I went to bed last night. I had some anyway. I used semi-sweet chips instead of milk chocolate, because that is how I roll. Delicious, even in a not-quite-gelatinous state.

We went to PE today for the first time in almost a month. They’ve been doing construction in the weight room all semester and today there was such a strong chemical smell that it sent me into a horrendous coughing fit that caused me to throw up the nothing that was in the stomach [which is beige! what??] and got me a lecture from Coach about not coming to her class when I’m sick.

Anyway. I got my heart rate up to 160 [thank you, Prince and 2-2-2-Tootsie Roll!] and am all sweaty. It feels good and I am ready to go again tomorrow except it’s a holiday.

“The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
—Allan K. Chalmers

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Come to the reception Friday!

Posted by on Nov 8, 2009 in craft | 0 comments

Come to the reception Friday!

Crafty! Craft/Art Show and Sale at Julie’s

Handmade goods from Alameda’s craftiest artisans
[including me!]
Through December 29

Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden
1223 Park Street, Alameda
(510) 865-2385

Reception: This Friday! November 13, 7-9pm.
Join us for warm beverages and tasty treats and BUY SOME STUFF. There is all kinds of super stuff for your the giftees in your life.

On the Shelves:
Jewelry, Hair Accessories, Scarves, Candles, Soaps, Jellies, Pillows, Aprons, Herbal Products…and more.

On the Walls:

– Madonna and Child inspired paintings by Marilyn Kentz, Marcy Kentz & Pauline Lazzarini.

– Paintings replicating vintage matchbook covers, by Brian Bennett.

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Scary stuff happens

Posted by on Nov 2, 2009 in craft, Halloween, photo | 0 comments

Coveting: Boxes of Fun
Listening: monte disco’s aint nothing going on but the rent
Reading: the 2010 Jokes calendar, as in:

What did the peanut say to the walnut?
Pecan someone your own size!

mexicali styli

Went to the Día de los Muertos festival in Oakland yesterday, wore the Frida headdress I’d made for my daughter the day before. Had a couple tacos and a new pair o’ novios, then went over to Sarah’s late for the juiciest BBQd pork ever and some serious girl company [which was good, I don’t remember the last time I sat around with a bunch of ladies].


Halloween was a reception at Autobody Art Gallery, which is always fantastic and this month even more so, then barhopping on Park Street.

I’m getting my work done, but it’s kind of hard, some people are going nuts studying for the GRE and the leaf blowers are running non-stop [awhile back, I heard about a measure to eradicate these beasts here on The Island, whatever happened to that?]. And of course the helicopters hover day and night around here, what with the closed bridge [yes, still] and then the ensuing but allegedly unrelated oil spill [yes, again]. And the time changed, so it’s almost sunset already. Crazy stuff.

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lovely day, lovely day

Posted by on Oct 29, 2009 in craft | 0 comments

listening: The Mary Onettes [new album out soon!]
watching: The Doves on BBC [new album out soon!!! finally!!!!!]
going: to find the sea glass in Hayward [who knew?]
reading: Month of the Rosary
asking: the question in the second paragraph.

Sierra 10¢

omg i *just* got home. went for café and crafting and chit-chat with j. at 11 a.m. [the patio had sun that kept moving but it was tolerable with a jacket]. i had a creamy vanilla coffee and the tartina and a French macaroon, which is not at all like a macaroon, but rather two meringues with icing inside. i had the chocolate orange, i had one there yesterday, too, they are SO GOOD. then she had to go and i met up with the other j. and headed down to the thrift store and it was suddenly 5 o’clock. we sat on her balcony and watched the clouds turn pink and i finally got home, 7 p.m. so super excellent day all around but i didn’t get anything done. which means i didn’t get any work done, though i did get a bunch of sweaters that i like so i can get rid of the sweaters i don’t like, and that’s something done, right.

i think i am going to be dorothy for halloween, i have this blue gingham apron i got last summer and the perfect small, aged picnic basket i found on the sidewalk recently and i bought a big container of red glitter — i think maybe i can mod podge it onto shoes? anyone? any idea if this will work or if there is a better adhesive? This to That does not have a glitter [metal? glass? plastic?] to pleather shoes [rubber? plastic?] option.

i am chugging ahead on jewelry, this week is pendant danglies on ribbon. very cute and romantic. i talked to julie yesterday about pricing and it sounds like i can charge a little more than i’d thought so that’s a nice surprise. she liked everything i showed her and one of the baristas came over to ooh and ahh, too, which made me feel good. i keep worrying not only will no one want anything but they will loudly say how ridiculous and ugly it is as they’re walking away.

that’s november 13, probably starting at 6 or 7 p.m. brian’s giant retro matchbook cover paintings show is opening there that night, too, and i think they’re still doing the second Friday thing in Alameda and Jingletown so you can make an evening of it.

i leave you with a trivium [just one! i have more but you’ll have to wait!] from the 2010 Trivia calendar that I proofed the other day:

Pistachios are considered flammable solids because they tend to heat spontaneously when stored in large amounts, and can burst into flames under pressure.

and a quote from the 2010 Zen calendar:

When you go to the kitchen to prepare dinner, be born in the kitchen. When you finish there, die. Then be born at the dining table as you eat your dinner and, when you finish eating, die there. Be born in the garden, and sweep with your broom. When you get into bed at night, die there. And when you awaken at daylight, be born anew.
—Soko Morinaga

i would kind of like to beat that into Chad’s head, he has a hard time reveling in the now.

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Of interest on Chad’s birthday

Posted by on Oct 23, 2009 in craft, Halloween, photo | 0 comments

1. Michael Jackson’s This Is It is rated PG for some suggestive choreography and scary images.

2. Three things I have made recently:

Día de los Muertos necklace

Gwen, fall

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