Friday, May 25, 2012

Genet Giveaway III - Ninetta Neckwarmer & Malabrigo


It's another week of Genet and another week of a giveaway! This time we're giving away three skeins of Malabrigo Rios in Cumpersita (sorry, no picture yet, will try to remedy this before the end of today) and the Ninetta Neckwarmer by generous designer Nina Machlin Dayton! This neckwarmer is near and dear to my heart because it was one of the first patterns published by my pet project, The Malabrigo Freelance Project, which has continued for almost three years now (they're already done 'casting' the third year, and this one isn't even halfway over yet).

As always, if you have donated, you will be automatically entered to win this lovely set. However, even if you don't donate, you can enter to win too -- just by spreading the word about The Genet Quarterly. Hop on your Twitter or Facebook or blog and talk about The Genet (leave a comment here that says your account name, or use the hashtag #genetquarterly if your account is public), and think about joining our Ravelry group too, if you're on Ravelry (although that does not gain you an entry). If you aren't a knitter, you can enter to win a different kind of prize -- a custom designed, custom-knit hat from me! I will be putting anyone's name in this pool who donates to the Quarterly, no matter the amount (even if you do knit and win, you'll still get the prize!)

Right now we are at about 10% of our funding and have about 20 days to go to earn around $14,000. I know that seems like a huge number but I will be breaking it down on the Kickstarter today to show you all how the money plays a big part in making the magazine really awesome for you! I want this to be a success so badly. If you can help by just spreading the word around, it would mean so much to me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Genet Quarterly Sketches

Technically sketch, not sketches yet, but here's the first sketch for the Genet Quarterly's sewing patterns. It was very difficult to come up with something solid for how I wanted to display these sketches. At first I thought I'd go very technical with them and just work them up in Illustrator, but then I decided that I liked the idea of the sketches having a little more personality, and I've redone one of them as mixed-media, cut out and photographed in front of a painting. I don't know if I'll stick to this for every issue but for the first issue it's working out all right. This dress will also be shown in a maxi length! I have also decided that the patterns will also be offered as finished, commissioned garments in the Genet Quarterly shop, so if you don't sew you can still order some of the fashion for your own use (sewn to your measurements!)

Currently the Quarterly is about 10% to our final goal, which is making me bite my nails! They say that most Kickstarters don't get full funding until about 10 days before they close, but I'm getting worried for sure. Don't forget that even if you don't donate, you can still win some awesome stuff just by spreading the word, and check out the giveaways below (and soon to be above) this post for details!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Genet Giveaway II -- Aecor Shawl & Anzula

The second week of the Kickstarter has begun, and that means you have another chance to win an awesome pattern + the yarn to make it here on the blog! All you have to do is either donate or spread the word about The Genet Quarterly! You can spread the word by posting on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog -- link me in the comments or tell me your Twitter name / Facebook name so that I can find the post. If you have donated you are already registered as an entry, and you can gain extra entries by spreading the word.


This week's pattern is the Aecor Shawl, by Mary Catherine Black. The pattern is designed for Anzula Cloud, a light fingering weight, nylon-cashmere-merino yarn that is SUPER squishy and soft. You'll win a copy of the pattern and a skein of Cloud in a gorgeous neon green color that I haven't seen anywhere else! With neons being so popular this year, you'll be ahead of the trend with a fun and funky shawl in this color.

For those of you who don't knit, I wanted to add a little extra option. If you donate to The Genet Quarterly (any amount), you are entered to win a custom-knit, custom designed hat by me! I will call you or skype you, sketch your perfect hat, and then knit it up in the colors of your choosing. All you have to do is donate to be entered to win!

Viva la Lana!

I'm in Uruguay finishing up with a photoshoot for Book 4 with Malabrigo Yarns, and we had to do some last-minute styling shopping in the mall's Zara. On our way out we noticed this awesome display by Manos del Uruguay, which, in addition to having yarn, also sells hand-knitted sweaters and such at stores all over the country. I snapped some shots -- basically they had a bevy of artists 'design' interesting displays off of a sheep-shaped base, and these awesome sculptures were the result! Please excuse the picture quality, I was using my phone!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Crochet Rug Project -- Finished!

I finally finished my second major crochet project - a rug! I made this rug with 5 skeins of Universal Yarns' Shepherd's Own 'Chunky', a rustic wool that has a great texture and sturdiness for household items. I used all one colorway but there are some natural variations in this undyed wool, which add a little depth to this fun project.

Each of the motifs, which are based off this crochet pattern, are about 9 inches across, and this makes for a nicely sized area rug that will look great wherever it ends up in our new apartment. Andrew and I aren't moving out of his place until August, so it will stay in storage until then. I love it!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Genet Giveaway I -- Bauble Cowl & Malabrigo Yarn



As part of an extra boost for anyone yarny interested in the Genet Quarterly, I am offering a giveaway each week! This week, the launch giveaway is a copy of Alex Tinsley's 'Bauble Cowl' and two skeins of Malabrigo Chunky (in Purple Mystery and Indigo) to make this awesome, fashionable, accessory!

Here's how you enter! If you donate to the Kickstarter, you get automatically entered to win any and ALL of the giveaways, upcoming as well. If you have a Twitter account, tweet about Genet for a second entry and use the hashtag '#genetquarterly' -- tell me your twitter name in the comments. If you post about the Genet on Facebook, let me know in the comments and you'll get a third entry! If you don't donate but you do one of these other things, you are still entered to win -- spreading the word is helpful too! Thank you for your support, and don't forget that if you donate, the incentives are AWESOME too!

Genet Quarterly Inspirationals

It's scary sometimes to launch on your own, to go out on a limb and try to make a project a reality. If you had asked me 5 years ago what I would be doing today, I have no idea what I would have told you -- maybe I would have said that I'd be painting in New York, or working on fashion. I know that I've always enjoyed making, and creating, and I've had some really excellent work in the past few years. It's been interesting and fun and constantly on the go.

I think the idea to start this project kind of started around a year and a half ago. I realized that the things I love best -- networking, connecting people to other people, color, sharing my interests and inspirations -- needed to find some other media than the blog. I've spent the last year really delving deep mentally and figuring out how to do that. And that's where the Genet Quarterly Inspirationals came from.

I won't make you read all about my Kickstarter project here, but I do hope you'll go over and check it out at the Kickstarter website -- Genet Quarterly launch page. There are some awesome incentives for folks who donate, too, and I will be holding some bonus giveaway prizes here on the blog in the next few weeks, too! Keep an eye out!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Candy Buttons

I'm moving again soon and that means that some of the things that have been out have to be relocated into boxes and such. I took a moment to play with the button collection a little bit - I'm adding to it piece by piece, and I love what I have so far. I can't wait to find perfect projects for all these little guys!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Forays in Crochet

pattern for this motif can be found here, I am using a US K hook

I've been teaching myself to crochet. So far, it's gone pretty well - I have made an entire crochet afghan, which I have yet to photograph (tomorrow, I promise), and now I am working on a crochet rug, after seeing so many awesome doily/motif rugs all over Pinterest. I really fell in love with some crochet coasters that I saw today, and decided that the floral motif would be the perfect structure for a rug!

They're working up very quickly in Universal Yarn's Shepherd's Own Chunky, which is a rustic-feeling wool in natural tones. It's been discontinued but before I left Premier I grabbed some of it in an office destash. This project is going to be the perfect size with just 5 skeins. And I love watching the stack of motifs grow. It's also a great beginner project because if I mess up, nobody will notice -- it will be on the floor so they'll only see it from a distance!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

People Worth Pinning - Cirilia Rose

You might know her from her work at Berroco under the famous (possibly infamous) Norah Gaughan. But if you look her up now, Cirilia Rose is making a name for herself in addition to the pattern world, as the new Creative Director at Skacel knitting. She blogs as Bricoleur Knits and you can add her on Pinterest as Cirilia. Skacel also has her working on a new project, the Skacel Fiber Studio!

I thought it would be fun to include Cirilia as the re-introduction interview for the People Worth Pinning series here on the blog. I think that Cirilia picks a lot of sweet, cute things that have a bit of a punky bite to them. She likes some good ol' geekery, too!

Cirilia's color palette ranges from sweet pastels tinged with grays, all the way to neon brights. Top three boards I would recommend following from her include her Color, Aquarelle, and of course, Textiles.

1 - source pin ; 2 - Pop King lipstick for J.Crew ; 3 - Jewelry Designer Stine A. Johansen's interior ;
4 - Jason Martin 'Elemental' ; 5 - Bonny Map Scarf by Calypso ;  6 - Celine Snowboards ;
7 - Anthropologie Window Paintings  ; 8 - Eco Highlighter Pencils ; 9 - Fuzzy Logic Argyle Charts

Friday, May 4, 2012

Inspired Palettes in Ilustrator

Greetings, friends!

As you may have noticed, the blog has had a little makeover, and I thought this would be a fun time to show you how I like to use photos that I find inspiring in a piece of artwork. And how anything you find inspiring -- whether it's a photograph of a bird, or a painting, or a garment -- can become a new palette in illustrator. You can then turn this palette into anything you want: signage, blog layouts, business cards, mood boards, textile design, even mapping out quilts.

First step is to find an image that inspires you. Pinterest is a great website for that, and you all know I'm addicted to it, so of course I go there for anything image and inspiration related. Today, I saw an utterly gorgeous crocheted piece by the writer of Muita Ihania, a Finnish lifestyle blog that has a really beautiful, colorful, feel. Here's the image:

Muita Ihania blog photo

I love the colors in this afghan! I fell so in love with them, in fact, that I spent the next hour combing through every page of her blog looking for in progress photos to watch it all come together. While searching, I found just the type of photo I wanted -- a stacked up image of all the quilt pieces, which I then could use as inspiration for the warm, colorful blog layout that you see now! Here's how I did it -- first, copy the image into Illustrator by right-clicking to copy (on a Mac you hold down two fingers on the mouse pad and press to click, then drag to the option 'copy image'). Then go into the Illustrator window and paste the image onto the artboard. It isn't important where, but you want it to be a manageable size while still giving you lots of space to work around. As you can see, I dorkily put mine half on, half off the artboard, and now I have the lovely black line to show you. 

screenshot by me; original photo from Muita Ihania blog
From here, you may notice that there are eight little squares in the upper right corner of that image. Those are made using the rectangle and eyedropper tool, and literally just 'eyedropper-ing' the colors into each square, pulling them from the image. After you find eight colors that work together, here's how you turn them into a saved palette on Illustrator. 

The first, and simplest step is to pull your color swatches into the swatch window (which you can see by going to Windows > Swatches) -- select each swatch with the eyedropper and then, where the color appears in the fill section, pull these over into your swatch window. You might want to delete all the other swatches in the swatch window before doing this, if you're like me and like a clean workspace! Now that all eight colors are in the swatch window, it's time to define your palette.

Illustrator does two types of palettes. The first type is a 'color group'. This is designated in the swatches window by a small folder, which is followed by each of the colors in the color group. You can have multiple color groups to a saved swatch set, which is useful if you just want to play around with different colors in one project. Make sure you have all your swatch colors selected (click the first swatch in line, hold down shift, and click the last swatch in line), then click the icon in the Swatches window that is a little folder with a plus sign. It will group the colors together and ask you to name them. 

Maybe you want to create three or four useable color groups, and then bundle them together in a Swatch packet. When your Swatches window looks exactly like what you want, click the little button in the left corner of the Swatch panel that shows two folders on top of each other, and drag down to 'Save Swatches'. You then get to title the Swatch, and you can access it later by clicking that same button, dragging down to 'User Defined' and finding the Swatches you want! Create your artwork as you like using your new colors! 

If you are using a platform like Blogger, and you don't do CSS or HTML or any type of coding, you might just be using the templates and advanced changes feature in the editing dashboard. If you are, you can use your palette here, too -- just open up Illustrator and double-click the swatch you want to use for the color of say, your background, or text. You'll see a window like this:

This is the Color Picker. You notice how on the right side it has a bunch of boxes with numbers and letters? Do you see the one near the bottom that is just a #? That is the HEX, or hexidecimal, number code used to show a color in HTML. In the Blogger interface, there are plenty of options to put in this six-digit letters and numbers code, and you'll have exactly the same colors in your template as in your banner art! 

Neat, huh? I don't share this stuff a lot, but if you enjoyed this post, let me know, and I might be able to do more. Now that I'm working mostly from home, I should be posting on the blog more!