Saturday, February 9, 2008

Show-and-Tell: What I Make

I dabble in a lot of projects, although for craft fairs I try to specialize--the first season that I did a craft fair every month, I tried to introduce a couple of new types of crafts each time, but I think my quality suffered. It takes a LOT of practice and consistency to produce professional-looking objects, and that's sometimes something that I need to force myself to do, rather than flit around from project to project, leaving a wash of half-used materials in my wake and ending up with a lot of not-that-awesome end results. So this season, I've decided to keep most of the experiments at home, and only display a few selected types of crafts. Here's some of what I think I do well:

Record bowls are my bread-and-butter. The records are cheap and plentiful (I specialize in show tunes and children's recordings), the process is quick and easy, I can do it with the girls hanging out on the floor of the kitchen with me, the profit margin is high, and people like to buy them.

Okay, I love to make denim quilts, and they're soft and comfy and sturdy and warm, but I have to admit that I do have to literally give them away--they make happy presents for family and friends, but I haven't yet sold a single one at a craft fair or the farmer's market. It's such a super project, though, because blue jeans are one of the things you can always get for free--my best sources are the sidewalk exchange at the Recycling Center here and friends who blow out the butts or knees of their otherwise fine pants--and the colors, when pieced and sewn together, are subtle yet always complementary and, I think, really beautiful.

T-shirt quilts are pretty popular, though, and they're also somewhat pricey, which is good when I need to get paid. They're also some of the more satisfying things I make because there's a lot of scope there--for instance, I like to collect T-shirts around fan-geek themes, like Superman or video games or 80s cartoons, and make a quilt that's an homage to some nerdy joy. I do sci-fi and comic book conventions with these, which is a nice change of pace from the regular craft fair crowd sometimes, since I'm pretty much just a fan-geek myself.

Like everyone else, it seems, I also make soldered glass pendants and 1" buttons, but Matt, my partner, is getting antsy to get out of the house today, and I owe him for teaching how to post images on my blog and only yelling at me twice while doing so, so the lovely odes to paper and the melting of metals will have to wait.

What I made today: panties for Willow from a soft old T-shirt; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pillowcase dress for Sydney.

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