Friday, October 16, 2009

Victorian Collars now in Etsy Store

I'm in the middle of a nasty cold, curled up my chair with knitting needles and soft boucle painted yarns. From memory, I've been whipping out some of my Victorian collars -- I did so many of these a couple of years ago that the pattern is imprinted on my brain. I'm wearing one right now. I'd forgotten how cozy & non-itchy it feels to wrap one of these around the neck-- like a guilty pleasure.
My studio mate has been making some uber-cool clothes in polar fleece. Now that's the ultimate guilty pleasure! I foresee wearing her tops all winter, and one she's making in plaid polarfleece trimmed in black looks like it'll be dressy enough for Thanksgiving! Yea!! Sweats to Thanksgiving!! :) :) :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Weaving: Escaping the Computer and Returning to My Loom

Been busily designing accessories for my Etsy stores now that autumn is upon us. Here's a peek at what will be appearing at Katsarayarns this next week. The first two photos my latest fall scarves and neck wraps in progress -- still working out the finishing touches. The cloth is woven using a blend of fibers selected for their fulling effects in the finishing process. 10 colorways are planned, and I just hope I'll find the time to sample them all this month. For my pennanular Relic Pins, I decided to add the polished copper option, because the verdigris patina can get lost on some scarves depending on the fiber colors. I'll also be embellishing some OOAK's with stones for those who want a touch of glam to the rustic style of my pins.
It has become a struggle for me to find enough time for my studio work and keep up with my blog, EtsyLounge. I want another 8 hours in each day in order to fit everything in.
And now, back to EtsyLounge.....up to 200 followers now and pleased to hear from so many artists who appreciate the promotion and traffic I've been generating for them. I'm crossing my fingers that some of that synergy will find its way to my own humble stores.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Westbeach Seastone Series

My EtsyLounge blog has been eating up all my time recently, but today I finally had some time finish up my prototype for my new Westbeach Seastones Series. This triple pendant necklace is listed in my Etsy store, Piacere. Two weeks ago, while strolling on Whidby Island's gorgeous westbeach, I loaded my pockets with some jewelry-worthy stones. When I got them back to my studio, I began wrapping them in silver and embellished some of them with freshwater pearls, intending to make single-pendant necklaces with them. I like the simplicity of the single pendants, but I really like the impact of the trio, so that is how I am introducing the first of this series. The pictures illustrate some options that customers can request, which includes the single pendant style, the triple pendant style either anchored in place or mounted freely to cluster at the bottom of the chain.
Other options will include the choice of sterling silver chain, adjusted to the customer's desired size. This prototype has a lightly anodized base metal chain, chosen because the patina and tone of the metal looks so beautiful with the stone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fantasy Flax Fashion Show from Etsy

Click the pictures to see these Etsy listings!
I made this handwoven fringed vest the other day, and decided it could look cool with these pants and bag that I featured on EtsyLounge on June 9 in my Flax Fashion feature. I think I'd add a skinny long-sleeve offwhite tee and brown boots for a transitional fall look, and take the shawl along for when it gets chilly. What do you think?
The vest is in my KatsaraYarns store. The cropped linen pants are by ObiMama, the embroidered linen shawl-wrap is by JurgitaMi, the bag is by iragrant. 69idxs3fzr

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bagatelle Necklaces: Baubles in Ombre'

My spectacular, affordable Bagatelle necklaces are now available in my Etsy jewelry store, Piacere. Bagatelle means baubles in Italian. I assemble and arrange my shimmering baubles in a color sweep for balanced assymetry, and loosely graduate the sizes so the big focal sits at center stage. I mostly use glass and crystal beads. Sometimes I may throw in a gemstone just for fun, like the faceted onyx drop in the green lariat (can you find it?) These necklaces anchor with embellished hooks or toggles so you can control the length. The long designs can be worn opera or lariat style, or wrapped multi-stranded once or twice around the neck. I love these versatile necklaces on simple black dresses or to "sassify" your tee and jeans for a casual evening out. These are sold in my Etsy store, Piacere. Please tell me: Do you prefer long lariats or the shorter length?
Click on the pictures to see these Etsy listings at

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Long Long Lariat Necklace

I finally found time to sit down at my bench and finish up this lariat and get it listed on Etsy in my Piacere store.. The larger pendants are beaded front and back, so it took more time than originally estimated. It is 5-feet long, like a scarf, and I made the two inside pendants sliders to you can style it multiple ways and still have the pendants hang nicely. Now that I have the engineering figured out, I'm itching to make more of these. Where's the time for that, though -- all the blogging on EtsyLounge is stealing my bench time!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Etsy Lounge is Open!

I am changing my main blog focus and am building the new blog called Etsy Lounge. Please jump over and visit, and I hope to see you as a follower.

The mission of Etsy Lounge is to showcase remarkable creations by Etsy artisans, and create some synergy for some of the best talent on Etsy. If you like the items that catch my eye, please bookmark the blog or follow, and join in with your comments, plugs for other artists or for yourself, and mainly find some great Etsy Picks without having to do endless searching by scrolling through pages of listings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Patina on Copper: More Green Obsession

I like shiny copper, but I LOVE (!) oxidized copper. So, I've been on a patina craze this last month, making things out of copper and playing with patina finishes in shades of green.

My circular shawl-pin design is based on the historical European penannular cloak brooches from the middle ages. The clever simplicity of this design looks both ancient and modern at the same time

I use copper for my version, hammered and hardened in a tumbler, and patinaed for various effects. The ancient versions are quite robust and heavy. My version is lighter in scale and weight. These attractively anchor both light weight silk scarves, pashminas and heavy woven shawls or capes, holding them in place without damaging the fibers.

Fiddling with the the patina on these turned out to be such fun that I was inspired to patina everything in copper that I can get my hands on. I love the effect on my copper disks and washers, which I'm turning into earrings for

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Promote Yourself: Create Links

These are a few link directories where you can submit your site. It will help your SEO ranking to create as many links for yourself as you can.

Handmade Link Directory

Handmade Feed (page rank check tool and directory)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Green Obsession

I have a compulsion to use green in almost all of my colorways, as illustrated in the pictured random sampling of my yarn colorways. A customer recently asked for a custom colorway "without any green," and then yesterday, another one asked me to modify one of my colors to play up the green. Color preferences fascinate me. Often we think of them as mere personal idiosyncrasies, but actually our preferences reveal more about us than we realize.

We know from science that he brain processes color in ways that impact our emotions. Eastern cultures have long incorporated color properties and symbolism into healing and balancing arts, while modern western cultures have for decades applied color theory to marketing and to manipulating consumer behavior. Only more recently have we recognized the profound psychological repercussions of color in our designed environments, beyond simple matters of taste and trend.

Individuals gravitate to certain colors for reasons beyond visual pleasure. Color is a vital part of life, being a property of light. Light is wavelength and is a form of vibration, which means energy. Light penetrates all matter, every atom and molecule in the universe, including those within our bodies. Not only is color directed into our brains through our eyes, but it literally interacts with us physically as our bodys internal energy reacts with external energy that surrounds us constantly.

While we should all enjoy our own personal color preferences just for the simple pleasure it brings, whether we recognize it or not we are always absorbing and transmitting colors energy. Consciously or not, we seek out colors that bring us joy and comfort. Those who are interested may consciously experiment with specific colors to promote a positive response or balance whatever is amiss on a given day, or through a time of transition or healing. In researching color meaning, ancient eastern theories abound, characterized by terminology such as chakra or Qi, as well as plenty of modern day studies into behavioral, psychological and marketing aspects of color. Regardless of the data source, some striking common threads emerge in all of these disciplines.

Some interesting theories about physiological responses to color can be found at this interesting website :

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chanteuse Layering Necklaces

My studio is loaded with yarns waiting to be painted, but my attention has been solely focused on my jewelry for a couple of weeks. Some friends went nuts for three of my recent designs and that inspired me to sit down at the bench and get busy.

I think I'm calling this particular theme of layering necklaces "Chanteuse." This prototype pair features sterling silver, aquamarine chips and dragon-skin agate. The pair consists of two necklaces that can be worn singly or paired together. The long, tapered 3-strand necklace with the silver-wrapped aquamarine chips can be worn long (in 3 tiers) or doubled around the neck to create 6 strands. Freshwater rice pearls frame the clasp which can positioned at the side of the neck or at the back. The single-stranded pendant necklace with the big dragon-skin focal is also adjustable length, and can be worn alone or paired with the triple-tiered necklace, with the pendant hanging low or high. Check it out in this video:

Click on the arrow to view this creation.

April Phat Fiber Sample

The Phat Fiber Sample Box April theme is "Green." The yarn I chose to contribute is "green" in the sense of being organically-grown (low impact on the environment.) And, the color green is also represented in the colorway.
This luscious yarn is available at, and is called Organic Thick-Thin Country Cotton. It is a baby-soft bulky weight yarn with a homespun look and feel. The colorway pictured is called "Palouse" in honor of the eastern Washington high desert. Driving through this landscape in the early morning or late afternoon is a feast for the eyes, bringing out gorgeous soft hues of wild sage, rock and vegetation. The greens are subtle & "herbal."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What I sent to PhatFiber today

I just watched Jessie's Phatfiber youtube video showing off the contents of the February box, and I sure do appreciate her rave for my contribution of the pictured Chocolate & Roses merino sock yarn I submitted for the Romance & Chocolate theme.

The PhatFiber March theme is "Celtic" which brings cables and aran sweaters to my mind. In honor of cables, today I sent in a knitting pattern from my files* for a pair of cabled wrist warmers, and some sample reelings of two luscious Katsara aran/worsted-weight yarns, Fjord and Valhalla, which are perfect for fisherman-style sweaters and yummy cabled scarves.
*The knitting pattern, which was given to me last year in a guild swap, was originally written by Delia Rau and posted on Ravelry a few years ago. Delia's pattern is entitled Irish Hiking Scarf Armwarmers

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is oatmeal a color?

My loom has no warp on it right now. I haven't been weaving on it lately, other than my thin wrist cuffs.

This was a silk-blend shawl-scarf I wove late in 2007 and it sold pretty quickly in my Etsy store, priced at $62.00. It was dreamy light weight and tightly woven on a fine mixed warp with a fine silk weft. I later discovered I may have priced it too low.

I admit to a psycho-fetish for fiber quality and interesting colorplay in my textiles. There's a place for beige and simplicity, but it is easy to buy that anyplace, and I see no reason to make things by hand that are common, "consumery" and bland. And that brings me to oatmeal and a rant about color: I wish Americans would be more adventurous! We wear oatmeal, we furnish our homes in oatmeal, and when we feel bold, we throw in a dash of blue. Red is a wild statement for us. Women who wear turquoise and purple are suspected of being a tad nutty. When you go to France, as an example, you see COLOR. A green coat. Orchid boots. Chartreuse scarf. Here in America, we like to blend in with our black shoes, brown bag, beige coat. Muddy tweed scarf. Blegh.

Can't we all just have more fun?

Is a design successful if no-one purchases it?

This is one of my favorite creations from 2008 that nobody purchased, so I kept it and am glad now that it didn't sell. I won't make another one, not only because it bombed on Etsy, but because it took me forever to make and I doubt I'd have the patience to repeat this.

Both times I've worn this, it has elicited positive comments from people, either telling me it is stunning or asking where they can get one. That comforts me, because it was a blow to my ego to get zero reaction to it when it was listed on Etsy.

It has a huge lapis briolette wrapped in stainless steel, stainless steel hand-turned coils and steel wrapped glass beads to create the chain. The blue steel plays wonderfully off of the stones and beads.

Philosophical Question: Is a design successful if no-one will pay money for it?

A favorite thing I created in 2008

This is my Ruffly Scarf from my 2008 collection. It is made with dip-dyed silk chiffon and painted merino wool roving that is nuno felted, sandwich style, with the silk. These are sold in my Etsy boutique, one in rich blue and brown, one in mossy greens, a yellow version, and this popular pink one. The needle-felted flowers are like fluttery nasturtiums.