« February 2011 | Main | April 2011 »

fashion app!

"Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society."

 -- Mark Twain

I love pretty much anything that intersects design with textiles and electronics.  My friend Mike is my personal web browser.  His field is artificial intelligence, so he's constantly trolling the Internet for tidbits and when he comes across something he knows will interest me, he sends it along for me to read.  This week's treasure is just too cool.  I must share.  Imagine an app that can turn a fashion sketch into a made-to-measure dress?  That's exactly what designer Mary Huang has done.  To make the software a reality, she needs financial help, so she's started a Kickstarter campaign.  You must see the rest of her designs.   She and Jennifer Kay collaborated on an accessory design that generates electricity as you wear it outside.

I LOVE the website Ecouterre!  It pulls together a collection of articles on design, textiles, DIY etc, all with an eco-fashion slant. I must admit though, I'm not too crazy about the concept of feeding silkworms a mixture of mulberry leaves and florescent dyes to create intrinsically dyed silk fiber in order to save on water used in dyeing.  It smacks of genetically modified seed.  Sometimes it better to leave nature alone.     

listening pleasure

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Embroidery Floss

"It's not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on."  --  Marilyn Monroe

What do you listen to while you work?  Are you a talk radio fanatic?  An NPR aficionado?  Or do you prefer a finely tuned selection of music from your iPod?  I like audiobooks.  Sure, I love the blues, big band jazz, funk, and such, but I work best while listening to a good yarn (couldn't resist pun).  

Today I happened upon a site of old time radio programs, you know the kind, Charlie Chan,  The Adventures of Philip Marlowe and such.   The programs may be downloaded or streamed over the Internet.  And they are free!  Bliss!  I spent a happy afternoon listening to I Love A Mystery. Tomorrow I may indulge in The Avenger.  Or perhaps Dragnet.  But first, I have to do my taxes and for that, I tend to listen to classical music.  Mozart's Requiem seems fitting.

chicago craft social


"I affirm - simply, surely, and unequivocally - that I am a creative person."

 --  Eric Maisel

I love to make for the sake of making.  The process is like a journey with few signposts to guide you. Playing, puttering, sketching, dreaming, they are all a part of creativity.  

I came to fall in love with needle felting simply by giving it a try.   Since those first few studies, it's become a passion.  With just a few tools, I can fashion sculptures from roving.  I can embellish a beret or purse.  And I can make light weight, chunky colorful pendants.  

March 26th from 1-4, you will find me at the Chicago Craft Social.  I am so excited!  Clover USA is sponsoring my pendant making workshop, supplying all the necessary tools.  YEAH!  I used to sell oodles of Clover products back when I owned the Weaving Workshop, so it is a special thrill to be working with them in this capacity.  

You need to check out all the other wonderful workshops happening at the Chicago Craft Social.  There is time to take three workshops within the afternoon. Learn to make coin purses from duck tape or headbands from t-shirts, all while hanging out with friends and meeting new folks.  

learning to let go

DSC_0078"We acquire the strength we have overcome."  

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

My bedroom sounds hollow.  All the area rugs, books, and one zillion knickknacks have been removed in anticipation of a large rug delivery from my father's home.  As I look at the piles of stuff strewn throughout my dining room, I wonder if I really need it all.  

When I returned to Chicago 16 years ago, all my worldly goods fit comfortably in the back of a friend's van.  Within short order, I added a fridge, a stove and a sleeper sofa as that little garden apartment came without furniture or appliances.  Fast forward a few months, now I'm a mom with another bed, dresser, a trunk of toys and one kid.  What started as a small van of things quickly blossomed into the need for a moving truck.  

Over time I've upgraded from lawn furniture and alley finds to family antiques.  My home is starting to feel like a mausoleum with its many ghosts of family passed.  That table belonged to Great-great Aunt Louise who died in 1940.  Those books belonged Nanny Kate.  And that chair was the one Gam loved using.   Some people have photo albums, I have furniture.  I like it all, but is it really me?

Dad recently downsized his home.  While my brother and I took what we wanted, many of his possessions went to auction.  The process was agonizing for him.  I understood.  As a former accountant, he was focused on the money, the fact that he would receive a fraction of what he initially paid for his worldly goods.  But worst was letting go.  Every object had a specific memory.  

Sometimes I play a game of If-I-were-moving-to-Europe-and-could-take-only-two-pieces-of-furniture-and-one-box-of-knickknacks-what-would-they-be?  I don't know.  That's the devil of it. How can I sell off pieces that took Grandma five years of saving to obtain or had been in the family since the Civil War?

So, I look at my dining room, knowing that I am fortunate to have this burden, but that doesn't solve the matter.  What do I cull?  I'll start with the books and keep moving forward.  Let me know if you need a lamp.  I even have an extra dining table.  

help end hunger, empty bowls event

Empty bowls(1)
"The only gift is a portion of thyself."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you heard about the upcoming Empty Bowls event at Lillstreet?  It’s an amazing fundraising event to fight hunger.  Last year over $18,000 was raised.  You too can be involved.  Lillstreet is looking for donations of handmade bowls to serve soup on the day of the event.  Crafters making other items are welcome to donate to the silent auction.

I went last year and have to say it was one of the best fundraising events I’ve ever attended.   I paid $25, chose one of the donated bowls, and then selected which bowl of soup to be served.  Did I mention that I got to keep the bowl? There was music too and then, of course, there was the delight in hanging out and meeting new folks.

You  can bet that I’ll be donating an item for the silent auction… and returning for another bowl of soup.

Friday, March 25, 2011, 5-9pm

Learn more here!

I also posted this event on the Chicago Craft Mafia website. Check out our new website.  It's filled with helpful information for crafters.


©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Alex
"What a strange power there is in clothing."  

-- Isaac Bashevis Singer

My neighbor Alex stopped by my place a few weeks ago to help with moving a few things.  I loved that he was wearing my hat.  He commissioned it after seeing me outside photographing hats for my Etsy shop.  I thought he was kidding.  I tend to think of my hats as feminine.  Alex proved me wrong. Actually he was rather miffed that I hadn't taken him seriously. He liked my designs and appreciated the quality of my knitting. Lesson learned. I need to rethink my entire hat collection as either unisex or consider some as more masculine than not. I especially love the fact that he asked for his name to be embroidered on it. I asked if he wanted block lettering. I stereotyped again, thinking a block font would be more masculine, but Alex preferred my scripty style.

Another happy customer sent me a picture of herself wearing her custom beret. I love how it goes with the poinsettia! Stacy is great. Being an artist herself, she has an amazing sense of color and style. ©2011 Stacy Ruba Enjolive Beret in Persimmon
Her commissions have also given me pause for consideration.  Now I'm thinking of lines with specific themes.  Day, dawn, dusk, midnight.  Persimmon, key lime, banana and blackberry.  Perhaps some inspired by imaginings of characters from favorite novels.  Hmmmmmm.  Many possibilities to consider.