Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do you DIY?

What do you make yourself? What repairs will you never pay someone to do on your home or your car? Would you rather bake bread than buy it from the grocery store?

I know I have a long list of things I can make, do and create. Besides my creative out put of sewing, knitting, leatherworking, etc, I also know my way around a handful of handy house repairs. I find power and immense satisfaction in knowing that I can replace a sink, repair holes in drywall and clean out my own gutters. Besides saving money, which is a plus, don't get me wrong, fixing things myself is a reward. Since buying my house a year ago (cripes! has it been that long?!) I've truly become more aware of how rewarding fixing things myself can be. I got lucky, the house is in great condition, so nothing needed to be repaired-fixed, but in the style fix arena, this place needed HELP!

The biggest thing I've done so far, aside from painting walls and the front door, is install a new bathroom sink. Three... maybe four trips to the Hardware store and some Stress later, I have a sink that suits our tastes and the small bathroom space. Sure, I could've saved time and swearing by having someone else do it, but my pride gets to me. I'm proud of my house, and want every opportunity to make myself prouder by doing things myself.

Should I mention that doing things myself has been a life long theme of mine? Like the time I was in kindergarten and told my babysitter that no thank you, I can clean my room myself... I'm sure it was a disaster area. I'm sure it would've taken much less time if she had helped, but even then I knew the satisfaction of standing back from a job well done.

Or whatever it is that goes through independent small children's heads!

So there you have it, I make things because the process of making is what makes me rediculously happy, and I hope to someday spend my days making, instead of scheduling it in after work. I repair and improve house things because it is MY house, and I like saying that. And I make bread because it is easy, and so darn GOOD!

and P.S. today's post is brought to you by Tara's post on Scoutie Girl- a fab blog you should check out!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Cat has been dragged back in

Hello from groggy land! I've just returned from Maker Faire! My lucky self got sent there by my big job and we taught over 300 people how to knit and crochet in 2 days! yikes! Plus I double booked myself and had to do a bit of an Etsy update for a showcase I scheduled the same weekend. (new stuff here)

Needless to say, I'm still very sleepy from all the action, but can't wait to get back to the stuido to make a very special birthday cuff for someone who is just dear and sweet. Infact, why wait! I'm off now, with more photos to come later, of the cuff, and of Maker Faire.

In the mean time, here's my brush with fame!!

Thanks Chris~ this was a lovely surprise to find on the Make Magazine site yesterday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dear, dear Mr.del Toro

I was on the way home tonight from happily delivering a cuff to a friend, and as usual NPR was on my radio. I don't know the show, but I know the interviewer's voice, and I've spent too much time trying to find it, so when I remember a few days from now, I'll come back to you. Or if you know, let me know! but back to the story.... The person being interviewed was none other than Mr. Guilliermo del Toro. Pan's Labrynth stole my breath and my heart, and I was thrilled to have happened upon him speaking with a damn fine interviewer.

and then he said something that made my soul catch, when he was describing his imagination, how it developed in his solitary childhood... he said: "when people say, oh, she is escaping the world, they are wrong. She is deciphering the world through that fantasy."

Did you swoon? I did. I pulled over to get gas for the car, and I quickly wrote down the quote as accurately as possible, and perhaps I messed a few words up, but the point is still the same.

To turn to fantasy is not to escape, it is to examine closely and carefully. To imagine the fantastic and beautiful is not to be naive, but studious. It is a breath of freedom for my artist soul, to hear another say what I didn't realize I believe in, at least, not so eloquently.

What support of imagining and fantasy has stopped you in your tracks? When was the last time something someone said caught your breath and sent you whirling back to your creative space?

sweet dreams my dears, I hope you're full of stars tonight

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The feeling of small finished things

Hi everyone! I just added a few new items to the shop! hooray! I'm hoping to add more by the end of the week, and will keep you posted! You can find everything here

have a swell night ( or day!)

xox Cat

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Earlyish mornings

It's Sunday morning today. A dear friend has come up from the coast of NC to visit. It's always lovely, restoring and a creative boost for both of us when we're together. Not to mention completely ridiculous and giggle filled. Soon the day will be filled with more of the same. But for now, it's just me and the kitty, sitting at the table writing to you in the quiet. With tea, of course. Always with tea.

Kate came up around noon, and we gave her the house tour (she hadn't seen the inside yet!) and headed out to lunch for the best sammies in town. Complete with glass bottled soda. YEEUM!

After a few stops at our faithful thrift stores - complete with the original Pong game play and a few tee shirts purchased, we headed back home. Check out that action!

The rest of the afternoon was filled with her being sweet and fancying up my computer, and general life-creativity-happy-struggles talk. I can't begin to tell you how good it is to be face to face with her, one of the few people I can claim as my friend for more than a few years. That's what moving around does to some times folks. It's hard for me to keep in touch, I'm much better now, but I get so wrapped up in my present life I forget to let the people who touched me in my last home know what's shakin. I miss lots of people, terribly, so one of the goals is to gather up those lost, dear people and let them know I still think of them. It's a happy goal, one I'm pleased to finally commit to.

As a side note, look how huge my hand is! Gotta love the power of angles!
Dessert. Again- Yum!

xox honey and plums to you!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Glamour Shot

Have you met my "other" housemate? Or should I say, the Empress of this Universe?

Dear Fidgit. She would like you to know she's beautimus. I'd like you to know she's a reformed psycho-kitty (qu'est-ce que c'est ?) turning sweet pea shmitty shmat. tee hee!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a simple saturday

Ha! Take that internet! Here is my fanciest, most handmade (as in, I cut it out of a bigger piece, designed, tooled and antiqued it all with these two hands!!) cuff yet! I didn't realize, but the "clasp" is just like a design people use to make guitar straps. SL pointed it out and I'm still pleased! I can't wait to make another one, it was so fun to get into some thicker leather!

Yesterday I took a drive out to the closest mountain and hiked my way up it. It was incredibly lovely, not too hot, lots of dreamy breezes once I climbed high enough. And the people. They become my favorite thing somedays, everyone smiles and says hello and offers advice on where the next hike should be. They don't want you to miss out on anything. I love it. I took gads and gads of photos, but I'll share just a few with you.

A wee nut of the most chartreusey chartreuse on a surprisingly red leaf.

As I was about to climb up over some rocks (they were part of the trail! I couldn't belive how lucky I was! Getting to climb on rocks because thats the way to go!) so yes, climbing up rocks and I happened to look to my right and was about knocked down by these sweet purple berries. I never expect to see purple while I'm hiking, it was a treat! Does anyone know what they are?
And here's the view. I wish you could have felt the breeze in your hair. It was something else.

And now, I'll leave you with some conjoined mushrooms. I took a bunch of shroomie photos, they have such interesting textures and shapes!

So that was my Saturday morning. How was yours?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shop Update!

I just added a goodly number of bracelets/cuffs to the shop! It feels so good to share these pieces with you!

I'll be back in the studio tomorrow, I have new ideas and can't wait to show you! I'm really shakin' those tail feathers lately and am loving it. Even with the most recent learning curves dumping me in the ditch, I'm pleased with what I'm doing and how I'm adapting. I learned I need a rivet/snap press. badly. But I won't let it keep me down, it actually turned out to be a better thing that I can't put in a pretty snap to save my life.

UGH! I was going to show you the new design I made this week, the whole thing is hand made, there's no metal at all! BUT blogger is being super weird-snafooie and it won't let open the photo add page. It has been doing it all weekend so far, and I had to switch from one internet thingy to the other, and that seemed to work until now. Boo!

I'll just take it as a sign to go to bed. I'll try again in the morning.

sweet dreams!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nom de Plume

Short version: I called my mom, and like usual, she was right.

Long version:

Tangles and Mud just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Plus, it didn't MEAN anything. Which
bothered me even more, its just a few clever words that sounded nice together. And
I was happy with that for a good long while. But it had no story, no soul, no oomph!

So there I was, tossing and pondering and worrying about what I should title this chapter
in my life as a proud artist. And I was coming up with zilch, nada, rien. Do you know
how scary that was? VERY! How could I present my art in a clever, clear, happy manner,
if I couldn’t even name it? So I did what anyone should do given the situation. I called
my mother. And she luckily remembered a conversation we had when she was deciding
what to change her name to after her & dad were officially divorced. Mom had done
something that made me so proud and happy for her. Instead of reverting back to her
maiden name, she moved forward. She went back into the family tree, and found a name
that fit her best. On my grandfather’s side of the tree she found and chose Woolls. As
we were discussing this; I apparently told her that the only time I would ever want to go
by my middle name, Rose, would be if I changed my last name to Woolls too.

Rose Woolls.

It has such a lovely, comfortable ring to it. So there it is. It's me, but the name is
friendlier than the cut and dry Cat Babbie Designs, and now I don't have to worry about
if I should choose Catherine over Cat b/c what sounds better.. I have this strange aversion
to using my name directly on top of my art. I'm ok with Nanny-boo-boo designs by
Cat Babbie (now THERE's a name! ha!) But to put my name right on top of art, it's a
bit supercilious to me. (but it really doesn’t bother me when other people do it, hence
the strangeness.) I like having a design name, it feels better. I feel less constrained
somehow. I can only slightly liken it to how many cultures give their children two
names, a social name, and a privet name, given only to those most cared about. I want to
be able to jump into a bar and be Cat. I don’t want to jump and be Cat who designs things
and makes them pretty all the time. Some days, even though I will never escape my artist
self, nor would want to, I just want to be a girl. And this is my way of doing just that.

What about you? Do you ever wish for another name to give to people? Do you have a nickname that only certain dear ones can use? Names are terribly important!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Welcome, bienvenue, welkom, come on in!

Hello to all of you dear folks! I've finally cleared out the dust bunnies in my head enough to sit down, photograph and tell you about what I've been up to.

For you new kids, I'm Cat, I make things, all sorts of things! I dream of a life full of tea, crumpets, and endless yards of yarn, fabric and most recently, leather craft! I've been blogging over on tangles and mud since I really started knitting "full time", but I've come to realize that it's time to start fresh. This way, you get the best of me, a clean sheet to hear about creating, and to (hopefully) become inspired too! I just had too much tied into Tangles, and realized that the only way to really get things done would be to make a clean break, and give my best over here. I can't wait to get started!!!

The etsy shop will soon be filled with scrumptious things, leather cuffs, perhaps a wallet or two, necklaces, crazy Cindy-Lou Who knit hats and who knows what else! And flowers!!! Everyone should have a flower to pin in their hair on upon a coat whatever the season.

I can't wait to share this new adventure with you! Merci beaucoup to all!

What's that, a preview?? But of course!

Coming up next- why I chose RoseWoolls. It's a lovely little tidbit, promise!