A blog about

A BLOG ABOUT CRAFTING ADVENTURES IN THE FAR NORTH

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween makeup for the procraftinator

The Alaska Crafter column is back!  Check it out in its print edition in today's Juneau Empire, or read on for a last minute halloween fix!




Here we are again Juneau, another blustery year gone by and October ushering in the crafter’s most hectic holiday, Halloween. If you’re anything like me you’re aflutter with a mixture of trepidation and excitement brought on by a little thing I like to call procraftination. Yes, the fine art of waiting till the 11th hour to whip together your Halloween costume. I hear you protest, that has never been me! Hah! Even the most dedicated and honed crafter has slipups — some years the Halloween deadline approaches and we all find ourselves sheepishly in the ransacked costume aisle with no supplies, no shipping options and a touch of panic.
Never fear, the Alaska Crafter will help set you back on track! Years of self-inflicted procraftination mean I know every trick of the trade to make it appear as if I did not wait until the last minute to hastily assemble my costume. And this year’s secret weapon . . . makeup.
Makeup can be transformative in a very efficient amount of time, is readily abundant and if you can channel your inner artist a few hours before the big spook night you may just be able to convince your friends and family that you are not a procraftinator, which seems like the best of all possible solutions to never repeat that word again. Ever.
Alaska Crafter’s 6 Steps to Makeup Success
1. Plan: Whether you’re a ghoul, goblin, vixen or vampire, you’ll need a little bit of research to keep you on track. Find an image of your ideal makeup and keep it handy. Map out your makeup beforehand by drawing an outline of your face and the general sketch of the design you’d like to apply on paper first so you have it as a reference.

Check out more after the jump

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Knitting Up a Storm



New items up in the etsy shop!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hair-Beards, Halloween and Fame

This is a long-belated post about my foray into the world of fame via a beard and some beer.
Just to start with a visual . . .

For halloween one year while working at the Alaskan Brewing Co., I came to work dressed as an old man complete with union suit, Elmer Fudd hat and a beard crafted from my own hair. I have to say the hair beard was a winning look and quite easy to put together.  Tutorial to follow ;)






In comes craftbeer.com to the story - the crew at Craft Beer created a contest for the "Beards of the Brewing Industry", and I was submitted (along with a few other locals) to rep Alaskan.  In my bio I wrote  “I want to win to give hope to the scraggly, the patchy, the peach-fuzzed, the thin and under-bearded and the naturally beardless masses of the brewing industry!”, because who better than a woman in a union suit to do exactly that?

Well, did I win?  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

This is what I should have been doing today!!!  But instead I made this . . .
But the Cap'n and I are gearing up for scarf-wearing season with new knits, new designs, new hats and new prod!  Check it out on instagram (tpalaska), pinterest, etsy
use it #tpalaska, #tpgear #alaskacrafter

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday #Craftroom Love

Sometimes I want to be a fashion blogger.  Except with crafts.  But maybe with fashion too. 

Except my fashion pics would all be "Shirt: Fred Meyer's (do you have that? it's a west coast thing kind of like a target but less hip and with more groceries), Pants: Naked Ladies Party, Ring: stolen from mom, Sweater: shopping trip in the real world 3 years ago" 
Hahahah, that's true Alaskan Fashion!

Here you go, Crafshion blogging attempt 1:
Curtains: Target with adjustments, Mirror: Salvation Army Thrift Store, Dress Form: JoAnns, Desk: found on side of road, adapted by Cap'n, Tiny Hat: project I'm working on, Bills: mine I have yet to pay, Receipt bin: Fred Meyers ;)
Clothespins: stolen from my mom, Sewing Machine: Brother EX-660 from Costco (LOVE!), Filing Cabinet: "Vintage" from Alaskan Dames (Local Consignment Shop)- Cap'n still won't forgive me for getting it, Felt pile: gift from my favorite crafting buddy Lucy when she moved, Paper cutter: found on the side of the road with free sign
So, how'd I do? :)


Monday, July 2, 2012

Limpets, Pinterest and Instagrid

Limpets live in colonies?  Who knew??
Ok crafty people, if you're like me you're super obsessed with Pinterest (it's like porn for crafters!).  Sorry, that is a tad raunch, but reality people, Pinterest is an ooey gooey craft fest with all the toppings!!  You "pin" to these "boards" all the best images all over the net and soon you're lost in an abyss of handmade hunkiness.

And through no doing of my own, the ole AK Crafter here has been pinned a few times - eek!  FUN!  But in this ever changing world I've been having a hard time posting here (noticed much?).  Between my new full-time gig at the Brewery, the Cap'n and his antics, attempting to stay fit, and of course crafting up projects, I've found next to nil time for actually documenting my progress.  FAIL!  That's when my next love came into play . . .  instagram.

Hello Instagram, you are beautiful and make all my pictures look weird and old-timey and for some reason that is totally addicting . . . almost in a creepy way.  So today while I was drooling over Pinterest I thought, wouldn't it be radtastic (yes I made that word up) if I could take an Instagram pic and somehow it could be pinned magically on my Pinterest, but no, Instagram is only on my phone . . . or is it?!  NOT ANYMORE!!!!

Boom, my Instagrid.  Now at the risk of letting the whole world know I love myself some Settlers with a Rita side . . .


Or that on occasion I wear oversized fake glasses and make duck faces (hey, at least I am wearing TP headgear!)


But, these are the kind of sacrifices I am willing to make so that the world can share in instant crafting!!  Ok, ready?  I'm going to test this . . .
#1 - make awesome crafty thing, or just this once take picture of local friend's awesome art
#2 - Instagram it
#3 - Find it on Instagrid and grab url
#4 - show you!
Don't worry, he looks at everyone that way!  Art by Alana Ballam-Schwan who co-owns Figment Gallery.
#5 - PIN IT! Wait, I have to post it first :)  Also, you can try following me on Pinterest - I've put a link on the sidebar over there :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Creating Rusalka, Opera-To-Go's Production Opens Sat

I wrote this about my most recent set design for Dvorak's Rusalka.  The show opens this Saturday and runs for two weekends.  Find out more info about tickets and such at operatogo.net and please come out and see the show!!

Rusalka's scale model was created using chipboard, foamcore, fabric and wire.
“So it’s a Czech fairy tale, with a lake onstage, three acts, two scene changes, oh, also there will be puppets.”
And with those words from William Todd Hunt, artistic director of Opera To Go, I was signed up for the set design of their latest operatic feat, “Rusalka,” which opens this Saturday evening at Thunder Mountain High School.
Dvorak’s “Rusalka” toys with the same plotline as Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid,” so immediately my mind fluttered to dancing crab puppets, sparkly tridents in pools of water onstage and nasty purple witches leaking ink everywhere. Whoops, too many cartoons as research for me. But just like every craft project I tackle, when creating this set design I had a few basic tricks up my sleeve to keep me steered in the right direction (and away from dancing crabs).

Begin with a Concept
Besides a forest and lake onstage visually, the score for “Rusalka” resonates with magic and mournful moments of lost love and love forsaken. How do you make a lake mournful or trees forsaken? Well if you are director Emily Smith, you breathe life directly into them through otherworldy puppets. Puppets in an opera? Well, you know what comes with great risk . . . so, (spoiler alert) there are puppets in our production to create a world where trees dance (I knew something would dance!) and water is alive, literally. But still, how to make that lake onstage?

Research (aka beg and borrow, just don’t steal)
With any new craft it never hurts to peek at others’ work. Heck, thumbing through the Artists Gallery or Public Market can often get my creative juices rolling enough to strike gold. But gold would not be found in “The Little Mermaid” (as I do not have a budget for gold tridents), nor in real water onstage (Perseverance Theatre already rocked that), so instead we took to the Czech roots of Dvorak’s story to give both the costumes and scenery rich visual research to sift through like intricate fabrics, slatted wood huts, witches and nymphs. But still, what about that lake?

Create a prototype
As crafters, we know how to make a pattern for a hat or scarf -- first you start with a process of guesses and trial and error. But how many times can you fill a pool with water onstage and chalk it up to “trial and error” if it goes wrong. Not a good plan. So instead we take a page from our architect friends by creating a miniature model to exact scale (just like they do for a new building). Except of course we use cardboard, foamcore, illustration board, metal, wood and whatever is lying about the craft room. This is the stage when playing really begins. Like, what about a vertical lake made of fabric? Risky perhaps, or maybe just the right kind of risky for an opera with puppets?

Click here for the jump . . .

Thursday, December 22, 2011

News Trees and Snowflake Stars - 3 days till the big day!!

That's right!  It's time for the yearly holiday crafts creation!! Here are a few links to years past:
News Trees are a simple bit of decoration you can do!

Once again, it is time for us at the Capital City Weekly to give a little gift back to the fine folks of Southeast Alaska in the form of some DIY decorations.

In years past we’ve tackled topics such as wreaths, ornaments, coasters, bunting and gift-wrap, so this year it is finally time to get down to the nitty gritty of a holiday crafted tree. Unless you’re reading this story online, you are holding in your hot little hands the key to making a fun holiday tree, or a forest of them for that matter. As an added bonus we’ll also include a pattern for an easy snowflake star to keep your holidays bright and white.
Pattern for a news tree layer

NEWS TREES 

Tools: A CCW, a dowel, tape, a foam base, extra decorating tools (like glitter).
Directions: Place the dowel into your foam base — this will be the tree trunk from which you will build. Cut circles of CCW graduating in size from small to large. You may use a decorative scissors for a fancy edge or create your own wavy edge.
Cut a pie wedge piece out of each circle (see illustration). Starting with the largest circles, bring the two edges of the pie wedge together to create a cone shape. Tape the underside to secure the cone shape. Slide the cone over the dowel trunk and repeat this process placing the larger cones at the bottom and gradually getting smaller.
You now have a news tree. Use dots of glue and glitter to create a snow or ornament effect on your tree. With an entire CCW, you have enough to make a forest of winter wonderland d├ęcor.

SNOWFLAKE STARS
Tools: Square paper (you can use the CCW for this project too), scissors, glue or tape.

Directions: With two folds and three cuts you can build some lovely 3D snowflake stars. Take a square piece of paper and fold it in half to create a triangle. Then fold it in half again for a smaller triangle. Now cut along the three lines according to the illustration. Unfold the paper and you will have some triangle-shaped cuts.

click here for the original article in full and completion to snowflake stars . . .

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seaside Yarns- a new knit shop and pattern!!

Check out this new spot downtown and the pattern for this fabulous cozy cowl:
From the moment you walk into Seaside Yarns, a cozy warmth washes over you, and it’s not just from the hanks of wool roving and skeins of yarn bursting out of every corner. Friendly shop owner, Melissa Highfill, has been peddling yarns, roving, tools of the trade and more out of her small bright shop in the downtown Wharf building since May of this year.

Just five short years ago Highfill looked up a YouTube video on knitting and was literally hooked. Since then her love for knitting, spinning and dyeing yarns has led her to find a community of crafters to share with. Catering to both locals and tourists, Seaside Yarns offers hand-dyed yarns (have you ever seen A Treehugger’s Wife yarns at a local craft fair? That’s her as well!), fair trade products and locally made crafts aimed at giving a lift to the small business-owner as well as working with a variety of budgets. And according to Highfill, there is room for more.

“There are so many kinds of yarn out there,” she said. “One local yarn shop cannot have everything.”
Seaside fills a spot alongside at least four local shops that carry yarn here in Juneau.
 Hang around at Seaside for a minute and suddenly you’re surrounded by women coming to wind a ball, grab one more skein to finish a project, or shop a bit while the kids play in their very own playzone equipped with kiddy kitchenette. And as knitting picks up in this town you may be apt see a few men picking up some fodder for holiday gifts as well (I know my husband has).

Seaside also offers a variety of classes like Hat 101, Fingerless Mitts, Magic Loop and Socks taught by Crochet and knitwear designer Amy O’Neill Houck. Or swing in for the free Saturday knit and crochet group from 2-5 p.m., or spinning on Fridays – it’s BYOS (Bring Your Own Spindle). Find out more about classes at the shop or on their group Ravelry page, friends of Seaside Yarns at Ravlery.com.
Here Highfill shares a pattern for a perfectly giftable infinity cowl.

SEASIDE YARNS INFINITY COWL
Click here for the rest of the pattern and article . . .

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Workin' the Runway

We have been having too much fun all over this town with our TP gear!
Fabulous Anna Hoke at Southeast Living Magazine (see more shots at her website!)
took some amazing shots at the "No Umbrellas" fashion show, and then I saw
such lovely ways of wearing TPall over Gallery Walk in downtown Juneau. 
If you're wondering where you might still get some check out 
Figment Gallery downtown in the Senate Building or www.tpalaska.etsy.com!
Shyla rocking a Lucy Cowl
The new Riding Hood looks cute up or down
Men need warmth too!
This model even flew in from Washington to get her warm on!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Media blitz!!

First off, the Cap'n rocked the front page of the paper this Sunday - what was he doing you ask? Knitting!! AWESOME! 


 Wow!  Public Market was rad this year- we sold enough wares to escape and play in the snow with my little nephew OWL on day 3.  We have the remainder of scarves plus a few new ones headed to Figment (downtown in the Senate Building) tomorrow afternoon so make sure to swing by for Gallery Walk!!

A lot of the traffic was due to the "No Umbrellas" Fashion Show which was so much fun . . . and the media blitz continues :)  I'll post more from that throughout the week.  See you out and about in your TP gear this Friday!!
Love, the Cap'n and Tanna

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Public Market is Coming!!

Where is the best place to rock some holiday shopping on the blackest of Fridays?  Juneau's Public Market of course (shameless self-plug warning!!).  Come check out the new wares this Friday, Sat and Sun - though get there earlier for best selection.  Doors open at noon on Friday so no need to drag yourself out of your turkey-induced coma too soon!
That's me sporting The Riding Hood
 
The Riding Hood (worn in shawl style)
The Rapunzel
The Leyla (long infinity)
The Leyla (long infinity) worn another way.

The Lucy (triple button big)
The Lucy (triple button big) worn another way.
The Hipster Beanie and The Leyla Scarf
The Terry Beanie and The Lucy Cowl
The Captain sporting The Skipper Tube Scarf

A HUGE Thank you to all the fabulous models who helped with the shoot, and to Anna Hoke who did the amazing photography!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fashion for Charity!!!

Hello fabulous people - what are you doing this Thursday?  
Coming out to see some Juneau fashion and supporting 
Hospice and Home Care of Juneau?  FANTASTIC!!!

Get your tickets at the usual haunts plus the Brewery and Depot as well!

What do I have to do with any of this?  I LOVE fashion 
(Cap'n and I host PR nights - oh, that's Project Runway of course) and am donating what I can to get this fabulous event rolling.  The photo from the poster was done by my amazing friend Joel Irwin of irwindigital.com and the beautiful leg model is the famous dancer Gretchen Bucki formerly of Juneau.  Plus, this event will debut the 2012 winter knitwear line of yours truly! 
So much knitting and so many buttons, this is going to be fun!!!

Now, as you prep yourself for fashion, fun, and fancy french cocktails think about this . . .

Where is your runway?

a dock, a beach, the pasta aisle at Freddies? I want to know where you 
WORK YOUR RUNWAY!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Five crafts to keep you warm for winter

I'm headed out of town for two whole weeks to enjoy a fabulous vacation with my new husband.  While away the following fabulous projects will be brewing that you CANNOT MISS!

The Rookery re-opening with a brand new bar in the back - woot woot. 11/1/11

Nov First Friday which will be full of new things- Copy Express/AK Litho has a newly remodeled space and you can vote on their photo contest, Bauer & Clifton Interiors will be opening a storefront- and there will be frost in the air, perfect for sporting your TP Alaska First Friday scarfwear! 11/4/11

The most radically one-filled day ever 11/11/11

A Fashion show with proceeds going to charity, sponsored by the Brewery. 11/17/11

Public Market Madness with a booth by yours truly 11/Thanksgiving Weekend/11

And I am working on a fabulous Opera by Dvorak: Rusalka - which won't open till 2012 but it's on my mind as I'm designing it now~ eek!

So it should be a rousing November to be sure!!

Meanwhile, keep yourself warm with some winter crafts on me!

October in Alaska is the perfect month for crafting. Soggy gray days turn dark quickly while the white dust creeps down the mountainsides, so I cozy up with a giant caramel latte and my favorite craft. But let's be honest, the October nip in the air is sometimes hard to contend with as my cold crafter's hands try to stitch and string one more strand. So I've come up with five crafty ways for us all to cut the chill and get back to the task at hand.