A blog about


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 . . .