Show and Tell: Summer Renegade SF 2014

A couple Sundays ago all of San Francisco was drenched in fog. A little winter like made it perfect for going inside to the summer edition of the Renegade Craft Fair. Held at Fort Mason it's also a good reason to walk by the bay and hear the clickety clang of all the sail boats in their berths. Renegade is one of my favorite fairs and there was so much good stuff this time around. One of the stand outs was all the variety of ceramics. Each vendor had their own twist on the medium. I could have done a whole post on that. 

If you missed the fair or don't live near one of the host cities it's worth checking out the vendor list. Especially if you're in the market for some handmade goodies. If you want even more handmade to look at I wrote about summer Renegade last year also.

Below are some of my favorites and unique finds. I've been pretty wordy lately in my posts so I'll keep things brief and fill this one with pics.

Jo Boyer

At first glance I thought these were crazy shells I hadn't seen before. Nope just porcelain with lots of details. 

At first glance I thought these were crazy shells I hadn't seen before. Nope just porcelain with lots of details. 

I had recently bought some earrings by Nikki at a local shop called Gather which features hand made goods here in SF. I've been getting lots of compliments on them so I was excited to stumble upon her booth.

I had recently bought some earrings by Nikki at a local shop called Gather which features hand made goods here in SF. I've been getting lots of compliments on them so I was excited to stumble upon her booth.

Of course I found some adorable cat goodies.

Of course I found some adorable cat goodies.

These would make a very unique gift. And bonus they're made from recycled liquor bottles.

These would make a very unique gift. And bonus they're made from recycled liquor bottles.

These kits are adorable. A great way to learn about embroidery.

These kits are adorable. A great way to learn about embroidery.

Great modern rustic pieces. Is modern rustic a thing?

Great modern rustic pieces. Is modern rustic a thing?

I loved Madeline's cake display! Also I know Madeline but I didn't know she was going to be there so it was a fun surprise to run into her booth.

I loved Madeline's cake display! Also I know Madeline but I didn't know she was going to be there so it was a fun surprise to run into her booth.

I'll let you figure these out. They are really beautiful on their own as an object. I was told they could also be used for incense.

I'll let you figure these out. They are really beautiful on their own as an object. I was told they could also be used for incense.

I'm friends of the Weekend Press and knew they've been diligently printing goods for the last couple months. So proud to see it all together!

I'm friends of the Weekend Press and knew they've been diligently printing goods for the last couple months. So proud to see it all together!

For an easy five bucks I got my membership (complete with membership card) to the Letter Writing Alliance. Check it out and get yourself a pen pal!

For an easy five bucks I got my membership (complete with membership card) to the Letter Writing Alliance. Check it out and get yourself a pen pal!

Here's the cumulative list and links to all these fabulous makers.

Jo Boyer 
Nikki Montoya 
Trelabela 
Reclamation Etchworks 
Kiriki Press 
Salt and Pipper 
Miwak Junior, Ceramic Connectors 
The Weekend Press 
Letter Writing Alliance

Now I'm getting excited for all the Christmas fairs!

A crafty bachelorette party

What's a crafty bachelorette party? Well it's kind of like a regular crafty get together except the craft is folding paper penises. Add in paper flower craft and you can create bouquets, crowns, or corsages for the bride to be. And when you're crafting "origami penises" there's bound to be some laughter.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hosting the crafty bachelorette party pictured in this post for two of my gal pals with upcoming weddings. This was a pre-party on a Saturday afternoon to make bouquets that they can take out on the town during their individual celebrations. 

None of the gals in attendance had ever made paper flowers so I gave a little tutorial. Everyone did great! Each guest folded a penis and made a flower to contribute. Some opted to embellish their paper penis with tattoos and piercings. Scroll through the pics to see all their fabulous creations. 

At the end of this post is everything you need to know about hosting your own crafty bachelorette.

Decorate, cut, fold, and glue.

Decorate, cut, fold, and glue.

Making flowers.

Making flowers.

The brides holding their crafty creations.

The brides holding their crafty creations.

Paper penises in all their glory, drawn on, taped, decoupaged, and pierced!

Paper penises in all their glory, drawn on, taped, decoupaged, and pierced!

CraftyBach_4918.jpg
I finished off the bouquets by wrapping the stems with ribbon.

I finished off the bouquets by wrapping the stems with ribbon.

Want to have a party of your own? You're gonna need some templates! (Includes instructions).

You can incorporate paper penis craft into your party in a number of ways and I lay out some options below. Also an FYI; there were 10 girls at the party I hosted and we created enough paper penis's and flowers for two bouquets. You can get a lot done with crafty team work.

Basic activity
Have the crafting be one component of an evening/day/weekend of fun. As a game alternative have everyone decorate and fold a paper penis. Hole punch and attach a pipe cleaner stem. Pair the penises with pre-bought fake or real flowers to create your bouquet. Tie the bouquet together with a ribbon. (Allow for 1 hour of crafty fun. You can especially keep this activity to an hour if there is some prep work done ahead of time to cut out the parts).

Glue a paper flower center inside the paper penis or use a hole punch and pipe cleaners to create stems.

Glue a paper flower center inside the paper penis or use a hole punch and pipe cleaners to create stems.

Advanced
The full shebang. Make the whole party about dirty crafts and spend an evening or afternoon folding paper penises and making flower craft. Instead of pipe cleaners use the floral wire technique in the above picture.

Paper flower craft resources
— Check out the post I wrote about the book Paper to Petal. It's full of options and flower petal templates.
— You could make a flower and penis crown instead of a bouquet. Honestly WTF has this great tutorial that could be modified. She demos several types of flowers. Note that she uses glued crepe to secure her flowers and stems instead of floral tape. For a beginner using floral tape will be easier.
— If you really want to customize your color palette you can dye your crepe paper!

Paper penis materials
Templates!
— Scissors (if you don't own a ton like me ask guests to bring there own)
Glue sticks OR a tub of Yes! Glue. Perfect for paper crafts. Apply with q-tips or craft sticks.
— Things to decorate with (Markers, colored pencils, stickers, washi tape, etc.)
— Hole punch
— Green pipe cleaners for stems
— Ribbon to tie the bouquet together

Optional materials
— Some of my friends were more comfortable with x-actos, rulers, and cutting matte 
— Flower craft supplies (crepe paper, tissue paper, floral tape, floral wire, pips, cotton balls)

Bonus tips and tricks
— It's likely not all the guests will have the same crafty skills. Prep some penises ahead of time so there are options for all skill levels.
— If you make paper flowers I recommend choosing the paper in a limited color palette so everything coordinates.
— During the opening of gifts save all the ribbons and notions so you can incorporate them into the Penis bouquet. 
— At the party I hosted I served fondue along with phallic vegetables because it seemed like the most crafty food one could serve. Well, let's just say there were lots of giggles and wincing when we pulled our vegetables from the cheese. I've got tons of pics here of penises but the fondue photos make me blush so I'm going to spare you. It was however hilarious.

Lastly if you love the idea of the paper penises but aren't throwing a bachelorette party I also sell them as individual cards.

Tenugui gift wrapping

This past weekend Heath Ceramics in San Francisco had a lovely exhibit; Akio Nukaga and friends which included several events. One of the friends events I saw on the calendar was a Japanese gift wrapping demo. So you know I had to be there!

As part of the festivities the Japanese textile company Kamawanu brought their beautiful Tenugui cloths. What is Tenugui? As it says on their promotional materials:

"Tenugui, a piece of dyed cotton cloth, has always been an essential tool for the Japanese. Not only was it used as a wiping tool such as a towel or handkerchief, it was also used as a bandage and a headwear in the old days. On the other hand, since it was possible to dye various graphic designs on the Tenugui, it also came to be used in the place of a greeting card or a business card."

Gift wrapping is a newer use that Kamawanu is promoting for the Tenugui. You may have seen Japanese gift wrapping with cloth before. The other variety is Furoshiki which uses a square cloth for gift wrapping but it is an entirely different tradition. Wrapping with Tenugui employs similar concepts but is different because the cloth is a long rectangular shape.

Megumi Inouye was the demonstrator and came up with many ways to show us how to wrap with the Tenegui. I'll admit with all my wrapping love I have been a little hesitant to dive into wrapping with cloth. Megumi made it look approachable. Watching her manipulate the cloth you can easily see the benefits of wrapping with Tenegui.

With just a few concepts in mind you can wrap many things.

— Laying your object at an angle to the cloth allows you to cover your object completely. 
— Alternatively if you have a larger object don't stress about covering it completely. Partially wrapping it with the cloth will still make it special.
— Round objects can be rolled at an angle in the cloth.
— And while you're at it use that same idea with boxes. Throw out the western idea of positioning objects at 90 degree angles.
— Twist the cloth to wrap around a wine bottle neck. Or twist the cloth to hold an object inside.
— Knot the cloth. Optionally tuck the exposed ends of your cloth into the knot for a different look.
— Work with the shape of your object not against it. 
— It's ok to get an assist from a simple modern tool like the rubber band! But for this lets definitely say no to tape.

An example of not needing to hide the wrapped object. The ends of the knot are tucked inside the knot to create the clean look.

An example of not needing to hide the wrapped object. The ends of the knot are tucked inside the knot to create the clean look.

Examples of twisting. There are 3 apples wrapped in the left with a twist between each one. Reminds me of how a balloon animal is created.

Examples of twisting. There are 3 apples wrapped in the left with a twist between each one. Reminds me of how a balloon animal is created.

Magumi took inspiration from the shape of the candle holder by tucking the fabric into it's cavity and creating a flower with the ends. This is a great example of letting the object dictate how the fabric forms around it. Maybe this will work for wrapping a small cup too!

Magumi took inspiration from the shape of the candle holder by tucking the fabric into it's cavity and creating a flower with the ends. This is a great example of letting the object dictate how the fabric forms around it. Maybe this will work for wrapping a small cup too!

The wrapping on the far right uses a rubber band as an aid. Instead of twisting the excess fabric a rubber band is secured around it and the fabric is tucked under.

The wrapping on the far right uses a rubber band as an aid. Instead of twisting the excess fabric a rubber band is secured around it and the fabric is tucked under.

The top view of the rubber band aided wrap.

The top view of the rubber band aided wrap.

Megumi and I actually have an interesting connection even though we've just met. In different years we've both participated in the Scotch most gifted wrapper contest. Megumi was runner up the year she participated. So this was a treat to connect with her and chat about wrap.

One of the important things she emphasized is that the Tenegui can elevate simple items for gift giving. This technique doesn't need to be reserved for wrapping only precious ceramics. That's one of the principals I think is so important about gift wrapping whichever kind you do. The act of taking the time to wrap something imposes a significant to the act of gifting however big or small either physically or monetarily the item is.

Impromptu wrapping using twisting and knotting. This might be sturdy enough to carry a smaller object. Perhaps a special way to present a garden clipping.

Impromptu wrapping using twisting and knotting. This might be sturdy enough to carry a smaller object. Perhaps a special way to present a garden clipping.

During Q&A someone asked how Magumi would wrap a plant. She took the challenge and quickly came up with the above idea. I think for a moment she felt like she was back in the wrapping contest.

The twisting method would be a perfect way to wrap eggs. And how perfect to wrap them in this egg patterned Tenegui. If I had chickens I would definitely be using Tenegui to deliver the eggs as gifts to friends.

The twisting method would be a perfect way to wrap eggs. And how perfect to wrap them in this egg patterned Tenegui. If I had chickens I would definitely be using Tenegui to deliver the eggs as gifts to friends.

Some other facts about Tenegui.

Tenegui comes in many patterns which are often chosen by the gift giver to fit the interests of the receiver. The patterns are made by creating paper templates that the dye is pushed through. The Tenegui cloth is cut from a continuous roll so each individual cloth has two cut edges and two salvage edges. (I'm not sure if there is a different terminology for salvage when it comes to this particular cloth). To dye the cloth it is starched. Brand new Tenegui cloths have a crisp feel to them. As they're used and washed they become soft.

You can read about the history of Tenegui on Kamawanu's website. 

I know that there isn't a full demo here but I encourage you to get any bit of fabric that is not very thick and just play around with melding it to the form of objects. The wonderful thing about fabric is you can re-wrap as many times as needed without damaging your material. That's much harder to do with crisp paper. Megumi has a couple Furoshiki classes up on Creativebug that could give you a start.

If you're in San Francisco head over to the Heath Ceramics tile factory to snap up some of the remaining Tenegui still in the store. I'm not sure if it will be a regular item that they'll retail but I hope so.

If you have any additional info to share about wrapping with Tenegui or cloth please share in the comments!

In case it's not obvious all wrappings are done by Megumi Inouye.

Tie Dyed Paper Flowers

Tie Dye Paper Flowers

You have not time traveled back to the 60's but these petals are sporting some tie dye flower power. Okay, so I did not tie up my paper with marbles and rubber bands but these papers are not store bought. They're dyed using alcohol inks.

I recently went on a little craft supply shopping trip to Castle in the Air in Berkeley to get some high quality Italian crepe papers. While I was in the shop they shared some of their paper flower techniques. As you can see the one I've been playing with is dyeing the papers with alcohol inks.

Because the inks are alcohol based the liquid evaporates quickly leaving the dye and your paper structure exactly as it was before you applied the ink. Previously I've used water colors on crepe paper. With water you have to be careful because it can degrade the paper. These inks are a great alternative. The same would work well on tissue paper which I'm sure you can imagine might melt away when water touches it.

For these flowers I dyed the papers first and then cut out petals and leaves. You could get more detailed by cutting your petals first and then use the inks more methodically to create petals you might find in nature. 

The inks above are still a bit wet on the crepe.

The inks above are still a bit wet on the crepe.

When working with the alcohol inks keep in mind that they will soak into the paper along the paper grain. They can create accents but would probably be difficult for creating detailed drawings on the paper. They're actually designed to be used to dye materials like metal and ceramic. Because of that you need to clean them up with rubbing alcohol or acetone (which worked best for me when I spilled on tile). Lay down some plastic to be on the safe side. You don't want to tie dye your dining room table.

In the photos below I've outlined how I used the inks with the papers. If you're in need of paper flower making resources I've got links at the bottom.

Using white crepe paper as the base I chose just two colors of ink for these flowers. Letting multiple drips soak into the paper and overlaping each other created this pattern. Reminds me a little of ikat textiles.

Using white crepe paper as the base I chose just two colors of ink for these flowers. Letting multiple drips soak into the paper and overlaping each other created this pattern. Reminds me a little of ikat textiles.

I drew lines with all 6 of the inks I bought onto white crepe for a modern circus pattern.

I drew lines with all 6 of the inks I bought onto white crepe for a modern circus pattern.

These were my first experiment and reminded me most of tie dye. I just dripped a limited color palette onto a two toned double thick piece of crepe paper. The split frame at the top of this image shows two sides of the same paper.

These were my first experiment and reminded me most of tie dye. I just dripped a limited color palette onto a two toned double thick piece of crepe paper. The split frame at the top of this image shows two sides of the same paper.

Dripping the ink on patterned paper creates a unique effect as well. I glued (using glue stick) two polka dot sheets of paper (blue and red) together for this example.

Dripping the ink on patterned paper creates a unique effect as well. I glued (using glue stick) two polka dot sheets of paper (blue and red) together for this example.

The left swatch shows two green inks applied to white crepe. The right swatch shows the same inks applied to green crepe.

The left swatch shows two green inks applied to white crepe. The right swatch shows the same inks applied to green crepe.

New to flower making? Some resources to get you started.

— You need supplies! Castle in the Air has a great online shop if you can't get there in person.
— The alcohol inks can be found at scrap booking shops or most likely your favorite craft store.
— The book Paper to Petal is filled with everything you need including templates.
— Lia Griffith makes very realistic flowers both from crepe and printer paper. Her crepe paper tulips would be perfect for accenting with the alcohol inks.
— Brittany Jepsen has a Skillshare class if you'd prefer video over reading/looking at pictures.
— Okay, now you have the alcohol inks and might be wondering; what else can I dye? I first saw these inks being used by Rachel Smith to decorate votive candles.

Starz and Stripez: Patriotic mail

After/Before. Using patterns: 'Nzeppel and Papyrus

After/Before. Using patterns: 'Nzeppel and Papyrus

The US flag is a malleable thing. In it's nearly 240 years it's had 27 official versions though there was no designated arrangement for the field of stars until the 1912 introduction of the 48 starred flag (source). Did you know that?! The fact the flag has changed forms many times makes it seem less sacred. More sacred are the rights written within the constitution that imbued us with the ability to use the flag as a symbol to herald or question our country. Whichever you prefer. You can paint it on your jean shorts or create fine art.

So there you go! I'm doing my patriotic duty by playing with the form of the American flag. If you break the flag down to it's simplest form it is two fields awaiting manipulation. Perfect for Zentangle and watercolors.

After/Before. Using patterns: Sand Swirl and Sun Up Sun Down

After/Before. Using patterns: Sand Swirl and Sun Up Sun Down

After/Before. Using patterns: 'Nzeppel and Worms

After/Before. Using patterns: 'Nzeppel and Worms

After/Before. Using patterns: Hollibaugh, Hibred, and Shattuck

After/Before. Using patterns: Hollibaugh, Hibred, and Shattuck

Air mail inspired envelopes were perfect for mailing these notes. This project got me thinking of some American friends who now live internationally. I know they get home sick sometimes so I figured a little patriotic note in the mail around the 4th would be a welcome surprise. (Though if they're reading this it's maybe not such a surprise. I'm bad with figuring out the lead time for international mail).

It's easy to DIY air mail envelopes.

Supplies:
Envelopes of any size
Artist Tape
Water Colors
Paint Brush

Use artists tape or another low tack tape to mask off the edges of your envelope. Paint red diagonal stripes leaving room for blue stripes. Follow up with blue leaving some hints of white. The thickness of your paint brush will be the thickness of your lines. This would be a special addition to any note in the mail and could be created in other color palettes.

I'm a fan of red white and blue year round but in July I like to use the palette for patriotic fun. Last year I wrapped gifts and the year before I also made note cards but with washi tape. 

For more inspiration on the American flags form I've got a Pinterest board exploring its red white and blue textures. Happy 4th of July everyone!