I was featured in an etsy treasury!!

I was chosen by MadBird to be a part of the treasury she put together! Check out my reversible cloche at the beginning of the third row. You can visit the treasury and leave comments by clicking here.

All of the fabulous artists shown in this treasury are part of the Etsy forum thread for people with less than 25 sales. The thread is a very warm and supportive place. It began as a “10 sales or less thread” but enough people peaked 10 sales (and we’d reached 1000 pages of posts!) so the thread’s founder, the wonderful Eclecticasia, decided to start a new thread. If you sell on Etsy and haven’t made that many sales yet, you should come by, introduce yourself and your shop and have a look around!


Etsy Review: LingaLonga

One of my first purchases on Etsy, after opening Elephunk’s Trunk, was this beautiful pair of earrings from LingaLonga. Made from green and gold glass beads with mother of pearl sea-shells, these elegant earrings caught my eye immediately.

I ordered these earrings from LingaLonga in a “five-minute FS game” chat room. “FS” stands for “featured seller” and the rules of the game are as follows:

1. One person in the chat room gets to be the featured seller for five minutes. During that five minutes, the seller promotes his or her products and mentions any sales or special deals for people in the chat room.

2. The other people in the room help the FS promote. This is done by showing the FS’s products in the image space to the right of the chatbox and generally encouraging each other to buy.

3. The first person to buy from the FS becomes the next FS. You are not supposed to announce the fact that you bought in order to encourage more people to buy from the FS. At the end of the five minutes the FS checks for sales and announces the next FS.

4. If no one makes any purchases, the FS chooses someone either at random or through trivia. Begging to be FS is considered rude and unacceptable.

Some people dislike FS rooms because they feel there are too many rules, or find the atmosphere rude and competitive. Personally, I have always found them to be quite fun and friendly places, even though I have never made a sale while Featured Seller. The rules provide structure and an opportunity to really highlight the work of one specific person. I have found people to be very supportive and generous, even when no purchases are made.

I have also made quite a few purchases while in FS chat rooms (as well as outside of them). These lovely earrings were the first. I am very pleased with the quality of the earrings, and they came well-packaged with a hand-written note from LingaLonga. She shipped the items promptly and I would recommend her to any fan of elegant jewelery. If you look closely, you can see that I am wearing them in my profile picture!

Wedding dress progress

I finally finished cutting all the silk for my dress yesterday and began the process of sewing it together. So far I have only attached the side-front panels to the front panel, but pinned to the dress form you can barely tell it has no back!

I love working with the silk. The texturse is delightful to work with. Fortunately, since I am tweaking the pattern to my own design I ordered a lot of extra silk. I can’t wait to come up with new projects for the leftovers!

Reinvisioning my Eid Sari

I have been in love with the aesthetics of South Asia since I was a toddler staying with Chandi, my Sri Lankan babysitter, while my parents were at class. In particular, I fell in love with saris–with the elegance of their drape, with the beauty of the fabric. Twenty years after my last visit with Chandi, I found myself in Bangladesh training as a Peace Corps volunteer. The Peace Corps and I didn’t work out so well together, and I ended up leaving after three months. But the time I spent there was very meaningful primarily because of the people that I met.

For the majority of the time I spent in Bangladesh I lived with a family in Savar, just outside of Dhaka. I stayed with them through Ramadan, and while I didn’t participate in the fasting, I did partake of the feasts with them at sundown. I finished training and moved to my site placement right before Eid al Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan. “Eid” means “feast” in Arabic.

In addition to the many more religous aspects of the holiday, Bangladeshi’s celebrate Eid by giving gifts of new clothing. My host family bought me a beautiful cotton sari in yellow with a green border and pallu (the pallu is the end of the sari tha drapes across the chest and over the shoulder.) I wore it for the festivities, and when I returned to the United States tucked it away with the rest of my saris.

Between my time in Bangladesh and the three months I later spent in Kolkata, India studying Bengali, I own a total of seven saris. I have almost no occassion to wear saris here in the USA. Some of them, like my Eid sari, had enough emotional significance to me that I wanted to be able to do something with it other than keep it in a box in my closet.

So I decided that since I can’t really wear saris to class (ok…I could but I wouldn’t) I should take the beautiful fabric and turn it into something I could wear! A good sari is approximately 6 to 9 yards of wonderful fabric–I used maybe half of it to make a little wrap around skirt and a hat for myself. I made two hats out of the Pallu–one as a custom order for ranzangel (who sent me a lovely little elephant figurine in return), and one other green hat that I listed for general sale on etsy.

It’s nice to be able to wear my Eid sari again, if in modified form. I can look down at the beautiful fabric and think of my fabulous host family in Bangladesh!

Wedding dress progress

Here are some pictures of me in the mock-up of the dress we’ve made so far. We used a sari from one of my trips to India to conceptualize the drapey outer layer of the dress. The final dress will be in shades of blue, not in 0range and green.



And for some reason we neglected to do a picture of the front.

I work in chaos

I was inspired by WhoseMomBlogs to show a picture of my crafting space. I do my crafting up in a loft in my living room in order to keep my stuff away from my cats. (we’ve seen what happens when I don’t) This is the ladder up to my loft:

As you can see, two of the rungs are blocked off with sheets of plastic duct-taped to the ladder. This is because my genius kitten Woozles learned to climb the ladder!

Once you get up the ladder (carefully hoisting yourself over the blocked-off rungs) you enter a realm off chaos:

You can see the fabric laid out for one of my berets, plus the sewing machine and the camping chair I sit in to sew. It’s too hard to get real furniture up there! Also in the background is the tub we use for paper making, piles of saris, and bits of plaster molding.