Saturday, December 20, 2008

This and that...

The thing I've been working on is finally finished! And just in time!! I'll try to put up a picture some time next week...if you get my drift ;-)

Lately, I've become quite obsessed with Ravelry. And knitting. Again. So now I'm obsessively looking at patterns and I picked up something else I had meant to finish a year ago. Very proud of myself. Kind of getting in the way of law school applications, but still proud of myself. Oh yeah, and there are like a thousand things I want to make right now!

And, through Ravelry, I met some awesome knitters in Astoria. And I drank some delicious tea. :-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

hello hello!

It's been a while, and I apologize for that. A lot has been going on over here, and it's gotten in the way of my crafting (and, by extension, my blogging).

Sam and I moved to a new (for us at least) place in Astoria. I looooove this place. We're still getting settled in (e.g. we don't have a couch yet) but we're now at the point where I am able to work on my crafts. My Etsy store is still up and running, although I haven't been attending to it as much as I should, especially with the holidays coming up. Hopefully that will change soon!

I've also been knitting. I'm working on the same things I hoped to finish last December (this year, in retrospect, was not the year of the UFO). Hopefully I'll be able to finish them this December! Even so, I couldn't help but to order some sock yarn on KnitPicks for who knows when.

As for Hannah, she was found alive several months ago (and I should have posted this earlier, I know). You can read about it here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Please Help Find Hannah Upp

She has not been seen since last Friday, August 29. Her keys, wallet, phone, metro card, and metro card, and passport were all found in her room.

Hannah graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2007, a year after I did. She is truly one of the sweetest, kindest people anyone could meet. Her friends started a facebook group called "We're Not Giving Upp (On Hannah), and over 1,500 people have joined and are getting media attention. Please, please, please, if anyone who reads this blog knows anything, or could help in any way, please contact the police, leave a message for the facebook group, or let me know and I will pass on the message to the appropriate people. You don't have to give your name or anything.

Here is the information posted on the facebook group, by Hannah's brother, Wally:

"Hannah Emily Upp, 23, has been missing since Friday, August 29, from her residence in the vicinity of Hamilton Terrace, Harlem.
Hannah is a New York City Public School teacher; she teaches middle school Spanish at Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change, at W. 135th and 7th Ave. A recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Class of 2007, majoring in Spanish and Comparative Literature, she is a New York City Teaching Fellow, working on her Master's degree at Pace University and teaching full time. She completed her first year of teaching 2007-08, and was about to start her second year of teaching when she went missing.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Detective Perez, 30th Precinct Detective Squad, at 212-690-8842, or 212-690-8843."

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Complimentary Contradictions

That is the theme for the Etsy Beadweavers September Challenge. For once, I wasn't scrambling to finish at the eleventh hour, and I had so much fun with this one! My piece is called, "Black and White - A Story in Color." It's made up of six hexagons woven together. Three of them are made up of different colors, and two of them are black, white, and different shades of gray. It's finished off with a real silver chain and a red glass bead. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. These colors were so fun to use, and I'm also really pleased with the final proportions. I have a feeling that this piece will be my inspiration for many pieces to come.

You can vote for your favorite September EBWC Entry on September 9th on the EBW blog,

I've only been a member of the Etsy Beadweavers since May, but it's been such an awesome experience so far. And the three challenges in which I have participated have truly influenced the way I bead, for the better! Lately, I haven't had much time to bead, because I've been getting ready to move apartments, and I've also begun the law school application process. I have finished a gift and a custom order, and I finished two more bracelets a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't had a chance to photograph them and get the up on Etsy yet. But I will soon! All in good time...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I've developed an addiction to reality TV shows on Bravo. In the past, I would never had admitted to this, but we're all friends here, right?

My all time favorite, of course, is Project Runway. I've also really gotten into Shear Genius. I love watching the challenges and the wonderful and awful things that these people come up with. I love choosing my favorites and least favorites and imagining myself wearing those outfits and haircuts. My favorite "character" is Stella, the wonderfully ridiculous designer of all things "leatha."

I rush home every Wednesday to watch these favorite shows of mine. If I can't be home to watch them, they'll always be on the next day. And the day after that. And pretty much every day until the next Wednesday, the next episode. But then, all the episodes are on that day too...

This all got me thinking. What if there was a Bravo TV show about the type of designing that I do? What if there was a show just about beadweaving. Or about knitting and crocheting. The camera focuses on me. I'm beadweaving, and you hear a voiceover. "I decided to do a peyote cuff. So I started with some beads. And then I put on another bead. And then I put on another bead. And then I put on another bead. And then I decide to change colors." Or "I did a row of knit. And a row of purl. Then I did an intricate lace. Yarn over..." Maybe it's just that I've been watching too much TV and frying my brain, but this concept makes me laugh! Just imagine how entertaining that would be to the outside world! (Not!)

But it also got me thinking about the people I design for. I always design with a little piece of myself in mind. After all, who could love something I make that I don't even love? In their own way, the Etsy Beadweaving challenges are kind of the same concept. The last challenge in particular got me out of my comfort zone, but I was determined to make something beautiful within the guidelines that was still true to my own sense of style, and I'm pretty sure I pulled it off.

And of course there are the people who wear my jewelry. I just love opening a package in which there is something wearable that I ordered from Etsy. (Lamp work jewelry is another guilty pleasure of mine.) And when I put it on, I feel amazing and beautiful. That is exactly how I want people to feel when they wear my jewelry. I want them to feel like the powerful women they are, or to feel like princesses. Whatever makes them feel best, that is how I want them to feel. Whether I give pieces I make away or people purchase them or even have me custom make them, I just want my pieces to be loved, and I want the people who wear them to feel just that little bit more amazing.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Art Deco

Once again, I listed my EBW Challenge piece at the very last minute, but I listed it!

This piece was inspired by colors and geometric designs of the Art Deco period. It's an adjustable peyote cuff with rectangular windows ascending (or descending, depending on which way you look at it) across the bracelet. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

When I started this piece, I had a vague idea that I wanted it to be red, with maybe some black and or white, and preferable with some sort of window. It evolved as I continued with it. As geometric as it is, this piece is the closest I have ever come to free form. Perhaps it is time for me to give real free form a try! :-)

Starting August 9, you can see all the beautiful entries on the EBW Blog, and vote for your favorite!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Checking In

I've had various things going on for the past couple of weeks, and I've been kind of absent from the blogosphere. A few weeks ago, Sam and I had an amazing time visiting friends in Ithaca. And the Thursday and Friday before last, I had jury duty. (Yes, in New York, federal jury duty lasts two days!) I spent all of Thursday in a court room, but in the end, I didn't get picked. It was pretty interesting, though. I started my Art Deco challenge entry that night, and was able to work on it a lot on Friday in the "Jurors Lounge" and then at Starbucks as I waited for Sam to get out from work so we could head off to a Ween concert, which is one of his favorite bands.

The next day, Saturday, was Sam's birthday, and we walked from his apartment in Astoria to Peter Luger's in Brooklyn. It was lots of fun, but I wasn't wearing the right shoes. We finally took advantage of his back yard that night, during Sam's big birthday bash. When I excused myself to "nap" (i.e. go to sleep) at 2:00, the party was still going strong.

My big endeavor for this week was to finish my August EBW challenge, Art Deco. Sam and I had planned to go hiking upstate with a few friends yesterday, but a few hours into our drive, it started to thunder and pour. So we took a tour of an old mansion for an hour or two and then got ice cream before the long ride home. But today, at 1:00 p.m., I finally finished my piece! I took my pictures, but I haven't had a chance to list it yet, or even put up the pictures (a very late brunch in Sam's neighborhood took priority) so I'll get them up tomorrow before the midnight deadline. But...Woohoo! Done! Yay! :-)

Monday, July 28, 2008


I got this one from Sarah, thebeadedlily. I love little surveys like this when they're about arts and crafts. (A lot of my answers actually overlap with Sarah's!) I've been kind quiet on the blogging front lately, and I will soon update you on my latest adventures. But for now, I leave you with fives!

What are your 5 favorite art works? Have you seen them in person? Do you have plans to?
And I mean art in a very broad sense here.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge - yes! I've seen it and crossed it hundreds, maybe thousands of times. I miss it!
Anything by Van Gogh (Same as Sarah!) - yes, I've seen many of them and I would love to see more of them and to see many of those I've already seen again!
Chanel Suits-- I saw an exhibit on them at the New York Met! (Don't know if I'd ever wear one, though)
Avenue Q-- Yes! It was my favorite play EVER!
Anything by Renoir -- yes, and I'd love to see more!

What are 5 crafts you couldn't live without? Have you done them? Any good?
Beadweaving-- yes and yes
Sewing-- yes. I was good at it for my age, but I haven't sat at a sewing machine since I was about 14
Woodwork-- only in shop class
Metalwork-- same as above (only in shop class)
Knitting-- yes and yes

What are 5 crafts you'd like to learn? Have you ever tried them? Will you?
Lampwork-- yes, I've had one lesson in a studio that used to be around the corner from my mom's house. I think I will try it some time again in the future
Metalwork-- only in shop class. But I plan to delve back into it!
Drawing-- I've tried some, but I would love to (and plan to) have more training
Filigree-- No. I plan to learn some day, because I love this craft!
Leatherwork-- No, probably not

What are 5 arts and crafts you've tried that weren't for you?
I won't rule anything else out!

What are 5 things you aim for with your art/craft?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It must be genetic

At least it runs in the family. Or maybe it's just a family trait.

People in my family tend to buy gifts for birthdays and holidays early or on time, and then just never send them (instead, waiting to give them in person), or send them really late. It's not a negative thing, because we all do it and so we all expect it.

So that is why my Auntie Carol got her birthday necklace three weeks late! It was one of the things I was madly trying to finish in June, but I didn't exactly send it until the middle of July. At least the outcome was success -- she loved it! After all, it was her colors! :-)
This isn't the greatest picture of it. It was almost 100 degrees outside when I took it. (I was determined to take it in natural sunlight.) I had to run inside before I could take another one! But you get the idea...

And now, I'm off to watch the new season of Project Runway! Woohoo!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Art Deco

On my way home from the subway today, I was thinking so hard about the next EBW Challenge that I overshot my turn by a whole block. For the last challenge, I knew exactly what I wanted to make right away. But this one is taking a little more planning. There are so many facets of the art deco movement that I just can't seem to pinpoint what I want to make or even which part of the movement I want to use for my inspiration.

I am very drawn to the delicate jewelry of the period, and I've sort of designed a bracelet and a necklace in my head. I would really enjoy these things, but they would not exactly be my most complicated or time consuming creations.

From the little internet research I've done, the art and architecture of the period seem to be much bolder than the jewelry. I could also have a lot of fun exploring shapes, and I've also cooked up some ideas for a bracelet cuff that would do that. I've even been (half seriously) toying with the idea of creating a tiny mini-building out of beads.

And then there's the ever-present real life getting in the way. Today, I had leftovers from a chicked and eggplant dish that I made on Sunday night for dinner. I'm beginning to realize that I haven't cooked a meal in literally months. (Not including Lean Cuisine and Campbell's Soup! ;-) ) For a Manhattanite, that's very normal, but it isn't normal for me. I love eating my own cooking almost as much as I love eating my mom's cooking! If only there were more hours in the day!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This and That

This is my friend, Dave, his awesome girlfriend, Nicole, and me last night at a comedy show. Dave and I went to high school together in Sydney, and he's doing a PhD in theoretical particle physics at Cornell, and Nicole is a med student here in New York City. They're both on summer break now, so it was awesome getting to see these busy academics. (The show was cool too!)

This weekend, Sam is partying it up in California with his brother, Dan, so today is my lazy day. It was going to be my cleaning day, but I think it's going to be my lazy day with some cleaning on the side. This morning, I've been beading and watching Project Runway reruns. I'm finishing up a bracelet that I started last weekend. It's inspired by my EBWC Challenge piece. Here it is, not quite done. (There are still loose strings hanging off of it.) It's definitely a piece that needs to be photographed in natural light, but you get the idea:

The bracelet turned out a little bit smaller than expected, so who better to wear it than yours truly! I'm keeping this one for myself! :-)

Speaking of last weekend, I just have to include this photo of Sam's mom, Cheryl, who put this choker that I made with this adorable outfit, worn to dinner last weekend in Sag Harbor:

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

They're all so Dreamy!

The entries for the Etsy Beadweavers Midsummer Nights Dream are up on the EBW blog! And they're all so dreamy and beautiful! Drool over them all and vote for your favorite! :-)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

This Weekend

So Sam and I didn't quite make the fireworks. We got cheese steaks and headed over to the pier just as the crackling of fireworks started. About five minutes before the end. We did, however, make the last five minutes. It was still fun, though. Even as we were walking there, masses of people streamed in front of us and behind us. Then we headed to a party in Brooklyn with some of Sam's really nice Oberlin friends. It was really fun!

We came back "early" because we're going to Sam's parents' house in the Hamptons tomorrow. So unless I go to the library, I will be without internet access for the next two days! *gasp*

I'm super excited because Sarah (thebeadedlily) is featuring an interview of me in her blog! Sarah is another EBW member (and moderator!) with an Etsy jewelry shop of her own, featuring many unique beadwoven pieces. Here is just one of the beautiful things in her shop:

Sarah's shop is an eclectic mix, so I really recommend checking it out! :-)

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Midsummer Nights Dream

I'm meeting Sam in an hour to grab a quick dinner and then see the fireworks, but for now, I'm doing some of my essential writing in my blog!

The rest of my beads finally got here on Wednesday, and I spent Wednesday night, Thursday morning, and a lot of Thursday night (with a few hours dinner break with friends) furiously beading. And I finally finished!
Between scattered showers, I took some pictures of the necklace lying flat, and Sam took some of it on my neck, and voila!

Apart from the surprise factor, I've been a little mysterious about this choker partly because I didn't know how to explain how to describe the hearts. I also didn't want to take "in progress" pictures because at the time that I ran out of beads, I only had the three stars and a few of the strands connecting them.

Figuring out "numbers" for this piece was kind of difficult because each strand had to be a different length, and I had to keep this in mind while figuring out how to make the purple hearts. I also had to figure out how to make it look finished at the back. I went with brick stitch (which I had never used before, so I just taught it to myself out of the book Sam gave me for my birthday!)

I had originally wanted to add some embellishment to the bottom of this piece. I had a few different ideas going around my head. But when I finished the choker part, I realized that it was actually done! I don't think that any sort of embellishment would have done this piece justice. I'm actually very happy with the way it turned out! :-)

Thank you so much to everyone who left me kind words during the drama that surrounded this piece! ;-)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Some Happy Things

Last night, I went to the 40th anniversary party of Sam's parents, Cheryl and Richard. I really had a lot of fun meeting their family and friends, and of course, hanging out with Sam and his brothers, both of whom live in Chicago and had flown to New York for the occasion. They finally presented them with the photo album that that they (mostly Sam) had been working on for over a month! It included anecdotes from their loved ones, as well as photos. It was a great success!

After the party, Sam, his brothers, and I went back to Cheryl and Richard's for a night cap. We looked through the album. At this point, they opened a few presents. That's when I presented them with this box:
You see, Sam's parents collect little boxes. I've had this pattern by Julia S. Pretl in my beading repertoire ever since it appeared in Bead and Button Magazine about 6 years ago. They take quite a while to make, but I love making them and giving to people who love them. Seeing Richard's and Cheryl's happy reactions to this was sooooooooooo cool! :-)

Another happy thing is that I am currently being featured on NightMaiden's blog, Going Handmade! I am so grateful to NightMaiden for featuring me! I know that when I answer interview questions (just like when I used to write essays, and before that, reports) I tend to write a lot! So I really commend NightMaiden for taking my looooooong answers and putting together such a wonderful article! I also commend her for taking so much time to promote Etsy artist. Her blog is very new, but she has featured a different Etsy artist every single day since its birth! If you check out her blog, be sure to check out some of the other Etsy artists she features! Her post on Maoiliosa prompted me to impulsively buy these gorgeous Japanese washi earrings.

Ever since they arrived at my apartment a few days ago, I haven't taken them off! (OK, maybe for sleeping and showering, but that's IT!) :-)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

OH NO!!!

So as you may recall, as soon as I heard the theme of this month's EBW challenge, A Midsummer Nights Dream, I immediately got sketching. I worked out a pattern and ordered the beads I needed. I wasn't quite sure which colors would work best, so I ordered a few different colors in small quantities.

I actually spent a large part of this month working on gifts (more on that another day!) so my challenge piece got pushed back a little bit. I figured I could finish it this weekend.

A little while after having started the challenge piece, I realized that the colors I was using just were not working out. There was not enough of a contrast between them, so I started over, using one of the colors I had used for one of my gifts.

I don't know why this did not occur to me at the time, but I did not have enough beads in that color! Last night, I realized this, and immediately spent a small fortune on two-day shipping. They should be there by Monday or Tuesday. Problem is, I'm supposed to stay at work late on both Monday and Tuesday (tutoring is canceled this week because of the 4th of July holiday). With my job, that could have me home anywhere between 7:00 and midnight! It's not so much the beading that I am concerned about as much as the trial and error. While part of my challenge piece is in my comfort zone, part of it is something I've never done before, and it takes a while to figure out how to make it work! And then there is the photography part of it. I want to take my pictures in natural light, so I'll just have to hope that July 3rd or 4th is a nice day (for more reasons than the obvious! ;-) ) Plus, it's the type of piece that really needs to be photographed on a person. So I'll have to make sure that I'm with a person who can photograph me wearing it during bright daylight hours. The July 4th holiday might complicate things, because I'm also going to have access to my computer - i.e. be at my apartment and not a barbecue or the like, for at least part of the day. AND if this piece does not end up working out, I won't have a challenge entry at all...

Earlier this morning, I ran out of the color I needed. At least this will force me to do the seemingly never ending house work I need to do... That's actually a good thing. :-)

Anyway, this will probably all work out. I did work on the piece a lot last night, so it's not as if I have the whole thing to make. (If I hadn't already done so much work, I would have just used another color!) But this is my progress report. I have made a lot of progress - I'm just impatient and I wish I could make some more progress now! :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An Almost Knitting Night...And Other Adventures

For exactly a year now, I've tutored GED students every Tuesday after work. I used to only tutor math, but now I almost exclusively tutor reading. This is something I look forward to every week, and I always come home invigorated. Like many who volunteer, in many ways, I learn more from those whom I teach than they learn from me.

Everyone knows that on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 8:00, I am not free. So yesterday, when Amna and I decided to see the New York Philharmonic play a free concert in Central Park, Amna got there a couple of hours early to stake out a spot. The plan was to knit in the park while we listened to amazing music. But, in typical Adina fashion, I forgot to bring my knitting needles to work! Luckily, I live right near the site of the concert, and when I got to Central Park West around 8:30, I ran home to find them! But (sadly!) I haven't knit for months! I have three scarves on the needles right now - all were going to be gifts last December! - and I was determined to work on one of them! But I couldn't find the matching needle to ANY of them! I scarfed (seriously, no pun intended!) down a bowl of cereal (I am NOT a pretty sight when I am hungry!) and tore through my apartment, looking for any one of the three needle mates. Finally, I found one! But that scarf was a cable pattern, and I couldn't find my cable needle (of course)! Finally, I grabbed a crochet hook, figuring I could improvise and use it as a makeshift cable needle, and bolted out the door.

When I got to where the concert was, there were droves of people walking towards me, and I was sure the thing was over...but it's wasn't! It was just intermission! I found Amna with surprising ease and, armed with my quarter-finished cable scarf, sat down on her huge picnic blanket to knit. And then I realized that it was too dark to knit. (It was even too dark to take pictures!)

Well, at least it was great company and amazing entertainment. And I hadn't seen Amna in over a month and I missed her! So it was great seeing her again. And, well, the New York Philharmonic! Enough said! Even without our knitting, we had so much fun! And then we went to Pinch for pizza. Yuuuuuuuummy.

Then, tonight, I had a tutor appreciation dinner. Also so much fun. I think I surprised the other tutors because I'm usually so quiet when I see them. But then, I'm usually concentrating on tutoring when I see them! Get a glass of wine and some good food in me, and I can't stop talking! Like our students, the tutors themselves are all so diverse, and getting to know them better was a pleasure!

It's late...

...and I have quite a few things I want to write about, but I will have to save most of them for later in the week. For now, though, I wanted to post another treasury here. It's another patriotic treasury, and this time, my red necklace is in it! (It's currently in two treasuries!!)

This treasury, red white and blue, which will be open for your viewing pleasure until 11:40 a.m. on Friday, was created by Jessica of bruizerbeans. There is no denying that Jessica is an amazing artist, but I am in complete awe of her beaded purses. Here are just a few of them:

Aren't they just stunning?!!

And with these beautiful treasures, I wish you a good night! :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Good Thing Come in TWOS

or at least treasuries seem to...

I'm in two more treasuries!!

This one is called Shine On Your Crazy, and it was put together by the very talented Carol Dean of SandFibers. It's the second treasury to feature my three tier blue cylinder necklace, and I'm so happy about that because that one took soooo long to make and is one of my favorite designs! Also, sometimes when the picture is small, you can't tell that the cylinders are made out of seed beads, but when the picture is bigger I think it looks pretty cool.

Happy Independence Day, America!
You can see this one on Etsy until Thursday at 5:05 a.m.

My red hexagon necklace is in Symphony of Color, a treasury chosen by Ileana of enchantedbeads. I really love the concept behind this treasury. The different colored treasures are sitting together like sections in an orchestra! I think that to come up with something like that, you have to be very artistic, and and it is obvious just how creative Ileana is just from her own work!

You can view this one until Wednesday at 5:41 pm. I highly recommend taking a look at both of these treasuries, because (as you can see) all of the pieces in them are beautiful, and (as you can also see) most of them are beadwoven!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Challenge, Corporate Style

The Corporate Challenge is a huge annual running race entered by employees of thousands of companies. It is held in different cities, and in New York, it is held on a 3.5 mile course in Central Park. I participated in this race on Thursday. It was my second Corporate Challenge.

At the end of the work day, I was getting changed in the bathroom when I realized that I had taken one of the wrong shoes with me to work! Somehow, my I had thrown one running shoe and one Chuck Taylor in my bag! I couldn't run like this! Not only would I look hilarious, but this would probably have been quite bad for my back, ankles, and feet. Wearing two different types of shoe at once tends to do that to you - plus, those Chucks are so old and worn out that I can't even wear them walking for long periods of time.

Luckily, I live near Central Park. So I dashed home to change, and walked back to where my company was stationed, waiting for the race to begin. Inevitably, I got lost finding it, but I made it just in time!

I really love running and I used to run several times a week. Lately, though, I've been lucky to fit in one weekly run. This, combined with the stress of the shoe fiasco and the fact that I'm only used to running in the morning, when I have little food and drink in my stomach, resulted in the worst side cramp I can ever remember having. I ran the first two miles while grabbing my aching side and, occasionally, walking. But by the third mile, I was pretty much OK. I'm really glad that I did it! I loved participating in such a huge event, and I LOVE the idea of bringing fitness to the sedentary corporate world.

Sam participated for the first time this year, for his company. It was awesome seeing him afterwards and stopping for sandwiches and frozen yogurt with him on the way home. We even trained together exactly once - last Saturday to be exact! Maybe for next year, we'll start training a little earlier. Like, perhaps, tomorrow! Then again, that's what we said last year, when I ran the race the first time and Sam decided to enter this year's race. So maybe I'm being a little optimistic. But whoever said optimism was a bad thing? :-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm behind

This week has been pretty hectic for me. Really good, but busy.

I woke up Monday morning to a request for a trade! It was something I'd never done before but was eager to try! I traded this little "charm" bracelet
for three sets of adorable stickers from beckynot! Now I have cute stickers I can use when I send things to my canine-obsessed relatives, and I can also adorn my packages that I send out to Etsy customers with them! (You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find cute stickers in New York City. I had given up. New York City children are apparently beyond stickers.)

I have apparently become an avid Etsy buyer, because I've made quite a few Etsy purchases since I joined. I'm usually pretty frugal, so this could get dangerous!

I came across Chopstix Waits' shop kind of randomly. I was looking at the blogs on a "blog roll" Etsy Forum, and when I read Mary Jane Frances' blog (which is, itself, very inspiring, and a great blog to read), I just knew that I had to visit that shop! Chopstix's sewing is impeccable, and is inspired by African textiles. No matter what I end up doing as a career, I will forever be the anthropology major I was in college. I'll be the girl who loves all crafts - especially those from other cultures, whose thesis structure was loosely based on an ethnography about Guatemalan textiles. Best of all, these clothes look like they were made for me! I impulsively bought a beautiful knit summer top, and a few hours after it arrived, I could not help but to buy another. And you know what? I couldn't be happier!

I also did something very uncharacteristic for me this week - I went out on both Thursday and Friday nights. (Gasp!) I had lots of fun, but was left kind of behind in my craft-related work.

So I fell behind in my EBW Team emails and posts. I was pleasantly surprised last night to read an Etsy conversation from Grandma Marilyn's that I was in this treasury along with 11 other EBW Team members:

(As you can see, some of the images in the treasury got cut off - I still have to figure out how to get better screen shots.) You will be able to view this until Monday at 2:19 a.m.

I was so far behind, that I actually MISSED a treasury that I was in. I just saw this screenshot of it on Carol Dean Sharpe's blog this morning! (She is, rightly so, the queen of Etsy treasuries.) It also had some other amazing EBW pieces in it.
Now I have to work on a gift whose owner should be getting it alarmingly soon. I might also finish a bracelet to sell, with which I am almost done. We shall see...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Here they are!

(Thanks, Marylou!)

My beeeeeeaaaaauuuuutiful new beads.
I tried to find a background for the purple mix that I already had, but now I'm thinking maybe the blue mix. I think I'm going to have some silver in there too. So I got a LOT of potential background colors, but I got them in small quantities (I can always get more), knowing that I will find other uses for whatever I don't use for this particular endeavor. Now all I have to do is get beading!!

And now I will talk about the weather. (Seriously.)

It's been unusually cold here in New York. But all of a sudden there is a heat wave. I think my body is in shock. I went outside to take pictures of the finished necklace that I started last weekend, and after a couple of minutes, I had to rush into the doorway to relieve myself of the heat. I went back outside to finish the job, and quite frankly, I don't even care about the shadows right now. When I got back inside my apartment, I could barely see, even though the the lights were on. This is something that I'm not used to happening in New York. (Sydney, but not New York.) I got a couple of pictures of a gift that I just finished so that I could post them after the gift is received. But just barely. They're pretty bad pictures, but I couldn't stand the heat anymore! I'm supposed to go out tonight, but I'm not so sure if that's going to happen.

Here is the finished Etsy necklace:

Friday, June 06, 2008

As soon as I finish the necklace and bracelet that I started last weekend, I'm going to have to put Etsy pieces on hold for a little while. I have some gifts that I have to start and finish working on. Why oh why do I always leave these things so long??!

I also need to start my entry for the Etsy Beadweavers' July Challenge, a Midsummer's Night Dream. I have something in mind, and the beads I ordered for it came yesterday. I'm so psyched!

Speaking of EBW team challenges, the entries for June challenge, Anything Goes, are now posted on the Etsy Beadweavers' blog. These are all stunning. I am not exaggerating. Seriously. LOOK AT THEM!! :-)

I didn't enter this one, but I am currently drooling over these pieces. It's amazing for me to see elements of the different designers in their work, and to see everyone's best. How one can decide which entry to vote for is anyone's guess, but voting begins June 7.

....yep, still drooling....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Return of the Camera

I am a woman of my word, and for that, I will bestow upon you pictures of Sam's reunion. (I can't believe it's already been a week and a half!)

Here is Sam during the gig (yes, that is a dorm in the background, but they pulled it off well!)

And here's one of the two of us in front of one of the houses he lived in in college. I must say, that is a very purple purple!
I've become kind of obsessed with different shapes of peyote stitch. Here's another one I made this weekend (I have yet to add the chain to it, which I guess is kind of crucial for any necklace if it is to stay on one's neck):(Blurry, but you get the idea...)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Reason I Can't Use My Camera

This Memorial Day weekend, Sam and I went to his reunion in Oberlin. At Oberlin, they have reunions in clusters, so while Class of '03 was having their five year reunion, Class of '04 and Class of '02 (i.e. Sam) were there too. It was weird (but not a bad thing) staying in a dorm again. It brought back memories of college for me (it smelled like dorm!) and more, I am sure, for the people that actually went to Oberlin.

One of Sam's college bands played. They do punk renditions of Simon and Garfunkel, under a name not suitable to mention on a crafts blog. Here is a clip of a show they played in Boston last year:

We did a "car share" with two nice Oberlin people (and Andy - who of course is also nice!) on Monday and drove for hoooooooooooours. We got back to Sam's place in Astoria and crashed (as in, bed - not crashed the car!)

Needless to say, I was exhausted and running late on Tuesday morning, so I left all my stuff at Sam's place and have yet to pick it up. My camera was there. (So was my phone charger!) So I have no pictures from the trip (and can take none of my latest star necklace).

I promise I will put one or two of our trip up here...and to prove that I am good on my word, I will finally put up some pictures I've been promising for a while.

Here is the custom bracelet - my first sale in 7 years:
And here is that rowdy (but soft, I' m sure!) alpaca that we met in Australia:

Monday, May 19, 2008

It worked!

My star experiment worked! I think it will look better in natural sunlight, but here it is! (Oh yeah, and a chain. That would help too...)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

This weekend

was very productive! Obsessive, yes, but productive.

I had applied to be part of the Etsy Beadweavers Street Team a few days earlier, and on Friday, I was invited to join the group! They add new members' names to the blog on the first of every month, so my name is not quite up there yet, but just wait...because it will be soon! :-) Now I just have to finish going through all my Etsy

My next big feat was making my banner! I still want to change the font, but I'm super excited about it:
I spent Saturday night (see, I told you it was intense!) making this star of David necklace. I had noticed that with a little tweaking, the hexagon necklaces that I made for Angela, Hilary, and myself would make cool stars of David. I also figured out how to make it lie flat.

Sam's parents may or may not want this one for a bat mitzvah to which they are going next weekend. Either way, I plan to make more of these - it's really fun to see the star shape appear as I make them. I am also going to try to make a five pointed star.

Today, Sam came over to use my printer. He and his brothers are planning a 40th wedding anniversary party for their parents, and he had to print addresses on envelopes. The ordeal took almost the whole day, but it was a success!Meanwhile, I spent a few hours cleaning up my apartment, which had recently turned into more of a disaster zone than it already was. When I sat down to take a break, it turned into a necklace.

Friday, May 16, 2008


My pieces were in a YouTube video! Courtesy of The Electric Diva. Isn't it awesome?! (If I do say so myself...) :-)

Friday, May 09, 2008

I made my first Etsy sale today!! That totally made my whole morning. :-)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

On Blogging

I'm sitting here at work after hours, waiting for my evening plans to pull through. Most likely, it will be a movie with Sam and our friend, Adam, but we're not sure which borough yet. So for now, I am planted at my desk.

I've been spending a lot of time on my new business. I still needs some finishing touches (like, um, a banner!) but it has become more and more of an obsession. A very fun obsession.

So I've been thinking long and hard about whether to start a new blog solely about my business (as opposed to my all purpose craft blog). It's the word "knit" that does it. Don't get me wrong, I still love to knit, but I just don't knit as much as I used to. So I thought I about having two blogs - one about all of my crafting adventures, and one dedicated to my business.

But then I thought again. So what if "knit" is in the title?? It doesn't change the fact that this is the blog I have been writing in since 2006! Besides, the resurection of my beading obsession is documented here, and so is the evolution of my new business! So this knitstripedfrog is here to stay! It is my one and only.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

And Now....

More on my Etsy obsession....

I have 35 items up now....

Buy Handmade

I spent the entire day today adding fifteen of them! I didn't realize that adding the entries to Etsy would be so much work! A huge part of the reason for this is probably the fact that my apartment is so small that I have to "change the scenery" for everything I photograph, and this often invloves moving furniture (at least my desk chair) out of the way! I'm also learning what looks good as far as the photographs, and what doesn't. Today, I started to master that skill.

I've read that no flash and direct sunlight are best, and that cameras that have some manual features work best for detail. Needless to say, I don't really have access to any of these things. Having not sold anything yet, I just can't afford to buy an expensive new camera. And living in Manhattan, I have no yard at all to use to photograph. I could go to Central Park, but that would be kind of hard, especially on days like today when I have a lot of things to photograph, especially since I would have to take some of my own backgrounds with me (foam boards). So I open the shades of my apartment and only photograph during daylight hours, but especially on cloudy days like today, the flash on my very automatic camera turns itself on automatically. But I've learned that white backgrounds, ironically, work best to not reflect flashes and therefore to show jewelry in intricate detail and true to what it really looks like (for example, its true color). I've learned how to take pictures of myself in anklets without making them too distorted. I've also learned how to take photographs that will still look good when Etsy crops them to make them square. I will probably learn a lot more over the next few weeks and months, but I know so much more now than I did when I started - and that feels great!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


My etsy shop is up! I have four listings so far. (Picked randomly from a huuuuuge collection. I didn't realize how many pieces I had made to sell!) I also didn't realize how much work on-line selling would be! In order to get natural light, I have to photograph my pieces immediately before or after work (that is, when I'm not working overtime) or on the weekends. And since etsy crops the photos, I have to make sure everything will get in the actual picture (read: center, because I can't figure out how to crop them on my computer).

But to get those four images out there is such a rush! It really is a thrill!

Stay tuned, because I'm going to be adding a lot more images in the coming days and weeks!

And Sam wants me to tell you that he is cheering and bellowing me on in the background.

Friday, April 11, 2008

this and that

I'm still a little afraid of my camera right now, but I did take some pictures. I have yet to upload them, though.

I just finished my first commissioned work in about seven years. My co-worker's daughter's birthday is next week, so I really wanted to get this one done in time. I'm making two bracelets and a pair of earrings, but I'm going to give her the first bracelet tomorrow.

I took some pictures of it, so when I get through downloading my vacation pictures and taking old ones off my camera if necessary, I'll put them right up here. It's becoming increasingly clear to me that I'm going to need a better camera. From some tips on indiepublic (which I just joined, and which has already been extremely helpful for networking and tips!) I am also beginning to realize that I'm going to need more natural light for my photos, which might prove difficult in my tiny NYC studio.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Due to my jetlag, I've been awake since 5:15 this morning. Oh well, that's like a million times better than the night before last, when I could not fall asleep at all. Plus, today is my 8:30 day at work, so I would have had to be awake at 7 anyway.

My next big project is going to figuring out how to get the hundreds and hundreds photos from the trip onto my moody computer. But for now, the latest on my beading. (You didn't think I could go that long without writing about it, did you?)

I arrived home from Australia, equipped with the merchandise from my youth, to a package full of jewelry displays for necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings, so that's super exciting. Now I really do have to pin down a name. I'm still not hell bent on Funky Cold Adina, although I still like it a lot. But I was thinking, how about Adina Jessica? (Jessica is my middle name.) Or perhaps Adina Jessica Designs? Adina Halpern Designs, maybe. (Maybe not the most original naming idea, but it works...) Pleeeeeeeease comment here and let me know what you think! I need to get an etsy banner and business cards started. (Which will probably entail me paying someone on etsy to do it for me.)

I'm really surprising myself with this beading stuff. For example, I never pictured myself as a person who would use so much pink. And I can't believe how excited I am at the prospect of using bigger beads and crystals in my seed bead work. But enough of the revelations - I want to get some beading in before work!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

G'Day from Sydney!

I'm in Sydney now - the land of my youth! I've done a lot since I got to Australia (including spend a few days in Canberra and Melbourne) but I haven't had much time for crafts here! I did, however, find the bag of jewelry I made to sell. Now I just have to go through it and figure out what is sellable!

Although I've done very little knitting (except for a tiny bit on the plane on the way over), I have two quick things to recount:

1) Alpacas are OUTTA CONTROL! Or at least that's what Sam found when one tried to bite his hand on a farm outside Melbourne (I have photos which I will put up soon, but I don't have time to upload them just yet). They are also pretty cute! (And, um, their wool is really soft. Yeah.)

2) In Canberra, on the way to Sydney, they forced me to either check or chuck my plastic knitting needles, even though THE SAME AIRLINE LET ME BRING THEM ON THE WAY THERE! Needless to say, I chose the former. Needless to say, this made me MAD! Grr!

Ah well. That is all for now. Lata!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I must admit, I'm going a little blog crazy

But I made this one (and it's twin!) for myself, so I couldn't resist the urge to put it up here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Case of the Missing Pictures

I found them! It seems that I am running out of memory on my memory card and that when I erase pictures, new ones take their places, literally. I'm used to seeing them at the end of the rows of pictures that I upload onto my computer, but I found these sneaky ones throughout. I found that picture of the red, white, and black necklace, and this blue one which I must say I am really pleased with.

More on this Naming Business

This has been on my mind so much that I am *gasp* blogging during my lunch break!

It occurred to me that I might someday want to have an internet domain. And suprise, suprise, already exists. All weekend I thought about this. Should I sign up with another name before it's too late? Before I *gasp* list something?? already exists, too. And Striped Frog Designs really sounds like it would be a website about striped frogs. (For some reason, way more than Striped Frog does.) I needed a new name. Something very me. Creative and a little bit funky.

Then it hit me! Last year for Valentines Day, Sam made me a mixed tape and called it "Funky Cold Adina." (A play on Funky Cold Medina). That is also the perfect name for my new business! Very funky and very me! :-)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What's in a Name

I'm almost ready to start selling my stuff (it'll probably be a month or six weeks) and I've been toying with name ideas for my business for a while. The last time I sold anything I made, I was sixteen, and sold my jewelry at market in Australia under a hand beaded sign that read "Beaded Bijoux." Other then the fact that I wouldn't have to make another sign (ha!), I wanted to think of something else for this time around because (a) although I'm mostly selling beaded things, I have a couple of things I've knit specifically to sell. I already have a crafts blog with the word "knit" in it, where knitting isn't always the only or even the primary thing I write about, and I want to give myself room to grow/change (if this ever amounts to anything!) and (b) Apart from what would meet a college language requirement, I don't actually speak French. In a world where crafts are often sold on the internet, I don't want to be misleading.

That meant I had to come up with a brand new name. I definitely want to start an etsy site, and I might even some day (gasp!) have my own website! The obvious choice was stripedfrog. That name just started out as a hotmail account when I was fifteen (that I still use) because I liked frogs and all of the other frogs (spottedfrog, polkadottedfrog, etc.) were taken. For some reason, that name has always gotten a lot of attention. People always ask me about my email address at random times. I just wish there was a more meaningful story behind it!

And then I could go with the more narcissistic option - "Adina Designs." It sounds professional, which is kind of what I'm going for. Plus, being of Eastern European Jewish origin, it is unlikely that I will name a child after myself (that's considered bad luck) so this business might be my only chance. (I mean, maybe I could name a pet after myself, but I think that would get a little confusing. It would also be very weird. "This is my dog, Adina, Jr. And this is my cat, Adina the Third.") Then there is the alliteration of the D. It sounds kind of cool to me.

I was going to ask around and get some opinions on this matter. But last yesterday, I was surfing (as I often do) and came across this awesome painting by Hillarie Tasche. After going back and forth to it all day, I finally caved in and ordered it. But in order to do that, I had to get an etsy account, and in order to do that, I had to have a name! And etsy warns to choose one's name carefully because it can never be changed. What ever was I to do??

I thought about it for about thirty seconds and went with the narcissism. Adina Designs it is! (Well, will be, anyway. Once I get it all up and running...)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This one took a while to make - the cylinders always take longer than I think they will. I really like it, though.

My camera is doing weird things. It takes pictures fine, but it won't save new ones to my computer. (It will, however, save old ones. And it's not a memory thing, because I keep erasing different ones, but the same ones will save.) This picture from my phone will have to do.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I think my brain is wired to love beads. These last few weeks, I've been completely obsessed. I bought a lot of beads and supplies, and I can't say I regret it at all. My friend, Maria, at work suggested that I host a tupperware-like party at my apartment to sell things, which was extremely encouraging for me. I just have to wait until I go home to Australia in three weeks so I can get my old stuff from my mom's house! Seed beading really takes a long time, and I don't have enough of a collection for that right now...but I'm beading as fast as I can! Most of what I've been making is to sell (some time in the near future)...unless, that is, I get separation issues. Here are the objects of my life from the past few weeks (well, the ones I've actually finished anyway):
On Thursday night, I made two rings for myself:
I liked them a lot... so I made five more.
That lovely blue background to these photos is my futon. Photography is not my forte. I ain't no photographer. It's frusterating, because it's really hard for me to get the details, especially with the sparkly beads. If anyone has any tips on how to better photograph these pieces, I'm all ears!