Habitual Habitat of the Amy

I kept reading advice columns for how to bring sales to your etsy shop, and one thing they all said is to get a blog.

I can't say this blog has boosted my etsy sales, but it has given me yet another outlet for talking about myself, and that can't be bad--can it?

The direct link to the Etsy shop is HERE

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dream Away

Today's Etsy re-listing: Floating Boxes Christmas Bracelet

Let's Talk about Dream Catchers today, shall we? 

I actually collect dream catchers. I don't quite remember why, but I got one from my godmother for a birthday gift one year, and then sometime around then I learned to make them, and over a decade later I've got over 50 (at last count).  It's been awhile since I had them all out and about, I've moved around a lot, so I usually keep them in the attic and just bring a token one or two (or three) along.  Right now they are pretty much my 'tourist souvenir' collection; I have one from Wall Drug, one from Cape Cod, two from Salem, MA, one from a rest area on I-90, one from the "Big E," one from Oregon, and so forth. 

I like that I can get them everywhere and anywhere, and I like that they are unconnected to the places except by my memories, I guess you could say.  There's no 'this is from the Rocky Mountains National Park' tag on the one from the Rocky Mountain National Park, but I still know that's where it's from, so it collects memories without bragging.

Well, and they are pretty and fluffy.

I also make dream catchers.  It's silly but I think it's a rather unique art-form that's not really explored enough. Craft-form? I know most of my ideas for dream catchers still verge on the edge of 'kitsch,' but the idea of a dream catcher where instead of feathers dangling off the bottom it's plastic icicles--catching dreams of winter, perhaps--that really appeals to me.  (I'd do pictures of that one, but my dream catchers are in the attic with the other 90% of my stuff).

 In college I was trying to stretch the boundaries of both what I could do with dream catchers and what I could do with beading, and I thought I might try to combine them.

My first attempt to do so was the dream catcher with the mushy pink/purple background.  It's... not entirely what I expected it to be.

These pictures actually make it look pretty good, but I was trying to use up certain colors of beads, which I was somewhat successful at, but they were all different sizes, so the sides wobble; I used small beads for the hoop, which makes it somewhat hard to distinguish; I used the metallic gold for the feathers, which never ends well; and I didn't really understand how delicate the tension was with the webbing, so it pulls inwards a bit too much.

So when I picked my needle back up I thought I'd remake it--but with a few changes.

 First I changed the background into something that was...something instead of pink and purple mush. I used an awkward patterning software to do so, though, and it could use a bit more editing, but it's not bad.

I used the copper-lined beads for the feathers because it was before I'd realized they would rust. Oops.

I also altered the hoop so it came out mostly round in the finished piece (instead of oval), and so that it was wider and more noticeable. 

I used a clear nylon thread to sew the whole thing, which is an experience to work with (I'll probably talk about it some day...) --except for the webbing, where I switched to a blue thread so you could see it better. I used blue beads in the web as well, so they could be seen against a white wall.

But I'd cut the blue thread way too long, so I was able to add this awesome dimensional feather to the 'catcher, which is probably the best part, even if it has a slight blueish cast from the thread.

Of course, I loved this second 'catcher far too much to sell, so I made a third one:

 This one is identical except for a few color choices, and the fact that I used white thread instead of clear.  It doesn't have the extra feather, either.  And it looks like I went back to white for the webbing.

But since it is nearly identical to the second dream catcher, I've been able to convince myself to try and sell it: Dream Catcher Beaded Tapestry.

I have mixed feelings about the pictures on Etsy--especially the very first one--but hopefully some day someone will see how bloody awesome this dream catcher is, and will wish to buy it.
Until then, I'll just keep dreaming...

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