Saturday, December 24, 2011


Happy Holidays all!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New York Comic Con

NYCC was so amazing this year.  We went all three days and spent hours and hours enjoying the experience.  We saw all sorts of cool and geeky things and some really amazing costumes.  For example, check out this guy, who also made kotaku!
His hand was about 15 pounds, and the fingers all moved!

I also saw this group, dressed as the cast of Doctor Who.

But now for the best part!  My costume went over fabulously.  I dressed as Kaylee (Kaywinnet Lee Frye) from Firefly.
I altered a Dickies coverall, by shortening the torso, removing the sleeves, and shortening the zipper.  I also altered the pockets to match the pockets of Kaylee's uniform.  The hardest part for me was finding a pink floral shirt. Who knew that they weren't so possible at the moment?  I ended up finding one in a size 15 and had to take it in considerably to make it fit.  I made a pink pendant like Kaylee's and finished the costume off with a pair of black work boots.

I had so much fun making this costume and even more wearing it, but the best part was that Jewel Staite (who played Kaylee in the film and the tv show) was at NYCC!  She was signing autographs both Saturday and Sunday and I eagerly waited in line to meet her.  She was so nice and bantered with me about my costume.  She signed a photo for me and also SIGNED MY COSTUME!  I asked and she was so nice about it and said yes immediately.

That is all.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Decoupage Fever Continued

Well, I've completed the project and I now have a new logo.  I made my new griffin logo by decoupage.  I cut pieces from magazines and catalogs to make the image.

I then mounted the completed griffin on a piece of glass I painted blue.  I plan on hanging it on the wall and using it as my new logo on both my blog and my etsy store.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Decoupage Fever

I've been decoupaging (can you make that a verb?) again.

Check back tomorrow to see the final result.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Well, as some of you know, in February of this year John (the man I've been seeing for nearly five years now) proposed.  This statement does not do it justice.  I said yes (!) and so began our engagement.  Now, being crafty, I use this fact as another reason to be creative.  Recently, I put together a scrapbook for my future mother in law.  Scrapbooking is not one of the crafts I have much experience with, so I found it somewhat overwhelming.  I went to a cute little scrapbooking store in the same building as my studio space.  The Crop Shop is a little shop run by a very nice woman who was extremely helpful.  She put me at ease about the whole experience and I left with a kit for making an engagement themed scrapbook.  (Actually she is in the process of moving to a new street level space in the same building!)
My favorite part of this scrapbook is a decoupage wedding couple I put on the last page.
I made them from pieces cut out of magazines and made them to resemble us.  I love the way the wedding dress came out and I just hope my real dress is as elegant.

A close friend of mine, Jenn, took the pictures at the Highline Park in Chelsea.  I love them so much and my scrapbook is better consequentially.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Time Off

Well, I've been taking a break, but that doesn't mean I've been idle.  I have several things to share with you in the near future,  I'm just not ready to share them yet.

But here's a little sneak peak:

I've started my New York Comic Convention costume! Last year, I saw such awesome costumes, like this one, of my favorite sexy pilot:

This year, I am working on my own costume.  It starts with coveralls like these ones,
but that's all the hint you get.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


When I was a kid, my dad had printing presses in the basement that he made all sorts of things on.  For example, he printed postcard announcements for all the seniors in town every month for their potluck lunch.  When I was about 12 he started making me business cards for babysitting, pet sitting, and pretty much every other odd job I could think of.  While those cards surely have sentimental value and a certain personal touch, when I decided to get some new cards, I thought maybe I would go with a professional company.  A friend told me about and I after some investigating, I bought a pack of cards.
I could not be more pleased with the result as many of you surely know.  I've been giving them out like candy.  The great thing about moo is that you can put your own images on the backs of the cards, which gave me yet another opportunity to display my crafts.  I chose 20 images and had 100 mini cards printed.  It's great!  Instead of just handing someone my card, I can let them choose for themselves from all my designs, and I know that when they get home they will want to follow up with me because of the cool experience they had getting my card.

The cards arrived in a neat little carrying box.

In case you can't read that, the asterisk says "OPEN THEM QUICK".  I feel like the box has the same enthusiasm for the cards as I have.

They look so elegant all lined up in the box.

The twenty images I chose reflect my current offerings, and I only got 100 cards, so when I add new crafts to my repertoire I can get new cards.  This way I won't be stuck with old designs for years.

I hope you are inspired by my experience, and I can't wait to put a card in your hand!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pillow! (Part 2)

Hopefully everyone has seen and loves my pillows.  I certainly do, they bring a bit of sophistication to my bedroom and quite frankly make me grin every time I see them.  I've been working on some more and I have one complete to show you.

I found this rich red fabric at my favorite fabric store (Halsey Fabrics on Halsey Street in Newark NJ)  and fell in love immediately.  The combination of red and blue first occurred to me as a reference to autumn colors, but the completed project makes me think of dragon scales.

Or maybe that  is being 700 pages into A Dance with Dragons (which is great by the way).
Either way, I'm in love with my new completed pillow, but not so in love that it won't be available very soon on my etsy shop.

Also, send me a welcome shout-out on twitter.  I just got an account for the first time.  GriffinDryGoods.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Success

A few months ago I got the idea to try out making a sourdough starter.  My fiance loves sourdough and, being a bread baker, I thought it should be easy and fun to make my own.  I was wrong.  My starter blew up and smelled awful.  It made a huge mess and I know that every bread book I have read and every person I've talked to says that sourdough is tough and if your starter doesn't work, you should just keep trying.  Unfortunately, when an attempt fails to the extent this one did, I feel disinclined to try again.  Luckily, I have a friend who makes fantastic sourdough.  While I was visiting in Oregon recently, my friend Nat showed me how he makes sourdough, and it is good.  He suggested I use a technique to start my sourdough I had never heard of.  Instead of using water in the starter, you use pineapple juice and it adjusts the pH to the ideal conditions for wild yeast.  I did some internet research and found a recipe I liked.  I used rye flour to begin with in the starter, and changed over to white flour after about a week.  I've been baking sourdough for several weeks now and every loaf is better than the last.
So my advice to you is if there is something you've been wishing you could do, try again, you just might end up with a delicious success.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The cake is (not) a lie

So this weekend was Fathers' Day, maybe you noticed.  Anyway, in honor of my Dad (see previous post), I made a cake.

When I was about 12, I started discovering boxes of cake mix at my place at the table when my father wanted cake.  He thought it was subtle.  Anyway, I started with those mixes (powder, water, oil, eggs) and a pot of duncan hines icing.
Since then, my cakes have gotten more complicated.  I worked in a professional bakery for almost a year in Ohio, and that honed my decorating skills.  One thing I had never done was a genuine Swiss Meringue  Buttercream from scratch, and so, that became my project for the weekend.  I found a great tutorial on Sweetapolita.  It worked wonderfully.  I made mine chocolate buttercream by adding ghiardelli to it, and put it on a beautiful vanilla yellow cake.

I didn't have any vanilla extract (sign of an over-vigorous baker) having run out a few days ago making cookies, so I had to pull out the vanilla beans (of which I had two).  I scraped them and added them to the cake batter, making the richest, vanilla-y cake I had ever had.  It also makes for a nice color texture when I cut the cake.

Thanks Sweetapolita!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I love old things

It all started with my dad.  Here he is in 1948:

Growing up with his stories, his lifestyle, I couldn't help but discover an appreciation for the way things used to be built.  He worked for the Singer sewing machine company for forty years, but he had been retired at least 10 years before I was born.  He loved everything Singer.  We had an old one when I was a kid that my mother still uses.  My father knew the ups and downs of that machine, and every machine Singer built while he worked there.  When I got a traveling machine from the 1950s, he looked it over for me.

It is because of him I find myself drawn to all sorts of vintage items.
A toy singer that was my mother's

My friend Karl's typewriter

So Happy Fathers' Day, Dad.
I love old things.  That means I love you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Handy Billfolds

I got the idea for small wallets from a friend who said she likes to only bring cash, ID, and one card with her when she rides her bike.  A bulky wallet makes an uncomfortable lump in her pocket, and so she has taken to just keeping said items directly in a jeans pocket.  The result is that she loses money often.  It occurred to me that  a small wallet with a limited profile would solve this problem with no problem.  It could also be a cute, vegan alternative to a leather wallet.
In response, I have been designing small cloth wallets with three card slots, and a pocket for cash.  The are cute and have the added benefit of limiting the amount of stuff I accumulate.

Each wallet is made from four pieces.  I fold the long piece to create the card slots and sew it all together on the inside piece.  I then attach the backing and turn it inside out.

I have added snaps to each design and other elements to make each wallet one of a kind.
Let me know if you like them, and if you want one, check out my etsy shop.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I promised pillows

Finally feeling like an adult, making a home, I notice details I never have before.  I want throw pillows on my bed and art on my walls.  I want each item in my home to be unique to me.  I handmade these pillows using a beautiful bronze fabric as the main accent.  The color reminded me of autumn leaves, so I worked with a tree theme.
The bronze pillow is a branch, hand-embroidered and designed by me.  The branch reaches, longing, to the right and leads the eye to the second pillow (which I place on the right).  The leaves on the blue pillow are sewn individually as little pockets and then turned inside out before the vein on the leaves are sewn.  I sewed each leaf onto a blue cotton pillow I made.  Each one is attached with an X of embroidery floss.  They pair well together and combined with this really cool wall decal from walldesigner006 on and my duvet.  Even if my bedding is nothing special, these pillows make my bed feel like none I've seen before.
Finally, I am starting to feel at home.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sneak Peak

Interested in what's in the works next?

Throw pillows is all I'll say.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kitchen Hanger

When I was last at my mother's house, my fiancee and I helped her to clean out her garage.  In the back corner, under a pile of broken bathroom tile, we found an old ginger ale crate from Diamond Ginger Ale.

Diamond had its bottling facilities in Waterbury, Connecticut, a few towns over from where I grew up.  The crate we found is from sometime between the 1940s and 1968 when the company moved its facilities.  For more information about historic Waterbury check out this site.

The crate we found was not in the best condition, the bottom and two sides were pretty deteriorated from water damage.  We were able to salvage one end of the crate, complete with a handle hole.  After considering options, I thought it would make a perfect towel and apron rack.  With the addition of some hooks and a hanger made of copper wire, I have a brand new, re-purposed towel hanger.

What could you make with the end of a crate?