One More Day to Enter the Giveaway!

Don’t forget about the beautiful wing giveaway I have for this month.  The winner will be picked at random tomorrow, but you have to follow certain instructions to be entered.

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This is a charming set of wings that I want to send out into the world to show my appreciation for all of the wonderful people in my life (including you, reader!)  They are made of a heavy silk-ish fabric with purple chiffon/organza peeking through.  A purple spiral wire accentuates the center of these wings.

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They flutter and flap as you move and breeze captures them.  The tie comfortably around your shoulders or by sliding down the back of a dress/bodice for a strapless appearance.

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This is the important part!  To enter the competition:

I am giving you three chances to make them yours. Each action is an additional entry into the random drawing.

1) Follow this blog

2) Reblog this post

3) Share this post via a social media site (Facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.)

Then, leave me a comment on the original post saying that you did one (or all) of these entry requirements and your name will be added to the hat.

If you are already following the blog and would like to be included, leave me a comment letting me know!

Thanks and good luck!

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Learning to Fly Giveaway

So, things have been a little dark around here.  Literally, figuratively, metaphorically.  All of my energy has been going into taking care of my family and trying to keep a smile on my face.  Let me be perfectly honest, it’s hard.  It’s really, really hard.

But, there have been a number of people – friends, family, and readers, that have put out a hand for me – no questions asked – and done what they could to help.  And to show my gratitude, I would like to give a pair of wings.

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These wings are called Callypso, and they were an early fabric pair for me.  I love the way the purple chiffon shows through and is picked up by the purple ribbon-wrapped spirals in the center.

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The fabric is heavy, so it flutters nicely but won’t end up in odd positions as you move through the crowd.  They are light and comfy, yet eye-catching and versatile.

I am giving you three chances to make them yours.  Each action is an additional entry into the random drawing.

1) Follow this blog

2) Reblog this post

3) Share this post via a social media site (Facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.)

Then, leave me a comment saying that you did one (or all) of these entry requirements and your name will be added to the hat.

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Drawing will be held on February 28th.  Good luck!

Unrelated

Completely unrelated to the yarny endeavours of late, I have been cleaning up the studio area in preparation for people moving in.  This means I have been organizing, cataloging, photographing, and uploading fairy wings.

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Not your typical, store-bought wings – these are individually handcrafted, one-of-a-kind creations by yours truly.  They use different mediums, from fabrics to papers to other weird things like monofilament and ribbon and moss.

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They are lightweight and durable, with heavy gauge wire threaded through key parts of the wings to offer firm structure while still allowing the wings to flutter beautiful as you move. 

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The paper ones are made from recycled materials, are then hand-painted and coated with a polymer resin to make them water and UV resistant.

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They are now on Etsy for purchase, along with a slow progression of more as the week continues.

Want to make them yours?  Follow this link!

The Thing About Wings

I started making wings when I was 15.  I went to a performing arts high school in Milwaukee which fed the flame for not only my creativity, but also my expression of rebellion.  I can see you scratching your head at the connection.

My school had strict regulations for dress code.  Skirts had to reach a certain length, shoulder straps had to be a certain width.  Anything on your head was subject to scrutiny.  No midriff, no bare backs, no offensive tees (and that’s a very subjective phrase).

However, there was nothing in the codes saying fairy wings were prohibited.  So, on several occasions, I wore my handmade wings to school.  That was my rebellion.

I did that a lot – rebelled through logical stand points.  I did nothing “wrong” per say, just pushed the envelope for what was “acceptable.”  My rebellion was backed up by carefully researched facts and plotted arguments.  I can do this because…  That is incorrect because…

And that is how my venture into fairy costumes came about.

Fast forward to college; I started exploring different methods beyond the nylon-coat hanger style and people started showing an interest in pairs for themselves.  I opened up shop, figuratively.  Most of what I did was by word of mouth.  I kept sketchbooks close by for ideas throughout the day.  My early work was interesting, vague, and some of it a little sloppy.

Two years later, I started doing shows and travelling with the shop.  It’s a hard gig to have because there is so much stress involved in travelling, maintaining expenses, and staying ahead of the trend.

That brings me to the nature of this post.  The trend has passed me by.  I wish I could blame something in particular (**couch**DisneyFairies**cough**) but that’s not quite right.  The fairy market has been stretched thin, and it has been a hard realization for me to make this year.  Really, I noticed it happening two years ago, but hoped that if I found a way to produce better quality items at a better price, I could stay in the game.  What I have been hearing a lot of lately is “She already has three pairs of fairy wings” and “Honey, you already have five tutus at home.  You don’t need another one.”

What does that mean for me?  Well, the fairy wing business is essentially shutting down.  I will not be “mass producing” my items.  I will still take custom orders, and the higher quality, one-of-a-kind items will still be in production – but the small, inexpensive, child-oriented wings are out.  Also, I will not be selling at live venues.  Everything from now on will be virtual markets (i.e. ETSY) and consignment.

That being said, I have a load of wings that I would like to move out of the house, and I’m willing to part with them at a pretty sweet deal to you guys.  Use this code WINGS2012 at checkout to get 50% any pair of wings in the shop, with the exception of made-to-order items.  I think there’s only one of those.  And wings will be uploaded as I have time, so keep checking back to see if there is anything new listed.

So, what happens to Little Green Pixie?

I will still do face painting and private/corporate gigs.  The wings and tutus will do one live show a year (Custer Street).

I am going to focus on the design aspect of the business.  There are so many designs stuck in my head that I simply haven’t had time to put to paper.  I really want to put them all out in the world for you.  I am working on a book (or two, or three…and maybe a small ebook somewhere in there, too).

Also, since I began teaching aerial, my perspective has changed.  It is so much fun and I love helping others share my passions.  The girls I teach are so excited about what they are learning, and that excitement and sense of possibility is infectious.  I have been looking at outlets for doing this more in-depth – intensive training and extra programs and whatnot.  The circus outlets in my life have been a prevalent source of inspiration for my knitwear designs, so I want to keep the two linked as much as possible.

This is a rather bittersweet post to mark my second blogversary.  It has been a fairly interesting and difficult year.  We are signing our lease for year three, and have begun serious discussion for what happens after that.  What are our plans for next summer?  I’m tossing around the ideas of different cities and looking into better programs and venues for my creative talents.  Odin is looking at his own future prospects and we are actively trying to bring our goals in line with each other.

In the end, I have a good feeling about this new path.  I think it will prove itself in the long run.

In Which All is Revealed

The mystery knit from last week was completed on Thursday night.  Ellette romped around in it to much adoration at knit night.

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I wore it pretty much all evening Friday, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday.  The Cascade Magnum is super warm, and it’s been getting awfully chilly around here.

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Yesterday, I took some Cascade 128 Superwash and started making baby sized ones.  Those will be posted to Ravelry as soon as their finished, so that others can gather information and inspiration from my ventures.

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The mane took a while.  I used Glint by Berrocco for the blue and the remainder of the Magnum for the other fringe.  I was hoping to do the blue by itself, but the yarn is so thin in comparison to what the pattern calls for.  It looked a little funky.  Magnum has about 30 yards more than the Malabrigo Rasta the pattern used, so I was able to use the remainder as fringe.  This took one complete skein of Magnum, one ball of Glint, and a few ounces of a yellow (Ella Rae Classic?) for the horn.

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Pattern is Unicorn Hat by Brittany Tyler over at Tangled Stix.

What’s best is that Brittany Tyler gave me permission to make these for sale.  That really rocks my striped socks and I am going a bit sparkle mad with all of the possibilities.

Fourth Weekend

Pixie’s Last Stand

As you know, this past weekend held the 41st annual Custer’s Last Stand Street Fair here in Evanston.  This was my second year as a vendor, and I was mentally fully prepared for my endeavor.  Rebecca of The Complete Fool also had a booth, not far from mine.  Since she was arriving from Madison, she stayed at our house for the weekend.  It was wonderful having her over.  The fair seemed to really enjoy having her there, too.

For two days straight,  I was outside with a line of little girls and boys waiting (remarkably patiently for the median age being 6) to have their faces painted.  My mantra was time is money, and I am in desperate need of funds lately.  Not only that, but I did not want to disappoint any of the kids by saying “And that’s it!  I can’t paint anymore.”  So, with a Gypsy as my minion to fetch water, lemon ginger beer (non-alcoholic and life changing), and manage the shop while I was covered in paint and glitter, we made it work.  Everyone had a great time.  Once again, I was not able to leave my space, though, so I can not tell you what else was at the fair.  I also left my camera at home on Saturday, so you get one days pictures instead of both (which is a shame because there were some really awesome paint jobs on Saturday).

This little girl wanted to be a unicorn.  The nose could use a little work, but otherwise I am very proud with how it turned out.  This was my first full-face unicorn.

Here is a snow leopard.  I am surprised at how many new things I was asked for this year.  Mostly, I get the same old story – butterfly, cat, fish, heart, etc.  But here we have a unicorn, a snow leopard.  I was asked to do a full face raccoon (that little girl made my Saturday, she was awesome), even a zombie!

I must say, however, that a lot of the girls that wanted cats were creative with it.  Pink, purple, and blue cats were all the rage.

Overall, I think tiger faces were the most asked for.  I’ve gotten really good at them and can work very quickly, so I don’t mind so much.

Sunday night, we all collapsed after showering and when Monday dawned, no one wanted to move.  It took all of my effort to roll out of bed and go about getting ready for work.  My mind started racing with all of the things I have to do now, and I had to mentally shut off the brain.  I do not want to think about laundry, cleaning, or paperwork.  I do not want to make anything because I have to, but because I want to.  At least for Monday – I have three orders to fill.

Instead,  I started crocheting a roily – that is, a doily that is significantly enlarged so as to be a rug.

I’m on a size K hook, using two strands of this nasty acrylic yarn held double.  Last night, I finished round 12 of 26.  Hopefully, I will be done by the end of the week.  I am really hoping the blocking forces it to lie flat.  If this works, I am going to get some cotton and make another one.

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