December 18, 2011

Cindy's Color Chat - Neutral Stripes

Neutral Stripe Pillow Cindy Grisdela

In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, sometimes it's nice to focus on neutral colors for a little tranquility. Remember that neutral doesn't have to be boring. The pillow pictured above uses mostly beige, tan and ecru in the design, plus a hint of taupe. Then I pushed the edge of neutral just a little bit with some pink, lavender and gold, which gives a some punch. The stripes are irregular in width as well. I've wavered about whether the middle stripe with a very light neutral on the top portion works with the peachy tones of the bottom portion, but decided it's more interesting that way because it's unexpected. Sometimes it's good to create just a little tension between what the eye expects to see and what it actually gets!

Check out these other TAFA Member shops on Etsy for neutrals--interesting that a search for neutral, cream or beige turns up a variety of items, but not as many as searches for other colors. Enjoy!

Freeform crochet Bolero Shrug Renate

Nuno Felt Shawl Terri Pike

Car and Carriage Quilt Victoria Gertenbach

December 13, 2011

TAFA Winter Wear

Fingerless Gloves by Brenda Abdullah

It's winter in the Northern Hemisphere, which means we have to keep those fingers, toes and heads warm!  Gloves, socks and hats are always a favorite gift to both give and receive during the holiday season.  Even better when they are hand made!  Our TAFA members have a gorgeous selection of knitted and crocheted winter wear.  

Explore the tabs at the top of this blog to see our shops at a glance.  You will find the winter items mostly in Accessories and Crocheted/Knit.  Oh!  And, we can't forget about Felted!  Lots of warm clothes and accessories in there, too.  Click around and see which shops catch your eye.  You are sure to find something that you will love!

Click on the photos on this post and it will take you to the item on Etsy.  Just a small example of what we have...

Fingerless Gloves by Nothing But String, $25

Felted Hat by Ariane Mariane, $162

Knitted Baby Hat by broodbaby, $36

Hand Dyed Silk Scarf by SilkMari, $39

Free-form Crocheted Shawl by rensfibreart, $285

Mohair Knit Wrap by Wrapturebyinese, $80

Nuno Felt Scarf by BlindSquirrel, $55

There are many, many more to choose from, every price range, gorgeous colors, inspired techniques.  Another way to search for TAFA member items is to use key words in the search bar on Etsy.  Type TAFA and then a keyword to see what comes up.  Our members tag their items that way to make them easy to find.  Here are a couple I have already done for you:  TAFA hat, TAFA scarf, TAFA booties, TAFA gloves, TAFA coat.

Keep yourself and your loved ones warm with TAFA Winter Wear!

December 11, 2011

TAFA Team Gifts Under $10

Christmas Quilt Note Cards by Terry Aske

Want to give a little something to a creative person, but not spend too much?  Our TAFA Team members on Etsy have a great selection of affordable gift ideas and you can see all of them with a little searching.  When you go to the search bar on Etsy, type in TAFA and select "All Items".  Then sort the list by Lowest Price.  Wait!  You don't have to do it because I did it for you!  Click to visit the results.  At least now you know how to do it....  You can also add a keyword to TAFA and see what you get.  (ex:  TAFA green, TAFA red, TAFA scarf, etc.)  That way you can narrow down the search to something that might interest you.

But, back to the $10 and under gifts.  Quite a few on this list are supplies, which is great if you have an artsy fartsy person on your list.

The Rainbow Girl has some beautiful hand-dyed embroidery yarns for only $2.81:

Embroidery Yarn by the Rainbow Girl

Here are some other ideas:

Wattle Extract Natural Dye, TangledLair  $4.25

Crochet Applique Motif 

by Nothing But String, $5

Hand-dyed fat quarter by Studio Jules Art

PDF Knitting and Crochet Pattern 
by BernioliesDesigns

Hand Carved Textile Stamp by Oshiwa Designs

Mini Quilt Patches by 
Heather Lair Designs, $10 each

Handcarved Gemstone Beads by 
Afghan Tribal Arts, $3 each

All of those supplies can go in a bag by Sally Manke, only $9!

Quilted Snap Bag by Sally Manke

Just out of curiosity, I thought I would check out what the most expensive item is that we have listed on Etsy:

"Coral Sea", Art Quilt 
by Betty Busby, ONLY $3.500!

And, of course, Jane's specialty ribbons can be used for that final touch:

Organdy Ribbon by TangledLair, $5

Explore what we have and know that whatever you buy, you are supporting real people who love what they do and work very hard at bringing unique, interesting and important products to market, whether they are supplies or finished items, they are a small patch in our wonderful quilt of life.  

Visit all of our shops on Etsy by clicking on the links at the top of this blog, just under the banner.  You will find over 200 shops with gorgeous eye candy, all waiting for someone to take them home.

Happy Holidays to All!

December 8, 2011

Cindy's Color Chat: Purple and Blue Moon Dance

"Moon Dance" quilted wall hanging Cindy Grisdela

Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel are known as "analogous," which simply means that they share characteristics and are similar. Blue-green, blue, blue violet, and violet or purple form an analogous color scheme in my quilt, "Moon Dance" above. These colors are on the "cool" side of the color wheel, compared with red, orange and yellow, which have a "warm" feel.

The "cool" colors tend to be more restful and calming--perhaps you would want to have them in a bedroom or study, rather than an active family room. The trick to making this kind of color scheme interesting is to use lots of different colors from the section you've chosen, in this case blue and purple, and don't try to make the colors match. There are over 20 different fabrics in "Moon Dance." I started with blue and chose fabrics that fell into the blue range from turquoise to deep purple. It's also important to use contrasting values--some light, some medium and some dark--so the eye is encouraged to move around the composition trying to make connections.

This quilt design is an adaptation of a technique made popular by Karla Alexander in her "Stack the Deck" books.

Here's a sample of how other TAFA artists on Etsy handle an analogous blue and purple color scheme:

Art Quilt Notecard Vancouver Cityscape, TerryAskeArtQuilts

Crochet Beanie Hat, rensfibreart

Hand dyed perle cotton skein, therainbowgirl

December 4, 2011

Cindy's Color Chat - Red and Green Snails

"Snails in the Garden" quilted wall hanging Cindy Grisdela 

Red can be an intense color to use, especially if you pair it with its complement on the color wheel, green. The interplay between the two colors can really make a piece sing! Of course red is one of the three primary colors--the others are blue and yellow. Primary colors are the ones that are used in combination to make many other colors--red and blue make purple, for example.

Often we think of green and red in combination as the colors we most often see during the holiday season. In the quilted wall hanging above, I used a strong combination of greens and reds, but because the greens run to the yellow side and the reds run to the orange side, it doesn't have a holiday feel. This piece instead felt like spring to me--it's called "Snails in the Garden" because the circular blocks in the center are a play on the traditional "Snails's Trail" quilt pattern. 

Here's a look at some red and green offerings from TAFA Etsy Team members, some holiday, some not.

Zipper Flower Brooch, SallyManke

Red/Green quilt, bbusbyarts

Tabasco Scarf Hot Wrap Cowl, WrapturebyInese  

Holiday Elves Wall Hanging, castillejacotton

November 25, 2011

Cindy's Color Chat: Green Cascades

"Cascades" quilted wall hanging Cindy Grisdela

Green is a color that I tend to use as a supporting player rather than the star of the show--although there are so many "moods" of green that I end up using it a lot--from olive green to forest green to emerald green to lime green to kiwi. Even the names sound like fun!

Above is "Cascades," another contemporary take on a traditional quilting pattern. I started with the multicolor background fabric and pulled the colors for the cascades out of it--gold, green, blue, orange and red-orange. The narrow inner border complements the background in darker tones. Using various shades of red-orange as the complement to the olive green border gives the design more interest.

What's your favorite color green? Check out these TAFA shops on Etsy.

Garden GreenYo-Yo Textile, Rayela

Needlefelt Pocket Purse, CloverleafFibreArt

Hand Embroidered Green Cuff, MadrigalEmbroidery

November 19, 2011

TAFA Team Treasuries of the Week, November 11

This week we have three beautiful TAFA member treasuries, created by HEraMade, Marina of Silkmari and Sally Manke:

Posted by Coco, TAFA Team's Treasury Manager. Visit ThreadsOfOld, her Etsy shop with beautiful antique Indian textiles.

November 17, 2011

Cindy's Color Chat: Yellow and Orange Butterflies

Cindy Grisdela, quilted wall hanging, Butterfly Kisses

Last week I said my favorite color for years was blue. At the same time, my stance was "I don't do yellow." I didn't do orange either, except for Halloween. But gradually my tastes began to change. I had a quilting friend at the time who had a great sense of color. She made wonderful quilts using bright fabrics bursting with energy. She never met a yellow she didn't like! I learned from her example and began to be more adventurous with colors.

Above is Butterfly Kisses, which uses a traditional quilting pattern and reinterprets it in a contemporary way. The key to making it interesting is the use of lots of different yellows and oranges--ranging from lemon yellow to yellow gold to orange to peach to almost pink. The black and white "butterflies" give this piece punch.

You can learn a lot about color from studying other people's work. Etsy does a great job of putting together images when you first visit the site grouped around a color or theme. Try looking at work using colors you don't normally feel comfortable with and find something you can like about that color choice or the way it's incorporated into the work. It can give you a new perspective. Of course you still might not feel comfortable putting yellow in the living room, but you never know!

 Yellow and orange are strong colors that often play a supporting role in a color scheme. Check out these great images from TAFA members on Etsy:

Quilted Art Card, DEsignedByDianeEvans

Autumn Quilted Wall Hanging, sillyboodilly

Wool Bracelet, LenteJulcsi

Fiber Necklace, colettecolor

November 9, 2011

Cindy's Color Chat: Blue and A Coral Reef

Coral Reef, quilted wall hanging, Cindy Grisdela

What's your favorite color? Has it always been the same color, or have your tastes evolved over time? My favorite color for years was blue and my quilted wall hanging "Coral Reef" above is a good example. It's a contemporary interpretation of a traditional quilt pattern known as "Trip Around the World," using blue as the primary focus, with accents of lime green and red purple. The accents are important to give the piece more life. If I had used just shades of blue, it would have had a completely different feel.

Artists and designers generally think of colors such as purple, blue and green as "cool" colors" and red, orange and yellow as "warm" colors. The colors in "Coral Reef" are all on the "cool" side, so it's a piece that you might be comfortable hanging in a quieter setting, like a bedroom or study, perhaps.

There are hundreds of blue items in the TAFA Team on Etsy--take a look at some lovely pieces below: 

Turtle Quilted Wall Hanging, Castilleja Cotton

Hand coiled rope basket, Sally Manke

Crochet Brooch, Nothingbutstring 

Posted by Cindy
Etsy Shop: cindygrisdela

November 5, 2011

TAFA Team Treasuries of the Week, October 28

Felted Wrist Cuff by Natalie Magnin of Zamirte Textiles on Etsy. You can visit her shop here.

Here is a beautiful treasury created by Natalie consisting of creations by TAFA members on Etsy.

Coco's Vintage Textiles from India

Posted by Coco, TAFA Team's Treasury Manager.  Visit ThreadsOfOld, her Etsy shop with beautiful Indian textiles.

October 29, 2011

Lift up the world...

Lift up the world a little every day . . .
by putting a tiny bit of something new in it.

And why not?

It's an act that encompasses:

growth &

in a neat daily package.