Category Archives: shop

“Sick of Winter” Sale

Truth be told, I was Done with winter a long time ago. We’ve got one last week of February to get through and even though I know March is a heart-breaker…at least it’s not February. So to help make it through, I decided to have a sale. Until the end of February (that’s this week only!), use code THINKSPRING for 25% off in the shop.

Find yourself something springlike. Maybe this spring tree?

green tree 1

Or this daisy-printed notebook?

daisy notebook (1)

Or a cute daisy pouch? Either wallet- (shown) or pencil-sized.

small daisy 3

I know I need a little something to get over that last hump before spring. If you do as well, 25% off is my winter blah-busting gift to you.

Making + Listening::5/2014

I’ve been very busy making this past week. First priority was a custom order for Dawn, for a pouch for her son’s Kindle. She also wanted it to be protected against wetness. After talking about her son’s interests, this is the design we came up with.

photo 1 copy

For the uninitiated, that’s a Minecraft cake block.

I lined it with PUL, the fabric that’s used for cloth diapers and wet bags.

photo 2 copy

It’s on its way to Dawn and her son now. I always put my own good intentions into what I make–even when I don’t know who may end up buying something, I make everything as if I’m sewing a gift for a friend. But when I do know who will be getting it, that’s even better, because then I’m thinking of them all the way through. Which is to say, I enjoyed making this for Ander!

Also this week I’ve been working to put together the next issue of Art Together. I am so excited about it. As part of that process, I made my first gelatin printmaking plate.

gelatin plate

Photo by V. Hood.

The kids and I spent Wednesday morning experimenting with it, and we were back at it after lunch on Thursday! I have a stack of gelatin plates in my fridge right now (I cut the large one down into smaller ones). Because this is a completely normal thing for some of us, to have ink-stained printmaking plates hanging out in the fridge.

I’m also happy to be making time for running again. Earlier this month I was cleared by the orthopedist to start slowly, with short distances, adding only 1/2 mile or so of mileage each week. I was waylaid a bit while my husband was away last week, but I got back to the track last night and it felt so good! I’m also transitioning to minimalist shoes, on the orthopedist’s recommendation, which requires a different footstrike, too. (I know, I lost the non-runners there, sorry.) The bright side is that coming back slowly to running makes it the perfect time to transition, because you have to do that slowly too. By the time sunrise is early enough for me to get out before I need to tend to the day (my favorite running time), I ought to be able to just head out the door and go.

As for listening…it’s still the Olympics most of the time, and Pandora shuffle in the art room. What a happy thing, to listen to music and make art.

(Linking up with Dawn again this week.)

Giveaway Day!

Congratulations to Chiska, whose comment number came up on random.org as the winner of the pouch. Thank you to everyone who commented–I really enjoyed reading about your handmade gifts and memories.

It’s been a long while since the last time I participated in Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day and I’m pleased to be joining up again. I’m offering this hand-embroidered zippered pouch, with a design inspired by those found on Ancient Egyptian faience (such as this bowl).

embroidered zippered pouch 1

Pens and washi tape not included, but it’s certainly roomy enough to hold them!

I wanted the base fabric to match, as well as I could, the blue-green color usually found in faience, although the color of the objects themselves do, of course, vary. I often find inspiration in art and nature, and I’ve always been drawn to the beautiful, ancient pieces created using this process. I’ll never own any, but I can try to create something inspired by it.

embroidered zippered pouch 4

This pouch measures 8.25 x 5.25″ on the outside and approximately 8 x 5” inside. It’s embroidered with cotton embroidery floss on Kona cotton, with a lining of sturdy 100% cotton and an 8” YKK zipper for durability. Spot-cleaning is recommended for best results.

embroidered zippered pouch 2

This particular giveaway is open to US residents only (due to shipping costs) and I’m not asking for anything more than a comment in return (see details below), but I would love if you visited my Etsy shop, where you’ll find many more zippered pouches, including hand-stamped and hand-embroidered ones. Code HOLIDAY13 is good for 10% off your purchase.

I also publish an e-zine, Art Together, full of information and activities designed to inspire confidence in adults to explore open-ended art together with children. Code HOLIDAY gets you 20% off Issue One: Color, Issue Two: Line, or the bundle of both (available on either issue’s page). If you have kids or work with kids, I hope you’ll take a few moments to read about the e-zine.

To enter this giveaway, though, all you need to do is leave a comment with these two pieces of information:

(1)  Your email address! Please make sure you fill in that field. I need to be able to contact you by email.

(2) Tell me a favorite handmade gift you’ve either given or received. It doesn’t matter if it was made by you or the person who gave it, as long as it was handmade by somebody. This is a hard one for me, because I’ve given so many handmade gifts over the years, but one of my favorites is the doll I knit for my daughter a couple of years ago, which you can see (if you’d like) here.

giveaway_2013_Dec9In accordance with Sew Mama Sew’s guidelines, this giveaway will close at 9pm EST on Friday, December 13. I’ll update this post with the winner’s name and email the winner next weekend, and your pouch will be in the mail by December 20–and most likely well before that. Good luck! And be sure to visit Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day posts to see all the wonderful items on offer.

Counting Down

countdown calendar 2013 at amyhoodarts.com

With Thanksgiving being so late this year, I needed to take down our Thankful banner right after Thanksgiving and replace it with our countdown calendar. I meant to highlight that tutorial much earlier in the month, but November has simply slid right by. Fortunately, this countdown calendar design has open pockets, which is one of the many reasons I love it so much. I can slip in the activity cards as we go. I’ve said before, I know: our countdown activities are things we’d be doing anyway–getting a tree, writing to Santa, sending out cards, and so on–made extra special because each day’s activity, even the simple ones (have hot cocoa + whipped cream, for example), have an element of surprise from the anticipation of seeing what’s in the pocket. Our countdown always starts the same way on December 1–celebrating my firstborn’s birthday. And then we can begin with Christmas in earnest.

I slip some chocolate in there every so often, but overall, this is about doing simple things, together. The kids look forward to it, too, making sure I don’t forget to include their favorites. “Will we be making snowflakes this year?” my oldest wanted to know. “We can’t forget to drive around looking at Christmas lights,” reminds my youngest. I like to think that this element of simple ritual is something they’ll look back upon when they’re older as a beloved part of celebrating the holidays together.

Meanwhile, I’ve been a bit quiet in this space because I’ve been busy getting the second issue of Art Together ready for release the first week of December. This issue focuses on line, and the kids and I have had fun researching it and putting it together. The featured artist is one of my favorites, Piet Mondrian. We have really enjoyed learning more about him. I’m looking forward to sharing this issue with you (and simultaneously quieting that voice that always says, No, not quite ready, not quite yet).

I’m also counting down to Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day on December 9. I’ve decided to participate this year, so there will be something up for grabs here the second week of December. So many things going on here this month! Finally, a little something for the holidays–code HOLIDAY13 will get you 10% off in the shop through December 31.

Phew. I think I’ve caught everything up for the time being. Now, I have a birthday to prepare for before coming back next week to announce the new issue!

Notebooks in the Shop

I’ve added some new items to the shop, including some hand-colored and hand-stamped notebooks, like this one:

daisy moleskine notebook at amyhoodarts.com

And this one:

tree moleskine notebook at amyhoodarts.com

And a couple of others. I also added two new embroidered pouches:

I sewed both of these together this past weekend, and when I was completely finished–turning hole sewn closed by hand, pockets ironed–I regarded them with what can only be described as satisfaction. I am pleased by them, in that quiet way that comes of creating the thing that you envisioned. Sometimes I get that feeling from a piece of writing, too, the sense that it expressed exactly what I was trying to say. That’s a good feeling, a feeling worth slogging through the not-quite-right attempts in order to achieve.

Anyway, I suppose if I ever lose that feeling with these pouches, I’ll have to move onto making something else, because I hope the sense of care and satisfaction hangs around them like an aura, packaged and mailed right along with the pouch.

Announcement: Shop Sale

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Select items in the shop are 20% off now through November 1. There’s no need to enter a code; just click to the sale section and the prices already reflect the discount. This is a great time to do a little early holiday shopping. Do you have an artist or writer on your gift list? A pencil pouch would hold all their drawing or writing tools in one place; both the daisy version and the brightly colored squares version are currently discounted. And these small pouches come in a pink or purple variety:

basic pocket purple 1

Purple version

They make a great teacher’s gift, with a coffee gift card tucked inside.

I haven’t started making my holiday gift list yet (it’s hard for me to shift into that mode until after my daughter’s October birthday and Halloween), but I’ll be thinking about it very soon…and I’m sure I’ll be shopping Etsy for gifts myself. And don’t forget you can also give Etsy gift cards, which is a fantastic present for someone with unique, individual tastes (ie, hard to buy for). I’m kind of hoping I get one myself this year…

Weekend Making Session

I certainly didn’t intend for an entire week to go by in between posts, especially since I’ve actually been creating and making lately. I’m working on a February Baby Sweater for one of my husband’s co-workers, who is due at the end of this month. This is what it looked like this weekend, when I was knitting on my deck.

I’m much farther along now. Yarn and needle details are here. Unfortunately the yarn, a cotton/linen blend, is discontinued. I made my daughter and myself matching sweaters from it, and I wear my version all the time. The yarn has worn well and the sweater has gotten more and more comfortable, as linen does. And the yarn itself was extremely affordable.

Also this past week I finally got back to carving stamps and cutting fabric for new zippered pockets. Then, Sunday afternoon, I kicked everybody out of the house asked my husband to take the kids on an outing (he took them rock climbing at a new, local indoor facility) so I could get some work done. The house to myself! What an uncommon occurrence. I turned my music up loud and got to work. I took pictures as I went along this week so that I could use them on my shop about page–and share them here, too, of course.

I cut a bunch of fabric earlier in the week–most of what you see here will become plain, unadorned pockets. They’re pinned and ready for sewing.

This crab stamp, carved earlier in the week, is ready to be printed. It eventually became this pouch. I had a hard time listing that one. I love it, and I love its cousin with the sailboat patch too.

This is a photo in the midst of a stamping session. Once the ink has completely dried–I leave it overnight just to be sure–I heat set it. This labyrinth-stamped panel became this labyrinth pouch:

labyrinth 1

(click on the photo to go to the listing, if you are so inclined)

Sunday afternoon I pinned and sewed with no interruptions or distractions. It was wonderful! I still have that pile of plain pockets to get to during my next sewing session, and several panels waiting to be embroidered. And, of course, a baby sweater to finish and another one to start (for a baby due in October). It feels so good to get that making groove back again.

(Finally) Some Making

I’ve been slow to get my making groove back, but finally this week I feel I can join in with Dawn for her Making + Listening series again. I’ve had a panel of trees waiting for French knots for quite a while, so I finally got to it.

I have a stack of fabric cut and a list of ideas. I need to get a move-on.

Also this week I re-ordered some postcards from Moo, with updated website/shop information on the back. I want to include a little free something with orders, and I thought, at least for now, these postcards are just the thing.

As for listening, there isn’t anything new on my music list. Mostly I’ve been listening to my younger two kids bicker. We’ve been a bit house-bound…my 9yo is being treated for Lyme Disease. He had several days with no energy at all, which, combined with his aches and fluctuating fever was enough to send us to the hospital walk-in on Saturday, where the doctor mentioned Lyme before my husband even brought it up. We’ve been limited to short excursions–the library, the karate studio–and a lot of time at home. I thought we could finally manage the grocery store today, but my oldest was sick in the middle of the night, which reminded me to be grateful for both my washing machine and the fact that this is not a solo-parenting week, because my husband handled the rug.

Oh, back to listening… I am looking forward to listening to this, as soon as it arrives. Has anyone read or listened to her work? She’s new to me.

Any making going on in your world this week? Anything new on your playlist?

Etsy Shop Opened!

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Yes! I’ve opened an Etsy shop–amy hood arts. At the moment, it contains a small variety of zippered pouches in a few different sizes, and the plan is to keep updating. Now through August 31, you can use the code GRAND for 10% off. (The full email announcement is here.) This whole process has, of course, been a learning experience, and I expect I will continue to learn and learn some more as I go.

I’ve had many, many people cheering me on as I tried to figure this all out~thank you so much. It feels like a huge success just to have gotten to this point…but tomorrow I will be making another to-do list and getting on with it.

(But tonight, I’m smiling and having some virtual champagne in recognition of the end result of many, many baby steps.)

{Announcement} Buy Local!

I’m quite excited to announce that if you are in Rhode Island, or plan on visiting, you can find my zippered pouches for sale at VOILA gallery in Wickford.

pockets on display 2

I took a closer picture of them this morning, before I dropped them off.

pockets ready to go

This is what’s kept me so busy these past couple of weeks, carving, stamping, embroidering, and sewing. But this is just the beginning of my experiment in selling, so I have more work to do. I do plan to sell online at some point, but I’m not quite there yet. In the meantime, if you’re in the Ocean State, you know where to find me–well, my pockets, at least!