Thursday, August 30, 2007

watching paint dry .... and inspiration

OK, not literally watching.... but waiting patiently ;P

I went on a little excursion yesterday to the serigraphers' supplier here in the city and so now am testing a new fabric paint for a new line I'm working on.

So far things seem to be going well, and it looks promising ... but it seems I must wait a WEEK before I can wash it! ... And so until I can see that it survives the multiple wash test on different fabrics, this is going to have to stay another "in-the-works" project...

I'm pretty excited about the new designs though. I'm developing new motifs that are inspired by the beautiful modernist architecture here in Barcelona.

Everywhere you look there are amazing and intricate design details on the seemingly most ordinary of buildings.

And since working for an architectural photographer for a long time, when I first moved out here, my gaze often drifts up to the skyline rather than where i'm going!

... These are a few of the snapshots I've taken of things that have caught my eye.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Buzz (part 1)

Following this useful link from digg I managed to dig up some links that I'd lost track of, to some of the amazing features Katsai has had around the blogosphere.

Selling and building up a reputation online is so much to do with word-of-mouth, and I'd just like to thank, once again, all the fellow bloggers and etsy members who have spread the word about Katsai :)

I'm actually trying to compile info to finally update my own web page with more than just my "Etsy Mini" and an email link. I plan to include links to Katsai "press" and a portfolio section probably making good use of the Splashr widget I mentioned in a a previous post.

Here are some of the articles that had my head spinning when i discovered them!

SwankShow - "Verde"
LarkinandCatcher - "Katsai at Etsy"
She's a Betty - "Etsy Finds: Part X"
Vintageous - "Katsai: Original designs to wear & accessorize"
Modish - "Sucker-punched"

Thanks so much to all for taking the time to spread the word :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

A little peek behind the scenes...

The latest addition to my shop is this "built from scratch" autumn/spring jacket. I'm extremely pleased with how it has turned out, and am already planning making more when the new season's fabrics are in the shops.

I'd actually made the pattern and done a first mock-up way back in the spring, but then the warm weather came and I couldn't get my head round doing "wrap-up" wear!

Now with the cooler weather last week I got to work again on perfecting the cut and the details, and making the final garment.

Here are some behind-the-scenes shots at varying stages of the construction :)

Lined tailored jackets have to be one of my favourite things to make ... although there are a number of nerve-racking moments that I could do without!
The point where I have to cut into the piece to construct the pockets, for example, which i imagine must be a bit like the feeling a knitter has when they have to cut at the "steeks"? Or, last of all, when I have to cut into the otherwise completley finished garment to make the buttonhole ;P Talk about scary!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Its a Love/Hate thing...

Living where I do means that as of the middle of August I'm grumpy and tired for about a week long. This is thanks to the local traditional Fiesta the Festes de Gracia, that are basically a week-long street party, with horrendous music blaring out just metres from my flat windows until all hours of the morning.

... but, as I say, its a real love/hate thing!!

Despite the lack of quiet and calm in the neighbourhood, the inconvenience of thousands of people swarming past my doorstop and the general stink of urine and rubbish in the street -ok, I'm getting old, so what? - the creative side of the festival just has me drooling and in awe of all my crafty neighbours.

This year 18 streets were closed down by the neighbours to be adorned and decorated following the theme of their choosing. The year-long planning and hoarding of recyclable materials takes shape and become the amazing laberynth of fantasy worlds that is the neighbourhood of Gracia this week.

Anything and everything from plastic bottles and bottle caps, plumber's piping, celophane, junkyard vehicles, papier-mache and more gets mixed with a dumper-truck-load of imagination and transforms the streets ready for the day and nighttime activities for all ages.


The top prize winners this year were C/Verdi with "Route 66", C/Fraternitat with "Selva Tropical" and C/Tordera with "Mina de Sal".

For those interested in seeing more, videos walking through the decorated streets can be seen on YouTube and in this section of the Festa's official web.

...and just as a final note... here's an example of the reason for my lack of sleep!
But, even I have to admit, noisy as it is, it is amazing ;P

Friday, August 17, 2007

Printing addiction

Those of you who have visited my blog before will already know of my fastly growing addiction to printing my own fabrics.

I started out printing tshirts years ago, just for friends, and then recently got the itch again so started printing fabric with my own designs and making them up into original little tote bags.

The, many trials and tests later... and much detergent along the way... i found the formula for which paints and which fabrics work and last best, to print with my designs, for clothing that can be worn and washed indefinately without fading :)

These are the first two printed garments I put up in my shop:

The blue one already sold out (the first one just an hour after listing!) and the red one is a new addition I finished just yesterday.

....ooooh, if only the summer was everlasting....

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Katsai Love .... and "cava" all round!

For those of you who don't know Etsy much, the site has it's own system of showing appreciation for a seller or item, and also bookmarking or adding them to your Favourites. This is affectionately called hearting by many.

You can see how many hearts any item or shop has by clicking the link on the righthandside of it's page. A pretty little Flash application loads up circling an image of the item or shop in question with all the avatars of the etsy members who have left their heart.

It's been sometime since I took a peek at how many hearts my shop has, and so i was extactic to see this morning that i've reached over 1000 hearts!!

This is a screenshot of my Hearts Me on Etsy. Isn't it amazing?! 1005 users call Katsai a favourite!

I've blanked out the avatars of those etsy members that are most recent, as i wasn't really sure if they'd maybe mind me publicising their affections here on my blog ;P

I'd just like to thank - and pass a glass of sparkly cava around - to all those who have supported my little adventure, all the blogs that have featured my work, all the people who have bought and talked about my designs, and eveyone who has wished me well and encouraged me along the way :) A thousand hearts to you all from me!

Woah, that sounded like an award winner's prize giving speech! Haha, but i really do feel like an award winner this morning... Humour me, ok? :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Who needs a "new black"?!

Heres the latest addition to my shop...

I'm hoping to be starting a new part-time job soon, so i've had on my mind alot lately that I'm probably going to have to dress more seriously (in my last job I was often told I looked like I was going down the beach in the summer months!). So, I adapted my tunic design to work with this gorgeous black flowey fabric I bought recently. Smart and comfortable... perfect!

The listing in my shop is for a made-to-order (ie. in your size) version of this same top!

Monday, August 06, 2007

stop... slowdown... GO! - Treasury fun on Etsy

Well after literally weeks of trying to get hold of a Treasury on Etsy, i finally managed it this morning! It's not actually that hard to get one... so long as you're at the right place at the right time. Unfortunately i never managed to get the two right until today :)

Here are my featured items, all chosen from European shops on Etsy, and follwing the red, amber and green colour theme of traffic lights (don't ask where that came from!)

As Treasuries have a limited life span on Etsy (this one expires around midday Thursday 9th August), and just so you're not all left craving for more info anything featured ;P here are the links to the lovely shops with items shown...

Balle Handknits, Stitchmarkers, Vintage Buttons, Papertags
Mtuent A world full of small treasures of other ages
FrenchLandscapes Landscapes and nature photography by Patrick Morand
Iragrant A cute range of accessories design for any individuality
AegeanSea Unique Aegean inspired mobiles, wind chimes, gift items & Vintage
PamelaAngus Stained Glass, Art and Vintage-inspired Wares
thymbyldesigns Spoil your inner Bohemien!
Karlita Original jewelrey and wetfelted accessories
Garbagebag Unique bags made of recycled materials
HeliS Unique and cute T-shirts and art. With love.
Kreativlink Mysterious, strange or just beautiful leather journals
Paperflowergirl Jewelry with a story.

These are just a few of the ever growing number of Etsy shops in Europe. For an updated list, and special features and interiews, see our group blog for more info :)

Happy browsing!