Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From Busy to Happy, an Online Productivity Mission!

"Declaration of MY goal : I hereby declare that I will put FAMILY + ART first + foremost by 7.22.14 (and not even Facebook or Instagram will stand in my way)!" #connectingthegaps I want to win the scholarship to @blacksburgbelle + @mayicarles "From Busy to Happy: a 21-day productivity mission" class in July! (For more information on the class: CLICK ME) I have a lot of goals, but with baby boy #2 due on July 15th and my blogs and art on a bit of a baby hiatus until he is born, it would be the perfect thing to keep me on track! Wish me luck! Eeeeee!!!

<3 alex="" p="">

Again, that link to their course is:

PS: Still here? I'm about to share all my goals...

Packable: get 5 wholesale accounts + run a Kickstarter campaign in 2015
Wine Art Wednesdays: set-up kits to sell that share the message of WAW
Etsy: list weekly, fix tags, keep-up with SEO and general changes
Blogs: at least 1/week
Etsy / Social Media: make a how-to video and PDF for Artsplace Teachers
Family: get outside and on adventures over buying "stuff"
Sketchbook: daily + experiment often
Have more kids (shhh, don't tell my husband ,yet!! ;)
Fly a helicopter
Pack the perfect picnic
Show my kids the NaPali Coast in Kauai, Firenze, + Breckenridge skiing
Paddleboard weekly, if not daily
Never stop making goals

Think this course might help me streamline a bit? Haha!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Snow Dyeing and Hand-making Ring Slings for Babywearing

I had a little fun this winter experimenting with Snow Dyeing (you can also use ice and call it "Ice Dyeing").  (I used this tutorial on the Dharma Trading Company Webpage, for the most part.

My first two finished Ring Slings:
Let's get to the photos and process:

1. I bought 5 yards of a 55% Linen / 45% Cotton blend and cut it in half (to 2.5 yards long, each). Wash + Dry Fabric as you will after you finish your project.
 2. I soaked the fabric in about 3-4 gallons of water (in a utility sink - you could use a bucket or storage bin) with 3/4 cup of Super Washing Soda (you can use Soda Ash, instead)
 and 1/4 cup of Salt for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, I got my dyes...
 ...and my equipment ready. And fully set-up my dye area in a shower. (That's a black garbage bag underneath with a hole cut-out where the drain is, to help prevent the plastic shower base from getting dyed. Then I have a dish-drying rack upside down and a sweater-drying rack on top for more support.)
 (I cut the corners off all the packages - I used 4 packets for each 2.5 yard piece. And I'm currently pregnant, so while I wear a mask anytime I use powder dyes, I made sure it was ready this time!)
 4. I scrunched-up the fabrics randomly along their 2.5 yard length and separated them slightly so dyes wouldn't cross-contaminate.
 Even in a tiny basement bathroom, you can make great things! ;)
(That's snow in the bucket on the floor, with a spoon I use just for dyeing.)
 5. Place the snow on top - I did as much as I could and tried to cover all of the fabric completely.
 6. (I sprinkled about another tablespoon of salt on to each pile of snow here because I am using Dylon Dyes.) Pour out your dyes directly on to the snow. 
(Remember I used 4 packets of Dylon Dye on EACH piece, so that's 8 packets total. And I did have some clumps of dye, but I love how my color turned out.)
 7. Now you wait for 24-48 hours.
(I closed our shower doors because we have cats...and a toddler!)
 The first round of snow has melted almost completely and now the dye is resting on the fabric and soaking through even more.
 8. This is about 6 hours after I put the first batch of snow on, so I added more snow on top (again, as much as I could get to stay on top) and another tablespoon of salt on each pile (again, for Dylon Dyes) right before going to bed. And then (this was definitely overkill), but about 8 hours after that (the next morning), I added more snow on top of that and let that completely melt!
 9. This was exactly 24 hours after I put the first batch of snow and dye on. (I could have left it for 48, but I was impatient! I don't know that 48 hours would have made a difference, but I should try it one time to find out.)
 10. Rinse the fabric until the water runs clear (or as I did, close enough).
11. Wash and dry as you normally would or will, depending on what you're making. (I washed on cold and then ran it through the dryer on Regular since I was making Ring Slings for babywearing.)
Here's the one I used Dylon Flamingo Pink + Ocean Blue on:
 And lying flat:
 And the one I used Dylon Bahama Blue + Sunflower Yellow on:
 And lying flat (I love how it looks like a map!):
Here's a third one I did using Dylon Bahama Blue + Flamingo Pink (same fabric):
 Then I cut, ironed, hemmed, and sewed them in to Ring Slings using Jan's directions from Sleeping Baby Productions HERE and HERE (I used the Eesti Shoulder - developed by Karen Hoppis and licensed to Sleeping Baby Productions):
But I used my own fun stitching on my sturdy Kenmore for the hems:
 (And, of course, I ordered my rings from Sling Rings!)
Here's my finished Ring Sling for my second little Prince due in mid-July:
 And here's the RS I made for my brother and sister-in-law's first baby (a girl) due in May:

I had SO much fun making these. Next on my list is certainly a Galaxy Dye...try googling that! And I certainly want to try using some of Dharma Trading Company's Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes as well as some natural dyes (I just self-birthday-gifted these two beauties to myself:

Happy crafting!!
<3 alex="" br="">

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Doodle Addict Giveaway

I recently learned about Zentangle, and ever since then I have been a Doodle Addict! I'm also hosting a little giveaway on Instagram :
 Here's another photo with all the writing implements that went in to creating it :
(If you do not have an instagram account, but want to be included on this giveaway, just comment on this post before 3:30 pm EST today! (Thursday, 4.10.14)

Here are some of the other pieces I have done :

Have a lovely, doodling, day!
<3 alex="" br="">

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Back to Watercolors

A painting I go :
All of these paintings are for sale for $20.00 each in my Etsy shop; MarthaHaskins.

Thanks for looking!
<3 alex="" br="">

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dreams + Goals

Benjamin is 10.5 months old and my dreams are clearer now than they have ever been. I guess my moment of clarity came when I was driving home from CT yesterday and wondered what my legacy was going to be...  

I am so proud of my Mother for Artsplace (in Cheshire, CT) and Artsday.  I was at the very first Artsday 25 years ago and here I was attending the 25th annual with my own sons first Artsday!  Wow, Mom...all that hard work and so many happy kids and families.  Amazing!

It's time to dream bigger and better than ever before.  And I don't care how corny that sounds...that's part of who I am.  As well as who I am going to be.  So here it is world (or Mom, whoever is reading this...haha) dreams in black and white to keep me honest:

Qualities important to me : 
love * compassion * honesty

My words to live by : 
create * travel * love

Need to work on :
being a better listener * strong work ethic based on clear goals

First Steps :
make a morning book
(scrap / photo book with favorite photos and inspirational quotes to read every time I hesitate)

And most importantly...
design fashion + accessories for globetrotters + mama's
be a *wonderful* stay-at-home-mom (wherever in the world we are)
slow food + happy cats
travel the globe
laugh and love as much as possible
be true to myself
keeping dreaming up bigger dreams . . . 

What that means now is :
create 1 item / week for Etsy during nap + sleep times
sketch daily
keep up with the meet-up groups I am involved in for Benj
follow "Science of Skinny" (link below)
groom cats daily
put all profits towards trips
meals together at the table (as usual)
tickle as much as possible + read every book we can

I'm a lucky, lucky woman.  Here's to life, laughter, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

<3 alex="" br="">

PS: Seriously, this has changed my...* our *... lives forever (thank you Naty!) :

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

B and Blogging

Benj is happily napping on me after nursing...and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Boy, have my days changed since becoming a mother. What's one thing that I will forever be impressed by now? Single parents! I couldn't give B the attention he deserves without all the work that James does for us. I am a very lucky woman. I am also proud to still be breastfeeding. It's a truly wonderful feeling.

Next step? I've been amassing design / crafts / art ideas that I really want to accomplish (and blog about) I need to work on more B naps in his crib and more me time in the studio. When I get something done for my personal future on top of being a stay-at-home-mom, I feel like Superwoman! We just went to England and Lake Sunapee, NH to visit family and friends and I actually got some art time in! So I'll be posting those photos today, hopefully. (I've also learned that plans may change and often...and that is okay! I am loving my more spontaneous and giggle-filled days.) My other current goal is to meet other parents with children B's age in my area. I'm doing a "Boot Camp" workout on an upcoming Tuesday at one Mama's house and I recently bought a pass for "Mommy and Me" Yoga on Wednesdays in Montclair, NJ. I'd also love to get back in to horseback riding, book a few appointments (hair for a much-needed cut, dermatologist for a suspect mole, eye Doctor for my blurry left eye as of late, and maybe lactation consultant to check B's latch before teething starts...which I'm a little nervous for, OH!, and paddle-boarding and surfing lessons), and start swimming lessons with B! He absolutely loved "swimming" in Lake Sunapee and I loved paddle boarding inspiration, that's for sure.
 (I painted this tortoise-shell onesie for Benji in NH this past week. I was totally inspired whilst wandering the annual League of N.H. Craftsmen's Fair...)

Life should be filled with the things you love. B has certainly helped me realize my priorities: family, friends, art (sewing and sketching), outdoor activities, slow food, and globetrotting.

Cheers to laughter, love, and splashing in the lake.
(Camp Carter Porch View, Great Island, Lake Sunapee, NH, USA)

<3 alex

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Benjamin William PHOTO BOMB

This is why I haven't posted in a month...good reason, right?!  I'm so in love!  But, I'm also back and ready to post, create, sew, and sell.  Here goes!

xoxo, Alex