i'm moving my blog to a new address! it's a good decision, it feels right. birds in chandeliers will stay here awhile, but any new content will be happening at *anastasia.handmade. i managed to move all of the posts and comments to the new addy, so never fear! it was a little hiccup, but i figured it out. i've actually been working on all of the imagery for this move; updating header images, profile images, and my etsy shop title. i'll launch it all after the 18th. thank you everyone for following me on this journey!



i'm thinking of changing something. i've begun to feel that i should move away from the title "birds in chandeliers", to a more definite title "*anastasia.handmade". it describes what i do better, and that it is myself which does these things. the "birds in chandeliers" is somewhat vague.

i was warned of this, of course; several years ago when i first started selling what i made. i was told to choose a name which represents me and my creations. own them, as it were. but, i wanted something fun, non-descriptive, non-confining. 

the snafu to changing things is that the title is the address. what about bookmarks, past business cards, links, comments left to others? blah, a headache. 

this has all been brought on because etsy is giving you the option of changing your store name, and if you choose to do so, they will change all the links within etsy and hearts to the new address.  

i want to change my etsy store name, but then i started thinking i should change my blog name as well. so, what do you, my readers (thank you for that, by the way), think of this move? any advice for staging a technical switch gracefully?


not too shabby

i ventured over to the georgia national fair yesterday. the exhibition of art pieces was really nice! it was fun hunting down all 23 of my pieces, taking photos as i came across them. the tally is: 4 first place, 6 second place, 3 third place, and 2 honorable mentions. not too bad at all for my first competition!

next year i want to go after one of the giant rosette ribbons, so i have to start planning. as well, i would like to enter some things in the fine art competition. here's to a successful 2012!


just what was needed

yay! the bathroom is now finished (or as finished as any room ever is). i've installed the bidet and toilet, along with a toilet paper stand. the toilet paper stand is a reclaimed fireplace tool holder, painted chrome, and now holding a roll of tp.

the only adjustments i needed to make was paint the bidet and toilet a warmer white. now they match well with the sink and bathtub. i keep thinking the space feels a little big, but if the roof were in place, it would be quite snug, so i won't drive myself kooky thinking about it.

the day was coming to an end, the skies loosing the light of the sun, so the photos are not as crisp as i like. i will take new ones tomorrow.

an army of miniature servants would be nice

i've been having a few late night dollhouse redecorating moments lately. the halloween decorating was just the beginning. now i've finally gotten around to ordering a toilet and bidet for the bathroom (won't that be a relief!), added a wardrobe to the master bedroom, and have an idea to create a fortuny dress for the lady of the house.

sometimes pieces of furniture you've had for awhile finally "click", and make a room feel finished and at the same time help to create a more sensible layout. i've placed a grandfather clock in the living room, adding height and warmth to a bare corner. a wardrobe i bought maybe two years ago, but is quite large and really can't go too many places without dwarfing the space, finally found a place which suites it in the master bedroom.

or, perhaps, the piece was in the wrong area this whole time and just needed to be moved into another room. in the upstairs hallway, i moved a master bedroom night stand to just under the window, creating nesting tables with the one that was there already.

i went with a nonconventional dining area; using a bench and three cork stools as seating, around a baroque marble table. i love mixing things up, and anyways, this provides easily movable seating for when the dollhouse people have company.

one thing which happens when a dollhouse is left dormant for some time, is dust. which takes just as long to remove as a full size house because you have to be incredibly careful handling pieces, there are multiple nooks and crannies, and things need to be put back where they were without knocking over other things. i find masking tape works well to remove most dust from the floor without leaving remnants of paper towels behind and a simple swipe of a tissue works fine for the furniture. as long as i don't take it into my head to start rearranging things, this housekeeping generally doesn't take the entire day.


more cowbell!

more halloween! i've created several decorations for the foyer and kitchen, going with purple, orange, and lime green colors. nods to witches, hovering bats, jack-o-lanterns, spiderwebs, spanish moss, eyeballs, candles, sweets, a vampire ducky, a black cat, candy corn, a candy apple dipped in caramel and chocolate, and a ghost. at this moment i may be finished, but you never know!


squishy but not squid

alpaca is really an incredibly lovely fiber. i find it so soft and a joy to spin. of the 16 colors available i've sampled 6; white, light fawn, dark fawn, dark rose grey, light grey, and dark grey. thus far the browns feel softer and loftier than the white and greys (but not really by all that much, at that).

i've been collecting undyed unspun fiber specimens the last few months so that i have samples on hand to touch and examine when choosing fiber for spinning and weaving projects. i've also come to discover they're an important tool to educating myself on different fibers when you're shopping, or have an unidentified fiber in front of you. i've become very familiar with the samples i have and so it's gotten quite easy to identify fibers based on feel, smell (yes they have distinct smells), length, thickness, and color.

there are two boxes with 25ml jars: one cellulose fibers, and one protein fibers. the protein collection is nearing a somewhat complete state, with a few missing (anyone have any byssus they're willing to part from?). the cellulose fiber box is a little empty, but i'll remedy that when i order another habu sample book this coming december and place the older sample sheet offerings in their labeled jars.

what i've discovered is that vicuna, cashmere, bison down, are the softest, followed by guanaco, camel down, and alpaca. i found mohair and qiviut to be the springiest and least soft. i'm still on the shelf about the qiviut as i'm not 100% sure of the authenticity of the sample i have. i'm in need of new zealand possum (the ones not killed by poison), angora, pygora, and yak samples (the one yak i have is a blend of yak/tussah).

the silks are in a category all their own, they're just amazing; so soft and such sheen! i have cricula coccoons, muga silk, red eri silk, eri silk, tussah silk, bombyx silk, and both tussah and bombyx noils.

in the cellulose box there are 14 shades of color grown cotton from peru, pima cotton, organic cotton, and flax. i'll be adding nettle, ramie, hemp, pineapple, kenaf, kuzu, pine, zenmai (fern cotton), milkweed, and washi paper as i come across them. the milkweed fiber from the pod might be an issue as they don't grow in the south. any cellulose fiber i may have missed? i've left out soy silk, milk protein, corn, and seacell as they require too much processing to manufacture, so i'm a little leery about their environmental impact (actually come to think of it, i'm not really fond of bamboo for pretty much the same reason).

why no wool, you may ask? well...one, there are way too many breeds that collecting samples of them all would be quite a task, and two, i really don't like spinning wool. not at this point in my life. especially when you have soft alpaca to spin; no felting, degreasing, or lanolin to deal with!

p.s. if anyone reading this can help me out with small samples of the fibers i'm missing, i would be incredibly thankful! it's always nice to come across other fiber fanatics like me!