Friday, November 27, 2015

Small Business Saturday and being Thankful

Hi readers,
Well THE Season is upon us! Are you making things for the Holidays? I'm making a few small gift items...secret for now... optimistic that I will finish in time! Spending the weekend being thankful that my hands and eyes work to create! 
Over at Optimistic Crafts' headquarters, we'll be celebrating Small Business Saturday. This "small" event has become a BIG deal for independent businesses and is a great time to go out and support your local neighborhood favorite shops, many of them offering specials or at least some tasty treats to sample while you enjoy their spaces. Got a favorite local spot? Show them some love, or if you are visiting somewhere, explore! #shopsmall 

Here in Astoria, Queens there's a big retail crawl. Some of my favorite shops are participating! I hope to attend some before and after Optimistic Crafts.
I'll be at Optimistic Crafts from 12-7 with some fun embroidery projects - one making personalized ribbon tags for your holiday gifts. You can "write" a message or someone's name for a couple bucks materials fee. We'll also be adding a slew of beginner classes for the upcoming Saturdays so stop by to learn more and sign up. Tell us you read this and get a special offer (Sat. 11/28 only). We also have some great gifts in our mini shop.
gift tag and pom poms at Optimistic Crafts

Whatever you are up to this weekend, I hope you have a peaceful and enjoyable time!
All the best,
Elisabeth for
Optimistic Crafts

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Falling for Warm Colors and Chunky Knits

Hi there!
It's that Back-to-School time of year. Are you finding new inspiration in the change of season?
Here at Optimistic Craft mini DIY space and shop, we've stocked up on some great fall colors of Brown Sheep Nature Spun, Lamb's Pride and Burly Spun yarns. Here's a little sampling...

I'm loving the chunky yarn trends! Could spend hours looking at ideas over on Pinterest

We're continuing to be open on Saturdays only from 12-6 for Open Studio and classes. See tab for scheduled classes. You can schedule time for evenings and Sundays if you want to take a class on a certain day, just let us know. Or if you'd like to get a group together for a learning session party we can do that, too!

As for personal projects, starting A LOT and being very Optimistic about finishing -- especially sewing a new winter coat! More on that later, but now here's my first completed sewing pattern review. Contests are a great way to get things completed! Hopefully I make it to the 2nd Sewing Bee Round.
Enjoy your projects-in-progress!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

About Optimistic Crafts Studio

Hi Readers!

Back in November 2014 Optimistic Crafts' brick and mortar studio space softly opened with the goal of creating a crafty little haven on Saturdays here in Astoria, Queens, New York. Each Saturday is open studio - bring a handiwork project and work on it in our bright space. We've been a bit knitting-centric, but love all crafts. If you're in the neighborhood, bring something portable you are working on along and hang out with us.
You can also browse our mini shop that has a collection of yarn & notions for knitting and crochet as well as some fun embroidery kits and gifts and some garment care items. You can also look for project inspiration in our little library of resources we have for in store use.

A busy evening at the project table. 

March will hopefully bring some warmer weather and a new round of crafty goodness. We'll be starting Beginner Knitting classes every Saturday in March, so if you don't know how to knit yet, now's the time to learn! If you're in the New York City area, email to reserve a space for the 2 hour class starting at 12:30 pm. Your choice of Saturdays March 7,14, 21, and 28. Classes will be held to 6 person maximum. The fee of $45 gives you the skills to get going on a project and comes with yarn and needles. If you already knit, feel free spread the word to someone who wants to learn. We're cooking up some more fun events and classes, too. Stay tuned here and/or check out our Facebook page (the place with the most-posted details).
Stay warm and optimistic!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Optimistic Crafty Resolutions

Welcome to February & belated Happy New Year!

I've been optimistically working on the agenda for 2015's projects. Since I  like to work on multiple things at once, and in multiple mediums, this is not an easy task! I do find the getting-ready-to-make- stage one of the most fun parts of making things though. It is not hard to come up with inspiration by looking at magazines, art exhibits, other people. I also find inspiration in material and patterns themselves. While some people have an organized process, I tend to just grab for what feels right. 
So far, tentative plans involve:
I don't think I sewed anything in 2014, except finishing The Oranges dress from 2013 which I still haven't posted a picture of. So [sew] that has got to change this year. I would like to start with a simple black practical skirt. I have the pattern. I have the material. Somewhere under some stuff. And my sewing machine is under there too. Another goal: carving out a dedicated sewing space at home.
I focused on a lot of knitting last year. This year will likely keep going. On the agenda, some small things to start: mittens, dish cloth, SOCKS - time to tackle my first pair! With knitting I will get out a bunch of yarn in my stash, lay it out and match it up to a pattern that calls for the yarn - or vice versa, starting with the pattern and then seeing what I already have to make it with.
Embroidery and/or Needlepoint - really want to do something in these mediums this year!
Crochet - a dust/sweeper cover, for sure. (No need for throw-away sweeper refills!)

What is on your to-make agenda? What are your sources of inspiration? ...Happy making, whatever you decide!

Well, this has been a long post. Finishing it with some actually FINISHED knit items!!!

Pastel Color Play Baby Blanket/Throw
Michelle Hunter's book ... is SO MUCH FUN!! I highly recommend it for easy skill advancement with colorwork.

Coffee cozy cutie! I made this up by using an Oblique Rib stitch pattern found in a knitting stitch dictionary and using the cardboard piece shown as a template.