MORE NEW PRODUCT ROUNDUP


Just the smallest sampling...


Attractive adhesive tabs from Girl of All Work


Pencil cases from GofAW as well.


The prettiest stich markers - all in silver - by Goose Pond.




And a very cool set of metal number stencils from Roost.









T-SHIRTS


We’re having a heck of a time trying to find a supplier for good quality, not too thin, white t-shirts in lots of sizes for our customers to paint, embroider and stamp.

Anyone have any suggestions?

If so, send them to oncearound@me.com.

Thanks for your help!





NEW PRODUCT ROUNDUP



Part One (of many...)


Fabric Ribbon with on-purpose frayed edges from Olive Manna.



Mini Shipping Tags from Olive Manna. 20/package.



Twist Ties from Olive Manna. About 200 per box.



Kraft Reinforcers from Olive Manna.



Good old Kraft Circle Stickers from Olive Manna.



A very handy Alphabet Rubber Stamp set from Cavallini.



Inside, there’s an ink pad and wood-mounted rubber stamps.



Girl of All Work would like you to have the cutest office supplies that anyone has ever seen as evidenced here by their
Fabric Covered Thumbtacks...



...and their Page Dots (also known as Reinforcers)



and their Page Flags,



their Be Back Soon door stickies,



and finally, their elegant Message Pads. Also sticky.


Sigh.

So, so much more to come...










WINDOW DRESSING





Over the course of the almost-year since we opened, we’ve received quite a few - ahem - “comments” about our store’s name.

We may explain our choice another time, but we certainly do recognize that the phrase “Once Around” does not shout
“arts and crafts supplies.”

What to do?

Window dressing to the rescue!

If you’ve visited our shop, you know that we have 5 practically floor-to-ceiling windows that face Mill Valley’s main thoroughfare.




They provide a ton of excellent light, but since we are somewhat set back from the street, they don’t allow passers-by to see very far into the shop.



Right now, we’re extremely lucky to have our windows adorned by the most beautiful fabric banner - made for and donated to us by Mary Manulkin, crafter & teacher extraordinaire.

Quite a few people have mentioned these flags as their impetus for stopping by.







It’s time to amp things up a little, though, and add to the banner’s appeal with some window graphics.

We are working with 2 of the best designers in the Bay Area (both of whom are so busy being so fabulously creative that their websites are still in progress) to come up with eye-catching, bold graphics that quickly and clearly communicate who we are.

How’s that for a challenge?

No problem for these two, though. We saw the plans today and we LOVE them!

But no more hints until the big reveal. Winking

Thank you, Gretchen and Julie!!










FROG TREE


When we had our knitting store, we stocked a lot of yarn. To keep it organized, we invested in truckloads of Jumbo Storage Boxes from The Container Store. We must have had 500 of them by the time we closed.


Photo from The Container Store


The maintenance of all of this yarn (counting, sticker-ing, sorting) was a huuuuuge job and we were always looking for extra help.

And, since beggars can’t be choosers, one summer we “employed” my son and 2 of his friends - all just 12 years old at the time.

They spent several tortuous weeks taking a VERY rough inventory of our vast stock - counting each skein of each color of each brand of each company’s yarn. What could be more tedious for pre-teen boys? Needless to say, they didn’t continue to work at the store after that summer, and in fact moved on to more exciting jobs like selling hot dogs at the “Snack Shack” during Little League baseball games.

Anyway, the reason that I’m telling you this story is that this fall, that same son left for college.

In Boston. Where it gets really really cold.

And since I never rid myself of the knitting bug, naturally I wanted to make him a cozy hat. I’ve had varying degrees of success when knitting for my family, so I wanted to know exactly what he wanted. A beanie, he specified, but not so snug that it would look like a skull cap. Simple rib knit, we agreed (once I explained to him what that meant), no color designs, no ear flaps and NO CRAZY YARN. “You know,” he said, “just knit it out of something really nice, like Frog Tree.”

Which brings me to my point.

Frog Tree Yarns is such a wonderful company, and they make such gorgeous, classic, quality yarns that even a teenaged boy with absolutely no interest in knitting (or yarn) can remember it by name after 6 years.


Photo from Loop (a beautiful little knitting shop in London)


Since we’re expanding our yarn selection, we thought you should know that 6 big boxes of Frog Tree just landed on our doorstep.

Just as lovely as we remembered and now with even more variety of color, weight and ingredients.

Give us a couple of days to get it out on the floor, then come see for yourself.







ALTERED BOOKS CLASS


Check out the Altered Books and Paper Collages class that took place at the store this weekend!

Talented instructor, Virginia Simpson-Magruder, and her students braved the weather and got together to make some wonderful pieces. We’ll be there next time, for sure.




For a slideshow of the whole beautiful bunch of images, click over to Virginia’s Flickr page.

And be sure to check out her blog, My Mane Blowing in the Wind.

Don’t worry if you missed this one, Virginia will be back to teach us more.








A GREAT KNITTING BOOK




A Book Review
by Julie


“Wow! This is a great new knitting book!”

A new knitting book is a wonderful thing and soooooo enticing, especially the first time you hold it in your hands.

The gorgeous photographs of all of the scrumptious projects make you (or me, at least) want to toss aside my current project(s) and immediately cast on for that brand new sweater/scarf/pair of gloves. Leafing through its crisp pages, I believe that this is the book that will bring me complete creative fulfillment.

I say to myself, “What if I knit every project in this book for a change? What then? Surely, I will ascend to a whole new level of knitting prowess and my Ravelry list of completed projects will get enviably long, and at the very least, I’ll have cleverly completed hand-made holiday gifts for everyone on my list by Thanksgiving. Won’t that be something?!”

And sometimes I actually do cast on. Once in a while, the casting on even leads to a real project. But most of the time, it doesn’t.

The book gets hustled around my desk, making way for incoming mail and today’s newspaper and this morning’s coffee cup. And then finally, it’s just a hassle having this big hardcover book hanging around and it gets shelved with the best intentions along with the others - the cooking books and the sewing books and the organization books - lovely, inspiring and mostly unused.

However....

Every so often, there is a book that transcends the momentary infatuation trap simply because it is filled with so much useful and practical information. Stuff I didn’t even know I didn’t know.

That is how I feel about Debbie Stoller’s newest publication, Stitch ’N Bitch: Superstar Knitting.

No matter what you may think about Stoller’s oh-so ironic titles, her goofy word-plays and the series’ kooky illustrations,
THE WOMAN KNOWS HER KNITTING!

In this book, she speaks to those of us who have been knitting for a while and/or who are pretty comfortable with our skills.

Superstar Knitting?” I thought when I first saw the title. Cast on, follow the directions, find a good instruction video on YouTube when you can’t figure it out - what else is there to know?

And yet, the second time I said “Ohhhhhhhh, I get it!” out-loud, by myself, in my office, while reading the chapter on Intarsia, I knew this one would be a keeper.

Stoller is just incredibly straightforward when she needs to be and, in this book in particular, she is exactly on my wavelength when it comes to making knitting easier, cooler, prettier and above all, more polished.

Right away, she delves into color knitting and besides the section on Intarsia, she covers Steeks, Fair Isle and Double Knitting. But it was her discourse on Intarsia which gave me the most comfort and hope. Besides her tips on adding new yarn and linking colors, she confirmed that which I have suspected for some time: “...intarsia never looks very good while you are knitting it and won’t reach true beauty until after it’s been blocked and the edge stitches have been adjusted.” Phew. Exhale.

The chapter on lace knitting is absolutely terrific as it breaks down the topic with its charts and mess of increases and decreases into something that makes sense. There isn’t a knitter on the planet who hasn’t ripped out a sizable section of lace knitting. Stoller’s tips in this department might just put an end to that. Her section on slanted decreases (a major component in lace knitting), how to predict a left-leaning one from a right-leaning one and how their position affects the shape of eyelets pretty much blew my knitting mind.

There are also a few very detailed sections on creating your own patterns that I haven’t even had chance to read yet, but I will. Promise.

In short, as in all of her books, Stoller speaks English, not Knitting-ese and with her no-nonsense tone, she makes you feel as though it’s all completely within your reach.

Which, of course, it is.

Check it out for yourself the next time you come into the shop. I would love to know what you think.









Oh, and just to prove that I occasionally do complete a project out of a brand-new book, I give you.....

“The Ernie Sweater” from Son of Stitch ’N Bitch.



Please disregard the wrinkles and the floppy-ish neckline. The sweater belongs to my son. That’s why.












MARTHA WEIGHS IN






Martha had a paper pumpkin crafting segment on her show today and in the interest of thoroughness, we feel we ought to share the link with you.

Naturally, she makes it a little trickier than maybe is necessary, but the result is very sweet and the crepe paper leaves and stem add a nice, rustic-y touch.

We’re sorry, but there were no photos to share from her website. You’ll just have to watch the episode. Winking








A COOL RULER


The world of crafting is vast and, in our experience, impossible to completely master.

That’s why it’s so nice when we take a chance on ordering a product only to find that it was a good choice.


Photo from Craft Critique


We’ve stocked this ruler from Tim Holtz (a big deal in the scrapbooking world) for a while now, but it was only after reading the review on Craft Critique...


- Yes, there is a site devoted to reviewing craft supplies, and yes we do frequent it. Why do you ask? -


...that we felt justified in the purchase.


Photo from Craft Critique


Check out the review here.







CITY WEEKEND FABRIC


Oliver + S is known to many people who sew as a collection of adorable patterns for children’s clothing.



Images from Oliver + S

Recently, they’ve decided to add a line of fabric to accompany their sweet designs. It’s called City Weekend.

Happy colors, high quality fabric and a sophistication that is not always found in “children’s fabric.”


Photo from Oliver + S

We have a whole bunch of this delicious stuff and we’re busy cutting it right now...







CUTE OWLS


We have so many cute new things in the shop, but these new stamps might just take the cake.

In any case, it’s a sweet image to start off the weekend.




Have a great one!







SEWING CLASSES FOR KIDS



Announcing TWO new sewing classes for kids at Once Around.

Read on and sign up now (at the store...).

Your instructors, Chris and Sarah, are expert sewers (and moms), and they are w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l!















PAPER PUMPKINS


The cheery simplicity of a bright orange pumpkin is all too appealing these days.

After our craving for knitted pumpkins was sated (as IF!), we moved on to those made of another favorite medium: paper.

Fortunately, there is a wide enough range of techniques and looks in the paper pumpkin crafting world to keep everyone happy.

Here are a few examples.


The Curled Paper Pumpkin from Kaboose,




The Paper Strip Pumpkin from Craft Ideas Info...




...which is almost identical to (although we love the addition of a stamped motif) the Easy Paper Pumpkin from About.com.




Similiar, but a little more complex is the 3-D Paper Pumpkin from Make Mine Lime.




Then there are the Paper Pumpkin Ornaments from Hostess (with the Mostess)...




...and finally, the Fall Garland from A Glimpse Inside. (Although instead of cutting and painting paper towel tubes, couldn’t you just use colored cardstock? Let us know if you try it.)



Enjoy!







MORE YARN, PLEASE


We’ve decided that it’s time to expand our yarn stock.

It’s not as if we previously decided otherwise, but things have been a little busy around here and knitting has, much to our great surprise, fallen to the end of the list.

Here are a few of the companies we’re working to add to our selection. Click on their links and check them out.

We are open to suggestions as well!
















LETTER STENCILS


Quite a few of you have requested alphabet stencils recently.


Here they are.



As you can see, the biggest size is 4” tall.

Is that big enough?

Send us an email with your thoughts.







A RAINBOW OF NOTECARDS


It may be a little early yet, but before we all realize it, the holiday card season will be upon us.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then you are always on the lookout for a fresh canvas for your greetings.

Recently we got in a set of notecards you may want to consider.

Amuse is the wonderful company who makes most of the rubber stamps we sell. They also produce lovely papers.

Their 3 1/2” x 5” folded notecard sets come in packs of 10 and in most every color you can imagine. And polka dots.




We got them all, of course.







DANGER: KNITTED PUMPKINS


Sorry, everyone.

We’re just too busy knitting pumpkins to post today.



Whatever you do, DON’T start making one of these.

Seriously.

Your children will starve and the laundry pile will take over your whole house.




If you absolutely must throw caution to the wind, link over to the Curly Purly website. AT. YOUR. OWN. RISK.




Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.











CLASSROOM


It’s just too hard to keep a fresh flower centerpiece looking nice. A pretty tissue paper bouquet would be nice, but we opted for a yarn installation instead. We think it warms the room up a bit. And just in time for our first after school sewing class today.











DOES FABRIC-CUTTING HELP YOU GET INTO COLLEGE?


As you can see, it was pretty important for us to clear off the big table in the backroom. This is where all the fabric-cutting happens, after all, and we just got in several bolts of Birch Organic Fabrics (thank you, helpful customer, who recommended this wonderful company!).

(

A couple of the girls spent their Sunday morning practicing a very well rehearsed routine of folding, measuring, cutting and refolding.

They’re experts now.



It’s a tedious process, but somehow, they were still smiling in the end.









THE BACKROOM


The chaos, the overcrowding, the cramped and disorganized state of the backroom. Events have all conspired to bring us to this sad state. Approaching holidays, employee vacations, obvious penchant for ordering cute crafts + bad back = o-v-e-r-w-h-e-l-m!

Sigh.

We’ve called in the troops (aka: our fearless group of boundlessly energetic high school girls) for this weekend, though, and we are determined to be breathing easier by Monday.




Have a great weekend!