Mending Old Jeans

Patching Up Old Jeans | jenneng

If you’re like me, you have a pair of jeans that are old, worn-out but comfortable as hell and you just can’t throw them out. I have a pair that I’ve had for 5-6 years that I can’t seem to get rid of. When I find a favorite pair, I can wear them almost everyday! They become so soft, they end up fitting like sweatpants. This particular pair I only wear around the apartment while I work because there are holes in the crotch and butt area as well as by the pockets. So instead of tossing them, I decided to patch them up. You can see the outcome in the image.

The sewing creates a funky mess but I like it. So if you have a pair of old jeans with a few holes you can mend them too. You don’t need to use a sewing machine. I have one but you can do it the old fashion way with thread and needle. You can be creative and make patterns and use colored thread!! Like this, this and more. Just for fun, here’s a brand new pair by Anthroplogie for $198.

Here’s what I did: I pinned muslin on the underside of each hole, making sure it went past the edges and ran it under the sewing machine in every direction. You can use just about any kind of material you have laying around. Just know that the color may peak through.

I just love the stitched look! Hand stitched and Machine stitched!

Winter’s Gloom

Winter | jenneng

Winter can be down right depressing! Sometimes, I get sucked right into the dark glooms of it all, emotionally and physically, especially when it’s grey and cold for days. Though, I do love a great big snow storm, the greyness can go on for what feels like eternity. I know it doesn’t last forever, so I try to do what I can to stay positive and keep moving until there’s a glimpse of spring time.

During winter's gloom...

I usually:
Curl up under a huge warm blanket with thick wool socks on
Take short walks outside
Make hearty home cooked meals
Organize and clean stuff around the apartment
Catch up on a series on Netflix ;)
Sit by the window when the sun is out
Work on projects like knitting or crocheting

Besides doing the little things to get through this winter sadness, I wish I had more motivation to work and come up with new product ideas for the shop, but I don’t. And I’ve decided that it’s totally okay!!! So I’m just going with the winter flow, just sticking with what my body and mind can handle.

Winter is for slowing down, taking some time off, hibernating with your lover and eating hearty foods.

Cozy Crochet Slippers

cozy crochet slippers | jenneng

Winter has always been my inspiration to knit and crochet. Usually I’ll start a project and before it’s complete, spring arrives. Note to self – start in the fall so there’s more time to actually use the completed item.

Usually it’s a new scarf, but this time, I decided I wanted to crochet these cute cozy slippers. I used Red Heart yarn I had stashed away. Here are some in progress photos.

cozy crochet slippers | jenneng

cozy crochet slippers | jenneng

cozy crochet slippers | jenneng

I followed the basics of this pattern via Zoom Yummy.

cozy crochet slippers | jenneng

Aren’t they cute?

I washed them before using so they would shrink a bit and fit tighter. If I make another pair, I’ll probably use merino wool because it’s extremely softer, retains warmth and has antibacterial properties! Next project I’m attempting will be a wool cardigan … taking big steps here ;)

Screen Printing

Screen Printing | jenneng

The one thing I wanted to experiment with again this year was screen printing. I love all methods of printmaking, though block printing and screen printing have always stood out and have been my favorite. From art school and working in art stores, I do have knowledge of both, in materials and techniques. But the most difficult thing for me (with just about anything) is just taking the first step in actually starting the process and not just thinking about it.

On Friday I decided to just dive in! I made a really simple bright yellow print on canvas and sewed it into a little pouch for myself. I didn’t do a careful drawing, scan the image and clean it up in photoshop beforehand. Instead, I went straight to the screen and started in with a paint brush.

Screen Printed Pouch | jenneng

Screen Printing | jenneng

I created the screen by painting strokes with the Speedball Screen filler, which is a block-out method – creating the negative space where the ink would not be pushed through the screen. You can read all about the different methods of screen printing over on the Speedball site.

It was exciting to try something new. There will definitely be more free hand patterns and screen printing here at jenneng.

Have you had something on your list that you’ve wanted to try and do? Well now is the time!!

Stop thinking and start doing!!

Getting Organized

getting organized | jenneng

Right now, I’m in a decluttering frenzy and organizing craze. It’s the beginnings of a new year, so I’m setting myself up for an amazing one ;)

First I started with our home, the apartment/studio. I’m going through each bit by bit and seriously going through things and getting rid of stuff. If it’s something that’s hard to decide whether to keep on not – trash or donate? I ask yourself why I’m holding on! Usually, the reasons aren’t even good enough for me and I just toss it. But for some things, I hold onto for the next time/round I declutter. But when that time comes, if my original reasoning to keep wasn’t justified, it’ll have to go!

Last year, we played the minimalism game where you throw out one item on the 1st day of the month, two items on the 2nd day, three items on the 3rd day, and so on. We did it for a month straight, so after a month it was at least 465 items each! Because B and I both played, it was double the fun – that was 930 items trashed or donated. We couldn’t believe it! We are doing it again and started Jan 1st.

After last year’s decluttering days, there is definitely more awareness to our spending and actual purchases. So playing it again, is turning out to be way more difficult.

Second, is organizing and simplifying my life. I’m making to do lists that are concise and manageable, tracking my expenses better and actually following schedules I set out for myself.

I’ll fill you in on the details and progress!

In the meantime, I wanted to share what I found while decluttering – a small stack of film photos I took with a holga about 4 years ago.

old photos | jenneng

our living room

old photos | jenneng
B up on a hill next to the blockhouse in central park

tabatha | jenneng
tabatha, she passed away 2/22/14

old photos | jenneng
i still have that bag

Caring for Waxed Canvas

caring for waxed canvas | jenneng

Caring for waxed canvas!

I’ve written about this before, but it’s always a good reminder – especially with all the new jenneng bag owners out there from the holidays. This info pertains to most products made out of waxed canvas, not only jenneng bags.

Characteristics of Waxed Canvas:
The unique wax formula is applied to the surface of the canvas. The waxed canvas creates natural color shifts when creased or used. It is normal to see creases and highlights in waxed canvas. The stiffness and rigidity will lessen over time and use. Waxed canvas is naturally water repellent yet breathable, but not waterproof. As the fabric ages, it will develop a well-worn and comfortable patina, the same way that leather ages and burnishes with time.

Caring for Waxed Canvas:
Do not dry clean, machine wash/dry your waxed canvas! Use cold tap water to gently surface clean with yours hands, a sponge, or a scrub brush. Do not use detergent – it will break down the wax and you will loose that water-resistant coating! If the canvas is really soiled use bar, flaked or saddle soap (not liquid/powder detergent). Do this only if necessary and on specific areas only.

The wax coating will eventually wear away over time and may lose it’s water resistant quality. You can restore your waxed canvas easily by using Otter Wax or Martexin Wax. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, after a thin layer is applied, you then apply heat to allow the wax to impregnate back into the canvas. You can use a hair dryer, a heat gun, or just let it bake in the sun :)

Surface Markings:
Remember that this is one of the characteristics of waxed canvas. But, if unwanted highlights or creases are formed they are usually removable with a heat source. Using a light iron, hair dryer or heat gun (on low) – you are basically melting the wax back into the material by rubbing it in with your finger tips.

How to clean the inner lining:
If your waxed canvas is lined with an unwaxed material like cotton or a synthetic, you can easily reverse the lining out and hand wash with soap and cold tap water. Using cold water will prevent less shrinkage.

Life Bits

Life Bits | Jenneng

Life Bits | Jenneng

Life Bits | Jenneng

Just a few bits from our recent holiday road trip. It was really quick and short. We just needed to get away. So, with no destination in mind, we drove south and made many stops along the way. At West Virginia, we decided to head back. Snapping photos wasn’t as important as spending time with my guy. We’ll probably do it again when it gets warmer.

Happy New Year

happy new year | jenneng

The new year always brings on thoughts of new beginnings – a fresh start! I haven’t had much to share these past months but hopefully 2015 will bring some excitement and more motivation for creativity. I have so many grand ideas that always sit on the back burners but this time it will be different :)

I hope everyone a wonderful and prosperous new year!!

Merry Christmas

merry christmas | jenneng

Thank you all for the orders this year! Today, I am just finishing up some studio work and I’m signing off for a week. I am in need of some relaxation and mildly crazed adventures. Production will resume in the new year. I’ll see you then – Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade 2014

Jenneng | Handmade Cavalcade

Jenneng | Handmade Cavalcade

EtsyNY Handmade Cavalcade

EtsyNY Handmade Cavalcade

Last weekends Etsy New York Holiday Handmade Cavalcade was amazing! I shared a table with my friend Tamara Garvey. We always have a lot of fun vending together. It was the best event I’ve ever sold at. The organizers put so much hard work into getting it all to come together – it was a blast! I am so happy that my bags and pouches will be traveling across the globe to their new homes. Thank you to everyone who came out to the Chelsea Market and supported local handmade makers.