Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Crafter's Dilema

I'm a craft schizophrenic. It is both a good and bad thing. One day I'm cutting out a vintage dress pattern I found at an estate sale, the next I'm tatting a doily out of yarn, and then I switch to making a banana piñata. Random, I know. My downfall is I enjoy crafting too much for my own good, and the variety out there is overwhelming. I want to delve in and learn every new and forgotten craft in this diverse world.

I want to kumihimo! I'm not sure if "kumihimo" is a verb or a noun in the Japanese language, but in English it is Japanese braid making. The result of kumihimo is beautiful and intricate rope for ornamental purposes, like jewelry. I had no idea this existed until I found it on while browsing tatting books.

(via Bead Q!)

Beautiful! I'm especially attracted to the pieces incorporated with beads. Oooo, shiny shiny! This is like my experience at a Chinese buffet; I want to try everything I see. But sadly, I don't get to finish everything on my plate. Maybe I will be able to do kumihimo someday after I finish the dozens of projects I'm already currently working on...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Big Banana

Earlier this month my craft room housed some pretty nifty installation art. Unfortunately, it is no longer there, because it was viewable for a limited time only. But had you been there, you would have seen it was a funky shape made of wire and red foam hanging in mid air.

Okay, so it wasn't really installation art but more of the skeleton of a big banana, a big piñata banana, to be exact. I later covered the structure with paper mâché, painted it, and mod podged it to give it a shiny luster.

The big banana met it's terrible fate on Thursday, August 11, 2011 at a King Kong themed birthday party for my friend, Lizzy. I didn't even stick around to see it smashed to pieces by a group of college and post college kids dressed like flappers, safari travelers, and one snow leopard (that's you, Helen). Before I left, the banana was still winning and was putting up a good fight. Go Banana!!! May you rest in peace...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fall Ready Knits

Is Fall coming, or what? Well, whatever. I went ahead and knitted a scarf anyway. The pattern I used for this super easy, chic scarf is on You can click here for it, but you might need to sign in and make an account, which you should because it's free. Besides, when do you think you're going to learn how to knit? When you're old and gnarled?

I'm telling you it was easy to knit this thing! And if you need help, I am here to help you with your knitting pattern conundrums.

Look! I even made it into a turban. Wala! I pulled the bow back and pinned it against the sides of the band with safety pins.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Beat the Heat

Despite the heat this weekend I accomplished two things: finishing my metal bin and harvesting a bunch of veggies from our garden.

This bin is ready to party! I stenciled our name on the side with the same bright orange Rustoleum spray paint. The letters didn't come out as crisp as I wanted it, but's okay!

And look at these beauties...just one cherry tomato today! But there are plenty of them turning orange and will be ready for harvesting this week or next. The cucumber plants, however, are going nuts. Waaaay too many cucumbers this summer to know what to do with. I must conjure up more recipes...

'Til I craft again,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 11, 2011

Me vs. Rust

This is what I'm currently scheming: how to remove rust from this metal bin. At an estate sale a couple weeks back, I had lofty imaginations of the ice-filled bin surrounded by friends at a hot barbecue as it chilled their choice bottled beverages. That dream and the five dollar price tag is what sold me. Into the pick-up truck it went! And onto my porch, where it sat a couple of weeks, forlorn and forgotten. I've never grown out of procrastination...

Alas, here the bin sits with a rusty bottom, and me with a guilty conscience. I'm sorry little bin! I'll do whatever I can!

I am well armed...sort of. I'm no handy man, but instead, a chick with fervor. I will destroy you, rust!

That is my face protection, by the way. I couldn't find a face mask or goggles to protect me from the rust dust. But this stylish scarf and slick sun glasses will suffice.

Here are a couple of DIY instructions I checked out before starting:

This war against rust is to be continued...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 4, 2011

Post Item on Etsy-Check!


I did it!

After several motivational conversations I've had with different people over the coarse of 2 years, I posted my first quality, hand-made products on Etsy. The one conversation that sticks out in my memory the most was with my husband. He told me if I was as creative as I think I am, I should make something without a pattern, without a book, without directions from another source. I should gather all my knowledge I already have and unleash my creative juices.

The last conversation I had was with two Sarah's. Both Sarah's also wanted to make income from home by making crafts. We talked in circles, continuously bringing up the success tips we've heard and things we would do if we started an Etsy shop. This is how you take nice pictures...Networking is important because...I want my shop to look like...

But in the end we concluded, JUST POST SOMETHING!! JUST DO IT RIGHT NOW!! This talk really got my gears going. I feared If I wait too long for everything to be perfect, another couple of months would go by accomplishing nothing.

The weekend ended, and the Sarah's went back home. And I got craftin'! I was inspired by tea and tea parties. How delightful it would be to have whimsical accessories at a tea gathering. Teapot cozy was at the top of my mental list of things to make. I found red wool yarn and started knitting a cozy that would not be overly flowery, but simple and chic. It took me a couple of tries to get the pattern right, but it paid off. I am quite pleased with the result :)

Felting helps the knitted cozy to have less holes, thus being better insulated. It also gives the cozy a more modern and professional look.

That is all for now! The craft room awaits me for more creating and crafting!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Other Love

I have other loves besides crafting. One of them is going to estate sales. Or perhaps, it is more of an obsession/addiction/guilty pleasure, because my husband and I go almost every Saturday. If you are getting your mason jars on Etsy for $12 each or your vintage sweater for $50 on ModCloth, you are being duped. And you should be, because I've probably told you about estate sales before, but you never listen. Estate sales iz where itz at, people! Get your hands on these vintage goodies from the original source before some hipster resells them to you over priced!

Here is an amazing find. This box was in the corner of a garage among other old games and toys. It is a complete set of all 26 letters on big, colorful cards. One side has the letter written and words beginning with that letter. The other side is a beautiful illustration of one of the words. My favorite picture is an Easter egg for "E."

Okay, so guess how much I got it for. $2.00? Yea, you're right!

Now guess how much the hipster is going to sell it to you for. $390. Because the hipster is going to take each picture separately, frame them, and sell them for $15 each. Boo.....

But not I. This treasure is staying in the family and all 26 will one day be framed and hung in the children's room (not that we're having any soon. So don't make up any stories please).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vintage Craft Review: Lily Speed-O-Weave

My grandma was a pretty crafty lady according to my dad. Besides knitting, crocheting, and sewing she would use a loom to weave place mats and doilies. Her crafty itch runs through my veins, but unfortunately, so does her short stature. Well, after my dad described to me her weaving process, I googled "loom frame," and this is what I found...

It is a Lily Speed-O-Weave probably from the 50s. I browsed EBay and found a lot of products from the Lily Mills Company were for making fiber crafts. I wish the company was still alive to meet my craft needs!

I bought a loom and started working on it since yesterday. It's given me such a weird vibe knowing no one in my family has weaved on one since my grandma until now.

The box is adorable, and would make any hipster swoon. Assembling the loom was cake. One thing I love about old things is how durable they are; the frame is made out of metal. However, it would be helpful if a few of the pegs on the frame were color coded to help you not lose your place while looping the string around. So far the directions are alright. I've gotten by with looking at the diagrams and fiddling around as I go. I don't expect my first place mat to be Pottery Barn amazing.

This is my progress so far. My only real complaint is the Speed-O-Weave is not so speedy. I suggest watching your favorite show while winding the frame or listening to Pandora while tying the half-hitches.

I'm going to use thicker yarn for the next mat to make the process faster. I give this vintage craft kit an 8 out of 10 with a thumbs up to boot! It's relaxing, and I'm excited to see the final product!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bringing the Beach to the Burgh

Hurray! I'm posting!

I'm still alive and I'm still crafting. Here is an update on my latest project to prove it. The pattern is called "Summer Sling Tote," but I'm calling her Sasha. I don't know; she kind of looks like one and maybe someone who would spend a lot of time at the beach.

I used beautiful yarn of which I do not know the name because I bought it from a craft thrift store. It feels very rough in texture and came on a very big spool. I suspect someone spun it from scratch using different recycled fibers.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Word Art In a Couple Clicks

According to Wordle, I use the word "just" and "like" way too often in my blogs...sad. At least it was a fun and creative way to find out the truth. If you haven't heard of Wordle yet, it is a site where you can copy and paste any text and with the click of a button make fantastic word art! I can't believe how easy it is, and it makes me feel sorry for the artists who are trying to do this for a living. I wish this existed while I was still in college. Wordle would have been my ally in all my procrastination schemes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Macro Setting is Our Friend

Winter Loves Spring Hat

So I have just discovered the powers of the macro setting on our camera. I don't know how to use Photoshop so I'm stuck using Picasa, which has been fairly easy but mediocre. And edited pictures on Picasa never look the same when you post them somewhere else. I spend so much time getting it to look somewhat decent. I'd rather take a good picture from the start and not waste time editing. Macro setting + natural lighting = one hot picture. It is perfect for showing off your handmade goodies. I love how you can see all the strands of yarn in the pom pom. No more blurring the picture to add fake depth either! That depth is the real deal...

Winter Loves Spring Hat

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 5th was my birthday, and for breakfast the next day I had this. YUM!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Printable To-Do List Roundup

Printing a to-do list is on my list of things to do! Except we are out of ink...but I found some great designs to choose from once we get more. It would be neat to design one myself one day if I figure out how. I would add a due date column, because there are items in my lists that seem to get ignored after a while, like renewing my driver's license...eeek! Two weeks left before expiration!

(Little Jellyfish List Pad by Parasol)

(by Bricks and Clicks)

(by Kodak)

(I don't think the Freakin Neverending To Do List is still available for free. You have to purchase it now, but the The Blog Topics List still is, and it is by Vale Design.)

(by Emila Yusof)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's CRAFTolutions

It is a New Year! New, new, new, everything new. Person, perspective, life. In the dead of winter, there is rebirth. I don't know what makes New Year's day special, but for some reason in the next few months hundreds of people are shedding off pounds, keeping their homes clean, and chewing nicotine gum.

And I, for the first time, am jumping onto this bandwagon. So scooch over! No, I'm not coming along for the ride because I'm unhealthy or I need to quit binge drinking. My resolutions are crafty ones (obviously).

My 2011 New Year's CRAFTolutions
  1. Create an article of clothing every month (I'm getting tired of shopping for clothes in populated places. It is becoming a brainless activity for me, not to mention, how old malls make me feel. The mall has become a teenager world and it is weird to be running around in it. But now I'm experimenting on making my own clothes. At least, if I want a new dress, I have to work hard for it and gain precious skills in the process.)
  2. Blog 52 times this year (The ugly side of blogging is showing off yourself, and I hate that, which is why I stopped blogging. But maybe there is an art of shameless self-promotion. And maybe it starts with sharing ideas that I think will help people.)

Ira Glass really encouraged me to set goals this year. Here is a word from him that my husband found via GreyScaleGorilla. Although he's talking about television and radio, it can be applied to any form of creativity.

Thanks, Ira.
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