Archive for March, 2010

Needle Felting Books
March 28, 2010

A friend of mine gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble for christmas and after a little research I went and bought this book:

Little Felted Animals by Marie-Noelle Horrath

I have been eyeing the cute and colorful packages of wool roving at my work, and with a little googling I found it was real easy to get cheap felting needles online. (I also must point out, this site is fantasticly quick with shipping. I received my needles two days after ordering!)

The next three books are others I found interesting, and will probably pick up the next time I have a spare buck or two. Click the images to follow links to their amazon pages!

Sweet Needle Felts by Jenn Doherty

Fuzzy Felted Friends by Saori Yamazaki

Fleece Dog by Sinco

If you have any books you’ve seen or would like to recommend, please post links!

I’ve been stocking up on all colors of the wool roving, and so far I have sat down to make… a ball. ha. I’ll post an update soon when I make something more exciting.

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Family Album Artist Book
March 28, 2010

click the images to see larger versions.

I made this artist book a few years ago after my grandma got out her old photo albums and let me look through them. There were so many amazing pictures, I went back to her house the next week with my scanner and took copies of a ton of the pics.  The pages are made out of bookboard that is covered with various fabric swatches I had in my collection.

this first page includes images of my great-grandmother, my grandma’s mother.

I wanted this book to feel like a cross between a family album and a collection of trinkets or heirlooms. A lot of the pieces contained within were found objects or things I had been collecting from the east bay depot for creative reuse, or craft sales. But I also included a few things that came from my grandma, including the skeleton key, some of the buttons, and the rhinestone necklace on the last page.

pictures of my grandma as a classy young lady.

these pictures are of my dad as a wee little one.

I also really love seeing all the pics of my dad as a baby, he was so adorable and whoever photographed him, whether they knew it or not, took some really emotive and beautiful pictures.

my grandma and grandpa, around the time they met.


I am really happy with how this book turned out, I felt like it was cluttered but successful in it’s random collection of goods. It may be a little overwhelming to look at but I felt like every little piece contributed to the whole feeling. It really epitomizes all the things I am drawn to: the precious nature of small, elegant objects, and the nostalgia and dream like quality of old pictures and memories.

Gem Afghan
March 22, 2010

my first crocheted afghan project.  It’s a very simple pattern but it works up real nice. It did take way more yarn than I was expecting; about 3 pounds when all was said and done. (I used about a skein and a half of each color of these bad boys.) I really like the diamond edges.  The colors are a lot softer in real life, the flash made them sort of neon in this pic. You can see a more accurate representation (and check out all the great caron pound-er colors) at their website.

pattern can be found here.

resin jewelry: natural set
March 18, 2010

I have done many an experiment with resin, seeing just what I can get away with embedding. This is one set I am particularly fond of – most of the pieces have been sold off so I only have the photos left.

Interestingly, a lot of the colors changed once the flowers hit the resin and even after it hardened.  The first and third pieces on the bottom row here were originally light pink and purple when picked. It was really interesting to see how each color reacted to the chemicals in the resin, a lot of the pieces turned dark and looked slightly wilted which created a whole different look than what I had intended.

this last one I had to keep for myself, it charmed me too much.

I’ve been meaning to try this again sometime, and possibly attempt to seal the flowers with pva or mod podge before hitting the resin to maybe keep the colors a bit more natural.

Checkerboard Scarf
March 12, 2010

Sort of an “a-ha!” moment that didn’t occur until about a year into my haphazardly knitting scarves and not trying anything any harder.

It *suddenly* struck me that I could alter my boring ‘ole K1, P1 pattern to make something cool…

For 4 stitch squares:

R1: K4, P4, K4, P4
R2: P4, K4, P4, K4
R3: same as R1.
R4: same as R2.

R5: P4, K4, P4, K4
R6: K4, P4, K4, P4
R7: same as R5.
R8: same as R6.

Repeat Rows 1-8 to desired length.

Lather, rinse, and repeat!

Goodbyeology
March 12, 2010

Goodbyeology was a poetry chapbook I made for my Poetry I class at Mills.

The contents of the chapbook are a little scattered; it constitutes as one big piece that was modeled after some poems we read in class. The style I chose had bolded lines every so often, with a paragraph or two underneath which related to the bold statement in some way, although it wasn’t always clear how. The style was a little messy but it had a lot of my regular themes; this one was full of nostalgic anecdotes and lots about dreams and longing. I supplemented the poem with tons of weird little clip art drawings of clocks, ladies, dolls, and teacups from Dover Publications.

I’m very old fashioned when it comes to my zine making; I’m a cut and paste kind of girl rather than a digital imager. I actually prefer literally cutting out every little piece of text and image, arranging and rearranging, then gluing them down to a hard copy, rather than creating templates on a computer and not having a physical model. So, each little image and block of text for this baby was cut out and prepared. I actually find minuscule snipping and rearranging very therapeutic, but everybody’s got their thing.

This was made during my 3 year stint at the Mills College Mail&Copy center, where I had a vast selection of paper, printing and binding options at my complete disposal. My bosses were awesome and let us girls use the machinery for class and personal projects, and refused any kind of monetary compensation we offered.  This equiptment included a fancy schmancy color copier, which you will see the fruits of in further projects to be posted.

The title comes from Jack Kerouac’s narration in the film “Pull My Daisy.”

Amigurumi Crochet Snail
March 9, 2010

I saw a similar project somewhere in the depths of Ravelry and decided to try my hand.  This little guy was real easy to make; his body is crocheted in the round and to make the tail i started to gradually taper it off and then only decreased once in the same spot on each round, to get the tail to curve.  His shell is also crocheted in the round, and I increased for three or four rows, then did 3 rows the same, then decreased to close. He can be made with these techniques in any size.

B&T project tip: Add the eyes and mouth as you go! This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but if you can visualize the porportions and where you want the “face” to go, just crochet one extra row and add the eyes before you work further down on the body. it’s much easier to try and plan it out and add them here, rather than making most of the body and then trying to squeeze your fingers up to force the posts on the back of the eyes.

I made a few and sold them at the Portland Zine Symposium a few years back; this little guy traded one for a knitted cat his mom made. the next day he came back with a handmade bed for his snail, made out of an altoids tin, cotton batting and a piece of felt. My heart exploded! His mom told me he slept with it too. This is why I make stuff!!!!!!!

see also:

6060 on Etsy and
www.Darice.com for excellent selections of craft eyes.

Stuffed! Magazine
March 9, 2010

A great magazine I came across at work!

While the price is a little out of my range ($14.99 – ouch! we’re not talking about a hardcover book here..) I had a chance to flip through it during a slow time at the register and it has got some really great projects. While this specific magazine focuses on the crafting of “Softies,” or plush toys and dolls, Stampington & Co. printers market a ton of great craft, scrapbooking, and artists magazines, which are worth a look. I’m going to see if my library has this magazine so I can make some photocopies and study the projects in depth.

see also:

www.softiemaking.com

Flickr Softies image group

Softies: Simple Instructions For 25 Plush Pals

Gemstone Rings
March 9, 2010

I have always been interested in rocks and agates, the earth’s natural treasures, but recently I started researching the metaphysical properties.  I love to read about the history of how each stone got its supposed healing properties, and how each is created uniquely by all real natural elements. I also really love the comfort in lucky talismans. Last summer I started collecting gemstone chip beads and decided to make rings with them.  I bought a ring sizer on ebay, 20 something yards of pliable copper coated wire, and within a few days I was in business. I printed out small cards with each stone’s metaphysical properties, to hand out with the rings.

*B&T project tip: if you can’t afford the chips at craft stores (my work sells them for $3.99 for about 16″ of beads, specialty stores will sell you more but the prices get much steeper, especially as the chips become “semi-precious”) scour the jewelry sections at thriftstores. I constantly find outdated jewelry that I take apart and use for other interesting creations.

(colored strings denote sizes)

more pics on my etsy.

See also:

www.gembygem.com
www.rings-things.com

The Book of Stones: Who They Are & What They Teach
The Metaphysical Book of Gems and Crystals