Archive for June, 2010

Table Display prep for PZS 2010
June 30, 2010

I have been working on some really great displays for my table at the Portland Zine Symposium this august.

So much of the experience as a tabler is about presentation. Not only is a decorated table more inviting and approachable, but the way that you present your goods can make or break sales! The past few years I spiced up my table with jewelry boxes, vintage cups and dishes, and cute tablecloths. But I always displayed my books and zines laying flat on the table, which isn’t very exciting or enticing for people to pick up and look through things. So, I have been scouring Goodwill for things like vintage napkin holders, letter stands, and other things I can stack and lean to hold books. Here are a few things I have collected so far:

An old napkin holder, that I have had forever and used to store letters in. I have a deep seated love for tacky resin plaques and ephemera with abalone in them!

This is a drawered jewelry box I got at Goodwill. It was painted a dirty gray color with purple outlining the drawers. I painted it magenta and coated with a few layers of modpodge, for shine. I am making a table cloth that is a deep turquoise lace over a lavender cotton, so I think this color will really compliment. I haven’t painted the inside of the drawers in hopes of lining them with some purple velvet I found in my mom’s fabric stash. I think my key books will look really great in the drawers, with maybe a little dish on top with business cards.

Last but certainly not least, I found this little gem on a Goodwill outing with my grandma last week. It set me back a whole $4! I think my books will look so cute leaning back inside of it! And the color scheme goes along with everything really nicely. My mom has already (tried to) lay claim on it once the symposium is over. we’ll see…


Pillow Burger
June 22, 2010

I found this ridiculously awesome crochet pattern for a cheeseburger pillow in a crochet magazine my grandma had from the 80’s. I believe at the time this was one of my first crochet projects besides a simple scarf and some small amigurumi, but the pattern seemed easy enough to follow, so I dove right in.

Now I’ll be the first to admit – I gave up about halfway through. Once I started making it, I actually realized how big it was. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all, each piece is at least 16″ in diameter, basically a full sized pillow in itself. I got halfway through the piece of cheese before I had to buy more yarn, and couldn’t match the colors, so I had to start over. Once I got through the tomato, it just seemed like too much work, and wayyyy too much yarn to buy.  I do hope someday to actually try again, and get through the entire project. Until then, I made this, by designing a variation on the pattern and basically making a micro version of the burger. Still cute, and I was able to rely on my stock of scraps and odds and ends yarn.

I felt like the tiny version was missing something, so I made up a bit of lettuce to add some color.
pickle not pictured.

Make Your Own Knitting Needles
June 20, 2010

In doing some research for a zine I am making about knitting, I came across this website which features a simple yet brilliant idea: making your own knitting needles out of dowel!

I have often been frustrated about the prices of needles, especially Clover brand Takumi knitting needles, which I prefer over aluminum or plastic.  Though I work at a craft store now, and have an employee discount as well as the ability to squirrel away coupons and wait for sales, I still don’t want to pay $5 every time I want to do a new project with a new needle size!

Amy over at has a really great site with many helpful tutorial and technique videos, including one about making your own needles from simple dowel you can buy at a craft store. Just sharpen the ends to a point, (smaller dowel can be sharpened with a pencil sharpener!) sand the dowels down very smoothly, and attach a bead or wooden stop to the other end so your work won’t slip off. and voila!

watch the video here.