Archive for the 'Craft' Category

Bad at Finishing

This has been a slow year for me, creatively, with lots of stalled projects and unfinished business. Today, though, I am showing off two things just completed, and only with the help of others!

One year ago I saw my Aunt Lois, who came to Salt Lake City for my dad’s memorial service. I don’t get to see Lois very often, but when I do, I am always impressed by the way her engineering mind interprets and deconstructs art. She has taught me many new skills over the years.

Lois, like many women in our family, cannot bear to have idle hands, so she brought with her the ingredients and tools for assembling these soft, 3D fabric magic cubes. I flipped for them, and marveled at how she figured it out. I later looked up a model, so that I could understand it more fully. Instructions for building one made from wooden blocks can be found here. She gave me an assembled cube with bright fabrics pinned to the foam blocks, and all I had to do was stitch up the seams.  I am embarrassed at how long it took me to finish, but my kid and all visitors are delighted with the finished product! Thanks Aunt Lois!

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Two years ago, I went into a tiny yarn shop in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. It was near closing time and I rushed to choose the best yarn in the place. I bought an expensive skein of Tilli Thomas Flurries named Chocolate Cherry, a supersoft deep brown merino with bright cherry red beads, with the intention of making a purse. I visited a fabric shop in Panama City Beach and purchased a red-on-crimson koi print for lining and a chocolate brown zipper. I knitted a rectangle, coaxed all the beads to the knit side, watched a youtube video on making lined wallets, sewed the zipper to the lining (incorrectly), and …. stopped. There is sat, in the quilt shop plastic bag for two years. My mind could not fathom what I’d done wrong or how to fix it.

A few days ago I showed it to my new friend Daniela, who knew how to fix it, and was willing to pick out the stitches for me. I took the dog for a walk, had an epiphany about how it should have been sewn, and came home to a completed purse!

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Finally, here is a new embroidered purse my mom made for me! Perfectly timed, too, since I just wore out my everyday purse while camping. It’s still unfinished; my mom only secured one end of the strap, so that I could adjust it to my size and sew it in. I’ll finish in the next day or two, because I need it!

Watercolor Beads and a Twisted Stringer

Here are the beads I made last week with Debby. First she taught me to make “watercolor” beads, where I start by melting a white core, and then “paint” on top with various transparent colored rods.

Next she taught me to pull a stringer (the twisty coral/turquoise strip in the foreground). Then I made a transparent, pale aqua bead and melted that stringer onto (and into) it.

Actually, Debby made two of the beads pictured, but I’m rather proud of myself that it isn’t immediately obvious which ones :D

 

Shiny Black Glass Beads

I’ve had a few lessons on making lampwork beads, something I’ve been wanting to learn for years and years. This small handful represents two sessions of progress. The first week I made a bunch of smallish plain black beads and the polka dotted ones. The second week I made the fancy flower ones. I’ve labeled the two made by my teacher, Debby Weaver, so you can see what I was going for on those flowers.

Debby taught me using black glass because it is visibly obvious how molten the glass is, whereas some of the other colors take more experience to work with. A few of my polka dotted beads cracked clean in half in the kiln because of temperature irregularities before I put them in there.

I really wish I had the space and money to take this up as a real hobby. I love doing it, and I feel like I’m pretty good at it, considering that I made that black/periwinkle/mint polka dot bead in the center on Day One! I wish Debby weren’t going back home to Maryland next month!

Paint Your Own Mugs

A few weekends ago I went to Honest Works for Paint Your Own Pottery Day. I squirted out a bit of every teal, turquoise, aqua, and green that they had and made a stripey mug and a dotty mug.

The Boogedy painted his tile very quickly, and I had to really rush to get my two mugs finished before he broke anything in the studio while horsing around with his friends. I love the insides of these mugs!

I attempted a maker’s mark on the bottom with my initials and a snail.

Afterward, I took a deep breath and took the Boogedy and his friend S. to the dog beach to relax and swim. These boys crack me up!

 

 

Stripey Monster Redux (and a Pretty Sweet Trade)

Kelly and Adam made me this gorgeous two-piece nut bowl set. I requested it as a special piece after I saw this pistachio dish and wanted something handmade.

Kelly offered up a trade, so I knit this Stripey Monster Mama and Baby set for her boys.

The true colors are closer to red-violet and a peacock teal. The pattern is by Rebecca Danger, and you can see the set I made nearly 2 years ago for the Boogedy Here.

Here are the Boogedy and his friends S. and S. at the pottery studio!

Handmade Presents for ME!

Months and months ago I participated in on of those Handmade Pay it Forward gift exchange dealies on Facebook. I sent Sunshine a baby chick hat for her tiny daughter.

This weekend I received some handmade goodness in the mail from her!! Check out these cute and super strong refrigerator magnets.

My favorite is cake.

Now I can retire the ugly bottle opener and ridiculous knife sharpener that I had been using to hold up the Boogedy’s artwork!

Also, she sent this adorable garland that says “Frosty”.

I wish I had had time to take it to the beach and model it there! But here I am in front of my neighbor’s house, with their garden composed of vegetation that is considered “houseplants” in most of the country!

Also, Sunshine was kind enough to send me a jar of Mentholatum, which must not be popular in the south, because no one here carries it. A few weeks ago I had the worst cold, and all I could find was nasty ol’ Vicks!

Sunshine, this was such an awesome box to receive. Thank you so much for making me these gorgeous presents!

Xmas lights

Our little Island Pine tree is getting weighed down with cool ornaments this year. This abundance of decoration is thanks to presents from my mom and sis; homemade garlands of popcorn and tinfoil and paper chains; late-night shopping at Kmart without Zach; and a few great thrift store finds. Here is one of my favorite spots:

These lit-up bikes made my night

Lights strung between the masts of a beautiful ship in the harbor during the Lighted Boat Parade.

And a really good dad, getting creative on paper-chain-making night:

Pandora in the background, playing the four christmas songs I was able to sit through before turning it to the Arrogant Worms station.


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