Archive for January, 2004

* ribbon

Posted on January 25th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Wants.


Went to the mall today, and the card store (Papyrus?) was going out of business or something. Everything was 70% off plus buy one get one free. I got a bunch of ribbon (including some puffball ones like this from Martha) and some blank cards for Goccoing. There’s even a Pearl over by the mall, so I picked up some Gocco fabric ink and extra screens. They’re for a gift project for someone who may read my craftlog, so I’ll keep it secret for now. In fact, I’ve got a few Gocco gifts in the works, in part inspired by the work of Brandy and my paper crane, both of whom use their Goccos to better effect than I have yet.

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* Rescue Magazine

Posted on January 21st, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


Well, I finally found Rescue Magazine at Borders. I got both the holiday issue and the new one. Eh. The blip about it in the newspaper made it sound much more crafty. Instead it’s some sort of lifestyle magazine that claims it’s not a lifestyle magazine. Most of the articles are pretty boring and useless, although there were a couple worth reading. I like magazines that you can do something with (Martha, ReadyMade). At the very least I want good design and pretty pictures of things to imitate (Real Simple, and even that I might cancel). Rescue tries to walk a line between being the anti-Martha and telling you how they think you should live. It came off to me as kind of sanctimonious. Perfect example: they eschew nice gift-wrapping because it supposedly makes the holidays more laden with ceremony and expectations and effort. Their solution is to use cheap wrapping paper and bows. But why? Not because that’s a perfectly acceptable way to wrap presents and you don’t actually need to care about gift wrap that much unless you want to, but because it’s nostalgic and will imbue the holidays with emotional meaning. Really, c’mon. The supposedly simple cooking article has an entire paragraph about what type of pancetta to buy at the local Italian deli, not to mention the extremely specific brands of imported pasta and tomatoes and “best cold-pressed olive oil you can afford” that you’re supposed to find (I guess saying at the end that you can just use spaghetti is supposed to make up for the much reviled Marthaness of it all). The editor seems really obnoxious, too. He writes little pithy bits throughout the magazine, and seems to think he’s enlightened because he doesn’t put up a tree or send out cards. In the second issue, he gets an advice column. All that leaves to save it is the design, which is OK, but nothing to subscribe for.

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* collage

Posted on January 14th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links.


I love the collages at The Paper Moon. She uses such beautiful paper and such simple designs. There’s an alphabet that I especially like. It makes me want to play with the paper I got in Japan, which is so pretty that I’ve thought about framing it by itself.

rain-full.jpg

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* needle felting

Posted on January 14th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.


I got an Earthsong Fibers needle felting set for Christmas and only just tonight got around to trying it. Essentially, you have this evil sharp, barbed needle that you jab into a piece of wool fleece over and over and over again until it all gets stuck together. It’s kind of magic. I’m trying to make a leaf as part of an eventual flower (ala Supermaggie). I didn’t think it was working at first, but it did come together eventually. I’m still not too happy with it. It doesn’t seem as solid as an actual piece of felt. I think I might try some soap and hot water on it to see what that does. The set also came with some pieces of felt in very pretty plant-dyed colors. Apparently, another use of the needle is to kind of applique pieces of felt together without any seams. Maybe I’ll try that later.

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* cute embroidery

Posted on January 8th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links, Inspiration.


Uncommon Industries sure has some cute embroidery going on.

cat_w_skreettree_detail.jpg

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* Stitch ‘N Bitch to the rescue

Posted on January 7th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Knitting.


I got the ubiquitous Stitch ‘N Bitch by Debbie Stoller for Christmas. I have to say I’m a little disappointed in it after all the people raving about it so much. It doesn’t have enough color pictures, and the puns are maddening. That said, I do like a lot of the patterns, and it’s a good book to have as a reference. Take tonight for example. I am currently working on a rib stitch stripey scarf in mohair blend yarn in my latest favorite color combination of brown and light blue. I cast on 36 stitches, then knit one purl one for 18 rows in each color. My scarf is now about a foot and a half long, maybe. While I was working on it tonight, we were watching T3 on DVD (which is Terrible, by the way), and I guess an explosion or something distracted me, and suddenly I had 37 stitches. Uh oh. I slid the whole thing off my needles and unraveled the problem row. But then I couldn’t remember how to get the stitches back on. Is there a right direction? Stitch ‘N Bitch to the rescue! After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and even a few splinters when I had the brilliant idea of using a kitchen skewer as a knitting needle), I finally got everybody back on the needle in the right place. I only had to unravel 4 rows and accidentally cut the yarn (mohair gets all tangled with itself, so it’s a pain to unravel, apparently, thus the scissors). Anyway, it’s my first real knitting disaster that I was able to solve. Yay!

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* Denyse Schmidt Quilts

Posted on January 5th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links, Inspiration.


Denyse Schmidt Quilts are just incredible. Since they run several thousand dollars each, I’m thinking of trying my own imitation version. The actual construction doesn’t look so hard (coming from me, ha! I’ve never finished a quilt in my life. My blocks never come out even. Maybe paper piecing would help…) It’s her style, design, and color sense that I like so much.

lemonbars.jpg

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* Simple Crochet

Posted on January 3rd, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


Good trip to the library today. Simple crochet by Erika Knight is my new favorite crochet book. It’s very nicely done, with lots of color pictures and neat patterns. My next crochet project is definitely going to be the boxes made of kitchen string. They’re so pretty and easy looking. There are also a bunch of really great looking afghans. One day I’ll make an afghan, like when I hit the yarn lottery. 29 balls of Rowan linen drape at about $8 each? Man.

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* Creative Backstitch

Posted on January 3rd, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


Creative Backstitch by Helen Hall is not a book I’d use much. I got it out from the library on the basis of the cover picture, hoping it would have some nice designs. It’s mostly disappointing, though, without much that I’d actually like to stitch (although the brickwork design comes close). It does have good instructions for making little designs you’ve stitched into coasters, pincushions, cards, bookmarks, and needle cases.

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* The Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques

Posted on January 3rd, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


Pauline Brown’s Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques is a good book for your library to have. I’ll probably check it out again if I ever get serious about doing that embroidered picture I want to do one day. The books has pretty good diagrams and illustrations of a zillion different techniques. I liked the finished embroidery pictures, which are collected into a gallery chapter and scattered throughout the book as examples of using the different stitches. There’s a lot of inspiration in these pictures.

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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!