Archive for September, 2005

* embroidered covered buttons

Posted on September 28th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.


All the cute zakka sites have these great covered buttons, so I got a cheap Dritz kit at the craft store to give it a try. I was wandering around campus today, stepping on acorns, and I guess the thought stuck in my mind for the embroidering. Had a few abortive attempts at squirrels before switching to the leaf. I wish I’d gotten a good squirrel, though. I feel like squirrels.

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* paper -> fabric

Posted on September 22nd, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.


I made a post a while back about going to Paper Source, and Hillary commented that when she’s there, she wishes all the paper was fabric instead. I felt exactly the same way, and now I’ve fulfilled the wish. Well, as long as I only wish for 8×10.5 fabric.

Sewing stars has been making some neat pouches lately by printing directly onto fabric using freezer paper. She even did a little tutorial. I’ve seen this on Craftster, too, and it finally made me remember to get a roll of freezer paper at Walmart (with the saran wrap etc). The trick is that the freezer paper is plastic coated on one side, so you can iron it on to the fabric. The paper supports the fabric while it goes through the ink jet printer. Everybody recommends getting fabric over 200 threads/inch. I used an Ikea bedsheet I had laying around. I doubt it’s 200 threadcount, but it still worked fine.

I scanned in my favorite wrapping paper (long time craftlog readers may recognize it from my last site design) and then printed it back out on the fabric. It worked! Here they are side by side.

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It’s destined to be the lining for a little bag I’m making.

Another exciting thing about this is that I can shrink fabric patterns to Blythe scale now! And then I can print the patterns right on top of the fabric! No more teensy pattern pieces to pin. Must try this soon.

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* carved stamps

Posted on September 20th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Paper Crafts.


Here are a couple of the stamps my husband and I carved for letterboxing. His is the little guy with the flag and mine is supposed to be a tree. It sort of looks like one, I guess. These were done with an exacto knife. I suspect a lino cutter is going to be easier. I found a book at the library that was really good, but googling for eraser carving brings up a zillion tutorials too.

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* link update

Posted on September 19th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links.


Updated the links page with some new sites.

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* backtack part 1

Posted on September 16th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.


So, my grand plan for my backtack project is a kit for letterboxing. The idea is, people hide boxes and post clues to their location on the web. In these boxes, there’s usually a stamp and a book. You also bring a stamp and a book. You stamp your book with the stamp in the box, and you stamp their book with your stamp. The stamps are usually handcarved. I started doing this a while back, and it’s pretty fun. Everywhere you go, you end up checking if there are nearby letterboxes. Mostly you hike to them, but lots of them are in city parks. My backtack partner seems pretty outdoorsy (ooh, a hint!), so I think she will like this even though she didn’t really suggest it.

So, this presents several crafting opportunities. First, you need a cute bag to toss in your pack with your stamp, stamp pad, book, compass, clues, and whatnot. I’ve already started the bag. The pattern’s from this Japanese bag-making book, with very useful consultations with my Baked Ideas tutorial for a very similar bag (previous post), and smallhand’s tutorial/translation of the Japanese pattern. I still have to put the lining in, but you get the idea. The awesome fabric was a gift from Amy, and the handle is grosgrain ribbon, doubled and topstitched. I changed the proportions a bit to give it the more rectangular shape and so there’s a seam on the bottom instead of along the sides.

backtack.jpg

Second, the craft kit will be all about stamp-carving. I don’t have any nifty carving tools myself, but I’m going to get some for the kit. Then, there’s the book. I think I’ll recover a little blank book I have. Finally, there’s the accessories, like stamp pads and maybe a compass. I might also include a book about carving, though there are some nice tutorials on the web so it’s not strictly necessary. We’ll see how much cash I have left at the end, since I have to save some for mailing overseas (ooh another hint!)

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* Martha

Posted on September 14th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


What to say about Martha’s new show? I’m going to keep watching it, at least, hoping for some good craft content. The shirt-folding trick was neat the first time, but did we really need to see it twice? It seems a little too contrived and regressing to the mean. I want to see the beautiful, excessive Martha projects, not boring stuff anybody could do. Maybe they’ll get to them and only the first week will be so celebrity-ridden. Time will tell. I do feel like the magazine’s gotten better lately, though.

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* pegboard

Posted on September 11th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Craft Room.


I keep finding stuff in my craftroom that I forgot I had, so more organization is clearly necessary. I got the pegboard, a mounting kit, and a box of pegboard accessories at home depot and mounted it on my craft cabinet. The black lines at the bottom are elastic, an idea I got from Martha (May 2004).

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* Queen Anne’s Lace crewel

Posted on September 7th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.


My sister got this for me last Christmas. It’s an awesome vintage crewel kit (Spinnerin ST 1051, no date unfortunately). Here’s the picture from the kit:

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I did one flower as directed, complete with lots of fiddly palestrina knots and twisted chain stitches.

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I really love the design and the blue shiny satin that it’s on. But, it seems kind of boring to do the entire thing this way. I don’t even mean boring to work, because I actually enjoy some tedious crafting, but boring to look at. I can’t help thinking I could turn this into something really amazing if only I could think how. I like having the one “classic” flower, but maybe do the rest in some unexpected color palette, like blue stems and silver flowers? Or have the flowers fade out as they get further from the normal one, like the greens get duller and the whites get grayer until the flowers on the periphery are all pale gray? I would love to turn it into a really modern piece.

Apparently the woman behind Wool & Hoop has a book coming out, so maybe crewel’s about to take off.

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* library update

Posted on September 3rd, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Random.


I updated my library page with a few new books. There are 4 new Japanese craft books, including the ones I used for the amigurumi bunny and the embroidered purse, in case you were dying to know. There’s also a cute felting pamphlet I got from The Paper Princess, Rubber-Sol‘s cute shop. She also included a nice note and some wonderful free sample cards that have now taken up residence on my bulletin board. Oh, and I added links to the appropriate Crafting Japanese pages, too.

I also finally bought my own copy of Audrey Ormrod’s Exploring Cross-Stitch (gushed over previously in this entry). It was ridiculously cheap used on Amazon and now I can quit monopolizing the library copy.

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* squirrel paint by number

Posted on September 2nd, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Paper Crafts.


I got a pair of paint-by-numbers for donating to the local NPR station a couple of years ago. There’s this one and a diner scene, both from This American Life stories. In fact, you can buy them for $10, see the unpainted versions, and hear the TAL segments over at their shop. The designer, Arthur Jones, also has a site.

I’ve been working on it on-and-off whenever I randomly come across it in my craft room. I finally finished it tonight. It has instructions to “handle your brush with dignity” while painting the flaming squirrel. I love TAL.

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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!