Archive for April, 2005

* RISD Alumni Sale

Posted on April 29th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Wants.


In looking for Lindsay Packer links (see previous post), I learned that she’s RISD, like everyone else I like. That reminded me, guess who gets to go to the RISD Alumni Sale Saturday? My husband and I both have business in Boston, and we’re driving up Saturday, right through Providence. Anybody else going? I’ll probably be there around 2-4ish.

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* monster

Posted on April 28th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crochet.


Crocheted monster finger puppet. Totally freehanded! I’m still amazed that it even looks anything close to a monster. Since he’s made of thrifted yarn my sister gave me, I suppose he even counts as recycled. Might as well send him in for Month of Softies, right? I’m ambivalent because even though he’s a leap forward in my crochet experiments, he’s not objectively very good. Hmm, I guess he is kind of cute, though.

monster.jpg

Great debt of inspiration to Lano Mano, aka Lindsay Packer. I saw her in Martha a few years ago (wait for it… Marthadex says it’s the Feb 2001 issue), with some of her little finger puppets. She called one of her puppets “essence of alligator” and I’ve remembered it ever since as an appealing aesthetic.

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* Make

Posted on April 26th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


I finally got my hands on a copy of Make today. It’s a DIY technology magazine. Pretty neat. Their first issue came out a while back, but at $14.99 I didn’t spring for it myself. It’s a nice mix of stuff, though. There’s a whole article on how to build a kite camera. Other highlights: an interesting sounding blogging aid called Ecto that helps with images and HTMLing entries, a soldering tutorial, and how to make a rail gun. It’s also just fun to read about all the people hacking things and enjoying it so much. Made me want to build *something*, if not a particular something in the magazine. I’ll always be an MIT girl at heart, I guess.

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* bobble trim curtains

Posted on April 25th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.


These curtains have been in the to do pile for a while now, but they were quick once I actually worked on them. The original inspiration is this bag and skirt from Susanstars (first posted about in October 2003!) Fabric from Ikea, pompom trim from Denver Fabrics (which, I should note, was the final choice after another one of my marathon comparison shopping campaigns). We’ve moved twice since I bought the fabric, and the new windows are somewhat bigger than in the old place, so the curtains are not quite as billowy as I would’ve preferred.

bobblecurtains.jpg

I was at Anthropologie the other day, and apparently pompom trim is trendy. Cool. I get the Anthropologie catalog mainly for crafting inspiration since their stuff is generally so expensive. Crochet also seems abundant.

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* felt coin purse

Posted on April 23rd, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting.


I ordered a pound of roving off eBay last week. I have a tendency to agonize over my craft-buying, so I must’ve looked at over a dozen web sites and eBay stores before I settled on Ronnie’s Handspun Gifts and More soft wool blend. It’s a little cheaper than all out merino top, but it’s still really soft and felts well, and I want to try dyeing it. I got a pound for $11.50 plus shipping = $17.25. I’ve been playing with it with the help of my 2 good felting books: Handmade Felt Book (in Japanese) and Simply Felt. I like the design in the Japanese one better, but this is one case where I found the diagrams insufficient. Simply Felt has good directions, and now all the Japanese diagrams make more sense.

The original goal was to make a scarf like one in the Japanese book, but now that it’s warm out, I think I’ll wait on that one. Instead, I tried a little change purse. My purse frames from Lacis also came in the mail last week (only $6 each!). My favorite little purse when I was little was one of these, and I’ve been seeing them a lot, again in the Japanese books and sites. A lot of the zakka sites have them, sometimes called “gamaguchi.”

Here’s a cool one from Feltwork Zebra:

pouch.gif

And more felted ones from Praha:

g0017a.jpg

And these awesome crochet ones (via Tuula, which is in Swedish so I can’t tell who made them. It’s possible they’re from undersolen, but I’m not sure):

tarjavirkning.jpg

I made mine by felting around a plastic form (cut from a freezer bag), then cut open, trim to fit, and sew to the frame. I didn’t bother to embellish it any because I think this will be my practice one. I didn’t get very even coverage with the roving tufts, but I only noticed after I’d already felted a bit. The patch of roving I tried to apply didn’t blend in perfectly, and didn’t even patch the gap completely. Oh well, it’s good to know I can do it at least. The book recommends using some screen or sheer curtain fabric to keep all the roving in place at the very beginning, which I didn’t have, so that’s probably my problem. Must get some.

feltpurse.jpg

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* Blythe maternity dress

Posted on April 21st, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Blythe.


I’ve been playing with Blythe lately. Gave her hair a wash and conditioning yesterday, which made it so much easier to comb. I also bought some cheap curlers to give her a boil perm one day when I’m feeling brave.

I made this from the empire dress pattern from Puchimadam. I’m not 100% sure I sewed the bodice on right, but it seems topologically correct at least. I crocheted the trim myself, because everything I come into contact with these days seems to require crochet trim. It’s a “pattern” I made up:

Blythe-scale picot trim

With a 1.3 mm hook and size 20 crochet thread, make a chain as long as the thing-to-be-trimmed. Single crochet in the second chain from the hook. Single crochet in all the rest of the chains. Turn. *Chain 3. Slip stitch in the 3rd stitch from the hook. Skip 1 single crochet. Single crochet in next single crochet.* Repeat * for the rest of the row. Tie off.

Something about the way I gathered the skirt makes it poof up in front. She looks pregnant to me.

empiredress.jpg

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* yet more Japanese craft book goodness

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


Jumping on the Japanese craft post bandwagon, here. On the wagon with me: Wee Wonderfuls, One Good Bumblebee, Buzzville one and two, Angry Chicken one and two, Bellablue, Super Eggplant one and two, and Knitting sushi in AZ. Whew, did I forget anybody? (I did! Sorry Rock, Paper, Scissors.) (And they keep coming: Rosa, Croque-choux, Girl Reaction, Zhinka dinka doo, and Craftapalooza.) By the way, my Japanese craft books are all on my library page, with links to Amazon Japan (where you can get the ISBN if you’re using Yes Asia instead).

Once you’ve got a few of the coveted craft books, look on them for URLs. Some of them point to really nifty sites:

Mame Wanko HQ, where I found this in the gallery:

mameomotyatop.jpg

And did you know they have a blog? It is filled with cute:

haokniwahari.jpg

Le duvet doux, a wonderful zakka page.

shopping_kichen03p.jpg

They also have a blog, which often has some great pictures.

Aranzi Aronzo, from which you can actually buy things

Craft site with a bunch of directions and even movies of techniques. Try the “How to challenge” link.

And of course, the publisher web pages, which are unfortunately stingy with the pictures:

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* needle felted flower tutorial

Posted on April 18th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting, Projects with Instructions.


I made another needle felted flower, and took some pictures along the way. (Here’s my first one.) I tried to keep the scale the same in each of them so you can see the shrinkage. The grid in the background is 1 inch squares. The pictures were taken every commercial break for ~45 minutes, just to give you an inpression of the time scale involved.

Wad of roving. I got this at a neat toystore that had a bunch of Waldorf/Montessori-type toys.

felting1.jpg

Pull the roving apart into little wisps and wad it up into a flattened oval. Put it on a pillow or a piece of foam and have at it with the needle. Push the barbed part of the tip all the way through the fiber and into the pillow. It’s the barbs that do the work. It’ll start to felt onto the pillow if you jab too much, so flip it over every few jabs. If the edges seem irregular, just push them into shape and jab a few times to secure.

felting2.jpg

The oval should start to reduce in size and start to hold together. Keep jabbing all over, flipping, and jabbing more, paying attention to the edges, until it starts to feel like felt. I find this step the hardest because it doesn’t seem like it’s working at first.

felting3.jpg

Now you can start forming the petals. Jab into the edge of the disk in a line where you want the petal divisions to be. It should only take ~10 jabs to get an indentation. If it takes much more than that, go back to jabbing all over and make the felt a little denser. For now, just make a little indentation for each one.

felting4.jpg

Finish the petals by jabbing all around the petals and further felting the indentations. I also jabbed in a line along the top to further define them. The felt should really be firming up now. You should feel some resistance when you put the needle through.

felting5.jpg

Once you’re happy with the flower, you can embellish it however you want. I used some felt beads I got in my Sampler from Lili la Malice. She was kind enough to post a tutorial, too, if you’d like to make some yourself. Just place the beads on the flower and jab until they’re secure.

felting6.jpg

It all makes a lot more sense when you have the needle and roving in hand, I promise.

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* tea set

Posted on April 17th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Craft Room.


Another good idea from Thimble: wire plate hangers. I’ve seen Martha do this, too, but it always seemed stuffy, unlike the sweet little plates Thimble has. Working on the rule of thumb that making something smaller makes it cuter, I wired up these Holly Hobbie tea set plates. My sister gave them to me, a whole set of 4 cups, 4 saucers, 4 plates, and a teapot. I found them last weekend stuffed in a box, all wrapped up so I wouldn’t break them in our last move. I’m going to hang them on the wall in my craft room. I just used some beading wire since they’re so teeny. The little one is about an inch and a half in diameter.

plates.jpg

The teapot is missing it’s top, but it’ll still look cute on the shelf beside the wall with the plates. For the cups, I think I’m going to put little cup hooks along the shelf and hang them.

teapot.jpg

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* beaded porcupine

Posted on April 15th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Toys (cat and kid).


I made a friend for crazed squirrel from the same Japanese craft book, which Myra says is called “I absolutely want to learn to make simple bead mascots.” Great book name. I think he looks a little suspicious of everyone staring at him.

porcupine.jpg

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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!