Archive for February, 2011

* preparing for 2011 gardening

Posted on February 5th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.


Yay, it’s finally time to start working in the garden again!  First things first, I turned under my cover crop, such as it is.  It didn’t grow very well.  I planted in late October, which is a little on the late side.  I probably should have only turned under the one bed that I plan to start planting in first, but oh well.

The raised beds have been holding up great.  Mark added some reinforcing corner brackets today to keep them solid.  I’m also happy with how nice the soil stayed.  I was a little worried it would compact over the winter, but it’s all fluffy just like new.  The exception was the herb bed, which was definitely denser and lost an inch or so of volume.  We forgot to add peat moss to that bed, so it’s no surprise.  I added a bunch in today while turning it, so hopefully that will help.

My garlic is so far so good too.  (You can also see a few sprouts of the cover crop in the back.)

garlicsprouts

Now with that out of the way, I need to get to garden planning.  I got a ton of great garden catalogs this year, which I will save for another post, but I’ve hardly ordered anything.  Time to get going on that!

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* simple encaustics

Posted on February 4th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Art.


My second encaustic class was this week.  I brought a bag of random things to try out, including paper, fabric, string, beads, and a bunch of other stuff.  It was pretty interesting how the different materials took to the wax.  I also learned that scribing into the surface is hard to get the hang of.  Messing up repeatedly in a class doesn’t seem quite as disheartening as usual, though, since I convinced myself I was learning.  Also, it helps that you can scrape everything off and start all over again very easily.

The ones that looked the best were very very simple.  I was running out of time at the end, and the forced simplicity was actually a good thing, I think.  This is just a silk scarf. (I used part of it to make a bead necklace a while back, so I’d already cut into it.)  It looks dreamy under the wax.  I think I’m going to do another one with more of the green and blue flowers and hang them together.

scarfencaustic

This one is just cut out tissue paper circles.  It’s got a little more depth to it than I was able to photograph.

tissueencaustic

The whole thing was very fun and I definitely want to do more with the technique.  So far, I’ve gotten all of the supplies except for the torch.  That’s a job for this weekend, maybe.

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* paper sampler

Posted on February 3rd, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Paper Crafts, Wants.


Perhaps the silliest thing I’ve bought off Etsy in a while: behold, my new stack of random pieces of paper from jamaica makes:

il_570xn161748001

(picture from the etsy listing)

I ordered it knowing I’d like it, but looking through it in real life, it’s like she downloaded my brain.  There are at least half a dozen pages I recognize from notebooks and pads of paper that I have almost bought.  And there are half a dozen more that I have bought.  Maybe I should show off my graph paper collection some time.  It is mostly a woeful tale of my quixotic search for a replacement for my favorite discontinued lab data pad.

Anyway, jamaica makes has a blog and makes notebooks from the many papers.  They are very pretty.  I’m not entirely sure yet what I’ll make from my collection.  There are the address files by lovely design.  Most of my papers are too flimsy, and I don’t really need an address file.  Here’s a nice tutorial for little mixed paper notebooks (and a good idea to use a card as a cover).  Whenever I’ve tried to make little books before, I’ve never been happy with how even the edges look, though.  I suppose I could probably die cut them or something.  Hmm.  Need ideas.

Side note: jamaica makes also contributes to the group blog Effer Dares, which has like a scrapbook challenge theme.  It may be the first scrapper blog that has ever appealed to me.

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* doily stencil

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Martha, Paper Crafts.


I was rummaging around in the craft room for things to use for encaustic, and uncovered a stash of doilies I bought from Martha by Mail a long time ago.  Conveniently, I also just recently came across One Pearl Button‘s tutorial for making a cute doily stencil.  (Also check out her version of it with metallic paint pens on votive-holders.)  I tried it on a graph-ruled index card.  Just holding it down was difficult for me, so I used spray glue to temporarily adhere it.

doilystencil

I overdid it slightly with the spray glue, so there are a couple of sticky patches, but I really like the effect.  I was surprised that even all the little dots and dotted lines came through, since they didn’t appear to have any actual space punched out, just a perforation.

Ha, I just noticed that apparently I didn’t fill in the upper left side dotty bits.  Whoops.

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* toffee magazine

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


I don’t know how it took me this long to come across toffee magazine.  It is very pretty.

I’m still working my way through all the articles (and even the ads!)  It’s not just a rehash of all the sites I already know about, which is nice.

To be honest, the craft elements in this one weren’t super awesome, but they did include some pretty designs, which are even licensed for personal blog use.  I’m thinking I might use this one in a redesign.

dorothylemonadesnippet

There are some cute lists and gift tags to print out too.

The rest is a mix of artist profiles, articles, recipes, reviews, and little samplers of advice or recommendations.  I am totally making the Cinnamon Madeleine Sandwiches with Blueberry Troll Cream some time.

So far worth the subscription.

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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!