* 2012 calendar post

Posted on January 8th, 2012 by maitreya. Filed under Art, Wants.


The annual calendar post.  Not as many as last year, possibly due to delaying until January to bother to get them.  I still haven’t found a new desktop calendar (I’m anxiously awaiting Geninne’s, though), so I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Lab: Rifle Paper Co. 2012 Botanical Calendar.  A splurge, but so pretty.

Craft room: Letterpress cross stitch calendar by Pistachio Press and Aesthetic Artwork.  Two great tastes that taste great together.

[Photos from the relative designers' websites.]



* crochet motif

Posted on January 7th, 2012 by maitreya. Filed under Crochet.


On vacation over the new year’s weekend, I tried this crochet circle-in-a-hexagon pattern from the book Crochet Adorned as a possible coaster design.  The idea being to make a few different color hexagons that you could arrange into a pattern on a table.  In this yarn, it’s a little too big, though, and maybe more appropriate as a trivet or plant pot pad.  It’s an interesting pattern where you crochet into the spaces between the stitches instead of like normal.  Gives it a little more heft and makes the rounds blend in a little more.

 



* roast winter vegetables

Posted on December 25th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.


My garden gave me vegetables for Christmas. I harvested all of these today except for the delicata squash.

L to R: turnip, delicata squash, golden beet, carrots, beets, radishes, about to be tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted.

We’re eating the beet greens tonight, and I’m blanching and freezing the turnip greens to cook with black eyed peas and ham for New Year’s.



* last minute crochet cowl

Posted on December 23rd, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Crochet.


I got a free review copy of Crochet Stitches: Visual Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula, which was very timely because I’d lately been looking to buy a crochet stitch pattern book.  It’s a nice book, with a good variety of stitches, motifs, and edgings.  Each pattern includes a photo of it worked up.  The  photos are ok, though some of the color combinations are pretty terrible.  The instructions are presented as written directions and stitch diagrams.  I always find having both to consult is very helpful.  There’s a section that describes each of the stitch types, which is the only part of the book I would have liked more detail and illustrations.  I can never remember exactly how stitching around posts works, for example, and I wasn’t able to get it right from the book alone.  Because of this, the book makes a good companion for a more introductory stitch guide (or the internet).

I modified the balloon stitch pattern in the book to make a quick/easy/cute cowl for my sister.  The pattern calls for 5 stitch bobbles, which were too big in the bulky yarn I used, so I reduced them to 3.

Yarn is the new Martha Stewart roving wool yarn.  It might just be my favorite yarn I’ve ever worked with.  Bulky so it works up fast, but good stitch definition and easy to crochet with.  Very soft, especially for wool, and the colors are pretty too.  The cowl took three balls.  Instead of being sewed up at the ends, it fastens with two big buttons that slip through the stitches easily, which makes it adjustable.

It worked up crazy quick, just 2 days, and would have been even quicker if I hadn’t needed to go pick up more yarn.

 



* letterpress zigzag ornament

Posted on December 4th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Gocco/L Letterpress, Holiday.


Given how much I like the letterpress ornaments I got at the craft fair yesterday, I decided to try my hand at making some for the ornament swap.

Made on the L Letterpress using the zigzag plate from the Spooked Printing Plates set, cut out with a circle die, and strung with waxed linen.

I made a few others with solid color panels behind to provide a little extra something, but I think I like the plain ones the best.



* urban craft uprising 2011

Posted on December 3rd, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links, Holiday.


Went to the annual winter craft fair today.  Mark made a deer ornament at the screenprinting demo from Handmade SimpleKraft:

The letterpress ornaments are from Constellation & Co.

Other favorites from the fair:



* sad ice cube tray advent calendar

Posted on December 2nd, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday, Projects with Instructions.


I’ve got advent calendar envy with all the cool ones posted around blogland lately.  I was trying to come up with something I could make entirely from supplies I already have and ended up with this.  I have to say, it’s pretty pathetic, but I get a silly kick out of it.  It’s a funny ice cube tray I got at the Goodwill for eventual use as a resin mold.  The little bubbles made me think of a pill pack.  The shiny foil is origami paper.

I cut the foil paper to size, and rubbed it to make an impression of each bubble.  Then I numbered 25 random spaces and put something in the matching bubbles. Brush a little watered down water-soluble nontoxic glue on the top of the ice cube tray, and press the foil on.  Each day you punch through the foil to retrieve your prize.

And the exciting prize inside?  Vitamins.  Just to make it even lamer. But now I will remember to take my vitamin every day.



* glitter cards

Posted on November 28th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday, Martha.


I almost decided to go easy on myself this year and not make cards.  However, the cards in the stores are thoroughly boring for the most part and I couldn’t bring myself to buy any of them (and the alternative of buying the fancier, nicer cards is more than I care to spend).  I’d been playing around with glitter and Martha Stewart double stick tape shapes as an ultimately discarded ornament idea:

One of her kits has double-stick tape strips with glitter.  Here’s a tag version of the project.  Seemed easy enough, and it would put to use the 24-color glitter set my mom got me from Christmas last year.  We printed out the message and got to glittering.  I am pretty happy with how fancy and sparkly they look.

It took a couple hours for me and Mark to make a whole pile, but it was fun to combine colors and shapes.

You can see one more experiment in the back: a leaf stamped in glue and coated in glitter.  That worked pretty well, too, but I liked the stripes better.



* winter garden harvest

Posted on November 27th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.


One of our neighbors stopped by the other day and asked if she could have my garden greens because they were “going to waste.”  Au contraire!  They are overwintering, and we have been eating from the garden pretty regularly even though it’s late November.  In fact, the only plants actually killed by the cold so far have been the peas this weekend.  They went down still in flower, even!

Harvested the past couple of weeks: collard greens, chantenay and little finger carrots, purple top turnips + their greens, arugula, lettuce, mesclun mix, beets + their greens, radishes, Asian greens, parsley, and two types of kale.  Crazy!  I think I like the winter garden even more than the spring.  My carrots in particular germinated like champs even though I had endless trouble with them the rest of the year.  The only pest problem was cabbage white butterflies.  Their caterpillars made swiss cheese out of my collards.  Nobody noticed once they were shredded and cooked up though (although it was pretty gross when a boiled caterpillar floated up in the blanching water).  It is definitely true that the garden is pretty much holding in place, though: Swiss chard I harvested in October has not grown back much at all, when earlier in the year it was hard to keep up with it.

A couple mistakes to fix next year: plant the brussels sprouts earlier (the plants made it about 6 inches and then stopped.  Hopefully they’ll resume in the spring), and don’t plant turnips.  I have never bought a turnip in my life and I can’t say they are my new favorite thing.  I made mashed turnips the other day, and we ended up cutting it with mashed potatoes to mask the flavor.  The greens are ok, but they’re not my favorite.  I also should have been more ruthless in thinning the big plants, like collards and broccoli.

We’ve also been eating some of my stored winter squashes.  A delicata was sliced into rings and roasted with a little brown sugar and red pepper.  This monster blue Hubbard got roasted, mashed with a little butter and spices, and layered with apple slices for Thanksgiving dinner.

We’ve broken into the canned goods too.  We already dispatched one whole jar of strawberry/raspberry jam, plus an entire jar of bread and butter pickles, and most of a jar of salsa.  The tomato jam turned out pretty interesting, though I think I’ll try a different recipe next time.  I also used a jar of tomatoes for pasta sauce the other day.  Now that the summer rush is over, all the canning books no longer have giant waiting lists at the library, so I’ve been looking for possible winter recipes (pickled beets are on the agenda for sure).  And good thing, because my mom got me a set of beautiful Weck jars for my birthday.  :)



* plastic bird ornaments

Posted on November 26th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Holiday.


Last year I made cutout ornaments from a piece of Ikea fabric ironed on to backing.  This year I was even lazier and used cutouts from sturdier plastic placemats.  Hole punch and they’re done.  My mom and sisters helped cut them out when they visited a couple of weeks ago.  The Ikea codename is Klistrig.

I like that they’re Charlie Harper-esque.

If you would like one, I’d be happy to trade cards and/or ornaments.  Just shoot me an email (maitreya@craftlog.org) with your address.



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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!