Archive for February, 2004

* Russell and Hazel

Posted on February 25th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration.

On Martha today, she had this woman on who started a company selling really pretty office supplies. Russell and Hazel has so much neat stuff. Her aesthetic is right up my alley, too. $18.95 for a binder, though. I guess I’m not going to buy all new lab notebooks after all, which is why this posting is filed under To Imitate.



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* crochet desk box

Posted on February 15th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crochet, Projects with Instructions.

I’ve been planning to make the crochet kitchen string boxes from Erika Knight’s Simple Crochet (see my review) to hold my mail. I got a couple of balls of Ace cotton Wrapping Twine ($3/510 feet!) at the hardware store, and I already had a trusty H hook. I also got some pretty wool for the edging in the sale bin at the LYS the other day. Before jumping into the big one for the mail, I thought I’d make a test one to hold my keys. All you do is make 5 panels in single crochet, 4 for the sides and then a bottom to fit. Stitch them together along the edges. Finally, add a single crochet edging around the top, one row in the twine and another row in a decorative yarn. I think the smaller ones are a bit harder to shape since all the little rectangles are a bit mishapen, but I’m pretty happy with it. If I make another little one, I’ll make it round, but now it’s full speed ahead on the mailbox.



* The Urban Knitter

Posted on February 14th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.

I got The Urban Knitter by Lily Chin from the library today. I had high hopes because she’s one of the only knitting designers I’ve actually ever heard of. Unfortunately, in the whole book there’s not a single pattern that I’d like to do. All the clothes are either ugly or unremarkable. The scarves, pillows, shoes, and socks are boring and uncreative. Completely not my taste. The Log Cabin Baby Blanket is the only even vaguely interesting pattern.


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* library book kit

Posted on February 10th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Gocco/L Letterpress, Paper Crafts, Projects with Instructions.

I’ve always liked the library kit from Knock Knock. My littlest sister reminded me the other day of how we all used to play library when we were little, and my other sister is accumulating a pretty big collection, so I decided to make one for her birthday. Supplies: a bunch of manila folders, scissors, pencil, bone folder, glue, heavy books, unruled 3×5 inch index cards, some way of printing on the cards and pockets (I used my cool Gocco printer, but you could use a stamp or a computer printer that’ll take card stock), date stamp, ink pad, card file box.

The Pockets

First, go to Mirkwood Design Templates and find the library card book pocket. I printed this out and then reduced it on the copy machine to 70%. This makes a good size pocket for 3×5 inch index cards. (If you want to have space on the pocket to stamp a due date, like the Knock Knock kit, you can modify the template.) Cut out the template and trace it on a manila folder. Cut it out to use as the master template. Once you’ve cut out as many as you want from the manila folders (I did 100), start folding. I found that the best way to do it is to first score the bottom pocket fold with a bone folder. Fold on the score and rub to crease with the bone folder. Flip it over to the back and score along the flaps at each side of the pocket. Now fold these flaps over, crease with the bone folder, and glue them down. Putting them under a heavy book to dry helps keep the flaps pressed down and flattens the whole pocket nicely. Once they’re dry, imprint them if you like. I printed out my design from the computer and used my Gocco to print it. The Gocco went through all 100 pockets without reinking, and all but a couple were perfect.


The Cards

I made a template in Word for the insert cards. There are spaces to type the Title and Author name, to write the Borrower name, and to stamp the Out date and the In date. The template is slightly larger than 3×5 inches so that it’ll print all the way to the edge of the index cards, even if they’re not perfectly aligned. I used the template to make a Gocco screen and printed 100. These didn’t print quite as well as the pockets. For one thing, there was a lot more to print and I did end up reinking here and there. Also, the font size of the text was smaller, so the lines were thinner and harder to print. Finally, since I was printing off the edges, I had problems with the ink kind of pooling at the sides and getting a little blobby. I was actually very happy with them, though. They look neat, and you can tell they were hand-printed. You could probably also rig up a way to run the cards through a computer printer instead, which would be more uniform and less messy.


I got a 1.5 inch date stamp at a stationary store and put that, an ink pad, the cards, and the pockets in a metal card file that I found at lab. For now the box can be used to store everything until they can be put into books. Once that happens, it’s the file box to keep track of borrowed books. The pocket serves as a book plate, so both parties remember it’s borrowed. No more lost books!



* label maker

Posted on February 3rd, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies.

Score at lab today. In one of our many boxes of junk, I found an old school Dymo label maker. You know, the kind with the wheel of letters and the punch tape. Since we just recently bought a fancy little digital one, I went ahead and took it. I had one of these when I was a kid, and I’ve been looking at them at the store lately (there’s a pretty cheap one for kids that I saw at CVS tonight). I even found 2 whole boxes full of black and blue refill tape. I think the first order of business is to label the drawers in my craft room.


* wallpaper crafts

Posted on February 3rd, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration.

Tony Meredith has some really cute wallpaper crafts: bookmarks, notebooks, magnets. I’ve been wanting a book of wallpaper samples for some reason anyway. (Found via My Paper Crane.)



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* sugar molds

Posted on February 1st, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Martha, Projects with Instructions.

Here’s a little quick craft while I’m still finishing The Scarf That Won’t End. I got these silly sugar molds from Martha by Mail a few years ago, and I always forget that I have them. Very easy: mix superfine sugar with enough water to make it stick together like wet sand. Press it firmly into the molds, flip over with some wax paper, and let dry for a while. Wait until they’re good and solid before you try to move them. This time I experimented with flavoring some of them by adding a drop of vanilla to each one after it dried. I’m reserving judgement until I try one in my coffee.



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