Archive for November, 2004

* soap

Posted on November 13th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Martha.


Simple melt-n-pour soap from a discontinued Martha kit that I got on tag-sale. It’s a face soap with calendula flowers and grapefruit oil, colored with a bit of “madder” (of course Martha can’t just call it red-orange). I made another batch for a shower soap with mint and rose petals and rosemary mint oil, but I went overboard with the green coloring and it looks really terrible. Oh well. It smells nice.

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* Hip Knits

Posted on November 12th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


Better Homes and Gardens Hip Knits just barely failed the check-it-out-of-the-library test. There just weren’t any projects that called to me. I liked a few of them: a granny square bag (crocheted despite the book title) and a few simple sweaters. The one I liked the most was a striped exercise mat and matching bag, but I don’t really need a pattern for a garter stitch rectangle.

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* failed Polaroid transfer experiment

Posted on November 9th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Experiments.


I saw someone do a Polaroid transfer on Crafters Coast to Coast the other day. That show is seriously bad for me to watch. I found myself shopping for glass-fusing kilns the other night. Anyway, back to Polaroid transfers, it looked so easy on the show. All she did was peel the sheet off too soon, then let the emulsion or whatever soften over steam for a few minutes before slapping it down on some paper. Yeah, yeah, you need a specific type of camera and film. Well, my i-zone camera says Polaroid on it, and, oh yeah, here’s a packet of expired sticker film. Great.

So, it’s no surprise that I couldn’t get this to work. Maybe there is a way to do it, but it seems to be unknown to Google. I tried a few things. Most variations shared the first few steps: take the picture, let it develop (or not, tried that too), cut the edges off, and let sit in warm water until the layers soften up.

i-zone film seems to be made up of at least 3 layers. They will be stuck to each other in different ways depending on whether the picture is developed or not. There is a backing layer, an emulsion or something layer, and a thin plastic/acetate layer. Right when you take the picture, the emulsion layer seems to be stuck to the back. If you cut the edges off, you can easily pull the acetate away. The emulsion won’t come off unless you douse it in hot water. More to the point, no picture develops. If you let the picture develop before cutting the edges off, the emulsion seems to stick to the acetate. It requires soaking to get the layers apart. The emulsion layer is fragile. You can rub it off really easily. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to stick to anything. I would smoosh it on the paper, and then try to peel the acetate off, only to get an icky gray mess. I wrecked four or five pictures and gave up.

If you happen to know of a way to get i-zone film to transfer, please email me.

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* Jennifer Murphy

Posted on November 7th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration.


Here are a couple of Jennifer Murphy dolls, by the way, very optimistically filed under To Imitate.

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more here.

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* Mary Engelbreit

Posted on November 6th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.


I go back and forth on whether I like Mary Engelbreit‘s Home Companion. She does often have references to good stores and stuff to buy, and I generally like the articles about artists, particularly the photos of their workspaces. The text is too gooey throughout for me to actually enjoy reading it, though. I mainly look at the pictures. And most of Mary Engelbreit’s actual designs are not so appealing to me. The whole magazine reflects her very busy, cutesy aesthetic. But, I am also a sucker for paper dolls. I love paper dolls. I am anxiously awaiting the day my niece can wield a pair of scissors and I can get her some. My sisters and I used to play with them all the time, although our favorite part was not so much playing but rather cutting them out and sorting all their clothes and accessories. Anyway, so my paper doll attraction makes it very tempting to buy the magazine each month, and I also always try to remember to get her yearly paper doll calendar. [EDIT: I can’t find a 2005 paper doll calendar on her website. Too bad.]

I also have a weakness for Christmas issues, so I went ahead and got it this month. As usual, the artist article is wonderful. One of my favorites, Jennifer Murphy, who makes the best stuffed animals I have ever seen. I think I first heard about her from Loobylu, but I don’t 100% remember. Anyway, great pictures. Some other good stuff: little furniture made of floral wire, a candelabra-turned-Christmas-tree, a sequined lampshade, and some decent decorating and wrapping ideas that I might consider adapting closer to my taste. Maybe once my Real Simple subscription runs out (I am so over Real Simple), I’ll consider subscribing to Home Companion. We’ll see.

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* November Sampler

Posted on November 5th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Wants.


After cursing myself for not subscribing for October’s Sampler, I signed up for a 3-month stint. Got the November one today. Pretty good haul: a felt-and-glitter ring from Glamscience that I am wearing right now, a zipper pull from Midnight Firefly, a CD by The Shermans that I actually like, a fabric collage bookmark from Textile Fetish, a pin from Heart Tattoo, and, the best thing, a bag from Wonderland-Q. The bookmark and zipper pull I could take or leave, but the other stuff, plus the fun surprise, are totally worth the price. Here are all the possible samples for November. I’m super disappointed that I didn’t get a pin from Happy Owl Glassworks, though. Instead I will add it to my Christmas list. I was also coveting the little scissor necklaces from Copacetique (can’t find ’em on the shop website, so look for them on the Sampler page) and the cool coiled glass necklace from Starving Artist Bazaar.

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* Kids magazine

Posted on November 4th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Martha.


Grrr. My worst fears are being realized. Now that Martha’s in jail, the whole thing’s going downhill. Living, Everyday Food, and Weddings are still holding out, but I fear Kids is a canary in a coalmine. I get home from work today and find it in the mail. Oh boy, I think, something to take my mind off the horrors to come in the next four years. What a disappointment. A huge percentage of the stuff in this issue is completely recycled. WTF? I know Omnimedia is famous for reusing ideas from the magazine on TV, in books, on by-mail cards, the website, through Martha by Mail, etc., but this hits a new low. Plus, they’re going from 6 issues a year down to 4 (and, incidentally, dropping any reference to Martha). There are a few good things: quilt stockings, a Christmas village made of manila folders, a bead caterpillar, some other stuff.

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* wrapping paper desk set

Posted on November 3rd, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Paper Crafts.


I got a really neat book of wrapping paper from Oh Boy Artifacts a couple of years ago. One of the designs in particular really appeals to me and I usually can’t bear to part with a sheet of it for it’s supposed purpose. I used some scraps to make a pencil cup, a box for memo paper, and push pins. The whole thing started as a Martha idea gone wrong. In a fit of cutesy-ness I bought her quilling kit (EDIT: which is only $12 now). One of the ideas in the kit was to make tight coils of different sizes and colors and stack them up, then glue them on a tack. I tried this and didn’t like the way it looked, so I was stuck with all these little coils of quilling paper. I cut circles out of the wrapping paper, glued them to the quilling paper coils, and then glued that to a tack. (It helps to sand the top of the tack first so the glue has something to attach to.) I’m not so good at cutting out circles, but they still look ok.

The cup part of the pencil cup is an empty Tazo tea tin. I just glued the paper around it. I glued a layer of wrapping paper to a layer of heavier paper, and folded a little box from it to hold a notepad.

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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!