Archive for January, 2009

* fabric 2008

Posted on January 13th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links.

True Up was nice enough to invite me to list my 2008 favorite fabrics.  Mine’s not a terribly creative list, but it was fun to put together, and True Up continues to be one of my favorite blogs.  Thanks Kim!

Oh, and changes are afoot at Crafting JapaneseKuky has come to rescue poor CJ from my neglect.  Keep an eye out for more updates over there.


* craft library update

Posted on January 12th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review.

I moved my craft book library over to LibraryThing.  Here’s my profile over there, which has more info than my local page due to the limitations of their blog widget.  I eventually chose LibraryThing over Shelfari and GoodReads and a couple of other ones because it has the best widget, it connects easily with Amazon Japan, and I can add links to my posts in the comments.  The main downside is a limit of 200 books before you have to pay for it ($25 lifetime subscription).  Also, I wish the widget let you export more.  Apparently they have an API for further customization, so I might play with that.

It took a while to get everything added in, and I’m still not done rating them all and scouring my archives for other projects to link.  It’s pretty awesome, though.  All you do is type in the ISBN or title and it looks everything up for you.  I have tags for the different categories, and it’s got built in ratings.  Much much easier than doing it all by hand.


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* bird embroidery panel #2

Posted on January 11th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

Finally finished the second of my bird embroideries.  You can read the other post if you want pattern or canvas details.

I tried the punch needle for the outline, which worked famously until I tried to remove the tracing paper template I stitched over.  Way to think ahead, ugh, of course that would pull out all the stitches.  So, I had to restitch some, but it wasn’t too bad.

Not my best embroidery (the canvases are a little hard to work with), but I’m going to put them up in a weird nook space next to my bookshelves in my office, so you won’t be able to look at them up close anyway.


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* resin book reviews

Posted on January 9th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Resin.

If craftlog resolution #1 was more inspiration posts, craftlog resolution #2 is resume book reviews.  (p.s. I’m still looking for library-website-creating tools if anybody can recommend one.)

I’m collecting ideas before I buy another container of resin.  It goes bad in 6 months, so I have to accumulate enough ideas and motivation to use it all up in a timely manner.  Besides trawling the web for inspiration (i.e. the jewelry section on my shoplinks page), I’ve been looking for good books.  The Seattle library system has a weird selection mostly consisting of manuals for molding resin grapes for your ’70s coffee table, so that was a dead end.  These 2 that I’ve bought are pretty good, though.

My favorite book is Sherri Haab‘s The Art of Resin Jewelry.  It’s got a nice variety of easy projects and a good introduction section with techniques. This is definitely the better introduction-level book since there are projects I could do right away without special molds or equipment.  The style is also great, very modern and fun with only a few really ugly ones (hello polymer clay sparkle flowers, ugh).  The projects lend themselves to customization, too (i.e., embedding patterned paper).

The Art of Jewelry: Plastic and Resin by Debra Adelson is more advanced.  There is an intro section explaining techniques, but when it comes to the projects, they are more complex than in the other book, and there’s not a lot of detailed direction.  It’ll just say something like “use the carbide burr to shape the ring.”  Um, ok?  I guess once you know your way around the saws and files and dremel tools it’s pretty obvious what you’re supposed to do, but it makes the projects definitely more intimidating for a beginner.  The projects are generally pretty cool, though, and it’s a great book to start building skills beyond the basic poured resin projects.  I bought the book for the “resin” part of the title, but the “plastic” projects are neat too, especially the acrylic ones.  I definitely want to get some acrylic to play with.  Seems like the easier way to get comfortable with my jeweler’s saw.  The book also has a nice variety of gallery projects from artists.

One problem with all the resin books is that there are several types of resin and it gets confusing and overwhelming for a beginner because the books try to cover everything.  Instead of trying to figure out the best one to use, I ended up just finally going with whatever resin crossed my path first (thanks Ariel!), and then looked at just that section of instructions.


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* coiled felt rosette

Posted on January 5th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

Lisa posted some cute felt flowers the other day that made me want a colorful felt pin for my gray wool winter jacket.  It’s gray enough here as it is.  Then I remembered that I had this silly thing I made this summer (at the same kids’ craft tent as the vinyl wallpaper wallet).  It’s just thin strips of craft felt wrapped around each other with a dab of fabric glue at the end and a pinback hotglued to the back.  I’m debating whether I should add leaf cutouts or leave it as is.


* moebius cowl

Posted on January 3rd, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

I finally found Stitch at a bookstore the other day.  What a pretty magazine.  I hope they keep publishing it. I want one of every skirt in it.  My only complaint is that some of it reads almost like promotional material.

First pattern tried is the mobius cowl, a Christmas present for my friend Carole.  The fabrics are the body of a hole-y cashmere sweater and some wool jersey I got at a nice fabric store on Bainbridge Island (also seen as the lining in the hood scarf).  It’s very soft and drapy.  The pattern was reasonably clear to follow, with nice use of diagrams.


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* reversible sling bag

Posted on January 2nd, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

New year, new bag.  I’ve been wanting something with a long enough strap to go cross-ways.  Fabrics are a “tapestry” from Urban Outfitters I got crazy on sale a few weeks ago and charcoal wool felt.  Pattern is the Margaret Sling by oh fransson.  It’s a well-done pattern, though the strap is maybe a little too wide for my taste.  The only mistake I made was not noticing that the seam allowance is supposed to be slightly larger on the lining, which turned out to be a fortuitous error, as you’ll see below.

The pattern includes interior patch pockets, which I made from the flower repeats in the fabric.  Well, after putting the whole thing together, I like the inside-out version better!

The button is vintage.  iirc, I got it at an antiques store in Ithaca, NY.


* fluorescent

Posted on January 1st, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration.

I haven’t been posting inspiration-y things for some unknown reason (last one was 2005 according to my archives!), so maybe I’ll do more of that this year.

I have a bad habit of accumulating piles of magazines.  Once the piles get too big, I file the ones I might ever refer back to (Readymades, all things Martha, and one-offs of select design and craft mags) and rip out pages I like from the rest.  I’ll eventually come up with a good system for organizing the loose pages, but for now they get thrown into a bin.  I rifle through the pile every once in a while when I’m looking for ideas.

Anyway, on today’s spree, I came across an issue of Wallpaper from a few months ago and was reminded of a pair of portraits commissioned from Hiroshi Tanabi (who I think is the same person as Hiroshi Tanabe, though this particular drawing isn’t listed on his site anywhere).  I like his line-work, and especially the mix of black pen with fluorescent marker.

The other one is the same drawing but with an orange highlighter instead of yellow.  I love love love the fluorescence against the brown background.  I think there’s some garish embroidery thread in my collection, hmmm.



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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!