Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday (and Satuday)

Joann fabrics always has the best deals on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Practically the whole store is half off, or more. If you haven't gone yet, you might wanna.

  • Buttons, 50% off (all of them!)
  • Notions wall, 50% off (and it is actually fully stocked for once)
  • Craft felt, $1.99 a yard (this stuff is 72" wide!)
  • Jewelry supplies, 50% off
  • Polymer clay, $0.99 a package
  • Fat quarters, $0.99
  • Butterick patterns, $0.99
  • Embroidery Floss, 4 for $1

I also slipped over to Michaels, and while their deals are not quite as good, they did have 50% off most of their frame stock (and they have great frames) and also 50% their Bead Gallery brand beads, which were already a pretty good value.

Have at it!

Friday, November 28, 2008

New Cards

I've got some new cards in my etsy shop. I hope to have some more gifty things up soon.

Check it out.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Apple pie is so much work but so worth it. I made an apple pie with Betty Crocker's easy pie crust recipe (just canola oil, water, and flour) and Baking Illustrated's fancy filling (Arkansas black apples with crystallized ginger). I used a leaf cookie cutter to make patterns in the crust top.

It would be prettier if my oven hadn't decided to shut off halfway through, causing me to overcompensate and burn it. But still... pie. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hallo (that's German for Hello)

Cheers! I am back in the warm. Berlin was amazing. I feel like I just visited history. It's startling how much crap has happened to that city. Pictures!

This is Schloss Charlottenburg. Schloss means 'palace' -- Berlin was covered with palaces. Many of them were destroyed in various wars, but they just keep rebuilding them. The inside was silly with gilding. You can see why the Bauhaus movement was so sick of decoration.

This church, the Kaiser Wilhelm, is half rebuilt, as a reminder of war. It's all bombed out from World War II, but they still hold services next door.

The book burning memorial, in the center of Bebelplatz (a 'platz' in Berlin is like a Square in NYC). It's in front of Humboldt University, the distinguished school that produced Einstein, whose thousands of books were burned by the Nazis. The memorial is simply an empty bookshelf, underground, with an inscription that warns, approximately, "What starts with burning books always ends with burning people."

The Holocaust Memorial, in the center of Berlin. It has no particular meaning, except that which you make yourself, and is constructed of various blocks that all have the same footprint, but different heights, on uneven ground. Some people think it looks like a graveyard. Our guide felt that the disorientation you feel walking through the memorial conveys some sense of the confusion and isolation those imprisoned in concentration camps felt.

My tour book referred to the excessively ornate architecture of the Prussians as "bombastic." This is Brandenburger Tor, near the Holocaust Memorial, which later became a symbol of reunited Germany because it was on the border of East and West Berlin.

Only parts of the Berlin Wall are still standing. This part is behind a fence to protect it from tourists seeking mementos. Most places you can't even tell that the wall was ever there.

A section of the wall in East Berlin was turned into an open air art space called the East Side Gallery. Graffiti artists were invited to paint the wall. Other graffiti artists have added to it. This painting was especially moving.

I took a lot of pictures of fences and leaves. The fences along bridges were always ornate and beautiful.

The center of Tiergarten, Berlin's central park. This is the spot where Obama gave a speech, causing all of Germany to have a great big crush on him. Berlin generally loves America, more than most of Europe, but they weren't on speaking terms lately. Now the passion is back.

A little fun with forced perspective: an angel on Geoff's shoulder.

I don't know why Indy had to convince Nazi's that "It belongs in a museum." It seems like they think everything belongs in a museum, including entire stolen temples. This one, and several others, are in the Pergamon Museum.

We shopped KaDeWe, the second largest department store in the world (after Harrod's). The toys there all looked depressed.

I made sure to visit the Turkish Market in Kreuzberg, in East Berlin. This is the best place in Berlin to buy fruits and vegetables, and, interestingly enough, craft supplies. Every other booth was a fabric shop. I bought some beautiful viscose fabric for 1.50 euro a meter, I hope to make a skirt out of eventually.

That's enough about my vacation... more crafty posts soon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

See You Soon

I haven't gone on a serious vacation, one where airplanes are involved and a Christmas or wedding with relatives is not, since my honeymoon. So my husband and I are taking a long overdue trip to Berlin.

I won't be blogging for a bit, but here's a detail of what I am working on right now, for the trip. It's a travel pillow made of fleece, for our red eye flight. Jigglypuff is there to help me get to sleep.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Check Me Out, I Voted

I love the "I Voted" stickers, and this year was such an amazing election, I wanted to keep mine. So I made it into a magnet.

I used Aleene's Paper Glaze as a poor man's resin (inspired by this Angry Chicken post). I glued the sticker to a piece of cardboard and wrapped it in ribbon. The ribbon didn't go on quite smoothly, and the glaze has some bubbles, but it came out cool enough that my husband wanted me to do his up, too.

You can tell a lot about a person by the magnets on their fridge. Well, if they have magnets on their fridge. I removed the more personal magnets from this photo, like my Save-the-Date magnets and my high school magnet, but here you can still see that I have visited San Francisco, Vegas, Greece, and New York, and I like Corgis and puns about medical marijuana. Oh, and also, I voted.

What's on your fridge?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sewing Desk for a Cosplayer

If you are back from voting, check out my new desk.

(If you are not back from voting, go vote, silly!)

I picked up this desk on Craigslist a few months ago. It was a sewing desk with the sewing machine removed. I neglected to take a before picture, but it was in quite a sorry shape. There were spiders. But look at how nice and big it opens up...

I painted it brick red, and I bought a custom cut piece of wood at Home Depot to fill in the empty hole where the sewing machine once lived, and then I had to track down a square head screwdriver to attach it. Then I covered the seat cushion in new fabric and made the little fabric covered trash can out of a cookie tin, to catch thread. Thread goes wild all over my sewing area.

And then began my adventures in decoupage.

Here's the custom piece of wood, in progress with the craft:g33k girl. I used huge amounts of Mod Podge for this project.

Inside, left side. I use my sewing machine to make costumes and clothes, mostly, and I wanted the desk to be inspiration for that. All the images except for the craft:g33k are from old comic books and fashion magazines. I'm pretty sure the comics aren't worth anything, but please, don't correct me if I'm wrong in that assumption.

Spike, from a Buffy comic.

The Fantastic Four, from a free comic book day book. The gold question mark is from a stencil I made.

Inside, right side.

Supes, by Jim Lee. I used a lot of pictures from this particular comic, not because Superman is a favorite of mine, or even Jim Lee (though he's pretty darn good), but just because Superman is a pose-worthy fellow. It's hard to find a full body shot of Bats, for example.

I reserved all my favorite pieces for the top.

Spidey, by John Romita, Jr.

My man DD, by Alex Maleev.

This post is a eulogy for my sewing machine, a cheapy cheap Brother that I am bidding farewell. I just bought a Kenmore that is made, apparently, by Janome. The Kenmores have been going on sale recently, and the deals are great. If you are interested, the link is here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


This photo that Natalie took of me ended up on Metafilter last night. Surreal! Geoff is the polar bear. More on that later.