Friday, December 26, 2008

TARDIS travels through time and web

Thank you Geek Crafts, for posting my Tardis tissue box cozy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hope you've got something good under the tree ;)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cuteness Advent Calendar

I'm working on so many crafty things, but they are all secret until Christmas. Can't risk a family member destroying their surprise.

Here's one thing... I made an advent calendar. I hear they are all the rage this year, although I did not know that when I started. I only knew that craft felt was ridiculously cheap at Joann Fabrics this Black Friday.

I decided to do it with the Holy Family, even though I'm not religious, because that's what an advent calendar is traditionally about.

Cute little Holy Family. Don't they look like weebles?

Much, much chain stitching, which I was guilted into by this project on the Purl Bee.

And the pockets are just the right size for Ghirardelli squares. Not an accident!

Here's the applique pattern if you are interested:

The tan felt is 27.5" x 33",folded in half over the dowel, and the squares are each 3" x 3" (there are 6 in each color). If you attempt this, I would recommend changing the numbers so that they are evenly distributed on each side of the picture. As it is, it tilts to the right as you eat the candy....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Good People Have Things That Are Handmade"

Joss Whedon, the wunderkind behind Buffy et al, has finally been interviewed by CrochetMe. If you didn't hear about their original call, they've been crafting as hard as they can to get his attention, and it paid off.

The best part is, Joss himself is well versed in craft. His wife is a quilter and a crocheter, and he has been known to pick up the needles himself. And he uses the word "decoupage." Got to love that.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Here's the pillow I was working on just before I left (the one with Jigglypuff). It worked out great, as you can see. This fabric was much softer than most commercially available pillows, making it extra comfortable.

The special secret behind this pillow is that it isn't a pillow, it's an empty sack. When you want to sleep on it, you fill it with soft clothing that you are already taking, so you don't have to give up any precious carry-on space. Take that luggage fees!

If you think this is as cool as I do, I've got a few of these in my store here and here. The store versions are made of flannel and they are a little bit smaller -- I tweaked the design after flight testing it. While they are totally lacking in Jigglypuffs, they are still quite handy to have around.

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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bride of Ghost and a Taste of Fall

I made these ghosts out of glittery satin and tulle last year. They are stuffed with paper, and the eyes are painted on with acrylic. I think they look sort of bridal. You can make up a story about why there are four of them.

I made the bats out of craft felt. I also made these felt leaves to put on tables, around the appetizers for our Halloween party.

Geoff's mother sends him colored leaves in an envelope from New Hampshire every year. It's very sweet, and they smell good. I used one as a stencil to design the maple leaves.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Potions and Such

Happy Halloween everybody! This idea has been around for a while, but I took inspiration mostly from this page.

Many of my supplies are from Party City and the dollar store, and all my jars are recycled. Vinegar jars are the best; they come in many interesting shapes. From left to right:

  • Pickled Succubus Fingers - clear plastic Halloween fingers, covered in hot gue and soaking in water (with red food coloring) in a salsa jar.
  • Faerie Dust - sparkly confetti, in an old spice jar.
  • Werewolf Bones - plastic Halloween bones, burnt with a match and touched up with red paint, in a jelly jar.
  • Eye of Scrod - gooey Halloween eyeballs, in yellow food-colored water, in a caper jar.
  • Hair of the Muse - fake hair from the dollar store (what is this for?), in a vinegar jar.
  • Dried Amaranth - selections from cheap potpourri, in a pickle jar.
  • Vampyre Blood - orange hand soap mixed with red and blue food coloring, in a mustard jar.

If you are using water and want to keep your jars for future years, mix the water with household cleaner to keep the water from growing stuff.

The labels are laser printed on linen paper that has been scrunched up, dipped in coffee, and pressed dry between paper towels and heavy books. I used Excellentia in excelsis for the titles and Note This font for the writing (both are free). I also used the letter "e" from Floralia for the corners, and various Flourishes found online. I arranged them all on one piece of paper, for easy printing.

They are glued to the glass and then Mod Podge'd for durability.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Costumes p. 1

We had a Halloween party last night. I dressed as Sarah Palin, and Geoff dressed as John McCain.

Oh! Did you see what I did there? Sorry. Geoff insisted I make that joke. He came up with this costume by himself, and he really enjoyed it.

Makeup was from a makeup kit he found at CVS meant for making a puppy dog (?).

The jacket he already owned. He bought it many years ago at a thrift store thinking, and I am not kidding, "Hmm, this would be cool if someday I wanted to be the joker for Halloween." He bought the vest at a thrift store yesterday, just hours before the party, and painted it green with thinned out acrylic paint. The pants, we dyed purple with RIT dye.

The craziness, Geoff supplied himself.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flying Baby

I am a stupid amount behind on this blog; sorry. Work has been relatively stressless, but I can't blog at this job. The people are really great, though.

Here's a painting I did for a coworker who is pregnant. Her baby's room has an aviation theme. I would like to point out, for the record, that it is not a giant baby; it is a tiny plane.

I've got a lot of Halloween crafts I want to show you. More later!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baked Alaska (Earrings)

Usually for Halloween I just pull out my Comic Con costume and lovingly wear it again. This year, however, I've assembled my best fitted suit, peep toed pumps, and square glasses for a topical costume...

I sculpted the above Alaska-shaped earrings out of polymer clay, then baked 'em in the oven and painted them gold.

I made this oversize American Flag pin out of Shrinky Dinks. The finding is an old Siggraph pin (and to think I almost threw that schwag away).

Are you doing anything for Halloween?