Friday, January 16, 2009

That's a Wire Wrap

I love wire wrap, but I've always been too intimidated to try it. Still, I had this beautiful beach stone that I picked up at my friend Charlotte's wedding, and I really wanted to make it into a necklace for her. So romantic! And worth learning a new skill.

I used All Wired Up, by Mark Lareau, to get started. It was the only wire book available at my local library; luckily it was quite good. The illustrations are clear and the writing is simple. I managed this pendant in an hour or two, and I think it's pretty swell.

Despite his advice to buy fancy German tools, I made do with a set of tools I bought for $6 on Black Friday at Joann Fabrics. They actually worked well enough. The wire at Joann, however, is not so good. At the first bend, the copper began to show through the silver. Next time I try this, I will invest in some real metal.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Have you seen Teh Yarn Bukkit, by Craftster user angelbum? It's awesome!

Not only is it practical and cute, it's also flippin' hilarious If you still think LOLcats are funny (I do...). Plus, bonus, it's recycled. check out the needle storage:

I copied the basic shape to make a Christmas present for my knitting mother in law. It's a little more classic than hilarious, but I'm still going to share a tutorial with you as soon as I get one together.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas backlog pt 1.... Sock Jareth

I made a lot of presents for Christmas this year, and I got a little craft fatigue. Trying to catch up with them now.

Sock Jareth, the goblin king! Your embroidered eyes can be so cruel. I vowed to stick to my stash as much as possible this year, so this cuddly, underendowed plushie uses my stash of... mismatched socks.

This is the beginning of his body. His arms are made out of the rest of the tan sock, his shirt is white muslin, and his hair and vest are craft felt.

Katie is a big Bowie fan and the toy was a hit. Phew. I finally posted something kinda geeky ;)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CPSIA - Action Needed NOW

Save Handmade Toys

A new law is about to destroy all small businesses that sell handmade items to children under 12. It goes into effect February 10th, so action is needed ASAP.

Please sign this Petition
And this petition.

And please, please, write and call your Senators and Reps. I have contacted mine and heard nothing, because of course this is a terrible time to try and get any action from government. They are in transition, and busy with the desperate economy. However, if they don't do something now, the situation will get much, much worse.

There's a reason they are calling this National Bankruptcy Day.

I want safety for all children, but there is so much wrong with this law! For starters, it requires lead and pthalate testing of ALL items intended for children under twelve -- even if that item is made of materials inherently free of lead or pthalates. Organic cotton diaper users, get ready to pay for useless testing, or face huge fines and possible jail time.

It also requires that each item of each line be tested individually, even if the components have already been tested. So if you use the same blue zipper in twenty different pillows, you have to test it twenty different times. And these tests are ridiculously expensive - up to $4,000 each.

I imagine this law had good intentions, hoping to save our children from the (relatively small amount of) dangerous toys and clothes from China, but I assure you, this law will have the opposite effect. The only retailer who will be able to afford these extreme tests will be Walmart. And we all know where they get their swag.

Please take action now, if you have any interest in handmade goods. Thank you.