Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Cookie Packages

Before we went to San Diego for Christmas, we baked two batches of cookies to send to James's brother and sister in Lompoc, since we wouldn't be able to make it up to the central coast on this particular trip. We did overbake about a third of each batch (oops!) but at least we got to eat those ones. We picked out the best specimens and packaged them up to mail to the west coast. Of course this gave me a perfect chance to craft up some fancy packaging - I have to say I get as excited about the packaging of most products as I do about the actual product inside! This is especially true of soaps, which often have really gorgeous wrappings, but the thing inside is still... a bar of soap. Anyway, I used some materials in my stash, as well as some sewing machine action inspired by Martha Stewart Living, and put these together! Love it.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Cabled Wrist Warmers, Anniversary Card, Ornament WIP

I know my lack of posting lately seems to imply that I haven't been doing much crafting, but quite the opposite is true! I've actually been quite busy and really quite thrilled with the little projects I have in the works. First let me share a rather cheesy picture of my finished wrist warmers! I'm so happy that these came out well, and I've gotten lots of compliments on them. I definitely reached an impasse at the thought of the last bit of cabling on the second warmer, but I told myself I couldn't make my felt ornaments until these were done. So here they are!

Next up, I made a belated card for my parents since they just celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary last week. Somehow I came up with the idea to hand embroider the words, which must be the absolute most time-consuming way to produce any sort of product, despite the fact that I work in the Lab for Manufacturing and Productivity by day. Luckily I gave up on writing out the word "anniversary", ha ha. But I love the way it came out!

And lastly, I am happily working away at my felt xmas ornaments, which I got from Posie Gets Cozy, and I can confidently agree with Andy Paulson that felt is awesome! I've cut out all the little pieces for the Cozy Cottage and the Snowy Tree, and it was immensely satisfying just to feel the scissors cutting through the felt! Mmmm. I used my special extra-sharp fabric scissors of course, the ones that James isn't allowed to touch. Fabric only! Anyway I've just started stitching on the little house, which makes my poor overworked hands get tired after a while. I definitely have some kind of repetitive strain injury in both my hands from computer usage, plus a slight wrist bruise from hockey, overall making it pretty challenging to craft small things for long periods of time. I think I would just die if I could no longer make things by hand! Anyway, here's a terrible photo of some of the thrilling green felt I've cut so far. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ornaments that I will make!

Woo hoo! I just got my Walk In The Woods ornament kit from Alicia Paulson of Rosy Little Things! I'm so super excited to spread it out all over the table and make adorable things out of the felt and floss and sequins! Wee! Well, really I will have to delay this gratification a bit further, as I just started my second cabled wrist-warmer last night, and I really need to finish that WIP before I create a new WIP. You know how it is. I just want to do everything now!

Monday, October 12, 2009

WIP: Cabled Wrist-Warmers

Woo hoo, a new knitting project! I wanted to knit something that didn't require me to buy any new yarn, since I have much more than I know what to do with. Something small and finishable. I saw a couple of great-looking patterns for wrist warmers on knitty and craftzine, and tried to merge the two to make exactly what I wanted. Also my yarn gauge was way off from the knitty pattern, causing me to rip out and re-cast after my first attempt. This is my first try knitting cables, as well as knitting a thumb-hole, so hopefully it will succeed!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kitchen Cart, Nerd-Style

My life has been sadly lacking in good crafting lately, up until James and I came upon this excellent yard-sale find. We moved into our new apartment at the end of August, and it has a painfully small kitchen given that we love to cook. There's probably only like 6 square feet of counter space. It's a killer! So we knew we needed some sort of kitchen cart for added chopping space and whatnot. We found this beaut for only $15 and managed to cram it into James's car and get it home.
Obviously, it was well-used and needed a little TLC before it would feel at home in our living room. We spent some time discussing designs, did a bunch of sanding (mostly James, thank you thank you), spent 30 seconds picking out two awesome paint colors at Home Depot, and took it apart to start painting. I drew my nerd designs on by hand (it seemed easier than stenciling or tracing or whatever), and painted them in red. I underestimated how challenging it would be to paint those little details and ended up stopping mid-project to make a run to the art store for smaller brushes. Overall, we are both stoked at how it came out. Adds a needed pop of color to our living room! Nerd-hance!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Eat Your Veggies Shirts!

So I signed up for a screen-printing class at the Student Art Association (SAA) at MIT for the summer. I don't think the class had been offered before and it seemed like a really cool alternative to pottery or watercolor painting. It was pretty informal and we played around with a few different techniques for making screens and types of ink. My major accomplishment for the class is this series of t-shirts! My drawing skillz are pretty limited and my computer graphics skillz are almost non-existant, so I kept it simple for my first real try at printing. But I love the way it came out!

The blue ink is actually light-sensitive, so when you go outside, the words show up in a nice medium blue. Awesome! Unfortunately the ink didn't show up as well on the darker-colored shirts I bought (note: Target has some decent men's t-shirts, but no good blank ones for women!), so the color-changing quality doesn't really show up. But I think they still look cool! Yeahhh....! I'm stoked to think of my next design and buy my own screen and emulsion and squeegee. So cool!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Carved Squirrel Stamp

I've been dreaming about carving my own stamps from linoleum for more than half a year now. My mom gave me some carving supplies and small linoleum squares for xmas, and since then I've been tossing around ideas in my head about what to carve. I guess some crafts require a lot of incubation time in my head before I actually materialize them. Anyway, my brother's 24th birthday is approaching quickly, and I thought, what better time to make a little stamp for a card? I recently watched a cool video of someone carving a beautiful stamp of a feather - can't remember who it was! But I was totally inspired to do my own. Anyway, the verdict is: it's a lot harder than it looks! My hand kept slipping (as you'll notice the stripe across the squirrel's shoulder), and some of the details of his head were altered as small pieces accidentally broke off if I carved too quickly. Besides that I'm still pretty happy with the way he came out! The texture of the solid linoleum is kind of cool actually. I'm sure I'll climb the learning curve soon, and my next stamp will be easier!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bike Seat Cover and FO Scarf!

I'm designing a bike seat cover! My 1970's Raleigh Record road bike has its original seat made by the Wright leather company, and it somehow fits my, well, seat so well that I never feel sore or bruised. The problem is that one of the metal bolts rubs on my jeans, and although I don't feel it at all (cushiony cheeks?), it is wearing a hole through any pair of pants I wear while riding. Not cool! So I decided to make a seat cover, just to give some barrier between the bike seat and my own. I got this beautiful black and white oilcloth from a store in San Francisco, and it dawned on me that this seat cover could benefit from being waterproof too - the leather won't get ruined in the rain, and it won't turn my pants brown either. This genius idea brewed in my head for weeks before I finally took that yard of oilcloth over to the bike and imagined a fit - only the curvature of the seat does not lend itself to a flat cover from non-stretchy material. I was deterred for another few days, but I slowly envisioned a three-pieced cover that I could sew without having a seam down the center of the seat. This evening I finally made a paper pattern and then cut the three pieces out of oilcloth. They are currently scotch-taped in place on the bike seat, awaiting a non-nighttime hour when I can turn on my sewing machine without annoying my roommies. Normally, sewing a seam involves placing two pieces of fabric right-side together and sewing them together, but in this case I might just sew a zigzag stitch right on top of the two overlapping pieces, right-to-wrong sides. Maybe in a bright color like red, to make the stitch look like part of the design. Hmmm. More to come!
In other news, I FINALLY finished my lace ribbon scarf! It only took me a year! Ta daa!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Knit Blue Baby Hat

So my labmate David's wife had a baby boy a few weeks ago, and upon hearing this I started knitting a hat for him. It was actually my first attempt at knitting something on double-pointed needles, and I was a bit afraid that everything would fall off each needle as I knit the other ones, or that I would twist the stitches all around. But I really wanted to make the plunge into knitting non-rectangular things, so I picked a really basic pattern for a baby hat, and it turned out pretty well! It was pretty quick to finish once I started decreasing to close up the top. I love how it came out! Maybe I'm ready to move on to mittens?!?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Sewn Whale Cards

Well I guess I had so much fun sewing that valentine for James that I decided to sew some more cards! I mulled over possible alternatives to the heart, and few shapes seemed smooth and non-concave enough for me to sew around with a zigzag stitch. I finally settled on a whale, which is cute and somewhat sewable! The tail gave me the biggest trouble, and I think it's easier to do with a narrower zigzag. I totally wanted to sew some more fabric to some paper, but I ran out of time. I left my sewing machine out on the desk for a few days, refusing to relinquish the idea that I would have a chance to make some more pieces, but eventually it had to be tucked away into the desk to make room for my laptop. Boo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stitched Cards

I have been paper-crafting recently! I still have even more cards to make, so more updates will probably appear in the near future. First of all, I made this awesome card inspired by the sewn paper valentines at The Purl Bee, with a change of colors just to mix it up a bit (and make it a little less sugary sweet for my boy). He loved it!
Next, I made a couple of cards that are actually thank-yous for Christmas gifts - can you believe it? It's mid-February! Am I the biggest slacker ever?! Probably. The hand-stitched one took the most time, yet it's probably my least favorite. I pre-poked all the holes before stitching with embroidery floss, but somehow I didn't really plan out the spacing too well so I didn't have space for an S on the end of "THANK". Haha! So now it just says THANK (you)...! Anyways, I feel like I could do cooler things with embroidery floss and paper... stay tuned.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wedding Card and Awesome Print

Okay, I know it has been almost FOREVER since I've updated this blog, but I guess the end of last semester was pretty busy! I am still not done with that duvet cover, and the vibrant fabric sits idly at the side of my room in a pile, making me feel guilty every time I see it. Maybe this semester I'll have more time since I'm not taking any technical classes. My lace-ribbon scarf is also still a WIP, needing only about 10 more inches before I call it done. It's getting there! Maybe even before winter is over! We just got like 10 inches of snow this weekend, so I would certainly say it's scarf season now. I did, however, put together a quick card to go with a wedding gift this weekend, and it took me a couple hours of brain-wrangling before I finished this card that I'm quite happy with! The buttons are all repurposed from a bag of old buttons I got from my grandma, and the letters were from a rub-on set I found somewhere - actually quite fun to apply! Anyway, I love how the buttons seem kind of old and vintage, yet sparkly!

For the wedding gift, I found this great print from a place in Rockport, MA, called the Sara Elizabeth Shop that makes these amazing block prints with quite a history behind it. The prints looked appealing online but this one was even more vibrant and beautiful in person! I almost wish I had one for myself! It's called Squam Woods Summer.

Anyway, hopefully I'll be back soon with some more crafting updates, before I die of craft withdrawal!