Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm a published author!!

And no, I'm not talking about this blog, which does count.

Check me out at Crafting a Green World! It's a guest post, but guaranteed written by me. I will now be a regular contributor to the site, so I'll keep you all updated when my new articles are published.


I may not get a chance to post any pictures right away, but this weekend I will be a photo-taking machine. So get ready for some pic-heavy posts next week!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Silhouette Giveaway!

Okay so I think I kind of really want one of these - who doesn't at this point, right? So I'm entering my first giveaway on a blog ever. And it's this one on Keeping It Simple!

Silhouettes seem to be pretty wicked, so I hope I win!

25 Items Complete, and a New Sweater Recon Project!

On Friday I made a chrysanthemum out of marshmallow fondant during our weekly cake decorating class at work (don't ask). It's so purty!

On Saturday I hosted our monthly knit night at my house, which was a WAY fun time, and I finished a 12" block for my Ravelry Block-A-Month Afghan-Along. Sunday I made three 6" blocks, and stitched up a quick quilted crochet-hook-case since I realized I had no way of organizing my hooks at all. Monday I stayed home from work because I was on Day Three of not smoking anymore, and well...I did NOT feel like going in to work! So I read a lot and watched some Law & Order and made three crocheted pop-tab flowers. I've never crocheted with pop tabs before, and it is SO MUCH FUN! So I may have a new love.

Because there is still no camera in sight, I will just continue featuring other awesome crafters in the blogosphere. As you may have gathered from my round-up last week, I've got a thing for sweater reconstructions. Have I done one? Ehhhh, no. Not so much. But that's only because I don't have any sweaters to cut up right now. I will, my pretties, I will.

The awe-inspiring Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything has created some truly gorgeous sweater bracelets, and her tutorial makes it all so simple. I love the look of these - soft, comfy, and unlike other bangles, won't make that loud clacking noise when they strike each other while you're moving around during your day. I love them so much, and I can't wait to make my own!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Reconstructed Clothes Round-Up - Professional Edition

Good Tuesday all!

Last night, while dinner was cooking, I made a tiny pincushion out of a soda bottle cap, some fiber fill, some white fleece, a little ribbon and elastic a la this tutorial. It took me 10 minutes, including gathering all the materials together. Therefore, all of my sewing friends are going to get one, because I've been saving those bottle tops for a while now.

In the spirit of the original purpose of this blog - to create or reconstruct a fashionable, wearable wardrobe using crafty DIY skills - and in the absence of a camera with which to record my own ventures into this territory, I have decided to throw together a round-up of some of my favorite tutorials that I've come across in the last year or so. Since I currently work an 8-5 as a receptionist, where I probably ought to try looking my professional best, I've decided that this round-up shall include items that would be acceptable in an office setting.

This skirt really is adorable. It can be lengthened (hell, or shortened if you want) depending on the size of the sweater you start with. It would look adorable with a pair of tights or leggings, and paired with a long-sleeved t-shirt it could look very classy.

This is sheer brilliance - I have so many v-neck or wrapped tops that are just a tad bit too low for me, but I hate the feel of camisoles under my shirt - they always ride up, and if the shirt is form-fitting, anybody can see the lines the cami creates. This is a perfect solution, and I will be making one in every color.

This one might take a little chutzpah to pull off, but we're crafty people, aren't we? We can handle a big old bow on our boobs. For this vest, you could use blue jeans, khakis, slacks...or, you know, even just plain fabric - the tutorial doesn't discriminate against those who hand-select the exact fabrics they want at the fancy crafts stores!

I love cute little short-sleeved shrugs, and I especially love it when I can make my own. I really especially love it when I can make my own out of a sweatshirt, and it doesn't look like a sweatshirt anymore.

The image here looks a little casual, but done well and with a good starting sweater, this could be an outstanding addition to your professional wardrobe. Seems to me you could make it sleeveless, or longer, or shorter, or just a shirt...the tutorial allows for a lot of creative leeway.

This one is pretty similar to the shrug tutorial above, but I can't emphasize how much I love these kinds of projects. Add some embroidery or buttons or beading or lace...the potential is limitless!

This one didn't have "photographic" evidence, but I thought it was adorable nonetheless. The right combination of colors, textures, and embellishments could make this a staple of a professional wardrobe.

Ahh, general skills tutorials. They make me happy! This one is simply fantastic to know, because you know what? Men have badass-looking button-up shirts, and I want to make them fit me, dammit!

This right here might be one of the cutest recons I've ever seen. The trick is simplicity itself - you cut away the bodice and the sleeves of the sweater...and turn them around and reattach them backwards! Simple as that to turn a shapeless garment into a flattering fit!

Finally, the most basic of Grosgrain's Embellish Knits Month tutorials - simply resizing a cardigan until it fits you perfectly. Do you KNOW how many gorgeous cardigans I've passed up at thrift stores because they were too big? If only I'd known! I highly recommend, by the way, that you click this link and then check out the rest of Grosgrain's Embellish Knits Month tutorials. They are every one of them gorgeous and unique.

This round-up comprises just a few items on my long to-do list before winter is over. Looks like a trip to Goodwill is in my near future.

Anybody else have any favorite professional-looking clothing recon tips?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Watson Family Rules Subway Art

So I've been seeing subway art all over the crafty blogosphere for months and months, and while in general I tend to shy away from major trends, I came across the perfect application of subway art for my own household in the form of this post on Sassy Sanctuary.

I've been wanting to post a list of rules somewhere in our house for a while now, but never really knew exactly how I wanted to go about it. When I ran across this post in my morning blog read, I knew I would have to at least give it a try. So here's what I created in Photoshop this morning. Let me know what you think? Is there too much white space? Are all the fonts too close to the same size? Are the fonts themselves too disparate from each other? Help me out here, I've never done one of these before!

My 365 Tally As of Monday, January 10, 2011

This weekend we tried to go to Sam's and Best Buy to find a new camera, but to no avail. We found the one that we want - a Kodak EasyShare - but we both knew for a fact that we could get it much cheaper online than in the store, so we were able to fiddle with it and get a feel for the interface, and we'll be ordering it sometime this week. It was hard to tamp down my disappointment over not having a new camera NOW, but patience is a virtue (or at least, that's what they tell me). So I'm forcing a grin as I type - pictures sometime next week, I suppose.

Here are the items I've made that count toward the 365 Crafts in 365 Days challenge (I promise I won't do this all the time, I just need some way to keep a list going so I don't lose track):

-10 calendar envelopes
-3 12" blocks for an afghan
-1 6" block for the same afghan
-1 DIY light box (following this tutorial)

I've cast on a vest called Hilja (I think) using some yarn that's called blue but looks like purple. This is my "mindless bus-knitting project," and I am taking it very, very slow. I'd like to train myself out of my impatience, and I think that taking my time to knit something large, wearable, and simple is probably a good idea.

In other news, for those of you who read this and aren't in the Trash to Treasures group on Ravelry, my friend Kristy of Textiles4You was nominated a few months ago for Terracycle's Make a Difference Moms contest, and has made it to the top four finalists! The competition is now open for voting, so please go and read about the top four moms here, and vote here, and you can read about it on Kristy's blog here!

Of course, votes for any finalist are encouraged, but you'll be extra special to me if you happen to find Kristy to be the best of the four - I certainly do!

Speaking of Kristy, and since a craft blog post is NOTHING without crafting content, here is Kristy's latest project from her blog: a Valentine's Pull Tab Heart Bracelet.

Kristy + pop tabs is usually pretty amazing, but this bracelet kind of takes the cake for me. I've been saving pop tabs for a while, and I wasn't sure why until I saw this post. Follow this link to get to her blog post about this project, which includes written instructions AND a video!

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year, A Resolution, and a Plan!

That's right! I have joined Kristy's fabulous 365 crafts in 2011 challenge! Way to return to the blogging world with an almost impossible splash!

And back I am, I hope, because taking up my blog again is among my many New Year's Resolutions this year, most of which fall into the category of "crafting my ass off." I received a lot of wonderful crafty gifts for Christmas, including the donation of holiday greeting cards and old calendars from my coworkers, so I am SO set for the time being.

So, 365 crafts in 365 days. Er, 362 days, since it's already January 3rd and I've made...nothing! I've finished a few projects, but I don't think I'm going to count UFO's in this challenge.

Here are my own rules, which I hope Kristy will allow, since it's her challenge and all:

1) The completion of UFO's (or unfinished objects) will not count as finished crafts in this challenge.

2) Any and all individual items that are made for the purpose of making a profit (including my etsy shop, another 2011 Resolution) WILL count as finished crafts in this challenge. That means, if I make 20 fancy-paper envelopes, it counts as 20 crafts.

3) The construction or crafting of supplies or equipment (such as a handmade drop spindle, a loom, a ball of spun plarn, t-yarn, or newspaper yarn, etc.) WILL count as finished crafts in this challenge.

The goal here is for me to be crafting every day, or at least almost every day. One of my major goals for this year is to discover my inner artist. I have a difficult time accepting it when people call me creative, because most of my projects come from other people's patterns. I feel that THOSE people are the creative ones - I'm just crafty because I want to use the patterns in my life. So I am urging myself to recognize and accept inspiration when I see it, and to apply it to my crafting so that simple crafts can become true works of art.

Stay tuned for more! I'm buzzing with ideas already!