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My Life In Words and Pictures



Updated: 2018-03-06T04:52:38.297-08:00

 



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2016-02-23T09:33:50.388-08:00

Hello again.

I've been around the blogs and back where it began. It's free. It's easy. It doesn't demand a whole lot from me. I can deal with that.



I also blog at: Weight for Deb (image)



A Year (or more) of Socks

2010-10-29T16:51:14.169-07:00

November 1st, I start a project that will likely last me over a year: every month I will knit a pair of socks using some yarn that does not contain any wool.

So far, I have 4 different colors of KnitPick's Comfy Fingering yarn. I have yarn made from milk, corn, sugar, and blends of cotton, bamboo and silk. I think at the moment I have enough yarn for 12 months -and I'm certain that more yarn will find it's way into my stash as I continue down this path.

I have 3 books to choose patterns from: Socks from the Toe Up, by Wendy Johnson; Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks and 2-at-a-time-Socks, both by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

So Monday I begin. The pattern will be Dead Simple Lace from Wendy's book using Crystal Palace's PANDA COTTON in Bison Brown. Panda Cotton is 59% bamboo,25% cotton, and 16% elastic nylon. Looking forward to getting started.

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Plan Your Summer Garden Now

2010-03-17T20:23:00.484-07:00

I stand at my window on a cool, damp January day, beginning the important first step of gardening: planning. At the moment, the garden beds harbor perennial plants storing up moisture and energy for the next year's growth. The lawn is bright green with a weedy annual grass that will die with the first hint of temperatures over 80 degrees. Weeds are dominating both the lawn and garden beds.Later this winter, I will undertake a major yard renovation, removing the lawn and some of the shrubs in my very small yard and replacing them with drought-tolerant California native plantings. Paths will lead back to a spot to sit and read under the shade of our sweet gum trees, and beyond to the garden beds of vegetables and fruit trees.Even with most of the work ahead of me, I'm planning how all this will look now, because late winter is the perfect time to carefully decide what will be growing in our gardens this year.Even if you aren't facing major yard work, the catalogs arriving in the mail are a signal to think about this year's gardens. Without a plan, we will buy too many seeds, plant at the wrong times, and increase the chance of failure even before Mother Nature get her hands into our garden.What Goes Into a Garden Plan?How much space you have to work with. For all of us this, is a finite number, and the major control on planting. Measure the space and try to map it out on graph paper.What you already have planted. Mark off the space for bulbs and bushes, drip irrigation, anything that's not moving/movable in your plan.When things happen. A bush that flowers in May (like lilac) needs to be visible then. However, if it then becomes simply a mass of green leaves, note to plant something exciting in front of or next to it, to provide interest during the rest of the summer.Your safe planting dates. When can you start planting cold-hardy varieties? When is your first/last frost date? Know your growing zones.Now start dreaming...I see grasses blowing in my bay-influenced breeze, sturdy bushes providing shelter for the birds, and crunchy gravel paths. In the edible garden, blueberries will be added, kale will be repeated. Will there be a place for some cleome somewhere?Others Planning Their Gardens:Julee Dunekacke is starting her southern garden already by planting onions, mustard, garlic and radishes.Lara DeHaven, a Southeast Texas gardener, doesn't follow the local trend of planting mid-February, preferring to hold her planting until March, thus avoiding the chance of a late freeze.Stephanie Langford talked seeds: knowing days to maturity, characteristics and features, planting both early and late varieties to spread out the harvest, and sometimes planning yield of vegetables.Joyful Stars has decided to experiment with hay bale gardening this year. I'll admit this is a technique I always wanted to try myself. I'll keep an eye on her progress through the summer.Seed Savers Exchange talked edible landscaping.Eat. Drink. Better. wrote important tips for fighting cabin fever by planning the garden.I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.Social Bookmarking[...]



National Embroidery Month

2010-03-10T03:45:00.260-08:00

Along with hearts, groundhogs and dead presidents, February is a month to celebrate embroidery. Here are some pointers to tempt you into picking up needle and thread and making your mark on fabric.Embroidery has existed for centuries as a method of adding decoration to both clothing and household goods with needle and either thread or yarn. Occasionally beads, mirrors, or pieces of metal or bone are also used to vary the texture, reflective quality, or shape of the piece. Traditional patterns of flowers, animals, or symbols existed in different communities, almost as a way of identifying the wearers with their locale. Hi! I'm Dutch -- you can tell by the tulips on the hem of the skirt.In its simplest form, embroidery starts when we draw or trace a simple outline pattern onto fabric, then stitch over these lines with a back stitch, which creates a solid line in thread. The most common current version of this would be popular redwork. Katie Aaberg shares some cute and simple examples of redwork that she will incorporate into a baby quilt.NOT that back stitch embroidery has to be this plain -- though it's always this simple. Check out Jenny Hart's awesome collection of alternative embroidery designs at Sublime Stitching. From skulls to takeout food to artists' series -- oh my! I love the modern edge to her patterns paired with such a classic stitch form. Don't you?Stepping up the difficulty scale just a bit, we move from redwork to blackwork. Blackwork again uses simple stitches -- a running stitch, a double running stitch, or, again, a back stitch -- worked evenly over threads. Because of its even-patterned nature, the important thing when doing blackwork is to carefully choose a background fabric with a even weave, such as linen. Britain's Embroiderers Guild has a charming blackwork project using a variety of threads to create foreground, background, movement, and depth.From simple back stitch and running stitch, you can move on to buttonhole stitch, straight stitch, French knots, and the Lazy Daisy. You can consult YouTube for lots of great, simple videos that demonstrate embroidery stitches.Once you get a handle on just a couple of these stitches, you may begin to see the whole world in patterns, repeats, knots, lines, texture. Everything can be rendered into embroidery.My favorite form is an idea from Embroidery Guild's online project resources: Encrusted Calico. (In Britain what we Yanks call muslin, they call calico.) Encasing simple items such as beads, plastic rings, or metal washers between two layers of muslin/calico, then playing with layers of stitches on top provides a rich and wonderfully textured surface. I've used these playful pieces as small purses, pockets and pins.What others are saying about National Embroidery Month:The City Sage created a montage of Etsy makers who embroider.Needles and Words declared that as part of National Embroidery Month, Saturday, 2/20/10 was another Stitch In Public day, though apparently a number of chapters of the Embroidery Guild chose to celebrate this on the first Saturday of the month.Crossposted at BlogHerMarie Grace thinks a the celebration is great -- it's given her an excuse to embroider for a whole month.Sheri at cafemom shared several of her favorite links to projects.Intrigued and want even more? Check out Sharon B's PinTangle for a great collection of patterns, stitches, and ideas for incorporating stitching into your life.photo credit from debra roby's flickr stream.I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.Social Bookmarking[...]



Craft Room Design and Repurposing

2010-03-05T08:17:00.518-08:00

crossposted at BlogHer

The buzz started even before the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics ended. Who crocheted the hats some members of the Swedish team wore as they entered the event?



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National Sewing Month: ReMake

2009-09-17T10:22:30.684-07:00

crossposted at BlogHerThe themes of National Sewing Month are to ReUse, ReMake and ReStyle. This week, I will be looking at ideas and inspiration for ReMaking items. EVEnl shared a great ReDo of a Tshirt shrug at Cut Out + Keep. With just some simple cutting, sewing a casing and adding some ribbon, we get the basic shape. Take a look, though, through the project gallery. By adding lace, yo-yo florets, diffrent ribbon styles -or even simply changing where the shrug is tied- different looks are created. LOVE.JoAnne's Fabrics offers a free pattern for a felted laptop sleeve (pdf). While the directions call for using store-bought felt, I want to make one of these from a felted sweater. Diane Gilliland wrote a good basic tutorial on Felting Sweaters for CraftStylish. And if laptop sleeves aren't your bag (ooo bad pun), ThreadBangers has a nice round up of felted sweater projects including Leethal's own wool boots tutorial on craftster. Nik at {appliance} came up with a great project: using 2 large scarves, she designed a wonderfully wearable scarf dress. You might not have enough time to create your own and enter the project sponsored by Sewing Republic and Burda Style (my challenge would be finding the scarves) but then maybe you do. Kristen at Thimbly Things has been remaking clothing into skirts. First she made her Happy Friday Skirt from a dress, then she turned J. Crew pants into a skirt, too.Got Neckties? About.com's Family crafts offers this great little project to turn an unused necktie into a small purse or cellphone case. (hat tip to Sweater Surgery for the link.)Cassandra at Dandelion Bones seems to be taking the theme of ReMaking very seriously. She's reworked the same tank dress two times. Or is that three?? After completing the project once -and wearing the dress one day-she determined that it needed some reworking. So she cut off the skirt, improvised a new design and started sewing. Then:There came that point where I was sewing along, perfectly proud that I was constructing without a pattern to guide me, and I stopped to flip the skirt right side out. One side was wonky. I had somehow pleated the length that should not have had any gathers. For a moment I was ready to quit, and I actually turned my machine off, unplugged it, and threw the "skirt" aside. I pouted for a minute, but I just couldn't bear the thought of that fabric going to waste, and I picked it up to look again. The solution was simple. It did involve a bit of seam ripping (which I just do not like at all,) but it didn't take long, and I revved the machine back up and finished.The final project is so cute, that I'm sure she's glad she took the time to make it just what she wanted.And finally, check out all the blogs that MaryAnne at Thrift Craft Mama highlighted in Favorite Sewing Blogs post.I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.Social Bookmarking[...]



Craft Tutorials: Simple, Scrappy, and Quirky

2009-09-11T09:47:00.217-07:00

Crafty Tutorials. Whenever I ask individuals what they want in a post, the loudest answer is always: MORE TUTORIALS. I spent some time scouring through some of the tutorials I've filed away and think this assortment of old and new items are perfect to share this week. Most are simple items, many use scraps and small bits of this or that. Cleaning your workroom? These might inspire you to use some of what you have. Need a quick pick-me-up craft that doesn't take much time? You'll find that here too. There is even something for after your project is finished.Read through and tell me which are your favorites?I remember making Paper Mache Bowls in school. With all the cuts in funding, I'm not sure that this type project is being taught anymore, but Jamie Ervin wrote a thorough tutorial at Crafting A Green World. These can decorated with paints, with words/images from magazines, with scrap fabric,wallpaper or wrapping paper. Anything to coordinate them to a decor or holiday.Browsing through Zakka Life, I found this old -but still charming- project for making a Japanese Crest Felt Coaster.Erin at Patchwork Underground found a great way to turn several scraps into a sexy leather halter top. Concerned because she's using animal skin? While Erin eats vegan, she explains:Anyway, it’s for these reasons that I never buy new leather. I usually get it second hand. Politics aside, it is a superior material in a lot of ways and I figure it’s better not to waste it once its already been created. (Yes – people do see me wearing it and no - they don’t know that it’s recycled and, yes, this theoretically does encourage other people in their consumption of meat/leather products. No comment. Don’t really know what to do about it.)My one request: Please, if you’re going to use this pattern, DON’T use brand new leather that you bought anonymously from the store. Find it, recycle it, hunt it and tan it yourself -whatever. Just be connected to and ok with where it came from. Or, heck, use the fake stuff. =) Is it a wrap? A skirt? A cowl? This pattern can be worn several different ways-which makes it not only gorgeous, but one of those very versatile pieces. Uma Joy knit Myriad and shares the pattern with us. How many ways can you imagine wearing it?At Leethal Quick Knits, Leethal is offering monthly quick knit kits to make quick and small objects. What can you make with her small quantities of yarn? While she will include a pattern suggestion, one of the obvious items to make are some of these little knit bracelets. I bet even I could knit a couple of these up in an evening (knits-slower-than-molasses-in-winter should be knitting name!) Then spend another evening adding pretty details with contrasting yarns. I see a quick car project here!While we're on knitting, Lee Meredith created this funky thing - a fingerless glove-scarf-fingerless glove combo that is adorable and just quirky enough to appeal to those among us who are "hard-to-please"/individualistic in our fashion choices. Or just plain practical (I lost 2 pairs of fingerless gloves last year - but I bet if they were attached to a scarf I wouldn't!). Knitty liked it enough to publish it! Do you think Entwined is charming or just too strange for words?VenusZine has directions for a Key Hole Necklace. As Justina Blakeney explains:If you're anything like me, your jewelry box consists of single earrings, broken necklaces, and beads from bracelets past. With a new season in full swing, it’s time to resurrect those stray pieces into a sexy necklace that'll cost you a just a couple of dollars and about 20 minutes to make.At I Love To Create, Allee Marderosian created custom lunchbags- using fabric dyes, paints, and gems. These are sturdy enough for a child to take to school, and pretty enough to grace a work desk.If you make any of these fun crafty projects, you just may wish to share them on y[...]



Welcome Back Macrame!

2009-09-08T02:34:00.952-07:00

I've followed a number of the crafty trends during my life: crocheting granny squares into afghans and vests in the early 70s; needle pointing medevil scenes of unicorns and princess later that same decade. Moving to cross stitch when the monotony of filling backgrounds on needle point wore old. Quilting when cross-stitch lost it's challenge. Knitting when quilting finally stopped developing new things to try.Crafting, like fashion, ebbs and flows. One obsession gives way to another. Since really there are no new crafts -merely new ways to look at them- it's not surprising that eventually every old craft is new again. With quilting slowing down, knitting apparently holding it's own as the current juggernaut of the crafting world, I was wondering what crafts will emerge soon from the past to become the shining star of the future.And how will those old crafts be re-interpreted?About this time, ebogie shared some jewelry she'd made and reminded me of old times when she said: Hemp Is Back!With the anniversary of Woodstock, and more people going green and natural, I've noticed that hemp jewelry is being worn more. In the college town where I live, I see it on many of the students.What struck me about the pretty bracelets she'd made was NOT that they were made from hemp -very pretty, BTW- but that they were made by macrame. According to Wikipedia,Macramé or macramé is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of hitching (full hitch and double half hitches). It has been used by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms to decorate anything from knife handles to bottles to parts of shipsThank goodness this definition says nothing about the thick nylon and acrylic cords tied into owls and plant hangers in the 60s and 70s. Anyone who lived through that is probably running in panic from the word. The definition places macrame in it's wider context. With knots, one can manipulate tension and shape in strands of fiber. This change in tension lets knotted textiles undulate and flow in ways that are difficult to achieve through weaving or looping (knitting or crochet).Futuregirl admits that she is Under the Sway of Macrame Owls. She'd seen mention to macrame projects on blogs and websites in the recent past (come to think of it, so have I), and vaguely thought she should do something. It wasn't, however, until she hit upon some vintage crafts books that these vague feelings turned into an obsession:Well, I had ignore the bee for most of the week because I had zero time to devote to macramé owls. But then Friday night I was able search around and try to find a macramé owl pattern. I'd decided to make one with embroidery floss as an homage to friendship bracelets. I was a little surprised (and a lot crestfallen) to find out that making a mini macramé owl wasn't an original idea (this one is cute and these are amazing). But after a couple moments of "aw shucks," my initial enthusiasm came back.Note her word: mini macrame as that seems to be the way that macrame is manifesting itself this time around. Rather than the super-thick huge decorations I recall from the past, knotting is now being done with hemp, cotton crochet thread, embroidery floss. Thin, small, delicate fibers that make for charming delicate accessories. Craft offered a pattern for an IPod Cozy, there are several online tutorials for making friendship bracelets similar to ebogie's. Micro macrame jewelry-adding the curving, softening nature of knots to beads and other harder jeweled items- appears to be a growing accessory field.Celtic Dream Weaver is tapping into the growing macrame vibe as Something Different:I had been thinking awhile about trying my hand in micro macrame'. I might even do some designing on my own eventually once I start to feel more comfortable i[...]



What HAVE I Been doing?

2009-09-05T09:31:33.956-07:00

It's really been a couple weeks since the last time I posted? I'm surprised. It really doesn't feel that way.

I've felt a bit unfocused the last couple weeks (is it the weather? possibly -it's been hot; the alignment of the stars? Sure, why not. other stuff interfering with my concentration? Most definitely.) but I still thought I was at least managing to cut and paste my BlogHer posts here every week.

Another FAIL. Oh well.

What have I been doing? I wish I could say that I've been accomplishing a whole of stuff.

  1. I made a fun crown to wear at a friend's 60th birthday party. A couple evenings of just have fun creating!
  2. I discovered that my camera needs repair. The lens-she is breaking. Want to find a local camera shop to help me determine if it's worth fixing.
  3. I've gotten back on the sock knitting train. Don't know why I took most of the summer off. I need this one pair of socks done before the weather turns.
  4. I've been writing. Not a whole lot that I can point to at the moment- lots of draft work and guest blogging and such.
And I'm studying for a new certification. It's not hard work-but takes time to understand and internalize. God, some days my brain feels so old!


I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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Street Fairs and Such

2009-08-29T06:59:40.538-07:00

(crossposted at BlogHer)Last Saturday I spent a couple hours walking downtown Oakland where the Chinatown Street Fair has being held. The notice had mentioned a number of craftspeople- I was curious to see who showed up and what they offered.Walking the the several blocks closed (mostly) to traffic, I spotted a wide number of booths selling specific manufactured products and local services, there were only a couple stands offering anything that I would interpret as "craft". All were mainly jewelry booths and the items still appeared to be manufactured elsewhere; the street-fair sellers were only the final retailers. I enjoyed the experience for it was- a chance for individuals to sell their goods and services in a specific market- but did not stay as long as I had anticipated.I was disappointed. This disappointment extended to the next day when I had planned to head into the city for another street festival: Rock/Make which sounded much more like it would offer my idea of vendors selling artisan crafts. When I awoke to cold wind and fog that did not clear, Saturday's disappointment made it harder to spend the time and energy to head into the city for a questionable experience.I stayed home. And I'm still regretting it. While this is nearing the end of the festivals that pop up in cities from early spring until often late in October, holiday craft fairs are just around the corner. How do you decide which ones are worth while and which ones can be ignored?For me, the first decider is always a balance of the ease of getting there and time involved. Do I have to drive, or is mass-transit easily available? Can parking be found easily and without costing a lot? If I'm likely to spend half a day or more at a location, I'm more willing to consider the activity. However, if it takes me an hour to get somewhere and I spend only an hour or so there? So not worth my total time spent. I have to knead out the time value from often very vague words in the advertising. Which often makes it easier to simply dismiss the idea.After the time/distance considerations, I look at the cost. Is it free or do I need to start with an admission fee? While admission often insures a quality experience, it also decreases the total money that I have to consider spending on crafters/artists. Are the vendors juried in? Judged? Or simply added by their willing to pay their own entry fee? The third determinant is rather vague. What is the day/weekend/week like? Have been stuck indoors and would welcome any excuse to walk among a crowd for a couple hours? Is it raining? Will it take place in a building that is likely to be hot, overcrowded, and too noisy? Am I going alone or with someone?How do you decide which fairs and festivals to attend?In Related News:The NYTimes has found that many unemployed individuals are turning to their crafting hobbies to help make ends meet. They are calling these news business owners "accidental entrepreneurs."Anna at Knit-Write agrees with me, however, that some days are for street fairs.There were no fiber artists this year – there never are (which is, perhaps, a niche I could take advantage of), but there was an incense maker whom we talked with for a while. It’s always very pleasant to meet other paganfolk. And a broom and candle seller we know from the flea market was there – they had their little doggy as well, and Tommy and the yorkie got to play while we visited. We came away with happily renewed acquaintances and some candles and incense that smell lovely!Eva T. remembered past summers fondly but is Falling for Fall at the tail-end of Summer:As a young adult, even without summer vacation (and with thefrustration of being stuck behind a desk at a boring day job when Ilonged to be out in the sun) I still liked summer best. The weatheralone was reas[...]



Garden Crafts -Inside and Out

2009-08-24T01:23:00.809-07:00

(crossposted at BlogHer)It's a funny time of the year. Gardens are coming into full-force summer production yet many gardeners are looking forward to shorter days and the end of the growing season. My attention is being pulled both outside and inside with the desire to stretch the good feelings from gardening and to stretch out the year.What to do? One simple thing is to look for crafty ways to bring my garden inside so that I can enjoy it in the future. Or I can bring crafty fun outside to enjoy in the garden now.OUTSIDE INFlower Pounding: I'm ready to get some fun rewards from my garden to make this year not feel like a total waste (after all gophers have eaten everything in my veggie beds. EVERYTHING). One fun things that I've seen and read about but haven't done is flower pounding. Did you know you can use a textured fiber (like watercolor paper or fabric), choose the right kinds of flowers or leaves, and pound the color from the flowers into the fiber?At Dave's Garden, Kathleen Tenpas asked: "Flower Pounding, gardener’s stress relief or dyeing with your garden’s bounty? Ah, perhaps a bit of both." After giving great directions for treating fabric, Kathleen goes on to explain the flowers to choose:Not all flowers are suitable for pounding. Flowers with particularly thick petals such as tulips don’t work well as they tend to smear. Flowers with many petals such as roses need to be take apart so that you can pound the petals individually. Daisy like blooms need to have their centers removed and all flowers need to have stems, calyxes, pistils and stamens removed. White flowers don’t work as they have no pigment to impart to the fabric.Flowers that work particularly well for this include phlox florets, single roses or rose petals, single impatiens, pansies with as much of the back removed as possible without destroying the flower (this takes some practice), hardy geraniums, St. Johns Wort, Forget-me-nots, any flower that can be flattened without losing the integrity of the bloom. The best time to pick the flowers is after the dew has dried, but before the heat of the day. New blooms have more color than older. You can also use leaves, and newer leaves pound much better than older, although as they age, you get the veins and edges and that can be interesting. Autumn leaves will pound out interestingly, the colors being old, but newly released form the covering of chlorophyll.Wendy from Build/Make/Craft/Bake demonstrated how to make beautiful botical prints in Hammered Flowers and Leaf Prints. These prints on watercolor paper would make wonderful cards or gift tags. Start by going on a walk or visiting your garden to find leaves and flowers to work with. You're looking for things with bright colors that aren't too juicy or too dry. It'll take a little trial and error to find good plants, so start with a variety and play around. Then set up your work surface. You want a smooth, hard surface that you can hammer on and not worry about denting or getting messy. I used a plastic cutting board covered with a paper bag.Leaf Prints: If you're not up to pounding the pigment from leaves, you might appreciate CraftStylish's directions for printing napkins with your leaves.Lavender Sachets: One of the simplest ways to bring the garden in and preserve it is to dry some lavender blooms and turn them into a scented sachets. The Fab Miss B created a number of hand embroidery sachets last spring to give as gifts. The embroidery made each one distinctly charming:I'm not gonna lie. This project will take a bit of planning and time, but I was really pleased with the results. I'm so looking forward to giving these handmade sachets as gifts. They are simple but personal. I think when times are hard, a small thoughtful gesture that involves time and effort[...]



Re-fashioning with T-shirts. What's Your Style?

2009-08-10T02:30:00.628-07:00

Back to school is starting to infiltrate our psyches. And many creative souls will choose to refashion their "new" wardrobe instead of running to the stores to purchase all new gear. Ofcourse one of the easiest and most versatile items to refashion is the cotton knit shirt (often aka the t-shirt).What are some things that we can do?If you have a long-sleeved knit shirt to refashion, Jessica from Oh So Happy Together, designed this cute copy of an Anthropologie shirt."How cute!" I thought. Then in an instant, my mind starting going over how to do this myself with a long sleeve shirt. It didn't take me long at all. I used a jersey type of shirt, but you could use a cotton, etc. shirt. There might have to be a few adjustments though (such as finishing the top seam all the way around). I also added at the bottom how I made the headband from the extra material.I'm tempted to try the braiding technique cougaliciousx3 showed at Craftster. Fortunately, she pointed us to a video that explains how to do it: I think this braiding technique might let me create a t-shirt corset for Renaissance Faire and nights out. If not this, how about......HippieAtHeart's cute Corset Shirt on Craftster. This might be the answer for Renaissance Faire Wear! What do think? Cool and still appropriately stylish. And she made it just a few hours.Merlinda performed t-shirt surgery to make this adorable dress! Her LiveJournal directions are hand drawn and clear. I can see some older band t-shirts being turning into dresses for new concerts.Also on LiveJournal t-shirt surgery, dr. god (slugfever) offered directions to this cute top which combines 2 different t-shirts. Now for a couple things for the bottom half:logan figured out how to save a great t-shirt image by making t-shirt underwear. I'll admit I'm having trouble imagining how she did it, but luvinthemommyhood designed a pair of shirt sleeves to yoga capris from her husband's donated long sleeve polo shirt. She had earlier done the pants in a child's size and was challenged to create these for women to wear.yes, that's right, i made pants from a pair of sleeves. nuts? nope. fun? you betcha! i got so many comments about the first tutorial in this series (click here for the tute) stating that they wished they could make pants in an adult size, that i couldn't stop thinking about it. i remembered one day a week or so ago that my hubby had thrown this soft, blue cotton polo in his donation to my sewing pile and a light bulb went off in my head. the sleeves stretch! they could fit around my thighs, ok, possibly fit, so i tried them on. mackenzie had a great laugh, jer thought i was nuts, but i persevered. i love how they turned out.I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.Social Bookmarking[...]



The Culture of Sharing

2009-08-06T02:05:00.522-07:00

For several hours a day, I spend time exploring blogs, websites and occasionally a social network, seeking out the new and interesting stories and techniques. when i find something special, I'll often share it with friends on Twitter or Facebook. Before I became very active on these social networks, I might find something wonderful but was often at a loss for how exactly to share it with others who would appreciate it.

Bre Pettis, at I Make Things, wrote about the culture of sharing:
Beyond the annihilation of time and space, today's connectivity has gone the next step and made it possible for people to share anything to anywhere. The more passionate you are about something, the smaller the world becomes. ...
Right now we are seeing creativity and passion grow in a time when large corporations are failing. The future will be built by all of us and the culture of sharing that results from our individual and collective efforts.


I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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Fun Among the Crafty Blogs

2009-08-03T02:34:00.864-07:00

I walked into one of my favorite stores the other day (yes, Target! how did you know?) when I assaulted with back to school items already blessing the aisles. It's the middle of summer! If school starts soon, then fall comes soon, followed closely by cool weather and too many holidays. Holidays, by the way, that I need time to prepare for.To comfort my soul when I returned I went searching for fun times among the crafty bloggers. Fun- that's what the middle of July is supposed to be about. Want to see what I found?Have you been following A Robot A Day A Robot A Couple Tmes a Week? AnatomyofaSkirt turned the pressure down on herself by changing from once a day to twice a week after a year of making robots. She explains her reasoning: Robot a Day is part art project, a chance to build a robot army, and a bit of a laugh. It's a creative endeavour with a simple framework: make a different bot, twice a week.Not sure which is my favorite: the clown bot, the Plastic Canvas bot, the finger puppet bot, or the puffer fish bot. Browse through the collection, then tell me, which is your fave?--------------------------------------Have you heard of the gentle interventions being staged RockPool Candy called LET ME EASE YOUR DAY?LET ME EASE YOUR DAY takes yarn bombing and purposes it, encouraging people to create textile pieces, primarily in the shape of cushions and rugs to be left in public spaces: initially bus stops and park benches. Each cushion will bear the slogan LET ME EASE YOUR DAY and be secured to a bench with corner ties. Above the cushion will be a plaque reading:“LET ME EASE YOUR DAY. This cushion is here to comfort your journey. Should you feel you need to take it home, you may. Should someone have already taken the cushion, why not replace it and ease a stranger’s day?” There are formal rules for participating posted at the link, along with cities where "interventions" will be occurring in the future. I'm looking forward to helping out at a San Francisco function when that materializes. Crafty organizers join in!-----------------------------------Whip-Up shared collected links to a variety of shirt refashionings. Rather than copy them here, make your way over to Whip-Up and click though their wonderful links. The shirts - believe me- are all worth a gander.----------------------------------Last -but certainly NOT least- I found this clever project on Instructables for a very unique outdoor chair or bench constructed by Got2BSkilled. What makes it so unique? Got2B formed the basic couch shape from pavers (yes, bricks!) covered the structured with dirt and planted it with grass! The rain drained through, the grass is -he claims- cushioning, and all his friends love it. I just want to see how he mows it!I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.Social Bookmarking[...]



Sharing in a Crafty World

2009-07-31T09:24:32.062-07:00

(crossposted at BlogHer)Wednesday I shared several fun blog ideas with you. A great part of blogging -and writing about your blogs- is finding and sharing the unique, the exceptional, the brilliant among you. Now, we are all so connected that part of sharing is letting my entire social network know when I've found something. I've been trying to find the PERFECT system to both share links with people on Twitter or Facebook AND be able to find the link again for a possible blog post. So far, that search is lead me to all less than perfect methods, but I may have almost found a good solution.Several weeks ago, I had breakfast with Marie the Bee (from the Sampler). We talked craft and CraftCon, social networks and social tools. And Marie introduced me to Smub.It. Smub.it (funny name, that) is a method of sharing and bookmarking from any site using any device.Why is it exciting? I do not have a web-activated phone; but, if I did, I would be able to simply write "smub.it/" in front of any web address to save it as a bookmarks or to share it with friends through a social network or email. For those without the new IPhone (3?) is becomes a helpful tool. But, like I said, I dont' have a webphone. When I use the web, it's only on my laptop.There are plenty of bookmarking/ and link sharing applications, too. So why did Maria think I would want to this one? One benefit is that the link shared actually has meaningful words (unlike most tiny urls). As a reader, seeing this kinc of shared link allows me to decide before I click if it is something I might actually be interested in. When I share a link with you, you can decide too.For example, I admired a Knitty pattern for cabled fingerless gloves. Sharing it http://smub.it/debroby/cablefingerlessgloves. If you're a knitter following me on twitter, you can now decide to link. If you're an art quilter on Facebook, you can choose to move on.This is not enough to change to a new sharing/file system. However, look at that link again. It uses my name as part of the link. MY NAME will get associalted in your head with the sharing. For me, it means followers who know I've been writing on craft for BlogHer for 4.5 years, will have a higher level of expectation on that link. You will expect it to be a fun, unique, value use of your time (I hope) because I recommend it. For the indepdendant crafter -or any independant individual trying to create their "personal brand"- attaching a name, whether it is your own name, your blog name, or your business name- is another level of value for this product.Diane Gilliand also showed a value smub.it for bloggers with it's counts as a way to value the links.Still, the product is not yet a perfect organizing tool for me. I've been promised that in the future my bookmarks will be able to be organized in folders. IF/WHEN that promise comes through, this might be a great service me. I can find a link; share it immediately on Facebook, and still save it in folder named for a future blog post. Imagine finding that perfect kwanzaa project in August -or a tomato cage in November. Even using tags, I am not likely to remember -nor find- that link when it's timely to write about.I invite you try Smub.It and see if helps you organize your life and share your online world in a useful way with your community.OTHERS HAVE SAID:Tech Crunch's Robin Wauters wrote Smub Lets YOu Do All YOur Social Boomarking On The Go:I like Smub already, and I suspect that while the team clearly wants to make sure the service is mobile-friendly (it works particularly well with the iPhone) some people will be interested in simply using it on their computers. For those, the Smub guys added a [...]



Internet Finds #1

2009-07-19T14:12:55.081-07:00

Have you been following A Robot A Day A Robot A couple times a week? AnatomyofaSkirt turned the pressure down on herself by changing from once a day to twice a week after a year of making robots. She explains her reasoning:
Robot a Day is part art project, a chance to build a robot army, and a bit of a laugh. It's a creative endeavour with a simple framework: make a different bot, twice a week.
Not sure which is my favorite: the clown bot, the Plastic Canvas bot, the finger puppet bot, or the puffer fish bot. Browse through the collection, then tell me, which is your fave?



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