Tuesday, November 4, 2014

OMG! Super Cute Japanese Fabric Giveaway

I came across the cool website Japanese Sewing Books while I was looking around at some fabric online. It was happenstance the day I came across the website they posted about a fabric giveaway at Modes4u. Here's the fabric up for grabs:

I especially like the roller skate fabric!

I am a sucker for all things kawaii, so it was really fun to be introduced to Modes4u! So many things to squee about!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Eerily Literate Halloween Decorations

So, I finally got around to putting up Halloween decorations at work this last weekend. As always, our collection of decorations is a random assortment of collected items, including a few Dollar Store crows that are actually quite difficult to put on anything. I decided we needed to update our decor a little bit and went hunting on Pinterest for good ideas for Halloween decorations for the library.

I came across this picture:
from (of all places)

It was a decoration at a hairdressers, but I couldn't find ready instructions anywhere. So, I made up my own instructions!

1 hardback book
Flexible wire (I used 16 gauge galvanized wire)
Book paper
Dollar Store moss
Dollar Store crow
Wire cutters

Step 1: Drill out the corners of the book cover, making sure you go through the pages. I didn't drill all the way to the bottom.

Step 2: Add some more holes in-between the corners. I did 12 holes total.

Step 3: Cut 12, 2 foot long pieces of wire

I found my wire in a spool of 200 feet at Lowe's in the picture hanging section

 Step 4: Plant the wire in the holes and glue in place.

A better crafter could have gotten the wires to stay without covering them in hot glue.

Step 5: I needed something to keep all the wires corralled together and make a pumpkin shape. I cut an extra piece of wire and wrapped it around a fat brush to create a ring. A tapered brush handle is a must so you can get the wire off after it's wrapped. ;)

My ring:

Step 6: Feed all the wires through the ring. Then you slide the ring down where you want it and mess around with the wires until you have a pumpkin-esque shape.

Sorta pumpkin-y:

Step 7: To make the curly-cue tops, I used a glue stick (I had an abundance of these lying around while I was gluing wires in place). The glue stick worked perfectly as it was a good size to make tight curls and flexible enough to unwind it from the wire when I was done.

Step 8: So, now there is this cool bird cage, but the crow will still need something to stand on. I have made accordion flowers several times, but every time feels like the first time and it takes me FOREVER to remember how to do them.  Here's the tutorial I used this time. I used my 1" paper punch to make a center for the flower.

Step 9: Feed the crow's feet wires through the paper and fasten onto the paper.

Step 10: Add some hot glue and moss to the book cover, glue in the crow on his perch and you are good to go! The first one took me a couple of hours to figure out. The others took about a half hour each.

Monday, September 8, 2014

SLCC Costumes: Bob's Burgers

My husband and I attended the 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con dressed as Gene and Louise Belcher from Bob's Burgers. We had been thinking about costume ideas for several months, but nothing sounded right. A week before the comic con, we had decided not to dress up. While watching some Bob's Burgers, I realized how fun it would be to make Gene's burger suit.
I really thought of this more for Halloween as it was only a week before comic con, but then thought I'd challenge myself to see if I could get it done. My husband was such a good sport about agreeing to dress as Gene if I could get the burger suit done in time. I decided it'd be fun to go as Louise and the only thing I'd really need to make is her hat, so I set out to buy some felt!

Burger Suit:
I picked up a yard of felt in each color: tan, red, yellow, green. I followed this burger suit tutorial. I cheated with my cardboard and  used the base of my papasan chair (rough circumference of 22"). I cut my tan felt for the buns 2" larger and folded around the back of the cardboard. I hot glued around until there was a 6" gap remaining, and stuffed the bun with fiberfill (I used one large size bag of fiberfill).

Next came the cheese triangles on front and back to look like one square slice of cheese, then a couple of red tomatoes. I followed the tutorials recommendation and cut the green large enough to cover the entire surface of the cardboard to give the suit a more finished look.

My husband turned a yellow shirt inside out. We found a pair of jean shorts at a thrift store and red converse at Shoe Carnival. The shoes were the most expensive piece of this costume!

Louise's Hat:
I put this project off the longest because I dread sewing and I've never made a hat. I used this pattern which included a good video tutorial. I needed an adult medium, but I was using felt (which won't stretch), so I cut the felt out to the large size to have a comfortable seam allowance. To give the hat ear flaps, I added two inches to the bottom edge and cut away the face after it was sewn. To get the ears to stand up, I vaguely used this tutorial to wire the ears.

I used 18 gauge wire and molded it to the shape of the ears:

I used masking tape to cover the ends of the wire.

To make the ends of the ear flap, I tapered the ends and glued them together.

This costume worked out amazingly well. I went to the thrift store and found a great green dress to wear and got to wear my super comfy mary janes. I was surprised at how many people enjoyed our costumes and wanted pictures. This was my favorite costume so far.

Thanks, Bob's Burgers, for being awesome!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Making "masculine" cards with Some Odd Girl Stamps

I participate in a monthly card swap. It's exactly what you think it would be: we pick a theme, then meet each month to swap our cards. July's theme was "masculine" birthday cards.

I challenged myself to use the papers I had on hand, but allowed myself to purchase a couple of digital download stamps from Some Odd Girl.  I am in love with how their files work with my Silhouette cutting machine. I really liked the Mad Hatter Kody file and used it as my inspiration.

Since I was going for a mad hatter look, I went through my papers and found an Alice in Wonderland-themed paper that had been sitting around forever. I pulled out a few solid matching pieces and decided a checkerboard design fits with the Mad Hatter... as long as the checkerboard isn't uniform. 

I cut a bunch of 1" squares using my Cricut and glued them along the top 2" inches of a 4"x5" card. I cut 2"x5" rectangles out of my white rabbit paper for the bottom half of the card.

At first I thought I would use the entire Mad Hatter stamp, but I had to shrink it down so much to fit on the card that the image lost some of its affect.  I found that if I drew a box in the Silhouette studio, then inserted my image, it would mask the image in the box. It looked so cute I decided to go with it. I used the print and cut feature of my Silhouette to cut out the image, then cut a few more squares to tie everything together. 

My least favorite part of making a card is coming up with a sentiment, but I found this rather contemplative one from Lewis Carroll that seemed appropriate for a birthday card: "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."  A little heavy, perhaps, but I liked it, so I ran some patterned paper through my printer and voila! A masculine birthday card.

My wedding anniversary is also in July and since I was in a masculine-making-mood, I made my husband an anniversary card. I really wanted to use the Some Odd Girl Squeezey Hugs stamp, but I didn't want to end up with a super saccharine card. I thought for awhile of some way to have the card reflect our nerdy relationship. I thought that maybe some nerdy quote would help tone down the sweetness of the hugging stamp, and I came across this one that I thought was sweet and perfect: "I came across time for you. I love you. I always have." It's just so great. So, I printed that and put it on the inside of my card:

Then, using the same masking trick I did for the mad hatter cards, I printed and colored my stamp:

This is not what my husband and I look like at all. Nor is the fellow in the stamp supposed to be wearing a trench coat. But...I was modeling my colors after the character who said the quote and his love interest. Some pictures that I used for inspiration:

Yep. I made an anniversary card inspired by the 1984 movie, the Terminator.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Nerd Wars T11: Round 1

Nerd Wars is a group on It features a game to encourage crafters to complete projects and tie them back to the "nerdery" of their choice. For Tournament 11, I have left my beloved Shady Cels for the new Team Night Vale, based on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale.

In Round 1, I successfully completed all 5 challenges, earning me stop sign immunity for one year!

Challenge Category: Flexible Schedule: "unfinished greatness"

It’s a sad reality that sometimes, our favorite things remain unfinished. Firefly - cancelled tragically before it’s time. Glitch, sadly taken offline while still beloved of gamers. In this challenge, we pay homage to these unfinished great projects by finishing our own WIPs or doing a little stashbusting to realize the potential of some great fibers and yarns.

Craft Type: crochet 
Number of Projects:2 
Photo(s) of projectSk8 Warmers
Sk8 Warmers 
Parrot Headband 
Description of how project meets challenge: Picture one is of my WIP leg warmers. This project was begun in April. The first picture was taken June 20th when I picked this project back up this month. In the picture, the warmer one on top is complete and folded in half. The second one is at about halfway of the 64 rows. 2nd picture is the completed pair. The third picture is my 2nd project of a headband I created with the leftover yarn from my leg warmers, begun and completed in June. 
Team Spirit tie in (if desired): In Welcome to Night Vale, Episode 2 “Glow Cloud” a glowing cloud shows up over Night Vale. The Glow Cloud rains dead animals down on the town. It is described by John Peters-you know, the farmer? - as a cloud glowing in a variety of hues, possibly changing from viewer to viewer. Radio host Cecil recommends that Night Vale citizens use this opportunity to teach their children the names of colors. The yarn I used on both projects shifts from shade to shade and would be a great tool for teaching children colors. 
Photo(s) related to Team Spirit: n/a

Challenge Category: Nerdology: "sidekicks"

Every hero (and occasionally villains) have a close companion who is always there in their time of need. Nerds have always stood out as someone who is more likely to be the “sidekick” since they have the common traits of one, but still possess the ability to emerge as the hero once and awhile. Scully was Mulder’s connection to reality, Dr. Watson is Sherlock’s sounding board and occasional conscience. Andy Richter assists Conan O’Brien with his hosting duties, the list goes on and on.
This month craft something:
  • Inspired by a sidekick or their deeds OR
  • For your partner or “sidekick” OR
  • A pair of something
Craft Type: crochet 
Number of Projects: 1 
Photo(s) of projectCrochet Leaf Bookmark 
Description of how project meets challenge: I have crocheted a bookmark shaped like a leaf in honor of Legolas Greenleaf from Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (hi, Team Precious!). Not only is it a leaf, a nod to Legolas’ home in the forest of Mirkwood, but my cream leaf represents Legolas’ fine blonde hair with green beading for his most common attire, a green tunic. 
image title 
I consider Legolas a sidekick to Aragorn. Initially, Legolas is just one of nine that set out from Rivendell to destroy the one ring in Mordor. When the fellowship breaks, Legolas continues on with Aragorn, fighting beside him and helping with the various challenges Aragorn undertakes. The efforts of any good sidekick will result in the hero achieving some great goal. In LotR, Legolas’ efforts ultimately help Aragorn reclaim his throne in Gondor. Legolas’ sidekick status is beautifully portrayed in the movies the Two Towers and Return of the King; if Aragorn is around, Legolas is generally lurking just behind himimage title
Team Spirit tie in (if desired): My leaf bookmark reminds me of what a tree looks like, even when I’m not looking at a tree. In Welcome to Night Vale episode #35 “Lazy Day,” Cecil opens with the announcement “No one has seen the trees this week. Hopefully, they’ll come back soon.” 
Photo(s) related to Team Spirit: n/a

Challenge Category: Encyclopedia: "Volume L-Library"

This month, we want you to craft a project:
  • inspired by the thirst for knowledge, eg. draw on the muses and what they represent OR
  • inspired by libraries: the atmosphere, the architecture, the books OR
  • inspired by or made from the media stored in libraries such as paper (e.g. Plant fiber)
Craft Type: crochet 
Number of Projects: 1 
Photo(s) of projectStained Glass Scarf 
Description of how project meets challenge: My local public library features a permanent display of local artwork. Two pieces are stained glass windows. 
This one over the entryway: Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 3.08.25 PM
and this one in the Children’s Area: Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 3.08.36 PM 
My scarf is designed to mimic the look of stained glass windows.Traditionally, stained glass windows are created by small pieces of glass arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frames. The black border in my scarf represents the lead strips holding together colored pieces of glass.
Team Spirit tie in (if desired): Several people at the Knit in Public event I attended said the colored sections of my scarf remind them of eyes. Night Vale has a lot to say about eyes, but the green section eyes remind me of Night Vale mayoral candidate Hiram McDaniels. In episode 2 “the Glow Cloud” Hiram McDaniels is described as: “a five-headed dragon, approximately 18 feet tall, with mostly green eyes and weighing about 3600 pounds.” 
Photo(s) related to Team Spirit:n/a 
ETA: fix picture links

Challenge Category: Giving Geeks: "It Does a Body Good"

There are lots of people that exercise for charity. I’m sure everyone knows someone who has biked, walked, run, skipped rope, or swam and you have pledged to sponsor them to raise funds for a charity.
To meet the challenge this month, you can:
A) Sponsor someone who is biking, running, walking, or doing some other kind of sport for charity. 
B) Craft something inspired by a sport and donate it to the charity of your choice. 
C) Sign up yourself to bike, run, walk or do some other sport for charity or volunteer at a charity sport event. 
D) Donate to a charity that fights cancer or other bodily diseases.
If you are donating to, or signing up to participate in, an event, the event does not have to happen June 1-28 as long as you have proof that your donation or sign-up was sometime June 1-28.
Craft Type: monetary donation 
Number of Projects: 1 
Photo(s) of projectdonation 
Description of how project meets challenge: I donated to a good friend’s team in Relay for Life. Relay for Life is an annual event where participants walk, jog, or run around a track for up to 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society to fund cancer research. My friend will be walking the track at a local high school. 
Team Spirit tie in (if desired): The Relay for Life and Welcome to Night Vale logos feature similar designs. Relay for Life is a fetching purple color with a moon prominently displayed. The Welcome to Night Vale logo is also purple and features an eye-like moon. 
Photo(s) related to Team Spirit
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Challenge Category: Discovery: "Magnetic Attraction" 

Humans have been using magnetism to find their way across land and sea for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. Our compasses work because the iron in the compass needle is aligned to the earth’s magnetic field and always points to the magnetic north (and south) poles, a really useful tool when you are out hiking or travelling.
This month craft something
  • inspired by a place you have travelled to OR
  • which an explorer might use OR
  • which has a definite north and south or up and down
Craft Type: crochet
Number of Projects:1
Photo(s) of project:
Zombie 1
Description of how project meets challenge: I have crocheted a zombie amigurumi. My zombie is basically an undead human. Humans have a definite “up and down” orientation: head side up, leg side down. My zombie displays the correct orientation beautifully.
Team Spirit tie in (if desired): My zombie is dressed in a fetching tan jacket. In Welcome to Night Vale episode 14, Night Vale citizens report seeing a stranger in town, whom they refer to as the Man in a Tan Jacket. He is seen wearing a tan jacket and carrying a deerskin suitcase. The funny thing is, after they see him, Night Vale citizens can’t remember exactly what he looks like, or where they saw him. But they’re pretty sure he has a face. And he was definitely wearing a tan jacket…maybe? Secret Police officials are urging all citizens who see the Man in the Tan Jacket to write down what they see IMMEDIATELY.
Photo(s) related to Team Spirit:n/a