Archive for March, 2010

The “State” of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, or Love that Dirty Water…

I know that the following isn’t about crafts, but sheesh. I simply could NOT let this day go by without addressing the soon-to-be-legendary weather patterns Rhode Island has been experiencing.

So, for those of you who may not know, the state of Rhode Island is sitting under basically a state-wide puddle this evening. We’ve had 15″ of rain for the month of March this year, which breaks the March record for the state as set back in 1955. According to the Associated Press, the state is expected to experience the worst flooding that the state has seen in 100 years. And boy it looks like they’re right….

We’ve had two major rainstorms in 2 weeks, and it’s still raining now as I type this. I myself have spent a good deal of time bailing water out of the basement in the last 24 hours, but I certainly haven’t had the awful experience that some Rhode Islanders have. I haven’t had to be evacuated from my home, I haven’t had flood damage to my business, and I haven’t had my parked car surrounded by water up to the middle of the door.

I’ve been really lucky, but I am sure that I will remember this crazy event for the next 50 years. And in that vain,  I took a number of photos from the places I went today around the state. I hope to look almost nostalgically at these photos years from now (long after the flood waters have receded). To see more of these images, please continue after the jump. And also, to get you in the mood for these photos, I have included a link here with the song that has ironically been stuck in my head ever since I started scooping water from our cellar floor around midnight last night. I know, my subconscious has a phenomenal sense of humor… Continue reading ‘The “State” of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, or Love that Dirty Water…’


Another of my great crafting loves is polymer clay. With polymer clay, you can make jewelry, household items, wall art, picture frames…the list just goes on and on. There certainly are wonderful tutorials out there on the internet also. It is always amazing to me just how generous the crafting community is in sharing it’s knowledge with each other. On that note, I made the above octopus by following this tutorial.

However, it was pointed out to me that the “octopus” on the tutorial only had 6 legs, thereby making it a “hexapus.” But though the hexapus is pretty adorable, and unique (and it’s ridiculously fun to say “hexapus”), I did put 8 legs on mine. Oborochann (who wrote the tutorial) certainly did make a much more finished-looking product than I did anyway. So, however many legs you feel like doing, go for it. Make a pentapus or a decapus if you are so inclined…

Oborochann was totally right that putting the mouth on the little guy was the hardest part of the process. I must have wiped the grin off his face (literally) about 6 times before I considered it done. And I’m still not sure what I am going to do with him. I don’t have the type of phone that I would really put a charm on, and he’d be kind of awkward as a pendant. Maybe he’d make a good pull chain on a lamp…Any suggestions?

Tray-ed ya!

I don’t know about you, but, when I craft, I completely take over some part of the house. I take my gigantic mass of supplies and just spread them all over dining room tables, floors, couches, or whatever else is handy (or currently empty).

But, while this method may make perfect logical sense to me, it may not always improve relations with those with whom I live.  So, having a portable craft station that’s easy to relocate when I’m ready to take a break can be of tremendous help.

Take for example, the above tray.  It is just about the perfect size for a half-done crocheted hat, a skein of yarn, and an instructional pattern book. And when it’s time to stop doing your craft project for a little while, you can just pick up the tray and you’re off to your next destination. And then people can actually eat at the dining room table.

Also, the tray itself can even BE a craft project. To see how I made the above tray, please keep on readin’… Continue reading ‘Tray-ed ya!’

Bead Fantasizing (and a sorta/kinda book review)

Beading was one of my first genuine craft obsessions.

Like many other kids, I made a pile of giant plastic bead bracelets back in the day. But I think that the real manic bead nuttiness started on a day trip to New York City when I was a pre-teen.

On that trip, I saw some very simply constructed seed bead necklaces being sold in a high-priced boutique for absolutely ridiculous prices. The cheap-o in me was already clearly established by about the age of 10, so this situation horrified me. I vowed – on principle – to go home and make the necklaces myself, for a reasonable, and vastly cheaper sum.

And so it began. I remade the New York necklace in every color, then I changed up the design. I started to buy book after book with beading patterns and tips, and I became hopelessly hooked. God help me now if I ever end up in the vicinity of a bead show. As cheap as I am, I think I understand a percentage of what substance abusers or uncontrollable gamblers must feel in the presence of their chosen vice. Me at a bead show is a little like Gollum in a store full of “precious” rings.

But, like many other insatiable crafters, I frequently buy obscene amounts of craft supplies, hoard them forever and ever, and forget the original thing I had in mind when I bought them.

So, in revolt against my hoarding-but-not-doing tendencies, I dug out one of my old beading books this weekend. I finally got to put some of that obsessive craft energy to use. To find out more about the project above, please read on after the break. Continue reading ‘Bead Fantasizing (and a sorta/kinda book review)’

Let’s sweat!!!

Do you guys ever have projects that don’t turn out precisely how you were expecting? I know that I do. Take for example “Richard Simmons” lion – as he has come to be known – above.

I started out trying to make just a plain amigurumi lion like Tamie Snow’s from her book, Tiny Yarn Animals. I can assure you though that Tamie’s version looked nothing like the famed owner of the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” franchise. But I hardly even changed anything the pattern! I mean, I didn’t make him yellow and pink like Tamie did, and I did add some more hair to his coif. And, I did try doing that “brushed yarn” thing on his “do.” So no, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly as written. I added some ears too…NOT that you have any chance of seeing them behind his hair…

Still, the point remains that none of that was done with the express purpose of going from this (picture courtesy of the back cover of Tamie’s book):

to….well, this…

So, who thinks that I need to make Richard Simmons lion a red sleeveless shirt and some stripey shorts?

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