Posts Tagged 'white'

Pear and pear alike, or why I like Twinkies

I love food.

I know you have to eat to live, but I kind of live to eat. So, to get me through that long stretch between breakfast and midmorning snack, I can wear my food instead of just dreaming about it.

Enter: Twinkie Chan. She has published an awesome book that I am sad I didn’t publish first. It’s a whole book of awesome food-shaped scarves, hats, and tissue box covers that you can crochet yourself, and it’s called Twinkie Chan’s Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies: 20 Yummy Treats to Wear.

Now, you can buy some of Twinkie Chan’s awesome scarves ready-made for upwards of $60 (try Amazon.com for example), but Ms. Chan also generously offers some of her totally kitschy and awesome patterns right here in this book, which you can buy right from Amazon for under $10! So, for those of us hungry crafters with less disposable income, we can still rock some fabulous inedible treats, hand-fashioned by “ours” truly.

I know I’m fixin’ to make myself a cupcake hat next. ;)

And for those of you who really appreciate a finely honed sense of humor, check out Twinkie’s hilarious crochet-themed rap video below. I, for one, totally want to be one of her posse….

Enjoy all! And happy fooding/crafting!

Boo.


Happy Rocktober everyone! I hope you’ve been having a nice lead-up to the year’s most spooktacular holiday!

I love this time of year, and I adore almost everything to do with Halloween, so I wanted to share this project with you. I’ve been taking a design course, and the above was one of our recent assignments.

We were asked to create a pictorial image using black and white construction paper, and tracings of any shape that we could produce with our hands. We could change the size of the shapes as we liked, and use as many cut-outs as we liked. And with my particular love of this otherworldly holiday, I could not pass up the opportunity to get my scare on :-)   I do apologize for the poor photography though. I am more of an opportunist than a planner when it comes to taking pictures sometimes…

But anyway, I got to thinking that this would be a really cool craft to do with kids. We all remember those traced hand turkeys we made in school for Thanksgiving, but this sort of project could be an interesting challenge for any holiday during the year. If a child can hold some kind of drawing implement, and if there is some construction paper/computer paper/old magazines/glue/scissors lying around the house, then you’ve got all you need for a festive and seasonal activity. Smaller kids might need a bit of assistance with cutting or gluing, but older children should have no problem doing this independently.

Kids can experiment with trying to trace as many different shapes with their hands as they can think of. And of course they can add a bit of color if they want to. Orange I am sure would be a particular favorite.  And plus, once kids have finished their projects, these little pieces of art can join the other Halloween decorations around the house. And kids will be so proud to show off their handiwork in their bedroom window, or in some other prominent location. It’s a win-win. The kids will have something fun and inspiring to do, maybe even sharing some social time with their friends or siblings, and parents might even get a little quiet time while the kids are actively occupied in their pursuits.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this project, and that you get to spend some good quality time with your little goblins this month.

Happy Halloween!

You…light up my life….

I’ve really started to love lamps in the past few years. They can add such personality to a room, and a whole lot of “homey-ness.”  That’s why I was so excited to see lots of lamp and light fixture projects in Mark Montano’s Big-Ass Book of Crafts. It was a major selling point for me in fact.

I made this lamp, with a few alterations, from Mark Montano’s clothespin lamp project in the above book. Pretty much all you need is a simple printout of an image that you like (goooo internet!), a couple of dollar store frames, a night light, and an extension cord (if it’s not a battery-operated night light). I also used some recycled posterboard (to make the sides of the lamp), white acrylic paint, and glue (Weldbond brand is awesome). Mr. Montano used clothespins to make the sides of his box lamp, which gives a kitschy pretty look, but I didn’t have any around, and I do love to use what I’ve already got around the house. If you want to see this project in in its original incarnation, please go find the book in your local craft store (or it’s less than $14 on Amazon right now!), or see Mark Montano’s blog post about the project here.

The hardest part about this project is getting the 2 wooden frames (the front and the back of the lamp), to stay the proper distance away from each other while you are gluing on the sides of the lamp. In my case, I was trying to glue thin recycled posterboard to the sides of the wooden frames, and it was tough going a few times. My best advice if you don’t have a 2nd pair of hands to help you, is to use books or stable heavy objects to prop the frames against while you glue. You can also use random found objects to place between the two frames to keep them from leaning in on each other too much. Heavy objects can also be stacked on top of the frames once the adhesive is in place to help keep the glued pieces from moving while they are drying. That way there should be less warping/migration as the glue cures.

The other difficult part of this project is cutting out a shape in the back of your frame to stick the night light into. Mark solved this problem on his blog by using some recycled cardboard to make the back of the frame. Even corrugated cardboard is easier to cut with a craft knife than the dense chipboard backing that comes with many frames. I did a pretty decent hack-job on the back of my frame trying to get the light in there at first. But, please remember, this is an extremely economical project, and, if the back of the frame isn’t so perfect, who cares? You’re doing this for the fun of it right?

Anyway, final tip: to get kind of a whitewashed “beachy” look on this lamp, I used a slightly dried-out thick white acrylic paint to coat the wooden frames and cardboard sides of the lamp. I brushed through it a few times with a rough bristly brush before it could fully dry to a smooth finish. The end :-)

Please let me know if you have any questions about this project, and go check out Mark Montano’s Big-Ass book! Trust me, your $14 would be extremely well-spent!

Cake, anyone?

I must admit I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately for my Wilton cake decorating classes.

After I graduated college,  I went through pretty much the entire run of Wilton courses at my local Michael’s craft store. I really enjoyed learning all of the techniques and recipes, and my teacher was wonderful. She has had her own cake decorating/wedding planning business for decades, and she was a fantastic teacher. I highly recommend seeking out Wilton classes in your area if you are interested in adding some pizzazz to your celebrations – and I promise that no one paid me to say that. I’ve made tons of special cakes for parties for family and friends since ending the courses, and I have a frighteningly large collection of specially-shaped cake pans now. If you need a 3D octopus or a rubber duck, I’m your girl….

In terms of the cost of the classes, Michael’s craft store had a number of special offers that made the classes cheaper for me (sign up with a friend, get your class for free when you buy the course materials, half-price tuition for the month, etc etc).  I think JoAnn’s craft store has special offers similar to that as well. And even if you can just use a 40 or 50% off coupon to purchase your course materials, the classes and/or the course books are pretty affordable. You’ll learn a lot, and you’ll probably never be satisfied with a store-bought cake again…

And another plus is, the courses are usually once a week for a month or so, and it’s kind of a nice social event where you can meet other like-minded craft-enthusiasts without too much pressure around work or school. But be prepared for weeks of eating practice cakes. I know, it’s tough, but someone’s gotta do it. ;-)

Above is a picture of one of my practice cakes from Wilton course 3, the fondant course. (I tried to crop out most of the kitchen debris that found their way into the background.) If anyone is interested or has any questions about my experiences with the Wilton classes, please leave a comment on this post, and I’ll be happy to talk about it with you.

Happy Summer everyone!

Cute Stuff Book Review

One of the things I really enjoy about a good craft book is getting a lot of good info in a small space, and therefore a lot of bang for your crafting buck.

I also like to be able to learn a lot just by flipping through the pictures. I’m a visual person, and I know that lots of you crafters out there are too.  Cute Stuff by Aranzi Aronzo satisfies on both counts. The colorful and clever images, and simple but cute craft ideas (and lots of ’em I might add) will keep you busy on many an afternoon.

To find out a little more about this wonderful book, please keep reading after the jump. Continue reading ‘Cute Stuff Book Review’


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