Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Little House

Dear Kelly,

Recently, I took a class at the local rubber stamp store, Rubber Chicken, from my good friend Lesley. We made wonderful little houses out of a prefab chest of drawers and then real live wood that we had to glue together. Mine is not finished yet, but here are some pictures.
The whole house (still needs doors that will be attached with little metal hinges):

Close-up of the roof (the shingles are from a ticket paper punch):

Close-up of the inside of the drawer (I used suede paper to line them):

I also need to put dividers in the drawers. In her sample, Lesley even had little plexiglass tops to go in some of the drawer dividers.

It was a fun day for me and I can't wait to finish it, although I think I'll wait until I can work on it at her house :)


Thursday, January 25, 2007

No snow, but...

Dear Shayne,

In these parts, we really don't get snow. However, we do get snowballs. That is... when I knit them!

Knitted snowball

I knit this snowball out of disturbingly soft and fluffy yarn. You know the stuff -- it feels soooo fun to touch and hold and rub against your face? Orrr... is that just me?

Nah. I know that the person I made this snowball for (Hi, Jan!) feels the same way, so I may be crazy, but so is this snowball's owner, so it all works out.

Here's a picture of me holding the little guy so you can see that he's a pretty good sized snowball for throwing:
Knitted snowball

And here he is, looking out my dirty window at work at the big machinery parked outside (he's going through a pensive phase, I think):
Knitted snowball

No snow out there, buddy.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Didn't quite make it in time

Dear Shayne,

A friend of mine is pregnant so I decided to make her a baby quilt. She's due in February, so I knew I'd be cutting it close, but I thought, "What the hey -- I like a challenge." Yeah, until some friends decided to throw her a shower. Right after I started on the quilt.

I knew I wouldn't finish in time, so I decided to make her a mini "IOU" quilt. It's 5"x 5.75". I used some of the fabrics I'm using in her quilt and the same basic layout. Then I machine stitched the letters IOU on it.

IOU Quilt

It was well-received at the shower and there were some good suggestions for alternative uses for it... a coaster, a washcloth, etc.

Of course, as soon as I made this little quilt, I had a feeling like, "Whew! Done!" and have barely worked on the actual quilt since then. Grr... guess I still need to finish that damned thing.

Or maybe the baby will be very, very tiny and the IOU quilt will be the right size for him? Yeah, yeah... finish the quilt.


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kelly's Birthday/Christmas Present

Robot Goes to Europe
Originally uploaded by Novelty Kitten.
Dear Kelly,

As requested here is a photo of your Birthday/Christmas Present: Robot Goes to Europe.

These are actually blown-up ATCs that I made to trade at Art Fest last year. I am a big crafting/gift giving cheater, but I do think they look great big and all together.

I hope you like Robot on her journey.


Randy is crafty

Originally uploaded by Novelty Kitten.
Dear Kelly,

Randy broke the power jack on this laptop (now mine), so he hard-wired the power supply. We call her "Bomby" because she does look suspicious all wired up like that. But Randy is crafty because she works just fine.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Button, button, who's got the...magnet?

Dear Shayne,

I've been working on several crafty things lately that I need to post, but I just wanted to take a moment to show off these magnets I made for my friend Bonnie. With my handy-dandy button maker, of course (god, I love that thing).


She requested the colors "eggplant and artichoke heart" to match her brand spanking new office. I'm not quite sure I hit those colors exactly, but she seems to like them, so my work is done.

Whee! Magnets! Anyone else want some? My button maker is on fire these days!


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Merry Craft-mas, the Final Chapter: my loot!

Dear Shayne,

I'm sorry in advance -- this is going to be an annoyingly loooong post because I want to wrap up Christmas and ring in the new year. Ready for it? Okay... here 'tis. "All the craftiness I got for Christmas this year" (by Kelly).

My darling Bill really hit it out of the park with his crafty gifts. I could bombard you with pictures, but I'll just use links. For my birthday, he got me... [I need a dramatic pause here cause I am so totally stoked about this]... a PRINT GOCCO! I can hardly believe it! He got the PG-11 (you can read about its specifications at this site, although Bill bought mine here). I'm super excited about it but I'm also stalled -- the possibilitiess are so overwhelming that I just don't know where to start. I think I'm going to make birthday cards but... what am I going to put on them?! What? What?! Ack! Oh, I'll think about it later.

For Christmas, I got wire cutters. Yay! Why is that exciting? Because it means I don't have to traipse down to the basement workshop every time I need to cut wire. I have my own and they will live upstairs! Whee!

To improve the quality of photos of my crafts (in theory), he got me a "photo studio in a box" (that’s the actual product name), which I am really not worthy of. Yet. It's already way better than what I was using before (the under cabinet lights in the kitchen), but I'm still experimenting with getting really good results from this thing.

AND (that's right... I'm not done) he got me this postal scale! So I can mail stuff straight from home without going to the post office! YEAH! I can also weigh other stuff (up to 55 lbs!) if I am so inclined.

AND (oh, yeah... there's more) I had asked him to buy me something from The Black Apple because I like her work and read her blog and she just seems like the sweetest thing. I only specified the artist, but asked him to pick out the print. He did a great job of picking one that is just my style, with both the kitty ears and the Ghost World reference. You can see it here. Me-ow! (Next crafty project for me: framing and hanging it!)

Whew! That's just my Crafty Goodness from Bill! There's more!

I got some great supplies from my friend Micki from her recent trip to Japan. First, some lovely silk kimono scraps...I'm not yet sure what I am going to do with them. In the meantime, I will spend quality time fondling:
Lovely kimono silk

She also got me some fabulous Japanese papers and cute little lucky cat stickers:
Lovely paper from Japan

Those papers were far more artfully packaged when I got them (the Japanese have such a knack for that), but I couldn't resist tearing right in and making a ton of buttons. (Okay, I really do need to start selling these things.)
Buttons made from lovely paper

(Note the difference between this photo of the buttons and my last photo of buttons... already, the light box is helping this neanderthal photographer.)

I got some crafted gifts as well. From Dawn, I got the most kick-ass towel you have EVER seen. Seriously... this thing rocks so hard, I can't even stand it:
Skull towel

(That's a crappy picture, but the skull applique totally rocks -- take my word for it!)

And from YOU, I got a great triptych entitled Robot Goes to Europe, but I cannot for the life of me get a good picture of it. I only remember to take photos of it at night and it doesn’t fit into my “photo studio”... sooo... can you post photos? Please?

It's going up in the office, probably this weekend! (Although I am a terrible procrastinator, so maybe not. But soon. Or sometime. Well, it will go up, I assure you.)

I also got a load of good stuff from Bonnie, including this sweet little ornament that she knit:
Knitted ornament

And these amazing earrings from a seller on etsy (they're incredibly well crafted -- that's thread wrapped around there... the technique is really incredible and my photos don't do them justice):
Earrings made from thread

Plus... these fantastic tomato letterpress cards that I had wisted, then forgot all about, from Paper Stories (another etsy seller). What a surprise to say, "Oh, yeah! I totally wanted these!" Hee hee.
Tomato letterpress cards

And, for the [still not finished -- how's yours going?] bathroom, this great soap dispenser that she hand-painted herself (this is not a very good photo of it -- see my earlier comments about my crappy photography skillz):
Skull-y soap dispenser

Nice work, Bonnie! (You spoiled me!)

Whew! I feel like I'm forgetting something, but there's the wrap up. Now that Christmas is done, what else am I working on? Oh, yeah, some ATCs and this traveling art journal thing -- you'll see photos soon enough. And some knitted projects for me! Yes, me! Oh, and those Gocco cards... just as soon as I think of a design. Right. Design. Any ideas?

And what are you working on these days, Miss Shayne?


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Merry Craft-mas part III: I knit some stuff

Dear Shayne,

I knit a few things for Christmas this year. In addition to the hat I made for Bill's dad (mentioned in this post) and my mom's napkin rings (which were a huge hit), I made some fingerless gloves that were similar to the ones I made for Dawn (but I didn't take a picture, for some reason... the new ones were blue, so just use your imagination...)

I also made these sweet little ornament sweaters for Bill's brother's family:
Tiny sweater ornaments

Dad, mom, and baby! They're tiny -- quarter shown here for scale...
Tiny sweater ornaments

And I fulled/felted (this is a long, boring question of semantics, but the correct term for turning knitted wool into felt by way of hot water and agitation is "fulling" and the popular term for it these days is "felting." I don't really get too hung up on these things, so if anyone is interested in correcting me even further on these terms, don't bother, cause I kind of don't care, as long as it all works out the way I wanted it to) a pair of slippers. That is, I knit them up really huge and then threw them in a washing machine and, by way of hot water and agitation, shrunk them down to a normal size:
Fulled slippers

I wish I had taken a "before" picture of these bad boys because they were over 2 feet long and absolutely gigantic but they shrank right down to a men's size 8. No matter how many times I do this process, it always seems like magic. I'll be sure to get a "before" picture next time I do it, so you can see what I'm talking about.

Unfortunately, all of the pictures in this post are absolute crap (the last one was taken in my parents' laundry room while the slippers were drying -- I didn't get a chance to de-fuzz them before I left, so they're still quite fuzzy here), but you get the idea: I knit some stuff.

Next post: awesome crafty stuff that I got for Christmas! Yeah!


Friday, January 05, 2007

Merry Craft-mas part II: He's crafty!

Blocks by Bill
Dear Shayne,

He's crafty - and he's just my type!

Bill is always saying that he doesn't feel right giving gifts from "us" that "I" made (although I couldn't do it without his support and input, I tell ya. /gush). So I tried to think of something for him to make this year. He's good with wood, so I suggested he make blocks for our nephew.

As you can see, they came out totally great.
Blocks by Bill

It was during my Christmas "crunch" (read:meltdown) and, after he got the wood all cut, he started asking me questions about stamping. At this point, I thought, "Where the >bleep< am I going to find time to stamp these things?!" (Nice Christmas spirit, eh?)
Blocks by Bill

After he asked me some questions and did some research on his own, we got the stamps and he went and got the inks himself. I'm still thinking, "Okay... if I don't actually sleep between now and when we leave, I'll be able to do this..." (Hoping for a Christmas miracle, I guess).
Blocks by Bill

Then he said, "Well, can you give me some tips? I'll try it out." So I did and he did and... he is the Best. Stamper. Ever.

Seriously. I have been stamping crap for 20 some odd years and it's still a "hold-my-breath-and-cross-my-fingers" affair every single time I do it. But Bill? He got it on the first try. He really is crafty (and just my type!)

And the best part? They were totally a hit:
Blocks by Bill w/ CJ

Everybody now: Awwwww!


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Merry Craft-mas: the cards

Dear Shayne,

I had a very crafty Christmas (both giving and receiving) which should make for plenty of blog fodder through the month of January!

For our first craft-mas review, I'll post the cards that we've already been discussing. First up, here are your cards, all wrapped up:
Fabric cards - all tied up

Aaaand... here are all of your cards with their matching envelopes (of course) and decorated glue stick (I know you already have a glue stick, but how could I resist?)
Fabric cards w/ envelopes - pinks

And just to bore you to tears with pictures of all of the other notecards I made, here are some more! There was a red set (not shown with matching envelopes and glue stick):
Fabric cards - reds

And a kind of wacky color set:
Fabric cards - wild colors

And here are a couple of sets with their envelopes (and glue stick). Black and white (and red) (gosh, I love parentheses):
Fabric cards w/ envelopes - black and white

And a sort of brown/orange/pink scenario:
Fabric cards w/ envelopes - browns and oranges

And then I made one set of cards for someone that I knew already had fabric cards (Hi, Bonnie!) so I stamped and embossed them. I love the way the embossing came out. Of course, I made the matching envelopes and glue stick (of course):
Embossed cards

One of my favorite parts of that set is that I had this matching ribbon already on hand. Yeah! Love that!
Embossed cards w/ bow

Oh, and the fabric cards are super fun to make -- here's an online tutorial from the book Denyse Schmidt Quilts.

All right! That does it for the cards that I gave away. I've got plenty more stuff that I made to show, plus some kick-ass stuff that I got!