Thursday, October 30, 2008

Craft Show Saturday

Dear Kelly,

I'm guessing you can't make it, but just in case we have some readers who are local over here on my coast, I thought I'd share...

DC Craft Mafia (of which I'm a member) will be hosting their 2nd annual craft show on Saturday. Details can be found at

Man, I've got a lot of stuff to get done in the next day.


Last minute Halloween costume

Dear Kelly,

The craft train actually made a stop here on the east coast, but it probably should have gone right through.

Sam wanted to be Indiana Jones for Halloween. The premade costumes are crap:

So we bought different pieces here and there. Brown pants from Target. A button-down shirt from Burlington Coat Factory. My mom just had the messenger bag mailed to us and it arrived today. Also, she found an official hat (actual proper, wool hat - not that crappy hard felt stuff from the costume store) at a Cracker Barrel. And I found a brown jacket at Good Will for $4.00. Here is the jacket as purchased:

I don't know what's up with the ugly face, but you might be able to tell that the sleeves are too long, the length overall is too long and the lapels are bigger than they should be. So, like any good crafty mom, I sat down at my sewing machine and shortened the sleeves and the hem and I did a little bit of folding over with the lapels.

I made it too short. It's more like a bolero jacket. But it'll do for one day. And this was definitely easier than two years ago when I made Mr. Pickypants an Obi Wan Kenobi costume.

Now I have to get cat fur off of the hat.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WiP: Creepy Pumpkin Girl

Dear Shayne,

A few days shy of Halloween and I am almost finished with what I've been calling my "Creepy Pumpkin Girl." I am almost done embroidering her -- I think I'll make her into a pillow.
WiP: Creepy Pumpkin Girl
(Her dress is dark purple, but I didn't capture that very well in the fading light this evening...)

I originally spotted this gal at the terrific crafty blog of Early Bird Special (if you click on that link, you will see a much better version of what I'm showing you here).

The pattern is freely distributed here by the amazingly talented Andrea Zuill (check out her Etsy shop, badbird -- I especially love the bunny prints: Flopsy Chooses to Fly, Few Know Mopsy's Secret, and Fluffykins hates gum. Hee hee! Bunnies!) I feel like my work is not doing justice to Andrea's original print, but I'm pretty happy with her.

The biggest thing I have left to do is my favorite part of the design: the bat on the front of her dress. Unfortunately, I think it would best be done in satin stitch and I am horrible at satin stitch, so... ack.

I also need to add a line in her face that I somehow missed and add some yellow glow inside of her head. I tried to stitch it in earlier, but it looked awful, so now I am thinking some kind of fabric markers? Hrm.

I hope to be done with the embroidery in time for Halloween this Friday, but the pillow? Well, there's always next year...


PS -- I just watched this awesome satin stitch tutorial from Needle n' Thread. Armed with new tips, I am now excited to go finish my girl's bat!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kinda crafty: labels

Dear Shayne,

The Craft Train has been a bit slow around here lately... I've been traveling a lot and that's been putting a bit of a dent in my crafting/blogging schedule.

But tonight I did a little something that I thought I would share with you... labels!

We grill a lot around here (and be "we," I mean "Bill" -- he's a Grilling Superhero, I tell ya) and we've been experimenting lately with a variety of rubs. The rubs we buy come in these little brown bags. Like this:

I have a delicate sense of smell, so this container is not nearly scent-suppressing enough for me when these rubs are in the pantry.

So I bought some jars at Container & Packaging Supply (great prices, low minimums, fast shipping. If you need containers, check 'em out.) Then I cut out the front of the label and used packing tape (Ooh! Fancy!) to slap them on the jars:

I also put the ingredients on the back:

I really got into it and did all of our rubs... whee!

FYI: I originally tried putting the rubs in recycled baby food jars, but the lids were impossible to get off -- perhaps because baby food jars are not meant to hold powders and the powder gets stuck in the lid threads. That's my theory, at least. The point is: baby food jars will not work for this craft.

Sheesh. Was this the most boring "craft" in the world? I'm sorry. I'll try harder next time. ;)


Saturday, October 25, 2008

My cousin = super crafty

Dear Shayne,

Have I ever mentioned my cousin to you before? He's an amazing artist -- I am so impressed with his eye for design and his meticulous craftsmanship. He's really got a way with wood.

He makes beautiful light sculptures and amazing furniture. You can check out his work at Stephen Day Design. (Seriously -- click there. When your jaw returns from the floor, come back and read the rest of this post...)

He recently gave me a cutting board that he made. It's so beautiful, I don't think I can ever cut on it. I may just have to hang it on the wall. Check it out:
My cousin made this cutting board.

Also? His business cards totally flipping rock! I love that the card is very thick and the edges are red. Snazzy!
Business card front

His logo is even pressed on the back. Lovely subtlety (in fact, not even sure if you can see it in this photo -- too subtle for this amateur photographer, I'm afraid).
Business card back

These cards are just fantastic to hold -- they feel so nice and sturdy in your hand. They're made by local letterpress company, Carrot & Stick. Check out their cards right there -- the designs are fabulous!

I just realized that this post was a two-fer: two amazing Oakland-based artists in one!


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Dear Shayne,

Yesterday, I took a class at The Nova Studio -- a great local place for taking all kinds of classes, mostly devoted to making your own bath and body products.

I made bath salts and two salt scrubs:
We actually don't have a bathtub, so I made the bath salts for Bill's mom. It's lavender, which is her favorite fragrance. Am I the only one in the world who doesn't like the smell of dried lavender? Blech. I think she'll really like it, though.

I'm a big fan of salt scrubs and I used one of these this morning. It worked great -- my skin is very soft today! I love being able to make my own, as salt scrubs are kind of spendy, but the ingredients are pretty reasonable. Also, this way I can pick my own scents. :)

The green one came out a bit more fluorescent than I had intended. The original product was yellow-ish and when I added blue dye, I got something radioactive looking. But it smells good and it works, so yay!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Craft the vote

Dear Shayne,

I don't think we've ever discussed politics here on this blog and, honestly, I don't plan to start. But I've made a craft and it relates to the upcoming presidential election, so I'm sharing it with you here.

I don't mean to offend anyone visiting our blog with a different political opinion -- I sincerely hope we can all still be friends.

As you know, I live in California; a state that is pretty much guaranteed to go to Obama in this election. But my mom lives in Ohio, which is widely acknowledged to be a swing state where the vote is very close right now.

So I did a little work to help the Obama supporters in Ohio. I made buttons to send to my mom:
Ohio for Obama buttons

My mom is a little cutie-pie that strangers totally flock to (Hi, Mom!) so if she can't convince someone to vote for Obama with her 1000-watt smile and free Obama buttons... well, they were voting for McCain all along.

I kept a few of these buttons myself, so if anyone reading this lives in Ohio (or if you know an Ohioan who would want a button), feel free to contact me and I'll send you one. If you don't want to post a comment, you can email me: onetomatotwo [at] gmail [dot] com.

If you can stand the Obama Craft Chat for a few more minutes, I have also been enjoying these Obama-related craft sites:

The Obama Craft Project -- People are producing some amazing work in support of this candidate. Even if you are not into the election at all, it's worth it to click on that to see what so many crafters have been making. I'm very impressed!

Yes We Carve -- A hilarious site dedicated to carving pro-Obama images into pumpkins. Everyone should check out that site because it's really well done. The puns (Barack 'O Lantern, anyone?) totally slay me.

Buttons4Obama -- for anyone who wants to make their own buttons, they've got templates at that link. I made my own logo for these Ohio buttons, but all of theirs are really lovely.

Again, I'm not looking to alienate anyone with these links -- I'm really just impressed with the craft that is being produced as a result of people's passion for this candidate.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Low tech solution for my new high tech gadget

Dear Shayne,

Have I ever told you that my sweetie is the best guy in the world? Well, he is. For many, many reasons. Most recently because he worked a little freelance gig and with the extra cash he made? Oh, he bought me an iPod Touch:

Wow. Now I have the internet in my pocket! Yay!
(Do you see that photo? It's our site! It's the internet in my pocket!!) (This photo does not do the loveliness of this little beauty justice, by the way.)

So I needed a case for it. While it was charging, I knit something up for fulling/felting. Essentially, you knit with wool very loosely, then run it through the washing machine with hot water and it turns to felt. Amazing!

Unfortunately, the Art of Making Felt can be a rather inexact science, so my first one was a little bit short:
Making a case for my new iPod Touch

Unfelted, my original was 3.5 inches x 5.25 inches. I think it's a little too wide, so my next try was 3.25 inches x 5.75 inches, pre-felting. Here it is, with the original one I made, for scale:
Making a case for my new toy

I'm going down to throw it in the washing machine right now... I'll let you know how it turns out!


Monday, October 13, 2008

We have a winner!

Dear Readers,

Can we get a drumroll, please? We have a winner of our Somewhat-late-but-hey-we-still-did-it 2nd Blogiversary Giveaway:

Our winner is...Meaghan!

Congratulations, Meaghan! We'll be contacting you shortly for your shipping address so we can put your goodies in the mail to you!

And for anyone who ever said, "Oh, I don't want to be the first person to enter a contest, because #1 never gets picked randomly," let Meaghan be a lesson to you: She was our very first commenter on the post and the random number generator chose #1! It truly is random! Yay!

Thanks to everyone who entered our little contest -- it's always great to hear from our readers. Stay tuned to this space, because we're sure to give more stuff away as time goes on. This is fun!

Shayne and Kelly

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Did someone say "giveaway?!"

Dear Readers,

Oh, that's right! We said "giveaway" and now we're finally here to make good on that promise. Giving stuff away is fun, so there will be more from us in the future, but this is what we managed to take photos of tonight before the light faded. (Sigh. Fall, we love ya, but shorter days make photo-takin' difficult...)

If you win, you'll probably get some extras thrown in. We're both long-time Sampler subscribers, so there's always plenty of goodies to spread around.

Now then! Let's get to the goodies!

First up, we have some general craft supplies...
Blog giveaway!
What you see here is:
- a stack of hand-made paper
- fun paper umbrellas
- Scrabble times (if you win, you can select the letters in your name, not the word "name") (Unless you want the word "name" of course... then you're welcome to it!)
- blank bottle caps (that is, unused and with no logo on the back)
- brand-new 60 inch/110 cm vinyl tape measure (inches on one side and centimeters on the other)

We also have some stationery...
Blog giveaway!
Above, you can see:
- awesome Wonder Woman postcards
- art cards from McSweeney's
- handmade paper envelopes
- Really beautiful Christmas cards from Cafe Cartolina (aside from kelly: I won these in a giveaway she had on her blog. They are totally beautiful, but I usually make my Christmas cards, so I am letting these go to a lucky winner here. Next week, I will show you the other cards she sent me -- these cards are gorgeous!)

Aaaand this great craft book (an unnamed one of us had two copies... how does that happen?):
Blog giveaway!

And, finally, some hand-made goodies:
Blog giveaway!
- pocket mirror (if you want another color, let us know when you win)
- 1" buttons made from Japanese paper

So, how do you win? Just leave us a comment on this post before Monday, October 13 at 5pm PDT (that's 8pm on the US east coast. Everyone else can check their time zone here.)

Two Things:
1. We will use the random number generator to pick a winner.
2. Blogger is not so great at including contact information for us when you comment, so if you don't also have a Blogger account, be sure to check back here on Monday, October 13 to see if you won!

As always, thank you so SO much for reading! We could just kiss you!

Shayne and Kelly

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hey, nic the dig! Where are ya?

Dear nic the dig,

In this post, I asked for captions for a photo of Kaesea and Biscuit and I said I'd send goodies out to anyone who made me laugh. That was you, nic the dig! You made me laugh right out loud!

As a refresher, here's the photo:

And here is your caption:

Biscuit: more photos?
Kaesea: At least you're not wearing a hat too...

I don't know why, but that totally cracked me up. Honorable mention goes to my BFF, Jenny, who had Kaesea calling Biscuit a "dumb fucker." Heh. That made me chuckle. He is a dumb fucker. And, yes, he'd probably try to eat that hat, if left to his own devices.

Unfortunately, I don't have your contact information, nic the dig! So email me at onetomatotwo [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll hook you up with goodies!


PS -- We mentioned having a giveaway this week and that is still in the works! We've been gathering stuff, but haven't found time to take photos. Stay tuned, as that may happen tonight...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Whew! Two baby sweaters: complete!

Dear Shayne,

I was shocked to flip back through the blog and see that I started these baby sweaters in March. At that time, I felt all ahead-of-the-game and pleased with myself because these twins were due in September.

Well, the twins came (Yay!) but the sweaters were not done (Ack!)

I finally finished them yesterday and will send them out tomorrow. The sweaters are very small and those tiny babies are growing, so they'll probably get to wear them for about one week. Sigh. At least they'll be wrapped in auntie lovin' for that week.
Two tiny sweaters: Twins!

I started them before we knew the genders, so I chose a neutral color. Now that our niece and nephew are here, I kind of wish I had made different colors. Oh, well -- this way, they can just swap between them, right?
Two tiny sweaters: Twins!

One sweet detail is the eyelet motif on the back which, "according to Eastern folklore, brings luck and protection to the wearer, no matter his or her size." At least, that's what the book One Skein claims. It might be a bunch of hooey, but I still think it's sweet:
Twins' sweater detail

These were kind of a pain to make -- too many seams for such small items. I used Blue Sky Alpacas' Organic Cotton yarn and it is reeeeally soft, which is nice. But it's also a detriment, since I don't think it would be very long wearing. While I was knitting with it, it actually broke a time or two (grr). Also, it's already got a pill-y sort of halo on it. So it's actually a good thing they'll only wear them for a week or so anyway.

It's a bolero-style jacket with no front closure. I fear that it will be irritating and useless to the parents who will say, "Why on earth would someone make this style of sweater for newborn babies?!" I hope that's not the case, but I have a dread of it.

Well, they were made with love. And also some annoyance. But mostly love. :)