Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Swap Part II

As seems to always happen I was getting down to the deadline and needed to crank out my post cards. I discovered that one of my side tables works rather well in front of the couch, score, and I set up my work station.

After sending Mother’s card I knew I wanted to add in a sky of some sort. The white was just too white. I tried some bright blue tissue paper that I had first, but it was much too dark of a color. So instead I broke out the water colors and painted on a very watered down blue. Inevitably I’m working with not such heavy card stock so the cards were rather warped but I loved the paint color. Seriously watercolors are just such fun.

Next up was the grass. I spent a good bit of the evening cutting layering and gluing my stalks. Now I knew from the pro-type that they really wouldn’t survive the mail so well. At first I thought about extra glue or even covering the whole thing in maybe a watered down modge-podge. But that was a very messy idea. And I’m sure the tissue paper and water colors would not have played well with watered down glue. So I went rather utilitarian and used packing tape  It worked remarkably well and almost make my cards look downright fancy….or something.

After putting everything where I wanted it and sewing everything on I cut out each card. In order to keep the crochet from unraveling rather than cut the bottom edge I just folded the bottom under. When I mailed my prototype I knew that I would need a back of some form because of the knots on the other side of the card. Glue is always an option but I (unfortunately) know that glue does not always survive the mail. So instead I opted to just quickly sew a second card onto the back. It was simple, easy, and I love how it came out. And as an added bonus if the recipient wants they can totally just snip the white threads from either side and use the flower for something else.

Now my sewing machine is pretty crazy retro. It can be quite finicky so I wasn’t sure how it would handle it. But it seems to have much more problems sewing anything lightweight (it’ll barely sew quilting cottons) and rocked the card stock stitching with no problems when I sewed mother’s card. Unfortunately with the addition of the packing tape things got a bit more squirrely. It still worked but the feeder feet were struggling at times and so the stitching is rather un-even.

It should also be mentioned that I have a mild fascination with stamps. The post office just has so many fun ones that you can buy. So I love to calculate the postage online then use a good variety of stamps to mail fun things – yup I’m slightly crazy.

All in all a fun project and I hope the recipients enjoy them. Similarly to last year it was a bit intimidating because really I’m not much of an artist. I’m much more crafty. I’m looking forward to seeing what creations I’ll be receiving!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Post Card Swap

I decided that I wanted to again participate in iHanna’s postcard swap. But how to top last years awesome knitted postcards? Knitting another set of cards seemed too obvious, I wanted to be different.

What about crochet? Well crochet is a good bit thicker than knitting so that might be a bit extreme. Hmm…what about thread crochet? That could work. I was envisioning something along the lines of a crochet doily but rectangular post card size. That would be awesome.

So I looked up a bunch of doily patterns on ravelry and at home one night and started testing things out. It was going to take approximately forever and as most all doilies are crochet in the round I was rather doubtful about my ability to get a rectangular shape.

During the search I had found a doily-esque project that was five little flowers connected together almost in a hexagon shape. Hmm….what about just covering the postcard with multi-colored flowers like that? So I started on that flower pattern but it was coming up rather larger than I wanted. At that point I decided to wing it and make a solitary flower from the inner rounds of the pattern. Then I gave it a stem and some leaves.

I liked it.

From there I experimented with a few different flower shapes and colors. At some point I found a favorite and finished out my 10 flowers using that design.

While this mass flower hooking was happening I decided that I had better test a proto-type by sending something across the state to my Mother.

Now I didn’t just want to attach the little flower to a blank card. That would be boring. So I planned on adding some green grass. At first I thought it would work well to use a stamp. But store-bought stamps are crazy expensive! I couldn’t believe it. Instead I purchased two erasers with the intent of carving my own grass stamps. But then when the evening came that I was putting everything together I decided to go a different direction and use layered tissue paper.

I put this card in the mail on Friday:

And on Saturday (the mail is super-speedy here, I love it) Mother sent me the following picture:

Woohoo the flower made it. But the card obviously still needs a bit of help.

I’ll finish up the rest of my story tomorrow!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


A while back I absolutely fell in love with this bag made by Alice at Futuregirl Craft Blog. The project idea has stayed in my mind for quite some time now and I'm proud to announce that I've finally completed! Actually I finished the project in February sometime but I'm rather behind on my project reports so I'm only getting to it just now.

Instead of the simple two sided bag that Alice made I wanted to go with a decently big 5 sided bag. Somewhat similar to the reusable grocery bags, but for my craft projects.
The most awesome thing about this project is all of the colors. I spend so much of my life being a very neutral person, but I really do also have a bit of a wild/offbeat side. So this bag is a little bit of an outlet for that side :-)

Poor Bran had to suffer quite a good bit of time spent wandering around Joann's trying to pick the perfectly multi-colored fabric to complete my bag awesomeness. I finally settled upon the white background with colored dragonflies and I love how it turned out. Yes, it is very busy. But the colors work wonderfully together.

And if I was going to be sewing a lining I always figure I might as well add pockets to hold stuff! For this bag I put in a smallish drop pocket on the bottom of the above picture (self invented terminology so take my word for it), a small pocket at the top right side, a long pocket running down the whole left side (for long needles), a divider across the back/top for patterns/papers, and both long and tall slots for hooks and or needles also along the back/top.

I probably overdid things on the pockets. But that's kind of how most things end up once I get going...

Kinda odd to have needles sticking out of a crouched bag...but that's just how I roll.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


As of late I've really been craving some spinning time. I really don't know why except that the last time I spun anything was likely October when I was finishing the yarn I needed for Christmas projects.

But I just don't seem to have that much free time lately. And then when I do I either fall into the pit of doing pointless unnecessary things (hello phone games) or I actually manage to do things that I ought to be doing: house cleaning, laundry, postcard swap, organizing, spending time with boyfriend etc.

It will also take a good bit of prep time as I'd likely want to try an alpaca project but need to card the dirty roving first. And last but not least a dangling spinning spindle would likely be a dream kitten toy....not so ideal for good yarn production. :-/

Idea! Goal: Spin at least 500 yards of something in April.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

old vs. new

I'll confess that the new phone really is indeed pretty awesome.

Old phone (Samsung Sway):
- Made Calls
- Sent text messages using T-9 word
- Took crappy pictures
- Sucky battery

New phone (HTC Thunderbolt):
- Makes calls
- Sends messages and emails using digital keyboard
- Apps....millions and millions of (free) stuffs. Tons of games, useful things, and generally most anything under the sun.
- Interwebs
- Angry birds
- My new favorite game, flight control. (pictured up left)
- GPS tracker and route mapper, also records stats: time moving and elevation.
- Digital lists (grocery shopping!)
- Calendar
- Music player
- Geocaching! (whoa it's been too long)
- Sky Map (neat!)
- Sucky Battery - d'oh


I'm just going to pretend that it hasn't been approximately forever since I posted anything and proceed on with some random chatter....

Bran's influence on me is spreading. And not necessarily in a good way. I am actually.....spending monies. *gasp*

Old Phone...

meet New Phone....

This sucker cost me $200. And that was after quite a bit of hoop jumping. Which included boatloads and boatloads of research. An email to Verizon Wireless. Two online live chats with Verizon. Three phone calls over two days involving five different Verizon people. And one 45 minute visit to the Verizon Wireless Store.

It also involved many calls home to chat with the parental units (I'm on the family plan w00t w00t) as we also changed the plan, added a line, ported over the phone phone number, and set them up with a new box that will use the cell line but ring their home handsets.

Now, tragically, that $200 isn't the end of it. I also sent Father a check for $300 to cover the cost of the Data Package for the new phone until approximately December. My wallet is in pain.

There are so many other things I should be buying first (or ya know saving money)....but I bought the toy. What's becoming of me?