Archive for the ‘craft’ Category

friendship bracelets

I’m still here! We just returned from a little trip to grandma’s and now I’m nursing an awful cold. The children seem to take these horrible head colds in stride. I, on the other hand, look like I just got hit by a bus.

I made these two bracelets for a good friend’s birthday last week. Yes, I am a woman in my 30s making friendship bracelets for a woman in her 30s. And yes, my husband laughed at me. But whatever. Learning how to make them again made me a little teary about my camp days. Also they are, I believe, stylish–as ridiculous as that may be.

I went with the chevron style and the boring old stripey style. I tried for a more grown up color pallet, but really they are going to look like friendship bracelets no matter what colors you pick.

once upon a thread: the dot

posting a guest post I did for Katy:

When Katy asked me to be a part of Once Upon a Thread, I immediately said yes! yes! and then I drew a complete blank. I could not think of a single book that made me want to make something, which is silly because I love children’s books and I love making things.  You would think this project would be easy peasy. And that’s what I thought, but suddenly nothing was inspiring me to sew.

I looked through my kids’ books, I looked through some of my friend’s collections, I looked in the library, but the more I looked the worse it got. I had maker’s block. The more I tried to force myself to think creatively the worse my ideas became.  The horrible ideas made me feel like I wasn’t creative enough or clever enough or much of a seamstress or all of those at once.

My big crabby, self defeatist attitude reminded me of a little children’s book we’ve picked up from the library a few times called The Dot by Peter Reynolds. It’s a simple story about a little girl who is frustrated because she can’t draw. Her teacher asks if she will at least make a mark on the page. So the girl slams her marker down and makes a dot.

“Now sign it,” the teacher says.

So she signs it, Vasha. And the next day her dot is hanging, framed, in the front of the room.  Seeing it, Vasha thinks, “Well I can make a better dot than that.” And she does and much crazy dot painting ensues: big dot, small dots, dots made of dots, dots made from the absence of dots. It’s a beautifully illustration (literally) of the lesson I often try to teach my children: stop saying I can’t and just try. A lesson I obviously hadn’t learned myself.

For a while now, I have been dreaming of making my own fabric. The hand dyed and hand printed fabrics (and the beautiful projects made from them ) always appeal to me, but I am rather terrified of dying  my own fabric–my bathtub still shows the signs of a botched dip dying experiment. I will try dying again, but the book made me think that there might be other ways to make a mark.  Down in the basement, I scrounged some spray paint and an old white sheet. Then on my snow covered picnic table I drew some dots.

So there. I did it. Made fabric. It wasn’t perfect, it was scratchy and pilled a bit in the dryer, but hey! I made it. Then I made something out of it: a little peasant top.  And it looked better than the fabric did–I made a better dot! And now I want to make more, with fabric paint this time or maybe even dye.

It is so easy not to do something new. It’s cliche that we get stuck in our old ways, but we do! And then constantly tell our children to get off the couch! stop whining! try it! you might like it! Listen to your mother, go try it. Go make your dot. Do whatever ridiculous thing pops in your head–you’re children always do.

may day

may day crown made of felt

The old blog has been pretty quiet this week. And it might have to stay that way a bit longer. I’m spending every minute of my day painting our house. The outside! It’s raining today, so I’m here with you, but tomorrow it’s back to covering myself and the house in paint.

I think it might have been raining when I made this May Day crown too. It definitely was a very chilly May Day, which was too bad because my friend had a fantastic party with a may pole and everything. The day before the party my kids helped me cut out some petals out of felt, then in the evening I sewed them all up into flowers. I put some on a crown for my son and made my daughter and myself these flower crowns. They were super excited to wear them and the crowns have found a permanent place in the dress up box. I was pretty happy with how they turned out too. I didn’t really use any patterns, but I did look at this, this, and this photo for inspiration. With some scraps and a stitch here and there, you can pretty much make any flower. Sounds like a good rainy day project…

may day crown flowers made of felt

craft in at the capitol

By now I’m sure most of you have heard about the protest going on in Madison, WI.  So this month, in lieu of our regular wine and chocolate and stitching and bitching craft night, we tromped down to the capitol and crafted for change.

I’m going to refrain myself from political speeches here–though by the signs it’s quite obvious what my politics are–but I will share some pictures, because it was amazing. The capitol was full of spirited drumming, moving speeches, the kindness of friends and strangers, and so many awesome hand lettered signs.

The sign behind her says:

what we think
what we know
what we believe
is of little
compared to

I don’t know anything about spinning, but I know that this is one super cool spinning machine.

hey look! it’s me.

a rainbow birthday party: part one

Almost every party we’ve been to recently has had a pinata, so of course my daughter asked (and asked and asked) to have one at her birthday party. But those pinatas are impenetrable! After about 10 rounds of the kids taking turns whacking the thing (and after one burly dad tries, and fails) someone has to get the scissors or and ax or some sharp object and pry the damn thing open, by which time the kids have lost their minds waiting for the candy. So I thought I’d make my own, which took a lot more time than I bargained for, but a lot less tissue paper than I imagined. And after everyone got three turns, one kid smacked it to pieces.

With all the leftover tissue paper I made some martha poofs for above the picnic table. I forgot how easy these are and how pretty. My daughter gasped when I she saw them!

Inside, we hung rainbows and clouds from the ceiling. We were going to make raindrops too, but somehow forgot. Both projects were very simple and clever and the kids helped with both. The rainbows are made by cutting paper into progressively shorter strips and then stapling them together at the ends. I found the directions for the paper rainbows via the crafty crow.

The clouds are so awesome I can’t get over it. They are made by winding a piece of wire into a corkscrew shape and then twisting into a floof of polyfil. Ingenious. You can find the directions to make your own clouds on ohdeeoh.  These will definitely stick around for a while, maybe even become the long overdue mobile above the baby’s bed.

Enough for now, I’ll be back tomorrow with rainbow food and rainbow favors!

rainbow birthday party: part two