A Cat Tummy and Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 6 November 2011 at 4:14 pm

As you can see, it is a lazy Sunday. Here is Coco, one of my expert office assistants, sleeping on the job! And, yes, as you can imagine I had to rub that tummy! Enjoy this week’s crafting links.
Craft Buds
Paper crafters can enter to win an Epic Letterpress Combo Kit (through 11/8) and learn how to make a fall wreath using this versatile machine.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a tutorial on how to sunprint with paint on fabric, how to identify torch flames, a recipe for vegan white and milk chocolate, and how to design the size and shape of your eyebrows.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Here is how to use 3D clay accents to make your decoupage projects pop.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has used some low-tech tools to make some fun printed pieces of silk for a future project.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make a recycled zipper ring.

About Family Crafts
This current craft challenge is all about vacations. Do you have a vacation related craft you can submit?

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen had a phenomenon happen while creating mini star ornaments from some microwave clay.

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
Cindy tries her hand at right angle weave and reviews Stitch Workshop: Right-Angle Weave published by Kalmach Books.

Book Review: Craft Activism

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Friday 4 November 2011 at 5:03 pm

I recently received a copy of the book Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In by Joan Tapper. I wasn’t sure what to think about this book when I first started flipping through it, and the part of the title that said “new community” kind of threw me off a little too. New? How new was any craft community when people have been crafting, together and individually, for thousands of years? However, once I found some time to sit down and read through it, my opinion changed.

By “new,” she is mainly talking about how the Internet has made “community” a really different concept. While quilting circles (for example) are nothing new, virtual communities are, and this has really revitalized the entire DIY movement. So I can buy into the idea of a new community now.

The other part of the puzzle was trying to figure out what this book was. Is it a project book, narrative, an informational book? I finally realized it was a little of all three. Each section of the book focuses on specific aspects of crafting that are very popular today such as recycling or charity crafting. Then inside these sections are stories about artists who are active in this area, information about how you can become involved, and then projects. For example, one of the first sections I was understandably drawn to was “Crafting for a Cause,” and this had a narrative about Norma Miller and how she became involved with the Orphan Foundation of America’s Red Scarf Project. Then it moves on to give a brief DIY on how to find ways to help local charities, and under the “Makers Jam” section other organizations such as Afghans for Afghans are highlighted. Finally, the section ends with three how-to projects, a red scarf, an afghan, and pair of mittens.

Though this book seems heavy on the knitting projects (which is one issue I had with it since I’m primarily a crocheter), it does include other types of crafts such as sewing, paper-arts, and embroidery. The photographs are also a big part of what makes this book appealing. This is the type of craft book you sit down and read, though, not just skim and look for projects to tackle, but we are not talking about heavy duty reading. It’s light, fun, and interesting. In fact, you can read the first chapter on-line at Amazon. Just click the link on the image of the book at the top of this post, and on the right side of the screen, you will see a link that says “read first chapter free.” Click on that, and a window will open up showing the first chapter. This also has a Kindle version, which considering the new Kindle Fire exists now, this is definitely intriguing.

My 1st No-Sew Fleece Blanket

Blogged under Sew Simple by Tammy on Tuesday 1 November 2011 at 5:55 pm

The craft club is going to make some no-sew fleece blankets for a local shelter, so I thought…hmmmm…maybe I should actually make one before I attempt to teach a bunch of college students how to make one! Now there are all kinds of instructions all over the Internet, but that has been kind of the problem. There are tons of instructions and many are very inconsistent in explaining how to make these. In comes, Mom to the rescue!

This past weekend I went for a visit, and she showed me the basics on now to make no-sew fleece blankets. Pictured is one of nine more I need to have made for the shelter. I think it turned out pretty well, but I was really surprised at how long the process took. I have scheduled about 3 hours for the club to make these, and I realize now that is not enough time.

So I prepared a few blankets so that only some fringe knotting needs to be done, and hopefully, we can get at least one made during the first meeting. Worse case scenario, I will have to suck it up and make whatever is left, which I am okay with (when I don’t think about about 300 other things I have to do this semester!)

Hopefully, I wrong, wrong, wrong, and my team of crafters will whip through these lickety-split. I will report back one way or the other.

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