Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New buttons

Ever since Rhi made the first wood button ring, I've wished they were in brighter colours. After some discussion, I was given the group ok to buy some vintage buttons in different colours to use for the rings, which I have since started making as well. Today I finally went to our local button store. Here's my haul, complete with notes made by the owner of the store so I could remember what buttons were what.

I want to say that I am being a bit of a tease by posting these because I won't be able to start making new rings for another few weeks. Keep an eye out for them in September.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I won!

Whooo - I won a contest!

A lovely jewelry artist - My Aphrodite - hosted a contest on her blog recently and I won! I received a fabulous package in the mail last week which totally made my day (fun mail is so rare lately), it was the contest prize - an awesome pair of earrings, I love them. They're beautiful and well made. She has an online shop full of more fabulous jewelry if anyone is looking!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Whedon & Crochet

I interrupt this blog to broadcast a call to arms to all the crafters out there who are fans of the genius of Joss Whedon.

His latest work of brillance is an awesome online show called Dr. Horrible. It's about a wannabe villian who's trying to get into the Evil League of Evil and his nemesis Captain Hammer who continually thwarts his efforts. In an article about the success of his crazy online venture, he said "Fact is, there's been some buzz, but it hasn't reached the places it would normally. Where's our write-up in Crocheting Monthly? (I did a very sexy shoot for that one.)"

So the editor of Interweave Crochet and founder of is trying to get an interview with Mr. Whedon to fix this sad situation. The best way to get Whedon's attention is getting the internets buzzing so - here's the list of things you can do to help (cribbed from

1. Go to and comment on this post and include a photo or a link to something Whedon-related that you have crafted or bought from someone who made it by hand. This post can serve as evidence of the legion crafty Whedon fans.

2. Blog about this and link back to the post; post about this on the crafty boards you frequent.

3. Speak up. Some of you must know someone who might know someone who can help us get a hold of someone who can tell Joss Whedon how much fun it would be to spend a few minutes with Kim, even over email.

4. Got a Whedonesque membership or know someone who does? Let them know what we're up to! Comment on the post here.

5. Going to Comic Con later this week? Put aside your timidity and walk right up and ask him if he'll talk or email with us. There's no shame in that. Make yourself a Jayne hat to wear just for the occasion!

6. Got some contacts at a big blog somewhere? Or maybe you just like being an enthusiastic anonymous tipper? Let those big-blog writers know! There's enough fun in this to spread it all over the internets, from the crafts world to the tech world to the geek world, and beyond.

Go forth and create internet buzz. And while you're at it - watch Dr. Horrible - it's hilarious and awesome (possibly no longer available online but you can download via ITunes.)!
(ps the crocheted doll above is Jayne from Firefly and is made by the geniuses at GeekCentralStation)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Evening Salad

1. Organic baby spinach
2. On-the-vine cherry tomatoes
3. White button mushrooms
4. Local strawberries
5. Local cheese curds
6. Raw cashew pieces
7. Spicy italian dressing

The salad will be followed by lentil burger patty from Capers, Lundburg Risotto and steamed asparagus.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


OK, if you're not on ravelry yet, get yourself an account. Even if you're not a knitter. You need to join me in my latest obsession. Browsing UGHs (ravelry link). Basically, anyone can flag their projects as "ughs" as in uggo knits gone wrong. And then the rest of us can browse through them and laugh (a knowing "I've been there" laugh) and shake our heads.

To induct your project into the hall of ughs rate it with the sad face.
To browse ughs, instead of coming here for the link every time, got to the "people" tab. Next to the the link for "a random assortment of favorites" there's a smaller link that says "bah, show me the ughs".

Sorry, picture embedding isn't working for me. You're just going to have to trust me on this one.

Freezer Paper Stencil Fun

Someone help me, I've added a new craft to my arsenal. It's a kind of sickness.

I did a freezer paper stencil! It was pretty easy and the finished product is very satisfying - the possibilities are endless too.... I'm already itching to do another!

There's a good tutorial here on craftster or a detailed one on Unwined. (I'll be showing most of the steps below but I recommend reading over some of the other tutorials which are more in depth.)

I did an easy stencil graphic to start - no need to make things difficult right at the getgo like I usually do. I used the Blue Sun logo from Joss Whedon's Firefly.

First I printed out the logo and taped it to the paper side of some freezer paper. Then I set to work cutting out the black bits with my xacto knife. I highly recommend sharp xacto knife blades - I did the first half of my stencil with a dull blade and it sucked. (In the end I just took some pliers and snapped the dull tip off the blade and got access to a sharper bit of the blade. Stores were closed, I was in a pinch. Beware flying blade tips if you should try a similiarly risky trick.) Interestingly - the freezer paper box actually lists stencils as a use of their product - how awesome is that, they're totally plugged into the craft world.

It's important to have a lot of help during this stage:

The trickiest bit about cutting out the stencil is what to do about the white bits that would go floating away if you cut out all the black areas. From what I've read some people let them get cut loose, remember where they go and stick them back on during the ironing stage. I opted for the "bridging" technique where you leave little connecting strips of black to anchor the bits down - once it was all ironed on, I carefully removed them.

All cut out and ready to iron - if you look carefully you'll see tiny black strips here and there holding bits in place (like the letter U) which would otherwise be loose:

My first time ever ironing a t-shirt fixes the stencil in place securely:

Time to get dirty. I put some cardboard inside the shirt to catch any excess paint that might go through the t-shirt (good thing, some did). I sponged on the fabric paint - some people use brushes, whatever floats your boat.

And voila! Easy peasy. I did two light layers of paint and let it dry overnight before fixing with an iron. The only flaw is some mottled colour in the area under the word 'sun' - but it's handmade, that just gives it 'character'. ;) The recipient of the gift was surprised to hear it was handmade, so I think that's a thumbs up for the finished product.

Now the question is... what else around here do I have that I can stencil???

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sweet and Savory Crostini

I went to a friends wedding shower yesterday afternoon. I'm one of her bridesmaids so I had to bring some snacks. I didn't have time to make anything in advance so I went to the grocery store early in the morning (with my recently finished crocheted market bag!) and bought stuff for two kinds of crostini.


First I sliced up the baguette into thin-ish slices and laid them out on a baking pan. I put a tiny bit of margarine on half of them. Those would be the sweet and the plain ones were for the savory.

While these were in the oven (Broil on low for 4 minutes) and then cooling, I prepared the toppings. For the sweet, I chopped up strawberries and tossed them in a bowl with cinnamon and sugar. For the savory, I mixed cram cheese and pesto in a bowl and sliced up cherry tomatoes.

Now, put the toppings onto the bread slices and put the pan back in the oven. Check them every two minutes until they are suitably cooked. This took about 8 minutes in my oven. Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Photo Essay - fiber journey

Shallow Water- pre-draftedMany pre-drafted bundles.

Shallow waters - spun upOn the bobbin.

DSCF2833.JPGIt was like this for over a year.

DSCF2881.JPGPossible thread for plying with.

DSCF2835.JPGSoaking to set the twist.

DSCF2842.JPG Hanging to dry.

DSCF2891.JPGThree small skeins.

DSCF2901.JPG Wound into center-pull balls.

DSCF2900.JPGThe first three rows.

DSCF2916.JPGYay! It's done!

DSCF2926.JPGAction shot. Would be better in winter.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Miniature Awesomeness

I think I have found the most amazing crochetwork that exists on the planet.

I dare someone to find something more amazing than this:

Etsy shop Miniature Crocheted Bears and Friends makes these absolutely astonishing little creatures by hand. I don't k now how. It must involve magic. Aren't they captivating?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blythe Hat

When we did the Blim Spring Market I bought a Blythe dress from It's Your Life. My blythe has been packed away in a box since I moved in Spring of 2007, but the dress was so cute and it would suit her so perfectly.

So last weekend I finally got around to digging her out. I also got around to sorting my yarn stash. (Everything I plan on never using is being given away, and the yarn and fiber are now separate.) In my yarn stash I found a mini ball of one of the rovings Rhi and I dyed and spun. It was perfect for a little Blythe hat.

So I introduce Georgie in her new dress and new hat. I will point out that the colours of the hat don't suit her or the dress at all. Not being matching didn't please her much.