Thursday, December 25, 2008

Crafting Resolutions

I have been thinking a lot about New Years resolutions. I think it is time I make some crafting resolutions for the next year. I am going to vow to try my very best to finish up some of these projects that I have squirreled away half finished. My friend Mary recently made an excel spread sheet of all unfinished crafts which might be a bit extreme for me, instead I offer up my half finished project to the world wide web and expect you all to keep me on track. No matter how excited I get don’t let me start to knit another hammock before I conquer some of these. Oh I haven’t told you about the hammock yet, well that is a story for another day.

1) Baby quilt for friends in London. Fabric is purchased, washed and cut. The baby was born in October- sigh- they always come faster than I sew.

2) Fingerless gloves for my friend in Canada. One is done the second is started and hiding under our couch out of sight.

3) Lovely green mittens for me. These are actually all done but the thumbs which I was thinking of making a hidden opening in so that I can spin my ipod wheel in the cold. The sad part is there really are only 40 sts left to knit here.

4) Modular crochet sweater. As you know I was cruising along on this until it got hot out. I have one and a half sleeves to go and then there is a yummy winter sweater awaiting me.

5) Various custom fused plastic bag pouches promised to various loved ones.

6) Brown quilt for us! That’s right I actually started making a quilt for our bed but I tend to loose steam on that one pretty fast or maybe it is that there is always another shinier quilting project comes along.

I am sure there are many, many, many more projects hidden under my couch but as I am in North Carolina and can’t look under it so for now they are out of sight and out of mind. I promise to add on as I remember them. Happy holidays.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Sneak Peek

As you know I have been working over time to get all my holiday goodies made. Yesterday I hunkered down and made things after a very annoying sidestep to the post office. I made 15 new zippy pouches and 9 fused pins, including these new cute flower pins.

I am obsessed with the orange fairway zippy pouches I made. They may be my new favorite.

Here is also a sneak peek at what I made for Avice (AKA my surrogate grandmother). She loves all things black and white so I stenciled her these pillowcases. They took a little more work then I expected because my paint was old. I couldn’t understand why it was so hard to do and why the paint kept running. Finally a little light went off in my brain and I realized my paint was at least three years old and that might not be such a good thing. New paint helped immensely and I finished these up yesterday. One case has a pattern repeat three times and one has it twice, which felt right at the time but now I am not so sure. In truth it doesn’t matter I am leaving tomorrow and I am not allowed to add things back to the list!

I will be away for 10 days visiting the lovely Avice and other good family. I will bring my camera and try to give you updates while away. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Merry Christmas to me

A friend decided to do a little shopping at Mahka Crafts on etsy and I decided to take the paypal payment and pay it forward through etsy. The thing about being unemployed is you rarely buy yourself anything. It has been awhile since I slurged on myself but given the holiday season it seemed fitting.
So I got my these lovely earing from metalicious on etsy. Aren't they just lovely! You can visit her shop by clicking here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Altered Clothing

In between doing what can only be described as an obscene amount of laundry I have been crafting. While doing all this laundry I noticed one of my favorite shirts had a stain in that just wouldn’t come out. I had been stenciling some baby cloths for some new arrives and had quite a bit of paint left over so it seemed only right to cover the stain with an old faithful stencil. No one will ever know, oh except all of you, but you won’t tell will you?

My other bit of altering is on a shirt I got on mega clearance from a yoga catalogue. Of course once it arrived I realized why it was on mega clearance.

See that? They used black thread to serge the entire side of the shirt resulting in an ugly Frankenstein effect. After a bit of consultation with my sister I decided a bit of flare was the only option. I am not sure why I have leopard print fabric in my stash but hey it works!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Brooklyn State of Mind

Almost everyday I take the train into Manhattan. Right before the train goes over the bridge there is this lovely bit of animation. After some searching I found that it is in a station no longer in use and has recently been restored. It took a bit of hunting to discover the story but here it is.

In the mean time I thought you might like to see it. It makes me smile every time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ding Dong the Couch is Dead

I am up and running in full holiday mood, otherwise known as Mahka’s little sweatshop. Our living room has experienced a bit of a craft explosion, fortunately my guy is tolerating it so far. I still can’t show off my latest work but I thought I would share our big news, no I am not pregnant. I have however, managed to shed a large blob in my life. For those of you who haven’t been following the couch saga let me fill you in: two years ago my guy and I moved into this apartment and we needed a couch. At the time I had the world most annoying coworker (no really she is worse then anyone you worked with!) she liked to stand for hours (really hours) on end rambling on and on. Usually I kept one earpod in and listened to music while she went on about whatever thing it was that had got her panties in a bunch, mostly how overworked she was even though as far as I could tell her main job was to stand at my desk and complain. Anyway, it turns out if you stand and talk at me non stop for days I will agree to take large pieces of furniture to get you to go away.
Enter the world’s ugliest couches. Yes there were two; a couch and a loveseat. They were originally yellow and then covered in a green flower print. The couch was in bad shape and it smelled. Yes, that’s what I said it smelled. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to turn these couches into something we could live with. I bought many slipcovers, batting, filling and countless rolls of duct tape. I spent hours contemplating the odd shape of the couch that defied slip covers. Finally a friend convinced me that our lives would be far better without the bad ju ju and so we got a new lovely couch and sent the old ugly bad ju ju smelly couch to the dump.
What I haven’t told you all is the story of the ugly stepchild loveseat which we had shoved into a corner of our bedroom. In all fairness it was in far better shape then the couch and it didn’t smell too bad. We felt wrong about tossing it so we tried to give it away. It turns out it is harder to give away furniture then you might think. We posted it on craigslist and had several people say they were coming to get it only to not show up. But last weekend we did it! We reclaimed our bedroom and got rid of the loveseat. Now we are trying to figure out what to do with the big space left behind. Bad ju ju be gone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Bag Fun

There are so many little holiday projects in the works it is hard to keep track! Of course I can’t tell you about many of them at this point for fear that the recipients will see all. My guy and I made a deal to only exchange gifts that we have made. This sent me into a craft overload as I tried to come up with the perfect gift. I think I have it figured out but any suggestions will be gladly accepted.

In the mean time I thought I would show off a belated birthday gift for my sister. She has a tendency to carry way too much so I made this tote a little small to help keep things under control. I had a bit of over eager fabric paint so it is far from perfect but I like the color combination.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fused Pins

I have been in a bit of a crafting funk. I have plenty of ideas but I seem to be lacking some motivation. I blame this silly sinus thing that seems to be lingering on and on and on…
But last night I managed to break through the haze. I had some good alone time cause my guy was out playing with an old friend. I had several strips of fused plastic left over from the MAD DIY salon. I could make a ton of bracelets but really how many does a girl need?
So instead I made these lovely pins. I cut up the strips and sewed them together and in a recycling moment of inspiration the center in from an old metro card. I think they are the bee’s knees. They make me want to wear hats or something. Or at least wish I was going to a British wedding again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Caps for Sale!

Okay they aren’t for sale but it is hard for me not to give homage to one of my favorite childhood books.

I have been making hats, a ton of them. As I may have mentioned earlier every year the subway eats a few of my hats. I am not really sure how or when it happens; I just know I am a few hats down as the year goes by. I think it has something to do with the subway being really hot and the outdoor subway platform I wait on being really cold. Or trolls. Or maybe it’s the pigeons. Regardless the thief the problem is the same, I loose hats. So I got on a bit of a roll and made five hats. I went through my stash and pulled out any yarn that was just enough to make a hat. It has been very hypnotic and a good use of couch time. In fact I am a little sad not to be making hats anymore. But I am sure the next addiction will catch up soon enough.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I’m Mad for MAD Museum

I am a bit delayed in telling you all what a wonderful time I had at MAD last week. Church of Craft along with MAD museum did a DIY salon that was all about recycling, repurposing and remaking things.
I had the great honor of showing folks how to make a bracelet out of fused plastic bags and buttons. I spent a couple of insane days fusing bags in preparation and was glad to be able to open some widows.
I was amazed at how creative and talented everyone was. I have been working with these materials for over a year and it blew me away how differently each person approached this project. Here are a few samples of the great work. Above is the lovely Rev. Callie showing off the a sample cuff. Unfortunately I did not manage to get the names of all these creative folk but I would love to give them credit so if you see your work or a friends please e-mail me so I can give credit where credit is do!

And last but not least the lovely Amanda showing off her cuff.

I would also like to thank my fabulous Church of Craft volunteer, Mary, without whom not nearly as many bracelets would have been made.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get Out and Vote!

I am a true democrat, I believe in voting early and often.

I didn’t really celebrate Halloween this year but I still made a little costume. The great fortune cookie says that Obama will be our next president. Let’s hope the fortune is right!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Girl Needs a Hat

There is something in the New York City subway system that eats hats, I swear. Every year I make a couple and every year the train thirst for handmade hats grows. So it is really no surprise that when the weather changed and I went to look in my hat stash there was only one very sad store bought hat. So out came the stash. This is some of my favorite yarn of all time, mostly merino. I fell in love with mostly merino when I lived in Vermont and took a class with the owner Margaret. It has a lovely squishy feel and the colors are saturated without being heavy.
The good thing about hats is they are fast, so after my guy and I sat on the couch glued to our latest netflix obsession I had a hat. It is a simple top down rolled edge hat and it fits just right.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Plastic Bag Crafting in the Wind

This past Saturday the lovely Callie and I spent a couple hours battling the wind at Brooklyn Bridge Park. We were suppose to teach plastic bag crocheted ipod cases the weather had other ideas. Mostly we stood under a tent trying not to get too wet. Here are a couple of pictures of us trying to cut up bags in a raging wind.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Civic Duty Completed

After a not so exciting few days the judge dismissed the case I was on freeing me from civic duty. it was a very interesting experience.
I am too tired to photograph something around here so I thought I would show you my two latest purchases from Etsy.

Aren't they great? I got them here. And they were shipped so fast that I am sure if you wanted a pair they would get to you by election day.

I also got these great gems

which you can get here.
I have been having so much fun wearing these that I may keep it up for another month or two after the election.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I may have jury duty for the foreseeable future or longer but the good news is it won't get in the way of crafting. The very wise judge said I was allowed to knit while in the court room as long as I was good enough that it didn't get in the way. he must have a knitter in the family.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Words

two words for you all: jury duty. yup they got me. I am hoping to knit while listening but we will see if they let me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Little Beasts Everywhere!

I know we all thought the beast was over and done with but like a bad horror movie it’s back…well the yarn is. You may remember I finished the beast awhile back and I finally managed to take a photo of it and in all it’s spender for you. I have been looking for something to make with all the little bits of yarn I had left over. I really love making granny squares but I have never really loved the way they look, but I thought maybe my aversion was that they are usually made in acrylic yarn in shades of lime green and pink. So I played with them a bit. It turns out I don’t like multicolored granny squares, and I don’t really like big granny squares. The solution mini granny squares! Maybe that makes them mommy squares.

I found I like them just fine if they are a little smaller (just two rounds) and one color. My plan is to make a whole bunch and then randomly sew them together. It was a perfect project for the plan because they let me take a crochet hook and all the yarn I could carry. I made a bunch more during the debate last night so I now have a pile of squares; of course I also have a pile of ends to be sewed in. I will keep you all posted on my progress.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm Back

Hello all! I am back from the lovely bay area where I spent the better part of two weeks seeing good friends and eating lots. I got to meet the proud owner of secrete sewing project #1 but alas I managed not to take a better photo. The owner, a spunky 10 week old assured me I could come back anytime for a photo shoot so do not fret!

I have many crafting adventures to tell you all about over the next week or so until then I leave you with some photos of my favorite place in San Francisco, the Ferry Building. It is a beautiful old building that got some much needed love and now has an indoor somewhat posh market and a fabulous farmers market outdoors.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Secrete Is Out: part III

Sorry to have left you all in secrete sewing project suspense but our internet was out. What a pain! and a bit scary to realize how dependent I have become on having it around.

So I guess this is the big finish to the secrete sewing project saga.

After much debate I picked a really lovely green fabric for the border, it has nice gold lines waving through it and somehow pulled everything together. But of course there was a problem. You might not be able to tell in this photo but it is really far from being square, in fact, the border took on a ruffle effect. I think it was because of those gee’s bend squares not being so square. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself because I forgot to tell you all that I hand quilted it! Yup that is me crazy craft-o-holic that I am. I got it all sandwiched up and stitch-in-ditch hand quilted it over a long weekend. I am happy to report that I seem to be getting feeling back in my fingers tips!

So I put a lot of energy into this darn thing and was ready for the home stretch, binding the edge, only to discover that the quilt had more ruffles then a costume in Westside Story. I think one of the best crafting lessons I have learned over the years is when to walk away and take some very deep breaths. After consulting anyone that would listen my sister gave me some great advice. I had left a panicked voicemail message which consisted of me on the verge of hyperventilation saying “I know that your not really a sewer but do I do. I could suck it up and let it be really wonky or I could go back and square it up” She pointed out that I am always happier to ripe out and start again rather then stare at an imperfection for years to come. And so we her blessing I pulled off the binding I had started to sew and squared up the whole thing with my trusty rotary cutter. I then sewed the binding on by hand which allowed me to adjust for wonkiness. This was my first binding edge. I usually just roll the back over and sew it down, there was quite a bit of a learning curve. But I managed.

And Ta Da! I seem to have a problem with taking good photos of projects I am proud of, I am not sure what psychological factor is at work here but it seems to be the case.

I am happy to report that mom and baby love the quilt. And I am heading out to visit the three of them (mom, baby and quilt) next week so I will try to take some better photos then.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Green Bag Lady Extravaganza

This past Sunday I had the good fortune of running a small sweatshop for the Green Bag Lady project hosted by Church of Craft at Etsy labs. City Quilter in NYC was kind enough to send out a mass e-mail to all their friends asking for fabric donations to this noble deed. With the wonderful help of Abbie, Elisa, Sarah and Kristy we cut out over 40 bags and sewed 18. It was so much fun we are going to try to have a few more bag making days soon.