Saturday, September 29, 2012


Egads! Have I really gone a whole week without an update? Oops! This week has flown by. More hours at work, and I spent my two days off crafting like a madwoman. I'll have some photos to show for that soon.

This Caturday I thought I'd share one of my favorite cat webcomics, Cat Versus Human.

CvsH's creator, Yasmin, is crazy about cats and really hits the nail on the head as far as cat ownership. If you dig CvsH, check out her book and her shop, where she's got cute shirts, iPhone cases, and canvas totes with lots of cute cat designs.

I am absolutely drooling over this super cute wide neck sweatshirt!
Happy Caturday! Now go pet a kitty.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Hooray for the first day of fall! Naturally it is like 95 degrees outside.

Here's one of my favorite pictures of Harpo and Groucho, my mom's cats.

Happy Caturday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Button bracelet!

Hooray for trying new things!! Today I made some jump rings. I have a huge stash of buttons and have been thinking about button jewelry for ages.

I acquired the wire and pliers when they were left at the library (along with a TON of seed beads after a one-time class last summer. My mom's coworker, Sandy, called the instructor, who said the library could keep them. Maybe she thought she was doing something nice, but the library staff really had no use for them, and no place to put them. Sandy knew I would love the stuff, so she gave it all to me!

I'd never wire wrapped before, but I had so many ideas. I watched videos. I pinned tutorials. And did nothing.

Until today!

Working with wire is, as I had predicted, challenging. After five buttons I needed a break. Well, also I was starving. I was on my way to the fridge when the urge to start this project hit me.

I've definitely caught the jewelry-making bug! I had so much fun, in spite of sore finger tips and a minor flesh wound. I'm going to the craft store tomorrow to scope out what's available! And to get a better pair of wire cutters.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

NaBloWriMo 2012!

I'm so excited! October is National Blog Writing Month. Not Hannah decided a couple years ago that bloggers should have their own version of National Novel Writing Month, and thus NaBloWriMo was born! All you have to do is post every single day for a month. Stumped bloggers can check the NaBloWriMo blog for prompts.

I'm so excited! I've got a few entries in the pipeline already in preperation. Because trying to write meaningful posts every day is a ton of work! I tried it last year with my old blog and learned a lot about my self and about managing a blog. I know I'm going to learn more this year!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tutorial: Record cover postcards

This is one of my favorite paper upcycling projects: making postcards out of old vinyl record covers. Easy, useful and super cool- not to mention cheap! I've found records as low as a quarter a pop, but I'd say they average a dollar at most thrift stores. I might shell out two or three for a really cool cover.

 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you're not cutting up something really rare or valuable! A quick ebay search will save you from kicking yourself later. If you pick your records up at a thrift store or a music store's dollar bin, you're probably just fine, but better safe than sorry.

Pretty colors!!

Once you've got your covers, it's time to cut! If your album has a thin paper slip cover, set that aside for now.

My little brother got to this one before I did, and cut out the robot on the front. But that's ok, because the back is covered in SPACE!

Figure out which rectangle-shaped (or square, let's not be picky) areas on your cover will look best. Grab your cutting tools of choice and have at it!

Ta-da!! How awesome is this? Now I can send someone a little piece of the universe. I was able to get four postcards from the back cover. This is unusual for the back side- usually it's covered in words.

Most record covers, especially the older ones, are made of paperboard. This means the back side will be brown. Which is fine, if that's what you want, but it's easier to write and read on a white background, yes?

I glued my post cards to the "wrong" side of a slip cover, the thin paper jacket many records have. It's not the end of the world if you have to use something else; I like the ecofriendliness of using the slip cover, though. Sometimes you can even find big bunches of old slip covers and other inserts from old albums that were orphaned, grouped together, and sold cheaply. 

But wait! The back will be blank. wouldn't it be nice to have some guidelines for a stamp and address, to make it look like a real postcard? I think so.

There's more than one way to achieve this. You could free hand it, use a ruler, make a stamp, or make a stencil like I did.

Grab old postcard. Or two or three, if you think you'll screw up like I did the on the first try. I used a craft knife and ruler to carefully cut along the guidelines and where the stamp box was. Then I used a small pair of scissors to widen the cuts so I could get a pen tip in there.

This was not my first try. As you might guess, the lines I get from this stencil are not perfectly straight and even all the way across. And I like them that way. The possibilities with this project are endless! That's what I love about upcycling.

I'm going to put myself out there and say this is the first craft tutorial I've ever written, so if anything is unclear please please please let me know! I would be ever so thankful.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I have not yet figured out a schedule for this blog yet; how many updates I'll post each week, which days will cover what topics, et cetera et cetera. It is too soon for me. I need to experiment a little and find my voice.

The exception being Caturday. Because I. Effing. Love. Cats.

I won't be celebrating Caturday in the traditional lolcat fashion (for more on that check out Know Your Meme). Instead I will share things like this photo.

Groucho, Harpo, and Chico were rescue kittens my old roommate found in a box outside of a K-Mart three years ago. I begged my mom to let me take them home... and she said yes! She still has Groucho, and Chico went home with my uncle, but Harpo sadly and suddenly died last year. I can't have cats in my apartment so I have to visit my mom to get my cat fix. Guess where I'll be this afternoon?

Happy Caturday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy (late) National Crochet Day!

According to Lion Brand Yarn's Facebook page, yesterday was National Crochet Day. I am sorry to have missed it, though I don't have any crochet projects to work on right now. I just finished a jersey yarn rug (from an old set of sheets) for my brother, and am all crocheted-out for the moment.

Still, I feel I should do something to observe National Crochet Day! So I will share a super neat resource I discovered, via Pinterest (naturally!).

Some wonderful person has uploaded Thérèse de Dillmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework in its entirety!

There is a whole chapter of crochet instructions, from basics to more complicated stitches to very intricate lace patterns. The images are very clear, and one or two youtube videos were added in as well.

There's a million and one crochet resources out there, but there's something special about learning from a book that is over one one hundred years old

This book has much more than just crochet, too! There are fifteen chapters covering sewing, embroidery, macrame, knitting, and more. Be prepared to scroll through loooooooong pages, though. Each chapter is one single page of the website! 

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Paperback correspondence

I started making cards- Christmas cards, specifically- to create something new out of something old. I use as much recycled material in my greeting cards as possible. Closer to Christmas I'll share that story.

This is what I'm working on right now.

A while ago I happened upon a very worn paperback copy of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. I finally made use of it, and I'm quite pleased with the results. 

It had the illustrations and lovely, yellowed, easy-to-tear pages. I just needed a little time for the ideas to sit on my back burner before I could really get them out.

I wish you could touch them- the feel of layers and torn paper edges is lovely.

This next one is my absolute favorite. It's from the chapter where Alice finds the garden of live flowers, and it's one of my favorite illustrations from the book.

I do have a confession to make: I had not read Through the Looking-Glass when I bought this book, and I did not read it before I tore it to pieces. After making two or three cards, the idea occurred to me that maybe I should read it, especially if I plan on sending or selling these cards!

I'm nearly done reading, and it's a fantastic book. I wish I had read it as a child. There's a lot of children's fantasy I didn't read until I was an adult; The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia are also on that list. My reading habits when I was a kid were primarily influenced by my mother, who much preferred mysteries and historical fiction, so Nancy Drew, Betsy-Tacy, and Laura Wilder books filled my shelves.

For anyone interested in reading Through the Looking-Glass this instant, you can find the original text with scans of the illustrations on the University of Virginia website here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

New beginnings

This is blogging: take two for me.

I tried my hand at it last year, and it did not go as I had hoped. I won't dwell, however. I'm coming in for reentry with new ideas, new determination, and healthier (not higher or lower) expectations.

And I'm excited!

I'm taking my time. I don't want to rush things, compromise my goals, become discouraged. I want to learn and grow, make friends, and follow my heart.

We'll see where things go from here!