March 2009


dremel-multiproCall me weird all you want, but I cannot stop thinking about how much I want a Dremel. These things are amazing. They do everything – sanding, drilling, cutting, engraving – they even have special Dremels for pumpkin carving! I didn’t realize this before (but I should have, considering how amazing this little thing is) but they have cordless ones now too! Imagine all the things you could do with a cordless Dremel. You could drill a hole on the ceiling if you wanted to! In your car! Outside in your yard! Granted, you will probably never use this outside of your house, but I like to know that if I wanted to, I actually could. I’m saving for an apartment right now with the lovely Ms. E. W. of Heartsexplode, but as soon as we find a place and I can stop living off of Ramen, this little baby will be all mine.

instructables-logoMy friends and I are a crafty bunch. There’s not a lot that we can’t make using our brains, some glue, and a few curse words. We have a hard time going shopping in certain places, especially to shops that pride themselves on being “unique” or “indie” (I’m looking at you, Urban Outfitters).  If you’re like us and you’ve ever seen something in a store and said to yourself, “Pfft. I could make that if I wanted to!” I guarantee you will fall in love with Instructables. This site has instructions on how to make just about ANYTHING, from easy craft projects to a fully functional electric car. You could spend days on this site finding new projects for yourself. All you need for most projects is a few basic tools, materials (most of which can be found at any hardware store or Radio Shack if they’re not already lying around your house), and some basic skill. Every project comes with full instructions, pictures and helpful advice. There’s even an “Answers” box where you can type in a question and the Instructables gurus will help you figure it out. They update the site on a daily basis, which gives you even more incentive to check it out often. If you’re trying to live on the cheap, if you like to resuse or upcycle things, you need a new project for your house/apartment, or if you’ve just ever wondered to yourself, “I wonder if I could really make that?”, you need to bookmark this site.

truly-fallen-imageFasten your seatbelts, people, as this week’s Shop of the Week is a little bit risque’. OK, not really, but it does make it easy to dress up parts of yourself that would normally be ignored. Truly Fallen makes gorgeous handmade accessories that look like they’re straight out of a 1920’s burlesque house. Their pasties are like tiny works of art, and the amount of work they put into their projects shows in every piece they make. For those not into accessorizing their lady parts, they also have an amazing selection of hair clips and feathered hair pieces. I’m completely coveting the red scrollwork bobby pins right now, as a matter of fact. I wish I had known about this shop this summer when one of my best friends got married – these pasties would be the perfect bachelorette party gift. Go check them out and get yourself or someone you like something special!

suncatchersAhh, spring. I don’t think anything can beat the feeling of walking out of your house without a jacket for the first time in 6 months. Here in Minnesota we always act like this is the first springtime we’ve ever experienced – as soon as the temperature goes above freezing, people flock to the outdoors, some wearing much less clothing than what would normally be appropriate in 40 degree weather. To celebrate the newfound warmth, I’ve decided to post a quick and easy DIY project that will get you in the mood for the coming months. These look best if you put a few of them next to each other. All you need for this are:

– highlighters or water-soluble markers

– scissors/knife/Exacto

– pliers

– paper towels

– clear jars or bottles with lids (if you don’t have fancy little jars like the ones pictured, anything will work as long as it has a lid)

– water

Fill the jars or bottles most of the way full with water and set aside. Now the fun part: take apart the markers by removing one of the ends. I recommend using a pair of pliers for this as the endcaps can be tricky. I also recommend having some paper towels handy, as you are dealing with markers. Remove the inky tubes inside and place on the paper towel. Depending on the size of the jar, you may need to cut the tubes to fit. Place the tubes in the desired jars (one color per jar unless you’re feeling adventurous) and wait. In a few seconds, you’ll see delightful little swirls of color soming from the ends of the tubes. This is exactly what we want to happen. Cap the jars and lt them sit for a day or two, swirling periodically to mix the color. After a day or two, remove the tubes if you like (I chose to leave mine in but it’s not necessary) and sit on a sunny windowsill. Voila – instant suncatchers!

** Bonus points: wrap wire or string around the tops of the jars securely and hang them in front of a window (again, securely – you do NOT want these to fall and open up) for a fancy hanging suncatcher!

zelda-title-screen-sprite-stitch1I’m proud to say that geekery runs in my family. I was 5 or 6 when my mom brought home our very first NES console, complete with what has to be the best game ever created: The Legend of Zelda. My wonderful nerd of a mother (who is older than I dare say) beat this game more times than I can count. Now my mother is very crafty as well, and like her daughter she always has about ten afghans or half-finished needleworks hanging around somewhere in her house just waiting for her to put down her game controller. I was pretty much raised on gaming and crafting from the time I was born. That’s why, when I found SpriteStitch.com, I literally squealed with joy. This website combines two of my all-time favorite things: old-school videogames and crafting. They post up all kinds of projects – not just needlework but T-shirts, Perler bead art, stained glass, even video-game themed cake! My absolute favorite section is the tons of free patterns they have in their forum. They also have links to other fun video-game and indie craft blogs to inspire you to game and craft even more.

stab-my-brain-banner

 This week’s artist is a very good  friend of mine and an amazing artist. Stef Davis, a.k.a. Stab My Brain Studio, is a genius with Photoshop and Sculpey and can make gorgeous sculptures out of nothing but scraps of wood, old lightbulbs and bike parts. Her Etsy site is currently featuring adorable keychains in fun colorful designs, and she’s working on making polymer clay beads and earrings.  Stef will be at the Red Hot Art Fair in Stevens Square Park on June 6th and 7th, so come down and check her out!

 

full-size view

full-size view

This is a project I’ve been working on for the last month and a half. I love the Ramones and pretty much all things punk, so this is right up my alley. The actual size is 8.5″ x 11″. When it’s done the entire background will be yellow. This is the kind of project that you really don’t know how long it’s going to take or how crazy it will drive you until you’re about 1/4 of the way into it. When it’s done, it’s going to be completely worth it. The pattern is actually a blown up picture of some pixel art. I put the pattern on top of the fabric and a piece of blue tracing paper, drew over what I wanted to copy, and poof! Instant cross-stitch pattern. I’ll post progress updates periodically so you can see how it’s coming along.

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