jump to navigation

Saturday late January 10, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Etsy, spinning.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
3 comments

I don’t have a lot to say right now, it’s late and there’s more I need to do before bed. I did get some photos taken of the other yarn I finished up last week, I think they came out pretty good. I still need to measure them out, ugh boring.

Speaking of ugh boring I am really done with winding yarn to dye off of cones. Yes, you can get a much better deal buying by the cone but good lord, I can’t afford an electric skein winder and doing by hand with a niddy noddy makes me crazy. I talked to the owner of my LYS about buying commercial wool from her by the bag and she is able to offer me a nice discount. I figure I’ll do a few bags with her and see if the time savings makes up for the higher initial cost. Being able to just unkink a skein and toss it in a pot = priceless.

Shetland wool, 2 ply:
Shetland yarn

Shetland yarn

Merino wool, 3-ply:
Merino yarn

Merino yarn

Fabric and cookie mold fun December 17, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, food, sewing.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Fabric!

Oh, fabric. How I lurve thee. I’m going to start sewing some skirts for myself as the ones I own are quite tattered and I haven’t seen anything I like in the stores. I’ve become a big fan of Amy Butler fabric, it’s just all so damned happy. I’ve also got a couple of vintage repros in there too for good measure.

In other exciting crafty news!

Cookie mold project

This is a cookie mold. Traditionally used to make Springerle cookies, but can also be used with clay to make other fun things, in this case xmas ornaments I plan to paint and give as gifts. I can’t take credit for this one, it’s all Martha.

(Excuse my bad photos – I just slapped everything out on the dining room table which is why I’m using one of kidlet’s placemats as a backdrop.)

I decided to start simple and just got the one mold, though it has three motifs which appeals to the thrifty part of me. I got the mold from House on the Hill and it’s very nice. My only gripe with it is that it’s cast resin and has a brown finish applied to it, presumably to make it look like wood. Frankly it smells weird and I would have been just as happy if they hadn’t added the finish at all. I’d like to make actual cookies with it (they included a recipe booklet, yay!) but think I’ll have to wash it a number of times first.

The clay I used is called Paperclay and isn’t actually clay at all – it’s non-toxic and smells like Elmer’s white glue so I’m guessing it’s just glue and paper. You can find a number of recipes online to make your own. I bought a package at the craft store and then found the Creative Paperclay website where I got a variety of their products to try out for a lot cheaper. For my inaugural endeavor I used the Creative Paperclay.

I just grabbed a ball of it, mashed it a bit with my hands, then smooshed it into the mold. I covered the whole thing and made it a somewhat even thickness on the back. To flatten the back I turned the mold over and pressed the back into the placemat, though if I wanted to be even more of a perfectionist I could have used a rolling pin.

Then, I turned it over and carefully pried the clay off. You can use a mold release spray to make this process easier but I’d like to use the mold to make cookies so opted not to get it as it would render the mold unsuitable for food use. The paperclay itself is non-toxic.

Cookie mold project

I cut out my designs using a round fluted cookie cutter. The paperclay did a nice job picking up the small details in the mold.

Cookie mold project

If I had some eyelet screws on hand I could have screwed them into the shapes before setting them out to dry, but alas I didn’t have anything handy this time around. Maybe next time. I lay them out on a piece of parchment paper to dry overnight.

Cookie mold project

Once they’re dry I’ll sand down the crumblies at the edges and then paint them with acrylic paint. The molding portion of this project was so quick and easy – ten minutes, tops. I did notice that the second time the clay stuck a teensy little bit in the mold so I cleaned it with warm water and a toothbrush, then set it out to dry. Since I’m not using mold release I think two castings is the maximum between cleanings.

I was thinking of making the ornaments and also making cookies and packaging them both together as a gift. What do you think?

This would really be a fantastic project to do with kids – the clay is light, easy to use, and not at all messy (though I personally had a squicky moment when it dried on my hands, I have tactile issues with things like that), making the molds is fun, and painting them is something a kid would love to do. I looked on the Creative Paperclay website and found more project ideas – they even describe how to make your own simple molds using rubber stamps and foam sheets. Too cool!

Now I want to go around my house finding things to mold the paperclay onto! I also want to try out the other two varieties I got to see how they come out, and I picked up some good old Das (remember that from middle school art class?) at the craft store which is a lot heavier but would make a more substantial piece. I also saw 25# boxes of clay for fifteen bucks…tempting! I need to find some rubber gloves if I’m going to continue messing with clay, however. Eugh.

Kidlet Crafts! January 31, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in kidlet.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

In much more interesting kidlet crafting news, my friend Kerry has talked a bunch about Perler Beads, something I had seen in passing but didn’t really know much about. Apparently her four oldest children are nuts about the things so I looked them up and got a couple of sampler kits for the kidlet to try, thinking if he really liked them I could invest in a larger assortment.

They’re not only made in the US but they’re very affordable – I found a website that has a great selection of individually packaged kits that run between $2-$2.50 and then this website also offers Classroom Kits that have a lot of great stuff in them for $16 or $18. I do wonder about the effects of heating the “food-safe plastic” with an iron and of course the overall impact on the environment should they be thrown away, but overall they seem like a fairly safe and decent craft supply for kids.

Anyway, kidlet loved the durned things. My order arrived in the mail last night (pretty speedy as I placed the order Saturday night) and he was so excited when I pulled out the three packs I had gotten for him – Puppy Pal, Bug Buddies, and Fishy Wishy. We decided on the puppy and got set up on the dining room table.

This is rated for kids 5+ and they actually make larger beads for younger children, but kidlet had no trouble at all manipulating the standard size beads. I do think I might get him a pair of plastic tweezers to help him place them on the pegboard. without knocking other ones over. It was fascinating watching him concentrate so hard on picking out the right color beads and then carefully placing them on the pegboard one by one.

Here’s some photo overkill:

Kidlet crafting with Perler Beads (by jeninmaine)

He picked out the eyeball bowl for holding the beads while he worked on his project.

I tried to help him by separating the yellow from the orange and he got so irritated with me, saying, “Mommy, I KNOW which ones are yellow and which ones are orange!” And he did. I guess he showed me!

Kidlet crafting with Perler Beads (by jeninmaine)

Kidlet crafting with Perler Beads (by jeninmaine)

Aww, cute kidlet mugging for the camera…

…wait a minute, there’s no baby left, there’s just little boy! Where did Baby Michael go? Wah!

Kidlet crafting with Perler Beads (by jeninmaine)

Proudly displaying the fruits of his labor along with a cheesy grin and monkey finger puppet given to him by a coworker at my baby shower.

Kidlet crafting with Perler Beads (by jeninmaine)

I really like our front windowsill. It gets great light.

My son picked me a teensy daisy back in late summer and was in a bunch of other flowers I put in a vase of water. All of the other flowers eventually wilted and died, but this hardy little thing sprouted roots and is doing great, even in the middle of January! I find it inspiring.

I also like the little pile of rocks – kidlet put them there the other day and we haven’t moved them. I like leaving his little altars where he places them, I think it gives him more of a sense of belonging as he is able to create his “own” spaces in our home together.

(I also have to admit being able to see a bare patch of grass is exciting to me even though we’re supposed to get another storm tomorrow.)

And now, your moment of Zen…

Windowsill (by jeninmaine)

Handspun yarn and crafty kidlet December 5, 2007

Posted by jeninmaine in Etsy, kidlet, spinning.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

I’ll start with yarn because it thrills me…but I’m too tired to write descriptions so I’ll just deluge you with images. Click on any photo to visit my Flickr account for details if’n you want them. Also posted in my Etsy shop.

I MAKE-A DE YARN:

(DIS DE FUG YARN)

Handspun Fug Yarn (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Fug Yarn (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Fug Yarn (by jeninmaine)

(DIS DE NOT SO FUG YARN)

Handspun Benny Yarn (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Benny Yarn (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Benny Yarn (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Yarn - Beatrice's New Hairdo (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Yarn - Beatrice's New Hairdo (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Yarn - Beatrice's New Hairdo (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Yarn (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Yarn (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Yarn (by jeninmaine)

Handspun Yarn (by jeninmaine)

I TAKE-A DE PEEKSHURES OF ADORABIBBLE KID BEIN CRAFTY:

Kidlet at home being crafty (by jeninmaine)

Kidlet at home being crafty (by jeninmaine)

Kidlet at home being crafty (by jeninmaine)