Friday Favorites, Episode 45: The End

It was a tough decision to make, but this is going to be the last Friday Favorites that I post up here. At least, for now. It’s just getting to be too much– I’m barely able to keep up with reading blogs, let alone compiling this post every week. Especially over the last month or so, where I’ve often had to skip weeks and then do two at once, and even more especially now that I’m back at my part-time garden center job and therefore lose a big chunk of Friday. So #45 seemed to be a good place to leave it. And since I have a tendency to mostly link tutorials, and have been saving them all to my Wists account anyway, anyone who wants to can see what tutorials people have been putting up that I like from the sidebar on here. Maybe one day I’ll go through there and clean up the tags for easier access, but not today. And since I’m on a time crunch (my whole weekend is flute rehearsals and performances, and I only have about an hour and a half before I have to leave!), I’m going to do this list-style. So here’s what I liked this week…

  1. Stamped Tile Coasters from Dollar Store Crafts
  2. The mum pillow at Assorted Notions
  3. Missle Command circle skirt at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
  4. Magazine Reed Box at CraftStylish
  5. Millifiori and Organza Pendant at Polymer Clay Central
  6. Minibooks with faux fabric book tape at The Small Object
  7. Cardboard tube hurricane lamp cover at A Little Hut
  8. Glitzy Garden Globe at Diary of A Crafty Chica
  9. Soda Can Star Lights, also at Diary of a Crafty Chica
  10. How to Scrapbook with Busy Patterned Paper at Creativity Prompt (since I’m a sucker for those busy patterns)
  11. Pleated Hem Sleeve at rostitchery
  12. handmade flower embellishments at the Creating Keepsakes blog

Got a lot of other stuff on my mind– been doing more pondering sewing than actual sewing over the last day or so, since I got the pattern for the dress I’ll be wearing to my brother’s wedding. But I think I’m going to make that a separate post… maybe I’ll go ahead and write that now anyway.

Friday Favorites, Episode 41 (the late edition)

Technically, it IS still Friday, so…

Since it’s getting late, just going to run these off quickly. On myLifetime.com (found via another site, but I can’t remember if it was One Pretty Thing or Whip Up), I liked this laminated paper chandelier. They used an old book, which I thought was fun. Creativity Prompt had a video tutorial for a fabric covered hardbound book. Sigrid shared some hints and tips for using Burda World of Fashion patterns and what they don’t tell you to do– quite good timing, since I just cut out my very first BWOF pattern today! ThreadBanger shared some ideas for a dress pattern similar to the famous black dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Craft Tutorials shared some tips for finishing craft projects in general, some of which I knew, but others I wouldn’t have thought of (like using a hairdryer to get rid of those pesky hot glue strands!) Antoinette made a great Flickr slideshow tutorial on turning a men’s shirt into a shirtdress (and I love her men’s shirt refashions, so I was happy to see this!) And at ScrapHappy, she did part 2 of her “Scrapbooking on the Road” miniseries.

3 Wardrobe Refashion picks this week: Ellsea’s Susan Pevensie costume (from Prince Caspian) that she made for her daughter completely out of thrift-store stuff, some appliqued jeans from the same person, and Meghan’s tunicy-dress thing.

Hopefully I’ll get some time to post again tomorrow… the time just got away from me today. The good news is, I was very productive. Finished my new spring/summer purse, got the aforementioned BWOF cut out (that drawstring blouse I was raving about in one of the more recent posts–ended up just using a piece of stash fabric because the men’s shirt didn’t have enough fabric), and starting a reconstruction (not the men’s shirt) that was inspired by a song and this book. More details on that to come. Plus I have an award (thanks to Sharon) that I need to post about. But now I need to get off the computer and get some sleep!

Friday Favorites, Episode 36

It’s that time of the week again!

First up today: At Craft Leftovers, the author kindly provided a free download for some spice jar labels with this cute drawing of a talking spice jar on it! It’s quite functional too, as there’s space provided for writing when it was bought, so that way you know how fresh it is. She’s re-using her spice bottles to refill from bulk bins, which I think is a pretty neat idea too.

At Creativity Prompt, there’s a video tutorial for how to make a mini-photo album out of scrapbook paper and a recycled corrugated cardboard box. The instructions are quite clear, the results are cute, and it would make a great gift for someone! (Now that I’m looking there again for the links, there’s a new one up for a 10-minute mini-book too. Will have to check that one out, since I’m still determined to learn bookbinding!)

Chinese New Year is on Sunday, and while I’m not Chinese by any stretch of the imagination, I do love Asian-inspired things. (One of those things I’ve definitely developed a greater appreciation for over the last several years, since I tend to get a lot of students that come from Asian families that immigrated here.) So I really liked this tutorial for making those oh-so-fun paper lanterns. (It’s actually a dual tutorial–the same post has one for tin can lanterns!)

The next one is sort of a first for me on this feature, since I generally don’t talk about books much. But this one looked kind of intriguing– it’s called Sewing Green by Betz White, and I found out about it via Whip Up. The link takes you to a gallery of sample project photos from the book. Didn’t look like anything much out of the realm of my experience, but it’s all using recycled stuff. (One that I did find particularly cool was a sun shade for a car windshield made out of…*drumroll*… Capri-Sun pouches! Might not have thought of that one.)

Next up, from Weekend Designer: I. Need. This. Bag. No, seriously, I do. I’ve been thinking for months that it would be nice to have a big roomy zip-up bag for weekend trips–my carry-on suitcase is a little too small, my regular suitcase is way too big, and it’s a bit unwieldy to use a rolling suitcase in instances such as the crafty hangout weekends (like the one coming up in February) when I’m also having to wheel the rolling tote thing for my craft supplies. And this one looks pretty much perfect, plus has the added bonus of being a free pattern (once I draw it out.) I’m trying to think of if I have anything in my stash that might work– bought fabric for a new spring/summer purse yesterday and now I have to come up with a stash project to compensate, according to my new rules. I know that I have one that might, but I’ll have to see if it’s strong enough (they recommended upholstery-weight, and this fabric is pieced together of denim and brocade–my mom had bought it and decided she couldn’t use it after all and passed it on to me.)

Last item for today, from Dollar Store Crafts: These light bulb vases are cute and simple. Would require the old-fashioned kind, of course, because the halogen lamps would definitely NOT work for this.

Ok, that’s it for now. Time to go get some stuff done. Like take some pictures– I’m at least 2 posts behind on that now!

Friday Favorites, Episode 15

A short one today, but hopefully a good one.

1. Helen at SewStylish posted a great list of free sewing patterns/tutorials. I haven’t had a chance to browse through the links yet, but free can never be a bad thing.

2. Two from ThreadBanger this week. The first is a list of several ideas of what to do with scrap thread— those little leftover bits that you clip off of the end of seams and handstitching projects and such. I’d never really thought to save those before, but in the interest of keeping stuff out of landfills, I can see why they would be. Plus some of the stuff is just fun. The other was a tutorial for a Japanese-style cropped jacket from a hoodie. (I really need to catch up on ThreadBanger vids…)

3. Craft Leftovers posted a tutorial for a cute little book.

4. Not a tutorial so much as an “I need to figure out how to copy this”. Earrings made from old cds, courtesy of Recycled Crafts. Being the music junkie I am, I need these earrings. 😉

High School Creativity, or, I wish I’d been blogging back then

Talk about random post inspiration… I was leaving one of my flute-teaching jobs yesterday afternoon, which is at a local private school, with Nickel Creek’s “When In Rome” stuck in my head for no reason, and it brought to mind this school assignment I’d had back in junior high that had to do with Rome. Which led to thinking about all sorts of random memories of creativity connected to my high school life. I actually enjoyed many of my school projects, since my school was pretty good about encouraging creativity in the execution. Since I didn’t have a blog back then, please indulge me while I reminisce a bit now. (Even though, sadly, I don’t have pictures of the best ones. I wish I did.)

  • The project that started this whole runaway train of thought: the Rome project. When I was in 8th grade, we were doing a unit on ancient Rome in my history class, and each student got assigned a different aspect of life in Rome to research. We were supposed to give an oral report and, I can’t remember if it was required or just one of the options, a visual aid. I got assigned weapons and armor. Which I’d thought was pretty lame, at first… I was a good bit girlier back then than I am now, and with the way my movie/literature interests have evolved, I’d probably think that was a pretty sweet assignment now. But I was pretty excited about the project by the end, mostly due to my visual aid: I bought a Ken doll (the only one I ever owned, for the record) and turned him into a Roman centurion. Made a little red tunic for him, and then I made the plate armor out of strips of cardboard covered with aluminum foil. That part looked pretty good. I also remember painting the gladiator lace-up sandals directly onto his legs. The part I had the most trouble with was his helmet– I ended up making it out of polymer clay (the paintable kind, because this was just when it was starting to come out as a craft supply), and it was way too big because I couldn’t bake it directly onto his head. I think I may have made the sword out of clay too. The clay parts of the outfit didn’t survive long past the due date, but I really did think that armor was pretty good.
  • This may have also been an 8th grade project–I had the same teacher for 11th grade chemistry, but I’m pretty sure this was the junior high class because I had two lab partners in chem and only one partner for this particular project. The chemistry teacher at my school (private school, and 7th-12th were in the same building, so we had a lot of overlapping teachers between junior and high school) was rather quirky, and we were doing a basic chemistry unit. Our last assignment before Christmas break was to pair up and make her a chemistry-related Christmas T-shirt. So my best friend and I teamed up to make her a snowflake shirt, based on hexagon-shaped chemical formulas. Typical early 90s job in glittery puffy paint, but I still think we had one of the best shirts in the class. Of course, I have no idea how those snowflakes would have reacted to each other had they really been together in a test tube…for all I know, we created a formula to make a minor explosion.
  • Now this one I do actually still have, though it’s buried in my bedroom at the moment. For one of my (I’m pretty sure it’s history) classes, we had to do a geneaology project about our families, back to our great-grandparents, and include pictures and such. I made mine kind of scrapbook-style (I think this was when I was first starting to get into it, thanks to a scrapbooking kit that one of my crafty aunts gave me for Christmas one year. At any rate, I did have the deckle scissors, and I know I didn’t have those until I started doing that.)–had some really flimsy paper that may or may not have been sheets of newsprint, but at any rate it looked old. And so I printed everything onto that, glued my photocopies of the pictures on the same stuff, and did a little bookbinding project (the only one I ever did that turned out– good thing, since I was getting graded!) with mat board covered with black construction paper and a dark mulberry paper that I drew the title on with a gold pen. It was very typically heritage-looking. Fitting for the subject, but I don’t think I’m ever going to do one that style again. I like brighter colors. Anyway, as I said, I do still have that one. I guess I figured it might be good to pass along to my non-existent kids someday. But I can at least take a picture to post on here sometime.
  • One of my favorites was actually for an English class–sophomore year American Lit. We were studying John Steinbeck, and were supposed to do some kind of dramatic summary in groups. I was fortunate to get into a rather creative group (the groups were divided based on who picked what book, and ours was The Moon Is Down, which is the only Steinbeck book I’ve ever read and actually liked.) So we decided that for our presentation, rather than act it out ourselves, we would do a puppet show. So we spent a couple long afternoons making heads out of paper mache and yarn, my mom was kind enough to help us with the “costumes” since we were on a time crunch, and my one friend rigged up some kind of stage that we could hang across the classroom doorway while we were in the hall. Our theme music was the Imperial March from Star Wars. We made scrolling (sort of) credits to go on top of them. And little sticks of felt dynamite hanging from parachutes, which we tied to miniature Hershey’s bars and threw at our classmates during the show (in the book, the people resisting the Nazis air-dropped dynamite tied to chocolate bars so that kids would pick them up and bring them home to their parents). Needless to say, that made our presentation the most popular. 😉 I really wish I could see the video of that again… one of my friends in the group videotaped it, and I saw it at her house once during a sleepover, but this was before digital videocameras and it was some kind of format that couldn’t be copied onto VHS with what they had or something. Oh well.
  • Another science-class project, and the only thing I liked about freshman year physical science…we had a “design your own experiment” project that we had to do, and my best friend and I decided that for our scientific experiment, we were going to make cookies and see what effects certain compounds common in baking (i.e. salt, baking powder–see, this is chemistry!) had on the finished products. (I know there was a third ingredient involved, but I can’t remember what.) So we made four batches of chocolate chip cookies–a “control” group made normally, and then leaving one of the three test ingredients out of each of the other three batches. And then we ate them and recorded the taste-test results. Note to self: Never leave the baking powder/soda out of your cookies again.
  • The last one I remember doesn’t actually relate to a project, but it was craftiness in school. There was this rule during finals week that, even when you finished your test, you had to stay in the classroom until the period was over. We all knew that our 9th-grade civics class was going to be a piece of cake, and there weren’t really any rules restricting what we could do afterwards as long as we were quiet enough for those still taking tests, so I brought a small case of beads into the test and worked on a necklace after I was done. It was one of those seed bead daisy chain ones. The reason I remember this, other than making necklaces in school, was because my classmates apparently thought this was rather entertaining. One of the guys (the one that at least half the girls in my class had a crush on at one time or another) even asked if he could try it. So I told him how, and he made one of the daisies on my necklace. (I still have that necklace too, actually.)

It was kind of fun to think back on those, actually. I may have to do another nostalgia post about those teenage clothes sewing projects that I also wish I had pictures of, if only for me to laugh at.