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1  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: need help organising ephemera!! on: February 02, 2013 07:26:23 PM
I have two systems--folders and bins.

Folders are for collage materials I've encountered, whether printed digitally, ripped from a magazine, cut from a calendar, etc. I have these folders sorted as follows:

Text
Technical (Drawings, Blueprints, Diagrams, Graphs, etc.)
Maps
Nature
Animals
People

Coordinating "kit" ephemera is sorted by color after I've used the kit. By kit I mean those found in plastic sleeves in craft stores, usually designed to coordinate with a particular paper line. Since this isn't "real" ephemera from my life, my primary concern is managing my color palette. I've got ROYGBP + Black, White, and Brown bins. In addition to ephemera I also have everything else sorted into these bins. Purple glitter lives right next to purple letter stickers and purple tags in my stacking bins. I do have a separate small parts box from Lowe's that holds metal embellishments sorted by metal, attachers sorted by metal, and flowers/ribbons sorted by color. These live on my desk because I'm reaching for them a lot.

"Real" ephemera--movie tickets, receipts, bits of packaging, etc--it all goes into a single container.

When starting a project, I shop my bins and sort my finds into a project bin. Everything goes--punches I want to use, dies, glitter, ephemera, collage, paints, embellishments, papers, rubber stamps, ink pads, base materials like paper bags and chipboard--everything. When I've finished a project I re-shop remainders into the proper containers.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Painting flat pack furniture? on: January 09, 2008 10:05:06 PM
I've got this large old flat pack computer desk that's functional but ugly. It's MDF with a woodgrain paper glued rather weakly to it. It actually peels off in strips in the more frequently used areas (keyboard tray, etc.) I've never painted anything but new unstained furniture before, so I have a couple of questions:

1. How should I go about removing the woodgrain paper? I would prefer not to use too many chemicals if it all possible because I live in a basement apartment without too much ventilation.

2. What type of brush would be best to keep visible brushtrokes to a minimum?

Thanks in advance.  Cheesy
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: Starting Christmas gifts? on: May 06, 2007 06:45:06 PM
I've started two afghans--one large heirloom afghan in a nice neutral taupe and the Coats & Clark Sunrise/Sunset throw afghan in creamy butter and wheat. These are for my mother and her sister, both of whom like traditional looking homemade things. For my brother I've begun a (knitted) skullcap for his December birthday and I've already found a pattern for a soft ripple that will be in a sea and sand palette.

And I'm still finishing my mother's scarf from this Christmas. She selected the most annoying yarn in the universe for the scarf, and I've had to frog it back 8 or 9 times. She told me to give up on it, but it is my Everest. I will finish it.
4  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: what you need to get started? on: April 10, 2007 10:40:31 AM
I'd start with:

- An easy pattern that you like/think is cute
- Worsted weight acrylic yarn in the recommended colors (I use Red Heart for amigurumi)
- Hooks in sizes F, G & H (most amigurumi is crocheted in hooks smaller than what is recommended for worsted weight yarn--I use F & G, but it depends on the yarn)
- 1 package of stitch markers to mark the beginning of rounds (the locking type--they look like squat plastic safety pins--it's just easier than using yarn or earrings or what have you)
- Large-eyed yarn needles for sewing it together--I prefer strong metal needles, but plastic is fine
- Stuffing (don't use dryer lint, which I've seen recommended in various places.. it's HIGHLY flammable)

Now you need to learn single crochet, which is what just about all the amigurumi patterns I've seen call for. Find some instructions on the web that work for you and make a swatch of single crochet in light colored yarn until you feel confident.

Then move on to working in the round.. you need to learn the magic adjustable ring or the double magic adjustable ring. Make circles until you feel comfy.

Then, using something like How to Read Crochet Patterns as a reference, try out your amigurumi pattern. Anything you get stuck on, look up on teh google.
5  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: beginner question on: April 01, 2007 12:00:05 AM
When you first start to crochet, you should really count every row. In the beginning, I had to count and frog and count and frog until I got the hang of it. Now I can crochet several rows without counting -- you can just "feel" when something is not right when you have more experience.

The rule of thumb is this:

If the pattern states that the end chain counts as a stitch, you should crochet into it.

If nothing is stated and there are no stitch counts listed, pick a method and be consistent.
6  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: Reducing friction on plastic hooks? on: January 05, 2007 06:09:37 AM
It's horrible, no? I solved this same problem by buying the bigger aluminum JoAnn hooks. I believe they have through N in aluminum. In the two JoAnns I've shopped at in the last six months, they've put their hooks and needles on side or end caps, near but not with the other hooks and needles.
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: what is the best way to get started crocheting?? on: September 28, 2006 09:38:24 AM
I totally agree with Cranteach about selecting yarn that you enjoy touching and working with. My mother insisted I buy cheap yarn and a single hook in case I didn't like crocheting, and I quit crocheting for a year after I learned because I hated working with the itchy scratchy yarn. I bought a couple of skeins of softer slightly more expensive yarn and now, six months later, I've finished a dozen items and started taking a knitting class.
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: soften Red Heart yarn? on: September 02, 2006 08:29:02 AM
Red Heart Soft yarn (available at A.C. Moore, bigger JoAnn's, online, etc) is only a few cents more per skein than Super Saver and feels *much* better against skin. Caron Simply Soft feels pretty nice and is usually about the same price (or even less, sometimes) than Super Saver.

For stuff you've already made with RHSS, you can try liquid fabric softener.
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