Space is super valuable in my 8' yurt, so I have been trying to replace my wooden desk chair with something less bulky. I was hunting around the side yard for aluminum or steel tubing to rivet or weld into a chair when I found a school stool! I updated it with spray paint and leather. Sanding off the rust took the longest. I am really pleased with the goat leather seat cover. I bought a goat skin from PeggySueAlso on etsy for a different project, and there happened to be loads left over. I used the 3m spray adhesive to attach it to the plastic seat, then used marine goop on the underside to attach the free edge. Since this was a scrap, it was a little shy of the correct dimension in some areas, so I used clothespins to hold the leather in place while the glue dried.
Here is a before and after of sorts, with our welding stool on the left and my desk stool on the right.
I wear skirts nearly exclusively (if I have to wear jeans or pants for an activity, I have to buy or borrow a pair) but I spent a couple of days in jeans recently and was reminded of how freeing pockets are. I wanted to make a pocket belt I could wear with my day-to day clothes (I already have a tattered fairy style pocket belt for working at fairs), and here it is.
I'm an artist but sewing is not one of my strengths! Still, I thought the way I cut apart this shirt was pretty ideal, so I'll pass it on.
This is the outside layer of the belt. I cut up the front of a fairly thick, wool, men's shirt to make a belt with two integrated triangle pockets. Then I cut a matching inner layer from the sleeves. I'd already looted two of the buttons for a kindle cover, so I had to relocate these three buttons from the middle to the end. Each side of the front was 26", so I think if you have up to a 50" waist a repurposed shirt front will work for you, as long as you only want one button (mine has three). I don't know my measurement where the belt hits, but my waist and hips are 28" and 38" and I cut off a total of 9" and have a 7-8" overlap.
I think this forest green is just perfect, but working on it for four hours made me really want to start a bigger, better, sillier rainbow fairy belt.
I thought I would share my Urban Letterboxing cautionary tale on a carvers' forum because I know you'll understand the work involved in carving two clues backwards.
This retired letterbox was called Secret Staircase. Letterboxing clues often take boxers to a good cafe, welcoming business, or a little rest area that's unexpectedly wonderful, so I thought a difficult-to-spot 5 story staircase that goes between two very different parts of town was a great place for a letterbox. The first stamp was in ivy at a very nice empty former bank, the second one was at the landing of the staircase and contained the logbook (hence the spoiler shield over the third stamp), and the third stamp was in a park. But this series had problem after problem.
The first disaster was that a rat started to eat the stamp shown in blue, so I spent forever recarving it and found it a sturdier box. The main disaster with this box was garbage and human waste, which finder after finder let me know about. When I heard about the garbage I amended the clue to ask boxers to spend a little time picking up if they are able, but when I heard about the waste I retired the box. I didn't even reply to the person who told me about it, nor finish reading their message. The last failing was just that the logbook was so big that non-boxers found it over and over, which was actually very sweet but is bad for longevity.
They used it to write to me, signed it, put in stickers or little drawings. My subsequent plants have been much more successful.
I've seen a lot of great TARDISes on craftster lately and I wanted to share my own. I made this TARDIS letterbox for my boyfriend's college library. I started with an old book. I hollowed it out and filled it with a logbook and hand carved Doctor Who stamps. Then I used cardboard strips to delineate the TARDIS doors, and painted the whole thing blue. The notice is printed from a word file, but I wish I had challenged myself and painted it by hand. The library itself is lovely and small, with stained glass, a spiral staircase, and armchairs by a fireplace. It's a wonderful home for the TARDIS.
Since my boyfriend worked at this library at the time he planted the letterbox, it looks totally official when it's shelved.
If you're a Southern Vermont/Northern MA letter boxer I hope you visit it; it's on atlasquest in Marlboro, VT.
Today I was painting and drawing, and I found out that Oil pastels and watercolor paints make a great team. I feel like there are so many new possibilities for my sketchbook! Oil pastels can be a great resist for watercolors, and that watercolors can fill in the gaps in pastel drawings. So, here is generally how to do it. Supplies:
Oil Pastels, Watercolor Paints, small and large paintbrush, waterproof pen, water soluble pen, pencil.
You can see that using the same color sets the pastel off a bit, and using a contrasting color sets it off a lot.
Pencil Sketch (because I won't be able to see what I'm doing with the white pastel)
put down some waterproof ink since it can't go over the resist
fill in the pastel resist
And then this gets to be less of a tutorial, because I just did a painting. Here is a tiny sketch that shows how well they work together.
I saw this for sale at the Grand Canyon, but the info sheet was about the indigenous potters (very interesting dynamic there) rather than the materials. So, do you know what the finish is? I have never seen anything so brilliant offered in a ceramics class.
When my boyfriend wanted to learn to knit this winter, I made a sample pair of mittens to show him how each step would work. I connected them, like children's mittens, because I think mittens look cozy and charming hanging down from coatsleeves. I ended up awkwardly tucking the mittens back into my coatsleeves as I carrried my coat through museums and galleries in DC in December. I didn't think I'd ever wear them in snow, but moving home to CA took us within 100 miles of the Grand Canyon, so we checked it out, and I got to take snow mitten pictures like a Canadian.
Anyway, I had no idea how practical connecting the mittens would be. I prepared a lunch of tea, tofu, and rice over our whisperlite- a super treat after days of continental breakfast and fast food- and it took a while, and it was freezing. I would take off a mitten and let it dangle, handle the food, and then stuff my chilly hand back in easily. My hands weren't warm at all, but they were more comfortable inside the mittens than out. I was comfortable enough that when the thought of making onigiri at the Grand Canyon popped into my head, and I thought of how not making them would probably trouble me to the end of my days, I was able to suck it up and operate my onigiri press.
I made a snowglobe ornament for my Mom with her initial hanging from the branch.
I had to do a little bit of trouble shooting so I thought I would share my process. I made a wire tree and painted it with nail polish. I used sticker paper to make an X and hung it from a branch. I used clear polish to train the thread to hang down. It didn't fit through the top of the Michael's ornament very well. I scored the bottom of the ornament, pushed in some marine goop (durable glue) and pushed the tree in. I held it in place with some locking forceps until it dried. I gave it a few days to cure then I filled it with water and a half teaspoon of glitter and filled the top with more marine goop.
I expected it to last a couple years, but then I moved across the country by car and it froze in the trunk and I took it from sea level to 6,000 feet and back again and it leaked.
Coraline might not be a movie about craftsmanship, but that is all I can think about when I rewatch it, and I love it. The faces and bodies and clothes and sets are beautifully handmade. I think the long gorgeous intro that shows mechanical hands sewing a doll is a nod to that labor. I was thinking about those precious everyday objects when I was in Michael's picking out a squishy, glittery ball of Vanna's Glamour. I thought this would look kind of like her hair + raincoat. I was knitting the first toe before I realized the yarn is quite similar to Coraline's sweater, and since the socks were working up so plain I embraced the similarity and added some felt stars.
I knit these with my default sock recipe, which works perfectly in my default sock yarn so it didn't occur to me that it might not work in this yarn. These socks are loose around the ankle and don't stay up, but I will share what I did: needles: US 3 dpns yarn: Vanna's Glamour Sapphire, Palette Safflower Cast on 60 stitches (72 for a man) 2" k2p2 ribbing k3p1 ribbing to heel half stitches to waste yarn holder, fake provisional cast on same number k3p1 ribbing to toe, except decrease 4 stitches on each side after the heel and again before the toe. heel: replace waste yarn with 3 dpns. knit in round with increasingly frequent decreases until 12 stitches remain graft horizontally toe: similar to heel, but graft when 26 stitches remain stars: The easiest way to freehand them is to cut felt pentagons and cut those into decagons. Then baste in place with sewing thread.