(Pictured above: The beautiful REBY! Aka Rebekah Bossard, while on tour with New Old Time Chautauqua)
Here in the beautiful pacific northwest spring has been slowly paving its way. While it was technically the first day yesterday, the icy cold wind, grey skies, and drizzle would have lead you to believe time was going backwards into winter. Today, however, is a spring day. The skies are blue, the sun is shining, and the air is crisp but comfortable.
I have been super busy lately. Between practically full time hours at the yarn store, making a move to the beautiful Lookout Arts Quarry, and a variety of personal projects, I’ve had stacks of crafted-good-and-other-things-to-blog-about just stacking up.
I’ll kick it off with a link to Nightcaptain.com, as this is a huge part of my life at the moment and a project I am very deeply involved with. I am excited to post about it here for a variety of reasons. One is that I made that website, which means it fits nicely into the craftiness of my blog. (I consider website building crafty, don’t you?)
Another reason is that it is super circus related, as it is all circusy people involved and a few of us will be performing sweet circus acts in the show! That’s me on the front page, doing some mild contortion. Woop!
The most exciting reason is because it is a really cool project, with some great goals, and some really cool people involved. I feel very privileged to be part of the whole thing. There will be more Night Captain related posts to come as there is a lot of crafty shenanigans going into the whole thing, including but not limited to: Needle felted puppets, handmade costumes, hand built sets and aerial rig/stage… The list just goes on and on. The whole thing is being built from scratch by very creative and capable people, and I’ll be excited to share not only my own involvement in the project but the creative endeavors of all of those involved.
Right now the whole thing is still in pretty early stages, and we’re all in the process of dreaming big and paring everything down to reality, but I
Last December a friend of mine asked me if I’d be interested in participating in the Haute Trash fashion show that was going to be taking place at the Cirque Lab. I had remembered seeing this fashion show at Oregon Country Fair a few months before and was ecstatic to be a part of it.
I created the dress by fusing plastic bags together, and created the vest by knitting plastic bags. The only non-plastic bag element is a piece of elastic in the back which allows me to get the dress on and off.
These are some masks I’ve made. The raven mask I made last year for an Oregon Country Fair costume. The white half mask was made for a friend’s circus production which I was a dancer in.
Something you may or may not know about me is that I am secretly not-so-secretly a huge nerd.
This is a costume I made for Oregon Country Fair this year. Which, if you are not familiar, is not a renaissance fair or anything like that. But definitely a fun place to get dressed up.
Literally everything in these pictures I made, either from scratch or (in the case of the cape) through altering already made items. I made up the patterns for the hooded vest, the underbust tailvest, and the hot pants (accidentally the best things I have ever made). The blouse was some simplicity costume pattern for a nightie, which I altered to be a shirt. I made the headpiece and the vest closure as well, from random items found at the craft store.
Hot. Action. AmIRite?
You may have noticed that in the video from my last post, I am wearing the tutu and bloomers from the two posts previous to that. Because I made them for that skit.
What I also made is that freaking sweet monster costume. Here are some photos, which are easier to see than the video.
It changes faces. From grumpy to happy. I am so dang proud of that thing. (Though I cannot take credit for the suit… that was Chipp’s to begin with!)
Inspired by/made from the instructions contained within this craftster post
A few months ago my sweetie gave me an old trunk he didn’t have a use for. I think he got it from the goodwill for like $5. It wasnt in great shape. Not terrible, but pretty peely/rusty/a little moldy. I had a dream of making it into something beautiful. This is that dream come to fruition.
Sadly (stupidly) I neglected to take before and process pictures. But the finished product is something I’m very happy with. My sewing machine fits snug inside the empty space there…
Here are the things I made for the “Spell my name” craft swap I participated in last month. My partners name was Tina. Tina just had a baby, so most of the stuff I made her was for her baby. These are all the things that I made once, and then made again.
For T, I made her Two onsies. I free handed the designs and used freezer paper to make stencils. I really love the bird + hearts ones, they turned out better than I could have hoped for.
Here was the first batch:
And then the remade batch, in which the owl onsie turned out much better because I learned from my mistakes. The lines around the eyes weren’t intentional, but liked the way they looked so I didn’t fix them.
For I, I made Itty Bitty Booties using this pattern.
And then I made them again, of course:
I used ribbons instead of buttons because putting buttons on anything for a baby just seems like a bad idea to me. I don’t trust my sewing enough to keep that button in place, and babies are strong!
For N, I made a Neck Strap, for Tina’s new camera (which I saw on her blog.)
And when I made it a second time, I made it adjustable!
Finally, I made some Assorted burp cloths for the A in her name. These were the only things that made it in the first package, so I didn’t have to remake them.
I really liked making this baby stuff. My bff from way back in the day is having a baby soon, and I plan on making similar type items for her baby boy! They’re so fun to do, because they’re instantly gratifying. Very small projects, always very cute, always very quick. Yes.
I have moved my blog from blogger to tumblr in hopes of updating more frequently. My thinking is that with the more user friendly interface and the general idea of how tumblr should work I will update more frequently with smaller posts about each project as opposed to putting everything off and then updating with huge multi-project posts. I always found blogger’s interface to be cumbersome and incommodious, so I kind of ended up dreaded blogging. This is what I’m telling myself to excuse my general lack of frequent updates.
Also, I like how tumblr is integrated with facebook. Since I’m pretty sure the only people who ever see this are people who are directed via facebook this is a good thing. Its possible that blogger also had this type of feature but I was too lazy to check.
Oh, one last thing thing, I will be expanding the general purpose of this blog to also include my artwork as opposed to just crafting (because I’ve been getting back into drawing & painting of late) and may also end up posting some inspirational things here and there, and possibly even some photos from my life every now and again seeing as how this is a tumblr and all and thats what folks typically do. I don’t intend to make this blog a full on journal or anything, as thats what my livejournal is for, but I would like to make this thing more lively in general.
So with that said, I give you a picture of our re-vamped painted area rug that I mentioned in my last post. Inspiration and instructions came from Martha Stewart. I used intererior flat latex paint instead of acrylic, and I freehanded the design. It looks way way way better than my previous attempt, and because its got about 7 layers of paint & varnish its pretty sturdy and doesn’t flip up all the time. It also looks more finished, instead of like a painting tarp with some paint on it. So there you go.
My Humble Abode
Five months and no posts! I can explain.
In May I graduated from college. And then I did some crafty things but was busy packing up my stuff to move to Bellingham, WA. And then I did move, and then I spent three months living with my dad and I didn’t have pretty much any of my crafting things unpacked while there. I did a little knitting but didn’t finish any projects. While I could have taken some pictures of some of the things I had finished in the month between my graduating and my moving, I didn’t.
However, I have now moved into my own apartment and have been super busy decorating! So this post is dedicated to what I’ve done so far. Some of it is crafting, and some of it is just decorating, but it all kind of goes together :) I still have some more things to do and I may end up posting them as I finish them, but this big update should do for now!
First, the bedroom. In here all I really did craft wise was put some beautiful batik fabric on the walls using some fabric starch (so they’ll be easy to take down when I move out, and I can just wash the starch off the wals with water). I also hung a Klimt curtain thing over the bed as a headrest sort of deal.
Next is my little hallway collage, inspired by one that which resides at my dad’s house:
I plan on adding more pictures over time. There’s actually three hanging out on the floor below but I need to figure out how to hang them because they have weird frames.
Onto the bathroom where, again, I mostly just decorated by putting fabric on the walls. I also have a floor mat. No shower curtain right now, just the liner. I thought I packed ours from California but I have yet to find it so I might just need to buy a new one.
I love this paisley fabric, and its kind of a good transition between the bedroom and the living room. Its got the colors of the bedroom, but the paisleyness of the living room, which has decorations based off these paintings:
Which were given to us by a friend. There is the fabric that adorns the living room walls. Here’s a wider shot of the living room, which is also my craft room:
(And there’s Franki, being a ham.) The futon is nowhere near being done as I need to get a cushion for it and make an actual cover, but right now that tapestry is doing a good job making it look at least somewhat a part of the room. I did refinish the futon, though! Previously it was unfinished and looking really dingy. I’ll get to the other parts of the living room that I crafted, but first I want to show off my craft area!
Pretty much everything here I already had, but I reorganized some stuff from how it used to look, and the chair I found walking home one day and painted so it looks nice. That dog crate there serves as the base of my cutting/drafting table for sewing patterns—its the perfect height and saves space too :)
Now onto the living room projects. First, the area rug. Area rugs are expensive, so my interim solution was to buy a painting tarp from Lowe’s and do some printing.
I made this stamp out of that rubbery vinyl stuff you can get at art stores:
And these stamps out of a wooden block and some craft foam (there is one bird on each side of the block):
These two stamps go to tie the rug into the paintings I refered to earlier to create this rug:
Its not perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it. It serves the purpose of protecting the apartment carpet from the foot traffic of the dogs and us humans. I got the idea to do the prints from Printing By Hand, I absolutely love the style the author has in that book. Really great instructions too. I’ve done a little linoleum block carving before, but the book was very helpful. I may end up trying to do some more with it in the future because the cream color underlayer kind of bothers me, but I have to do some more pondering before it happens.
These babies I’m excited about. I picked up two reclining chairs from the goodwill for about $13 a piece. They were pretty gross looking, one was sort of pinkish grey and the other tannish brown, but both were very very comfy. I went online to look up how I could slipcover or reupholster them and found this article from Threads. Much easlier to make than slipcovers, and they look beautiful:
The one on top is a little more tucked in cause its the one my boyfriend likes to sit in more, and he didn’t like all the flowy drapeyness. I love the way the fabric pools on the floor so the one I like to sit in has all that going on.
To make them I draped queen sized sheets over the chairs as the underlayer, and found some home decor fabric at Joann that had the same sort of paisley thing as the walls but wasn’t too matchy matchy for the over layer. Mostly its just a lot of hemming and in the process of doing all the hemming I, unfortunately, broke my sewing machine. After spending about two full days trying to fix it, I gave up and found an older machine at Salvation Army for $15 and finally got to finish the job.
Here’s one last shot of the living room, in which you can see our desk. This desk was also picked up from goodwill, and it was previously white with light blue drawers. Kind of dirty and gross looking, and didn’t really go with the rest of the furniture so I painted it brown and put new drawer pulls on it:
Last on the home decorating front is the dining room. Here is where I found a table for $8 at goodwill, and four different chairs for about $3-4 a piece. While all the chairs are different, I tied them all together by rehupolstering them with the same fabric and they all look very nice.
The dining room and kitchen are where I’m still working. I have fabric I’m gonna put on the walls and cabinets in there, and the whole color theme is related to those chairs: chartreuse and red. All our pet stuff is in the dining area, and I have some projects I’m working on related to those things also. I’ll keep this thing updated as I get further along with those ventures.
A final room here in the apartment, which I am not responsible for but deserves mention as it looks very nice, is the music room. Because my craft area gets to take up half the living room (where I can craft but also socialize and watch movies and such) my boyfriend gets this whole room to himself. Its nice because he has a place to focus on his music, and the instruments (which can take up a lot of space) aren’t scattered in every corner of the house. Because he does some recording its also nice because he doesn’t have to worry about the sounds from the rest of the house messing up his recordings. Eventually we’re gonna do some soundproofing work in this room, but thats going to happen over time because it can be an expensive venture! In the meantime he doesn’t play anything too loud and because it doesn’t have any shared walls besides the ceiling relations with the neighbors have not suffered :)
And that’s all for now! I’m working on some more projects and hopefully now that I’m settled I’ll be better about getting this thing updated. We’ll see!
Favorite Animal Swap
I recently did a swap on Craftster.org, and the theme was “Craft a Favorite Animal.” Meaning I gave my partner my top 3 favorite animals for her to craft for me, and she gave me her top 3 for me to craft for her. Her top three were 1) Skunks, 2) Dragonflies, and 3) Bats. So this is what I made for her:
So for Skunks we have a woodburning I did on a plaque:
Here is a detail shot:
And here is a felted skunk, with a Dragonfly included on the schnozzle:
And a detailed closeup:
The lady I made them for has a pet skunk who is mostly white with brown patches, hence the way the skunks I crafted look :)
And for Dragonlflies, I did the felted one on the nose above and also this ornament, which was a pretty simple thing to make:
And finally, for a bat, I knitted a stuffed critter she had on her wist:
The pattern for the bat can be found here.
Thats it for today. I have been furiously knitting away for the holidays!