Friday, March 6, 2009

Overwhelmed- Time for a quick knit bunny update

You know when the amount on your to-do list seems unimaginable? Yet somehow you have to get it all done anyway. That was my work week- in fact it's still my work week (I'm still in the office finishing up). 

At some point you realize, yes there is a lot of work but if you don't take a break to do something else- anything else your head really might explode. 

So here it is- a quick bunny update.

I have finished knitting the first bunny (you can see it here) - or again (here [bottom of the page]) and sewed the feet, front, and back together. I haven't felted it yet I figured I'd knit a few and do that all at once. (I'll post a pre-felting picture and a post-felting picture once I'm in the felting stage.)

Here is Bunny number two- electric pink! (And so nice against that crazy fabric, this bunny may just have to live in my office). So far I have two feet and the back done on this one. 

It's amazing how last time I did this pattern they seemed to take forever and now they are just hopping off the needles (couldn't resist that-hopping, lol). Want to measure how your knitting skills have grown? Then I recommend making something from a pattern you haven't used in a while!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Paper Bead Experiment 1

I realized that I've been doing a lot of knitting lately- probably for a few reasons:
  • Lots of new yarn and projects in the works
  • I've had a lot of things on the schedule lately and knitting is something you can do on the go. 
  • I think it's it's also the weather, when I'm home I  just want to curl up on the couch and grab my knitting. (I'm totally ready for spring)
  • Or maybe it's as simple as-  I've just been on a knitting kick.

But for the last few days I've been itchy to play around with other types of crafts. It's been a long time since I've made paper beads, and have usually made the traditional rolled kind. I have a vague memory of making a mushy glue kind once or twice and since the rolled kind wasn't the look I was after- I thought I'd experiment with the mushy kind and see what I got.

I started by soaking random scraps of paper (from junk mail) in water (I also zapped the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds to heat the paper water mixture up). 

After soaking a while the scraps got nice and mushy, I put a few together and pressed the extra water out between two paper towels. Using a little glue as a binder I tried rolling the damp scraps into beads...

I got mixed results: 

Tacky craft glue worked better than general multi-purpose household glue. I also found that rolling the glue and paper together enough to get a solid bead would breakdown the surface too much resulting in a "fuzzy" bead. To avoid this I started wrapping each solidly rolled bead in another scrap of paper that only had glue on one side. This gave the last few beads I made a smoother finished look. 

I'll let them dry overnight, I may also add another layer (some paint or marker?) before sealing them with a glossy finish. Once I get a finished bead I like I'll make enough for a bracelet or necklace.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Organizing The Craft Room

Yup, organization of the studio/craft room was the plan for Sunday. I didn't quite get the entire studio done but I made really great progress! 

A bit of background on the space. It was our second living room, it's two small rooms that have an arch in the middle (someone added this decades ago so the room resembled more of a double parlor). I took it over as my design studio when I started working from home- but it always had both crafty materials and design stuff. Originally I split the room by "working with your hands" and "working on the computer". The tools, work island, and cutting mats were all in the bigger half of the space, the other side had the computer, printer and paper storage. Later I added a sewing machine to the desk on the computer side.

This weekend I worked on organizing the "working with your hands" side. This is the bigger and the most used side of the room (and was the bigger mess of the two sides). The shelving units with most of the crafting supplies got much needed attention- 

The materials have been separated into bins for a while (I did this back when I first bought the Ikea shelving units) but none of the bins were labeled and lots of the materials ended up mixed-up or on the island. 

This time I labeled each bin so I know what it contains. Most of the supplies I use on a regular basis are in clear bins so I can see what I want- but they even got labels too. 

The top two are for paper punches. On the bottom one bin is filled with wire and string, stickers or other paper embellishments are in the other.

Things that I don't need all that often, like extra scissors and the brayer, live in these white boxes on the top shelf.

You can also see the tin ceiling in this picture- it's the only one left in the entire house and I love it.

Some smaller materials were put into these cute little drawers. 

Small stamps, wax seal plates, ink pen nibs all live here. In the blue toped bins below are the bigger stamps and ink pads.

I put all the sharpies and permanent markers I use most often into Mason jars (and do the same with paint brushes). I think they look pretty even if they are out on the counter and this makes them easy to grab when I want to use one. 

Other gel pens and markers used less often  are in small containers separated by color groups. If I'm looking for a green I just pull out the greens and yellows bin and find the shade I'm looking for.

The most wonderful thing about this weekends organization is that the big island got cleared of all unnecessary projects. This island was cluttered with old projects, work in progress, and tons of crafty supplies. 

This is the most valuable working space in the entire room. It's big enough for wrapping presents, spreading out tons of materials, or seating 8 people for a fun craft night. 

Next up is the Computer side of the room. I have a lot of filing and desk cleaning to do. I also have a few more material organization projects in mind... I really need better ribbon storage. 
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