Friday, January 20, 2012

Giveaway Winner and Showing the Wool Who's Boss

First let me announce the winner of the Pantone Book giveaway-

Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes had the lucky randomly drawn comment.
Congratulations Pam!

If you didn't win- don't worry, you'll have another chance at a fabulous prize. Because on Monday I'll be hosting another giveaway to celebrate my 3 year blogiversary. Be sure to check back next week and see what I'm giving away- trust me you don't want to miss it.

(On a side note- I just love giveaways, they make me feel like a game show host or the girl that pulls the winning lottery numbers. Ok, ok, back to crafting.)

You might remember that lately I've been having a bit of an issue with felting a white snowball. The wool was acting all weird. Clumping, not felting completely, and probably most frustrating of all- not sticking to itself when it did felt.

I figured this was either because- A. White wool is typically harder to felt than other colors. B. Wool is just plain evil and has a mind of it's own. Or C. Despite having felted this way many times before, I was just doing something wrong.

So this past weekend I went to the felting store seeking answers, and a bit more wool.

They tried to be super helpful...

First suggesting rolling the ball inside a scrap of tulle (which they were also sweet enough to offer to give me). But once they found out I was already rolling it in nylon there isn't much of a difference, so that idea was out.

Then they asked if I was using hot water, enough soap, and had been working the wool long enough? I appreciate that they wanted to cover the basics, it's always a good first step in diagnosing a problem. The answers were- scalding, yes (probably too much at this point), and it felt like an eternity plus my hands got all red from the rolling and wrinkly from the water, so it was probably enough.

We talked about using some sort of hand tool that had teeth on it for extra "agitation power" (my idea... basically just scrubbing the heck out of it). But they didn't think that was the way to go.

The only other suggestion they had for me was maybe rolling on a stick mat for some extra "fulling power", which was something I'd been considering anyway, so I picked one up.

Stick mat in hand the very last bit of advice I got was to "go home and show the wool who's boss".

So yesterday I sat down, unrolled my new mat, got the water, got the wool, got my nylon, and calmly decided that it was going to felt because that's what I wanted it to do.

And you know what- it worked!

That's right wool- who's your mama now.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Impossible Project Update

I've been organizing the island but you know the old saying- that one project leads to the three before it, right? Two of my three projects have turned out to be...

1. Going through old paper sample books and 2. Getting a hold on the magazine situation.

There were quite a few homeless items that had been plunked on the island by default since they had no where else to go. And lately I'd been thinking that I'd just run out of space. Which in all honestly is a ridiculous notion because the room the island's in is only half the space of the entire studio. It's pretty large home workspace of any kind- there was no way I should be running out of room!

So I started to evaluate exactly what I was storing on the shelves and in the built-in cabinet. And realized that a lot of it was leftover from when I used the studio for consultations with wedding invitation clients. I had half a shelf in the built-in full of paper sample books that I don't need anymore. But instead of recycling all that paper I pulled out anything that I liked-

and put it into my paper bins which are sorted by color and divided into "scrap" and "whole sheets".

Some of the sample books were so cool I could see myself using every page so I kept those in tact and put them back on the shelf. But they take up less than half the space the whole collection was taking up before I went through them.

My evaluation of the storage also highlighted that I might have a magazine problem. See the brown and white flowered boxes on the shelves. Those are all magazines. And what you can't see is that on the lowest shelves I have 4 more of those bins. All of them are full and they are taking up lots of space on my shelves.

(And that umm doesn't even count the stack on the chair that started when I ran out of room for these pretty little bins, or the stack I've hidden in the storage ottoman in the living room, or the ones I have on the night stand in the bedroom). Ok, ok my name is Meg and I'm a magazine-aholic.

So I finally put into action a "mini impossible project" that I'd been planning for a while now. I started going through all of the magazines. Clipping out anything I'm remotely interested in, and putting them into categorized binders. Thereby getting rid of all the fluff and ads that I don't need and are just taking up space.

So far I've gone through three boxes of wedding magazines, leftover from when I was planning my wedding (more than 6 years ago) and from when I met with wedding clients. Out of all these I'm hanging on to clippings that total less than 1/4 of the pages in a single magazine!

And after all of this the island is getting there. Slowly but surely I'm seeing surfaces again.

(Sorry for the crappy picture but the light was awful from where I was taking this picture).

P.S. Don't forget you have until tonight (Thursday Jan. 19th) at 11:59 EST to enter my giveaway! Tomorrow I'll announce a winner.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Little Giveaway and My Impossible Project

When Karah from The Space Between told me she was about to announce a challenge with a group of other bloggers and asked me to join I was really intrigued. Karah was one of the participants in my Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge, she made that wonderful driftwood tree that was so amazing, so I knew if she was involved it would be an interesting and inventive challenge.

And boy is it ever!

It's called the Imagine the Impossibilities challenge. The goal is to pick a project that seems daunting or impossible to you, and tackle it during the month of January.

There was definitely one project that I needed some motivation to start and this seemed like the perfect thing to get me going.

So here's my impossible project- Cleaning and Organizing The Craft Studio.

Warning: The following images may be disturbing for certain viewers who like neatness.

As of yesterday this was current state of the island in my craft studio.

Piles and piles of craft projects and materials. Some hadn't even been taken out of the bag after being purchased.

And the thing that gets me is that I already have a pretty good basic organization in the studio. I just haven't been keeping up with it.

(This is my large shelving unit behind the island in it's normal state of organization)

But once I started getting dizzy I haven't really been working in the studio. I've been working in the dining room or living room so I can lay down on the couch if I need a dizzy break.

The studio has turned into a room that I grab materials from, then plunk them down again once I'm finished with a project. Never actually putting the materials away (as you can clearly see).

But I'm tired of it getting messier and messier. I love the studio when it's neat, clean and easy to work in. It had a wonderful creative energy and was my favorite room in the house.

(Here's the way the island used to look- there was room to seat 6 people)

It doesn't feel that way anymore- it sort of feels abandoned now.

So it's time to clean! And maybe that will encourage me to start trying to work in there again despite the dizziness.

This project probably wouldn't be impossible under normal circumstances, since mostly everything on the island has a home on a shelf somewhere. But since I get dizzy I have to take a lot of breaks. Cleaning happens in short spurts and it's hard to keep up with an ongoing project. So I think having this challenge is going to help keep me on track.

Now for the giveaway part of the post!

Funny things happen when you clean. You realized that if you were more organized you probably wouldn't do things like buy the same item twice.

I found I have two copies of this book. They are both in perfect condition so I thought why not give one away!

If you love color (like I do) this is a wonderful book. It has a color wheel in the front.

Includes some basic color terminology, talks about the moods each color can represent and how they are perceived by viewers.

It also shows some interesting color pallet and combinations in the back.

All you have to do to enter is be a follower (or become one) and leave a comment. The giveaway is open until 11:59 pm EST January 19th. 2012

I'll choose a random winner and announce it on Friday January 20th 2012.
This Giveaway is Now Closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! You can check this post to see who won.

And if you want to join the Imagine the Impossibilities challenge too head on over to Karah's post about the challenge.
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