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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Will Post For Post, a.k.a. Will Blog For Mail

One of the best and most surprising parts of the craft blog world is the snail mail exchange. It can be a trade, a contest, a give-away, or, sometimes it's just pure kindness. Anyway you cut it, it's super exciting to get a real package in the mail from this virtual world we've created here.

I've been lucky enough to receive several lovely packages over the last few months. Here they are:


Maura, a.k.a. Dalbhat — India
Maura and I are flickr friends, although we both keep blogs. I remember taking notice of her because the witty comments that referenced the Clash, love guns, and art, were coming from someone in India. My kind of people in India? Who knew? Recently, Maura asked me if I wanted "some bits" from India. What she sent was a bundle of exotic goodies: embroideries, ribbon, paper, and a children's book that she wrote! I'm waiting to tell you more about Maura in a future post.

More photos here.

Thanks, Maura.


Helen, a.k.a. Show Your Workings — New Zealand
Helen sent me these lovely hand-printed fabrics because I left a comment over at her flickr. (Obvious motivation to start leaving more comments, no?) Helen's present was not a formal give-away, just a nice person sending out a little bit of handmade goodness to a loving home. She made the "cell" fabric with a potato — pretty cool, mod design from such simple tools. The rose print was a surprise bonus piece.

More photos here.

Thanks, Helen.


Mo, a.k.a. Lime Gardenias — Pacific Northwest, USA
I won *my first blog contest ever* at Mo's blog. I commented on this particular post because I thought the lady in the bottle was cool. Who knew that Mo was making a super stash of prizes to give away that day. It was difficult to photograph this package because the items got immediately assimilated into the house — chocolate got eaten, kids took what they thought was meant for them, etc. The package was beautifully put together and color coordinated down to the chocolate wrappers. Yum!

More photos here.

Thanks, Mo.


Alison, a.k.a. Starlit Nest — The Mountains Above Town
It's pretty handy to have an Etsy fabric seller in the family. It's even more handy when she sends you a package of the entire Park Slope line even if she lives just a little ways up the mountain. Alison always puts together a nice package, and this one included something for each of my kids, too. My oldest got a well-timed tooth fairy pillow out of Heather Ross dog fabric (he loves dogs) and the littlest got a just-his-size utility apron with sock monkey fabric (he loves monkeys). Alison also has an Etsy shop for the cute things she makes.

More photos here.
Thanks, Alison.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

I *Heart* Red & Aqua (pt 2)

The purse is the result of a fascination with graygoosie's crochet bolero. I was wondering how the hell to crochet something with motifs and no real pattern. Then, I sat down and actually read a book, instead of a computer — I know, wacky stuff. I turned to the section about Irish Crochet and had my answer: first, motifs are basted onto fabric templates; then a crochet chain is basted to the edge of the fabric; finally, random lace is worked from the outside toward the motifs.

So, I tried that with this purse, but the lace was *too* much. I had made a spider's web connected to the flower. The weight was too bulky and loose — I knew I'd be catching things on it all the time. So, I frogged the web and embroidered on some western-style loop decoration.

The real breakthrough for me was making a bag. I know, y'all make bags all the time. But, I haven't wanted to make one since my first attempt, which was a sorry lopsided thing made with a reclaimed polyester patchwork quilt, vinyl backing, and polkadot lining. It was a mixed-media nightmare and I never finished it. (see picture at right)

The other blue and red goodness, from left to right: metal bird ornament made by Regina at Creative Kismet; handmade pincushion and imported gnome-ish ribbon from Kristin at Kleas.


Just found this great series of tutorials for making modern clothing with Irish Crochet. Wish I had found this first, but, then, if you don't even know what it's called, it's hard to google.

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