Jan 29, 2012

Weekly craft check-in #4: Water Dragon blouse

This week I exercised my newest sewing machine some more by finishing an old, stalled project. It was supposed to be a non-boring work shirt, and I think I like it even as a non-work top (which is good, since I'm not at the job any more that I started sewing this for ;)).

Water Dragon top

I'm calling it the "Water Dragon" top partly for obvious reasons (scaly? silvery? shiny?) and partly because it's the Chinese Year of the Water Dragon, and I finished it not too long after the Chinese New Year. ;)

I also got to try out the new remote shutter switch for my camera. I think the photo came out OK for my first session with it, don't you? ;D

So .. What'd you make this past week? :D

Jan 22, 2012

Weekly craft check-in #3: a little sewing project

Time again for a crafty check-in! Did you make anything this week? I'd love to hear about it, or better yet, to see it — so feel free to post your blog links in the comments here or post your pictures in the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

This week, I tested out my newest sewing machine acquirement by making a simple green clutch.

Leafy clutch

Leafy clutch

Leafy clutch
A peek at the inside of the clutch

I downloaded the directions for the clutch for free from BurdaStyle, a sewing Web site where you can get free and paid patterns and share your sewing projects with the community. It's the 1, 2, 3 Sew Pintuck Clutch pattern.

The clutch came out pretty well, considering I haven't sewn for a while, I was using a sewing machine I'm not used to, and the ironing board was out of commission so I had to do my pressing on the floor. ;) (I'll probably use it as a pouch for knitting notions rather than a clutch, though. Shhh.)

More sewing projects are planned for the coming weeks. Wish me luck with my printable pattern adventure. ;)

Jan 15, 2012

Weekly craft check-in #2: a DIY reed diffuser

That week just zoomed by for me — anyone else?

I did manage to get a little makey-makey in, though. I worked a little on a sweater that's been waiting patiently since early 2010, and I also used up some random stuff that's been sitting around the house in a DIY reed diffuser experiment.

DIY reed diffuser

In short, I took some leftover sweet almond oil, the dregs of a bottle of vodka, and some otherwise ignored fragrance oil and shook it all up in the sweet almond oil bottle. Then I poured it into a vase I rescued from under the sink and stuck some bamboo skewers into it. I've heard that the rattan reeds sold specifically for these diffusers work a little better, but hey, the skewers were on hand. I also would have preferred essential oils to fragrance oil, but I figured I might as well use up some fragrance oil while I'm experimenting. It'll be less annoying than using up my lovely essential oils if it doesn't work out. ;) And if it does work, I can use essential oils next time! I'm still waiting for the skewers to marinate and hopefully begin to actually, you know ... diffuse. (I'll also flip them over in a couple of hours, which should help the scent start circulating.)

Did you make anything this week? Share it in the comments if you like, and don't forget to post links to relevant pictures or blog posts if you have them. ;D

Jan 8, 2012

Weekly craft check-in

Sunday! That means it's time to talk about what got made over the past week. (Woo, Craft or Bust!)

At first, on reviewing the past week, I thought I'd hadn't done anything creative or made anything at all. That'd be a great start to the new crafty year, right? ;) I did do a lot of cleaning, though; the Great Craft Room Rescue I've been blathering about for a while appears to finally be under way. (I'm not going to say it definitely is, though, as that might psych me out. ;) Let's just pretend it's like the economy. I won't officially declare the state of the craft room at a high or low point until enough time has passed that I can get a good perspective.)

So I thought I was going to have to say, "What'd I make this week? A mess! And then I cleaned it up."

Part of the aforementioned mess: Some of the tissue paper and wrapping paper I've collected over the years, spread out over the dining room floor so I can sort it and put it back into the craft room in some semblance of order.

Box o' yarn
A lot of my yarn is actually (gasp!) in fabric boxes now. No, not homemade ones like I wanted to make last year (and still want to make), but at least they're an improvement on random sizes of cardboard boxes. ;)

Then I realized that I took some photos of a vase of roses we have in the house at the moment, and according to my own rules, that counts as doing something creative. Ta-da! So I "made" photos. Win.

High Orange Magic

I also got my Very First roll of Swedish tracing paper in the mail this past week, which will hopefully encourage more crafty goodness to ensue. I've been wanting some of this stuff for years, as I've developed an aversion to cutting out paper pattern pieces: For one thing, pattern paper is generally wimpy and easy to tear, and for another thing, sewing patterns cost enough that I don't like the idea of only being able to use them once, in one size.

I also like to draft my own patterns, and while I don't mind doing the initial drafting on paper (usually newsprint, since it comes in large sheet sizes and is readily available at the craft store), I still don't like storing patterns permanently on normal paper, which insects like to chew on and which is more fragile than fabric-like Swedish tracing paper.

Plus, you can sew Swedish tracing paper. Like. How cool is it that you could theoretically use Swedish tracing paper for draping an item of clothing, then take it apart and use it as your permanent master pattern without having to transfer marks or cut anything else?

Anyway, now I'll be able to use the patterns that came with some of my sewing books without actually cutting the printed paper that came with the books. Ha-HA! Not that I really ever get rid of books, but it's nice to have the option of doing it ... and I'm probably not the only one who hates it when used craft books are missing crucial things like, oh, the patterns that you need to actually complete the projects inside the book. ;)

Swedish tracing paper
Yay! My first roll of Swedish tracing paper!

So that's what I did this week. What did you make this week, my cohorts in crafting? :D

Jan 1, 2012

New year, new crafty challenge!

Random craftiness pic

That's "new" in the sense of "renewed," really, not in the sense of "totally not seen before!" ;)

That's because I'm talking about Craft or Bust. If you don't know, it's my annual crafty challenge to myself — and to anyone who wants to join me — to create something, even if it's something tiny, every week of the year. (Maybe that sounds kind of low-key to you, but it's harder for some of us than for others! ;))

Anyway, if you'd like to join me, just leave a comment on this post with your name and goal, and if you want to be linked to when I mention you in a CoB context, also leave a URL for yourself.

You're free to join whenever, stay as long as you want, and most of all, enjoy yourself! This is a creative challenge, not a way to stress yourself out, so don't worry if you get behind. There's always next week.

If you're in a signing-up-for-stuff frenzy, you can also sign up to get e-mail reminders and updates and join the Flickr pool for sharing your crafty pics.

Happy crafty new year! ;D
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