calzephyr: (Default)
So saying no to one thing means saying yes to another thing. If I was still going to Creative Chaos, I would not have been able to go to Festival of Quilts this past weekend. We didn't go in 2016 due to rain - last summer was very rainy overall. It was unusually hot for May and I ended up with a sunburn from walking around the park with Mom and my brother. It really was a picture perfect day and I took lots of pictures. I'll get those on Flickr in a bit.

One of the awesome things about the show is bring able to see the fabric in natural light and they looked quite gay, giving everything a touch of whimsy. I managed to avoid buying any new fabric although it was very tempting. So many colours...pretty pretty colours...but I had enough at home :D

We didn't go inside the historic houses as we usually do. All the buildings - even the barns - are hot as heck. I often wonder what people did in Ye Olde Days to keep cool!

Click for Insta snaps )
calzephyr: (Crafts)
Originally posted by [ profile] calzephyr77 at Reitform Sponging Technique
Hi guys, I swear, it's LJ's inability to post pictures easily that keep me from posting more :-D Here's a technique I learned at the craft club and it's ridiculously easy and interesting. It's called reitform and basically you just mask off areas with Post-It Notes and sponge inside with ink. You could probably do the same with watered down acrylics and watercolours too, plus you could draw or stamp within the area. I did a whole sheet and cut them up for artist trading cards. They were instant masterpieces...or at least some of them were :-)

Art or craft? Sponging fun using the reitform technique of masking #crafts #crafting #instacraft #rubberstamp #stamping #yycblogger #yycblogger #yycartist #artsandcrafts #yycartist

calzephyr: (creative)
Every now and then I find this book on my book shelf and every time it feels like the moment I found it at the bookstore back in 2009. This sturdy, pocket sized manual is many things - how to book, pattern book and a peek into people's lives and hobbies from the pages of Popular Mechanics. In some ways it's not a proper "craft book" as the patterns are quite small, but the ideas are often sound. As with many vintage craft and recipe books, the materials may have been renamed or are not as readily available today. You might have guessed that there is a "boy edition" but I'd be willing to bet that it is as gender neutral as this book.

I was surprised to see that the text invited girls to saw and craft with their parents help. The variety of crafts, toys and games is pretty astounding and I wish my parents had been more the maker type to build a few things from this book like the basement golf course or weaving loom. From braiding to mold casting, doll houses to a full size backyard merry go round, I can only imagine how many hours of fun these plans provided.

x-posted to [ profile] craftgrrl, [ profile] books and [ profile] bookish
calzephyr: (Christmas)
I sent out Christmas cards on Monday - I can't believe it, but I sent out about two dozen handmade cards to friends near and far. Usually I'm so behind that I send out New Year's cards :-D I'll post the pictures after Christmas as I remembered to save two for myself!

We're in a deep freeze this week and I think my brain froze. I forgot about the craft club on Thursday and I'm so bummed. Still, plenty of crafting is going on! On Tuesday I gave out about 45 hand stamped bells to my co-workers. I used my bells cutting file to cut six bells to a 12x12" sheet, then stamped them with a striped background stamp and added a sentiment. I threaded gold thread through each one. My original plan was to thread Hershey's kisses onto each one, but that would have taken forever and make everything a tangled mess anyway! Most everyone appreciated their bells and it was nice to see them hung up around the office. When someone makes you something handmade, that means they really like you :-)

Making flat bell cards with my SVG file.
calzephyr: (birds)
Originally posted by [ profile] calzephyr77 at Greeting cards
I did a summer greeting card exchange with another LJ group and realized I hadn't shared here. These were a challenge to make - and I made five!

Brown sugar commercial cardstock
Pink copy paper
Vanilla cardstock and copy paper
Best Birds stamps and dies plus woodgrain background, Stampin Up
Flower border and walnut ink by Martha Stewart
Pink flowers with an old Sizzix die

I regret doing the flower border. The border isn't meant to be standalone, so I trimmed it from the piece of paper that I punched on. Uggghh! I hope the cards were well received!

And there was finally craft time! Made a bunch of cards for a community card exchange.

calzephyr: (Crafts)
Originally posted by [ profile] ladythmpr at NaCraMaMo starts in a bit more than ONE week!
October, which starts a week from tomorrow on my side of the world, is National Craft Making Month! Craft every day for the month of October!

I've been crafting semi-regularly, but less than I'd like (as always, it seems!). NaCraMaMo always seems good for kicking off regular crafting again, especially as we go into the Gift-Giving season.

Who's going to join me in the NaCraMaMo challenge?
calzephyr: (Hello!)
Just showing off some fun things that I got in the mail from Stampin Up. It took me a while to make a video because my birds kept...being birds :-D

calzephyr: (birds)

x-posted to [ profile] craftgrrl

I am once again cleaning up my craft area after a few years. I have been destashing a lot. I'm almost 40 and there are some things I am pretty sure I am not going to get to in this lifetime ;) We have a nicely curated Mennonite thrift store in town and I have been giving craft stuff to them. They have a great craft and fabric section and it's tempting enough for me not to shop there :D

Anyway, we endured a trip to IKEA yesterday. I wanted to get some under desk storage. I have this lovely L shaped desk downstairs but because there is a railing for hanging files underneath it, every little file cabinet is just a wee bit too small.

But luck was with me and I found these cheap little metal carts called Lennart for $14.99 Canadian. Just the perfect size and the three drawers hold letter sized paper. I bought two and assembled them tonight. They were easy to put together, but I goofed the first time around. The drawer bodies are one big piece of metal and you fold the sides up. I folded mine the wrong way so they couldn't hang in the frame. Doh! Fortunately I was able to take them apart. I was really surprised that I could do this :D

These little carts are cute and have two wheels, so they can be mobile. They could be laid down in the trunk of a car too! I don't know what I will put in them yet. I kind of want to jazz then up by weaving yarn through the holes for a fun look. If you a board across two units, you could make a nifty kiddie desk.

The other thing I bought is a big drawer called Kupol. Originally I was going to get a Samla box, but this was better. See, I have this old printer cart with one shelf. It was always in the way and overloaded with craft supplies on top. Then I got the idea of pushing it under my desk where it sticks out a little and is just barely tall enough. I pulled out everything that was piled inside and stacked my 12x12" Iris paper boxes in there instead. I didn't want to pile things under the cart, so I was thrilled to find this Kupol box.  Things won't get dusty :)

There are lots of different sized Kupol boxes, but because IKEA was starting to frazzle us, I just grabbed it and went. It was a little price at $26, but no assembly required :) You could get a bunch of units and stack them too!

calzephyr: (Crafts)

I destashed a big box of beads and beading supplies today after advertising it online for $20. At my age you realize that you don't have enough lifetimes for all the craft projects you won't finish :D I thought humour would help it sell.

Beads beads beads. Big beads, little beads, seed beads, plastic beads, polymer clay beads and glass beads! Blue beads, red beads, green beads too! Memory wire, two magazines, a book, eye pins, jump rings! Beads beads beads! Big plastic box included! Also includes bead vacuum, which didn't work well in the first place (takes 4 AA batteries).

Easily over $100 in beading fun for a fraction of the price! Michael's coupons not accepted.

Caution: lots of small parts, do not allow children to eat.

Non-smoking home. First come, first served. Cash and carry. Beads beads beads!

calzephyr: (Crafts)
Originally posted by [ profile] calzephyr77 at Adventures in Lasercutting
Hi peeps, I will probably write more about this later, but I picked up some lasercuts this week. I found out that a local stationary store offers this service and it took some time to prepare the files as vectors. The paper is Stardream and I also had a sample made in real wood paper. They turned out great! I have a Pazzles die cutter (essentially a plotter with blade) and if the mat isn't sticky enough it tends to be a disaster.

The cost worked out to about $2 per piece and I appreciated the time it saved me!

I will probably make a few as 4x6" or 5x7" picture cards for the comic expo that I will be gearing up for pretty right quick!

Pix! )
calzephyr: (Hello!)
Originally posted by [ profile] calzephyr77 at Accidental basket weaving
So this is funny...I knew it was possible to weave in a circle with a knitting loom (btw, [ profile] loom_knitters exists) but I dressed it wrong so that the gaps on the outside of the circle had a bigger gap than the inside. When I realized this, I popped it off the loom and it just made itself into a basket like that :-) This may take a few tries to get right :-D

calzephyr: (birds)
Originally posted by [ profile] calzephyr77 at I am now the proud owner of...
a pair of Clover pom pom makers! I ordered supplies for my papercutting class and snuck in something fun for myself. I can't wait to try it out.

no title
calzephyr: (my little pony)
My [ profile] nacramamo post from yesterday

I took my colouring book amd scaled it down for little hands! We bought candy for Halloween, but I still have stickers and toys left over from last year.

no title
calzephyr: (star trek)
I joined [ profile] nacramamo as a fun way of getting some things done. It really reminds me of all the fun challenge communities that used to be on LJ. It also reminds me of how onerous it was to get a picture on the web back in the day, even when I did Thing A Day back in 2008. 2008!

I also finally joined [ profile] whatwasthatone because my fondness for question and answer communities never ends. It all goes back to my dashed dreams of being a reference librarian ;-) By the way, I found a lost title recently.

Also welcome [ profile] storm777, fellow nature lover and photographer :-)
calzephyr: (Crafts)
Originally posted by [ profile] ladythmpr at October is National Craft Making Month!
National Craft Making Month, or NaCraMaMo for short, is like NaNoWriMo for crafting. You craft every day in October, and post a picture of your crafting over in [ profile] nacramamo. NaCraMaMo starts in only 13 days! Please join me in the challenge!

And, just so this isn't just a text post, here's a cross stitch I finished earlier this month, after nearly 8 years in the making! (You can see my progress posts in [ profile] nacramamo.)

calzephyr: (tee hee)
Originally posted by [ profile] calzephyr77 at Pinterest Parody Song
This is awesome...but caution, it's a bit of an earworm:

calzephyr: (Crafts)
I got around to blogging about my custom die from Sizzix. It was $45 on sale, so a lot cheaper than I thought!

Originally posted by [ profile] purpleponyart at Don't just dream it - make it!
Today I have a very exciting blog post. It's the story of how I ordered my own die from Ellison, probably better known to crafters as Sizzix, makers of the Big Shot die cutting machine. Some of you know I used to make a lot of artists trading cards. But I always got hung up on being precise about the measurements and cutting all the cards from different materials. Thought was killing action! So, I thought, I'll just find a die and crank out tons of cards.

Well, it turns out that it's very hard to find a die with the right dimensions. If it exists, my Google-fu is severely broken. I could find rectangle dies for sure, but none were the same dimensions as an artist trading card. The closest I came up with was 2.25 x 3.25". The size of rectangles seemed pretty arbitrary. So I just happened to be on the Sizzix website and saw a Thanksgiving sale on custom dies. I sent off an email and found out that they only made custom block style and not wafer thin dies. Not a problem though! I put the order through, approved a proof and a few weeks later, my die arrived through FedEx.

I couldn't wait to try it out and got a piece of scrap paper. It cut a perfect crisp Artist Trading Card. Look at all the cards I cut from old brochures, paper scraps and maps. It made dozens of dies in minutes.

It's true that I have a digital die cutter, but it uses sticky mats, and delicate materials like thin paper and fabric wouldn't work very well. I really enjoyed the friendly and prompt service from the Ellison rep, and yes, they ship to Canada. It was wrapped in a bubble mailer inside another bubble mailer. I promised the rep that my next order would be far more exciting than a plain rectangle. Probably something with a horse or a bird, you know me!

Now I just have to get into action and make some completed ATCs and ACEOs :-) Stay tuned!

Mail call!

Nov. 27th, 2014 09:01 pm
calzephyr: (Crafts)
The Crayola "light up drawing pad" arrived on Wednesday and I was so thrilled. Can't beat the free shipping when it's that fast, plus instead of being pink, it's more on the purple side of pink. True to the description, it's lightweight, portable and usable in a brightly lit room.

I like that it has raised edges and fits an 8.5x11" piece of paper almost exactly. Definitely a plus for kids or adults. It came with a package of pencil crayons, a pencil, blank paper and some tracing templates for the horse and girl fashion show. The paper could be of better quality, especially the paper templates, but you can always download and print more from their website. The only small problem in an otherwise well designed product is that the battery cover is held on by two small screws, so a miniature screwdriver is needed instead of a full size one.

I couldn't help myself and tried out the horse fashion show :-D

calzephyr: (yay)
I ordered the Crayola Light Up Tracing Pad from Amazon and can't wait for it to arrive. After about twenty years, the fluorescent light in my lightbox died and rather than find a new one (which I will eventually) I ordered this one because it runs on batteries and is portable, plus quilters gave it good reviews on Amazon. I also thought it was purple, but It comes not only with female fashion sheets, but horse fashion sheets too, so that "(h)orse lovers can embellish their horses with wings, flowing manes, saddles, and bridles" :-D

It's funny, you know, Lego is the go to villain for gendered toys, but I'm not sure if anyone has really noticed how bad Crayola is for it as well. The blue lightbox comes with superheroes and rock stars. Any trip to Amazon, Staples or Michaels reveals any number of Disney branded products for girls and boys, and even non-branded products, like the airbrush or marker maker sets, come in pink as well as blue. The blue airbrush has stencils like sharks, while the pink one has butterflies. Bleh, make it green or yellow and include all the stencils!

Speaking of gender neutral toys though, I finally found the Crayola Draw N Do Desk on eBay. Not only was it super cheap, it was in great condition, like new, with all the pieces and even the instructions. My favourite part was a poster that the first owner had filled out about all her favourite things :-) Anyway, I was really after the drawing gears, and it was exactly as I remembered it. The only difference was that the box was just in English, and not French. It arrived before I went on vacation and it was just thrilling to get in the mail :-D


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