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Archive for the ‘craft’ Category

Crafting for Christmas

*Not my photo: Flickr-Melanie Hughes

Our financial situation is causing me to get creative for Christmas. I’m actually enjoying the challenge.  John and I picked up a couple of things on Black Friday, but otherwise, we’re going to be making most of our Christmas gifts.

I am pretty excited about a project I’m working on for Rhys: felt food. I’m inspired by this Japanese site (click on the links and prepare to be amazed by the vast array of felt foods), though I assure you that mine won’t be nearly as fancy or diverse.

I’m also taking some inspiration from this awesome crafster, and this amazing crafter. Okay, now that you’ve seen all the links, you want some felt food for yourself, don’t you? I admit, the thought of playing with all that food is very exciting. I just hope I can pull off a few pieces by Christmas. And that Rhys likes them.

I’ll try and take some pictures of my finished products and showcase them next month. Plus, I have other homemade gifts in the works that are pretty fun as well. I haven’t done any crafting in a while, so this just makes me happy.

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Craft Tutorials writer

Okay, lately I’ve been trying to use my creativity and do crafty things as well as do more writing. So I became a co-writer for the blog Craft Tutorials. I haven’t posted much there yet, but I plan to. It’s a fun outlet for me. Check it out if you’re a crafty person.

Along with that, I joined the crochet-along sponsored by Craft Tutorials. We’re doing amigurumi right now (Japanese art of crocheting small stuffed animals and dolls). You should join if you’re so inclined…

crochetalong

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love

So remember that one time when I said I would share a picture of the valentine card I made for John? Well, I’m finally doing that. Just remember that it’s pretty much my first attempt at paint ever. But I like it anyway, flaws and all:

And you know what John got me? This:

If you know me, you know this was the perfect gift. I’m romantic, and I love poetry. So the combination was perfect. Now I just need to light a fire in our unused fireplace and have John read love poems to me. (Thus far he hasn’t.) But anyway, that was our Valentine’s day.

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be my valentine

I had a brilliant idea for Valentine’s day. I wanted to make something for John, and I came up with a great idea. I’ve been feeling crafty lately, so I decided I wanted to make him something homemade. I’ve also been working on a homemade painted card, and I’ll post a picture of it soon. It’s my first attempt at painting anything at all, so…let’s just say it’s a little primitive. But I’m proud of it.

So last night found me in Joann fabric, searching for the right fabric for the project and at the same time collecting things I would need — bobbins, pins, thread, etc. (I have no supplies for sewing at all.) This was all fine until I saw an ex-boyfriend. He’s the one that I am embarrassed to have dated. It just feels so awkward to see him. Not to mention that the last time we saw each other (at least a year ago ago), we both pretended we didn’t know each other.

This time, we were about two feet apart when we saw each other. By then, there was no way to pretend. We said hi, he’s getting married, blah blah blah. I felt so very awkward. Then he starts asking about my project, saying, “Come with me. Let me show you a few things.”

I did NOT want my ex-boyfriend to help me with my husband’s valentine present, nor did I want him giving me tips about fabric or sewing. Thank goodness my husband called right that moment. He was having a sort of emergency. So I said, “Good to see you. Congrats. I’ve gotta go.” And I left the store.

I tried two other stores for something cool or unusual. But nothing spoke to me at all. So you know where I ended up? The grocery store. I bought my valentine present at a grocery store. It’s not homemade. But there’s always next year, right?!! At least he gets a homemade card…

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birthday cake

I want to make this cake for my birthday:

I don’t actually like to eat cake, but I love the way it looks and the traditional birthday feeling it gives you. So, great solution — fake cake! I won’t actually make it, because come on! All those ingredients and work for…a fake cake. But I’m going to file this in my someday file. Everyone should make a fake cake at least once in their lifetime.

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A while back I said I would post projects from my Chinese calligraphy class. And today is the day that I do.

I took the class this past spring, but I’ve been wanting to take it since 2001. It was a dream, and I did it. The reason I wanted to take it? I was in China, November of 2000. My American friends and I were walking through a park in Beijing. The weather was cool, and it was overcast as usual.

As we walked along, I saw an older Chinese man. He was holding a paint brush that was nearly as tall as he was, and he was standing straight, painting Chinese characters on the sidewalk. But the brush was made of sponge, and the ‘paint’ was actually water. He would paint a row of beautiful Chinese characters and by the time he got through several rows, the first row had faded away to nothing.

It was spontaneous art, and the beauty of it overwhelmed me. The man didn’t care how fleeting his art was, he was only intent on creating it. Right then I decided I wanted to learn Chinese calligraphy. I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance.

Then I came to ASU in 2001 and saw that they offered Chinese calligraphy courses once a year! The planets never aligned until this year. It was one credit hour; it was fun. Chinese calligraphy is very relaxing, and I think I’m actually good at it!

Here are a couple of projects.

This first one is a rough draft of the final project we had to turn in. I don’t know what the writing says; it’s from an inscription written on somebody’s tomb. This is the project my teacher was so impressed with she offered to frame it while she was in China! I was speechless…

And this last pic is actually a project I did after the class was over. I made it for my husband when he graduated from ASU with his MPA. I can’t remember the exact translation, but here’s the gist: “When you have climbed the highest peak, the mountains below you seem small.”

Anyway, I love Chinese calligraphy. It’s an art form that I would like to keep up because it’s beautiful, it’s relaxing, and it’s a hobby that’s pretty unique (unless you’re in China!).

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