Archive for August, 2011

Chicken!

I have a confession to make, I’m a total wuss and I completely chickened out on asking the café if I could teach an intro to crochet class.  I’m now volunteering at The Gathering Place on Saturday mornings/afternoons so that I can be involved, but not responsible for the planning and continuation of anything.  Baby steps!  I’m taking baby steps…  I’ve already sent the email requesting information about volunteering so thbt!

Make Your Own Soda!

Aside from my failure to follow through with my plan of attack on the crochet class teaching and otherwise wussiness; there is an awesome make-your-own-soda-flavors recipe that I fully intend to experiment with.  As many of my friends and long-time acquaintences are aware, I have quite the penchant for club soda and it’s “almost like beer” qualities; it’s cool, it’s refreshing, it’s fizzy and you can drink as much as you want without worry of doing something dumb or having a hangover the next day!  I still drink beer, though I’ve been really enjoying hard cider lately, but when I’m not enjoying a frosty alcoholic beverage, I still reach for my oh so inexpensive fizzy beverage to which I add a splash of pear juice, apple juice or even chilled black tea.

S'mores Pops!

Another delicious project I plan to execute just at the onset of fall are these s’mores Pops from Tip Junkie.  The amazing old Victorian house turned apartment building in which I currently reside has an absolutely fantastic fire pit in the spacious backyard.  I have been saving up bonfire fuel (mostly empty IKEA and Office Depot paper boxes from moving Lilly and I into our new apartments) and in addition to perhaps some delicious homemade sodas, these s’mores pops are going to be awesome around the fire with friends in the cool, crisp, Autumn night air of Colorado.

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Doilies!

Doilie Pendant Lamp (Apartment Therapy)

It would appear that doilies are the new “in” thing in the hipster world and I’ve got to say that lately it seems that being a crocheter is becoming a far more cool thing to be as the fads roll in these days.  Chevrons have been making their appearances in my list ‘o blogs for the last few weeks and I’m not sure if I feel like a trend setter or like one of those hipster wannabes as I sit in my local café crocheting a (you guessed it) chevron/wave afghan.  In my defense, I started working on the afghan months before chevrons made their debut on my monitor, but I worry about being one of the kids who signal the end of a trend the second they’re seen emulating the cool kids.

Regardless, we’ve all seen the rise in popularity of DIY projects over the last few years.  Whether it’s urban gardening, knitting, crocheting or sewing most of your own clothes instead of buying them, many of us have this desire to learn how to do something.  My girlfriend Lilly and even some of my coworkers, who have seen me turn lengths of string and yarn into lovely lacy things, pillows or afghans, have expressed interest in learning to crochet.

And so, it is with great pride, that I hereby declare that I will be going to that same local café mentioned above this weekend to ask if I might teach a free Intro To Crochet class on Saturday afternoons.  I’ve been looking over some sites of women who have a lot of really great tips for classes such as adding a “class size is limited, so sign up early” clause at the bottom of my  flyer to dissuade people from signing up last minute and thus giving me a better idea of how many people to expect.

Looking over the crochet class blogs has been giving me tons of ideas about “how” to teach beginners.  That learning to use computers is a different type of eye-hand coordination than crocheting or knitting and that some of the easiest patterns I know are still extremely difficult for those who have never seen or held a crochet hook.  So I’ve been making notes and plan to start people off by crocheting into chains making things like scarves and washcloths before we get into granny squares and doilies.

This is one more step on my path to owning my own craft supply store/café/crafting university.  I also bought some books on how to start your own business with a $50 gift card to Amazon.com I had forgotten entirely about.  In the meantime, I’m hoping that teaching a class will earn me valuable people skills and will set me up to better help out the future teachers that come to my crafting café university to be.

I’m really excited and really apprehensive, but I think that one, one-hour class on a Saturday afternoon is a practical beginning; assiduous without being overly ambitious.

I have one pattern written for my first class already and I’m stoked to get teaching!

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Fabric Drawer Liners

I’m so doing this!  Right now my dresser is a hand-me-down from an old boyfriend that I painted a lovely shade of boring white from the horrible brown that it was.  I’ve been trying to decide on a new colour for this central piece of my studio apartment, I’m still deciding between green and blue, but until a colour is decided upon this is a great and inexpensive way to jazz up my chest of drawers.

I really like that she uses double sided tape to fasten down the fabric stiffened sheets, that way you can remove them and, if you like, put in new ones!

This is a great project for the seamstresses of the world with boxes and bags of cloth scraps!

I used to have these beautiful sheets of Japanese gift wrap that I really wish I still had; they would have been lovely as drawer liners!

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Industrial Design

1969 Dodge Chinook Mobile Juice and Coctail Bar

One of my favorite sites is Design Milk who, as always, has wonderful posts about industrial designers who are all creating wonderful things.  In an effort to post more often I’ve decided to share a few of the things that have caught my eye recently.

I love lunch trucks and I love juice bars and putting the two together just makes my tummy smile.  See the full post here and see the rest of the pics.  I want that to be my kitchen!

Alma (soul) table

Brazilian designer Roberta Rampazzo designed this table made from acrylic and wood shavings to show the “nobility of wood even in its most unusable form” as posted here.  I can’t tell if the top is covered or not, but I think of how cool this table would be if it were filled with soil instead of wood shavings so you could plant things in there!

Early Bird light by Amy Perch

What I love the most about this post is the deconstruction of this project.  I gain a new perspective on a seemingly simple design when I see just how much work goes into its creation.  I also enjoy all the lack of planning and cut corners that are not only noted, but celebrated as a part of the artist’s personality and exploration friendly work process.

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Space Issue

Since I moved into my very, very small apartment, I’ve been having something of a storage issue…

Great googly moogly!

I can’t believe after all the downsizing and all the deposits I’ve made to Goodwill that I still have this much stuff!!! That tall purple thing against the wall is a didgeridoo (O_o).  I do not play the didgeridoo…

Somehow I had convinced myself I could work with this, and for a while, I did.  But soon I came to realize that no one, I mean NO ONE, should ever have to try to work and/or live in a space like this!  The space never felt clean, and certainly wasn’t organized so how was I supposed to get anything done in a mess like that?!

So one quick jaunt to the new IKEA and $170 later, viola!

I am the woman!  Roar?  Not only is my space beautiful and organized, but I finally have a use for all those baskets I’ve been collecting!  Yaaaaay!  Now… to find a use for the glass jar collection…

I did a lot of shopping around while I was there at IKEA and managed to find that tall bookcase for $25!  I’m not 100% sure on the price on the tabletop/desk, but I believe it was around $30 – $45 and the legs were all sold separately (lame!) for around $4 each.  I bought a ton of 5×7 frames at $2.99 for the family photos I’ve been meaning to hang up for almost a year; you can see three of them on the small bit of wall behind my desk and then farther back by the window are another two.  I did purchase another bookcase for $25 that is on the other side of the apartment; I’ll get a picture of that in here too (^_^).  Oh and I bought a small Himalayan plant too!

I think the desk/table is my favorite new piece, mostly because it is such a very bright and friendly shade of green.  Behind my desk, under my computer/tv monitor, you can see the small bookcase that I’ve owned for nigh on forever and, as you can see, it’s an ugly, dark brown affair whose backside is badly peeling.  I plan to get a bit of homemade paper to pin there or perhaps a vintage poster of some kind.  I will be shopping for awesome wrapping paper for my girlfriend Lilly’s awesome birthday gift; maybe I’ll find something for the back of my poor old bookcase while I’m gift wrap shopping.

I’m not sure if I’m going to do anything artsy with the new bookcases anytime in the near future.  My old, brown bookcase definitely needs some jazzing up, but the new ones are just too pretty and pristine for me to go taping or gluing anything to them just yet!

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Jewelry Organizer

I can’t remember where I got the idea for this…  Most likely Apartment Therapy.  But wherever and whenever it was that I originally saw this, the project immediately went onto The List.

Here we see the picture frame acquired from Goodwill, some size 10 crochet cotton, brass tacks, a brass finding for hanging the frame and a lace-weight crochet hook (can’t remember the exact size I used).  I also used three small hooks, that aren’t in this image lol.

I decided to go with a simple net crochet pattern that, after stretching over the frame, ended up looking something like a honeycomb pattern.  The three hooks I screwed into the wood of the frame and hung my necklaces on.  Originally I had wanted to attach the small brass finding to the center of the wood on the back of the frame to hang the frame, but I realized that if I took some of my necklaces off of one side, the whole thing would list to one side.  So I used two push pins and hung the frame on them.

Next week I hope to get a post in about my mini umbrella light fixture!

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And So It Begins…

My new canvas...

My new beginning…

Of all the times I’ve gone through all my worldly possessions, gotten rid of almost everything, packed up what was left, and headed off to a new town or a new state entirely, this is the first time I’ve felt like I wasn’t just running. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m creating a life for myself instead of hiding from all the scary possibilities.

I’m still getting accustomed to the idea of not having roommates.  Sometimes the new apartments gets eerie quiet without them, but I’m still pretty happy to not have roommates anymore.  I thought I was so laid back, and then I had roommates…  there’s nothing like roommates to make you realize just how neurotic you can be!

But that is all in the past!  Not that I’m any less neurotic about toothpaste lumps in the sink or unwashed dishes, but now they’re my toothpaste lumps in the sink and my unwashed dishes.  Anyway, the purpose of this blog is to document all my design endeavors in my new apartment as well as my progress on my crochet projects.  I have a plan to one day run my own coffee, tea and crafting supply store someday and I plan to take my friends and family along for the ride.

Oh, and one last thing…

New Haircut

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