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Vintage Ironing Board

Ironing Board, originally uploaded by moon angel.

Well not always, but I do love sweet finds on garbage day like this perfectly pink vintage metal ironing board. It was in a pile in the sun, this past Monday, just waiting for me to come rescue it.

Of course, I’ll have to clean the cobwebs out and give it a little makeover, but this is a nice, sturdy replacement for my old chipboard wobbly unit.

This Windsor Ironing Board touts as its “Best Buy” features:

  • easy-rolling wheels, factory installed
  • finger-touch adjustment
  • offset legs for sitdown ironing
  • ventilated top for cooler ironing
  • sturdy, strong construction

It also has a built-in extension cord, but due to its age, I don’t think I’ll be using it.

I have a bunch of spring scarves I’m making that all require ironing, so I can’t wait to get this recovered!

etsy_love

Last Friday I attended a really awesome meeting with the Etsy admin (yeah, I’m a slow blogger too). The Toronto visit was part of their international tour. Etsy started as a smallish project that has really exploded over the last 4 years, and the etsy admin is doing some research on how it can grow and keep the etsy “product” without losing the grassroots company and community that it was built on.

Etsy’s own description of what it is:

Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade.

Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.

Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice:

Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.

It was great to feel like they valued Canadians as a real part of this community (they even made pins in French for us!) and to see the faces behind the website. I was also really energized by meeting and talking to other etsians, especially Michelle and Ele, who I had only known online until then.

Big thanks to Ele (Minouette), who wrote a thorough description of the evening, and Karyn, who hosted the event at the workroom, and also posted her thoughts on the meeting.

My photos were all blurry because it was dark, and I was excited so my hands were shaking…

Canadian Etsy Meetup

happy poo the first

One of the very first crochet projects I took on (just after the blue bunny) was making the happy poo. It is a very simple amigurumi and a great way to learn and practice crocheting in a spiral and increase/decrease.
***EDIT*** found this great tutorial with vids and everything, for those wanting to learn the basics for crocheting amigurumi.
***
Since I was just practicing, I used a green yarn. I think this would make it more of an unhappy poo 😦 On top of that, my dog found it one day and decided it would be a better chew toy than crochet model.
When my friend Damian heard that I had made a yarn poo, he asked for one. So, when his birthday came around earlier this year, I produced a much happier poo. I sewed some yarn through the center to pull the top of the dollop down and squish the body a bit, to look more realistic, and added some eyes, which are not realistic at all…
happy poo two

One of my favourite artists right now is Camilla Engman. She’s an illustrator, painter, photographer, and she crochets the cutest little animals characters.
Camilla Engman's crocheted characters, from camillaengman.com
Her wonderful characters, as well as cute little amigurumi, were the reason I picked up a crochet hook and asked my mom to teach me. So it was over the Christmas holidays in 2007 that I learned to crochet. We sat down with Stitch ‘Bitch nation’s The Happy Hooker and went through the instructions and I slowly (very slowly) twigged to this craft technique. For some reason I took to crochet a lot more than I had to knitting, which I am horrible at, and I really liked the fact that if you make a mistake you can simply pull out the stitches and start off wherever you want.
My first crochet project was the bunny bedfellow pattern designed by Camilla in the Happy Hooker book. Looking back, I think this was probably a bit of a difficult project to start with, because you crochet in a spiral and in back loops only for most of the pattern, which I found really confusing. I joke that I probably made the entire bunny 4 times or more if you counted how many times I took it apart!
Today with a bit of searching I found a tutorial on whip up written by Camilla herself, for making these cuddly creatures. I am comforted by her admission that “I’m not a very good crocheter, I’m good at undo, redo, undo and redo” – sounds like me!
So here’s my very first crochet project, under construction and then completed, held up by my friend Sarah.
bunny under construction



A weiner dog pillow, originally uploaded by moon angel.

My friend Heidi has an inordinate fondness for wiener dogs. I’ve made her one fun pillow with a wiener applique, and one amigurumi wiener buddy. In addition to the wieners she already had, she now considers her apartment “wiener infested.”

oh hai, i'm a wiener dog.

The pillow was made with some suiting fabric I got at a closing sale in a fabric shop on Spadina Ave, here in Toronto. I used a feather insert from Ikea. I drew the wiener shape in Illustrator, then printed it on 2-sided fusible interfacing. I loosely cut out the shape, then ironed it onto the teal printed cotton, then cut that fabric right on the outline of the wiener dog. This created a nice patch to iron onto the burgundy fabric. I zigzag stitched this in place with a teal embroidery thread, and sewed match button holes. I found that sewing the buttons on by hand was much more stable than doing it by machine, especially with this super slippery thread.

I crocheted the little dog based on a pattern I got on etsy, but I didn’t like the way the head looked or how it was attached to the body, so I kind of freestyle crocheted a head and body in one piece. I used really plush malabrigo yarn, but their skeins are a lot smaller than they look – especially for the price – so I had to use 2! (I think this is when I’m supposed to learn about skein weights and wraps-per-inch.) Amigurumi are usually crocheted with a much thinner yarn, but I like to improvise, and the colour of this yarn was too close to the real colour of Heidi’s favourite wiener colour that I couldn’t pass it up.

I enjoy contributing to Heidi’s wiener obsession, however I know she’d like to have a more grown-up look in her apartment so I’ll refrain from giving her any more (unless they are teeny-tiny?).

so I finished one project that was on my list! the Birdie Sling from Amy Butler’s pattern. I really wanted to finish this bag before I went to my cousin’s wedding in Mexico at the end of January, and I did!

birdie goes to mexico

This pattern was pretty easy, the only part I got kinda stuck on was getting the gusseted corners right. I went to the workroom to ask Karyn, but she wasn’t there (it was a Friday night) and luckily fellow crafty gal Lauren was there and she showed me. Many people had already made their own Birdie Sling bags, and the one thing I had heard was that they wished the handle were longer, so I added 10 inches to the handle and now I can pop it over my head and shoulder. I would recommend this, but I think next time I would leave a larger unsewn section along the edge to help with turning the handle inside out.

For the main part of the bag, I used this dark green fabric I picked up at the Creativ festival a few years back and for the band, handle and inside, I used Anna Griffin’s really cute map fabric. I opted not to use any fusible fleece, and stuck with using only interfacing. I’m still not sure whether I would want additional bulk in the bag next time I make one.

I have always said that in each craft project I will likely make at least one big mistake. This time my mistake is pretty funny, especially because it specifically says in the pattern to NOT make this mistake. I twisted the handle. That’s right, I have a very unique moebius bag.

Crocheted Jellyfish
so my new idea now is to write about stuff I’ve made, am making, or plan to make.

an organized craft corner

an organized craft corner

Some of you may have seen my craft shelf, and some have seen it exploded on the floor.  It can get kind of crazy when I search for something or when I get new supplies that I have to put away.  I just bought a few boxes from Ikea to try and start organizing my supplies in a visually appealing way.

Need some inspiration? check out this mosaic of very well organized craft corners, selected by this crafty lady.

Some things to do for 2009 (not resolutions, I can never keep those!)

  1. I need to finish the secret project I started. It’s a gift for friends who were married this past August. My goal is to get it done well before their anniversary.
  2. Sew more. I’ve got two projects started (on top of the quilt project) – that is the birdie sling bag and the jj blouse from Burda. I’m off to a good start, as I finally made a skirt from an old pair of jeans this past weekend, a project that had been on my mental to-do list for ages.
  3. Finally put some of my work on etsy.
  4. Photograph my crafts before I give them away! I’m terrible at doing this. I didn’t take one single picture of the gifts I made for xmas.
  5. Train my dog not to bark when she is left alone. I’ve been working with a dog trainer for about a week and a half, and it’s tough! but the pay-off will be worth the work.  I’ll post updates on our progress.
  6. Read more.  I have a few books on my nightstand right now, I’ve started The Time-Traveller’s Wife, and my friend lent me Skinny legs and All.  That’s a good start.
  7. Get rid of my unfinished vintage rehab projects.  Start by finishing them, then get rid of them.

get your own lunar crafts

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