Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mill Hill Finish

A year or so ago my mother gave me two Mill Hill ornament kits. I finally opened one and finished it. Here it is, Mill Hill's French Horn: It was my first attempt at perforated paper. I wasn't quite sure how much tension to use so in the gold stitches, which were the first I put in, are a bit looser than they probably should have been, but once surrounded by beads, I don't think you can really tell. I'm not sure if this was my imagination but the combination of working with the thread and the paper really dried out my hands.

Crapting Moments: Not true crapting as it isn't evident in the finished product but threading the beading needle was a bear. I think it was the cheap thread (at least it seemed cheap). I could see the hole well enough (though it was tiny) but I really struggled to get the thread to actually go through it. It would split all the time. I think one threading session took about 20 minutes. Due to my hatred of threading, I strung the red beads with the same green thread I was using for the green beads. I was not going to thread anymore needles than necesary, as a result if you examine the ornament carefully, you can probably see the green thread on the side of the red bead, but I DON'T CARE!

Cutting the shape out was also a bit of a challenge. I'm scissors challenged to begin with so making sure I wasn't cutting into any of the stitching was difficult. There was a near disaster at the very top where I think I did cut away the hole for one stitch, but I think it's going to stay in place. I can't decide if I'm going to back it or not. I probably will, just not right now.

Side note: I did finish all my Christmas tree panels, I just haven't had time to write about them. I hope to in the new year, as well as actually put it all together.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Days 4 and 5 - Christmas Trees 5 and 6

No, I didn't fall down on my goal. I just fell down on my posting. I was able to make a tree on Saturday and one on Sunday. Today is Monday, how will I do? Time will tell. Here is Saturday's tree:
I really like the green fabric I used for the tree. I wasn't sure at first if it would work but I think it does.

Here is the resplendent festival:
Crapting moment: None that I can remember. Hooray again!

Sunday's Tree started out with this fabric selection:
Note the peppermint rounds fabric. I thought this was perfect for ornaments and the big ones fit the circles perfectly. I thought I'd end up with crapt as I'm not always adept at matching things up nicely, or for that matter, cutting things out properly but they actually came out pretty nice:
And here is the finished tree:
I adore the peppermint ornaments. So cute! And the expanding festival:
It looks great. Three more to go (before the real work begins that I have no clue how to do). I better get cracking!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day Three - Christmas Tree #4

I've done it again. I'm on a roll. Here are the pieces, fused and needing to be cut:
Everything ironed down and the finished product:
Again, surprisingly I'm quite pleased with it. Cute!

Crapting Moments: Happy to report not a single one! At least in regards to this tree, however, I did make the mistake of reading the instructions and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to put it together without major assistance. Also, the instructions said that you need to sew around all the appliques with quilting thread that matches the fabric! I don't have enough spools of thread to match all the different colors I'm using (actual fact - I own no quilting thread whatsoever). What's a girl to do? I'm wondering how tacky it would be to maybe use some kind of Christmasy metallic thread (does that even exist?). Pretty tacky, now that I think about it. I'm going to finish the rest of the trees before I sew and then honestly, I don't know how I'm going to manage the borders, binding and quilting. I've never done anything remotely like this! Positive thinking, girl, positive thinking

The four trees:
It is getting to be quite a festival!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day Two Christmas Tree #3

I've kept to schedule and have finished Christmas Tree #3. Here is the fusible webbing with the pieces traced on: Here is the rough layout minus the ornaments and star:
Then here all put together:
Pretty cool. Here are the three finished trees:
Sweet. But, with six more to do, I'm realizing this thing is going to be huge.

Crapting Moment: None! Hip hip hooray!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Christmas Treee A Day

Over a year ago I started to make a Christmas tree quilt. I found the pattern in the December 2007 (!) issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. The designer is Linda Lum Debono. Here's what the finished project looks like:

Very cute! The project was marked Beginner, which was right up my alley as I've never done quilting, applique or worked with fusible webbing!

I began the project in January of 2009, with one Christmas tree panel. I did okay. Had a fun time. Put everything away until yesterday when it occurred to me - "Hey, it's getting near Christmas, where am I again with that Festival of Trees quilt?

Oh, that's right. Nowhere! So I have decided to do a tree a day! I already had one so only eight more to go!

Perhaps I can get this sucker done before Christmas (or at least in time to fold it away with all the Christmas stuff until next year)!

Here is the first panel I did from almost a year ago:
Why, this picture came out so tiny, I'm not sure. But you get the idea.

Let's cut to yesterday, December 1 and my return to the project and Christmas tree number 2.

Here is the beginning of Tree #2 with all the fusible put down on my fabric. In true crapter fashion, where my brain left my body, I also got webbing on my new 90buck Rowenta iron. Lucretia would be proud!

Here is the finished product:
Overall, I'm very happy with it, but I did have another crapting moment that isn't quite evident from the photo. The bottom corner of the tree did not have webbing on it for some reason and so it's kind of sticking out. Very annoying and I'm not sure how to fix it. Anyone have any suggestions? Glue?

Here is Tree #2 next to Tree #3:

So far so good! Let's move on to Tree #3 tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray!

I have finally finished Carriage House Samplings' Faith, Hope & Honor! In fact I finished it three days ago but have only photographed it today. Here it is:
Here is a nice detail:
Though it was quite difficult to stay motivated, I'm so happy I did and that it's completed. What a relief.

And now I've turned my cross stitching sights to Mary Queen of Scot Needleroll by Dames of the Needle that was featured in the September 2008 issue of The Gift of Stitching. I've done a bit of grass but not enough to bother putting up. I'm working quite diligently to get organized so I can work on other crafting projects. But I'm going to feel good for the next few days for having finished Faith, Hope and Honor!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Project That Never Ends

The closer I get to finishing Carriage House Samplings, Faith Hope and Honor, the less I find myself actually sitting down and doing just that. And look at it! There is so little work left to be done. Finish the border. Finish the plant container. Fill in the bottom strip and fill in the words Hope and Honor. And voila! Finished!
I could have been done weeks ago if I would have just sat down, kicked ass and plowed through, which is my usual behavior in regards to stitching projects. I'm always a sprinter when the finish line is in sight. But for some reason, I can not figure out (though, honestly, I haven't delved that deeply) I just can't seem to do it. I glance at it, sitting there on my hassock looking sad and unloved, and I turn away. I can't take the guilt. So I ignore.

It's odd, because it's not like when you're reading a good book and you start reading slower because you don't want it to end. I want this to end. I desperately want this to end. And yet there it sits.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow, shall be the day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coming Up Next

I'm a big watcher of Bravo's reality shows. Housewives, watch them all, Top Chef, never miss it, Flipping Out, never flip it off ... but I hate hate hate the "coming up next" part of these shows. Why don't you just give another couple of minutes of real show instead of these coming up next teasers. I'm already here. I'm already watching. You don't need to entice me by showing me that in four minutes and 22 seconds I'll be watching NeNe yell at Kim or that Padma will tell one of the chefs to pack his knives and go (hello, there's two minutes left in the show, I know someone is about to get kicked off!). Oh, another pet peeve, I've noticed lately Bravo has edited all their shows to have a 60 second light hearted bit around the :37 minute mark. Please, I'm not stupid. I can see what you're doing. You're giving me less show. I'm not fooled by those supposedly funny bits you pop in there. All right, rant over.

Coming Up Next:

Progress in the stitching world.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gems From October 1958 Good Housekeeping

I have been so lax in writing here and I haven't done any crapting whatsoever. Heck, I haven't even done cross stitching, which is really lame on my part. So, in order to not be so delinquent in blogging I've decided to draw attention to some amazing items I've recently read in an old Good Housekeeping magazine from October 1958.
Here's the cover of that issue. Sad little puppy eyes. Sad little girl eyes. Not sure why they chose such a somber looking picture, should be sub-titled our other dog got run over'.

I bought this and three other Good Housekeeping magazines (1949 - 1958) off Ebay and also purchased eight Ladies Home Journal (all 1961). I'm reading them as research for a fiction book idea I'm writing. It's still in the planning stages but I think it could be a lot of fun.

Anyway, two great items from the Keep Up With Medicine article of Good Housekeeping:

"A review of the records of 200,000 Worth War II veterans points to a 32 percent higher death rate among men who smoked."

Wow! You think there's a connection?!

The second one is about psychotherapy's help in averting abortion (I assume they mean miscarriage). Do you know what type of woman is most likely to have a miscarriage according to the doctors of 1958? "... the frail, clinging vine girl and the independent career woman." So, you're not supposed to be clingy but you don't want to be independent either if you want to go to term with your pregnancy. I'm not quite sure where that leaves a woman and how so many kids were actually born!

More great 50's and 60's tidbits tomorrow!

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Over One Done! New Project Begins!

Finally, after much frustration, much angst and so many mistakes, I have finished the one over one water lilies on Jane Greenoff's Monet's Giverny Garden. I also added the butterflies (and in typical crapter fashion, backstitched using two threads not one. I realized my mistake with about two backstiches to go, so zen approach, I left them).
I tried a buttonhole wheel and it was a disaster. It started out fine but after about three progressions on the circle it just fell apart. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong as I feel like I'm doing it right. Go figure. I don't know what to do if I can't figure this out as there are about twenty buttonhole flowers to do!

I also dragged out the sewing machine this morning. I've had some cheap baby blankets hanging around for the last four years and have been wondering what the hell to do with them. Well, I got an idea. I sewed bits of them together in a crazy quilting kind of fashion. Here is the lookI wanted all the stitching to be seen and I purposely threw in as many different kinds of stitches as my machine allows. The next step is to thumb tack it to a stretched canvas. Next, I'm going to mix some paint with some gesso and paint it all over the fabric. After that, you'll just have to wait and see. I'm pretty excited about it! I hope it turns out okay but as Lucretia Mullbery would say "crapt is in the eye of the beholder"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Sewing Interest Proves More Difficult Than I Imagined

I've developed a new interest. Vintage patterns. Now, along with my belief that I should be a natural at drawing, I also have this unfounded belief that I should be able to sew. But, the truth is sewing a straight line can prove daunting to me unless I sew very sloooowwwlllllyyyyy.

This interest, however, didn't develop from a yearning to sew. I was looking at Ebay for some cheap patterns that I could use for mixed media collages. This was the first one I bought: When I actually got it in my hands, I realized that I'd never be able to cut the pattern up and paste it to canvas. It was too cute. It occurred me that I should sew it. In fact I should make lots of clothing from vintage patterns. It's so retro. Thus started my current obsession. I have always admired clothing pre-1970. I especially love clothes from the 1950s. In fact one of my favorite clothing movies is The Best of Everything with Hope Lange from 1959 (based on a Rona Jaffe novel). The clothes in that movie are a marvel and even though I hate heels and I'm basically a jean and t-shirt kind of person, I'd love to be kitted up in some of those outfits.

I looked all over this Vogue pattern but I cannot find a copyright to date this particular look. Anyone have a guess? I'm guessing from the hairstyle, it's early to mid sixties but I'm not sure.

My next purchase I was completely excited by and was definitely planning to make. Here it is:
Once again, I can't find a year and I'm not quite sure when this would be. 1950s? Anyone know? The mailing envelope is pre zip codes and the postage was .02. But, anyway, I thought when I won it on Ebay that even with my minimal experience I could whip this right up. Wrong! I couldn't even understand the instructions. "Baste interfacing to wrong side of BAND FACING. Turn in and baste seam allowance on straight notched edge ..." Huh?!!! What you talking about Willis?!

For some reason I bought this pattern (probably because it was cheap):Very Harriet Nelson. It's dated 1953. I doubt I'll make this one. I think I just got caught up in the spur of the moment bidding.

The last one I've recently acquired is this:

Simplicity from 1965. I love this simple dress. I might be able to make this one. It does say Simplicity after all.

Actually, I just looked over the instructions and it's like reading a book on do it yourself plumbing: "bias seam binding may be used to encase inner edge of facings." Okay. I have no idea what you're talking about. Still, I think I'll give it a try and if worse comes to worse, I can always glue the pattern pieces on to a mixed-media collage! Very resourceful!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Time Flies When You're Not Crapting

It has been far too long since I last blogged, but laziness, a vacation (England and Italy) and a working at home husband has put the computer our of my reach. I also have not been crapting due to laziness, vacation and the ever present husband and kids (it's a NYC apartment not a McMansion). Honestly, I don't know where the time has gone but I need to throw myself back into the world of crapt. A Cloth Paper Scissors arrived awhile back and I still haven't opened it, so that will signal the return to crapting. I will open Cloth Paper Scissors. Tomorrow.

I actually had a thunder storm going on in my brain for the week after we returned from our trip. Lots of thunder claps of ideas for paintings (with the underlying theme revolving around Goldman Sachs, which was my obsession that week) and I dutifully made little sketches of each idea in my "art journal" (more words than art since I can't draw - yet) but the storm seems to have cleared and moved on.

So, the only creative endeavor involving my hands has been trying to finish up Jane Greenoff's Monet's Giverny Garden. Here is my progress as of today:
I'm currently doing the one over one water lilies and it has been a nightmare. I've put the thing down so many times, but now I'm holding a hammer over my head and forcing myself to behave. I made a mistake in back stitching in the far right pad and after one attempt to get it out and nearly ripping out the other stitches I gave up. I'm going to believe no one will notice. Can you? If so, tell me where and if you're right, I'll say very nice things about you in my blog.
I've developed quite a Zen approach to my cross stitch these days. Before, I would have festered on errant stitches, the thought of them taking over my brain until my entire head became a giant X in the wrong color and then I would have frogged the whole damn thing and started over. Now, I choose to ignore and move on (sometimes easier said than done, I still think of a mistake I made in Tracy Horner's Tanglewood, which I stitched two years ago).

After the water lilies are done (a pad a day is the goal) I have to do french knots (pure, utter torture), buttonhole stitch (which I've never done but look forward to), bullion knots, which terrify the hell out of me (if it takes 15 attempts for every one French knot, how am I going to get through the bullion knot stage?!) and then beads, which I like and look forward to as well. According to Lucretia Mullberry one should always end a project with a bit of cheer! And that's just what I plan on doing with my beads!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Paris Pillow Relaunch

A few days ago I received a package from Hand Dyed Fibers with my linen of the month, a few colors for a new project I'm going to start stitching soon (which I will write about in a day or two as I need help picking colors) and the always highly anticipated detritus bag of floss. Here is the floss from the detritus bag: I love the coral and the pinkish one and the variegated at top is really cool, but I must admit to a bit of disappointment with the black/gray. It wouldn't have been that bad if there was just one skein but there is two and that is a heck of a lot of black! Honestly, I'll probably never use it. But out of four or five detritus bags I've received, this is the first one that mildly disappointed, the rest were pure fab.

After sitting with my crapty Paris pillow for quite sometime, wondering if I should proceed to make it into a pillow or proceed to toss it in the garbage, I decided to embellish it. I have taken the variegated floss from above - I'm not sure what colors it is, green, coral, pink - and put some Algerian Eye stitch across the top. I'm using four strands of floss and let me tell you, four strands is very difficult to thread . One little sucker always decides to hang back and chill!

Here is my progress so far:Kind of cute though I'm wondering (the crapter always second guesses themselves!) if I should have stitched half over the postcard, half above the postcard. I think I probably should have but oh well too late for that.
I'm currently looking through Judith Baker Montano's Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Tool for other stitches to add to the piece. I'm a big fan of the classic Feather Stitch but I need something interesting for the corners. Any suggestions?

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Long Due Note

I haven't posted anything in quite awhile. Out of town guests, other obligations, laziness and the need for sleep have all kept me away. Add to that my utter lack of crapting for two weeks and really what do I have to talk about without going into personal foibles?

I have, however, read two books: Mrs. Lincoln, a biography of Mary Todd Lincoln by Catherine Clinton, which was interesting and Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which was stunning. If you haven't read it, read it. It's intense, sobering and I don't want to give anything away but at the end it had me doing something that rhymes with nobbing. Truly a classic. Also a classic: the movie UP. I really enjoyed it and also nobbed a few times here as well.

So even when I'm not crapting I'm usually pretty good about stitching. I usually find time everyday to at least do a little bit, but I failed these past two weeks. I've gotten in kind of a rut on Faith Hope and Honor. I'm so close to finishing, you'd think I'd just go ahead and steamroll my way through, but those couple of broken threads (mentioned in earlier post) have really bummed me out and put a damper on my progress.

I did take out one of my WIPs, Monet's Giverny Garden by Jane Greenoff. This was a chart from Cross-Stitch & Needlework's May 2008 issue. I'd started it sometime after receiving the magazine and made quick progress but then came upon a section that is one over one. One over one, for those unfamiliar with cross stitch, is literally stitching over one linen thread instead of two. It's a nightmare.

But, having just been to Giverny and forgetting about the one over one, I pulled out the piece and started to stitch but quickly gave up. It's just killer to see what the heck you're doing with one over one and making it even worse in this case is that the floss for part of it is practically the same color as the linen. Oh my eyes! I had no idea what I had stitched or what I needed to stitch. So I ripped it out, which let me tell you, ripping it out is probably harder than stitching it. But this frustration and agony was why it took me two weeks to return to it. I'd sit across the room from it, staring at it, loathing it. I felt like it was heckling me - you can't do it! You can't do it! Finally I broke down. I feel tremendous guilt if I don't do something while watching television. So I gave myself permission to skip the one over one until the very end. So I did the half Algerian Eyelet and the stitches below those and here is my progress:
The picture is blurry isn't it? It never looks blurry on the camera! Anyway, so the one over one are four lily pads that fit in between the blue half Algerian eyelets. I counted the rows in between those two lines of blue about a dozen time to make sure I haven't miscounted. Each time it was the correct amount but being a crapter, I'm convinced that it's probably wrong and I'll reach the end of the piece and realize that it is all utterly and completely wrong! I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Drawing -101

I've decided to teach myself to draw. I have no ability whatsoever, which has always been frustrating because I get the concept of drawing and I can see the lines or shapes involved in objects but I can not get my hand to put down what my eye is seeing. There is a total disconnect. Now, I have tried to teach myself in the past using the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. I've owned this book for some fifteen years, have started it at least three times that I can remember and always stop by about page 50 because, quite honestly, I get bored.

I pulled out the book again and picked up where I had a bookmark stuck from the last time I tried to do it. I really couldn't bear to do that upside down drawing or other stuff again so I began with pure contour drawing. And after only doing two exercises I'm very close to putting the book down again. I can't go as slow at Ms. Edwards wants the budding drawer to go. I get so fidgety. But I did persevere and here's my first exercise:
The exersise was to draw your hand without looking at the paper. You were to follow the lines of your hand moving very slowly. It looks like a hand, I'll give myself that but probably the fattest hand in existence. Here's the real thing:
Not as chunky. I've also done the second exercise which was drawing a flower without looking at the paper.
It started out okay but fell apart. I tried my darndest to really get into it and at certain points I felt like I slipped over to the bright side but it only lasted a few seconds. I'm so impatient and I've no ability to turn off my brain. I can not stop thinking. I'm not saying I'm thinking of anything particularly deep and meaningtul, usually it's about noting more complex than when I'm going to have my next snack, but still it is an intrusion. I also have crazy floaters in my eyes so the more I try to focus the more the floaters zip by and distract me.

I will try and keep learning. I'm telling myself just 15 minutes a day. I really think I could be a decent artist if only I could draw. Anyone else want to do the book with me?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Crapter's Lament

"I can not believe I just did that!" The crapter's lament. A line I have howled on more than one occasion and for the record just screamed three times in the last half hour.

Why? Because I finally got around to ironing my transfer down on my pillow case but instead of reading and following the instructions, I started to pull back the transfer before letting it cool. Luckily, when I wasn't able to get the paper to budge too much, I decided to look at the instructions (novel idea!) and stopped. Still, a bit of damage was done:
The little corner is flawed, but what could I expect? I wouldn't be a crapter if it came out looking good. I'd be Martha Stewart. That was the first "I can not believe I just did that." The second concerned the fact that I did not trim the transfer. I had copied the image to fill the page and though the instructions (which I read when I first printed the image a few days ago) said to trim the paper I, obviously knowing more than the company that produces the transfer, decided to ignore it. The result:
Ah, that's one pretty border around the border! Okay, you know I can live with that, I can - what crapter couldn't? - but "I can not believe I just did that," issued from my mouth for the third time when I noticed this:
Super! It's peeling off the fabric!

I had such hopes for this. Not that all is lost, but should I start again or should I just proceed? My intention was to make a kind of photo corner to sew over each corner of the postcard, so that would cover the first ICNBIJDT but the tacky border and the truly tacky peeling? I guess they warrant a re-do but boy do I hate the waste! Any suggestions on salvaging this monstrosity?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Expanding My Erudition

Continually expand your erudition. The more knowledge you have to pull from, the more crapt you will be able to push forth.
Lucretia Mulberry
The Royal Society of Crapters
Bylaw 7, page 3
What I Must Learn:
  1. Beading
  2. Quilting
  3. Lutrador (whatever the hell it is)
  4. Book Binding
  5. Weaving
  6. Miniatures
  7. Drawing
  8. Paper Making
  9. Stumpwork

I think I need a nap.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Indecision In Crapting A Pillow

I am a very indecisive crapter. It makes sense since indecision is a key component to any successful crapter according to Lucretia Mulberry.

I have been wanting to make a pillow from some vintage images I've been collecting for some time now. I bought Iron-On Transfer Paper in regards to this project years ago. And I'm not exaggerating. Years. Ago. At least I remember what I bought the Iron-On Transfer Paper for - I can not tell you how many different crapting products I have in my larder that I have absolutely no idea why I purchased them and thus what now to do with them. Crapting 101.

Well, I had a cool Paris postcard image that I decided to take the plunge and make into a pillow. I mirror image printed it on the paper and here is the result:
Pretty nice. My first instinct was to iron it on to some ivory cotton fabric I have:
I hesitate to do so, though, because it's very thin and doesn't feel very pillow-ish. Not to mention I can't cut a straight line to save my life and I can see into the future and that future includes a lopsided pathetic looking pillow. So, then I got the idea to use a pillow case. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and scouted pillow cases but the cheapest ones I could find were 15 bucks and weren't much thicker than the above cotton.

At home I found this sham in the closet:Possibility, but because I have such a warped mind, I hesitate to cut it up as perhaps I might want to use it at some point, for something like, say a pillow. Never mind that I have no idea where the sham came from and never mind that I was going to cut up the one I purchased at BB&B but that's how my mind works or doesn't work depending on your viewpoint.

I think I'll go ahead with the above sham. It's a bit big on the sides. I really don't want to cut the sides down as it will pose another straight line problem for me but I'll probably have to do it. Here's a picture of the postcard put down on top: See, too big at the moment. My thoughts are embroidering the back with an image of the Eiffel Tower. I think that might be kind of cool and really kitschy. I'm having trouble finding an embroidery pattern of the Eiffel Tower so I might have to make my own, which as any keen crapter knows is a recipe for a crapting disaster.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stampington And Company Special Issue Pricing

I love magazines. It’s practically an illness. I’m sure there are many of you out there that have the same exact infirmity. Why I buy more magazines or subscribe to more when I tend not to read the ones I already own is part of the illness. I have a magazine stack sitting at the side of my bed (and that's just crafting magazines, I have another stack of fashion, news, cooking mags in the living room). It haunts me when I wake up, torments me when I go to sleep and whispers cruel things to me when I’m lying down for a mid-afternoon nap. Here it is mocking me:

But despite the stack, I went to the bookstore today looking for the latest issue of Studio (never mind I hadn’t read the last one) when I remembered it doesn’t come out until June. So I looked at the other crafting, beading, quilting, etc magazines and found myself overwhelmed by all the Stampington & Company publications. They practically took up three rows of the crafting section!

I subscribed to Somerset Studios for years but cancelled due to cost and my failure to read. At the bottom of the above pictured stack is a May/June 2006 issue that I still haven’t opened!

I was aware that Stampington had other publications and saw their growing special publications line: Artful Blogging, Altered Couture, Somerset Life, Take Ten, Somerset Sew, to name just five. But today at the bookstore I saw something that blew my mind – Marie. A magazine devoted to artwork about Marie Antoinette! Now I love MA as much as the next Francophile. In fact, I’ve loved her since a child when I read every juvenile edition of a Marie Antoinette biography I could get my hands on at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, but a one-off magazine devoted to Marie Antoinette art?! Really?! At $14.99 a pop?! Seriously?! Editors, you don’t think that’s insane! I might have been interested in buying it at 8 dollars but $14.99!

I have a big problem with the Stampington special issue pricing. They’re all $14.99 and that is a crazy crazy price in my opinion. I will admit I purchased the premiere issues of Somerset Sew and Somerset Home (yes, indeed, they are somewhere in the above pictured stack) even though I was quite taken aback by their price. But I have not bought another one of their specialty issues and not because I'm not interested but because they just cost too darn much.

Now, they’re quality publications, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing shabby or third rate about them but I really see no significant difference between their regular magazine Somerset Studios, which I think still sells for $7.99, and these issues. So why oh why the outrageous price tag? I wonder if in these belt tightening, I’m-going-to-try-to-not-be-a-financial-idiot times if they’re selling as many magazines. I know I won’t be buying any. Rethink your pricing Stampington & Company or repackage them with a hardcover binding and sell them for three dollars more. Anyone out there feel the same way?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Crapter Project #1 Completed at Last! Results As Expected! Crapt!

Well, I did happen to fall asleep on the 22nd without finishing Crapter Project #1. In fact, I fell asleep before finishing it on the 23rd as well. However, I finally showed some backbone and put my foot down. Terrified of the consequences I might subject myself to (disappointment, self-loathing, bitterness) I trudged through my apathy and completed it last night while watching some previously recorded television. Side note: Glee, the previously recorded FOX show I viewed, I can firmly state is Crapt TV. It was mildly amusing but can’t they find people younger than 28 to play high school students and really is the teacher’s wife in any way, shape, or form a living breathing human being. Granted, the show does not hide it’s campiness, but still the wife character (as so often the case of the wife character) was lame.

So here is my completed Cloth Paper Scissor Jane Lafazio project:
I added some sequins, which might not be too noticeable so here is a close-up:
The sequins were my own idea, which made me quite proud in a 'thinking outside the box', 'my aren't I creative' kind of way, even though the results are not exactly spectacular.

The project still suffers from turned up corners so I’ve temporarily put it in a 12x12 frame (that will once again house an album cover I crapted into a faux record release from my two young boys. In true crapter fashion, my album title is not a straight line but dips up and down like a gentle ocean wave). But here it is in its temporary home:
Not quite ready for Etsy! In fact it's quite a piece of crapt but hallelujah it's done!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Work on Crapt Project #1 and Gesso on Crapt #3

Yeah, I've finally gotten off my butt and did some crapting. All right, it was minimal, but the day isn't over yet and I will finish my Crapt Project #1 by midnight tonight (if I haven't fallen asleep first).

If you read my older post, you already know that I was quite taken with 'Recycled Circles' by Jane Lafazio in the March/April 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. This was where I had paused in my crapting due to its immense ugliness:
Not one to let a project die until I've exhausted all its hideous potential I decided to try and achieve a bit more of Ms. Lafazio's look. As stated earlier, I preferred Ms. Lafazio's milky look mixed with her circles of non milk, so I cut out four circles from index cards and put them, in true crapting fashion with no strategy in mind, on the piece.So far so good. I then used a foam brush to put gesso all over the piece:
A little too milky! I blotted the piece with paper towel, pulled off the index circles and holy crapt! It's still hideous! Look at the non-milky circles. It's kind of not milky while kind of milky. I think that's called Half and Half. Lucretia Mulberry would be so proud of me. I'm setting the piece aside for a few hours to dry. Later today I will finish up by adding more sewing, perhaps adding more beads. Then it will be done. I will shove it in a closet, where I will accidentally pull it out a few years from now while looking for something like my child's birth certificate. I will marvel at its ugliness again, shove it back in the closet and this pattern will continue every few years until I die and my children find it and toss it in the garbage. C'est la vie.

Since I had the gesso out, I decided to gesso a birth-control pack. I have dozens of birth control packs from the past couple of years. I have two different styles. One style opens kind of like a book and the other style, the pills slide out from the center. I've always thought I would do something with these containers. Well I'm still not certain what, but I've begun what I will now be referring to as Crapt Project #3. I've gessoed a sliding case:
Actually, I've come up with an idea. Since I've been needlebook crazy of late (still have to finish Crapt Project #2 and that mess of a good intention) I think I'm going to make this into a needlebook. I'm going to collage the outside of it and then somehow rig some felt in the center, stick some needles in it and hope for the best. Well, we will see what happens. Could be interesting or might just be crapt.