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.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is Procrastination More Than Mere Laziness?

Yesterday I was alone at home for the first time in a couple of weeks. The boys were at school. Husband at work. I had hours ahead of me to write (I'm working on a book) or at the very least - to crapt. I mean, I do need to finish that God awful circle piece but did I write? Did I crapt? NO! What did I do? I watched TV. A two week old Lost. A two week old 30 Rock. A last night The Real Housewives of New Jersey (shows you my viewing priorities - don't let the paint dry before I'll watch the Housewives wherever they might reside). I kept telling myself to get up and do something but the thought of doing anything seemed utterly exhausting. So I didn't.

So, I was trying to analyze why I procrastinate. It doesn't make me feel good about myself, so where is the benefit? My mother always said I was lazy but I'm apparently only lazy when it comes to things that might prove beneficial to myself such as writing or crapting. I've never been lazy when I've been paid to work. I'm a powerfully good multi-tasker. Yesterday while waiting for some chicken to brown I cleaned the kitchen sink. If I was truly lazy, I would have just sat there. I'm never late with library books. So I'm not thoroughly lazy. Just kinda lazy.

This is a conundrum I've been going over for all of my adult life, which is quite a long time at this point. I've probably done more writing on the subject of why I don't write than actual fiction writing. And I've never figured it out. If only I could get to the little pieces of my brain, all those atoms, synapses, curly-cues that hold the key to why I don't do what I should do. There's a code in there somewhere - neurons leading to synapses leading to glands - giving the answer to my life long question. If I ever decipher it, I could write a thriller about it. A DaVinci Code about my brain. I'd call it the Dawdling Cipher.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Will Now Get to Crapting!

It's been far too long between visits but I went to Paris and was far too tired to write and then three days after my return the family and I went up to Massachusetts to celebrate a friend's daughter's birthday. So, needless to say I've done no crapting other than the weeist bit of stitching humanely possible:

My work on Carriage House Samplings' Faith Hope Honor. Nice, huh? Definitely not crapt, though in my crapting defense I seem to have an uncanny ability to break threads. See if you can spot the two crapters below:
Kind of hard to see, but there is one green and one yellow. So my tradition of crapting excellence continues.

In Paris I pursued my crapting interests by seeking out needlework shops. I bought this cute kit at Le Bonheur des Dames:

I love bowls. I'm always drawn to bowls, that and plates with fish on them. The kit comes with Aida but I'm thinking of doing it on linen. There are a lot of cross-stitching fanatics who are huge snobs concerning Aida. I haven't succumbed to that level of Aida loathing - yet - but lets face it, linen is nicer. The big reason I most likely will not toss the Aida is because quite frankly I'm a cheapskate and I hate waste. I'll just keep telling myself that it's French Aida and what could be more sophisticated than that?

Le Bonheur des Dames is a wonderful shop that sells mainly kits but also had lots of fabrics, buttons and other embellishments. I also went to De Fil Et Une Aiguilles, a small but well stocked store. They had some great finishing ideas, like a Little House Needleworks small turned into a needle book. De Fil Et Une Aiguilles had many American charts (that I already own no less!) and it was fun watching a French woman making an enormous pile of Rosewood Manor, Prairie Schooner, Little House Needleworks and other American charts. Also stopped at the cutest needlepoint shop, Annie Bouquet, some really wonderful canvases but I'm on a budget so I could only admire.

I went to Giverny, which was a madhouse. So many people. I could only imagine Claude looking down at his beautiful house and garden and screaming at everyone to go away. But I got a crapting idea of making a quilt (yeah like I know how to do that!) of some of the photos I took of his gardens:

These looked like feathers, maybe even hair. They were beautiful and it would be fun to turn them into a quilt. This little stream was beautiful and also got me thinking of a quilt:

I visited two cemeteries: Montparnasse and Pere Lachaise. I have to show the coolest grave I've even seen. It's for the Pigeon family and it's in Montparnasse:

Imagine being buried under that!

But, at Pere Lachaise, a jumble of graves in madcap disorder, I was intrigued by images of mourning women and children and if I were able to design a cross stitch chart I'd like to make a kind of mournful tableau of these images:

How sad is that one! The one below is pretty melancholy as well:

I should have gotten closer on this one but this was at the end and I was getting tired.
Love the sadness of this one:

What do you think? Worthy for a crapt?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crapter Lite Turns Into Pure Crapt! Quelle Surprise!

Now, not to say this isn't a redeamable work of crapt, but Crapter Project #2, which I referred to earlier as Crapt-Lite has reached the next level - pure crapt. That means my staus as a Royal Crapter is intact and secure. Yeah.

As you can see by Exhibit #1 (below) when I sewed an orange border around the needlebook that is was still relatively speaking crapt-lite:

Kind of cute, no? Well, then I attached yellow felt by sewing down the middle. Disaster.

How postitively ugly is that?! Then to add to my well honed crapting skills, check this out:

Really?! Could you manage to cut a straight line? Could you manage to sew down the actual center?! Well, c'est la vie - I can do nothing for this needle book now, for I am off to Paris tomorrow!

I did receive some things in the mail today:

The black and more pink of the Rosemarie Lavin Rhapsody fabrics and:

Definitely not crapt! Vicky Clayton's Hand-Dyed Fibers Linen of the Month. I love Vicky's linens! And I love her silk fibers, so as usual I had to get a detritus bag, which is a mish-mash of her choosing. These, as usual, are cool and beautiful:
I can turn those beauties into crapt very easily! Actually, my cross stitching is not crapt, but only because I pick nice charts to stitch and quelle surprise I'm pretty good at counting.

See you after Paris, where I hope to have some lovely things to show off!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

No Crapting But Quelle Surprise, Some Cool Buys

Okay, so I didn't do any crapting today. Not even sewing a line around my "in-process" needleholder. Quelle surprise! And I have no idea if that quelle is correct or not but it is the perfect segue to a purchase I made today:

Cute, huh? The Eiffel Tower! Yeah! It's Mark Miller fabrics and I picked it up at The City Quilter. Of course, a search on the old internet revealed that "quelle surprise" it comes in other colors!!!

I will have to have a big think about the other colors but I couldn't pass this up as I'm off to Paris on Thursday night.

I made a few other purchases at The City Quilter:

The green color of Rhapsody by Rosemarie Lavin for Windham Fabrics. Now I just have to get the black and quelle surprise, I have it on order!

And last but not least in the purchases department:

Two fat quarters - Michael Miller Fabrics "Fairy Frost". They're shiny and pretty. Why they practically twinkle!

After leaving The City Quilter, I walked down to the Antique Garage which is a flea market held every Saturday and Sunday in a garage in Chelsea. This is the first time I've ever gone but it certainly won't be my last.

I bought this cool Stereo image, which I thought might be perfect for a needleholder:

"No, Donald, I never would have thought it of you." Here's the back of the card:

About a French cook! Very racy and keeping with my unintended but happily found French theme - Paris trip, Eiffel Tower fabric and one more French purchase:

An old envelope from Paris addressed to someone in New York. Here's a better look:

I have a story to tell about the envelope purchases but as the boys are starting to get loud in the other room I will save it for another day. I bought these envelopes with the intention of making a mixed-media collage from the Sealed with a Stitch by Viv Sliwka article in Cloth Paper Scissors.

Here's my last purchase, three little junk bags of beads, buttons and other nonsense:

When I have time, I will open the bags and take pictures so the two of you who are reading my blog (and I thank you so much!) can see the goodies as well. Quelle surpise!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Overused Themes in the Crapter World

‘The crapter will discover through diligent study that overused themes emerge in the crapt world. A true crapter will wish to embrace these themes, fail, thus discovering a new theme.’
Lucretia Mullberry
The Royal Society of Crapters
Pg. 47

My List of Present Day Overused Themes:

  1. Using sewing patterns in collage – how can any crapter bear to tear up a sewing pattern. Is there somewhere to buy sewing pattern scraps?
  2. Scrabble tiles – though I love word usage, I must admit
  3. Birds – though I’m drawn to anything that has a bird in it
  4. Dunce caps – don’t really have a comment on them I must admit

Help me add to this list. Any themes you’ve noticed and are tired of?