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Archive for December, 2010

Happy New Year from Crafty Manolo!

Friday, December 31st, 2010
By Twistie

May 2011 be a joyful and crafty year for you all!

Quickie Question: What Was Your Best Crafting Moment of 2010?

Thursday, December 30th, 2010
By Twistie

via Tree

I know, I know, the Quickie Question is usually a monday thing. But as the year winds to its close, I like to reflect on the year we’re about to leave  behind. I think it’s useful every now and again to sit down and think about what we’ve learned and what we’ve discovered, and somehow the turning of the calendar page makes a nice reminder to do just that.

What was my crafts highlight of the past year? Definitely getting the opportunity to start this blog. Not only do I get to sound off here about Stuff I Know and Care About, but I’m learning a lot, too. What’s more, I love the responses you leave, getting to know more details, seeing other points of view.

Another was sitting in a hospital waiting room. Mr. Twistie was having a couple stents put in because of his ongoing heart ills. I was too nervous to do much of anything, even though I knew he was in good hands. But my friend who came along and did the driving sat there quietly crocheting as she sat next to me waiting to hear how things went. I got a bit misty when she finished making that cute beret and just handed it to me. Little things like that can help.

Oh, and everything went just fine. Mr. Twistie came home the next day looking better than he had in months. He’s doing great. But every time I put on that hat, it reminds me both of how lucky I am that he’s doing so well, and how lucky I am to have a good friend who took time out to hold my hand on a rough day.

So what about the rest of you? What were your big craft moments this year?

Will You Still Love Me Temari?

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
By Twistie

via japan

As we come to a new year, I find myself thinking of temari balls. Why temari? Well, because they are a traditional New Year’s gift from mother to daughter in Japan. And because I can’t help thinking that a couple would look really nice on my Christmas tree. I’m all about the re-imagining.

When they started out, temari balls were more or less Asian proto-hacky-sacks based on wads of worn out kimono and tightly wrapped in thread. When wound firmly enough, they did apparently bounce a little bit.

via Oddity Central

Over time, though, the wrapping became more and more decorative and also the primary point of the exercise. Most are done in geometrical forms, though, as shown above with this gorgeous chrysanthemum .

If you want to learn more about how to make temari balls, check out this instructional page at You’ll find everything you need to get started.

Oh, and I told you I thought they’d look good on a Christmas tree!

via The 12 Trees of Xmas

Pass It Along

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
By Twistie

via Wikimedia

When I first took up lacemaking, I quickly learned a mantra among my fellow lacemakers: teach at least three people to do this to help keep the craft alive.

In a world that often ignores the hand made and sometimes even scoffs heartily at doing things by hand that can be done by machine, this idea struck me as a good one for any crafts practitioner. If people don’t understand what goes into the work, they don’t appreciate it, and it starts dying.

But we who do these amazing things hold the key to keeping our crafts alive. If we seek out those interested in the knowledge, we can share our skills and the craft goes on.

Yes, you can do it. If you know how to do the craft, you can tell someone else how it works and help them get started. Offer to help a friend who seems interested or volunteer to talk to a youth group… heck, put up a flyer at a local coffee house for a class. And then remember the tips I’m about to give you.


Quickie Question: Did Santa Bring You Crafting Goodies?

Monday, December 27th, 2010
By Twistie

via Love Brighton’s Blog

Well my dears, how was your holiday? Did you get any craft-related goodies?

Tell me all about the books, spindles, looms, carving tools, caches of thread, sewing machines, origami papers, and all the rest… and I’ll tell you mine.

After all, when I wrote this, I hadn’t opened the pressies yet!

Merry Christmas from Crafty Manolo

Saturday, December 25th, 2010
By Twistie

via country Living

Merry Christmas to you all! May you find all your crafty desires under the tree.

Be a Crafty Guerilla

Friday, December 24th, 2010
By Twistie

Ever since my article about yarnbombing, I’ve been thinking a lot about doing acts of craft in public. Lo and behold, but what to my wondering eyes should appear but The Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith.

This book is dedicated to sharing whimsey and profundity in public with the public. But if that’s not your thing, it’s still got a lot to offer. If you do crafts on a regular basis with kids or are just looking for something fun to try out, you’ll find plenty of inspiration between these pages. From making your own stickers and stencils to basic origami and tips on organizing a scavenger hunt, even how to make a ‘seed bomb’ to spread the joy of wildflowers.

But if you decide to try your hand at yarnbombing or a similar act of public craft, you’ll get some really great ideas from this book.

Oh, and if you order it from Amazon, you’ll even get it at a nice discount. The regular price is $19.95, but Amazon has it for just $13.57.

Inspiration Gallery: Marquetry

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
By Twistie

via eficostarica

I don’t know about you, but I adore marquetry, the art of wood veneer inlay. This is a classic sort of pattern with an urn and flowers and scrolls and modified Greek keys. I love it.

But perhaps your taste runs in a different direction. Say, fantasy like this amazing custom design by Brown and Harmon:


Or maybe you’d prefer something more like…


Half Off at Hancock

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
By Twistie

Hancock fabrics is having a huge half off sale on fabrics right now through the 24th. Whether you’re looking for quilting fabric like the one shown above, something to make a new winter coat, or something slinky for an evening gown or boudoir pretty, this is the time to get the fabric.

Not crazy about what you see in that batch? Take a good look at the year end clearance event with prices up to 75% off. Or maybe the 40% off fashion fabric sale. Or the decorator fabrics sale with savings from 40% – 60%.

Whatever you’re planning to sew, Hancock Fabrics is a great place to look first right now. Hurry, before the best fabrics are gone!

Alfred Hitchcock Would Love This One

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
By Twistie

How gorgeous is this? It’s a fabulous stoneware vase with birds – swallows, if my eyes and limited ornithology knowledge don’t deceive me – ‘dipping in and out of the piece’ as the artist, sarapoloma, says in her description.

It stands 11″ high and is lined with a pale pink glaze. Just imagine it filled with bright flowers or a bouquet of peacock feathers. Even on its own, it’s spectacular.

It’s also available at Etsy for $300.00.

Okay, I can’t afford it, and I’m betting there are some of you out there who can’t afford it, either. But you know what we can get even if we can’t buy a piece like this? Inspiration. Whatever we make, when we see pieces of genius, they expand our own imaginations. And that, my friends, is priceless.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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