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Archive for May, 2011

Big Day For Bombs

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
By Twistie

Yarnbombed bike rack via Jafabrit’s Art

Hey folks, it’s heads up time!

What do you need to know? Why, that June 11, 2011 is International Yarn Bomb Day!

On that one day, people will be carrying out yarnbombing runs all over the world.

So… what about us? Do you want to participate? Solo or as Crafty Manolo readers? Do you have a good idea?

Talk to me about bombing, people. Let’s hear what you have to say.

Tiptoe Wearing Tulips

Monday, May 16th, 2011
By Twistie

No, that’s not a costume from an avant garde production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s the handiwork of environmental artist Nicole Dextras. The title is Camellia Countess. It’s composed of: camellia flowers, lilac flowers, yucca leaves, laurel leaves, willow branches, and thorns. The thorns are how the piece is held together. No thread here!

Dextras makes her wearable art from the plants she finds in her own garden, as well as donations from others. She then photographs the pieces, some on models, some not, and then leaves them in the great outdoors to return to the soil.


Quickie Question: Leftovers

Friday, May 13th, 2011
By Twistie

String Quilt via Hills Creek Quilter

I know, I know, Quickie Question is usually a monday thing. Well, I’m the editor of this blog and I can shake things up if I want to, so nyaah. That’s my utterly mature take on the issue.


If there’s one thing that seems to hold true across all crafts, it’s that there’s always something left over when your project is finished.

Whether your leftovers are thread, yarn, fabric scraps, bits of metal, broken beads, wire, excess dye, wood scraps, or shards of colored glass, you still have to come up with a way of either using or getting rid of the detritus.

My favorite thing to do with bits of thread too short to use in another lace project is to cut them up into even smaller bits and save them until early spring, when I toss them out on the lawn as nesting materials for birds. That way I avoid adding to landfills and the birds get extra special nests.

So what’s the most creative way you’ve found of upcycling, recycling, or otherwise making use of those little bits of crafting materials?

Clover In the Round

Thursday, May 12th, 2011
By Twistie

If you love to knit, you’ll be excited by Clover’s new Takumi Combo Set. With twelve tip sizes and five cord lengths, you’ll be prepared for any knitting project in the round. All of this in a handsome carrying case for just $169.95.

Yarnbombing: The Book

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011
By Twistie

If you’ve been interested in learning more about yarnbombing, or in starting your own yarnbombing event, then chances are you’ll want a copy of Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain.

See those knitted high tops on the cover? Yes, the instructions are in the book, along with things like knitted chain link fences, and hoods to cover your entire face except for the eyes so that you can be a yarnbombing ninja. And who wouldn’t want to be a ninja for crafts?

Regularly priced at $19.95, you can get it at Amazon for just $13.57.

Hey Bulldog

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
By Twistie

Who could resist this adorable felted bulldog? I know I can’t! I just want to pick him up and cuddle him… which will not go over well with my evil kitty, Jake, but, oh well. That’s the way it goes. He doesn’t like any of my stuffed animals. He really hates my orange corduroy aardvark. He thinks he should be the only orange, stripy thing in my life.


This beautifully detailed felt doggie in the window is the handiwork of Needlefeltsculpture from the UK, and runs 55GBP, which works out to roughly $92.44 in US dollars.

If, on the other hand, you don’t want a bulldog, you can have a needle felted version of your favorite pet made custom. Hmmm… I wonder how Jake would react to another Jake.

Meh, he’d probably hate it. But I would love it.

Quickie Question: Do You Wear Your Craft On Your Sleeve?

Monday, May 9th, 2011
By Twistie

You love your craft. I love my craft. Our friends and families know what we do with our hands… but what about random strangers? Do you have anything you wear that advertises your love of crafting? Something, say, as wonderful as this gloriously in-your-face messenger bag to tell people how much you love to crochet?

Me? Well, I have a couple tee shirts from lacemaking conventions I’ve attended, and I have a pair of English-style bobbin earrings that I spangled myself. Oh, and I have a couple tote bags from those conventions, too. Fellow  lacemakers and the people who love them see those and know what I do.

What about all of you? Do you have any clothes, jewelry, key chains, bags, or other personal items that advertise your crafting love to the populace?

Oh, and if you don’t have any and want some – or if you want more than you currently have – take a look here at Crafty Gear. They have tee shirts, bags, coffee cups, aprons, and dozens of other items with images and witty sayings for all manner of craft disciplines.

Mrs. Delany’s Flowers

Friday, May 6th, 2011
By Twistie

Some people find an artistic voice at an early age. Others… do it a little later in life. Mrs. Delany, pictured above, is one of the latter.

That’s not to say that she didn’t have crafty leanings earlier in life. In point of fact, she painted, made silhouettes, embroidered, and even wrote and illustrated a novel entitled Marianne. She was a keen student of botany and zoology. She spoke French, played music, and met Handel. She married a man of sixty at the age of just seventeen, and  found herself widowed just six years later. Unfortunately, he had failed to update his will after his marriage, and the young Mary Grenville Pendarves was left with almost nothing to her name.

Forced to rely on the kindness of relatives, she lived with an aunt and uncle, then later moved in with a friend in Ireland. After nearly twenty years of poverty-stricken widowhood, she met and married an Irish clergyman named Dr. Patrick Delany.


Recipe For Mother’s Day

Thursday, May 5th, 2011
By Twistie

Guess what? This sunday is Mother’s Day.

I lose track of that sometimes these days, not being a mother and both Mr. Twistie and I being safe from the Pirates of Penzance, but it really is… not even around the corner. The last minute is quickly disappearing.

If you need a quick project for the kids to do… or even one to do yourself, you could do a lot worse than this cute idea for a custom tea towel over at Kaboose.

All it takes is crayons, paper, a plain tea towel, an iron and a bit of imagination.

R-A-G-G-D-O-L-L, Raggdoll

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
By Twistie

via Miss Gioia

I had them when I was a kid. You probably had at least one at some point, too. It’s the classic rag doll. There’s something about them that’s inherently comforting to small children, and brings a smile to the face of many an adult, as well.

Best of all, they’re really, really easy to make.

No kidding.

If you don’t believe me, just head on over to Miss Gioia (which has not, alas, been updated since 2009) for a lovely clear set of instructions for making a basic rag doll. When you get there, be sure to follow the link to the PDF pattern, too.

Once you’ve got the basic doll down, play with faces, hair, and clothes. After all, this is a complete blank canvas of a doll. It can be made in any color, or in a patterned fabric. You can go sweet or deranged with the features. Dress it for Little House on the Prairie or Fetish Night, as you prefer. Give it to a kid who could use a smile, or keep it for yourself.

Just play with it. You know you want to.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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