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Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year from Crafty Manolo!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011
By Twistie

May this year bring you all the time you need for crafting! Happy 2012!

Quickie Question: How Was Your 2011 Crafting Year?

Friday, December 30th, 2011
By Twistie

As 2011 wanes, it’s time to take stock of what we’ve done over the past 365 days.

My crafting year was slowed down by several bouts of illness and a painful lack of empty flat spaces in my home. Still, I did get a few projects done. I made bookmarks for the Crafty Manolo yarnbombing run, six in all. I’ve repaired a couple pieces of jewelry I own. Oh, and on the culinary side I’ve made my first run at homemade puff pastry. Guess what?


I can’t wait to do it again.

So what about all of you? What have you made in 2011? How did it go? Are you happy with what you did? Do you have any major crafts plans for 2012?

Tell me all about it!

Frakkin’ Awesome!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011
By Twistie

STEOTCH is at it again, this time taking on Battlestar Gallactica.

See? Starbuck approves.


Doing Crafts, Doing Good

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
By Twistie

Many of us who craft also enjoy giving back to the world, I find. But what if you’ve been looking for a way to intertwine the two concepts?

Get thee to Amazon and snap up a copy of Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In. Okay, the title is wordy times eleven, but the ideas involved more than make up for that.

Inside you’ll find seventeen clever projects to make, but more than that you’ll find ideas for using your projects to make the world better. This book will help you do everything from organizing an online craft exchange to organizing your own crafts fair. That’s quite a bit for a book that costs just $22.99.

But wait! There’s more! If you get it from Amazon right now, it’s just $15.63!

Adventures in Upcycling and Repurposing

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011
By Twistie

One idea to make use of all that leftover gift wrap is to make a bracelet out of paper beads. This one was actually made from pages of Rolling Stone magazine, but I think gift wrap would work just as well and give a prettier result.

Find full instructions here at Craftster!

One a more… mechanical end of the scale, I found instructions for making a curiously strong ‘personal massager’ out of an empty Altoids tin and a battery operated toothbrush. Oh, and while the illustrations for this particular project are probably reasonably safe for work, the rest of the site really isn’t.

Quickie Question: Get Any Crafty Loot?

Monday, December 26th, 2011
By Twistie

Here it is, the day after Christmas (known, also, as Boxing Day), and I’m dying to know what you all got from Santa or his equivalent gift giver this time!

Okay, as I’m writing this, it isn’t Christmas yet, so I don’t know if I got something crafty or not… though I’m betting I will from someone. Tell me about yours, and I’ll tell you about mine when I can.

So… what did you get?

Merry Christmas from Crafty Manolo!

Sunday, December 25th, 2011
By Twistie

(Illustration via, where you can find instructions for these wax resist greeting cards)

May Santa bring you all the crafty toys your heart desires!

They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To….

Friday, December 23rd, 2011
By Twistie

… and that’s not always such a bad thing.

Once the German tradition of Christmas trees was imported to England in 1841 along with Prince Albert, people had to come up with ways of decorating them. We all know about popcorn strings and candles and candy canes, but the endlessly creative Victorians came up with a plethora of ways of making their homes festive for the season, and some of them were less classically attractive. has compiled a selection of Christmas ornaments Victorians made at home that you can, too… if you really want to.

The one above is peanuts on a string. That’s right, those are peanuts wrapped in pastel tissue paper, fringed on the ends. For my money it’s miles and away better than the chimney sweep made of prunes.

This Would Be for What, Now?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
By Twistie

I think I’ll let the creator speak as to the many varied usages for this… this.

you can make bridal shower more fun with
Order a special treat for kids’ birthday parties or baby shower
for a memorable anniversary party favor
Make birth announcements even sweeter
new customer gift and/or client “Thank You’s
Reward your employees with inexpensive sweet treats for outstanding customer service, project success or other milestones.
Create personalized, affordable wedding favors

Imagine, if you will, hauling this out at a baby shower. Imagine the reaction if this was your wedding favor to your guests. Hmmm… maybe the seller meant that blurb to be about other items at the shop. After all, at $215.00, this isn’t what I would call an inexpensive sweet treat as a reward to employees, either.

Let’s just take another look, shall we?

Yeah, no, still not seeing it as a great idea to cement customer loyalty.

But maybe gloves just aren’t the thing you want to use to make your birth announcement even sweeter. Maybe you would prefer something more like this festive Recycled Bra Head Accessory to wear to the christening:

Look how beautifully it displays the underwire. And the little yellow bird desperately plotting its escape makes it Art.

Look, I’m as fond as the next girl of a good upcycle or a clever bit of repurposing. I just think it bears repeating – and often – that just because someone thought of it doesn’t make it a good idea.

Finally My Palms Can Breathe While My Fingers Keep Busy With the Electrical Sockets

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
By Twistie

When I went to write my article for today, WordPress decided they didn’t want to let me in… for several hours. This happens. It ‘s annoying, but I survive, mostly without too much complaint. But finding myself with some time on my hands, I decided to spend it avoiding everything I have left to do for Christmas and go wander around Regretsy for a while.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear? Glingers.

Glingers are the result of a poll on Regretsy to pick the next big Etsy trend… for 2011. Yeah, I’m behind the curve. The poll is a year old. But in my defense, the bastard child results of the poll were reposted just a few days ago. Still, one of the responses (along with Amish Goth and Vintage Tampon Quilt Batting, both of which amused me greatly) was gloves that are just fingers.

Thus the glinger was born.

People sent in photos of the glingers they made, along with their tongue-in-cheek praises of their many virtues.

Regretsy reader Tonya had this to say of her grass green knitted glingers:

They’re perfect for those times when your fingers are cold but you need your palms free for things like accepting communion wafers or giving hand jobs

The title of this article is a direct quote from another Regretsy glinger devotee, Mary. But my personal favorite quote comes from Regretsy commenter and Evil Genius, Audrey:

Using the power of science, I made these labpunk scienceglam handless gloves happen in my artistic ability, a mystical unraveling of creative and scientific talent completely uncorrupted by artificial constraints such as ‘taste’ and ‘human decency.’ The lucky buyer can use them in the context of fashionable crimes, leaving no fingerprints while maintaining the important fashion objective of looking like a complete and total tool.

Also of interest on Regretsy, learn why if you’re trying to do good for others, PayPal may not be your best partner in generosity. While the situation has been resolved, it still doesn’t make me want to rush to PayPal the next time I need to help someone financially.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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