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Archive for March, 2012

Make It Sew… or Rather, Crochet

Friday, March 30th, 2012
By Twistie

I, like me, you’re a dyed in the wool Trekkie, chances are you’ll love this arugarumi version of the crew of the Enterprise D by janaford.

You can find the pattern for Captain Picard free on Ravelry.

Oh, and if anyone wants the key to my heart forever? I’d love a DS9 version.

Just try to tell me Quark wouldn’t be an interesting challenge and a ridiculously cute arugarumi. I dare you.

LOVE/HATE: Nailed It

Thursday, March 29th, 2012
By Twistie

Sometimes something comes along that induces such HUH?!? in me that I can’t quite decide whether it’s a complete travesty or an odd kind of genius.

For instance, take these earrings for sale from thecraftartykid on Etsy. There’s no denying the tacky of them, made as they are of press on fingernails, bits of magazine, and PVA glue. Press on nails are kind of tacky to begin with, and this is such a weird use of them, and then the words from magazines don’t help much… and yet they’re so darn colorful and nobody will guess in the first glance quite what they are, and when they do figure it out they’ll probably freak out which is fun to observe.

And then there’s the fact that someone has figured out how to separate people from five British pounds sterling a pop for something this tacky and potentially offensive.

I think I’m having a LOVE/HATE relationship with these horrible things. In the end, HATE is winning out by a narrow margin. Perhaps when I have more caffeine in me I’ll see things more clearly and HATE them all the more… but I’ll still be curious about the possibilities of a partnership in craft crime with thecraftartykid.

Oh Dry Up

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
By Twistie

Hey guys!

Remember way back in October when I started musing on towels and how to achieve them at home?

Well, I then promptly got distracted by numerous shiny things of great glory… such as Project Runway All Stars, and trying out needle felting, and abusing my Simmies, and, well, you know how it goes.

Still, the question has remained simmering in the back of my mind ever since. And then it poured rain in Biblical torrents this week and I found myself thinking about the subject again, more in a foreground kind of way.

And then I found an article (available in PDF form, no less, for free on your computer) at Textile Reproductions on the proper method of making 18th century linen towels.

If you’re not already familiar with Textile Reproductions and you have any interest at all in an 18th century way of life or living history projects for the period, you’re in for a treat when you visit their online store. From period-sized pillow cases to vegetable dyed embroidery threads, to pockets to wear under your skirts, they’ve got an amazing range of great products.

Oh, and I’m absolutely downloading and using those instructions for making towels. I could use some more hand towels and kitchen towels.

The Village Blacksmith

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
By Twistie

If you live near Williamsburg, VA or are planning a visit to the area soon, it may interest you to know that James Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armory will have its ribbon cutting ceremony on March 31. That’s this saturday, for those of you without handy calendars.

The armory will include demonstrations of: blacksmithing, coopering/basket making, carpentry, brick making and masonry, and more.

I only wish I could be there, too.

Stick To It, and See What Happens

Monday, March 26th, 2012
By Twistie

Most of us wind up at some point with a roll or two of packing tape in our homes. We’re mailing holiday gifts or care packages to kids at college, whatever. We need a few strips to seal up a package, and then we put it away in the closet or garage or junk drawer and wait to need it again… most likely not until the next year or so by which time we’ve often forgotten where it went.

Street artist Mark Jenkins, though, did something else. He decided to put that oft-forgotten tape to use in his installations. The result? Dramatic and often deliciously humorous pieces of street art created by sculpting a neglected household item.

From the drama of carousel horses in the woods to the humor of ducks in gutter water to the poignancy of huddled sculptures of homeless people in corners of fine art galleries, Jenkins has a way of using the easily ignored to make us think.

But thanks to the good people at Tape, you, too can join the movement and learn to sculpt packing tape.

Who knows? One day I might be sharing your fabulous work… just like this amazing piece by Katya in Moscow:

One Hundred One Years Ago Today….

Sunday, March 25th, 2012
By Twistie

… the Triangle Waist Factory in New York caught fire at 4:45 pm.

The Triangle filled the top three floors of the ironically named Asch Building. Since it was a saturday, the other businesses in the lower floors had closed for the weekend around noon. But the workers at the Triangle were scheduled to work until five that afternoon.

The blaze began when a cigarette (or match, according to some versions) fell into a scrap bin filled with two months’ worth of undisposed scraps unnoticed. The workers on the eighth floor notified the owners on the tenth floor immediately via telephone. The owners evacuated via the rooftops to safety.

Unfortunately, nobody thought to warn the factory workers on the ninth floor. Equally unfortunately, many of the workers on the eighth floor – where the fire started – found themselves unable to escape.

All Star of All Stars Crowned

Friday, March 23rd, 2012
By Twistie

And so we come to the end of Project Runway All Stars. From thirteen designers, the competition was winnowed down to just three, Michael Costello, Austin Scarlett, and Mondo Guerra. At last these three talented men duked it out. The weapons? Mini collections of six looks. The ring? Gotham Hall in New York City. The results? Well, that was an exciting question to be determined.


Stay With Me

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
By Twistie

If you are at all interested in historical costuming, then you know the right shape of corset makes the difference between the correct line and… well, all those costumes that just aren’t ever going to look quite right.

Unfortunately, modern shaping garments just won’t give you the look you need, whether it’s renaissance or roaring twenties. Antique corsets – even if I could in good conscience promote the wearing of actual historical clothing – are often fragile, and not fitted to a more modern body. Custom corsets can cost a packet and may or may not offer  you precisely what you need.

But what if you could make your own?

Ah, but now you can! In fact, I can show you where to go to learn how to draft your own pattern for a corset.

Your Wardrobe Unlock’d offers up a freebie set of instructions for drafting your own pattern for your own set of 1870’s stays… and from there you can simply adjust the proportions for a corset from virtually any era. The instructions can be downloaded in pdf format in either a color coded version or in printer-friendly black and white.

Even if you don’t want to make your own corset, I highly recommend a wander through the site. Even if the closest you’ve come to making an historic costume is to drool over an evening gown on Downton Abbey, you’ll find something of interest here. Alas! many of the best bits are only available to those who subscribe, but there are a lot of pretty pictures you can see before you need to pay. And as I said, the corset drafting instructions are free as the proverbial bird.

Just In Case Someone Wants to Make Me a Gift….

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
By Twistie

Or maybe I’ll give a go to knitting again. Either way, the instructions for these gloriously campy fingerless gloves are available at Ravelry for just $4.00.

Seriously, though, these puppies are taking me back to my childhood version of Batman:

Throw in a little Burgess Meredith, and I’ll be in nostalgia nirvana!


I Don’t Think It’s My Size….

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
By Twistie

A lot of people collect Hollywood memorabilia, both for film and television. I’m not above it. I have autographed photos of most of the Buffy cast, a couple members of the Deep Space Nine crew, as well as a fabulous Mexican lobby card for The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A friend of ours even owns one of the pods from the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

So I get why someone would want an item that appeared on television. I personally would trample someone’s grandmother to get my greedy hands on an original Trek phaser.

But imagine my surprise when I discovered on Etsy a… rather outsized item that appeared in multiple episodes(!) of Charmed, and in the movie Raise Your Voice:

Yes, it’s a six foot tall fetish shoe, sculpted out of steel by artist Bruce Gray and painted in lipstick red automotive paint.

I think if I were looking for a piece of Hollywood to take home, this inspires me to want Grace Kelly’s fabulous nightgown, pegnoir, and slippers from Rear Window that all fit so neatly into a small briefcase. You’ve got the classy associations of Grace Kelly, Edith Head, and Alfred Hitchcock, some really fine design work, and something much, much easier to store.

I’m just saying.

On the other hand, if I happened to have $24,000 to spend on a piece of sculpture, and another $1,500 to spend on  shipping, and I really wanted to make my neighbors unhappy… you never know. I might put it in my garden just to be obnoxious.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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