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Archive for October, 2012

Happy Halloween from Crafty Manolo!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
By Twistie

Give me all your chocolate… or else!

You Can Take It With You

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
By Twistie

Need something to help you carry your embroidery, cross stitch, needlepoint, tapestry, or patchwork quilting materials with you when you’re on the go? Take a look at this lovely quilted cotton organizer from Roberts Crafts.

The upper section features two see-through pockets and a space for larger equipment such as scissors, patterns, and fabrics. The lower section has six large zippered see-through pockets for things like thread, thimbles, needles, and so on.

Here’s a view of it closed. Oh, and that aqua color? Yeah, that’s the one it comes in. Apparently the red is not available.

The dimensions when closed are 9.5×9.5×7.2 inches. I don’t know how clearly you can see it in the illustration, but there’s a self handle on top for easy transport.

You could carry enough crafting materials to get you through a good long vacation or boring conference with that kind of space!

All that for only $62.00? Sign me up!

Happy Birthday, Bob Ross

Monday, October 29th, 2012
By Twistie

(Image Via Gentlemanbeggar, whose post you should definitely check out for a giggle or three)

I’m going to come clean here: I never in my life have watched an episode of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross. I’m not a painter. I frankly find his paintings simplistic and slightly cheesy. Make that a big ol’ hunk of Monterey Jack. Even the phrase ‘happy little trees’ makes me itch all over.

And yet I do have a sneaking respect for Bob Ross. Whatever I may have thought of his paintings, his phraseology, or his show, the fact remains that he did a hell of a lot to get millions of people to try doing something creative. He taught them that mistakes are nothing to be afraid of. He encouraged them to use their imaginations to bring themselves and others happiness.

Were all of the people he inspired Picassos and Van Goughs in the rough? Hardly. I’m sure quite a number of the paintings he inspired others to do are the visual equivalent of Vogon poetry. And yet, someone out there had to be better. Several someones, I’m sure. And those special few have gone on to create much better paintings.

Others, I have no doubt, quickly realized that painting wasn’t their medium, but knew that somewhere out there was the right form of self-expression for them. They went on to try other creative pursuits, such as sculpture, photography, needlecrafts, weaving, and beading. Maybe they were better at those. Even if they were no better at them, they found more happiness.

Even the people who were No Damn Good at painting and didn’t really care found happiness doing something creative. What’s more, they didn’t harm anyone while doing it.

And so today I thank the late Bob Ross on his natal day for bringing joy and creativity, and yes, even the (grits teeth) happy little trees to so many people.

Here We Go Again

Friday, October 26th, 2012
By Twistie


Another season, another season of Project Runway All Stars.

As per usual, I’ll put in a cut so as not to spoil those who haven’t had a chance to see or take up the entire page for people who don’t care. As if.


Tonight’s the Night!

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
By Twistie

Yes, it’s a new season of Project Runway All Stars starting tonight, so set your DVRs to stunning!

My personal faves I want to see make it to the end? Well, I’ve always said Uli was robbed back in season three, Andrae made what I still consider to be one of the top three designs ever in PR history when he made that fabulous gutter water evening gown, and I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Anthony the colorblind testicular cancer survivor from New Orleans. What? I appreciate someone who comes so much from behind and who has kind of an amazing color sense for not being able to see it the way most of us do. And while I don’t necessarily expect him to go very far in the competition, I do have to admit I’m going to enjoy having Casanova back on my screen. I find him kind of weirdly charming.

Here’s hoping for a quick and relatively painless reality demise for Wendy Pepper whose primary career since season one has mostly consisted of embarrassing herself and anyone who knows her on national television, Poison Ivy whose personality has all the charm of rampant kudzu and whose design aesthetic is a perfect cure for both sleepless nights and restless leg syndrome, and Laura who I mostly remember as being the one who kept nattering on about how everyone would underestimate her for being so, so pretty… while competing against an actual Miss Universe contestant. In fact, I had to go back to my recaps of season nine to recall who the heck she even was. That’s how much impression her designs and personality made on me.

Oh, and Suede will only stay off that second list if he has finally learned either to refer to himself in the first person, or has at least figured out how to use the third person consistently. And if he never, ever tries again to dress female javelin throwers, weight lifters,  and water polo players in cheerleader uniforms.

In other PRAS news, season one host Angela Lindvall is being replaced by Carolyn Murphy.

I hope I find her more scintillating than her predecessor.

Either way, tune in tomorrow for the skinny on all the tears and recriminations.

Nothing Mere About It

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
By Twistie

I have a longstanding love of meerkats. They’re so darn adorable. I love how they stand and act as sentries for the community.

Of course I’m not in favor of having wild animals as pets, except for sloths. Apparently the biggest hassle of having them as pets is remembering to take them out every few days and hose them off so they can take care of their bodily functions. What? I read an article in National Geographic many years ago. It seems that sloths are quite friendly creatures.

But meerkats? Yeah, not gonna happen. And my neighborhood probably isn’t zoned for sloths, dagnabbit.

But I could order one of these deliciously detailed needlefelted meerkats from Etsy artist Daria Lvovsky for just $62.00 plus shipping from Isreal.

It’s even on a wired skeleton, so it can be posed in different ways.

Not big on meerkats? That’s okay. Lvovsky also does a wide variety of creatures and fairy tale figures to brighten your home and delight the eye. Now, do I want a koala or a vulture first….

Quickie Question: Best Part of the Craft?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
By Twistie

(Nothing really to do with the question at hand, but I fell in love with this knitted werewolf costume over at The Making Spot Blog and wanted to share.)

When it comes to crafting your life, there are many parts to the process, and each of us likes one better than another.

For some it’s coming up with the idea, planning it out. For another, it’s the actual process of creation, when you’re seeing whether your ideas work as originally planned or whether they must be reworked in some way. For many, it’s that satisfying bit when the work is finished and you can admire the fruits of your labor. For yet others, it’s seeing the look on someone’s face when the finished piece is gifted to them, or simply set out to be admired.

I love planning and I love seeing the finished pieces, naturally. But for me, the best bit is the actual work. It’s sitting there with my pillow tossing bobbins or with my felting needle stabbing away at the roving until it begins to resemble a flower or a scroll or a robot, for that matter. I’m utterly in love with the processes by which I create. In fact, if I don’t enjoy the process, I find that no amount of adoration for finished pieces will make me start the work. That’s why while I adore fabric and can see all kinds of lovely clothes in my head, I’ll never make them by sewing, I just don’t happen to enjoy the process enough to keep me going.

What about you? Are you the one who plots and plans for fun? Are you a process groupie like me? Is it all about the moment when you know you’re finished?

What’s the best part of crafting for you?

For a Ghastly Good Time

Monday, October 22nd, 2012
By Twistie

There’s still just over a week to go before Halloween, so there’s just time to create a zombie grave or two to set the mood. So get out your crochet hooks and head over to visit Croshame because that’s where you’ll find this awesome free pattern to bump some gooses in your own home.

Of course, I tend to think of it as Buffy’s grave.

Then again, that leads to the badness of seasons six and seven… and that really does give me the wig!

And the Winner Is…

Friday, October 19th, 2012
By Twistie

Tim Gunn!

Actually, no, it isn’t, but a girl can dream. In a perfect world, Tim would win pretty much everything, so there. And what he doesn’t win, Eddie Izzard can.


Read on to see what I thought about every little thing that happened last night.


I’d Live in it, If it Weren’t Made of Legos

Thursday, October 18th, 2012
By Twistie

Have you ever checked out Mike Doyle’s Snap? It’s the blog of Lego artist Mike Doyle in which he shares his amazing creations with us all.

Recently, he’s done a series of crumbling Victorian houses, again all in Legos. Learn all about how he created this haunted house on a mudpile in these two entries.

I don’t know about you, but I am not worthy.

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