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Archive for the 'Assemblage' Category


Pumpkins Without Knives

Monday, October 8th, 2012
By Twistie

I love Halloween. I love jack o lanterns. Unfortunately, they’re kind of a mess to make what with the cutting and the disposing of the pumpkin guts and all of that. Plus I’ve never gotten very good at carving, so most of them turn out looking like that first one I did by myself when I was eight… which looks like most of the jack o lanterns down the block.

On the other hand, I always have a ready supply of odd, ends, and general detritus I figure will be useful for something someday, and plenty of imagination.

That’s why I love the inspiration  of this article at Better Homes and Gardens on using that random junk to decorate your pumpkins.

Upholstery tacks, keys, gears, washers, bits of chain and wire… whatever you can think of has the potential to make a unique statement on your porch this Halloween.

Check out the gallery, gather up your goodies, get a pumpkin, and go to town!


Shrine On You Crazy Diamond

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
By Twistie

There are times in life when we just have to let something go, but we want to honor and preserve the memory. That’s when a shrine is a good idea.

Maybe it’s a marriage or long-term friendship that has ended. Maybe it’s a beloved pet who has passed on. Maybe it’s those delicious, gluteny treats you’ve had to swear off for your health. Maybe it’s even your favorite TV show that just went off the air. Whatever it is, it deserves to be treated with respect and made as pretty as possible.

And that’s where Alphastamps comes in, because they have a cool kit for building your shrine, whether it’s to your poodle, your former career, or your dream of being an Olympic gymnast even though you’re forty, stand six-foot-one, and couldn’t turn a cartwheel if world peace depended on it.

The kit comes with all the pieces you need to build a masonite stage, complete with proscenium arch and curtain swags. It’s just $13.99 for the kit, bring your own glue.

Not so big on theatrics, but still in need of a good shrine or reliquary? Well, there’s the Gothic Arch version for just $4.99, made of masonite, cherry wood, and acrylic,  and there’s the Coffin version of the same materials for just $3.99, and there’s the Mini Dashboard Shrine kit, just in case you want to make a shrine to Meatloaf. Put it by the light. It’ll be paradise.


As Mr. Spock Would Say… Fascinator

Thursday, July 5th, 2012
By Twistie

Once upon a time, a fascinator was a hooded scarf, not unlike this knitted opera hood:

(Via World Turn’d Upside Down)

Now they look more like this:

(Via MHL)

Don’t ask me when the definition changed, because I honestly don’t know.

Still, as much as the word ‘fascinator’ still immediately raises the image of a practical head covering for me, I really love some of the things being done  with the more modern version.

So imagine my delight when I wandered over to Criminal Crafts the other day (pairing two of my all time favorite subjects: crime and craft) and found an article about crime-related (and some not-so-crime-related) fascinators.

You couldn’t pay me to sit down and read the 50 Shades of Grey books… but I would absolutely rock this intense fascinator any day of the week.

Have I ever mentioned I look absolutely sparkly in grey?

Check out the fun!


Dogs That Make Me Smile

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
By Twistie

A new flea market started up recently in my town. Mr. Twistie has been going with his friend the Drummer. Last week, he asked me to come along so I could try out the schnitzel at one of the food trucks. I gotta say, that was the best darn schnitzel I’ve ever had. Light, crisp, flavorful, and the housemade horseradish sauce was out of this world!

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Great schnitzel is a wonderful thing, but this blog is about crafts. Schnitzel, however, got me to the flea market where I found a surprising pair of craft artists whose work delighted me.

Smiling Dog Studio is the brainchild of craft artists Jane Brooks and Val Yandell. Val takes the photographs. Jane works in assemblage. Together they create fabulous jewelry like the piece shown above, as well as ornaments to hang around your house like this fun antique camera image:

You can find Smiling Dog Studio at various craft events around the Bay Area, or you can contact them online for custom work

So poke around their site, ask them a question… they won’t bite. And neither did their dogs, Wasabi and Fig, who I also met at the flea market. Nice doggies!


What To Do With Easter Now It’s Over

Thursday, April 12th, 2012
By Twistie

There’s a downside to most major holidays: the detritus.

And in the post-Easter haze, there are a lot of little plastic eggs that use to be filled with candy and tiny decorative items sitting around empty and forlorn. What the heck are you going to do with them all?

Well, if you’re smart and crafty, you might head over to Creativity in Progress and learn how to make these adorable teacups for your child’s playtime enjoyment.

Do you have a great idea for using up the leftovers from holidays? If so, feel free to share in comments!


Daffily Delightful Detritus

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
By Twistie

Now this is a suitcase that won’t get easily lost or mixed up with someone else’s at the airport! What’s more, you can make it – or something quite similar – out of random junk you may already have in your home. If you don’t, you can easily get it at any garage sale or swap meet you happen across.

You see, all you need for this project is a hard sided plastic suitcase, some patterned fabric (in this case a print of the Virgin Mary and some floral motifs), and some Minwax Polycrylic. Not religious? No problem! Pick a floral, a great skull image, or just a cool geometrical motif. It’s all good.

And that, my friends, is the philosophy behind Mark Montano’s The Big-Ass Book of Crafts 2, where you can find more thorough instructions for this suitcase and more than 150 fun projects made of random odds and ends.

The projects range from the practical (a fabulous bejeweled backsplash for a bathroom sink, and a wide selection of homemade bags and purses) to the whimsical (my personal favorite is the corset composed entirely of zippers), to the downright disturbing… but in a harmless way (those baby doll head salt and pepper shakers will probably haunt my nightmares, even though they make me giggle).

Whether the random stuff you have on hand is wooden hangers, zip ties, buttons, colored paper, scraps of wood or fabric, old eyeglasses cases, ribbon, beads, bottle caps, newspaper, or tin scraps, you can find plenty of ways to use them up with this book. Most of the projects could be easily finished in an afternoon, too.

But the really great thing about this book and the other two in the series (The Big-Ass Book of Crafts and The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor) isn’t the specific projects, though they are weird and wonderful in their own right. No, the really great thing about them is that they help you see the potential in the random, the cast off, and the humble. That means these books are a great jumping off point for your own imagination.

Whether your personal taste runs to the bizarre or the gently understated, the silly or the profound, there’s a lot you can do with the discarded to make your life – and those of your friends – more charming and more unexpected.

And at just $12.81 and free Super Saver shipping if you spend over $25.00 on your whole order ($9.99 in the Kindle edition), it’s even inexpensive enough to leave you the money for that bag of baby doll heads on your next visit to the flea market.


Alpha Awesome

Monday, December 19th, 2011
By Twistie

Have you visited Alpha Stamps yet?

This rather fabulous sheet of collage images of dancing men is one of theirs, from the steampunk collection. The price varies slightly depending on whether you would prefer it in cardstock, clear sticker, or transparency form.

Not wild about dancing men? That’s okay. They have everything from bathing beauties and Mother Goose illustrations to bicycles and birds. And that’s just the tip of the collage iceberg!

They also carry rubber stamps, metal findings, buttons, charms, adhesives, stencils, glitter, ribbon, shrine forms, chains, tools, instructional materials, kits, and all sorts of other wonderful shiny things for the crafter.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go browse a bit and dream some pretty dreams. Or you could join me there.


Repurposed Purposefully

Thursday, April 14th, 2011
By Twistie

via Jeff Owen Artworks

Recently, I went to a garden show. No, I’m not changing the subject, be patient.

Anyway. Since I’m getting ready to completely redo my yard both front and back, I wanted to see the possibilities. I saw fabulous flowers, fragrant herbs (perfect for the raised beds already in place in the back!), and fruit trees that may one day fill my perfect pie crusts.

I also saw some amazing craft works, including pieces by the artist shown above, Jeff Owen.

(more…)


Hey Dollface

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
By Twistie

Sometimes it’s fun to wander around Etsy just to see what I find. Well, these fascinating dolls by ferrytalesgifts caught my eye and wouldn’t let go.

How cool are they? Very. The method used is assemblage, that is by using found objects to create a new three-dimensional object. In this case, molded doll parts, wooden blocks, bead jewelry, bits of lace, and lots of other interesting bits of flotsam and jetsam are turned into bizarre yet charming dolls.

This doll runs $36.00, and is one of a kind. If you aren’t wild about this particular one, or if you miss the window on it, ferrytalesgifts has plenty of other wonderful assemblage pieces for sale, including more dolls of this nature, jewelry, sets of scented candles and room spray, and the odd collage.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind finding something like this under my Christmas tree.












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