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It’s Only a Paper World

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
By Twistie

Don’t sit on those chairs! I mean it!

Why not?

Why, because they’re made of nothing but tracing paper and tape, that’s why.

They’re the work of Natasha Frisch, an artist who works exclusively in the medium of tracing paper. Her designs are precise replications of everyday items, only in a far more fragile form and white in color.

Frankly, I’m blown away.

Take Gertie Home With You

Monday, September 24th, 2012
By Twistie

If you love to sew and you love vintage, chances are you already know Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing.

It began as a Julie/Juliaesque project wherein Gretchen Hirsch (aka Gertie) worked her way through all the patterns in Vogue’s New Book for Better Sewing, published in the 1950’s. Fourteen fabulous vintage outfits later, well, Gertie kept on going. she’s still blogging away about sewing vintage style clothes, and all the issues that go with them. She teaches online courses, and appears on the PBS show It’s Sew Easy.

I guess all that was left to form a complete media empire was to write a book. And that, my friends, is precisely what Gertie has done. Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing features twenty-five vintage-inspired patterns (in ten different sizes, no less!) conveniently located in an envelope attached to the book, instructions for sewing and fitting all the garments (including tips for sizing vintage patterns up and down to fit your body), advice on choosing the right fabrics and sources to get them from, all written in the same breezy style as her blog. The tattooed, bespectacled Gertie herself models all the clothes with aplomb and fabulosity… though I think it might have been useful to have at least a couple looks modeled by someone else instead or in addition to Gertie, just to show how they would look on other body types.

Still, that’s a minor quibble. If you love vintage clothes, if you love Gertie’s teaching style, if you’ve got a stack of old patterns you’d love to use if only you knew how to size them to your body, then this is the book for you.

Best of all, Amazon has it for the bargain basement price of just $22.88 (list price $35.00) and it qualifies for free Super Saving shipping, too.

Getting Around In Style… By Robot

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
By Twistie

We all have passions that drive us, but some do it more efficiently than others. The gentleman in the rickshaw is Wu Yulu who resides just outside Beijing, China. The gentleman pulling said rickshaw is one of his robots. In point of fact, this is the second rickshaw-pulling robot Wu Yulu has made. The first one just pulled the rickshaw, but this one also tells everyone in earshot: “Wu Yulu is my dad. I take him out on the town.

The whole thing started back in 1986 when Wu Yulu made his very first robot out of pieces from a sewing machine and bits of scrap metal. Today he has robots for such varied tasks as pouring his tea, lighting his cigarettes, and writing messages.

As a child, I sometimes dreamed of having a robot army to clean my home and do my chores. It’s kind of gratifying in a weird way to think that someone in the world has made that dream come true.

Bet She’s a Hero to Her Kids!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
By Twistie

It’s a bedroom! It’s a playroom! Well, yeah, it used to be a bedroom and now it’s a playroom.

You see, Lori at Head Above Water has two sons. When the family moved to a new home, she assumed the boys would love each having their own room and their own space. Turns out not so much. And so the boys now share a bedroom.

That left Lori with an entire room sitting around doing nothing. But wait! what’s that, up in the spare room? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Supermom to the rescue!

Taking a variety of things already around the house, a few cheap finds she could tart up, and a few cool DIY projects, she created this fabulous super hero-themed playroom for the kids.

Here are a couple of my personal fave touches:

Aren’t they cool? And so ridiculously simple. Money is great for helping create a cool space, but imagination goes further.

Tiny City, Huge Imagination

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
By Twistie

This is how I first became aware of artist Megan Piontowski. It’s a series of delicious fabric sculpture potted plants she did back in 2009. Aloe, jade plants, she did a wide variety of succulents that never die. I’ve wanted one ever since. After all, I look at plants and they keel over dead.

Piontowski’s skill, humor, and wit appealed strongly to me.

Unfortunately, I fell behind and missed something: she wrote a book. Luckily for me – and for all of you – said book is now available in paperback from Etsy for just $15.99 plus shipping.

The title is Tiny Underdog City: An Uncomprehensive Guide. Filled with the artist’s linocut print illustrations, it tells the tale of a tiny city ‘comprised  solely of outer reaches.’

I don’t know about all of you, but I love to fill my real world with imaginary ones that speak to me. Sunnydale, Wonderland, Hogwarts, London Below, Oz… I think Tiny Underdog City fits right in with those, and so many others.

Oh, and if you happen to live in or near the very real city of New York, she’s participating this weekend (Sept. 8 and 9) in the Brooklyn Museum’s GO Open Studios. Check it out!

Hypnotoad Says Bow to Smapte

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
By Twistie

There are times in life when all one can do is bow to greatness. That’s how I felt when I found Smapte’s gallery at deviantART.

This is some of the best amigurumi I’ve ever seen. From Hypnotoad to Han Solo in carbonite, from Lost to Mad Men, Smapte has done an amazing job of bringing pop culture to crocheted life.

And yes, I think Hypnotoad may well be my personal favorite. The detail is exquisite. All it needs is the hypnosound and a subliminal suggestion or two.

Picture Perfect

Monday, August 27th, 2012
By Twistie

Looking for the perfect wedding gift for very special friends? A special album for your own wedding, vacation, or baby snaps? Just a gorgeous handmade bound book to fondle when  nobody’s looking?

Three Trees Bindery may be just the people whose Etsy shop you want to check out.

The covers of this custom photo album are made of wood painted black. The binding is done in natural color waxed linen thread for maximum contrast. Two carved windows in the front cover hold black and white feathers protected by sheets of clear mica. The hand torn pages are heavy acid-free paper to preserve your memories safely. A silver plate on the front cover is stamped with the names of the happy couple and their wedding date.

Then again, the plate is also available in copper or brass or may be left off entirely, reducing the price by $30.00. The covers can be painted another color, if you so desire, and the binding thread is also available in more colors. The book can even be made larger or smaller than the proposed 6×8 144 page size in the example, though that will also – obviously – change the price.

As shown, it’s $275.00. I know I’ve spent that on less interesting wedding gifts.

To learn more about the philosophy and techniques Three Trees Bindery follows, check out where they’re featured currently on the Etsy blog.

Dear Bitsy: Want!

Thursday, August 16th, 2012
By Twistie

Okay, I admit it: I have a thing for cute, soft, stuffed critters. The more bizarre they are, the better I like ‘em. At two when I was taken to choose my own teddy bear, I wouldn’t look at the bears… but I wouldn’t leave the store without the Steiff badger. Yes, I still have Diggy. And then there’s that Beanie Baby sloth. No, I did not buy during the Beanie Baby supercraze. I picked it up for a song a few years later at a garage sale. What? I may be obsessive, but I’m not crazy.

So imagine my delight when I happened across this adorable crocheted Jackalope! I started checking out the rest of Dear Bitsy’s Etsy store, and fell in love with a like mind. You know, one that’s all about the fine line between adorable and psychotic.

I mean, how can I not be in utter love with a person who makes and sells crocheted bumblebees? And then turns around and makes and sells a bunny committing suicide?

Be warned, Mr. Twistie, if we ever strike it rich, this is the sort of thing that will fill our abode to the proverbial gills. In return, I promise to be super supportive of your quest for a perfect recreation of George Harrison’s Sgt. Pepper uniform.

After all, I think you’d look spiffy in a tricorn.

Bang for Your Olympic Buck

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
By Twistie

Okay, this may look like a set of five linked crowns of thorns, but it’s supposed to be the Olympic rings, really. And you’ll never guess how the artist achieved this special look… so I’ll let STICK VEGA explain it to you:

Vega places (gun)powder and fuses on the surface of the art, which he positions horizontally on the floor. When ignited, first the fuses burn instantly along the cord lines, igniting the gunpowder and creating loud bangs and flashes of fire, which then vanish in clouds of smoke. The result is a textured surface that looks and feels like an explosion—the acrylic paint and substrate is blackened, charred, and erupted, arrested in a state of being created in a flash.

And it can be yours for just $79.00 plus $30.00 shipping.


That certainly is… something.

I Am Not Worthy

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
By Twistie

Okay. You guys know I recently took up needle felting, right? And it’s been going really well and I’m quite chuffed with myself about how cool and fun it is and how pretty it looks.

And then I see this:

Yes, it’s a Panserbjorne Armored Ice Bear from The Golden Compass needle felted from alpaca with armor by Whiting & Davis.

Seriously, check out the expression, the detail, the lines and the shading. This is a freaking masterpiece.

Even though all I know about The Golden Compass is that there was a book and a movie, I want this bear. I don’t have to know more.

Well, maybe I have to figure out where I’m coming up with $1,800 to pay for it, but really, that’s a side issue right now.

SteviT, I wish I could afford to buy up everything in your Etsy shop. You are a true craft artist.

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