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Absolutely Wizard!

Friday, November 23rd, 2012
By Twistie

No, someone didn’t tear up early editions of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to make clutch purses. Nor did she tear up early editions of The Tale of Pigling Bland, Lolita, The Phantom of the Opera, nor various editions of Alices Adventures in Wonderland. And thank goodness for that!

Instead, the cover art is printed on cotton fabric and the corners bound with metal to protect the purse and finish the look.

Each purse is handmade by Jessica Bermudez Bautista (known on Etsty as psBesitos) in Sienna, Italy, and runs 50 euros. That’s roughly $66.17, USD, plus shipping.

Oh, and if you don’t want it as a clutch, you can purchase the separate chain and have it attached.

Happy Thanksgiving From Crafty Manolo!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012
By Twistie

May you gobble up as much delicious stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie, etc. as you please today. Oh, and if you like the rather festive needlepoint canvas shown above, head on over to Past Times Needlepoint and purchase it along with custom chosen embroidery threads.

Or, you know, find one that appeals more to you personally.

But I gotta say, I’m loving that turkey.

Happy Birthday, Rodin!

Monday, November 12th, 2012
By Twistie

Today marks the one hundred seventy-second birthday of Auguste Rodin, the great sculptor. In his honor, I thought it might be fun to see some of the unusual and crafty ways his most famous sculpture, The Thinker, has been interpreted over the years.


Cloche To You

Saturday, November 10th, 2012
By Twistie

Well, it’s finally starting to feel like autumn around my neck of the woods, and some parts of the country have really been feeling the chill… and the damp… and the… let’s just say there are some places where I imagine bundling up is not merely a good idea right now, but an absolute necessity.

Of course, colder weather always makes me think of really great hats. Okay, I admit I think about them a lot all year round and in every kind of weather, but cold weather hats have a special place in my heart. And that adorable felted cloche with the buttons up top? Is seriously on my holiday wish list!

It’s the work of one Julie Sindon, who makes fabulous felted hats for a living. This one is just $55.00, which makes it an affordable number as well as attractive.

Oh, and right now she’s a featured artist on Poppytalk, where you can get a variety of her lovely hats and scarves.

Of her felting, Julie has this to say:

All hats are made of boiled wool, which means that they are knit large, and then felted (or shrunk).  It’s just like when you accidentally shrink your wool sweater in the washing machine, except that we do it on purpose.

Gotta love that.

Got Subversion?

Thursday, November 8th, 2012
By Twistie

I have to admit that few things in life would tempt me to do a great deal of embroidery again. My crafty flair does not run in that direction. I might, however, consider picking up counted cross stitch if only to do some of the deliciously wrong pieces available in kit form from Subversive Cross Stitch. (*WARNING* Many patterns feature language NSFW) For instance, I may not drink, but I want to do the Will Stitch for Cocktails piece shown above.

You can purchase the PDF for just $5.00, or get the kit. The basic one is just $12.00 for: material, thread, pattern, and instructions. If you spring $20.00 for the deluxe, you also get two needles and an embroidery hoop.

And if you’re looking for a crafty yet internet savvy holiday gift for the crafty geek in your life, be sure to check out the Internet Meme Ornaments.

You can choose from such popular memes as Business Cat, Pedobear, and the Socially Awkward Penguin. Each kit complete with instructions, fabric, thread, acrylic ornament, and ribbon to hang the ornament from the protrusion of your choice for just $12.00. Not bad.

It’s the Morning After the Election…

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
By Twistie

… and whether you’re basking in the sweet joy of victory, gnashing your teeth and swearing revenge in your defeat, or – like most of us – seeing how you did in a mixed bag of wins and losses, I think there are a few things we can all agree were Bad Ideas in the world of election-related crafts.

Love her or hate her, do you really need that many Michelle Obamas on your fingernails? I think I could do without.


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….

Want. Take. Have.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
By Twistie


My name is Twistie, and I’m a Buffyaholic.

I have no shame. Give me some Sarah Michelle Gellar staking vampires and I’m a happy camper. I can quote you chapter and verse and argue minutia for hours. I own action figures, including the rare and popular Bunny Suit Anya. I geek out if I get a glimpse of an actor who played third vampire on the left in an early episode. I even have autographed photos on my bedroom wall. No lie.

So this:

doesn’t suck to me, as Buffy herself might say.

It’s the work of Etsy artist Skeeboo, and would set you back twenty smackers plus shipping, if you’re looking for the Halloween or Christmas… or just what the hey gift for the Buffy fanatic in your life. (Waves eagerly) She even makes an adorable tiny razorback, if you want Buffy to have a more convincing school mascot than the one Principal Flutie provided as inadvertent hyena food. What? I told you what a geek I am! Trust me on this.

Oh, and Skeeboo? If you ever feel like providing one, I do firmly believe that a Slayer needs her Watcher.

You know, just in case she ever needs to blow up a library or something.

Whole Lotta Natural Beauty

Monday, October 1st, 2012
By Twistie

The instant I saw this piece, I needed to know more. I wanted to know more about the artist, the technique, the materials, the inspiration. I wanted to see more of the work.

The artist is Lotta Helleberg. She was born in Sweden and relocated to Virginia in the 80’s. She now lives with her husband and children in Charlottesville, making art and loving nature.

The art and the nature go hand in hand at all times. Whether she’s creating wall hangings, pillows, handmade artist’s books, table runners, or sachets filled with organic lavender, Helleberg’s work combines a spare elegance with a profound respect for nature. The result, as you can see, is tremendously beautiful.

The materials she works in most include: antique/vintage linen fabric, natural dyes created from local plants, recycled/handmade paper, and silk. Her dye processes are eco-friendly, and many of the motifs are created with the help of local flora.

If you’re in the Virginia area, you’ll be able to see Helleberg’s work up close and personal from October 12 – December 5 at Over the Moon Bookstore in Crozet, VA and in the Artisans Studio Tour in Charlottesville, VA on November 10&11. Helleberg is studio #8.

Or, if you’re up in the Ontario, Canada area (As opposed to Ontario, California), Helleberg’s work will be on display at the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Center in Oakville, Ontario from November 2 – 18 as part of the show De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things).

As for the rest of us, well, we’ll just have to get by on browsing her website and her online store.

You know, I really could use a spiffy new purse….

Good Idea/Bad Idea: Soap Additives

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
By Twistie

Sometimes the same artist has a really Good Idea, and a really Bad Idea. This new feature will help us all identify which is which.

Let’s start the ball rolling with Etsy artist Fetosoap. The tagline for the store is: Everything from natural to novelty handmade bath and body. Let me tell you, she isn’t kidding.

First the Good Idea:

I love, love, love this soap. It’s vegetarian-friendly, hypo allergenic, and scented with a soothing combination of honey, almond, and vanilla. The charming honeycomb and bee motif is there because of the natural local honey used, which also creates the natural amber coloring. Recommended for dry or sensitive skin, it’s $6.00 a cake. Pretty, practical, and all natural? I’m there!

And yet somehow the same artist produced this Very Bad Idea:

Yes, it’s a razor blade (a real one that has not been dulled) embedded in a bar of glycerine soap. Glycerine, by the by, is hydrophilic (it soaks up water) so the razor blade will rust over time. And since using the soap could, over time, result in a trip to the ER, it is recommended for display purposes only. Then again, if you choose to display potentially lethal soaps in your bathroom, I recommend trying to find insurance against the possible consequences since we all know That Person who uses the display only guest towels and reaches immediately for the display only soap.

I think I’ll stick to the first bar of soap. After all, it’s much prettier, smells nice, and has no negative consequences if someone chooses to break it in while you want it to stay pretty… unless they have a horrible honey allergy.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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