Crafty Manolo » 2012 » November

Archive for November, 2012

Quickie Question: Crossing Gender Lines?

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
By Twistie

(Illustration via Tatman’s Chatline)

It took me three Google searches to find an illustration of a man doing a craft more commonly considered a ‘girly’ thing who wasn’t either a) a professional in ‘colorful’ ethnic dress, or b) a woodcut illustration from well before photography was invented.

And yet, I know men who do these things. I have a brother who sews, does needle felting, spins, and embroiders. He also paints miniature figures (mostly of American Civil War soldiers), builds models, makes chainmail, and, well, let’s just say he’s the craftiest member of the Twistie family. Leaves me in the dust. If it can be done by hand, dollars to donuts he at least has a general idea of how it’s done and chances are good he can point to at least one example he’s made himself.

I’ve attended lacemaking conventions where a small but significant number of the attendees were men and boys delighted to get a chance to work with real teachers and other lacers, just as I was. Rosy Grier was almost as well known for his needlepoint as he was for his football playing.

And it’s not just men, either. There are women out there expressing themselves in media more commonly associated with men. Women sculpt, create metal art, build furniture… all kinds of things that aren’t done with fiddly needles and thread.

All the same, I will never forget one adolescent lad who showed up at a lacemaking demo I did years ago. He watched with clear – but embarrassed – fascination for a long time. When I encouraged him to try out the beginner’s pillow, he looked as though he might run away. In the end, though, he sat down and allowed me to talk him through a couple rows. He picked up the concept quickly, and got a big smile on his face.

And yet, when I asked him if he wanted some materials on where to find equipment, thread, and further instruction, he shook his head and looked horrified. His mother came over to my demo partner and quietly asked her for the information. While we were talking to her, the boy started stitching again. If one of us looked in his direction, he would go rigid… but if we looked away again, he went right back to work. After he left, I looked at the pillow and saw he’d done at least a dozen rows with nary a mistake.

I never saw him again, but I’ve always hoped he found the courage to keep lacing. He clearly had the desire and the ability. All he needed was someone to find a way to convince him it was all right for him to do it despite being male.

So I’m wondering today, do you do a craft more commonly associated with the opposite gender? Know someone who does? Have you ever wanted to try a craft but feared how people might react?

Tell me all about it.

(ETA: This was supposed to go up yesterday, and I don’t know why it didn’t publish when I hit the publish button. Sorry.)

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.

Spray It, Don’t Say It

Friday, November 9th, 2012
By Twistie

Last week on Project Runway: Designers who were born mostly in the eighties and nineties are asked to make seventies discowear – only tasteful and modern – to go with Nine West’s terrifying new disco shoe line. Wendy Pepper believes she has an edge because she’s old enough to remember disco the first time around… but gets auffed for making a punk hooker Halloween costume. Uli makes something that bears no resemblance to disco, either, but wins in a truly baffling turn of events. Kayne creates the only thing on the runway that looks like it might have poked its head through the doors of Studio 54 and nearly gets auffed for coming up with something entirely too modern. I’m still trying to figure out last week’s judging and here we are again.

What will happen this week?


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.


A Brief Crafting PSA from Crafty Manolo

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
By Twistie

When this:

seems like a good idea? It’s time to get out of the house a lot more.

That is all.

Quickie Question: Holiday Gifts?

Monday, November 5th, 2012
By Twistie

It’s that time of year once again. Whether or not you follow a religion that traditionally believes in exchanging seasonal gifts, chances are there’s somebody you’re going to give a present to at this time of year. More than likely, several of them. And some of us have a looooooong list of friends and family we plan to give nice things in honor of the time of year.

Things are not terribly lavish at Casa Twistie right now. We’re tightening our proverbial belts just a little more, of late. And that means that this year it’s not simply a matter of choice to give handmade things, but pretty much the only way we can fit it into the budget.

So the next door neighbors will get yummy baked goods, and other people we give gifts to at this time of year will find themselves the proud or otherwise recipients of things like berets decorated with needlefelting, home baked treats, and pretty bottles of flavored oils and vinegars. I might even needlefelt a couple Christmas tree ornaments.

Frankly, I enjoy giving this way because I’m giving not only something tangible, but also something that shows I spent time thinking about the person it’s for. On top of all that, I’m giving the gift of my time and effort. Not everyone on the gift list will necessarily think of it that way, and that’s beyond my control, but that’s how I think of it. It makes me feel good.

So what about all of you? Are you handcrafting holiday gifts? Baking up a batch of holiday cheer? Going commercial? Ignoring the whole sorry business?

Tell me all about it!

Disco Infernal

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
By Twistie

There’s nothing better for perking up a sick Twistie than a good dose of fashion hijinks.

Of course if you want to know more, you’ll have to follow the cut.


Now We Are Sick

Thursday, November 1st, 2012
By Twistie

That’s it. I’m officially curling up on the sofa with Jake the cat on my lap and a succession of stupid movies on the television. I’m too sick to blog today.

But I’ll be back tomorrow, I promise.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
Copyright © 2004-2009; Manolo the Shoeblogger, All Rights Reserved

  • Recent Comments:

  • Subscribe!



    Manolo the Shoeblogger

    Quirks of Art - Scrapbook & Rubber Stamping Supplies


  • Archives:

  • August 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010