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Archive for March, 2009

getexcitedI would not have seen this if not for Ashley’s Monday Faves Flickr mosaic. Although some may find the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster reproductions like, SO cliche, I still like ’em. Since I am way better at getting excited and making things than keeping calm and carrying on, I found this poster reproduction parody pretty humorous. And it was begging to be printed and framed for the person who talked me into the simple-paper-deer-head-turned-half-day-woodworking-project, who also loves the Keep Calm posters. It was just too perfect. The designer has generously offered up the file for you to print. I resized it to 8″ x 10″ and altered the color to more of a muted blue-green before printing.

I printed one for myself, too. Because…well, duh.

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So I have renovated my blog. When I started Knits ‘n Pieces nearly 3 years ago, I never imagined that I might want to blog about anything other than knitting. Turns out, I do. I want to keep track of everything from my jewelry work to…well, paper deer heads (for example), so I’ve moved. And here we are. Welcome. 🙂

For months I’ve been knitting nothing but baby items, and my knitting mojo is on the skids. I’ll get it back, but I don’t even care to post progress photos of what I’ve been working on because it seems so painfully dull to me right now. There are several projects on the sticks, and I’m still plugging away, but I’ll save that for another post. In the meantime, I am all excited about a couple of new crafty endeavors! I feel like learning how to sew properly is long overdue. I can get the machine loaded up and head in a straight line, but that’s where it ends. I want to know all the little stuff that I don’t know, so I signed up for a sewing class. I went to the craft store to get my materials the other night, and just wandered aimlessly for what felt like hours. No kidding, it really may have been hours. I didn’t bother checking the time. And I don’t even know if I got the right materials. Which confirmed that some basic sewing instruction would indeed be beneficial.

I’m not sure where the urge to embroider came from, exactly, but I have a feeling that Cauchy may have had a lot to do with it. I ordered a couple books (Doodle Stitching and The New Crewel), but I’ve only gotten as far as winding my embroidery floss. I have to find some time to sit down and teach myself. Hopefully that will happen soon. Still, I’m looking forward to make some pretty, delicate, kitschy little things. I think they will make me quite happy.

And in the “kinda new, but not really” category, I have a new sea glass ring in the shop! Some of my Twitter friends helped me critique a white sea glass ring some time ago, but it just didn’t captivate me the way the green one did. Or does. I found some rare lavender sea glass (the history of which is really interesting!) and sort of had a feeling that it would give me the look and feel I was going for.  And I think I sort of love it.

After leaving Etsy, I wondered how I would be able to get my work “out there” for people who weren’t already familiar with me. I made a Facebook page, but I’m not so good at playing Facebook, so I don’t know how much good it’s done. What has seemed to make more of a difference was participating in a couple of online marketplaces. In a previous post, I mentioned that I was part of the Paper ‘n Stitch exhibition, and I decided to stick around for another month! This month, you can also find me at the Poppytalk Green Pop Handmade Marketplace, as well as a whole bunch of other fabulous indie shops. Both of these sites are great places to find new handmade shops that may or may not be on Etsy, so be sure to check them out!

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To everything there is a season, and sometimes, in life, you just have to make a deer head. I am smitten with all things antlers these days, and probably have more deer-head-type things hanging on my walls that I ought, none of which are made from actual deer parts, FYI. I really have to learn how to edit, but this was love at first sight. What can you do?

I stumbled across this project while browsing my daily blogs, and immediately sent the link to my most crafty friend. Within minutes, this crafty friend was standing before me saying, “We have to make them.” And I said, “Yes.” And she said, “But we should make them out of wood.” And I said, “Absolutely.” Yep, that’s pretty much how it started.

First, a mini foamcore deer head prototype was created (more out of deer head project excitement than anything else, really), and revealed that the proportions of the pattern do NOT match the proportions of the deer head in the project photo. And the slits are not the correct depth for keeping all the parts aligned properly. So together we redesigned some of the pieces, correctly measured the depth of the slits, created a new pattern, and started searching for materials. My friend is much more of a grown up than I, so she actually owns power tools AND, most importantly, a place to make a mess. So we gathered our materials and got together for Woodshop Saturday! 2 band saws, 1 jigsaw, 1 belt sander, 1 electric hand sander, 1 Dremel, some sweat, little to no blood, zero tears, and a couple bagels later we had our deer head pieces.

Ok, I glossed over the hard parts. The project was actually more challenging than we had anticipated. But I hadn’t played with power tools in a very long time, so it was WAY fun. Would I do it again? Probably not. Am I glad I did it the first time? Oh, you betcha.

My friend’s deer head will likely remain as is, with just the natural wood grain, perhaps just a clear coat to finish it. She has what’s known as “good taste.” For me, when it comes to stylized deer hear wall hangings, I tend to go big or go home. I chose some fabulous, kitschy, flocked paper that I found here, and spent quite a bit of time gluing, trimming, and painting the exposed edges. In retrospect, I should have cut the slits a bit wider. I had a nice, snug fit after all my cutting, which was shot all to heck when it scraped up my beautiful paper upon assembly. Argh. But I worked with it, finally got the thing together, disguised the mistakes, and the overall result is pretty flippin‘ sweet, if I do say so, myself. 🙂

I wish I had a better photo of the deer head. Alas, there is no light. There is only rain.

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