Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Knit Camera Case

My camera has been living in a sock for many years. It became a pain in the butt as my first sock 'case' wore a hole, I got another lonely sock which was too big...   This is what turned out with a few knitting needles, some Malabrigo wool and my brain.

The hole at the top is for the lanyard that's on my camera. The flap tucks in and it's cozy in there!

Childhood Crafts

I've been visiting my parents the past few days, and have tried to document the millions of crafts that some how have turned into permanent fixtures in their house. Not much explaining is needed, these are things I've made that have stuck around, some for probably close to 20 years (look for the blue bird). I might come to a max on photos for this one, hope the blog can handle it!

I made this bird in elementary school out of clay. 

This is a coaster I made at Nobles Day Camp, I was probably in elementary or middle school.

This recipe holder I made in shop class either at camp or in middle school. 

I used to make TONS of little clay creatures!

This is a paperweight. I saved up stamps that came on mail, got them off the envelopes and covered a rock, I have to say it's held up well! 

I once made this cake stand out of a wooden candle stick and a plate. I don't think we ever used it. It sits on a shelf now way up high, I almost missed it up there. Mom, no hard feelings if you want to get rid of it!

When I was in high school I worked in a paint your own pottery studio. I painted this tile and many other things which I know I missed around the house. 
This plate was an experiment with soap bubbles!  It worked, but then the plate broke... I wonder if I could find another place to make another one. If I could only remember what kind of soap it was to not make the kiln blow up!

When my brother was in 9th grade he was an apprentice in a glass blowing studio. I went to visit and got to make a paperweight. This was with a TON of help but I did pick the colors AND they are still my favorites, purple and lime green!
A painting. 

 This is a datebook I made my mom, I have to remember to make her a new one. She asked a while ago, OOPS!

An origami ball, yep I made it. What do you do with one of those? Well you let it collect dust!

A great crane mobile if I do say so myself! It is made out of silver wire, beads and some interesting papers. 

A thing of what looks like lucky charm marshmallows. They are actually little paper stars. I got really into making these in high school. They are fun and quick. 

Some cranes on the light. The middle one is tiny.
 Strings of origami cranes in my bed room at my parents house.
There is MUCH more, but for now that is all.
SO - That's about it for the Sara Museum that is my parents house.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Earrings & Pins

The same day I went to the antique store to buy buttons, I also bought 3 antique pins.

Three of my high school friends all have birthdays in March. Some how we usually manage to have dinner together in the month of March, and last night was that night for this year. I thought it would be fun to give them a little gift, and so the crafting began.

I bought these three brooches at the local antique/pack-rat store in IL. I thought all of them were beautiful. Then I got Swarovski crystal beads, ear wires, a few guitar picks and got going with making earrings to match the pins. I thought a little bit of old and a little bit of new would be perfect. This is what came out of my earring making and pairing with the brooches.

These were for Katie, I thought she'd like the guitar picks as she is a musician in a band.

Caitlin's set, I made these earrings a little longer, as the pin was kind of laid out that way too with sparkly points.

Amanda's set, I tried to make the earrings a little more compact to match the petite size of the pin.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Here is a picture that appeared on my Aunt's facebook page.  I drew this as a child. I do not remember creating it, but I am sure I did.

I am now visiting my parents and will have to take a tour of their house with my camera, this place is like a museum of my life through craft projects.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Place Cards, Programs & Guest Book

Pete and I got married June 29, 2008.  We made all of the place cards, programs and even the guest book!
(FAIR WARNING: this post is going to be an ad for one of my favorite stores The Paper Source)

 Place Cards 
Grape Place Cards from the Paper Source. We actually had them in Violet, but this color is discontinued.
2.5" Round Labels from the Paper Source in soft white.

The great thing about the Paper Source is that they have all their templates online, so I downloaded the circular label template and was good to go.  I also printed names in this same format on regular paper as a way of keeping track of gifts, replies, and meal choices.
Once we printed them, I rubber stamped the table number on to each label.  I liked the polka-dotted effect.

We had t-shirts made up with a little logo I made on them. These were to act as a bib, at our lobster bake.  I also made the table card to explain what they were.  I used the same cards for our 'Save the Date' with different information inside!

Thanks to all those that helped tie color coded ribbons on the different sizes of shirts.

We got some pearly white paper for the programs.  It was similar to stardream quarts cover stock. Because of the finish on this paper, we had to print it on a laser printer. Pete and I got it all figured out on the computer, and spent some quality time at Kinko's!
I wish I had a photo handy of the cover, but unfortunately I can't find one. The front had a filigree design on it. 

Guest Book
 I actually covered/bound this book!  The Paper source has some great book blocks (bound pages, without a cover). I got the 8 1/4" square text block. I covered it with the same paper that the T-Shirt card was made out of and the save the date cards. There is a really great how-to video online to show you how to put the book together.

It was my intention to have fun colorful pens near the guest book so people would doodle and leave artistic messages. Many just wrote something, which is cool, but a few left us some great doodles.
Yes, that did start out as two sheets of bookboard, and a text block. I did the rest!

I wrote a nice little title page.

I enjoy seeing the doodles, the colors, and the great messages.

We were going to make our own invitations too, but being in grad school and planning a wedding, we went with having someone else do those!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Neighborhood Colors

This post may be more of an  'Artful Eye' than a 'Craft Chronicle'.

Pete and I have been going for daily walks in the neighborhood. I have become obsessed with one house in particular. The way the orange shingles, yellow-orange trim, brick walls and salmon window pains go together is pure eye candy. I really enjoy walking past this one house.  So we've begun to notice other houses that also have a cool flair to them. That is why today I decided to bring my camera along for our walk. Here is the montage I made from my photos.

This post is a color wheel of the neighborhood houses.  
 Many of the houses also have great gingerbread on them!
This picture doesn't quite do it justice. 
The orange roof is vibrant, the trim is bright and it's cheery even on a drab day. Today is a nice sunny day, but we've walked by when it hasn't been so nice, and the house is still happy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vegetable Book

Last May (2009) I was in a course at the University of Illinois called "Art in the Elementary Grades."  It was a mandatory course for all education majors, SO I asked why is it not mandatory for Music Education majors!? They let me into the class and it was nothing but awesomeness and fun!

For my final project I had to write and illustrate a book in the style of Eric Carle who wrote the Hungry Caterpillar and many other great children's books. He paints papers and cuts those out into shapes to make his illustrations.  I too had to paint large sheets of paper, and cut it up into illustrations for my book. (It was a project more about the illustrating than the writing!) The funny part of all this is that many of my class mates thought this project was bogus, and complained about it. I on the other hand was so psyched about it I even worked on it at home and had it turned into what actually looks like a book!

I picked the theme of Michelle Obama's vegetable garden and what grows when.
I will post a few of the illustrations I did by cutting out previously painted sheets of paper.  Please note the asparagus, the celery and Michelle's Jacket is all from the same paper.

For the full story you will have to see the book in person. I am trying to figure out how to get it up online for sale.  I will keep you posted.

I would love to illustrate another book some time using the same process.  I liked the illustrating part more than the writing part. We'll see!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Marlin Spike Sailor - Turks Head

Pete and I honeymooned (July 2008) on the Schooner American Eagle. While on our awesome trip I picked up a few new crafty techniques known as marlin spike.  I would sit for hours tying and un-tying knots, studying books etc.  My favorite book was "The Marlin Spike Sailor" By Hervey Garrett Smith. Many of these things are useful, and others are just decorative.

Here are some photos of examples from around the boat.
This is my photography, not my rope work.

1 top: Puddin - This helps as a fender, so if someone were to row this and bump into the side of the  schooner, she'd be protected. I actually helped make this one.

2:  Monkeys Fist on the anchor

3:   Thump Mat - this helps protect the boat from wear and tear so the when the block thumps, it lands on the mat and not the wood of the boat. 

4: Simple Rope Mat

5 bottom: Decorative Turk's Head.

Here two of the Turk's Heads I made
They look like braids, but they are a continuous circle with out ends that need to be knotted. Many people wear these as bracelets.

Not only did I learn this cool stuff, but it was an awesome honeymoon too! 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Button Bracelet

Welp, as you know I have an excess of buttons, so why not try to use them.   Here is a simple bracelet. The buttons are a greenish gold color, and the others are white.

I took this on a white piece of paper, so you can hardly see the white buttons... but the green/gold ones are pretty true to color in this top picture.

It's made to fit my wrist. I had a few more buttons, and could have made it longer, but I figured I could wear it myself.  

How big is the average wrist anyways? I know I have little hands and wrists. I will have to look into this for future jewelery projects. 

Guitar Pick Earings

I've made these before for work when we had a guitar festival... but these I just made today. They are pretty fun.  I bought picks (2 purple, 2 green), drilled a hole at the top with a 1/16 bit with our new drill we got as a gift from Peter's parents, and then wired them as if they were beads.
This is my drilling surface. A box.

I made a few other things today, but they are gifts. A post will come after they have been given.