Don't fence me in

This amazing fence art project was led by Outdoor Knit to bring attention to an empty, deserted lot in her neighborhood.

The saddest part is I think many neighborhoods (I can name a few in Seattle - ahem Pike & Pine) have spaces like this just sitting there with their coldness sucking the life out of a community. Many are staying empty for a long time as developers abandon shiny condo projects.


And when citizens have real ideas to at least have some temporary events to bring some life to the dead concrete lots, it's hard to understand why cities just fence 'em up for years!? Grrrr...


Via
Craft:

Another baby, another quilt



Last year when my friend had her baby I dreamed of making her a "hippie quilt." She's very into nature and sustainability and all those good things. The pattern was shared by Lizzy Dish.

Crafty goal

Remember when I posted about the Warm for Winter handmade hat and scarf drive and said if we started making one item per week until the September 15th deadline that we'd each be able to help 17 people? At the time, I didn't actually make the commitment to start crocheting, so I didn't actually start crocheting.

Now it's time to commit.

My new crafty goal:
Crochet 20 items (hats or scarves) by September 15th.


I've calculated that I'll need to make about 2 items per week and so far I'm about half-way done with my first scarf...

Hopefully I'll have some pics of finished projects projects posted soon!

#compliment


I've been noticing more and more companies promoting happiness and small acts of goodness lately. And I love it! Here's a great example from Kodak. They're sponsoring two guys, the "Compliment Guys" to be exact, to drive the around the East Coast giving people (and animals apparently) free compliments. They dub their travels the "Brightside Tour" complete with website, youtube videos and twitter. Here's a video of them giving free compliments in NYC.

Seattle's largest indie craft show this weekend

It's here and I'll be there! Beat the heat, shop till you drop and support local independent crafters at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall this weekend (August 1st and 2nd from 11:00am - 5:00pm).

I will be volunteering on Sunday so stop by and say hi!

Urbancraftuprising.com

Volunteer your time to make hats and scarves

Just got an email from the Warm for Winter campaign. It's time to start crocheting and knitting those hats and scarves for their annual handmade hat and scarf drive. Last year they received 5,967 items!

This year, the goal is to collect over 1,000 hats and scarves by 11/15/2009 (Pacific Fabrics will be collecting again). According to the Warm for Winter website, "The number 1000 represents the number of housing units needed to be created each year to successfully tackle homelessness in King County."

If you could make a hat week between now and 11/15, you would be able to help 17 people stay warm this winter.

I know it seems strange to think about in this 90 degree weather, but tanning while crocheting sounds fun to me. I'll be hosting crochet/knit social this fall so stay tuned!

Watch: Crocheted coral w/hyperbolic geometry

Finally some math & science cred for crafters. Watch this TEDTalk by Margaret Wertheim who is leading a project bringing attention to coral reefs, mathematic figuring and other brilliant endeavors - using crochet of course. Crochet is the ONLY way to accurately recreate hyperbolic shapes in the real world - who knew!

Get the patterns! You too can create your own crocheted coral. Patterns created by "In Stitches" for the Sydney reef project are availabe here.

Via Mashable

Start your own petition

Doing good cannot be done alone. This week Mashable created a How To: Start a petition on Twitter and reviewed four services that allow you to start your own online petition and hopefully gain some interest in your cause:
Act.ly

Tinypetition
Twitition
Twibbon

I like Twibbon myself, as it allows people to add a small image supporting their cause to their Twitter avatar. You can search for a cause to add to your Twitter avatar too.

Today may I...



Who doesn't need to experience a little positive moment every now and again? KindOverMatter created a batch of printable affirmations and an adorable box to put them in.

Some of my favs:
"Today may I smile with my heart;
Today may my words be rooted in love;
Today may I spread joy in random & beautiful ways;
Today may I hear the whispers of my spirit; and
Today may I sparkle."

I'll be putting mine on my desk at the office so I can reach for one of these instead of the afternoon candy drawer...

Via Craft:

Crafting with legos

Check out this amazing "Relativity" by MC Escher-Lego sculpture created by "professional nerd" Andrew Lipton.

If you like that, his site has other lego creations including Rodin's "The Thinker," Escher's "Waterfall" and Dlibert of course.

I'm a big fan of Legos myself...


via the Craftster blog and their random spotting on the galactic interweb
...

Crafters shop local

Fabricshoppersunite.com has launched a new database (in Beta) aimed to help cratfy guys and gals make more of their materials purchases from independent quilt and fabric stores.

Says Project 95, "Did you know that 95 percent of fabric shoppers make their purchases at chain stores? That’s right, only 5 percent shop independents. Let’s change that." I think everyone knows that shopping inide and local helps communties flourish, but it's not always easy (I heart Target...).

The site lets you search by area and locate shops on a handy Google map. I quickly located my favorite indie shop in Seattle - Stitches. I wanted to see if could find some in Paris too. Imagine visiting an indie fabric store on you next vacation! You'll need to know a zip code to get the map going, but I still wasn't able to find any places in Paris - yet. The project has just released in Beta and I'm excited to watch it evolve.


via Craft:

Quilted ABCs

Do you feel like there is a baby boom happening right now? I've been looking around for some great baby gifts and then Craftzine shared a great tutorial by Happy Together for these colorful Rag Quilt Letters.

If giving as a gift, try whipping up a little drawstring bag to keep the letters together.


Image courtesy of Happy Together.

Get Do Good for iPhone

Have an iPhone? Get DoGood. It's an incredibly simple (and free) application that lists a new activity to "do good" each day and shows you how many other people have done good. And once you do the good deed for the day, you can post your good deed story or read a few from other users. Yes, it's connected to Facebook and Twitter of course!

Regularly scheduled crafting - The Bright Quilt

I wouldn't necessarily describe myself as a bright and cheery person, but somehow this quilt really makes me happy and brings me to the verge of singing cheesy 70s TV theme songs.

I used a patchwork technique, which I've tried before, but made the quilt about twice as large and the squares much, much smaller - aka this quilt is the most challenging one I've made so far!

I completed the quilt just in time for little Karis Hope to be born! Happy Birthday Karis!

Best of travels: Versailles


Sure it's touristy, but if anywhere near Paris, I highly recommend stopping by Versailles. It's not as crowded as you might think. The opulent palace with sprawling manicured lawns make it easy to understand why the people started the French Revolution here by trying to burn it to the grand. But after you get over how over-the-top everything is, you can eat ice cream, row boats, ride bikes and pretend you are a member of the court. You can even see Marie-Antoinette's palace - she had her own of course. And yes it has pink marble.

Best of travels: Checking off my life list


I did it! I did it! When I was in high school, we had to write a life list or "bucket list" of things we wanted to do after graduation, but before we...died. I wish I still had a copy, but there are a few I distinctly remember. And I checked one off while in Barcelona: I swam in the Mediterranean Sea! And I swam in the Mediterranean Sea when no one else was going in the water (I guess 72 degrees isn't hot enough for most people to go swimming - just sunbathe naked). Everyone was staring at the crazy tourist, but I didn't care!

The water felt cool and clean and everything was sparkling. I really felt on vacation riding our bikes along the boardwalk to find the perfect spot on the beach. We laid out our 1Euro beach mat and ate ice cream, watched sailboats and just let the breeze flow around us with the sound of the waves in the background and Cotton Jones on the iPod. Ahhhhhh....

Best of travels: Flamenco


I have seen Flamenco in Seattle before and it was beautiful. But I have never seen Flamenco like I have in Seville. The power of the musicians, singers and dancers was exploding right in front of me. And even though they sell cheesy, polka-dot fake Flamenco-dancing dresses all over Spain, I did not see anything close to that on stage. It was art. A daring, passionate expression of emotions.

Best of travels: Jardin Majorelle

Marrakech is known for it's secrets. Walk through any door and you never know what you will find. Is it yet another vendor, an undiscovered restaurant, art gallery or maybe, just maybe the entrance to a garden that seems impossible to survive in the dry, desert heat like the Jardin Majorelle.

It's not exactly a secret, but beautiful just the same. It was designed by artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and definitely has an art deco vibe. Yves Saint-Laurent even lived here in the 80s. Now it's open to the public and it's a perfect way to relax under the palm and banana trees and contemplate life with a baby turtle.

Best of travels: Moroccan Orange Juice
















How can I write about the orange juice in Morocco? The moment the sweet nectar hits your lips, all words vanish from your mind as you close your eyes and mutter a nearly-inaudible "mmmmmm." It's very zen. The juice itself is thick like syrup without being too pulpy. It has a vibrant, sweet flavor that I don't know why I'm still trying to describe - just go there and try it!

Every morning, vendors fill the Djemaa el-Fna (the main square in Marrakech) selling spices, fruit and bootleg CDs...among other things. The Djemma changes throughout the day and night (with snake charmers and amazing food booths when the sun goes down), but early morning is the time for fresh squeezed orange juice - the best in the world.

Did you miss me?

My adventure vacation is over (for now). It was...fabulous. I am so happy I did it and I have so many amazing memories. I tried on purpose not to use the internets much, and now that I'm back I'm still adjusting.

It's strangely summer in Seattle and summer usually doesn't start until sometime in mid-July, so this is really strange. I'm out enjoying the sun and continuing my cappuccino habit.

Thank you so much for reading, I'm not sure what will be happening here, but I hope you will like it.

It's time!

I official leave in a just a few days and I won't be back for a month (at least!). I'm excited, nervous, restless, happy, crazy.

I hope to have a lot to share with you when I get back. I am officially taking a hiatus here until then. Hope you will be out having adventures too!

Another essential crafting project for travel

I have a feeling that sleeping is going to be interesting. It will take almost a day of flying just to get to our first stop and I'm scoping out a overnight train to get from Marrakech to the ferry to Spain. Then there's the hostels.

I'm hoping these eye masks will help. Sew Mo has a great tutorial and you can whip these babies up in an hour.

Essential crafting project for travel

One of the toughest things to pack for the trip (and yes I've started packing already) is...shoes! They're bulky, dirty, add weight and take up space in the one backpack I am allowing myself to bring.

Solution - shoe bags! I know, I know you can by them anywhere, but I just can't bring myself to spend $10 on yet another bag. All my little purchases for the trip have been adding up quickly.

Better solution - make a shoe bag! A simple, fun little project and great way to use some extra fabric. Here's the tutorial from Betz White.

My shoe bag with very comfy walking/going out shoes.

Obsessive planning time

I haven't bee crafting much lately. Most days, I come from home work and spend hours on HostelWorld and Lonely Planet working out travel paths and trying to figure out how to get from one place to another without planning too much - I'm working out how to get from Tangier to Barcelona right now...

Image courtesy of Vintage World.

Vintage-looking daypack

Last week I had a goal: find the perfect "day bag" for my travel adventure. I wanted something small enough to take when going out and big enough to hold a jacket, water bottle and shopping purchases. During the process I ended up buying 4 bags! I took 3 back of course and I think the people at Macy's think I'm a freak, but that's okay. It all worked out because I found this vintage-looking sidebag by Fossil.

I don't know why, but it reminds me of something a flapper would carry her makeup in when traveling to Paris and all it needs is a dark brown leather steamer trunk to go along with it. Buy it now on Zappos. I think there are only 2 left!

Photo courtesy of Zappos.

Travel - Camera bag!









I'm back! And I finished my first project for my big trip - a new camera case. Here's a link to the tutorial from Sew Mad.

Just booked

I'm pretty excited to tell you that I am planning a trip later this year! So you may start to see some travel postings here. I'm excited. The only things that make me less excited are the transportation aspects which make my head spin and that when I tell people about my trip they look at me like (and say it right out) "Are you dumb? The economy is collapsing into another Great Depression and what if you can't work when you get back? It's the worst time to travel ever."

Well...anything could happen. What if this, what if that. I'm tired of thinking that way. "The right time" and "the wrong time" are social constructions. The sun still rises and sets even if the market drops another 500 points on Monday. Life still goes on. I would rather regret going then waiting until the "right time..." Take that!

Oh! I forgot to tell you where I'm going. The plan right now is to go for about a month or so and hit up London, Morocco, "quick" stops in Spain and ending in France...we'll see where I end up though!

Crafting for the National Day of Service









President-Elect Obama (and tomorrow official president!)
called for a National Day of Service today to serve for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Unfortunately, my office was open today so over the weekend I worked up a new hat for Warm for Winter's upcoming hat drive. There's still time to make more too!

This pattern is by Rheatheylia and can be found on Raverly (you'll need a Raverly account to view...).

Say it - O-B-A-M-A

Warm for Winter drive, social and potluck on Feb. 8th

Help individuals who are homeless keep warm this winter. Warm for Winter (an organization that collects handmade hats and scarves to bring awareness to homelessness) is having a drive AND knitting/crochet social/potluck on February 8th. You can bring your finished projects too (men's hats are most needed).

Warm for Winter Knitting/Crochet Social
When: Sunday February 8, 2009 from 1-3 PM
Where: St. Patrick's Parish in Seattle
(map)
2702 Broadway Ave E Seattle, WA 98102

RSVP with Janice at warmforwinter at yahoo (dot) com.


Their Thanksgiving 2008 drive collected over 5,900 hats & scarves (including two of mine :))!

More info about Warm for Winter here
.

Winter party wraps

Just because the temperature is below freezing doesn't mean you have to bundle up in your North Face every time you go out. Try making one of these quick wraps from Weekend Designer:

Fox-neck-boa (faux of course!)









Satin Stole

Crochet at Ikea?







Crochet is going mainstream. I was at Ikea this weekend and spotted a Chevron patterned throw and then saw another blanket on their website that looks very double-crocheted...

How to be happy

Valentine for good

Quick! This fun opportunity to send FredFlare.com a handmade Valentine to support Elder Craftsmen (an organization bringing craft workshops to senior citizens in New York) ends January 15th.

Oh this sounds so fun!
  • You make a Valentine
  • Mail your Valentine to Fred Flare
  • Fred Flare sells your Valentine on his website
  • Fred Flare donates the $$ to Elder Craftsmen

Go to Fredflare.com for all the details.

Thank you to Average Jane Crafter for sharing this event with her readers!

Doily + Hoodie = Fashion Magic

Words cannot express how unmeasurably fabulous this hoodie found on Craftstylish is. And you can get one too! Well you can make one too! Check out the tutorial How to "Doilify" Your Hoodie for $5 or less.

Spotted: 3-D Calendars

1.








2.











I'd still been searching for a great desk calendar for 2009 until I saw these two calendars on the Craftzine blog. Both are 3-D and require some paper-folding skillz (did I mention I'm not a great paper-folder...). Oh and both are free and available to download directly from their websites!

1. Hexahedron decorated with adorable animals from Blackpio.
2. KaL-09 2009 Calendar Toy robot from Cubecraft.

Ideas for 2009

I'm ready to put 2008 behind me (goodbye Georgie)! I got a lot done last year - I started this blog and handmade more stuff than I ever have before. I discovered that I love quilting, crocheting, crafting for good, Hope, Halloween and Raverly.com. I even joined a quilting group - Quilter's Anonymous!

I am sure you are just dying to know what I want to work on in 2009. Craft-wise I will (notice the affirmation):
-Make some things for myself
-Sew a full-size quilt
-Crochet a sweater
-Participate in craft events/good causes
-Sell a handmade item
-Host a crafting party

And outside of craftiness I will:
-Build a home with Habitat for Humanity
-Be consistent with my Yoga practice
-Travel to Europe in April
-Travel to Ecuador in June to visit Ann

Hope you have a wonderful year! I have a feeling that it will be great economy be damned!