Archive for April, 2006

After Paulina

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Since Paulina was made for an adult, her paper stuffing seemed perfectly reasonable. But what to use for other toys?

It seems that plastic is recycled into polyester stuffing, but i can’t seem to find a supplier that would label the stuffing as from 100% recycled sources.

I’ve run across NearSea Naturals (again) in my hunt. They offer organic cotton batting at $8.25/lb. and organic wool batting at $28.20/lb.

I suppose i could use old wool sweaters from a thrift store as stuffing.

I’m posting to crochet me & nervousness to see what others use.

More about shoes

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

So, i was wandering around the internet in a post finished object daze, and ran across this post by a crochet and jewelry artist in Austin TX. She’s celebrating her new girly shoes, which are Mohops, an absolutely fascinating concept: “rubber soling made from recycled tires, a Finnish birch plywood core, and topped with various select veneers.” The footbed becomes a screen printed work of art, and one can then lace up the shoes with an infinite variety of ribbons and laces — a DIY thing that makes me think of even crocheting uppers….

I know Christine just bought me a pair of Unswooshers (NOT girly shoes), and i have lots of slides for summer wear at the moment. But, this is far more appealing than the process of making shoes from tires i was looking at a month ago.

I have to say, Jen’s claim that “my feet did not hurt. I did not trip,” is the best sales pitch i’ve ever heard. When i look at those shoes i think, “Hurt! Trip! Break knees!”

Hopefully, Mohops will eb a wild success and by the time i’m thinking about new shoes, i can try them on locally.

Pauline looks out the window

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Pauline looks out the window

Originally uploaded by Elaine with Grey Cats.

Pauline, named after a character in a Charles Williams novel, was created yesterday and today. She’s from the Crochet Me AmigurumiDude” pattern with a slight variation in the neck. The arms are four sc in a ring, then slip stitched to length. The thumb is a sc, slip-stich back; the hand chain 3 and sc back.

She’s worked in Y3, a Red Heart medium weight acrylic, and I/9-5.50mm hook. Her (squashed?) head is about 5″ in diameter, and she’s 6″ tall.

Embellishments: Moda-dea Eden hair in earth. Eyes are recycled glass beads with black seed bead pupils, lips and heart are miscellaneous glass beads, and a bouquet for V.

She’s stuffed with shredded paper, which seems to do quite nicely.

One of my first finished objects in crochet! CR2006.07

Crochet Me Mid-Issue Newsletter and other surfing

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

The Book Reviews are tempting. One Skein seems interesting now that i’ve got a little stash — but i’m thinking of doing the amigurumi (or Swatchies or the Shroom or finger puppets). The geometric accessory bags are cute — and enough of an idea right there without buying a book. (Must talk self out of acquisition of books before completion of projects.) Another review is for Yarn Cocktails, which fortunately doesn’t seem to have any purchase temptations but does seem to have some interesting (likely one skein) project inspirations (Copperhead). And project horrors: Toasted Almond does answer my question of what the hell Pelosi was wearing around her neck during some joint presentation of Senate & House Dems on a new fiscal plan. I can’t remember much but my horror at her necklace and how it was So Much Worse than a bad tie and was this some sort of sexist expression on my part or what.

Ahem. Somehow i got to this link about hyperbolic crochet.

The Crochet Answer Book and Crochet Bags! might both be useful.

Continuing in the recycled plastic bag trend has an entry with links to more bags: i hadn’t seen this one. And woven rug! Crocheted sandals!

Now that i’m collecting plastic bags for crochet, two things seem even more apparent:

(1) So much stuff is wrapped in plastic!
(2) Boy, crochet goes through yardage!

I continued the really rough square i started last week (CR2006.06) with the plastic bag some onion and cheese sandwich rolls came in. (Edit: Tuesday evening i added the bag Christine’s needlework stretcher came in and a Trader Joes dried soybean bag.) I’ve also started three other balls of plastic bag yarn, currently listed at the bottom of the Palettes page. It’s startling how pervasive the little bags are, not just the shopping bags, but everything inside the shopping bags.

I’m thinking about turning CR2006.06 into a bike pannier, using sections of oval-shaped plastic bottles to make the hooks to hold the bag to the bike rack. My current pannier wasn’t cheap, and i dare not leave it on the bike when i go in places. I suppose the time put into a recycled bag pannier isn’t “cheap” either….

I’ve also been using cereal bag liners to carry my lunch ever since reading this post about reusing the unrecyclable HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). Wow, is that a sturdy (but noisy) material. And now that i *see* it, i’m aware how much of it we go through in our household. It seems that it might just make a really good lining material, sewn into other projects.

Other Surfing

Interesting ideas for altered books from Maine College of Art.

Tips on using wacom tablet with Photoshop — none address my doodling desire (which ought to be done in Illustrator, i figure).

crochet, crochet me,recycle, plastic bags,links,HDPE

Weekend efforts

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006


I’ve imported all the creek and deck photos from 2006 into iPhoto on the iMac in preparation for using iMovie. (In general, i haven’t been impressed with iPhoto.) It seems the brief video bits that the Minola will capture can be imported into iPhoto, as well, making it a very useful cache for iMovie. I’m hoping that the audio notes can be imported as well. I can imagine making a Stevens Creek slide show at some point.

I had a fairly interesting time experimenting. It does seem that if i’m going to apply some sort of video effect (like the watercolor filter) it should be done before adding in transitions. I had a well timed transition that became “off” after adding the video effect. I’m not sure i have the timing specification down.

I do wish there was an option where one could have a still photo and and create drop zones — essentially making an iMovie theme. We have tiny videos i shot with the Minolta camera, 320×240, that would be OK as an inset, but not so impressive as full screen. The watercolor effect does help there.


Side note from going through the photos: I bought some sort of flower bulb, as yet unplanted, on Jan 22 — the same day i got the first birdfeeders. (Only the hummingbird feeder remains from that purchase: squirrels 3 – Judith 2)

I also did a bit of refreshing of the garden. I went through the worm bin, add that soil on top of the sweat peas soil (just seemed it might help) and under the cat garden. It wasn’t exactly a repotting but it should have loosened up any compaction and aerated the soil. I pruned back the daisy-like shrub, tied up the nasturtiums, and seeded a bit with saved marigold and sunflower seeds from last year. I’ve got a few floral volunteers coming up as well as the almost weedy parsley.

Digital Art

I did fiddle around a bit with the wacom tablet and photoshop, wanting to make doodles the same way i do pen to paper.

Click for very large images

The results were a bit rough. The pressure sensitivity is not in the range i use with real pens; i have to press much harder. And, since i was wanting to work on something with a narrow dimension of 2550 pixels (300 pix/inch * 8.5 inches) there was just some difficulty working on 6 pixel by 2000 pixel strokes.


After work on Monday we zipped to Michael’s to get Christine a proper stretcher for her needlework, and a few items for myself. When i go, i tend to collect a sale yarn or two to add to a stash, hoping that the little balls will be enough for a trim — at least for toys. This time there was a fun yarn in a blonde brown color and from the remaindered craft section weird plastic “sparkle yarn” that may or may not have been a complete mistake.

A little under the weather

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

And still irked about photo galleries on the new server but definitely NOT up to doing anything about them. I *did* find the scarf project last weekend, but i haven’t done anything with it.

No, just a post to say i received interesting mail from Russell Manning (previously: 2004-01-27 note and gallery images). Four colorful collages along with the decorated enclosure stating that the new collage works are “vaguely based on ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’.” And will have to wait for galleries, etc…

Dry cleaning bag swatch from JanuaryWith the plastic bag crochet in mind, and two plastic wrappers for those large bundles of TP found under the bathroom sink, i started a round with lots of sc in a spiral, increasing where i felt like it. In a few more rows it should be a square. I’ll then use hdc where appropriate to make it more of a rectangle than a square. I’ve a thumb diameter hole in the bottom. For the type shopping i imagine, that should not be a problem. I think once the base is done, i’ll do hdc instead of sc so it’s a little less stiff. I’m using a H/8 5 mm hook and sliced the bags up into roughly 1/2 wide strips.

I think i’ll be attentive to what sort of plastic bag goes into what project — these were mostly clear bags with green or purple markings. This will be CR2006.06.

Now that i know the trick of chaining loops of plastic, though, i know how i’ll work with dry cleaning bags.

While not making physical creations…..

Monday, April 17th, 2006

I’m finding my mind all taken up with setting up digital photo albums because i’ve a bunch of images not up, documentation requiring photos i want up, the lost scarf project, and a landslide of craft supplies and papers to file around my desk. It’s some sort of obsessive compulsive thing, i’m sure, so i’ll just move on to the links that have caught my eyes.

(I did end up with a bird feeder from a two liter bottle which created a use for the Dremmel. Hoorah!)


I’ve learned about bokeh, a quality of optics i suspect i need not worry about yet. I need to be able to hold my camera steady enough for the in focus part to not be blurry, first.

And here’s another simple book binding tutorial.


This reminds me that i am curious whether any photobook sites offer full bleed yet. One interesting aspect of this is that one could photoshop up some interesting collages appropriate for consecutive full bleeds. In particular, i’m thinking of a gift book of mail art (before we knew of mail art) that i’ve received from a friend over the years. (Do notes passed in English and science class count as mail?)

QOOP: full bleed mini books from Flickr, not what i had in mind.

This review recommends for basic books — and they do have a nice neutral white layout and full-bleed pages. The recommendation for is slightly better quality. The author notes that, for the one time pro account payment of *cough* $120-something you can ftp photos to their server. *glow* I like that. The time saved over using some damn web upload form can easily be worth that. (Also, pros get more storage, and get more attentition to the printing, and, and…)

In looking around i also found viovio, which has a very different feel from the soft covers. (It’s a photo cover.)


Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

We were out of town for a bit, and had a house guest before that. I worked on the blanket ground (CR2006.05) while at some airports and on some legs of the flights. It was quite comfortable to work on while flying. Christine’s scarf (CR2006.02), however, has gone missing. I know we showed it off to Kimberly, but i haven’t quite figured out where we put it.

Christine finished her cross stitch ornament, and Kimberly brought a gift of cross stitch. Photos when i have a suitable gallery maker package. (And that may mean porting cthumb to the Mac — so that i can continue tihe the existing galleries!)

And while we were out of town he pet sitter turned off the iMac — thus turning off the home blog and the image galleries.

administrivia, crochet

Plastic Bag Crochet

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

Discussion at Etsy points to ReadyMade which points to instructions.

rising waters, recycle, crochet, instructions, ideas

Regrets for instability this weekend

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Some images here are hosted at my home server and were likely unavailable this weekend. We had to do some surgery, but everything is back to normal.

I am always happy to hear of broken links and other infelicities. Please comment away.