Wednesday, December 29, 2010

plarn and... parn?

Sewphisticate experiments with plastic yarn - plarn.

This plarn tote is great too... really makes me want to try that... :-)

How to make plarn

Here's how to spin newspapers into yarn - parn?

Paper yarn rugs are wonderful. They are durable, stay put and don't create dust. Perfect for an allergic person. The rug in the picture is Finnish "Encore" by Hanna Korvela Design. The design received the Red Dot prize this year. :-) It's made of paper yarn and rags on cotton warp, and is recyclable :-)

You could also make yourself a bag, like Annie did :-)

How to make "newspaper wicker". I posted this already in February. Click on the images to see them bigger :-)

I love it how the photos on the newspapers give the "wicker" life :-) Stained and varnished it looks and acts like wicker... Yes, you can make ANYTHING you would use "real" wicker for... even chairs.

Here's free crochet basket patterns, you can make them from both plastic and paper yarn :-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm making ATCs

found this very interesting blog, and wanted to share:
Techniques Zone


OWOH 2011 is coming.

I would like to participate, because it's a HUGE rush, but I haven't posted the OWOH 2010 packages to the winners yet, and I really cannot allow myself to promise something to people THIS YEAR without keeping my promise from last year, can I?
No, I will not participate in OWOH 2011 unless I have posted the 2010 packages (I mean, come on, Ket! It's just two tiny crocheted hearts and a picture of a wonderful dog. Just do it!) AND I have a prepaid international post package ready for the 2011 OWOH that I only need to write the address on and send.
I know that's really hard for me too, because of my panic anxiety and social phobia, but it is manageable, and one MUST keep the promises, otherwise one is a louse, and I don't want to be a louse.

So, I think I will be able to get the packages in post within a month, so I will be able to participate in OWOH 2011.

Now, what to give? I would like to give an Easter Basket, because 2008 someone had an Easter Basket giveaway at the same time they had OWOH giveaway, and that basket was lovely :-)

BTW; I wonder if you could go here and answer the question: would these be good Easter Basket Swap baskets? I'm asking mainly, because I made them for an Easter basket swap, and two of them were outside the swap, and the real swap pal never said what she thought about the basket, so I'm a bit unsure if that's a good swap basket or not.

The problem I have with this is that I am reminded of nasty things. (And now, stop reading, if you don't want a glop of "negativity". That's all that coming from here on :-))
The person giving the Easter basket also held an Easter Basket Swap, and still today I cannot see her name, her blog, the name of her blog, the swap group or the baskets other participants received and send without spitting bitter poison.
Why? Because I didn't get an Easter basket filled with goodies, I got a nasty mail filled with complaints, whining and accusations. 

She told me among other things that:

a) she hasn't been able to contact me. I posted in the swap group, and she didn't respond, I posted in her blog and she didn't respond, I responded to the mail she sent me, and she didn't respond. Then after I went public with my complaints in my blog (so she couldn't delete my comments - she deleted them from her blog and the swap group), she miraculously managed to contact me, and send me not only one but two bitchy mails.

b) I didn't join the swap the proper way, because she couldn't find my comment in the correct blog post. Somehow she managed to invite me to the swap and send me all the necessary information. How did she do that, if she didn't know I was supposed to be participating?

c) I needed to give her slack, because she had a hard time in life, as she was moving, her child was being touched inappropriately at school and the school didn't do anything about it, so she had to homeschool her child, she was supposed to study herself, and her father got ill. And so on and so forth. So "she didn't need all this negativity".

Let's compare the misery a little, huh?

Those of you who have read my blog know I complain a lot about my health. I'm 3/4 of time too tired or too much in pain to do anything. I have a lot of ideas, I'm good at what I do, but I don't do that much.

I'm also living on disability, so there's not much money to work with. My husband and I get about 2000 dollars a month, and that must be enough to pay rent, food, medicine and all the household bills, like telephone and internet and what not. It does, we are not poor, but we are a "low-income family". I have to choose what I will use the extra pennies for. When I choose to do a swap, I choose to wait with new clothes, books, art and craft material, new things for our home and such entertainment as going to movies or a restaurant. 

To give you some understanding of the costs of swap for me - not to complain, because no-one forces me to participate in a swap. I do it by my own choice and being aware of this, but perhaps these things are not that clear to some USonians. 

1)  Postal fees are HORRIFYING. (US postal service, priority mail, and Swedish post take about the same. That is, a small package about the size of a book will cost about 15 dollars to send.)

2)  We don't have dollar stores. I don't think I could find anything that costs a dollar worth sending anyone. It would be fun to make some price comparisons... send swappers from different parts of the world to find the same items, a notepad, a pencil, a keyring, 10 yards of ribbon..-

3)  The crafting supplies, especially ribbons and buttons, costs an arm and a leg. 10 yards of ribbon would be all I could send in a swap with 25 dollars limit. (In USA you can get pretty ribbon for less than 5 dollars 10 yards.) Simple cotton for dishcloths costs about 6-7 dollars for 1 3/4 ounces. That's about three times more than in USA. Also, you can find Sugar&Cream in 1 pound cones for less than twice the prize 1/10 of that costs here in Sweden.(Yes, the mere material cost for a dishcloth is already 6 dollars for me... those they sell at 2 dollars at Etsy. 6 dollars. Think about it a bit.)

Also, as I have social phobia, it's really hard for me to go out and find things to send people.  I make most of the things I send myself.

To me every swap and giveaway is a real challenge. 

We live in a horrible dump. This house was build in the 70's to provide housing for cheap work power. It was built quickly and they have cheated in some things, like the isolation isn't very good. It's cold inside when it's cold outside, and hot inside when it's hot outside. Also, the bathroom was not wet-isolated :-D So there's mold in the airing channels. Nice, huh?
This apartment has not been renovated ever, the plastic carpeting is the same they put in when the house was built. Plastic carpets don't take age too well... the seams are open in every room, there are slashes and holes in the floors, and these carpets are so lovely colors... puke beige and dirty grey. :-> I dream of wooden floors in livingroom and bedroom, and tiles in kitchen, hallway and bathroom.
The walls are painted wallpaper. We had the original wallpaper on the walls from 70's, you know, the brown-beige medallion... and I mean, some of the 70's medallion "baroque" wallpapers are really nice, and it could have been worse, but this was like... washed out dirty beige with stripes. The image on the left gives you an idea, but that looks GOOD compared to what we had. Now the walls are painted cream white, but as the wallpapers weren't put on well in the first place, and we have had cats who loved to rip the wallpaper, it doesn't look too good. Yuk. We try to cover the walls with bookshelves and art, and manage acceptably, but...
The bathroom walls are some sort of disgusting weave painted nasty, dirty aqua. I wish we had simple, common, normal white tiles. The floor is covered with strong teal plastic carpet, which is full of holes...
We have only one working lock in the front door, there's something wrong with kitchen light fixtures; our kitchen "eats" light bulbs. The kitchen is also designed by some idiot, as half of the cabinets cannot be used for different reasons, or used effectively.

There's mold by the windows, and when they changed all the other windows to this building, they refused to change our windows, because we had cats. We tried to negotiate a way on how the workmen could get an access to every room in the apartment with keeping the door wide open without the cats sneaking out. We asked them if they could do the apartment half and half - so that we could keep the cats in the living room while they were doing the kitchen and the bedroom, and in the bedroom, when that was done (or vice versa), but that was unacceptable, and they weren't interested in discussing the matter, so they just moved on to the next apartment and jumped over ours.

On top of that, since I fell ill in late 90's, I haven't had the energy to clean as much as we would need to. I mean, it's not dirty, but there's dust and dog hair all over the place, and therefore moths and carpet beetles... It's messy and cluttered, and I hate this place.
It's not made easier by the fact that the majority of our neighbors are antisemites and my husband is Jewish, and that we live about 40 miles from my sisters. It takes about 2 hours travel to just go and visit them. With my social phobia it's not easy, and I am very isolated and lonely. And I hate this place.
I hate this place so much that I don't even bother trying to improve anything.

We don't have children, so I don't need to worry about my child getting hurt at school, but I probably would homeschool my children if I had them, and if it was possible to do in Sweden. I was ruthlessly bullied at school and still fight with the damage done. Nevertheless, if you have children, children are part of your life, and they do things and things happen to them. It's life.

On top of that, my parents are getting old, my father is dying of skeleton cancer and is in constant pain, my mother has problems with her neck and head, so she cannot use her hands much, and has been forced to give up a lot of her hobbies. People in my life has had their problems, that touch my life, some bigger, some smaller. People get sick, people have accidents, people die. People have to move, people lose their job, people have problems. That too is life.

Anything else? Do you think I'd win the whine war? :-D

I'm not complaining, just saying that EVERYBODY has difficulties and troubles in life, so that doesn't work as an excuse for being a bloody bitch.

Life happens. Deal with it. Don't use it as an excuse to not to keep your commitments. If you feel you can't keep the commitments, because life happens, take responsibility and apologize.

I told her to consider whether her life is too messy at the moment for her to take upon herself commitments she cannot keep.
She told me that I have no business on telling her how to live her life, and that swaps are a joy in her life.
Of course the swaps are a joy in HER life, because HER swap partners keep their promises. Also, when her actions cause ripples in MY life, I think I DO have the right to tell her what I think about that.

Also, she announced another swap. She's giving me all these excuses to explain why she was a lousy swap organizer, but she's not smart enough to understand that she perhaps needs to come out of the situation before putting herself in a new situation where she's probably going to f- it up...  I do hope she didn't do the same stunt to her next swap partner.

BTW, she has made her blog private, so I cannot see whether she commented on my swap basket or not. :-D I suppose too many people "giving her negativity she doesn't need nor want" :-D

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I am thinking about my bucket list...

and found this amazing "Steampunk Octopus Book", when looking at what a "zentangle" is.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Advent Calendar 24/24

98) more edible ornaments for the tree

99) in my childhood home I used to set up the Creche for every Christmas on this day. I think it is a beautiful and nice tradition, even though I am not Christian.

100) emergency clean up

and finally

101) Holiday Tree Looting Party - this is a Swedish tradition done at Epiphany, which is the traditional day to take down the Yule decorations. Make this part of your traditions for the day you take down the Yule. This is also the reason why there has been so much edible tree decorations among these 101 ideas :-D

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent Calendar 22/24

90) make cute, easy and sweet reindeer cookies - you can also use halved pretzels for horns. Looks better.

91) make jube balls

92) make a gingerbread house

93) printable bookmarks to add with the book you are going to give as a present ;-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Calendar 17/24

69) make yourself a holiday album

70) or just collect the holiday songs into a song leaflet you decorate and give to everyone so that you can all sing yule songs :-D

71) scrapbooking ideas, layouts, printouts etc.

72) cute little mistletoe berry ornament

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent Calendar 16/24

64) Christmas Checklist

65) The wreath here on the side is made with tiny pillows filled with potpourri, that are then tied on the wreath base with two pieces of ribbon.

66) lighter menu for the feast day

67) little paper yule tree garden

68) make a simple wool angel

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Calendar 14/24

56) mini pillows

57) pillow with patchwork trees - learn to make perfect points ;-)

58) make christmas stocking monkeys

59) make christmas stocking (you will want the mouth of the socking to be the widest part of the sock...)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just a little insert in the middle of the count-down...

I have been procrastinating and reading one of my favorites, Regretsy.

Oh, yes. I'm a nasty bitch who likes to... "react" about people whom I think are doing something stupid. I admit that.  I don't think I'm perfect, or that everything I do is flawless, and yes, there is some envy involved. I wish I had the guts to at least try to sell crap, ask headless price for my creations and proudly present any stupid thing I happen to create...

I found this: Countdown #7 (the original is here: Jacks on Pollack. Unfortunately it seems the "ARTist" is reacting on something that happened on Etsy's forum. Oh, well... why she felt the need to come to Regretsy to yap about it, is another confounding matter.)

I say "ew!" just as I say "ew!" on every piece of "art" made with blood, sweat, tears, spit, snot, puke, pee, poop and any other bodily fluid, mucus, goo, gunk, ooze, glop or sludge.

"I’ll bet those are typical bitches that have sex with the lights off"
Ok, you'll lose that bet
"don’t touch my hair!”
and that one
"and “do I look fat in this?”
and that one
"who read Cosmo for lame ass sex tips"
and that one
"and have too many cats or angel figurines at home"
and that one
"And GOD FORBID, if sperm was to TOUCH their hair or face or mouth."
and that one (I do have to say that it depends totally on WHOSE sperm it is.)
"Those are the same girls that dole out oral sex to their boyfriends only one “special occasions.”
and that one - it's just for special persons, namely my husband.
and that one, obviously :-D
"People that say, “ewww” to sex are uptight, WEIRD people."
I think you have problems in separating sex and bodily fluids. When I look at your painted boards with eyeshadow-dusted semen samples that's what I see. I don't think sperm is sexy. I don't either see anything sexy in guys jerking off. You might get off thinking about men's room, I don't, and I don't think you have any right to demand the rest of the world adjusts to your voyeuristic sperm fantasies. You have them, fine, but don't judge me for not sharing your sexual preferences.
"Those are the girls that get mad if their boyfriend looks at porn."
and that one. 
I bet you are not going to pay your bets, though.

I have no problems with changing diapers or wiping clean after an "accident". I have no problems with reusable handkerchiefs and sanitary napkins. I don't even have problems with the wet spots in bed after sex. But I will not hang any of that on the wall, how ever "ARTistic" it looks.

I happen to think the traditional media is quite enough for anyone to be able to express themselves ARTistically. Georgie O'Keeffe didn't feel the need to paint with her menstrual blood, but she did paint mostly just "boring" flowers, and probably didn't like having men jerking off on her face either.

Advent Calendar 13/24

52) Decorate candles with beads

53) make tree skirt

54) a little more advanced tree skirt

55) make quillows to gifts

This "gator quillow" is from Embroidered4U

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Calendar 10/24

39) recycled ornaments

40) plum pudding ornament

41) Mrs Beeton's Plum Pudding - very traditional, old fashioned, from scratch

42) drinking straw ornament - you can also make this of real straws, the forefathers of plastic straws :-D

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Advent Calendar 8/24

31) a couple of free Yule cross stitch patterns

32) recycled light bulb snowmen :-)

33) gift suggestion - for everyone. iPhone gloves have free peek finger and thumb, gameboy gloves have free thumbs. My husband loves his. He says he can do practically anything with those gloves :-D

34) patchwork table runner

Monday, December 06, 2010

Advent Calendar 6/24

22) Tree toppers

23) 3D paper star topper

24) Really pretty antique tree topper - not rocket science to make your own ;-)
Making doll parts out of polymer clay
general instructions

25) Some alternatives to Yule tree - and some more :-D

26) Make yule cones
It's just a segment of a circle, the smaller the sharper cone you want.

Here's a long list of ornaments you can sew

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Advent Calendar 5/24

18) Felted cookie cutter ornaments

19) Deepfried apple pies like in a certain fast food restaurant :-D
Crunch some peppermint patties inside, and decorate with sugar :-)

20) paper snowflakes. (Yes, you CAN call it "kirigami", but I wouldn't, because we have been doing this long before we knew what the Japanese called this.)

21) free crochet snowflakes

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Advent Calendar 4/24

14) How to make a popcorn girland :-)
Don't butter and salt the popcorn! LOL You can hang the strings out for the birds to clean them up after Yule.
You can use all kinds of dried fruits and berries in the garland too.

15) minimitten ornaments

16) knitted greeting cards

17) Yule tree pop-up card

Friday, December 03, 2010

Advent Calendar 3/24

10) woven heart basket in crochet - this is a Danish Yule tradition :-) They are made of paper, and now I have seen them in crochet, felt, fabric...

11) The link in that pattern to Danish paper hearts doesn't work, so use this instead ;-)

12) Frankly, I can't stand a certain person, but there's always great ideas and recipes on her pages... Like this little tree place card :-)

13) Then to something totally different :-D North Pole cupcakes :-)
This one, from Babington House, looks fantastically frozen :-D

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Advent Calendar 2/24

If you wonder about the fact that my calendar only has 24 days, it's because I'm Finnish and we celebrate Yule at "Christmas Eve", the evening of 24th. 25th is a day of rest and playing with the toys one got for Yule and doing absolutely nothing.

6) iPod cozy tutorial - you can use the tutorial to make cozy to pretty much everything. This is a great gift idea for everyone. It doesn't matter if the receiver is old or young, male or female, or if she already has 5 cozies. Just adjust the fabric for the receiver, and you are fine :-)
P.S. You can always put some money in for a teenager, to make him/her happy ;-)

7) 32 packaging ideas in vector I like the first one, the candle, best :-)

8) easy Christmas wrapping ideas

9) make your own snowglobe or dozens :-D

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Advent Calendar 1/24

I saw a magazine: "101 ideas", it was called. There was not 101 ideas in the magazine. I feel cheated :-D

So, let's start:

1) recycle bin advent calendar

2) holiday dove ornament, to be put into one of the pockets of the advent calendar ;-)

3) 6 pointed star ornament

4) December Daily Album

5) This is a rather big one... because the idea is to not throwing your old season greetings cards away, but recycling them, and all kinds of things you can do :-)

Greeting Card Crafts
Things to do with old Christmas cards
Recycling Christmas cards