Saturday, December 27, 2008

egg lathe

egg lathe, originally uploaded by kelanew.

merry christmas to me! my thoughtful and resourceful husband made this egg lathe as a gift for me. now (when i find the time again) i can make super-straight divisions on my pysanky. i can hardly wait to give it a try on a real egg (this was just a test, as we're away from my egg supplies right now). check out those closely-spaced parallel lines! and the coolest part is that unlike many egg lathes, it works for vertical divisions as well as horizontal ones. neat.

true to form, he made it from random objects found around the house, but yet you can hardly tell it's repurposed unless you really inspect it. this uses a synthetic wine cork, plastic rings from target pharmacy bottles, and a little acrylic make-up pot as well as wood and hardware. (it needs a few finishing touches yet, because he was waiting to get some input from me.)

thanks, larry! now i'm feeling a bit sad that you are nearly the only exception in my "all handmade christmas" plan. (though you seem to be enjoying your kindle just fine. that, and the added gift of a slightly less-crazed wife who was not trying madly to finish yet one more gift in time for christmas. :)

more on handmade christmas as i find the time to post -- i've been making a ton of gifts the past few months but couldn't post many of them lest i spoil the surprise. so now i'll catch up.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

delayed holiday traveler boarding pass paper chain

delayed holiday traveler paper chain

not much of a craft, but i thought i'd share...

our flight was canceled in minneapolis on thursday (the best part being that the flight just disappeared from the screen without explanation, and no one even came to talk to us for 20 minutes. stay classy, northwest airlines.) (okay, the other best part was that i was sick, larry had zero sleep since we had to get up at 4 a.m., and we had two kids along for the ride.)

throughout the day, as we waited standby on various flights for 8 hours before finally making it on board, we were handed more and more sets of boarding passes. my ticket envelope ultimately held quite a thick stack of papers -- so i decided to turn a holiday inconvenience into holiday cheer! it's now a lovely paper chain adorning our doorway.

and to VPI student amanda who was attempting to make her way to glendive, MT... i hope you found your way eventually. i felt so sad for you as my family boarded off the standby list, leaving you and 27 others to yet another round of waiting.

delayed holiday traveler paper chain, detail

kid craft: felt ornaments

felt ornaments, originally uploaded by kelanew.

eva made these ornaments for her cousins and such this year. i traced cookie cutters (mostly in a holiday theme, if you count the Holiday Cat, right?) and cut them out for her. well, she cut out the gingerbread man herself, which is how we discovered that kid scissors don't really work on wool felt, and i was fearing for the safety of that useful bit of skin between one's thumb and hand when helping her with the kitchen scissors.

she then decorated with glitter glue and sequins, sewed around the outside, and stuffed them. together, we added a hanging loop and a few jingle bells. [i will caution that once stuffed, the glued-on sequins tend to pop off easily, so beware if your ornament will be going to a household with a little one -- or use stronger glue, or stitch down the sequins?]

the nice thing is that you can customize this project to suit the needs of your kid -- or even make it work for several kids of different ages. an older kid can trace, cut, decorate, sew and stuff themselves, and a younger sibling might just do the decorating part.

my other discovery with this project: i came across some very inexpensive craft felt from the kunin group that is made of ecofi (or ecospun), which is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. hurray! that assuages my slight guilt of not letting eva have at my brand-new wool felt stash and giving her synthetic instead. :)

[warning: rant ahead..]
oh, and i found this felt at joann's -- why oh why, i ask myself, was i at joann's yet again, despite my oft-sworn (and occasionally shouted out for the benefit of other customers) oath that i Will Never Shop Here Again. *sigh* i really have issues with that place, their staffing policies designed to keep a minimum of 5 people in line at the cutting table *and* the check-out counter, their deceptive pricing, and on and on. but yet, i find myself there because it's closest to my house and adjacent to the grocery store, and i'm loathe to drag two kids in and out of car seats an extra time if i don't have to. despite the location, though, i would probably still save time if i drove across town and went to a real craft store. do other people have this problem at joann's, or is it just my local store? (well, i know i'm not the *only* one -- this woman received the worst customer service ever there.) [sorry, end rant. wow, calm down, there, grinchy...]

ahem.. where was i? yes, this project is perfect for little holiday gifts for your kid's friends, teachers, grandparents, etc. easy, inexpensive, green(ish), and makes for a fun afternoon. yup, those are pretty much all the criteria.