Tuesday, December 1, 2009

thingmaking & thinking

At the teaparty on Sunday I had the fun of encouraging my friends to try freezer paper stenciling*. Elfreda and Sam both tried it, while Connor had the suggestion of running the freezer paper through the computer printer to eliminate the step of tracing out your design. I think they will be trying that out, (my printer is a bit cranky); it would be a great option if it works. My experiment was to see if I could cut out multiple identical stencils at one time, by stapling together 8 layers of freezer paper blanks ... it worked, though doing eight at once made it a bit difficult to get clean cuts. I'll be making sleep sachets filled with hops and lavender from the stenciled linen, which is now printed with the kanji for "rest and relaxation".
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Earlier this year I knit socks, which promptly and immediately wore through. Now granted, I was using stash yarn which surely was not intended for socks. So I darned them, and on the next wearing they promptly wore through right next to the darn. So I felted them and turned them into this flock of birds. My needlebook kitty is sure that he is having a wonderful dream...
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Just a hint for better picture taking - I discovered that my camera has a very useful feature: the self-timer. I thought it was just for taking pictures of well, yourself, as in set the camera up and quickly run around to the front so the photograper is the photographee. But on experimentation, I discovered what is for me much more useful... it is a great way to stabilise the camera when taking closeups in natural light. Simply switch on the self-timer, press the shutter release then carefully hold the camera steady until it "takes the picture". Since I discovered this I haven't had the dreaded "picture is blurry - save picture?" message, which was the inevitable result of point and shoot without the flash. (I do have a tripod, somewhere, in one of the cupboards, but that would require more setting up than I am usually interested in)
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When I saw this tutorial for acorn mushroom ornaments, I was enchanted. Lisa, of Lil Fish Studio News, is one of my creative inspirations, transforming recycled wool and natural objects into small objects of beauty to delight the eye and decorate the home. But I do not live in the great north woods, but rather in the heart of urban Portland, and despite the name of my beloved little house, there are no oak trees at Acorn Cottage (the yard is far too small)... Consumed by a great desire for tiny acorn mushrooms, I wondered where to find acorn caps. I even looked on Etsy, where I found that they could be purchased from a clever entrepreneurial forager from upstate New York. But buying acorn caps and having them shipped cross country seemed so very very inappropriate... so imagine my delight when I was out running errands yesterday, and I happened to be looking down while walking between the post office and the bus stop. What to my wondering eyes did appear, but the perfect acorn caps, not very many, scattered in the mulch under the leafless trees. I scooped them up and stuck them in my pocket (and they are now drying out on the countertop, having been washed of their wet debris); soon to have the pleasure of making some acorn ornaments of my own, for me and maybe for the ManyHands Holiday market, which is in eep! two weeks...
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*for those who missed the teaparty: here is a simple tutorial for freezer paper stenciling.

1 comment:

  1. I love your birds! How festive.And I can't wait to see the acorn mushrooms.