Etsy Shop Featurette: Identity Metals

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Who loves jewelry? I know I do, especially fandom-inspired things. I have a TARDIS necklace that is just the best. So when I stumbled across this little Etsy shop, my eyes just about popped out of my head.

Identity Metals is run by Katie Hroncich and is all about hand stamped metals. Every piece is unique in the smallest way. Katie explains in her Etsy bio that hand stamping means that no two pieces will ever be aligned or straight and that the pressure of the stamp gives a different depth and alignment to all the characters. These pieces are truly original and best of all, they go with everything.

There are bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Fandoms featured include Supernatural, Teen Wolf, Game of Thrones (I personally adore the Game of Thrones Inspired – Moon of my Life, Sun and Stars Keychains), The Walking Dead and more. The best part of Katie’s shop is that she does customized pieces as well.

I highly recommend this shop to anyone who loves to wear their fandom heart on their sleeve…or neck…or ears. You can browse through the wonderful items at Identity Metals here.


Yarn Project Totes

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Happy Sunday, all!

As we are at GenCon this week, once again I thought we could take a look at travel totes but this time around focusing on yarn projects. The issues I usually run into when bringing along my crochet projects often include tangled yarn and/or carrying the right hooks (but not all of my hooks), so I’ve been looking in to DIY patterns to solve these or at least reduce them.

This first one from SewMamaSew is an all-inclusive type that can fit at least a couple skeins of yarn and has pockets for both patterns and other utensils (hooks, stitch markers, etc.):

This second one from JustCraftyEnough could be placed inside of a larger tote for portability because it definitely solves any tangling possibilities. I really love the idea of essentially having a portable yarn bowl:

This last one from CherishedBliss is probably my favorite, not only because of the clever graphic but also because of the clever construction with multiple grommets and pockets:

 

I hope these inspire many happy traveling craft shenanigans.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY Travel Checkers

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Good morning, Friday Crafthackers!

We are in the middle of road trip season,  and you know what that means? It means keeping people entertained. In a car. For hours on end. So I bring for you a beautiful little diy that can be brought with you anywhere! You can find the full tutorial here for how to make a travel checkers kit.

You’ll need some supplies: Felt – two colours, 1 piece each at 8″x 8″ for the board. Two colours, one piece each for the tokens at 4″ x 5″. You’ll need one colour of  8.5″ x 8.5″ for the board, and one more colour, two pieces of 9″ x 11″ for the bag, if you’d like to make one. Cotton:  1 piece of 10″ x 23″, to line the bag so it can slip easily in and out. You’ll also need thread, a hot glue gun and glue (optional), buttons (12 of each of two different colours), 2 one yard measured drawstrings that can be made from whatever you like. 2 Pony beads.

To make your checkerboard, cut 8 strips of each colour for your board at 1″ wide and 8″ long. Cut the background piece of felt to 8.5″ x 8.5″. On a flat surface, lay background piece flat and weave the strips together to form the board on top of the background. This can be done by weaving over and under, and centre the board on the background piece so that you have a background border of about half an inch.

Stich the pieces down with a wide zigzag strip, going around the pieces that have been woven to make the board. Make sure to test each strip when you’re done to make sure they won’t pull up, especially ones hidden by the edge strips. Give the edges a second go over if you’re finding anything pulling.

For your tokens, use a quarter or another 1″ circle and trace 12 circles on each of the two different colours of felt you chose for your pieces. Cut the circles just on the inside of your traced lines so you don’t see the ink. Attach your buttons to the circles either sewing by hand or using hot glue. The felt tokens will cling to the board and when they are kinged, you can flip them over and put the two felt sides together and they should cling there as well.

You can follow the directions on the page for a drawstring bag, and there are directions here for a fabric bag. You might also just want to stick this in a little ziplock bag, and be done with it, if you’re anything like me.

Another interesting take on something like this would be to print symbols for chess, and glue them to round buttons (instead of anything else) on the pieces. You could even make two sets of tokens, one for chess, one for checkers.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


Meet the Hackers: Gen Con

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Today is the start of GenCon and I am super excited!  It is one of my favorite conventions.  This year you can find Craft Hackers at Booth 1753.

Nicole and Marc from Rice Hat Samurai are both joining Quiltoni again this year!

Marc has some amazing new jewelry, Nicole has a lot of new dolls and plush, and of course Toni has new quilts, pillows, quilt patterns, and quilt kits!

Nicole and Toni are also teaching classes again!  Nicole’s classes and some of Toni’s are sold out, but there are still a few classes available.  You can also bring generic tickets and if someone doesn’t show up you can sit in on the class.

English Paper Piecing Quilt Technique

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Thursday, August 17th/ 10:00am /SPA17103527
  2. Friday, August 18th/ 10:00am /SPA17103528
  3. Saturday, August 19th/ 9:00am /SPA17103529

English Paper Piece a Catan Board Quilt

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Friday, August 18th/ 7:00pm /SPA17103534
  2. Sunday, August 20th/ 12:00pm /SPA17103535

Crochet a Hogwarts Infinity Scarf

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Thursday, August 17th/ 12:00pm /SPA17103530
  2. Friday, August 18th/ 11:00am /SPA17103531
  3. Saturday, August 19th/ 2:00pm /SPA17103532

See you at GenCon!


Prioritizing and You

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So this is a subject that I often struggle with in my daily life. Figuring out how to prioritize what to do and when to do it when you feel you’re overwhelmed/stressed. Typically I use a weekly planner to map out my work schedule for myself, but what about everything else? Where do I fit in my house hold chores? Doctor’s appointments (for me and family)? Cooking/Meal prep? Work for Craft Hackers? The sheer amount just overwhelms me mentally sometimes. Well, in case any of you out there are feeling buried under stress, here’s a handy chart/suggestion I found online to try and help you get a hold of things. This comes from a very helpful blogger and is no way my own idea.

Take a deep breath, because this is a boot camp in prioritization.

  • Make a 3 by 4 grid. Make it pretty big. The line above your top row goes like this: Due YESTERDAY – due TOMORROW – due LATER. Along the side, write: Takes 5 min – Takes 30 min – Takes hours – Takes DAYS.
  • Divide ALL your tasks into one of these squares, based on how much work you still have to do. A thank you note for a present you received two weeks ago? That takes 5 minutes and was due YESTERDAY. Put it in that square. A five page paper that’s due tomorrow? That takes an hour/hours, place it appropriately. Tomorrow’s speech you just need to rehearse? Half an hour, due TOMORROW. Do the same for ALL of your tasks
  • Your priority goes like this:
    • 5 minutes due YESTERDAY
    • 5 minutes due TOMORROW
    • Half-hour due YESTERDAY
    • Half-hour due TOMORROW
    • Hours due YESTERDAY
    • Hours due TOMORROW
    • 5 minutes due LATER
    • Half-hour due LATER
    • Hours due LATER
    • DAYS due YESTERDAY
    • DAYS due TOMORROW
    • DAYS due LATER
  • At this point you just go down the list in each section. If something feels especially urgent, for whatever reason – a certain professor is hounding you, you’re especially worried about that speech, whatever – you can bump that up to the top of the entire list. However, going through the list like this is what I find most efficient.
    • Some people do like to save the 5 minute tasks for kind of a break between longer-running tasks. If that’s what you want to try, go for it! You’re the one studying here.

So that’s how to prioritize. Now, how to actually do shit? That’s where the 20/10 method comes in. It’s simple: do stuff like a stuff-doing FIEND for 20 minutes, then take a ten minute break and do whatever you want. Repeat ad infinitum. It’s how I’ve gotten through my to do list, concussed and everything.

You’ve got this. Get a drink and start – we can do our stuff together!


Crafting on the Go

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Happy Sunday, all!

Gen Con starts this week and we are super excited to be there again! I don’t know about you but I always have some kind of projects I am working on and many of them are small enough to tote along with me. The problem I often have, however, is how to best travel with everything I need but in the smallest possible space. Even when there are only two of us in the car, we are often gone for at least a week and that requires a lot of luggage so the crafts need to be condensable. I currently have a couple of specialty bags that travel with me for different purposes. The one for my embroidery/cross stitch has two large side pockets and a three ring style plastic organizer for floss bobbins in the center. It lays quite flat and I definitely have plenty of room for a couple of projects at once. I sometimes have to carry more so I’ve been looking for another to buy or make and in my searches have found the following…

This first one on Craftsy is everything you could wish for and more. It is quite a large tote with all kinds of pockets for pretty much anything you need to bring along and it seems pretty straight forward. I really like the optional shoulder strap and the variety of pocket and zipper options the pattern mentions so that you can completely personalize it to your needs.

   

This second one from the Embroidery Library looks like it may lie flatter, more like my current project bag and could be a great option if I want to use these for a different project a piece.

This last one from Handmadiya was just too cute for me to pass up and it is also incredibly small so it may be great to organize smaller items within one of the larger ones.

 

I’m honestly tempted to make the last one just because it is so adorable. In any case, next week we will have a look at some totes that may be better for yarn type projects on the go.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Maywood Studio Pods

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Something new I saw at the Spring Quilt Market this year that really impressed me were the Maywood Pods.

They are now available at stores!

Step one, sew – and away we go! Maywood Studio’s ever-popular “Pods” precut kits make piecing simple, quick and inspiring for sewists at all levels. Each ‘easy-peasy’ project kit includes detailed quilting instructions with color illustrations. “Pods” are now available in various styles and an array of Maywood fabrics!

Each kit includes precut patchwork pieces, borders, binding, and backing!  You can even combine multiple pods to make a larger quilt.

So head to your local quilt or sewing store that carry Maywood fabrics and check out pods for yourself!

-Toni


Schmetz monthly needle facts

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It is time again for needle facts from Schmetz!  I love the needle facts and news they send to me every month and want to share them with you as well!

Sewing Machine Needles Don’t Last Forever.

The needle is not a permanent machine part.

Needles get dull from use. Needles are meant to be changed.


Clue it’s Time to Change the Needle

– Damaged or broken threads –

– Skipped stitches –

– Puckered or damaged fabrics –

– Wiggly squiggly seams –

– Popping, clicking or clunking sound –

 

Why Chrome?
– Less friction on thread passing through eye –
– Penetrates fabric with less resistance –
– Smoother stitch creation –
– Resists heat – improved durability & performance –
– A premium needle not available in big box stores –


Available now at local quilt shops & machine dealers.

 

-Toni


DIY Personalized Mouse Pads

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Good morning Crafthackers!

I have for you a DIY for he men in your life. Whether it’s a birthday or a groomsmen gift, finding hand made gifts that work for men can be a challenge. What I love about this tutorial, as the original writer states (who is a gentleman), is that it’s gender neutral. So you can customize it for whomever you’d like to give it to, but that makes it perfect for a gift for a gentleman.

This is a tutorial for a hand printed mouse pad (you can find the original here). Perfect for gamers, tech lovers, and people who work at a computer. You’ll need some supplies for this. You’ll of course need an 8″ round, blank mouse pad. For your own ease of work, I would probably choose ones that don’t have the wrist rests, and I would probably choose white, so you can do whatever other colour you would like, and it will show up easily. You will also need 8.5 x 11 full sheet labels, a computer and printer, a craft knife/box cutter and cutting surface, a textile acrylic paint and stencil brush (which is available at craft stores, and iron and wax paper.

Your first step is to choose your design from a template that you can find online (check out this website here) or you can design your own if you’re artsy that way, and print it onto the label paper. Secoondly, you’ll need to choose your colour palate, and a lighter colour for the background is recommended, and a darker one for the foreground image. You will need to use the stencil brush to apply a base layer of colour.

While this coat dries, you can use this time to cut out the grey images of your template.

Make sure to keep the white images that you cut out though, as they will be the resist for the top layer of colour.

Peel the backing layer off the largest piece, and carefully adhere it to where you would like it to be on the mousepad. Using the template to refer back to, place the other pieces on the mousepad so that you have a replica of the original image on the mousepad.

Mix your top colour to your satisfaction and using a stencil brush, use quick dabs to apply the paint. Wish stencilling, you don’t want to have massive quantities of paint on your brush. It’s better to go with less to get the sharper lines. Remember, you can always go over the design a second time to make sure the area is covered.

When the paint is dry, cover the mouse pad with two layers of wax paper and iron on medium high heat (or follow the package directions) to set the ink.

And that’s it! Now, keep in mind that if you’re wanting to add other colours, that you can do that in any of the negative spaces. You’re not limited to one colour.

Hope you enjoyed this cool tutorial. Happy crafting!

~Megan


Meet the Hackers: Boston ComicCon

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It’s Wednesday again, and I’m on my third event in a row. This weekend I will be at Boston ComicCon, in Booth 514. We are traveling today, which for us is a twelve hour drive. We look at travel as an opportunity to see things we rarely have time for. Little attractions, museums, diners and local foods.

Our goal for Boston, besides the show, is some historical site seeing and possibly a whale watching tour.

Boston ComicCon is this weekend, Friday through Sunday at the Boston Convention Center. There are a lot of great guests this year, and an amazing vending and artist alley. I’ll be with New World Collectibles in booth 514, and sculpting live during the show! If you are in the area, come on out and see us!

Where: Boston ComicCon

When: August 10-13