Maker Shirts

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Everyone now and then I like to feature something that is Craft related, but is not itself a craft.

I was shown these really cool shirts that show how much you love making things and and wanted to share them with you.

The best thing about this shirt?  It’s on sale through tomorrow!  If you are interested in picking them up, head over to Tee Public to pick one up before the sale ends.  I may have to pick one up myself.

-Toni

 


Hand Painted Jewelry

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Hey there Thursday Crafthackers!

I come to you today with a relatively new local (to GTA) designer who does one of a kind, hand painted jewelry. I met her at a local craft fair that featured lots of local, Canadian talent.It was lovely to see this small, local show filled with vendors of a very high caliber and selling a wide variety of things that were both unique, handmade, reclaimed, or a combination thereof. It’s here that I met Sue. She makes some of the most amazing hand painted jewelry, and every piece is unique since the combinations of colours and how the paints work together will be different each time.

She paints on a few different metals, but one of the main metals that she works with is copper, though she will also have some pieces out of titanium, Sue makes earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, and though they are not matched as a set, you can definitely match what is available to have a set.

I think what really caught my eye about her creations was not just that they were extremely reasonably priced, but that the colours were so vibrant. When you see these pieces in the light, especially out in the sunlight, the paint that she uses to create these lovely works of art really does come to life and becomes just radiant. She also coats the top with a resin  not only to preserve the paint but it somehow just makes these colours look so metallic and bright. I also don’t feel like I’m going to accidentally scratch some of it off in my day to day wear – I am not a graceful person at the best of times, and after a few wears, it’s still as good as new.

I highly recommend checking her out and seeing what she has on hand. You can find her shop here, as well as lots of photos on her Facebook page and Twitter.

I’ve worn my pieces from her multiple times already and had quite a few compliments, and I can’t wait to start seeing Sue at other shows through the year. Follow her page to see where she’ll be next!

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan



Meet the Hackers: C2E2

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Today marks the start of C2E2 in Chicago and we are back fro our 3rd year!

We can be found in the same place we have been every year in booth 1357.

As Kim said Wednesday, she will be at C2E2 this year in the Black Cat Creations booth.

This years Craft Hacker line up includes Toni from Quiltoni, Nicole from Craftigurumi, and Jess from Ami Ami Creations.  We will have lots of amigurumi goodness, plush, scarves, quilts, pillows, and quilt patterns.  This year Toni and Nicole have to make room for brand new inventory so are putting the old into special mystery boxes!  Each box has a guaranteed value of $95 and can be yours for $40.  Every item in the mystery boxes will never be made again.  They are only available while they last.

So swing by, say hi,tell us how your year has been, and check out all of the new things we have!


Among the Pines

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers

This morning I have a small business feature for a lovely handcrafted business that features hand made soaps as well as wood products and what’s even better is that they work not just to make but to educate people about living a more sustainable life. Meet Among the Pines.

The wood products that are made are simple and rustic but elegantly made and useful.

Not only do they give a lovely selection of hand made products that can be bought and enjoyed yourself or given as lovely gifts like cheese boards, beer flights made from reclaimed wood or even ones like this that really can be gifted, and filled with beer for the loved recipient…

 

They also offer a wood butter which is what I was most impressed with.

It is a wood conditioner that you can use to preserve and make beautiful all of your wood kitchen utensils and cutting boards that is free of any petroleum products like mineral oil.

Their other offering was their soap. Also hand made and wonderful, and best of all they have one that is made from beer that smells amazing.  What’s lovely is that you can find these guys on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to follow not just their excellent products, but their philosophy as well.

~ Megan


Adding whimsy to cosplay

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Happy Wednesday! I am here in Chicago this week, prepping and waiting for C2E2 to start. If you are attending the show, I can be found in Booth 273, along with Blacky Cat Creations. My friend and I have been checking out some local museums, landmarks and amazing food. I love to cosplay when I vend at shows. Even though I work with polymer clay, sometimes I see accessories I love but someone else makes really well.

Prism Moon Designs on Etsy makes amazing horns, antlers, antennae, and alien pieces.

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Beautifully crafted with amazing detail, her work shines brightly in a sea of clay. Her prices are reasonable, and she does take custom orders.

 

Her work can be found here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/prismmoon


3D Paper Wall Art

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So we all know decorating can be a pain. Picking colors for paint. Finding pictures/painting for your walls. Making a theme almost guarantees you’ll double that time as well. While it won’t solve all your problems, I have found some very cool wall art that adds an interesting decoration to at least part of your room and it’s easy to remove as well!

These are handmade paper art installations that are just lovely and engaging. Each piece is cut and folded by hand by Oregon based artist Jacqueline Jean of hipandclavicle over on Etsy. The detail and precision of her cutting is just stellar. I could see myself using these in a nursery or a college dorm thanks to their inexpensive price and wall safe adhesive not leaving any marks. Most of the her work is nature themed as she loves the outdoors, though dragons have managed to jump in there from time to time.

No guides for layout of the pieces seems to be included with orders which means the possibilities are endless and can be altered to suit you needs. Got a big empty space to fill? Order a few sets and make a swirling design or a giant butterfly shape.

Most sets cost only $15 so if you’re looking for something different to decorate your walls with, I definitely recommend giving this shop a look through. 🙂


Talking Gloves

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I know winter is behind us, but I only just found these recently and I don’t wanna wait until it’s cold again to share them. 😛

Based in Istanbul, Talkingloves makes adorable knit clothing with a fun twist. When you put the gloves together, or sometimes position them just so, they contain a special adorable shape. The kitty ones above are my favorite, cause I love cats, but it’s the concept in general that I caught my attention. Perhaps it’s the romantic in me, but I’d be super cute to get 2 pairs of the heart one so that when you and your significant other hold hands it forms a little heart on the inside that only you know about. ^_^

A bit more on focus for those of us going into wedding season, they also make bridal gloves and accessories that are sheer and light instead. Including very delicate looking ring pillows that suit a variety of modern/traditional styles. If you like cute knit and sheer items definitely give their store a look thru as you won’t be disappointed. 🙂


A Hoppy Occassion

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Happy Sunday and happy Easter to everyone that celebrates!

When I was a child, we spent much of Easter with family (and we have a rather large one) and that meant that us kids had to keep ourselves entertained. There was plenty of excitement over the goodies in our baskets but eventually that would wane and we’d find some other mischief to get into. Two of my aunts were very artsy-craftsy, so once that point hit, the kids craft supplies would make their way out! There are some great tutorials out there for some cute crafts for your own swarm of littles if need be and I’ve (of course) pulled a list of my favorites, starting with these adorable chicks made out of the egg cartons from all those yummy deviled eggs:

A super cheap cheap way to keep them busy!

Or maybe use some time to make salt dough eggs that the kiddos can paint/glitter/mark-up:

An egg-cellent chance to show their creativity.

If the younglings are a bit older and craft inclined, they could try their hands at these stinkin’ cute Shaun the Sheep figures:

Maybe while watching some Wallace and Gromit episodes!

And I do hope you wouldn’t think I could get through a DIY Easter list without bunnies, did you? Of course not! These sock bunnies are just the thing:

And…this could include some recycling.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and next week we’ll be at C2E2 here in Chicago! More adventures to come!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Let’s learn about needles – The life of a needle

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All of this information is courtesy of Schmetz.

1 Definition of Needle Life

During the sewing process different forces and influences are attacking the sewing machine needle. There might be

  • Abrasive forces
  • Penetration force
  • Influence of operator
  • Influence of sewing thread
  • Influence of sewing machine

Every one of these forces and influences are the enemies of needle life. They might destroy the point, abrase the needle surface or even break the needle. Some of these influences and forces and their effects are directly visible, e.g. if you get holes in your fabric something has happened to the needle point or if the thread breaks there might be damage to the eye of the sewing machine needle.

As a general definition of the end of needle life we can say

2 Parameters influencing Needle Life

In the previous paragraph we already named a few influencing factors on needle life. If we look closer we will find the following parameters

  • sewing good
  • operator
  • machine setting
  • machine speed
  • thread quality
  • thread size
  • needle size
  • needle point

besides other parameters being specific to every plant like climate, work environment and others. All these parameters are of influence to the needle life and are very individual to every sewing factory. The life of a sewing machine needle has come to an end when the needle looses its proper function.

If we just take the operator as one of the most influencing factors on needle performance we can see that the skills and work experience is a significant parameter. But also here the human factor comes in because not everyday the operator works the same depending on the physical and mental condition. If you put two operators side by side sewing the same workpiece under the same outer conditions like same machine, same speed etc. it can happen that the results are very different, especially when we look into the needle consumption.

From all these influencing parameters it becomes very clear now that they cannot be predetermined because they are individual to the specific sewing factory. Almost every factory has different conditions and setups even if they make the same product.

3 Examples

Broken needle points because the needle has touched some machine parts. The fabric never would cause this type of fault.

Abrasion on eye sidewall because the needle was deflected during sewing and was touching the sides of the needle hole in the throat plate

Total abrasion of eye sidewall. The eye is open. This happened with a very abrasive sewing good containing a flame-retardant chemical.

4 How to find your individual needle life

As the manufacturer of the sewing machine needle we are not able to give a prediction of needle life for the individual plant because it is impossible to know all your individual factors. But a lot of sewing factories have the data available or are able to find the data for every sewing line or even for every sewing machine. It just is a matter of about a month collecting data for every needle change, log the data and categorize by reason for the needle change.

This will give a good basis for quality improvement because if you have these data you will be able to implement a needle change policy in your factory as already a lot of the high quality manufacturers do. You will have the possibility now to change the needle before it starts to abrase or before the needle point gets damaged.

-Toni