Not Your Aunt’s Ceramics

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I don’t know about you but when I was growing up, a number of my aunts (I have quite a few) were really enthusiastic about ceramics. I still have the ceramic baby blocks and piggy bank to prove it. They are cute but not something that I continue to display or use on a regular basis. While at Wizard World Chicago this year, I couldn’t help but notice Mesiree Ceramics Studio’s booth as they were essentially in my line of sight for much of the convention. They immediately caught my attention because they were displaying items like this:

Is that...a catbus?!?!

Is that…a catbus?!?!

I am a huge Studio Ghibli fan and I’m pretty sure that I let out a rather loud squeal upon spying their lovely wares. Besides being cute, the detail on their mugs is just beautiful. I love the pure anger captured here on Calcifer’s face:

This will shortly be my new Mondays mug.

This will shortly be my new Mondays mug.

Ok, so they don’t just create amazing Miyazaki art. Their more traditional designs are also lovingly crafted and glazed in an array of colors.

MesireeFox  MesireeShip

Not in the market for a mug? What about a goldfish yarn bowl for all of you that knit/crochet or a hedgehog brown sugar saver for the bakers?

MesireeFishYarnBowl  MesireeHedgehog

All of these items would definitely be proudly displayed and used on a regular basis in my home.

The holidays are coming up and I highly encourage you to check out their Etsy store, Facebook page, or Instagram for some great gift ideas. This work is not to be missed!

Enjoy your Sunday and stay crafty!

~Laura


Geek Chic Knits

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One of the things I love about crafting is finding materials that have been hand made or hand dyed.  We met Geek Chic Knits at Magfest last year and saw her beautiful hand dyed yarn first hand with amazing names for the colors.

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Twilight Sparkle- Gold 40 weight embroidery thread ply-ed with hand spun Corrie-dale wool and kettle dyed in shades of lavender and purple create a yarn reminiscent of everyone’s favorite nerdy unicorn.

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Bad Penny – Tones of copper, delphinium, and teal hand painted onto a skein of 2 ply hand-spun blending together to create shades of lilac, brown and cream reminiscent of a copper penny going through oxidation. This colorway is also available as a braid of dyed wool roving.

She doesn’t just offer pretty yarn.  Geek Chic Knits also creates great things with the yarn for you.

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So head over to her websiteFacebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pintrest to see these yarns.

-Toni


DIY: Gourd Goblins

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Many of you know that one of my favorite sites to get ideas on line is Instructables.  I went looking today for a great fall decorating project so I can hang onto these mild days as long as possible!  I am not looking forward to the cold and snow again.  I found this great project by ashleyjlong.

These miniature pumpkins (or also know as gourds) are easy and fun to make.  All you need is:

For the entire set of instructions head over to Instructables to take a look.

-Toni

 


Little Asian Sweat Shop

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Hello Thursday Readers!

As some of you may have known, I was at New York Comicon a little while ago and I got a chance to do a little bit of shopping while I was there. Not much, mind you, since there were so many people pressed into one building, but being a vendor I was able to wander around a little bit at times that weren’t so busy. I came across this one booth, right around the corner from us.  I met a wonderful woman who is the creator of the designs at Little Asian Sweat Shop and got a chance to peruse her wares.

She has some wonderful ideas where she takes premade cardstock items – so things like playing cards and comic books, and she transforms them into accessories for both men and women.  Because she uses these types of materials, all of her designs end up being a one of a kind piece, even if they’re “cut from the same cloth”, so to speak – just like no comic book page in one book is the same.

Beautiful Full Metal Alchemist flowers.

She has a range of different products for both men and women that she sells, from a large range of fandoms as well. There are some that are obvious like her Dr. Who hair flowers but some that are a little more subtle like the picture below. Can you guess what it is?

I actually bought this one myself and I didn’t realize what it was at first, only that I was attracted to it. It is actually from the Sandman graphic novel series, which is one of my favourites, incidentally.   She also uses alligator clips (large ones on her big flowers) which is a really important point for me, since I find that I just don’t wear any other type. This also makes her wares all that more versatile since you can clip them anywhere: In your hair, on a jacket lapel, on a hat or even on a belt or purse. Anywhere you think could use a flower.

A beautiful Alice in Wonderland Boutonniere.

This Little Asian Sweatshop is online. You can shop at her online shop here, and you’ll find that she’s very active on all her social media. There is her frequently updated Facebook page as well as Instagram and Twitter.  You can find a full list of her social media at the bottom of her webpage, should you like to add others. Have a look! Check out her list of conventions for where she will be to see if she’ll be near you and if not, her products are just like how they look in her photos so you can order with confidence.

 

Happy accessorizing!

 

~Megan


Post Halloween Tips

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Its November 4th, and most people have just about recovered from their Halloween antics and shenanigans. What most people haven’t done is considered the best way to store their costume in case they want to keep it and use it again.

Storing costumes is a rather unsexy topic, but for those of us whose costume wardrobes rival that of our normal clothing, something to keep in mind. While many are happy to chuck their costume into a box in the attic and forget about it, those same folks often end up finding themselves in the unenviable position of finding their costumes haven’t survived the year next year and having to purchase a new one.

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If you have any desire to see your costume last, you need to take care of it. Clothing will not stay the way it was simply by hanging in a closet. There are any numbers of things that can happen once fabric goes into storage, including mildew and moths. Nobody these days is impressed by the camphor smell, so you should probably skip that to keep the moths away.

But there are things that you can do to increase the lifespan of your costume, and you should do so sooner rather than later. So below are three tips to help you store your costumes safely, whether you’re storing Halloween costumes or cosplays for your next convention.

Clean your costume before putting it away.

You may like the stains on it, but you will like it a lot less when you realise that the gunk you stained it with has mouldered into a mess of sticky yuckiness over the course of time. You can always add the dirt and blood back in when you re-wear it.

Store it in a safe place.

Closets are generally well overcrowded, in my experience, but if you can they are still the best place to store costumes. Failing that, you can put them in boxes, but like all other fabrics, it is best if it can breathe.

Plastic bins are likely to make a costume “sweat,”  which means that any moisture in it will come out and settle. Even if you’ve cleaned it, there will be some moisture left from the air. Without airflow, this can become overpoweringly awful to deal with. Think about gym bags left with dirty clothes on them for a week and then multiply it for a year. I’ve even seen ones that have grown mould. Yuck.

Store it all together.

You know what you won’t remember? Everything. I like to make checklists of all the different items that are needed for a costume. Where possible, I try to keep it all together. Suit bags are great, as you can keep things on hangers and have space for those parts that don’t hang easily at the bottom of the bag.
If that’s not feasible, or if you actually wear part of your costume regularly, then at least having a list with the main part of your costume will remind you of all the bits and pieces you need. It will be much easier come next year to pull everything together if you have reminders.


Burning your Scents

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Loosely keeping with yesterday’s post of burning things, I thought I’d take a different route today and showcase a different way to make your house smell lovely when you burn stuff. Via incense! Though really it’s just the excellent creative holders that I love.

This one by Steam-HeART imminently caught my eye since I love Steampunk aesthetics (though the spider legs creep me out a bit…) and it is sadly a one off piece the artist designed for themselves. Mostly due to the time/materials making the cost too high for retail. We can all still admire it though. 🙂

The style for this one is more traditional (long and flat for sticks), but man oh man ShirleysStudio gave it quite the epic fantasy makeover. The base if from the original burner but when it broke creativity struck. Their primary work is in these fantasy style creatures but this was a beautiful combination of piece and function.

While I know Halloween is over, that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy this witch oven. LongHomeFox designed it to burn incense cones instead of sticks so that it would look like a fire in an oven. Really cool idea and to wood carving it top notch here. Though the last one I found kinda wins for smoke use with it’s design…

I mean, come on. It’s a baby dragon that looks like it’s starting up some fire as it’s hatching. How cool is that?! 1stQueenOfHalloween did a phenomenal job sculpting this porcelain piece. Check out her deviantart post about it as she goes into detail bout how it was made and how it functions if you want more info. It’s really great stuff. 🙂


DIY Colorful Crayon Candles

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While all the pumpkins are blown out and the decorations are coming down, don’t just toss those extra candles in the trash. In fact, if you have some crayons left over from your back to school shopping spree in September, you are already well on your way to making some fun and beautiful looking candles of your own according to brit.co. 🙂

These ones remind me of those sand art kits, but you don’t have to make them look like that. The materials list is pretty simple:

– Dixie Cups
– wax (available on Amazon or your local craft store)
– crayons
– wicks (see Amazon or your local craft store)
– votives or your preferred size glass jar
– popsicle sticks (for stirring)

The paper cups are what you’ll use to melt your wax (Sadly it can’t be just crayon wax) and then use the popsicle sticks to mix the colors up. It’s recommend that you only use half a crayon per 3oz of wax to ensure the mixed wax will burn like a normal candle. The other way to avoid this problem is by using a paint brush to simply paint the sides of your candle with the color and to set the wick. Then use the candle wax to fill the inside.

The frame stand is only needed if you want help creating the layered effect that is used in the first picture. You can forgo it if you just want a solid color candle instead. If your really want to go the distance though (or maybe get a head start on some great holiday gifts) why not add some scents into your custom candles?

You’ll want to avoid water based scents as they don’t work well with the wax, but a scented candle is much better then the crayon smell these typically have and, hey, maybe using the layering to have it be like a fancy timed scent released candle where each color is a new fragrance! ^_^

~Nicole


Quilt a Long – NES Sampler Quilt Materials

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It is November first and time to kick off a new Quilt a Long.  The team at Craft Hackers wanted to do something a little different so we created our own pattern this time!  We are very excited to unveil the NES Sampler Quilt!

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The NES Sampler quilt will have a finished size of 51″ by 67″.

For those not familiar with a Quilt a Long we will be releasing the pattern for one block each month on the 1st.  You then have the entire month to make the block.  Don’t feel rushed though.  The patterns will always be free and available in the forums so you can join and catch up at any time.  You can pick and choose which blocks to make and in what order you would like to arrange them on the quilt.  You just don’t get the instructions for the next block in the series until the following month.

This quilt can be made by experienced quilters, or those new to quilting.  You only need to know how to use a sewing machine and a rotary cutter.  New quilting tips will be highlighted so experienced quilters can skip over them.

This month we are giving you the fabrics you will need and how much of each fabric to get.  You can find the instructions here in our forums.

Please let us know if there is anything in the patterns that are confusing or need to be explained further.  If the the NES quilt is successful then we plan on releasing our own line of patterns for you!

Happy Quilting!

-Toni