Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DIY: Potato Stamped Cloth Wrapping

Potato stamping is a simple way to create a handmade print. I decided to use this technique to make cloth wrapping for presents.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cloth Wrapping

A beautifully wrapped gift makes me smile. When you see a pretty package using cute paper and ribbon it shows the effort and thought that someone put into wrapping that package. [Pause.] But I must admit that sometimes a small part of me thinks it’s wasteful (especially with the super nice and expensive wrapping paper). While some people carefully unwrap their gift so they can keep the wrapping paper and reuse it later, many of us just rip the paper to shreds in order to get to the goodies inside. So I have somewhat mixed feelings about using pretty paper that’s just going to end up in the trash.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Random Vintage Stuff

While at Goodwill, I ended up getting more vintage stuff. I couldn’t help it—it was so cheap, paying by the pound it was just mere cents per item.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

DIY: Scrap Paper Packaging Decoration

I just seem to accumulate different types of paper (e.g. fine art, scrapbooking, cardstock, used wall calendars and paint samples). Sometimes I use these papers in projects and am left with bits and pieces, and I thought I could use those scraps to decorate packages.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Vintage Books

The last time I went to the pay by the pound Goodwill, I couldn’t resist buying some vintage books. I recently went again, and dug through their book bins and found more books that I don’t need but think are cool.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Too Ugly to Read

You can’t undo your awareness of something. Like when you hear a new word and then you start hearing it everywhere. People must have said it before you knew it existed, only you weren’t cognizant of it and therefore it didn’t penetrate your brain.

That’s how I feel about type sometimes—where I’m aware of how bad it is. I’ll be at the library and pick up a promising looking novel only to realize that the type inside looks terrible; the font is too heavy or too large or just plain wrong. Or the leading between the lines is too crammed so it’s uncomfortable to look at. It could be any number of things, but something about the type irks me to the point that I have to quickly shelve the book because I can’t stand to look at it.

How-to books (on crafts, sewing and knitting) sometimes make me sigh in disappointment. I’ll open a book only to be overwhelmed by how clunky and how difficult to read the directions appear…which only motivates me not to want to do it all. It can be quite depressing to look at type that is so blatantly bad and information so poorly organized (that I can’t help but wonder how the book got published at all).

The main focus of any book should be the content, but if the type isn’t right then it distracts me from that content to the point where I don’t want to read it at all. It may seem like a minor point, but it’s hard to ignore terrible type. As time passes I am less and less forgiving about the ugliness of things that could have been so easily fixed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Too Quiet

Silence is a rarity for me as a vast majority of the time I’ll have noise going on while I’m doing something. Almost always, if I’m cooking, sewing, crafting or drawing I’ll have the TV on. If I’m in my car or at my computer working, I’ll play music. Every so often I may be so engrossed in something that I forget to turn on the TV or turn on my music, but that occurs but rarely; the only time I have consistent silence is while I’m reading.

Often I find I like having noise in the background because it helps mundane activities be more enjoyable. I’ll have mildly interesting TV shows on in the background that are worthy of splitting my attention with cutting vegetables or sewing a dress (because I feel less guilty keeping up with those mediocre television if I’m doing something else). And music can lessen the tedium of less exciting design tasks, and of course put me in a better mood during my commute.

It depends on my state of mind whether I want noise or silence. Either one can help or hinder my thinking; TV can distract me, while pure silence can feel oppressive at times. Given a choice, I generally don’t choose silence. Yet sometimes silence necessary for concentration—no distractions from other voices muddling the mind. But I don’t often take advantage of the option of silence; it tends to be a last resort rather than a first resort. Silence, more often than not, seems to be a void to be filled rather than enjoyed.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIY: Paper Fringe Tag

Creating fringe is an easy way to add some texture and visual interest to plain colored cardstock; I used this simple technique to make a gift tag with.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Leather Pants

I’ve never had a desire to own leather pants. I’m fairly practical (and lazy) when it comes to clothing care, and leather requires special care that I don’t want to deal with. Plus, while leather pants might look good on a model, it would just be too much for everyday life (as I would never go to the supermarket in them). Yes, leather pants are just too impractical and too much work for it to be worth it.

[Pause.] With that said, I recently bought a pair of leather pants…but not to wear. I was shopping with friends at Goodwill, and one friend jokingly pulled out a pair of leather pants for me, and I scoffed at her. And then I felt them. They felt nice; the leather was smooth and buttery. And then I paused in thought—I would never wear them but I could use the leather in some way to make something.

The pants are new (with the store tags still on them), but damaged and thus unable to be returned to the store. It’s my guess that a woman bought these pants online, got them and tried them on, only to realize that they were too long for her. So she tried to get the right length by cutting the bottoms of the pants and finally came to the conclusion that she was never going to wear these pants and donated them to Goodwill. [Pause.] Her loss is my gain.

While I’ve pondered about getting leather in order to create accessories or jewelry, I’ve never done so because I feel like I need an actual project in mind before I take the plunge and buy leather (which would definitely be a more expensive material to get). So I sort of lucked out by stumbling upon leather that I like which I can use to experiment on. I’m not sure exactly how I’ll use the leather, but at least I’ll have it when an idea finally comes to me.