Mr. Busy

Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | Posted by Bethisboring | 1 comments
As a kid I probably spent a little too much time reading.  I can remember one of the first book series I actually read was BOB books.  Pretty typical "learn to read" stuff.  My world was turned around when someone got me a set of Mr. Men books.  These books are still hilarious to me.  Reading Mr. Rude, who has a French accent I might add, gets me rolling every time.

Lately I have been seeing lots of lame printed tee's with Mr. Grumpy or Little Miss Perfect on them.  There is nothing lamer than t shirts with things screen printed on them, yet it seems everyone loves these things.  I'm talking about the camouflage ones with the phrase "Hah! You Can't See Me Now!" on them.  Or a 4 year old wearing a pink t shirt that says "I <3 My BFF!!"  Somehow a whole generation of people have become so lazy that expressing themselves with their clothing style is out of the question.  Now we just print "clever" statements on t shirts and consider it self expression. Whatever happened to painting your finger nails black and putting on too much eyeliner?

Which brings me to today's project.  The prompt read: make a stencil and use it in your work today.  Having never made a stencil, seeing that I am neither an anarchist or a seventeen year old boy, this was all new to me and took quite a great deal of internet perusing.

Here are all the supplies that I used in the process.
An exacto knife, some plastic dividers and spray paint.

I found a new photo editing software, gimp.  It has features similar to Photoshop and it's free!  I used it to up the contrast on this image and make it black and white.
 From this:
 to this: 

After spending way too long doing that, I printed it out and stapled it on to a plastic divider.  I used an exacto knife to cut out the outline. It took me two times to get it right because I got a little knife happy.  It's harder than it looks! Those anarchist kids have some steady hands.

When I finally got it right it looked like this.

I tried it out on a piece of cardboard before abusing the sidewalks of Glenwood.

He is so busy.

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Cabbage, cabbage and more cabbage

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2011 | Posted by Bethisboring | 0 comments
I never ate cabbage until I became a poor college student. Now it's cabbage all the time.  Green cabbage, red cabbage- we've got cabbage coming out of our ears over here. Particularly in the winter time. Potatoes, carrots, cabbage and squash get old after a few months of the same old recipes so it's time to try out something new.

Fortunately for me Day 6's prompt was: Use the first fruit or vegetable you find to work with.
So obviously, I made sure cabbage was the first thing I saw when I walked in the kitchen. I will do anything to get rid of all this cabbage. Except buy less. Every week I go to the Downtown Farm Market and every week I return with another head of cabbage. I secretly enjoy forcing Amanda to eat all kind of weird cabbage creations, I believe cabbage burritos were on the menu once.

So it was time for a new recipe. I picked a soup since the weather has been so cold and our house hasn't been warmer than 55 degrees since November. The Post Punk Kitchen has never let me down before, they have all kinds of yummy vegan recipes with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.  For this recipe, Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage I had all the ingredients just laying in my pantry.  Except for fresh dill.  It's the middle of winter folks, dried will do just fine.

After getting off work I was ravenous and waiting for the carrots to get soft was torture.  The kitchen was so cold the boiling soup looked like it was putting off smoke, not just steam.

 About an hour later, prep time included, it was dinner time.

 15 minutes later we were two very happy, warm girls with full bellies, not to mention with a little less cabbage in the refrigerator.  All in all a successful evening I would say.

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Sugar for Breakfast

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 | Posted by Bethisboring | 5 comments
So I have been sick the past week and therefore a very bad blogger. The only thing that I have built this week is a very high fever.  But before I caught the plague I was quite a busy beaver.  Day 5's prompt was to make something out of a collection that you have lying around your house.  I try to make it a point to not keep a bunch of stuff around, unless it's crafting supplies.  Somehow the craft table in my dining room has slowly grown outward and consumed my entire dining room. We have bins upon bins of yarn, unspun wool and completely unprocessed fleeces but I figured branching out and using something other than fiber wouldn't kill me.

Although jellybeans are not something I really collect, they're more like something I just happened to have a lot of, and I used them to make a very yummy creation.  I find nothing more satisfying than taking a handful of jellybeans and sorting them into piles and making flavor combinations.  It's like cooking dessert but a lot faster.  Every year I get one of those gigantic containers that has every flavor imaginable, although not boogers I was disappointed to find.  After eating countless juicy pears (which is by far the best flavor) I apparently still had food on my brain and made this delicious breakfast of a fried egg, banana and fresh, crusty toast with butter.

Here you can see the vast sea of jellybeans from which I had to choose from.

Unfortunately making this meant that I had to touch every single one of the jelly beans.  This is very unfortunate for anyone else who wants any jellybeans in my house.

I also finished another present for one of my Facebook friends.

This is a needle felted flower with a bendable stem for my friend Katherine.  She has known me since I was but a wee crafter making lots of terrible pot holders and paintings for the refrigerator.  I hope that this doesn't end up in the same drawer.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm dying for some comments over here folks.  In an effort to blackmail people into commenting on my blog I've decided that the first person to comment on this post will get a VERY special handmade treat from me. Don't be shy ya'll.
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People Who Can't Drive

Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2011 | Posted by Bethisboring | 0 comments
Normally people who can't drive are the source of much aggravation for me.  If you have ever driven with me you know how serious my case of road rage is.  Hell, if you have ever ridden a bike with me you know how easy it is for me to lose my temper with cars.  But that's a story for another post.

The prompt for today: Take a 5 minute walk and use something you find while walking to inspire your creation.  So I walked to school, something I normally don't do simply because it takes too long.  Walking to class takes around 15 minutes and riding my bike takes roughly 2, not to mention the view on Lee Street isn't exactly the best.  That is if you prefer not to see the homeless man with the cart's ass. You know exactly what I'm talking about if you've ever walked down Lee St.

I found an imprint some asshole left when they drove on to the sidewalk.  Normally this would infuriate me, probably a little too much if I'm being honest.  I found it at the intersection of Aycock and Spring Garden, prime territory for college boys with too much testosterone to drive their gas guzzling SUVs.

It inspired this knit swatch:

I only used knits and purls to establish this pattern. Having never designed my own swatch before, this was actually quite a challenge for me.  To help me visualize what the swatch would look like when it was complete  I used this program.  It's a design your own chart program that was really easy to use and let me save the chart when I was finished - something I noticed other websites didn't allow me to do. 

I'm pretty please with how it turned out.  Not that it's a pattern I'll actually ever use, that is of course unless someone asks me for a sweater that looks like it's been driven on.  Until that day (which would be a really weird day) it will be the first swatch I ever knit without a pattern.

So here's to you asshole that drove on the sidewalk.  Thanks for inspiring my project today and I hope you didn't kill anyone when you were sliding around Greensboro in your overly sized vehicle.

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Winter Colors

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011 | Posted by Bethisboring | 0 comments
In North Carolina autumn is beautiful. There is no doubting it. People make a yearly pilgrimage to the mountains just to see the leaves change and breath the air that is never as crisp as it is during the fall.  Unfortunately, it's not autumn anymore.  All the leaves have fallen off and the world is a dreary smear of brown and grey.  That is until it snows. Then the world is beautiful for the fifteen minutes before the snow plow rolls through and turns the snow black.

Which brings me to my point.  I need some color in the middle of the winter.  I also need my neck to be warm and look really fucking cute, so I knit this lovely cowl. Made of bulky weight wool and hand dyed, I'm extremely pleased with the kelly green against my pasty white skin.

Chunky cowls are totally hip right now. Hipsters everywhere are crashing their fixed gear bicycles because they are unable to see over their huge cowls that were knit with size 22 needles and bulky yarn. Thankfully, I will be able to see over this cowl and will only crash my bike because of less hip reasons.  Like my pants being too tight to get my leg over the handlebars to do this. What a tragedy.

The pattern is called braidheart which is funny enough to make we want to knit it simply for the name.  It's really just a short scarf with some buttons.  Why didn't I think of that?

The buttons were made by my lovely Amanda using pieces of broken china.  Upcycled to the max, adorable and soon to be available on her Etsy, they're a huge pain in the ass to make and release god knows what kind of carcinogen dust into the air.

They are definitely worth it.

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Killing Trees in the Name of Art

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2011 | Posted by Bethisboring | 0 comments
Today's prompt is to make something out of paper without scissors or glue.  Who does that? Who sits down and says let me make something that a third grader could do in fifteen minutes and make it incredibly difficult?  Apparently I do.

I ended up making this boat.

It doesn't look like much but somehow this POS took me an hour to make.  How ridiculous. I just kept getting so frustrated that I couldn't just use some damn scotch tape. It's made out of two index cards.  About 8 more ended up in the recycling bin. I went through about 4 different ideas before I settled on the boat.  A hot dog, an ice cream cone, and a house all to end up with this boat.  

School started this week which means my winter craft fest is coming to an end.  I would love to say that I will be able to continue making things at the same rate that I have been but I know it's just not realistic. First class of the semester and I was 30 minutes late.  Thats completely appropriate for my last semester right? I think so even if my professor didn't seem to.

I still have three more people to gift something handmade to and I'd really like to get it done within the next two weeks so lets hope that school doesn't get in the way of life.
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White People Love Sweater Parties

Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Posted by Bethisboring | 0 comments
Which is why every year the fribee girls have an ugly Christmas sweater party, the most white thing you can possibly do other than wearing Ray Ban Wayfarers.  Extra points are given to the person wearing both at the same time. This annual party is where I met my lovely friend Scooze and it's also where I got the inspiration for today's creation.

A tiny beer sweater.  What could be more pretentious?

Not only is it a sweater, it's a turtle neck- the most pretentious of all sweaters. It has a Raglan sleeve, which means that the sweater is all worked in the round as opposed to sewing the sleeves in.

The prompt for today was to create something based on my favorite animal.  Scooze is definitely my favorite party animal.  He's the kind of gentleman that can pound two Four Lokos before you've finished sipping your overpriced microbrew.  Which is why he deserves a beverage sweater.  You can't expect a champion of his caliber to drink warm, underdressed and unpretentious beer.
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Step 1: Baby Chickens and Beginnings

Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 | Posted by Bethisboring | 0 comments

So I've decided to start blogging. We'll see how long this lasts, but I need something to be accountable to.  I have been reading this really neat blog lately and finally broke down and bought the book that is written by the same guy.  The whole idea is to make something every day, big or small.  It comes with different prompts for each day - for example the first day is to "Make something that fits in the palm of your hand using only the materials in your immediate environment".  As I'm reading through the book I'm noticing that it has a lot of stipulations like that. Using only paper, using only your breakfast, work only with what's in your pockets, etc... I have a bad habit of getting stuck on something and wearing it out.  I'll be so excited about a knitting project that I'll knit until my fingers fall off or I'll be so amped up about a color that Amanda has made that I'll needle felt all night. I need to focus that excitement into something different, something not in my comfort zone.

 I'm already excited about how this new project I've undertaken is making me look at things. All of the sudden everything has the potential to be something else, and not just wool!

How awesome right? Right.

So day one. To get me started I said that the first five people in comment on my Facebook status would get something handmade. Second to comment was my childhood friend Madeline.  I grew up 2 houses down from her and I was always over at her house getting in to some kind of trouble.  She's the youngest  in a family of 4 older girls so I made her this needle felted egg, inside is a baby chicken with little wire feet.  Madeline is a sucker for cute things, so I thought this pretty much useless (though adorable) item wouldn't be wasted on her.

Say what?

Chicken butt.

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