Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crafter's Delight

Last weekend I attended the CHA Supershow in Anaheim and had a super good time. My friends Susanne and Megan also came and geeked out with me over things like book binding machines, cutting machines, resin molds and endless amounts of fun ideas. We got to do lots of “make and takes” and even walked away with some free goodies. Here is what I came home with…

I silk screened a T-shirt using Plaid’s Simply Screen system. The print quality is decent but I don’t absolutely love any of the designs they have available. Supposedly they are working on a way to make blank screens to be used with original designs. I’ll be keeping my eye on this because it could be a cheaper alternative to the Yudu screen printing machine, which so far, looks like the most slick silk screen at home system I have seen (wow, say that ten times fast).

I made an attempt at creating something with the Waxmelter Batik Pen. Way fun. Basically you can melt wax of any kind and use it to draw designs on fabric (they were using broken up candles and crayons at the booth) . When you paint over your design with water based paint, the wax repels the paint and creates a neat batik texture. I almost bought one of the pens but decided I should probably use up some of my yarn before I get wrapped up in another realm of crafting.

I colored a pillow case with soy based fabric crayons. It came with a pre-printed design (I chose Lightning McQueen because Sofie is currently a little obsessed with Pixar’s Cars). Supposedly, if I heat set the back of the design with a hot iron, the colors won’t wash out. I haven’t tried that part yet but I’m hoping it works.

The next one was kind of just a silly little craft but I was excited to do something with yarn (my favorite). I was also excited to try out Clover’s Wonder Knitter spool knitting tool and their Pom Pom Maker, both of which I have been curious about for some time now. Pretty fun.

Another kind of silly craft but we had fun making them and we scored some free ModPodge, tacky glue, and paper! I decided to make mine a statement about society- I dare you to interpret it.

The next craft is from the rock star portion of the day. I have been curious about duct tape wallets since I heard about them but have never just taken the time to make one. I have to say this was fun and easy to do. I plan on doing more of this in the future- I have a whole roll of red “Duck” Tape just waiting to be made into something fabulous.

I had my first ever experience with needle felting and I think I’m totally addicted to it. After walking past the tools for this craft at various craft stores on various occasions, I was happy to finally get the chance to test it out before I spent any money on it. I have since spent money (I had coupons so it was reasonable) on my own tools and am having a blast playing with my new toys. I think it will be a good way to use up some of my excessive amounts of yarn. The first pic is the front and the one below it is what the back ends up looking like.

The next craft literally took five minutes to make. We ran into a few “crafting under pressure” situations but this one took the prize. There were a lot of people gathered around this crafting table so they were trying to cycle people through as quickly as possible. I don’t think I even ever sat down in front of my project, I simply unwrapped the bag the woman threw at me, tossed a few doilies down on it, and sprayed it with the fabric dye. I ended up with blue fingers and a tie dyed bag- not really my style but I was still pretty happy with how it came out. I think I might try staining the whole thing in some tea just for fun.

Next is the first of our sewing projects. We had a good time making them and then wearing them the rest of the day. Very stylish- in a crafty kind of way.

Even though we all agreed that the color choices for the next sewing adventure (made for us by the people assembling the kits) were hideous, this project gave us the chance to try out some fun decorative stitches and we learned how to use a satin stitch to do edging. I will definitely use these skills again. Since this is intended to be a postcard, we all threatened to send them to each other when we least expect it.

The gift card holder was the third of our sewing projects. It came out pretty cute. The button on mine is a little off center but I plan on fixing that. This was a great opportunity to get some practice with a small project. All of this sewing really made me want to try some new things with my own machine. We’ll see how that goes.

It was a busy day and when I thought about everything we had made I really felt like we had accomplished good things. I feel inspired, encouraged, and empowered to make more stuff and things and stuff, etc.!