Archive for June, 2011


Project 24: Progress

June 30, 2011

Weaving with kitten

Weaving is kind of fun. Once I got past the fact that, no matter how hard I tried, I could not keep the rows from pulling in on the sides I felt a lot better. I also had a bit of a problem with a pattern I was trying to weave in the red block above. But all in all, weaving is kind of fun. Even the kitten thinks so.

I’m making good progress and expect to have the whole project completed by the end of the week. Today I’m hoping to take it on a road trip, so we’ll see how well it works in the car. Check back tomorrow for a finished project!


Project 24: Warping

June 28, 2011

Cardboard loom

This is the first time in history that my to do list has ever included the instruction: warp loom. The good thing about using a cardboard loom is that you can be set up and weaving in a matter of minutes. The bad thing about it is that you quickly realize that life would be easier with the right tools. I’m committed to using this loom for this week’s project, but if I decide to weave again in the future I may set myself up a backstrap loom. It looks complicated, but I bet it’s great fun to use.


Project 24: Weaving

June 27, 2011

Photo by Laverne at

One of the awesome groups I saw at MakerFaire:NC was Durham String Thing. They were out with a few looms for people to try. I had already been considering doing a weaving project for this blog, so seeing and talking to these folks really inspired me to move it to the top of the list.

I’m going to start with a simple cardboard loom but I’ll introduce you to a couple of other options that look fun to me. Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have a functional fabric item that I made myself!

Photo by Laverne



Project 4: Done! and lessons learned

June 26, 2011

When we last left project 4 it looked like this:

Dye bath failure

My test pieces looked anodized but they wouldn’t take dye.

Earlier tonight I tried again and it worked! Here is my new piece before anodizing while my husband drilled holes in it:

Test piece #3

And here is what it looks like now:


Yay! It has some water spots, but I can polish that up.

Lessons learned:
– This was a tough one for me. There are steps in the anodizing process that are a mystery. I still don’t really understand how to figure out the voltage level based on the size of the piece. Fortunately I brought my husband with me today to help with the math.
– Sometimes equipment just fails for no reason. The two failed test pieces and the successful plate were from the same canteen set, so there was really no difference between tonight’s try and January’s. It just so happens that tonight’s worked.
– I probably won’t be anodizing whole sets of pots and pans.

We also made most of the box for project 23 tonight but I didn’t buy the hardware I needed. I’ll finish that soon and show you the completed project. Then I’ll be all caught up and can concentrate on project 24.


Project 17: One more and Project 23: Idea

June 22, 2011

Last night I finished Jupiter and made it into a coaster. I only had 2 colors left in the pattern when I put it down 6 weeks ago.

I also may have figured out a solution to the picture frame problem. I’ll be in the shop this afternoon and will see if it works then. Check back tomorrow!


Project 17: Finished coasters and lessons learned

June 21, 2011

Finished coasters

Hey look! Finished coasters! I never thought I’d see the day. When we last left this project I had worked for a whole month on the needlepoint and had only finished four of nine planets. (Jupiter is almost done and should be finished by the end of the week.) At the time I wasn’t confident in the method I was considering to finish them. Last night I decided to just go for it and I think they turned out ok.

First I cut out each planet and sewed a thin strip of bias tape for a more finished look. I then attached a circle of cork to the fabric with spray adhesive. What was so hard about that?

Cork back

View of the cork backing

Lessons learned:
– I enjoy having a small handwork project to work on in the evenings. Needlepoint is a great option.
–  It would be better to try something and fail than succumb to weeks of analysis paralysis.
– I hate having an undone project hanging over my head.

I’ll work on the rest of the planets from time to time and try to finish all of the coasters by the end of the project. Then we’ll just need to get into the habit of using coasters!


Catching up

June 20, 2011

Dye bath failure

Remember project 4? How about project 17? And who could forget last week’s unfinished jewelry box? This week I am going to do my best to finish (or in the case of the planets at least make some coasters) all of these projects. Wish me luck!

If you didn’t come to MakerFaire in Raleigh this weekend you missed a great time! I met lots of people doing interesting things, many of which I’ll be sharing with you as the weeks go by. For now, check out my kindred spirit Dino at Hack A Week. I will definitely be keeping an eye on what he’s up to for the rest of his project!


Maker Faire!

June 17, 2011

Maker Faire-NC 2010-10

What are you doing on Saturday between 10am and 5pm? If you said going to MakerFaire:NC then give yourself a gold star! Anyone within driving distance of the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh should definitely come out and see what our local makers, crafters, inventers, and dabblers have to show off. I’m excited to meet people who can teach me some techniques for future blog projects. I even got business cards for the occasion.

I hope to see you there!

Photo by Jon Danforth on Flickr




Project 23: Stalled

June 16, 2011

Scrap bin

I took this photo of the wood scraps bin at TechShop Tuesday night. It was supposed to accompany an inspiring post about using scraps for your woodworking projects.

Last night I took this photo:

Gimpy hand

That’s my hand. I’m taking a few days off from projects to let my poor torn ligament heal (good news: it’s not broken). I’ll return next week to finish project 23 and start project 24, whatever that will be. Hint: it’s probably not knitting.



Project 23: Wrapping my brain around it

June 14, 2011

This is one of those days when a small difficulty in the project is making me avoid it while I think. My frame doesn’t have a nice flat spot on the back for attaching any boards. I’m imagining a solution that includes glue and maybe driving a couple of small nails through my beautiful faux silver leaf, but until I get the materials together and put my hands on it I won’t know. I’ll work on that tonight.