Monday, July 21, 2008

Stationery

Working at a paper store, just like working at any other store, has its pros and cons. For the creative person, it's fabulous - great ideas, great products, and a discount! Of course this means that you end up buying more stuff than you really need at any given time. Take me, for instance.

I think personalized stationery is a fabulous idea. It's, well, personal. Of course, to get the real thing is prohibitively expensive for most of us, and who really writes that many letters or notes anymore anyway?

Monogram

Perhaps we should write more. It would get us out from the pale glow of our computer screens and bring back some of that fine motor control we've adapted to pushing virtual iPhone buttons. But I digress. Regardless of how much we really do use it, I found out that personalized stationery is not all that hard to get, and lots of the materials you use to make it can be reused for the next time (you know, after you write a bunch of letters).

Ingredients:
8.5x11 paper
A2 envelopes
Fancy Italian paper for linings, one sheet
Envelope liner template
Stamp
Ink
Double-sided tape
One evening of perfectionism

Stationery

After cutting all the paper in half with an x-acto and straight edge, I stamped each sheet in the upper corner. I suppose that really, one ought only to stamp half the sheets so that when you write a two-paged letter, only the first sheet has a monogram, but who cares! (Of course, this opens the door to more and more rubber stamping, a danger in its own right). Then each sheet folds in half to fit nicely inside an A2 envelope.

That's the paper, which is easy. The envelopes are easy, too. From the sheet of fancy paper (your choice) carefully trace and cut ten linings. Insert them into the envelopes and tape the point down with double-sided tape. Repeat!

Lined Envelopes

And let's have a little close-up. This Italian paper is gorgeous, not to mention sparkly.

Lining

And don't worry, I'm still knitting, and papercrafts haven't taken over my life. They've just been added in. And it helps to have something to show you when I can't show you my secret purple knitting! But now with my fancypants personalized stationery, I can pretend that I, too, have what it takes to be all high society. Or maybe I'll just write fun letters. Who cares! Pen pals, anybody?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Garage Sale Haul

What was supposed to be a quick trip to the drugstore this morning turned into a much longer trip with several detours. The best detour was a garage sale.

Garage sale haul

8 books, 2 nearly brand new pair of shoes (to fit my crazy sized feet), and 2 star cookie cutters. $15. What a deal! And even my haul at the drugstore was cheap. Most excellent.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Naaaaa....

Na na na na na na naaa....

Katamari

Yes, it's a real Katamari! I don't have any photos of stuff sticking to it, but with its magnets you can roll it through the junk drawer and pick up all kinds of stuff. And, you know, rebuild the universe.

I realized I never wrote about this, even though it was a Christmas gift. Sadly this is a dangerous object in our home - all those strong magnets are dangerous for our various electronics. So it sits in the windowsill, generally being awesome, but kind of lonely.

I made mine from Amy Shimel's Magnetic Katamari Pattern, with scraps of acrylic from my mom. And lots and lots of strong magnets and more stuffing than you think would fit into such a small ball. This is usually about as much crocheting as I can stand, so it was a good small project.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Friday!

This week has brought some lovely things from the garden.

Sweet peas...

Sweet Pea

A lovely apricot daylily...

Daylily

And what's this? Yarn? Yarn in the garden?

Schaefer Judith

Yes, you guessed it, it's secret stealth knitting time. I received some lovely Schaefer Yarns Judith in an incredible purple (called Betty Friedan). Impossible to photograph, even with a contrast color in the full sun, but still gorgeous. It's a lovely 100% alpaca that looks like it's going to be a joy to work with. I can't tell you much more until the pattern is published, so, until next time, happy knitting. (Don't worry, I won't totally disappear!)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The new Clapotis

It's done!

I'm amazed I've finished something else. Maybe I'm getting some knitting mojo back. Here, modelled by my lovely lamp, is the new Clapotis.

Trekking Clapotis

The stats:
Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Trekking XXL, color 105
Needles: #4
Modifications: Less width, more length, a looser gauge for a scarf/wrap that's more suited to the spring and fall (and probably the not-so-intense winter) here!

I love this, I love the way the colors gently blend and don't repeat. It blocked up nicely and I think I'm going to be much happier with this one than my old one. Not that I really enjoy retiring old knits, but there is always room for new ones.

Trekking Clapotis

Especially when they're as delightful as this.

What's next? I'm still telling myself I need to finish the bedjacket, but I've also got another top-secret sample knitting gig coming down the pipe, so you may not see much knitting from me for a while. All in all I'm already doing better on my summer goals than I did on my spring ones, so that is a bonus.