Pack Rat has seen birds do it, bees do it, and even educated fleas do it. So let’s do it, let’s fall in love!
Yeah! another fun recycle craft (our favorite kind) coming at you. This one is courtsey of Elsie Marley. What to do with those large tin cans of soup/Juicy Juice/etc.? Why not turn them into handy around the home organizers? Just whip up a couple of minimalistic cozies with the tutorial that Marley provides. And she offers an assortment of embroidery patterns for both kitchen and art studio designs. You’ll clear your counters and workspace in no time!
You know we love all things graffiti here at Pack Rat. Public works of anonymous art? That’s right up our ally. Blogger Carina from Feeling Stitchy is branching out into the semi-nafarious realm of graffiti art by taking her embroidered messages out to the public. Not quite comfortable with the idea of leaving behind something permanent (and thereby potentially offensive) Carina “tags”with embroidery stitched on to removable, sticky sheets of paper. She seems to berate herself a bit for not having the courage to do something more permanent, but we here at Pack Rat believe that random acts of creativity are courageous enough in themselves. Stitch on, sister!
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find Pack Rat, time after time.
Here’s one for the mamas and the papas out there. Actually, this is for anyone who loves cross stitch. Tiny Modernist is an adorable baby apparel shop that sells onsies adorned with Eames and Eero Saarinen chairs. It’s enough to make this single girl want children. But whether or not you have little ones, you can appreciate the four pattern cross stitch package, which provides the patterns for four different types of modernist chairs. $12 will get you a pdf of the whole lot, or purchase them individually for $4 each. That’s divine design to me.
Story time. Gather round kiddies, pull up your sit-upons. Once upon a time I was a teenager. And because the rules of teenagerdom say, nay, decree that you will think you are a) way cooler than anyone who has ever existed and b) the most boring person to ever shlump around the Earth’s surface, I went WAY out of my way to separate myself from “the pack.” This included such outside-of-the-box thinking as: wearing blue lipstick; sporting socks on my arms (a la Tank Girl); strolling around in Cat In the Hat stripped tights; etc. Me and my Hot Topic wardrobe were beyond the status quo. And of course, like every person looking to rebel, I was all about dying my hair. I bought a lot of Manic Panic in those days, but was constantly disappointed when after a week’s worth of showers my Technicolor green hair would fade to a sickly green wash, the kind that kids who spent too much time in cholrinated pools had. But lo, some helpful person turned me on to using Kool-Aid as a dye. Oh the joy! The rapture! The color was intense and the effects permanent. Plus, it was a million times cheaper then the real dyes.
To use Kool-Aid as a hair dye required a microwave, a packet of said summertime fun beverage, and a microwave safe dish that you didn’t mind staining some ridiculous colors. You dumped the full packet of Kool-Aid (the various red flavors worked best) into the microwave safe dish, added about a cup of water, and nuked it for about two minutes, or until the liquid began to boil. Then you dipped your hair in while the whole thing was still hot and voila, you were part of the resistance movement. The sucky part was trying to get it all the way up to your roots. You didn’t want to burn your scalp, but you didn’t want your streak of fire-red hair to only go half way up. I scalded my fingers many a time, trying to figure that one out. I still don’t have any good answers.
Now that I am a million years older, I some times miss those dyed streaks of hair (and hair wraps. Remember hair wraps?), thus I was totally stoked when I came across this tutorial from Snowangels on how to use essentially the same technique to color yarn. She uses both the microwave (for single color skeins) and the stove top (for a tie-dyed look) to create vibrant pallets for all her knitting, crocheting, needle point, etc. needs. Just looking at the photos takes me back. And then I remember that being a teenager was as much fun as getting kicked in the crotch. I am glad that now I can get jazzed up about dying yarn instead of all that other crap. You know what else sucked? Cafeteria pizza. I’m just saying.
Hi kids! the Feb/March Issue is finally out and rarin’ to go. Click on the pdf link below! And remember, if you think you could do better, you’re welcome to show us what you’ve got. Submission deadlines for next issue will be March 20th. Happy reading.
An offshoot of a store named Purl, The Purl Bee is a lovely little web 2.0 community of people discussing knitting, crocheting, embroidery and all other facets of crafting. Their online journal is full of useful tutorials about the nuts and bolts of these traditional crafts, and some non-traditional ideas on how to use them. They also link to a bunch of other helpful sites and have an online shop to compliment their physical, real world one. And these lovely ladies are based in the Big Apple, which means that they combine old school values like attention to detail with some sleek, sophisticated aesthetic. Check it out below.
Me personally, my “embroidery” is a bastardized, fly by the seat of my pants version of the real thing. But, if you are an old pro at needle work and are looking for something a little different, why not try your hand at traditional Indian embroidery? Here’s some pictures to help inspire you.