Pack Rat wants you to tell us what you need and we’ll take heed and lead you in the right direction for perfection. See what we’re saying? We’re not playin’, so stop delayin’ and make us your natural selection.
It’s that great time of year again, East Coast boys and girls. The Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair‘s getting ready to punch you in the face with it’s cool-factor, so brace yourself. Running through the whole weekend–from June 6 & 7 and free and open to the public, they make it almost impossible to say no. But why are you trying to resist the siren song of indie craft anyway? Just give it up already! And, once you’ve given in to your need to see unusual, exotic, handmade goo-gaws, keep on the look out for our friends at Meow Meow Tweet. They’re fragrant handmade soaps will have you purring in no time.
If you’re a crafty crafterson, you probably have some fond memories of Home Ec. Unless you’re like me and had a super uptight Home Ec teacher who was all over your case about your home made pasta noodles. Anyway, time has healed some wounds, and I wish I could go back and do it all over again, this time paying attention to all the skills I missed out on. But, since I can’t, I guess it’ll just pay some visits toHome Ec 101. I’m already all over their granny square tutorial, and I have a weak spot for stain and spot removal tricks, of which there are many. So give yourself a refresher. And who knows, you might learn something new too!
Hiya party people. Let’s get down to brass tacks. If you are just starting to sew, I suggest you check out this helpful tutorial from the Family Homestead, writen by Crystal out of Washington. She shares a quick and easy method for gathering fabric, one of those tasks that seem daunting to the novice (a.k.a. me). This guide will be a time, and frustration saver.
So, maybe some of you or most of you are aware of this thing called The Sweater Curse. I had not heard of it until I came across it in Wikipedia and then had a good giggle at the fact that this thing had its own entry. Urban Legend has it that The Sweater Curse, (some times known as The Curse of the Love Sweater) strikes when some well meaning knitter makes a sweater for her/his significant other. Apparently, this is the kiss of death because in no time, that girlfriend/boyfriend is headed for the hills. The wikipedia entry on this phenomenon is hilarious and I highly advise everyone read it. My favorite part is when it analytically breaks down potential variables that may cause The Curse of the Sweater to be effective. Such as:
Rescue mission. The knitter senses subconsciously that the relationship is about to end, and knits a sweater as a dramatic gesture to save it.
Catalyst for analyzing the relationship. Giving or receiving a significant gift such as a sweater may cause either the giver or receiver to evaluate the relationship.For example, the gift may seem too intimate, too domestic or too binding to the significant other. It can be seen as a signal that makes them realize that the relationship is not reciprocal, prompting them to end the relationship before it involves obligations.
Now, that I’ve got those Simpsons references out of my system. I, as I’m sure you are all aware by now, am not a knitter. But I love it. Think about it. Tie a knot, make a loop and its one thing. Tie hundreds of knots, make thousands of loops, and if you do it in the correct pattern, a hat, or glove, or shawl begins to appear. Or, in the case of this free pattern I found through The Daily Knitter, a super cute sweater vest. Now like I said, I’m not a knitter myself, but The Daily Knitter appears to be a pretty good resource, with links to tons of free patterns, a large yarn directory, reviews on knitting books and guides and more. If you click needles together, let me know what you think of it. I’d be curious to see how this holds up under some serious knitter’s scrutiny.
Okay, so I know I’ve been awol recently and I’m sure you’ve all be struggling to find the will to live without my sage words of advice (JK) but I’m back and the reason for my prolonged absence and subsequent return is that I’ve been working diligently on producing for you all (or y’all where appropriate) issue numero quatro of Pack Rat. This issue we help the Earth in the spirit of Earth Day by doing what we do best: recycled crafts and lots of them. We also talk with jewelry designer Becky Houle, a.k.a. The Vicious Kitty, look into what this whole letterbox craze is all about and, with the help of Cat Morley from Cut Out + Keep make our own letterbox stampers, hit the thrifts for some inexpensive crafting supplies, and just about a zillion things more. Head over to www.packratmag.com/zine to get in on the action. I missed you all and I’m glad to be back. Happy crafting!
Came across wikiHow the other day and at first was really excited. This wiki claims to have 32,888 how-to articles in about a bazillion different subjects. When I first thought about it, I said to myself how great an idea– to have a wiki for how-to projects. It makes sense that it would be helpful, right? Since everyone has their niche area of expertise, then if we all contribute what we know to a collective wiki then the amount of useful information should be endless, right? Well, you be the judge. My first five “random articles” that I hit on were How-To:
* Survive in the woods
* Do a Step Ball Change Leap
* Make Nacho Snacks
* Seduce Someone with Only Your Eyes
* Understand Philosophical Determinism
I also came across articles that I couldn’t find any conceivable reason for their existence. For example: How To Choose a Book. And there was a sad amount of “How To Act Like (insert anime character’s name).” There were also some things that bordered on totally immoral. Things like “How To Act Sober (Around Parents and Teachers)” and “How To Deal with a Married Boyfriend.” Most articles don’t include pictures (or at least, helpful ones) so your left with only the writing to follow and it is TERRIBLE as most people don’t have the first clue on how to write step by step instructions.
There were a few neat crafting articles, which is why I even bothered to bring it up here. Someone posted tutorials on how to make bottle cap earrings and a corderoy pants purse, both pretty cool with good instructions and step-by-step pictures. And there seem to be quite a few helpful guides on how to do certain tech things, like use photoshop applications and what not. But I guess in the end, the utopian dream of people sharing their knowledge is stunted by the fact that most people are intersted in pretty useless shit (myself included).
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.
Okay, this blog I lifted word for word from the Museum of Civilization, Canada website. They have a fabulous article about the Indian street art called rangoli, along with a tutorial on how to do it yourself. Just visit www.civilization.ca
“In India, art is an important part of daily life. One of the most common ways in which people in India include art in their lives is by drawing rangoli, which are also known by other names like aripona, alpona and kolam.
In villages across India, women draw these designs each morning on their doorsteps, in the courtyards of their homes, or in temples. Using rice powder or crushed limestone, they start with a grid of small dots, then fill in the design with a series of lines. Rangoli not only add a touch of art and beauty to the home or temple, they also protect the family or holy place.
The designs are handed down from mother to daughter. Some of these designs are very old, dating back hundreds and hundreds of years. Flower and animal motifs are sometimes included in the designs, but geometric lines are the heart of rangoli designs. There are also many different styles of drawing, varying from region to region across the country.”
Okay, this one is technically neither a craft nor a money saver, but I did think some of you guys could use it as much as I am going to, so I’m passing it along. Check out this weird video I found of “How To Fold a Shirt.” Now our drawers will be neat and tidy, right? Right?