A while back I posted this tutorial for how to make a paper toy car. Since my kids have been playing with paper dolls so much I thought it probably wasn’t just our family who was into the fad. So, here’s a repost from the way back machine. It’s funny to listen to, I can tell I have a really bad cold! Ha!
Anyways, please enjoy! And if you make some dolls, I’d love to see them in action in the Flickr Pool. Linky over there ——–>
If you like blogging, cooking, or both, you have to see the movie Julie & Julia. It’s about a woman named Julie who cooks & blogs her way through a Julia Child’s cookbook in one year. Alongside Julie’s cooking journey, there are flashes back to Julia Child’s life as she learned how to cook & got her cookbook published.
I really connected with Julie as a blogger. She continued writing even when her mom was her only reader. Julie persevered &…well I won’t spoil the ending for you. But I wonder where my perseverance will lead me as I blog, teach, and build relationships with other creative people. I also enjoyed watching Julie & Julia’s processes to getting published, especially because I have a couple book ideas in my head. It rejuvenated my book writing muse. I felt camaraderie with the characters. I relate to their highs & lows in creative pursuits and figuring out what what we can contribute to this world. And just how Julie imagined Julia Child in the kitchen with her cheering her on, this movie cheered me on.
Last night I watched The Botany of Desire, a documentary based on the book by Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food & The Omnivore’s Dilemma). The video travels through the histories of apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes, considering how they metaphorically “manipulate” human desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. The basic idea shows how humans are interwoven into nature, not standing outside it.
Based on the book’s title, I wrongly suspected the documentary might be heavy on the philosophical side. Instead it’s mostly story–interesting historical story–plus science. They tell the origin locations of each plant and how the plants have evolved over the years due to human desires. (For example, we like sweet apples & choose to graft more of them.) They also show the effects of our interaction with these plants. (For example, not diversifying lessens the plants’ ability to defend against pests, increasing the need for pesticides or perhaps genetic modification).
Anyways, the video is very interesting and I recommend it for anyone fascinated with interactions of plants & people, gardening, and even cooking. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. If you have Netflix, it’s one you can watch instantly.
I’m still waiting on my swim fabric to arrive in the mail. I am running out of time to finish this project before I leave for the Outer Banks. In the meantime I have been watching videos on Youtube to give me a heads up for what to expect when I get to this daunting task.
This video was very helpful, and is most likely what most home sewers would use to sew in the elastic casing. I have a serger, so I am planning to use it to attach the elastic with nylon thread (it has a bit of stretch) and then when I roll it over I will finish it with a zig zag stitch on the outside. I’ve looked online, but I can’t find a video of the serger/elastic method. If I have any time at all before I go out of town I will make one. This is not a promise, I am running out of time and will probably end up buying a swimsuit I don’t like from Target at this point.
If you care about good design in what you create and what you purchase, you must see the film Objectified. It’s part of the design trilogy that began with Helvetica, and is specifically about manufactured items and the processes of making good design decisions. It teaches us to think about the objects we use each day. Why do we use them? Do they add value to our lives? What were the designers thinking when they created them? Do they care only about money or will they think long & hard about the users’ needs? And, are they thinking sustainably?
No only does this film push me think critically about the design, value, and sustainability of what I buy, but also about the items I create. I don’t want my life cluttered with wasteful junk and short-lived objects destined for the landfills. I think it’s great to spend our time, money, and resources on things that are of greatest value.
My favorite thing about new babies is that they can’t protest when I dress them up as silly things for Halloween. My older girls have opinions now and I can only do so much to sway them, but not Cressida. Cressida can’t tell me that she doesn’t want to be Mr. H Horrible Hair because he’s a boy and she’s a girl. Or that she thinks the green crochet eye-lash yarn hat is a bit too much. Or that Mr. H isn’t magical and all costumes should be of magical things.
For those of you not born in the late 70s/early 80s, this is Mr. H Horrible Hair. The Letter People are a new hit in our house, so even though Olivia and Elise don’t want to be him, they sure are glad that Cressida is going to be.
This really super blogger and mom, xoelle, made a stop motion video for the HP You on You contest and she is in the semi-finals. I have been reading her for a few months and oogle-ing her crafts and I wanted to share this with you.
She handmade all the miniprops and the dress for the movie and narrates her story herself. I am truly impressed and wish her the best. Head over to the YouTube page and give her a thumbs up if you love it. I really hope she wins!
I just watched the documentary Garbage Warrior from Netflix. I was expecting to learn about a modern trash collector, but it’s actually about an architect, Michael Reynolds, who’s frustrated with the status quo of how we build homes. His buildings are sustainable, but beyond that he uses typical trash items in construction…items such as tires, beer cans, and wine bottles. Plus he integrates energy & water systems that require little or no utility bills. The problem is, he has to fight legal battles for permission to build these experimental homes. My favorite part is how Reynolds & his team go to tsunami & hurricane devastated areas to help with rebuilding. Overall, it encouraged me to continue looking for smart ways to reuse things and also, it taught me more about building homes smartly so they don’t require outside energy use.
I bought the Reconstruct DVD by Jeanee Leadoux with host Garth Johnson. They teach 11 step-by-step home decor projects, all from recycled materials or things you already have around the house. My favorite projects are the Stenciled Pillow (I learned how to use freezer paper in your printer), the Book Shelf (made with an actual book), and the Starry Blender (I’m inspired to paint my appliances!) I like the uniqueness & variety of the projects. Plus the instruction is clear, and the chemistry between Jeanee & Garth is pretty fun to watch.
I often make custom earrings to match specific shirts & outfits. And after the initial purchase of my pliers & wire cutters, the actual bead & metal supplies are fairly inexpensive. I can often make a set of earrings for $1 or $2, depending on how expensive the beads are. These step-by-step instructions (in video & written/photo format) are designed to teach a beginner how to make earrings. So be brave & post a photo to our Flickr pool to share how yours turn out!