Tag Archives: New Mexico

Fail Boat Redemption

8 Nov

I’m not a giver-upper, so I tried again to recreate the really cool project idea I discovered in New Mexico.  This time I made a bowl out of wool & mohair, which I then felted.

felted bowl, before stiffening

Felting is a fancy word for “the thing that happens when you put wool in the washing machine” – yes, that’s right.  Shrinking.  I’m not usually a fan of felting, but I wanted to give it a whirl.  I washed this bad boy in hot water (in the washing machine) a few times, then dried it in the drier.  I forgot to take a picture of what it looked like before the felting.  It looked like a bowl, only floppy, okay?  Okay.  Next step: stiffening.

We all remember what happened last time I tried to stiffen something, so this time I consulted the interwebs and made my own stiffening mixture, which included corn starch, water, and sugar.

like gravy, only sweeter!

I dunked my bowl in the mixture and set it out to dry on a bowl form, just as the interwebs instructed me to do.

what's that in the background? sprouts AND a plarn scrubbie? gosh, isn't THAT a coincidence?

It did not work at all.

Plan B: I painted on some store bought stiffening goop leftover from the Fail Boat Project and ended up with this:

Not too shabby!  I’m still not convinced that felting or stiffening are *good* ideas, but in this case, at least they didn’t suck.  })i({


Free Pattern Friday: Fail.

22 Oct

During my fantabulous Chibication in New Mexico, I convinced my darling Chibi to take me to a Hobby Lobby.  I really wanted there to be model trains and die-cast miniatures inside, but instead I found these:


a cool thing in New Mexico? Really?
Wait, what? TWO cool things in New Mexico? …weird…

My first thought (other than, OMG, why are those two pictures such different sizes?) was, I can totally make those!  Hooray! They look easy enough, right?  Wrong.  Blarg.  The official pattern for my attempt is this:

1: make a rectangle of double crochets 6×30 stitches.

2: sc in the…er… round around the rectangle 5 times and FO.

3: give up now.  this is the best it’s ever going to look.

SO, the important part of this project is the stiffening.  I was too lazy to make my own stiffening mixture, so I ended up with a bottle of generic store-bought stiffener, which instructed me to paint it on the item I wanted to stiffen.  Well, that part went okay, I guess.  I used a foam paint brush, and if you look closely you can see that the foam pulled up tiny strands of yarn along the way, giving the whole tray a rather matted, wet dog sort of look.  Awesome.

It kind of looks like a fail boat, no?

Next I was to shape my little black tray along a form (which I had even planned for, as my pattern makes a tray exactly the same size as the long end of a Cheerios box) and let it dry.  Okay.  Here’s what.  When the directions tell you to put a layer of waxed paper down over your cereal box to prevent sticking, DO NOT feel guilty about using a disposable product.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.  Unless, that is, you want to spend some quality time picking tiny bits of cardboard off the bottom of your tray (You’d think I would have learned this particular lesson after the rag rug incident.  *sigh*).  I even tried the old color-it-in-with-Sharpie-when-no-one’s-looking trick.  Still a Fail.  For some reason, cereal box cardboard gets shiny when you Sharpie it.  You can’t see it in the picture, but there are actually several spots of tiny, shiny Cheerio box sticking to the bottom of my tray.

It doesn't look so bad once you fill it up with something, I guess...

But, since I was determined to salvage this little tray (read: my dignity), I couldn’t just throw it away!  I ended up stashing it in the back of a utensils drawer to collect bottle caps (which I’m saving for another project, of course).  So there you go.  I never said it was going to be a *good* free pattern, did I?  })i({

New Mexico is filled with Crazy!

18 Oct

Hi, friends!  Sorry about the missing blog posts these past few days… apparently recovering from a Chibication is rather dramatic.  ANYWHO.

After a two week stint visiting my sister, I’ve decided that New Mexico is filled with Crazy, and here’s why:

1. They sell these in their stores.  (Oh yeah, that’s blown glass fowl.  I’ll give you a dollar if you display this in your home.)


blown glass Crazy

2. They think this is good advertising:


creepy & crazy at the Harley store (and no, it wasn’t a Halloween decoration)

3. I had to convince Chibi that we should not let this little guy hang out on her back porch:


crazy, possibly lethal spidery friend

4. They think passive voice makes for effective signage:


your butt would have been kicked by me if I'd have been there when you ordered this sign. Crazy AND Gross.

(IMPORTANT NOTE:  I’m not a Baptist hater… There’s no wrong way to get to God.  Just please, PLEASE get someone to proofread your sign before you post it in front of your church!)

And finally, they sell angora bamboo yarn for two bucks a skein!


Holy Good Deal, Batman!


And that’s why, friends, I’m glad to be back in sane (see what I did there?) Washington, DC, where a gallon of milk costs six dollars, it takes an hour to drive two miles, and your rent is twice that of your New Mexican neighbor’s mortgage.   Ahhh, welcome home, me!  })i({