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[sticky post] OMG crafting!

May I point out to ya'll our tags section, memories and pinterest.

Happy crafting!

Grandma was a wartime spy ;-)

Fascinating article on the role of steganography - encoding secret messages - into knit objects during war time.



World Wide Knit in Public Day

Apparently yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public Day along with National Best Friends Day, National Rose (Wine) Day, National Upsy Daisy Day and National Name Your Poison Day. Who knew?

Did you knit in public at an official event or is every day Knit in Public Day for you?


Simple Card Designs

Hi friends, just some simple cardmaking designs I came up with for my friend's craft club. She's working more and we're thinking it might be best to send people home with kits. It's really hard to come up with simple ideas, especially since not everyone has a giant craft stash at home :D

Simple Card designs

TBT! Handmade Nation

Here's another gem from my art history craft. We spent the final lecture class on handmade and indie craft and it was a total time capsule. I go to a lot of handmade sales as a shopper or a seller and noticed that the vibe of the shows has changed and I couldn't figure out why. That's because the "urban hipster aesthetic" has grown up some and the styles that were kind of out there and grungy are now mainstream. The markets have gotten slicker and less DIY seeming...and if other markets are like our original hipster market, the table prices have gone up up up. It used to be $160 for a table ten years ago, now it's over $300!

Anyway, my instructor highlighted a couple of problematic things with the video. One is that the guerilla knitting group Knitta Please which appropriated urban culture. The young folk in my class thought the group was trying too hard to be edgy with the name. Another is the artist that makes latch hook rugs out of pornographic pictures. The problem there is not so much the nudity, but there's something cringy about making a product featuring women's bodies that gets walked all over. As my instructor noted, sometimes there was a lack of criticality in the projects. Some of the artists featured are still quite active in the crafty scene. It's fascinating to go back in time.

There is a companion book of the same name. The documentary come out in 2009 - this clip is from 2007.


I didn't know what else to title this post. If you scrap and stamp a lot, you have probably seen thin metal dies for die cutting with die cutting machines like the Big Shot. Apparently the maker of Sizzix has a lawsuit going on against five companies regarding the designs of the dies. If you buy dies that have matching stamp sets, you might notice a difference down the road in the way the dies look.


'Dragon's den' plaque.
Woodburning pen and watercolor paint on a blank wooden plaque.

Spring Crafts

Have you made some? Are you in the process of making some?

What's trendy these days?

I'm so craft deprived! I took one class a semester this past year at art college and both did not involve making anything! I'm madly prepping for the comic expo at the end of the month, so I'm looking forward getting back in the swing of things.

Throwback Thursday! Afghan War Rugs

Hi friends, I'm going to be posting some stuff from my art blog (purpleponyart). I just wrapped up a four month history of decorative arts and crafts course and it was SO fascinating. We covered ceramics, textiles, design, architecture, glass, furniture...you could easily get a PhD and spend a lifetime studying it. TBT to February when we went on a field trip to the Nickle Gallery at the University of Calgary.

The Nickle Gallery has a huge Islamic rug collection that was donated to the gallery by a collector. You can browse the collection online. The bonus of going on a tour is that we were actually allowed to touch the rugs. This is a huge deal for textiles people who tend to be very tactile.

First we looked at a handmade red and black rug that had a high pile and was made entirely from wool. Rugs are everything in Afghan culture - a symbol of status and the product of a culture based on wool bearing animals. The rug was ornate in a simple way - it was made of symbols that could be easily memorized by a weaver.

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the content of the rugs changed from non-representational symbols to well rendered motifs and scenes. A cartoon, or background drawing, would have had to be used due to the complexity of images. The newer rugs seemed like souvenirs. The amount of time and skill that went into these rugs is amazing. You would swear they were machine made, but they are not. It's good to know that there's still a place for handmade objects in this world :-)

War rugs

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