source: Maureen Didde
I am currently participating in a free, online class called Tangible Things. It is given by Harvard University and it is about seeing and understanding the objects around you.
We did a exercise today that I would like to share with you. The exercise consists of stretching your mind by looking at an object in your home in as many ways as possible.
For instance, a telephone is a form of communication, but it’s also an artifact of modern design, a scientific invention, a retail commodity, a method of relaxation, etc.
To do the exercise yourself, follow these instructions:
1. Watch the video called This Is Not a Chair located on Youtube.
2. Complete the template This is not a _________; it is a __________.
3. Photograph the object, if desired.
Here is my finished exercise
This in not a plate. It is a decorative object. It was purchased for the pleasure it brings to the eye.
This is not a plate. It is a method of eating. It allows the user a simple way of enjoying food away from the immediate area of the stove.
This is not a plate. It is a part of a cooking technique. Food is placed on the plate and then heated in a microwave oven.
This is not a plate. It is small bit of American culture. Corelle became popular about 35 years ago and is still sold today.
This is not a plate. It is an example of modern science. This plate is made from Vitrelle, a substance first invented in a lab.
If you decide to do the exercise, please send me your results. I would love to read them.
source: Margarida Sardo
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my style of crafting. I’ve recounted every project I’ve done over the last couple of years, and I’ve come to a realization….I’m a utility crafter.
What is a utility crafter?
It’s a crafter who crafts useful projects only. I don’t make decorative eyeglass cases, pretty little toe rings or lovely lingerie bags. Those projects are charming, but their not for me.
What I do make are fitted sheets, skirts, replacement board game boxes, greeting cards, gifts of food, and mini-notebooks. All things that are cheaper to make myself or can’t be easily located.
The only exception is scrapbooking. Scrapbooks don’t save me money and they aren’t really useful.
I’d love to expand my crafting horizons and make a couple of things just for the creative fun of it. Unfortunately, I never have time. Instead I’m busy crafting gift tags, making free, printable board games and sewing storage bags. Oh, well.
What is your crafting style? Please send me a comment and I’ll be happy to publish it.
Read More: Good Reads or Home
When I stumble upon a blog I really enjoy, one of the things I always do is check out what THEY read. I figure, if I enjoy their blog, we must share the same interests. And, being a blogger, they must really know who the “stars” of the blogging community are.
Here is my list of current favorites. They may not be the blogs I love in a month from now, but as of now, these are the blogs I read every day. Hope you enjoy!
- Crafty Pod – Why? Wonderful podcasts on a wide variety of crafty topics.
- How About Orange – Why? Super classy blog with lots of very doable projects and great resources.
- MeggieCat – Why? Links to tons of very unusual resources. (Has not been updating recently)
- Cathy of California - Why? I love all the photos she puts up of vintage crafts.
- Small Notebook – Why? This blog always has new takes on old homemaking problems.
- Home Living – Why? This is the blog of the famous Lady Lydia of Ladies Against Feminism
- The Simple Dollar - Why? Because he doesn’t just recycle the usual trite money saving suggestions. He actually thinks things through before writing about them.
- Yehuda – Why? Lots of good information on games and gaming in Israel.
- Print And Play Podcast Blog - Why? Reviews of print and play games. (Only updates a few times a month)
- 101 Cookbooks - Why? Gourmet vegetarian recipes with gorgeous pictures.
- ProBlogger - Why? Darren is the cream of online blogging resources.
Read More: Good Reads or Home
Ever since I left the US four years ago, I’ve been telling my old friends how beautiful my new home is. I just got a new camera two weeks ago, so I decided it’s finally time to prove it. Here is the view from my balcony at dusk and then, sunset.
How many of you can guess, just from the architecture, which country I now live in? (Looking for clues in previous posts is cheating!)
If the architecture isn’t enough of a clue, here are three more:
1. My current country is in Asia, but near the African border.
2. My current country is the most religiously significant country in the world.
3. My current country is constantly in the US news.
Please send me an email with your answers.
Read More: Photography or Home
When my kids were teens, the only craft I did was needlepoint. Later, after my sister introduced me to scrapbooking, working with photos was my obsession. Nowadays, my craft of choice is graphic design.
I’ve enjoyed three completely different crafts over the last 10 years, two of which I rarely work on now. What has happened to all those years of knowlege and experience? Are they now worthless?
The answer is a definite NO. While it’s true I might never go back to enjoying needlepoint or scrapbooking, the remnants of my past interest show up on frequent occasions.
There may be several subtle answers to that question, like influence on style (scrapbooking) or willingness to progress slowly on a project (needlepoint). But I like a less subtle answer. More often than not, when I work on graphic designs, they are usually printable for scrapbooks or patterns for needlepoint project. Those old hobbies haven’t disappeared from my life, they just manifest themselves differently now.
Another example. When I was younger I used to eat only margarine or butter. Later, for health reasons I switched to olive oil. Now I use a mix of olive oil and yogurt as a fat on potatoes, pasta, rice and vegetables. It’s delicious, but I would never have started this new practice, if I didn’t already have a love of creamy (from the butter) and olive oil (from my low-fat days).
Here are my questions to you:
How have your interests changed over the years? And, how have you current interests been improved by the remnants of your past?
To merge your new interests with your old, consider the following questions…
…Can you use the skills learned from a previous hobby in a new endeavor? A lover of sewing and cross stitching can combine previously mastered skills to create handsewn baby outfits with cross stitched collars.
…Can you use the subject matter from an old interest as the motif for a new? A sewing and golfing enthusiast can use golf themed fabric to make sofa pillows and awning for a porch swing.
…Can you combine two or more interests to make a third completely new interest? A hardcore fabric dyer and rubber stamper can experiment with using fabric dyes to stamp on cotton.
I’d love to hear your answers to these questions. Please write a comment to let me know what new and exciting projects you came up with!
Read More : Good Reads or Home
Each morning I check the hundreds of sites on my Google Reader, looking for new and innovative posts to use for Craft Stew.
What do I love to find on my feed?
These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things….
Quirky craft projects
Tutorials that help me to design my own project
Link Compilation Posts
Clothes Patterns that can be adjusted for all sizes
Instructions for creating my own tools
Design ideas with clean, fresh lines
DIY’s that teach me completely new skills
Delicious recipes with gorgeous photos
Tutorials that make something fabulous from throwaways
Completely new concepts in crafting
Think pieces that really have something important to say
Fabulous book reviews featuring tons of photos
Extremely Practical Posts
Posts that teach skills that can be applied again and again
Projects that can be personalized to my needs
Articles that save me money
Quick and easy crafts that look like they were hard to do
Very, very scary projects
Read More : Good Reads or Home
I look at a LOT of blogs each day in order to find posts for Craft Stew. As a result, I feel I have a good sense of what’s newest and brightest and what’s yesterday’s news. Here’s my list of What’s Hot And What’s Not….
What’s Hot: Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting and Embroidery
What’s Not: Decorative painting, retail craft kits and collage
What’s Hot: Vintage style crafts
What’s Not: Traditional style crafts
What’s Hot: Unique, hand carved or small run rubber stamps
What’s Not: Mass produced rubber stamps
What’s Hot: Free sewing patterns
What’s Not: Overpriced commercial patterns
What’s Hot: Elaborate cupcakes, paper holders and toppers
What’s Not: Elaborate chocolates from purchased plastic molds
What’s Hot: A few fresh blossoms arranged in a simple container
What’s Not: Overblown floral arrangements
What’s Hot: Recycled Projects
What’s Not: Projects utilizing expensive store-bought craft supplies
What’s Hot: Projects with simple, yet clever design
What’s Not: Projects using embellishments to disguise poor design
What’s Hot: Unique jewelry made from found or crafted components
What’s Not: Jewelry created by stringing together craft store beads
What’s Hot: Sewing stuffies and crocheting amigurumi toys
What’s Not: Sewing dolls and crocheting baby blankets
What’s Hot: Paper crafts as home decor
What’s Not: Paper crafts for scrapbooking
What’s Hot: Finding supplies in dollar stores and thrift shops
What’s Not: Purchasing supplies from craft stores
What’s Hot: Woodworking with used or alternative materials
What’s Not: Woodworking with new and expensive sheets of wood
What’s Hot: Projects that build on pre-written tutorials
What’s Not: Projects that are duplicates of pre-written tutorials
What’s Hot: Collaboration with other crafters; sharing resources
What’s Not: Witholding information, techniques and processes
What was out, but now is back:
I’m sure this list will offend plenty of loyal readers. If you disagree, please let me know. I’m always open to other opinions.
Read More: Good Reads or Home