Slow Down

My arts and craftiness has slowed down as my work schedule has ramped up. Therefore, I give to you some good internets (all PlaidPaiselyandPolkadots approved) to browse:

Colossal: an art blog of really cool art-like things

The Oatmeal: an angsty online cartoonist with a fascination for violence and wild animals

Man Made: all about man-crafts

Pinterest, You are Drunk: this makes sense if you have ever been to Pinterest

Cake Wrecks: The glorious results of professional cake decorators

Handprint: More than you ever wanted to know about water color painting

ChemKnits: One of my favorite knitting bolgs
That is all for now, will be back soon with craftyness.

-Fearn

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Recycled Plastic Container Bonus

I have another little bonus project to do with leftovers from the recycled yogurt container earrings- make a bracelet!

This project will give a quick, bright, fiber art accessory without all the macrame. You can keep it simple, or you can add more colors and weaving designs.

Supplies:

  • Plastic ring from left-over container
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Beads or buttons
  • Spray Paint
  • Hole Punch
  • Double-sided tape

Method:

1. Cut a section of the plastic ring that is about half of the circumference of your wrist. Punch holes on both ends and then spray paint to cover the ends.

2. Lay double-sided tape across the front. Pick two colors of floss and attach one vertically and one horizontally on one end.

3. Hold the horizontal strands (pink) off to the side as you wrap the vertical strand (green) around the plastic. Press floss onto tape. After a bit fold the pink floss down and wrap the green floss over it- alternate until the end.

4. Leave extra pink floss at the end and braid, then finish with a loop. On the other end, thread more pink floss through the holes and tie on a button or a bead. Make sure to measure around wrist and adjust the placement of the button/bead to fit.

5. Wear and enjoy!

-Fearn

Highland Black Mocha Stout

I am doing a special, celebratory tasting in honor of sticking with a diet long enough to lose 15 lbs. Hooray me! Hooray cupcakes and beer!

To highlight the diversity of beer flavors I decided to do a dessert tasting. I have paired Highland Brewing Co.‘s Mocha Stout with Sophie P. Cakes‘ Mint Chocolate Chip cupcake.

Sophie P. Cakes is a Lafayette cupcakery, and in my opinion, one of the best I have ever been to. The cakes are always fresh, and the flavors are unique without being nauseatingly saccharine. Mint and chocolate has to be one of my favorite flavor combinations of all time, so I was over-the-moon excited when they had this little guy the day I went to get my victory cupcake. The cake was very minty and bright green with dots of small chocolate chunks. The icing was a great compliment and the whole thing sang of wonder and joy.

Highland is the largest micro brewery out of Asheville, NC, America’s home-town of beer. During my recent visit I was able to take a walking tour of the brewery and taste a large portion of their beer labels. The Black Mocha Stout was one of my favorites. It is hearty and sweet in all the ways a classic stout ought to be.

Aroma: Hoppy with sweet caramel notes and a lot of oats. Very distinct coffee aroma- this by far is the strongest sent.

Flavor: Hops in the flavor add to the bitterness quality found in coffee, a lot of coffee flavor with some of the complex characteristics of caramel. Some chocolate, but mostly coffee.

Body/Mouthfeel: creamy and smooth with thick foam

Color: Dark brown, opaque in the glass

The rich coffee flavor and sweetness paired very well with the chocolate and aromatic mint of the cupcake. The heavier body of the stout also paired well with the cake texture. A very good combination. This stout makes a great dessert beer and I would love to try it in a beer float. Also, more cupcakes.

Photos courtesy of Mr. Andre LaFleur

-Fearn

Recycle Plastic Container

Reduce * Re-Use * Recycle
One of my favorite parts about crafting and up-cycling is that it trains your brain to look at the usefulness of all objects, instead of the uselessness of treating everything like waste. It is not just about consuming trendiness and well-marketed craft supplies, but rather, a contemplative way of observing and re-imagining the objects around you. A broken chair becomes a table, an old dress becomes a fancy shirt, and in this case, left-over containers are turned into jewelery.

I also really like this project because you really get down to the geometry and design of an object that you would usually take for granted. A yogurt container. It has colors and shapes, curves, slopes, and designs.

The Supplies

  • Light-weight plastic container, I’m using a large yogurt container
  • Heavy scissors, kitchen shears
  • Small hole punch
  • Basic earring/jewelry findings
  • Small pliers (for the jewelry findings)
  • Optional paint: opaque nail polish, paint pen, spray paint

A note on the paint: I really love the look of the unaltered plastic- original design of the label is lost and you are left with the colors and you can mix the colors from different containers. I made some paint swatches to see how different types of paint would stick on the plastic if you wanted to paint them. From left to right: acrylic paint, opaque nail polish, thin nail polish, Sharpie pen, Sharpie Paint pen, Paint pen with acrylic on top, spray paint.

The ones I recommend the most are the opaque nail polish and especially the spray paint, although you should probably put a clear coat over anything you paint as to seal it in.

The Method

1. Cut the plastic container into rings. I found it easier to cut mine into 1 inch rings at first and then cut them to a smaller size. The rings will make concentric circles if you lay them on the table on top of each other. The smaller rings will have a sharper curve.

2. Decide the longest length for the earrings and cut that length from the largest ring. Cut a smaller length from the next size ring until you get to the last ring with the smallest length.

3. Cut the pieces in half lengthwise so you have two sets of each- one for each ear.

4. Use the hole punch to make a small hole in the top of each piece.

5. Paint if desired.

6. Arrange in concave series or mix it up. I like the mixed-up version the best!

7. Wear

Bonus Artsy Photo:

Happy Recycling Times!

-Fearn

Bike Re-Paint

In the spirit of all things awesome and bike-tastic I’ve decided to show off some pictures of a new paint job I put on my old cruiser last summer. At that point it was the only bike I owned. It was a kind-of-rusty old one speed bike, and after moving it from the snows of Boston to the sun of Louisiana it really needed an update.

This is a great project for an old bike and someone new to biking. It requires you take the whole bike apart and then put it back together again. Seek help from a local bike shop if you need it during any of the dissemble/assemble parts.

I used Krylon spray paint in colors and clear, sandpaper (to sand off the rust), masking tape, and time. Make sure you let everything dry between coats!

Poor little bike stuck in the snow!

What it looked like:

The new colors!

 

Hipster-gramed (because bikes need more hipster):

 

Speaking of bikes, I really love this new Michael Miller bike print in grey. Bikes!!

-Fearn