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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

creative stamping kit of the month

Have you ever wanted to purchase something very badly, yet finally have to concede that it is such poor quality that you just can't justify it?

I joined the Creative Stamping Kit of the Month club a few months back, and I love the projects, love the colors, love looking forward to getting a kit every month, but I finally realize it is not worth the hassle of crappy, poor quality stamps!!

Here is the email I sent them today:



I want so badly to love your kits, but the stamp quality is definitely lacking. My first kit, the layered flower, had two defective stamps. You sent me a replacement that was fine. The second kit, the classic cars, was okay, tho the stamps are quite thin, seem easy to rip and are a bit hard to get straight on the block.

Today I received my third kit- the acetate flowers. I adore the projects, the colors, the glitter- yet once again the stamps are defective. I stamped the large flower with the stem, only to realize that about a half inch of the outer flower petal adjacent to the stem is missing. It looks almost cut off. Now, the look is actually artistic, but it doesn’t work when you need solid outside lines to do the glitter technique!!!

While I appreciate your willingness to send replacement stamps, I think
two out of three defective sets, with the third not the highest quality
itself, is just too much.

Please send me a replacement stamp set for the acetate flower set,
cancel my membership, and please notify me if you decide to go with
a better stamp quality, because I would love to be a member of your


Sigh. I really really wanted to be a member of this club.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Olli's Turtle

Olli wanted this turtle the moment he saw it in my new crochet toys book.
The turtle lays eggs.

Here she is- two eggs haven't hatched yet!

Close up of hatchlings, on still partly in the eggshell.

Here is one of the baby turtles.

I actually used the eggs from the baby chicks I made for Gregory. The turtle had "broken" shells, which actually were just half shells. O loved the chicks that went in and out of the shells, so I knew he would prefer to have baby turtles that could be put back into the "whole" egg again.

All the eggs and turtles fit back into Mom Turtle, which is great for cleaning up!

Card Class

Here are the cards we made at this month's card class. It was a fun night, both Tuna and Marina were there to help entertain us, and the snacks Meg, Jodi and Loy brought were great.

We did all birthday cards this month. This the mower card, the inside says "And many mower!"

This set was from my monthly card kit club. The inside says "You're a classic!"
I wanted something different, so I did a center open card, using the new Aviary set from SU! Somehow even tho we stamped the silver cage first, then the bird, the bars stayed "on top". I think the silver ink took longer to dry, so it transferred to the bird stamp instead of the blue ink to the silver ink.
This was the most complicated, from the first monthly club kit. Not everyone had the patience to cut out the flowers, but those who did ended up with a beautiful card.
This is a gift card holder. I chose an ice cream theme so it could be used for anyone.
The inside. I did suggest everyone else make it turned so it opens the other way, with the gift card on the top as you open it. I just didn't think of it at the time. I had the card bases all put together before class started.
Hope you like the cards!

Have a great week,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

beard hats

Doug sent me a picture of a hat that included a beard this week, and asked if I could make him one. I made the hat out of bulky yarn, just a simple rib pattern. For the beard I crocheted with a cool fuzzy/hairy yarn I had purchased on sale from Crafts Direct. Of course Dad wanted one too when he saw Doug's! I had Dad try it on to get the beard placement right and he decided to go without the mustache, for the Amish look.

Here they are together:

Doug's Hat: Dad's hat:

The beards were pretty quick to make, and easy to add onto any hat you might have. I think these are perfect for Minnesota winters- very very warm!!
Have a good week,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

knitting vs. crocheting

A few weeks ago I read a mystery series set around a crochet club. One of the members was very vocal and adamant that crochet was much better than knitting, and got into arguments with strangers she saw knitting. Then last week I reread The Yarn Harlot, which Jodi gave me for Christmas 2005 (see why I make you sign books you give me?). The Yarn Harlot has the opposite point of view, and once was highly insulted after showing a piece of knitting she was very proud of to her neighbor, only to hear the lady say to her husband as they walked away "my, that was some fancy crochet!" She also mentioned that crochet uses three times as much yarn, but is quicker.

This made me consider- which is better? Knit or Crochet?

I learned to knit a few years back, maybe five or so. I did hats, gloves, an afghan or two, and many pairs of socks. I tried to learn crochet a few times and had no luck until maybe six months back when I finally got it. Since then, I have made scarves, a million little animals, and just finished a great baby blanket.

When I was almost finished with the blanket, I needed a tooth shaped pillow for a gift. After searching online for crochet tooth, I couldn't find any. Then I realized I could also KNIT the project, I had just done so many little animals and such crochet seemed perfect for it. After a quick knitting search, I came up with a great pattern.
The pattern called for a simple pocket on the back but I worried about treasures or teeth falling out, so I put a button flap on it.
Isn't it cute?
Here is where I got the pattern:
Anyways, doing these two projects at the same time gave me a chance to really consider the differences between crochet and knitting. The biggest I saw was that you can't lose/drop stitches in crochet. If you miss one, it doesn't really matter, you can fudge it back in later. When I was knitting the tooth, I dropped a stitch and had to go down many rows to grab it again. Also, if you do need to rip something out, it is WAY easier in crochet. You don't have to worry about grabbing the stitches underneath the ones you are ripping! You don't really have to worry about stitches falling off the needle either in crochet. I kept dropping the left needle when I was doing the tooth (too long between knitting projects!) and having to frantically try to get the stitches back.

All that being said, tho, knitting gives a much smoother finished project. I would never crochet socks, unless they were slipper socks. Also, I adore ribbing- and you only can do that with knitting, so I pry won't be crocheting any hats too soon.

I guess it is best to do both. That way you have way more projects and patterns! I remember when I first started knitting I was frustrated with the larger number of crochet books available.... tho knitting seems to be catching up now. :)
Have a great week,

Lego Update

First, here is a picture of Ethie's name frame. I had to borrow Dad's camera to get a picture, so it was delayed a few days:

Second, I did hear back from Lego today regarding the sticker. I got two emails, actually. The first was from "Steve". He said the sticker was designed for a woman with a husband or boyfriend who works in construction, to make scrapbook pages for him. I almost died laughing. Do you know any woman who would make a Lego page for her husband? Much less use that sticker??? HA! He did apologize and say that he was sending a lego.com ten dollar gift card. I will pass it on to Ethan I am sure.

However, a few emails later, there was another email saying that production was stopped for the sticker! This was great, the first email was a bit... condescending, but the second made up for it.

Power to the people!


Have a great week,


Friday, August 6, 2010

Lego- offensive? Heck yeah!

A few weeks back I purchased a package of Creative Imaginations Lego epoxy stickers to use on a name frame for Ethie's six birthday. He loves legos, especially the guys and construction stuff, so I thought it would be a great theme for his frame. Now, I did NOT look too closely at the stickers in the store, and when I sat down to make the frame I was BAFFLED by one of the stickers. And the more I thought about it, the madder and crabbier I got.

Legos are made for kids. The stickers are either going to be used BY kids or FOR kids. Right?
I don't understand why this sticker was even considered, much less made and sold.

I did end up cutting it apart and using the top in a card for Ethie. Here is the card:

Then when I realized how mad I was, I scanned in the parts and reassembled the sticker to show you:

Is there ANY reason a child would need this sticker? It is stupid and offensive.


Edited to add:

I was so crabby I sent a letter to the maker (they didn't have any email contact info online) and emailed both Crafts Direct (where I bought the stickers) and Lego this morning. I am pleased to report that Crafts Direct has already responded, agreeing with me, and they are complaining to Creative Imaginations AND pulling the rest of the stickers off the sales floor. WOW! I am so impressed with the fast response! Way to go Crafts Direct! They already were my fave craft store! The email explained that they often buy complete product lines without seeing each individual item, so they were not aware of the sticker. Yay Crafts Direct!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Creative Stamping Kit of the Month Club.

I recently joined the Creative Stamping Club after it was recommended on Splitcoast stampers, and wanted to share my observations of the kits so far.

This is a picture of the projects included in the first kit I received:

I loved the colors, loved the projects, hated the stamps. Out of the sheet of 7 or 8 stamps, TWO were defective. I did manage to complete the big project tho, a magnet board to put of the fridge. Mom thinks it is too pretty to cover up, so it was a success.
Here is a close-up. The kit projects feature cutting and layering the stamped image to give it a 3-d effect.
I emailed and complained about the stamps, and they sent me a complete replacement kit! I am happy to report that the replacement stamps work fine- at least the two that were defective the first time, I haven't checked the others. The layered flower is a neat focal point for a card, and I have done several featuring it.

Kit Two- distinctly classic
For this kit, I loved the stamps, and the papers, but hated the projects.
The main project is a decorated mat for a frame. I think it looks cheesy, plus you have to decorate it, then find a frame it will fit in, which seems backwards to me. Plus you pry have to leave the glass out of the frame to fit the mat in with all the added embellishments!
However, I did like the stamp designs. The cards they made were too fussy for me, so I adapted them to my own style. The technique showcased is doing two images on different color cardstock, with different ink, then cutting them in half and joining them together. I have been quite ill, so I had trouble getting the images straight, lol, so it was hard for me, but turned out cute.
The stamp set included 6 or 8 mini car stamps also- perfect for stamping on envelopes.
Here is my card, inside it says "You're a Classic!"

Now, my only complaint about this kit was, again, the stamps. They weren't defective, but they were super thin clear stamps. They are so thin I am nervous about them tearing, plus it is near impossible to get the phrases lined up straight- the stamp bends and curves all over the place and you just have to keep adjusting and adjusting on the block. You definitely need a block with lines to have a hope of getting it straight. Plus, the thinness of the stamps made them harder to stamp with- you have to press very very carefully, both when inking and when stamping. Press too hard when inking, and the areas not meant to stamp get ink on them, and then when you stamp, they are so thin that those areas do end up touching the paper. So it is harder to get a good image.

I am anxious to see what kind of stamps are in the next kit! I am guessing they will have some problem I haven't thought of yet.. but hopefully will be usable! Otherwise... cancelling I will be....

more critters

I recently checked out "Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet" by Ana Paula Rimoli from the library. I love getting knit, crochet and craft books from the lib, it lets me see them and decide if I should buy them. I loved this book so much I already ordered it and the second one too! HA! (I was ordering a birthday gift from Amazon and needed to get to the free shipping mark...)

So, here are the projects I have made so far. First, a bunny for Ethan. He picked the neon green, I picked the aqua hat. The pattern actually did NOT include a tail, but of course a bunny needs a fluffy tail, so I added a pompom.

I was dying to make these chicks- complete with shells, so I did a few for Greggie. I love how the shell opens and there is a chick inside!
close-up of the chick.
Now, Greggie seemed to LOVE the chicks. He opened the eggs, got them out, ran around cheeping and singing "Old McDonald". It was several minutes later before we realized he had thrown the egg shells in the garbage... lol.
This is a turtle for Emily.

The Tooth Fairy posted on Splitcoast Stampers (my fave forum) and asked if any stampers could help her out by sending a card to a little girl who just lost her first tooth. This is the card I sent, it is super glittery and sparkly!

Have a great week! I am super tired so we shall see what incentive I have to get out of bed....