Monday, July 7, 2008


Well, I am pretty much moved. Sorry for the looong delay New job, new life, new apartment. 3 new book reviews coming soon. Right now I am getting ready for Transformus!
More soon. Must unpack. Yikes.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A long lost friend....

Wow. As I was unpacking, in order to repack (yes... I have not yet unpacked all the way from the move here.), I found my favorite and first owned Japanese craft book. This is still my favorite, it's filled with Scandinavian themed embroidery designs, and other patterns and such. The best part is a few pages of Moomintroll patterns.

My dad's side of the family is Swedish, my grandmother moved here when she was 3 or so. My great-grandmother left her jerk of a husband in Sweden and moved herself and my grandmother to New York City on her own. Can I just say that this woman still, to this day, rocks my world? I called my great-grandmother Mormor, which actually means mother's mother, but I suppose Farmormor is too much of a mouthful. Mormor was always very old in my eyes. She died when she was 99, when I was in my late teens/early 20s. She was an amazing woman, and a wonderful cook, seamstress and needleworker. I would eat meat again, if I could have her back for one day and she'd make swedish meatballs for me. : ) I've been working for years to veganize her recipe, and I am getting closer. My last batch, for my friend Randi's baby shower, were very good.

Anyway... growing up in a Swedish-y family, I grew up with Moomintroll books. I still have most all of them. I have a mild obsession with them and do lots of swaps on postcrossing and Gimme Your Stuff for Moomintrolly goodies. So this Japanese book is one of my favorites. And I am happy to be reunited with it again. It's ISBN is 4-8347-2480-8.

So, here's the front cover....

And here's a Moomintroll pattern example. The little girl sliding down a hill is my favorite character and totem. Her name is Little My. She's a brat.

The rest of the book is fabulous too, but these pages of patterns make it for me. And now that I am becoming way into needlework, they are even more of an inspiration. My mom says I have Mormor's touch when it comes to needlework. This is nice to hear.

On another nice note, I just got a call this afternoon that my friend Randi had her baby today! So she'll be able to snuggle up in the blankie I made her soon! Hurray for babies!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Little Zippered Pouch- purpleone- No Peeking!!!!

the bag
the lining

So... this is the zippered pouch I made for a recent craftster swap. It's lined, the first little pouch I've lined. My partner likes seals, hence the seal image. I am stuffing it full of sewing goodies. The chain stitch on the inside looks very nice, yeah? It's actually hiding the fact that my tension was wonky and there were some loose threads popping up. I love embroidery... so forgiving.

I used the instructions located here:

Moving again!!

Yikes. So.... I am moving back to the Boston area next month. Woohoo. So, posting will be sporadic (it's not called Fits and Starts for nothin'!). No job yet, but I'm trying. I am very much looking forward to having a bigger space to craft and sew in, Winmill Fabrics, Boomerangs, and just plain city living again.

I have some pictures of a little pouch I made for a swap on craftster... I'll get them up tonight.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Love Book-Off!!

I finally got a chance to visit Book-Off a few weekends ago. Now I know I am behind the trend in my love of Japanese crafting books, but I really do love them.

Book-Off is awesome!!!!!! I found oodles of books for $1 each and a new to me Handmade Zakka book for $6. I love it, and can't wait to go back. It had a dizzying selection of books, which were organized in some fashion, but I am a non-speaker of Japanese so I just kind of pawed through them.

It's at 14 E 41st Street in Manhattan. They're open at 10am-8pm.

That is my rave for the day.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Gimme Your Stuff Post

In case you haven't heard of Gimme Your Stuff it's a website where you can make contacts to do cultural exchanges with people in other countries. The link is in my links section. Here's my post for it! : )

My name is Amy and I am a Moomintroll Addict. Little My and Snuffkin are my favorite characters. I would love to swap things from the US to people in Scandanavia and Japan or anywhere else for precious Mommintroll things. Especially FABRIC.... pillowcases, etc. Or yards of fabric. Anything Moomintroll is a good start. Stickers, scrapbook supplies (do they make them?), paper, note cards, anything.

I also would love, love, love Marimekko fabric from Finland/Sweden or really cute fabric from Japan.

I also am a craft freak. I do a lot of mail art, love scrapbooking, card making, ATCs, paper arts, soap making. I am in love with japanese craft and sewing books, zakka stuff, and korean craft books.

I love Labello lip balm and can't buy it here.

I also love fun stationary, my daughter is a Sanrio nut! She also LOVES Kawaii stationary, can't get enough of it. Fun Korean or Japanese or other countries in Asia stationary.

We both love candies from other places. I live in Maine on the weekends and Boston, Masaachusetts during the week (for now) and travel to NYC often. So.... I can get almost anything you'd like in exchange. I can send sweets, packaged food, crafts supplies, scrapbooking paper, you name it! I can also send yummy maple syrup, blueberry everything, salt water taffy. Interested? Email me at

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Quick update...

I just found a new online zine called PackRat and I love, love, love it! The link is here: . It's about recycled crafty stuf, and it is awesome (my word of the week). Check it out.

My baby blankie was a HUGE hit. My friend Randi loved it. It's one of teh creations I am most proud of and now I get to make a new one!

I've been pretty busy getting 2 swaps finished for craftster. I'm also moving back to Boston, so have been job hunting. I have 2 new book reviews... hopefully I'll post them this week....

That's it for now. Quickie update.....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

OK...a quick book review...

I just read A Page Out of Life by Kathleen Reid this weekend. Fiction that incorporates scrapbooking.... interesting! It wasn't a bad book, but the concept was better than the book itself. it had its moments, and there were a few parts that I really enjoyed, but all in all it didn't really do much for me. Some of it seemed too contrived, and the big twist was not quite believable somehow.

I also, in the start of the book, really disliked the protagonist. She seemed needlessly whiny, and a little self-involved. Towards the end I was more impressed, but it may have been a little too little, too late. The scrapbooking seemed kind of stuck in there, and didn't feel researched well. There were definitely points where everything got a bit schmaltzy.

This book will be available to purchase on April 29, 2008. It really didn't do much for me, but I am pretty picky about my fiction. However, you may love it. Sorry this isn't a more positive review. I didn't HATE it, but I didn't love it either.

Can't blog now.... too busy crafting......

Yes, i have been a major blogging slacker. But I have been a crafting fool!!!!! This is my latest project, a baby blankie for my friend Randi's baby. Her baby shower is this weekend and I got it done in the nick of time. I am also still working on my burningman pendant (I have to redo it, long story...). Anyway... here's the blankie. I will have more bloggy goodness soon. I have a bunch of books to review too.

I hope that worked right. I only have dial-up now and it is excruciating. sooner have I finished this, but I find out I have another friend expecting! So now I am starting #2! I've also been a swapping fool on craftster... so have been very busy with some projects there.

I'll post those pictures soon. What else? I have discovered and am in love with oil cloth! I have made a few neat bags from it. It's been a loooooong cold winter here, and I have just been trying to stay sane.

On a positive note, we are moving back to the Boston area. Hurrah. Maine is beautiful, and my time here has been healing but it is time to move on. I need me some city life, quickly!

OK more soon. I won't be such a slacker from now on. I hope!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A fun website to noodle around with...

I just discovered this website and absolutely LOVE it!!! Check it out... it has tons of color trend info, a great blog, forums and much more. I haven't even explored it all yet.... it'll keep me busy for ages!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lost Wax Casting Part 2

So.... my piece came back from the casters!!! The first cast was in sterling silver. Here is a ratyher blurry photo of it, before I started cleaning it up. The next step is to finish it, both by hand and with a machine. Then it will be super shiny and gorgeous. Then it goes off to the mold maker, and after the mold is made will be cast in pewter. Woohoo! I'm getting there.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

For the love of all that is good in the world....

...please, please help me clean out my stockpile of stuff!!!! I am trying to reduce my material possessions by 50% and lots of that is craft supplies that I will never get around to using. So... please, if you see this, visit my ebay and etsy sites... there will be new things listed often. Thanks!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lost Wax Casting... my first expiriment... Part 1

Well... I have been working in a jewelry store for the past few months, selling, making jewelry, and helping with the website. The owner of the store does a lot of lost wax castings, and I was inspired to make one of my own.

I'll be going to a regional Burn this year, in North Carolina, so I decided to make a burning man themed pendant to give away as gifts there. Here are the steps......

Step 1: Come up with an idea.
I just sketched it out in pencil. It's super easy, because I thought for my first project I would start easy. Then I reduced it on the copier to 50%. Then I cut it out. Easy peasy, so far!

Step 2: Start carving the wax

OK... I cheated and didn't show my first attempt, which was much thicker wax and ended up looking like a rabid chipmunk chewed it. I then moved on to thinner wax. Much easier! I rubber cemented the image onto the wax, so I could get the details right. In general, I just used the scalpel until the very end when I had to smooth things out.

Step 3: The final wax... more or less
Pre-cleanup. I removed all the bits of paper, added a wax circle on top to put a jump ring through and smoothed it out a little. It's not totally smooth, but I can clean it up better once it is cast in silver.

Next step..... bring it to the casters. I'm doing that tomorrow. I will bring it Maine Precious Metal Casting in Brunswick, and they'll do the first one in silver. Here's their website...

It's all coming together well. The final product will be cast in pewter as silver is about $16 an ounce right now, and since all of this is coming out of my own pocket, I can't really afford silver. I can't sell them, only gift them, so I have to keep the costs down.

More to come... once the next step is done.

A few book reviews for you......

These reviews were written by guest reviewer, Sarah Lucas. I let her review knitting books and weaving books, because I don't know how to knit. : (
The first book reviewed is Creative Weaving by Sarah Howard and Elisabeth Kendrick. It's ISBN #978-1-60059-098-6
Though this book has a section titled "how to weave," I wouldn't start with this book as a beginning weaver.
The book is divided into colors and each example of woven fabric is presented in a beautiful format with large color photographs. The photos show both a close-up of the woven project and the inspiration (pomegranate, e.g.). Each page also includes basic directions including equipment and threading but is not terribly in depth. This book gives some ideas for what is possible when you try something a little different with your weaving.

The next review is on the book Natural Dying by Jackie Crook, ISBN #978-1-60059-222-5.
This beautiful book tells you everything you need to know to get started dying textiles in your home with natural dyes. Different directions are given for preparing silk, cotton, and wool for the dying process. The book is divided into sections based on the source of the dye- roots, barks, flowers, fruits, etc. Each page shows an example of the variation in color you can achieve, depending on which material you use to prepare your fiber. This book is beautifully presented and very usable.

Monday, January 14, 2008

At long last... I return

Sorry people. It has been a horrible, awful, no good, very bad couple of months. I'm back though. And there are tons of book reviews coming!!!!!

I've been making a lot of jewelry lately, and learning wax carving for lost wax casting. I'll get pictures up soon.

My email address has changed. It is now

Look for new posts soon. : )