Category Archives: craft night!

lundi gras.

I gave up blogging on time for pre-Lent. For real Lent, I’m giving up giving up blogging.

Kait seriously loves to host, she knocked it out of the park. The coins! The baby cake! The garland!

If you haven’t guessed from the title of this post, I celebrated Fat Monday instead of Fat Tuesday this year. And I celebrated this ever important holiday with my closest crafty friends at a craft party (note the compulsory upgrade from “night” to “party”). Kait went all out: decorations, glitter buffet, hurricanes and red beans.

We really operate on a level just above summer camp. And I think the only reason it's a higher level is because we have legal access to booze.

I was damn sure I was in New Orleans;  Jodi even flashed Ife for beads. There was such a good response to Kait’s craft party invitations that we had to work in shifts. There was a queue for the glue guns.

If you think a party with 10 available glue guns would have enough glue guns for any situation, you'd be wrong.

Anyway, since we’re soooooo far from the date at this point, I’m keeping it short and sweet. Here’s a collage of some of the masks:

Clockwise from top left: My mask "mask (#2)," AJ's "fabulagasm," Chelsea's "I'm Too Pretty for my Face," Kait's "Dobby on Ice"

Anyway, the night was (as always!) a big success. I got that strange baby in my cake and was thus King of… well… I honestly don’t remember from French class, I guess King of the Craft Party. I was a judicious leader, mostly using my crown for great photo ops and not to take people’s land or attack Spain or anything.

Instagram: You'd be surprised how easy it is to make ugly stuff look kind of good by making it blurry. Oh wait, that's how one night stands work.

As for my recent absence, I think I’ve mentioned something about working at a new place. It’s been a lot making such a drastic change. Yinz know me: I worked with Trent for four years, dating for a lot of that, and this is the first time we’ve been really separated. I work 10-5, he works 6-whoknows? On top of the normal new job stress and a transitional period in my relationship, I sold my car last month (a combination of things made this a necessity, including the fact that I can’t park at my new job) so I’ve been walking and busing everywhere. Maybe one day, I’ll craft an offering to the public transit gods in hope they hear me and know my pain. (The next time some jerk from out in bum-fuck rural Pennsylvania bitches that his taxes shouldn’t go to pay for bus infrastructure in Pittsburgh, I’m going to absolutely lose my shit.) On top of all this, we’re still actively looking for a house and things just feel constantly tenuous. I’m totally fine, I’m a tough lady, but more than I’d like to admit, I can commiserate with Allie Brosh, over at Hyperbole and a Half. I love you guys for reading. I do.

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Filed under craft night!, for shame, Uncategorized

i have a dream(catcher).

“I have a dream that one day, down in Shadyside, with its conveniently located gay bars, with its rich kid college students who double park with no concern about paying the resulting parking tickets or the inconvenience they cause visitors — one day right there in Shadyside, a group of women will join crafting supplies, metaphorically syncing menstruation as crafting sisters. I have a dream today!”

This passage is often omitted from Dr. King’s famous speech, as it has absolutely no relevance to the Civil Rights Movement whatsoever and everyone likes the other parts better. In fact, I’m beginning to suspect he didn’t even write it. Whatever the case, I’m glad we were able to make that dream come true for him (or you know, whoever) this past Monday in honor of his birthday.

Our third craft night was a great success! Kait and Karen were fabulous hostesses, we ate so much delicious food. Baked ricotta, hot wings, salad, fruit and cheese, it was a huge spread. Jodi made some very chocolate chip cookie dip and Hilary trekked out in the rain after class to help rep PPT. We even had a new friend named Heather join us! Stephanie was supposed to come but somebody just had to get emergency back surgery a few days before… According to her, the pain meds made her “too tired” to hang out, I think she’d have made the best dream catcher of them all. It would be catching them as she was making it.

So it turned out that even though some of us have been to summer camp (not me, for sure) none of us actually knew how to make a dream catcher. We found a tutorial here and watched this video several times.

By “watched the video several times” I mean that we would turn it on, make jokes about the crappy music, try to watch it for another couple of seconds, notice something else funny about the video, decide we were ready for more snacks and totally forget what we were supposed to be doing. Then we’d all get stuck and repeat. Then someone new would arrive and we’d set up their supplies and then we’d watch it again. We probably saw the first 2.4 minutes of this thing 15 times total.

It's all fun and games until somebody starts the crafting.

Naturally, given my crafting talents and ambitious nature, I was finished first. It really turned out beautifully:

This is totally the dream catcher that I made, not the one that Jodi made. Cause look how nice it is, definitely mine and not Jodi's.

Poor Jodi’s dream catcher just wasn’t the best I’ve seen. She even used the wrong letters for her name! Chin up, buckaroo.

I know that not everyone can live up to the "Laura R. Greenawalt" standards of crafting, so more than anything, I feel bad for Jodi's failure, not angry at her.

Also, the red splotch on the right there indicates that this string is now a lady. (Or that red dye broke open in my craft box and otherwise there wasn’t enough string to go around.)

Hilary wanted to prove that she's not just good at being pretty but also at tying knots.

Kait's is stupidly perfect. Still needs the tassels, but it looks cool.

This is Heather. She has killed a boar with her bare hands. Somehow this is important training for archaeologists. Her dream catcher is nice, but seriously, a fucking boar.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of Karen’s dream catcher. I’ll have to update another time with that one.

Once we finished up our dream catchers, since we had all the supplies handy, we made a bunch of friendship bracelets. You know, cause we’re 13. We also froze Kait’s bra and stuck Hilary’s hand in warm water so she’d pee her pants. Good times.

I gave my friendship bracelet to Trent cause we're buds.

In life events, I find myself now two weeks into the new job. It’s totally fine. A bit boring, in fact. I have a lot of free time until we start performances. I plan on using it to make this space more personal, more interesting, more hilarious. (I could do an entire post about how utterly inappropriate our conversations are but I fear it would put our department at risk.  Rest assured all references to cats become immediately unrepeatable.) It’s my first weekend at home alone while Trent works and it’s actually a little lonely. I guess I’ll start being one of those people who goes to brunch with friends every weekend. First I have to get friends.

In the meantime, I’ve watched so many movies. I’m currently watching “A Piece of Work,” the Joan Rivers documentary. I’ve been pretty obsessed with her since the episode of Louie with the pity sex. If you aren’t watching Louie, you’re wrong. Check this clip for evidence.

All irreverence aside, this was the first time I’ve ever done something to commemorate MLK day and I’m glad I did. Thanks ladies!

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Filed under craft night!, crafts

getting felt up for the holidays.

So I’m enjoying one of the last days of my normal schedule and life. I start a whole new job on Monday (It pays more! I get to get an MBA for free! I no longer have to manage a million people!)  and it’s like a real job where I have to show up during the day time. What’s that about?

I woke  up and played Zelda for 3 hours, because I still can. Then I did very productive things, like returning lost keys and buying groceries and windshield wiper blades.

Anyway, now I’m at home, having a very home-y night, waiting to hear back about a home that we made an offer on, just in case it might be our new home soon. 2012 could be bonkers. I’m wearing a home-made cowl and drinking a white russian made with home-made coffee liqueur, both courtesy of my fantastic god parents. I’m going to spend the rest of my night finishing a home-made gift for my best friend, as I won’t get to see him for a couple more weeks and I didn’t have to struggle to get it done before Christmas.

Onto the felt. So, I’ve got this super crafty and fun friend named Kait. I can depend on her to indulge whatever bullshit crafty thing I want to do, so we’re trying to make a monthly-ish crafting night together. We carved pumpkins at Halloween and watched Gnomeo and Juliet. (F’real. Romeo and Juliet with gnomes.) For Christmas, we made our friends Jodi and Stephanie pretend that they liked doing crafts and everyone came to my place for fondue, spiked hot cocoa and to make felt ornaments. For January, we’re thinking about making Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have A Dream(catchers).”

I found this waaaayyyyyy cute tutorial and had to do it: Vintage Felt Baubles by Bugs and Fishes. If you think we’re going to make it another calendar year to next Christmas, I suggest starting these suckers now. I mean, if you’re anything like me, that is. I had to finally limit the number of people that were receiving them as gifts because I just couldn’t enough done.

I’m not going to lie. I put way more effort into throwing a fondue and craft party than I did the crafts themselves. When I went to Kait’s for pumpkins, she had gone the whole nine yards… hot apple cider, rich vegetarian chili with all the fixin’s, a platter laid out with various tools for carving the pumpkin. It was way nicer than anything I’d have done. So for my night to host, I had to put in a little extra effort.

First, I asked Kait if she had a fondue pot. Of course she did. 3-4 in fact. I settled on a seafood fondue recipe from this vintage Christmas craft book:

Christmas 1979: Jello, candied fruits and puffy-sleeved night gowns were IN.

I served it was crusty toasted bread and veggies. I totally forgot Kait has a gluten intolerance and panicked about 95% of the way through our feast:

Kait:

Something, something. Gluten.

Me:

Wait!!! THAT’S REAL BREAD!

Kait:

Yeah, I know.

Me:

I’m such an asshole.

Kait:

I didn’t eat it. 

Kait eventually made chocolate fondue, we were all enjoying boxed wine and whipped cream vodka and it was looking like crafting would be limited. At some point, we made the commitment to move from the kitchen to the craft supplies buffet:

Jodi requested a craft buffet. I did my best to oblige.

This is about the point where I realized that I shouldn’t drink and craft. Clear thread is like really, really clear and hard to see when your vision is blurry. Kait had it together and started making crazy cute stuff with no pattern. Kait is to crafting what our friend Hilary is to pretty: too fucking good at it. All in all though, everyone’s stuff came out totally great.

Aren't they cuuuuuuute?

Jodi’s little banana-eating monster was funny and Stephanie made a festive bauble bouquet with gold stitching (which reminded me that straying from a pattern is totally acceptable in the name of aesthetics). Also, did I mention that she had never sewn before? My drunk tutorial went something like this: “Well, you put the thread in the little eye and then… you sew… Like, put it through the fabric. Um… You just sew. I don’t know.”

The night ended pretty much when Jodi (the only one who doesn’t drink!) dumped a box of teeny tiny beads all over my floor and we were in hysterics. When Jodi comes over, we inevitably do something that I’m sure is going to piss Trent off. (See: the ring-in-my-couch incident.)

Besides the felt baubles, I’ve been kind of a felt nut. I made yards and yards of garland to give out as gifts as well. Mostly it’s going out to my two best friends, as we’ll probably all be in new living situations next year by the holidays and we can all have matching decorations! Felt is mad fun. I got the pattern for the garland here: The Purl Bee.

So here are all of my finished baubles, all four of them. I found one more while organizing some craft stuff last night and I’ll probably finish it and keep it for myself since I gave the others away.

Also, here’s my super cute home-made wrapping paper and all of my presents ready for their recipients.

Alright. We’re almost caught up with Christmas crafts now. I’ve got a pile of other projects ready to start this week, so I can finally move past the holiday stuff. Here’s to 2012!

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Filed under craft night!, crafts, sewing, vintage looks