Handsman, this silver-painted robot with the high-tech egg-carton control panel, was constructed by my five-year-old’s preschool classmates, who are studying robots this month. Handsman looms at over 4′ (taller than your average preschooler) and sports zippy yellow rubber gloves–hence, his handy name.
[photo thanks to Pauline & Amanda!]
To show my full support for robot curriculum everywhere, I decided to make some robot tees for my little guy with freezer paper stencils. Freezer paper stencils have a high fun factor: big on reward, low on effort. Here is the complete how-to. If you fret about drawing your own robot stencil, then download an image, print, and trace. To avert laundry tragedies, don’t forget to heat-set the paint after it dries.
I’m excited about this find: a new fabric & fibers store that invites you in to make something on the spot! Gather Here–located in Cambridge at 370 Broadway–is more than a store: it’s an urban stitch lounge, which if you’ve never heard of one (and I had not) is a community space with machines, supplies, and tables for hanging out, sharing interests, and creating stuff. The store also offers a Saturday morning knitter’s brunch and Thursday evening crafty cocktails, as well as classes in quilting, sewing, and embroidery basics.
After I shlep over today to check out Gather Here’s fabric selection–I’m headed for the Cambridge Public Library (the addition was designed by William Rawn Associates–and my husband!). Go sit in that hunk of a wood chair by the big window in the Children’s Room and read a stack of picture books–with, or without kids.
I love buying things on Etsy. There is something so satisfying about supporting someone’s crafty endeavors, and the homemade packaging that the purchase arrives in, often with a charming note from the artisan, makes me feel like I’ve received a present. Then there is the element of surprise. What will the item really look like? In the case of swanky swell, the Etsy store of San Francisco-based designer Nina Jizhar, the answer is fantastic! I purchased two fat quarters to make new covers for some seriously worn out throw pillows. I think they look great, and they are doubly crafty and unique, which I love.
Skinny laminx is another Etsy source for fabric. I haven’t bought any fabric from this store yet, but it’s on my list! I love the Cloud Birds pattern, and the palette is super appealing.
With winter, come clementines. With clementines, come crates–those somewhat sturdy, little boxes, so handy for stashing screwdrivers and stowing socks. They are perfect as they are, but this year, I’m dreaming up new incarnations for them. So consider this Part 1 of the Darling Clementine Project.
My first idea was to make a miniature school desk for my friend’s daughter Addie, who has set up an entire educational system for her American Girl dolls in her attic. And a desk made from a crate is the kind of Depression Era utility that Kit Kittredge would approve of!
I cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom of the crate and covered the cardboard with wood grain contact paper. I adhered it with wood glue and let it sit overnight under the weight of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (meaning the emotional weight of my guilt in having never read it, plus its actual weight–but really, any heavy book will do). Then I cut a section out of the crate with an X-acto knife, to make room for Kit to sit. I added a couple of props (fake apple, mini composition book).
I like how the crate markings show on the ends. And here you can see the cut I made in one side.
Please share what you do with your clementine crates. Photos welcome!
postscript: Addie in her Doll School!
A three-day weekend, and a sale at my local, friendly yarn and fabric store, Brooklyn General–what could be better? Brooklyn General is a cozy store with a great selection of natural fibers, a helpful staff, and a doll’s house in case you have a small person in tow. Another great thing–a few times a year everything in the store is 25 percent off, which is such a treat. Here are the things I bought–the black fabric with the sporty cars is for a sewing machine cover, the yarn is for a keyhole scarf for my niece, and the plain cotton (Kona) is for just about anything.