Tuesday, January 25, 2011

iron craft challenge #4: get cozy (with tutorial)

so this week's challenge was to make a coffee cup cozy. you'd think: right up my alley. right? wrong. problem is, my coffee cups all have those silicone rings that prevent you from burning your hand in the first place. a cozy - completely unnecessary. what to do, what to do.

then i realized that my cup was in fact missing something very important: a dry-erase board.

oh yes.

Iron Craft #4

my office has a starbucks on the premises. this is a good thing and a bad thing. bad thing: pricey. good thing: an excuse to get some air and take a quick mental break with colleagues. often, the good thing wins over bad - good triumphs over evil, right? right. so a while back i picked up a couple of reusable coffee cups because i try to be a responsible, thoughtful gal and all those wasted paper cups were really quite appalling. plus: you get 10 cents back every time you use one at the good 'ole starbucks.

but i was always bothered by the fact that my friendly neighborhood barista still stuck a little pre-printed paper post-it on my ceramic cup to write down my order. wasteful, wasteful.

and hence, the coffee cup dry-erase board was born. and it is simple and easy, and you probably have the stuff in your house to make your own - you know, now that you have your own handmade coffee cozy.

or even if you don't.

here's what you need:

Iron Craft #4

-clear contact paper
-some nice decorative paper (or plain - really, up to you but why be boring?)
-scissors (do you own teflon-coated scissors? why not?! go get some. will save your sanity every single day, promise!) or a rotary cutter
-a ruler (unless you're really good at eyeballing & cutting straight)
-either thread for sewing on to your cozy or ribbon to tie around your cup

oh, and some dry erase markers will come in handy later. don't forget those.

step one: first, decide what size you want your dry-erase board to be. measure and cut the pretty paper accordingly. (mine's about 2"x3".)

Iron Craft #4

step two: measure and cut two rectangles of contact paper - one that's one inch taller and wider than your piece of paper, and one that's just a bit smaller than your piece of paper.

Iron Craft #4

step three: put your pretty paper upside down (note the scribble lines from my bunting project - no shame here, i like to use scraps!). take the smaller piece of contact paper and put it on the back - it won't quite touch the edges.

Iron Craft #4

step four: turn the paper over and center the larger piece of contact paper over it, smoothing out any bubbles as you go. (it helps here to have a non-stick surface like a cutting mat!) you'll have about half an inch of contact paper all around - so trim each corner off!

Iron Craft #4

step five: flip it over again and fold over the edges of the contact paper. (because you trimmed the corners off, the edges will be nice and neat!)

Iron Craft #4

step six: punch holes and thread through yarn or ribbon, or simply sew onto your cozy.

Iron Craft #4

step seven: write on your dry-erase board with a dry-erase marker and wa-la!

Iron Craft #4

step eight: surreptitiously photograph your cup in line at your local coffee house but be too shy to kinnear the random celeb from LOST you pass on your way back.

Iron Craft #4

no more wasted paper at starbucks. you have beaten the system. congrats to you and yours.

and oh yeah: i knit a cozy. since that was the actual challenge, after all!

Iron Craft #4

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

iron craft challenge #3: just bunt

although it's not my usual MO, i chose to go pretty traditional on this one. i'm certain there will be crazy creative interpretations of "bunting", but hey - with something this whimsical, sometimes simplicity is the route to take.

Iron Craft #3

right? right.

since i've already introduced the iron crafters to maeve and molly, i thought it was high time to do something special for little b. she's been pretty lonely since cole passed, and i thought a little facelift to her pad might cheer her - and me - right up!

Iron Craft #3

-twine, braided
-scrapbook paper
-double-sided and scotch tape
(see? simple!)

have i ever told you the story about how my persnickety little girl came home with us?

i'd just moved into my first apartment in LA and i thought it was high time to get mr b - my sweet harlem bunny - a friend. after lots of reconnaissance trips to my local shelter, i picked out a darling new zealand white named izzy, a rabbit who would run up to me to be pet as soon as i entered her pen. so i made an appointment for mr b to board at the rescue for a spell - to bond on neutral territory.

mid-week, i received a call from the shelter. nervous that mr b and izzy weren't getting along, i picked up with some trepidation. the volunteer proceeded to tell me that the tiny dwarf in the pen next door had somehow jumped over the 3' wall to be with mr b and izzy - numerous times - and would i be amenable to taking home a third?

and that's how little b entered our lives. with all her grouchiness, she's outlived them all. and i wouldn't give her up for the world.

Iron Craft #3

Monday, January 17, 2011

measuring up

Iron Craft Challenge #3 - work-in-progress

a quick peek at my entry for iron craft challenge #3. this is just way too much fun!

you'll have to wait a few days for the full post - now i'm off to read the hunger games (thanks carol!) and munch on some homemade bread.

rosemary bread

that's right. resolution #3 DONE. how're you doing on YOUR list?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

iron craft challenge #2: stay warm

Iron Craft #2

so. challenge #2 was to make a "draft dodger" or a "door snake". score. we totally needed one (or a dozen) of these in our 1904 unheated beach house!

materials for iron craft challenge #2: stay warm:
-dried pinto beans
-liquid stitch
-stitch witchery*

okay, it really lives by the door because those windows don't open and are probably one of the more sound features of our home, but the view's prettier. the door, where it's better suited? not so much.

Iron Craft #2

Iron Craft #2

recognize the pattern?


grete prytz's lotus for cathrineholm of norway. love, love, love. can't get enough of this stuff and you'll often find me combing the local antique stores on the off-chance that i just might score another!

iron craft is exactly what i need right now: weekly creativity, friendly inspiration, and fun fun fun. come join us!

Iron Craft #2

*the sewing machine is broken and probably not worth the cost to fix it (again). saving up for a better model. boo.

Monday, January 10, 2011

the world famous crochet museum

i'd be remiss if i let much more time pass before i posted about the world famous crochet museum, curated by the lovely and talented artist shari elf. when b and i decided to take a long weekend in joshua tree as our birthday gift to ourselves (yes, our bdays are five days apart!), we knew hiking would certainly be on the schedule - but couldn't give up the chance to check this place out. so i emailed shari and begged her to open the doors on an unscheduled day, and like the wonderful proprietess she is -

world famous crochet museum - joshua tree

this place was awesome. tucked behind her studio in a mid-century photo kiosk, it's filled to the brim with shari's unique collection.

world famous crochet museum - joshua tree

world famous crochet museum - joshua tree

world famous crochet museum - joshua tree

world famous crochet museum - joshua tree

world famous crochet museum - joshua tree

if any of you happen to be in the neighborhood - drop shari a note and check this place out. it's an animaguri explosion of the best kind - classic, kitsch, and super-sweet!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

iron craft challenge #1

okay, so by now you must have all figured it out: yes, i'm crazy. i've signed up for iron craft. one crafty challenge a week for fifty-two weeks.

i'm going to admit right off the bat that there's no way i will complete them all. i'm planning a wedding. i may be crazy, but i'm not insane. this year i hope to be out of the country for a few weeks on a honeymoon, and leading up to that i'll have many a foam thought-bubble to cover with chalkboard paint (and rates to negotiate and budgets to balance but that's not the fun stuff, so let's agree to ignore it here, okay?).

anyway. without further ado. iron craft challenge #1: lighting the winter gloom. since i only found out about iron craft monday evening and entries are due wednesdays, i defaulted to what i know: knitting.

Iron Craft #1

thanks to a recycled jam jar, a pillar candle left over from thanksgiving, and holiday pom pom stash yarn (what? you know you have some too), i quickly knit up a little lace votive cozy that throws off little bits of light through the eyelets and casts a beautiful glow.

Iron Craft #1

so. expect more wednesday posts. i think this is exactly what i need to kick my crafty mojo back into gear!

in the meantime - keep the bread recipes a-coming!

Iron Craft #1

Monday, January 03, 2011

game is ON.

Iron Craft

many will enter. few will win.

(actually, that's not true. no winners or losers. i'm just going for the drama.)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

and a charming new year






b and i spent new year's day hiking around the glory that is charmlee wilderness park in malibu. simple walks and spectacular ocean views. that's all we need, right?

i don't usually resort to new year resolutions but 2011 is going to be one crazy whirlwind, and i think i might need a little list posted next to my desk to help me slow down and breathe when it inevitably all becomes too much. so here goes:

1. with an awesome partner-in-crime, plan a kick-ass wedding - but don't let it get the best of us.

2. more hiking and more yoga. if this rain ever stops, more outside time in general.

3. learn to bake bread.

4. get the knitting mojo back. draft patterns; get them out into the world.

5. do the sunday times crossword religiously with b.

and that's it. any more and i might hyperventilate.

happy new year all - and dig up your favorite bread recipes?

love, marri