New York Times Article: Don’t Put a Bird On It: Saving “Craft” From Cuteness

gone_crafting_1Though this article went live awhile ago on the New York Times, I just recently came across it.  It’s an article that is part review of the disappointing “Craft Wars” TV reality show with Tori Spelling; part indictment of the crafting movement in modern times.

Read Don’t Put a Bird On It: Saving “Craft” From Cuteness

Is the term “crafting” now synonymous with hobbyists making piles of junk, as the author of this article maintains?  Does DIY only have value as an antidote to mass-manufacturing?  Is Etsy a “False Feminist Fantasy,” as another author accuses in an article [from 2009] quoted in the above? And just how awful was Craft Wars?

What do you guys think? 

Stay crafty!

Carly

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Free Product Isn’t Really Free

Found on CraftSnark, a really awesome website with a ton of snarky posters and graphics depicting what it’s really like to be a craft blogger.  Start reading the posts and you’ll get addicted.  Or at least, I am addicted.  It’s.all.SO.TRUE.

And yes, often companies contact me offering me free products to use in a tutorial on my blog.  When it’s itemized line-by-line like that….the time investment and financial investment doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.  Thank you CraftSnark!

Check Out CraftSnark for the Snarkier Side of Making Things

xoxox
Carly

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DIY Easy Pinned Sequin Ball Ornaments

Whip up some sparkling, shimmering ornaments super-quick, and with only a couple of supplies!  This can even be a great project for kids to work on their fine motor skills.

Materials:sequins in leaf shapes or snowflake shapes / pearl-head pins in red or pearlized / round styrofoam balls (you can paint them different colors before using if you don’t like the white showing through) / glitter ribbon

Tools: glue gun / scissors

How to:

1. Cut a short length of ribbon, enough to go around the styro ball and create a hang loop.2. Use the glue gun to attach around the ball at the center.  Loop the end of the ribbon over itself and glue together to hang.3. Use the pins to attach sequins all over the ball.  For the holly ornament, use 2-3 leaf sequins strung on one pin, and for the snowflake ornament, use 1-2 sequins on one pin.4. Keep adding pinned sequins until the ball is completely covered.

Hang on your tree, pile in a bowl, attach to a garland or a wreath – however you decide to display these pretty ornaments, they’re sure to be the star of your holiday decorating!

Thanks to LocalSpotter.com for featuring these DIY Sequin Ball Ornaments in their Christmas Gift Tips series today!  Check out their whole Christmas Guide series for some major holiday inspiration!

Happy DIY’ing!
xoxox

Carly

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Kiddie Craft: DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder from Parents Magazine

A few of you asked for the instructions for making the milk carton bird feeder I featured in this post, so I scanned the original instructions from Parents Magazine to share with all of you.

How to Make a DIY Bird Feeder Out of an Upcycled Milk Carton

{click on photo to enlarge}

Tips They Didn’t Include:

*Although it doesn’t mention this in the instructions, it is extremely difficult to paint over a milk carton with acrylic paint.  It took me 5 coats to even get to the opacity shown above!!  (I swear, I studied that photo for near to 15 minutes trying to figure out how they got it that opaque-looking.)  I’d highly recommend either lightly sanding the surface, or ideally, applying a coat of primer first and then doing your acrylic paint.  That way it should be much easier to get a solid color to the feeder.

*Although this isn’t mentioned in the instructions either, since this bird feeder is probably going to be used outside (right?) a good coating of spray sealant is highly recommended.  Once my sprinklers hit it that acrylic paint cracked up completely.

How to Get Birds to Come to Your DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder:

*place it slightly at or above (an adult’s) eye level, in a sheltered area

*place it away from squirrels, cats, or other predators that may scare away the birds

*make the opening only large enough for the type of bird you’re looking to feed (not large enough for squirrels or crows, etc)

*essentially it’s not the color of the feeder that attracts the birds, it’s more the location, accessibility, and food.  (Except for hummingbirds, who are attracted to the color red.)

*place something shiny, like a piece of metal, on the feeder.  Birds love shiny objects!

Source

Hope that works for you guys!  It’s a super-fun craft to do with your kids (or even by yourself for your garden, deck, or patio!) – so definitely try it out.  Ours is drawing a number of birds to it every morning!

Happy DIY’ing!

xoxox
Carly

~If you liked this craft, please share it!~

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Craftomania! Japan Hobby Show 2012 (lots of photos)

Every year in late April the enormous Japan Hobby Show takes over a huge exhibition hall in Odaiba for 3 days straight.  Buyers and avid crafters from all over Japan flock to Tokyo to visit the Hobby Show, see the latest techniques, pick up the newest products, engage in workshops and demonstrations, and celebrate all there is to love about crafting.  I’ve never been before but luckily my last-minute trip to Tokyo happened to coincide with the 36th annual Show, so I was able to spend a day last week visiting the show and ogling everything.

I thought the giant saw outside the complex was quite apropo.

The place was packed and even though I arrived at 10 AM on the dot, I had to wait in a huge line for 40 minutes until I could get in the doors.  That line of people above?  It’s all one line that snakes around at the back to return on the left side of the photo.  Yikes!

But once inside, there was such an array of things to be ogled!

Seriously, pretty much every craft I could think of that is popular in Japan was represented at booths and tables throughout.

(more…)

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