The Craft Project

Garage Sale Junkies

This week of the Craft Project has been one of gathering and planning, and I suspect next week (with the exception of canning and the finishing of my overdue origami project) will be as well.  I feel like giving myself this couple of weeks to gather supplies, is filling me with inspiration – the closer I get to collecting what I need for the projects that I’m planning the more inspiration is striking.  In addition, I’m really starting to consider developing a space in our already overfull apartment that can be my craft space – a little pocket of inspiration in our chaos and clutter (perhaps the development of that can be one of my week’s projects).

Over the last week I’ve been tracking all kinds of things down online.  This started when I sorted through all of my Mom’s new knitting magazines last weekend and found a whole series of patterns that I want to tackle – the new Knitscene in particular had a whole range of projects that excited me.  Then came the rather epic process of finding the various yarns online.  For any of you out there who has ever set out to find a specific yarn online (especially if you’re looking for a specific colour) because your local store just doesn’t carry what you need, you’ll sympathize with my plight – let’s just say it took many, many hours to find what I was looking for.  The good news is that the agony, frustration and effort paid off – I have wool on the way for a baby blanket, a shawl, two sets of arm warmers, two scarves, and two hats.  And the even better news is that I’ll give you the list of where I found the yarn, so in the future you have a basic set of online sources to turn to when you’re banging your head against the wall trying to find something: Purl Soho, Paradise Fibres, and Yarn Market is where the new additions to my yarn stash are coming from.

Next my supply searching turned to fibre to spin and dye, along with guidance on dyeing.  I found someone who could supply me with a whole range of fibres to work with.  I’m starting with 4 different fibres to see what I think: bamboo, merino and silk, corn, and alpaca.  I’m really excited to work these fibres from scratch up to handspun yarn.  And because I’m all about making my yarns as funky and unique as possible I also want to work with spinning some unique fibres into the yarn.  A small fibre arts shop on Saltspring Island called Stiches was able to send me angelina fibre, mohair, and crstalina fibres – I’m going to be having lots of fun spinning I can tell already.

My next obsession came in the form of buttons.  I’ve always loved buttons, and I recently have been coming up with all kinds of ideas for jewelry made out of buttons.  Once I had that idea in my head, I suddenly needed to find lots of pretty buttons – and the scrapbook community came to my rescue.  Scrapbookers use a huge range of pretty embellishments these days, including buttons, and I found the mother of all online sources for them: Stuff 4 Scrapbooking.

Then came the garage sales and the thrift stores.  As I’ve mentioned before I’m planning a whole series of jewelry made out of forks (my “knife ran away with the spoon pieces”).  I also have it in my head that I want to make a series of skirts out of men’s neckties.  So Tyler and I went garage sale-ing and thrift store shopping yesterday (Tyler just got my Mom’s old record player from her and has started his vinyl collection, so he was all over it).  We had a lot of fun and I came home with a huge handfull of forks, a bunch of ties, a Raggedy Ann and Andy book, a Scrabble dictionary (ours fell apart a while ago and we lost sections including all of the z’s), and a coffee table (I’m really excited about that) – Tyler, predictably, came home with a big stack of records.  I’m in Vancouver next weekend with a bunch of girlfriends helping my friend Denise buy a wedding dress and we plan to spend time on Granville Island collecting craft supplies after the dress is sorted – I’m hoping that I can convince them that the thrift stores need a visit as well.

Finally come the food crafts.  I have all of the indgredients sitting in my kitchen right now to can Tyler’s favourite salsa on the planet (it’s full of pineapple and mangoes).  I also got a huge box of blueberries yesterday which I was happily freezing last night.  And finally Tyler and I went guerilla harvesting again last night.  We came home with another huge bunch of currants (which I’m freezing and making currant rhubarb preserves out of) and a huge amount of rose petals (which I have drying in our dark, cool back hallway right now to use as an indgredient for desserts).  If you’ve never used rose petals in recipes before, I sincerely encourage you to check out the Boreal Gourmet for some great ideas (her cookbook is amazing).  We still haven’t put a dent in our ” super secret” berry patch, so I’m expecting to be back there again tonight.

The more I look around for supplies, the more things are sparking my interest – in fact, Tyler’s discarded beer bottle cap has just caught my eye…

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