I am so fortunate to have two dozen amazing crafters and writers contributing awesome projects and essays on a myriad of geeky genres, from Star Trek and the Periodic Table of the Elements to space, Morse code, and video games. If you’re into Harry Potter, MIDI, Second Life, Coraline, Star Wars, WoW, D&D, or sci-fi (on the page or on the screen), this is the craft book for you!
The crafts to try include sewing, quilting, embroidery, woodworking, paper mosiac, knitting, crochet, needle felting, perler beads, and terrariums. The five projects I did were some of the most fun things I’ve ever made, and I was constantly wowed by the incredible things my contributors created. Public School knocked it out of the park with the photography and design, and my longtime collaborator Alexis Hartman made fantastic diagrams throughout.
I’ve been a Star Wars fan since standing in line to see The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, at age six, and it was a huge compliment when Chronicle approached me about writing and collecting amazing projects for this book, back in May 2009.
Cathy‘s Pac-Man Fever Wii-mote Holster
I am so honored to include such awesome crafts and fascinating essays from my geeky and crafty friends and heroes. Thank you so much to the many remarkable people who made this book so rad!
Rachel‘s Needle-Felted Solar System Mobile
World of Geekcraft comes out on May 1, but you can preorder it from Chronicle, Powell’s, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon.I’m really excited to do some book events at Powell’s, Maker Faire, and Crafty Wonderland (with some favorite projects for show and tell) and will be posting more about those soon!
John‘s Oregon Trail Cross-Stitch
I’ve made a book website at worldofgeekcraft.com that I’ll be adding tons more stuff to as the publication date gets closer… and I’ll post a few updates over here and of course at geekcrafts.com as well. I’ve made a flickr pool for book project photos, too. Thanks to everyone who has spotted the book somewhere online and liked it – I am so thrilled with it!
January has really packed an unexpected punch and with a bunch of winter ailments keeping us in quarantine, I’ve had zero time for fun things like writing a craft blog. But I finally found an hour to round up some photos and links to a few things I am super into this month, and thought you might like to hear about too.
1. Mr. Extreme Craft himself, Garth Johnson, is in Portland this week to give a CraftPerspectives Lecture titled “Waste of Timelessness: Craft in the Present Tense.” It’s this Saturday at 2 pm at the Museum of Contemporary Craft.
His show at the museum, Era Messages, also opens on Thursday, and the premise is very intriguing: “This exhibition seeks to examine work that is timely rather than timeless – craft that is evocative of its era rather than existing in the netherworld of timelessness.” Cool. I hope to see you there!
I am so looking forward to sewing myself a fancy extra-customized party dress with her embellishment ideas and pattern (hopefully by this summer?).
Mary took questions about her fascinating career designing party dresses, favorite projects throughout, working with Amy Sedaris, and her former life in Portland (she used to rent a studio by the Burnside Bridge for $33 a month!).
She was also kind enough to give me a few tips on adapting the top of her iconic party dress to have a different neckline. On another note, it was a lovely excuse to wear a party dress in January, and bring Everett to his first book event!
3. I mentioned a few of my New Year’s resolutions the other week and I have some good updates on a couple of them! One was to plan dinners in advance so I would enjoy cooking more.
So far, we are 3.5 for 4, thanks to the trusty whale chalkboard Kayte gave us last year… it’s been really fun deciding what to have, writing it all up on the whale, and looking forward to it.
I promise I won’t turn this into exclusively a whale chalkboard menu-planning blog, but if you are interested I made a flickr set for my weekly photos over here.
I highly recommend this method of menu planning if you are interested.
4. Another of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep an organized craft project basket handy, so when I do have a few minutes to make or mend something, there it is. I LOVE this one and it has improved my crafting life a ton. My first project was to reinforce the basket handle, which split long ago. I cut away the broken leather casing on one end and secured the unraveling straw. Then I covered the whole thing with wide orange bias tape, stitching it in place at the ends, and it’s held up awesome.
Another thing I really needed to do, considering how little my kids are, is ditch the ziploc bags I used to stick projects-in-progress in and keep things like that far out of their reach.
So I’m using a corduroy tote bag my grandmother made and a super-simple new drawstring bag I sewed the other week to hold the various things I’m working on, instead of the plastic bags. I also have my craft project journal handy for keeping swatches or notes close by – love that thing.
Since I put this basket together three weeks ago, I have mended two pillows, sewed the first drawstring project bag and pinned three more in different sizes, started a new cross-stitch project, and gotten some embellishment work done on my Blazers-inspired project for Clifton Burt’s BOOMSHAKALAKA show I’m in next month at the Land Gallery!
5. My neighborhood is hosting the Division Dining + Clinton Cuisine restaurant passport contest again, and I have gotten four stamps so far just walking around getting coffee or treats. The more stamps you get (6 or 9), the more chances you have to win gift certificates and other nice prizes. If you’re in Southeast often you might want to pick up a passport and get started too – you can get one at any of the restaurants on the card.
Everett and I met up with Caitlin and Arlo yesterday for happy hour at the Press Club and earned my favorite stamp yet! The passport is good through February 12 and we’ll find out if we won anything a few days later. Fingers crossed…
Ok, more crafty news coming soon! Hope January has been good to you so far.
I always like to make a little photo collage of all my favorite stuff I made in last year during the first week of January. (Here are my 2007, 2008, and 2009 collages + posts if you want to see those too.) This time around, it looks like everything I made fits right into a few categories… quilting, sewing, cooking, and Christmas. Except for the felt-heart valentines for Pearl’s preschool buddies, I didn’t get to do much in the way of paper crafts, and sadly no Gocco printing at all. But I did make some things I like a lot – an Easter dress and an Easter bunny for Pearl, a couple of playroom essentials, some really good jam, and a Christmas stocking and baby quilt for Everett.
I made a few crafty resolutions for the new year this week, too. One is to keep a craft project basket happily filled and emptied, by actually making time to work on my favorite current projects and keeping them neatly in one place instead of scattered (more on that shortly). I’ve already mended a few things this week that have been sitting around the house through most of 2010, which felt good. And a couple of fun projects are right there waiting for me the next time the stars align to craft.
Another one is for cooking: I want to make a new recipe every week, and do my best to plan dinners in advance instead of trying to figure it out at 6:30 the night of, which has kind of been the way lately. So to start the first week of the new year, I wrote up all five dinners I wanted to make (or, in the case of Friday, order) on the adorable whale chalkboard Kayte gave us a couple of years ago (found at The Curiosity Shoppe).
So far (as of Thursday) we are 4 for 4 and it’s really nice to just shop for the right things, make the food we decided on and look forward to eating it, instead of hunting through cabinets and freezer to see what we have when I’m already starting to get hungry. The highlights were panko-breaded cod loosely based on the recipe in How To Cook Everything, vegetarian posole from The Adaptable Feast, and my new recipe of the week. I was thinking of trying new cookbook recipes (I got the Sunset Cookbook for Christmas and it is awesome) but for this first time around, I freewheeled and made up a lemon-spinach orzo that was so good we had it two nights in a row – it’s definitely earned a page in our family cookbook. Here is how I made it if you’re looking for something new to try, too.
(enough for three or four people as a side dish)
1/2 package orzo pasta, cooked and set aside
Olive oil (and butter if you like both)
1 shallot, chopped
1 bag baby spinach
Salt & pepper
Saute the shallot in a generous amount of olive oil over medium heat (I used both oil and butter melted together) until it’s soft and starting to become translucent. Add the whole bag of spinach and cook until it’s wilting, adding lemon juice to taste as the spinach cooks down. Stir in the cooked orzo and warm it through, mixing the spinach and shallot with the pasta, and adding a little more oil if needed to keep it from sticking. Season it with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with Parmesan.
Happy new year! I just want to finish one thing from the craft project basket and then I’ll be back with some pictures of that.