Saturday, February 28, 2009

The tail of the lizard. . .

On Monday, I found this thing on the floor in the middle of the computer room. It looked liked a crayon minus it's wrapper, but on closer inspection, it didn't look like that at all. Was it a stick? A petrified hairball? an old green bean? I picked it up and broke it in half to figure out what it was. And that's when I dropped it and screamed. The inside looked like sushi. The outside looked like a headless sardine.

I made Erik pick it up and tell me what it was. He stared at it and couldn't figure it out either. It's a very odd experience to hold something in your hand and have no clue as to what you're looking at. We finally deduced that it was an alien tentacle and threw it away.

Fast forward two days. . . Erik was getting ready to go to work (this was his last week) and he went to reach for his bag and found this:


So that thing we found two days earlier that I picked up and broke in half with my bare hands was it's TAIL! Ewwww! I guess Bella brought it in? Or it crawled through the doggie door? I've heard that lizards lose their tail when they're scared but I've never actually seen it, and certainly NOT the way I saw it all up close and personal. Gross!

So right there in our computer room we had a little showdown with the lizard. He stood there on Erik's bag staring at us while we frantically came up with ways to catch him. We may be pet lovers but we are not lizard people, especially when they come in uninvited and leave their tails lying around. McKenna could have picked it up and put it in her mouth! Yuck!

Are you still reading this? Do you need a barf bag?

Wild lizards are hard to catch. Erik tried, but he ran behind the filing cabinet. So Erik went to work and left me all alone with the lizard. Creeepy.

Hours later, after I had almost forgotten about it, I walked into my studio and found him slowly walking across the floor.

Covered in dog hair, haha. He couldn't fool me though, I knew it was the lizard. I opened the door and went to put the camera away and when I came back he was gone. I figured he saw the great outdoors and made a run for it.

Wrong! A few hours later I almost stepped on him! He hadn't left my studio at all but was hanging out under my sewing machines. Long story short - I shooed him out the door. Broomsticks and squealing were involved. This time I followed him all the way across the yard.

And the next day he came back! Ack! I found him hanging out by the door, inside my studio, sticking his tongue out at me as if to say, "Phhbblltt! I'm back!" I frantically trapped him in a container (much to the delight of McKenna, who thought my squealing was hilarious) and drove him to Petco where we learned he was an "alligator lizard," to which I said, "An Alligator!?" and then learned that no, just an "alligator lizard." They gave us some crickets to feed him and told us all the supplies we would need if we wanted to keep him, how much those supplies would cost, and how we'd have to feed him live crickets and mealworms every day.

Then we drove him to the park and let him go. See ya later Stumpy!

The end.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thrift Thursday - Linens and Drink-things

Last Friday I found an unexpected package on my doorstep. It was from my friend Annette. Thank you Annette! You're awesome. Check out this cute linen piece she sent me:

I always feel bad for Thursday's child, full of woe. Poor thing. But what an awesome linen! I'm not sure what I want to turn it into yet - a bag? pillows? little dolls? I'll have to think about this for a while. Here's another linen she sent:

Ha! So 70s.

Also in the box was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bedsheet (I'm thinking they'll become boys pajamas), and a shirt made from this material:

which I'm thinking I'll turn into a sundress for McKenna. Also in the box was a big bag of buttons (with two quarters! free money!) and this mug:

Which Erik finds disturbing and won't be drinking coffee out of any time soon.

Speaking of drink-things, here's a glass I found at the thrift store yesterday, it makes me happy. . .

. . . as does the liquid that's in it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Studio Tuesday - Diaper Bag with Elastic Pockets Tutorial

I'm going to try to post some tutorials for a while. Granted, they may be tutorials like How to Open a Door, but I'm going to try to do them, or at least find them and share them and try them.

Except for now I'm going to cheat and post this tutorial I posted on Craftster years ago. I completely forgot about it until someone emailed me recently to show me their rendition. I went back and found it featured in their ULTIMATE PURSE, BAGS, & WALLETS TUTORIALS LIST!, with 5 pages of comments and 60,478 views. Wow! I had no idea.

The bag is long gone to a shop owner in Park Slope NYC who wanted it for herself and bought a few other ones to sell. They're not exactly easy, which may be why I haven't made one in years. Besides, we don't really need one anymore since McKenna is almost completely potty trained. Sorry, was that T.M.I.? It's big news in our house right now.

Here's the tutorial, copied and pasted from Craftser, in case you want to make one for yourself. . .

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« on: June 08, 2005 06:22:35 PM »

A few people asked for an elastic pocket tutorial when I posted my last diaper bag. I tried to explain how to do it in words but it got confusing so I decided to make another diaper bag and take pictures along the way.

First off, here's where I got my material and here's what I turned it into:

And here are the pieces you'll need (the 2 inside pockets are not shown).

Here's the side pocket tutorial:

Stitch together the outside and lining fabrics, fold them back so the right sides are facing out, then stitch in 5/8 of and inch along the edge. See how much space you'll need for the elastic and make a channel. I sew it with the elastic inside (just don't sew over the elastic!). You can also make your channel and insert the elastic with a safety pin.

Lay this on top of your side panel for your bag and stitch one side to the panel. make two folds at the bottom until the pocket fabric is the same width as the panel. Sew the bottom and other side of the pocket to the panel, making sure your elastic isn't too loose that it hangs open or too tight that the panel buckles and you can't get your hand in the pocket.

Sew front, back, and side panels to the bottom of your bag, then stitch up the sides. Set aside and start on the lining.

Here's how I do an elastic gathered flat pocket:

Use a piece of fabric that's wider at the top. Make a channel for the elastic (like on the side pockets). Gather to your desired width and lay flat on the fabric to which you are adhering it. Fold in the sides and stitch down. You can leave the bottom open because that will be sewn to the bottom of the bag.

Stitch up the sides and combine with outer fabric. Add the strap, make an opening in the middle of one of your lining sides and pull through.

I also made a changing pad/play mat filled with batting that goes in the inside flat pocket.

Alrighty then, I hope that wasn't confusing. Good Luck!


(I'll try to find that broken picture. I'm sure it's somewhere in the bowels of my computer.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Made by Monday - Obnoxious and Ridiculous

I guess I have a weird sense of humor. I enjoy making things that are kind of obnoxious sometimes.

I don't like hunting but I do like irony. Somehow, somewhere, I acquired a box of NRA patches. I almost threw them away because they make me feel creepy with their great big capital letters promoting a gun-loving lifestyle. I decided to work with that creepiness though, and juxtapose them with opposites of deadly.

I'm really not a violent person, I swear, but splatter painting is fun. I have a whole box of patches that I get out and look at from time to time. Sometimes one jumps out and begs me to do something with it. I turned this one into a roadside sign:

and made the bill a road.

This one makes me laugh because I imagine whoever wears it will keep getting called "Nancy."

What's up, Nancy?

I sewed ties to this one, and painted the bill with nail polish:

I stitched them on with on a machine. It's hard sewing ties to a hat on a machine. I sometimes force my machine to do things only an industrial machine should do. I added these hats to the kokoleo Guys shop yesterday. Someday soon I'll add the shirts I've been working on.

I made this eyeglass necklace for my friend Matty, a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team In Training, to put in his fund raising auction.

It's the logo for Fog City Wrestling, where the event is going to be held. I don't know jack about wrestling, but I hope some wrestling fan will buy it for his lady friend and raise Matty some money. I threw that card and packaging together in Photoshop last week to make it look semi-professional. I made these lovely ladies last week and stuck them on cards too:

20% of the proceeds from the sale of these earrings will go to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure breast cancer fund.

These images were taken from some "bust developer" course that was being advertised in an old Ladies Home Journal. I wonder what these ladies are doing now? I hope their boobies are doing well.

Honestly, I'm not always so bawdy. I can do sweet and cute too like these personalized pieces I did over the last few months:

See? They're not the least bit offensive or ridiculous.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Me and my desk.

Did you ever have one of those pieces of furniture you hated, but you held onto because you had to? Over time you occasionally inquire about better versions of that important piece of furniture, but nothing is the perfect one you've been looking for, so you pass. Then one day, out of nowhere, you find it. It's THE ONE. And, it's ON SALE. I love days like that. I live for days like that.

That's how I got my new desk. My old desk was awful. I hated it. It was all fake wood printed particle board and black painted metal. The bottom shelf where we kept all the paper was open for the kids to ransack, the keyboard shelf was rickety, and it just screamed BOUGHT FROM WALMART 15 YEARS AGO to me. I hated it. Did I mention that?

I was going to post this picture with the Christmas photos:

but I didn't because A. I look kinda ugly, and B. we look like we live in a dump, and C. I was embarrassed by my ugly desk. It's pretty bad when your ugly furniture inhibits your ability to share memories over the internet. It's not that I couldn't have gotten a nicer desk over the years; I saw plenty of desks that were nicer, just none that I really loved. I like to love my stuff. Apparently though, I'll live with something I hate until I find the thing I love.

I love my new desk.

It has compartments for pens and pencils and scissors and staples and tape and mints and hand sanitizer - all the things it's nice to have right there together in front of you.

It has two drawers - one for stamps and all things postal

and one for all those little notepads I used to have scattered around the house.

It has shelves for our cameras and printers and pictures and knick-knacks, a kokoleo bookkeeping section, and a space in the middle for the computer monitor.

It didn't, however, have a place for all our paper. But when we bought it (for $23) , underneath it was an almost-matching vintage wooden sturdy two-drawer cabinet on wheels (for $7), so we got it too.

It now holds paper and envelopes all nice and neat and rolls out to be our scanning station.

I love it. Did I mention that? A mere $30 bought me a whole bunch of happiness.

Now for a new chair...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's a little Muppet love from McKenna and Sage. . .

It was taken with my phone, hence the crappy quality. Still, check out her moves! McKenna loves to dance.

Monday, February 09, 2009

These are some monsters we made. . .

Awww. I don't know what's cuter - the kids, or the monsters they created!

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Craft Caboose

What are you doing this weekend? Want to sit around and make stuff with me? Then stroll on over to All'Aboard Boutique in Atwater this Saturday and Sunday for the Craft Caboose!

We'll be making monsters, stuffing pillows, sewing totes, and appliqueing the crap outta everything. Stop by!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Look! Kokoleo in Craft:!

Have you seen the latest issue of Craft: magazine? The one with my idol Amy Sedaris on the cover?

Go get it! I'm in it! On pages 149-150. A two-page spread!

I'd show you a better close-up but I want you to go out and buy it. Show it to your friends and say, "I know that girl!"

Please tell them I don't always look that maniacal. Eek! (No offense to the artist, I'm just vain.) Still, I'm honored to be part of such an awesome magazine and among so many talented artists and crafters. Props to Jenny Ryan for featuring my original tutorial on the Craft: blog, which led to the editor asking me to write an expanded version for the magazine. Jenny also has a tutorial in this issue, Make a Silly Snake (pgs. 140-142), excerpted from her book Sew Darn Cute:

And check out some of the other awesome stuff in this issue:

These recycled microfiche cuffs by Julie Yu are amazing. I want one! I don't, however, want one of these:

but it sure is cool to look at. It's by artist Susan Danis. It makes me want to make great big art again.

Since I like to repurpose vintage patterns too, I fell in love with this pattern, fabric and collage embroidery by Gina Bailey of doecdoe.

And Martina Celerin's textile art is beautiful:

That's just an itty bitty glimpse of all the awesomeness that's in there. Go get it and see for yourself! In the meantime, check out all the new eyeglass jewelry I just added to the accessories section of my website. Or just buy the latest Craft: magazine, follow my tutorial, and make your own!


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