April 25, 2010

Self-Winding Yo-Based Toy

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 10:28 am by Pam

Do you ever have a day where you see something and immediately think that you HAVE to have it? Usually, it’s stuff that’s easy to obtain – food, clothes, books, etc. But images?

A few months ago now, I was watching an episode of The Simpsons with friends (The Color Yellow, in which Lisa researches her family’s place in the Underground Railroad). The episode has been pretty well panned since airing, but I loved it – I laughed out loud more during this episode than I have at most recent Simpsons episodes. In the middle of the episode, Milhouse disputes Lisa’s claims, and uses his distant relative’s journal as proof. Flashback to a very-Milhouse-looking boy reading “Mr. Thomas Jefferson’s Marvelous Inventions.” The page he had open was for a Self-Winding Yo-Based Toy, complete with copy about the wonderful things it can do.

From first glance, I was smitten. I loved the design and the simplicity, the old-time feel, the cross-hatching – all of it. I wanted this on my wall. I tracked the episode down on Hulu and took screenshots of the image, then set to work.

I crayon-tinted the fabric, although looking at it now, I probably would have been better off doing some sort of fill stitch for the black areas (I’m quite happy with how the yo-yo itself turned out). It was very detailed work, especially the lettering, but if anything, this taught me patience 😉

By the way, the lettering, which is my favorite part, reads “This device, which will astound that natural scientist, delight the wizened crone, infuriate the feeble-minded, can be manufactured with a mere six months of whittle-work and hemp winding. It can perform tricks most unnatural, including exercising the hound, oscillating the infant, and lunar cannonading.” A close-up shot of the stitching is here.

April 13, 2010

Putting Those Old Books To Good Use

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:55 pm by Pam

I’m a librarian (or, at least, so says my degree), and I’ve always loved books. I have a hard time parting with books, even ones that I flat out hate. When I do get rid of them, I try to at least sell them to a used book store, but they never accept them all, and I’m left with the worst of the ones I already hate. Those could easily go into the recycling bin, but why not get creative with them?

When I saw this post on Living with Lindsay last fall, I knew I had found a use for those books. It took me months to get myself in gear, however. I painted the edges of the book with some gold paint, and then proceeded to leave it to dry for roughly a month. One night out of the blue, however, I got a hankering to work on the wreath, and with some company from my DVR, I polished this project off in just a few hours.


Lindsay’s instructions are pretty straight-forward, so the only advice I can offer is to find your least favorite book on your shelf and get to work right away. I recently cleaned out my library and found a whole stack of things I don’t want – time to get to work!