Tag Archives: craft


I made this in the three days I’ve had since school officially ended.

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa

I’ve always loved this ink Block print by Hokusai. It’s part of a series called “36 Views of Mt. Fuji.” Despite the name, Mt. Fuji plays a minor role in this detailed landscape.

"The Great Wave." Acrylic and ink on canvas.

Detail of "The Wave"

I haven’t worked much in ink, but I really enjoyed it. It takes well to the canvas of these otherwise boring Vans.


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The Book Safe Guitar Amp

While I have been practice crafting a few things for my wedding, I have not been posting them for the simple reason of not wanting to glut the blogosphere with pictures of my own slightly shabby version of the tissue paper pom (there are so many good ones by Wedzu seller Pomtree!) However, I do want to post some pictures and how-tos for my newest project: the book-safe-turned-guitar-amp.

My man and I had seen cigar box amps at Radish Underground a while back and he mentioned how cool he thought they were. After failing to convince him of how cool it would be if he made one himself, I warmed up to the idea and set about researching the process. All the sites–Make Magazine, Instructables, etc–claimed that the cigar box amp rates low on the difficulty scale, so I have decided to go for it!

First stop: Thrift store, to find some kind of box to put this thing in. I didn’t have any luck finding a cigar box (and wasn’t sure where to find one at a decent price), but I did find this pretty sweet book—>

I’ve never made a book safe before, but I’ve seen the how-tos and it has been on my list of crafts to try. The best directions I was able to find are here, but seeing as how I don’t own a jigsaw I could only hope to accomplish the same results with an Exacto knife.

I first applied Mod Podge to the edges of the pages, and shook the pages apart in order to get as much glue between the pages as I could. Decoupage glue makes paper warp so I quickly put a piece of wax paper between the pages and the front cover and placed the gluey book at the bottom of a stack of heavy books, to keep it from warping as it dried.

The next day, I was pleased to find that the glue actually created a nice coat over the edge of the book, without looking like I’d dropped it in the bath. The process of cutting the square out of the middle took longer than I thought it would. My incisions into the book took an inward angle so that each time I sliced a chunk out I created an uneven edge. This was basically impossible to correct without a power tool (I would have liked to use a Dremel to smooth out the inside edges), but imperfection is the nature of craft (or else it would be called art. . .?).  I wanted to secure the pages yet again, so I applied another layer of glue to the sides of the cavity now inside the book and weighed it down to dry overnight. The finished product:

Note that I glued a few of the front pages to the front cover so that the copyright information would show when the book safe is opened. In case I ever need to cite this book in MLA format.

I printed off a copy of Make Magazine’s instructions for the Cracker Box Amp and went to RadioShack (actually, three) in search of the parts I needed. Thanks to my father and the childhood gift of an Electronic Lab board I’m somewhat familiar with circuit boards, so I feel good about this project. I’m still missing the speaker component, but I’m confident that it will find me. I hope to post pictures of the process and product next week!

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The Quilt.

One of my favorite pastimes is devising clever uses for garbage-bound household things. Ever since I graduated I’ve noticed a marked increase in my creative abilities, so the last 3 months have been spent in fostering this awesome my skill. I have always been the bookwormy person with very little external artistic talent so I guess now that I’ve reached a pinnacle of sorts in my intellectual ability it’s time to put a muzzle on the left brain and let the right side take the lead.

Crafting is a hobby of mine, but only when it’s easy. So last month I challenged myself. My boyfriend was cleaning out his room before moving to a new condo, and, being the sentimental sweetheart that he is, could not bear to part with his massive collection of T-shirts. He’d acquired dozens and dozens of cotton t-shirts at concerts over the years, but hated wearing them because they were too boxy and unflattering.  Inspiration struck that moment as I stood marvelling over the collection of shirts which really served as memories. My great aunt once made a quilt out of my grandfather’s motorcycling t-shirts, and why couldn’t I? I already knew how to sew, and, if I took it slow I’d figure it out sooner or later.

Mi machina.

I began by cutting out 10″ squares from the shirts, using a cardboard template and exacto knife. Then I ironed fusible interfacing to the back of the squares to keep the cotton from stretching out of shape.

I made 30 of these, some blank but most with either the front or back design of the boy’s favorite memory-shirts. Next, i added a 2.5″ sashing from natural linen material I picked up at the thrift store, to make the squares pop.

Next step: sew all the sashed squares in one row together, then sew all the rows together, while praying that all the lines meet up!

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