Taiwan “Campo”

August 30, 2006 at 4:13 pm | Posted in Craft - Blogs, Craft - Websites | Leave a comment

I seldom talked about Chinese craftsters, especially those from Taiwan. As a matter of fact, I dont really know much about Taiwan crafts. My old-time impressions about Taiwan craftsters are the “patchworkers” (most of them are not making quilts) like Ann(I still think she is one of the best patchworker in Taiwan:)) and the soft toy makers like Jarlin.

Taiwan crafts are definitely much more than that, but I just never knew! I might have spent too much time exploring the websites in languages I dont know. What a pity I am! It’s not too late to start the new exploration now though. My spare time in the last few days is all about Taiwan! 😛

Above all, I want to introduce the sweet softies by Amy. My favorites of her creations are the amigurumi bee and the sock snowman. It’s exactly what people call “unbearable cuteness”. ^^

Art markets are regularly organized in Taiwan. They called it “创意市集”(Market of ideas) and refered it as a Campo in English, I guess. Such a “market” is actually a collection of arts, including crafts, photographs, illustrations and many other types (even dramas!). Check out the links under the word “創作” from campolive, and you can find websites/blogs of fabulous creations.

StreetVoice and another blog have got links to some other craftsters. It’s a little tricky to figure that way out. If you dont read Chinese, just test any links randomly and you’ll get SURPRISE.

Please dont blame if you cannot afford this much new links in one single day, and good luck!:-D

Crafting free week?!

August 29, 2006 at 11:23 am | Posted in Craft - Blogs, Craft - Books, Craft - Websites, Misc. | 1 Comment

My craft-related stuffs are in this 30x30x50cm box. My fabrics (including all scraps and the old clothes I got from the laundry room:-P), my sewing notions/tools (including my iron), my yarns, the colored pencils and the sketch books are ALL in it. Although we are not yet ready to go, I can’t do any crafting before the moving is done.>_
So….will I be crafting-free this week? Of coz, NOT! I can still check out a lot of craft projects available online and read the craftbooks I haven’t read after I downloaded….Fortunately, my laptop wont be packed. 😀

Crafé 2006 (Originally, Handmade Nuno) Autumn is out! The content table is available online, however in Japanese. The publisher has announced the name change of this magazine.

The monkey on the cover reminds me of gnip‘s WAWAs, as it’s also made of kimono. There will be a special edition of animal patchworks. See the fabric picture book on the monkey’s hand? There are more than one such projects in the magazine. How cute are they! 🙂

6-piece diagonal burr puzzle

August 26, 2006 at 11:07 am | Posted in All Finished Crafts, Craft - Blogs, Craft - How-to's | 2 Comments

It’s not so easy to “take a break” of crafting, especially hubby is willing to give me a hand on my project.

The original pattern comes from Homespun Magixx, a nice website of papercraft models. It took only one hour or two to finish this burr puzzle, including the cutting and glueing. Only a scissor and a glue stick is neccesary for this project (hmm….and our hands of coz). The diagram is clear to follow. I changed the color of the pieces. Just some simple clicks in computer. ^^

That’s how the unassembled puzzle pieces look like. As hubby refused to look at any solutions while playing with it, we argued a little.:-D I used to play some wooden burr puzzles (but not this type) almost 10 years ago. I always tried to solve a puzzle violently if I lost my patience. The papercraft version forces us to think twice before trying. In addition, we must assemble it very gentle, otherwise the pieces would be easily distorted or damaged. It’s great fun even for lazy bones like me (I would rather call myself “lazy brain”, who is too lazy to think :P).

As a matter of fact, burr puzzle is also a popular topic in the mathematical world. IBM even has a reasearch group on it. Besides, a lot of people implemented various puzzles in different way. For example, both Robert J. Lang and Jason Ku made their own origami versions of the 6-piece diagonal burr puzzle.
by Rober J. Lang
No wonder wood is still the most used material for burr puzzle.

I was surprised to find “Lu Ban’s lock”(鲁班锁 in Chinese. Lu Ban is one of the best carpentors/craftsmen. ), which is probably invented more than 1000 years ago, is actually a type of burr puzzle.

The advanced Lu Ban’s lock may consist of up to 36 pieces. It’s really proud to be a Chinese. 🙂 It’s also sad that it’s so hard to find a Chinese website (particularly simplified Chinese) solely about this gorgeous art. Most founds are connected to toy business, i.e. money. 😦

Anyway, let’s go back to the topic of crafts. There are many other categories of mechanical puzzles besides burr puzzle. Some of them are not so hard to be implemented with papercrafts. Know what’s in my mind? ….A soft puzzle will be my project plan No. N+1. Isn’t it nice? 🙂

Capsule, mouse or a cat?

August 25, 2006 at 2:56 pm | Posted in All Finished Crafts | 1 Comment

I’m trying to finish what I have so as to start packing up all my craft materials.

I was supposed to make an amigurumi BEAR following a pattern from book. However, the pattern was left at home when I went to the foreigner office. Thus, I started crocheting randomly and finished half capsule or something before we got to see the “Her way” lady.

When the whole capsule is finished, I decided to make it a CAT. He should have triangle ears and cocky face (as cocky as Karin from Dragonball). I’m quite missing my old fellow ET cat, therefore I gave him slim limbs too.

And he finally looks like this:

People may get little confused….gnip thought he was a mouse.:P But, no matter what, I’m done with him. And he is actually having fun doing yoga.

BTW: The capsule cat is only 2 inches (without limbs) and is made from No. 10 cotton crochet thread (not yarns as usual).

Bad experience plus one

August 23, 2006 at 4:44 pm | Posted in All My WIP | 1 Comment

It has been quite a while since last time I spent more than 2 hours outside home. And I was waiting in the foreigner office for almost 4 hours without having my resident permit extended!

We arrived the office before it is open. I already got bad feelings when we found out the lady who is usually in charge of my file is on vacation. That lady is the best and the nicest. I was assigned to another one. There are only 3 people assigned to the same clerk before me, but it took us more than 3 hours to get in the room. The picture above shows how long I’ve been waiting there. Another clerk had processed 7-8 cases before my number was called.

Overtime waiting is just the beginning. The clerk start to act picky immediately after she got my passport. Things got worse when she read the admission letter. She called the university to confirm my status, which is already shown in her computer. After the call, she simply refused to issue the extension. She hadn’t even open my file yet! My friend, the interpreter, said to her that he got his own resident permit when he was not registered in the school. Her reply was that it just didn’t work in HER way. She also insisted to make a copy of my admission letter after the rejection. I was really confused….are the rules/laws all defined by her?

I could always print out the rules and mention existing cases when I discussed with officials in Canada. I used to obtain my new health card after I showed my print-outs to the clerk who almost refused to issue me one. Obviously, things do not work in this way in Germany. Each visa official has its own way to explain the law. Most officials in this city are just unhappy about foreigners staying here.

What an unfriendly place!


August 22, 2006 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Craft - Misc | 3 Comments

Can anybody figure out what the little piece is? It’s made from scrap yarns. 🙂

First, I’m not crafting on purpose. When doing laundry, I found a big hole in hubby’s sock. The pair is still pretty new, hence I think I should do some mending. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the right fabrics to patch. Moreover, cotton patches usually make the socks uncomfortable.

Eventually I decided to make a patch by myself. ^^ There are some black leftover yarns which was used for Jenny‘s hairs. The color fits the sock very well. I crocheted a small square and the output is not soft enough. That’s why I choose to weave at last. I’m sure if it is weaving or not. I actually applied some techniques in Chinese knotting.

Anyway, I am satisfied with the result. And, E, too. ^^


August 21, 2006 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Misc. | Leave a comment

We just confirmed this morning that we can move into student residence, but we have to move next month…..that means I have to start packing right now….probably not be able to blog everyday….:-)

Embroideries and blogs

August 20, 2006 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Craft - Blogs | Leave a comment

I’ve been looking into the “embroidery world” a little bit this weekend, and I have seen so many amazing works. Keyka Lou‘s wonderful crewel animals is tempting me to try.

On the other hand, I understand how much time and how much patience it takes…..I might have that much time, but I mustn’t have that much patience. *^_^*

turkey feather has just finished her long-time project, a gorgeous crewel embroidered picture. I did lose my words at the sight of this frame picture.

In addition to the beautiful finished embroideries, it’s also joyful to see how people are working things out. That’s why I’m so interested in the Polish blog U Malgosi. However, I can’t read the sentences. 😛

“Abnormal” embroidery

August 19, 2006 at 5:50 pm | Posted in All Finished Crafts, Craft - How-to's | 3 Comments

I was in an abnormal mood and was trying an unusual project.

I was going to do some simple motif cross-stitch with the muslin scrap. It ad been only a few min before I gave up. The muslin was weaved too dense for me to count the threads. I can’t even finish half of the ladybug. 😦

After going over my limited collection of cross-stitch patterns, I decided to choose another pattern and make it another way. The pattern is from a French website and I just couldn’t find it. Let me know if you have the URL.

Making this is not so difficult. There are almost all satin stitches except a few back stitches (Moo) and 3 french knots. How simple! However, it is proved again that I am that kind of craftser who can embroider easily. I almost lose my patience while stitching this simple pattern.

Happily I finished it before the sunset. Otherwise I would probably destroy it tonight….The idea actually came into my mind several times. 😛 This small piece of embroidered scrap is made into a mini bookmark (8cm long), which can fit any size of books/notebook.

Tutorial of the green & yellow flower pin

August 17, 2006 at 9:55 am | Posted in Craft - How-to's | 39 Comments

It has been almost 1 year since my last picture tutorial. I’m not sure if I have “recorded” all neccessary steps.

Click the pictures for bigger version.

1. Use color pencils & sketchbook to design the color theme. It’s easier to do so with the available fabric scraps around. The petal color is considered as the top. As for my design, the light yellow fabrics would be on the top and the dark green on the bottom.

2. Make the template….with my pepper bottle. ^^ It would be better if there is a pair of compasses…or a printer. But I’m lucky enough to find something fit my scraps. Most of my scraps are 2 inch squares. Here is the pattern. Resize as you want.

3. Cut the template out. It is possible to draw a circle directly on the fabrics without such a template (but with the bottle), even though I prefer to make one so as to keep a record of this project. That’s why I always keep the paperboard packages of various food. 🙂

4. Draw the pattern on the scraps. It might be easier to use a “B” pencil. My HB pencil was just too sharp at the moment, hence I use my fast-fade marker. (The circle faded kind of too fast. -.-)

5. Pair the top fabric with the bottom and pin the right sides together. In my project, it’s to pin each yellow scraps with a green one. We need 6 such pairs for one flower pin.

6. Sew each pair together following the circle drew before, but leave a small open of 1-2cm.

7. Trim the piece to a circle. I only keep 2mm “seam allowrance”.(I’m not sure whether it can still be called “seam allowrance” or not if it is made in this way.)

8. Turn the right sides out from the small open left in step 6. Use blind stitches to “close” the open.

9. Mark the sewing guidelines on the “TOP” of each round piece. It was my favorite part of this project to obtain an equilateral triangle inside the cirle with just one ruler. 😀 Anyway, the lines are also in the pattern.

10. Attach each circle with another two following the lines from step 9. Please note, “bottom” is facing “bottom” during this process.

11. That’s how it looks like after all six pieces are sewed together. It’s almost done, and we still need some decorations. ^^

12. Yoyo is quite popular in this situation, however I think making a yoyo is too wasteful. Here I just use a 1-inch wide orange leftover. The length doesn’t really matter.

13. Fold each end of the orange tape and fold it into two.

14. Sew the open with running stitch and pull the thread so as to gather this side of the fabric. Ajust it to a circle, exactly like a yoyo. ^^ If you want to make a yoyo, see Heather Bailey’s tutorial.

15. Attach the “fake” yoyo to the flower.

16. The last thing is to add a button over the orange piece and we are done! The back of this flower will be like this:

Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any question.:-)

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