Quick Contest: What am I?

guess me

I'm a recent birthday gift to Mary from her mother-in-law who claims I am a sewing antique. Mary already figured me out with a little help from google image search, but she thought it might be fun to see if any other crafters out there have one similar to me or might know where there are some instructions for how to use one.

So please leave a comment with your guess on what I am, and I'd love to hear your stories about me. First to guess correctly gets a package of fabric scraps, similar to what was sent to Mina.

Mary posted her other antique notion (although a reproduction) here.

What I swapped

I know this is old, but in the spirit of trying to post more often...

Here's Mina's post on the Patchwork Swap I sent to her.

Some of Mina's other recent posts I've liked:
Pretty sewn flowers
Adorable ramekin pincushions
Very useful card keeper

Book Review: D.I.Y. Design It Yourself

diy book

I think I first learned of D.I.Y Design It Yourself through an Amazon recommendation. I did some research online and found out that it was created by the MFA Graphic Design department at MICA, Maryland Institute College of Art. I have a certain affection for MICA, because although I know very little about it, I attended a nearby school in Baltimore where we seemed to have a good-natured rivalry. My law professors seemed to get a kick out of using "MICA students" as our "clients" seeking legal advice to teach us to write memos and such. Despite such friendly teasing, honestly, I always wanted to go to RISD, Rhode Island School of Design, but did really poorly in high school art classes. So I guess I'm a bit jealous of all that talent at art schools...In the end I purchased D.I.Y. because I was interested to read it, and because even if I didn't like the book, at least I was supporting local artists in my former home state.

Anyway, after reading it, I totally adore this book. I usually collect crafting books focused on project instruction, but this was a bit different. The design into is written a bit like a college text book, but I liked that about it. For those who wouldn't, it probably doesn't matter because the book quickly moves onto the different topics - blogs, books, logos, posters, web sites, etc. Although the book does include many project instructions, I think it is better used as an inspiration. There are hundreds of photos of student projects to help you think creatively. My favorite sections were business cards, books (blank & printed), embroidery, stationery, and T-shirts. And I think it is pretty cool that all these ideas came from students and faculty. I'm keeping this book on my shelf and I imagine I'll refer to it often when I need design inspiration for a project.

When I retire from my current job (in the distant future), my second career is definitely going to be as a graphic designer. Or as a cashier at Jo-anns (to get the employee discount!). Or as the Creative Designer for J.Crew.

Upcoming Craft Book Reviews

books may 09

Although I haven't been crafting much lately, I have been reading...

I perused both Chic & Simple Sewing and Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts at my local Borders before buying. D.I.Y. Design It Yourself I bought sight unseen. I'm trying to cut back on my craft book purchases because I already have an entire bookshelf full, so it helps to see a book in person to make sure it is one I really need.

I'll post reviews soon.

This is where I'll be June 1-12

At my mac!


I signed up for Elise Blaha's online Get Crafty workshop, and I'm very excited. It seemed like a good way to learn a bit about scrapbooking and to force myself to focus on only one craft for two weeks.