Archive for June, 2008



Marthamphetamines

Consider this a public service announcement.

Yesterday I walked into Michael’s Arts and Crafts only to be confronted with The Great Wall of Martha Stewart. Having expanded out from the world of K-mart bedding and housewares, Martha has sunk her teeth into us scrapbookers. Believe it or not, I say “sunk her teeth into” with a certain amount of affection. I imagine it is akin to what a beautiful fruit tart would feel before being devoured—that is if fruit tarts had feelings. Anyway, that scrapping would be a worthy cause for she-who-does-not-half-ass-anything, should be a sense of pride for our craft.

I like to believe that if I KNOW I’m being manipulated, then I’m not truly being manipulated. I look at those boxes and packages in that signature color that is all at once aqua, celadon, and teal, and I know. I know a team of marketers did months of trend research and appeal research to pick the perfect color for Martha’s craft line. And it is perfect. In fact, it screams perfect, in that “use our inside voices” kind of way. There’s a magnetism to that color. Not only does it draw you in, but it draws the products to themselves. All of a sudden the bone folder, craft punch, and the gift bag kit seem inexorably connected and it WILL NOT DO to have one without the others.

Or maybe it is the font. Or the names in multiple languages. It isn’t JUST a bone folder. It is a “plegadera de hueso” for Maria in Mexico, or a “plieuse os ” for Isabelle in France. It is an instrument of international craftiness!

Or maybe it is the careful application of color theory. Dark chocolate brown compliments Martha aquacelateal beautifully. Like the products themselves, those colors become inseparable, incapable of solitary existence–the yin & yang of the chromatic world.

No, I haven’t lost my mind–just my will. I pull the bone folder/plegadera/plieuse off the Great Wall of Martha, noting the refined metal hook attached to the package. Those things that hang on Martha’s Wall will hang elegantly! It comes in its own plastic case, lined with a dots that are… yes…in Martha aquacelateal.

The bone folder, made of melamine/melamina/mélamine, is smooth as ivory, unmarked except for

Martha\'s bone folder

It is etched in there so that your thumb will press against the holy name as you score, crease, and burnish. TACTILE marketing!!
And before you can say “It’s a Good Thing!,” the bone folder is accompanied in your basket by 70 tags (in Martha aquacelateal), 60 “blue” dimensional gem stickers (which we know are REALLY aquacelateal), and 24 satin ivory photo corners that are likely to be ten times more stunning than the photos themselves.

I’m lost. Support group, anyone?

A Fathers Day Gift

To be honest, this particular project required a very minimal amount of crafting. When both my paternal grandparents died last year, within a week of each other, hubby and I spent the day after the memorial service cleaning out what was left in their apartment. In a box tucked in the back of the closet was a shoebox FULL of snapshots. Some of them were very very old (e.g. my grandfather’s first Holy Communion!). My father couldn’t take any more on the plane with him, so I offered to take them and hold them for safekeeping. This July, when my dad comes to visit, I will give him the box of photos. Knowing full well that they will probably just stay in the box, I decided to pick some of the best and do a little chronicle of photos for him (for father’s day). I bought a pre-made album (I would have loved to scrapbook them all, but time is not something of which I have a lot these days) and arranged them in rough chronological order, beginning c. 1937, 38 up to the present (leaving room for photos he has to contribute). He was their only child, and as the photos document, the absolute center of their world. The only thing that equaled their love for him (and later, me and my sister), was their love for each other.

MATERIALS: SEI‘s “Paisley & Petals” line (pretty petals #7-8403) and Doodlebug Design Inc’s “double takes” lettering by cynthea sandoval (#574 pretty pink cardstock stickers)

Eco-Crafting

I am by no means an eco-crafter, but I am trying to get there.  One of the best ways to do it is by doing FOPs (Found Object Projects)–especially if your project turns out to be useful.  I don’t sew, but if I did, I think I’d find this pincushion ring (made with a plastic ring tab from a carton) pretty darn useful (except that I’m such a clutz I’d risk missing the cushion and sticking my hand.

For those of you into jewelry-making, here’s an idea for old used up Starbucks coffee cards.  And since not everyone can come into a supply of those, you might go for a funkier look with old cut up credit cards?  I’m thinking you’d have to be highly selective in the pieces you chose, and not use pieces from the same card in one piece of jewelry. You know, security reasons and all.

Finally, I found a good blog with an eco-crafting focus.  Crafting a Green World has numerous craft ideas and good resources for finding eco-friendly (or near eco-friendly) papers and fabrics.  I like the fact that some of the posts acknowledge that it is difficult to be totally green (recycled felt (great!) out of plastic bottles (not great!) but that some options are better than others and that is really what it is about.


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