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Saturday, March 26, 2011

R&R At Martina's Fabrics

Interior of Martina's Fabrics in Lemon Creek
SABLE: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy (craft slang).

Is this you? Do you have endless piles of fabric swatches, yarn skeins, or bead bins? This is what’s known as a crafter’s stash, and chances are, if you know what a craft stash is, you’re bordering on a little SABLE yourself. Since spring has finally arrived (cross your fingers), it’s the perfect time to take inventory and do a little purging of whatever SABLE you’ve got piling up. Don’t let your crafter’s guilt take over by throwing out perfectly practical fabrics. Instead give yourself a spring gift by taking them to Martina’s Fabrics for a little stash R&R.
Fabric R&R, a win-win for all!
 Not quite a spa vacation for your fabric friends, but the new Recycle & Replenish program at Martina’s Fabric is Juneau’s first fabric stash consignment where you can buy and sell fabrics that are in desperate need of a new life. The program was conceived by shop-owner Martha Narino-Torres when a fellow quilter brought in her stash of felted wool that had been destined for a project that simply fizzled. After pondering what to do with a pile of wool in a cotton-fabric quilt-dominated store, Martha’s crafty daughter gave her the key; why not upcycle the pieces into blocks for beading? The idea blossomed from there. Simply drop your stash extras at Martina’s and pick up a few new-to-you pieces at the same time. Not only does the program help in harder financial times, but it’s also a source of inspiration.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tools of the (Crafting) Trade

Years of unending desperate anticipation have led to this moment as I now embrace my new title: homeowner. Was it the excitement of a mortgage? Was I waiting with bated breath to mow my lawn and shovel my drive? Was the thought of painting every surface of my house a different color getting me giddy? OK, maybe a bit, but the truly exciting part of the moving process has been the acquisition of my very own ... craft room (did I just hear you squeal?). And now that I have it, I'm at a complete loss.

Craft rooms take years to perfect. They are based upon delicate organizational systems that teeter on the brink of brilliance and insanity. At any moment a drawer full of fabric might be pulled one inch too far, causing a mountainous paper avalanche and a Rube Goldberg-esque unforeseen chain of reactions. It may take me 30 years to create that delicate balance, but thankfully I have spent the last 30 years gathering all the crafting fodder to fill the room for when the day finally came. Consolidating the craft stashes from all over my apartment into one craft Mecca has helped me refine my tools of trade into a top ten list to share with you, in case you'd like to get to crafting in your own room in, say, less than 30 years.

My top ten tools (in no particular order) to craft with are as follows: 

3M Super 77 adhesive spray: This heavy-duty adhesive spray has the perfect level of tack for paper, cardboard, and even metal. Be forewarned that it stinks and sticks to everything (meaning I only spray outside), but when you want a clean, flat bond it's the best.
 X-Acto knife with #11 blades: For perfect cuts of paper, illustration board, foamcore and more, I use my X2000 with padded handle every time. To store discarded blades, keep an old coffee can handy by slitting a hole in the lid and popping them in (and away from kiddos).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Art of Cutting In

No, not the art of cutting in line, because who isn't good at that?  My best attempt at a cleanly cut line of paint after getting wise tips from local painting pros.

Three weeks ago I made a huge commitment, which forced me to learn a few things about myself. That commitment? I bought a house. (More on that in coming posts). The lesson? I realized I have no idea how to paint.

This came as quite a shock considering I spent a good 10 years of my theater career lurking around the paint shop. Don't get me wrong, I can paint a faux wood grain all up and down. You want a marble entryway? From 15 feet (a.k.a., audience distance) I can make sheetrock look like a Grecian temple carved of stone, but paint the ceiling in my living room with White Dove? You've got to be kidding! There wasn't a lot of ceiling painting or precision accuracy in those 10 years.

Thankfully, while I had a decade in theater, other more industrious types had spent those years gathering valuable house painting skills. A couple of my friends, house painter Robert Araujo and former house painter Patrick Barry, roused me from my fear coma enough to teach me the art of cutting in.

Cutting in is the first step in the interior house painting process, and to my knowledge, the most difficult. As a theatrician I am a huge fan of blue painter's tape. If you want a clean edge, tape it! Well, try taping the ceiling, the floor, the windows, the outlets, the trim and the doggy door - in seven rooms. Instead of wasting all the time of taping, actual house painters use a precision technique called "cutting in," which basically amounts to free-handing it. Perhaps you had the same reaction as I did: yeah, right. But no, this is a tried-and-true method that leaves a lovely living room even from 5 fet away. How is it done? A lot of practice. Beyond that there are a few tips I gathered from my expert friends to share.

Tip 1: Caulk it!
Robert's number one helpful hint to get a clean line between windowsill and wall was a nice bead of caulk. By creating a smooth seam between the wall and window or trim, he was able to get a long clean line of paint, as well as seal any cool-air cracks. A double-win in my book.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Fam is Extreme

No, literally- this weekend my cousin Chris WON the SALOMON EXTREME FREERIDE CHAMPIONSHIPS in TAOS.  Yeah, like literally 1st place.

We are all super proud of you Chris- you kicked butt!!!  Cap'n and I both actually tuned in right at the moment as you went down on the third day and caught your winning run.  
This comp. is so extreme the logo is a skeleton.  wo.
Cheers Cous!!