Sunday, March 28, 2010

Carolina Lizard

I saw this little guy sitting outside Greenlaw, the English building, on campus the other day.

Doesn't he look contemplative?

He's a Carolina anole, also called a green anole, 
or a red-throated anole. 

I wasn't able to capture it on "film",
but he does have a red throat when he feels 
like showing it off.

He can also change colors, like a chameleon, or a mood ring.

Speaking of mood rings, I was thinking the other day, wouldn't it be creepy looking if you could get contacts that changed colors like a mood ring?  It would be like the vampires in Twilight.  Someone should work on creating that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cloth Covered Magnets

Birthday Magnets

 Today is my roommate, Lily's 22nd birthday.  We usually try to make each other at least a little something, so this year I made a fabric covered set of magnets.  My process is a combination of  what I thought to be the best aspects of a number of tutorials I found on great blogs and how-to sites.

You can also make buttons, if you simply use buttons with a shank.  You may also want to turn under the edge, but that's up to you.  With magnets there is no need to, since the magnet goes over the messy part.

Another way to dress up and personalize your magnet would be to embroider your fabric circle.

They're very simple!

Here's what you need: 
  • batting
  • thread
  • needle
  • buttons
  • scraps of beautiful fabric
  • small magnets
  • super glue
First, I glued 3-4 layers of batting to the button.  The only thing about this step is to be careful not to get too much glue on the top layer, so it doesn't have hard bumps.  A few of mine had that problem.  

Cut around the batting
Second, cut a circle with a diameter ~2 times the size of your button.  Don't worry about being too precise, it works just fine a little bigger or smaller.  

Then using a straight stitch, sew around the edge of your circle without knotting either end of the thread.
 Third, place your fabric face down.  Put the button batting side down, in the center of the circle
Fourth, gently pull the two ends of your thread
Fifth, carefully pull tight and knot the two threads together.  Trim.
Sixth, cover the magnet with glue and press onto the back of the button for a few seconds.

There, you're done.  I told you it would be easy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


In my etsy perusing I came across this lovely photo of a pigeon.  As my family and friends could tell you, I was interested in pigeons for a while, and told everyone I know about it!  It all started when I saw a dove, and I noticed that it walked like a pigeon, sounded like a pigeon, AND looked like a pigeon. 

Then I started wondering where pigeons are originally from, since now they live all around the world.  That seemed strange since people seem to be one of the few other animals to have that distinction, most creatures seem to have one habitat.

 Here are a few lovely items relating to pigeons that I found on etsy:
1. photo    4. t-shirt
 2. beads   5. pattern
3. decal    6. photo
So, answers to all these questions from Wikipedia:

Pigeons are a type of dove.  Which is really funny to me.  I've heard that people in cities call pigeons rats with wings, whereas doves are generally highly esteemed birds that represent peace.  Turns out they're pretty much the same thing; one's just a city bird, and the other is a country bird. 

Pigeons are originally from Southern Europe, Southern Asia and Northern Africa.  They are now spread around the globe to all the places inhabited by people, because people have been domesticating pigeons for a long time.  Many of the domesticated birds were freed or escaped, and bred with wild pigeons to create the feral pigeons we have today.  Latching onto people seems to be a great strategy to spread your seed all over the world, and have a very successful species.

So, that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about pigeons.  Enjoy the mini treasury above!

Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day

Today March 8th, is International Women's Day.  The day was started in 1909 in the United States.  It was associated with the socialist movement.  In 1910, at the first international women's conference Clara Zetkin proposed that the day be made an international holiday.  The holiday was celebrated across Europe for a time, but lost favor during the cold war because it came to be associated with the Soviet Union.

The UN began sponsoring IWD in 1975 in honor of the remaining work that needs to be done to protect and promote the equal rights of women.

So, here's a mini treasury as a reminder of all that our foremothers did for equality

As a crafter, I am indebted to the women of this era.  First, they used their creativity and smarts to develop the crafts that I love today.  Also, they made crafting a choice, as opposed to a necessity.  Now I have the opportunity to choose what I want to do, and I choose to craft, and vote!
The choices that we have now are still not complete, however.  As long as the wage gap persists, and traditionally "female" jobs are devalued, we still have a lot to fight for.

Another inequality I am recognizing in the way I deal with the world is violence against women.  Especially on a college campus, I am all too aware of that problem.  1/4 women will be sexually assaulted in college.  The violence on college campuses means that while I think about my surroundings, how much I've had to drink, and the necessity of walking with someone else, my male counterparts are oblivious of all of this.

These are the ways that gender inequality effects my thinking, and my life.  There are many more problems that span the world.  Today we should recognize all of those problems, but also appreciate how far we've come!

* The etsy front page is honoring IWD today too!  Cool yo!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Time for treasuries!

Two treasuries: One by our own Rachel (inspired by the smell of clove and fir in the lip balm she was working on: the woods), and a beautiful treasury west by sacredsuds including our own Carolina Skies necklace.  Thanks so much to sacredsuds, the treasury's beautiful!