Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bloggers I totally adore: Margot Potter

I've been following Margot Potter (aka "The Impatient Beader") for a little while now. I love her whacky-ness, creativity and writing style but now I'm ADDICTED to her blog. Why? 'Cause she created her first "Impatient Blogger" video blog and I have to say that it's one of the best out there. She's great on camera, funny as Hell & very instructive.

As someone who gets bored in a nanosecond, I highly recommend this to my AADD-affected friends - the edits, text commentary and supply recaps at the end of the video all make this a perfect podcast!

So without further ado, here's Madge & her video featuring "Super Chicken" & Daisy the Potbellied Pig (and, of course, a link to her blog). Enjoy!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

My Very First ATCs

ATCs (Artist Trading Cards or Altered Trading Cards) have become unbelievably popular! I love them, as I do all things collage but hadn't tried to make ACEOs or ATCs because I fear them (as I do all things collage).

Here's my very first attempt - I did a pair for a swap challenge on Swap-Bot called "Modesty Is Overrated." We were to use lyrics from any Modest Mouse song and go to town. I used "Long Distance Drunk."

lyrics are:
Hang it up now or never
Hang it up again
(Hang it up now or never)
Hang it up now or never
Hang it up again
Hang it up now or never
Hang it up again
Doesn't seem like anything you're saying or doing or doing
Is making any sense
Long distance drunk
Long distance drunk
Long distance drunk
Oh yeah oh yeah
(8 AM and someone calls you on the telephone)
Long distance drunk
(You want to be by yourself and all alone)
Long distance drunk

Here's the detail on the first one:

And the second:

So now I've finally made matchbox shrines AND ATCs. What's next? Who knows?
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Auntie" Krissi!

My friend, Heather... Hell, she's more like family, since we shared a room in college and lived together off & on for 10 years in San Francisco (The Mission District), called me today. I wasn't surprised to hear her on the other end of the phone since I'd been thinking about her a lot and even dreamed about her the other night. The Vulcan Mind Meld is still strong, even after a decade+ of NOT living together. Well, she's preggers! It wasn't planned so much, but the impending baby girl is very much wanted and will be loved an adored by many. Heather and her hubby, Mark, are going to make great parents, but Mark is CLUELESS about how much that little one is going to have him wrapped around her tiny fingers.... It will be more than just a little entertaining to see him go all zombie-dad (complete with heart-bubbles popping over his head) and watch Heather rolling her eyes.

Heather's pregnancy doesn't JUST mean she & Mark will be having a baby. It also means I get to go on an insane "auntie" rampage collecting and making fun and funky baby stuff! Heather was a split major in college - Art/English (I was English with an Economics minor), so she loves the funky stuff. Also, she worked for years for PB Kids & is so over the whole coordinated nursery thing, it isn't even funny. Her hubby is a surfer dude at heart from Cambria, CA who drives an old T-Bird and plays bass in the Sex Presleys so I'm not worried that anything I'll give them will be too wild or too silly.

I've just put in a request to Suzi Boneshaker for a custom kitty bat cupcake onesie (once she recovers from her own child delivery next month), I have my eye on a sugar skull onesie from the most Sacred of Snatchitas, and I think I'll make some of my own. I see a special Skelekitten onsie in the little one's future. As soon as that kid is toddling, you can also be assured that I'll be providing her with her very first pair of high top chucks (in pink).

I was really in the dumps today for no reason whatsoever. After a great workout with Allyson at Body Tribe (including a snuggle session with Lulu), I was feeling a lot better. An unplanned nap with my Mouse on my lap (what we call "being Moused") and the call from Heather really improved my outlook on life. Sometimes all you need is a little furry creature & ol' friend action to get you out of the pit-o-despair.

So there ya go!
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The Engineers' Guide to Cats

I grew up with a cat-loving engineer (my dad), and this just cracks me up!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Don't forget, Sacramento...

tonight is the first NIGHT OF THE CRAFTERS!

Watch out for crafters with scissors, glue and zombie-like walks (or just give in and join us). Clicky the link above to find out how!

xoxo Krissi
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Swapping again & another login....

Last October I joined Swap-Bot (a trading site, for those of you unfamiliar) so that I'd have something to do with my crafts -- as many of you know, I don't rely on selling those like I do my quilts, but love to craft like a madwoman.

Anyway, one of my pals (Jo of Vidriosa Designs) started a swap I just couldn't resist - a skull for your muertos shrine! I did two of my calavera plaques for my partners - carefully choosing their favorite colors (and avoiding the ones they didn't like). I got an awesome hand-sculpted skele-Frida shrine from one of my partners (kateyb), and from the other, I got what looked like a used paddleball paddle someone had taken a highlighter to. This put me off the Bot for a little bit... However, I remembered that I joined because I'm already crafting for fun, so I'm back on now. This time though, I'm trading with folks I met on the Crafty Chica cruise and a few others. I could get a bad swap when I go outside my groups, but hey..... That's life for you.

Unfortunately, I didn't take photos of MY package to my pal Alisa or the one I got from "Mamita" Virginia in the "Mi Casa - Su Casa" swap that our cruise group did. Oops. Both packages ROCKED, though! I did take photos of the two matchboxes for an "opposite" swap and an 8"x8" wall hanging I've sent out this week:

First, the Good Girl/Bad Girl pulp fiction matchbox (made using images from a book Mamita gave me in the Mi Casa swap):

here's the "book" fully assembled:

and my very first altered matchbox EVER, the sweets/diet // virgin/devil matchbox:

and an 8 inch mini-quilt for some lucky (at least I hope that's what she thinks) chica:


And finally, thanks to the Sacredest of Snatches, I'm on Twitter. She must have known that I NEEDED another page to log into, yes? No wonder I forget logins and passwords!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is this "weird?" It seems normal to me.

I had to fill out 10 random "weird" things about myself for a group on Swap-Bot & it turned out to be more interesting and revealing than I expected.

  1. I have a maternal reaction to baby everything except humans (they're OK - just no maternal reaction).

  2. Sometimes I eat the same thing over and over for weeks, then won't touch it for months afterward.

  3. I powerlift for fun.

  4. When I was 4, I used to hide in my wardrobe or the walk-in closet and read.

  5. I was the only girl in my D&D group in Jr. High and High School.

  6. I have an embarrassingly high IQ, but it never got me anywhere in a practical sense!

  7. I would hibernate with my tortoise every winter if I could get away with it.

  8. Most of my friends are 10-20 years younger or older than I am.

  9. I've had two jobs cleaning up "shit:" one as a legal secretary and the other as a volunteer zookeeper's aid; the pay was better at the law firm, but the zoo was less scary.

  10. I have to be using my brain at all times. If I'm eating, I need to have conversation, music or a book (or a cereal box, a drink menu...). I need the TV on to fall asleep unless I'm reading.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wordsworth's Daffodils be Damned

April is National Poetry Month? Seriously, whoever thought this up either never read Eliot's The Waste Land (and I seriously doubt that) or has a twisted sense of humor.

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land....

Since I fall into the latter category, I can't stop laughing...

p.s. It's been a while, but yes, I actually read The Waste Land in its entirety, along with The Golden Bough and a thouroughly depressing book called The Rites of Spring that details the post-WWI obsession with death, destruction and the mechanization of society.

In the event you actually want to read some Eliot, I highly recommend The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock one of my favorite poems of the 20th century. Actually, of any century. On a personal note, this poem has actually become easier to understand the older I get.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

As Navin Johnson once said,

"The new phone books are here!"

Well, my new business cards, anyway! Here's a sample of the new design (the actual cards have my phone number on them ... yeah, like I'm publishing that on my blog).

The back has the links for the Scary-Art Collective & Scary-Art CRAFT as well as to my myspace, flickr & blogspot pages.

I'll be giving them out like CANDY (along with a few of my corazon postcards) at Saturday night's reception for Taking Textiles Seriously.


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Are You Lookin' In My DRAWERS? (2 craft projects)

As a lot of you know, I recently (pshh like over the last 6 months) moved into a new studio space in my home. In trade for the extra 70sf of space, I gave up the door which closed me off from the outside world and my stuff from my husband and my cats.

A la Less Nessman, I put up virtual walls and accompanying "office door" which has been effective on my husband. F*@%ing cats refuse to provide me with similar respect (what a surprise). Hence, anything that might be considered a cat toy must be stowed securely before I leave my space, which brings us to two small item drawer projects that intrigue me.... I believe I'll do them both.


As featured in today's CRAFT:blog. We've seen similar projects before, yes, I know. Who cares? The papers featured here are from Hambly Screenprints.

Oh, and by the way, if you haven't yet lost yourself for HOURS in the IKEA hacker blog, you are SO missing out!


A related project for girls who inexplicably like tiny things (or people like me with itty bitty craft ephemera):

This 'matchbox bureau' was recently featured on my new not-even-guilty pleasure, Cut Out + Keep. I recently took a trip into the barrio and finally found a dollar store that carries stuff I'd want to use (like 32 count matchboxes). This should be fun -- I'm going to make teeny, tiny handles from something in my bead collection.
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

So, what do you want to hear about?

I fancy myself a much better writer than artist. While I have some poetry skeletons in my closet, mostly I enjoy story-telling and non-fiction essays & articles. All I can say is thank the gods for blogs. Which brings me to the point of this blog. I am in the process of writing two articles. They focus on some of the growing pains I've worked through with my business in the last year, as well as a few issues I've faced as the administrator of an artists' collective (and now a craft collective).

If there is anything that you think needs addressing, please let me know and I'll keep it in mind. In the meantime, my girl Amy of Peptogirl Industries writes an AWESOME blog and often addresses the business aspects of selling your craftiness. Check her out here.

The best way to send your ideas is via e-mail krissi [at] krissisandvik [dot] com. Of course, you can post them here too.
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This Saturday


Saturday. Sacramento. Awesome.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Learn the secrets of The Machine

Well, my sewing machine, anyway.

This Saturday brings with it the long-awaited show, "Taking Textiles Seriously" to Side Show Studios. Cy and Char, co-owners of this fine establishment have been wanting to showcase the textile arts for some time and announced last November that it would happen in the spring. Well, my friends, your patience has paid off!

Taking Textiles Seriously Art Reception!
6pm - 10pm
Saturday, April 12th
Side Show Studios Custom Tattoo & Fine Art Gallery
5635 Freeport Blvd., Ste. 6

The traditional craft of working with fibers arts (aka textile arts) like spinning, cross-stitch, knitting & quilting is enjoying a resurgence. What makes the current popularity more interesting than just another turn of the fashions-come-and-go wheel is that fiber arts are also experiencing a renewal. The generation who cut their teeth on punk rock & monster movies (a lot of whom are now stay-at-home Moms) are busy redefining what it means to be a textile artist. Case in point: happily mixed in with the traditional needle arts, you will find beaded 'paintings,' pirate costumes and, yes, quilts featuring holy cupcakes and maybe even cat skeletons (I wonder who makes those...).

But don't just come to see the finished artworks! This show is also special because several of the artists will be demonstrating their secrets! Here is the tentative schedule (I'll update it as any changes are made):

6:30 No Sew Catnip Toys by Evie of Evie's Ark, All Things Animal
Evie will show you how to make several kitty faves, including her "knotty catnip cat toy," a fun catnip "destructable" using leftover TP rolls and more!

7:00 No-Sew Patches by Yoli Manzo of Sacred Snatch Designs
Yoli will show you how she makes her own patches from fun prints and a product called "fusible web."

7:30 Bobbin Work
by Krissi Sandvik
Krissi will demonstrate her technique for sewing with threads that are too thick to go through a needle. (Hint: she winds it on a bobbin and works from the back.)

8:30 Custom 'Coloring Book' Fabric by Kim Brownell
A fun way to make your own fabric designs! Kim will show you how to make "coloring book" pages on fabric that can be used in your quilts or other projects.

9:00 Free-Lace by Krissi Sandvik
Krissi will show you how to recycle your thread "garbage" into beautiful lacy art and fashions.

I hope to see y'all there!
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Local Girls Make Good (Stuff) !!

I'm so proud of my sisters in the Sacramento Craft Mafia!

Here's the Sacramento Bee article.

Handmade, with attitude

The Sacramento Craft Mafia has a social edge ... and a lot of fun

By Alison apRoberts -

Published 12:00 am PDT Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Story appeared in SCENE section, Page E1

Melody Claussen-Furry, left, Katie Reeves and Amy Cluck are members of the Sacramento Craft Mafia, a group devoted to making things by hand. Michael Allen Jones / mjones@sacbee.com

Members of the Sacramento Craft Mafia are armed and dangerously intent on making one-of-a-kind merchandise you'll find hard to refuse.

Wielding the weapons of their crafts, from knitting needles to glue guns, members recently met under cover of darkness on the back patio of the Coffee Garden in Curtis Park to share techniques and cupcakes, and plan some upcoming sales events.

Amy Cluck, founding crafter of the group, called the meeting to order by pounding a gavel, ingeniously created by another member using mini-flower pots and empty thread spools.

"We decided at the last meeting we're going to use parliamentary procedure," Cluck explained as she called the group to order.

The group, which has about 20 active members – all women – and just celebrated its first anniversary, is part of a much larger do-it-yourself movement that brings an indie-alternative vibe to crafting.

Some of the techniques and implements being used here would be familiar to your grandmother, but there are no blue-hairs tatting antimacassars in this group. Instead, there are a few tattoos and some hot-fuchsia and goth-black coifs among the group of crafters, mostly in their 20s and 30s. Some have day jobs and some are stay-at-home moms; they all have crafting in common.

The crafts they create are edgy variations on tradition, including earrings made from guitar picks; coasters adorned with the image of Lizzie Borden on one side, her trusty ax on the other; necklaces made from buttons; baby clothes adorned with whimsical appliqués; and handmade coffee-cup cuffs.

"We're big on googly eyes and glitter," says Cluck, 29, who lives in Carmichael.

From virtual to reality

The Sacramento Craft Mafia arose in an utterly modern way – an Internet-enabled cultural phenomenon that transformed a virtual community into a group that meets face-to-face and hosts events in the real world.

Cluck had seen the Web site of the original Craft Mafia, started in 2003 by nine women in Austin, Texas. Since its founding, the Texas group has spawned more than 40 other Craft Mafias – from Anchorage to New York City and even abroad to Glasgow, Scotland.

Cluck decided to start a Sacramento Craft Mafia group and began with a MySpace community page. Now, the group has a Web site, including a logo with a double-barreled sassy attitude: a silhouette of a '40s-style moll holding a glue gun with the Capitol dome behind her. (Cluck, who is a Web designer professionally, created the logo.)

The growing crafting scene, including the local Craft Mafia, relies on the Internet marketplace, particularly a site called Etsy (www.etsy.com) where even the smallest-scale crafter can easily sell handmade items. Unlike eBay, it's not an auction site; prices are set, and it feels and looks like an online crafts fair. Etsy charges 20 cents to list an item for four months, and it takes a 3.5 percent commission on sales.

Etsy, which started in June 2005 and is based in Brooklyn, claims that more than 100,000 sellers have opened "Etsy shops." These micro-entrepreneurs are part of a global and ultimately revolutionary enterprise, according to the Web site, which says, "Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, sell and live handmade."

Dream globally, act locally

Such global dreams are part of the crafting phenomenon's social-movement dimension, complete with a countercultural, political tone that appeals to those interested in living more simply and greenly (many popular crafts use recycled material). Its earnestness shows up in terms like "craftivism" and the online circulation of "buy handmade" pledges.

Not sure if handmade is really hip and artsy here in Sacramento? You'll be certain if you take the time to check out the crafts for sale during Second Saturday art events.

The Sacramento Craft Mafia has grown large enough that only those referred by current members are eligible to join. It costs $20 for six months to be a member.

The group's craft-sales events represent a chance to get some collective publicity and provides an opportunity for those members who have sold only online and never experienced the thrills and chills of person-to-person transactions.

"As a group, it's easier to bring attention to ourselves," Cluck said.

None of the Craft Mafia members has struck it rich, but they seem to be happy if they can feed their craft-hobby habit.

"To break even is awesome," says Katie Reeves, 25, who lives in Oak Park and embellishes baby clothes with hand-designed and stitched appliqués.

Have glue gun, will craft

The meeting feels like a mix of support group, tea party and summer camp craft table. The get-togethers are clearly relished gatherings.

"These girls are great; they're a community," said Briana Monroe, 26, who works as a project coordinator for a construction company. In her crafting life, she paints chairs and upholsters them into works of art.

Besides a night out with gal pals, the gatherings keep the members crafting.

"This feeds the desire to be creative," says Stacey Ball, 32, who makes crafts using vintage buttons, including knitted hats.

Just being around this group is enough to make a noncrafter consider making something by hand.

"My sister joined first, and I became an honorary member," said Angel Walsh, 30, who lives in Citrus Heights. The Craft Mafia embroidered its way into Walsh's heart, leading her to take up paper crafting, creating cards and flowers. "I finally decided to get off my butt and craft."

Melody Claussen-Furry, a founding member of the Sacramento Craft Mafia, made these necklaces. Michael Allen Jones / mjones@sacbee.com

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

She'll probably kick my butt with her giant Amazon feet

...but I just had to share.

My pal Sara (aka the QoT) came over today after WAY too long of an absence so we could get super crafty. Well, I was supposed to get crafty and she claimed that she was incapable of doing crafts. My response was something like, "Pshhhhh!"

Of course, it was so nice today that we had to take the ’stang out for a spin first, with the top down (the car’s not Sara’s). After we finished terrorizing Folsom, we came home for a tasty lunch and a few episodes of Beavis & Butthead before setting to our projects. First, she got to observe two of the crafter’s best friends - the color copier and the 1" craft punch. She got a lesson in basic wire wrapping (and did pretty dang well right out of the gate) by adding skull beads to her kitties’ new collars. She reglazed a shrinky dink skelekitty necklace (of Welcome Home) that got goofed up and got to take the necklace home for her efforts.

And then we really got down to the business at hand. All I did was toss some polymer clay (the very awesome Sculpey Lite - 1/3 less calories than regular Sculpey) and some skull molds (mexicansugarskull.com) her way and off she went!

The molds left the skulls a little "soft" looking, so she improved on their features with some tools and then went to town with leftover wire from the kitty collars and a few nails that were in my workspace. I sort of pointed her in the direction of my paintbox, glitters and brushes, then went off to sew and swear (those two go together).

Check out what this self-proclaimed "non-crafter" turned out!

Aren’t they the cutest couple EVER? (Some of the glaze is still a little milky looking in this photo, but she had to go to work this evening...).

Here’s Mr. punky dude with a view of his awesome mohawk and lip ring:

A few more crafting sessions and I think I can get her to acknowledge her inner craftista.
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The glitter auction items are UP on Etsy!

Well, here we go folks.

Just search tags for IDOLGIVESBACK

Or heck, just cut to the chase and buy my super-glittery corazon sagrado tote.

(psst! If it doesn’t sell for charity, I’m keepin’ it!)
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Stuff I NEED

I call it my suburban assault tool:

The Miss Army Knife comes in a variety of colors (pink, rose (shown) AND magenta as well as several non-pink shades). It comes with a flashlight, keychain, needle and thread, mirror, pill box, knife and more.

Of course, when I’m in my Off-Trail Mode that I slip into at least every May and October, I’ll be carrying an actual Leatherman tool - which is unlikely to be pink.

If you NEED it too, Amazon.com carries it, with every other manufactured item on the planet.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another tutorial!! "Funki-fied Tea Tins!"

Since I'm having trouble with my DIY site of choice, this is getting posted to my blogs first!!!

A great way to keep your teas fresh and tasty, while showing off your personal taste! Here's what you'll need to get started:
  • tea tin or airtight container
  • appropriate glue for your choice of materials
  • decorative paper
  • varnish of your choice
  • acrylic paint (optional)
  • sandpaper (optional)
  • tea (duh!) or coffee or cocoa or ... you get the drift

The Tins:

Measure the height of the tin from the bottom of the lid. You want to make sure you don't make the tin too "fat" for the lid to fit, after all!

Indicate the lid position using a fine-point permanent marker, unless your tin has an existing guide (like the Twinings tin).

TIP: I found some great tins on clearance at a local craft store (50 cents each!), which is what gave me the idea. You can also re-use tea tins or other airtight canisters.

The Ephemera:
awesome papers

Gather your decorative papers. You can use scrapbooking papers, Loteria tablas (as I did), junk mail, catalogs or just about anything flexible enough to glue to a tin!

Trim your papers to fit within the measurements you took in step 2.

The Glue!
glue options!

Spread glue** evenly over the surface to be covered. DO NOT spread glue over the lid-line. If you are using an industrial glue, you will need to work quickly and in a ventilated space (you twisted little glue-sniffer).

**Choose a glue to match your materials. For metal tins, use an industrial glue like E6000 or Liquid Nails. If you have a foil-lined paper canister (like a cocoa container), you can use a tacky white glue or my new personal fave, YES! paste.

tin tin

Apply your pretty papers and let your glue dry.

completed tin top

Repeat process with your lid.

completed tins

TIP: I chose to sand off the existing finish and paint the sides of my lid in a color that I matched to one of my papers. You could also use spray paint, tiny scraps of paper or a thin paper that would easily wrap from the top to the sides.

The Finishing Touch:
varnish options

VARNISH it baby! You want to protect your work, don't ya?

There are a plethora of varnishes from which to choose, so pick your favorite whether it be gloss, satin or matte.

Wipe off any varnish that creeps up over the lid-line of the tin or under the lid. Ensure that the varnish is not just dry, but allow plenty of time for it to cure before you handle - some varnishes take DAYS to cure in cool or humid weather.

Start rockin' your Earl Grey or English Breakfast with your awesomely cool tin!

completed project

UPDATE May 2011 - If I did this again today, I would still use the same adhesive, but would probably use a Golden Acrylics varnish - I like the way they dry a little better.
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