Orange swan sure knows how to craft a post! October 19, 2008 7:38 PM   Subscribe

I come in praise of orange swan and her many craft-related posts. They are wittily put together and loaded with tons of great links, especially those that recycle old things into amazing new ones. Thank you, orange swan!
posted by Lynsey to MetaFilter-Related at 7:38 PM (29 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Yay orangeswan! I have favourited them all, in hopes of one day having time to do some creative recycling. (Not likely, in the near future, but a girl can dream!)
posted by typewriter at 7:43 PM on October 19, 2008

posted by turgid dahlia at 7:55 PM on October 19, 2008

Yes, orange swan rocks!!
posted by lee at 7:56 PM on October 19, 2008

She's done nylons, jeans, sweaters...

this can only lead to bras.
posted by jonmc at 8:10 PM on October 19, 2008

Thanks for helping us prepare for the coming collapse, when we will fashion our personal gear out of the leavings of an industrial society!

No, just kidding, they are fun posts and a well conceived series.
posted by Miko at 8:18 PM on October 19, 2008

I know what I'll be doing next weekend! Thank you, orange swan. :)
posted by HopperFan at 8:21 PM on October 19, 2008

orangeswan's posts almost make me wish I was the least bit interested in crafting things. Even though I'm not, they're still neat, fun reads.
posted by Caduceus at 8:42 PM on October 19, 2008

Maintain, preserve, reuse, and recycle. Ditto.
posted by buzzman at 9:00 PM on October 19, 2008

orange swan made me a hooker.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:22 PM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

Yep, her awesomeness is an intimidating as hell inspiration to hope to aspire to.
posted by quin at 9:47 PM on October 19, 2008

Hee! I see what you did there, Ambrosia Voyeur

/former hooker

I, too, love the orange swan posts.
posted by lysdexic at 10:26 PM on October 19, 2008

Huzzah, I was looking at a mod felt fruit holder earlier today (shaped kind of like an egg carton bottom), and trying to think about how I could craft something similar out of recycled paper when I realized that those thoughts were inspired by Orange Swan posts. Not that I'll get off my ass to experiment with recycle crafts anytime soon, but still. Very cool, inspiring, and well thought out posts.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:51 PM on October 19, 2008

Amusingly enough, I was on her profile just today for some reason (I think because I was clicking through people who were near me, which somehow led me to Toronto, and imagine my delight when I found out how many nifty MeFites were actually in Toronto, and I'm getting off the subject...), and I remember thinking that 'creative recycling' was such a ridiculously cool theme to center posts around, and telling myself I need to try out some of her suggestions one of these days.

So, yeah, good job orange swan.
posted by Phire at 11:48 PM on October 19, 2008

Good finds orange swan, and thanks for gathering them into one place Lynsey.
posted by Cranberry at 12:17 AM on October 20, 2008

I, too, am a complete non-crafty who enjoys reading these very crafty posts. They're just....interesting!
posted by librarylis at 12:57 AM on October 20, 2008

Yay! Hugs!
posted by Jofus at 1:14 AM on October 20, 2008

Yes, she's quite crafty.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:04 AM on October 20, 2008

The girl is crafty like ice is cold.
posted by jonmc at 5:23 AM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

Swan rocks. End of story.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:58 AM on October 20, 2008

Why, thanks Lynsey, and everyone else!

I do put a lot of time into researching and writing these posts (like 2-3 hours each) and it's gratifying to hear that people enjoy them. And I’ve got quite a few ideas for other posts in this vein, so there’s more to come. Not sure about whether I’ll be doing a bra crafting post, jonmc, though it’s an idea. Nylon stockings are about as far as I’m willing to go in terms of the ick factor. I am sure you will all be relieved to hear I have no intention of doing an used undies crafting post.

orange swan made me a hooker

Just call me Madam Swan. And I’m always looking to recruit. The pay is low to nil but your wardrobe will be fabulous.
posted by orange swan at 6:14 AM on October 20, 2008

I’ll be doing a bra crafting post, jonmc, though it’s an idea

Well, it'd be hard to top these guys.
posted by jonmc at 6:26 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think orange swan is great in general, and I wish she was my Canadian girlfriend.
posted by [@I][:+:][@I] at 7:57 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

orange swan makes me wish I had better hand eye coordination.
posted by Evangeline at 8:57 AM on October 20, 2008

I find those posts to be of the sort "Hey, I just had an idea! I'll google up some links to support it and post it to MeFi". Posts like that seem to garner lots of support (read all the previous comments in this thread); I just wonder how close they skate to the edge of GYOB.
posted by joaquim at 10:59 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

She's definitely the bee's knee's!
posted by purephase at 5:22 PM on October 20, 2008

I love her posts as well! Interesting stuff. And I write crafting books for a living, for heaven's sake!
posted by at 7:16 PM on October 20, 2008

I'm pretty DIY myself, and it's true that most of the things I own are parts of other things that I plan to someday make into something else, but there is still something sadly relevant about making toys from rags.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:57 AM on October 21, 2008

My definition of rag is “piece of worn-out cloth that can only be used for cleaning”, and I am certainly not advocating making toys out of that. Most people will never need to make their kids toys from rags, unless they’re defining “rag” as fabric taken from, say, a jeans or a sweater that’s become too small.

And I do think I understand where you’re coming from, but it’s this very attitude towards living on less that I would like to see change. I seem to come across it so often. Not saying you’re like this, of course, but I’ve known so many people who think they’re hard done by if they can’t have new things all the time, if they can’t buy their child the year’s top rated toy or brand name jam, if they have to take public transit or sort their garbage, and who are shocked by the very mention of buying anything used, who live in the style they think they deserve regardless of what it’s doing to the planet and/or their financial situation, who act like the slightest decline in their standard of living is unthinkable and unacceptable. And I want us all to ditch our entitlement issues and learn to be more careful and mindful about what we, to see the value in things that we formerly threw away, and to realize that there’s nothing shameful about wearing the same clothes for years or using secondhand stuff.

A few years back I bought a king/queen-sized ivory fleece blanket that proved to be far too large for my queen-sized bed. I cut a strip off one side to make it the right size, and, as I was folding up the remnant and looking ruefully at all the wasted fabric, it dawned on me that it was ideal fabric with which to make stuffed animals. I got three stuffed animals out of it – a rabbit, a bear, and a sheep – sewed on black button eyes, and used some pieces of wide black satin ribbon I had left over from a sewing project to tie bows around their necks. I gave the toys away to the next three friends of mine who had babies. (Admittedly, I didn’t tell them I made their babies’ toys out of a piece cut off a blanket.) They were very well-received. I actually had to tell one of the women not to cry. Is that sad? No. Not being able to afford food, medical care, or a good education for yourself or your family is sad. Making do on fewer consumer goods is just responsible – and can not only be very rewarding but can mean the same or even a higher standard of life.
posted by orange swan at 11:26 AM on October 21, 2008 [9 favorites]

Is there something sad about wearing a cashmere sweater that I got, still in a sealed manufacturer's package, out of a dumpster on the campus of my old University on move-out day, and tie-dyed? No, no that is not sad, it is awesome. Throwing it away was sad.

Dang, I miss the bargain barn so bad. That was a place, an actual barn, in Santa Cruz where all the crappy crap that didn't sell at Goodwill was shoveled into bins with actual snow shovels in the morning and shoveled out to the dump at night. Clothes were $1/ pound, and it made you sneeze, but CASHMERE by the POUND is like, the best thing a felter ever heard of.

So, right on orange swan. I am presently racking my brain to figure out how to get enough cheap used t-shirts in the right colors to hook a t-shirt runner... and I'm going for like... 27 feet here. Aaahhhhhhh! I don't want to cave and buy jersey off the bolt!!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:57 AM on October 21, 2008

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