What have you been making lately? February 8, 2018 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Making things is a pretty common coping mechanism, and hell knows a lot of us have been low on cope this past year. I'm curious: what have you created lately that you're proud of? Baked anything elaborate? Written a story you're proud of? Knit a hat or crocheted a blanket? Created a little community? Built something? Written a program? Tell us about it!
posted by sciatrix to MetaFilter-Related at 2:16 PM (149 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

YAY! Thanks sciatrix. :)

I mentioned in the fucking fuck thread that designing enamel pins has become an outlet for me. The first 2 pins are groovy mid-century modern lights that were super popular. (George Nelson and Louis Poulsen if you're hip to the names.) The Louis Poulsen pin is in production now & I expect that batch in about 4 weeks. I even started my 1st Etsy store ever & am nervous!

Here's a link to my concept drawings. I think the Koi will be next up. :D

I've never done enamel pins before, but I'm having fun with them, and I really like the sense of humor that midcentury designers seemed to inject into their work.

I would like to know what blanket squares are. bilabial enlighten me?
posted by yoga at 2:28 PM on February 8 [11 favorites]


I'm currently making a bottle of KillerBee. I'm sure it'll turn out great again. It will come to a hacker event with me so that it can be shared. Sharing is nice.

I added a receiver for wireless charging to my phone (by sticking inside the cover) and then took a matching charger and some packaging materials and built a wireless charging cradle for my phone. No more fiddling with plugs: just put the phone to bed every night, the LED in the cradle will turn bright blue, and it's charging. The thing is made from a foamy plastic that lights up nicely when the LED inside is on. And the phone fits in just so, because I made it to size.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:28 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


I've crocheted a Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll per the birthday request of my childhood best friend. I will use this thread to motivate myself to take pictures of her and post them here in a while - thank you for the kick in the pants!

I also recently had a "craft times with friends" afternoon during which mostly we ate a lot of sandwiches and cheese but also I taught a dear friend how to make stellated octohedrons out of sonobe units (it sounds ridonk but it's just basic origami) and she has taken to it in a way I never would have expected, using the activity to combat her anxiety-induced insomnia by giving her a productive activity that doesn't actually require completion or much physical movement. I'm really proud of this because she's been going through a lot and I haven't been able to help her directly with any of it so this took me by surprise.
posted by Mizu at 2:28 PM on February 8 [16 favorites]


Cap shield solidarity with sciatrix
posted by The Whelk at 2:38 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I've been trying to make new songs for a new album. I'm kinda stuck because while I have hours worth of material I could re-use, everything bores me, and I'm not sold on the new stuff I'm coming up with to the point it bores me finish them. I'm also making a videoclip to a friend of mine, although I'm not sure my laptop will allow it.
posted by lmfsilva at 2:38 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I inherited all the family stuff. I decided that I would cull a lot and put the rest into some sort of context that could be out and enjoyed rather than sitting in dusty boxes. So I've created some shadow boxes (my parent's wedding, my great uncle and his 1890s bicycle club stuff), refinished and re-seated a couple of old chairs from the family farm in North Carolina, and created lampshades out of some of the 1,000s of slides from my dad.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:41 PM on February 8 [29 favorites]


... Those lampshades. Brilliant.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:43 PM on February 8 [10 favorites]


Yay, making stuff!

I've been doing some painting, not as much so far this year as I'd like but I've gotten a few projects done and one large painting recently that I'm really proud of. It's a Menger sponge (yes, yes, I know) but done in three-point perspective as a departure from my more common isometric treatment, and done large which has been the most exciting thing for me about it. The size and the color and the overall impact of it have really felt worth the effort.

I just posted the current finished-except-touchups state of it over on mltshp; that writeup has links back to some sketches and process pictures and a couple more details about where I was trying to go with it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:48 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]


agaitha those lampshade are fabulous! What a GREAT idea!
posted by yoga at 2:48 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


So one big thing I’ve been doing is trying to actually frame and put up all my posters and art, I followed it in a twitter thread here, you can see the shelf of books I used for researching The Manuscript and drawing of my mom!

And yes the aesthetic I was going for was “Steve Rogers’ hypoethical office “
posted by The Whelk at 2:57 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


On the first federal furlough a few weeks ago I made rough-puff pastry, with many folds. I made little rolled pastries with frangipane inside and brought them to the office. Half of that pastry dough is still in the freezer to be used for apple turnovers.

If we are furloughed tomorrow, I am going to try to make croissants from scratch. Because why not.
posted by suelac at 3:02 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


Oh man, girlfriend and I have gotten super productive in the past few months. She's been making some amazing paintings and digital artworks. She told me once, very offhandedly, that a college art professor said could probably get a full scholarship to a top MFA program, but she didn't believe him -- having seen the work she does, I totally believe it. She's absolutely brilliant. She's just finishing up a really big and exciting project (on top of a couple other really exciting projects) that I probably can't talk about here, so all I'll say is that I couldn't be more excited or proud.

We've both been baking a lot, lots of cakes and things. I make a lot of biscuits. She made a pineapple upside down cake last night, which was delicious. A few nights ago I made a Cambridge gingerbread based on a recipe from the 1896 Boston Cooking School book (which later became the Fannie Farmer cookbook). It's not the sweet kind of gingerbread, but the kind you slice and eat with butter. (It was a "Cambridge" gingerbread because of the addition of cinnamon. It was tasty, but I think I prefer my gingerbread neat.)

Last winter I learned embroidery so I could make a small portrait of my sister's family in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, which I gave as a Christmas present. I had a great time making it, and everyone loved it. I want to keep making embroidery now, but I've sort of run low on ideas for the moment. I monogrammed a napkin for my girlfriend, but every idea I have for other stuff feels kind of not very exciting. Embroidery is on hold while I focus on other stuff, for now.

Girlfriend gave me a dip pen for my birthday, and I've been having loads of fun teaching myself calligraphy. I've been practicing a couple different styles. I haven't made any effort to learn copperplate yet, but since a lot of my academic research involves reading handwritten documents from the late 19th century, I've had a pretty fun time picking up Spencerian penmanship (it was really cool the first time I wrote something that looked like one of my historical documents). I bought a stub nib the other day, and I've been having fun experimenting with italic scripts. I'm planning on buying some goose quills and making my own quill pens to practice some of the much older scripts used in the Medieval period. I still have a long way to go with my penmanship before it'll be good enough to share with other people or make gifts with, so for now I've just been making little fun papers for my girlfriend that politely request that she praises Satan, and whatnot.

I've put music on hold lately, only because our mixer died and we haven't bought a new one. It's just as well, or we'd have jumbles of cables everywhere.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. We've been really busy, but in the best way. I'm looking forward to doing more once I stop getting these dang headaches. I found a book of Victorian home crafts at the bookstore last year, but someone bought it before me, so now I'm trying to track that down. You'll know I've found it if I start talking about the moss art I've been doing.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:09 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]


I just frogged a shawl a few inches in and am starting again, this time with the colors in a different order.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:09 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


Making progress on the application to get a home-built compost toilet inspected in a major US city, using new international plumbing standards for 5 gallon bucket toilets (with separate composting chambers).
posted by aniola at 3:09 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


Making things is a pretty common coping mechanism,

I found a TLR for cheap and have been shooting, help me, medium format film.
Got the scanner all cleaned up and am working on a hybrid workflow.

Next: get a developer kit and chemicals.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:09 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


My blue plaid cape needs just the last hand-stitching for the hem at the lining. I managed to make a beret from left-over plaid and started making a blue velveteen halo hat (with plaid trim) to go with it as well.

I've got several dozen other things I want to make/finish (among them, this Vogue, which is done, except for setting the sleeves and hemming) (and this hat in faux snow leopard which just needs the elastic casing stitched closed) (and other version of the Marian Martin cape, in faux leopard which went wrong while I was cutting the lining)

It does not help me cope but I do enjoy doing it.
posted by crush at 3:16 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]


I am nearly finished with my second pair of socks, knit two-at-a-time magic loop style. This makes me feel like a wizard.
posted by bq at 3:17 PM on February 8 [10 favorites]


I’m nearing the end of a shawl I’ve been knitting for a couple of months; I suspect the amount of time I will spend in front of the TV watching Olympic figure skating will let me finish that right up.

I’m thinking really hard about finishing a fanfic WIP or three.

And I don’t really know if “recapping Animorphs books” qualifies as making a thing, but it seems to be amusing a small but vocal segment of Tumblr, so, well, that’s also a thing.
posted by Stacey at 3:19 PM on February 8 [11 favorites]


Made a new fireplace mantel out of a 6 foot Douglas Fir 6 x 8. The fun part was fixing all the cracks and trying to match the birch flooring. The grain is totally different, of course, but the colors are a decent match.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:23 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]


Okay here's a bunch of unedited photos of Ruth Bader Ginsburg! g-drive, Ravelry project page.
posted by Mizu at 3:28 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


Getting back into brewing. Latest is a pale, brewed while listening to lots of Hawkwind. Hence Prog Pale. Should be ready this weekend!
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:41 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


I am knitting a hat, but that feels like cheating, because I'm pretty much always knitting a hat. This one is blue and slouchy. I may put a pom-pom on it.

I am making a to-do app, which I think is a total cliche coding project, but I'm mostly doing it to learn test-driven development. I have to figure out a more-interesting project I can do once I feel like I have the hang of things.

I'm fixing up my spare bedroom. There may be an ask-me soon about cool ways to decorate a bizarre boarded-up interior window. I don't know why there's a boarded up window, complete with window frame, between the spare bedroom and the dining room, but I am convinced that there's something cool that can be done with it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:42 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


Late night snack pass-through!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:44 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


I've recently written a number of fics for the first time myself, which has been.... kind of awesome, actually. I need to wrap up my semi-posted WIPs and work on the alarmingly long AU that I'm theoretically cowriting, which started as someone's prompt for a college teacher/student AU (yuck) and wound up mutating into something revolving around some interesting themes: loneliness and isolation, male body insecurity in two different lenses, the weird experience of being a nontraditional student, and the way people carve out niches in spaces that aren't designed for them. That one I need to put some damn words on; I'm not publishing it till it's done, but it's well plotted out and just needs some sanding and fleshing out.

plus I wrote baby's first sex scene, which ended in premature ejaculation, accidental headbutt to someone else's groin, and a character literally attempting to pretend to be dead. I feel this is a good entrance into the genre.

Creative writing has always intimidated me, so actually trying my hand at storytelling has been interesting and kind of freeing, in a way. I don't have any expectations of myself, so I can dabble here and there and get some validation in a different corner of my life. Plus I can put myself into all manner of different headspaces, which is sometimes nice.

I've also been working on my long-term embroidery project in bits and pieces; I've done most of the words from the bottom and am now working on outlining the rim of the raven. I work on it as I have time and inclination, and I figure that maybe when I'm done with it, I can bind up all my issues with my family into it and finally let them go.

I do have an embroidery machine given to my roommate by her mom; I'd love to have the time and energy to dig into it and find out more about it. I've done a little sewing work, and it's been tons of fun.

And I finally have a roommate lined up for the last room in my house, which is going to be awesome--and mean that I see a lot of painting her room waiting in my future. So that's going to be interesting.
posted by sciatrix at 3:44 PM on February 8 [15 favorites]


I am making a to-do app, which I think is a total cliche coding project, but I'm mostly doing it to learn test-driven development.

Ooh, I'm thinking of writing a to-do app too! I haven't coded anything in ages, but I haven't been able to find a to-do program that has all the features I want. It probably is cliche, but whatever. What language are you doing it in?
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:47 PM on February 8


I hadn't either, which is why my "todo" program is a frankenstein nightmare of Todoist, PomoDone, and Habitica. I'm excited to hear how yours goes!
posted by sciatrix at 3:48 PM on February 8


what have you created lately that you're proud of?

And additionally I haven't MADE a lot of things, but I've been fixing and mending and maintaining. A bike, a pair of pants, a camera, a kettle, a walking stick, shoes, a shirt.

Odd that proper maintenance feels like a radical act, but there we are.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:51 PM on February 8 [12 favorites]


I would like a to-do app that immediately does all the things on the list.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:52 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


This past year has been great for my art and craft skills development. I have probably quite literally created one beautiful thing for every terrible thing I have heard or seen since the election. Unfortunately I don't find the work involved with marketing and selling things very therapeutic so I've got like a 600 peice jewelry collection right now.

My recent favorites include this necklace, this necklace, twin peaks necklaces and this super cool purse. If you scroll through on each pic, you can see how everything glows!

And these cool cookies.
posted by Lapin at 4:01 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]

What language are you doing it in?
I'm trying to figure out Django, but it's slow going, because I honestly barely understand how websites work. The knitting is going to much faster.
I've been fixing and mending and maintaining.
Yeah, I've been doing some of that, too.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:01 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


A quilt for me! The far left fabric is binding, the squares are the finished quilt top and the black and white cats are going on the back. I just need to pick up some batting.

And because I have finally been able to log in to imgur, here is a bonus cat photo.
posted by janepanic at 4:08 PM on February 8 [11 favorites]


I would like a to-do app that immediately does all the things on the list.

✔️ Create to-do list
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:17 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]


After faffing around with various systems and content and not being happy with anything that resulted, I've started to design and construct a (proper) text adventure. This uses content I've been accumulating for a while in this part of England - mainly pictures which are up in various photo sites, as well as a brew of folklore, Druidism, mead-induced hallucinations, carnal sex, rural customs and baking.

It's going to take a while (between several and many months) to do to a point where I'm satisfied with it; then I'll stick it in MetaProjects. I should really be working on fixing my extremely out of date work website, plus learning Norwegian and Swedish more seriously, but gotta do some non-work stuff at some point. The daylight is also getting noticeably longer, snowdrops are bursting out, and we're moving into Eurovision Song Contest qualification season, so there's a bundle of other distractions. Heck.
posted by Wordshore at 4:23 PM on February 8 [15 favorites]


I joined a makerspace last summer, despite not being in any of the expected demographics for that sort of thing because fuck it, I want to learn to make things, even if I do it badly. (I very intermittently chronicle my futzings on my blog.) This fall I took a couple basic, beginner-level class with a master woodworker and churned out a bunch of fancy hardwood cutting boards from roughcut boards that I gave as Christmas presents. I've recently learned to use the laser cutter and am learning my way around Illustrator and designing in 2D. I made a charging station and a bedside phone/watch/glasses/ring-holder.

My next thing will be getting better at CNC and 3D design because I have an idea for a cutting board I might want to see if I can sell, with an inlay representing Pittsburgh's three rivers and I'm gonna need the CNC mill for that. I also just got a Raspberry Pi Zero W which I'm looking for a project to learn on.

I do none of these things terribly well. I'm fundamentally a tinkerer and not a masterer and I'm not any sort of engineer or artist. I'm reasonably proud of my cutting boards but mostly I'm proud of the fact that I've undertaken any of this stuff for the first time at the age of 42. And it absolutely has been an outlet for me in these times.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:28 PM on February 8 [19 favorites]


I've been making astronomy-themed latch hook rugs. Here's the first one I did. It's the Arecibo message. Then I made one of Messier 13, the globular cluster that the message was aimed at. Now I'm working on a rug of the cosmic microwave background, as detected by the WMAP probe. In those last two pictures you can also see a mini size one I made when I was obsessed with Stardew Valley and which my cat Rocky has claimed for himself. It takes forever to make these and I have no idea what to do with them.
posted by theodolite at 4:42 PM on February 8 [38 favorites]


Those are amazing theodolite! I am a big fan of all space related crafts - and I have yet to see rugs!

Fantastic.
posted by Lapin at 4:49 PM on February 8


I had not done any making to speak of since an auto accident in July, but fortunately a couple of books were already in the publishing pipeline. Second one just came out. Seeing them both in print has been marvelous. They're my first novels in print and I'm over the moon. (Disclaimer: I'm the second-named author, but the first author is one of my favorite writers and I was thrilled to work with her; probably more thrilled than if they were solo works.)

And I'm so so grateful for the Valentine's card exchange, because it nudged me into making some kind of visual art for the first time since my injury. Sketching and painting: astonishingly therapeutic, and I feel so much better!

I have also made a little haven. My neighbors' home was destroyed in a fire. They lost everything; even their cars in the driveway were totaled. The humans made it out, but not all the pets did. Heartbreaking. So I am grateful to be able to host their surviving Elder Statesman cat while his human family tries to get situated. He's had a rough couple of days, but is a trouper! I rearranged our guest room to be geriatric-cat friendly, and he has settled right in. Kitteh sez: "Perspective. I gives you it." And, yeah, I'm proud to be known as somebody who could be trusted with sheltering and comforting a creature who means so very much to someone.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 4:50 PM on February 8 [19 favorites]


I made two apple strudels for potlucks - stretching the dough is a lot of fun if you use bread flour and let it rest. Pippin apples.

I also made baked beans in the Instantpot, and they were very, very memorable. More so than the strudels, even. Next up, bathrobes for my girls. I haven’t decided on a fabric yet.
posted by The Toad at 4:57 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


I made Pierrot/Pierrette costumes for a masquerade ball based (loosely) on this image. On the day they were, mm, 80% of what one would like them to be, but the "it's going to be dark and we're going to be whirling around" and the hard deadline got me over a habitual perfectionism problem. I think I understand how to adapt the underlying pattern for an 18th c bodice better, and Archimedean spiral engageants were SO MUCH FUN that I will have to fit them onto a putatively modern garment, and anyhow it was *done* and we *wore them* and they survived dancing. And we're set for a 1930s fancy-dress house party, should one occur.

I have since then made nice burrito pillowcases out of some cloth that was just never going to suit what I bought it for, and have lined up a bunch of UFOs in order of return-on-effort, and am helping a friend learn how to drape/sew because she hates shopping for clothes as much as I do.

As soon as it warms up, I hope to do a similarly can't-fail woodwork project in the garden and then get to some more important repair/maintenance woodwork.

And if no-one else finishes a smartphone interface for TaskWarrior I guess I'll pick a new language to try it in. First to-do item...
posted by clew at 5:03 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


I drew posters for Black Lives Matter week at my daughter's school.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:17 PM on February 8 [17 favorites]


To my slight chagrin my Maker skills are limited, except in the food department.

I've been making a lot of ice cream and other sweets lately. I also resurrected a little project I call "Philanthro-pints," where I sell pints and quarts of homemade ice cream to friends and family to fundraise for various causes (this month it's "No More Deaths," the humanitarian group that--among other things--leaves food, water, medicine, and blankets in the US-Mexico borderlands for migrants). So that scratches a creative "maker" itch and a bit of a world-is-going-down-the-shitter "doer" itch.
posted by duffell at 5:21 PM on February 8 [23 favorites]


I've done a fair bit of baking recently (I'm almost always doing a fair bit of baking; I call it Solving the Breakfast Problem). Made the Milk Bar corn cookies last night (fantastic, as always). Made a brown butter banana bread last weekend (tasty, but the brown butter gets stomped into the dust by the banana). Made a rhubarb frangipane tart a couple weeks back because I found gorgeous rhubarb at the grocery store (that was really, really good).

I also make a fair bit of ice cream, and most recently made hazelnut ice cream, which is fantastic. Also made salted caramel ice cream recently, and may have used a wee bit too much salt (but it was still good). I've replicated Toscinini's Saffron Kulfi ice cream (because I'm a saffron obsessive), but that was a while ago.

I intermittently do large-scale photo and poster printing; we have a 2' banner printer, and I print my photographs, and for the last year, I've done large, durable protest posters on demand for friends. Turns out there's printable canvas that's nearly waterproof; makes for great protest posters. I've been buying lots of photo paper for the printer recently (it's an older model, so getting the right paper got a lot harder after HP discontinued it in 2013 and 2015), but I haven't done much photo printing the last few months. I did print a large superb owl for the joke on Sunday, though.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 5:36 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


It's funny - I consider myself an artist and crafter, I do improv comedy, and the first thing to come to mind was a Facebook group. I made a group simply called Happy Place, declared it a politics-free zone, and invited friends and told them to invite some friends. It's a group where people share pictures of their pets, good news they got, their love for their sweeties, crafts, cartoons... it's nice.

I've been very spotty in posting to Instagram, but I like this card, mostly because that die cut skirt was made with a treetop die, and the gel print on it turned out pretty cool.

I've been cutting out bits from magazines (it's meditative) and recently started sorting them into words or colors or objects or people, and then breaking down those categories more finely. It's a good example of something I've come to realize. I have two main hobbies - crafting/arting and organizing craft/art supplies.

I've also been writing a bunch of Other Foot cards, as has mr. booksherpa. We've been playing for 10+ years and have really been trying to get a regular game going of late. We're also working on a podcast, and have recorded a test episode, which was pretty educational. We also started playing in a new D&D 5E campaign started by our local gaming store, and it has been YEARS since we have gamed regularly. The two of us originally met online in rec.games.frp waaay back in the day, so it's cool to game again.

Oh! Recent and proud, yes. The improv troupe had a show this past Saturday, and I was in the hot seat for our final game, called Interrowop. It's a guess-the-stuff game mashed up with a make-up-a-verse song game. One player (the criminal) goes out of the theater, and the rest get suggestions from the audience about who the criminal killed, where, and with what. The criminal comes back in, the other players sing invented verses with clues for the three bits of information, and the criminal confesses in verse. It's impressive when we nail it. I was the criminal, and I had two out of the three, and half knew the third (someone flubbed a verse). Halfway through my confession, a lady in the front row said "How does she DO that??" That's one of the best compliments I've gotten on my improv, and it made my night.
posted by booksherpa at 5:43 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


a little inspiration
posted by bq at 5:44 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


I recently designed some tote bags to promote my local library-technology project, Books for DC—previously posted on MefiProjects. I've sold a few and have been happily using one, myself.

My personal website got a makeover, too. And I've been making headway writing a long-postponed blog about public information-access and the DC criminal justice system.

I'm also really enjoying using this website called Are.na to organize thoughts and documents. It's basically like a mashup of Pinterest, Pinboard, and Mendeley for creative research. Are any of you on the site?
posted by waninggibbon at 5:52 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]


I've also been writing a bunch of Other Foot cards, as has mr. booksherpa. We've been playing for 10+ years and have really been trying to get a regular game going of late.

Squee! Otherfoot! If I lived in your vicinity I'd totally try to get in on your game.
posted by duffell at 5:56 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I just finished a hand weaving for some friends for their 5th wedding anniversary (the wood anniversary) that has pieces of driftwood and dried seaweed woven into it that I gathered on the CA coast. It is golden yellow, navy, and oatmeal colors, with the wood and seaweed, and it turned out really beautiful.

I also painted a finger labyrinth on paper to send to a friend for her to put into her bullet journal, as she has a difficult anniversary coming up and I wanted her to feel taken care of/cared about.

I used watercolor pencils and paint to create some pages in my own journal for reflections on a couple significant relationships, with watercolor heart and lungs and ocean waves.

And! I made valentines for the valentine card swap and sent them out into the world!
posted by fairlynearlyready at 6:01 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]


It's funny - I consider myself an artist and crafter, I do improv comedy, and the first thing to come to mind was a Facebook group. I made a group simply called Happy Place, declared it a politics-free zone, and invited friends and told them to invite some friends. It's a group where people share pictures of their pets, good news they got, their love for their sweeties, crafts, cartoons... it's nice.

Yeah, there's a reason I put that in there--I have a firm belief that making a community is a thing that happens, and that community curation can be just as much of a "making" hobby as something like knitting can be. You're creating structure and relationships that didn't exist, and I'm really glad that you made something like that for people to decompress in.
posted by sciatrix at 6:13 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


am nearly finished with my second pair of socks, knit two-at-a-time magic loop style.

In my opinion, two-at-a-time with magic loop is the very best way to knit socks, or arm warmers, or whatever tubes you need two of! I magic loop everything, though, so I'm partial.

This winter, I knitted two sweaters for our chiweenie, Remy, but haven't felt up to any big knitting projects. I do have enough Madeline Tosh to knit myself a cardigan sweater which I really should start before it gets to be a million degrees in Arizona.

Last year around this exact time, I decided I needed the learning curve of a new medium to distract me, so I took up working with epoxy resin. It has been an amazing challenge, there's a vast amount to learn, and practical experience counts for a lot. I've made a huge number of really bad resin pieces, and a few good ones. I've been lazy about photographing my results, but I have a few on my Instagram.
posted by Squeak Attack at 6:15 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


I built a Retropie and have been happily avoiding the news by playing Zelda, Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, Pitfall, etc.
posted by COD at 6:21 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Squee! Otherfoot! If I lived in your vicinity I'd totally try to get in on your game.

I wish! I forget how we originally heard about it, perhaps it was your post, but it's been a favorite for a while. We have Apples to Apples, and CAH, but Other Foot has our heart. We used to have a group of folks we played with regularly for years, and built up a deck of probably more than 1000 cards. Every so often we'd do a cull instead of playing, and weed out long forgotten jokes based on current events. At some point we added the names of all the regular players as cards, which made for interesting rounds. Both of us have a pile of half size index cards near our laptops in case we spot the makings of a good card. Our basic rule for card writing has evolved to be "Leave the funny to the game; don't write it on the card."
posted by booksherpa at 6:34 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Last week I made a big pot of pulled pork that I turned into pulled pork sandwiches, pulled pork nachos, 2 pulled pork shepards pies and a pan of pulled pork enchiladas. I felt like the queen of efficient meal planning.
posted by gatorae at 7:06 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


Two things ... I'm in the middle of renovating a powder room: repainted, tiled the floor. I should be done this weekend. I splurged on a somewhat fancy pedestal sink. I'll update with pictures if I get it done before the thread dies.

And I'm taking guitar lessons, which is making all sorts of new connections in my brain. I'm a trained violinist in one life, and so I can read music just fine, but all the notes and open strings are in different places so my brain is busily remapping.
posted by Dashy at 7:16 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


I've been intermittently posting demos of songs for a long (long, long)-promised album (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) over on MeFi Music for the last few years. This is my first new album since 2001, so it's been quite an event around these parts. After a year in the studio, I finally finished the last of the tracking last night. Only two more days of mixing and it's done, baby, done! Here's a MeFi-exclusive leak of the first single.
posted by mykescipark at 7:17 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


In my head I’m making the cheese plate for a friend’s birthday party tomorrow night. I’ll bring a jar of my pickled carrots, a jar of jalapeño jelly, a jar of peach jam, two kinds of cheese (subsidized by my partner), crackers, and a bag of nuts. I’m thibking about serving dishes - tiny spoons, a little fork for the carrots, cheese knives. The jams will go in ramekins. The nuts need a bowl. I have a bowl for the crackers. Cheeseboard. I don’t have a cheeseboard and cannot justify one. I have a pottery bowl that would be perfect for the nuts but I’d be heartbroken if it were damaged.

There have been lots of knitted things as I’ve culled the stash and determined to use the yarns I love, instead of just petting them. So this is the winter of excessive socks and using scraps to perhaps finally finish the sock scrap blanket. If you have extra sock yarn lingering, feel free to fling it in my general direction.

And a bit of baking, including but not limited to cranberry almond cookies, which are crumbled but tasty.

I’m trying to keep a brand new baby ZZ Plant alive but one of the pairs of cotyledons is yellow, so this may get chalked up in the destruction column. We’ll see. (I did splurge on a snake plant at ikea a few weeks ago when I BUILT A DRESSER, and it’s doing fine. The plant is fine. The dresser is too, I guess.)
posted by bilabial at 7:26 PM on February 8 [8 favorites]


I would like somebody to make a script (?) that would let you favorite all the comments in a thread individually with one click. sciatrix seriously this is so awesome, will you post one of these once a month?
I don't think I have made anything tangible worth writing up lately, sadly. But at my not-quite-wedding a couple of weeks ago I played the first movement of Mozart K.458 with two violinists I love and the world's most adorable violist, and even though our entire rehearsal time was something like two and a half runthroughs, the structure is so clear and elegant, and we know each other's playing so well from years of orchestra together, that it came together perfectly and sang. Tremendously exhilarating.
posted by huimangm at 7:26 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I am starting research for creating a newsletter. It's largely an exercise in patience, as my idea for it is to be a slower and deeper reaction to various articles on culture, tech, and possibly some non-despairing news events. Instead of dishing out shallow and possibly performative hot takes on Twitter or Facebook, this will allow me to take some time to read and think about the topics at hand.

Current thoughts are that it will come out every two weeks, so as to strike a balance between frequency and depth. I'd also like to boost friends who make art, and also to share music I'm into.

There will also be corn served.
posted by stannate at 7:29 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


over the past couple of months I developed my first web application, for a friend who works for a pro tennis tournament to do evaluation for the ballperson tryouts (and mid-tournament evals to figure out who the final teams should be). relatively simple person-searching and note-taking app using Sheets API as a makeshift back-end database, which solved a couple of problems at once -- they'd been using a Google Sheet to track stuff anyhow, so this plugged into their current set-up while cutting out the remaining pen-and-paper bits. plus it lets them sort, filter, and generally utilize the data and also lets them edit a lot of different stuff to their liking without it affecting the usability of the (very phone-specific, so very simple UI) app itself.

I'd been diving into full-stack development as a fun hobby anyway and this opportunity just sort of fell into my lap as a result of telling my friend about what I'd been learning. it's a simple thing, built with Semantic UI as a CSS framework to keep front-end things easy and using Node and Express for really just the most basic back-end set up, the hardest part was getting Sheets API authentication up and running, but I'm damn proud of it and had a blast making it and got paid for it, to boot, making it the first time I got paid to do a coding thing, which is crazy to me.

I'm desperately trying to come up with some neat personal-project ideas that aren't too ambitious just so I can keep making things. it's so satisfying, the way that writing's satisfying but with much more concrete problem-solving involved.
posted by Kybard at 7:54 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


OMG I MADE A MOCCASIN TODAY!

Please note that's a DIY pattern and test mocc made out of some crappy faux leather. The real thing is going to be made from hide and the cuffs are going to be beaded to heck and back.

Also it's totally on the wrong foot. I was excited. I STILL AM.

posted by elsietheeel at 8:24 PM on February 8 [13 favorites]


We're, uh, making earthquake preparedness. We're taking NERT classes, and we have actual water-storage containers at the house, and we have bug-out bags, and will soon be making NERT response bags, and... Yeah. It's maybe a sort of weird way to manage The Anxiety, but it works. Plan, prepare, be trained to help as needed.

And I'm really hoping that last year's Cooper's hawks come back this year so I can start making Backyard Coops Reports more regularly this yeah.
posted by rtha at 8:26 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


In September, my wife and I bought a house with my brother (because as a mid-thirties academic I am still financially dependent on family who made better life choices), with the idea of improving it ourselves both for our own enjoyment and to improve the return on our investment whenever we decide to move. Since then much of my life has been consumed with various projects around the house. I have made:

A structural repair to a bit of rotted out sill plate and joist in our sunroom, which a contractor who looked at it later pronounced "good."

A new subfloor for tiling on top of asbestos-containing linoleum in the same room, to make the room safer and more beautiful (with significant assistance from my wife).

Two new electrical outlets in the same room, including fishing wiring through some pretty tricky structure. It was my first time fishing wire, and I think I started with a pretty non-trivial challenge, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

Upgrades to several improperly grounded outlets due to poor wiring by a previous owner or their contractor.

A new dryer vent to allow a more logical placement of our clothes dryer in the basement. Dryer vent ductwork is one of my least favorite things to work with, but it turned out quite well, especially considering it had to penetrate to the exterior of the house.

I'm frustrated I haven't been able to get more done, but after I dislocated my knee in early December, it took me over a month before I could do much of anything. I'm finally at the point where I'll soon be ready to tackle wiring up the basement with new lighting, and then slowly begin getting as many outlets and fixtures off of our knob and tube circuit as possible. We've also got a lot of fencing that needs to be repaired or replaced, which I'm looking forward to once it starts getting warm again.

In some ways my world feels very small right now, because I'm mostly doing all of this work for my own benefit, and while I take pride in doing the work correctly and aesthetically, especially the electrical work, it's mostly just me and my wife, and any future residents of our house, who will enjoy it. But I'm hoping to use the skills I'm developing for others' benefit as well. I'm specifically hoping I'll be able to go to Puerto Rico in April to help rebuild the Caribbean Primate Research Center's facilities, and the homes of the technicians who have continued to keep the animals provisioned and the research facility going, despite their own homes being damaged or destroyed. The more I learn working on my own house, the more I hope I'll be able to help then.
posted by biogeo at 8:30 PM on February 8 [12 favorites]


I designed and knitted some socks, and after I get them test knit, I might post the pattern! Which is a thing I've always meant to do and never done, so is exciting to me.

I immediately cast on for another pair of socks, and also a sweater, and also a shawl, because what happens if I'm not knitting four things at once? I might die.
posted by mishafletch at 8:40 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


OMG I am on a total sewing binge. Check out especially the first picture here. Am thinking of making more purses! :)
posted by Melismata at 8:44 PM on February 8 [8 favorites]


I have been trying to write unimportant little poems (it doesn't have to be good, it just has to be done) using lines from Duolingo as prompts ("I saw him fall." "Those are not my keys." "She is now in her own world.").

Mizu, I love the Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll!
posted by kristi at 9:02 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


Melismata, that pic of all the sewing you've done is basically the greatest thing I've ever seen. I love it.
posted by mishafletch at 9:06 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


I only know how to make things out of words, so I don't know if this counts. I was asked to write a guest post for my profession industry blog to help promote the importance of aspiring to and achieving our credential. So... In Checkbooks and Underwear Drawers.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:08 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I've been making nail polish and wire flowers, in order to make a bouquet of river-worn branches from the Potomac with some glittery flowers. It's taking a long time to make enough flowers to be worthwile, but that's OK. It's super easy but kinda fiddly, so I can listen to music while focusing on it and it's very soothing.
posted by gemmy at 9:42 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


My work is already creative, so I've been trying to hide in it extra to improve morale.

When I was younger - teens/20s - I used to do small origami a lot, and I've taken that back up too, any time I'm doing something pretty passive: waiting in a doctor's office or for a bus or the like. Right now, I'm about halfway through doing a thousand paper cranes as a belated birthday gift for a friend, all of which will fit in a single jar when I'm done.
posted by mordax at 10:50 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


sciatrix, I'm so happy you brought up fic! That one you described sounds like something I'd 100% want to read.

I am making words. I just started writing fiction again — after a years-long, depression-imposed hiatus — and I'm writing fic as a way to ease back into the process. I have a couple original stories I'm working on, too, but those seem to come with so much pressure to Do It Properly; easier (and happier) to start with fic, which for me has always come from a low-stakes, high-reward place of, "I'm excited about this thing and I want to share it with other people who love Thing, too!"

I'm also slowly, slowly carving out a few (not-very-good-but-important-to-me poems).

Honestly, it takes me months to write a poem. I kind of wonder if others work less slowly? I find that my first, oh, two or three (or seven) drafts of a poem are not worth anything at all — it takes a lot of time to steep, shall we say.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 11:38 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I'm currently doing a cross stitch where the pattern is printed on the fabric itself -- exactly like a stitch-by-numbers. (Apparently this is more popular in China?) It's nice; it's getting me back into the hobby slowly, and I don't have to do a lot of counting or prep. I just figure which color I need, pull three threads from the floss, and go to town while I binge YouTube.

I'm also subscribed to a twice-monthly TsumTsum knitting+crochet project, one of the only things I near-immediately ordered after seeing a commercial, and although the issues (and yarn) are piling up at least I know I'll have more things to work on without running out of material for the time being.
posted by lesser weasel at 11:55 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I just made the most delicious cauliflower fennel gratin. (It still counts as vegetables if you put a bunch of cheese and bacon all over them, right?) And I did it all, including making a béchamel and stirring in a bunch of shredded smoked sharp cheddar cheese, without any sort of recipe or measuring, really. You guys, it turned out SO GOOD! Like, I couldn’t stop eating it. I kind of want to go get a little more out of the fridge right now (it’s currently 1:23 am here).
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:23 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]


I've been spinning (as usual), but since I got a secondhand rigid heddle loom, I've started weaving too. And lately, I actually have been using spindles that's not made by myself from toy wheel parts lol. I've started on turkish spindles, but the wind-on is so much slower than my usual speed, but I truly appreciate the centre-pull ball, which saved me time there.
posted by cendawanita at 12:32 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


I've started fermenting things! A couple of months ago, I went to a kombucha tasting, and aside from finding some really good kombuchas, also discovered water kefir and how amazing that was. It seemed easier to brew small batches of water kefir, so I bought a few jars and some starter grains; I poured them into some sugar water, waited 72 hrs, and had a totally different beverage after!

While the stuff I've made so far is nothing like the magical mango guava water kefir I tried at the cafe, I still like it -- I've made orange, ginger, and cardamom-flavored brews so far.

I like that the grains reproduce; I feel mildly responsible for their well-being, as if I were a rancher of tiny slimes. I think they've doubled in volume in three or four brewings. Though I don't expect this pace to continue, anyone near Seattle interested in having some grains should feel free to memail me!

Oh, there's also two jars of red cabbage trying to become sauerkraut. They currently smell like socks, though the internet tells me that that is normal and desirable.
posted by batter_my_heart at 1:12 AM on February 9 [9 favorites]


I used to be a somewhat creative person but, as real life took over, I had to put a lot of things behind me and forgot about them in the past 10 years. A few months ago I was tasked to produce a 3-minute YouTube video for the EU-funded (H2020) scientific project I'm involved in, to participate in a competition designed to make H2020 projects known to the general public (the winning video will be the one with the most "Likes" by April 14). So I hired my kids and colleagues, watched a lot of YouTube tutorials about Premiere and After Effects, and ended up making this goofy video featuring plush toys, LEGOs, a kung-fu fight between a chicken and a dinosaur and a bunch of Wilhem screams that is very well received even though it's quite different from the competing videos (all more serious and professional-looking). Not only it was very, very fun to do, but I learned a lot in the process, and it felt good to create stuff again.
posted by elgilito at 2:26 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


I've just broken through the mother of all writing blocks and written another 2 chapters in my story. I know it probably isn't great literature, but I still feel so proud of myself when I see what I've produced - just me with no outside help, without talking about it to others (well... I'm talking about it here... but I rarely talk about my writing IRL). It's a feeling unlike any other, that feeling of creating, of having created. I have no long-term publishing aspirations (and to be honest the idea of opening up my little world to other people is not particularly pleasant) - for me the pleasure lies in the making, and in spending time with people I like (never mind that they only exist in my head).
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:57 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]


I've written a bunch of zines, but I'm just finishing up the first fiction writing I've done since I was a kid. It's a novella about a commune of trans people with magic powers in rural Kentucky. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I'll be self-publishing it sometime soon. I don't plan on printing a ton of copies, but I've wanted to make a book for as long as I can remember, so it's a nice gift to myself.
posted by ITheCosmos at 4:36 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I have finished a pair of socks that I started in October (and then mislaid), which used up two half balls of different yarns and then immediately cast on for a new pair as I have a goal to knit 18 pairs of socks in 2018. I also have a jumper and two crochet blankets on the go, and the urge to swatch for a blanket design that I want to try bring to reality.
posted by halcyonday at 4:46 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Country song lyrics by yours truly and my girlfriend Coco.

In general, I've dedicated this year to trying to go pro with a lot of my writing projects.
posted by maxsparber at 4:48 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I’m made my Zelda (Zelda is the boy, remember?) in Breath Of The Wild the most ass-whoopinest thing I could maker her. I mean him. No, it’s definitely her.

Anyhoo I gave her a motorcycle and beat Gannon and maxed out her ancient armor and she and I ride the hyrule highlands on the weekends fighting guardians for ancient parts so we can craft up some ancient arrows to go fight the Yiga Clan in their hideout for fun.

So yeah I made a bad ass Zelda.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:50 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I have been knitting socks by the boatload. A friend's family is going through a rough time because of medical issues, and when I was hanging out with her kids, her daughter was fascinated by my knitting project, so I told her I'd make her a pair of socks. And then of course her brother didn't want to be left out. And then my friend mused that she's never actually owned a pair of wool socks. SOOOO. I'm designing a pair based on the crest of the samurai her academic research is focused on. Wearing the socks I made is like I'm hugging your feet, I hope.

By the way, I'm designing a sock pattern, to be published on Ravelry, and was wondering if that was the sort of thing that could go on Projects? I searched for knitting and crochet and didn't see anything.
posted by BrashTech at 6:02 AM on February 9 [11 favorites]


I've gotten deep back into ice cream making this winter, and though I create my own recipes most of the time (over the past few months I've made sweet potato latke ice cream that actually tasted fried, bourbon caramel hot sauce ice cream, cilantro lime ice cream, and lots of others), the best one I've made recently was from this recipe: Philly-style cheesesteak ice cream. I made it for a friend's super bowl party, and I feel like most people are like "ew I don't want to try that" but listen, it is fucking great.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 6:08 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


This thread is great! My work and personal life have been humming along fairly quietly for a change, and that's given me the time and mental space to do more creative work. Recently I tiled a birdbath, baked my first sourdough boule, and made a linocut.
posted by Tuba Toothpaste at 6:43 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


BrashTech, I don't see why not. I'm hardly an arbiter of Projects, seeing as I rarely go there, but I would more often if there were knitting projects.

For myself, I am always knitting, but I have to share the unfortunate tale of unmaking. My husband is much more on top of the laundry than me, but he's more lackadaisical about care instructions. These sparkly, rainbowy, diagonal socks got thrown in the wash with his stinky soccer stuff and soaked in an insane amount of Oxyclean. Now the red and orange has bled all over, all the colors are dingy and I'm pretty sure they shrank some. I am devastated. Especially since I think the dyer is no longer doing rainbows.

Reader, I am still married to him. But I thought long and hard about it.
posted by Liesl at 6:52 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Oh Liesl, those socks were so pretty. And are those short rows between some of the stripes? I only make plain stockinette socks, always with the same flap heel and pretty much on autopilot.

Those rainbows. So pretty. I hope you can find a replacement ball (maybe in ravelry stashes?) or talk the Dyer into making you another.
posted by bilabial at 6:58 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I've been doing a lot of work in Adobe After Effects animating shape layers that contain multiple shapes, which is repetitive and time-consuming. So I dusted off my collection of "learn to script for After Effects" bookmarks and wrote a handful of scripts to automate certain tasks.

Now I've decided to turn them into things that would be usable by other people, so I've reconceived the project as a set of tools with a nice user interface. I've gotten the ui for the first module mostly worked out as well as the basic logic. Now I'm working on some utility functions that will work in all the modules.

Today I had a major breakthrough. I'm not really a coder, I'm self-taught and there are some odd things about the Adobe "framework," but today I got my first recursive function working! A couple more days and I'll have an alpha version of my first module done.

I'm also working on a series of tutorials about a useful but poorly-documented feature of a popular application. It will change people's lives!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:14 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Yep, you do short rows with wrap and turn to make a wedge, then work the diagonal parts in the round, then another wedge in the opposite direction to get back to horizontal. Mystik Spiral Socks. Much easier to see in another in-progress shot.
posted by Liesl at 7:15 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


guitar repairs - repairs on stuff that I myself broke or destroyed - refinished part of the fingerboard on the Squier Tele (after 3 tries I think it's right and now needs to dry for a week before sanding and buffing), and made a replacement jack plate (don't ask) for the fretless Peavey Foundation out of 1/8" rubber gasket. This weekend: enter the solder.
posted by thelonius at 8:04 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


In the last couple of months, I've built a custom built-in closet (with neat-o LED lights that come on when you open the doors) for a bedroom, a couple of post-modern bedside tables, oodles of loaves of sourdough sandwich bread, fresh pasta from scratch a couple of times using the great maker I got for Christmas.

At this point I'm chomping at the bit for the 4 feet of snow in my backyard to disappear so I can start doing demo for a backyard revamp we're working on this year to replace crappy grass and small deck with an Italian-style stone platform and pergola for climbing vines. My other woodworking stuff has taken a backseat mostly because my workshop (garage) is about -10C.
posted by notorious medium at 8:09 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I've been on a framing kick lately. Cutting mattes and framing. I picked up a bunch of nice prints at a gallery's moving sale last spring, and all those prints needed to be taken care of -- stripped of their old mattes and guck, cleaned, new mattes cut, blah blah blah. And that's a winter job. And it's winter.

This winter job came after the big winter job of emptying out my upstairs front room (which is where I spend most of my time in the house), repairing the walls, painting to get rid of the Contractor's Beige which the whole house was originally done in and I was sick sick sick of, and installing wall-mounted Ikea Svalnas shelving units to show off all my Scandi glass.

Next step is hanging some of these prints, but I just want to enjoy freshly painted not-Contractor-Beige walls for a while first.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:48 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Ironically, I'm on a drive now to purge crafting shit because I realized that what I really wanted was to have an attractive finished product more so than I wanted to make the thing. Fortunately a friend has a crafty kid, so I've been gradually unloading all sorts of shit onto him so his daughter can turn it into drawings and collages and all kinds of fancy stuff.

There are some things I'll be still keeping though -

1. All the yarn. I started a low-key Mefi knitting group in New York (we meet for the first time on Sunday!) partly so I could answer to someone and get my ass going with more knitting.

2. Some favric, from old clothes where the pattern was especially pretty. I can't sew worth a damn, so I may use it as a decoupage medium for things.

3. Some patterend fabric. Ditto.

4. Candle making stuff. A friend who used to make candles for craft fairs has been getting out of that and getting ready to move, and has been passing that on to me. At least I use candles (and at this rate I may never have to buy any more again).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Oh, I nearly forgot -

....One thing I want to pick up at some point is something I salvaged from my grandparents' house after they both died and Mom was cleaning it out. It was tucked into a bag - a half-finished embroidery project, with the embroidery thread. It was a simple little doily kind of thing that was supposed to have daisies embroidered onto each of the four corners; I think only a couple of them were done. Clearly it was something Grandma had started but never got to finish it.

I took it so I could finish it for her.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:01 AM on February 9 [12 favorites]


I'm writing lyrics and poems.
posted by pracowity at 9:13 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I love this post! So many people making so many things! It makes me wish we could all be in a room together so I could browse everyone things and hear their music and read their stories and eat their baked goods.

I just finished embroidering one project and started another. And I'm learning how to crochet. The end goal is to make an Emmett Otter amigurumi, but I also want to make blankets. ALL OF THE BLANKETS. IN ALL OF THE BRIGHTEST COLORS.

Also I'm painting my living room the brightest turquoise blue I could find, which falls into the category of creating a living room where I never want to leave.
posted by ilovewinter at 9:17 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I also assembled a bed for the guest bedroom (IKEA, but I failed to buy the slats for it so I had to Macguyver a solution and now the bed is even more stable than it would have been otherwise) and then made a curtain and a matching lampshade so now I have an almost functioning guest room (it's kinda full of my craft shit right now and it's not organized yet). Guests welcome, just step over the box of yarn and that other box full of rulers.

I turned a weird stretchy ring into a pair of earrings for a jewelry set my mom got for Christmas. I also made my mom two necklaces and earring sets. One with aquamarine tile beads and Thai silver and the other with cylinder beads with a peyote stitch. (I need to get pictures of things. I don't know why I never take pictures of stuff I make before I give it away...). I also assembled my spinning wheel, but I haven't spun anything yet because I can't figure out how the stupid flyer works.

What else...a stand for my TV since the sound bar was too tall to fit under the TV and I wanted to raise the TV about 5 inches. Uhm...I made a bead loom. Those only cost about $6 but I made one out of scrap lumber for some reason. (Just like I could have bought a new TV stand for less than $20, but no, I must make these things out of lumber and spend tons of time!). Oh and I finally got into my garage and installed a shop light so I can actually see in there and start to unpack all of my tools and stuff. So hey, now I can build more stuff out of wood instead of buying things like normal people.

I have a ton of stuff that I want to practice my rosemaling on, but I have so many other things going on that I never seem to get started. But ultimately I want to be good enough at rosemailing so I can paint the kiste I made for my dad's ashes and it'll be the prettiest, most Norwegian "urn" ever.

Oh also I have a 60"x105" piece of turquoise gingham cotton and I have no idea what to do with it. Ditto a 60"x60" piece of yellow gingham cotton.

Also the aforementioned moccasin is a precursor to a pair that I'm making for a cousin that's due to be born in a couple months. I wish I knew a baby to fit them on. That project probably should be my main priority but ADHD = procrastination. Also I'm still not sure what the beaded design should look like. Or even what type of moccs to make. Split toe are more appropriate to our band (and easier to make), but pucker toe are more aesthetically pleasing. But then I have to bead the vamp as well as the cuff and that's just... too damn much.

Did I mention that I have too many hobbies?
posted by elsietheeel at 9:28 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I finished a painting at the end of January and just started one during the Superb Owl.

I wish there was a nearby like casual art meet up. Like we meet up for coffee with some art supplies we're willing to share and hang out and work for the afternoon.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:30 AM on February 9 [6 favorites]


I also made three Valentine themed artist trading cards to trade for Valentine cards sent to my son. Oddly enough I still have all of them because people keep saying they'll send a card, no need to trade.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 9:36 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


January is the busiest month for me at work, so I have mainly been staring at craft things.

However, this weekend I start back with my wool rug making class, where the teacher is 90 years old and we meet in her lovely home and she teaches us how to take apart wool blend garments to make strips to braid wool rugs from. I took this class last year, and made a lovely oval rug that sits in our bedroom.

The stained glass class at the makerspace is starting back up, but I think I only have time for one craft focus at a time these days.I might do some more stained glass next - I already have a couple of projects picked out!

Hearing about everyone's crafts is lovely.
posted by needlegrrl at 9:37 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Probably the thing I've made recently that most relieved my raging anxiety and that I'm weirdly the most proud of is that I made my house less stinky. We'd been having weird periodic mildew smells wafting around near the bathroom for a couple months and I could not figure out where it was coming from. There's no visible mold or mildew in my bathroom so of course my brain immediately went to YOUR ROOF IS LEAKING! BLACK MOLD IN THE STUDS! YOU'LL HAVE TO TEAR YOUR HOUSE DOWN!!! As it turns out, there was mold growing in our bathtub pipes/stopper (the stopper is a weird single-unit drain plug thingy that you push down to close and push down again to open, it has to be disassembled to clean). I did several google searches for "random mildew smell" and followed the instructions to clean the pipes with baking soda and vinegar (and I also bleached the heck out of the disassembled drain plug) and voila! No more mildew smell! The relief I feel that maybe my house is not falling down is still palpable several days after my initial triumph.

I put this here as a PSA. If your bathroom smells inexplicably like mildew, clean the pipes! You'll feel so much better!
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:40 AM on February 9 [9 favorites]


And I'm taking guitar lessons, which is making all sorts of new connections in my brain.

I recently realized that I really miss being able to make music, even though I was never very good at it (except for being a champion marimba player in high school), so I bought a midi keyboard and have been learning music theory. It's extremely satisfying in that I'm learning stuff that my ear already knows, but that my brain never knew how to explain. Also, just playing nice, warm chords is really soothing. I want to make my fingers learn how to play scales -- that's it, just scales -- partly because my childhood piano teacher never imposed scales on me, and if she had I would have hated doing them.

Problem is, it turns out that middle-aged-me has the same issue kid-me had: I don't want to practice, or do anything that feels like work, when I get home from actual work. But, I had a revelation. I sit at my desk in front of my computer every day at lunch (bad habit, which I fully admit), so I bought a little 32-key keyboard on Amazon that I can keep in a drawer and during lunch time I will close my door and practice scales. (It was supposed to arrive today, but when I went to check the tracking this morning I discovered that it hasn't even shipped. No scales for me at lunchtime today.)

Now I also want to learn to do a lot of the things y'all have mentioned, and Mizu's link above has me feeling like I'll probably be trying out some origami this weekend. I've been on a search for mindless things I can do while listening to podcasts, and origami just went onto the list.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:48 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


I just re-acquired an old domain name that I'd let slip and that got snatched up by squatters (who wanted a shocking amount of money for a word that I made up and that has literally zero economic value to anybody and only modest sentimental value to me). I bought it back with the intention of doing an old-school personal weblog again and giving less of my energy to Facebook, so I just installed textpattern on it and am starting to write. (It's just now occurring to me that the loss of Dean Allen might have had something to do with this as well.)

I started doing the Couch to 80k words podcast yesterday on lunch and really liked it. Like I think a lot of people, I have a handful of ideas that I'd like to explore in narrative form and haven't made that into the practice that I'd like it to be.

I have kept a sourdough starter alive for a month, but my attempts at making bread out of it have so far fallen flat. I persevere.

My infant son has developed asthma or a respiratory infection or both (or, I dunno, something else) that has been giving him spells of breathing difficulty that are terrifying as a parent. As of Wednesday last week, we had been to five doctors in nine days but he seems to be responding to his medication now. I'm not willing to let myself think we are out of the woods yet but he hasn't had an episode in a week.

So: I've been making time with the little guy, who loves coloring and being read to and getting raspberries on the back of his neck. I've been making time with his toddler sister, who I am sure picks up on how scared we have been and how much attention we have given his brother lately. I taught her how to blow and draw notes on one of my harmonicas last night and she loved it. I've taught her to help me scramble eggs and whisk wet ingredients into dry ones for pancake batter or waffles or muffins. And I've been making time to do things around the house that will relieve stress on my wife, who is also exhausted.
posted by gauche at 10:03 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I'll get back to this thread to talk later, but if anyone who is into yarn wants a project, the Ravellenic Games are starting today...
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:33 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I love just playing scales. It's soothing and meditative.
posted by thelonius at 10:47 AM on February 9


I wish there was a nearby like casual art meet up. Like we meet up for coffee with some art supplies we're willing to share and hang out and work for the afternoon.

This this this!
posted by Melismata at 11:29 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I almost want a separate post on "what have you been repairing?" but I also like it blended in with making. Everything in this sublunary world starts to decay as soon as it exists; we take care and make repair or the makings are gone.
posted by clew at 11:30 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I wish there was a nearby like casual art meet up. Like we meet up for coffee with some art supplies we're willing to share and hang out and work for the afternoon.

...that kind of thing makes for a great IRL idea. Just sayin'.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:33 AM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I made a hat.
posted by hfnuala at 11:50 AM on February 9 [8 favorites]


I have been repairing all the things, and it is so satisfying! I think of myself as a generally not-very-competent person, but I am actually not terrible at figuring out home repair stuff. YouTube helps. I am not sure how people fixed things before YouTube. They probably had some kind of Home Repairs for Dummies book.
I'll get back to this thread to talk later, but if anyone who is into yarn wants a project, the Ravellenic Games are starting today...
I do not have time to do this, and yet I have pretty yarn and the perfect mitten pattern.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:00 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I forgot to mention I've been making fires in our cheapo fire thing out back when the weather permits and it's not too windy. We live in a building with 75 people and the fire thing is in the backyard dog run. So sometimes I get the fire all to myself and sometimes other people join me, with wine & pot, which is also fun. Just a few logs over a couple of hours. To chill down. And poke at it.

This week we got the new floor & curb framed in for the shower stall in the bath we're remodeling slowly.

I also got new filters for our shop vac, so now I can reclaim the pair of socks I stretched over the exhaust so dust wouldn't go all over the house!!
posted by yoga at 12:35 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I have been making plants, mostly cuttings from a long-sought hot pink geranium/pelargonium but also eight from a sweet marjoram plant. The overwintered impatiens was less successful, only two out of eight took. Onion seeds will be started this month and weld early next month.
Also, socks. I am very happy to see how many socks Mefites are knitting.
posted by Botanizer at 12:47 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I finished the renovation of the 8 x 16 foot garden shed from an empty, dirty husk with the following milestones (sadly I didn't take pictures, or enough of them), I'll come back with a final shot once I get home):

-- Insulation in the ceiling and walls.
-- Cut in two windows from a local salvage yard (one swinging out, one swinging in, to see which I like better).
-- Cut a hole for a small wall unit AC.
-- Installed a subpanel with 60 amp service and pulled wire from the main panel in the house thru the attic, down the wall (conduit), buried run for 100 feet or so (conduit), and up into conduit into the panel.
-- Installed receptacles for powering AC and future devices (hand tools and PC towers).
-- Installed interior plywood walls and furring trim (because I really didn't want to get too fancy).
-- Ditto ceiling.
-- Whitewashed the interior.
-- Installed some scrap (But really good shape) carpet pulled from the wife's house purchase.
-- Installed a newer/salvaged shelf.
-- Hung a room sized curtain rod lengthwise for hiding the storage/lumber stack when the shed is in guest mode (via a futon that actually fits!).

It's been a huge project that's making my house a lot more livable by serving as faux emergency guest house, storage, home office (TBD) and home workshop (perhaps, if i can keep things clean and tidy enough).

I'm now in the market to finish finding the hand tools I want to add to the stable (let me know if you have any quality/vintage non-powered hand tools and I'll let you know what I'm looking for) and, ideally, build a workbench a la Schwarz or something else from the mega reference Workbench Book that I have. We'll see.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:16 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I just went into the studio with my band to record four songs, and we're totally delighted with the outcome. We're still fiddling with the mix, so no links right now, but I'll chuck them into Projects when they're ready.

I've also taken my friend's advice and started writing poetry. My poetry is not good, but I'm getting a lot out of learning.
posted by ZipRibbons at 1:44 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


I mostly just knit. Started the Ravellenic Games project today. I am working on a shawl/wraparound skirt in between patterns. I recently designed a sweater but probably can't show it online if I ever decide to get it published (waaaah). At some point I'm going to spin some custom yarn to make another one.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:47 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I finished a novel draft over the holidays (my first finished! It's terrible!), and am 32k words deep into another one.
posted by quaking fajita at 1:59 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I'm bad at meetups. I want to do it and meet people, but I cannot put it together because calling places and asking questions makes me curl up like a pill bug. But if such a meet up occurred in easy travel distance on a weekend my ex had my son, I'd go with a bag of supplies to share.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 2:12 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Knitting and spinning! With the fingerless mitts I started today for the Ravellenic Games, I'm in the middle of four projects now. The others are plying that damn camel, a lace shawl that mostly gets worked on at D&D, and a ten stitch blanket for when I need something that doesn't require looking at a pattern or paying much attention.
posted by Akhu at 9:16 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


Hmm, I have so many projects, on which I got so little done in January. I've only recorded myself singing 9 songs so far this year, so I'm under by about 10 so far for my goal of doing one every other day. That's OK, though—I barely recorded any last summer and I still got to half my goal last year, so I think there's still time! Likewise, the music collab seems to have stalled out for a bit, but we also didn't really do all that much on it last summer and still managed to get a lot done in the fall, so hopefully no worries there. I did successfully co-organize my second professional meetup for a local group last month, so that took some of the downtime I otherwise would have had. I've also been navigating a lot of changes at work recently, which has taken some of the energy I had for projects.

I tried to start drawing something every day this year, and after about a week of that my brain was just like eh, I don't wanna do this right now. So that's OK. I've still been taking and posting lots of photos—actually, I've posted 57 so far this year, so I feel like that might be the 365 project I'll do this year! A lot of what I've posted so far is still from last year, but I take new photos all the time. yoga, like I mentioned in that last project post, I also designed a new enamel pin recently, but I've still never heard back from the manufacturer to whom I pitched it. I need to follow up with another one and get it out in the world.

I did do the other part of that item on my last project list, though. I finally got around to having my brother and his girlfriend assist me in making and mounting a Coroplast pinboard! I've been letting the wrinkles fall out of the fabric for a week, but I think it's now ready to start sticking my pin collection into this weekend. Along with that effort, I got them to help me wrangle my old futon frame into my office and set up an organic cotton mattress and illustrated mattress cover on it. It is ridiculously cute and makes it so there's finally somewhere for people to sit (as well as a place for my collection of plush sea creatures and snackwave pillows).

I'd started in on some of these efforts prior to 2 weeks ago, but I put more in motion when my neighbor catty-corner to the house got broken into, prompting me to order a couple noren curtains to cover the back-door window and the doorway to my office. Sadly, I didn't put these up before my own break-in happened (not that covering the windows and doorways would have actually been a significant deterrent—the burglars apparently hit the neighbors' house while they were home, then went into my house through a covered window as well).

So for the past 2 weeks I've been dealing with the aftermath of the break-in, getting estimates to repair broken things, wrangling the insurance claim, etc. In doing so, I've kind of gained momentum on finally setting up my office space the way I want. So we got the futon and pinboard projects done, and I ordered more shelving, got a new lamp to replace the one they broke, put up the norens, moved an extra end table and lamp into the office to accompany the futon, rearranged some stuff on my desk, dug into a sea of laundry baskets I'd had full of project stuff occupying the space the futon is now in, made plans to move a sideboard in here, etc. I'm still not sleeping well—I had some trouble sleeping before this happened, so now it's only worse—but making this space a little more comfy has sort of helped me feel like I'm reclaiming it.

I've gotten out of the tarot habit with everything going on recently, so I want to do more readings soon. Tennis, walking, and archery have all been on hold for the most part, too, because winter, along with my current fear of leaving the house. But I began tracking what I eat again for the first time in like 10 years, bought a scale, refined my personal time-tracking habits in conjunction with some changes at work, started to revisit some investment stuff, froze all my credit reports, successfully got multiple estimates for repairs, navigated the whole insurance-claim process, cleaned my office, set up car-repair and haircut appointments, dealt with the ongoing string of doctor's follow-up appointments and new medications...

I'm tired, but making stuff and starting projects still, as ever, is when I feel like myself. Also I've been rewatching Battlestar Galactica (2004) and catching up on new episodes of The Magicians each week—both shows have casts that basically feel like old friends at this point, which is also comforting. And, y'know, I've been here a lot, 'cause y'all rule.
posted by limeonaire at 9:47 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I have about 30k words of the YA fantasy thing I'm writing down and I'm still excited about the idea and haven't burnt out on it by being an asshole to myself about my output. This is all a good result! I did hit the point recently (which always always always happens) where a competing idea that I could easily chuck out the first 5-10k of popped into my mind and danced distractingly, but I'm trying to remember that a) I really want to finish draft zero of the thing I'm already working on this year if I can and b) the new shiny compelling idea will be a lot less new and shiny halfway in than it seems right now. I have stored it in my ideas document (titled 'IDEAS, YOU FOOL' because I lost my last one due to lousy document naming) and it will still be there when the thing I'm already working on is done.

I'm vaguely learning to sew this year and made a cushion cover which looks lovely from the front and like a gaping horror-show mess from the back. Going to try one with a zip next time and hopefully get the hang of those before my sister's birthday (she loves cute throw pillows so this is ideal).

The other exciting thing I have made recently is a new friend! Someone who joined my company late last year and turns out to be an honest-to-god actual friend. I'm amazed at how well we get on (and kind of sad in retrospect, now that I remember what it's like to be friends with people who actually like me AND live nearby [it's been one or the other for a few years] and have had a few realisations about some other friendships being not-ideal). Also new friend has adorable cats that I get to hang out with.

My partner is going on vacation with some of his friends this weekend and I've booked some time off work mostly to focus on my personal projects (plus lounging nude eating cheese obviously) and I'm so excited about Getting Things Done. From late 2013 to early 2017 I wasn't really healthy enough to get much done outside of turning up at work most days, so it's extremely nice to feel like I'm back on my game.
posted by terretu at 1:28 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


duffell, if I recall correctly from the cookie swap a few years ago, you're just a few blocks away from me, so if you'd like to expand your Philanthro-pint customer base to include Mefites, please let me know!
posted by amarynth at 1:23 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


limeonaire for small runs I've been using The/Studio (out of LA I think?) I've been able to do 20 piece runs to get rolling that has worked so far & been affordable. Go for it! (& thanks for the order. :D)
posted by yoga at 2:49 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I made a trick mic stand.
posted by fake at 2:56 PM on February 10


I made an event. Does that count? It was a sushi making workshop that I hosted at our local hackerspace and I had such a great time. And also a lot of sushi. Some of it looked very elegant, some not so much, but it all tasted fine!
I'm very much not an expert but I do have some experience and some good books. There were 14 of us and we had a blast! We used up two kilograms of dry rice, a kilogram of fish (different kinds), an avocado, a cucumber, a bell pepper and two jars of roe.
We also made miso soup as a starter, even though the Japanese have it after the main course. Sushi takes time to make and it's no good being grumpy and hungry during the process.

The guy who washed the rice was complaining at first, because he felt it was a lousy job to be stuck with. Then, somehow, he got really into it and couldn't stop. We had to tell him 'No really, the water is clear enough now, it's fine. Let's cook the rice now.'

Eventually, we had a table full of plates of sushi, and then we ate it all and enjoyed some nice warm sake with it. Everyone had a good time and ended up with a pleasantly full belly.

One of the participants posted some pictures on his Twitter.

Also I sewed a zipper into a scarf to make a pocket and now I can carry my phone in it. And while I was at it, I made a shopping bag out of leftover materials (ripstop nylon from an air lounger, and I made the handles from a broken luggage strap).

And tomorrow we'll start pouring concrete to make the floor of our new bedroom (with underfloor heating). So much to do, so little time.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:06 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I finally have a little more space in my life and am not traveling and don't feel like I have a terrible headcold so I've been getting on some deferred web maintenance and sending out invoices and stuff. Most of this is pretty prosaic and not really stuff that I "made" per se, but now that the Vermont Mutual Aid Society has funding (I got a grant for drop-in time, it's great) I decided to make the website maybe 20% better. So I put in a real background and spent a little time getting a favicon that looks nice. It's all sort of goofy work but I made it and I'm happy with it.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:10 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: some deferred web maintenance

You just had to go and remind me, didn't you.
*curls up into a ball and whimpers*
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:14 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


The furlough didn't happen, or not much of it, but I had started the dough for the croissants after 9pm PST on Thursday, so I left it in the fridge all day Friday. Last night I rolled it out and set it to rest, and today I did the folds and turns. This afternoon I rolled the dough out and cut and rolled up the little croissants. They're now rising in the kitchen. One more rise and then baking, and I will have fresh croissants to share tomorrow!
posted by suelac at 4:51 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


theodolite, I approve that your cat approves of your cat rugs.
posted by peagood at 5:25 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I suppose this doesn't count yet but a friend gave me sourdough starter recently. I am going to try to make a loaf of sourdough next weekend for the first time!
posted by ferret branca at 5:53 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


I just finished a mixed media relief of a sloth!
posted by vegartanipla at 7:12 PM on February 10 [9 favorites]


I made naan stuffed bread. This involves making a yeast dough, and kneading it and letting it rise. Then making a filling of potatoes, boiling them and letting them cool, then peeling the potatoes and mashing them with fork. I also cut up some chicken, which I'd been thawing. Then I cut up some onion and sauteed that, and some garlic. Then put the chicken in with that, with some spices. Then I stirred that into the previously boiled potato.

Then I weighed the dough and made it into 8 portions. I rolled each portion, then I put 1/8 of the chicken potato into the dough and wrapped it around it and set each ball aside.

Then I rolled each ball out, and brushed it with the clarified butter that I'd made while I was waiting for the dough to rise, and slapped it onto the heated cast iron pan. Then flipped it, after it puffed up. I did this 8 times.

Then I ate it. Because that shit is good.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:36 PM on February 10 [3 favorites]


It's winter, I crochet. Actually, I've been sleeping under crochet because it went from the 70s yesterday at the lake, working with my sweet husband as he welded on the metal building overhangs, to 2 degrees windchill in the morning and 20s in the afternoon. Cloudy. Cold. No rain, though (and we need it).
So I sat at home looking at crochet books and fantasizing about a mixed-stitch blanket. All the stitches! All the colors! Then I pulled the zigzag blues and greens queen-size bedspread that I am making over me and... zzzzzz....

And I have light sabers! Okay, they are Crochet Lite hooks, but they work! I've already switched batteries after a few weeks on this project, but that's okay. It saves switching batteries on my headlamp and still straining to see the loops. I use my aluminum I/9 (5.50 mm) hook for most of this project, however.
A few more zigzag rows and this blanket can go live with the red tartan sampler blankets that are currently on the bed. One of these days I may try my hand at the Menzies plaid, but the illustrations were a bit complex for an H hook and worsted weight yarn.

I'm having serious fibercraft envy at the finished projects.
posted by TrishaU at 11:39 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


TrishaU, your links aren't working, which is a shame, because I really want to see the sampler blankets. Maybe check your facebook settings?
posted by mishafletch at 1:01 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I'm on the home stretch of this cabled jumper for a friends toddler. I'm quite worried that the arms are too small for the armholes though, so I'm ignoring that and doing the collar. Which in hindsight really is rather stupid, as I'll have to redo the collar if the armholes are wrong. Sigh, off to remeasure and check everything now.
posted by kjs4 at 2:52 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


I hadn't posted here because when I thought about it all I could come up with was "I've made a mess," or "I've made a lot of noise," ha ha ha I should be a stand-up comedian, right? But then yesterday I noticed the waistband of the knit shorts I've been using as pajama bottoms was falling apart and really can't be used as pajamas anymore, and suddenly I decided to cut a square out of the leg and sew a little bag, and I stuffed it with old handkerchiefs and catnip and sewed it shut and cut another strip from the shorts and attached it for a tail, and boom! Fake mouse kitty toy!

Which Victoria and Sadie are ignoring. But, you know, cats don't really understand Art.
posted by JanetLand at 5:28 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]


A couple of weeks ago my wife and I took a bowl turning class at The North Bennett Street School. I made this. I've been fascinated by lathes ever since I saw them being used in woodworking class in Jr. High School. This was my first time using one and although I found the technique a bit difficult (though something that would certainly come with practice) when you'd get the gouge just right it was like magic, seeing the bowl form in front of you. If I can find a cheap used lathe that's small enough to get down into my basement, I'll scoop it up.

I'm hoping to start my sixth guitar next week. I milled up all the wood for it a couple of weeks ago and ideas have been spinning in my head for the past couple of months. I'm hoping to make a real nice one for myself, using everything I have learned so far.

I built a blockchain and I owe a few of you some blocks on it which I'm hoping to finally get done today now that I'm recovered from a really crappy cold.

Oh yeah, I made a kidney stone! I just started having intense back pain one morning so my coworker took me to the ER and then I had 24 hours of the worst pain you can possibly imagine. Some day I'll tell a funny story about a catheter though I'm not quite ready to tell it yet as the trauma is still fresh. I passed the stone a couple of days later at the school during a break in the bowl turning class. See how I came full circle like that? Bondcliff out.
posted by bondcliff at 7:42 AM on February 11 [9 favorites]


Here is the tote bag I sewed yesterday with some fabric that my bestie brought back from Poland. It has a reversible inner lining (green roosters) and box corners. I am hoping I have enough fabric left to make a duplicate that I can turn the other way, but I haven't checked.
posted by janepanic at 8:02 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]


I started knitting again and, more importantly, finished knitting again! I made some cabled legwarmers while binge watching Big Love and I'm 18 rows into a hat for Kid Ruki, who loves beanies like nothing else. I bought a swift and ball winder and spent some of my bed rest time transforming hanks of yarn into tidy little hockey pucks and it was so unbelievably soothing.

As I'm typing this, I'm in the middle of making my hair Jem pink. I'm not terribly fond of the color pink, it doesn't really work with my skin tone, and Jem wasn't even my favorite character (Stormer 4-eva!) but I felt an irresistible pull to the color, so, pink hair, don't care. The reason why will present itself eventually. Or not.

The mister and I work together and he has a bookcase in his office. One of our friends and I and have commandeered it to make a little free library, because there's a small group of us that are always sharing books, and now we have a little spot for them, which I think is pretty neat.
posted by Ruki at 11:59 AM on February 11 [5 favorites]


I am actively competing, only against my own inertia and sloth, in the above-mentioned Ravellenics Games. I've been so involved in other stuff and real world problems that I haven't been crocheting much lately. In the past few days I've finished a couple of things, undone a couple of others, and crocheted two rings and a scarf from start to finish! Today I started a shawl. I have plans for a hat or two, another ring, maybe a small doily, a piece of cat clothing, a piece of doll clothing, and a wine bottle cozy. None of this stuff is what I'd be making anyway if the games weren't going on.

The point of the games is to challenge yourself (and have fun). I am challenging myself to actually do something, and to get as much Shiny Internet Glory as possible. I'm having fun!
posted by monopas at 8:13 PM on February 11 [4 favorites]


Wow. This thread is demoralizing. I ain't made shit, y'all. Well, okay, technically I've made that.

BUT, if anyone wants to know any single thing that's happened on any of the Real Housewives or perhaps The Bachelor or really any other variety of irredeemable television programming, please do see me.
posted by bologna on wry at 9:06 AM on February 12 [4 favorites]


Here's the beadwork I just did for the one of the cuffs for the tiny baby moccasins (my cousin's name is White Crane, thus the motif). It's the first thing I've ever beaded on a loom.

Also I made the loom myself.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:38 PM on February 12 [18 favorites]


I got a wild hair that I was going to crochet a blanket out of granny squares, so learned how to crochet last week and made forty squares this weekend! My hands were aching a bit after all that, so I took yesterday off. Only 230 more squares to go (?).

For the Valentine's Day card exchange, I painted watercolors of the backyard's signs of spring, but it has been a pain getting stamps and so my watercolors/cards are unfortunately still sitting, neatly addressed, on a chair at home. Sorry to everyone on my list! But you'll just have to continue to receive tokens of friendship and appreciation even after Valentine's Day.

The signs of spring took a bit too long to come, though, so I also began sprouting a bunch of kitchen scraps and altogether rebuilding my indoor garden this past month. It was looking beautiful, but I may have unmade it just this week -- the furnace has made the apartment so dry, and the plants get so thirsty.

I am also making a lot of progress picking my rusty French back up. The trick is that I got hooked on Duolingo, which has been a lot of fun to practice with. I'm trying Coffee Break French and have a couple French-language novels (which actually sound interesting in their own right) waiting in the wings. This is all hopefully leading up to a late-spring trip to visit my aunt and cousins in France. That side of the family speaks no English, so the stronger my French is, the better.

Otherwise, it's just been an effort making it through tax season at work, making serviceable grades in my classes, making some community by hosting a small dinner party last weekend (first one in this apartment!) and getting a liquor license for a civic group's event etc etc etc. Normal life.

No progress on writing this manuscript that I've had outlined and dusty for months now, although hopefully that will change tonight, when I finally put down my first 500 words of Draft 1 (again). Was supposed to start yesterday, but the day got too crazy and I just got too tired. No progress on running or otherwise getting back into shape. No personal/family taxes completed. This stuff is weighing on me and making me feel overwhelmed. Which is why tangible progress even on something silly like a granny square blanket feels so great.

Anyway, happy Fat Tuesday to everyone! I hope everyone has a chance to indulge themselves to the fullest. We all deserve it and need it! My boyfriend took donuts in to work in order to celebrate and now I wish that he and I worked at the same place.

This thread is awesome and I hope to keep hearing updates on what everyone is making. You all are a shockingly talented bunch. I especially love the guitars and lathed bowl and the lampshade made out of slides. So cool.
posted by rue72 at 7:49 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


.....Technically the gumbo I will be eating today is something I made last year, and it's leftovers that I froze. But I'll be eating it today.

And the following story is not about something I made, but it's a Mardi Gras story, and ColdChef himself told me once that it was one of the best New Orleans stories he's heard, so:

My 39th birthday was on Ash Wednesday that year, and I decided to take myself to New Orleans for the few days before Mardi Gras and celebrate there. There was a cock-up with a missed connection on the way there, and I got into the city about five hours later than I'd wanted to; all I wanted to do when I got there was get into the French Quarter, eat something, then go back to the hotel and chill out. I tried taking the streetcar in - but it stopped after only ten blocks, because there was a parade scheduled that would be blocking it. So I got out and started walking. And I ran into the parade myself, and was stuck there watching it. Which was fun, but by the time the parade wrapped up I was starving.

I saw a couple cops directing foot traffic and walked over to ask them for a restaurant recommendation; I figured they would be local, and also have a bit of a budget. One of them started joking around with me about getting funnel cake or hot dogs from the stands that had set up on the parade route. "I didn't just fly all the way in from New York for a damn hot dog," I sassed back. He cracked up, then tried directing me to a couple of places; when I looked confused about his directions, he asked if I had a map. I did not. "I got one in the squad car next block over," he said. We started walking there.

On the way he found out that I was traveling alone, and insisted on giving me his card so I had a contact in the police department. He also asked what had brought me to the city that year, and when I said it was a birthday fete, he joked, "great, so you're finally 21!" By that time, we'd gotten over to his car, so I told him about the joke I had been making to friends who teased me about "what are you going to do to get beads"; I would tell them that "turning 39 means you're old enough to know that if you want some plastic beads that badly you can buy the damn things yourself."

he cracked up at this, then said "I got something else for you now, in that case" - and he reached into a box in the back seat, and pulled out a set of official New Orleans police department Mardi Gras beads. (they're blue and have a little model of a squad car as the pendant.) "Show that to your friends when you get home," he told me, "and tell them 'you guys wouldn't BELIEVE what I had to do to get these!'" We laughed, he sent me off to the restaurant and I thanked him.

Had a great meal at the place he recommended, and decided to try to get a cab back to the hotel. I tried hailing one in the street but they weren't stopping. I stepped a few blocks out of the Quarter and tried again. Still saw plenty of cabs, but they weren't stopping. I walked a few blocks further, tried again - no luck.

Then I noticed that some of the cabs that weren't stopping were also empty. Maybe there was something about hailing a cab in New Orleans that was different? I needed to find out. I looked ahead about ten blocks and saw a team of street sweepers cleaning up after the parade still, with a squad car parked nearby blocking the street. I decided to ask whoever was in the squad car.

I got to the car and knocked on the window - and when the driver rolled down the window, I saw it was the exact same cop! "Oh hi!" we both greeted each other. He asked how my meal was, I raved and thanked him. "Okay, so whaddya want now?" he asked.

"I'm trying to hail a cab, but they're not stopping. Do I need to call them or something?"

He studied me. "Where are you staying?" I gave him the address. He thought a couple seconds, then nodded towards the back seat. "Hop in."

And he drove me back to my hotel.

I ran into him again on Mardi Gras proper, where he was again stationed on a sidewalk directing foot traffic. We exchanged a hug and he pinned a couple bucks to my shirt (it's a birthday tradition) and I told him I'd been back to that restaurant a second time. And I'm wearing the NOLA PD beads today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:10 AM on February 13 [14 favorites]


(I just redid the beadwork for both sides of the cuffs because I used monofilament for the warp threads and there is no way I will be able to attach them to the ribbon I'm using as a base. My cousin won't know what traditional Neshnabeg moccasins are supposed to look like anyway, so I need to stop being a perfectionist about them, but that monofilament thing was something that I couldn't get past.)

Oh and I made another loom today because the first one was too big and heavy.

And now I think I'll make myself a bracelet with black and white chevrons and red edging.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:57 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


I'm like so Mr. Arts and crafts now. So, the local tobacco store is giving away all sorta of Monte cristo boxes, etc. So I got like 20 and decoupage them. What I like is putting a theme to them and mame them to fit in book shelves.

The Nixon and ahkenaten box's are my pride. The Nixon i fitted with an old micro cassette recorder and secret bottom where as the ahkenaten box has a disconnected self-destruct lever and and fitted slots for Sunkist orange slices.
posted by clavdivs at 1:52 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Okay the third time was the charm on those stupid beaded cuffs (they looked horrible when I attached them to the ribbon base, so now I'm using bias tape even though ribbon work is traditional in my tribe). I think I could do this pattern in my sleep now. Luckily the actual beading on the loom only takes about an hour or two. Weaving in the warp ends? TWO TO FOUR HOURS.

And I haven't even made the moccasins yet. And I think the baby is due in April. (I hope she's born on my birthday, just because that would be hilarious.)

Also I just got the beads to do my own moccasins and if they turn out nice I want to enter them in the county fair and entries are due in mid-June I think. But I haven't even decided on a bead pattern yet.

TOO MANY HOBBIES.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:25 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


pulled out a set of official New Orleans police department Mardi Gras beads. (they're blue and have a little model of a squad car as the pendant.) "Show that to your friends when you get home," he told me, "and tell them 'you guys wouldn't BELIEVE what I had to do to get these!'"

That is adorable!!!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:53 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Okay I swear this is my last moccasin update, but I've been hesitant to actually make the darn things because I only have so much hide and even though the moccs are going to be tiny I don't want to screw them up and the faux leather I have isn't really that similar to sewing on actual leather and blah blah blah... well today I was going through my fabric boxes looking for something and I found a bunch of scrap leather in nearly the exact right weight that I will likely never use because of the odd size of the pieces (my mom donated a pair of leather pants to Goodwill and I pulled them from the bag and took them apart for my fabric stash). I also found some scrap faux leather in a weight that's a lot similar to the hide I have for MY moccasins, so I won't worry so much about screwing THOSE up either.

And that's all I have to say about that.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:36 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]


And... my youngest offspring helped me to get started with Instagram (yay? I guess) so my crochet pictures mentioned earlier are on a public forum. As opposed to the "family & friends" forum that I normally post pictures on.
So I made another small step into internet, which is probably it for this decade. That's making progress!

So if mischafletch drops by again, here in all their glory, are pics of a zigzag crochet blanket, the lighted hook that I tried out, tartan blankets sampler A and sampler B, and a few of the books I used for my research.

And since I am officially sleeping under ripples of blue and green, today I started a narrow panel of half-double crochet in royal blue (the background), with accent stitches in red, gold, spring green, and white. So far I've added a triple row of solid shells in red and gold, single crochet rows in lighter blues, and I'm working a spike stitch row in green -- maybe.

It's a play on southwestern stash-buster blankets, but I'm too organized for that. I love my crochet sampler blankets, so this is how I roll with it. It's a new challenge to make seven-foot panels instead of bricks or blocks.
At some point I will work borders around several long mixed-stitch panels, sew them together and call it good.
posted by TrishaU at 12:26 AM on February 17 [5 favorites]


My band's 4-song demo tape / EP thing is finally ready. Here we are on Bandcamp.

Do you remember 1993? We do!
posted by ZipRibbons at 11:08 PM on February 28


I'm visiting my best friend in New England tomorrow (just in time for the nor'easter, yaaaaay), and I'm bringing a homemade gift: a set of homemade Magnetic Poetry with just the word "butts" on every tile (in various permutations: butts BUTTS butts! BUTTS?!? buuuuuuutts buttz, etc.)
posted by duffell at 3:30 AM on March 1 [7 favorites]


That's so beautiful, man.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:22 AM on March 1


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