Metatalktail Hour: Arts and Crafts! March 21, 2021 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Happy weekend, metafilter! This week, I'd love to see some art or craft projects or home renovations or redecorations or anything like that, anything that you've been making that's beautiful or cool or efficient or well-organized that we can all admire for its talent and beauty!

I can't work on any of my own projects right now because I'm on bed rest, so sad, so I really need you guys to post a whole bunch of really beautiful and interesting and idiosyncratic stuff for me to enjoy!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 8:15 AM (41 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I'm in the process of installing a new organization system in my closet. You don't want to see a picture of the living room right now. The cats are very distressed because they can't get to their favorite sleeping spots on the couch.
posted by kathrynm at 8:53 AM on March 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

I've lived in my house since June and it's only been in the last month that I've had the energy to really start making it my own space. In addition to painting my front door and a couple walls and getting some grown up furniture, I've also hung up several square feet of metafilter card club cards in my office in what I'm calling my zoom flex corner. It makes me so happy! Thank you so much to everyone who has ever sent a mefi card to me!
posted by phunniemee at 1:50 PM on March 21, 2021 [14 favorites]

I recently painted this nightstand because we need something to put outside for parcels to be delivered in, and it needed a coat of paint. I used a style that I personally don't love, mainly to see whether I could manage it; it's sort of brocante.
It's outside in a place where we don't really see it so I don't care much what it looks like, but I do like that it turned out pretty much the way I had in mind.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:30 PM on March 21, 2021 [9 favorites]

beautiful or cool or efficient or well-organized

Well, that leaves me out on all counts! 😉 I'm not a very arts-and-crafts kind of person, though I applaud everyone's accomplishments in that area.

Less on-topic but still newsy: I'm maintaining the exercise routine I started almost 3 months ago, I'm slowly tackling the clutter that I've allowed to accumulate over a year's worth of "nobody gonna visit me anyway" along with beginning-to-commence-to embark on a larger purge inspired by this post, and I'm continuing to learn new things on piano - including an additional context for a tritone substitution. So I'm doing okay.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:01 PM on March 21, 2021 [4 favorites]

Found a broom with a broken handle in a trash can two days ago while out walking, and a short piece of bamboo yesterday. I split the bamboo lengthwise, fitted it around the break in the broom handle, and wrapped/lashed it together with some string. New broom! Now with decorative lashed bamboo that totally doesn't mach the cheap metal&plastic handle! And only a little bit loose if you twist it!

We're also working on turning a blue bike more pink (long story) which includes re-covering the seat and making a handlebar bag, both with fabric from a pair of pink jeans (which are now jeans shorts). I installed a pink chain, bell, and cable housing. My partner got custom bumper stickers printed for decals, and turned the little extra borders around the edges of the stickers into pink racing stripes.
posted by sibilatorix at 4:01 PM on March 21, 2021 [5 favorites]

I signed up for a fun mail art project where everyone is a "Space Gnome" and we send postcards and letters to each other. My contributions mostly take the form of a photo from the neighborhood or around my house and a short story about what's going on in the photo.
I also took a class though Morbid Anatomy on Victorian hair art/mourning jewelry. I use store bought hair extensions for the projects that involve braiding or crimping and am trying to see if my cats' loose fur will work for palette or sepia work. I've only completed two lessons out of the four though, through a combination of life refusing to stop happening and executive dysfunction.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 4:19 PM on March 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

I finished my antiquarian bookstore roombox. So even if I can't get to any antiquarian bookstores at the moment, there's still a 1:12 scale one on a bookcase.

Anyway, I've been furnishing a larger dollhouse I finished, and started working on an old cottage kit I picked up on eBay. It's a nice break from dealing with administrivia.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:02 PM on March 21, 2021 [6 favorites]

I finished up this guy and I'm currently trying to make a batch of them. It's going... slowly.

I've never really built any furniture before but my wife has need for a small table for some plants so I bought some cherry stock the other day and soon I'll either have a table or the makings of a bonfire. We'll see.

I can't wait until I can take some classes or workshops again. I want to learn some new skills.
posted by bondcliff at 6:40 PM on March 21, 2021 [19 favorites]

cherry stock

My instantaneous first thought was "Ew, that would make a weird-tasting soup!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:05 PM on March 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

I poured some melted salted butter over my salad instead of salad dressing, and mixed it in immediately. It was surprisingly delicious.
posted by aniola at 7:09 PM on March 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

My project today is still drying - I have a couple shirts which I loved because of the fabric, but they got worn a lot and developed rips in shoulders or elbows too often to be repairable. So I put out the call in my Buy Nothing group that I was looking for Things I Can Decoupage.

One of the things I got was this big plain white serving tray. Today I lined the bottom with the back of one of those shirts; I had to tuck in a couple of other scraps to fill out some holes, but the pattern is busy enough that it's hard to tell unless you're deliberately looking for it. I'm pretty pleased; it's a pretty pattern, and it's giving a favorite shirt new life.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:54 PM on March 21, 2021 [5 favorites]

little lurk got (quad) rollerskates on recent gift-giving occasion; among those possessions my peripatetic homeless friend stores in my basement are a pair of over-shoe strap-on inline skates that, when i tried them, didn't roll. eventually it occurred to me that the ball bearings there must be must be old. some youtubery later i have replaced all those bearings, absorbed some beginner tutorials from the likes of deez skates, dirty school of skate, RoC's world and flow skate, inter alia (i even watched some rollerderby), and am now working on learning how to skate with little lurk weekend days. we have graduated from the hallway of the child's condominium building to a local school playground or university campus. it is fun, although i might be of somewhat advanced years to be beginning such perilous activity. probably about time i got some safety equipment (but am not sure how serious we'll be about this for how long -- likely longer if i don't break a hip or wind up bleeding into my brain).

in the arts/crafts field, i am getting a little bit better at watercolor unicorns.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:30 PM on March 21, 2021 [6 favorites]

thomas j wise, I just dipped my toe into miniatures (also a bookshop! But from a kit!), and I'd LOVE to see pictures of yours, this is a weirdly fun hobby! Here's what I've done so far!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:54 PM on March 21, 2021 [8 favorites]

I stumbled across Gardeners' World on BritBox yesterday, it awakened the dormant gardener within, and as a result tomorrow morning five cubic yards of horse manure is getting dumped in my driveway. I swear to God I wept through six episodes in a row. I used to be such an enthusiastic gardener, and I was good at it too. People seeing my back yard for the first time would gasp in astonishment. Then I had a back surgery, lost two whole years, it all went to hell, and I just never got it back. Seeing Monty Don's Goldens lumbering after him as pushed his wheelbarrow through the garden felt like watching someone else living the life I'm supposed to be living, I guess. I don't know. Maybe it's perimenopause.
posted by HotToddy at 11:03 PM on March 21, 2021 [13 favorites]

I made this woo-filled intention candle for a person I know who needed support. I'm really happy with how it turned out -- the flowers I grew last year and I'm really enjoying the process of growing and drying and saving things, and the process of taking a candle from ideas to materials to completion. I only ever do one at a time for a specific person, and it is a very satisfying process.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 11:04 PM on March 21, 2021 [10 favorites]

I've been enjoying mixed media collage lately. Here is the latest.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:14 AM on March 22, 2021 [7 favorites]

Last November I made like fifty feet of cedar garland, ten wreaths and five swags to decorate the barn for the holidays, and since then I have been slowly un-making them when the weather and mood align, winding up the wire and coiling up the ropes and making a tidy and well-organized box of supplies for re-use next year. Just one more four-foot length of garland to go. Should have done it yesterday, but the gorgeous weather seduced me into starting that other traditional springtime organization project: raking the stones back into the driveway. One small section of the driveway looks neat and tidy.
posted by evilmomlady at 5:34 AM on March 22, 2021 [5 favorites]

I recently finished this 75 gallon / 350 litre aquarium project (after a year of on-and-off tinkering). There's a big sump (a second tank containing filters, heaters etc.) inside the cabinet. The cabinetry, such as it is, was the biggest part of the project - I reckon it would survive being dropped off a mountain. It'll be a while until the planting looks good. There are 53 fish in there, although you wouldn't think so. It's right opposite my desk, so it's a good thing I don't mind the sound of water...
posted by pipeski at 5:47 AM on March 22, 2021 [5 favorites]

I had this idea a couple of weeks ago of making a crewneck sweatshirt into a football jersey-style shirt. I really like the look of old-school football jerseys, with the long sleeves and all. So I went to Joann and bought a bunch of felt and... it's just been sitting on my floor ever since. Maybe this will inspire me to work on it.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:07 AM on March 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

I can't link to a photo of it, but I recently combed through the online archives of the Toronto Star in search of the classified ad that I answered - in the actual newspaper, that's how long ago this was - for an apartment when my wife and I moved in together (we're still renting the same place, almost 20 years later). It took a while, but I found it, ordered an enlarged reproduction and got it framed.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:02 AM on March 22, 2021 [17 favorites]

All my redecorating is digital. I found out after a very nice note from someone that something had gone... terribly wrong with one of my websites. The poor man was like "The black text on the dark grey background is very hard to read" and I checked and AAAAAAA WTF. I don't know if this was a project I somehow stopped in the middle and forgot to finish, or if something actually changed with the code for some reason. The last time I was actively paying attention to it was 2016. All the pages are individually built and are fiddly (tables and &c) but, for personal reasons, I need the site to look ok before I take it all apart and jam it into a CMS which will be nicer to maintain going forward. So yesterday I fixed the Maine, Vermont, and Connecticut sections of my New England Carnegies website (you can see a broken example by looking at the one Carnegie library in Rhode Island page) which was satisfying nitpicking work.

I also made this for a friend who is having a milestone birthday during COVID times which sucks. She likes space and infrastructure and I thought she'd like this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:12 PM on March 22, 2021 [4 favorites]

I embarked upon a Covid lockdown crazy quilt making project at this time last year, using just scraps from previous quilts, old curtains, cast off jeans and other worn out clothing. My thinking at the time was "Hey, I'll be working from home full time, so I should have plenty of break time here and there to work on it. Gonna be so cool..."


Last week while cleaning my studio workspace I stumbled upon the pile of rags, I mean partially completed quilt, which had been lying there for a good eight months, I believe. It's definitely an...interesting....look inside my mind from last spring/summer. I am now determined to complete it, despite being as busy as ever and spent a good part of this weekend ignoring my family so I could sew on it.
posted by medeine at 2:26 PM on March 22, 2021 [4 favorites]

I've made slipper socks for me and my husband and some scarves lately, pictures on tumblr. I also finished an afghan in less than 4 months! Actually completing craft projects has always been my downfall and so I stuck to tiny things like Christmas ornaments before.
posted by soelo at 7:44 PM on March 22, 2021 [3 favorites]

I made Bernie mittens.
posted by Melismata at 9:24 PM on March 22, 2021 [8 favorites]

I'm in the process of making a Captain America suit for cosplay. I just finished the sleeves. Here's the front view before I made the sleeves.
This has been a challenging project and I've done the following new things:
  • Made a duct tape dress form and stand
  • Draped a pattern
  • Made a pattern only from reference photos
  • Worked with EVA foam and 3D printed parts for a costume
posted by plinth at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2021 [5 favorites]

I started a D&D campaign last year with the 8 year old and the kids next door (we have a two household bubble) that slowly evolved into a homebrew campaign where we take turns DMing.

My kid started drawing and painting some of the characters and monsters that they were creating and I decided to join in the fun.

We bought the cheapest acrylic paints we could find in red, blue, yellow, black, and white. We cut an amazon box into approximately 10 by 10 cm squares, gessoed them and started painting.

I had not picked up a brush in 20 years. Back in the day I used to do signage and some lettering by hand. I tried to paint a few 'real' pictures, but they were terrible and I destroyed them. I gave up on being a graphic artist and that was it. I have done a handful of digital illustrations since then, but nothing using color.

This time I just enjoyed the process and I feel pretty proud of my first two illustrations, warts and all. I may have finally reached the age where I don't care that much what other people think, and where I can tell my surrounding circle of invisible censors to go fuck themselves.

We exchanged a list of 10 characters for each other to paint. Character names and description are from my kid.

Here is Mochimochimochi the Unibunny who can grant one the magical power to make vegetables taste like peanut butter and chocolate sandwiches.

Here is the Strawberry Donut the Girl Deer With Golden Antlers (Here is where I learned that about 1 in 10,000 female white tail deer can grow antlers) that lives in a fern forest and gives you gold coins if you can invent a new word.
posted by Dr. Curare at 4:49 PM on March 24, 2021 [6 favorites]

I forgot, because it did not feel like arts and crafts at first, that I also learned to work with copper and built a still. This is the column, the insides are a little bit complicated, it is a reflux column regulated by a home made needle valve. I've made popcorn whisky, molasses rum, and brown sugar rum that have turned out very tasty. All the copper is from a local recycler, the steel from a kitchen supply store.

(I am particularly proud of how I managed to solder the copper to the stainless steel bowl with homemade flux based on a recipe found in a 1950s encyclopedia and a propane torch)

I also wanted to have matching spoke nipples, seatpost clamp, and stem spacers on my bike (I am firmly on the non slammed camp) so I learned how to anodize aluminum at home. Due to the war on drugs I could not get some of the chemicals, back I went to old encyclopedias and managed to do it with pool maintenance and kitchen cleaning supplies and some basic chemistry (don't worry too much, I have the training), my hobby power supply for Arduino projects was good enough. This is the setup, this is the result. I did not plan on a fade, but I like it. The seatpost clamp is made of a very annoying aluminum alloy that will not take an even color layer.
posted by Dr. Curare at 5:20 PM on March 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

After lots of interesting research and a few months of editing, publishing, & prototyping, I finally finished and posted my new Etsy shop item: The Alchemy Pack.
posted by obloquy at 7:25 PM on March 24, 2021 [8 favorites]

My favorite work friend is in the hospital, so I made a get well card for everyone I work with to digitally sign. My reach exceeded my grasp on this but I hope it made her smile.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 7:31 PM on March 24, 2021 [5 favorites]

Hahahaha that cards is awesome. I want one!
posted by HotToddy at 9:56 PM on March 24, 2021

I made this little beast the other day (and then three more over a week or so). Looking kinda mad in this photo, but I promise it's a sweetheart. I think I first saw something like this on Metafilter many a long day ago, actually.
posted by that's candlepin at 11:39 AM on March 25, 2021 [4 favorites]

I've been taking a lot of Polaroids since August. It's fun! There are still a bunch I need to scan.

I also have tea towel project warped on my loom that I need to get back to.
posted by edencosmic at 5:46 PM on March 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

I made this necklace for a wonderful fellow mefite thanks to her answer to this thread.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 6:04 PM on March 25, 2021 [4 favorites]

It's much less arty or crafty than my usual hobbies, but since January I've been filming various Let's Plays and posting them in public on YouTube. I don't use facecam, but even so, this is pretty out there for me in terms of being On The Internet. It's been a wonderful experience learning to craft a narrative, provide interesting commentary, pace myself, and edit audio and video and thumbnails and all the little fidgety parts that go on behind the scenes. I'm also starting to cross over into ASMR, which is intimidating from a technical standpoint, but also intriguing, like an auditory logic puzzle. I have about twenty videos up so far, representing 100-200 hours of work. I'm proud of the effort, independent of the result.
posted by notquitemaryann at 9:11 AM on March 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

So today I did the first of two shows in my first paid gig that someone else hired me for since lockdown, and (allowing for the usual handful of things I arrggh could/should have done better) I think it went OK! It'll be up on YouTube at some point.

This was a Zoom show of a play written in 1537, and I got sort of carried away with enthusiasm and built my own backdrop out of cardboard shipping boxes. Photos here.

This involved covering the living room floor in cardboard, which the cats *loved*. They jumped on it, wrestled on it, scratched it, and were perplexed as to why the human insisted on painting it and standing it up against a wall. I'm sure they'll get their revenge somehow.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:19 PM on March 26, 2021 [3 favorites]

With luck (read: if I am not too exhausted after hobbling to the craft store up the street tomorrow), I will be putting a last coat of varnish on my tray and will move on to decoupaging a few more, and then will post pictures.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:58 PM on March 26, 2021

I'm building a little flame working studio in my garage. I got somebody's (unused!) beadmaking setup ridiculously cheap on Facebook marketplace. (Torch and kiln and some other random bits for just three hundred dollars!) Currently figuring out how I'm going to install a ventilation fan. It will probably involve cutting a stud and framing a new opening in the wall, which is like super advanced carpentry for me. But I think I understand what needs to be done, so I'm buying materials and making a detailed plan.
posted by eruonna at 7:57 AM on March 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

I made a rainbow unicorn sweater in 12 days! (Usually a sweater takes me a month!)
I am now working on knitted Easter eggs, but I haven't photographed those yet, I'm halfway through the set.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:09 PM on March 27, 2021 [6 favorites]

That is a gorgeous sweater.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:39 AM on March 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm recording a bunch of original songs, starting with just acoustic guitar and vocals (they're mostly in a Simon-and-Garfunkel-ish vein), and then gradually adding other parts and other instruments, and posting about the process on Instagram. To wit: 'I believe she flies like leaves', or, more concisely, She Flies. This is way down at the 'arts' end of the spectrum and is hopefully acceptable in an arts-and-crafts thread...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 9:47 PM on March 28, 2021

great job!
posted by judysmithy at 4:01 AM on April 1, 2021

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