SMP Craft
5 Jan

Happy Pub Day: The Origami Garden, Made in Paracord! and 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet!

Happy New Year, indeed! We have not one, not two, but THREE amazing new craft books publishing today. If you’re like me, your New Year’s resolution (like every year’s) is to read more books and make more things. So I would definitely recommend buying all three of these very different books for your collection!

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First up is The Origami Garden: Amazing Flowers, Leaves, Bugs, and Other Backyard Critters by Ioana Stoian. This collection of 40 charming origami designs includes delightful flowers and foliage, cute animals, and other backyard critters that are sure to inspire you to get folding. Ideal for beginners and more experienced practitioners, each cleverly designed origami pattern is complete with detailed step-by-step artwork.

Learn how to fold traditional forms such as birds or butterflies, or try out some cute, contemporary designs such as a rabbit or a ladybug. Plus, there’s even 20 sheets of origami paper included, so you can get started right away!

Origami front coverBuy your copy today!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

The next addition to your TBR pile is the ridiculously fun Made in Paracord: 25 Great Jewelry, Accessories, and Home Projects to Knot by Caitlin Wynne. If you haven’t heard of crafting with parachute cord before, prepare to have your mind blown with these 25 super-cute projects, all created in brightly colored paracord. There are no special skills required, and paracord is an easy, and easily available, material to work with, so you’ll be creating simple and stylish pieces in no time. You’ll find tons of accessories, including survival and other bracelets, key chains, bags, belts, and headbands, as well as homewares like wall hangings, hammocks, bowls and plates! I mean, just look at these beauties.

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Paracord cover

Buy your copy today! 

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

Last but certainly not least is the latest from crocheter extraordinaire Leonie Morgan: 75 Colorful Hexagons to Crochet: The Ultimate Mix-and-Match Patterns in Eye-Popping Colors. Hexagons 1This is a delightful collection of hexagons to crochet in bright and inspiring colorways. With 75 original designs to choose from, a further 50 vibrant color variations, and five eye-catching projects to try, there’s plenty here to spark the imagination. Complete with a wide variety of designs that range from simple to more advanced, each hexagon comes with a clear written pattern, an easy-to-follow chart, and a large photograph of the crocheted piece. Hexagon 2

Simply pick your favorite pattern and get crocheting, or mix and match the blocks to create your own unique project!

Hexagon cover

Buy your copy today!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

 

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3 Dec

Crafts, Cocktails, and Laughs at Industry City Distillery: 12/19!

SMPCraft just got the inside scoop on a Crafternoon event happening on Saturday, December 19, at Industry City Distillery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, complete with drink specials. And it’s followed by a comedy show. And they’re both FREE!

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Follow Industry City Distillery on Instagram @drinkicd

To join Crafternoon, please RSVP to Nina’s Facebook invite: 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1497817047186120/.

Though don’t be deterred by the RSVP. It’s appreciated but not a prerequisite for entry if you’re able to come at the last minute.

WHEN: Saturday, December 19. 4pm – 8:30pm. All drinks are 1/2 off before 6pm. After 6pm, drinks are $1 off. There’s also a tasting menu if you get hungry. Comedy show starts at 9pm.

WHERE: City Industry Distillery’s Tasting Room and Bar, 33 35th Street, Fl 6, Brooklyn, NYC, 11232. (718) 305-6951. http://drinkicd.com

Industry City Distillery, part of the City Foundry Project, is one of the most innovative distilleries in New York. Their vodka, which is distilled from sugar beets, is the result of an onsite laboratory, full machine shop, and letterpress studio–all designed and built in Brooklyn by their collective of self proclaimed nerds!

For Crafternoon, you’re highly encouraged to bring your own materials for your projects. There will be a limited supply of various crafting materials and tools such as origami paper, yarn, a few craft books (origami, macrame, sewing, knitting and crochet). There may be a sewing machine. There’s also a Micro Center around the corner from the space where you can pick up makery/hackery type objects before you come.

While Nina will likely be crocheting or quilting (and playing with the distillery’s resident cat Ambassador Scratchy), Nina’s interpretation of “crafts” is intentionally loose. During Crafternoon, feel free to craft the next chapter of your novel, draw a portrait, even design a game! This is the perfect place and time to let your creative side loose. Finish knitting that neglected scarf! Make holiday presents! One thing, if your project has the potential to get messy, as in needing a tarp messy, contact Nina ahead of time so she can clear it with the distillery.

Ah. And if anyone can make the arduino board for/teach Nina to make this pulsing iNecklace, you’ll probably have a friend for life. Zac Bruner, the machinist at ICD has offered to make the casing, if only we can figure out the insides! For the full how-to, including source code and hardware, click the image (https://github.com/adafruit/iNecklace).

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iNecklace via adafruit

Last, anyone who’s interested in the backend of the distillery can sign up for the Saturday “Hard Hat” Distillery tour at 3pm. It lasts about an hour. Costs $5. Space is limited.

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Sign up for the “Hard Hat” Distillery Tour

For more on Crafternoon, go to the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1497817047186120/

And here’s more about the free Captains of Industry Comedy Show that starts at 9pm: http://heyevent.com/event/cjpoynbawllfia/captains-of-industry-free-comedy-night-at-industry-city-distillery

CHEERS!

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26 Sep

DIY Mini Origami Animal Mobile

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Origami Animals and Creatures: swan, rabbit, elephant, crain

When my friends gave birth recently to baby Vivienne, I gifted practical items from their registry like diapers, which babies go through by the boatload (I’ve been told). But diapers alone don’t cut it for me. Something specially handmade was missing. So I decided to make a hanging Mobile of Mini Origami Animals.

I purchased a metal clip photo mobile for under $15 and a packet of multi-colored origami paper at Michaels. I chose the mini clip mobile, intended for hanging photographs, for its versatility; it would allow my friends to change up the elements with different origami animals (I made extra origami animals with this in mind) or even hang sweet dream wishes and sure, even photos. The possibilities are endless!

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Metal Clip Photo Mobile: $10 – $15

Despite being an origami beginner, I chose 2″ x 2″ colored origami paper–challenging to put it mildly. But my vision entailed mini animals and I stuck with my plan. Larger animals would likely be equally beautiful. A mix of sizes glorious.

I warmed up with the simple animals I already felt comfortable making, like this swan, owl, bunny rabbit, and dog face.

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Origami Swan

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Origami Owl

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Origami Rabbit

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Origami Dog Face

I followed a few YouTube tutorials to make a giraffe and, today, with Origami Zoo: An Amazing Collection of Folded Paper Animals by Robert J. Lang and Stephen Weiss, I’m going to grow my animal kingdom with other  animals like a praying mantis, goose, penguin, and even the mythical creature, Pegasus.

I hope to finish this weekend. But there’s something addicting in the cathartic process of folding origami–and find it hard to stop making just one more.

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Mini Origami Animal Mobile

Fortunately, it’s beautiful in NYC, pushing me to put the finishing touches on this project as quickly as possible.

Have a wonderful weekend and happy crafting!

Order Origami Zoo at your favorite bookseller

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Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

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20 Jun

The Secret to Making Your Father’s Day Gift Super Special

This Father’s Day, probably the best gift to show Dad how special and loved he is, is to spend more time with him, participate in his hobbies, and help him with household chores and big projects since what dads really want is time and attention from the people they care most about.

For many of us, we can’t actually be physically present to make this happen. But we can still keep this in mind and show thoughtfulness and care in the gift we give.

Whether you’re donating money under his name to a cause he feels strongly about, or helping him manage that wild beard with a membership to the Dollar Shave Club, ordaining him Top Chef with a new Global or Henckels or Shun Chef Knife, or signing him up for the Custom Golf Clubs he’s been (not-so-secretly) coveting–what will REALLY show Dad how special he is?

What’s the secret?

Finish the gift with a follow-up that shows up a few days or even a week or two later, something personal and handmade that shows him that your appreciation for him goes beyond one national holiday.

This one simple act will bring a smile to his face and resonate long after Father’s Day. Why? He won’t know it’s coming. It’s unexpected. A wonderful surprise.

Admittedly, it’s not a secret really but a reminder to look beyond what’s immediately in front of us and find ways to act meaningfully.

You probably have some ideas of your own as a follow-up to your Father’s Day gift. But if you need a little guidance, we have a few suggestions. Just a few since the point is to really think about YOUR father.

Each of these takes less than an hour to accomplish:

Send him a handmade post card. Even if he lives next door. It can go with the theme of your gift, or be a picture of you and him together, or stenciled with his favorite saying or phrase. Don’t forget to convey the message: Wish you were here!

Here’s the postcard I made to send to my stepdad, a former pilot. He got me into flying and it’s a subject the two of us have killed considerable hours talking about.

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Show ongoing support. Wish him luck on a project–career or personal–that he’s battling. Buy seven or 30 $1 scratch-off lottery tickets. Wrap each in a sticky note labeled for each day of the week. Instruct him to scratch one ticket every day. He’ll have at least one thing to look forward to every day, a fun moment of distraction. If you want, fold an origami crane, a symbol of luck and fortune, and send everything in a cool origami box. Click here for instructions on making the box. And if you’re feeling ambitious, click here for some instruction on making moveable origami.

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Did you know you can make a custom iPhone Case in less than an hour? Acknowledge his hobbies or favorite pastimes or TV show, or use a funny phrase he’d appreciate like: Will Trade Wife for Whiskey to accessorize his phone. The Cheese Thief shows us how.

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Crafty Morning had a terrific idea. Even if your dad doesn’t grill, this spatula with a personalized message using the phrase Flippin’ is simply brilliant as a summertime gift.

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If you still need more ideas, check out our post from last week–10 Beer Bottle Crafts to make with empty beer bottles and caps.

But whatever you decide on, always keep in mind the age-old adage: It’s the thought that counts.

Happy Father’s Day (and after)!

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28 Dec

Goodreads Giveaway: Origami in Action by Robert J. Lang

We’re nearing the close of 2014… but we couldn’t end the year without just one more Goodreads Giveaway! Last Friday, we posted about our Free Project Download for The Strumming Guitarist — an origami project where the guitarist actually strums the guitar — from Origami in Action: Paper Toys that Fly, Flap, Gobble, and Inflate!  by Robert J. Lang. You can read about Dr. Lang’s history with origami on his blog. Here’s a snippet from his biography:

In 1992 Dr. Lang became the first Westerner ever invited to address the Nippon Origami Association’s annual meeting; he has since been an invited guest at international origami conventions around the world. He lectures widely on origami and its connections to mathematics, science, and technology, and teaches workshops on both artistic techniques and applications of folding in industrial design.

Dr. Lang is one of the pioneers of the cross-disciplinary marriage of origami with mathematics; he has been one of the few Western columnists for Origami Tanteidan Magazine, the journal of the Japan Origami Academic Society, and has presented refereed and invited technical papers on origami-math at mathematical and computer science professional meetings...

Now you can enter for a chance to win one of 20 copies of Robert J. Lang’s Origami in Action during our Goodreads Giveaway. Enter before January 1st!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Origami In Action by Robert J. Lang

Origami In Action

by Robert J. Lang

Giveaway ends January 01, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Can’t wait? Origami in Action is available at your favorite bookseller:

Origami-in-Action-cover

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

New in December & January!

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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