Thursday, December 8, 2011

new iPhone case

A few months ago at a tradeshow, I was given a rubber iPhone case. I've been using it because it's practical but I wasn't thrilled about the logo. So boring! I stumbled across a few different versions of puffy painted iPhone cases (like the one Crafty Chica made, below) and inspiration hit!

Puffy Paint iPhone4 Case

So I took up my logo'd case...


And used some acetone to remove the logo. I used acetone made for nail salons (pure acetone, not drugstore-type nail polish remover, although that might have worked too) and a Q-tip and started rubbing.


The acetone loosened the screenprinted logo pretty easily and little scrubbing circles with the Q-tip removed it completely in about 10 minutes.


After it was totally clean, I got to work! Using my theory of "anything that holds still is an art table" I pulled a piece of saran wrap around a cat food box and set to work. I decided to use a bright blue because it makes me happy and I used my dot painting technique to create a circle pattern. I used a glossy acrylic craft paint which I already had on-hand. If you needed to purchase some from Michaels, you'd pay about $1 for the 2oz. bottle.


It all came together pretty quick. From start to finish, I was done in less than one episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun (recommend TV viewing while painting!).


Ta da! For a total cost of nothing and under 30 minutes of work, I completely customized my phone case. Now it looks like MY PHONE and has a bright burst of happy color!


My two cents: I really like the outcome of the craft paint vs. puffy paint. Puffy paint leaves a peaked "kiss" on the surface which gives more texture but because I stuff my phone into a zipper pouch in my purse, I was afraid they'd snag and lift off or the peaks would tear. The acrylic gloss holds a textured dot but it's flatter and there are no "kisses", so it has a decent texture for gripping (on the arm of the couch, say) but won't snag on my zipper pouch.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I should probably stick to knitting

A while back, I decided to finally get down to learning crochet. I bought a book, watched some YouTube videos and trawled the internet for project ideas. I became enamored with granny square quilts. They're so ubiquitous that it seems every house in America has one. At some point your great aunt Ruthie sent one to the family and it's just been sitting in a linen cupboard somewhere, right?

I figured it couldn't be too hard, so I jumped in with both feet. An ambitious outlook to complete my own lap quilt (8 rows of 12 squares). I gathered up my supplies and got to hooking!

Master of crochet!

My first attempts were pretty loose and bumpy, but I figured once I got the hang of it, it would be no sweat! The two above each took 3 hours. No exaggeration. How does any grandma find the time for an entire quilt?!

The more I practiced, the quicker the squares came together. Still, I was averaging about 30 minutes per piece, but these things are a labor of love, right? I dragged my yarn bag and hook with me across the country while traveling for work and would hook up a few more squares every day while watching TV in my hotel room.

About 4 months later, I had enough to start assembling! Over the course of the last two weeks, I sewed together all of my squares and last night finished the last one. HUZZAH!

Only... they were still pretty loose and bumpy. I thought that it was acceptable for a beginner's project and since I was keeping it myself I could overlook the bumps. I also was hoping that a hot water wash and hot-hot dryer would help felt it all together.

It did... sorta.


About 30% of my squares started to unravel. I guess I didn't finish all of the squares the same (honestly, I was winging it since I didn't REALLY know what I was doing). Toward the end, I had started tying the loose strings into knots and then weaving in the tails. It seems to have worked. Except for when it didn't.

I wouldn't say it's garbage-worthy just yet. I could still sew together some patches and probably fix a lot of it. But it's going to be MORE WORK. Either that, or the cat just got a new blankie!

I still don't know how grannies for centuries have managed to build these quilts. I have one that was given to me as a gift for my birthday and I marvel at it daily. The consistent stitches! The lovely scalloped edge! The even sewing! So at least I have one beautiful blanket to look at while I'm patching up my own quilt that looks like rats chewed it!