Monday, February 28, 2011

Geekly Weekly: Ladies First

Celebrate ladies, this is your history month! We may have come late to the party, but we have made an amazing impact on the geek world. From as far back as Mary Shelley, Mary Currey, and Mary Magdalen, women have been making major contributions to the world's of science and fantasy. Lets celebrate some of the great contributors and characters who are of the female persuasion.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Girls Gone Geek

OMG, do I wish I lived in Seattle, Washington, or at the very least find myself on the West Coast this October in time for the first Geek Girl Con

The Organizers of this convention want to celebrate the contributions of the ladies in geek culture. Women are participating in all aspects of Science, Sci-fi, comics and gaming. It is time someone noticed we are much more to the genre then boobs in a skimpy costume.

Geek Girl Con will be here before you know it, so if you are a fem or fem supporter, you can buy your tickets online here. Also, they are hosting tons of social events leading up to the big weekend, keep yourself up to date on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sports Craft: Flipping Gymnast

I am very excited about this project. My eight year old daughter and I collaborated on it together. I had this idea for a flipping gymnast but was not sure what I could use to attach the rubberband to. She suggested the box and this craft idea was born.

cardboard box
full length photo or drawing of gymnast
clothes pin
rubber band
2 popsicle sticks
hole punch
white paper
crayons, markers, etc.

  1. if you are not using a shoebox, cut open "front" side of box
  2. draw background on paper and glue inside box
  3. cut out picture you plan on using as the "gymnast"
  4. glue to clothes pin
  5. punch holes as close to level as possible in either side of box
  6. wrap rubber band around popsicle stick
  7. thread other end of rubber band through both holes in box with popsicle stick on outside of one hole
  8. secure rubber band with second popsicle stick
  9. clip your gymnast to the rubber band
Big thanks to both my son and daughter who each made their own flipping gymnast box. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lost in Translation

Did you ever hear a commercial in the background and think to yourself, am I hearing this right? Well it happened to me just the other day with this new toy, Shnooks.

Most people will think its just a silly combination of words, maybe even trying to sound like Snookie. I am here to tell you it is a word, and not a very nice one at that. Schnook is a Yiddish word meaning dimwit.

As most people buying these trendy purposeless toys can be described as dimwits, maybe the name is not such an insult. Maybe it is more like a label saying,"hey you, this toy is perfect for your level of intelligence".

Don't even try to look for these yet, they are extremely hard to find. Of course, only a schnook would be looking for them anyway. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Ten Crafter Must Haves

Keep Calm and Craft On Ladies T by BoldBanana
Can you imagine some people dont keep these things around the house? I have an overstocked collection of crafting supplies but there are those just beginning their stash. Here are the must haves for all creative types.

  1. Library Card I am starting with this one because it is no longer a given that everyone has one of these. What a great resource for ideas! They stock books on every kind of craft; you can make copies of your favorites if you wish, or just bring the book back when you are done with it. Be sure to check out the crafting books in the adult and children's sections, you never know what will have that idea you need.
  2. Self Healing Cutting Mat Don't destroy your kitchen table with that x-acto knife, cut on a mat, that is what it is made for. The self healing part will prevent you from going over the lines of your previous project. 
  3. Hot Glue Gun Great on just about any surface for some serious gluing action. Dries clear and you can pick off the little strings after it dries very easily.
  4. X-Acto Knife I mentioned this along with the self healing mat. Use it to cut out those detailed paper dolls or a straight line. Just be sure to change the blade when it gets dull or the point breaks; and watch your fingers!
  5. Metal Ruler It can measure, it has a straight edge, you cant cut into it, what cant this amazing item do! Be sure you get one with a cork backing so it wont slide around as you use it.
  6. Colored Paper From the fanciest scrapbooking sheets to the cheapest pad of construction paper, you will use this for so many projects. Cut it up, draw on it, rip it to pieces, even sew it together; there are a million uses for this craft room staple.
  7. Yarn I know what you may be thinking: Tracey, I am not a knitter, what do I need yarn for? There are millions of projects that never use a knit or purl stitch you can use yarn for. Pick up a few small balls in various colors and maybe some needlepoint floss as well.
  8. Pencils This is my drawing item of choice. I use standard #2 with the pink eraser for drawing and colored pencils for loads of projects. Great for drawing as well as marking your cutting lines. Just be sure to have a pencil sharpener as well!
  9. Old Shirts SOOOOOO many uses for old t-shirts. You need a smock, done. You need a project bag, sew it up. You need a rag to clean up, it can do that too. There are books filled with projects just using old shirts. 
  10. Binder Remember how I said to make copies of your favorite projects from library books? Well this is where you are going to keep them all. A folder would probably work too, but I find that they overflow way too fast. Stash all your ideas in one place for easy access. 
Your faves not included in this list? What would you say is your Must-Have craft supply?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Geekly Weekly: Hail to the Chief

When they decided to combine Washington and Lincoln's birthdays into a 3-day weekend celebration they called it "President's Day". What makes those guys so much more special then the rest of the elite club? History buffs know that every president had his good and bad points; even Tricky Dick Nixon who opened trade with China. Who is your fave?

















Friday, February 18, 2011

Wish You Were Here

Connect the Rings by NekeDesigns
Did you know that your article could be featured on Tracey Knits? Well it's true! If you have an interesting idea you would like to share, and get more exposure for your blog or shop, fill out the form below. Not only will your article be seen by my blog followers, it will be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry and Tumblr. That is THOUSANDS of potential views... for free!

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sports Craft: Paper Pom-Poms

Every team needs a cheerleader. Lets give them something to cheer about with a pom-pom craft project! Super easy and fast craft.

colored paper (newspaper can work too)

  1. Layer several sheets of paper depending on how big you want your pom to be
  2. cut along length of paper, forming strips about half way down
  3. shift layers slightly so that strips no longer line up with each other
  4. lay a strip of tape over the visible layers (as shown)
  5. roll into tube and tape into place
  6. let strips fall were they want, shake em out to get that pom-pom look

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Forever Learning

"When you stop growing you start dying."
— William S. Burroughs

Chalkboard Teacher Notebook by Gibberish2
I decided to open my etsy shop about a year and a half ago exclusively to sell my hand-knit items. Research on how to sell crafts became part of my life. I have spent at least 10 hours every week since then reading everything i can get my hands on about how to improve my business. Some have been very inspiring, others less so, but I would never have known that had I not taken the time to try.

Today I take my first live session with April of BlackburgBelle. This is the first time I am paying for help with my site. I felt like I had exhausted much of the free resources, and with the success and growth I have seen in my business, it was time to re-invest. April has been working me HARD already. 4 weeks before our first class the homework began. Think about your customers, inspirations, blog ideas, short biography, etc... I am officially overwhelmed! Taking a break became necessary.

ANYWAY... the point I really wanted to make is that it is very important to not limit yourself to what you already know. Yes, I know how to knit. I know how to write a pattern. But as we in the all know, it takes allot more then that to run a shop. Expand your skill base. There are tons of free and cheap resources available online. Also, be sure to check out your local library for great books on selling your crafts. And lastly, give yourself a break. You are not going to learn everything in a day, take your time and learn as you go, you may find that you are learning as much from the experience as from the research.

Top Shop: Inspiration and Perspiration

Become Who You Really Are by LPJewelry
Sometimes I am uninspired. There, I said it, the great Tracey does not always have an idea what the next project should be. While it is good to take some time to clear your head, it is also good to know there are resources out there you may not know about to find inspiration. Here are a list of some of my faves, you may or may not have heard of:

Craft: A magazine turned online community; full of projects, patterns, and ideas. Coined "The Martha Stewart for Geeks" by Newsweek. A reader contributed craft blog out of Australia, created to share ideas with teachers, therapists and craft enthusiasts.

Design*Sponge More about design then craft, this blog covers trends in interior decorating. Great place to see how people are using color in their homes, ways to hang art and creative storage.

Core77 Hardcore industrial design website. I love to look at the sketches for the ideas and the "out there" items that may take years to come to market.

The Dieline All about package design. Go here to look for creative ways to sell your work just through creative use of type and a label.

Poppytalk a true design inspiration blog. Based in Canada, this blog is dedicated to promoting handmade and vintage

got a place you go to for inspiration online? share it here!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sports Craft: Hockey Chalkboard

I am very excited to be attending my very first hockey game this weekend. I have by jersey ready to go and tickets in hand. What i dont have is any hockey items in my home. This is another fun project easy enough to do with your little ones but can be jazzed up for the grown ups.

peel and stick chalkboard (available at ACMoore) or chalkboard paint (available at Michaels)
magnet sheets (printable or self adhesive, either is fine. Available at most craft stores)
large circle about 9" in diameter or circle cutter
white paper
  1. peel and stick magnet to chalkboard, peel and stick sides facing
  2. trace circle onto chalkboard using chalk
  3. cut out circle, you now have your "puck"
  4. draw hockey stick onto cardboard and cut out
  5. trace hockey stick so that they are a similar shape or draw a second stick and cut out
  6. glue white paper to both sides of cardboard
  7. cut white paper following edge of the "hockey stick"
  8. decorate the sticks as you like using markers. this is a great place to put your favorite team or kid's names.
  9. glue these sticks to the chalkboard side of your puck
  10. grab a piece of chalk, hang it on your fridge and you are done!
alternatives: you can use chalkboard spray if you want instead of pre-made chalkboard

thanks again to my little girl for doing this craft with me.

I would love to see your projects. be sure to post links to your pics in my comments section!