November 28, 2008

2 things related to holiday shopping

i’m happy to be participating in both Buy Nothing Day and Make Something Day this black friday, although now that i’m working from home, i make something and buy nothing more days than not.  but i am starting to think about holiday shopping/gifting; with all my holiday gift tutorial writing, i’ve hardly thought about my own gifting!  and now that i’m thinking about it, i’m getting worried, because i’m not going to have much time for gift making, and i’m not exactly drowning in cash in this beginning stage of my crafty career, so…

holiday gift swapping, anyone?? i would looove to do some gift swaps!  if there is anything in my shop (or my etsy photo shop) that looks like a good gift for you to give (or keep), and you have something to swap that would work for one of my giftees, let’s do it!  gifts would preferably be handmade, and recycled materials are a plus.  here is what i’m looking for:

gifts for 5 men, ages 20, 22, 24, 29, and my dad.  and my mom.  some details about the guys… all 4 are musicians and way into music.  there’s a tattoo artist into bikes, hip-hop dj into film and basketball, computer programmer into irony and nerdiness, and pete who loves things involving squids/cephalopods/cthulu, robots, old-school audio stuff, any audio recording stuff, any keyboard/synth/moog stuff, trivia, weird things, history that nobody knows, mac stuff, old video game stuff….  and as for my parents, hmm they are always kinda tough for gifting, just show me what you have and i’ll check it out.

if you might want to arrange some swap action, email me! leethalkoala at yahoo dot com.  yay thanks!!

and the second thing… holiday shows!  i’m doing 3 upcoming holiday events here in portland… first, on tuesday, the handmade nw downtown holiday artisans fair:

handmade nw show

and then on next saturday, the 6th, the 100th monkey studio twilight art sale.  this one will have door prizes, sweets, bubbly beverages & treats, free massages, and possible live music.  should be a super fun event!  it’s in se near burnside +16th.

and a week later, on saturday the 13th, there’s the scrap holiday bazaar! i did this sale last year and it was great – some really excellent work made from recycled materials!  i’m super happy to be a part of it, i love scrap so much!!


ok i need to get to work – soooo super busy this time of year!!  i’m crazy happy to get to go home to my family for a week+ in december! yet another benefit of not working a day job in retail.  i haven’t not worked on black friday and xmas eve day in years!  so i need to stay overwhelmingly busy until the 17th, then i’ll get a week of relaxation, knitting, and destressing.

happy buy nothing day and make something day, everyone!

Filed under: personal,portland stuff,swap — leethal @ 1:02 pm

November 24, 2008

frame tutorial and some other things i made


craftstylish tutorial of the week: multi-photo frame!  i really love this one, it turned out exactly how i wanted it!  don’t you love it when a project comes out of your head and becomes a finished product just how you pictured it? yeah!

12.jpg 13.jpg

also, a couple new handspun yarns in the shop! it was my first time spinning since we got kittyhead. i had been dreading it because i imagined she would go kitty-crazy and pounce at my hands and the fiber and it would be disasterous… but, no! nothing like that!  she was totally cool about it!  she just watched the wheel go round and round for awhile, then got bored and went to sleep.  (she’s also fine now when i knit too, unless she’s in super crazy mode, but mostly she leaves me and the yarn alone, yay!)

scraptastic alpaca striping single

so there’s another “scraptastic” yarn, which will knit up super fun, similar to this one (knit by me) and this one (knit by lynne).  and a self-striping single, which i plan to do much more of – this one has some sections that are pretty variegated, and some more solid.  i think it’ll knit up pretty cool looking.

oh and getting back to garbanzo for a minute, want to see the kitty castle i built for her?! i made two separate parts – a scratching post with a flat top that she can sit on:

kitty post kitty post

and a 2-room house thing made with 2 boxes partially covered with carpet samples, with a hole inside connecting the two and multiple holes on the outsides for playing.  she loves this one!!

cat castle cat castle cat castle

they are both made with all recycled materials – the carpet samples are from scrap, as are the tubes making up the inside of the scratching post, and the boxes are from a printer and from my halloween costume.  put them together with a bunch of hot glue and some staple gun action, and it’s a kitty castle! hooray!

banzo kitty post

Filed under: craftstylish,home stuff,leethal store,yarn — leethal @ 6:45 pm

November 21, 2008

new new new stuff!

respect the needles. tame the yarn. photoboothshirt1.jpg

new shirt design(s) in the shop!! respect the needles, tame the yarn! yeah!  on the clothing page of the shop, you have to scroll down below all the block printed shirts, down to the screen printed section, where you’ll find seven of that one and five new baller shirts!  this is my favorite new one that i really want to keep for myself:

shirt351.jpg shirt352.jpg

i was doing a lot of experimenting with multi-colored screen printing, and this one turned out amazing – unfortunately, the photos really don’t capture how it looks.  there’s a thin white outline around the blue print, making it pop in a really nice way on the soft green background.  here are a couple more:

shirt321.jpg shirt361.jpg

and the reason i said design(s)?  i re-carved the baller stencil so it doesn’t have the big solid center in the ball.  what do you think?

baller-stencil.jpg shirt301.jpg

and a couple more of those:

shirt271.jpg shirt292.jpg

if you like either of the designs, but none of the sizes/colors of shirts i have, there are custom shirt blanks on the bottom of the clothing page, and i have about ten more that i hope to have up tomorrow.  (i charge $20 for a custom screen printed shirt – just email me about the details of what you want.)

in other news… i got a new computer!  wooo!  it’s SO much faster than my 4.5 yr old powerbook!  and photo booth is way too much silly fun…

photoboothme16.jpg photoboothbanzo1.jpg

photoboothbanzo7.jpg photoboothme4.jpg

Filed under: clothing,leethal store,personal,photos,printing — leethal @ 3:06 am

November 17, 2008

a fun project for fall!

my new cardigan! my new cardigan!

i actually made something for myself!!  i felt this major urge to craft something not for sale, not for a deadline, not for a tutorial, so i made this cardigan.  but now i want to give you a brief how-to anyway, since i really love how it turned out.  so there are no progress photos, but i took close-ups and i’ll just go through the simple steps…

you’ll need: a pullover sweater – find a wool one that’s too big for you, and wash it in the machine to felt it a bit.  hopefully now it’ll be fitted, but not too tight, and felted enough so it won’t unravel when you cut it.  then you’ll also need another felted sweater to cut up, and a bunch of buttons, and some yarn, needles, thread, good scissors, the crafting regulars.

start by cutting the pullover straight up the middle to turn it into a cardigan.  it doesn’t have to be exactly centered, in fact you can choose to make it super asymmetrical (like my orange one).  try to cut it perfectly straight through the knit stitches though; this way it’ll look almost like a finished edge.

now cut out pocket shapes from your other sweater, whatever shape you want.  i took the oval pocket idea from a jacket i saw someone wearing – i love how it looks but it wasn’t easy to sew, and they aren’t aligned evenly on the two sides.  go for regular square/rectangular pockets if you want it to be super neat.

also cut a strip of fabric from the other sweater to be the button band – it should be as wide as you want, and as long as or longer than your sweater.  sew this onto one side of the sweater opening with a zig zag stitch, right sides facing.  since the sweaters stretch a bit as you sew, i cut my strip too long on purpose, then i cut off the excess when i sewed up to the top; better than ending up with a piece too short.

cardigan close-up cardigan close-up

sew the pockets on with a zig zag stitch.  i then stitched around the holes to prevent messy edges when they get stretched out with use.  even on a felted sweater, if you’re going to be stretching out the edges, they may start to unravel, so some kind of stitching is a good idea.  i used wool yarn, but you could do the same thing with embroidery floss, or machine sewing.

cardigan close-up cardigan close-up

next i sewed on the buttons.  i chose 7 different vintage buttons, all some kind of wood.  it was easy for me to sew them on evenly because of the stripes on the sweater – if you don’t have stripes, make sure the buttons are equal distances apart.  if you want, you could sew strips of the other sweater fabric on both sides, for the buttonholes and the buttons.  this would be a good idea if the sweater is too tight.

next, cut the buttonholes in the button band on the other side, making sure they align with the buttons, and they are big enough, but not bigger than they need to be.  cut them carefully, straight along the knit stitches of the sweater – embroidery scissors work well for this.

cardigan close-up my new cardigan!

now hand-stitch around the buttonholes with thread to prevent them from unraveling or getting stretched out.  if you want, you could make the buttonholes with your sewing machine instead, but i like this hand-stitched look better on sweater wool. (click on the images to see them bigger for a better close up.)

lastly, add some decorative stitching down the button band seam – again, i used yarn, but you could use embroidery floss if you prefer.  i also did the embroidery at the top, just for fun.  add whatever other embellishing you want, have fun with it and be creative!

my new cardigan! my new cardigan! my new cardigan!

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,tutorials — leethal @ 8:31 pm

November 16, 2008

my other blogging – tutorials and more!

hey i’ve fallen behind on showing you my craftstylish tutorial posts!  so i’ll go back and tell you about the last 3 that i haven’t mentioned here…


a few weeks ago i explained how to make my short-rows wavy hat with multiple yarns striping, both with 2 row wide stripes and 1 wedge wide sections.

03-1wedge.jpg cottonwaveshat4.jpg

then last weekend my tutorial was for an all-recycled journal/sketchbook


the how-to was just how to make the book, i left the cover decoration up to the creator – i covered mine with decoupaged vintage book pages:


and lastly, today’s was for a collaged table with a built-in game board!


here are some shots of my coffee table – i made it a couple years ago, so i’m happy to have written the tutorial now so it gets seen by people outside of my living room…

trivialpursuitfinished.jpg 10trivialpursuitgamecloseup.jpg

13trivialpursuitbwwithcolor.jpg 14trivialpursuitmolecules.jpg

old books have weird pictures!!

and while i’m linking you over to blog posts i’ve written elsewhere… i’m still doing weekly diy roundups every friday on threadbanger – the latest one was one of my favorites i’ve ever done! a roundup full of way creepy cool ski masks, with lots of free patterns!  these are the masks i made a few years ago when i went through a mask phase:

my ski masks!

in addition to the roundups, i’m now doing cool website alerts every week now – my last couple were one of my long-time favorites, craft leftovers, and one of my new favorite blogs, dollar store crafts.

if you want to keep up with all my various blog posting, i usually tweet when posts go up – my twitter name is _leethal_.  yay twitter!

November 15, 2008

big leethal shop update!

most of my friday was spent updating the leethal shop, and it’s finally done!  tons of new printed shirts are in, a bunch of new shirt blanks for custom print jobs, and lots of new colored vinyl bowls!  some of my favorites:

shirt131.jpg shirt171.jpg

shirt231.jpg shirt181.jpg

rbowlc736.jpg rbowlc727.jpg

rbowlc729.jpg rbowlc730.jpg

and this new hat!

hat031.jpg hat032.jpg

i would love feedback on the shirts (and everything else) so i know which designs i should focus on, what styles/colors/sizes i should look for when thrifting, etc.  i made sure to get bigger women’s sizes for this batch, so my variety is a bit better now…

oh yeah, i almost forgot! crafty wonderland on sunday went well, i had a huge space!  i got to display all my shirts on my clothing rack (yay ikea!) and all my accessories and everything on my shelves, and still plenty of room for my yarn and my photography…


wonderland2.jpg wonderland1.jpg

i didn’t sell tons, since it was still a bit far away from holiday gifting time and i’m guessing people are saving up for that time of year, but i did sell these two shirts that never had a chance to been seen in the shop:

mixershirt.jpg plaidshirtcloseup.jpg plaidshirt.jpg

so far, the button-down styles seem to be the most popular, so i’ll plan on doing more of those for my next batch.

oh, one more thing, and i’d love feedback on this too… for my next stenciled screen printing design (which is what the “i’m a baller” is), i’m thinking of doing “respect the needles, tame the yarn” on shirts. yeah?

Filed under: clothing,hats,leethal store,printing — leethal @ 1:20 am

November 13, 2008

trillium artisans!

i feel bad about this, but for some reason i’ve never blogged about trillium artisans, which i joined a few months ago.  trillium is a portland non-profit for people like me who try to make money selling things made from recycled materials.  it is located in se, on foster and 95th-ish, and the store is open to the public tues-fri.  there are a bunch of awesome crafters/artists in trillium, and it’s a great non-profit, so i definitely recommend doing some holiday shopping there!  and speaking of holiday shopping:

Holiday Sale Postcard

so, now that that’s out there, wanna see what i have for sale through trillium?  right now, i’m only doing knit kits and scarflets – at the store you’ll find about 10 kits and 6 scarflets.  and here they are!

trillium yarn mosaic

and a few of my favorites (it’s hard to only choose a few, but you can see them all here):




and all the scarflets, because i really like all 6!

yellowtrilliumscarflet.jpg stripeytrilliumscarflet.jpg

browntrilliumscarflet.jpg greentrilliumscarflet.jpg

angorafuzztrilliumscarflet.jpg pinktrilliumscarflet.jpg

so i hope to see portlanders at the sale on saturday!  hooray trillium!!

Filed under: portland stuff,yarn — leethal @ 6:38 pm

November 8, 2008

new leethal stuff at crafty wonderland!!

i’m so overwhelmed with things to do, but i had to take a quick break to make sure all portlanders know that crafty wonderland is happening on sunday!  it’s the last one before the big holiday show – and i bet a lot of the vendors at this one (like me) are not going to be at the holiday show, so it’ll be a great place to start your holiday shopping early!!

crafty wonderland!

i spent all day yesterday printing a ton of new shirts, a few with a brand new screen print design!!  check it out!

clothing i'm a baller print

and i made a big pile of new small colored vinyl bowls, and some other fun new stuff like this orange hat!

record bowls orange hat

i’m hoping to make some last-second monster hats tonight, since those were a big holiday item last year and i have no new ones.  anyway, it’ll be a great craft show for sure!!  if you’re in p-town, i hope to see you there!!

Filed under: clothing,portland stuff — leethal @ 12:41 pm

November 4, 2008

some extra info about the pdf giveaway

high five overlooking alcatraz

a couple things i forgot to mention, and a couple things i didn’t even think about until they came up (see the previous post if you don’t know what i’m talking about)… the cover picture was from that photo above of pete and his friend nick in san francisco, and the alpaca applique came from this photo taken at black sheep:


if you are outside the states, and you voted in your country’s most recent election, i will definitely send you the pdf!  this giveaway is about getting people to vote here in this election, but it’s also about just getting people excited about voting in general, and i want to include everyone who wants to be included.

and on that note – if you are under 18… i want to include you too if you want to participate, so the only thing i can come up with is this: i’ll send it to you if you can tell me something you’ve done (an article you read, a conversation you had with a voter) to show that you’ve thought about this election.  if you are paying attention to what’s going on now, without the legal opportunity to vote, then you’ll probably be really into voting when you’re able to… so this makes sense to me, in the spirit of the whole thing.

and, i realize that tons of people have no proof that they voted.  just tell me you voted and i’ll believe you, don’t worry.  i hope the readers of my blog are honest, i think you all are!

the hat pattern is up on ravelry now, and i’ll repeat here what i said there: i am planning on reworking the pattern a little and releasing it for sale in the future – so the “yay, you voted!” pdf is your only chance to get it free!!

i’ll be heading downtown to this event at the museum of contemporary craft in a little while, so i’ll be catching up on sending pdfs when i get back from there, just so you know when you can expect it.  i hope to keep caught up throughout the afternoon/evening while listening to npr, but if i get really overwhelmed with voter comments/emails, it may take me a couple days to get them all sent.

lastly, thank you to everyone who passed along the link on your blogs – i’m getting so much response! it’s awesome!!  yay!!!!

edit @ 6pm: i totally forgot this photo that was meant to go in this blog post!

yay, i voted!

Filed under: photos,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 10:10 am

November 2, 2008

yay, you voted! high five!! here’s a pdf for you!

update: this offer is over now, but see this post for info about the hat pattern!

are excited to vote?  i think most of you do stuff! blog readers probably already are, but, if not so much, i want to get you more excited!

pdf cover dandelion and hat

to everyone and anyone – if you comment here or email me (leethalkoala at yahoo dot com) with some kind of proof that you voted (link to a photo of yourself with “i voted!” sticker, for example) i will send you this pdf!  (see bottom of post for more details.)

the pdf includes: pattern for this knit flared hat!

flared hat

the dandelion stencil design up top, and this alpaca applique design:

yellow alpaca applique zebra print alpaca applique

and for non-crafters, this thank you card to print out on cardstock paper:

thank you card

and, contributed by pete, a page about mac and cheese with some fun “recipes”

mac and cheese

some extra info and linkage to go along with the pdf……

my flared hat example is made with 2 strands of malabrigo merino worsted held together.  the hat is very fitted, to the point of maybe being a bit too small, but i haven’t blocked it yet.  if you want a bigger, floppy hat, this pattern will work great for that style by using fatter yarn (or 3 or 4 strands of worsted).  the hat pattern uses size us 11 double pointed needles.

the appliqué page has minimal instructions, recommending steam-a-seam just because that’s what i used.  i didn’t elaborate further because full instructions are on the fusible web packaging. there is a fantastic detailed appliqué tutorial here, which includes machine sewing around the edges too (which would be pretty tricky with my alpaca, but i’d love to see pictures if anyone does it).  there are more how-to’s around the web, including videos (just do some quick googling).

for my appliqué examples, i did one at 100% print size, with the nose/mouth piece, the same way it prints out.  the zebra print one is flipped (mirror image) of the way it prints, at 50% size, with no nose/mouth piece.  yay alpacas!

the dandelion stencil was made by taking a photo of the print i did from the original hand-drawn stencil, and adjusting to get a black+white image.  so, the lines are a little textured (wavy), but it’s meant to trace/cut onto freezer paper, so that shouldn’t matter.  (you can find a fabulous f-p stencil tutorial over at neither hip nor funky!)  you can print the stencil out any size you want and use it for something besides freezer paper printing if you want – i’d love to see what you do with it!

the thank you card is a drawing i did by tracing this photo and parts of this photo.  it’s designed on the pdf to print out on cardstock, fit to 8.5’x11′ paper size, for a card that folds in half to measure about 6.25’x4.25′.  you can color it if you want to!

pete’s mac and cheese page is full of meal ideas and fun facts.  i didn’t want this pdf to appeal only to crafty voters!

i am happy to give this pdf to absolutely anyone who voted and wants it, regardless of who/what you choose to vote for, but i won’t hide the fact that i really hope you don’t vote for mccain.  just sayin’…

for oregon voters (and any others states that are weird like us and do mail-in only) – i can’t figure out any kind of proof you can give if you’ve already mailed it in.  if you haven’t already dropped it in the mailbox, you can send me a picture of the filled/sealed envelope or something like that, but if you’ve mailed it, i’ll have to take your word for it.  i am very trusting and won’t doubt anyone who claims to have voted without photographic proof, but seriously, that would be way lame of anyone to lie about it.  seriously.

and this is completely free of charge, i did it just out of inspiration (hey, speaking of inspiration, check out the event my brother ben put together down in so-cal!) but if you are overcome with the need to contribute a little something for the time i put into this, i’m throwing a donate button down there.

and hey, one more thing if you got this far – i wasn’t able to get this done and posted until super last-minute as you can see, so if you have a blog i would reeeeally appreciate it if you mentioned this!  feel free to use any of my images, copy/paste text, whatever, as long as you link to this post.  thanks!!

update: to everyone who linked over to this post and hasn’t seen the rest of the blog – there is a more info post after this one, with details about what you can do if you’re not in the US, or under 18, and more.
Filed under: general crafts,hats,printing,random stuff,recipes — leethal @ 7:54 pm


ok so there’s this project i’ve been working on all day, and on and off for the last week+, and it’s almost done and ready to post, but i wanted to do this separate halloween post first real quick!  look what we were!

me as my ravelry profile

i was my ravelry profile, with my ski mask project page on the back. here’s my actual profile:

rav profile

i had to change around the layout of the project page to put the pictures on the right, so my mask would show on both sides at the same time. i also put a comments section on that page, thinking we would see knitting friends who could add comments, but we didn’t, sigh.

my ravelry mask project page

and pete was his facebook profile!

pete as his facebook page

of course, everyone out around town was suuuuper into it, and he got a bunch of comments!  pretty fun times!

Filed under: personal — leethal @ 5:09 pm
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