June 29, 2010

Major leethal.net and leemeredith.com updates, fun!

Well, this stupid sickness has much delayed my knit design work, but luckily finishing my website updates required slightly less energy, so I got it all uploaded yesterday!  Some of this stuff had been in progress for several months, so I’m so happy for it to be public, but there are some other more minor updates still to come in the near future!

updated leethal.net!

So, the two major things you’ll notice on the blog and on any page within leethal.net are the new headers and the new drop-down menus.  There’s also a new link to a search leethal page in the blog menu to make that easier – there has always been a search bar on the leethal.net home page (since the new site went up about a year ago) but now there’s an obvious place to click here on any blog page, hopefully helpful!

updated leethal.net!

Anyway, I’m really excited about those drop-down menus!  A lot more work than I’d expected them to be, with my limited understanding of css and javascript (code is from here), but so totally worth it!  Now you can basically get to any page within leethal.net from any other page!

And, the headers… those were a sudden burst of inspiration that happened right after the summit last week… I love headers that look crafty and real (like here and here and here for example) so I made mine kind of as analog as I could – these are the photographs I took that got edited to become the header, with different photos plugged into the frames for each leethal section:

DSC_3423 DSC_3442

And then, there’s some new content!  Finally, photography prints are now for sale in the leethal shop!  I put together these photo trios and matted prints way back over two years ago, and had many of them for sale on etsy for awhile, but etsy and I don’t really get along, so I’d been planning this update for quite some time… There will be further updates to this section, as you can see eluded to on the page, but for now – affordable artwork, trios of 4×6′s or matted 8×6′s for $15!

updated leethal.net!

Other more minor update – I separated my knitting patterns into ebooks and single patterns, since there’s kind of a big difference, and I have more ebooks coming soon, so it seemed like a good idea.  You can still browse through them all together on the same page, but now in 3 separate categories: ebooks, single patterns for sale, and free patterns.  Oh, and I keep forgetting to say here – my ravelry designer page is now viewable to non-ravelry members!  So, that link is in the patterns drop-down menu also, for easy clicking.

updated leethal.net!

And gigantic update #2 – brand new leemeredith.com!!  This one was a loooooong time coming, always pushed down on the to-do list, until finally I had a burst of inspiration from somewhere and just went ahead and built it!  My superold photo portfolio that used to live at leemeredith.com still exists (in major need of updating!) through this new page, but now this page makes a heck of a lot more sense to who I am now.  Through this home base, you can click over to leethal.net, do stuff! blog, photo portfolios and shop, my twitter, my flickr, me on ravelry, bad movie bingo, me on blip.fm, and more…

new leemeredith.com!

And after some extreme coding frustration, I was eventually able to get my blog’s feed (and twitter and flickr feeds) to show up in the drop-down menu on the page, yay!  I don’t know if it was worth the effort, but I wanted to make it happen and I did, so I was happy about it!

new leemeredith.com!

Oh, if any of this stuff looks super different (bad) on your screen, or doesn’t work or something, if you could let me know what browser you’re on and what the problem is that would be excellent – I’m on a mac with firefox and safari, so I’m just hoping everything works out fine in other systems…

Ok that post was much longer than I thought it would be… hope you enjoy the new stuff!

Filed under: leethal store,leethal.net,photos,self-publishing — leethal @ 9:47 am

June 28, 2010

Summit of Awesome!!

Ok this post was supposed to happen sooner, but sickness delayed it… there are a ton of photos, so I’ll be keeping the text brief… if you want to read more about the Summit of Awesome and how truly awesome it was, check out posts by my buddies Diane, Kim, Susan on Craft, or Hello Craft’s posts, and see hundreds more photos in the flickr pool!

So, the story of the Summit in photos and links… Got there Wednesday to sign in and pick up this fantastic program bound inside a custom made journal, with plenty of blank pages in back, love it!

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

Also got a swag bag with this excellent knit swatch poster and lots of fun buttons and cards and stuff:

summit of awesomeness

Then I stitched up my name tag – since I arrived a bit on the late side, I kept it simple, just some embroidery on felt:

summit of awesomeness

On that first day, I attended a couple of great learning sessions – Getting Press for your Business with Kari Chapin and Christine Ernest, and Green craft: sourcing materials and business practices with Becky Striepe, Stephanie Weber and Christine Claringbold:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

Then Pete joined up since it was his day off and we ate with a bunch of rad crafty people…

summit of awesomeness Summit of Awesome

(photo of us by Christine) At the welcome party that night, we got to screen print our own Summit tees – so cool!

summit of awesomeness

Day 2 was the longest day – 5 sessions of awesomeness!  Since I did just learning sessions on day 1, and I was going to be teaching on day 3, I decided to make day 2 my fun day of making, so I chose to attend only workshops!  First up, Encaustic Painting with Bridget Benton!

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

I knew absolutely nothing about encaustic painting going into this session, and was SO glad I decided to try it out!  Holy crap it was fun!!  The photos above and below show other workshoppers working on their pieces – here is a photo of me working on my painting by Hello Craft, sort of.

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

And my finished piece!  Still hot and super foggy, then cooled:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

Next was Mighty Ugly: Challenge Yourself to Make Some Ugly with Kim Werker!

Mighty Ugly!

The above photo is by Susan, and here’s our “class photo” by Kim (or someone holding Kim’s camera actually, since that’s Kim in the middle there):

Mighty Ugly Workshop: Class Photo

My mighty ugly creature!

my Mighty Ugly creature!

And below is Vanessa‘s fabulous preppy creation, Blane (or is it Blaine?), and Heather working on hers:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

After Mighty Ugly was Glass Etching with Amanda Siska, which I was super excited about since I’ve been a fan of Amanda’s work for some time!

summit of awesomeness Glass Etching

Above is another etcher using the dental drill, and the photo of me etching above is by Hello Craft.  So, we got to use that dental drill to freehand etch, which is how I made this glass:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

(You can see other views here and here, and Amanda shot it before round 2 of etching, before I added more details and made it look less kindergarten-drawing-y.)  And then we also got to make vinyl stencils and use a faux etching paint stuff, which I used to make this candle holder:

summit of awesomeness Faux etched candle holder

Next up, Craft Throwdown Hour with Kim Dorn and Christine Ernest! It was fun, but super stressful, making things with a 15 minute time limit – first a Viva Las Vegas themed towel (photo of me making it below by Hello Craft), then a garden themed headband, and last was mythical creatures themed bunting, which I forgot to get a photo of…

Crafty Throwdown summit of awesomeness

The crazy flower headband was definitely my best out of the three objects, but it was not well put together – I want to fix it and turn it into something wearable…

Last for day 2 was Book Making with Mark Montano – I chose this one because I’m a huge fan of Mark’s books, so it was fun making something instructed by him:

summit of awesomeness

I was bummed out by the details of the project though – this book-making project could be so easily done with 100% recycled materials, but instead we made the books with new scrapbooking paper, new cardboard, and new copy paper… Oh well, now I know how to make my own books (with ALL recycled materials!) at home on my own:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

That night at home, I finished prepping for my classes, including making a new light box (since my old one got destroyed and tossed in the move) – here’s a photo of everything I made throughout the Summit!

summit of awesomeness

Day 3… first, I taught Photographing your work with your own camera (photo by Hello Craft):

Photographing Your Work with Lee Meredith

Then I let my brain rest a bit by sewing up a Cup Glove with Becky Striepe – fun!

Cup Glove Workshop

(Above photo by Hello Craft) Here’s my glove… I really enjoy hand-sewing, I should do it more often!

summit of awesomeness

During lunch, we got to hear Mark Montano speak about his career path (I didn’t know he started out in the fashion world!) and tips for success and stuff (like: no days off and no tv without multi-tasking, both things I already do!)… Then I taught my learning session on Publishing your own patterns, which I think went super well!  Hooray for self-publishing!  (below photos by Susan and Hello Craft)

Lee Meredith - Publishing Your Own Patterns Creating Your Own Patterns

To end the awesomeness, we all gathered in front of the Kennedy School to take a class photo!  The actual photo isn’t up yet, but here is one Kim took while we were getting set up…

Summit of Awesome Class Photo

And the photographers shooting us (shooting me shooting them, silly!)…

summit of awesomeness

A few last notes – having the Summit take place at the Kennedy School was GENIUS!  It was so great to have free good coffee whenever we needed it, good catering, the built-in hotel for out-of-town summiters, and bars and restaurants right there in the building where everyone could hang out together at the end of each day.  And, I love that now I can say I was a teacher at the Kennedy School!

Hello Craft is planning to do the Summit of Awesome every summer, in a different city each year, I believe… so if they take it to anywhere you can get to next year, I recommend so highly that you go!!  As we all agreed, it was total summer camp for crafters!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,photos,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 8:14 pm

June 24, 2010

June leethal quick knits club!

June’s club theme was Traveling – here’s the package!

all June club stuff

The 15 yard pattern was a luggage tag pouch, which can be either knit only or crochet edged:

Luggage Tag Pouch

The yarn – Deep Sea Diving Suit – is 100% shetland, recycled lace-weight-ish, light green half overdyed with blue to make a striping turquoise and green pattern.  Each package included an info card to fill out and put in the pouch.

Luggage Tag Pouch June club yarn!

With the 10 yards of 100% recycled cotton – grey, light blue-grey, and green spun together for a bulky weight yarn, called Aeroplane Over the Sea – the pattern was a leaf-ish sleep mask

June club yarn! Leaf-ish Sleep Mask

…which is completed with a piece of elastic:

Leaf-ish Sleep Mask

So all packages included a length of vintage or reclaimed elastic, all from my favorite local craft thrift store:

elastic for June club patterns

Then for one extra, everyone got a reclaimed tag and a piece of recycled map (both from Scrap), which can be glued together to make a travel bookmark.  And the other extra (which took me way too long to make and is a major reason I’m so behind now! I love mixes too much!) is my summer road trip themed mix CD, let’s take the road, but not on track

map bookmark pieces road trip mix cd!

Like I said in the note to members, of course, while it was made with road tripping in mind, it will work just as well in your ipod on a plane or a train, on foot, or at home!  The cover art is a piece of Montana road map, and this is the track list:

summer road trip themed mix!

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  A side note: back in November, the club included a winter mix, but at the time when I posted about it I was organizing a mix swap so I didn’t want to reveal the track list… in case there are any mix-lovers out there who are interested, I’ve now uploaded the track list image (which is designed to slip inside a floppy disk sleeve, hence the weird round picture)

So, that’s it for June’s club; I hope all the members enjoyed it!!

all June club stuff

If you’re into the club concept, there are still 2 months left before I switch to pdf-only format!  July’s theme is going to be Accessorize and I’m getting excited about it.  The mail-out date is a bit later than usual (July 20th) but the sign-up deadline is still July 1st, so grab your membership soon!  July only or July-August 2-month subscriptions are available for a discount.  Happy June!

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 4:33 pm

June 22, 2010

June 7th – 21st photos

Ok so yeah I’ve disappeared for a little while – holy crap dudes, the Summit of Awesome was so much more awesome than I could have imagined!  It officially ended on Friday, but there were related events happening all through the weekend, so I’m still recovering from all the awesome.  I’ll definitely be posting a way-too-huge post about the Summit sometime this week, but I wanted to catch up on photos-of-the-day first since I’m so behind… so starting with 2 weeks ago…

8th – This day was filled with recycled club yarn unraveling, then wet hot american trivia at night, always a great time!

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7th + 9th – I made an egg creation based on this idea for lunch, but I didn’t do a good job of putting together ingredients I had on hand and it ended up looking much better than it tasted… oh well, I learned from my mistakes.  I did a photo shoot for Pete of all the clothes he’s been finding at thrift stores lately, including all these fantastic ties:

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10th + 11th – Club yarn-making and designing days – tons of spinning, and I used my thrifted Ashford niddy noddy for the first time ($1 still in the original packaging!)… This month’s club featured the smallest gauge thing I’ve ever designed – lace-weight-ish yarn on size US 2 needles!  (I know that’s nothing for all you sock knitters, but I’m a size 7′s and up kind of knitter!)

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12th + 13th – Shooting the back of my own head (without my tripod+remote set-up) is damn tricky – this photo is one of many outtakes.  Club skeining, sorting, packaging, etc….

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14th – I forgot to take an official photo of the day this day, which was filled with last-minute club packaging and pdf-building, trips to the post office and Twisted, and the beginning of Summit teaching work, but I did take this computer shot of some very important Summit prep!  My hair was getting so boring, it’s about time!

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15th + 16th – Because the club stuff took me longer than expected, my Summit class prep ended up happening all on the day before the conference started – luckily, I’d been thinking about it for a month or two so I was able to get everything onto paper in a day… Then Wednesday was the first day of the Summit – I attended two learning sessions, including getting press for your business with Kari Chapin:

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17th – The second day of the Summit I decided to just make stuff allll day!  So, I chose workshops for every session (instead of the learning sessions, which would have been far too responsible), starting with encaustic painting with Bridget Benton – ohmygod it was so much fun!!

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18th – This was my teaching day… first, I taught how to photograph your work with your camera, then I made a cup glove with Becky Striepe to relax my brain for a bit, then I taught publishing your own patterns, which went really well!  The whole day was filled with lots of caffeine, so when it was all over and I was hanging out with a bunch of awesome people afterward, I shot my coffee:

0618

19th + 20th – Then during the weekend days after the Summit, with people in town and the Show of Awesome happening, we kept the awesome going – on Saturday I got to hang out all over town with Kim, Diane, Teresa, Kari, and Susan (see photos on Diane’s blog)… at the amazing Twilight Rummage Sale I got some fabulous finds, but unfortunately my camera battery died, so I just took a phone picture (see the stuff shot by Diane here).  Inflatable Party Insects!  On Sunday, I went to Kari’s book signing at Powell’s, caught up on some errands, got in a wee bit of rest and house-cleaning, and then Pete and I were taken out by our loan guy to celebrate our house!  Pete never drinks, but we talked him into some fruity umbrella-adorned drinks and he got nice and silly!  And I did karaoke in public for the first time ever (Stay) – it was SO MUCH FUN!  I didn’t have my camera with me at the karaoke bar, sadly, but I snapped a shot of Pete when we got home and he flopped over on the couch:

0619 0620

21st – It pretty much took this entire day to recover from all the awesome… I had plans to work on my in-progress knit design all day and do other super-productive things, but no, that just didn’t happen.  My brain didn’t really let me do anything but check emails and twitter and flickr and ravelry for many hours, then I forced myself to do dishes and brainstormed a bit about my website redesign, and I got a sudden motivation to make a new site header and a vision of an idea, so I dove in and started it!  I twitpic’d a screenshot of the in-progress header today – the text and photos will be different for each different section of leethal.net… what do you think?

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This week is sure to be spent catching up on everything… that pattern I was hoping to release as soon as possible will be no sooner than next week, and same with my site update, but I’m super excited about both of them!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 3:19 pm

June 8, 2010

Dry Erase Magnets tutorial, plus other magnet ideas!

Dry Erase Magnets!

Look what I made yesterday!  I had this brainstorm about making dry erase magnets back when I was making magnet projects for the May club, but I was just going to try it with white paper, for a plain white background… then I saw this tutorial via Craft: and thought of using images for the backgrounds!  Now I have a great looking note-taking station on my fridge!

Note taking magnets! Note taking magnets!

First you’ll need a basic flat magnet – freebie promo magnets work fabulously.  If you can find an image that’s light and low-contrast enough that you’ll be able to see notes written over it, then you just need glue (glue stick works well) and packing tape – higher quality, thick tape is ideal, as opposed to the really cheap, thin type.

tutorial photos

Cut the image (could be: magazine/book picture, photograph, printed out image, etc) into a rectangle a bit bigger than the magnet.  Glue it onto the magnet, then trim the paper neatly around the edges.  (Now it’s probably good to let the glue dry, but I didn’t because I was anxious to finish and see how it worked!)

tutorial photos tutorial photos

Smooth a piece of packing tape over the front – as you can see below, my packing tape was just a wee bit more narrow than my magnet… Since my magnets are thin and easy to cut with scissors, I decided to trim the magnet to tape size, but you can also deal with this problem by layering another piece of tape to cover the whole surface:

tutorial photos

Trim the tape around the edges and your functional dry erase magnet is complete!

If you want to use an image that’s too dark/bright/high-contrast for the writing to be clear on top, then you can add an extra step to make it work…  You’ll just need tracing paper or tissue paper (or some other kind of paper that’s translucent enough for the image to show through, but will dull it enough so the writing will be clear), plus basic white glue (or Mod Podge will work) and a brush for the glue:

Dry Erase Magnets! tutorial photos

Complete the first couple of steps from above – cut out the image and glue it onto the magnet – then spread out white glue over the top of the image (photo is before spreading it out with the brush):

tutorial photos

Now smooth the tracing paper or tissue paper over the top… I used tissue paper because it’s all I had, but I’d expect tracing paper to work much better, since it wouldn’t tear nearly as easily.  On my first try, I attempted to smooth out the tissue with my fingers, ended up tearing the paper badly, and had to peel it off and start over.  So, just smooth it out the best you can without ripping it:

tutorial photos

Then trim the edges, add the tape over the top (after the glue is dry would be best), just like the first version above, and there you go!  By the way, both of my images came from an old yarn company catalog – great source for background images!

Dry Erase Magnets!

To complete your refrigerator’s dry erase station, you’ll need a clip magnet big and strong enough to hold a dry erase marker, and if there’s a spot where you can stick a piece of paper towel to use as an eraser, excellent!  Or, you can make one of these awesome fridge tin pen holders by Not Martha!

Note taking magnets! Note taking magnets!

And then my other note-taking magnet idea – this one needs no tutorial because it’s so simple – chalkboard magnet!  Buy some chalkboard paint at your local craft supply store (I used this kind), follow the instructions on the container to paint over your basic flat magnet, and tah dah!  Love it!

Chalkboard Magnet!

And then going back to my club magnet projects to finish things off… I mentioned these over here, but not in any detail.  I used a simple foam stamp (from the dollar section at Joann, impulse buy!) to stamp designs onto old book pages, then cut out the shapes and layered them on the magnets:

magnets!

You could use the same concept with drawings over the book pages, or you could layer pictures from magazines or photographs over the text background… this one is a rectangle of book page with a stamp on it, then another cut-out stamp design layered over that.  I like the look of the text going in different directions on the 2 layers:

magnets!

Then the final magnet idea, also from the club, was record album artwork magnets – no instructions needed, just cut out a piece of old album cover and glue it onto the magnet:

magnets! magnets!

If you make over some reclaimed magnets using any of these ideas, I’d love to see them!  Happy crafting!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,quick project,tutorials — leethal @ 7:23 pm

June 7, 2010

May 27th – June 6th photos

Time has been flying by lately – I can’t believe Summit of Awesome is in just over a week already!  And my club mail-out day being a week from today means that a couple projects I hoped to release this week are not going to be finished until the week after next now, due to all this hecticness and time-speediness… oh well, keeping busy is a good thing!

27th – On this day, I taught a class, but took no photos, and whatever else I did (I think dinner at Ya Hala and a movie at the Academy) also went by photoless, so I snapped a shot of Pete’s new studio space since he spent the bulk of the day moving his stuff over (Banzo was very interested):

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28th + 29th – Spent many hours swatching swatching swatching for a knit project, plus a little sketching and brainstorming… then I did the yarn wrapped branches project the next day:

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30th + June 1st – Some serious coding on my future new leemeredith.com home page, which I’d hoped to get up sooner, but it’s probably going to be a couple weeks now, since I want to finish my other leethal.net updates to release all at the same time… anyway, this page is done now, and I’m pretty happy with it, clean, simple, functional…

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2nd + 4th – Some food shots for you… Pete took a work trip to Seattle for a couple days, so I decided to make something for myself that I could never make for him – he doesn’t eat fish and I do (though not often) so I tried out this recipe for a gourmet-ish version of tuna noodle casserole.  I subbed a bunch of ingredients for less gourmet versions that I had in the kitchen (like Trader Joe’s frozen organic veggie mix instead of the fresh veggies, and basic TJ’s tuna in water instead of “high-quality imported tuna packed in oil”) but it was still totally good and lasted me 3 big meals, so that was awesome.  I’m trying to get into making super yummy salads throughout the summer – such a great summer meal, and so many possibilities, even though I usually end up making the same salad over and over (garbanzo beans and kidney beans, maybe chopped up tomato)… So I made us spinach salads with cold baked honey sesame tofu, shredded Tillamook colby jack cheese, mushrooms+sunflower seeds for me, and dried cranberries for Pete.  The tofu made it SO GOOD!

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3rd – Designing mitts!  The design is done now, and I’ll be sending out the test pattern to some test knitters in a few hours (if you want to test knit fingerless mitts, let me know!)  They use a new kind of sideways cuff construction that I don’t think has been done before (not publicly so people know about it at least) – no picking up stitches!  And they are designed for Knit Picks City Tweed yarn (which is great!) because they are going to be my first entry into KP’s Independent Designer Program (which I am a huge fan of and fully support, as it’s a somewhat controversial program)… My camera battery died this day, so this shot was taken by my computer with Photo Booth:

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5th – Took advantage of a few hours of gorgeous weather by walking to Fred Meyer for some groceries.  By cutting through our local cemetery, I can avoid walking down 82nd (which is a horrible major street) for a few blocks – much more pleasant!  (Took the photo with my phone):

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6th – Yesterday was a super crafty day!  Spent a few hours knitting at a coffee shop with my buddy Kate, then decoupaged a lamp shade with Pete!  It turned out SO cool!  Deserving of its own blog post in the future, I think:

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Now today I’m making club yarn and hopefully finishing up another home decor project to show you tomorrow! Yay!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 4:29 pm

June 4, 2010

Farewell Threadbanger, it’s been a good 2 years!

I just got some bummer news earlier this week that my run of Threadbanger weekly roundups has come to an end.  It’s been over 2 years (109 roundups) of posting every single Friday, so it feels really weird today that I’m not collecting awesome projects to share with TB readers.  But, coincidentally, this gig ended exactly on my 2 year anniversary of leaving my day job, which makes it feel like it was time – I was starting to get kind of restless with the roundups being the same thing for so long, trying to figure out a way I could mix it up and feel less static… I realized that my Craftstylish blogging run ended right around the same time last year; it’s like the universe closes a door every 1 year of self-employment on purpose to make room for new paths and keep me moving forward.

threadbanger roundup screenshot

So, enough reflection… I’ve completed my list of roundups over here – all 109, categorized, linked, dated.  A pretty massive source of craft projects (tutorials, patterns, inspiration, etc).  For a pseudo-110th roundup I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite roundups from over the last 2+ years…

threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot

Some of the best fun/funny roundups were ski masks, knit and crochet cephalopods and tentacles, Nintendo knit and crochet projects.  A couple of my favorite technique-based roundups were artful embroidery and printing on fabric:

threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot

I definitely made use of a lot of the links I found in the drinks for winter warming list, I think there were some awesome ideas in the gift wrapping roundup, and I had a lot of fun collecting links for rainbow pride projects:

threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot

And a couple great crafty lists – so many fabulous tutorials in the pincushions roundup, and I love a bunch of projects I rounded up for spring sewing:

threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot

There are so many more memorable ones, but you can just see them all on the full list if you’re interested.  I had a lot of fun finding inspirational ideas every week, so I just might start doing occasional roundups here on do stuff!

Just to kind of close the Threadbanger door, a few more links for you…  my first TB post ever was in April 2008, kind of a pre-roundup post of cardigan reconstruction projects.  In May I officially started doing the weekly roundups, but I also continued doing other kinds of posts for TB for awhile, like an interview with Cosy, this post on revolutionary knitting, mini-tutorials like this shirt patch and kid-friendly freezer paper printing, book reviews, cool website alerts, and other fun posts like these.  Fun times!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,threadbanger — leethal @ 1:28 pm
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