Ribbon Spindles

spool spindle

Originally uploaded by periwinklejane

One reason for finishing all these craft projects is to get more organized. Of course, it’s hard for me to work when my supplies are in disarray. I’ve had these ribbon spools stuffed in a drawer that’s so full I have to rearrange everything each time I open it.

I picked up two plain wooden bases and a dowel pin from Michael’s, and took them to my basement workshop. Okay, I put some newspaper down on the basement floor to work on. I don’t have anything in the way of a work table. I figured it would be easy: drill a hole the same size as the dowel through the center of each base, cut two ten-inch lengths from the dowel, add a little wood glue, and hey-presto, done.

Why is nothing ever as easy as you think it will be? Turns out my drill bit set didn’t include a size that matched my dowel. I spent about five minutes debating heading to the hardware store, either for a drill bit that matched my dowel, or a dowel that matched one of my drill bits, but I really didn’t want the project to take all afternoon. So, I improvised with what I had already – using a drill sized a tad bigger than the dowel.

My secret weapon was Gorilla glue. Have you ever tried this stuff? It’s crazy. You get one piece that you are gluing a little wet, then put glue on both sides and connect. For some reason, the stuff gets a little foamy, which is great when you’re trying to fill in a gap. I used a cuff of tinfoil around the base to hold the dowel up straight while the glue dried (being careful not to let the foil touch the glue).

The glue foamed up a LOT, I wound up having to sand it down, but it took paint beautifully.

Now I just need to figure out what project is next.


Prunella, Clive and Zippy

Originally uploaded by periwinklejane

These little softies come from Miyako Kanamori’s charming book, Sock and Glove. The kitty and elephant started out as pairs of socks, and the pup was once a set of gloves.

I’m really pleased with the results. The directions were very simple and the medium is very forgiving. I’m terrible about fixing my mistakes when I’m sewing or knitting, and I prefer find a way to make them work into the final product.

For instance, Prunella’s face didn’t turn out quite how I’d hoped, and she looks a little cross. I thought about plucking out the stitches and starting over (and it would have only been about 15 minutes’ work), but I decided I liked her grumpy little face.

I have about a dozen more pairs of socks and gloves I purchased for this project, but I’m not sure if I’ll make more or switch to another project. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all these new friends, anyway.

And the bag of accessories reminds me – even though the subtitle of the book says you can make your new softy friends from “cast off” socks and gloves, most of the patterns require a pair, and areas that wear out quickly (like heels and toes and fingertips) are usually featured prominently in the finished animal. I wouldn’t recommend using the mates of old socks that got lost in the dryer.


I love to start projects. One look through the storage areas in my house will tell you that. I have boxes of fabric, stacks of pretty papers, bins of beads, and baskets full of what-not.

My problem is, I’m not so good at finishing the projects. Those baskets and bins add up to dozens of half-filled scrapbooks, knitting projects eternally “on the needles” and lots of potentially cute decorations that never get a chance to collect dust on the shelves like they ought.

The materials take up a lot of space in my house, and even more importantly, they represent a lot of wasted time and money. My New Year’s Resolution for 2008 is to take these projects one by one and finish them.

The only rule I’m setting is that I cannot buy any new projects. I can purchase things I need to finish existing projects, but I’m considering it part of the challenge to figure out ways to do without. So if I don’t have matching buttons for eyes, I’ll learn to satin-stitch them on. I don’t need all the gadgets and findings they sell at the scrapbooking stores, even though they’re pretty darn neat. I can manage without them.

At this point, I’m not going to catalog the projects I have. I know me. I could make several days’ work out of that and tire of the whole operation before I even begin. I’ll post about each project as I go, including what I learned – both craft-wise and self-wise – while finishing it.