No Sew-sational

Adventures in No Sew Blankets

Hola Intertubers!

How goes your month? Mine has been filled with excitement and days off. I’ve relished in the ability to lounge. There was once a time when I was not able to lounge, but I trained hard and I am proud to say that I have taken my lounging to the next level. I’ve been known to sit on the couch, knit and play video games. Isn’t being boring and lame the best on occasion?

Anyhoo, despite my crafty nature, I’ve never made a no sew blanket. Why? I figured, my ability to sew negated my need to make a no sew blanket. Also, the fringey bits seemed fugly and lame. So I avoided them for just about a decade. Then Mr. McCluckin’ destroyed my dreams of never making a no sew blanket by asking me to help him make a no sew blanket.

Nevermind the man foot in the background, that's a finished blanket in the foreground.

Nevermind the man foot in the background, that’s a finished blanket in the foreground.

My love for that masculine chicken melted my distrust for the no sew blanket trend. I hopped on the bandwagon just to help that big lug. His boss at the Sprocket factory requested no sew blankets to donate to hospitals. Apparently wee babies require warmth and blankets sometimes come in handy. So we wandered to the craft shoppe and purchased a yard or two of fleece. That night, by the glow of the television, we cut and tied our way to blanket heaven.

Showing off his mad blanket tying skills.

Showing off his mad blanket tying skills.

Hooray for us! Hooray for those soon to be warm babies! Hooray in general! Whelp, that’s my tale of not sewing a blanket. What did I learn? Well I still think the fringe is fugly and I don’t plan to make any of these blankets ever again. So the moral of the story is, sometimes you just gotta take one for the team and make some babies warm.

Oh my! The night sky is ablaze with the craft-mergency signal! I must go, there’s some sort of craft-tastrophe afoot. Last time I  answered the signal’s call the first lady was caught in a web of rickrack. Luckily I was able to walk her step-by-step through the untangling process. Soon enough she had herself a lovely loaf of rickrack to show off to all the other first ladies and queens.

Toodle-loo,

Henny Penny

Periodical Update

Good evenfall to you Masters of the Interwebs,

I have been up to my eyeballs in hot buttered rum lately. This is of course the latest trend in beauty regimens; pickling oneself in liquor until deliciously pruney. I must say, I don’t mind smelling of rum and butter. It makes me more attractive to sailors and toast aficionados.

Besides bathing in booze, I’ve also been trying to clean up around the old hen house. You see, Mr. McCluckin’ and I have it in mind to sell our digs. Hopefully we’ll have it on the market in the next month or so. If you are in need of a home in pretty great condition, please let me know. I will consider all offers as long as they are accompanied by a cookie bouquet.

I'm wearing my fancy pants in this photo! Watch me make a pillow on season 6 of Sew it All TV.

I’m wearing my fancy pants in this photo! Watch me make a pillow on season 6 of Sew it All TV.

As you know I work for Ye Olde Periodical and it sucks up most of my crafting time. Right now I am prepping to appear on my second episode of Sew it All TV. The first might be airing near you, my first episode is 612. I make a decoratively stitched pillow. It’s hilarious and also terrifying. If you have Sew it All TV in your neck of the woods, and see me, let me know what you think! I think Iowans will be able to watch the episode in late November. So lucky you, Iowans!

My position at Ye Olde Periodical has afforded me this fabulous opportunity. I’ve also met crafting super stars like the Crafty Chica, Kathy Cano-Murillo and Brini Maxwell. I’ve recently had my first byline come to print. I have about 7 projects on the horizon that will also be featured in the coming 6-9 months. It’s been a wild rascally year since I arrived at Ye Olde Periodical and I think it’s safe to say I’m enjoying myself.

How can you gain from this you ask? Well, one I’ve learned so much about sewing and editing and that knowledge is probably trickling down to you (eventually). Secondly, here’s a free pattern! I made a serger cap back in April and it will be published in December (most likely). In the meantime it’s here for you to enjoy. Note: the hat band on the pattern is a bit snug. You should measure the circumference of your head, add 1/2″ and then make that the length of the band. The crown seems fine to me, but in case you have a rather large gourd on your shoulders take your head circumference, divide it by 6 and add 1/2″ then use that as the measurement for the bottom flat line of the crown pieces.

For now I must bid you adieu. I am being hailed by a bellhop, it might be time for my nightly orangutang wrestling match. I need to stay in shape don’t I? I have a busy job and blog to keep up with; besides it’s terribly good for the liver. Sleep tight or have a recklessly adventurous day (choose one closing sentiment, don’t be greedy).

XOXO,

Henny Penny

 

Live Long and Stitch

Well hey there laddies and lassos!

My how this summer has been hot and also rainy. The fair city of Denver has enjoyed scorching hot days and delightful afternoon rainstorms in intervals this summer. If only we could all be on the same page with the weather. I’m open to some heat around the noonday hour then let’s switch to rain come 3 o’clock. If we can get enough petition signatures, I’m certain the weather will take our requests into consideration.

In other non-weather related news I’ve just returned from a trip to the fabled state of Oregonia. Of course, before going I had to collect three keys, a bronze, a silver and a gold. Then I had to unlock three locks that were not clearly labeled. Thus, I was able to enter the kingdom of Portland and visit the nearby coast. It was a delight! The trip’s highlight was an outdoor performance by the Trek in the Park acting troupe. They staged “The Trouble with Tribbles” and it was absolutely fantasticulous!

Mr. McCluckin’ and I had the privilege of attending a performance the previous season (2012). Knowing that this outdoor fanciness would make or break the trip, I prepared accordingly. I made the mister and I Star Trek shirts. I also spent roughly 60 hours stitching up a tricorder bag for my rooster. Initially designed to hold vinyl records securely when traveling, it turned out to hold his laptop perfectly as well.

It was a feat to sew this beast but well worth the effort; he loves it so! Made of black and silver pleather primarily and lined with Kirk and Spock fabric, I can honestly say it is my crowning achievement of 2013. I researched the original tricorder screen and recreated my own to fit the bags size. I had to add in buttons and grommets and mesh to make all the tricorder bells and whistles. It was quite fun figuring out how to remake the bag using only products at ye olde craft shoppe.

When we attended the performance I asked Spock to model the bag for me and he lovingly did so. He was so enthusiastic about the bag, it was incredibly flattering. All in all, it was well worth the effort, because we were well loved at Trek in the Park. Plus we were in love with Trek in the Park, so win win!

I learned a variety of important lessons from preparing for the Trek in the Park trip. Want to discover them with me? Of course you do (if you hate lessons just skip the next bulleted section):

1) Pleather aka vinyl is tough on a sewing machine. Adjust the pressure foot tension, use tape on the underside of the presser foot and above all insult the machine readily to convince it sewing through 7 layers is necessary.

2) Get out a marker and draw carefully on the pleather wrongside, it will make cutting things out so much easier. Side note: remember you are drawing on the wrongside, it will be reversed when you turn it over.

3) Use quality thread. It might cost more right now, but in the long run the sewing will be easier and the final product will hold up like a champ.

4) Women that sell vinyl are wacky, don’t listen to their back talk and make sure your pieces aren’t permanently creased or otherwise marred.

5) Strap findings are hard to come by, luckily I discovered this fancy gal on etsy and all the strap sewing notions I could ever need.

6) Dial up your upper thread tension (meaning set it to a higher number) for easier sewing of all things bulky.

7) No matter how much you want the zigzag stitch to not be a douche, it will be so be prepared.

There you have it! All the lessons one could expect from such a fine bag. Perhaps the one lesson I didn’t learn is that love lifts us up where we belong. Maybe I didn’t need to learn that lesson, I just needed to learn to use a leather needle and bang this project out.

For now, I bid you adieu. I must mix up my daily anti-aging brain tonic and feed it to my immortal cactus. Have yourself a merry little evening.

Cheerios,

Henny Penny

Whimsical Tidings!

Ahoy there Internet Lubbers!

I can’t believe it’s Thursday! Wait, is it Thursday where you are? Maybe I accidentally jumped into the future. Nonetheless, I wanted to bring you a few newsical notes from the desk of moi. So here I am and here you are and here we go…

  • Last week I stitched up a bra in just under 9 hours. It’s a doozy of a bra and while attending the class I definitely drank the “sew your own bra, love your boobs” kool-aid. I of course, continue to love my boobs, but I am not so sure I want to start sewing bras all the time. You never know what the future may hold! I could grow a third boob and then I would definitely need a specially made bra. At least I have the skills to handle that triboob situation. Soon though, you will see a bra sewing-stravaganza in an issue of Ye Olde Periodical (for which I am gainfully employed) and it will be authored by moi.

    Hooray for fun!

    Hooray for fun!

  • A few weeks ago I made this bad ass card. It’s rather fancy wouldn’t you say? I’ve been thinking of posting a tutorial on how to make it. Might you like to know the secrets of my card making ways?
  • This week I have been obsessing over WhimseyBox! It’s a crafts by mail subscription service. Once per month I will receive a box with a complete craft inside. I will of course immediately plunder the contents, revel in all the glory and love the crap out of my creation. Why? Because if there’s nothing I love more than crafting it’s mystery crafting. Want to join in on the fun? Normally boxes cost $15 per month, but if you click here you can get a box for only $5 (and to be perfectly honest I will get a free box if you sign up, however you qualify for this same offer as soon as you sign up, so if we keep the crafting chain going we’ll all have free crafty boxes and giant crafting parties [wow this is a long parenthetical add on]).
  • Secrets, secrets! I have been working on so many secret projects lately I can’t stand it! I want to show you all of them and reveal my world of craftiness. Alas, of you fine few readers out there these gifts are for 12% of you, so you’ll just have to wait.
  • Do you know of Alie and Georgia? They are super-duperly fantastic gal pals from California! Here are the ways in which they are fantastic:
    Alie and Georgia! (Photo courtesy of Cooking Channel, click this photo to see more Cooking Channel).

    Alie and Georgia! (Photo courtesy of Cooking Channel, click to see more Cooking Channel).

    They invent fancy-ass cocktails for your mouth to love.
    They podcast from a pillow/blanket fort.
    They wear the cutest dresses ever.
    They are friends with fabulous people like Hannah Hart (of My Drunk Kitchen) and Mamrie Hart (of You Deserve a Drink).
    They have a brand new show about traveling, drinking and being BFFs! We should have a viewing party, what do you say? I’ll bring the liquor cabinet, you bring the ice!

So that’s that!

Now you know what’s been rattling around the treasure chest I call a skull. I must leave you for my MLM (Maniacal Ladies in Masks) meeting. Are you a member? I might never know! If you are wink thrice at me then offer me a cup of loathing punch. If it is I behind the mask I will respond by drinking the punch in one gulp and belching the maniacal alphabet.

Toodle Loo Darlings!

XOXO,

Henny Penny

 

 

Listed Sisters

What’s cookin’ chickadees and chickadon’ts?

I’ve been mired in the bog of responsibility lately, however I thought I would pop in to give you a quick update as to the Henny and Mr. McCluckin’ whereabouts. Here’s a list of all the exciting activities we’ve been up to (most of which are true):

1) Redoing my crafty Shangri-La for a fancy magazine spread. I was selected to share my craft room in an upcoming publication. There was a fancy photo shoot and many quotations sprang from my lips. What did this really entail? About 6 hours shopping at Ikea and other curio shoppes for cute and matching organizational tools, a week’s worth of work pulling everything off the shelves and a weekend putting things back on the shelves in a delightful and enticing way. You may recall the look of my craft room from a previous post. Well things had been a-changin’ prior to the shoot and woo-whee did that speed up my time table for projects. There was so much organization, it was like a Martha Stewart wet dream. I would love to show you my new and delightful room, but I am not allowed to scoop the magazine. I promise to show you all the fancy happenings as soon as I am allowed.

2) Training the wee pooches for the next itty bitty Iditarod. It’s not too hard to get them to pull a sled and they are slowly learning what “mush” means. The worst part is getting them to leave their passenger, Madame Tatiana alone. Madame is a teacup pig and just loves riding in the sled. Our theme is “watch this tiny pig fly” I think the judges will love it! Cleo and Rita will be dressed as airplanes.

3) I have taken up the dreaded craft of knitting. After avoiding this for a solid decade, I finally figured it might be worth it to make my own socks. Plus down the road I want to make a sweater dress, so I better get my crap together. I just today borrowed my first needles and have been trying my hand at the pointy stick manipulation. I am not impressed so far.

Oliver3.5) I met this bird Oliver on Sunday.

4) Mr. McCluckin’ was nominated for a Nobel prize! Of course, by Nobel prize I mean U.S. patent and by nominated I mean submitted the necessary paperwork through his work fellows. In 3-6 years we’ll know the outcome. He’s developed a widget that clamps onto the big toe of rabid roosters. This way you always know which roosters are rabid. Granted, the frothing at the mouth and attempting to peck you to death is a sure-fire way to know which rooster is rabid, but that’s neither here no there.

5) I’ve been working on a present that’s a big surprise for someone very fancy. It involves a hoop, a needle and piles of floss. I’m sure you can guess what I’m up to.

How about you? Have you been terribly busy? Can I just say, working full time is for the bees, we birds need a rest! Well, I am about to collapse into a heap of snoring lady parts, so I best be on my way. Please tell all the children in your neighborhood that I intend to steal their candy.

Sincerestly,

Henny Penny

A Victorious Return

What’s Shakin’ Cats and Kittens?

Did you miss me while I was away on an unannounced hiatus? I certainly missed you! Let me tell you my tale of sorrow, joy, hope and pudding pops. Recently, while on holiday in the lush gardens of AstroturfTopia I was accidentally swallowed whole by a giant sloth. I messily made my way through the belly of the beast (having luckily brought a few snacks and a spot of tea in my purse) in just under 13 days. This journey was many things, stinky, enlightening, disgusting and most of all squishy. I realized when I made it back into the land of the living, that I had learned much and should share it with the world. So I sat down and composed an epic poem to post right here on this very blog. Though the scientists were soon after me. You see, I had gained an actual understanding of the inner workings of giant sloths. So I then spent a few weeks writing a dissertation on the subject to appease my academic followers. Lastly, I noticed my calendar had me schedule for a few weeks of “me time.” I had set the weeks aside to meditate on the fantastic accomplishments I have achieved and to perfect my honey mustard dressing recipe. Finally I am ready to return to your loving embrace and preach my always sensical observations.

So what have I been crafting of late? Many, many fantastic things! There were some secrety projects I will gladly announce when they grace the pages of my worky magazines (and TV shows). Then there were the terrariums. I started up quite a few wee growing things late this spring. My intention is to personalize each one for friends. The first one I made up was for cycling couple I know.

RARIUM

Their terrarium is filled with dwarf thyme (all the terrariums host something edible) and featured a wee picnic scene. The blanket is just a small piece of gingham oil cloth. I found a few bicycle charms online and planted them in the dirt.

TerrorAren’t wee worlds just delightful? I love them so! When in need of wee eye candy I like to take a hop, skip and bum-fizzle over to these fantastic websites:

Take a peek at this Beetlejuice Terrarium built to entice the ladies.

Enjoy these fascinating scenes from Colossal, they are wee and happtastic!

Ah to live in a matchbox garden! Such a life would be fantastic.

Christopher Boffoli is making the world a magical place with his photo taking abilities.

Whelp lords and ladies of the night, I am off to launch my first ship. It might be a dinghy but I will be sure to christen it with all the necessary pomp, don’t you worry.

Smooches,

Henny Penny

Yarnderful News Everyone!

Felicitations Lords and Ladies of the Virturealm,

I have been ill (again) with a double Dutch ear infection. It took 20 days to convince my ears to pop. So in other words, my ears thought we were on the longest plane ride in history. Additionally, I have been caught up in the Oompa Loompa-lympics. Despite my agreement to read and not watch ye olde boob tube this year (have you visited Under Library Arrest lately? No? Shame on you!) I can’t pull myself away. In fact I missed work last week to watch the live stream of the downhill slurpee slalom. Those little green-haired fellows sure have winter sporting skills! Next week the ice dancing at fudgesicle lake begins. I can hardly wait!

band

In the craftiverse I have been caught up in yarn like you wouldn’t believe. Much like a curious kitten trapped in a knitting basket, yarn has me in its clutches. Cold weather always makes me yearn for yarn. I made a thank you headband for my delightful neighbor. The headband is a wide chevron stitch made from two shades of blue, finished off with a touch of single crochet rows. I might post a pattern here if I make another.

Bandy

I tried out a bit of Tunisian crochet and hooked up a washcloth. The basic Tunisian stitch makes such a delightfully graphic pattern. Though I am still not certain I am finishing my rows correctly. I made a little video of my crochet attempt, hopefully showing my incorrect end technique.

tunis

Lastly, I’ve plotted a breakfast food scarf. I have one toast so far, but I am not certain I have the colors right. I made a video of this as well. Should the toast stand alone? Is the butter invited? You decide!

Speaking of videos, my darling Mr. McCluckin’ happened upon an intriguing app while traipsing about the app shoppe. Vine records 6 second videos that repeat continuously. It’s so simple but so much fun. I’ve been making them non-stop for since my discovery of the app. Soon I hope to purchase a submarine to make 6 second videos about creepy fish and torpedoes. Think of all the fun to be had! I’ll be posting my videos on twitter as I make them so perhaps you should consider following me? I’m known around those parts as @henonthetown.

My, look at the time. I best be off, the Oompa Loompa Choco Taco hurling match is about to begin and I simply can’t miss it. So have a lovely evening, and I can’t wait to see you again.

All the best,

Henny Penny

A Wish Listing We Shall Go!

Howdy-doo Misters and Mistresses?

All I can positively say about 2013 is that at least 1/12 of it is over. Between the illnesses, bad news bears’ extended visit, and the bat cave cave-in (resulting in a very costly sinkhole), this year has been a bit of a jerk. I’m quite ready to jump ship and move straight to 2014. However, Mr. McCluckin’ hasn’t finished his time machine, and insists he never will if I keep nagging him.

I had a wee chat with my lady-boss about promotions, duties, and my career future last week. She asked me to provide her with a list of goals I would like to accomplish in the next 6 months and she would do her best to make them come true. This was very flattering and I was happy to oblige. Of course, my first run at it included many items such as build my own palace, learn to speak fishwich, and moonwalk across the Americas.

After some pondering I whittled it down to a list of 13 items. The first is to learn more about the Adobe creative suite. To achieve this goal I created a wish list collage. I intend to print it and post it in conspicuous areas.

Henonthetown21013

I may have mixed up levitation and meditation. We’ll see, maybe one will lead to the other. Additionally, I am hoping to write more. Might you have heard about the Calendar of Tales? The lovely and princely Neil Gaiman partnered with Blackberry to write 12 tales this year based on ideas submitted via Twitter by lucky readers. One of our dear friends was re-tweeted by Mr. Gaiman! Perhaps her tale will be picked! Nonetheless, I find this quite the pot of inspiring soup. I’m plotting a writing goal involving story telling and feel as though this might be just the starting point I’m seeking. Nothing has been solidified, so if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.  Here are the subjects of Neil Gaiman’s Calendar of Tales:

Why is January so dangerous?

What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in February?

What historical figure does March remind you of?

What is your happiest memory of April?

What is the strangest gift you’ve ever been given in May?

Where would you spend a perfect June?

What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever seen in July?

If August could speak, what would it say?

Tell me something you lost in September that meant a lot to you.

What mythical creature would you like to meet in October?

What would you burn in November if you could?

Who would you like to see again in December?

I must ponder this a bit more. This shall require all the tea I can find and perhaps a digestive biscuit or two. For now I bid your adieu! Enjoy the other internet lands you shall visit today!

Toodle-loo,

Henny Penny

 

 

 

 

Step Into the Drawing Room

Well hey there you old goat!

You wouldn’t believe the delightful happenings here in D-town. We just hosted the infamous Secret Society Parade. I went down to get my fill and as usual was asked for 7 passwords, 14 different handshakes and had to wear an apron, a cloak and 2 masks atop one another. It was so much fun! I saw the Ye Olde Gentlemen of Verona*, had cocktails with the Ladies of Nightshade* and of course flashed the secret symbol to the Order of the Hapless Badgers*.

What else has been happening? Oh! Mr. McCluckin’ and I decided that drawing was of the utmost priority this year. So instead of renewing our education in CPR we attended a drawing lesson. It was so enlightening. Our artist teacher (tartist? areacher?…no I think the term is drawing sensei) gave a run down of basics. We learned to break images into parts and draw the general underlying shapes first. Sensei taught us the basic composition of the human face and body. There was a brief chat about shading and pen choice. It was rather fascinating. Then we broke into simply drawing shapes that came to mind, such as rabbits and broccoli farts. We soon learned that the more abstract the idea, the harder to convey in line…usually. I can honestly say it was incredibly thrilling to draw things that actually look like things (ah, my eloquence is remarkable). My favorite subject is architecture or maybe robots. The best option would be architecture that could turn into robots!

Mr. McCluckin’ wants to practice the ancient art form of Sketchnoting. He hopes to bring this meditative practice to his work environment which is rather stressful (have I told you he works at the MMMC (Mutant Monster Monitoring Center)?). Using this note taking method he could describe threat levels as graphics during meetings. Or maybe when they do have a giant lizard incoming he could demonstrate the anticipated destruction with just pen and paper. This is surely going to revolutionize his workplace!

So that’s the craftiness I’ve been up to. For now, I must remove myself from the cyber world and venture forth into the mysterious land of the library. Speaking of libraries, have you visited my other web presence Under Library Arrest? It’s a hootenanny if I do say so myself.

Well have yourself a merry little hissy fit! So long chums!

XOXO,

Henny Penny

*Readers that chose to partake of these secretive words take their own lives into their eyeballs. Unless of course, you presented the required secret handshakes, tattoos and were wearing the appropriate number of masks upon viewing, then you are in the clear.

Photos Galore!

Mele Kilikimaka Lords and Ladies!

You simply would not believe the past two weeks of my life. First I had the stomach flu, which was ever so delightful…no wait I mean terrible. Then I tried my level best to get caught up at the office, only to realize the office doesn’t actually have a status of “caught up” merely “barely holding onto a scrap of sanity.” Of course I also had a lovely and dear friend come visit, Baron Fluffernutter. He’s such a sweetheart!

Now the house is empty of both friends, family and well-lit trees and I’ve managed to pull together a few photo albums for you. First up here’s a collage of all the projects I managed to take pictures of in 2012. It’s quite astounding how much I made. All year it felt like nothing, but now look there’s quite a few things to show for my efforts.

2012Henny2

Next up, here’s a lovely album of Dino-Irish-Mite! from my recent travels abroad. I decided I simply couldn’t depart without a few wee plastic friends. Each day I took pictures of things that tickled me or were of significance to the trip. Before looking through these, it’s best that you fix yourself some strong black tea. You’ll need it to fully experience my Irish travels, because to be honest I was so caffeinated while in Ireland I can hardly remember a thing!

Lastly, all of the photos of humans and monuments were placed in this album. It’s a bit of an image dump right now, but I will soon find time to weed out the duplicates and add captions.

Well loveys, I must make my way to Slumbertown, I hear there’s a phenomenal band playing tonight. Jem and the Holograms? Yes I think that’s what they were called. Supposedly they are really excellent keytar players. Have a lovely night everyone and remember, if you find that your armchair is sticky there’s probably a child hiding near by waiting to smother you in jam. Either that or something has gone terribly awry in the life of your armchair and it may need an upholstery medic stat!

Tally ho!

Henny Penny