craft chaos

In Which We Make Sparkly Things, Part II: Did it work?

Sigyn could hardly sleep last night for wanting to peep at our geode.  It’s done well, and now it is time to “rescue” it.


(poke, poke, poke)  There are some little, crumbly crystals on the outside, but most of it has set up fine and solid.  Getting the ribbon out will be the tricky part.


I’ll just use my dagger to cut the ribbon close to the geode and then puuullll the rest of the ribbon straight out.

TA DA!  I’m not one to rhapsodize about craft projects, but this is rather nice.  It will take a bit to dry completely, but we can declare this a success. The human female says the vase, which is full of crystals too, would make a nice candle holder.  I don’t care about that, though.  I’m too busy being tickled–Sigyn, we made rocks!

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In Which We Make Sparkly Things, Part I: Setting It Up

Sigyn, did you say something?


Ah, yes.  These things.  The human female’s mother is quite the crafty sort.  I do not mean that she is devious. Rather, she is usually making something delicious, beautiful, or fun.  On the recent visit, she taught me how to make these homemade “geodes.”  (Beautiful and fun, but not edible.)


Would you like to make some of our own?  First, choose a pipecleaner.  This will determine what color base the crystals form on.


That was predictable.  Now we mash the pipe cleaners into knots.  I am good at mashing.


I like your idea of putting both of our colors into the same geode.  Let’s do that.  Now we must suspend the knot in a glass vase.  First, cut some monofilament or some curly ribbon.  Yes, sweetie, the human female has a lot of embroidery thread and string, but they won’t pull out of the finished geode.  It has to be something slick.


Next,—  Sigyn!  How did you get in there?


Sigh.  One Sigyn, safe and sound.  Now we position the pipe-cleaner knot so that it will hang near the bottom of the vase, but not touch the bottom or sides.


Tie the ribbon around something to keep it in place.


Sigyn is quite the acrobat!  And I am clever with knives…

Now we make the magic solution.  (I say “magic,” but it isn’t.  Not like my magic.  No, it’s really only chemistry.)  I will dissolve one cup of borax powder in three cups of water.  This will make enough for two vase-fulls.  Now we pour it in carefully, cover the vase with a tea-towel, and wait.  Tiny crystals should start to form on the vase walls and pipe cleaners in just a few hours.  By tomorrow, our geode will be ready!

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A little craft project

Sigyn has invited some friends and acquaintances over to work on a craft project. I don’t really trust all of these folks yet, but I will go along, since it is for a good cause.

The paper and crayons have come out. Is anyone surprised that Sigyn has chosen red?


I am predictable as well.


The others have their own preferences.





Accidents happen.


All done! Everyone smile!



Happy Birthday to the human female’s mother! You can leave felicitations for her in the comments.

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This is actually fun.

After sifting through all the green beads and helping Sigyn choose the prettiest red beads–and rooting around in everything else looking for treasures– I think I understand the human female’s compulsion to accumulate seed beads. They’re very pretty.

And you know what? They look best when you can see all the colors together.

Which is why I am going to open every luscious package and mix them.


And when the hundred or so tubes and bags and jars are stirred all mingle-wise together*, I shall roll around in the resulting vitreous rainbow like a dragon on its hoard.


Sorting it all back out should keep her out of trouble for a while.

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* Except, course, for the ones that go on the floor, in the carpet, down the sofa, and under the cat.


The guests have gone, but the human female’s mother is still here. As yet *another* late Yule gift, the human female is trying to make her a necklace. She has dragged out the entire contents of her bead “stash.”

Look at all the shinies!


Magpies have nothing on this woman.

I see beads and wires and pliers and string and crystals and … things I can’t even identify.

I have no confidence that she can put together anything worth wearing. My money is on her ending up with something lodged up her nose and at least three containers spilled all over the floor. Therefore, I’m calling her stash forfeit.

I am taking all these lovely gold beads.


And all the green things.

Sigyn is enamored of…. Oh, I don’t even need to say it, do I?


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Pointy Sticks and String

I guess it is a yarny sort of day. The human female’s mother has been working on a lavender garment with knobbles and cables. She says it is an “Irish Fisherman’s Sweater.” Except it’s for an aunt, who is neither Irish nor a fisher nor a man nor particularly sweaty, so perhaps I am missing something. The female guest also has a bag of sticks and string.

I confess I don’t understand the fascination of endless looping, counting, cursing, and ripping out, but Sigyn is intrigued.

The mortals have set her up with her own project.


So far, so good! (Though, Sigyn, correct me if I am wrong, but I think a yarn-over is not supposed to go around one’s knees…) It’s good for her to have a hobby, and as long as she’s not making a purple Loki-cozy, I am all for it.

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In the Sewing Room, Part 4–Oooooh, shiny!

The human female’s machine has a whole case of spare bits. She’s out at the moment, so I shall take this opportunity to see if there’s anything I can use.

Hmm. Cams for fancy stitches? Nope. Seam guide? Bo-ring. Tiny tube of machine oil? Potentially useful. I’ve heard that if you use too much, it comes off on the next six things one sews. Such as tiny dresses of pale silk…

Oh, hello… By Sif’s curvy cuirass, what are these things? Ah, I get it. The regular presser foot comes off, and these must be attachments for other functions. Very clever.


I think this might be for sewing nappy fabrics, so the pile doesn’t get crushed. I’ll hide this one, because I know she has something in mind using fur.

Whoa! What is this one for?


It looks like a sled! I could hitch up some mice and go mushing across the frozen tundra! Sigyn would like that.

Oh. Oh, sweet glittering Bifrost, I have no clue what this wicked-looking thing does, but it’s shiny and pointy and hurtful looking…


and it’s mine now.*

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* I think it may actually be what they call the Torquemada foot, whose use was banned by the Midgardian Geneva Convention.

In the Sewing Room, Part 3– What a fine machine

The human female’s machine is older than she is. Also more reliable. Not to mention better looking. (And quieter. And worth more.) She takes pretty good care of it, but she tends to leave it unguarded for long periods of time. Therefore, she really shouldn’t be surprised when…


Swip-swap! The bobbin runs out two inches before the end of the last seam…


Wobble-wobble! The presser foot is somehow loose…

Snap! The top thread breaks…


Ka-chunk! The throat plate is mysteriously loose…

And –click-click!–everything’s coming up zigzag.


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p.s. Six trivia points to any non-Lou reader who can correctly identify the make and model.

In the Sewing Room, Part 2–Preparation is key.

Sewing goes so much more smoothly when the fabrics are properly prepared. A little spray starch or sizing helps. The human female uses a special lavender-scented spray sizing. It’s become completely automatic for her to reach for the can and lay down a fine mist on whatever she’s pressing. She’s been doing it for years and doesn’t even read the label anymore.


Those cotton doll clothes may stay a bit limp, but they’ll be 99.9% germ-free and smell like crisp linen!

Seriously, ironing can be fun, and I am glad to help. I shall even adjust the heat for her. Nylon takes the hottest setting and linen likes a cool iron, yes? (Those natural plant fibers can be so delicate.)

As I said yesterday, this room really is a mess, but everything here has been bought or saved for a some project or other. The human female is very frugal and likes to make use of everything. For instance, this plastic bag is a good size and could be used for any number of things. But it’s all wrinkly! Here, let me smooth it out.


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