Tag Archives: diy

Gocco Supplies and Links

23 May

In the Etsy community forum, I frequently see folks looking for well priced supplies for their Gocco presses that are available domestically (quicker and less expensive shipping…internationally there are many supplies if you are willing to wait…)…

Here’s where I get my supplies:

Northwood Studios.  The owner/operator is Judy Funk who is a Gocco-expert and a pleasure to do business with.  She is informative and prompt and a nice person… Her pricing is fair (and better than many other sources out there)… She also occasionally has used machines and some neat gadgets available… As she has so much Gocco experience, she can usually answer any questions and often has great solutions available (like a great non-gocco branded screen cleaner) that only experience could have brought….

Anyway, give her a visit…

To see what Gocco can do, Flickr has a couple of Gocco photo groups… Here’s “Gocco”

A general, “What Is Gocco?” is available at savegocco.com

Happy Friday and Happy Printing!


Easter grass dispenser…

23 Mar

Old easter grass dispenser

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Here is my old easter grass dispenser… For those of you that haven’t experienced my packaging first hand, I typically use shredded paper for my box stuffing…. But my shredder is the cheapo jamming sort and the shredded paper was very linty and frankly, it was driving me (and our sensitivity to dust) bonkers….

A couple of years ago I bought Easter grass for boyo’s first official “old enough to know the day is different from other days of the year” easter basket. As many of you know, I am an official liason for the Easter bunny, and I enjoy the special job of assisting him with some of the smaller details of his journey to our home. This year he brought a couple of books, by the way, as boyo is getting very good at reading.

Anyway, at that time I did not fully understand the whole easter grass to basket ratio. Clearly, I had no grasp on the expansion of easter grass when expanded and fluffed as I purchased 10 bags from Target, of the green paper variety. 10 bags. There is one child in this family.

But I couldn’t just throw it out or recycle it, and as it is shredded our local recycling/waste management organization will not accept it. So I sealed it up in a plastic box with other paper goods and forgot about it.
As many of you know, hunting for decorations for a specific holiday will always turn up decorations that were lost when you were looking for them the previous holiday (ie Christmas reveals Easter, Thanksgiving reveals Halloween- well, except in our house. I have made a large effort to incorporate a pumpkin theme into Thanksgiving. Hey, I’m disabled and I’m freaking tired and I love pumpkins and orange. It’s all good. It’s better than a sharp stick in a sensitive place, or *gasp* no decorations at all, which I have been informed would make me a lazy, terrible parent. By the way, thanks Mom. You are so very inspiring with your gentle words and yearly addition of a faux Christmas tree to our bursting collection in the garage.)

So at Christmas I got a fabulous gift… My giant collection of easter grass… So I switched to using a few strands as cushioning in my little Gocco printed slider boxes. Much neater. And prettier. Goes with my whole lust for contrast…Faux grass, faux bois… Lovely.

But, the question remained. How to neatly store the grass so it would still be easy to just grab a tuft when gift wrapping outbound orders…A plastic ziploc did not work as it was quickly confiscated by boy and used as a projectile until the ziploc opened and it rained grass everywhere. Don’t fret, I will be posting about the new portable emergency vacuum soon…. Well, one bag of grass down the crapper…. I sat looking at a sealed bag and put my thinking cap on….

Well, those handy plastic containers (read my labelmaker post…the short story: I compulsively purchase plastic containers…) came in handy once again…. With a quick stab of my sheet metal sheers I shaped a hole in one of the lids…. You can see, in the image, a tuft poking out….

The problem? Dust. We live in SW Florida and we seem to have an endless supply of dust here. Eek. And we love garlic and hubby makes tacos for himself once a week. Old cooking odors are nasty and really adhere to papergoods. So I have been trying to find another, handier, sealable containment device as I have stubbed many a toe in the frantic dash to shield my packing materials from garlic. The mere sound of olive oil in the pain makes me panic these days…

I was in Target the other day and I was looking at the lovely snapware containers…. Someone put one back in the wrong place and I knocked it over when reaching for something else and Eureka!

A cereal dispenser!

With an opening big enough that I can fit my fingers in to advance a tuft of grass and a lid (with a rubbery gasket!) that clicks securely and conveniently shut…

Problem solved. Hope this helps someone else with their easter grass dispenser needs….

And I am proud to announce that now I can find my labelmaker and my easter grass. And for those of you that are curious, I did not label this container.  It took much restraint, on my part.  But it’s faux grass in a clear container.  Doesn’t really need a label…Or does it?  ha. ha.

Be clever.

27 Jan

Be clever.Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBekNew boxes…. Gocco’d them last night… The faux bois came out pretty spotty on the words “be clever”… I wound up writing over the words with a pen to match the imprint on the side of the box with my web addy and eureka…. worked….A little different from my last ones, but if you know me then you know that my obsession with the representation of natural things using manmade materials runs deep…. So I have faux bois. fake paper grass, and my packages come lovingly sealed with a plastic grass sticker…. Good stuff.

If you don’t gnome me by now….

26 Oct

Gnome hat…

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Here’s the long story… There are more pics if you click on the flickr box on the right hand side of this page….

I wanted to make a safe and fun costume for my kid, with a heirloom quality hat (all of his Halloween costumes have, thus far, included a hat for his hat collection…I wanted to continue with that)

So how did this costume happen? Well, I have loved garden gnomes ever since I was a child and encountered my first one in the Lange’s garden…. Fast forward another 30 years and it finally pops into my head, “Eureka! I’m going to dress my kid as a Garden Gnome for Halloween!” My hubby suggested otherwise, he suggested we let Alex choose his costume this year (we had this discussion while trick-or-treating last year with our little pumpkin)… So I merely planted the seed in my little guy’s ear and since then he has been announcing his love for Gnomes. So here we are…

First I knit up a ginormous hat, in the round, completely freestyle on size 11 needles, I cast on 80-something or 90 something stitches, I decreased at uneven intervals… I can do basic knitting things and have done a few hats, really short scarves, and a couple of 1/2 shirts all because I’m really pretty lousy at following directions- I get bored and tend to wander off down another path… (this happens with everything. Yes, I do have clinically diagnosed ADD but even with treatment I think my spirit is a little too “free-wheeling”… I like to do-it-myself, in my own style…and I usually throw instructions away or read them once and let my brain and creativity fill in the rest)…

Anyways, so I was left with one gigantic hat (you can see the hat here before I shrunk it down): http://www.flickr.com/photos/clevergirl/1526739518/
just hit the back button on your browser to come back here)

Then I gave it a thorough fulling in the washing machine with some laundry soap (handmade laundry soap! thanks mugwortmaggies for making the best natural and handmade laundry soap- mmmmmm. pink grapefruit is my favorite!)

and it shrunk down to the size seen here- which fit perfectly on my little guy’s head (my kid, my hubby, and I are all bigheads)… I played with eyebrows and beard some more but I wasn’t happy even though the mohair from http://emmasdaughterdesigns.etsy.com was sublime! So I ordered more of this fabulous mohair (mill ends) from emmasdaughterdesigns and I slept on it for days…I took off the original beard I had made and went to town…

Eureka. Wet felting and fulling were great as a base but needle felting might let me get a little more detailed and textured- let me keep some of the smooth silkiness of the delicious mohair mill ends….

So I ordered a felting foam pad (thick enough so I could felt on my lap, while watching TV, and not poke the daylights out of my legs) and needles from http://woolpets.etsy.com

They arrived and I went to work… I redid the eye brows by needle felting (that delicious mohair again) and leaving the ends free and soft and shiny and fabulous (just like real old man-gnome eyebrows)….

So now you might be asking yourself- why on earth are the eyebrows on the hat and not on a mask portion or glued to the person wearing them? My little guy has sensory issues and he’s 4. I had the hat with the original brows and beard drying on top of my headless mannequin and my kiddo just lost it- I mean here we have this headless mannequin that he begins to accept as part of the decor and suddenly it looks like a faceless Santa Claus in the night shadows cast by the parking lot lights through the shutters… Eeeek! The good part about this is that there is no obstruction to the visual field (by the hat, by the beard it really depends on the person wearing it…your mileage may vary :-) so it’s a little safer, in that aspect, than a mask…

So I also cut off the original wet felted beard, chopped the ‘burns, and used it as a base for longer, more flowing (looking) locks and gentle waves of that (amazing) mill-end mohair….

Then another problem- how on earth was I going to get a kid who finds pants too cumbersome in the house to wear a beard? I wound up using an old, really hideous headband (a smooth, fabric covered one) as an open collar/choker…. I sewed (with white cotton and clear nylon thread) the beard onto this at the right height and perfection- it can easily be taken off and put on again, it leaves your mouth free (if you crane your neck up you could theoretically eat something with the beard on)….

I then knit a belt for him and used felted wool bits to make orange “buttons” (the belt closes by an “old school” windy button and string method) and a little hanging acorn at the end of the winding part….

I decorated a purchased watering can (hey, I’ve been in bed with a fever all week, I couldn’t make everything this year) and decked it out with vintage (30+ years old) wood mushrooms and green plastic sushi grass stickers (that I make and use on my packaging as well as sell in my shop on occasion)…The watering can serves as a treat pail for trick-or-treating adventures….

Throw on some 100% cotton leggings, a cotton henley a few sizes to big, and some crocs (we live in Florida, I didn’t want to put him in big boots and we can reuse the crocs when it isn’t cool down here by taking the faux fleece lining out)….

A nice perk of putting this together, aside from the obvious “doing something nice for my favorite kid” is that it took me out of my element and let me think differently, use my squash, use different muscles in my hands, and work with soft, fluffy things…. No, I will not be adding knit goods to my Etsy shop (aside from this costume, which is priced to accurately reflect the amount of work and time that went into this) but it’s certainly nice to have a hobby! :-)

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