Mmm. Watercolour Squares.

For #MakeMakingFun, I’ve been trying to explore the vast array of craft books I’ve accumulated over the years. It’s always so exciting to buy craft books or borrow them from the library. And then I let them sit. Alone. Unopened. It’s like the opposite of having fun with them.

It’s ridiculous and I’m determined to stop doing it.

So last week, I cracked the spine of a book I bought ages ago called Water Paper Paint, by Heather Smith Jones.

And I did the first and second projects in it. I thought I loved circles, but didn’t love making them in the first project. But the second project? The second project was making squares. Watercolour squares all connected in a colourful grid all cozy and wonderful. I think I’ll be painting lots more squares in the near future. Mmm. Squares.

watercolor squares, from Water Paper Paint

#MakeMakingFun Weekend Project: Toilet-paper Tube

image of toilet-paper-tube crafts

A few weeks ago, I started including a fun make-related prompt in my Friday newsletter. The first couple of prompts were kind of non-specific, but I think I’ve decided that I’d have more fun, and hopefully encourage others to have more fun, if I got specific. So in Friday‘s prompt, I implored people to grab a toilet-paper tube from their recycling bin and make something with it.

Ordinarily, this is the sort of thing you’d see on a kids’-craft blog, or something, but in keeping with my desire to be a crafty camp-counsellor for grown-ups, I explicitly directed readers not to foist this one off on the kids. Oh no. Just like I find with Mighty Ugly, making stuff with discarded materials is a great way to set yourself up not to care if you make something awful.

Following my own advice, I reminded myself not to flatten a toilet-paper tube on its way to the recycling bin on Saturday, and instead put it on the table with some paints and brushes. I’ve been wanting to paint, you see, so I figured this was a great excuse to actually do it.

toilet-paper-tube craft with paint

And do it I did. Without a plan. And without a great result. But I sure did have fun.

Get in on the action and make making fun for yourself again! Subscribe here.


Knitter Anna Hrachovec Is a Genius

book cover of Adventures in Mochimochiland, by Anna Hrachovec

The older I get, the more I value my relationship with my high-school best friend. As might have been predicted back in our days of shoving notes through each other’s locker vents, I ended up moving as far away from our hometown as I could, and she ended up moving across the street from her childhood home. When we were teenagers, our differences kept our friendship interesting, if not occasionally fraught with adolescent angst. As we get older, it’s our similarities that make me smile that much brighter.

But still, when M texted me last month with a photo of her new Birkenstocks, which are the same kind as mine but in a brighter colour, I marvelled at how we never had the same taste in fashion before this decade. I’m more comfortable about what I wear now, I suppose, and she’s more adventurous.

So imagine my delight when, a couple of years ago, after I posted a photo from the knitting book Huge & Huggable Mochimochi, M begged me to knit her then-two-year-old daughter a capybara. My high-school friend would have thought a big knitted rodent was weird. My adult friend loved it as much as I do. And so obviously I knitted it, and I loved knitting it, and I think I’ll end up knitting another at some point.

knitted capybara

From the brain of the same woman who designs knitting patterns for ginormous rodents and tiny gnomes and unicorns comes Adventures in Mochimochiland. Which is a storybook. About teeny-tiny knitted creatures and donuts and things. With patterns at the end so you can make those teeny tiny things. It has nothing to do with my best friend. Nor does it have anything to do with giant knitted rodents. I just felt like telling that story.

Adventures in Mochimochiland is unlike any knitting book I’ve ever seen, by a woman who has made other brilliant knitting books that are like none I’ve ever seen, and my love for it is complete and unqualified.

That is all.

PS I’m starting to use some affiliate links here and there on the blog. It’s an experiment.


#makefun: Colouring as an Adult

Creative Therapy adult colouring book. It's one of the best I've seen!


I bought this adult colouring book before the New Yorker came out with their article about this thing that’s been going on for ages but now that the New Yorker covered it it seems totally new. I’m starting to feel concerned that journalists will treat colouring like they treat knitting, but instead the lazy, clichéd, offensive not your grandma’s it’ll be the lazy, unimaginative, not-as-interesting-as-the-real-story not your kid’s.

There’s no difference between us and kids when it comes to making stuff. Or at least there shouldn’t be. Experience making stuff shouldn’t take away from exploration, play, indulgence and fun.

Colour on, friends. Colour on!

PS My kid wants to colour with me when I colour in this book. Adult schmadult.

PPS #makefun is the tag I’ve decided on for posts and photos about the work (fun work) I’m doing about having fun making stuff. Follow along, and use it when you post about stuff you’re having fun making!