When Ann came up with her fabulous idea for portable marker storage out of a photo album, I was excited by the possibilities. Then I was paralyzed by the possibilities and couldn’t decide what to-go project I couldn’t live without. I needed a photo album full of acrylic paints. I needed to bring all 90571095710 of my Prismacolor pencils to the dentist. I wanted to glue the lids of Twinkling H2O pots and take those with me even though I only use them about every 32nd fortnight. I was driving myself crazy with indecision.
To avoid this, I decided to go buy a freakin’ photo album. I figured that would force me to self-edit since I can’t really make an elephant carrier if I can only find a photo album suitable for 4 x 6 prints. Since I live in the boonies, the only place to buy a photo album around these here parts, barring a huge barn sale, is the Dollar General, so I packed up my demonspawn and off we went. As we stood in the photo, framing, office supplies, and Snuggie aisle, I found a photo album, my 9-year-old found a coupon organizer, and I knew I wanted to make something to hold my roving and needle felting supplies.
If you don’t do needle felting, seriously, OMG. It’s a craft that requires you to be stabby. It’s occasionally (usually.. okay always) bloody and painful, but if you can keep from jabbing yourself repeatedly, you get to stab things until you make them into other things. You can’t do that outside of Serial Killer University. I hear. Ahem.
ANYWAY. The photo album I found was heinously ugly and had (dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuun) a three-ring-binder. Ugh. That was actually probably the most difficult part of this whole deal – getting that obnoxious bit of modern invention out of there. I ended up sawing away at it with a craft knife (X-Acto type) until it finally came out, leaving me with two gaping holes where the rivets had been. Nice.
To cover those gaping holes and the general ugliosity of the album itself (what? That’s totally a word. You’re crazylicious), I decided to cover the entire thing with patterned cardstock. I glued it down with large amounts of Mod Podge and prayer.
Once that had a chance to dry, I slapped down some turquoise paint to cover the torn bits after accidentally sticking it to a random piece of posterboard. No problem – looks cooler that way anyway!! On the inside, I glued down some squares of cardstock along the inside of the spine to cover the holes then made simple little needle holders out of the same paper.
As you can sort of see in this ugly cluster of pictures, I have three different needle holders. I have a lot of needles and they’re all the same size. I guess I’m paranoid about a needle shortage. To make them, I just creased a rectangle of cardstock, made two little snips, and unfolded. I then used double-sided crazy-sticky tape to attach it at the top and bottom. I made loops out of cardstock to hold my handy-dandy bamboo skewer (an essential part of the felting process – protects those tender fingers. Sometimes. When you remember to use it).
To further fancify my felting finery, I made a quick and dirty “idea recorder” out of stapled-together copy paper and attached that to the inside cover and added another cardstock loop to hold a pencil. I glued down my pretty green foam (you need this when felting to keep from stabbing yourself in the lap or breaking needles on your marble counters) and then glued down Velcro strips to hold my coupon book. I ended up buying a bunch of them so that I can keep my roving organized by color or type. Or maybe religion. I stapled Velcro strips to the back of my coupon organizer and loaded that motha’ up with roving!
I managed to cram a LOT of fiber into that coupon organizer. I was tempted to buy an expanding file folder and use that instead, thinking I could probably cram ALL of my roving into it, but I managed to control myself. The most amazing thing about it is that even when crammed completely full, it closes neatly and tightly as below!
Finally to the nitty gritty exciting stuff:
GO NOW to your local thrift store, barn sale, or your great-aunt Gertrude’s closet and find yourself a photo album. Make something inspired by this or any other project posted this month (here, here, and here), post your project in our forum by NO LATER than December 7th at 5:00 PM. We’ll let the public decide whose project rocks the hardest, and you could win these swanktacular bookends! (WHAT!?! Totally a word! Sue me, I’m all hopped up on pumpkin pie)
YOU KNOW YOU WANT ‘EM! I want ’em. I’m tempted to quit wonderstrange just to join the contest. Okay not really. They might fire me after this sugar-induced post, though.
Okay, enough of my blathering, go make something awesome!!