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[personal profile] perevision
I used to collect rubber stamping and scrapbooking manuals like a good little addict. Somerset Studios, Visual Chronicles, Rubber Stamp Journal...I loved them. But after a while these 'manuals' started to frustrate me.

I live in a small town, in a country with no Target or Michael's or giant craft store. Where I live you can't just dash out and pick up a hand press (a mythical item I've never even seen in real life), a bone folder, or a heating pad. There are no star-shaped punches or gilt frame stickers to be found, no Mod Podge, no ink pads in jewel colours, no....I'll stop now, before my blood pressure goes any higher.


What a good crafter does in this country is go on the hunt. Hardware stores are your best friend. Need an eyelet punch? Hit up a Handyman for a belt hole puncher and pliers and then the local bespoke tailor for your eyelet rings--figure out the rest on your own.

My mom makes jewellery and we've been looking for wire she can make into links for two weeks. Nothing of the right size or pliability in the local malls. We had to go to the fish market! After several dead ends (did you know hardware stores close for lunch?) we wound up in a deep, dark, hole-in-the-wall store specialising in fishing tackle. Think Narnia but dirtier. Finally she found the perfect wire--Seahorse leader line, used in trawl nets. While she was adding a batch of guitar strings (which, how?) to her find, I was nervously eyeing up a set of fish hooks, carefully taped down under the glass shelves to protect unwary elbows.

No glitter, no ribbons, no fancy scalloped scissors. But they had what we wanted, and if my mom hadn't been willing to stomp around a smelly wet market I would never have known where to find it. Wear waterproof shoes and a thief-proof shoulder bag, and always wash your hands. That's hardcore crafting.

Off the Latest Things page

Date: 2013-01-25 02:56 pm (UTC)
needled_ink_1975: A snarling cougar; colored pencil on paper (Default)
From: [personal profile] needled_ink_1975
I read this post because I have a history of making the wrong 'ingredients' do the right job, just because the right 'ingredients' are usually unavailable/too expensive... and then you mentioned a fishing tackle store, and guitar strings.

I tie fishing flies, and have been doing so since fly fishing practically didn't exist in this country (South Africa). I could get the hooks, but very little else was available. Flies are a practical artform, and for me tying them is also a kind of therapy. As a kid I learnt not to throw out broken violin and guitar strings. How to cure hackle capes myself. Would buy any peacock feather I found. Would pick up and keep any wild bird feather. Kept every scrap strand of wool my mother cut off after finishing a sweater/whatever. I saved and bought embroidery silk (can't tie flies with cotton thread), and it was only in 2000 that I first got a bobbin holder, and my word but that thingummy makes fly-tying easy. I can now buy a fly-tying vise, but I prefer the one I built out of clamps and bits of metal hand-ground to form with a file...

Hardcore crafting is AWESOME crafting. I get a little kick of pride out of having made do.

After warbling: this might be helpful– ask hardware stores for fine guage spring steel wire (0.3/0.5/0.75mm). It makes awesome jump rings, and it's hardened and oil-tempered, which means it resists rust.

Keep rocking that hardcore crafting :)

–Nic

Date: 2013-02-02 09:15 am (UTC)
needled_ink_1975: A snarling cougar; colored pencil on paper (Arabian Stallion)
From: [personal profile] needled_ink_1975
I'll argue with you about "better crafter"– you're damn good at things that I suck at. Like composition: you nail composition; I can draw but cannot build a composition to save my life. There. That makes us even! *grin*

As for feathers, the trout in this country are rude. You can spend hours figuring out how to mimic what they're eating, but all they want is woolly buggers (no, really, that's what they're called). A woolly bugger is what it sounds like: wrap moderately flossy wool/chenille in dark brown/burgundy/black around a hook, and toss it in the water. If nothing bites, change the color. If nothing bites after trying all three colors, there are no trout in that water.

And no, I don't mind that you added me, but I hope you don't regret it :P
Edited (Spelling fail) Date: 2013-02-02 09:17 am (UTC)

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