Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Weakness For Shiny Things

Do you remember when you were a kid and you were told to go and tidy your room? How you'd start but get distracted part way through - instead of tidying, you'd just be playing with the toys you were supposed to be putting away. Well, that happened to me when I was sorting through my nascent craft box on the weekend. I came across the following things:

1) A large, decorative safety pin that I found on the ground a while ago. (I'm such a magpie. I always pick up shiny things I see on the ground.)

2) A 'silver' chain necklace that I had to stop wearing because the cheap metal was giving me a rash on my neck.

3) A random 10cm length of chain that I picked up fuck-knows-where.

4) A brooch back that came off a broken badge.

Looking at this random constellation of junk reminded me of the dangly chain pins that the trendy host boys wear on their shiny suit jackets. I find the host boys fascinating - they're just so exuberantly, un-ironically trash and their hair is some kind of miracle of engineering. They are like some kind of exotic wildlife. And they are shiny. So very, very shiny. So, with a few jump-rings that I fished out of my craft box, I cobbled together the following item in honour of the host boys:

It is the dangliest of all dangly chains. Kind of half-way between a necklace and a brooch. A brooch-lace, maybe?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hisashiburi, ne?

Waaa, it's been a long time. What with moving back to Japan, going back to work and moving into a new place, I haven't had much time for making stuff. Especially since I am basically flat, stony BROKE. I can barely afford to even just look in a craft shop. Or even a hundred yen shop. Man, those places ae dan-ger-OUS! Not that I've ground to a complete standstill, of course. I've just had to use a bit of ingenuity to find cheap-as-free craft materials.

One thing there is plenty of for free in Japan is plastic bags. A while ago, I found this very interesting tutorial on recycling plastic bags into yarn. So, I hopped to it. Here's a sample of the resulting yarn:

And here's some knitted up:

It's going to be a handbag - my current go-everywhere satchel is falling apart faster than I can save for a new bag.

The yarn is a little hard to knit with, because it's got no elasticity whatsoever. And obviously the resulting fabric is extremely bulky and not at all soft. But, it's cheap as free and good for the environment, eh? I think with a little imagination you could get a whole lot of really good stuff out of crappy ol' plastic bags.