Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yay! It's World of Geekcraft time! (and a giveaway)

World of Geekcraft

Y'all are all well aware that I am a huge geek, so I was stoked when Susan Beal asked me to contribute a project to her new book, World of Geekcraft. I love Susan. I love crafting. I love geekery. It was a win-win all around. I'm excited to be part of the World of Geekcraft blog tour today. You can get more information on all the other blog tour stops that will include patterns and projects, giveaways and all the geeky goodness you can handle at the end of this post. (and *cough*a giveaway*cough*)

POW! ZAP! Magnets at CRAFT:!

There are a couple of hilarious stories surrounding this book that I'd like to share with you. First off, my almost complete and total failure to produce a project for it. You know, it's always nice to see the picture perfect final projects in a craft book, but sometimes it's good to see the goofs/failures/bloopers behind the projects, too. So here we go!

Initially, I had this grand idea to create a cool kid's astronaut helmet for dressing up and playing space exploration. I thought it should be pretty easy to do, and set about with great optimism that it would be a fabulous project. It didn't take long for that optimism to take a bit of a beating. It turns out that constructing the shape of a helmet was far more difficult than I anticipated it would be. I cranked out sample after sample, trying different construction methods with absolutely no luck at all. I was in a severe state of panic as the deadline for getting the project submitted quickly approached. When the week of project-creation mayhem was going on, I shared the picture above and the one below with my fellow Craft editors in a Craft Fail commiseration email. We all had a very good laugh over them. Above, you see one version I attempted. Hulk was not very happy about modeling. Below is a picture of me in one of the more hilarious failed prototypes. You win some, and you lose (very badly) some. (The polka dot fabric is just scrap fabric I was using to make prototypes - I wasn't trying to make a Space Clothing Statement.)

Beaten down and feeling pretty much like a failure, I escaped to a friend's house for a girls' craft night. Another friend of mine had recently sent a box full of needle felting supplies that she'd cleaned out of her craft closet and no longer needed, so I took them along with me. Aside from a little dabbling with Moxie at Maker Faire, I hadn't done much needle felting before, but the poke-poke-poke seemed like a great way to relieve the stress of that week and the failed astronaut helmet project.

LCROSS Lands on the Moon! (NASA, Moon, 10/09/09)

I curled up on Curlin's big comfy couch with good friends and a glass of wine and started the therapeutic poke-poke-poke of needle felting. I started creating a ball, not yet completely sure what it would end up being. This happened to be the same day that LCROSS impacted the Moon, and since it was on my mind I decided to turn the quickly-forming sphere into the Moon. As I created craters from wisps of grey wool roving, a new idea popped into my head ... What if I made a needle felted solar system mobile? I love mobiles (I think I read somewhere once that they inspire creativity when hung over a desk. Who knows if that's true, but I've had a mobile hanging above my desk since college) and thought it could be an easier beginner project. With just a couple of days to spare, I set to work on creating all the planets (and I included Pluto - OF COURSE) for the project. It was loads of fun and came together seamlessly and I was able to send it off just in the nick of time.

Here it is right after I finished it. In the book, we ended up painting the embroidery hoops black - it looks much cooler that way.

It's hard to believe that was almost two years ago. Book production takes a while, but it is so worth it. World of Geekcraft is one of my favorite craft books ever, and not just because I have a project in there. Each project is hilarious and fun and clever and most are pretty simple, making it a very inspirational and practical craft book. The perfect kind, right!?

Star Wars Terrariums

Several weeks ago, one of my best friends in the whole world came to Houston to visit us at our new house. She was giddy to hand off a gift she'd purchased for me, and it had a hilarious big note on the wrapping paper about how I probably already had this gift, but she saw it and instantly thought of me and HAD to get it ... I opened the paper and found a copy of World of Geekcraft. She had no idea I had a project in it, and at the time I still hadn't seen a copy of the book. It was so much fun - we squeed like good little nerdy friends and had a huge laugh over it. It made me love the book that much more.

I hope you'll check out World of Geekcraft by Susan Beal. It's charming, clever, funny and interesting, and there are some really spectacular contributors. Here are the details on the rest of the blog tour, be sure to check out all the stops for pattern excerpts, giveaways and more information on this awesome book. The book pictures in this post are from Susan and give you just a taste of how much fun the book is.

LilyPad Arduino Cake by Ruth Suehle

  • Monday, May 2 – Geek Crafts & CRAFT:
  • Tuesday, May 3 – Cathy of California
  • Wednesday, May 4 – Average Jane Crafter
  • Thursday, May 5 – LindaMade
  • Friday, May 6 – Easy Crafts Wiki & Patterns by Figgy
  • Monday, May 9 – CraftyPod & Craft Gossip
  • Tuesday, May 10 -Quilter Geek
  • Wednesday, May 11 – Indie Fixx
  • Thursday, May 12 – Not Martha
  • Friday, May 13 – House on Hill Road & Public School

  • World of Geekcraft

    And, since you stuck with me through this entire post ... it's giveaway time! I have one copy of World of Geekcraft to give to a lucky Average Jane Crafter reader. What was your favorite geeky possession as a kid? Your E.T. lunchbox? (I have one) Your C-3PO Underoos (yep, had those, too) Your Star Trek drinking glass set from McDonalds? I love love love love vintage geekery goods, so I want to hear about what you had as a kid and loved? Let me know. I'll close comments on Saturday at 10AM CST and will announce the winner last week - be sure to leave a way I can get in touch! :)


    1. Omg thanks for sharing those hysterical photos! It is so nice to see the process behind the final awesome projects that make it into craft books. And I agree - I love this book!

    2. Girlfriend - I love the mobile. I wasn't super geeky as a kid, but I did have a collection of about 30 pairs of Keds. That's right, I was a KedsFreak. My favorite pair were these bright yellow Keds made out of raincoat material. I'm sure there were only like 20 pairs made in the world, but I owned 'em.

      Hope Houston is treating you well.


    3. LOVE the mobile! I was not as outwardly geeky as a kid as I am now, but I am still the proud owner of a set of 4 E.T glasses from Pizza Hut! Remember those?!?! I don't think I even drink out of any other glasses. Wonder why they don't do those kind of giveaways at restaurants anymore.....

    4. Hi Rachel-

      This is an awesome post and the new geek/craft related book you participated in looks great! This is absolutely my kind of craft book. :-D

      And I must say I -adore- your craft project with the solar system. I looks so good! And I never tried needle felting so here's an occasion to try it. I'm really in love with your idea. :-D

      As for my favorite geekery possesion as a kid, I must say I loved my R2D2 small action figure. AND my Star Wars t-shirt that I my parents got me at Disney. I wore it for years! And the funniest thing is that I hardly knew anything about Star Wars at that time, I just liked the "funny-robot-characters". :-p

      Thank you for this giveaway and may the force be with you. ^-^

    5. That second astronaut helmet has gotta be the best thing I've seen today ... and I absolutely love the planets ...

      ... My geekiest toy when I was little (going back nearly half a century here) was rolls and rolls of old fashioned computer punch tape that a friend of my dad's brought whenever he came over ... I made a computer out of a cardboard box and would spend hours winding it through from a slit in the slide, to a slit on the other side! Heaven. I teach IT and train teachers in technology now! The die was cast ...

    6. Awesome mobile!! My favorite geeky possession as a kid was an ALF lunchbox and thermos. Man, I wish I still had that thing!

    7. As a kid? Heck... I still have a SeaQuest DSV patch on my backpack.

      This book looks really fun!

    8. Love the mobile! I had a stuffed ET plush that I took EVERYWHERE! I still have it too!

    9. Ok I think I might need this book. Also, great minds think alike! I made felted planets but instead of a mobile I made them Christmas ornaments! You can check out my sweet tree if you want, it is here:

    10. I was a King's Quest CHAMPION. We played it on our IBM pc, jr and it had a million floppy discs you had to change out as you advanced thru the game. Does that qualify me as a geek?

    11. wow....this is quite awesome! the geekiest thing i was into as a kid was rocks and stars. i love collecting rocks and then also staring at the night sky. i grew up in houston and love the space program with reckless abandon.

    12. I don't even know! Do legos count?


    13. I had/have tons of nerdy toys but easily the nerdiest toy I owned would have to be the cardboard boxes I would convert to Star Wars dioramas. I would poke "stars" into them with my trusty number two pencil and even managed to stab my spazzy self right through the hand trying to break through the doubled up folded part. I still have a little lead mark/battle scar as testament. NERD.

    14. I loved (and still love) The Wookie Storybook. It's a story about Chewbacca's family and there's a wookie kid and a wookie grandpa and a wookie wife. Love love love. And I love this geeky book of yours!

    15. Ha! The polka dot hat is hilarious!
      Hmm... I had these 2 toy astronaut action figures that I LOVED playing with as a kid. I think they're still at my parents'. I'll have to check next time I'm there.
      Thanks for the giveaway! The book looks awesome!

    16. Hey Rach! love reading your blog, you're so much cooler than I! My dad was(is) a geek and you would think I would have had some geekdom rub off on me, but I think my mom counteracted it, so no souvenirs come to mind, only the ones I acquired later in life out of nostalgia of what could have been...

    17. Oh, you lovely, crafty, spacey, nerdy diva, you!! We miss you here. L and I were just discussing a trip to H-town, sometime in the next few months, to visit your house, do some thrifting and swim in your pool!!

      As for my childhood geeknocity, I'm remembering this little gem.

      Did anyone else have an Alphie????? WishI still had it... Just another in a long line of things I wish we'd kept!!

      Hugs from the Slab!

    18. I used to treat my Iomega Zip disk like it was gold. It went everywhere with me! It was my favorite possession for quite a time. I'm not sure why I was so obsessed with it, but I was a nerd even back then :)

    19. I think I'm more on the nerdy side than the geeky side. I'm proud to say that the OkCupid nerd, geek, or dork? test labels me as a "modern cool nerd" (83% nerd, 65% geek, 48% dork). My nerdiest childhood item would be the large pile of punchcards on which I typed out the story of Goldilocks when I was 11. My dad took me with him one weekend as he fixed the room-sized IBM mainframe of the largest Australian alumina refinery, gave me a box of punchcards and said go for it. My geekiest childhood items are all based around Thunderbirds are Go! I nearly wore my Brains T-shirt today in your honour.

    20. I forgot to enumerate - I still have thunderbirds colouring books, pop up books, videos, t-shirts, fast food cups that are so old most of the picture has worn off... One of my fave boyfriends still had his Thunderbirds action figures. One of the things that I loved about him. He had a toy dalek too. Swoon.

    21. I noticed this book yesterday and I think it's awesome! I wasn't a particular geeky kid (sorry!) so I have no exciting memories of nerdy items to share. I now do have a robot which is also a pencil sharpener, does that count too?

    22. My favorite geeky item was my bird guide. I took it everywhere and I even had (still have, actually) a cloth cover for it with a pocket for life lists, a pen, and a card with the number for the Florida Rare Bird Alert hotline. Major bird nerd.

    23. Way back in the early 70's I belonged to a science book club. Somewhere at mother's house is the Lunar Landing model I built! Must look for it! Thanks for the chance to win.

    24. I had a Texas Instruments DataMan. My mother and I would take turns playing "Number Guesser".

      Love the felt planets.

    25. What an awesome book! I love that you shared your Project Fails with us. The felted solar system mobile is a great idea - I think I may have to do something similar!

      One of my favorite geeky toys when I was a kid was a handheld Jeopardy! game. You had to flip open the book to read the clue that corresponded to the number showing on the game, but it was so much fun. And I could play by myself, which my mom appreciated. ;)

    26. My geekiest toy? Had to be my Digi-Comp I. I still miss that three-bit plastic computer that was programmed with pieces of McDonald's plastic straws.