Tutorial: bike inner tube earrings, or, Bicitoro visits the papercrafting aisle, with apologies to Ms. Stewart

by Jessie Kwak

I hear that it’s good for your SEO to keep your titles short, but I’m always so drawn to a good old Victorian “or” title. I mean, the amount of nuance that can be drawn out of the juxtaposition of two complementary titles is just boundless. The following text is then imbued with ever so much more meaning. It’s a technique which allows the author to subtly influence the audience’s reading of the text.

Ah, the title. It is merely glanced at by the reader, unnoticed, though it lingers in the subconscious, a vital tool for the reader’s increased understanding of the author’s message.

The same people who talk about SEO also say that you have to get right to the point, capture the reader’s attention in the first snappy sentence, or you’ve lost them forever.

They probably know what they’re talking about when it comes to internet reading. But I’ve noticed that when it comes to sewing and craft blogs, we have an entirely different way of capturing the reader’s attention. In fact, I’d wager that 80% of you haven’t read a single word of this introduction. You just scrolled down to see the photos to see if you want to pin the post to your “Try This Later” board.

So without any further ado, pretty pictures:

There are certain sections of craft stores that are complete mysteries to me. The baking aisle, for instance. I mean, I’m a damn good baker if I do say so myself—I just don’t have much interest in making my food look cute. The fake flowers aisle is another one that is dead to me (I think it smells funny).

I’ve skirted warily around around the papercraft aisle for years, temped by the pretty cardstock but unable to understand why anyone would spend time fiddling around with scrapbooking. (I keep my totally unsorted memorabilia collection in a shoebox in the closet. Sometimes I can’t remember the names of people in the photos. Scrapbookers, feel free to be appalled if you like.)

After I got a custom order for a reflective inner tube belt, I started thinking how fun it would be to come up with a line of them for my Etsy shop. Cutting out each individual star was kind of a pain, and they weren’t as perfect as I would have liked. If only there was a punch for that….

I edged into the papercraft section at my local megacraftopolis. There in the heart of Martha Stewartdom®, I found snowflakes, baby handprints, flowers, curlicues, filigree leaves…. And finally an on-sale butterfly.

Continue reading