I’ve been having a lot of fun carving my own stamps since my class with Jane LaFazio. I decided to make a stamp from the wave pattern I used for my last needle lace design. I’m thrilled with the results.
I’m digging the rubber stamp carved “chatter” inside the waves – I tried to let this flow while I was carving instead of doing a full excavation. (There were so many unintended puns in there that my fingers got sparked off the keyboard for a second. Unintended y’all, I promise.)
I especially like seeing the end products next to the pattern. So different when it’s transferred to ink on page vs. needle laced. If you’re digging that, wait til you see what’s next!
So I really like metallic and silk thread…and they’re very finicky. I think Seahorse Dude is kind of gnarly as a result, which makes sense when you think about his time underwater in the ocean…moving on…
Earlier today…I was getting a smog-check on my car next to a craft store…so I spent my time wisely.
It’s fun to see my rubber stamp patterns come to life in stitching!
In my free time (ha!) I’m working on the Crochet Along (CAL) I mentioned earlier. It’s a fun color palette, soft yarn, and a supreme challenge working through a pattern from a new crocheter every week (we get a new pattern each Wednesday with the plan to work up four squares – I’m two weeks behind everyone else so far – so, right on target!).
It’s the first time I’ve taken crochet blocking seriously…though there was that crazy crochet snowflake season when I realized they would only work as possible presents/snowflakes when they were blocked and starched. It involved the stove, a bulls-eye target-looking printout from the internet, one trillion pins and some unfortunate craft bead dye-bleeding (which looked as tragic as it sounds – those snowflakes are in the pile called “Never Throw It Away Because You Might Want to Use it Some Day”).
So that was traumatic and I vowed to never block again. Except on week two of the CAL I was turning out some fun trapezoid shapes that didn’t seem destined for any afghan pattern I have ever seen (or would want to crochet), so I decided to block.
Here’s what the unblocked rascals look like:
NOTE: It’s taking longer than I thought for those squares to dry…or maybe I need better blocking techniques. I’m expecting company soon so I unpinned those blue squares this morning to try to clear the area…and they quickly started shrinking right up. Hmmm…. re-pinned those suckers post-haste and am considering heat treatment. Nah – too extreme. Will unpin again soon and hope the gods of crochet connection will solve this problem for me.
This weekend I took another wonderful class with Jane LaFazio and I’m having a great time finishing my small art quilt. Following Jane’s suggestion I took this opportunity to commemorate a fun trip in an art quilt. My family was fortunate enough to visit Turkey a few years ago and I *just almost* finished the scrapbook from the trip. So I raided the box of leftover souvenirs and I’m creating this art quilt as a final homage and memory creation of that travel experience.
Jane taught us how to incorporate paper and cloth into our base quilt, then we began embellishing each quilt square in anticipation of putting them back together again. Here’s a few shots of my WIP…(I’ve wondered more than once how this will all come together, but I’m seeing it now and getting more and more excited with each finished square and re-working of the pattern).
I’ll share finished product when I get there.
Making and crafting to my heart’s content and hoping the same for you…
I have WIPs, I have Done Stuff and I’m signed up for more – yippee!
Signed up for More…
Through a friend I made at the Art and Soul Retreat (who doesn’t live locally) I found an artist and teacher who DOES live locally – right here in San Diego!! I’m beyond excited and even though she offers online classes that look awesome, I’ve signed up for three in-person classes to learn some new skills.
I’m signed up for these in-person classes over the next month:
Stamp Design & Carving
City Block Art Quilt
Abstract Collage with Gelli Plates for Mono Printing
These are some art techniques I’ve been wanting to learn more about so I’m delighted and thrilled to have the opportunity to take some all-day classes with an artist. Of course I’ll share pics of my learnings!!
At my last machine sewing class I made a small zipper bag. I love first attempts because of their history…and yet, so much to learn about elegant machine zipper stitching…it’s kinda wrinkly…
I’m not sure how I feel about stitching zippers. I need to stitch more to have a valid opinion. I’m slightly afraid of stitching more…and so I must. (P.S. My attempts in class to stitch a button hole sent my sewing machine to the hospital, but good news! It’s fixed and ready to sew another seam…and zipper…and, uhm, gulp, buttonhole? I better check youtube first…)
I want to add that I took my tote bag to the local pet store on tonight’s dog walk (along with my zipper bag, which carried my credit card, DL and phone) and everything fit in my tote bag for the walk home: big bag of dog food, other sausage things we add to his food and my zipper bag). I want to make a million more…tote bags. 🙂
This pattern is inspired by a blogger who I happened to find as inspiration in early 2015, and I’m happy to commemorate her contributions in this CAL. The colors are blueish-green and yummy and I can’t wait to get started.
Found on a Dog Walk
We found this tiny creation on the sidewalk y’all (thumb included for size reference).
At first glance it might look like it’s made from a paperclip (that’s what I thought), but it has a silver tag that suggests soldering, so now I’m intrigued…and inspired to write a haiku (lucky you!)…
It was on the ground Silver treble and bass clef Left for me and you?
WIPs (Works In Progress)
OK – enough poetry posturing. It was fun while it lasted and I’m going to save that little silver creation for one of my future art works. (I think it might get sewn onto my “City Block Art Quilt”!)
In the meantime, I’m off to work on my newest needle lace pattern…
Let me know if you have any cool zipper bag patterns I can try and/or if you sign up for the CAL.
These are fun and fairly quick to work up (despite the fact that I’m not done yet…need supplies…and rest 🙂 ). Aside: I’ve found it challenging and sometimes tiring to learn new techniques in new media every week. It’s been a great way to spend my sabbatical, but I definitely couldn’t jump around like this on a regular basis.
So first, the semi-end products:
Turns out I am a tight weaver coming out of the gate. It doesn’t seem to matter what project – if I’m weaving I’m pulling and holding things tight. I don’t think this is a good strategy all the time…so I’m working on it. In this case, there was a weight pulling the bracelet down through the loom, so I should have just let it do its’ job. I didn’t realize this until the end of the first bracelet (which was the silk ribbon one). Also, I’m not a fan of the big beads that line the ribbon bracelet…I have skinny wrists and these seem pretty big in scale for me. The smaller beads I could use on the silk cord (which is called “rattail” for enquiring minds) suited me better. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what size cord I used in the store to fit inside those beads (p.s. I still had to cut the ends of the cord at an angle then glue them into points before stringing on the beads…not the easiest part of the project.)
Here are some close-ups of the process, in case you’re not familiar.
So I need to glue on end caps, use O-rings to attach magnets and put on tassels. I have the teacher’s email address if things get weird. 🙂
I’m looking into buying spools of this silk cord because I feel like I can’t get enough of this kumihimo weaving. It’s very meditative and I really enjoy it. Plus I love finishing projects within a few hours/days (so different from usual crochet projects).
I read a post last week about mandalas by a blogger friend that got me thinking (check out this Hooked! post for an amazing mandala by Amy Le Pelley…she made a clock out of a mandala y’all – genius!!). She also talks about doing a mandala in off-white colors for a baby gift – which also strikes me as genius (patent pending for Amy!!).
She encouraged me to post some pictures of mandalas I have sewn, so I staged a photo shoot today (after several evenings of: “Damn, it’s too dark to take good pictures now. Maybe tomorrow morning…” followed by wash/rinse/repeat until today – breaking the cycle and following the light!).
These are all sewn following this pattern by ZootyOwl (Thank you ZootyOwl!) and using Finca Perle No. 8.
Poor things aren’t blocked yet – they’re stuck in WIP mode and I stretched them across a stepping stone for a photo shoot.
There’s only a week to go until my art retreat, which coincides with my deadline for the cross stitch project as well as a lot of work-at-work to get ready for being away. So I’m already tired and ready for some shut eye but got some good progress in this weekend on the cross stitch.
I’m regretting my choice to bust my thread stash for this because I didn’t have enough of some key colors, which slowed things down. Plus I didn’t always guess right (proven by a run to the thread store for extras – I forced myself to compare each thread color to see how far off I was). There are only a handful of colors that don’t match the pattern palette, but I think my choices will work out. We’ll spend just one sentence talking about how much stitching and unstitching I did on Sunday. (That was it.) I learned not to work too far ahead with a color just because it’s on the needle. I can only count so far on blank aida cloth apparently.
But a fuzzy ducky head feels like progress indeed. Maybe I’ll get up early and do tonight’s stitching in the morning (…prolly not…).
It’s a slow crafting week here as I get ready for some time off from work (that always requires prep, planning and the dreaded IT documentation).
I’m imagining a present for Marge that involves some of the buttons she gave me attached to aida cloth with shisha stitches. More to come on that (I’m going to try sketching out my design first then creating it in stitch – working on creating my own patterns.)
And here’s my progress on the hooded baby towel:
I can see some shapes forming, but I’m questioning some of my “in-stash” color choices and I’m also out of some of the main colors I randomly assigned. I probably should have bought the yellow’s, at the very least – there’s a lot of that color. But I still have faith that the outline stitches will bring it together (plus a trip to the store for more thread!). WIP for sure!
It’s really hard for me to continue on free form patterns not knowing what the outcome will be – I get kind of hung up on the intended end result and whether this path will actually get me there. I think that’s a first hurdle to overcome – probably best achieved with lots of experimentation.
I’m participating in a photography posting project for the next 40 days with another favorite (Texan) blogger I follow, Karen Walrond on Chookooloonks. The call is to post pics of light for the next 40 days and tag them: #40daysoflight (oh lookie – she’s here in SD tonight for a speaking engagement – fun!). So here’s today’s shot from my garden this morning:
The name of this flower surprises me anew every time I remember it – so seemingly incongruous. But you can see a glimpse of the huge green stem these things come from (in the background) – all xylem and phloem and really juicy. Then there’s the begonia leaves themselves, which are each bigger than your hand (I don’t care who you are) and are just as thick and juicy as the stems. So I get it. But still…what a name…
Anywho’s, the light was striking and I was happy to catch all those little yellow stamen/pistil guys perched among the pink butterflies.
Today I got a fun treat in the mail from my bestie!
God bless the postal service, for it brings us all the mistakes we make on amazon with a bottle of wine, all the impetuous ebay purchases (only do “Buy It Now,” the rest is way too stressful – tho I do know a Ninja Expert in this space), and (most importantly!!) FRIEND LOVE. Keep sending those snail mails, friends. Nothing beats a hand-addressed envelope from a friend in the mailbox to brighten things up. (amiright? canigetanamen?) P.S. To all my friends and family reading this, I promise to do better on this front. Ahem and amen.
And Now for the Cross Stitch!!!
This part actually includes love and light too, so it all works out! I’ve just started working on a present for a friend with a new baby and boy, have I messed this up in the past (remember the Mother Goose cross stitch blanket I started 100 years ago? That child is starting kindergarten in August and the blanket is *maybe* halfway done. It was clearly destined for an entirely different child. Maybe I’m involved in some time travel here…stories needle workers tell themselves…). In fact, I found that same pattern at the store this time around, for $45. Did I actually pay that and expect to get done in this century?! I noticed the other (simpler) patterns nearby were half the price. Ah youth (Or “yute,” depending on where you’re from – it’s about 1:20 in – such a fave.).
So I went to one store that had great patterns and no supplies – so I bought a pattern book for bibs, expecting to buy some bibs at the next store. Then I went to the next store, that had great supplies and so-so patterns – so I bought a blank cross-stitch hooded towel and a monkey. Let me explain.
So there’s THIS cute monkey guy, who’s actually going to sport the baby’s name on his bib without actually BEING a bib…get it? I don’t either, but I couldn’t imagine myself using a hand cross-stitched bib to feed my baby all the dribble that ends up spilling right back out. It’s a nice idea, but would they really use it? Would it turn into a hand-washing nightmare that never sees the light of day? I remember the drudgery and confusion that was high chair mealtime and I can’t imagine bringing a hand-stitched item into the mix. The other stuffed animal was a peacock, so clearly I made the best choice for the audience.
Then there’s the hooded baby towel. No picture of that yet because it’s all white and lacking stitching and a cute baby. But here’s the fun part so far: I decided to forage for the embroidery thread colors in my stash instead of buying “all materials needed.” So I may run out of some colors (and it kind of exhausted me to find the equivalents of everything that might/hopefully go together in my meager stash; then I got distracted by netflix again, this time: “Slow Learners.” I tried to work through it but the facial expressions needed tending to…so I lost another 1.5 hours). But here’s what’s happening tomorrow!
I also purchased some white terry cloth to sew into the hood, to cover up my ends and protect his precious little head. At the cutting table I had the brilliant idea to use the extra for a matching wash cloth. How cute can I make that?!?!?! First things first. And if the towel doesn’t work out (for this particular blessed small being), I always have the monkey…and the promise of more small beings down the road. Did I mention I have two weeks to complete? I CAN DO THIS (I’m so bad at estimating projects!!).