Sunday, November 15, 2009

It has been so long, and I am sorry!

So I got swamped with vacation travel and then my new job (which has put a permanent crimp on my crafting time) so I haven't been blogging either. And then I come on to see what I last blogged about and I see people have been looking at my blog and I am failing them! OH NO!! I must begin to blog again.

So in crafting news I am teaching Art to middle school students and I have no idea what I am doing. We have like no budget and not much in the supply department... not to mention the fact I craft not make art so I don't know if I should even be teaching this class... but at least the kids are having fun.

I have also gotten into paper crafting a little bit (though I still suck at it). I still crochet like there is no tomorrow (because according to some movies there is). I am working on a scarf, some Christmas presents, and maybe even another wearable. I do have a BIG flub-up to share but maybe later this week... I tried to make a really cute cardigan with a substituted yarn and did not think about drape or weight... oops!

Check out my Flickr for a few of my most recent (well more recent than here) projects, like my Toy Society Swap and Holocaust Butterflies.

I promise more soon and thanks to those of you who have stuck around waiting for me. I promise to be interesting soon... or at least posting more often. In the mean time check out my newest obsession for jewelry from Surly-Ramics on Etsy or ArtFire!! I have the Scientific Method one... so cute for a science teacher!

Monday, June 22, 2009

First Wearable Done!!

So I just finished blocking my first wearable for me!! It is not perfect (a BIG whole on one side because of too many stitches and one pineapple that is a little wonky) but I love it. Here are some pictures from blocking (one of me in it on vacay soon). I haven't blocked in a long time and it was a challenge but I think I did OK... especially without any special tools. The close up is of the pineapple pattern. I think it was very easy (but I think most patterns are easy by the end) and a great place to start with a first wearable. I might even make another Doris Chan design before the end of summer... but this one might be a swim cover-up.

Let me know what you think! I am currently working on a scarf, three shawls/wraps, a cardigan, and I am thinking about starting something else but not sure what. I hope to have at least two of these projects done for my trip... maybe more but who knows. I guess I should get back to work. More pictures later but I will be out for a while... next blog post will probably not happen for a month. Have a great month and happy crafting!

Monday, June 8, 2009

My first wearable: Part 1

I have been surfing the internet (and my extensive book collection) for a good first wearable
project for myself. I was thinking maybe a sweater or a dress but those are very ambition (read: takes a lot of yarn) so I choose a tank top instead. I found this on Knit and Crochet Today and decided it looked easy enough to try. I am making it in Lake (blue) Cotton Ease (50/50 cotton and acrylic) and so far I have just finished one skein.

It is going well. I have been working on it for about a week now (off and on but more like 2 days). I have frogged several times because I keep losing track. It is hard to pay attention and watch TV but it is not that hard if you focus. The pattern is available for free on the website and I think this is a very cute pattern for anyone. This show sometimes comes on different PBS stations. You can use their website to find a station. The instructions on the show are great to help you be successful with this project.

This is me in it so far. I am making a L/XL (same size on the pattern) and it is a little big on me without it being blocked... it is might be huge when I finish it. I am in the exploded pineapple repeat section. I hope to finish this this week and start my first real blocking project (well one this large). Tell me what you think!!

Happy crocheting!!!

Crochet Exchanges rock!

So I have been busy with my new group on Ravelry... The Crochet Exchange Club (CEC). It needs a little work but so far I love it. So I finally got to participate in one of the exchanges, the May Flower Swap. My partner sent me these beautiful roses, all made with handspun (and even dyed) yarn. She also included the really pretty stitch markers.

I made these roses, since she likes roses, but I don't think they are as nice as hers. I tried five different patterns and still love hers more. Oh well. I should be sending these out today. I hope she likes them.
Later I will show you a preview of my first crocheted wearable I am making for me! I have made wearables before but never for me. I want to make a ton this summer... since yarn is cheaper than clothes... but it all depends on how this project turns out. Oh, and two new books and a magazine review in the future!
Happy crafting!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Book Review: Creepy Cute Crochet

As you know I am mildly addicted to books and this is one of my new favorites. Ever since I found out I could make totally adorable little dolls with crochet I have been crazy for it and that is where this book comes in.

Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden

Mine is not as cool as the ones from her Etsy shop (she did not sign mine... boo). But it is still awesome! She has some incredible patterns for all kinds of unusual creatures to make into dolls. DH really wants a cthulhu (from Lovecraft and adorable) and one of my former students wants a Brotherhood of Steel (from Fallout 3) modded from one of the warrior patterns. There is just so much fun you can have with this.

Beyond everything being so cute, Christen is also a phenomenal pattern writer. Her patterns are simple enough a beginner could handle them (slowly but still) and she has great instructions on how to make eyes and the little accessories.

In my opinion assembly is the hardest part of toys but she has a step by step guide for each doll and she even includes drawings to help with placement and order. This is a great book to start off with when learning to make amigurumi or little crocheted dolls of any type since it is so user friendly.

I have actually been busy making some of the items from the book. Below is my belated (only by a week) V-day gift to DH... Day of the Dead Guy and Gal... we just got married last August so he wanted these to commemorate it. There was also a skeleton bride an groom but DH liked these better... I guess they seem more like us. So go out and check this book out at some point!

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No I haven't been here but...

I have been busy. I have some really yummy recipes to share with you (I know I don't often talk food here but I thought I might finally add my other obsession) and I have been crocheting up a storm. Plus I really want to start embroidering again. I didn't make it to Maker Faire this year (next year for sure) but I have lots of projects to share and some cool websites for you to look at .

Thanks for being patient with me. I will try my darnedest to keep up... at least until I go on vacay! TTYS!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Notta Cat Monster by Crafty Deb

I have been busy testing patterns and this is one of my favorites. This is a really cute softies of a... well Monster... but it is not a cat. He was really quick to work up and he is about 12" tall and could be a great toy for a little kid. If you would like the pattern it is available from Crafty Deb on her website. Here is the link just for this pattern. I have a feeling you will be seeing a lot more of her patterns in my blog soon. Enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

AW: my squares were featured on Pay it Forward

As some of you know (if you have been reading along) that I have done some charity work (I am starting slowly) and made a bunch of squares to send to a little girl in New Mexico for her school's Pay it Forward project. Well I finally checked and she featured me on her blog (I am the Benicia CA one). Here is the pic she used (aren't the blocks pretty?). Now I just need to share some of my other work with y'all. Hopefully, I will get around to that soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Book Review: Blueprint Crochet

I love books, maybe even more than I love crafting but I can't be sure. I am going to add to my crafting madness here by including reviews of my favorite crochet and crafting books. We will start with a new jewel!!

Blueprint Crochet by Robyn Chachula

My hubby just bought me this book because he wants me to work on sweaters for me and thought some of these were very cute and structural (which I love). It also to be written by one of my all-time crochet designer Robyn Chachula. The book includes lots of really architectural designs (lots of math and science-y looking stuff) but it is all done through symbols!!! Symbols work so much better for me than actual instructions it is insane. I actually find that I don't even try most difficult patterns if they don't have symbols and diagrams to help. I am a very visual person so I need that kind of support (and I am sure other people need it too).

I really want to make everything in this book but especially the Sarah Bee Dress and the Katie Bolero. The book is totally worth the $23 if you want cute structural wearables. Check out Robyn's blog to find out more about this book and her other work (linked to the book title). I can't wait to share some of the things I make with this book!!! Oh and the cover is so cute too!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blog Facelift: courtesy of Jannypie!

So if you have been following the blog (or even if you haven't) you might notice it is really cute now and much more reader-friendly. Well I have been looking at the blog wondering why no one seems to want to read it, and it is very likely because I don't blog that often. However, I also thought the look was a little lacking. I know that a cute blog does not equal an interesting blog but at least I am trying. So I changed the regular blog background and colors and then added a header image from a lapghan I am currently working on, cute huh? But what about the really 'sweet' detail on the outside? Well that is courtesy of Jannypie. Check out her website for free blog backgrounds and lots of other over all cuteness. Thanks Jannypie for the wonderful new look!! I hope it means my posts will be more interesting... well we will see ;).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Finally a finished Paisley Skies Scarf

So yes I did finish it (I am still weaving in some ends but on the most part it is done). I adapted the paisley pattern from one I found online (Patti had them available to see here). I really like the colors and how they work together. In the end I edged it with a modified pattern from a book (150 Crochet Trims). It is called an iris stitch but I like how it looks a little changed. I took the pictures pretty quick so they are not great but I hope you get the idea. The first one is me wearing it (and boy is that not flattering) and the second is just a closeup of the end of the scarf. I am currently filling the white spaces between paisleys (the gaps) and weaving in ends but it is war, and I love how quirky it is. Enjoy!

Wow I am not photogenic but the scarf still looks good. Below is the end of the scarf showing the detailing. I used our Peruvian fabric as a background (isn't it pretty?).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Freeform: Part 1

As it is NatCroMo I am trying my hand at freeform crochet for the the first time. We are working off themes each time and our first these is 'A is for Apple.' I took this to inspire my yarn and overall look. I used a kitchen ww cotton in green and a mixed mohair in rainbow together to get this effect.

I then crocheted a sort of flower (it is time for apple blossoms) and I really like what I got. I used a I hook and it turned out an ok size. I actually really like the results and am not sure i want to add anything to it but I will try for more when more is posted. Enjoy!

Happy NatCroMo!!

March is NatCroMo (also IntCroMo) which is celebrated all over the country (and world) both IRL and online. I have decided to celebrate this year in a couple of ways. I am going to blog everyday (or as close as possible) about crochet, charity work, crafting, and learning about crochet. I am doing several things this month to celebrate, including: taking two classes online at crochetville, participatine in my first freeform on ravelry, and starting some charity work (probably Project Linus but I don't know yet). I will keep you all up-to-date with that. In fact, later today (if it actually happens) I will post about the two patterns I have tested and some other projects I am working on. Please feel free to check out the information on both Ravelry and Crochetville.

Oh and Happy NatCroMo!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Finally some finished objects

So what has it been? A month? Well almost and I have been away crafting and dealing with life (so not fair that it interferes with my crafting). I have been crocheting a lot (and a little quilting but we will get to that in another post). During my crocheting I found a wonderful site called Ravelry! I think I am in love (and my husband is a little jealous). Well, while on it I found a charity project called Pay It Forward where a little girl in New Mexico is collecting crocheted and knitted squares and making blankets for children who need them for her school's community project. She has a blog here. Below you can see the squares I contributed (you can find all of them on my ravelry page).

I have also been working on some scarves and an afghan or two. Later today I hope to also blog about my v-day/six month anni decor... everything was made from what I had around and set up in one day. Well happy crafting and I hope to have more for you later!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh I love penguins...

Now that I have come back to the world of crafting I am making stuffed toys and loving it. In fact, I just finished my first amigurumi (well proper one... I made animals before but never ones that really looked like anything). I made penguin and totally skipped steps (I am so bad with patterns but I think it turned out great. I got the pattern from Tiny Yarn Animals. After making the penguin J found a book of different creatures, like vampires and zombies, he wants me to make for him. I got it from the library and fell in love with Creepy Cute Crochet, which I will post pics of as soon as I finish a few. Ok back to crocheting!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What I am working on....

So I have two big projects going on right now (I still need to show you what I did for Christmas but it will come). I am making a new crochet bag because mine is just not cutting it and I am trying to make a scarf for the Vanna White Yarn Contest (I really want the money and recognition).

Here is the bag pattern (from Lion Brand yarns, which you may need to join to see the pattern). I am making it much larger and adding an extra row of pockets around the top. I am also doing it in a yarn that is a mix of browns and blues. I love it but it is taking a long time. I also hope to reinforce it with plastic on the bottom to hold better.

I am trying to make either a fractal scarf or a paisley scarf for the Vanna White competition. I found the paisley motif here. I just thought it might be fun but it is proving a wee bit problematic. I have only made one so far (pic below and that is my iPod touch for a size comparison) and I had a hard time with the small hook splitting the yarn. Maybe a bigger hook but then it will be a huge scarf. Hmm... must think on this. But what do you think about the colors and the paisley itself. Cool or not?

Oh and I am doing two monthly Crochet-alongs (CAL) on different websites. I am doing a block of the month on Craftster and a scarf of the month on I hope to keep this up and maybe hugely increase my stash of gifts. Neither one is started but I hope to do both by the end of the month. Oh and read four books.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A change of direction

So I started this with the idea of just doing projects from "found objects" meaning leftovers meals and crafting with remainders but I haven't been good to my plan of that but I have been crafting. So I decided to switch directions here. I will still do some "found objects" posts but now will focus on my crafts and what I have been up to. There is so much I have been doing and I want to share but have just been leaving out that I wanted to change this direction to share those ideas and crafts. Also I hope this will help people to actually read the blog and to help me to blog more often. I will start next time with my Christmas crafts and then some useful websites.

Happy Crafting!