Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crochet Uncut Spring 2010 contest ends TOMORROW...

I have 2 Etimo contests going right now. The Crochet Uncut contest ends tomorrow!! Technically it ends today as the drawing is going to be tomorrow. RUN on over to Crochet Uncut for details. Hurry it's not too late. Just a reminder, here's a picture of the prize, which includes a size H Etimo hook, Speedgauge, 2 skeins of Caron spa for making the spa items designed by the editor of Crochet Uncut, Darlisa Riggs and a silk project bag. All you have to do is read the issue and make a comment about it. Simple and it's a "win-win" proposition!!Good luck and happy crocheting!!

Instant doll quilt...

And cheap too! Take one quilted pillow sham, which I found on one of my thrifting forays, add or rather subtract the backing by cutting & tearing it away. Launder. DONE!! Just add a doll for almost instant, no sew fun!! Incidentally, this sham was hand quilted by the way...how wonderful!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sculptors may have invented green "crafting" ....

O.K. not really, but sculptors who make art from junk yard castoffs have been around for a mighty long time, way before the mainstream population was talking about recycling & going "green". So hats off to you sculptors who are pioneers in the world of "green art".

How cute is this junkyard gator? I love him! He's made of metal parts from various & sundry pieces of machinery & cars and his body is a huge piece of driftwood. This is one gator I'd welcome in my yard.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Read Petite Purls & get hooked on Etimo for FREE....

I'm having a giveaway on the Petite Purls blog!! What better way to celebrate National Crochet Month than with a complete set of Etimo hooks. Winner will get a choice of the regular or steel set.

I'm also celebrating green crafting, in conjunction with the Petite Purls spring issue which is all about being "green". So in honor of repurposing, I am also adding a gently used Liz Claiborne purse that will make an ideal project bag. During my forays at thrift shops & garage sales,I am always on the lookout for handbags that can double as  crafty organizers and this one fills the bill completely.  It has an ample bottom gusset that allows it to sit firmly upright so one can work from the bag, without it tipping over. There are also several pockets & zippered sections in the purse for securing those gadgets and whatnots. Not only does this bag look great but it will serve you well at your next knit & crochet get together.

Finally, the remaining yarn from which I made one of the Maggie Bean dolls is included, along with my leftover Kool-aid for some dyeing fun. The yarn was unraveled from a cream colored wool sweater and dyed various colors to make Lou, Maggie Beans big sister. Read more about it in my pattern from the same issue, Maggie Bean & Friends.

Disclaimer: Warning Kool-aid dyeing and harvesting yarn from unraveled sweaters are both highly addictive. Proceed at your own risk.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I LOVE this guy....

He cracks me up with his creative multimedia antics and his witticisms! Don't just take my word for it, YOU be the judge...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Folk artsy craftmanship...

Trivet to basket in 2 seconds flat! I love this piece; love that it converts from one useful thing to another, love how it folds flat for storage, REALLY love how someone took a piece of wood, made a continuous spiral cut and lo and behold we have a basket!

I could write a sonnet...

about your (tiny) Easter bonnet! This is cute and I want to make some. It's made out of shrunken styrofoam cups. Isn't it adorable?
Here you see Paddy O'Possum trying it on for size, just so you can get an idea about the scale. Please use care when making these, don't want anyone burned. Plus, I'm not so sure about fumes either. Maybe I can pick up a garage sale toaster oven to be used only for this and of course Sculpey & Fimo crafting. Yes, that's the very thing, let me put that on my list.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sew much fun.....

A friend of mine asked me to make some First Communion veils. Oh my goodness, what a FUN project! Consider this; carte blanche`, "the sky's the limit" use of lots & lots of tulle, ribbon, silk flowers, a few rhinestones, lace...what's not to love?! The fluffier and more cream puff the better. I am so in touch with my inner princess,(or Queen as it were).

Oh & the sewing part...simple! My wedding veil was pricey and it was short. Nevermind what the Cathdral length veil costs. Y'all, veils are labor intensive but they are so simple to make, SO simple!! Straight cuts are essential, but that is easily done with a cutting matt and rotary cutter. In my opinion, it's the edging or lack thereof that makes or breaks the design, be it a veil for a little girl or a bride. I prefer a finished edge and finished mine on the sewing machine. But they could have just as easily been rolled & sewn by hand, while watching TV, as long as the light is good. I happen to enjoy handsewing at times.
Wish I could see one of these on a little girl but alas I only have my crochet covered styrofoam ball on a candle stand for a model; handy but not very exciting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Does the surgeon general know about this....

This is serious, if you or a loved one has experienced sudden weight gain from mailing packages at the Post Office, cupcakes may be to blame. Huh? I'll draw you a map. I am at point A. The Post Office is located about 340 feet away to the east, at point C. In between point A & point C is point B upon which is located the alluring Something Sweet Bakeshop. I pass it coming and going when I walk across to the post office. I've had a lot of posting to do of late. I ask you, how could I resist all of the sweet loveliness that is the bakery? Not to mention that the owners are "sweet loveliness" in their own right. So helpful & willing to make custom orders just right for any occasion! I'm a huge fan, (and i mean this literally).

Seriously, remember this precious little bakery that I blogged about back in December? Well they are all decked out for spring and it's a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Look at these sugar egg diaramas. My crafty Mom used to make these every year. I'm so happy to see that these have not been forgotten. Don't you just love peeking into tiny little worlds?? I LOVE this shop!!

Incidentally, Dr Benjamin, our lovely surgeon general probably already knows about this...she's from our gulf coast area.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Petite Purls issue not so PETITE...

Happy almost spring y'all! And what a way to celebrate with a fresh new "Green" issue of Petite Purls. Oh my goodness, talk about cuteness in gargantuan proportions!! Have you seen the spring 2010 issue of the online magazine Petite Purls? There are well over EIGHTEEN patterns/howtos in this issue, if you count the tutorials and instructions in the features area as well! One would be hardpressed to choose a favorite. And talk about "mult-media", suffice it to say that I am in multi-crafting heaven. Knitting, crochet, sewing, dyeing, weaving....LOVE it!!

But let's start with the cover. I can't say enough about the "little man" on the cover. And what an adorable grown-up hat, just like Daddy's. Would you believe it's made of old t-shirts?? And the photo composition...this is definately not your usual "say cheese!" picture. Instead I found myself being drawn in by the model's position and the guitar he's holding. I wanted to see more.

Speaking of the models and the photography. WOW! Children are always cute to me but again, these pictures were so artfully arranged. They make me want to queue the entire magazine. Who doesn't love a smiling baby but serious faced babies are especially cute to me. So innocent & full of wonder.

As for the "green" aspect of the projects, this issue encompasses a myriad of techniques & materials. Some of the yarns are processed from sustainable items such as corn. Wow, can you imagine? I will never look at an ear of corn in the same way. And of course a baby friendly favorite, cotton, organically grown of course. And recycled cotton yarn as well. Then there are the yarns dyed with safe and fun Kool-aid, a personal favorite.

Last but not least are the "tarn" projects...for those who don't know, "tarn" is yarn made out of old t-shirts. And no, it is not made in a factory. Rather it can be simply made at home and tutorials for this procedure are all over the internet. Frankly, this tarn tickles me. Does anyone in America NOT have a drawer full of old t-shirts? You know you do. This not only speaks to my thrifty nature but also my sentimental side, which is quite abundant. Along the same vein as quilt making, the tarn allows the person to create usable yarn from t-shirts with a history. What about those t-shirts you got on your honeymoon or a family vacation, or from a road race and so on? Or what about the t-shirts your baby has outgrown? This history just adds a sentimental aspect to the piece you create with the tarn.

In case it has not been made abundantly clear this issue is so inspirational and educational. There is an article on HOW to pick a "green" yarn, valuable advice in the world labeling. This issue even has sewing, crochet & dying tutorials for the well-rounded crafter or for those wishing to expand their crafting horizons.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the editors; Allegra Wermuth, Brandy Fortune & Joan Beebe. My goodness what an accomplished group of ladies, each talented designers in their own right. It was such a pleasure and honor to work with them. They work so hard behind the scenes to bring about the wonderfully slick e-zine that is Petite Purls. Thank you ladies!!                                        

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Erin go bragh....

Happy St. Patrick's day everyone!! When I lived in Savannah, this was a huge day!! It still is big in my world! What a wonderful feast day for a wonderful Saint from a wonderful country! I just hope that the weather is better in Savannah, Georgia than it is here....don't want any soggy parade weather. Not today!

What I remember most about St. Pat's day was being out of school & attending the parade downtown. All of the squares in Savannah were a riot of color from all of the azalea's blooming in March. To this day, I associate azalea's with St. Patrick. I know, he used the Shamrock for his ministry but still...


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Someone mails me a giant hairball & I'm happy for HOURS...

Seriously. What started as a little experimentation with some fiber I got from the Sheep Shed and Desert Garden Farms morphed into a full evenings' worth of entertainment for me. I've been reading a lot about dolls made out of all natural materials; wool stuffing & hair, cotton "skin" and so on and decided that I want to make one too!

Thanks to the internet & friends like Jennifer at Desert Garden Farms & wonderful vendors like the Sheep Shed, I am on my way to creating my very own Waldorf-type doll. I will be using the fiber they sent me for stuffing as well as some of the brownish mill ends for hair. I'll probably use some of my Tumbleweed batt from Jennifer for hair as well. Now all I need is the cotton stockinette, which has been ordered but has been slow to get to me. Then I need to order outer skin material & I'll be cookin'.

In the meantime, I couldn't help but experiment a little last night. So I took some of the Desert Garden fiber & made a basic shape for the bear. Then I needle felted the grayish colored fiber over it and filled in the face.

Did I happen to mention that I worked on this the entire evening?! And I've got some deadlines looming! Not to worry if you to whom I owe projects is reading this, they are well on the way to completion. Sometimes it's nice to have a break.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Real knits for a virtual baby shower...

Another reason why I love Ravelry. I got to attend a baby shower in Alaska, in the comfort & warmth of my own latitude and longitude. A bunch of us "online friends" from Desert Garden Farms group on Ravelry threw a baby shower for a fellow group member. We all knitted, crocheted, sewed or purchased items for the soon to be born baby and mailed them to the mother. She in turn has uploaded pictures so we could "oooohhhh& aaaahhhh" over all of the precious baby things.

Here are my gifts;
An improvised 1 piece sweater, my favorite pacifier clip by Susan B. Anderson from "Itty Bitty Nursery" and a cotton Baby Coccoon Set by Sandy Powers, for all those adorable baby pictures. Improvised cotton bibs
and some colorful spring yarn for "Mom".



Friday, March 5, 2010

Wake up, it's time to celebrate...

Yay! It's March, that means SPRING!!Always worthy of celebration!!March also brings with it "National Crochet Month"! There are observances all over the net, including a CAL with the CGOA and all over Ravelry. And what better medium to use for making cute, springy totes, transition scarves & shawls than lacy crochet. But hey, we've got something else to celebrate. After a lengthy hiatus the editor of Crochet Uncut, Darlisa Riggs is BACK & has "hit the ground running". Welcome back, Dalisa! You were sorely missed!!

Now in celebration of spring, Crochet Month, Darlisa's return and all things crochet in general; Darlisa & I are offering a contest. Details for the contest can be found in the Spring 2010 issue. The contest prize will include the 2 skeins of yarn for the bath mitt & cloth project designed by Darlisa & found in the current issue, an Etimo hook in the size required for the project, an embroidered silk project tote and other goodies. I'll post some detailed pictures in the very near future. Until then, Happy Crocheting & TGIF!!

Oh & even though it is called "National" Crochet Month, this contest is not limited to people living in the United States. So to all our buddies and fellow crocheters around the world, welcome!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My collection is COMPLETE...

(for the time being, anyway)
Don't know why it's taken me so long to complete my set of Susan B. Anderson books, as I LOVE the other two!! Perhaps it's because I've been doing some design work and didn't want to inadvertantly copy her brilliantly cute ideas. And/or maybe because  I haven't had time with all of my own work to even entertain the notion of knitting something other than my assignments. Who knows...But suffice it to say that this book is exactly what I thought it would be...BRILLIANT, WONDERFUL, CREATIVE, SWEET and generally AWESOME!!!

Susan has such a lovely, friendly, relaxed  way about her, which is so evident in her books as well as her two blogs. I love how she shares tidbits about her family and how she is proud of them without being boastful. From where I sit, she has a lot to be proud of, they seem like wonderful children.

This book is a crowning achievement in my eyes, as I have a special bias towards toys, especially "stuffed animal" type toys & dolls. And did I happen to mention that the giraffe is my most favorite African animal!! I'd love to sit down & knit the entire Itty Bitty collection, start to finish. And here's the selfish part...they'd be all MINE!! "Hands off kiddo's, these are my toys!!" Seriously, every child (or child at heart),in America needs something knitted from this book. But alas, I have "projects up the wah-zoo" that need to get done, so for now I'll just thumb through the book when my hands are taking a break and dream of future babies playing with these wonderful toys!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Serendipity Saturday...

I wasn't necessarily looking for a pink theme when I stopped by the bay to take photos but that's what I got...