Friday, April 29, 2011

Granny progress...

57 squares. I'm getting there. And as folks have often said before me, they are addicting!
TGIF y'all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Riding the granny train...

Confessions of a crocheter

As much as I crochet I have NEVER completed a granny square project, NEVER! And isn’t the granny square the epitome of crochet? It certainly was the thing in the 70’s.

I halfheartedly began a granny square project a while back but those few completed squares have long been discarded. I was trying to mix and match different squares and just lost interest.
With the resurgence of granny square popularity, (did they really ever go out of style?), I am jumping on the granny square bandwagon and am LOVING it! Rather than repeat the mistake of the past by trying too intricate a design, I am working my squares in basic granny stitches, (3 dc, ch 1). This will hopefully spur me on to finish thereby encouraging me to revisit the more intricate design combinations afterwards.

Monday, April 25, 2011

This is REALLY cute...

Sock Monkey Blanket I might just have to make one of these!

Hope you all had a nice Easter weekend!!
Fairhope St

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A project to make for your golfing buddies...

Freelance designing for Coats & Clark is always fun & exciting. My crocheted Poodle Golf Club Cover  & Gopher Golf Club Cover are out now on the Redheart website!

And since I don't have the photo of the golf club covers yet and forgot to snap a picture before mailing the finished cover, I will leave you with a colorful gratuitous crochet photo. These were crocheted from a pattern by Carolyn Christmas entitled "Elf Slippers" . This is such a fun, fast & easy to follow pattern and is a great warm weather project.
elfshoes on line

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mini Easter basket DIY and another FO...

mini basket and egg diorama

Mini Easter basket directions

Oval beads
Easter basket grass
Tiny basket
Glue (I used hot glue)
1/8 “ wide ribbon

Place small amount of glue in bottom of basket. Press a small bit of grass into the glue. Add oval beads. Embellish with small bow. DONE!

SL385277egg inside closeup
Inside view of my second egg diorama. 

oblique 2
Oblique  view. I used one of my egg stands for this one.

Tomorrow I will demonstrate how to tie super tiny bows.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Other craftiness...

While this is supposedly a knitting/crocheting blog, it certainly doesn't appear to be so lately. First of all, my knitting and crocheting projects of late are all assignments so I can't show them yet. Secondly, it's spring and Easter is coming and I have always had crafty interests that center around these themes, hence all of the blown egg and decoupage tutorials.

While I'm on the subject of other-craftiness, have you seen THIS?? I adore this blog and this cardboard doll house is so cute and so do-able thanks to Beth's well done photo tutorial. I'm guessing that I'll be trying my hand at one of these in the future.

Now, since it's been a while here's a...
Gratuitous knitting  photo ~ 
The World Purse
Make Mine a Double cocktail purse, needle felted to resemble the Earth, complete with a cartographer's north arrow. Just the thing for Earth Day.

Happy spring, happy crafting!

Easter egg diorama

Remember the sugar egg dioramas? They were very popular when I was a young girl. My mother used to make beautiful eggs. I loved gazing into the miniature springtime world that she created inside these eggs. Well I'm not very good with decorator frosting and such but I can cut out paper, glue & decoupage so here's my version using blown out chicken eggs.

Blown eggs,cleaned & dry (see previous post for instruction links)
Victorian Easter card images printed on card stock
Sharp scissors
tissue paper
large stiff paintbrush
clear coat spray
Small amounts of ribbon, lace & trim for outside of egg
Hot glue
Bamboo skewer or chop stick

Carefully blow eggs taking proper sanitation precaution as discussed here.
Enlarge the hole at the small end of the egg. With very sharp small scissors, cut away shell to form a 1" diameter opening in the egg. Set aside to dry.

Decorate outside with tissue paper decoupage, paint or dye. Let dry.

Find Victorian Easter images in clip art. Scale images to no more than 1". Print on card stock & carefully cut out using very sharp small scissors.
Make certain to leave extra margin at the bottom of the image. This will be folded up in order that the image will be free-standing.
cutout standing up
Use egg carton to hold egg in place leaving both hands free for inserting cutout . Try dry fitting image inside of egg first in order to check for fit.
use egg carton to hold egg while gluing
If the size and fit are right place hot glue on the bottom inside of the egg and carefully arrange the image in the glue inside the egg, using tweezers or bamboo skewer to aid in the placement of the image. Press down for a few seconds to set. Add a tiny bit of shredded tissue paper or Easter grass and miniature silk flowers, egg shaped beads, etc for additional embellishments.
Sorry about the bad image here, but you get the idea.

Add final touches such as a lace or braid around the opening and small silk flowers or bows on the top.
diorama side view
inside view 2

Set egg on stand or in this case a Coke bottle top, which works fine but looks rough. Needs some paint.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Rabbit Decoration DIY in 3 versions...

If you are like me and have various and sundry craft supplies and a few brown paper bags laying around then this craft may not cost you ANY additional money. Even if you have to purchase materials, they are super inexpensive and fun.

The basis for this project is layers of brown paper glued together to form stiffened material from which rabbit-shaped cutouts are made. These decorations can be used on egg trees, as gift tags, Easter garland or various other decoration applications.

The 3 style versions are verdigris, cracked leather & plain.
3 versions

Version 1 ~ Verdigris Rabbit
Verdigris RabbitLayering brown paper for stiffness & adding turquoise paint & soot give this rabbit the patina look of oxidized metal.

Brown craft paper or brown paper bag(s)
White glue such as Elmer’s
Large stiff bristled paint brush
Turquoise acrylic paint
Paper towels
Thick paper or cardboard for making pattern template
Optional Tweezers for holding piece while burning the glue
Matt clear finish spray, (such as Krylon clear coat)
Ribbon for bow

Step 1: Make pattern template by tracing rabbit silhouette onto card stock or thin cardboard. Cut out and set aside.

Step 2: Cut brown paper into 6 (or more) squares about 1 “ wider and 1” taller than the pattern template.
cut paper larger then template
Step 3: Using the brush or your fingers, spread a layer of white glue evenly across entire brown paper square. Immediately lay 2nd square on top and smooth out wrinkles. Brush glue evenly onto this layer and repeat the layering process until there are about 4 sheets glued to one another. Do not spread glue on the topmost layer. (For thinner craft paper, more layers may be added).
glue layers 1
Smooth layers, pressing out air bubbles and wrinkles. Some wrinkles are acceptable adding to the weathered look of the finished piece.
layers 2
Step 4: While the glue is still wet, gently trace the rabbit onto the layered paper.
trace pattern while still wet
Carefully cut out the shape. Cutting the shape out while the glue is still wet creates a nice sealed edge as the pressure from the scissor blades squeezes the layers together.
Set aside to dry.

cut shape out
Step 5: Once the piece is dry it’s time to paint. Place a dab of turquoise paint onto a saucer or piece of cardboard.
dry brush 2
Using a completely dry brush, dip just the very tip of the brush lightly into the paint. Using a paper towel wipe the brush back and forth a couple of times to get rid of excess paint.
dry brush 3
Using light pressure, brush the paint across the dry rabbit shape, using long strokes. With dry-brushing, the idea is to build up the color layer by layer so don’t rush but rather repeat the process until desired effect is achieved.
Let dry, then repeat steps for opposite side.
dry brush 4

dry brush 5
Step 6: Using the brush, spread a final coat of glue over the rabbit. Let dry and repeat for opposite side.
spread glue over turquoise paint

Step 7: Once the glue is dry on both sides, carefully hold the finished piece in the flames until it becomes sooty. The soot process happens very quickly so make certain to move it around so as not to catch fire & do both sides.
burning the glue
Step 8: Lay soot covered piece onto paper towel. With 2nd paper towel gently wipe away some of the soot on both sides.
wipe off soot
Once soot is wiped off spray both sides with matte finish clear coat spray. Embellish with a ribbon. Done.
Final note: if your rabbit is darker than you  would like, a white wash glaze of watered down acrylic paint can be applied and immediately wiped off to lighten the piece.

Version 2 ~ Cracked Leather
Using the same brown paper rabbit, torn masking tape and brown liquid shoe polish give it the look of old, cracked leather.
cracked leather

Brown craft paper or brown paper bag(s)
White glue such as Elmer’s
Thick paper or cardboard for making pattern template
Masking Tape
Liquid shoe polish in brown
Matt clear finish spray, (such as Krylon clear coat)
Ribbon for bow

Make up paper rabbit as in the previous version steps 1-4 & let dry.
Tear ½” pieces of masking tape and stick to rabbit, making certain to overlap pieces. Smooth down tape.
cracked leather 1a

masking tape competed

Once both sides are covered entirely, using the liquid shoe polish with sponge tip applicator, dab color all over the piece. Gently wipe off excess color with paper towel. Repeat as desired. 

If you can’t find liquid shoe polish you can use water-thinned acrylic paint. Make certain to dab excess of as you go since it dries sop quickly. To thin the acrylic paint, add ½ teaspoon or less to brown acrylic paint, (add just enough water to make a glaze). Paint onto finished rabbit and immediately dab, (do not rub/wipe), with paper towel to wipe off excess.

Let dry and spray with clear coat as desired

Version 3 ~ Plain Leather Rabbit
plain leather
Leave rabbit as is for super simple finish. Simply spray with clear coat, let dry & add ribbon.

What else can we do? Infinite possibilities... 
wrapping paper
Wrapping paper decoupage`

More Easter/springtime crafts coming. Until then TGIF y'all!