random craft


With the weather getting warmer and my mind wandering towards non-fiber crafts, I haven’t been updating as much. I have been pretty busy though. I thought I’d do a big photo post today.

Please forgive the quality of the pictures – I took them in the back room and the light in here is really terrible. I’ve learned my lesson with these lol; I’ll continue to take them in the dining room where there’s a lot more natural light.

central park hoodie body

I didn’t have enough room to spread it all out, but the back, both fronts and what I’ve started on one sleeve are all there. I haven’t been working on it as much as I was (I’d probably be done with it by now!) but I haven’t thrown it in a drawer and forgotten about it yet. This is good!

I’ve mainly been journaling the past week or so and have a whole bunch of pictures of different pages.

why not anyways

The first page. I’ve had this large sketchbook for a few years now and because it was pricey and I never think my work is good enough, I’ve held off on using it for anything. This was pretty much just a page to get the ball rolling and to tell myself firmly that it didn’t matter what it looked like, as long as I was stretching my creativity and enjoying it.

I was browsing craftster awhile back and came across a large thread on journaling. I snagged a LOT of the ideas from the thread and added a few of my own to start this journal. It’s interesting enough (ie: NOT just writing about my day) that I may keep with it. Adding some artistic elements to it will help as well I’m sure.

media happenstance 1

media happenstance 2

Media/happenstance pages. These pages are where I log what I’ve read, played, watched and listened to each day. I love this because I’m able to go back and see how my music tastes change from day to day and movies and books that I’ve watched/read that I enjoyed.

word of the day 1

word of the day 2

Word of the day pages to brush up on my language skills. Yes, I really did use the word bird-dog in a sentence yesterday!

a directory of beautiful things

A directory of everyday beautiful things.

today i feel

A quick blurb about how I’m feeling each day.

dreams

A dreams page that I’ve yet to fill out. I actually remember one I had last night so I’ll have to write it down.

weather

A weather page to record the temperature and wind activity.

i am

A page on who I consider myself to be.

quotes

Random quotes I like and find inspirational.

what i learned today

I learn something new every day, now I can write them down so I can appreciate the small things I take for granted.

Here’s a few of the artsy pages I’ve done. Nothing terribly great yet, but I’m expanding.

unsent letters

An unsent letter page. Good therapy and maybe one day I can re-read the letter in the little pocket and see if anything’s changed.

briar rose

I have this old children’s book of Sleeping Beauty that I absolutely love. The pictures are beautiful so I used one of them and a small passage from the book for a page. You can’t see it in the picture, but I embellished the picture with silver and gold, and some deeper colors for her make up and the Prince’s eyes.

tea and sympathy

I named this one Tea & Sympathy. It’s mixed media with acrylic paints, gesso, vellum stickers, paper doilies, artists chalk and an old print from a book. A little bit of everything really.

When the weather gets hotter I tend to leave my blogs to collect dust. I might not update regularly, but I will definitely still be around! I need to remember that just because I’m not updating as frequently I still need to visit my friends though. So if you haven’t seen me for awhile, I’ll be by soon!

Oh! I almost forgot! The new Knitty is out – go check it out! You can click the link on my sidebar.

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Blocking can make a project go from looking like this:

before block

To this:

hemlock ring 2

Remember the yarn recycling tutorial? The cotton/ramie sweater became the Hemlock Ring throw. Just an aside fyi; the recycling tute is the single most visited post on my blog with more than double the hits than any other! Anyways, the color in the picture directly above is the most accurate.

center ring

hemlock close up

The only reason I think the color came out so green in the close up shots is because I took the pictures in my bedroom and there’s virtually no light in there.

I did a really hard block on this project because it was so pulled in on itself. I washed it on the hand-wash setting in my washer, then pulled it straight out of there and started stretching it out on the bed. I couldn’t find all of my pins, so I only used a few on the center flower section and was lucky enough that the rest of the throw kind of stuck to the bed as I pulled and forced it in to submission.

I only knit the pattern up to its original bind off point because I was starting to get a little nervous about running out of yarn and I’m glad I stopped because if I’d made it as big as I’d originally wanted, it probably would have taken days to bind off!  Turns out I had enough yarn that I could have gone through at least another three or four repeats, but I’m happy it’s finished.

Now I can only wait until May 9th and hope that my Mom likes it!

My guitar is done, and I’m fairly pleased with it despite the problems I ran in to.

db guitar

The first problem I ran in to was with the pink paint. It had a much thicker consistency than the black (maybe due to it being a different brand…I don’t know) and even after a test spray it coated my face plate with a bit of a lumpy texture, so I got some bumps I wasn’t really happy about. It’s a satin finish…not sure if that has anything to do with it either. A few coats took the worst of it away though. You can still see small bumps/imperfections, but in person it looks far less worse than in pictures.

dd logo

I used the Dresden Dolls plane logo for part of the design. They’re my favorite band and I love that logo! If you haven’t heard of them, please visit their site!

This is where I ran in to my second problem. I used some packing labels Paul brought home from work for the stencils I used. They’re sticky, but not too sticky because I wanted to be able to remove the stencils without marring the paint. Apparently they weren’t quite sticky enough for the detailed work I was trying to do because the paint feathered all along the edges 😦 You can really see what I’m talking about in the next picture.

db closeup

Dirty Business is the name of a song by the Dresden Dolls. I love it, so I chose to name my guitar after it 😀 You can see the way the paint feathered out under the stencil. In retrospect I should have used masking tape and many many thin coats of paint instead of four or five thicker coats. I sprayed some paint into a paper cup and hand painted around the plane logo to clean it up, but I decided to leave the feathering on the words because it just seemed fitting. It was an unexpected design element!

I even did detail work on the rest of the guitar:

details

pink gibson

Details were hand painted. They’re a bit shaky, but I liked making it all match. I learned a lot with this project. I learned to test my paint better, do many thinner coats instead of a few thicker ones. I learned to be more fastidious with my stencils and that spray paint is near impossible to wash out of paint brushes. I still love the way it turned out, despite it’s unexpected design elements 😀

I finished the pink cabled strap too.

strap detail

I’m probably going to have to wind up lining the back side because it’s a little stretchier than I expected. It turned out pretty well though!

I also started two more knit projects this weekend.

I pulled the Valpuri top that I was making for my Mom apart, and started a new project with the yarn.

hemlock start

I just kept having this nagging feeling she wouldn’t care for the top, so I started the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I’m actually using the instructions here though, instead of the original instructions from the vintage pattern. I think this will be much more to my Mom’s liking and she can use it for whatever she likes. It’s a pretty nice cotton yarn so she could use it as a tablecloth, a blanket, a shawl, whatever she wants. It’ll probably wind up a giant doily or a tablecloth for her outdoor table. Mom and Dad just bought a new gazebo/pavilion so they’ll be spending a lot of time out there this summer. I have a feeling she’ll probably use it out there. it’s a beautiful pattern and I may queue it up again later to make one for myself!

I also started work on my Burridge Lake Aran Afghan.

burridge 1

I got a pretty good amount of it started for as little as I worked on it this weekend. I’m using the no cable needle method and I’m liking it much more than if I had to knit, move stitches to cable needle, knit, knit stitches from cable needle, repeat. I can move the stitches over into a twist and then knit them all in a row. It’s an interesting technique…maybe I’ll do a video on it one of these days.

So, that’s what I did this weekend! I wanted to update yesterday but I spent a good chunk of the day laying in bed in agony from a friggin’ migraine. They always seem to hit me when I’ve got plans that don’t involve cleaning house.

**And to you WordPress. Shame on you!!! You don’t log someone out halfway through a big assed post where they lose half the damned thing when they try to publish! You suck right now!

Who needs flowers and chocolate when they can be surprised with something as adorable as this?

kuromi

Paul knows me beyond well.

kuromi knits

Kuromi was fascinated with the knitting magazine that rode home with her. Her little devil tail was twitching with excitement at the prospect of helping me knit!

She was so excited to start learning that she got in to my coffee!

kuromi coffee

Adorable, yes?

Kuromi is a Sanrio character I wasn’t familiar with, but she’s SO cute! I love her little coif.

In other crafting news, my charms are finally done! I had to give them a few days between coats of paint to dry and then I had to cut all the head pins down to size. They turned out really great for a first attempt though!

charms

From left to right: An adorable little fortune cookie, a Bob-omb (from Mario) – you can’t see his little wind up key but it’s there! Then there’s a Mario mushroom, a delicious cupcake with purple frosting and sprinkles (with a cherry on top!) and lastly, a sour lime wedge.

I coated these with three coats of mod podge for shine and to hopefully preserve the paint. They’re pretty light so I could probably get away with hanging several from my ds, but I’ll probably just switch them out regularly and more than likely I’ll wind up giving some away.

I’ve been consumed with cute stuff lately and had this idea for little expressive faces:

expressions

I made 12 of these little guys and they’re about 3/4″ in size. I thought I’d given them all different expressions, but it looks like I got two pissed ones in there lol. Whoops! These are set up like charms too so I could use them as such or use them in jewelry. I haven’t decided yet. I just love them.

A couple of weeks ago, Hammie surprised me with the 2008 Stitch ‘n Bitch Pattern a Day calendar. There’s all sorts of nifty knitting info in it like history, Stitch ‘n Bitch groups from all over the US, patterns, etc. Every morning it’s like opening a gift and when I wake up and get some coffee in me I flip to the present day. Today’s pattern is a raglan with buttons down one raglan seam and I have to make it! I already foresee a few mods but it’s such a cute (there’s that word again!) sweater. I probably won’t make it right away, but I’ll see if ravelry has it in their data base and queue it. I haven’t even looked through my new Interweave Knits yet (Kuromi’s been hogging it) so I’ll probably wind up with even MORE projects I want to start.

Well, I guess I’ve rambled enough. I’m looking forward to the weekend, anyone else?

Here’s the pictures of the ds stuff I’ve been making.

Picture 225

I horde all of my candy tins for decoupage purposes. This started life as a Lifesavers sour candy tin and now it’s a Cooking Mama tin for random ds bits. I’ve been entertaining the idea of making a bunch of charms to hang off my ds and this would be a good size tin to store them in.

Picture 222

Picture 224

I’d never done plastic canvas before, so it’s a little messy, but I like how it turned out overall. I wanted something to carry my games in that would hold more than a few at a time and I got this idea from a post on craftster where a person made a ds case out of plastic canvas to look like a classic nintendo controller. I only have six games right now, but it will hold about 35 games total. Until then, it’s housing my games, extra stylus’ and my kick ass pink headphones. (Weird, I know…I used to hate pink and now it seems to be taking over my life!)

Picture 226

I’ve been messing around with a lot of paper stuff lately as well. I usually just make Artist Trading Cards (atcs), but I’ve been entertaining that idea of making inchies again. They’re inch square works of art, same premise as atcs, just a different size. They’re challenging, tiny and fun! I’ve got a few already, but I’m thinking of making more. Dunno yet…

And, an obligatory Gutter picture before I go.

Picture 219

He’s been such a lovey lately.

Anyway…I seem to have picked up a tummy bug of some sort and I’ve been feeling like absolute caca. I’m feeling a little better this morning, but I’m still going to take it easy because that’s pretty much how it started out yesterday. Ugh.

Yesterday I really wanted to work with some paper so I made a few atcs and a new journal.

Where flowers bloom so does hope

Tea and Poetry

appliqued heart


I wanted to try some techniques I hadn’t tried before. The first one is layered ephemera with ink. The second one I named Tea & Poetry because I used an Italian poetry stamp along with some flower stamps and distressed ink. The tea cup and spoon are both vellum stickers (it’s my favorite one…can you tell?) The third one was kind of botched, but I wanted to try a sewn atc so it’s yellow flannel with a cotton heart applique.

cloth covered book back view

cloth book paper view

The journal was just a mishmash of white, colored and scrapbook paper that I liked and had laying around.  I used a red duck cloth with a thick black binding for the cover and did a coptic binding to hold it all together.  I left the binding open because I like the way it looks.

I spent most of the morning playing catch up and I’m finally done!  For today anyway 🙂

The first one is just a little victorian style candy cone.  I used glittery felt and ribbon.  I’d like to do some really intricate ones one of these days because I always thought they looked beautiful on a tree, but I don’t have a lot of fabric at the moment.  Well, I do, but I need to go through it because it’s all tossed together and I just didn’t have the energy to rifle through it today.

The second, third and fourth are just painted wooden ornaments.  Our friend Jennifer that came to visit brought them for me and I thought they’d work well for my challenge since I did have to paint them.  My favorite is the snowman because after I painted his body white I covered the still wet paint in glitter and then brushed it off.  She brought two others as well but they were so pretty that I didn’t want to cover them up with paint.

The last one is a little fair isle stocking that’s knitted flat and then sewn up the side.  I’d never done fair isle straight and it was a lot of fun.  I had a great time changing the colors around and adding stripes to make it my own.  You can get the pattern here.

I’m happy that I caught up with my challenge.  I’m the type of person that can’t stand to make plans and then give up on them.  I was feeling a little down that I was making such a big deal over it but I sucked it up and just did them and now I’m back on track.  Now…what do I make tomorrow?

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