Sunday, October 28, 2012

Baby Knitting

The summer came and went...fall is almost gone. And the last several months have been filled with sweater knitting for babies. This time it's not a co-worker. It's the first grandchild. I might have gone a little overboard (You think?)

Anyway, baby sweaters are fun.  You can actually finish them.  And they don't get tried on.  So you try to get the gauge right and hope for the best.  At some point the baby will fit the sweater.  The only challenge is to get a close approximation to size for when the weather is cold.  Which isn't too hard for Rochester, NY where this baby will be born in early December.  Pretty much a given that sweaters will be needed almost year round.

The parents decided not to find out the sex of the baby.  So I've had to knit things avoiding pink, ruffles, bows, and flowers.

Basket Weave Blanket from Knitting for Baby,
Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas

Garter Stitch Baby Kimono - Ravelry Link

Garter Yoked Baby Cardigan - Ravelry Link

Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater - Ravelry Link

Small Things Sweater - Ravelry Link

Snapdragon Cardi - Ravelry Links
Baby Bonnet from Berry Meadow Farm (roughly followed the pattern)
Baby Boots (again, a rough approximation...didn't follow pattern exactly)

Baby Tomten Jacket - Ravelry Link

I have one more sweater to knit, but I'm waiting until after the baby is born. If it's a girl that last sweater is going to be frilly -- having all the things I couldn't put on these. I have a stash of Baby Cashmerino that's earmarked for this project. If it's a boy, I don't know. I might be done for this winter. Maybe.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Flowers and Paint

Still no knitting...this time more paint and some flowers.

A friend just had her 50th birthday.  I was at a complete loss for what to get her, so I opted for flowers.  These were fun to choose and arrange...lots of purple and white.  Purple is one of her favorite colors and since all the balloons and cards for a 50th are either purple or black, I thought it fitting.

And I've been painting some more.  I keep reading and watching videos on You Tube -- and then messing with paint.  This project started with painting the background of four Artist Trading Cards.   Then I added skirts and blouses.  Then the clothes needed people.  So that was next (kind of a backwards way of building the image, but it worked.).  Painting the faces was a serious challenge...fortunately I had a miniscule paintbrush....and a .005 micron black pen.

Then I decided that I like them enough to put them I grabbed an old piece of matboard and painted another background, to mount them together. (Sorry for the blurry image -- taking this at night without a flash is not the optimal method.) They looked like sisters or friends, so I added a Helen Keller quote: "My friends have made the story of my life."

It's an unusual size, so if I wanted to frame it, I'd have to get a custom frame built. Not sure I like it enough to spend that kind of money...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Paint, collage, and no knitting

I may have to rename this blog.  No knitting happening around here.  At all.  Not even planning knitting.  No spinning. No fiber.

Usually this happens around February or March, then I get over it and move back to fiber-y things. In April, I took an on-line class in cards that pop-up or flip or fold in special ways.  That was fun and I learned several things (and some stuff about using some tools that I didn't know).  Then after I'd made about 15 cards (plus all of my Christmas cards for this year - I was on a roll), I got tired of paper assembly.  I wanted to do something more creative, more expressive.  In looking for instructions about using a distress ink on You Tube, I stumbled across videos posted by Tassy Crafty.  You Tube does a great job of suggesting other things that "might" interest you.  That was where I fell down a rabbit hole watching videos posted by Journal Artista (Paula Phillips), some by Teesha More, and reading through materials posted by Pam Carriker. and did not surface again for several hours.

I've never been interested in making a scrapbook.  All the photos I have recently are in digital form and I feel no need to print them out and put them in books that I have to turn around and store....but I enjoy painting and drawing.  I'm not very good at it (particularly the drawing part) but through the years I've taken a lot of classes.The art journaling world seems to be all about doing whatever makes you happy - whatever strikes your creative fancy.  So my creative fancy struck.

I tried some techniques on large pages, but after a while I hated them and wanted to cut them up. Not to destroy them, but because there were parts I liked and parts I didn't.  So the pages became Artist Trading Card size, 2.5 in by 3.5 in.  And I liked them.  Lesson 1 for me - keep it small-ish.  Here are some that I've done in the last two weeks...


Here's a full page that got cut up and became a series of cards, and then became a book...and used some handmade paper that I've had for more than 10 years. It needs work on the cover and a tab to close, but I thought it turned out pretty well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Flowers - variations in paper

They're worrying about the Tulip Festival this year...the weather warmed up too soon and it looks like a great majority of the tulips are going to be past peak on Mother's Day.  Every year I tell myself that I'm going to go and take pictures.  I never have.  Too many people.  No parking. I'm not making myself any promises this year either.

But I have been playing with flowers.  I saw a picture in a cardmaking magazine -- but I didn't have it when I started putting these together so they came out pretty different from the original idea. They are shown here in the order I made the last one I had to really rummage for patterned paper that had the colors of the flowers I had left. Fortunately there was a scrap of a very wild Amy Butler paisley that had the right colors.  Good use for a paper I've never really liked.

I have a hard time picking a might have to be the turquoise one.

Papers and ribbon are Stampin' Up.  Leaf panel is colored pencil.

All Stampin' Up paper

Stampin' Up paper and ribbon and Cosmo Cricket papers

Amy Butler paper, Stampin' Up paper and ribbon

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Spring cleaning

It's spring around here. There wasn't any winter to speak of, so I'm not as excited to see budding leaves on the trees as I have been in the last couple of years.

My spring cleaning last year was a new desk...this year it's a cabinet for storing all the paper crafting supplies. It's not a pretty piece of furniture. It falls into the category of funky. But it's very, very useful. Here's the latest addition to storage chez moi.

It's a dental cabinet. I don't know when it was made. Looks like maybe the 40s or 50s, from the style of it. It's a very heavy plywood and metal cabinet, American Cabinet Co. Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

What I love is that it has 10 drawers. And that it fits on a wall in my dining room. Which means that I can store things very nearby the table where I like to work in the afternoon sunlight. An organized drawer is a thing of beauty, even if the drawer itself is a little utilitarian.

In celebration of organization, (and in celebration of the fact that I didn't have to drag out six boxes of supplies to find my tools) I made a card and some refrigerator magnets.  Neither idea is my own -- they are my interpretations.  The magnet ideas came from guest artist, Sharon Harnist, at Karen Lockhart's website.  The Spring card is from CardMaker's Hand-Lettering Workbook, by Nancy Burke and Marian Rodenhizer.  I really like the magnets, even though I did them with colored pencils rather than Copic markers.  I also cut out more of the stamped image and lifted them off the matboard with dimensional adhesive.

Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing all a special Valentine's Day. Here are some hearts I made...

And a heart I received...

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Scarf and Beads

Last December I had the chance to take a lace design class from Sivia Harding. I always learn something even if it wasn't what I expected. In this class I learned that shawls with beads are really pretty. And I ought to pay more attention to Sivia's designs because in person they are stunning. (I also learned that I'm better off using someone else's lace designs, but we won't go there...)

Here's a Sivia pattern given to me last year at Christmas time as a great way to use a small amount of yarn. Since I had a exactly that in a handspun, here's the result.

Knotty Scarflette (Ravelry Link) - design by Sivia Harding

I got to use one of my old buttons - actually a very tiny broach that belonged to my grandmother. So this turned out to be a nice project: 1) first time I've ever put beads into anything 2) used my handspun 3) finally used a gifted pattern and 4) one of my vintage buttons works with the colors.