Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Works in Progress

 As summer gets into full swing the craft projects are moving along. First there's my second Wheel of the Year embroidery. I have all eight plants laid out, and I'm preparing to add words and the finishing touches.

I finally took the step that I should have done first. Seriously, before everything else. Lesson learned. I kept making marks to outline the work area, and they kept rubbing off while I worked. So I took some sewing thread and basted down a circle that will be easy to remove when I'm done. Doing this made me realize that I was a bit off center, so now I'll be adding more to some of the plants so they extend to the edge. *Sigh*

If I don't start my next project by putting in guide lines someone please shoot me.

 I of course also made a smaller offering piece. This was a bouquet of all the flowers in the wall hanging, scaled down. I finished just in time to run off to the ritual, and didn't get a picture first. That's a strange sinking feeling that must not have plagued our ancestors "Well, it's burning now. No chance to take a photo I guess."

My less flammable project is a granny square blanket. I've used an entire bin of hand-dyed yarns in assorted (read - not matching at all) colors. Each square is a unique mix of colors, and I used nearly every scrap of most of the colors too! I'll be finding a suitable yarn to pull the whole thing together (probably gray, the only thing that might not clash with all these bright colors.)

I'm going to trim each square and sew them together, which should give me a 60" x 30" blanket, perfect for a baby gift.

What are you working on? Let the stash bust continue!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finds - Summer Solstice

 Once again the wheel has turned and we are at the longest day of the year! The sun is lingering far into the evening, and the summer heat is starting to linger. One of the joys of Colorado is that the shade is still cool, and the nights chill everything nicely.

Painting by PamelaJonesArtStudio.

Original Watercolour.....Summer Meadow
 Get the house decorated up for the summer with a colorful wreath from WillowgaleDesigns
Wildflower Meadow - Meadowflower Wreath, Summer Wreath, Summer Decor, Wildflower Wreath, Party Decor
 Get gussied up for a warm evening party with this classic print dress from CruelCandy
Deers and Woods Printed Cotton Dress,Summer Dress,Emerald Green.

Liven up an outfit with a touch of spring meadows, this lovely pendent by MaggieJonesEnamels

Green 'summer meadow' pendant
If you're feeling Crafty, make your own solstice time yarn from the hand-dyed roving by TheCritterRanch. Remember, it's cooler to spin the wool than to have a pile of it in your lap while knitting!
Spinning, Fiber,Roving, local Shetland  Kettle Dyed in Summer Meadow 4oz  Green, purple, blue
Or, for an even more hot-weather-friendly craft, try this summer time cross-stitch pattern by ColorfulCrossStitch.
Summer Meadow Cross Stitch Pattern Digital Download
Whether you plan to drum down the sun around a mighty bonfire, or just toast the longest day of the year with a cold drink, enjoy your Solstice!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How a Crafting Table Changed My...

 Craft room. And my life. But mostly my Craft Room.
 I built a craft table with an Ikea table top and two extending legs, and a thrift store bookshelf. The shelf is 40" tall, nice and high for cutting without stooping.
 First, I needed to tackle the piles in the middle of the room, crates full of scraps and bags of donated clothes. And a table top tapestry loom (I know, I know, people give me this stuff!)
 Here's the table in place, my steamer trunk fits neatly below, with room for crates above it. I stacked all my folded fabrics on an old book shelf, next to my craft books and boxes of notions.
 The bags of scraps went into the table-side shelves, those that fit at least. The clothes were all neatly folded and stacked and sorted and ohmifreakingawd look at how neat this became. I even swept the floor!

 Notice how I kept my back to the one unsorted wall? The wall with a floor loom hidden under boxes and piles of craft supplies? This is how I preserve my sanity. I will now always walk through with my back to the loom wall... yes, that's how we deal with that.

What does your craft space look like?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Faire Sewing Adventures

 Last week I came into posession of several old family kilts. (To be clear, not in the family tartan, just bought by my grandmother many decades ago.) The man's kilt happened to fit Mr. Crafty just perfectly. The same cannot be said for the two ladies kilts fitting me, Grandma is the smallest women in the family! I'll be doing some alterations on those to make them work for me.

I convinced Mr. Crafty that he ought to embrace his Scottish roots for this year's Ren. Faire, which left me responsible for a proper top for him. I decided to go for a very old style Saxon tunic, all straight lines. (This is what happens when you're sewing the day before the Faire...) The armpit gussets are a square turned on it's side and sewn to the sleeves and sides.

Unfortunately, modern muslin is a rather more thin and fragile fabric than the flax homespun used in ye olden days. The upside - very light and cool. The downside - not a perfect sun blocker, and of course quite translucent.

 And for myself? I have an entire dresser drawer of costume pieces, so I didn't need to make anything new. Not that that has stopped me in the past of course...

I did, however, do some repairs and a nifty alteration. At Faire each year there is always the issue  of carrying capacity and adverse temperatures (sounds like D & D, no?).

I had a smart thought, I own a camelback with 72 oz. of water space. But, it came with a bright blue and yellow pack, not quite period unless your period is the 1980s. So I found the only part of my costume with space in it - the bustle. Badonka-donk ass + hydration = awesome.
 So a Victorian time-traveler and a 9th century Pict walk into a bar...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Stash Bust 2013 - Cowls

 In my organization of my yarn stash I found several balls of this great variegated bouclĂ© yarn -  "Que Linda" from the 70s. It was a bit moth-eaten (who knows if that was recent damage, or old news), So I plyed each with left-overs to give it some strength.

With a small amount of each I decided on some small projects, these simple cowls. I was able to cast on and simply knit until the yarn was gone! The two balls of yellow and brown were close enough to use together, and they made a fairly warm tight autumnal cowl. The green is great colors, but more suited to summer, so I made it looser and more decorative.
 I didn't want to use a simple knit stitch, so I came up with two simple repetitive patterns to give a little texture. Both alternate with simple knit rows, and the work went quite quickly.

 These bouncy bouclĂ©s made nice colorful pieces. It pays sometimes to salvage the damaged bits! What have you been making?