I'm working on the handles now.
Speed. Of. Light. All the flowers are done. All the brown connectors are done.
Just eight more flowers to add to the last row. I already have their centers done. Whoosh! I hope this project keeps flying!
Someone just commented that they missed my update-y posts from when I was making the first flower purse. Well, your wish is my command ... ;)
I found my yarn and a little time to crochet over the weekend.
I've been wanting to add a closure of some sort to my flower bag because when I set it down, it opens up wide.
This weekend I took my Flower Purse out and about. Sunday we went to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Philadelphia's beautiful Fairmont Park. Very few of the cherry trees had actually bloomed, but it was a beautiful day to be out in the park regardless.
About the joined-motif projects in the book.
Some of the ugly, goofy, and easily-make-funnable projects in the book.
Handbags handbags handbags!
I couldn't resist whipping up one of the peacock-like squares I mentioned in last post
. Front on the left, back on the right.
I highlight some little-used techniques that I found in the book.
found this Japanese craft book (or maybe it's a magazine?) from 1966. She gave it to Diane
when she was in Portland. Mimi told Diane that she thought that either Diane or I would really love it. Diane sent it to me.
This installment talks about the front and back cover and the diagrams.
I've been sorta avoiding this post ... because I just don't know what to say. Well I guess there's one thing to say ...
Today I curled up on the couch in the sun and embroidered a label for the purse. I used vintage hem facing from Michelle of Green Kitchen
This afternoon I curled up on the couch with the sun coming through the blinds and spent a little time weaving in the ends of the pleat stitching.
The part that had me worried in regard to the purse lining were the pleats. As I showed you in my test pleat post
, putting all the slack in one big pleat really constricts the opening. Using what I learned from the test pleats, I decided to do four sets of sort-of-evenly-spaced pleats.
I've been avoiding the lining because I didn't feel like I was ready to tackle it. Yesterday I decided to just jump in and I got so much done that I'm going to have to split it up into several posts this week. I'm getting close to finishing it, but there's still much to do.
I've been playing around with the lining. The fabric I'm going to be using is patterned, so I'm going to need a cream outer layer and the patterned inner layer. I don't want the patterns showing through in between the flowers. For messing around, I've made a test lining from a crappy old sheet that I keep around just for this purpose.
I was *this close* to "finishing up the folding over and sewing of the handles" and something started bothering me. The cord was making the right and left edge bow out more than I liked. See it on the left? I didn't want my purse to gape open like that. I want it to lay closed more flatly, like on the right.
OK, I'm to the part in this project where I normally set it aside and never finish it. Not because I don't want to, or I'm bored of it, but because the tasks ahead require thoughtfulness and chunks of time for execution. The crochet part is easy because I can fit that in 3 minutes at a time. But finishing the handles and sewing the lining is a whole other story.
I probably should have just tacked this onto yesterdays post ... which is why I'm calling it update 9.5. I was just being a little lazy. ;)
The first part of the handles that are crocheted are the bit across the long sides of the purse rectangle. Those 9 flowers' petals get gathered as you single crochet through multiple petals at a time.
I am done weaving in ends! Thank goodness that they can look like crap on the inside (because the bag will be lined) because that took a lot of the pressure off.
Still just weaving in the bazillion ends. I've been resisting the urge to calculate how many ends there are. I think it's best that I don't know. Ever.
We've got handles! We don't, however, have sunlight, so the picture is kinda crap.
OK, even though this post is late (meaning, not on Saturday) the pictures were actually taken on Saturday. So, look at the photo ... yes, you see that right ... I'm all done with the flowers and connectors! Yay!!!!
I got my review copy of Happy Gloves
weeks ago. I decided to make the lion and I was looking EVERYWHERE for yellow gloves to use. Unbelievably, there are no yellow gloves anywhere.
This week didn't offer much craft time, but I did manage to fix my little misalignment
. I also finished up all the flower motifs.
As I was spreading out the flowers to take this picture, I noticed that they weren't lining up correctly at the bottom right ... and then I noticed the bottom left ... oh, no ...
No mere case of gigantism
is going to dissuade me from making worlds most adorable purse.
I've started the flower purse from this book
. I'm using the smallest hook I dare with the worsted weight cotton, and it appears that the purse is going to be GIANT sized. Since there's no people in the pictures in the book, I just made up in my head that the purse was smallish. FAIL.
The Japanese crochet book I posted about
has just about everyone flipping out to get it. And you really should, because it's awesome!
We went to New York last-last weekend (aka the weekend before this last one) for the first time since we got rid of the car. Let me tell you, I love taking the train! There's lots of leg room, big comfy seats, and crochet-time galore. If it wasn't so expensive I'd take the train up every weekend just for the relaxing craft-time.
I've been picking a different stitch to swatch from my new crochet stitch book when I have a spare minute here and there. I'm really loving it. Doing little swatches like this is like the equivalent of doing quick sketches. It's wonderful practice.
[I provide links to the crochet stitch books I own]
Don't you just love this poster I found. What a snazzy suit! I posted a close up
on Flickr. I spied it on our way to Kinokuniya in New York last weekend (excuse the window reflections). I was shocked when we got to Kinokuniya's Rockefeller Center store and found it CLOSED! There was no note on the door about moving or anything. So sad.
[Don't worry ... we find their new location later in the post]
Thank you, sweet Alex
for sending me the perfect prop for making my own J-Horror
movie. Now all I need is a creepy theme song.
Thank you for all the *other* wonderful things in my package, too: the 300 crochet stitch book, the gusseted zip lock bags, and the beautiful photo of your owls. I'm so lucky to have you as a friend.
This is my finished elephant from Sock and Glove
. I am one-hundred-percent sorry that I didn't make his little arms and legs have the round circle ends. I thought I was saving time, and that I would finish him that night by just sewing the ends up. I should have known better, because it took me three and a half months to finish him anyway. Oh, I hate crafting regrets!
But, Ernest is a cutie and I love him, in all his turtlenecked, hunchbacked glory. Hopefully he doesn't hate me for maiming his little arms. Last night he spent his first tour of duty watching over us with Neville
, and, just like Neville, his creepy white button* eyes seem to gleam in the dark.* I used buttons from a Thank You card from LeeAnn of Mint Basil
Here is a little extra bit for my swap with Frizz
. Thanks again, Frizz
, for such a great swap! :)
This tiny squirrel and giant acorn come from this Japanese craft book, ISBN 4834755894. It's full of the cutest little creatures. I was glad I had a reason to finally make one of them. You can barely see it in the photo, because I blew out the white, but there is white center stitching on the squirrel's cute buck teeth. The tail swirl wasn't easy to cut out, but it's so freakin' cute! Each of the arms on this guy are about the size of a lentil. I actually lost an arm in all the crafting hubbub and had to cut out another tiny appendage. Thank goodness for my crafting fingernail scissors. :)
Andrew was just snapping away during the squirrel photo shoot and caught this portrait of the back of my head. This is what my hair looks like 98% of the time. My favorite hair sticks are black, child-sized chopsticks I bought at Pearl River
in New York. They were 10 for $3.
See how teeny the squirrel is? Actually, this photo is a little misleading, because I have a monstrously huge head. :)
Frizz received a squirrel hand sewn by me. I sent him to her nameless. She's dubbed him Super Squirrel Sancho - an awesome name for an awesome squirrel.
Werner the Squirrel and his traveling companion Klaus the Acorn have arrived at their new home in New York City! They now live with Marci
Werner ("verner") is named after the German director Werner Herzog
. Werner Herzog is so cool that even Henry Rollins (from the punk band Black Flag) thinks he's the shit. Henry has a show on IFC. Henry was recently interviewed on Nerve
NERVE: I read recently that one of the people you most wanted to interview was Werner Herzog. Did you get to?
HENRY: I did. He's going to be on the show. It was so cool. He said stuff I'm using now as rhetoric. I said, "As far as Hollywood is concerned, you're kind of an outsider." He just nodded his head and said, [In a German accent] "No. They are the outsiders." Thank you! New tattoo, please! We talked about when he was shot recently. He was doing an interview and someone shot him. [In a German accent] "Yes, but it was a small bullet in the abdomen; it did not perforate the intestine. I finished the interview. It was not a serious bullet." And I'm like, "You know, Werner, there's a lot of people out there, myself included, who think every bullet is a pretty fucking serious bullet!" So he goes into this long story about all the times he's been shot at, and what a rush it is for a guy his age to have someone attempt to kill him and be unsuccessful. I would follow that man anywhere.
I'm not sure why he gets shot at so much, since, from what I can tell, he is a sweet, warm, intelligent, and thoughtful person, but we should all be thankful that no one has been a half-decent shot because Werner makes *incredible* movies.
And then there's Klaus the Acorn, whom Marci christened "Angry Acorn." He's named after the actor Klaus Kinski
. Werner and Klaus go way back - all the way to their teens. Their collaboration is quite a crazy story
. This page of quotes
from them kind of sums it all up.
The starting point for Werner is a pattern in Palm-sized Stuffies ISBN 4834722449
. I altered the tail so I could attach the marabou feathers and I designed a whole new head. This is the third head I made. The first two were rejected by quality control (a.k.a. Andrew). One head was accused of looking like an walrus! I used the same dark brown embossed felt as I did for Wim
Klaus was created in a free-style frenzy of felt. The big bulbous top is a little much (it's almost as big as the bottom part), but once I noticed the eerie resemblance to the real Klaus' vaguely swollen head and mop of unruly blond hair
, I realized it was meant to be.
Wim is named after the excellent German director Wim Wenders
("vim venders"). Then name Wim is short of Wilhelm ("vilhelm"). Wim, the deer, now lives with Isa
in Germany. Isa's post about getting the package
is very sweet.
Wim was made from a pattern in Palm-sized Stuffies ISBN 4834722449
. He is supposed to be made of fabric with seam allowances, but I'm addicted to hand-sewing felt right now so I made some alterations. It was mostly an easy transition, but the one thing that absolutely freaked me out is putting on his ears. It isn't explicit in the instructions (or maybe it is if you read Japanese), but you can see it in the pictures: you must cut slits in the felt head of the deer and insert the ears into his head. After spending lots of time sewing his head, which wasn't easy, I had to CUT SLITS into it. This process took days. First I made the ears and pinned them on the head. As I sewed the rest of the deer I would look at the head, reposition the ears, look at it some more. I wanted to make sure they were where I wanted them to be. Normally, if I sew something up and it's wrong, I just rip out the seam and re-sew it. But I can't un-cut a slit. Luckily, I did it right the first time.
The brown felt is embossed with a swirly stamped-leather type of design. I'd been waiting for the right project to use it. I'm amazed at how wonderful it makes Wim look. His eyelashes are a starburst sequin with some of the "bursts" cut off. Then the rest of the eye is a felt circle, dark blue small sequin, and a pearl bead.
I made a little photo album for the Isa's swap package. I've posted those photos in the next entry. The picture above was taken in the backyard of Independence Hall
which is featured on the back of the $100 bill. It's run by the National Park Service. Luckily, I came prepared with scissors to trim the grass because it was so tall it hid half of Wim. I was fully prepared to be tackled by guards for destruction of federal property as I was cutting the lawn.
I am about to burst from an overload of c-u-t-e! My husband's birthday is coming up and I made him this puppy.
This is my second stuffie from the Palm Sized Stuffies Japanese book ISBN4834722449.
I experimented with using the google eyes thinking that they would look better than my roughly cut out felt circles, but I was a little disappointed. Instead of looking like a cool japanese-cute stuffie, he looks like a cheap carnival monkey. BUT, I love him to death. He is one of a pair of animals that were made for our friend in Thailand.
Monkeys and Elephants are special animals in Thailand and purple is one of the national colors. With the Elephant, I experimented with button eyes, which came out kind of cool looking. I used the same arms and legs as the monkey, but I designed a body, trunk, and ears just for the elephant. I was particularly proud of the way that the ears turned out.
Here is the first palm-sized stuffie I made. He probably dates back to August. His pattern is from Palm-Sized Stuffies ISBN4834722449. You can tell he's the first because everything is just a little weird. One foot is bigger than the other. The head-shape is a little lop-sided. The stitching is not quite straight or uniform.
Even though he is imperfect - perhaps even because of his imperfections - I love
Monsieur Kittie. I love his orange beret. I love his tummy embroidery. I love his freaky little mouth almost hidden under his black nose.
The (semi-)success with Monsieur Kittie inspired me to make many more palm-sized stuffies and to buy many more Japanese felt stuffies books.