Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mushroom Swap Loot

I got the most wonderful mix of mushrooms from the swap.
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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Vintage Japanese Craft Book - Post 3

Handbags handbags handbags!
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Monday, March 02, 2009

Vintage Japanese Craft Book - Post 2

I highlight some little-used techniques that I found in the book.
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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Vintage Japanese Craft Book - Post 1

Mimi 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.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mushrooms Finished

OK, these are the most fun things EVER to make.  I love making them so much that I had to consciously and diligently promise myself to not make more than five.  There are just so many other fun things to do.  If I let myself, all I would do until the end of time is make mushrooms.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mushroom Production In Full Gear

Well, the third time was the charm.  The blue spotted mushroom was my third prototype and it was perfect.  I've scrapped the first two prototypes (I tried to retrofit them, but it was a no-go).  Now I'm just cranking them out.
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Friday, February 06, 2009

Mushroom Test

This is my first test mushroom for the now-closed mushroom swap hosted by the super-wonderful knitsonya.
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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Neopolitan Blanket

All I could think about when I was making this blanket was the Neopolitan Coconut candies I would get as a child at the Pick-A-Mix station at the grocery store.  They are heaven!  I also liked the Jelly Nougats which look totally gross to me now.  Anyway, crocheting this blanket made me CRAVE candy.

The blanket is made of worsted weight cotton and is alternating rows of single and double crochet.  The single crochet gives some structure to the blanket and the double crochet makes it cuddly.

The top and bottom edge have an edging of *dc ch dc ch dc* all in one stitch and then a sc on either side.  The right and left edges are just single crochet.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tie-Dyed Jellyfish And Purple Fish

Here is a more evidence of my "little problem" in regard to ornaments.  When Crafty McGee posted that she had a couple left over ornaments to trade, I JUMPED on it.  Breathlessly.

For my part of the trade, I made her the tie-dyed jellyfish above.  I have a stash of tie-dyed felt that I finally cut into for this little guy.

The jellyfish seems to be the most popular of the Supercute Sea Creatures, which is a little bit of a surprise to me.  I would have thought it would be the octopus.

I also made her a purple fish with a sequin eye stripe.  I thought the silver sequins would look good paired with Christmas lights,  But now that I think about it, these little guys might be on her light-less tree ... in which case the sequins will bring a little bling to the mix. :)

I can't wait to get my little tree from Crafty McGee.  I think it's uber brilliant that she put the eyelet for hanging in the middle of the treetop star.
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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Floss Accomplished

With some help from Kari (whose mom and sister used to own a cross stitch shop) and one last trip to the craft store, I have now become the proud owner of ALL of the colors of DMC floss.

A calm has settled over the craft table*. I now know that I can find the perfect color of floss for any craft project ... and if I can't, then it just doesn't exist.  Crafting with confidence, that's my motto.

*I'm only half joking. :)
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Handbag For Barb

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UPDATE:  The Starling Handbag crochet pattern for the purse above is now available on the free downloads page.  Yay!
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I made this handbag for a previous co-worker.  She noticed that I made myself a handbag, and saw me crocheting all the time, so she asked if I'd make her one, too.  She took me out to lunch a million-and-one times in exchange - which was fine with me. :)

As you can see, I based the stripe and dash pattern on the fabric I chose as a lining.  I love the blues in the fabric.  I just happened to have just enough teal yarn left over from another project to use for this handbag.  Yay for stash-using.

I have a thing for stripes in a big way.  It's totally accidental.  I never think about it, I'm just drawn to them.  Years ago a friend pointed out that over half the shirts hanging in my closet had horizontal stripes on them ... I'd never noticed.

I didn't make a label for this handbag because I never told Barb about my craft blog.  In fact, I never told anyone at that job about it.  Is that weird?  Do any of you not-tell certain people about your craft-blog-self?
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tiny Squirrel For Frizz

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 sets for $3.

See how teeny the squirrel is?  Actually, this photo is a little misleading, because I have a monstrously huge head. :)
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Friday, February 23, 2007


This handbag, for Bethany of Bitter Betty, started as a dream. I awoke one morning with the image of a cream and black striped bag floating in my head. It'd been months since I decided to make her a handbag, and I'd been waiting for the perfect inspiration.
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Embroidered Paisley Patch

Two of my commission purses will have paisley embellishments on the outside.  I figured I should do a practice run and make a patch for the Red Button Tree Patch Swap at the same time.

The paisley is about 2" by 1" on black acrylic felt.  It makes me happy just to look at it.  It's so bright and cute. It came out 110% better than I thought it would.

I used a pattern from this book.  It's full of great designs and I'm happy I finally had a chance to use one.

I have two more paisleys traced and ready to stitch, but I feel like I need to make some significant progress on my big projects before I make more patches.  Maybe when I need a break, I'll pick them up.  My self-imposed mail date for the patch swap is November 10th, so I still have some time.
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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Werner the 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.
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wim the sweet Deer

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. 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 when I started cutting the lawn.
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