Amazing Crochet by Numbers Technique from Todd Paschall

Blogged under Fiber Fun by Tammy on Tuesday 30 June 2009 at 7:44 am

Todd Paschall is an amazing crochet artist who has developed an equally amazing crochet technique he calls “Crochet by Numbers.” Pictured is one of his pieces, and yes, that is actually made by crocheting with yarn, simple ol’ Red Heart acrylic yarn in fact. On his web site, he has free patterns, a gallery with more fabulous work he and his students have done, and more information about how this method works.

In addition to selling finished work and teachinf others his technique, he also creates custom patterns from photos. He has recently set up a group on Ravelry for those who want to learn, share, and of course, get help along the way. When you see his work, you realize how he is not only an artist but an innovator, taking crochet to a level way beyond your typical granny square to say the least!

Craft Blogger Unite 06/28/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 28 June 2009 at 9:16 am

Along with my foray into amigurumi, I’ve been experimenting with copper clay lately. Above is one piece I made using copper clay, crystal beads, and a mix of brass and copper wire. I call it the Organic Copper Clay Flower, Crystal, and Mixed Metal Necklace. Let’s see what my other crafting blogger buds have been up to recently.

The Artful Crafter
“Panadieres for Zambia” is a neat story and one small example of crafters helping crafters – all around the world. As Eileen likes to say, “Crafters are just the nicest people.”

The Crochet Dude
Read Drew’s first installment supporting the 3/50 grassroots project!

The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares a technique in this post about embossing on slick surfaces!

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love

Keep your kids busy this summer by setting up a Crafty Challenge for them!

About Family Crafts

What are your cleaning tips for crafting with kids? Please take a moment to share your tips and then browse through tips shared by others.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make a card and card album themed for a rock and roll mom to be that uses cute die cuts in a cool way.

Aileen’s Musings
Hard as it was, Aileen has narrowed down the playing field and needs your help again to choose from her favorite sayings that have been posted for her blog giveway! Stop by and pick your favorite.

Cathie Filian
If you are wondering what to eat, craft and play on the 4th of July then head over to Cathie’s blog for ideas.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside you can watch the latest Look, Learn & Create video that includes tips on drawing, two techniques and projects for cutting photos up, a bit of fabric eye candy, and a free paper stencil and project from the new book The Art of Decorative Paper Stencils 2 and if you leave answers to the day’s questions you are entered to win free books!

CraftyPod
Sister Diane reviews an intriguing new book: Micro Macrame, by Annika DeGroot

Cross Stitch at About.com
Work at Your Own Pace - An encounter with a critter in the yard has Connie thinking about Cross Stitch (imagine that!) and speed.

Mixed Media Artist

Have you been wondering what happened to “Layers Upon Layers”? Cyndi’s still hard at work, but has moved to “Mixed Media Artist”. This week she’s got a a round-up of fabric painting ideas for you!

Naughty Secretary Club
Arty Masterpieces are overrated, it’s all about the Glittery Crafterpieces! Take a peek at the handmade art around my house and try your hand at making a fun glittery deer picture!

Crafty Chica Contest is On!

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Friday 26 June 2009 at 10:55 am

The Crafty Chica has teamed up with Craftzine to bring you a fun summer-time craft contest. The deadline is coming up though, 7/17/09, about middle of next month. Take that old blah beach bag and jazz it up with glitter and your own crafty point of view and you may win some pretty cool prizes. The grand prize winner gets oodles of craft supplies, enough to have a super crafting party, and the runner ups receive gift certificates and a Crafty Chica bobble head to inspire you to keep crafting.

For the full details on prizes, how to enter, and deadline information, go to Craftzine.com.

Zero Calorie Cupcakes You Can Crochet!

Blogged under Fiber Fun, Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Thursday 25 June 2009 at 6:43 am

Even my cat finds these new amigurumi cupcakes I made irresistible! I found the free pattern over at Ana Paula’s weblog, and they were super quick and easy to make. I have been looking for small gift ideas for some of the support staff at school, and voila!

While the original pattern suggests putting tiny seed beads all over the top of the icing part, I opted for a center section of beads, mixing lampwork, crystals, and seed beads to secure it to the top.

Luckily, I had yarn in my stash that worked perfectly. The icing part is made using some variegated acrylic, and the bottom is made with Sugar N’ Cream Tierra Frima, which is a dark brown that looks a lot like chocolate.

Copper Wire & Lampwork Bead Stitch Markers for Yarn Crafting

Blogged under Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Wednesday 24 June 2009 at 1:19 pm

For the longest time, I have to admit to using a cheesy old paper clip as a stitch marker when I crochet. Very few of the projects I’ve done in the past have really required me to use one because I could usually figure out where I was by counting the rows. Now that I have discovered amigurumi, though, I’ve learned I really, really need to use stitch markers since this technique requires you to work in continuous rounds rather than connecting circles with a slip stitch like you would when making something like a hat. So the paper clip had to go!

I put my jewelry making hat on and created a few stitch markers that are much more attractive than a paper clip as well as highly functional! The gorgeous lampwork leaf beads dangling from them were made by glass artist D.D. Hess, and they have a good weight and shape to them, perfect for dangling from my yarn as I work.

I doubled the wire for a reason. This is version 3 of my stitch markers. With version 1, I just used a single thickness of wire and curled the end, but now and then the yarn would get stuck on the curled part of the wire. Version 2 was the same but without the curled part and I filed the end of the wire hook instead; It also had yarn sticking issues. However, I’m happy to say that by doubling the thickness of wire, I don’t have any more sticking issues, and they work beautifully! The technique I used is very similar to my Double Wire Jewelry Hook, with the addition of wrapping the wire around itself to secure it and making a wrapped loop at the end to connect to the leaf bead.

To make these, besides the beautiful leaf bead, you just need about 5 inches of 21-gauge dead-soft copper wire, wire cutters, round-nosed pliers, and chain-nosed pliers.

Free E-Project Books from Interweave

Blogged under Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Tuesday 23 June 2009 at 8:29 am

Get them while they are hot! Interweave has a big freebie offer going on. The offer includes 7 project e-books you can download for free covering knitting (sorry no crochet), quilting (actually sewing cute little bags), and jewelry making. If you aren’t already a member of any of the connected sites, like Quilting Arts, Knitting Daily, or Beading Daily, then it will ask you to sign up for a free membership before it allows you to download them. Otherwise, for members it just prompts you to sign in, and then vola, you are there.

Not Reading War & Peace, But It’s Been Fun Just the Same

Blogged under Good Books, My Crafty News, Sew Simple, Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 22 June 2009 at 1:19 pm

I’m back to the books soon. These last few days have me looking back wondering where the time went and wishing that I could have accomplished a little more, but at the same time, I have had a lot of fun. My crafting accomplishments include most recently hooking up with amigurumi (the apple above is from yet another Lion Brand Yarn freebie pattern); sewing some baby blankets and stitching hats/booties for a local hospital as well as making hats and scarves for another charity group in Nevada; and making a pretty good number of jewelry tutorials for my About.com Jewelry Making website.

As far as writing goes, as I said I’ve been working a lot on my About.com site both adding new content and doing some behind the scenes housecleaning, but other than that I’ve manage to get out a book proposal and make some progress on a fairly long fiction piece I’ve been working on for way too many years. I’m still waiting to hear a ya or nay on the proposal, but I at least I did get another one written, and to top it off, it’s not a jewelry book so it feels good to branch out a little into other craft writing, which I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. That alone is an accomplishment. I also had high hopes of finishing my fiction piece, but I added probably another 3,000 words to it, and I sort of had a break through idea for it the other day, so I’m seeing some progress, which I should be thankful for.

If I had to say there was one thing I wish I could have done it was more reading, or at least more of a certain kind of reading. Though there will be a skeleton crew when I return to school as far as my peers, inevitably the question will come up about what I’ve read. I’d like to be able to say that I read War and Peace and the complete works of Shakespeare while I was away, but I can’t. While I did recently start A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy (one of my favorite novelists), I’m far from finishing it. My only other literary reading included about a half dozen or so articles from some Jane Austen journals, which were interesting. The next best thing to reading Jane’s work is to read about Jane’s work.

Now, I have been reading; I’m always reading, but no big surprise, my summer reading so far has consisted of crafting books, all of which I’ve really enjoyed but don’t see my colleagues having the same appreciation for them as I do. Still, for my craft readers I’ll end this post with a few summer craft reading suggestions:


Metal mixing is super popular now in the jewelry world. You can find a review of this on my About.com site.

This is also reviewed on my site.

Yup, I reviewed this one too.

As far as non-jewelry craft books, I recommend these:

Technically flawed but very inspiring, this book will encourage you to pull out that sewing machine that’s been stored in the back of your closet.

A very cool reference book that also has a few projects, I just got this a few days ago and am impressed so far.

A great little book, I often toss this in my purse when I know I’ll be standing in line, like at the post office. So far, any time I’ve had a question, I’ve found it in here.

Double Crochet No Turning Chain Video

Blogged under Crafty Videos by Tammy on Sunday 21 June 2009 at 8:39 am

A member of one of the crochet lists I’m on posted the link to this excellent video, so I wanted to share. I’ve never been a big fan of having to chain three before starting a second row of double crochet. It always looked weird to me, and though I learned that you need to do this so that your hook is at the right level to start the row, the “why” still didn’t help me like the finished look any better. Double crochet is probably my favorite stitch because it’s so fast, and to now see that I don’t have to chain three every time I start a new row is revolutionary. Prepare to be amazed…..

Craft Blogger Links & Amigurumi Update

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Saturday 20 June 2009 at 9:54 am

As I share this week’s crafty links with you, I thought I’d also share my second attempt at amigurumi. The guy on the right is frog number 2, and so much improved!

The Impatient Crafter
Madge went on a bead buying trip to NYC! Get the scoop!

Vickie Howell
Craft Corps Stencil Kits are in! Check out Vickie’s How-To on making your own, stenciled gear. Stand up, shout loud, you’ve joined The Corps and you’re proud!

About Family C rafts
What is in your craft cupboard? What craft supplies can you not live without? Has there been a craft item that your purchased thinking it was the greatest invention of all time and then never used?

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen needs your help! She’s created another whimsical character in her curalicious series and needs a saying or quote to go with her! Post your quote or saying and enter to win a curvalicious coffee cup!

CraftyPod
Take a handful of buttons and some craft wire, and make charming button monograms to wear as jewelry.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Dinosaurs rule in the Land of the Lost and they also rule at About.com Cross Stitch. There are three of them stalking through Connie’s latest free pattern collection.

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Create fun and graphic letter & number decopauge jars in a flash!

Cathie Filian
Recycle old jeans and fabric scraps into a quilted 4th of July Table Runner in under 2 hours!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is Jenn Mason’s episode of Look, Learn & Create where she shows us how to make a fun matchbook card and dyed plastic tube necklace, a window-screen art journal tutorial from the new book Re-bound and a mini journal with a recycled scrapbook paper catalog, a discussion of rule breaking in logo design and a recipe for roasted chickpeas.

Mixed Media Artist
Here’s a way to combine planning with serendipity when you paint fabrics!

Naughty Secretary Club
Think all the marketing at a craft show is already taken care of for the vendors? Think again. Jen shares some marketing tips.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Another of Stefanie’s Happy Bunnies-This one created using the help of the cool book: Stray Sock Sewing

The Artful Crafter
What new mom would not be delighted with this precious keepsake pendant? Eileen gives you step-by-step instructions for making it using polymer clay and decal paper.

Amigurumi 1st Attempt

Blogged under Fiber Fun, Free Craft Projects, Projects in Progress by Tammy on Friday 19 June 2009 at 12:51 pm

Okay, I have a number of issues going on with my first attempt at amigurumi, but I still had to show off him off. Even with all his flaws - which I won’t bother to point out to you - he is pretty dog gon’ cute!

I’m working on my second attempt at him, and I think I’ve got enough yarn to make maybe two more, so I’m not giving up yet. These guys work up so quickly, even those new to crochet will be amazed. If you haven’t dipped your toe into the amigrumi pool, now is the time! Seriously! I got this free pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn site, and they have a ton more. I’ll just warn you that making these is kind of like eating potato chips!

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