Crochet Tigers Ready to Party

Blogged under Fiber Fun, Finished Projects by Tammy on Friday 31 July 2009 at 6:21 pm

Are you ready to party? Well, these guys are. They are two amigurumi crochet tigers, and they are ready to be wrapped and sent off to attend a birthday party for my two nephews. Interestingly enough, my first tiger turned out better than my second. That’s usually not the way of things as I normally get better not worse when I’m learning a new craft skill, but hey, hopefully the guys will cut Aunt Tammy a little slack.

Crochet Frogs Were a Hit

Blogged under Design Ideas by Tammy on Thursday 30 July 2009 at 5:38 pm

Sorry I have been missing in blogging action around here lately. Between school and other obligations and some crafting, I have just been a really busy bee crafter, more so than usual. While I love blogging, if it comes down to spending the little extra time crafting something like a new necklace or writing about it, I tend to prefer making something, ya know! Plus, I have some relatives down for a brief period of time, and for some reason, they did not check on either of my class syllabi before making their travel plans!

I stopped by today to see them and other relatives that at least live in the state, and I brought along two amigurumi frogs for my youngest nephews. I wasn’t sure what the guys would think of them, but surprisingly enough they were actually well received! So if you are looking for a little gift to craft for a youngster, I can definitely recommend amigurumi animals, or at least frogs. There’s a big birthday bash planned soon, and I’ll be bringing tigers, so we’ll see what the reaction is to them.

Doublestitch Crochet Book Thoughts

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Monday 27 July 2009 at 5:09 pm


I recently purchased a few crochet books through Interweave’s yearly hurt and overstock sale (which by the way sent me book that are not “hurt” at all but in perfect shape), and one of those books was a title I’ve had on my Amazon wish list for awhile, Doublestitch: Designs for the Crochet Fashionista by Erika and Monika Simmons. I have seen videos of these designers and listened to podcasts too, and these two are hilarious and full of energy. They could easily have their own television show. I’m also a big fan of the double crochet stitch, so these combined made me curious about the book. However, I held off because from the few pieces I had seen from the book and the “fashionista” subtitle, I had a feeling that this was not going to be a book for a 40 something school teacher to make crocheted clothes from. When the Interweave sale had it for as low as about $5, though, I couldn’t resist, thinking that even if there was one pattern in there that I liked, it was worth the $5.

Basically, my instincts were right about this book. Of the 20+ patterns, there is only really 1 that I could make and wear without altering at all, the “Shrunken Jacket,” which sort of looks like a vest. It is age and career appropriate for me, and while I might not include the attached scarf, I could keep it and not have to worry about this being too crazy for the classroom. Other than that specific pattern, there are about 5 others that I could see myself wearing with some slight alterations to make them more my taste and (again) age appropriate.

That said, I still like this book, especially considering what I paid for it, and if I was about 20 years younger and had my 20 year younger hot body to boot, I would be able to pull off more of the looks created for this book.

Craft Bloggers Unite 07/26/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 26 July 2009 at 9:31 am

Pictured above is a tiny little bag I made recently using a pattern called Dot’s Little Ditty Bag. I liked how it turned out, though it is really small! So, I’m now making one similar to it but bigger. I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out. As you can see, I’m not the only busy crafter on the web. Check out this week’s craft bloggers’ links.

Mixed Media Artist
If you get inspired by seeing fabulous work by other artists, check out some of the fabulous profiles that Cyndi has posted!

Naughty Secretary Club
Jen takes some of her favorite free embroidery patterns on the net and transforms them into plush dolls.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Check out a A Floral-tasticly good project from the new book- Kanzashi in Bloom

The Artful Crafter
Do you know what a bead board is? No, not the kind you nail to the wall. LOL.

The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares a couple of sneak peeks of some mixed media jewelry she’s created to wear to the CHA Show!

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
25 Signs that you love to create!

About Family Crafts
Is it too early to start thinking about Halloween crafting? How early do you start your Halloween planning?

About.com Cross Stitch
Can You Stitch and Ride? Connie barely can and she wants to hear what your situation is - be sure to read the comments and add your own.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen has an exciting announcement! She’s just finished creating a book for Project Ties That Bind benefiting Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). 100% of all proceeds from the book are going to OCRF. Stop by and take a sneak peek at this beautiful 68 page book filled with beautiful vivid pictures and inspirational quotes and stories.

Cathie Filian
Whip up a custom belt buckle with a little paper, creativity and Dimensional Magic.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to do recycled paper napkin casting, make a movable fighting girl element, an interview with Norma V. Toraya author of Paper Puppet Palooza, a video on how to die cut and needle felt a bookmark from a recycled wool sweater and how to create a window for pressed botanicals in your gathering journal.

Latest Jewelry Projects

Blogged under Crafty Products, Free Craft Projects, Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 25 July 2009 at 9:57 am

I’ve been busy in the jewelry studio lately, so I wanted to share some of my latest tutorials with you in case you missed them over at my About.com site. Pictured above is a two-piece tutorial, one for the metal clay heart and one for the fiber and bead necklace: Copper Clay Lace Heart Pendant and Hip Hemp, Bamboo Beads and Copper Heart Necklace. I designed it so you can easily add or remove the heart pendant because I think the necklace looks good with or without it.

I also posted more starfish projects, and these babies have tons of sparkle going on because of the AB finish on the Swarovski starfish components. You really can’t get a full appreciation for the sparkle with pictures unfortunately. They just don’t do justice to seeing them in person: Swarovski Crystal Intense Sparkle Starfish Necklace and Swarovski Crystal Intense Sparkle Starfish Earrings.

Load Up on Cute on the Cheap - Amigurumi Pattern Sale

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Friday 24 July 2009 at 9:42 am

No affiliation here other than Amy Gaine’s is one of my tweeps but I wanted to pass on what I think is an awesome amigurumi pattern sale at her Etsy shop. For the next few days, until July 28, 2009, she has a buy one pattern get one free sale going on, with the freebie being the least expensive. Above is a set of pattern she sells (called Little Amigurumi Critters), but she has other sets and single pattern as well. Considering most of her patterns are pretty reasonably priced already, I think this is an awesome deal.

Crafting Crafty Videos with Photo Story3

Blogged under Around the Web, Crafting a Career by Tammy on Thursday 23 July 2009 at 9:50 am


Yesterday, I took a quickie techie type class at the college. I often teach web-based classes, and even my traditional classes use the web extensively. In fact, unless students actually write in my classroom (and they do), I do not accept hardcopy papers at all any more. I receive students’ final papers through a class web site, I grade them using some simple Word macros I created, and I send them back to students through the same site. No fuss, no muss, no lugging around papers and pen for moi any more!

I also try to use the web to post digital media to assist students, and so that was part of yesterday’s class, which included a brief but amazing introduction to a free software called Photo Story3. This software allows you to use still images (.jpg files) to create your own videos. You can zoom in and out of the images, create various other affects with them, add audio, add text, and even include music.

I decided to write about this here on my crafting blog because, as well as seeing a ton of school-related potential like creating grammar how-to videos, I can see how crafters can use this tool to create how-to crafting videos. If you have spent time taking pictures of your crafting, you can now take those images, upload them into Photo Story3, and create an actual video out of them. After spending some time creating real videos for my metal clay book, I can testify to the fact that they are very time intensive. Even just creating a few minutes of video can take hours of effort, and you really need to have the equipment to handle some editing as well if you want anything of quality produced.

I’m not saying that this software can replace an real moving video; however, for those who have wanted to do something like a video but felt intimidated by the amount of time, special knowledge, and equipment required, this offers a DIY option on the cheap.

My Florida Writings

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Tuesday 21 July 2009 at 8:05 am


I have been book deprived lately, as in not writing a book, so I have to confess a little thrill to see my name in the Table of Contents of at least someone else’s book, Florida in the Popular Imagination: Essays on the Cultural Landscape of the Sunshine State. My chapter starts on page 159, “The Space Coast: Where Dreams Meet Possibilities.” From what I can tell, it is intact for the most part from getting too much attention from an editor’s touch. Someone did do a weird global change, though. Any time I included the acronym KSC, someone added the word “the” in front of it. It sounds weird to me, but I guess I should be grateful that seems to be about it for editing.

I wrote the chapter for this book for a few reasons. First, I wanted to have something other than crafting publications on my CV, but also I have been interested in writing about Florida’s space culture for awhile. I grew up on what is called The Space Coast of Florida, the area around the Space Center. My father was a 30+ year NASA engineer, and I later got my first “real” job as a publications writer (aka technical writer) for Lockheed’s Operations and Maintenance Division located at KSC (not the KSC as there is just one, ya know). It was just about the last place I expected to find myself after graduating with my MA in literature, but it was wonderful on-the-job training for future writing jobs, both technical and crafting.

Honestly, it actually looks like an interesting read, even for those who don’t live in Florida because it focuses on a lot of cultural iconic elements that most people think about when they think about this weird state. I have read a few chapters so far, and they were pretty entertaining and full of lots of little knowledge tid-bits. If you are interested in Florida culture, then this may be a good summer read. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

This book provides the first critical discussion of popular culture in Florida, which began drawing winter visitors before the Civil War and now boasts more than a hundred million visitors annually. These essays explore many facets of Florida’s culture, examining such topics as the ever-present specters of Mickey, Shamu, and other theme park staples; early tourist sites enjoyed by tin-can campers before the ubiquitous megaparks elbowed out more organically Floridian attractions; Key West as a mecca of queer culture; the infamous relationship between Key West and its favorite son, Ernest Hemingway; and an overview of several iconic Florida institutions, including Bike Week, the Daytona 500, and Spring Break. The work concludes with a look at Florida’s role in the highly controversial presidential election of 2000.

Amigurumi Tiger…Grreat!

Blogged under Fiber Fun by Tammy on Monday 20 July 2009 at 8:00 am

Well, I love how this Tommy Tiger (free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn) turned out! I am still amazed how quickly amigurumi works up. I guess it’s mainly because you work in single crochet stitches in the round without joining, so you just go around and around and around, and then voila! You are done in a matter of hours. For me so far, the most difficult part is stitching the faces, but hopefully, I’ll get better at it as I do more of them.

This is the first of hopefully two tigers that I will be giving to my nephews next month as little extras for their birthdays. Skimpy, at least, seemed to like it, though some of this insistence to be in the photo was probably because he just wanted my attention. He’s 15 years old, so he sleeps most of the time, but when he’s awake, look out! He must have your attention, and “no” is not in his vocabulary.

Craft Bloggers Unite 07/19/09

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 19 July 2009 at 9:36 am

I was attempting to take some pictures of my latest amigurumi, but as you can see, Skimpy would have none of it! Why am I so fixated on a stuff cat when I can have the real thing? So you will have to wait for a better picture too. While you are waiting, take a look at this week’s crafting links.

The Artful Crafter
Eileen shows you how to make a multi-strand fiber bracelet.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Drink Mermaids take the plunge into some silver paint and get transformed into some swimmingly fun necklaces inspired by the wonderfully innovative book- A Charming Exchange.

The Crochet Dude
Drew reviews the new Simplicty Rotary Cutting Maching - offers up a free crocheted project using fabric strips - and he’s giving away a Rotary Cutting Machine to one lucky commenter!

The Impatient Crafter

Madge shows you how to make a quick and easy Altered Chinese Paper Lantern in her first post on Kid/Teen Crafts for I Love to Create!

Vickie Howell-Craft.Rock.Love
Check out Vickie’s free pattern for a knitted lace, iPhone cozy!

About Family Crafts
I need your help! Be the first to submit a photo of this completed craft and be featured on the Family Crafts site!

Aileen’s Musings
Your help is needed…Please take a moment to help make a difference We have a chance to get our ovarian cancer charity project on the cover of a northern CA magazine. Your vote is needed! The project benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Deadline for voting is July 23rd so hurry and cast your vote!

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Alexa shares the mentall process behind creating a post on her swell craft blog

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside’s got a how-to’s on bleaching photos and juxtaposing images, a mixed-media journal out of a wide variety of recycled materials and a video with Scatha G. Allison where she shows the incredible designs from her book Jean Therapy. Be sure to answer the day’s questions to be entered to win a free book!

CraftyPod
SisterDiane is thrilled to unveil her new ebook, Weaving Un-Loomed: Simple Ways to Weave Cool Things.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Have fun trying out these new free Candlewicking patterns Connie’s sharing. If you use one, send in a photo to show it off!

Mixed Media Artist
Using two very different book pages, you can create a found poem for an altered book…or just because!

Naughty Secretary Club
Jen shares clever and crafty uses for suitcases that have nothing to do with holding clothing. Side tables, laptop cases and portable craft studios oh my!

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