Star Baby Afghan Done!

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Monday 29 August 2011 at 5:46 am

I finished this star shaped baby afghan this past weekend. My first one didn’t turn out like I had hoped, so this is my second attempt. I’m very happy with the results, and I finished it in plenty of time for the couple I’m giving it to.

The original pattern came from here, and I changed it by using a different hook, altering the stitches a little, and using different yarn. I used a size J hook and Bernat Baby Softee, 2 skeins of Berries and Cream and one of Lemon Citron. The completed afghan measures 42 inches across, measuring in between two points of the star. Here is basically how I altered the pattern as far as stitches go:

  • First 5 rows – Berries and Cream and followed pattern exactly
  • Next 3 rows – Switched to Lemon Citron and continued to follow the pattern except I only used large shell stitches (2 dc 2 ch 2dc), no small shell stitches
  • Next 9 rows – Switched to Berries and Cream and continued the pattern, again using only large shell and not small shell stitches
  • Next 3 rows – Lemon Citron, large shell stitches
  • Final 5 rows – Berries and Cream, large shell stitches

So I ended up with a total of 25 rows. The shell stitches are done at the points of the star, and in between these are just double crochets. As you work around and around, you automatically increase double crochet stitches and your star grows.

Craft Link Sunday

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 28 August 2011 at 10:35 am

Doesn’t this little girl look exhausted? It is a tough job being a cat around here, so now and then Coco has to take a break. She is now about 8 months old and except for her belly, hasn’t really grown as much as we expected. Maybe there is a growth spurt in her future, but right now, she’s is compact like a little bowling ball.

Don’t let this little cat nap fool you, though. She is usually running around the house like a wild child, under foot, into everything! And, of course, she loves to help me with my crafting activities.

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
Looking for a unique idea to display your handcrafted jewelry? Cindy’s here to lend you a hand!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a tutorial on how to fold an origami mosquito and enter to win a copy of the book Origami 101, how to treat a dog when its overheating, dehydrated, and sunburned, some art from Gary Panter, and how to make your own crackers with a dehydrator.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Did you love finger painting as a child? Here is a sort of grown-up version you might enjoy.

Mixed Media Artist
Shrink plastic buttons? Yes!! Consider all the possibilities…

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Here is a spooktacular crochet eyeball pattern!

About Family Crafts
Take a moment to read some crafty money saving tips and then take a few more to publish your own!

Aileen’s Musings
This week Aileen offers you a fun Altered Cabinet card tutorial and freebie downloads stop by and get inspired to make some fall art!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi has a new card featuring a sweet elephant!

My Bead Soup

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Friday 26 August 2011 at 5:28 pm

This is the gorgeous bead soup I received from my partner Shiraz from Secret Song Designs. She was so generous. Obviously, I have plenty of supplies here to make multiple jewelry pieces.

Except for a sterling toggle that I put in at the last minute, this is the bead soup that I sent. She sent so much, that I hope I sent enough. The rules require that you send a focal piece (which I figured could either be the lampwork bead (made by DD Hess) or the “passion” charm); coordinating spacer or other beads; and a special clasp. I made a few claps, but then I thought the toggle would be good to add just in case she wasn’t thrilled with my wire handi-work.

Once we get our bead soup from our partner, the next thing we have to do is make jewelry – duh – and we must use the focal and clasp; otherwise, we can use the beads sent and/or some from our own stash if we want.

Lori Anderson is the wonderful (and probably a tad crazy) lady who runs this now annual event, and she has 362 participants this time, wow! Finished jewelry pieces are supposed to be revealed on Sept. 17th, 2011.

Free Crochet E-Book

Blogged under Around the Web,crochet and knitting by Tammy on Thursday 25 August 2011 at 8:23 am

Crochet Me, an Interweave site, has a free ebook available for members of their site. The book is called Chain Reaction Afghan Project and includes 20 square patterns from well-known crochet designers such as Drew Emborsky, Edie Eckman, and Lily Chin. The original squares made for this book were assembled by Marcy Smith, and Interweave plans to auction off the completed afghan for charity.

I make a lot of square myself, so I’d love to make something like this some day. The way each square pattern is very different yet they all seem to come together for an overall look is wonderful. Plus with squares, you don’t have to deal with a huge afghan until the end when you put them all together.

School and Crafts Starting Up

Blogged under My College Craft Club,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Tuesday 23 August 2011 at 9:11 am

School starts today! As usual, fall semester always seems to be packed full of activities. I already have my calendar marked up like crazy, and then just yesterday, someone asked me about teaching a jewelry class to some women’s organization that is associated with the college. Then I get an email today asking about when I can meet to discuss another school project I’m working on, yikes! To top it off, I’m teaching 6 classes: 2 traditional ENC1101s, a blended 1101, and 3 web classes: 1101, 1102, and 2210. Normally, I’m way ahead on being ready, but for some reason this semester I’m just not. One class got canceled, and that kind of threw me off some because I had to pick up a different one to replace it (though, of course, I would have been thrilled to just teach 5!), but I think it’s just I’m kind of overwhelmed with everything that is now thrown onto my plate.

The new semester also means the college craft club is getting active again, so while that is more work for me to do, it is at least pretty fun. I created a Facebook page for us and have tried to keep in contact with current members through this during the summer. We have club rush next week too, which means we might have a new influx of members. I’m also getting help from another faculty member this year, yeah! Needless to say, we have big plans.

It should be a crazy semester!

Craft Link Time

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 21 August 2011 at 1:19 pm

I don’t have a lot of pictures of Lola because most don’t come out that great. It is so hard to take photographs of animals with black fur, and her fur is super dark and soft, live velvet. Lola was an unexpected addition to the group of cats we adopted. She somehow made it under the radar.

We had reviewed the shelter’s web site and contacted them also before going over, so we kind of had an idea of who we were going to adopt. We also wanted to adopt slightly older cats, around 2 to 5 years old.

Since we planned on adopting multiple cats, the shelter folks immediately steered us toward Chanel and Coco who were mother and daughter, and the shelter didn’t want to (understandably) separate them. Then there was Herbie, whose description said he was about 2 1/2 years old and had been passed up too many times. He was super easy going from the moment we met him.

As we made the rounds of the shelter, we stepped into one room full of young black cats that swarmed us like flies, buzzing, purring, rubbing, loving like crazy! Lola was the first of this crowd to attack us (affectionately of course). She was all over us, trying to get inside my purse, literally throwing herself at us. How could we not take her? In fact, it was all we could do not take take every cat in that room!

When we got home, we looked at the paperwork and realized she was only 8 months old, not the older cat we had planned on, but it was all sort of serendipitous. Today, she is still super affectionate. In fact, she does this funny thing where no matter where you are standing, she comes up to you and brushes past you with her old body, sort of like if you swipe a credit card through a reader. After she does this, she usually stands right up next to you, so you have to really watch where you step!

Okay, that is today’s cat tale (ha ha…) and here are today’s crafting links, just a few but super good ones this week!
About Family Crafts
The current make-it-over crafts challenge is all about teaching math using crafts… Come play along!

Beading Arts
The “Mostly Metal” challenge was a great success, many thanks to Michelle Mach! Come and see all the fun pieces that were made.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi shares a post she wrote for John Bead using embossing powders and metal.

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a fun article all about Jeannine Stein author of Adventures in Bookbinding, which you have a chance to win just by leaving a comment in the post, an idea for using an unusual element as a curtain tieback, a bunny poem, and how to create a hierarchy and system for type.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Eileen takes a precious amethyst necklace from dull to dramatic.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
How to make a Fancy Framed cartoon card and a chance to win a Cricut Fancy Frames Cartridge.

Star Afghan Take 2

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Friday 19 August 2011 at 8:22 am

I’m making another attempt at the star afghan. The last one I made had a lot of boo-boos in it, so that is in the charity bin. This one is going to a couple my husband I both know, and so far so good. I’ve had to frog rows a few times here and there, but I manage to get back on track. The thing with this pattern, which I’m not following exactly anyway, is that it takes some counting, which means you can’t just mindlessly crochet like you could with something like a granny square. I’m not exactly doing calculus here either, but if you don’t pay a little attention, you find that you have extra stitches or not enough. On the up side, when I do pay attention, it comes along pretty quickly. I should have this done in maybe a week or so (as long as I an keep the frogging to a minimum).

Organic Cotton Baby Afghan Completed!

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Thursday 18 August 2011 at 8:46 am

My latest project is finally complete, a baby afghan using Lion Brand Organic Cotton in a color called “macadamia.” It’s about 32 inches x 32inches, and I used around 5 skeins of yarn for it and a K size hook. The edging is a solid scallop stitch, and the center is made up of shell pattern stitches. This is very thick yarn and actually surprisingly heavy, so I opted for a stitch that wouldn’t make it too heavy.

In the above photo, you can get a little better look at the center stitches. At this point, it’s been washed and blocked. I just need to trim off a few fuzzies from it, and then I can pack it off and sent it to it’s new home. I know that cotton will not be as durable as acrylic, but it is so soft and “spa” feeling. It’s just hard to compare cotton to acrylic, you know!

Crafting Link Day

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 14 August 2011 at 11:52 am

It seems lately that I’ve often included a little cat story and photo with some of my weekly link posts, so here is another one for you: Chanel adores Herbie! I mean everyone in the house does really, but this girl is flat out in love with this dude. Luckily, Herbie has a really easy-going personality, so when Chanel insists on squeezing into the box with him on top of my filing cabinet, he’s okay with that. Notice how the box is sort of bent on the side? That’s because Herbie and Chanel are both at least 9 to 10 lbs each, so we are talking a tight squeeze here. I love the look on her face, as if she’s telling me “He’s mine! All mine!”

Okay, now for some craft links from some of my fellow crafting bloggers:
Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to upcycle 3 t-shirts using inspiration and techniques from the new book 101 Tees by Cathie Filian.

About Family Crafts
Find out how you can participate in the current craft challenge and get your butterfly crafts featured!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has had a busy spring and summer making beaded jewelry pieces!

Aileen’s Musings
Take a flight over to Aileen’s blog to view her ethereal gossamer wing tutorial.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi has some beautiful frame cards to share featuring Fairyopolis!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside brings you a chance to win 1 of 50 bulking dummies (blank books), a video from the 5th Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards, a Steampunk decoration idea, facts about manual coffee grinders, and how to create a visual path in a composition

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Consider the profit potential of jewelry repair and redesign.

Making Dog Leg Warmers?

Blogged under Charity Crafting,crochet and knitting by Tammy on Friday 12 August 2011 at 8:50 am

This is what happens when I spend too much time on Facebook: I volunteer to do crazy things like make leg warmers for a dog 😉

Leggings for Life is a Facebook page started by Lisa Krolasik, who has a mission to help special needs cats and dogs, like her cat Willow whose back legs are deformed. Since Willow can’t use her back legs, she has to drag them around, and Lisa got the idea to make little leg warmers for her to help protect her legs. There’s actually a more detailed story about it over at The Creative Cat weblog.

Of course, when I read about this I had to contact Lisa. I mean…I need something else to do, right? Seriously, I’m such an animal lover I felt compelled, and crocheting up some little leg warmers didn’t sound that hard.

Lisa attempts to match up crocheters with a specific animal, preferably one that is close by in case you need to go see the animal. I was matched up with Dakota, a resident of Safe Harbor in Jupiter, Florida, which is about 45 minutes south of where I live. Lisa got Dakota’s caretakers to measure her legs for me, and now I have a crochet leg warmer assignment!

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