More Baby Crochet Donations

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Tuesday 28 February 2012 at 2:54 pm

Baby crochet and knitted items are still coming in these last few days of February. These little hats were knit by a member of the Crochet List group. Are they too cute or what?

Not long after these baby hats arrived, this tiny hat and sweater set came from another generous member of the group. These are arriving at school, so here I am working away and just couldn’t help but take a picture. Notice the little heart buttons on this!

Weekly Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 26 February 2012 at 4:50 pm

Needless to say, I was not at my blogging best last week. I have had tons of work-related meetings, which edged into my paper grading time, which edged into my blogging time! At least I have some links from other craft bloggers to enjoy today.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi turns a rub on from Claudine Hellmuth into a fabulous wearable!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make a dog paw print plaque and cover a cake with fondant along with some cool deck railing details and a bead and chain bracelet.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Do you have old shower curtains in your linen closet? Make them over into garment and shoe bags. Waste not; want not!

Mixed Media Artist
Taking tucks further: Cyndi works on adding texture to different fabric shapes.

40% Off of Tapestry: A Woven Narrative

Blogged under Crafty Products, Good Books by Tammy on Tuesday 21 February 2012 at 10:16 am

Back Dog Publishing sent me an offer for my blog readers to get 40% off this new book called Tapestry: A Woven Narrative. Contributors include Caron Penney, Fiona Mathison, and Timothy Wilcox. Here’s a blurb about it from the publisher:

Tapestry: A Woven Narrative is a review of contemporary tapestry design, discussing the progression from early designs to tapestry production today. The book looks in detail at the current tapestry scene, in which weavers and artists across the globe have begun appropriating the medium to present their work and ideas in a previously unexplored fashion, creating a fascinating juxtaposition between the socio-cultural documentation of many historical works and the more abstract, contemporary and personal themes often dealt with in tapestries today.


The publication includes works from notable modern artists such as Annika Ekdahl, Chuck Close, Fred Tomaselli, Marta Rogoyska, Archie Brennan, RB Kitaj, Lynne Curran, and Tracey Emin. In addition, the publication also looks at the output of the Dovecot Studios, West Dean Tapestry Studio, and the Australian Tapestry Workshop, the three most eminent studios of their kind in the world. Tapestry: A Woven Narrative also discusses the practical aspects of tapestry production, taking in both historical methods and those employed by the few specialist tapestry houses flourishing in the world.


With insightful original texts from experts in the field: curator Timothy Wilcox, noted academic Fiona Mathison and eminent weaver and West Dean Creative Director Caron Penney.Beautifully illustrated, Tapestry is a stunning and comprehensive exploration of this historical—but progressive—tradition.

To receive you discount, contact Jess at jess@blackdogonline.com .

Craft Links for the Week

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 20 February 2012 at 5:24 am

This one of my cats’ favorite windows. It’s a cat version of TV for them.

Aileen’s Musings
Get your grunge on with Aileen’s Grungy Heart Shrine tutorial.

Carmi’s Art/Life World

Carmi get’s to work with the new Claudine Hellmuth HSN kits!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world

This week at Craftside there are chances to win 2 sets of 3 fabulous craft books, your choice of Indygo Junction patterns along with info on the Vintage Inspired Modern Style Design Challenge, a tutorial on how to paint on fusible web and a recipe for vegan Oreo cookie cookies.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Sew a cute pin cushion bracelet to keep your pins (literally) on hand.

Mixed Media Artist
Mixed media cards were the order of the day when Michelle Mach hosted a challenge!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
An old purse gets a new look with Simply Spray paint.

1st Crochet Donations Arrived

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Sunday 19 February 2012 at 6:20 am

One member sent 15 hats, wow! And they are cute with a capital C! Here’s a picture of just a few of them so you can see the cute little swirls on the top better.

I am expecting more baby items from the group, as a number of members have told me they have either mailed them or getting ready to mail them soon.

Crochet people really are the best!

Hug It Out Baby Hat Finished

Blogged under Charity Crafting, Good Books, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 18 February 2012 at 11:48 am

After reviewing Drew Emborsky’s book called Hug It Out, I was ready to try a project and selected the baby hat project since I am in the middle of running a donation drive for a local Healthy Start chapter. I love how it turned out, and I started hat number 2, which I hope to finish this weekend.

Not only was this super easy to make and used medium weight yarn (so it works up pretty quickly), it has a really unusual texture to it, sort of like a basket weave. I’m not sure if you can see that from the photos or not. It is all made using single crochet and chain stitch, and by skipping some of the single crochet stitches and doing a chain instead, it creates a wonderful texture to the finished hat.

Since this uses two stitches that most beginners tackle first,  this is a great beginner project. In fact, you don’t make it in the round like most hats. You make a square (again very beginner friendly), then whip stitch up the ends (directions for this are in the back of the book), and then sew up the top draw string style.

The hat pictured is using the largest size hat measurements provided in the pattern. The second one I am making is going to be a little smaller (the large size 8×5 inches). This way I can donate an assortment of sizes. The hook size is I, and I used Vanna’s Baby for my hat in a color called Bluebell, which to me kind of has a purple tone to it.

More Jewelry Kits Out the Door

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Tuesday 14 February 2012 at 5:47 am

Part of my weekend was spent putting together jewelry kits for Annie’s Attic. This was reorder number 2, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be a regular thing.

Now I have a good spot to sit and assemble the kits, and I am starting to get more of a pattern down when doing this so it doesn’t take me all day long to assemble a few dozen earring kits. I am also thinking of making more kits, especially now that I may have a good market for them. I have to say, however, that these first two kits have really taught me a lot about kit making, designing, and selling.

When you design a kit, you have two issues to deal with first: you want to create a pleasing design that has unusual materials in it, but you can’t really have materials that are too unusual because you have to be able to buy them repeatedly as you sell more kits. It is one of the catch-22 things: unique but not too unique. The other issue that relates to this one is cost. You want unique, easy to buy, and not too expensive; otherwise, you can price the kit too high for anyone to buy.

Another issue is color. You need to pick colors that obviously look good together, but you also have to consider how they will look when photographed and then the photos are added to a web site or catalog. As an example of a kit that does not do well as far as color is my Briolette Earring kit and tutorial that I sell on Etsy. When you see these in person, they have lots of sparkle, and I get compliments whenever I wear them. But, photographs just do not do justice to them because rose quartz, silver, and clear crystal do not show up well in photographs. No matter how much my husband and I played with the lighting and even tried enhancing the photos, they just don’t look the same as they do in real life.

These are just a few of the elements I have to think about as I work on future jewelry kits. It definitely makes my exercise my jewelry design muscles!

LYS Trip No. 2

Blogged under Crafty Products, Fiber Fun, Yada, Yada, Yada, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Monday 13 February 2012 at 6:03 am

As promised (to myself), I waited to go back and visit the local yarn store (Yarn It!) after I had used the yarn I bought during my first visit to the store. Before I went, I researched a few crochet projects that I want to make, so this way, I had an idea about the yarn I would need. I have wanted to make myself a shawl to wear around the house when hubby has the AC cranking, and I also found a cute hat pattern (called the Rook Hat which is a free pattern on Ravelry) that required some unusual yarn, so I printed the instructions up for these and brought them with me.

For trip number 2, I felt a little better. At least I had a plan as far as what I was going to do with the yarn; however, I have to admit that I still feel out of my element. First of all, the pricing is hard to get used to, and I’m not saying the cost of the yarn is not worth it. I totally get that there is a world of difference between hand-dyed wool from Peru versus acrylic yarn from Michael’s. And I’m also not saying that the yarn store owner should put stuff on sale because I can only imagine her overhead and want to do what I can to make sure she keeps the doors open.

I’m saying that I’m used to buying the cheap stuff at JoAnn’s dot com when there is a 30% off sale and I have a promotion code for free shipping to boot. Even buying the cheap stuff, I am super frugal and rarely pay full price. It is just in my nature to try get some kind of sale on whatever it is I buy. So when you are used to buying skeins of yarn for $2.50 and you are shopping in a fancy yarn store where the least expensive skeins in the entire store are at best $6 each, well, it takes some mental adjusting.

The other issue that I’m tackling is learning about the different fibers and having a better understanding of them. Wool, for example, is not something you see much of in Florida. Seriously, I have just a few sweaters that I wear maybe one or two days a year, most of which are made from cotton. I have lots of cardigans because these are great for layering, and when you are in buildings where the AC is on full blast, you need those. But when I think of wool, I think of itchy, thick, and well, yucky, suffocating even. Of course, this is not the case for all wool.

I had prepared myself for a large purchase, which meant a large price tag, because I do not have time to drop by the shop that much. With one big project (the shawl) and one small project (the hat), I figured I would get a bunch of yarn that would keep me busy for a few months before I allowed myself another trip. In fact, this month I’m dedicating all my yarn time to making donation items, but March is going to be the “me” month, as in making stuff for me, myself, and I!

Here is the yarn I bought for the hat. Since Celeste does not buy yarn from China (which I think is kind of cool…good for her), she helped me find an alternative to Noro yarn that the pattern calls for. She had some of this worked up in a scarf, and it was GORGEOUS!

Then here is the yarn for the shawl, which, gulp, takes a lot of yarn! I ended up buying some of the same brand and color that I bought last time because I love it. In hind sight, maybe I should have at least gotten a different color, but I’m still attracted to the bright purple and think this will be a beautiful shawl.

Don’t even ask me how much money I spent. Let’s just say a lot. Hopefully, my crochet skills will do justice to my yarn purchase, and in a few months when I have completed these two projects and used up my fancy smancy yarn, I will make trip number 3.

This Week’s Craft Links

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Sunday 12 February 2012 at 2:04 pm

Lindsay Sews
Have you ever wondered what goes into writing a quilting pattern?

Mixed Media Artist
Learn how easy it is to create some great textured fabrics by adding simple hand-sewn tucks!

About Family Crafts
Want to participate in a fun craft challenge? Check out Sherri’s current pirate make-it-over crafts challenge!

Aileen’s Musings
Check out the Blog Giveaway Aileen is sharing and find out how you can win a felt love banner kit!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi had a whole week of CHA posts starting with this one about Basic Grey!

Craft Buds
Are you interested in writing and selling your sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, or other craft patterns? Check out our tips and let us know if you have any of your own.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter

Eileen made a hybrid Valentine’s Day card inspired by a book she just read, I Heart Stationery by Charlotte Rivers.

Little Crochet Baby Ghan

Blogged under Charity Crafting, crochet and knitting by Tammy on Thursday 9 February 2012 at 6:34 pm

Here is a little granny square baby afghan I made using some unusual yarn, or at least a little different than what I am used to using, Baby’s First from Lion Brand Yarn. I used colors called Honey Bee, Beanstalk, Splish Splash, and Fairy Tale. It is a mix of 45% cotton and 55% acrylic and is bulky (# 5).

I kind of have mixed feelings about this yarn, and I’m not sure if I would use it again or not. It feels really nice and soft; however, it can split like crazy when you are working on it. Plus, while the skeins look really large, you don’t get a lot of bang for your buck. I used 4 skeins and could barely squeeze out a 25 inch baby afghan out of them, which is really too small, but I will be d*mned if I’m going to buy more yarn!

Here is a picture of how close I was to getting one last row of the green, but nope! I had to frog the whole last row and contend with a few rows of single crochet to add a trim.

Anyone noticing a yarn shortage trend around here?

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