Stacey Trock Pattern Sale 12/31/12!

Blogged under amigurumi,Crafty Products by Tammy on Monday 31 December 2012 at 9:58 am

I’ve really been enjoying the Woodland Animals amigurumi class I’m taking from designer Stacey Trock on Though I’m not new to amigurumi, I still feel like I’m learning a lot from the class, and I find her patterns to be very easy to follow. That’s why I’m helping pass the word on about a one day pattern sale she is having in honor of her birthday, which is today 12/31/12. She’s offering 36% off her patterns, which you can purchase through Ravelery or directly through her Freshstitches web site. The discount code is STACEYS30TH, and you can find out all the details on her blog.

Her patterns are pretty reasonable any way, so with the extra 36% discount, they are priced really low. I purchased 5 patterns (Cliveton the Tiny Pig; Choose Your Own Dragon Adventure; Owen the Monkey; Jeff the Valentine Dog; and Cliff the Brontosaurus) for a total of $16. Plus, since I purchased them through Ravelry, they are automatically in my on-line library over there. Anywho, I have no affiliation but am just a fan who has enjoyed making a number of her patterns.

Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 30 December 2012 at 10:18 am

Beer and pretzels… and caramel, oh my!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a tutorial on how to make a recycled paper picture featuring text, a recycled box dollhouse and a recipe for a champagne cocktail called the Full Regalia.

How to Create a New Year Photo Calendar
A photo calendar lets you keep memories close all year long. Here’s how to design and bind one yourself.

L Thykeson’s Uniques
Santa came early, and some arty eye candy for you to look at.

New Paintings: Hey You
Cherie shares paintings and poetry.

Old Book Crafts
If you’ve got some old books, maps or antique paper around, you can make some pretty cool upcycled book projects. Check out the round-up of upcycled book projects at CraftFoxes.

Here Chicky, Chicky…Amigurumi Chicken

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Saturday 29 December 2012 at 6:03 pm

The blue bird from the Woodland Amigurumi class I am taking was so easy and fast, I decided to make another one but this time using yellow and orange yarn. My idea was that it would look similar to a duck, but the finished bird looks more like a chicken. I tried to flatten the beak, but I don’t think it is flat enough. I still like the little guy, especially considering it took so little time to make. Now on to another teddy bear before I make any more birds.

Mr. Blue Bird

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting,Crafty Videos by Tammy on Thursday 27 December 2012 at 6:02 pm

After making Teddy 1.0, I decided to back up in the Craftsy class I’m taking and make the first project, which is the chunky blue bird.

Don’t you just want to squeeze this little guy? He was super fast to make and ended up being about six inches high. I did a few things differently on this amigurumi than I have done in the past. First, I stitched the single crochet stitches in the back loops instead of both loops. I’m more comfortable going through both, but since this is a bird, I thought I’d go with what is suggested in the class and stitch in the back loops because you end up with some texture. One result of doing this is that you end up being to count the rows much easier because they are much more noticeable. I think I’m a back loop convert, at least when it comes to softies.

Another change I made were the eyes. Safety eyes are “safe,” but they are best for children over 3 years old, and since I plan to donate most of my future toys, I won’t know how old the children are who receive them. I ended up cutting circles out of felt and gluing them on. I need to come up with a method to cut more precise felt circles, but other than that, I like the results.

Meet Teddy 1.0

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Wednesday 26 December 2012 at 1:56 pm

Because I had originally planned this guy would head off to Connecticut (see this post for an explanation), I had jumped ahead to the second project in the Amigurumi: Woodland Animals Craftsy class. The first project is a large bird, but I thought a teddy bear was a little more soothing than a bird. So here he is, Teddy 1.0.

Of course, like anything else I make, I can see numerous little boo-boo’s, but he didn’t turn out too bad. However, I’m moving back to the first lesson and starting over with making the bird first, and then I might make Teddy 2.0 and see if I do a little better with him the second time around. I’m not sure if he’s keeping the ribbon or not. I might have to dig around in my ribbon box and come up with something wider for him.

I’m loving the class so far. I don’t imagine I’ll get through all the projects before school starts up again, but I should get a few more made hopefully. There are a total of 4 projects (a bird, bear, deer, and raccoon), and each project gets more difficult as you progress through them.

I still struggle with stitching all the parts and pieces together, but Stacey gives you some pretty good tips for this, and I’m sure I’ll get better with time.

I always feel like some kind of mad scientist during this part of the process!

Merry Christmas & Enjoy Some Crafting!

Blogged under Social Networking,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 24 December 2012 at 10:31 am

Coco and I are patiently waiting for Santa to come tomorrow, and my furry and human family would like to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas. This holiday really came out of nowhere for me this year. We managed to finally get the tree decorated after it sat with lights only for weeks, and well, the Christmas cards that I planned to mail out are still sitting on my desk, but hey, you can only do what you can do.

I have caught up on school work and freelance work so for at least the next few days I plan to chill and enjoy myself with some crafting and family fun. I am hoping to finish up one of the amigurumi Craftsy classes I started awhile back (Woodland Animals), catch up on yarn podcasts, and make a necklace using a very cool vintage piece gifted to me by a friend.

What are your plans for the next few days?

Craft Links!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 23 December 2012 at 12:42 pm

Knitting Patterns for Beginners
Are you just getting started with knitting? Check out this round-up of easy knitting patterns for beginners over at CraftFoxes.

Mixed Media Artist
Think you don’t have enough time left to make any decorations or gifts? Wrong!!

My Family’s Homemade Ornament Exchange
Cherie shows off some of the homemade ornaments her family has made in their exchange.

One of my favorite treats, candied ginger dipped in chocolate. It’s easy to make and a great holiday gift!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a tutorial on how to make fabric covered pom pom trim, make a festive holiday container garden, a big ibook giveaway from the itunes store of awesome craft and cook books, and all about edible acorns.

How to Create a Cheery Folk Art Angel Ornament
Make several of these jute ribbon angels to represent friends or family members. You can even let the kids draw on the faces themselves; just be sure to date their art!

Info on my Workshop, “Embrace the Day”!
Never too late to join, and we would love to have you!

Craftsy Class Sale on Until 12/24/12

Blogged under Craft Classes by Tammy on Saturday 22 December 2012 at 10:52 am

Let me say up front that I have no connection to I’m just a big fan of the site and concept. I have taken the free class about wool and purchased the two amigurumi classes taught by Stacey Trock, both of which I haven’t completed yet but hope to do over my holiday break from school. I have also signed up for just about every free class offered on the site as well.

I have to say that the classes are awesome, and heck, I teach English classes on line (composition and technical communications), so I think I have a little knowledge when it comes to web classes. I have even made a lot of videos for my own classes, and the classes are all video based with the inclusion of printed materials lists and patterns/instructions. This provides a mix of text based and visual information, which for a craft class is really important. In addition, each paid for class includes an option to post questions for the instructor, comment on a message board with other students, post your projects and see projects of other students, and make your own notes.

I’m babbling about Craftsy today because there is a 75% off sale going on now until 12/25/12, and yes, I caved and signed up for two more classes: Spindling: From Fluff to Stuff and Crochet: Beyond Rectangles. Now that I have paid for four classes, I don’t know if I will manage to get through them all on my short break, but at least there is no deadline like there is for real school. I can take them slowly and even wait until the summer, but for 75% off, I couldn’t resist the deal.

Too Much Love for Connecticut Turns into More Love to Spread

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting by Tammy on Thursday 20 December 2012 at 10:53 am

Ever since I made a batch of amigurumi toys for a charity drive this past summer, my love for making stuffed toys (aka softies aka amigurumi) was refueled, and I started wondering about how to use this to help children locally. Once issue, however, is it is really just me here to do it. While I do advice a college craft club, the majority of our members are not advanced enough to make toys. We start with chain stitch and move up to simple projects like snuggles for local animal shelters, cotton wash cloths, or squares that I somehow have to connect together to make baby blankets. So, yes, squares basically.

Since our students tend to come and go and, obviously, graduate, that means we have new members almost every semester, so that rolls us back to the chain stitch and more squares. Unless we manage to get a group that already has some crochet basics, this cycle repeats itself. And I’m fine with that. One of the reasons I started the club was to teach crafting, not just help charities. So as members come and go, we are able to teach more people. It is all good.

Back to me and the toys – I subscribe to the Fresh Stitches blog, and Stacy recently posted about a toy drive organized by the Crochet Guide of America to send amigurumis to the children of Newton, Connecticut. Of course, I jumped on board right away. Then I found out about another amazing toy drive for these children called 600 Monsters Strong, whose initial idea was to make and donate 600 monster toys to the children of Newton. Since these both started, news agencies have reported about the outpouring of love for the residents of Newton. 600 Monsters Strong has been featured in the Huffington Post as well as a few other outlets. I have also seen this on TV news were stuffed toys, Christmas trees, wreaths, free coffee, you name it has been donated to those living in and around this small town.

All this goodness and love, however, seemed to turn almost into a problem as organizers, such as those who started the 600 Monsters Strong drive, realized the generosity was maybe going to be too much. Would the toys even be needed by Newton children now? Was there too much love? Luckily, according to the information provided on various posts on the group’s Ravelry board and Facebook page, not only are they pretty sure that they will get the monster toys to the children of Newton, but the love is spreading and spilling over. They are now working towards becoming a non-profit group and finding a way to continue the toy love to other children in need of something to snuggle and comfort them.

Like many in the crafting community, I am making toys now with the idea that I may send them into one of these groups; however, it has also started my wheels turning again as I look at my own community and realize that there are groups here that would probably benefit from hand-made toy donations. For example, there is a women’s shelter that my club has made wash cloths for (Miss Inc), and when I spoke with the director one time and asked her what they needed, she said, “Everything.” The residents normally come to the shelter with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and most are women with young children, ah … children (my brain tells me) who might like a hand-made toy monster or teddy bear to hold.

Yes, I’m still concerned about the fact that I am one person and can only make so much, and of course, I also feel obligated to help other donation drives for various groups that I am active with, but for now, I am just going to keep making toys here and there without any kind of deadline in mind. When I get a large enough collection, then I can deliver them to the shelter. If I find out crafters along the way to help, that is great, but otherwise, I’ll just keep making the toys.

Crafting Link Time, Late!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Wednesday 19 December 2012 at 2:20 pm

I’ve had spotty Internet for a few days, so I’m late with my crafting links! But all is good now and I’m back on-line.

How to Make Bread Dough Clay Holly Leaf Christmas Ornaments
Bread dough clay is fun for kids of all ages. What a great project for a wintry snow day!

Mixed Media Artist
Sometimes the design process can be painful! Cyndi decides to share some of her recent mistakes.

Modern Quilt Pattern
Remember Lindsay’s Equalizer Quilt? It’s a modern look that makes a perfect quilt for men, and it’s now a free pattern.

Wedding Cake Ideas
Even if you’re not planning a wedding, check out this post on wedding cake ideas at CraftFoxes. From ombre to cake tattoos, this list is inspiring.

Ornaments, ornaments, ornaments! Fifteen of them in 15 days… and plenty of them you can get finished in time for THIS Christmas!

CD Scrapbook Ornaments
Cherie makes ornaments out of old CDs and scrapbooking supplies.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to fold an origami gift box, make a recycled t-shirt wreath, create a comic with found text, some deer themed logos to inspire different drawing styles, and 6 tips for choosing healthy foods.

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