Paints, Beads, and Color!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 18 May 2014 at 9:50 am

Art Bead Scene
Take a peek Inside the Studio with Rebecca of Songbead – and be in with the chance to win some of her hand-woven beaded beads!

Resin Crafts
A week of working in molds is summarized in this post featuring the lovely Frida encased in EasyCast.

A Bead A Day
Sometimes you just need a little jewelry pick-me-up to make a work Friday a little more fun. Lisa is sharing her Fun Friday jewelry and would love to hear about yours!

It’s party time!
Andrew celebrates the Grand Reopening of Allegory Gallery in their new location! Check out the recap of the event.

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!
Jean reviews a lovely set of paintbrushes by showing what they do!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has been sharing some of the practice pieces that she made for her new e-book!

Mixed Media: Adding Layers
Cherie creates a mixed media picture with her favorite colors.

Crochet a Small Baby Bird Nest

Blogged under amigurumi,Free Craft Projects by Tammy on Sunday 18 May 2014 at 9:22 am

I created this pattern using basic amigurumi techniques for crocheting in the round. The nests are needed by various wildlife rehabilitation groups. I originally put this pattern together for San Rafael’s WildCare, but feel free to use it for any group that needs small bird nests.

This uses Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn and a size H hook. The finished size should be 3 inches high and 4 inches wide. This should be stitched with a tight gauge so that there are no holes that the bird’s legs might get stuck in. A few crocheters have used this same pattern and used doubled worsted weight yarn and either a G or F hook. Obviously, everyone’s gauge varies, so keep this in mind.

You can start with magic ring, or I prefer to do what some people call a “sloppy slip knot.” I got this technique from Fresh Stitches, and it works well for making sure you don’t have a hole in the center when you crochet in the round. A stitch marker to keep count of each row that you increase in is very helpful. I also crocheted in the back loops (something else I learned from Stacey at Fresh Stitches). I find this helps for counting rows since you actually have lines on the nest by doing this.

ch 2
Round 1: sc 6 times in 2nd ch from hook (6)
Round 2: sc twice in each st (12)
Round 3: * sc twice in next st, sc in next st. Repeat from * 5 times (18)
Round 4: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 2 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (24)
Round 5: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 3 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (30)
Round 6: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 4 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (36)
Round 7: * sc twice in next st, sc in next 5 sts. Repeat from * 5 times (42)
Round 8 – 13: sc in each stitch
End with 1 slip stitch in the next stitch and pull yarn through top of next stitch.
Weave in all tails.

Cupcake Fingerless Gloves Done!

Blogged under crochet jewelry,Fiber Fun,Finished Projects by Tammy on Saturday 17 May 2014 at 10:45 am

The Cupcake Fingerless Gloves I started recently are done! And I love how they turned out. The yarn (Desert Vista Dyeworks Viso in the Happy Birthday, Cupcake colorway) was wonderful to work with. Heck, even the striping almost matches, and while I did start the second glove around the same color as the first one on purpose, I honestly did not do much else to get this to happen. This yarn is sock weight made of 75% Superwash Merino wool and 25% nylon. It is not necessarily super soft like the previous pair of gloves I made for my hubby, but that yarn had some cashmere in it.

The pattern is a free one from Lion Brand called “All Season Wristers,” and I did modify this a tad. I made the larger size (that starts with 34 chains) and used a size G hook instead of an F. I also just attached yarn to the hole area for the thumb and did around 6 rows of single crochet. For me, that made the thumb part much easier than the instructions provided. Also, because I like to be able to turn down these gloves so that you can have the option of wearing them on the long side, I added about an inch of single crochet at the top of each one.

These are ready to be soaked and blocked, and then I have plans to mail them off to a friend of mine who is yarn worthy. I have a lot of left over yarn from this skein, so I’m toying with the idea of seeing if I can squeeze out another pair. I may even rewind the ball of yarn to see if I can get two even balls and try making them two at a time and see how that goes.

Made by Hand 10% Discount

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Thursday 15 May 2014 at 10:02 am

Black Dog Publishing is offering my readers a 10% discount on a new title called Made by Hand. This offer is good through June 15, 2014. Here are some details about the book from a press release the publisher sent me:

Made By Hand takes the reader through tailors, shoemakers, stationers, watchmakers, instrument makers, cosmeticists and more, profiling these makers with images of themselves, their workshops, products and techniques. By focusing on the choice these artisans have made to craft goods in an age where mass-produced, imported wares are cheaper and easier to produce, the book is a celebration of the return to the organic, the hand-made and the home-grown, at a time when owning carefully crafted products is considered environmentally friendly and economy boosting, and ultimately fashionable.

Each maker features with interviews probing their techniques, the surrounding tradition and their motivation for working by hand. This is accompanied by trivia, such as the celebrities they have produced for and some of the most rarified pieces they have ever made.

Prefaced by an introductory text about the ethos of hand making, and with the juxtaposition of traditional craft alongside contemporary hand making throughout, Made By Hand is framed as an address to hand craft as an environmentally friendly and economically healthy resurgence that is not only nostalgic, but also progressive and productive.

Email before 15 June to claim your extra 10% discount

Felting Book Review

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Wednesday 14 May 2014 at 11:30 am

Felting by Elvira Lopez Del Prado Rivas is published by Schiffer Publishing and has a copyright date of 2013. It retails for $29.99 in the US and is a 144 page hardcopy book. The five chapters in this book cover a huge amount of information related to felting starting with its properties, exactly what is felt; where wool come from and different types of wool; felting techniques, both wet and dry; ways to work with felt; and then projects. A good chunk of this book (the first 45 pages) deals with methods and techniques, while the rest of the book is dedicated to projects. One nice touch is that there is an entire projects chapter for children’s projects, which I thought was nice to see.

This book is generous with color photos, especially in the projects section, and I counted 31 projects in total. I love the idea of felting, but I have to admit that many of the project were, for me, a little rustic for my personal taste. Of course, some might argue that this is part of what makes hand-made felt to wonderful. Two projects that I thought looked more finished were the purse and slippers. I really liked both of these, and I could see the slippers project as becoming amazing gifts that are very functional and beautiful as well.

Another part that I really liked in this book is the “Process” chapter. While you may not want to necessarily process your own wool from the sheep to prepare it to creating felt, I like knowing about it and felt it was a good addition to the book. In fact, this really has all the information you need from tools to techniques to how-to projects to make your own felt and turn it into something functional or decorative or both.

Cupcake Fingerless Gloves Continued

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Tuesday 13 May 2014 at 3:25 pm

This is just a brief post show show off my progress so far on the fingerless gloves using some yummy “Happy Birthday Cupcake” yarn. As usual with this pattern, it’s stitch, stitch, frog, stitch, stitch, stitch, frog, stitch, but they are looking pretty good so far. I love how this yarn looks!

Beads and Bag for Mom

Blogged under Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Monday 12 May 2014 at 10:14 am

My mother dabbles in jewelry making, so for Mother’s Day, I gave her some beads, findings, and a ceramic pendant and put them all in a zipper pouch. The beads are Celestial Crystals from Fire Mountain, and I purchased the pendant from Blu Mudd.

I put them all, along with a card, in this Large Zipper Pouch in the Bold Bloom pattern from Thirty-One. So the pouch worked as a way to “wrap” the gift up without having to use a bunch of wrapping paper. I have a number of these zipper pouches and use them for all kinds of stuff, but mainly, I use them as project bags for my crafts. I’m going to have to remember that I did this when the holidays come around. I may go this route for wrapping gifts.

Books and Cards and Jewelry

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Monday 12 May 2014 at 8:57 am

Resin Crafts Blog
What else can you do with resin filled bezels? Why make art cards!

What will a group of jewelry designers make working from the same materials?
Check out what the participants of the Deep Waters Challenge made! Each of the pieces is inventively unique!

A Bead A Day
Are you taking time to yourself to allow creativity to flow? Lisa gifted herself with a Saturday and was inspired to create!

Mixed Media Artist
Do you want to be able to add digital effects to your mixed media artwork? Here are some places to start…

Beading Arts
Cyndi has some metal goodies from Fire Mountain Gems to give away!

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!
Jean writes about a reunion which she had with her sister and her cousins last week which included great memories, delicious food, and jewelry!

Creating a Poetry Book Cover
Cherie talks about the process in designing the cover for her latest poetry book.

Cupcake Fingerless Gloves!

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Wednesday 7 May 2014 at 2:10 pm

I have rolled up a new skein of yarn that’s been in my stash for awhile waiting to be transformed into fingerless gloves. It is from Desert Vista Dyeworks, and the colorway is called “Happy Birthday, Cupcake.” Now this was totally not planned at all, but as I was searching for an empty project bag, I realized I had a cupcake project bag with nothing in it. Seriously! How timely is that?

The finished gloves are probably going to be a future gift for someone, and yes, it’s not cold now, but it will be someday, right? I can’t wait to see how this colorway stripes as I crochet these.

May = Thermal Party Time

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Wednesday 7 May 2014 at 2:05 pm

Along with being a craft-o-holic, I am an independent Thirty-One consultant. I like the products from this company because they help me keep my crafting supplies organized, and I find them useful for everyday tasks as well. For May, Thirty-One has a wonderful special. With every $31 purchase, you can get one of three thermal products for 50% off.

Plus, if you host a party in May, you can purchase an exclusive product called the Making Memories Thermal for just $31. Below is a video that shows the great summer thermals! Contact me if you’d like to host your own online part, or if you want to purchase through a party, I have one going on now and will cover the extra $4 direct shipping cost for anyone who purchases through this party. Here’s the link:

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