Disney Cruise Day 1-2 Video Review

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast,Crafty Videos by Tammy on Monday 18 May 2015 at 5:23 pm

This is the first of two videos where I review my cruise on the Disney Dream. My sister and I are on our veranda overlooking Nassau, Bahamas as we talk a little about our cruise crafting and the pros and cons of the trip so far.

Craft Links!

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 17 May 2015 at 11:40 am

Decoupage Glass Vase Organizers Have Many Uses

Eileen created hers to organize paint brushes and foam pouncers. But decoupage glass vase organizers can be put to many uses. Use the cubes as candy dishes or to hold pens and pencils.

Art Bead Scene

Check out Mary’s round up of books covering the history of beads – fascinating stuff!!

Craft Lights and WIPs

Connie tells about her latest WIPs along with a new wrinkle that her craft lamp has thrown into her stitching plans.

Beading Arts

Cyndi looks at how to showcase a beautiful artist-made glass bead without overwhelming it!

Bead Board Video

This brief video shows how to use a bead board to design beaded jewelry.

Book Review: Vogue Knitting Stitchionary

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Wednesday 13 May 2015 at 11:35 am

Vogue® Knitting Stitchionary® Volume One: Knit & Purl: The Ultimate Stitch Dictionary from the Editors of Vogue® Knitting Magazine (Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Series) is the first volume in a series of knitting stitch books. It is published by Sixth and Spring Books. In the US, it retails for $19.95 and in Canada for $23.95.

As with most Vogue publications, this book is very visually appealing. They purposely used the same type of yarn throughout to make sure stitch definition and gauge was consistent, but even though it is all the same yarn in this book, different shades of green are used for each of the sections. The photographs of the swatches are clear, and generally speaking, the information is easy to find. To test it out, I looked up a few stitches I was interested in learning a little more about, and I had no trouble finding them.

The organization of the book starts from simple to more advanced, thus building on the level of difficulty. All the stitch patterns provided focus on using knit and purl in various combinations.

A stitch dictionary is really important for anyone serious about yarn crafting for a number of reasons. For those with little experience, it can be a helpful resource guide. For intermediate level knitters, this is a good refresher book, and of course, for advanced knitters who may want to attempt pattern writing and designing, a book like this is a must.

Keep in mind that this is a techniques driven book, so you will not find projects in here. However, you could adapt patterns using the stitches in this book. Another option is to make the swatches for practice and then stitch them all together for a beautiful afghan. If you have been thinking of adding a knitting stitch dictionary to your personal craft book library, this first volume is a good place to start.

(A review copy of this text was provided by the publisher.)

Video: Using a Bead Board for Jewelry Making

Blogged under Crafty Videos,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Saturday 9 May 2015 at 10:44 am

I am heading back to some jewelry making basics, starting with this brief “how-to” video on using a bead board to help you design beaded jewelry.

Glasswork, Stamping, Stitching, and More Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 9 May 2015 at 10:42 am

Teal Glass Sculpture

Hide all your vases and ashtrays! Cherie is back to making full size glass sculptures again.

Connie Gee’s Designs

Felines rule (don’t tell my dog) and Connie has added a new free pattern that involves a cat trio out on the prowl. Added bonus: check out the fur-baby photos.

Art Bead Scene

Check out the color palette which Tari has pulled from this month’s vibrant challenge piece!

Apple-Stamped Mom Reusable Grocery Shopping Bag

Make this eco-friendly reusable grocery bag for Mother’s Day, or Mom’s birthday. The project uses inexpensive items, many of which you already have on hand.

Beading Arts

You can make the ever-popular beaded wrap bracelets using ribbons instead of cording…think of the endless color possibilities!

Craft Supply Acquisitions!

Beads, yarn, tools, oh my! Check out the craft supply goodies and projects the Crafty Princess is creating with them.

Book Review: Felt, Fiber, and Stone

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Friday 8 May 2015 at 12:01 pm

Felt, Fiber, and Stone Creative Jewelry Designs & Techniques by Suzanne O’Brien is published by Schiffer Publishing and retails in the US for $16.99. I’m going to admit that I hesitated to write this review because the aesthetics of the finished projects are not my personal taste. However, after thinking it over for awhile, I realized that I actually know a few fellow jewelry makers who would probably have a different opinion. The style of the jewelry is very unique. I would describe it as organic and even a little primitive. The publisher has a few pages available for review here, so I think that is really helpful to get an overall feel for the visual approach of this book.

As far as techniques go, there are a few I did find interesting, and they could be applied to all types of jewelry constructions. For example, I like how chunky stone beads are stitched onto some of the crocheted areas of the jewelry pieces. Another method I liked was the use of felt flowers that you can make yourself and then stitch together with beads.

One other issue I had with this book has to do with the general layout. There is just a lot going on here to the point that I felt it could have been easier to follow if less was pictured on each page. I understand that this is artistic type jewelry so the format of the book follows that idea, but when layout overtakes visual clearness, that is a problem. Some of the photos of the finished jewelry pieces, for example, actually have text placed over the top of it so you can’t really get a good look at the jewelry.

If you are looking for ways to integrate fiber into your beaded jewelry, then this book is definitely worth looking at. If you are the type that likes artistic jewelry with a rustic flair, then this also might appeal to you.

(A review copy of this text was provided by the publisher.)

Show Your Crafts and Enter to Win!

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Friday 8 May 2015 at 8:49 am

Head over to my Ravelry group and join us today! We have a May FOs thread going on for the entire month. For complete details on how to enter, read the first part of this thread. Then start showing off your stuff! It’s that simple.

The winner will receive a $5 giftable Ravelry pattern, and if there are at least 50 posts by the end of the month, I will pull for a second prize. All types of crafts are welcomed!

Book Review: Colorwork Knitting

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Thursday 7 May 2015 at 10:21 am

Colorwork Knitting: 25 Spectacular Sweaters, Hats, and Accessories is published by Stackpole Books. It retails in the US for $21.95; the UK for L14.99; and Canada for $25.95. Sarah White is the author and designer, and she also writes and designs knitwear for About.com and CraftGossip.com. In additiona, she has authored two other fiber books: Quick & Easy Baby Knits: 21 Cute, Comfy Projects and Picture Yourself Felting Your Knitting.

The back of the book includes a visual index of all 25 projects, so you can get a look at all of them in one spot, which I found helpful. I also found most of the projects cute and very wearable, staple items that are functional. They include fairly fast projects like hats and gloves all the way up to more involved projects such as sweaters. The book covers all types of color work, from simple projects that use self-striping yarn to more complex that require intarsia. Each project provides multiple color photographs of the finished knitwear so you can see exactly what it looks like from various angles.

Knitters should have some knitting experience before attempting most of these projects, and this is stated in the book. For example, you should already know basics such as knit and purl. However, there is a techniques section in the back of the book with instructions and full-color photographs for more advanced techniques like cabling and duplicate stitch.

If you break down the price per project, you get a lot for your purchase, and there is a large variety of different types of projects: sweaters, hats, socks, gloves, cowls, and scarves. For knitters who have some basics mastered already and have been eager to try to expand into colorwork, this is a good and clearly written introduction that will take you through all levels of this technique.

(Note: I was sent a review copy of this text by the publisher.)

Rainbow Knit/Crochet Tote Tutorial

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Tuesday 5 May 2015 at 1:40 pm

After purchasing some beautiful Cascade Souk yarn in the “Rainbow” colorway, I thought it would be fun to use it to make a small crossbody tote that I can use to carry a few small items. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, so here is a basic tutorial that explains how I made it. I used both knitting and crochet to construct it. Gauge does not matter with this project, and it can easily be altered to make a larger or smaller bag.

You will need the following supplies:

2 skeins of Cascade Souk yarn (I had lots left over, but 1 skein was not enough to make the size bag that I wanted.)

US size 9 needles (straight or circular)

size G crochet hook

3 – 1″ buttons

darning needle

measuring tape

straight pins

1) Cast on enough stitches to make a rectangle that is 10 inches wide. I think I had about 35-40 stitches. (I spaced out and forgot the exact number because I kept changing the number until I found the width of the bag I thought would work. This can really vary, too, depending on how loose or tight a knitter you are.)

2) Using garter stitch, knit until the rectangle is about 24 inches long, and bind off.

3) Using a size G hook, make a single crochet border around the entire knitted rectangle, except skip about 1/2 an inch in the center area on the end of the rectangle that will have the button hole. Instead of single crochet for this part, make 3-4 chain stitches. Use your 1” button to measure that the hole will fit the button.

4) Flip the piece around, and single crochet back down the end with the button hole so that the chains section have a single crochet border on them.

5) Fold 10 inches of the rectangle over so that there is about a 4 inch section left over, which will be the flap (it’s the area that the button hole is in), and holding wrong sides together, single crochet both sides together.

6) Turn the bag inside out so that the seems are inside of the bag, and stitch on the button in the center, making sure that it is aligned with the button hole. At this point, the bag part is finished, and you are ready to make and attach the strap.

7) With a size G hook, make 8 chain stitches, and then half double crochet back and forth until the strap is as long as you want it, keeping in mind that the strap will stretch. My strap ended up being 46 inches long and about 2 inches wide.

8 ) Use straight pins to attach two inches of the strap on the outside of the bag so that it is centered over the seam. Using yarn and a darning needle, stitch this section securely on using a simple straight stitch. Be careful not to tug on the yarn as this Souk has a tendency to break.

9) Attach a button to the center area of the strap you attached in the previous step.

10) Repeat steps 8 and 9 for the other side of the bag.

11) Weave in all tails, and you are done!

This is a very floppy and unstructured bag. I designed it to just hold a few small items like a comb, lip gloss, and a small wallet so that when I travel and want to head off for a quick dinner (on the ship during a cruise for example) I don’t have to bring my usual purse, which tends to be on the large size. If you want a sturdier bag, I suggest using cotton yarn instead of the silk/wool blend I used, or you could also line the bag and strap with cotton fabric.

Crafting Around the Web

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 4 May 2015 at 2:28 am

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

Drop by and see all the Steampunk-inspired creations made by participants of the Amethyst Aether Special Challenge!

Art Bead Scene

Check out Claire’s interview with Dawn of La Touchables – fascinating and inspiring!

Adventures in Dog Sitting

Connie’s been dog-sitting and watching TV and, of course, stitching. Read a brief review of her latest project and be sure to check out the free patterns page for a new addition.

Sea Inspired Necklace Project

Mermaids, fish, and starfish plus lots of wonderful glass beads make up this easy to assemble sea-themed necklace design.

Baby Shadow Box

Make a sweet dreams shadow box for new parents or for Mother’s Day. Include baby’s name and date of birth, a lullaby or poem.

Packing For A Cruise

Here are some must haves for cruising.

Beading Arts

Cyndi experiments a bit more with beaded 3D pieces.

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