Monday, May 14, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 14

I'm taking weekends off from doodling.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 11

This is my completed pair of stained glass shrinky plastic earrings. Do you like them? I used colored pencils on clear shrink plastic. I had to rough up the surface first with sandpaper. They started out 3 inches in diameter and now they are about 1.25 inches in diameter. I hung them on earring wires so that the uncolored side would be toward the front. They look shinier and more like stained glass this way. Does this even count as a doodle?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 10

I'm not sure if this really qualifies as a doodle. It's a computer mock up of a design for my stained glass earrings. Imagine each diamond filled in with color. Pretty simple, but I think they'd be pretty. I might do both earrings with the same shape but colored in slightly differently.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 9

A quick flower doodled on a plastic sandwich bag with a sharpie. I've got stained glass like art with radial symmetry on the brain for my next pair of shrink plastic earrings. I apologize for the picture quality. I underestimated how hard it would be to photograph a plastic bag at night using a phone.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 8

I cannot actually share today's doodle with you because I don't want the estate of Roy Lichtenstein to come after me. I traced a couple of Lichtnesteins onto shrinky plastic. You know the kind that you put in the oven and it gets smaller and thicker. Anyway, I traced them onto the plastic at a size of 3" by 3" using a small black permanent marker for the black and colored pencils for the color. I just colored in the flesh tone instead of attempting Lichtenstein's signature dots. Then I punched a hole in the middle top of each one and baked them according to the instructions. They came out about 1.25" square. I put them on jump rings and attached them to earring hooks and now I have my very own Lichtenstein earrings! I really like earrings that coordinate but don't match. I might make a Mondrian inspired pair next. Did you doodle (or trace) today?

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 7 (having skipped 5 &6)

Hi All,

I already messed up on my quest to doodle every day. I was trying to figure out why it's so hard for me to doodle every day. It's because I very rarely write on paper now. I am almost always communicating through my phone or computer. I've been writing to my husband every day, but I do it on my computer. I don't go to school so don't take notes, and even then, I used my computer almost exclusively in the last year and rarely took physical notes (although when I did no margin was safe). Part of my mission to doodle every day was to get back to writing on paper, although I don't think that was conscious at the time. The weekend was pretty hectic and I was running around a lot. When I did get a minute, writing took priority over drawing. I'll get back into the swing of things this week.
In honor of my seeming inability to write physical paper notes, here is an uncoordinated computer squiggle. I created it using Gimp (a pretty good free photo editing program) and the pencil tool. If this poor doodle (honestly, it's about the best I could do) doesn't convince me to try to draw on paper instead, I don't know what could. I didn't dare try to draw an actual representation of something because my skills just aren't there, and I wanted the process to be relatively organic. Do you still write on paper? I don't even write out a physical grocery list anymore. Did you doodle today? 

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 4

I almost forgot to draw today. I doodled some clouds and raindrops using a kid's drawing app on my phone. I like the neon rainbow colors and the childish look of the lines. I miss the Washington rain, although it has probably been nice up there lately

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 3

Pencil sketch of a feather drawn from memory (if you couldn't tell I wasn't looking at an actual feather at the time)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 2

I do own a scanner, I swear! I was too lazy to get up to find real drawing paper, did you really expect me to scan the finished product? Did you draw something today?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Doodle a Day - Day 1

I'm going to try to draw something every day of May. We'll see how long I make it.

I moved recently which was pretty hectic. I'm still not totally moved in so there may not be many new craft posts for a while. In the mean time I'll doodle so I can create without a huge time commitment. You should try it too. A Doodle a Day in May!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Easy Portable Knitting

I know knitting is already pretty portable, but sometimes I don't want to deal with unnecessarily long needles and I only have a few sets of shorter needles in my collection (and none in the size I wanted). I wanted to cast on a scarf that I could carry with me and that would probably be on the needles for a long time. My long 10.5s are already tied up in another project, and they're a little too long for me to carry easily. I didn't want to tie my interchangeable needles up in this either because I like to have them accessible. Instead I pulled out 2 of my size 10.5 double pointed needles. I'm making a fairly narrow scarf, so this works well for me. I stuck a point cover on the end of each needle and use them just like regular needles. When I want to shove my work in a bag and take it with me, I pull the cap off the free needle and use it to keep my work on the other. 

[Want a say in how this scarf turns out? Go to my previous post and comment with the color I should knit next. Thanks! Want to make an audience participation scarf of your own? Check out Leafcutter Designs' conceptual knitting pattern for The Social Knitwork]

What tricks do you have for keeping knitting projects portable? Is this idea completely unnecessary, or do you like it? Don't forget to comment on that last post and suggest the next color. Tell your friends or neighbors to comment too! Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Help me make a scarf! (but only if you want to)


Leafcutter Designs posted a new conceptual knitting pattern. It's called The Social Knitwork. So the idea is to use your social networks to create a scarf. Pick a color from the photo above. The options are navy, red, pink, and pale yellow. Leave your color choice and your reason for choosing it in the comment section. I'll knit a stripe with that color in the order the request was received. Tell your friends and have them comment too so that I can make a scarf and not a pot holder. Thanks for your participation! If you want to make one, let me know and I'll pick a color for you (you know, if you want, this is all totally voluntary) I'll post the scarf (or potholder) when it's finished

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cthulu Pouch

My husband bought me a Cthulu Dice game for my birthday, but I didn't have anywhere to keep it. I put all the pieces in a plastic bag, but that didn't do it justice. I thought I'd hop on the crocheted Cthulu trend and make a pouch worthy of the game. 

This pattern uses a few unconventional crochet techniques, but at it's core it's pretty simple. If my techniques don't work, there are other ways to do it. I wanted to work it all in one piece because I hate weaving in extra ends. 

I used worsted weight acrylic yarn and size H and J hooks. It's big enough to hold a big die, several glass vase filler pieces that are used as counters in the game, and the folded rules. Gauge isn't really important.  This is what I did to create a pouch that works for what I needed. These techniques can be used to make any size pouch. 

Start with the tentacles:

With smaller hook begin first tentacle:
Ch 16, sc 15 back, this creates the first tentacle. do not break yarn or anything between tentacles. It'll work out but it might be a little fiddly. 
Tentacle 2: ch 21 sc back (20 stitches)
Tentacle 3: ch 26 sc back (25 stitches)
Tentacle 4: ch 26 sc back
Tentacle 5: ch 21 sc back
Tentacle 6: ch 17 sc back
Tentacles in progress
If the tentacles aren't curly enough, twist them a little to encourage them. 
Finished tentacles
Now is the weird fiddly part. Look at the top of the tentacles where the pouch will be attached. Try to identify any loops you can find that you can crochet into. The goal is to find 4 loops/tentacle: 2 loops/ side. The loops are marked by the stitch markers in the picture below. I know it's hard to see, but do whatever works.

Crochet into one side of all the tentacles making 12 stitches. Then crochet into the other side making 24 stitches total and beginning circular crochet. 

Now switch to bigger hook and crochet 10 more rounds, don't bother to join, just work as a spiral. 

Now work the flap by working back and forth. 
Ch 3 (count as 1 double crochet) dc 11 across
turn work and repeat this row 2 more times (3 rows total)
4th row: Ch 3. work a double crochet decrease. double crochet to last 3 st. Work another double crochet decrease then do one more dc. This is the end of the flap. Cut yarn.

Add buttons as eyes and closures low on the pouch. The buttons should be an appropriate size to fit between the double crochet posts and hold tightly. I used red eyes sewn on with green yarn that I separated. 
I hope this inspires you to make a cool pouch of your own. I know the pictures aren't great, but I'm not expecting much natural light during a snow storm. The green is actually a dark forrest green and the eyes are much more red. I hope you like it. Please comment or email me if you have any comments or questions. Also look for my designs on Ravelry and Pinterest. Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Peggy Hat

I actually made this hat a while ago. It must have been last October when we really started getting into hat weather up here in the Pacific Northwest. I call it the Peggy Hat because it's inspired by a dress Peggy wore on Mad Men. It's actually a confluence of influences. I watched a lot of Mad Men with my husband and knew I wanted to do something with all the inspiration. I also love the way Zooey Deschanel dresses especially when she mixes blues and reds and all of her sixties influences. Then I saw this skirt tutorial at Sew Delicious (where you can also see a screen cap of the original skirt inspiration). I'm really not much of a sewer though and I'm definitely not brave enough to make my own skirt. Then I saw this pleated knit hat at Susan B. Anderson and an idea was born. 

This is a pretty simple slouch at it's core. I don't have a real pattern, but I do have a methodology. Use your gauge and measurements and preferences to make your own version. I do this because I so seldom find patterns that work exactly the way I want them to or that work with the yarn I want to use and I feel that in many cases a method would work better for me than a rigid pattern. 

Here are my original project notes which will probably do more to confuse than clarify. You'll also get a glimpse at my somewhat muddy knitting process. Below that are some notes that may help, but will probably also be confusing. Please comment or email me with any questions or comments or anything. 

I used a provisional cast on to knit the hat from the top of the brim up circularly. Then I folded over the pleats and applied a simple 2x2 ribbing at the base.

The red is a simple rectangle of color worked using circular intarsia. I don't like the way the stitches look at the edges of the color work (they look stretched out to me, maybe I'm doing it wrong) but this is covered by the pleats. I just googled to find a circular intarsia tutorial. You could also knit this portion flat and then seam it inside one of the folds. I worked a row of purl stitches in blue at either side of the red to make sure I had nice folds around it. 

The purl line crease and circular intarsia stitch irregularities
I didn't want the rise of the hat to get much wider as it went up, so I worked decreases into the rise to account for the decrease in the amount of cloth folded over the red portion. These decreases are also folded into the pleats. For a 20" head and 2" of red: cast on 24" worth of stitches because some of the blue will be folded over: 2" worth of red and 2" worth of blue to be pleated: 1" at each side of the red. At the end of your pleated color portion, you want to have eliminated the extra inch of blue at each side. You want to work decreases evenly up the rise to get rid of the fold. I worked my decreases starting at 1" from the red on each side so that they would follow the fold of the pleat and work toward the purl crease. At the upper most decrease I worked a decrease instead of the purl crease to make it look more seamless if that portion is shown. 

Work the top as you would any other hat. 

For the ribbing: Use smaller needles to make a tighter brim. You will be knitting three layers of stitches into one at the pleats. You cannot simply pick up the provisional cast on stitches as they were cast on because you won't have any pleats. I recommend folding the hat as you want it and pinning the layers in place. Then carefully place your stitches onto new needles using a different set of needles for each of the 3 layers: one for all of the outer stitches, one for the blue that are folded under, and one for the red stitches. Knit around one layer to start the ribbing. Do not purl or else red will be visible in the ribbing. When working the pleat stitches onto the ribbing: treat it like a three needle bind of, except that you're taking stitches from 3 needles and knitting all of them together instead of the typical two. This can be rather tricky so go slowly. 

Knit ribbing until it is long enough for your liking. Bind off. Add a large button and weave in ends. You're done! 

I had a really hard time finding a button large enough and in the right color. I ended up using the button shaped lid of a container of buttons I found at Michaels in the dollar bins. 

I hope this explanation isn't excessively confusing. It's a really simple hat, but my process is muddled. Thanks for reading! Please email me or comment if you have any questions or anything!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Easy birthday card

I've been working on my husband's birthday present for weeks but I realized today that I'd completely forgotten to make a card!

I just whipped up a rabbit in a snow storm card. All you need is white card stock or even paper and a googly eye. You don't even really need the eye because you could draw one or go to the next level of lazy and keep the front of the card blank.

Just fold the card, glue the eye, write a cute message inside and follow it up with a gift that hopefully took more effort than the card

I'm also making cream puffs for dessert so I think I get a pass on a lazy but cute card

Monday, February 6, 2012

Canvas Jewelry Organizer

I don't wear much jewelry other than my wedding ring and my nose stud. It just doesn't occur to me. The only things I wear regularly are things I don't remove. I think that much of the problem is my method of jewelry storage, or lack there of. Out of sight, out of mind. That's why I created a new jewelry organizer.

Start with a standard canvas for painting. It has to be stretched over a wooden frame. I think the one I used came from Michael's. It's an 8x10 frame.

I painted mine with water colors in a simple pattern. Paint it however you like with whatever you have on hand. I would recommend keeping the paint to a thin layer because you'll be poking earrings and nails through it later. Don't make it your best work because it'll have holes poked in it and be obscured by jewelry. 

When the paint is dry affix a ribbon to the back. I used a staple gun because it was fun, fast, and easy. The ribbon allows you to turn the canvas to easily add an remove post type earrings with backings. I then nailed 9 nails to the bottom portion of the canvas. I placed them an inch apart. Make sure they are nailed securely into the wood frame. This is where you'll hang necklaces. If you have a lot of rings or bracelets, you could put nails all around the sides and top too. I mostly have necklaces and earrings. 

Hang your canvas and add your jewelry. 
- You may need to use a pin to make some holes for earrings
- Don't put stud earrings too close to the frame because it's hard to get the backings on
- I suggest putting studs nearer the edges because they're easier to get to without having to turn the canvas completely
- Heavy necklaces will tilt the frame. Try to put your heaviest pieces toward the middle

I placed mine next to my bed above my nightstand. Hopefully this will inspire me to wear my jewelry more often. 

I hope this inspired you to get your jewelry organized. If you make one then send me a photo. I'd love to see it. Please comment or email me with any questions or comments.