Thursday, September 27, 2012

Counting Crochet Crows

One...  Two...  Two Little Crows,
One, two, two little chairs...
One big girl serves two crows tea,
Behaving grownup as can be...
(adapted from the original Sesame Street song, Two Little Dolls)

Over the past week or so, I've been gradually changing the look around here, redecorating for Fall, and I had it in mind that I would like to crochet a black crow or two.  So I proceeded to see if there was a pattern already written that would suit what I had in mind.  I found the pattern, Jazz-Crow, by Anu Koski, to be just what I looking for!  I loved the size, and the character, and simply went with colors of my own preference.

As I worked on them, in the course of a few nights, while watching t.v., they reminded me of several famous crows, Heckle and Jeckle; Jeremy the crow, from the movie The Secret of NIHM; and those singing crows from the Disney movie, Dumbo.  Of course from there, I even had the song lyrics stuck in my head, "Well I'd be done see'n about everything,when I see an elephant fly"!...  At one point, I did a little research, just to learn a little more about the bird in real life.  They are said to be very intelligent birds, great learners and problem solvers.  They are not easily intimidated, and will chase away larger birds, such as hawks and owls.  But what a shame, that they're symbolized as bad omens, often associated with bad luck and death.  I even read that they've been depicted as vampire watchers!..  Being a big Twilight fan, that was news to me!
Well, whatever the case, I added colorful fabric ribbons 'round their necks, and added fall flowers and leaves to their hats, and I was very happy with how they came out!  One is for me, and one is for Dear Daughter!

In the way of scrapbooking and artwork, I made homemade gesso for the first time!  Gesso is like a primer for the paper you will be painting and collaging upon, but can get expensive for "the starving artist".  Made with simple ingredients, easily found 'round the house, I store mine in an old jelly jar....   And the pages in my journal now smell so NICE!!!

If you're interested, you can find Tee's Gesso Recipe HERE. I've seen gesso often used for not just painting, but for collage projects as well.

Next, I put together an art journal page for the current challenge, # 206, at Scrapping The Music.

The song of the day there is Rain Red Roses, (found here, or more recently here.  The translated English lyrics can be found here.)  I found the words of the song inspirational, because sometimes I let things get me down.  Sometimes, I am easily defeated, and I find it hard to realize that I'm deserving of good things just as much as anyone else would be...  If I don't have everything I ever dreamed of, it doesn't mean I can't keep dreaming or wishing for them....  And I don't have to dream of just little things.  It's o.k. to dream for big things too! 

Here you see I attempted painting my first rose (and rosebud).  Having worked on it, continuously to get it to look like I wanted, the problem I ran into was not only form, but too much paint, and I began getting more of a pink mess, rather than the red rose I really wanted in the first place.  Still, I think it came out looking like some kind of pretty flower, at least, and now I just look forward to practicing more painted roses.  They don't seem, at a glance, so very hard to do, but again, painting is very new to me.  I just think, done right, they are beautiful subjects to paint, and if I can just eventually master the technique to some degree, I'll be happy with that!

Finally, I leave you with one last picture I took.  We went apple picking over the past weekend, and because my camera wasn't properly charged, this was the only one that came out before the camera died on me.  No, it's not a picture of anyone eating or picking apples.

Still I love this one.  It was a perfectly gorgeous Fall day, perfect for picking apples, OR pumpkins, and for spending time with family!...  Soon, my kitchen will be filled with the aroma of fresh baked apple pies!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Somethin' Fishy Goin' On!

And just in time for Father's Day!  Little more than a week away, I put a little somethin' together for Dad's big day!

My father likes sports.  His favorite football team is the Minnesota Vikings.  He loves movies, music,  and occasionally plays  the guitar..  He loves all animals and birds; and believe me when I say, every bird, bunny, chipmunk, and squirrel within a 10-mile radius knows where to go to find the smorgasbord of birdseed, breads, and peanuts that my father sets out for them everyday!

However, for today, I thought I would focus on his love for fishing!  I decided to make a Father's Day card that looks like a tackle box!

I found the original idea of making a toolbox from THIS VIDEO.  However, I found the biggest challenge in this project, was deciding how to CLOSE IT.  I first went with magnets, but the magnets were not strong enough, and I had to ditch that idea.  Then, I just put together my own homemade string closures, and I think they look and work "purrrrrrr-fectly" for my purposes.  Anyways, tool box, or tackle box..  Same thing, if you ask me.   All I'd have to do differently is fill it with different kinds of bits, baits, and bobbers, rather than hammers and wrenches!   So, I got out some paper, cardboard, paints, Stickles, and glues to start whipping up a few of these things... 

Notice the fish I used as a stamp?  That's a foam puzzle piece, about 3"x4" in size, the type of which can be found at any dollar store, or even neighborhood garage sale!  Look for such puzzle pieces to stamp all kinds of animals, letters, numbers, etc., using your choice of acrylic paints or ink pads.  In this case, I used a Tim Holtz Distress ink pad, in the color Peeled Paint.  Look at the pattern the puzzle piece even left..  I loved that!

As soon as my father opens his card..  or "tackle box", he will find these three fish inside.  I stamped and cut out each one, so that my son, daughter, and I could each sign the back of one with whatever personal message we wanted to!  On the front of each fish, I just light-washed over them with watercolor paints.  Next I used markers for scale-like detail, and then Diamond Stickles to glitter and highlight the scales.   Hmmm..  I wasn't planning on it, but should I give them eyes?..  Well, whatever the case, here's the card fully opened.

Once the fish are removed from the tackle box, (Sorry, I din't have time to make a BUCKET too!)...   THEN, you see where I added the "Happy Father's Day" message, along with the little goodies a fisherman would actually keep in his tackle box.  These bobbers and lures, were made with cardboard, metallic paint, and then either brightly-colored embroidery floss or feathers.  The hooks are actually Christmas ornament hooks!  To adhere everything, I used a combination of E6000, and a basic store-brand glue stick; and then Diamond Glaze seemed to work best to neatly stick the hooks onto the paper.

A fun project, I thought this was; and I hope my father gets a kick out of it when he sees it!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and
hope you're having an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Little Herd O' Turtles

...And have I been slower than a herd o' turtles getting things posted as often as I'd like to!  But just like Aesop would tell you, slow and steady, "the race is not always to the swift."

Always in a hurry, always much to do, but feeling VERY behind in everything, I decided it was time to take Aesop's advice, slow down, and maybe share some more of what projects I've been working on lately.

Speaking of turtles, I want to introduce my own little herd o' turtles, or should I say bale of turtles.

I wanted to make just one for a friend, Effy, who often advises, "Embrace your inner turtle"...  to slow down, go at your own pace..  no pressure!  In real life, a mama turtle can lay anywhere from 50 to 200 eggs in one nest.  So, since when do you only find one turtle egg in a nest?  I liked making the first one so much, it turned out a total of FOUR baby turtles hatched here at my house!  While the little purple turtle is going to be sent to Effy's house, all the way to Canada...

...this little blue one is mine!  I haven't named her yet.  I was thinking maybe Bonnie Blue, but I think I like the name Mertle Mae better!  I hope she likes the little set-up I've made for her.  If you're interested in making one, or FOUR, yourself, you can find the pattern I followed right HERE

I guess while little Mertle Mae settles in, I'll share a few tags I've been working on most recently.  First, and better late than never, I hope, are two tags from the Tag of the Month Swap, at The Altered Paper...  Here's the beautiful tag for April, that I received from Mercedes, at All Things Pretty!!..

I just LOVE it!...   And here's the tag I made and sent to her!  (Of course, I made one for myself as well.)

I love when I can add any little crochet embellishments that I make myself!..  I did just that to this next tag.  I made it for the Mini Album Scraps, Breaking Dawn Part One Tag Swap.

Oooooh, I can't wait for Part Two to come to theaters!...    I hear the package of tags from our swap partners is on the way, so I can't wait to see them!  I most recently signed up for an "Itty Bitty Mini Album" Swap!  I can't wait to get started on that project too, but..  Oh, I'm getting way ahead of myself!  Here's ANOTHER tag I made for "A Night At The Oscars" tag swap.  I chose to base my theme on "The Help"...

...where Octavia Spencer won the award for her role as Minny!  Well deseved!  I loved Minny, but honestly, I thought Viola Davis deserved one too, didn't you?  I guess sometimes you just wish everybody could win the award, or the top spot; like on American Idol, or Dancing With The Stars!...  Anyways, I didn't embellish with any crochet on this tag, but I had fun putting it together.  I LOVED both the book and the movie!  (Oh, but tell me, will we EVER look at chocolate cream pie the same way again?!..   Umm, just pass me the lemon meringue please!)

(back of the tag)

I have more crochet projects I'm gradually working on, with others in mind on my to-do list.  I've got some baking in mind to do as well... a new brownie recipe; and then we'll be celebrating Dear Daughter's birthday soon, so I'll also be making a cake!  Much to do, but that's o.k...  I'll just try to remember to take my time, steady and slow, and to embrace my inner turtle!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and...

(image courtesy of HERE)  


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Picasso Cottontail

Just a little something I quick painted, in one of my art journals, by way of an assigned prompt that Leslie, at Words of Me Project, gave us last weekend.  The idea was to "Just Have Fun", so with the holiday in mind, this little two-page spread was my idea of fun!

I hope that the Easter Bunny's been good to all my Blogland friends and visitors today!  Wishing you all a blessed and very Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Plum Perfect & All Good Fun

Quick as a bunny, I just want to share today, all I've been up to lately, crocheting, scrapping, and art journaling...  just a little bit of everything really!

First, those who know me best, know that I'm a big fan of Harry Potter, the movies, and the books!  Well, I finally got around to making myself the Luna Lovegood's Crocheted CardiganHERE'S where you can find the pattern, and here is what it looks like in the movie...

I just love Luna, and I have to admit, while I have many favorite characters, I may relate to her more than any other character in the stories/movies!  She makes me laugh, and in turn, hopefully, helps me to laugh at myself!..

Well, first, I thought I'd go with the same exact color Luna is wearing, but then both Dear Daughter and I agreed the darker shade of purple looked better on me personally.

I used Caron Simply Soft, in Plum Perfect!  I LOVE this color, and am very tempted to use it in a purse too, when I can get around to it anyways.  The pattern suggests making crochet-covered buttons, but when I saw these buttons, I knew they were just perfect for me!

I picked these up from Walmart, and I just loved the smoky gem-like quality and colors.  I couldn't have possibly matched them any better than this, so I was excited to find them!  The pattern called for the use of 4 or 5, but I went with using all six!

While I'm still only thinking about the purse, I did manage to make a matching headband and scrunchie.  There was terrible lighting when taking this picture, but you get the gist...  Plum perfect, I think, in Perfect Plum!...   Now tell me..  Do you think I should make a charm necklace, not only to match, but to keep away the "Nargles"?!

Recently, I quick made a couple pairs of earrings, this time not in plum, but in white, and then red.

Update: Having been asked, I'll add that you could start with any doily/snowflake pattern to make earrings like the white you see here.  I will have to make adjustments myself to make a smaller 2" size.  But for the earring you see here, this is how I made the white 3" hoops:

I used size 10 crochet thread, (OR you could use embroidery floss), and I think I used a size 3 hook. (Just remember, your tension may be different than mine, and you may need to adjust accordingly.)
Round One:  Chain 3, 12 sc in second ch from hook.  Join to complete the round.
Round Two:   Chain one, sc in first st, chain 3, (sc in next st, chain 3) around, till you have 12 sc and 12 chain-3 spaces.  Join to complete the round.
Round Three:  sl st up to next chain 3 space, (chain 3, 2 dc in same space).  From there 3 dc in each chain-3 space around.  Join to complete the round.
Round Four:  Chain 1, sc in first st, (chain 5, skip next st, sc in next st) around.  Join to complete the round.
Round Five:  Sl st up to middle of next chain-5 space, make a sc through both that space and the hoop earring.  Crochet 6 sc onto JUST the hoop.  Then (make a sc through both the next chain 5 space AND the hoop, proceed crocheting another 6 sc onto JUST the hoop) around till you complete your way around the hoop (till you have 16 spaces actually attached to the hoop, and a total of 16 groups of 6 sc between all those attachments)... Make sense?  I hope so, but see photo, if not!  (0;  Fasten off.  Weave in ends.  I added just a dab of E600 glue to hold the ends of my stitches in place.

The red earrings are simply done in single crochets around the hoop.  Actually, it's hard to see, but I did two rows on this pair.  Both pairs are a good size, 3" in diameter, but surprisingly light!  Personally, I really only get away with wearing these, just when my hair is down.  I love them, really, but would like to make more in a smaller size...   maybe a 2" hoop next time around?...  for those ponytail days!  If you're interested, I did find a link to a YouTube video, where there is a great tutorial in which you can crochet right along with Jess, a very talented teacher, right HERE.   You can also find her website HERE.

"Anyway, my mum always said, 
things we lose have a way of 
coming back to us in the end."
(Luna Lovegood)

I've really been having fun, art journaling as much as I can lately.  I loved coloring, and drawing, ever since I can remember.  While painting is very new to me, and my work proves to be primitive, I'm sure, I'm still having lots of fun learning it, and I'm so glad to have rediscovered ART in general!  Here are a couple of pages I've done in my Book of Days journal.

Recognize the Andes Candies wrapper-paper I made?
  I've been using it!

Here's a face I started.  Right now I'm working with horrible paint brushes, and the cheapest of paints; but the more experienced and comfortable I feel with it all, as I go, the more I'll look into buying the more expensive necessities.  A pad of watercolor paper would be really nice, someday, as you can see how my composition-notebook paper bubbles up the way it does.  Shading will come MUCH easier when I buy the proper supplies as well...

I don't know...  
Do you think she'd look better with hair? 

Here are a couple of pages from my Life Is A Verb art journal...  These are a little more scrapbook-ish, than any kind of lessons learned in painting...  But they were fun to do!

The book, Life Is A Verb, is by Patti Digh.  Both this art journaling class, and Book of Days, have been hosted by Effy Wild, at  Love & Glitter!

A new art journaling class I've just recently joined in on is "Mind. Body. Soul.", at Words of Me Project!  Yes, now I have THREE art journals going at once, but here's the shabby chic cover I had fun making for this one...

Here are a few of the pages I've done so far...

Leslie's posts and prompts have been wonderful, and I highly suggest this course for anyone wishing just to get the feet wet with something like art journaling!

LOVE this tea set graphic from The Graphics Fairy!

Here was a very good prompt, I thought.  The dream may seem small, but at least it's an attainable one for me, at the moment!...  a very necessary one, in fact!  Here, I dream of cleaning up my little craft corner, which has turned into a gigantic mess!  Leslie shares how dreams can come true, by way of "micromovements".

Well, this covers everything for now, with the exception of some "happy mail" I've recently received!  I participated in a Twilight Altered Composition Notebook Swap, over at Mini Album Scraps!  I made one notebook for myself, and three others to send out.  Here's the one I made...

And here is the group of them I now have!...

What gorgeous work from all the girls at Mini Album Scraps!  I love every one of these books I received, and can't thank them enough!  The swaps are always so much fun there, and Lisa runs a tight ship, bless her heart.  NO "flakers" allowed in her swaps!  

My gosh, is that enough for today, do ya think??!!  I knew I'd better post it, because "hippity, hoppity", Easter and MORE projects are on the way here, and I hope to be posting again soon! 

Have a great day,
and thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On A Roll?

No..  Just raisin bread today!..  

But I do seem to be on a roll as far as productivity goes!  I only wish my productivity didn't keep me UP until 3:30 in the morning!  I started this bread sometime last night...

and I hesitated, wondering if it was too late to start it or not; but of course my good sense (ahem) told me, "Awwwww, go ahead!", and so I did!

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love THIS RECIPE, and many thanks to The Pioneer Woman for sharing it.  It was very easy to do, but with what fair amount of TIME it takes...  to let the dough rise, and rise again, and THEN bake...   Let's just say, I simply know better now to start this at an earlier hour!  Come morning, Dear Son and I did have some for breakfast, and it was delicious! 

Moving onto the topic of crochet, I just finished this little somethin-somethin I was working on for my kitchen.  I had trouble with one pattern, and unfortunately had to toss that small waste of yarn into the garbage can; but then I remembered the mandala pattern, from Crochet with Raymond.....

and the finished result was exactly what I envisioned all the long!  I had a black vinyl seat on this kitchen/bar stool I have, that was just starting to show some wear and tear; and you can imagine how the black electrical tape I used to fix it was a bit unsightly, so I decided to crochet a cover for it.

Once I found the right pattern I liked, simply altering it with a side, and a hidden drawstring closure at the bottom, I was able to whip this up in no time at all, and I'm really happy with it!  Now, I'm just wondering if I should make a second one, for when I have to wash this one.

Anyways, as I was waiting for my bread to bake late into last night, I had fun just dabbling in my journal with some paints, markers, stencils, and all that sort.  As I was flipping through the t.v. channels, I was inspired by a sermon aired on t.v. just recently, where the topic was remembering to take good care of the kid in you.

So this is what I put to paper after having seen that.  I also did another little quick and simple spread, remembering one of my very favorite lines in the book, by Kathryn Stockett, and movie, The Help.

Just a little somethin' we ALL should remember!
 Thanks so much for stopping by!