Five Tutorials I Would Like to Try

link-love-icon250Following Diane and Tammy’s Link Love mission, today I’m sharing five tutorials I would like to try!

 

 

 

 

 

Chevron Scarf#1 Jody McKinley’s Chevron Scarf pattern on her JavaJem blog. I also featured this project in my recent post on variegated yarn projects. I just love how the six different colorways of Koigu combine so cheerfully. My biggest hesitation on this one is that I have never knit a single stitch. I’m thinking I’d have to tackle some much simpler scarves before attempting this beauty.

 

 

 

 

#2 This DIY Chevron Wall Art project by Emma of MyBojuLife. There’s lots of paint chip art out there, but this one grabbed my particular attention. I have a lot of leftover paint chips from when we remodeled one of our bathrooms, and this looks to be a quick and fun project.

 

 

#3 Rachel at LinesAcross has this tutorial on how to make beads from scraps of paper and leftover embroidery floss. This tutorial I also featured in a previous post on using flosses in jewelry. It’s a brilliant way to be creative and thrifty at the same time, and I think I have an idea of how to use these beads in projects other than jewelry…

 

 

 

#4 I love the concept behind this baby mobile by Alisa Burke guest posting at SewMamaSew. Once again, I featured this project in a fun previous post about water-themed crafts. With a minimum of planning and expense, she created this striking project. I don’t know any babies who are currently in need of a mobile, but I know some little boys who might like to help me make them a cool door curtain…

 

 

 

 

Picture of Rain Gutter Garden Planter Troughs#5 Last of the five tutorials I would like to try is some variation of this Rain Gutter Garden Planter tutorial on Instructables. Our house is on an incredibly tiny lot, and planters are our only option. Using rain gutters is an economical way to go vertical without creating too much weight. We’re thinking that some (shallow-rooted) herbs and lettuces might be a nice place to start!

My previous posts in the Link Love Mission include “Five Books I Made Something From,” “Five Posts I’m Proud of Creating” (note: from early in the history of this blog), “Five Favorite Projects for DIY Crafty Goodness,” and my favorite and most important: “Five Blogs that Make Me Laugh.”

Variegated Floss Projects Part 4

Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 4! In this six-part series I’m sharing a bunch of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.

Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. Part 2 had variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects. Part 3 explored variegated floss projects in jewelry and scrapbooking, and this Part 4 will look at variegated projects in knitting, spinning and dyeing, and weaving!

variegated floss projects part 4 - DMC 4030

As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.

Variegated Yarn Projects in Knitting

Knitting with variegated yarns can present some choices and challenges, and Crystal at VivereNelColore talks about her experiences with them (like this darling Toddler Tee),

 

 

 

 

and at CrafterNews, a helpful guest post by Wendy D. Johnson explores the question “To Variegate or Not to Variegate?”

 

 

 

Slipped StitchLinda at PlanetShoup offers a list of “Practical Uses for Variegated Yarns and Threads,” and Sarah at IntrepidTulips has a list of “Knitting Stitches to Show Off Variegated Yarn.” The sock you see here is in slip stitch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - knit cowlNow on to some real, live, gorgeous projects that use variegated yarns. I have to say I adore the fantastic combination of color and texture in this cowl. The Weinstock pattern is by Kerrie James of dyod*Studio and available on Craftsy.

 

 

Then there are a world of scarf patterns out there. Some that lend themselves to variegated yarns include this Bennington pattern by Melissa Leapman on Better Homes and Gardens,

 

 

 

 

 

 

this easy and pretty garter-stitched scarf also on Better Homes and Gardens,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop_stitch_scarf_011106this bright and fun seafoam pattern by Christine at FrazzledKnits (with lots of clarification in the comments),

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chevron ScarfJody McKinley’s super colorful chevron pattern summer scarf,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this playful puppet scarf for kids (and fun adults) from Better Homes and Gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - socksVariegated yarn can also make some outstanding socks. Anne Hanson of knitspot has her pattern for these basketweave socks available on Craftsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some blankets and afghans look superb with variegated yarns, and I’ll just share a few favorites. One is this simple and elegant baby blanket by Jordan Reid on her RamshackleGlam blog.

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - windowpane afghanAnother is this Windowpane afghan on FreeKnitPatterns. Imagine these blocks in some various colorways of variegated yarns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 4 - drops design over the rainbow projectThe Over the Rainbow blanket pattern by Drops Design is lovely and dramatic,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and I especially like this free pattern for the intriguing Honeycomb Waves blanket on MusingsofaYarnMom. The yarn used here is from Noro, which is so distinctive it really creates it’s own category of projects.

 

 

Beautiful Noro yarn projects can be seen in this Pinterest board by Sonja Sokol. There are some simply stunning pieces here.variegated floss projects part 4 - pinterest board of noro projects

POP blanket by Emily WesselOne of the most fun looking projects on Sonja’s board is this POP!! blanket tutorial by Emily Wessel at TinCanKnits. I love the fun of it and how it can use up some leftover yarns.

 

 

 

Another project that uses up leftovers is this fun blanket WIP by Barbara Delinsky (with a link to the pattern in the comments). It uses both leftover solid and variegated yarns to a bright and colorful result! Also note how she uses knitting as a way to relieve anxiety.

 

 

 

There are a host of good ideas for using up variegated yarn scraps in this post by Beth at SerenityKnits. One of my favorites is this precious treasure pouch she found on Ravelry,

 

 

 

 

 

 

and another favorite from her post are these variegated cotton ditty bags where the colors have pooled into curious shapes.

 

 

 

poolingPlanned pooling is it’s own art and science, as exemplified by this article by Karla Steubing on the TwistCollective blog. She combined her expertise as a professor and statistician and her love of yarn to study how variegated yarns can be manipulated into fascinating patterns such as in this shrug. She has instructions on how to plan your own patterns and co-admins a Pooled Knits group on Ravelry.

 

 

 

 

Variegated Yarn Projects in Spinning and Dyeing

This article on Squidoo is an amazing resource for various methods of spinning and dyeing yarns. Of particular interest is the list that starts about two-thirds down the page called “DIY Hand Dyed Yarn.” The techniques linked there involve crock pots, Kool-Aid ice cubes, handpainting, hot pouring, easter egg dyes, ombre-dyeing, and tie-dyeing, all to produce variegated yarns.

 

 

 

PB050069In addition to that, Stacey at FreshStitches has a tutorial on how to Kool-Aid dye yarns with long colorways, similar to those intriguing Noro yarns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, my green and teal skeinsWhen it comes to spinning variegated yarns, I’ve found a couple of articles of interest. In the first, SeaGreenandSapphire describes their experiment of spinning in two different methods and shows the results.

 

 

The second article is by Lisa D. Jacobs on EnneaCollective and it shares some interesting information on “impressionist color blending using variegated rovings.” The article compares using the colorway shown here vs. a more monochromatic colorway.

 

Variegated Yarn Projects in Weaving

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketConsidering the volume of examples of the more artistic use of variegated yarns in weaving, I’m going to concentrate more on the more crafty side of the genre. For example, this excellent tutorial by Marlene of Wovenflame on weaving using a nail loom. These easy and quick squares can easily be combined into a larger, and what I imagine would be an incredibly warm and sturdy blanket.

 

On a much smaller scale is this tutorial from Sister Diane of CraftyPod while guest posting on Dabbled. These adorable woven sachets perfectly utilize this variegated yarn!

 

 

 

 

This unique combination of handmade paper and weaving makes for great wall art. Victoria Gertenbach has some more information on her TheSillyBooDilly site.

 

 

 

 

Picture of Branch WeavingNext is this interesting branch weaving tutorial by wold360 on Instructables. This example creates a lot of visual interest through using some different weaving patterns. Although this particular example doesn’t use variegated yarns, it’s easy to see that they would look great in the mix!

 

 

crafting with kids 1024x682 Gods Eye Yarn WeavingA simpler version is the classic God’s eye project. This version by Lorelei at CraftsMumShip uses tree branches and variegated yarns,

 

 

where this version on CraftsbyAmanda uses good ol’ craft sticks. I think the button accents are a cute touch!

 

 

 

 

 

wall decor embroidery hoopJust check out this fun finger knitted art tutorial by Hani at Craftionary. It’s inexpensive and colorful – I wonder what a grouping of these on a wall would look like?

 

 

 

Woven Straw Stars Ornaments - Cardboard VersionFrom the ever-crafty and ever-thrifty Pam at GingerbreadSnowflakes comes this cereal box star ornament tutorial. Derived from similar straw ornaments that celebrate the stars, this example is a cheerful combination of solid and variegated yarns.

 

 

Lastly are two flower projects from Knitting-and that use a Clover 24-pin Hanaami loom. There’s a tutorial for six-petal version (that includes directions for making leaves) and a very cheerful eight-petal daisy tutorial.  Take a look!

That wraps up this Variegated Floss Projects Part 4! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of knitting, dyeing and spinning, and weaving that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you check out Part 1 which featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery, Part 2 which had plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-poms, and Part 3 which had projects in jewelry and scrapbooking. Stay tuned for the next two parts of this series covering crochet, wreath making, string art, lace and tatting, and a whole lot more!

Update: Here are Part 5 and Part 6

Variegated Floss Projects Part 3

Welcome to Variegated Floss Projects Part 3! In this six-part series I’m sharing a ton of ways to use variegated floss in craft projects ranging from needlework and quilting to furniture, jewelry, and home decor.

Part 1 of the series covered variegated floss projects in the needlework areas of cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery. Part 2 had variegated floss in plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-pom projects. This Part 3 will explore variegated floss projects in jewelry and scrapbooking!

variegated floss projects part 3 - DMC 4245

As I said in in Part 1, variegated flosses are beautiful and they make every piece that uses them unique. No two people will ever use the exact same length of a floss in the same way, thus every project will have a different result! This makes creating with them an exercise in curiosity and a fun adventure.

Variegated Floss Projects in Jewelry

As you’ll see below, I found a ton of ways to use embroidery floss in jewelry. Some of the ideas below use variegated floss, others use solid color floss, and even others use a combination of solid color flosses to achieve a variegated effect. Regardless, I believe ALL of these ideas would look great with variegated flosses.

variegated floss projects part 3 - embroidery floss tasselsFirst up is this easy tutorial on Brit+Co on how to refresh jewelry with these DIY embroidery floss tassels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel at LinesAcross has this simple and smart tutorial on how to make these beads using scrap paper and leftover floss. I think these beads show the nice sheen of embroidery floss. I can envision these beads incorporated into all kinds of fun projects!

 

 

 

Bracelets 

Create these fun pearl and floss bangles with this DIY from Kollabora,

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY, recycling, upcycling, Jessica Quirk, Floss, bangle, What I Woreor try this larger scale woven bangle made from a reused bracelet with the tutorial from WhatIWore.

 

 

 

Combine a curb chain bracelet and embroidery floss for the “ultimate ‘grown up’ friendship bracelet” with this DIY on HonestlyWTF.

 

 

 

Although this tutorial is in Español, the directions for making these cool and colorful leather and floss bracelets on ElCuadernodeIdeas are pretty straightforward (and Google Translate helps). Check out the nifty tags they created for these bracelets as well!

 

ThreeBlindWives has a tutorial for creating this “copycat” bracelet. Based on a bracelet seen in a department store, CharlieinKC made this for a fraction of the price using embroidery floss, jump rings, and a clasp. How simple! And how pretty would this be with some gorgeous variegated flosses?

 

Rafia Jewelry Starfish Embroidery Floss Charm BraceletI spied this embroidery floss charm bracelet on Wayfair. I like the simple combination of the floss and the charm, but at the price they are charging ($49!), that must be one heck of a nice starfish charm. Like the “copycat” bracelet above, I think this could be recreated in a much more… um, frugal way.

[Might I suggest starting with a skein of DMC variegated floss in one of their 18 different combinations that include blue?]

Rainbow hemp bracelet with anodized titanium oxide beads.In a more casual vein is this variegated rainbow bracelet from (now defunct) CraftingSite.com,

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 3 - hemp macrame variegated braceletand this pretty (and reasonably priced) macramé bracelet available on HempCraft’s shop on Artfire.

 

 

 

Square knot macrame bracelet.Instructions to approximate both of these projects can be found on this helpful DIY by RingsandThings. Bonus: They mention “Mirage Beads.” Check it out!

 

 

variegated floss projects part 3 - friendship braceletThen there’s the whole world of friendship bracelets. There is no shortage of patterns and tutorials for these ubiquitous pieces. A good place to start might be the DMC-USA website, with lots of free patterns. Many of these would look great with some variegated floss in the mix!

 

Earrings

variegated floss projects part 3 - embroidery floss wrapped earringsSimilar to a floss wrapped bracelet, Rachel at TransientExpressions posted this tutorial on how to make these fun floss wrapped earrings,

 

 

 

and on her ShowMeCrafting blog, Tammy has this helpful tutorial on how to create earrings that combine embroidery floss and beading.

 

 

 

 

Crochet Lace Doily Hoop Earrings Peacock Color Scheme Dreamcatcher Statement Jewerly Variegated Yarn Ready to ShipThere’s a lot of inspiration to be found in these earrings from PearlBridalBotique. They combine crochet, variegated string, and jewelry so nicely!

 

 

 

 

Necklaces

variegated floss projects part 3 - mini yarn skein pendant necklaceFirst up are these really adorable mini-skein pendant necklaces available at Max’sWorld. What hard core knitter wouldn’t love one of these! They come in a variety of colors and there are also earrings and brooches that would appeal to knitters and crocheters – too cute…

 

OhTheLovelyThings has a tutorial for making this very cool tassel necklace. They started with white floss and dyed their tassels to create the ombré colors (their instructions are excellent). If the dyeing seems a bit ambitious, I will say that DMC already has some wonderful color families. That, and adding a tassle made with variegated thread would make for a really unique look.

 

IMG_0967Using just four skeins of embroidery floss and a clasp kit, Kris at HowDidYouMakeThis created this awesome knitted cord necklace. The possibilities for color combinations with this tutorial are endless!

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 3 - variegated floss necklaceAnother project full of potential is this necklace tutorial by Gina Michele. Again, with a minimum of supply costs (twine, floss, a clasp kit), she created an excellent one-of-a-kind and very attractive necklace. Cool.

 

 

Similar to the “grown up friendship bracelet” above is this tutorial for the “DIY Sparkly Embroidery Thread Necklace” by Erin at ThanksIMadeItMyself. What a great way to recycle old jewelry into something modern and fun!

 

 

Picture of Hardware Jewelry: Wrapped Washer NecklacesI’m going to share a few projects for making pendants from hardware. The first is a tutorial from Instructables that uses floss and metal washers to make this necklace. While I like that they used a lot of variegated threads, I’m wondering if this necklace ended up being really heavy around the neck.

 

I also like this tutorial by Diane at CraftyPod for her yarn wrapped pendants. The yarn covers the washers more evenly while also offering more opportunities for embellishments. I can see these pendants being used in jewelry, Christmas ornaments, mobiles…

 

 

However, if weight of the pendant is of paramount concern, I’d recommend using wooden washers as seen in this DIY by SeeThatThere. In fact, I think I’d use Diane’s instructions with these wooden pendants for the best result possible!

 

 

 

 

 

Variegated Floss Projects in Scrapbooking

Some of these floss-and-paper ideas use variegated threads, some use solid color threads, and some use a combination of both. Once again, I think all of these ideas would look terrific using variegated flosses.

Tutorial step 5For example, there’s this really clever tutorial illustrating how to add this texture to a scrapbook page by Tessa at FancyPantsDesigns.

 

 

 

Next, CreatingKeepsakes has this post of “Four Tips to Scrapbook with Twine.” Most of the twine used in their creative examples is about the same gauge as embroidery floss…

 

 

 

 

Next, NordicNeedle has a downloadable pattern and ideas for using various types of stitches, threads, and beads in a scrapbook layout. This particular layout has an Easter theme, but all of these ideas can be applied with ease in any other theme!

 

 

 

 

Embroidery on PaperOn About.com, Cheryl Fall shares a tutorial on how to embroider on paper, using her free Gingerbread Dreams Pattern Set. As she says, “use this easy technique to stitch embroidery designs on heavy paper or cardstock to add embroidered accents to cards, gift tags and for using in scrapbooking projects.”

This project is very pretty in the white floss seen here, so imagine this project stitched in DMC 4010 Winter Sky or DMC 4017 Polar Ice to add just a touch of color.

variegated floss projects part 3 - grapevine stitchingcardsThe UK store StitchingCards has hundreds of patterns such as this fun grapevine ready for download and use in cards and scrapbook projects.

 

 

 

 

variegated floss projects part 3 - Pine Tree Designs Stitched Paper TagFor some of the most striking combinations of paper and thread, look at the gallery of Stefani Tadio’s PineTreeDesigns. She uses a mix of variegated and solid color threads, paper, and beads to make some really lovely pieces full of crafty inspiration. If you’re interested in her technique, one of her projects was featured in Ann Martin’s book All Things Paper.

 

 

That gorgeous tag finishes this Variegated Floss Projects Part 3! Are there any more examples in these crafty categories of jewelry and scrapbooking that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you check out Part 1 which featured cross stitch, needlepoint, and embroidery, and Part 2 which had plastic canvas, quilting, felt, sewing, and pom-poms. Stay tuned for the next three parts of this series covering knitting, wreath making, string art, crochet, and a whole lot more!

Update: Here is Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.

ACrafty Interview with Pam Harris

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Pam Harris – multicrafter extrordinare!

Afternoon Tea and Craft on the PatioWhen did you start crafting? PH: I was about 6 years old and I learned to make little Zozobra’s by tying a Kleenex around a cotton ball and sticking on two little eyes. My Mom and I made them as part of a fund raising project for her club during Fiesta de Santa Fe. Most “craft skills” I learned were “useful” – sewing, embroidery, knitting; however, I do recall making little rolled paper beads with my Great Grandmother. I come from a long line of practical women so anything I made or learned to make (even when very young) had to have lasting value. I have pretty much carried that ethic forward throughout my crafty life.

What crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? PH: You do know I am an incurable dabbler – right?

Knitted/felted snowman.  Pattern from Marie Mayhew Designs.Knitting, crochet, punched tin, polymer clay, beading, wire and beads, quilting, wheat weaving, shaved wood, wet felting, needle felting, weaving, embroidery, temari, soft toys, gourds, English paper piecing, sewing garments and household goods, spinning, decoupage, bread dough sculpture, macrame, paper, hand building and throwing pottery on a wheel….

Current favorite? Besides any craft having to do with Christmas and Winter Holidays you mean? Mostly working with fiber – any and all of the fiber crafts – what I find myself doing most of the time. I like combining techniques – so that several fiber crafts are included in a project

Celebrating St. Lucy Day - St. Lucy, Star Boy, Scandi-gnome and TomteWhat is the biggest project you’ve ever tackled? PH: It is a toss-up between Austrian shades for Diane’s bedroom when she was a girl, re-upholstering a sofa, and a 4 foot by 6 foot embroidery which took forever! I think I have gotten the need for big projects out of the way!!! Now I relish smaller projects and except for knitting and crochet, and I pretty much prefer to use my own designs.

 

First pair of socks!What project are you most proud of? PH: Learning to knit socks!!

Learning to knit socks was a looooong, fiercely fought battle between the part of me who wanted, like everything, to learn to knit socks and the side of me that is intimidated by anything that is not fairly easy to learn the first time. To give you a clue, just casting on required repeated views of “cast on videos!” Can you imagine what I went through learning short rows or picking up gussets? Many “near-tear moments” I’ll admit! (And a bonus – while knitting the first sock, I became an expert at unraveling my work!!!)

I had no one i could turn to for help so I had to rely on the internet. It is a hugely valuable resource for learning to knit or crochet or sew or….. Coming from a time when such a resource did not exist, I totally appreciate how much the easy access to knowledge adds to the quality of and opportunities to learn in our lives.

So, while the socks I have knitted provide welcome and beautiful footwear, they are much more – a constant reminder of the role persistence and unwillingness to give up plays in the process of learning a new skill.

Using Mod Podge to mount fall leaves to small canvasesWhat is the silliest question you’ve received regarding your work? PH: I can’t actually think of a single silly question. I have been frustrated at times by crafters asking me why their project didn’t turn out only to subsequently find out that they did not follow instructions.

 

Filling up mini muffin cups with tiny hexiesWhat is the most common question you receive regarding your work? PH: How do I manage to do as much as I do!!! The answer is that I tend to be very organized and carefully plan my time so that I can accomplish the things I want to accomplish.

 

Fall Leaves, Mod Podge and Mason Jar = Beautiful CandleWhat is your most popular project? PH: Pretty much a three way split between coloring Easter Eggs with Kool-aid, using Mod Podge and food coloring to tint jars to use as lanterns or vases, and using Mod Podge to apply dried fall leaves to jars. While there are several others that drive large amounts of traffic to my blog, these three are by far responsible for the most traffic.

Dutch Canal Houses embroidery to celebrate St. Nicholas Day/SinterclasDo you sketch or plan most of your work before you begin, or do you generally work without a pattern? PH: I use a pattern when and where it is needed – like a quilt or embroidery, knitted piece or a soft toy – however, as often as possible, I like using my own ideas. Some crafts like painting gourds, punching tin, working with shaved wood or beads and wire and while weaving – I tend not to pre-plan but let my muse have her way with me!!

Saori freestyle weaving, Crochet Tooterphant and Winter Solstice Quilt BlockHas a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? PH: I tend to try new things I know nothing about so I often get into trouble – in lots of unexpected ways!!! But I always find a way to make it happen – learn what I need to learn.

 

 

Punched Tin Butterflies massing on my Seasonal TreeHow has crafting affected your character? PH: For me crafting – making – is as necessary as breathing. It is not something I have acquired – something added. It is who I am. It is a natural expression of my predisposition to create. It is how I function on a daily basis. And so, engaging in craft activity brings me joy, fulfillment, satisfaction.

Taking my craft to a blog has brought me in touch with a unique and inspirational group of new friends from all corners of the earth – women (and men) who are authentic, creative, and each brilliant in her/his own way. I am grateful for these connections beyond words. AND I am thrilled that the blog gives me the opportunity to support and share their talents.

Danish Woven Paper Heart BasketsCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? PH: Nothing in particular comes to mind. But my heart is made happy hearing from crafters who leave me comments or who write me e-mails and share how much a tutorial I have written has helped them understand the process behind a particular craft.

 

 

 

 

Guess i am going to learn lace knitting!What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? PH: Weaving bags for Diane (daughter – Craftypod) and myself using all hand spun yarns; designing and creating a primstav (more info) using embroidery; learn simple carving so I can carve my own Christmas elves and Santas; knit a Finnish lace poncho from hand spun yarn; and continue testing cookie recipes for the “Winter Holiday Cookies from Around the World” project!
Sweet Pepperkaker addition to winter holiday baking!

 

Many, many thanks to Pam for taking the time from her busy schedule to participate in this interview series! Pam just celebrated her Five Year Blogging Anniversary (a huge accomplishment), and I know she’s got a lot of winter holiday crafty goodness coming up on her blog over the next six weeks. Just look at those cookies above and how elegantly they’re displayed – can you even imagine how beautiful her whole house must look for the holidays? It’s mindboggling!

You can follow Pam’s adventures on her blog Gingerbread Snowflakes, her Flickr photostream (and Flickr sets with picture guides to all her tutorials), and on Instagram (@gingerbreadsnowflakes).

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with (Pam’s daughter) multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodneedlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpitatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamiltonpotter Nancy Germondbasketweaver Tina Puckettcross stitcher Meredith Cait, the two part interview with textile artist Arlee Barr, and Halloween costume maker Justin Newton.

Water Themed Crafts Part 3

Welcome to healthy water themed crafts part 3! This series is all about crafts that encourage us to drink more water and that help us appreciate clean rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Part 1 covered crochet, woodworking, quilling, lace and tatting, weaving and tapestry, and mosaic tile. Part 2 featured polymer clay, embroidery, scrapbooking, metalworking, ceramics, and stained glass. This is the third of my six posts covering everything from leatherwork to baking, beadwork to soapmaking and everything in between…
Tidal Pool Reflections

[Tidal Pool Reflections by Sherry Buck via Flickr]

Water Themed Crafts in Knitting

Knit_bottle_1_small2Here’s a few patterns for water bottle holders that (hopefully) will encourage us to drink more water, or at least make us look more fabulous carrying around a water bottle. First up is this pattern by Kelly Spenhof on Ravelry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

water bottle cozy carrierNext is this project on About.com Knitting that, as an added bonus, uses yarn that is made in part from recycled plastic bottles.

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - knit water bottle holder made with hemp yarnFinally is this pattern from LanaKnits that uses a relatively small amount of hemp yarn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand Knit Ocean Waves Cowl - Hand Painted Blue Green Cowl -  Merino Wool Cowl - Chunky Yarn Infinity ScarfA little watery inspiration can be found in this chunky merino cowl offered by HandKnitPalette on Etsy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Ravelry is this lovely Ocean Serenade shawl by Christine Burkhard

 

 

 

 

and Sandra Singh offers this Gentle Breezes pattern by HeartStrings. Despite the “airy” title, the breaking waves and ocean spray are easy to see in in this shawl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen Lake Erie from Edgewater ParkThis post by Jeanne at LifeinCleveland describes her watery inspiration and the pattern source for this very attractive hat.

Water Themed Crafts in Paint

Chalkboard Nails: Summer nail art tutorialFirst up is a bit of a lark – I’m not sure if nail art counts as a craft, but here’s a tutorial for these nails by ChalkboardNails that certainly are cute and show an appreciation for clean oceans!

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - undersea mural stencilsFor kids (or fun adults!) there’s this undersea-themed stencil kit which is a great way for children to start learning about the importance of clean water.

 

 

 

 

Although there are other wave paint patterns out there, I found this pattern via Houzz particularly appealing. These waves could be in any number of color schemes and still convey a watery vibe.

 

 

 

From PureJoyEvents comes this tutorial for this really clever and inexpensive ocean-inspired ombre backdrop made of paint sticks.

 

 

 

DIY project jewelry-9653And from Seriously, I’m Thrifty, here’s a great DIY tutorial for painting this jewelry box. Nice to take a solid but dated looking piece and give it a modern and fresh look! If you were wanting a more ocean-y look, you might think about replacing the hardware with some fun glass or shell-shaped pieces.

Water Themed Crafts in Beadwork

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - beading water bottle sayingThis link to CafePress shows all the water bottles available that are “bead” related. So there are some references to Mardi Gras beads and some other things that aren’t crafty, but there are quite a few that definitely would appeal to crafters.  I have to say I’m partial to the saying on the right:

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - russell morton four seasons of water project detailFrom the Eugene Register-Guard and FireMountainGems are two articles about the same stunning project by Russell Morton. His “Four Seasons of Water” was created “as his effort to clean up the earth’s water in his lifetime.” And while he was beading, his “attention was completely focused on holding the thought of clean water.” A stunning and noble project.

More inspiration can be seen in this post by LissC of her fun underwater cuffs. Love her use of circles to represent the swirling water!

 

 

bead embroidery, BJP by Robin Atkins, AprilSome freshwater ideas may come from this waterfall piece by Robin Atkins via her Beadlust blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah Rosner offers this Hosukai Great Wave beading pattern through her Etsy shop, HannahRachel.

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - printed beading iphone coverIf you don’t want to make your own wave-pattern beaded iPhone case, you can always just purchase this printed one from Zazzle.

 

 

 

Lastly is this beautiful beaded valentine by Susan Elliott at PlaysWithNeedles. I encourage you to read the touching story behind this piece. The colors and textures used evoke sea and shore in a lovely way.

Water Themed Crafts in Leatherwork

healthy water crafts - leather wristletWe’ll start off with this cute wave wristlet bag by Susan Clark Designs via NausetSurfShop.

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - hokusai leather kindle coverThen there is this sophisticated handmade Hokusai Wave Kindle cover from OberonDesign.

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - wave leather beltI wish there was a tutorial for this belt! Love how the braided wave makes this belt (available on Amazon) a little more interesting.

 

 

 

 

Hand Painted Leather Wave Hair BarretteThis barrette by SarahsArtistry on Etsy is an interesting way to combine leather and paint to create a wave look.

 

 

 

Leather Single Fold Wallet with Hidden Pocket Hand Carved Waves Design Made in GA USAI really like this carved waves wallet by Peggy Broome in her Galeatherlady Etsy shop. The shapes and especially the colors make this leather gorgeous and distinctive. The pattern is also used on a fun hair barrette.

WIS Design’s Decades Chest of Drawers, Salone Satellite Milan 2008, WIS Designs furniture, Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Inhabitat Salone 2008, Milan Italy 2008, Milan Furniture Fair, sustainable design Milan, reclaimed materials, WIS Design’s Decades Vanity Easy Chair detail at Salone SatelliteThis chair cover is a great idea – made from pieces of repurposed leather. The post on inhabitat calls them scales, but why not call them waves? Once again, there’s no tutorial on this, but what a great opportunity for a DIY project!

Water Themed Crafts in Chainmaille

There are a lot of chainmaille patterns that, with the right color rings, can be made to look like waves or like water. Here are three examples that are among the best. The first is this undulating pattern as seen on BlueBuddhaBoutique.

 

The second is a tutorial available on WolfstoneJewelry’s Etsy shop for this really attractive Japanese wave pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chainmaille Necklace Japanese Wave  (Multiple Colors Available)The last is this simple but elegant necklace as seen in MorganasDesigns Etsy shop. The beads used in the photo are good, but imagine this with some watery blues and greens!

 

Water Themed Crafts in Gardening

Water is, of course, of supreme importance when it comes to gardening. I’ve found a few good ideas about water gardens, collecting water, and using clean water in hydroponics. Before I delve into that, however, I thought I’d share this fun wave wall rack as seen on LawnandGarden Retailer for hanging plants. It would be a pretty way to divide areas in a garden!

 

Diy Bubble fountainJamie at ScatteredThoughtsofaCraftyMom has this excellent tutorial on how to make a bubble fountain in a pot. Bubble fountains are attractive and make soothing sounds, but to buy one already made from a garden store can be expensive! Jamie’s instructions will save you a lot of time and money.

 

 

 

 

 

02.07.09_WaterGarden_01.jpgFor those of you who would like a water garden but have limited space, ApartmentTherapy has a DIY to create this lovely planter.

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - cover of water gardeners bible bookThere are a ton of books on water gardens. Just type that phrase into a book search on Amazon and you’ll get a lot of good options. The first result on Amazon is the well-reviewed The Water Gardener’s Bible by Ben Helm and Kelly Billing.

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 3 - rainwater collection barrelWhen it comes to conserving water, MotherEarthNews has some great instructions on how to make your own rainwater collection barrel. From possible ways to get a free container to how to keep mosquitoes out, this is definitely full of helpful info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a similar DIY on the Instructables site about a 275 gallon rainwater collection system. As an added bonus, there’s an update from EcoProjecteer in July 2013 that shows some of how they tripled the capacity, raised the containers, and managed to make them look nice!

 

healthy water crafts - hydroponic vegetable gardening setupThen there’s the rapidly growing topic of hydroponics. The information available can be overwhelming, but this article, also at Instructables, may be a good place to get started. It outlines the basics and has ideas for DIY systems while saving money over purchasing prepackaged systems.

 

This DIY by Dean at UrbanGreenSurvival details how he turned water bottles into a series of hydroponic mini green houses. This looks like a great way to use window space and repurpose otherwise wasted plastic bottles into an efficient hydroponic system.

 

That finishes finishes this healthy water themed crafts part 3, covering knitting, paint, beadwork, chainmaille, leatherwork, and gardening. Is there anything in these crafty categories that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you have checked out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series! And stay tuned for the next THREE installments, featuring jewelry, glass work, origami, felt, candlemaking, basket weaving, and a whole lot more!

[Update: Here are Part 4Part 5, and Part 6 in the series!]

ACrafty Interview with Meredith Cait

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Meredith Cait, embroiderer of Hardcore StitchCorps.

When did you start crafting? Did anyone help get you started or did you find your own way? MC: We were always an artistic family in general, but I wouldn’t say I started seriously crafting until I was 17. I’ve pretty much always found my own way with craft. My mom taught me to thread a needle and make a stitch when I was a kid, a friend showed me how to cast on, knit, and purl, and after that I work out the rest for myself. With cross-stitch and free embroidery it was very much on my own. A felted knitting pattern I did involved embroidery, and the book showed you how to do stem stitch. After that I just tried to mimic embroidery I’d seen before. When I found a piece of Aida floating in my craft supplies I decided to give that a go.

What crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? MC: In high school I did a lot of collage with found objects (I eventually ran out of small, interesting trinkets) and had a stint making earrings. I used to be an extremely prolific knitter, and had a recent period carving linoleum stamps. Embroidery probably is my favorite though, in part for the ease of creativity. You can do SO much with counted and non-counted embroidery. People are also really easily impressed with embroidery!

Unlikely Small AdsWhat is the silliest question you’ve ever received about your craft? MC: Other than “How do you get the back so neat?” I don’t really know that I’ve received any! I don’t talk to many people about my crafts, and never have much opportunity to do it in public. I’m also sort of rubbish at making friends online (especially for someone who grew up using the internet), so I’m still in that “How do I befriend these other crafty folks, oh no I’m sure I’m annoying them, run away” stage.

 photo embr_zps514cdfdd.jpgWhat craft project are you most proud of? MC: It’s a pretty old piece, but I’m so proud of the Mercer Mayer illustration I did on a onesie. I didn’t have any transfer materials back then, so I just looked at the illustration, penciled it on the fabric, and free-handed most of the details. I’m also proud of my Roman mosaic, since it’s the first pattern I made from an image (granting that image was a mosaic…).

 

 

 

 

It Gets BetterWhat’s the largest craft project you’ve ever tackled? MC: I haven’t done much that’s very large. As far as most stitches my Roman mosaic had 12,000. Because I’m disabled and not able to work, I tend to use crafts as my sense of being productive. This makes me focus a little more on the number of pieces I can finish, since that generally lifts my mood when I’m down. I’ve got the most immense pile of finished pieces just sitting around.

What is your most popular (or bestselling) project? MC: Bestselling is definitely my Dalek pattern. It was one of the first in my shop. My most viewed on Flickr is the Robert Frost piece “Never be bullied into silence” with a rainbow border, which makes me quite happy.

 

 

frida photo frida.jpgHas a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? MC: I’m the first to admit that I’m a lazy crafter. Since my focus is generally keeping occupied and finishing things, if something’s hard I often don’t attempt it. I have a piece of non-counted embroidery that’s a portrait of Frida Kahlo. I started it after learning more about her, and feeling like after one of her surgeries she might have developed the same nerve pain disease that I have, given the descriptions. My usual reluctance to tackle more involved stitches or designs was forced to take a backseat because I felt so strongly about working on a Kahlo piece, and had such a strong vision of how it should look. Of course it’s still unfinished, but I’m getting there.

DMC color project finished!How has crafting affected your character? MC: People think that embroidery must require patience, and if I weren’t disabled maybe it would have made me patient, but I do literally have all the time in the world. For me I think it’s helped me calm down or slow down a little. I put on an audiobook, start stitching, and that’s meditation for me and it’s very much a way to help control the pain. I think maybe it’s made me more sharing as well. I want other people to feel the joy of creating their own patterns, even when it means less business for me.

May Cthulhu Devour This House LastCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? MC: I have a niece and nephew who live in the same town I do. I mostly give them homemade gifts, and my sister emphasizes it to the kids when something was handmade. When they come to my house they see even more handmade things. The last few times they were here they asked if I’d made pretty much everything they touched. I love that this is their first thought, versus “where did you get/buy this.” Long before kids know how much work goes into something, they do value the handmade, and I’m hoping to start knitting or stitching on canvas with my nephew this winter.

Rice pudding...What is the one question you’ve never been asked about your craft that you’ve always wanted to answer? MC: I suppose it’s maybe WHY I craft. Crafting really has saved my life over and over since I got sick, in a lot of ways. When I had literally no disposable income, opening an Etsy shop meant I could still buy new socks and underwear, afford cleaning supplies and Christmas presents. Having something to keep my hands and brain busy helps cope with the day-to-day tedium and pain. I can’t draw anymore really, and embroidery helps me let out creative energy. Making things lets me feel productive and that’s really important to me.

 photo blackworkquiltfini01.jpgWhat crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? MC: I have the start of a series of traditional quilt block designs worked in blackwork going, and I’m hoping to expand on that again soon. I’d love to eventually make a proper quilt out of them. I’ll never be able to become a quilter, as you really do need a lot of sitting up for that (and precision is not my strong suit), so I keep thinking of ways to cheat that. I have plans for a patchwork piece, made of scraps of evenweave fabrics of different counts, colors, and sizes as well.

Thanks so much to Meredith for participating in this ACrafty Interview series! I’ve admired Meredith’s work for a while now through her Flickr Photostream. Her pieces are definitely the kind of pieces I would stitch! She beat me to the punch on the DMC sampler (8th photo down), and I was also inspired by her hilarious “Unlikely Small Ads” (third photo down). That project, based on a segment from the UK TV show “Mock the Week” was one of the reasons I tackled my recently completed “Blazing Saddles” project. I always look forward to seeing what beauty and/or snark she will stitch next!

You can follow Meredith’s adventures on her blog and on her Etsy shop

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodembroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!needlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpitatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamiltonpotter Nancy Germond, Tina Puckett of Tina’s Baskets, and quilter and pursemaker Linda Martin.

ACrafty Interview with Linda Martin

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Linda Martin, quilter and pursemaker!

acrafty interview - linda martin bargello quiltWhen did you start crafting? LM: I think I have always worked on craft type projects. I remember as a child getting craft kits as gifts. Making collages, animals, painting, knitting, sewing, and crochet were always something I did. My Mom and Grandma always worked with me on them and taught me many useful skills along the way.

acrafty interview - linda martin painting of son jasonWhat crafts have you tried and what’s your favorite now? LM: I probably have tried most every kind of craft. In addition to those I already mentioned I have made many clothes, curtains, tablecloths and pillows. For many years I painted with oils and acrylics. I made many landscapes, portraits and animal paintings. Working with color and design was always part of my life. My favorite now is quilting. It’s been a natural progression of my interest in color and design projects.

 

 

acrafty interview - linda martin musical quiltWhat project are you most proud of? LM: Right now I’m very proud of a project I created this summer. I was asked by a friend to make a “music” quilt. I thought a lot about it and came up with a very free form kind of create as you go project. Of course I had the help of a friend as we brainstormed ideas back and forth. The quilt took me outside my normal comfort zone of making quilt blocks and putting them together.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 2Have you ever started a project without a pattern or a plan? LM: I can’t think of a time when I didn’t have some kind of a plan, pattern or design in my head. Sometimes things change along the way, but I have a picture in my head.

 

 

 

 

 

acrafty interview - linda martin seaside quiltHas a project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? LM: Some projects have challenged me for sure, but I have always found a way to complete them. Sometimes I will put a quilt away for a while and let it rest! Really my head usually needs a “vacation” from it while I figure out a way to make it work.

 

How has crafting affected your character? LM: Since I have been making some kind of creative projects most of my life, it’s hard to tell if my character has developed because of my life experiences or creative experiences. I suspect it’s both.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 1Since I was an elementary school teacher for over 30 years my organizational skills from teaching have certainly help me be better at my creative projects. When I began teaching we had to create our own classroom environment. That gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to draw and paint. I had always been too reticent to to take art classes because of fear of criticism. But as I got compliments and “oh wows” on my work from fellow teachers, my confidence grew. I gradually began painting. This taught me lots of perseverance because painting is very much a developmental process. Observing details is also important to a successful product. (whether it’s painting or quilting). Color and patterns in nature transfer to the finished painting or quilt.

acrafty interview - linda martin regatta quiltEven though I’m no longer painting, many of these skills apply to my sewing and quilting. The balance of color and design elements are also very important. This is often the most important part of the quilt. Without the right balance the quilt will not work. When I finish a project whether it’s a purse or a quilt I’m really proud of it. Sometimes I look at the result and say wow, I did it!

As I’ve gained confidence in my work, I’ve definitely become more adventurous to try new things. This summer I made a landscape and a portrait quilt (wall hangings really)! I guess I was brave to try those things.

acrafty interview - linda martin quiltCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? LM: Some of my friends who are not quilters have been curious about what I do. I have shared my skills with them as well as the process of creating a quilt. I helped and encouraged one to make a purse and a pillow! I have also given many quilts and purses as gifts.

acrafty interview - linda martin purse 3What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? LM: I’d like to continue with making purses and quilts, trying to expand my horizons with new kinds of projects. Another goal of mine is to do more free hand quilting on my long arm quilting machine. That’s a whole other learning curve!

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Linda for taking the time to participate in this ACrafty interview series, and thanks to previous interviewee, jeweler Ron Buhler, for recommending her for the series! Best of luck with the free hand quilting…

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodembroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, needlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpitatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamilton, stone artist Jerry Locke, potter Nancy Germond, and Tina Puckett of Tina’s Baskets.

ACrafty Interview with Nancy Germond

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Nancy Germond, potter for Germond Designs.

freedomWhen did you start crafting? NG: I started crafting when I was really little – my favorite baby sitter used to spend hours drawing with me and my mom taught me to sew back in elementary school. I’ve been crafting since I’ve been walking!

 

 

acrafty interview with nancy germond '70s red birdWhat crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? NG: I have tried everything from painting to macrame to knitting to decoupage to metal stamping. Clay is my current favorite medium because it is SO versatile and it has allowed me to incorporate many different crafts such as silk screening and painting.

 

Nest with Green EggsWhat is the silliest question you’ve ever received about your craft? NG: I once completed a tile backsplash for a client and she asked if the design would wipe off if she used water… practical question from her perspective but what kind of backsplash would that have been?!

 

 

Nancy Jean & Lima BeanWhat craft project are you most proud of? NG: I am super proud of my most recent sculpture – the inspiration was a 7000 mile road trip towing a 1975 trailer. The sculpture is a self portrait of me, with the wind in my hair, popping out of the top of the trailer’s ceiling (see picture). It’s titled “Nancy Jean and Lima Bean.”

 

 

 

What is your most popular (or bestselling) project? NG: My doodle bowls are very popular and I have many customers who keep growing their collection. Each bowl has a unique design and the size is perfect.
Doodle Bowl Grouping #2

 

Gold Aqua BowlHas a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? NG: Getting organized enough to travel with my art booth was quite challenging – thank goodness I have the Lima Bean! On my first out of state show, my car was packed with my pottery and my tent and shelves were packed into the camper. After my 12 hour first leg of the journey, I pulled into a KOA campground, crawled over the supplies and slept on my little twin bed. The golden rule is NO pottery packed into the trailer – it would end up in many, many pieces after the first bump in the road.

BlackBirdLIteBlueDotsHow has crafting affected your character? NG: Devoting 100% of my time to making art was a huge leap of faith but one I had to take! It can be challenging to make art that you hope someone will like enough to purchase but I’ve learned to trust myself and ‘go’ with it. I constantly quell the thoughts of self doubt and replace them with gratitude, thankfulness and joy at being able to do art full-time. I never have to ‘make’ myself do art – it’s something I always enjoy and ‘must do’ to be happy – like breathing and exercise. This summer, I made the decision to apply to art shows in Colorado so I could escape the crazy Texas heat – I call that ‘creating my own universe’ as well as creating my own art!

Bird and RosesCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? NG: After an art show at my house, a good friend of mine decided she could also follow her passion – baking. It’s a great story – Amanda and her mom, Kit started the venture called Tiny Pies. Since starting the company in 2010, they have been written up in Oprah Magazine and recently appeared with Katie Couric. While their success is due to a fantastic product and lots of hard work, I like to think that my decision to follow my passion inspired them.

Navajo Wisdom BowlWhat is the one question you’ve never been asked about your craft that you’ve always wanted to answer? NG: Hmmm – that would have to be “Would you be interested in having your product for sale in Anthropologie?!” followed by “Sorry, we won’t be able to pay you in dollars – would you accept bartering your pottery for our fabulous clothes?”

 

Grasshopper Butter dishWhat crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? NG: [Some new pieces made their premier at a show in Salida, Colorado on August 10-11.] I love the interaction with people at art shows – it’s always interesting to see which pieces sell and to whom. I was super excited to sell a grasshopper butter dish to a woman whose husband worked for Grasshopper Mower- how perfect is that?! I am a total extrovert so while I love creating my pottery in my studio, I live for customer interactions at art shows! I am also excited to be back in the studio later in the month; I want to make some little wall plaques to sell at my next show in Durango late September.

Thanks so much to Nancy for participating in this ACrafty interview series! I saw her lovely booth at an art show a few weeks ago and was drawn in immediately. Nancy really struck me with her open and positive attitude and I hope you will be able to meet her and see her lovely works in person!

You can follow Nancy’s adventures on her websiteFacebook, and she’s aiming to really fire up her Etsy shop in September.

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodembroiderer Sasha of What. No Mints?embroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, the multi-talented David Tedinneedlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpi, and tatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamilton.

ACrafty Interview with Jeff Hamilton

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Jeff Hamilton, tatter and chainmailler.

When did you start crafting? JH: Awesome! The first question is an easy one. I first started crafting over 20 years ago when I was about seven or eight. I was bored one summer and my mom taught me how to do needlepoint using plastic canvas. She taught me crochet after I had made a few projects with the canvas. From then on, I just had an interest in crafting. My interest in tatting started about 18 years ago when I found a tatting shuttle in a box of crochet patterns. I didn’t know was it was for until I later found a small booklet of tatting patterns in the same box. I just had to learn how to tat.
Bookmark Exchange

Stainless Steel Byzantine Yin Yang Chainmaille PendantWhat crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? JH: Hmm. I’ve tried so many, I hope you’re not looking for an exhaustive list! I’ve done knitting, crochet, tatting, Teneriffe lace, needlepoint using plastic canvas, cross stitch, Temari (Japanese thread balls), chainmaille, polymer clay, painting, felting (wet and needle), and spinning using a spindle. I’m sure there are others; I do like to try new crafts. As to my current favourite, I’m going to have to go with tatting, with crochet and chainmaille close behind.

Coral Reef DragonWhat is the silliest question you’ve ever received about your craft? JH: Well, I have to admit, I haven’t been asked any silly questions yet. However, a lot of people confuse tatting with tattoos and that has brought some interesting questions and comments to other tatters.

 

 

 

acrafty interview - jeff hamilton tatted windmills doily

What craft project are you most proud of? JH: I’m proud of every project I manage to finish. A couple projects stand out though. A large doily made using a tatted motif called Windmills, is the largest item I made to date. I am still working on it so it will end up larger than it’s current 15 inch diameter. Another project is a male Betta fish. This is the first design I created myself.

acrafty interview - jeff hamilton tatted betta fish

Tri Metal Serrated Byzantine Chainmaille EarringsDo you ever craft in public? If so, what kind of reactions do you receive from others? JH: I did when I was much younger. I used to go to the local Farmer’s Market with my mom where I would crochet while my mom was busy vending. I’d have a lot of people commenting on how nice it was to see a young boy crocheting. In particular, the older ladies thought it was great.

 

Has a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? JH: I think every craft project can be challenging in many ways. I, like a lot of tatters, make many of our items from other people’s patterns online and from books. Lately, many foreign language books have become readily available to us. The patterns themselves are often just diagrammed, but sometimes that’s just not enough. I know I’ve tried a pattern from one of these books and sometimes, something doesn’t work. I’m sure that the key to the pattern is in the text, if only I could read it.
Chinese Dragon

acrafty interview - jeff hamilton tatted canadian flagHow has crafting affected your character? JH: I definitely think crafting has affected my character. I know it has made me much more patient. I’ve always had a imaginative/creative side and have been able to express it when I design my own tatting patterns. Any crafting I do has a calming effect on me, which is nice if I have a tough day at work and need to relax.

Spinning Wheel Glass MatCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? JH: I know that my Grandmother was particularly fond of my tatting. She was often very interested in what I was working on. And she did often tell her friends about me and my crafting. I know my Mom greatly enjoys my crafting. She is particularly proud of the crafts that I learned on my own, ones that she never learned herself.

 

Beaded Byzantine Chainmaille BraceletWhat is the one question you’ve never been asked about your craft that you’ve always wanted to answer? JH: Since I haven’t had anyone ask, I kinda want to have to explain that tatting has nothing to do with tattoos. I’d like to be able to explain to this person what tatting actually is, and perhaps even offer to teach them.

 

Gecko for ShirtWhat crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? JH: I’ve got many ideas right now. Being a male tatter, I have always felt a need to create guy friendly tatting patterns. I started a tatted tie a few years ago, and I do hope to finish it. My most recent project is creating a tatted tattoo arm band. I figured instead of trying to separate ourselves from tattoos, I could replicate the look of a tattoo without the pain and permanence.

Many thanks to Jeff for giving this interview! After I discovered MrXStitch, I’m always happy to find the work of other men who work in thread, textile, and needle crafts (check out my ACrafty Interview with cross stitcher WhateverJames).

You can follow Jeff’s adventures on his blogFlickr, and Etsy.

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodembroiderer Sasha of What. No Mints?jeweler Ron Buhlerembroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, the multi-talented David Tedin, and needlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpi.

ACrafty Interview with Cresus Parpi

Welcome to this ACrafty Interview with Cresus Parpi! Haruhi Okubo is the creative mind behind the creative and intricate needlepoint of Cresus-Parpi.

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - hanabana floral needlepointWhen did you start crafting? HO: I started that when I was an elementary school student. I was taught art by my father and handcraft by my mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? HO: I have tried embroidery, knitting and crochet, patchwork quilt, hand weaving, dressmaking, and hooked rug. My current favorite is needlepoint.acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - mwwm bright yellow wave interference needlepoint project

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - impromptu coaster set 16 needlepointWhat is your most popular (or bestselling) project? HO: The impromptu coaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - gaso needlepoint clutchHave you ever started a project without a pattern or plan? HO: The pattern is usually drawn on the canvas by freehand, after having drawn some ideas in a sketchbook.

As for the GASO series and some others, the pattern is made with a PC.

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the biggest craft project you have ever attempted? HO: The (90 cm square [35 in. square]) zigzag drive rag rug.acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - zigzag drive rag rug

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - impromptu coaster set 5 needlepointWhat craft project are you most proud of? HO: The coaster series. I made a plan to make 100 pieces of them. And I achieved it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? HO: My eyesight failed rapidly by this work. I thought that I should have made it with more low count canvas (this project used 40 H.P.I. [holes per inch] silk gauze). [Note: Haruhi typically uses 10 H.P.I. canvas]acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - hina dolls tiny needlepoint

acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - impressionist sweater knittingHow has crafting affected your character? Has it made you more patient, grateful, organized, supportive, adventurous, persistent, proactive, independent, diverse, imaginative, observant, expressive, consistent, brave, calm, etc.? HO: All of those, and taking good care of things (recycling, ecology). Even the scrap of thread and cloth can become the necessary materials. Like [a] patchwork quilt or hooked rug or embroidery for strengthen[ing] cloth (sashiko), etc… The number of times to throw away my old clothes decreased.

 

 

Can you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? HO: There was the person who dropped tears to see my works. They seemed to be impressed… arigato…acrafty interview - cresus-parpi - shikaku colorful squares needlepoint cushion

What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? HO: I want to challenge a work of large size, because I made many works of small size. I think that it will be the tapestry by the needlepoint.

Many thanks to Haruhi for giving us a glimpse into her craft. Being a needlepointer myself, I am an enormous fan of her work. The creativity, the quality, and the speed at which she creates these pieces always impresses me. In fact, the first time I saw her stunning MWWM Bright Yellow work (second picture down in this post), I’m sure I caught my breath. I highly encourage everyone to look at the Cresus-Parpi Flickr Photostream and see all the pieces that I couldn’t include in this post.

You can follow the adventures of Cresus-Parpi on her websiteFlickr, and Etsy. She also sells some of her pieces through the TakeHeartShop in Austin, Texas, and you can read more about her clutch bags and her history at the ShopFloorProject.

Would you like to be a part of the ACrafty interview series? Just contact me! You might also be interested in reading some more ACrafty Interviews with multi-crafter Diane from CraftyPodcross stitcher Katie Kutthroatembroiderer Sasha of What! No Mints?quilter Betty Busby, embroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!, and the multi-talented David Tedin.