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.

Five Favorite Projects for DIY Crafty Goodness

I’ve been inspired once again this week by the Link Love post from Diane at CraftyPod and will share my five favorite projects (thus far).

Honeycomb Hexagon Wall @ Vintage Revivals-2#1 is this outstanding hexie ombré wall by VintageRevivals. First time I saw this photo, I was rendered nearly speechless – I mean HOW COOL IS THIS WALL!

 

 

Pin cushion tutorial#2 is this lovely and larger size pincushion tutorial from Lori at TheInboxJaunt. Love the ocean colors and the pattern in this small piece.

 

 

#3 is this tutorial from Jesse at NineRed that not only shows how to paint some awesome hexies, it also has great information about refinishing any piece of furniture, even if it’s ugly 70’s plastic!

 

 

 

Melted Bead Suncatchers#4 are these melted bead suncatcher projects from TheArtfulParent. These are so simple, fun, and bright, I can’t wait to try them out someday with the kids in my life.

 

 

hexagon crafts - scrapbook paper wall art by itsalwaysautumn#5 is this tutorial by Autumn at itsalwaysautumn. I knew this was something I wanted to try as soon as I saw it. It’s simple, inexpensive, gorgeous, and a great way to use and display some of your favorite scrapbook papers.

 

I’m going to give honorary mentions to two other projects – first is is this tutorial on popsicle sticks from LiEr at Ikatbag. These are great fun! Her kids did a good job…

 

 

Nicey Jane hexiesThe second honorary mention is this tutorial for bordered hexies (found through CraftyPod) that really makes me want to dive into making some of these little buggers!

 

 

I’ve made the last two links into honorary mentions as I showed the same photos in my link love post last Friday as well. As much as I love these projects, I just didn’t want to seem too repetitive.

You also might tell that most of my links here feature hexagons. Well, they’re from my four part series on hexagon crafts! Next week, I dive into a series on health-promoting crafts starting with good ol’ H2O – stay tuned…

BeMores Set 3 – Healthy and Moderate Now Available!

Set 3 of BeMores are now up for sale on my Etsy shop! The words in this set are “Healthy” and “Moderate” (for those of you new to BeMores, there’s some more information on the whole concept on this page).cross stitch on paper BeMores Set 3 healthy and moderate

The grassy paper for “Healthy” is fun, and although it looked good with the red floss only, it really popped with the yellow floss outline!

The kits, of course, include all the materials you will need to create these two projects, including papers, flosses, a needle, and a complete set of instructions.

cross stitch on paper BeMores Set 2 patient and trustworthy kit contents

To help demonstrate ways to be more healthy, this week I’ll start a series, similar to my hexagon series, on crafty health-promoting ideas! Considering that humans are 70% water, as is the surface of the Earth, I’ll concentrate first on water – crafts that encourage us to drink more water and that help us appreciate clean rivers and oceans.

I’ve found “water crafts” spanning almost 40 different types of crafts, from knitting to candlemaking, polymer clay to gardening, scrapbooking to woodworking and everything in between. I hope you’ll follow the series, and I hope you might participate with this BeMores Set 3!

Set 1 – Grateful and Organized and Set 2 – Trustworthy and Patient are also available – check ’em out!

Hexagon Crafts Part 3

Welcome to Hexagon Crafts Part 3! This four part series on hexagon crafts should really be titled HEXIE MADNESS! Part 1 of the series covered quilting, leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry. Part 2 of the series covered crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, and popsicle sticks. Today we’re covering hexagon crafts ranging from sewing to perler beads, pottery to stained glass and more!

Hexagon pattern in car park

[Hexagon Pattern in Car Park by Damian Rees via Flickr]

Hexagon Crafts in Sewing

DSCN2352This Hexie Caddy Pincushion from Pennyshands makes the hexie into a three dimensional and useful crafty organizer.

 

 

 

Here’s a tutorial for this cute, scrappy, and useful fabric and felt hexagon needle book by MyThreeSons.

 

 

Just recently, Kate from See Kate Sew did a guest post on Delia Creates with the tutorial for these adorable hexagon coin pouches. These would make great presents!

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - hexagon print dressAnd check out the attractive hexie print fabric on this Anne Klein dress available through Amazon.

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Pottery

Waterfall Blue Handmade Stoneware Ceramic Pottery Hexagon Candy Nut Dish - ButterflyMontezumaMudd offers this lovely hexagonal stoneware dish.

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagonal Prisms with lids: Set of 2I also found these intriguing hexagonal ceramic storage jars by TheeBeesKneesPottery.

 

 

 

 

Ceramic Border Tile -- 1" x 6" Hexagon Border -- Made to OrderAnd if your life isn’t full enough by only crafting hexies, you can have these tiles by FarRidgeCeramics in your home as well! I bet they would be lovely in a kitchen or bathroom, or as a border around a mirror.

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Knitting

There is a TON of hexie knitting goodness out there, however the volume is not quite as overwhelming as with crochet. I’d like to share this beautiful blanket project by Mags at Grannypurl. There’s just something about the texture and the touch of ombré in the colors that makes me think it has to be SO soft and comfy.

 

Jojoland Melody Swirl Shawl Lijuan JingThis hexie swirl shawl project by JulieRoseSews is similar, but more sheer and WOW the colors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s also this bright and colorful knitted hexie cushion pattern from GreedyforColour. Very fun!

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Quilling

hexagon crafts part 3 - quilled hexagon star of davidThis Star of David project is built from 12 individual quilled triangles. Of course, the six center triangles form a hexagon, and I’m sure that the quilling pattern could be crafted into some outstanding hexie pieces! The pattern comes from the book Quilling for Scrapbooks and Cards by Susan Lowman.

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Woodworking

Honeycombs-9380I found two good tutorials on making hexagonal honeycomb wall shelves. The first comes from Josh and Sarah on the blog ABeautifulMess,

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - diy honeycomb shelvesand the second comes from – wow! Is it the same Josh and Sarah? This set comes via DesignSponge.

 

 

 

 

Hexagon Picnic TableIf you’re looking for some outdoor seating, Ana White has these instructions for a hexagon picnic table (with added bonus of what appears to be some good input from one of her users who built the table).

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - hexagon boxThis is the first of two instructional YouTube videos from Dumond3198 on how to make a decorative wooden hexagonal box (I’m wondering if there are accompanying .pdfs with material list, directions, etc., if you contact him).

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Plastic and Perler Beads

Melted Bead SuncatchersI really love this suncatcher project from Jean at ArtfulParent. As she says, the melted beads turned into hexagons, and the projects are bright and lovely and sturdy enough to last for years.

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - perler beadsPerler beads, of course, lend themselves to be made into hexagons. I found this unique design on MoonatNoon:

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Stained Glass and Mosaic Tile

Posted ImageThis post at StainedGlassTownSquare is a useful tutorial on how to cut hexie shape glass pieces for use in stained glass projects. I’d love to see some of these in use!

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - hexagon mosaic tileThere appear to be quite a few hexagonal patterns in stained glass – not necessarily the component pieces, but more in the finished product. FaveCrafts has this tutorial for a Falling Leaves mosaic garden stone.

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - poppy stained glassPDQPatterns has this pattern for a window full of pretty poppies

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - stained glassThere are a number of free hexagonal stained glass patterns at ChantalStainedGlass. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Easy Hexagon Pattern,

 

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - clematis stained glass

the Clematis Pattern,

 

 

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - celtic knot stained glass

the Celtic Knot Pattern,

 

 

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - geometric bougainvilleaand the Bougainvillea Pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagonal Glass Tables: Isom by Sebastian Scherer in home furnishings  CategoryAlthough it’s not a tutorial, I just had to include these beautiful hexagonal glass tables by Sebastian Scherer featured on Design-Milk.com. They’re gorgeous!

 

 

That wraps up Hexagon Crafts Part 3! Is there anything else in these crafty categories (sewing, pottery, knitting, quilling, woodworking, plastic and stained glass) that you would like to add in the comments?

Make sure you’ve checked out the quilting, leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry featured in Part 1, the crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, and popsicle sticks in Part 2, and stay tuned for the hexie madness still to come in Part 4!

[Update: Here is Part 4 (paint, cross stitch, embroidery, baking, lamp making, and gardening)]

BeMores Set 2 – Patient and Trustworthy now available

Set 2 of BeMores are now up for sale on my Etsy shop! The words this time are “Patient” and “Trustworthy” (for those of you new to BeMores, there’s some more information on the whole concept on this page).cross stitch on paper BeMores Set 2 patient and trustworthy

I really adore the paper for “Trustworthy” – I had to dig deep on the internets to get my supply of it. And I’m so happy with how the script font on “Patient” turned out. My husband helped me get the crossing of the “T” to look right (it took some doing).

The BeMore Patient and Trustworthy finished projects

Patience comes easily to me when it comes to craft work. My Ancora Imparo project that I posted about previously is proof of that! My Mom and I are also working sporadically on a quilting project that we started about 20 years ago. All of the fabrics are old ties, sorted into groups of three to five with similar colors. We haven’t gotten far, but I think we’ll get there someday.

For me, mutual trust, built over time, is one of the things that differentiate a friend from an acquaintance. The “Trustworthy” project strikes me as a good one for younger folks. I remember some behavior of my youth that I really regret. A lot of that was due to me breaking trust with my friends. Although I’m much improved in that area, the “Trustworthy” project has been a really good reminder of ways to build and maintain trust.

New BeMores are Coming Soon!

In addition to the first set of BeMores, “Grateful” and “Organized,” I’m now working on the second set, which will be “Trustworthy” and “Patient.” The papers and flosses are ordered and I’m waiting for their delivery. YES!

I’ve done a ton of fun work on these BeMores to get to this point. From the Pilot project and compiling the resulting questionnaires, to deciding on which words to put in sets, then shopping for papers and finding matching flosses, to finally ordering all the supplies – it’s been a blast playing with the words, colors, and patterns.

I’ve had a big learning experience when it comes to scrapbook paper – when you see what you like, BUY IT! Papers are highly seasonal and are discontinued all the time. This being the case, the paper for this version of “Grateful” will be a similar color as the Pilot version, but will be a different pattern. Here’s a photo of George checking out the new paper.The paper for the new release of BeMores "Grateful." The BeMores cross stitch on paper projects will be available soon!

There’s still a lot of work to be done on these BeMores before they go up for sale at my Etsy shop. Until then, I’ll make some progress updates on this exciting project!