ACrafty Interview with Sylvia Windhurst

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Sylvia Windhurst!

Green Embroidered Heart TrioWhen did you start crafting? Did anyone help get you started or did you find your own way? SW: My mother is an artist. She is a printmaker as well as an expert knitter and seamstress. We were always encouraged to be creative, and I spent many hours drawing, sewing, and creating strange hats using scrap yarn and crochet hooks that my mother supplied. One of my favorite activities was doll making – creating a body out of a clothes pin or pipe cleaners and creating an outfit out of what ever materials we could find. I definitely credit my mother for fostering a creative atmosphere in our home and I hope I did the same for my daughter who is on her way to becoming a fine photographer.

Group of Beaded Bead Flying Saucer EarringsI actually have a fine arts degree in printmaking and continued to draw and paint for several years after graduating. Gradually as my professional life and family took up more of my time, I stopped painting and drawing. I have a full time job as a graphic artist/prepress technician, and thus spent my time designing, retouching and preparing the designs of other graphic artists for printing or web publication. Over the ensuing years, I really began to miss the idea of creating something unique with my own hands. I started going to life drawing classes and then began embroidering again. Then purely by accident about 8 years ago I saw some beaded jewelry online made with off loom bead weaving techniques – I loved the look and started learning both bead weaving and bead embroidery techniques. I am self taught – and I give credit to the many great craft bloggers out there who are willing to share their knowledge online as well as the crafters who took the time to post great YouTube instructional videos. I also invested in a small library of beading books and spent many night practicing and creating.

About the term craft — I think the term craft and art can be interchangeable – sometimes I think when something is termed a craft people look at it as a hobby – not something serious, so I like to think of myself as a bead and fiber artist and crafter. There are many people who create wonderfully artistic items using techniques considered “craft”. For example, last year I bought handcrafted brooms an from an artisan in Oregon. Not only are they lovingly handcrafted, functional brooms but they are aesthetically appealing and wonderful works of art as well.

French Lavender Sachet Embroidered Flowers Satin RibbonWhat crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? SW: I dabbled briefly in stained glass and did not love it. However, if it has anything to do with beads, fabric, and thread, I am in heaven. I am still primarily a beader and hand embroiderer, but am incorporating my machine sewing skills into my work a bit more now. I also have played with polymer clay a little to make my own cabochons and that is something I want to continue exploring in the future.

What is your favorite craft book? SW: I don’t have a favorite, but I think Robin Atkins has written some nice beading books. Mastering Beadwork by Carol Huber Cypher is a great reference book for beaders.

There are also some really great bloggers in the beading world. Inspirational Beading and Beading Arts are two nice blogs that come to mind. Both are informative and share a lot of information.

Purple Paisley Embroidered Wide Felt Cuff with Ombre Color ShadingHow have your crafts changed over time? SW: They have changed most definitely. I think my technique is far better than when I first started – and I have a lot more ideas now. I am willing to take more risks, and am also more willing to admit when something isn’t working and start again rather than being stubborn and investing more time in a project that just isn’t coming together.

 

Are you a person who is comfortable playing with color, or do you work better with color palettes you find – say, in photos or in nature? SW: I love color, and am always playing with it.

Boho Beaded HoopsRed and Black Beaded Sterling Hoops
Pale Blue Teardrop Beaded Sterling Hoops with Purple, Green and Orange Accents

Those are three examples of color palettes I have used in my beaded hoop earrings.

Nature's Jewel NecklaceI was inspired by the iridescent colors on a beetle for this one. Not only are the colors unusual, but the piece ended up having a bit of an ancient Egyptian style to it, which I also liked.

 

 

 

What craft project are you most proud of? SW: It’s a toss up.

Bollywood Bib Necklace with MalachiteThis Bollywood inspired bib necklace is a statement piece that took me many hours. What makes it special to me is the weblike gold embroidery I created in the background. It just adds something unique to the piece.

 

 

 

 

Moss Green Forest Fairy Cuff with Agate FocalThis cuff is another piece that I am very fond of. It has painted leather leaves and embroidery combined with bead weaving and bead embroidery. Despite the fact that I used so many techniques in one piece I think the monochromatic palette keeps the design cohesive.

 

 

 

 

What is your most popular (or bestselling) project? SW: My beaded hoops are my best selling items. I have also done well with my cyclops pieces. I have a stash of realistic doll eyes which I used in little treasure boxes and a few stuffed creatures.

Mexican Folk Art Inspired Embroidered Cyclops Dragonfly Soft Sculpture Bead Embroidered Cyclops Gold Treasure Box

They are definitely on the odd side, which I like, and surprisingly sold quite well. I plan to make more cyclops boxes in the near future.

Moss and Burgundy Embroidered Tapestry Necklace with Vintage Rhinestones

Has a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? SW: I think the challenge is ongoing – I keep a notebook with me at all times to jot down ideas. A lot of times the translation of that idea into a workable project isn’t always smooth. Sometimes I have to experiment and accept when a technique isn’t working well and be willing to start over again. Also, I tend to be a bit of a hoarder when it comes to supplies and I need to remind myself that instead of constantly buying new supplies I need to find creative solutions to design issues using existing supplies.

Green and Gold Abstraction BraceletHow has crafting affected your character? SW: It has definitely made me more patient and persistent. I also find it calming. I initially started creating beaded jewelry and embroidered objects as a calming therapy after getting home from my “day job.” Even after starting to sell my work and running an online store, I still find the act of creating calming. The repetitive nature of beadweaving is particularly therapeutic.

 

Can you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? SW: I had made a cuff inspired by Boudica, the Irish Warrior Queen. It had a shield like shape (kind of like Wonder Woman’s arm pieces!) and a lovely brown, gold and green color scheme with an celtic knot symbol on it. A woman purchased it and messaged me saying that she had been suffering from some serious personal issues and that in recovering she had used Boudica as an inspirational figure, which was why she purchased the cuff.

Pink and Blue Microorganism BroochWhat crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? SW: I am starting to play with hand painted fabrics as a base for my embroidery and bead embroidery. I am still in the experiment phase for the most part right now, although I did make a small series of brooches using fabric I had painted. The photo here shows an example:

I am also planning to play with polymer clay and make some cabochons to use. I have only used polymer clay a little bit but I am amazed at some of the fantastic things artists have created with this medium. I would love to take a class in metal polymer clay – I just have to find one that fits in with my schedule and is geographically convenient!

Many thanks to Sylvia sharing her art and craft with us and for participating in this ACrafty Interview series! You can follow Sylvia’s ongoing adventures on her blog, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, and 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 CraftyPodneedlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpitatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamiltonbasketweaver Tina Puckettcross stitcher Meredith Cait, the two part interview with textile artist Arlee Barr, Halloween costume maker Justin Newton, and multi-crafter Pam Harris of Gingerbread Snowflakes.

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 2

Welcome to healthy water themed crafts part 2! 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. Today is the second of my six posts covering everything from leatherwork to baking, beadwork to soapmaking and everything in between…
Grand Opening: new "water drop bouquet" grow, harvest and delivery service

Water Themed Crafts in Polymer Clay

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - mermaid trinket boxFirst up is a tutorial by ClayLessons on how to make this pretty mermaid trinket box. As the interest here is more on the lovely polymer clay technique, I think this box would look great either with or without the mermaid charm.

 

 

 

Here is another example from MandarinMoonArt of a water scene, this time done as a tile. Once again, this would be pretty with or without the metal trinkets embedded in the clay.

 

 

 

This switch plate cover reminds me of reflections in water waves. The tutorial by Johnnie at SavedbyLoveCreations is more about how to cover the switch plate, however there is a link within this post to further instructions on the striking “mokume gane” technique it uses.

 

This pendant by Lorraine Vogel via JewleryMakingJournal is another beautiful use of the mokume gane technique.

 

 

 

Ocean 48 inch - detailThese amazing beads by Laura Timmins could represent the sea, the shore, and even some of the stars of a night ocean scene. Her website has information about her process, and her Flickr photostream has more images of her other beautiful creations with the same technique.

 

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - credenza with doors covered in polymer clayThen there is this stunning credenza with doors covered in this wave pattern made completely from polymer clay as seen on RainyDayDestinations. I only wish there were some better close-ups to see the technique used on the clay!

Water Themed Crafts in Embroidery

If you're fond of sand dunes - PDF digital download embroidery patternHere’s a cute wave pattern available on StitchetyStich’s Etsy shop,

 

 

 

 

 

and there is actually an embroidery stitch called a wave stitch. The fourth item down on this page on ArtsandDesigns has lots of info on this stitch.

 

 

 

Your Favorite Kanye West Tweet - Hand-stitched and Framed - Made to OrderThis hilarious embroidered tweet from Kanye West by supervelma could be used as a funny reminder to drink more water. This article on GeekOSystem has more info on this series of embroideries.

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - embroidered Chinese silk jifu robeMuseumTextiles has info on some of the symbols embroidered on this Chinese silk jifu robe. The waves alone are incredible,

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 2  - modern wave embroidery by su embroideryas is this modern commercial hand embroidery by SuEmbroidery. Stunning!

 

 

 

 

I enjoy the colors and the use of couching in this piece entitled “Night Wave” by Shirley at StitchesandLife.

 

 

 

Water Themed Crafts in Scrapbooking

There are a million wave, water, ocean, sea, beach, lake, and river themed scrapbook layouts – it’s just overwhelming. Instead of featuring just a few, I’ll share this beautifully curated Pinterest page by Melanie Walker full of watery scrapbooking inspiration:healthy water themed crafts part 2 - pinterest water scrapbooking ideas

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - wavy templates for scrapbookingOne product I did find attractive and interesting is this set of wavy scrapbook templates by Libby Pritchett via SweetShoppeDesigns.

 

 

Water Themed Crafts in Metalwork

Metal Art Wall Art Decor Abstract Contemporary Modern Sculpture Hanging Zen Textured Nature Water- Wave 1There’s some beautiful inspiration with water and wave forms in metal crafts. This is a piece offered by InspiringArt in their Etsy shop,

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - metal ripple wall artand here’s another piece of similar construction, this time by Jon Allen via Ebay.

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - colorful metal wave wall artThis wave piece by Loren Senge via Sculptor.org is colorful and unique,

 

 

 

 

and this fire screen from FunktionalSteelArt would be lovely in a house with beach or water décor.

Water Themed Crafts in Ceramics and Pottery

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - filterpure non profit water filtersWhen it comes to healthy water a simple Google search on “ceramic water filters” brings up extensive results. However for third world countries, these FilterPure ceramic filters are an intriguing solution. This non-profit organization is working to train potters to build these water filtration systems worldwide. According to their website, adding some colloidal silver to the clay improves the anti-bacterial properties of the filters.

 

 

Ceramic Wave Vase.As for decorative ceramics, many pieces seem to follow Japanese and other classic Asian art forms such as these two pieces by Bonnie Belt. The first is this dramatic wave vase via InvestintheArts,

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - wave rim bowl by bonnie beltand the second is this wave rim bowl on Gallery4Collectors.

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - wave ceramic work by betul aydinerThis is a more modern piece by Betul Aydiner,

 

 

 

and these tiles from EarthSongTiles would look lovely as a border in a kitchen or around a mirror.

Water Themed Crafts in Stained Glass

There is so much beautiful inspiration for water forms in stained glass! A simple Google image search on “stained glass wave” brings up beautiful results:

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - google result on stained glass wave

 

Stained Glass Mosaic Mandala Water Planet by David ChidgeyA few favorites include this mosaic mandala by David Chidgey via ArtGlassMosaics,

 

 

 

 

 

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - modern stained glass wave by atmospheric glassthis striking and modern piece at AtmosphericGlass,

 

 

 

 

 

and this stunning and almost photorealistic piece by Graham Mace via HangsUponNothing. This one made my jaw drop.

 

 

 

Also beautiful is a Google Image Search on “stained glass river.”

healthy water themed crafts part 2 - google result on stained glass river

 

healthy water crafts - stained glass river by jiniHighlights include this gorgeous river landscape from StainedGlassbyJini,

 

 

 

 

 

and some of the pieces from the PandyMillGallery. This one is called “River Flow.”healthy water themed crafts part 2 - stained glass river by pandy mill

As for available patterns, PanedExpressions has some great water scenes available through their Nature’s Bounty – I collection. Of the water-related scenes, I must say I’m partial to their Big Wave and their Four Seasons.

That lovely note finishes this healthy water themed crafts part 2, covering polymer clay, embroidery, scrapbooking, metalworking, ceramics, and stained glass. Is there anything in these crafty categories that you would like to add to the comments?

Make sure you have checked out Part 1 of this series which featured crochet, woodworking, quilling, lace and tatting, weaving and tapestry, and mosaic tile. Stay tuned for the next FOUR installments in this series, featuring knitting, jewelry, gardening, glass work, candlemaking, chainmaille, basket weaving, and a whole lot more!

[Update: Here are Part 3Part 4Part 5, and Part 6 in the series!]

My Top 5 Posts of 2013 Thus Far

I’m following the lead of Diane (of CraftyPod fame) today and posting my top 5 posts of 2013 thus far.

#1 Most Popular: Part two of my series on hexagons (HEXIE MADNESS, really), that covered crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, and last but not least, popsicle sticks. The hexie origami boxes are proving to be the most popular outgoing links, but my sentimental favorite has to be this colorful and fun popsicle stick hexagonal basket.

ACrafty Interview - Katie Kutthroat ain't nobody got time for that cross stitch#2 Most Popular: The ACrafty Interview with Katie Kutthroat. Katie was one of the first people I ever contacted on Twitter. Katie’s cross stitch has always cracked me up, and it has been seen on the set of the HBO show Girls. It was very interesting to get a glimpse into her crafty process and to see how she benefits from stitching.

#3 Most Popular: My book review of Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo of CrochetConcupiscience. Her book explains the benefits of crochet for a variety mental conditions including depression, anxiety, OCD and addiction, for physical conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis, and as a tool in occupational therapy.

Her book also has a curious physical effect! Read the review for more info about Kathryn’s fantastic world of crochet.

 

Nicey Jane hexies#4 Most Popular: Part one of my hexagon series, this one covering quilting (featuring a link or two to CraftyPod), leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry. Of all the links, I think the most popular is probably these bordered hexies, although the Diane von Furstenburg box clutch gets a lot of attention as well.

acrafty interview craftypod quilting happiness book cover#5 Most Popular: I’m very pleased to say that it’s my ACrafty Interview with Diane of CraftyPod! Diane was so gracious to give some of her valuable time to my fledgling blog. I have to say that CraftyPod is a wonderful resource of crafts and craft blog information, and I highly recommend anyone in a creative field to follow her adventures (and best of luck with the new book launch this week, Diane!).

 

 

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.

Hexagon Crafts Part 2

Welcome to Hexagon Crafts Part 2! This series on hexagon crafts should really be titled HEXIE MADNESS! Part 1 of the series covered quilting, leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry. Today is the second of four posts covering hexagon crafts ranging from crochet to cakes, pottery to popsicle sticks, and everything in between.
Spit and Woodchip Hexagons

 [Spit and Woodchip Hexagons by Helle V. Fisher via Flickr]

Hexagon Crafts in Crochet

There’s a million outstanding crochet hexie patterns out there for purses, totes, blankets, table runners, rugs, hats, etc. (you name it!), and I’ve got too many favorites to feature just a few. So instead I’ll share this terrific Pinterest board by Jeannette that is full of beautiful hexie crochet tutorials and inspiration:hexagon crafts part 2 crochet tutorial pinterest board

Hexagon Crafts in Felt

This hexagonal felt flower wreath tutorial from Rachel at LinesAcross is just brilliant and beautiful, and a great way to use up felt scraps.

 

 

 

 

Hexagon Lemonade CoasterJust recently, Mollie of WildOlive posted this tutorial for an adorable hand stitched felt and fabric pitcher coaster.

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Lace and Tatting

hexagon crafts part 2 hexagon shaped lace by herbert nieblingTo start is this knitted lace pattern by Herbert Niebling available on E-Junkie.

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 2 - hexagon machine embroidery lace pattern from embroidery libraryWith a more modern vibe is this machine embroidery hexagon floral lace pattern available at EmbroideryLibrary,

 

 

 

 

and Advanced Embroidery Designs has this Battenberg Spiral Hexagon Lace pattern for a freestanding lace machine.

 

 

 

 

On a more handcrafted note is this gorgeous German triangle motif doily by Jeff at BridgeCityTatting. Jeff is a very talented tatter and he has created a lot of hexagonal projects. I encourage you to check out his Flickr Photostream and take a look!

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Polymer Clay

hexagon crafts part 2 polypediaonline hexagon polymer clay tutorialIris at PolyPediaOnline offers this tutorial for these hexagonal bracelets that, although they look like leather, are actually made from polymer clay!

 

 

 

Intricate Kaleidoscope Cane Tutorial Cane Builder May 2013Meg at PolymerClayWorkshop offers two tutorials for making hexagonal polymer clay canes – one “easy intricate” and one plain ‘ol “intricate.”

 

 

 

I am fascinated by the amount of detail found in some of this polymer clay canework. These are a couple of beautiful examples from iKandi:
SALE - Polymer Clay Hexagon Kaleidoscope Cane Slice Bead -A37
Hexagon Polymer Clay Kaleidoscope Pin / Brooch

 

Hexagon Crafts in Origami

hexagon crafts part 2 - hexagon origami box with lidThere are tons of examples of hexagon origami – so many that I will only feature a few select links. The first, from TCGames on Instructables, is how to make a hexagonal origami box with lid. This pattern uses two pieces of paper for both base and lid, for a total of four pieces of paper.

This tutorial by Chrissy at PaperKawaii is also for an hexie origami box with lid, but this pattern only uses one piece of paper for base and one piece of paper for lid.

 

 

 

Then I found a pattern for this lovely little origami hexie flower ball on the Origami Resource Center site. It’s very cute in pastels as shown, but I wonder what it would look like in some richer colors and patterns.

 

 

 

Tricluster - FrontThen I found this collection of photos from Flickr I can only best describe as “extreme hexie origami.” There’s some amazing pieces in this mix!

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Popsicle Sticks

I had totally forgotten about crafting with popsicle sticks until I saw this post from LiEr at Ikatbag. These are great fun! Her kids did a good job…

 

 

I have to admit that I saved my personal favorite for last. That basket reminds me of some crafts I did a million years ago, and now I can’t wait to try them out with some real live kids!

That cheeful note wraps up this hexagon crafts part 2. Is there anything else in these six crafty categories (crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, sticks) 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, and stay tuned for hexie woodwork, pottery, painting, needlework, stained glass, gardening and much more to come!

[Update: Here’s links to Part 3 (sewing, pottery, knitting, quilling, woodworking, plastic and stained glass), and Part 4 (paint, cross stitch, embroidery, baking, lamp making, and gardening)]