Five Posts I’m Proud of Creating – 2013

Once again following the lead of Diane and Tammy, I’m rounding up the “Five Posts I’m Proud of Creating in 2013” as part of their “Share the Link Love” mission.

I started blogging in February of this year, and what an adventure it has been! I honestly had no idea of exactly what I was getting into, and to be honest, I still don’t as blogging seems to be constantly evolving (just read Diane’s post on the topic). Creating posts takes more time than I originally thought, but I’m happy to be writing again after a gap of many years. I’m also trying to emphasize quality of posts over quantity of posts, and that seems to keep me motivated and to be working. With all that in mind, here’s five posts I’m proud of (in no particular order):

#1 FIRST POST!

Hitting “publish” the first time was a pretty interesting experience. It was nerve-wracking and thrilling while I was being hopeful and curious all at the same time. It was also the result of a failure (but a fail-forward type failure).
Computer keyboard and touch pad

(Insert sound effect here: “Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggghhhhh!”)

[Photo by darrenleno via Flickr]

The first AncoraCrafts.com was an e-commerce platform that I had spent a lot of time and money on setting up, customizing, and maintaining. And after an extended period of time, I never sold a damn thing on it. Not one. Hardly got any views. Obviously, I had to make a change.

Moving my listings to Etsy was the easy part, but changing the .com to a blog took a lot of work, mentally and digitally. Switching to a new web host and learning WordPress were two big hurdles. But the biggest challenge was in making the commitment to blogging – a decision I did not take lightly.

I’m very happy to say that ever since I hit “publish” on the first post in late February, although it’s a lot of work, I’m having a lot of fun with this blog!

#2 Followup on my ACrafty Interview with Betty Busby

acrafty interview - betty busby with her quilt disco urchinI published an interview with quilt artist Betty Busby in June. I have been in awe of her work since I first saw it and I was so curious about her process. In August she was gracious enough to give me, my husband, and our dog Scully a tour of her home and studio space in Albuquerque. It was a real honor and treat for all of us, and I’m really happy that I was brave and took the chance to ask her if she was available.

#3 Making a Better Blog

The Better IdeaMost of my very early posts on the blog are about my own projects and products, and that was fine. But in May, after doing a lot of reading about blogging, I had a kind of epiphany about the direction of my blog. I’m sure it will shift again someday, but this post sums up my current bloggy path.

[Photo: The Better Idea by (the brilliant) Peggy Dembicer via Flickr]

 

 

#4 Favorite Books – Crafty and Otherwise

As part of Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day in May project, I put more information about myself out on the internet than I ever thought I would. Of all the 31 topics that month, I really enjoyed creating this post about my favorite books.Bill the Cat for President

 [Bill the Cat for President from Bloom County. Photo by tjosephson2 via Flickr]

#5 My Hexie Madness Series

I had done a few other crafty roundups before, but the hexagon series really stands out. I dug deep, spending days on the internet to find examples of hexagon crafts in all types of disciplines. I ended up finding some really outstanding hexies in interesting places. I tried to find as many tutorials and patterns as possible, but where those didn’t exist, I did find some excellent sources of inspiration. Love the leather pouffe and these popsicle sticks – so fun! [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4]

How about you? Share your “proud five” post over at CraftyPod!

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…

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!).

 

 

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)]