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

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.

ACrafty Interview with Tina Puckett of Tina’s Baskets

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with Tina Puckett, basket weaver of Tina’s Baskets.

acrafty interview - tinas baskets tina puckett photoWhen did you start crafting? TP: I grew up in South America. We lived as locals, and every week we would go to the open market for the groceries. At the local market there were always local crafts being sold from hats to toys. My parents also decorated our home with local art and crafts. So, I was exposed to crafts at an early age. Being an only child, I found most of my time was spent alone. In those moments, I would build things like tree houses and doll houses. Decorating each from the curtains to the dresses, I was always fascinated by the construction and design. In high school, I spent a lot of time teaching myself how to embroider and took a class in sewing. I studied set design in college with a concentration in construction and design. Then in 1982, I took a course in basket weaving. The first lesson was how to weave an Egg Basket. From that moment on, I have never looked back.

acrafty interview - tinas baskets musical note woven wall hangingWhat crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? TP: I have been weaving for over 30 years now and it is still my favorite craft. I just keep exploring and experimenting with weaving.

 

 

 

 

What is the silliest question you’ve ever received about your craft? TP: The center of my gigantic Sunflower is created by wooded beads that are interwoven. But I am constantly asked “Is that blueberries in the center of the flower?”acrafty interview - tinas baskets sunshine sunflower woven wall hanging

What craft project are you most proud of? TP: Probably the craft project that I am most proud of is that I have created my own technique of weaving called “Dimensional Weave”. I have been able to incorporate it in whatever I am creating.

acrafty interview - tinas baskets circle and curves wall hangingWhat is your most popular (or bestselling) project? TP: There is no particular best selling product of mine. I am fortunate to be able to sell a variety of my works, such as my baskets, bowls, wall hangers, sculpture, flowers, landscapes, and furniture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ever surprised by the form that results from the materials you’ve chosen for a certain project? TP: Yes, I am pleasantly surprised by the form that results from trying different materials to weave with.

Has a craft or craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? TP: When I am creating a woven sculpture piece it is always like a puzzle. That is the fun in being creative. The challenges that constantly “pop-up” as you go along creating and how unexpectedly the solution comes to you in a graceful way. I do have a partial vision on how the woven works will come out when I start and I am always pleasantly surprised with the finished product.acrafty interview - tinas baskets woven table base

How has crafting affected your character? TP: I am…

  • Patient: Basket weaving has made me a “Basket Case”…LOL!!! When weaving, one needs patience because it takes a lot of time to weave.
  • Grateful: I am always grateful when it comes out beautifully.
  • acrafty interview - tinas baskets orange tray weavingOrganized: When one has taken their craft and created it into a business, organization is very important to run the business.
  • Supportive: I get a lot of support from craft shows by the public’s reaction to my woven works.
  • Adventurous: I am adventurous all the time when trying to create something new and different. Also, the business has led me to adventure into travelling all throughout the US doing craft and art shows.
  • Persistent: I think that weaving and running my business for over 30 years is being pretty persistent. I am determined to show the world my woven works and to support myself.
  • acrafty interview - tinas baskets large basketProactive: Proactive you say… Acting in advance to deal with an expected change in the piece I am working on or difficulty in weaving the piece… no, I cannot be proactive, I can only solve the problem when it occurs and sometimes I have to walk away and then when I come back to it, it gets resolved. I never walk away for more than 12 hours, and I only work on one piece at a time.
  • Independent: My independence is the ability to express myself through my woven works.
  • Diverse: I enjoy the ability to be diverse in what I am weaving from a basket to a sculpture.
  • Imaginative: I find it a lot of fun to let my imagination see all the different forms the Bittersweet vines can take.
  • Observant: To be observant to me means to be attentive, careful and accurate in my weaving.
  • Expressive: In my woven works, I try to have it express joy, happiness and love.
  • Consistent: I am always consistent in trying to create new woven products and to achieve a more beautiful woven piece of Art.

Can you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? TP: From my experience being in my booth at shows I can say that I affect people in a positive way. Because so many people say to me that they like my woven works because it makes them feel happy and they can see how much I enjoy what I create.acrafty interview - tinas baskets woven headboard and end table base

What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? TP: I can’t tell you what crafty goodness is coming in the future, but I do know that I have a lot of interesting pieces of Bittersweet vines shapes that are ready for my imagination… I just have to step into my studio and “let it all flow”… That is what is appealing to me, to let it flow and not force it… and wonders shall never cease in what I can create.

Many thanks to Tina for participating in this ACrafty interview series! As the photos show, her works are vibrant, unique, and beautiful. I hope you’re able to see them in person as she travels to various craft shows and from her Connecticut studio… You can follow Tina’s adventures on her website!

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!, the multi-talented David Tedinneedlepointer Haruhi Okubo of Cresus-Parpi, tatter and chainmailler Jeff Hamilton, stone artist Jerry Locke, and potter Nancy Germond.

Water Themed Crafts – Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of this series on healthy water themed crafts! This series of posts compliments the release of BeMores Set 3 which encourages us to be more “Moderate” and “Healthy.”

There are a million crafts that encourage us to be more healthy! These range from crocheted fruits and vegies to building organic planters, from quilted exercise mats to contemplative rock gardens, and even crafted puzzles to keep our brains challenged.
Water in well in PuruliaConsidering that humans are roughly 60% water and the the surface of the Earth is roughly 70% water, I’m going to concentrate on water themed crafts – crafts that encourage us to drink more water and that help us appreciate clean rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Water Themed Crafts in Crochet

Stainless Steel Water Bottle Sling Free crochet pattern bag cozy aluminum kleen kanteenTo encourage us to drink more water, CrochetConcupiscence has already rounded up this post with 10 free crochet patterns for water bottle holders. I think of all the patterns, I’m most partial to this stainless steel water bottle sling from Moogly, but the sock monkey one is pretty darn cute as well.

 

 

 

 

water themed crafts part 1 - ocean waves throwThere are hundreds of patterns for afghans, but these next two links seem particularly suited for representing water. First is this pretty and traditional Ocean Waves pattern from RedHeart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Wobble Afghan :: free #crochet pattern on mooglyNext is this Vintage Wobble Afghan pattern (with a lovely story behind it) from Moogly. With these colors and an ombré stripe pattern, the vintage becomes a modern classic!

 

 

 

 

 

crochet fish and ocean bookmarkOn a smaller scale is this cute water bookmark made from a nice looking wave pattern from CrochetSpot.

 

How to crochet charming, double sided PurseI adore this crochet bag pattern from AboutGoodness. The broomstick stitch beautifully represents the sea, and you can easily see the sand and shore grasses through the rest of the pattern. Just lovely.

 

 

Crochet Coral ReefAlthough I’d like to concentrate more on water itself rather than the creatures that inhabit the water, nothing is more indicative of clean water than healthy coral reefs. The Crochet Coral Reef Project is a beautiful and colorful way to raise awareness of the plight of coral reefs. The Maine Reef blog has many of the patterns used to crochet and knit these coral creatures.

Water Themed Crafts in Quilling

There’s plenty of watery quilling inspiration! First up is this piece from ACanofCraftyCuriosities, the last of a series also including fire, air, and earth.

 

 

 

Next is this gorgeous piece by Jackie Huang for the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. The post also shows the very interesting progress photos on this creation.

 

 

 

 

 

quilled-wavesThis post from AllThingsPaper features some pieces by Natasha Molotkova of PaperGraphic. A few of her pieces have water, but my favorite has to be this gorgeous wave that was used for a graphic in a magazine article.

 

 

For a bit of freshwater quilling action I found this waterfall project by AJourneyIntoQuilling. This page also features a link to tutorials for basic shapes and how to use them.

 

 

Canvas on Edge - Over Land and SeaFinally is this article, again from AllThingsPaper, about Stallman Studio Gallery who work not with paper but with artists canvas on edge. Their works are not strictly considered as quilling, but some of the shapes are similar and result in absolutely stunning pieces.

Water Themed Crafts in Woodworking

 Java with StyleThis post on WoodturningOnline links to four different tutorials on how to combine turned wood and stainless steel inserts into cups. What a constructive and attractive way to encourage drinking more water!

 

 

healthy water crafts handcarved kuska cupNext is this tutorial from JonsBushcraft on how to carve your own Kuska cup. Kuska are also known as Guski, and originally come from northern Scandanavia. A well made and maintained Kuska can last a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

 

AleutesqueKayakers and canoeists certainly appreciate clean water. These next three links are to sites with information, DIY instructions, kits, and plans for building watercraft. The first is KayakBuilding.com,

 

 

healthy water crafts - sea rider kayakthe second site is Yostwerks.com,

 

 

 

 

 

Nya kanotenand the third is BearMountainBoats.com. As you can see, some of these boats are gorgeous!

Water Themed Crafts in Lace and Tatting

healthy water crafts - lace with a spiral that looks like a waveThis spiral in this very old German lace pattern from YarnOver closely resembles a wave.

 

 

 

 

 

This post on Martha’sTattingBlog describes her working with patterns from a pre-1862 book. One of her experiments turned out as you see here – I think it’s very much like ripples in water.

 

 

 

Tatted Sea Shell JournalHere’s a little-bit-of-a-wave-like tatting used in combination with lace, fabric, and shells to make a pretty sea-themed journal cover.

 

 

 

Water Themed Crafts in Weaving and Tapestry

Saori Weaving ClassSimilar to quilling, there’s lots of watery weaving inspiration out there! First are photos from SaltSpringWeaving of a SAORI weaving class including this project,

 

 

 

and there’s this Weaving Waves project by MessMuddleandFun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then from FrontiersMagazine is this article about the “Between Tides” exhibition of Ros Bryant and Janet Clark’s tapestry works in Stromness, Orkney. The exhibition continues through September 14th 2013 (as of the time of this posting, there’s still time to go see these beautiful tapestries).
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Water Themed Crafts in Mosaic Tile

Here’s a quick DIY from Shelterness on making a pretty sea glass/mosaic tile serving tray.

 

 

 Cool Garden Paths That Are Off The Beaten PathAmong other great ideas on this page from BuildDirect is this stunning garden path. The pebbles on edge look reminds me of entrances to houses I’ve seen in Laguardia, Spain.

 

 

 

An idea inside the home is this powder room remodel on Houzz,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bathroom with blue mosaic tiles 12 Tropical Bathrooms With Summer Style interior design and then there’s this bathroom covered in STUNNING mosaic tile. So gorgeous! There are other great ideas for modern bathrooms in this post by IonDecorating, but this one is by far my favorite.

 

 

As for ideas on water and wave tiles you can purchase, there is this pattern from New Ravenna (via Houzz),

 

 

 

 

water themed crafts bubble tilethis fun bubble pattern (among others) on Vizimac.com,

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - oasis waveform tileand this Silk Road Oasis Mosaic also from New Ravenna. Just lovely.

 

 

 

healthy water crafts - water mosaic tile piece by lauren trueThere are some beautiful mosaic art pieces out there. This piece, entitled “Two, Water” is by Laurel True through the True Mosaics Studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-09-mosaic-tiles-wavesThis is a detail of a piece made for a Catholic church. I’ve looked at a lot of mosaic tile waves, but I don’t think you’ll find any others quite like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I’ll share this Pinterest page by Taina Suomalainen of Art Mosaics.healthy water crafts - pinterest collection of art mosaics

healthy water crafts - croydon fishpond mosaic tile trompe l'oeil by gary drostleIt’s a wonderful collection spanning from the Ancient Romans to modern pieces. Not all the pieces have a water or ocean theme, but many do. One of the most remarkable pins is this trompe l’oeil piece by Gary Drostle.

 

 

 

 

 

That wraps up this first post on healthy water themed crafts, covering crochet, woodworking, quilling, lace and tatting, weaving and tapestry, and mosaic tile! Is there anything in these crafty categories that you would like to add to the comments?

Stay tuned for the next installments in this series, featuring knitting, embroidery, jewelry, gardening, glass work, polymer clay, chainmaille, basket weaving and a whole lot more!

[Update: Here are Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 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 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.

Book Review: Crochet Saved My Life by Kathryn Vercillo

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of finding the CrochetConcupiscence blog. Kathryn’s work on that blog, rounding up the best of crochet from around the web, is to be lauded. Not only does CrochetConcupiscence cover the best in patterns and projects, but also the best in what crochet can do FOR crafters.

Her book, Crochet Saved My Life, is a thorough summary of the benefits of crochet. Through a combination of interviews, article research, and her own personal experience, Kathryn explains the benefits of crochet for mental conditions including depression, anxiety, OCD and addiction, PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, and dementia, for physical conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, restless leg syndrome, and Menière’s disease, and as a tool in occupational therapy.

The book isn’t “light reading,” but Kathryn keeps the writing interesting and direct. The stories around her own experience as well as the two dozen other people she interviewed are presented matter-of-factly – as a way to demonstrate how crochet has benefited their particular situations. And the benefits are many: calmness, focus, relaxation, creativity, productivity, generosity, and increased self-esteem just to name a few.

a crochet hook heartAlthough the book focuses on crochet, as a needlepointer and cross stitcher, I know that I definitely experience the same benefits as Kathryn’s crocheters. Fortunately, I do not suffer from any of mental or physical conditions mentioned in the book, but I still benefit from my craft. Indeed, I tend to think of my needlework as a bit of preventive medicine! I can easily see how many of the same benefits apply toward other crafts – knitting, scrapbooking, woodworking, gardening, pottery, beading, weaving, jewelry making, quilting, just to name a few.

Polymer Clay Crochet Hook HandlesI would recommend this book to anyone dealing with any of the mental or physical conditions listed above either with yourself or with a loved one. I would also go as far as to say that psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, counselors, gerontologists, life coaches, and other professionals in mental and physical health would find this book a very valuable resource in their toolkits.

One final, rather curious, comment about this book. In her chapter on depression, one of the topics Kathryn covers is the sense of touch. She mentions that “a fuzzy pet can be a great comfort,” and that “the feel of working with yarn can be one of those healing touch options” as well. Well, I found the book itself to have a similar beneficial effect! To be specific, the feel of the edge of the book and quickly flipping the pages with my thumb had a very calming effect. In fact, I found myself thumbing the pages almost unconsciously while I was reading. Fascinating!

Visit CrochetConcupiscence for the latest in crochet trends and benefits. And visit CrochetSavedMyLife.com for more about the book and Kathryn’s work.

Hexagon Crafts – Part 1

Welcome to this series on hexagon crafts, which should really be titled HEXIE MADNESS! Hexagon crafts are incredibly popular, and have been for years. It’s a trend I think and hope will be around for a long time. This is the first of four posts covering hexagon crafts ranging from crochet to cakes, pottery to popsicle sticks, and everything in between.
Hexagons

[Photo: Detail of a giant kite by Gerald Keller via Flickr]

Before I get into the specific projects, I’d like to share this story by Megan of SewingInCircles. While she was traveling, crafting hexies had a huge anxiety and stress-relieving effect for her:

“…we were stranded, flights were cancelled, next available flights were two days later….clearly a time when either alcohol or chemistry would be needed to calm the nerves.

“But never fear, the hexies are here!! (and a large glass of wine)

“By the time we actually boarded a flight, I was frazzled, I was like frazzle rock, or frazzle wrecked. But I pulled out my hexies and started to sew. The hexies were with me because I had no other handwork that was in a state to travel. But once again, handwork saved me on the flight from shaking the whole way.”

This is a great example of how crafts can benefit us all. So take a look at these great hexie projects, get inspired, and get crafting!

Hexagon Crafts in Quilting

Spoonflower-placemat-finished-2Diane of CraftyPod created this tutorial for Spoonflower for making these modern and bright quilted hexie placemats.

 

 

 

Nicey Jane hexiesThrough this link love post from also from Diane, I saw this tutorial for bordered hexies that, like Diane says, makes me “want to chuck my whole To-Do list out the window and spend my day making these things.” The colors and fabrics in this photo by Silly Lil’ Doe! are so attractive!

 

hexy mug rug tutorial 17Here’s a great tutorial from SewHappyGeek on how to sew a mug rug made of all hexies:

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts - scrappy quiltAnd I love the vintage and scrappy feel of this quilt pattern available from BrigitteGiblin. This is a great way to show off some feature fabrics and get your hexie fix at the same time!

 

 

 

 

jeni baker color hex quilt patternIf you don’t feel like making a zillion tiny hexies, PinkChalkFabrics offers this Color Hex Quilt Pattern by Jeni Baker. Very fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagon NecklaceWild Olive takes the quilted hexie to the next level with this tutorial to make one into a necklace,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and MicheleMadeMe has this tutorial available on making this adorable fabric hexie headband!

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Leather

POUF - leatherI found these two products that certainly could be used for some crafty inspiration! The first is this very fun leather hexie pouf by KSIA-Berlin.

 

 

 

 

Diane Von Furstenberg Tonda Hexagon Patchwork Leather Box Clutch in Orange (blush) - LystSecond is this elegant and colorful box clutch by Diane Von Furstenberg via Lyst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Scrapbooking

hexagon crafts - scrapbook paper wall art by itsalwaysautumnI knew this tutorial by Autumn at itsalwaysautumn was a keeper 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!

 

 

 

 

Hex4Kelly Purkey on her It’s Me, KP blog has this very useful Photoshop tutorial on how to make hexagon photos without using a punch.

 

 

 

open hexagon explosion boxI had never really heard of an “explosion box” before I saw this hexagon box project by Karen on CraftsForAllSeasons. I imagine it would be a great present for someone who already has everything! Very clever…

 

 

When it comes to hexagons in real-live full-on-scrapbook pages, I’m going to direct you to this article by the GetItScrapped crew at DebbieHodge.com. The article covers using hexagon shapes, creating visual interest with hexies, using hexagon embellishments… covering just about every way hexies can be used in scrapbooking layouts. An excellent resource!

 

Hexagon Crafts in Weaving

hexagon crafts - woven hexagon by noreen crone findlayNoreen Crone-Findlay has a video tutorial on how to weave a hexagon using a Lily Speed-O Weave Loom. I can only imagine how warm a blanket made from these woven hexies must be…

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Jewelry

Beadweaving Tutorial No 27 - Hexagon PendantHere’s a tutorial from Lynn Davy available on Etsy on how to make this fun, colorful, and sparkly crystal hexagon pendant,

 

 

 

 

and I found instructions to make these basic hexagon stitch beaded earrings from Chris Franchetti Michaels on About.com.

 

 

 

 

Honeycomb Necklace, Geometric hexagon jewelryYou might find some inspiration in this simple and elegant geometric honeycomb necklace by HyJewelry on Etsy,

 

 

 

Neon Statement Necklace, Honey Comb Hexagons, Modern Molecules Geometric Jewelryand with this bright and gorgeous neon statement necklace made of leather by BooandBooFactory. BooandBooFactory features a lot of hexagons throughout their shop – check ’em out!

 

 

 

Green Hexagon mosaic shell cuff (cuff button cuff links).For the sharp dressers, I spotted these beautiful mother-of-pearl hexagon cufflinks from CuffCuff.

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts - hexagon earrings by india hicksAnd finally, once again not a tutorial, but I just ADORE these earrings by India Hicks that were available at Bloomingdale’s. They’re beautiful, and with the right outfit, they would be absolutely stunning!

 

 

 

 

 

That gorgeous note concludes this, the first of four articles on hexagon crafts. Is there anything else in these five crafty categories (quilting, leatherwork, scrapbooking, weaving, and jewelry) that you would like to add in the comments?

Stay tuned for hexie crochet, pottery, painting, needlework, stained glass, gardening and much much more!

[Update: here’s links to Part 2 (crochet, felt, lace and tatting, polymer clay, origami, popsicle sticks), Part 3 (sewing, pottery, knitting, quilling, woodworking, plastic and stained glass), and Part 4 (paint, cross stitch, embroidery, baking, lamp making, and gardening)]