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!]

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.

ACrafty Interview with David Tedin

Welcome to today’s ACrafty Interview with David Tedin: carpenter, baker, basket weaver, woodworker, cook, and gardener. He is of Scandinavian heritage but has the soul of a Tuscan chef, and his biscotti is so good that he brings it to Italy (seriously!).

acrafty interview with david tedin basket collectionWhen did you start crafting? DT: To answer that, I would have to decide what is crafting and what is just making stuff. I can remember, before I even started school, nailing two pieces of wood together and nailing a sardine can on the back to make a truck. That would be making stuff. Because you needed something or thought it would be neat.

My family made gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and other gift-giving occasions.  So I guess it started at home at an early age.

seashell jewelry collectionWhat crafts have you tried and what is your current favorite? DT: Stenciling designs on towels and pillowcases, and making shell jewelry. This was something I enjoyed doing. There were kits, with packets of different shapes and colors of seashells along with instructions. You could make earrings, pendants, pins, and brooches. I haven’t seen these kits in over 50 years.

I’ve also tried whittling, carving, hide tanning and leatherwork, model making (many of these were kits, but some went with whittling and carving), drawing, pottery, basket weaving, gardening, cooking, baking, and woodworking.

acrafty interview with david tedin tableWoodworking is probably my current favorite since I now have the time, place, tools and equipment to do what I want. My woodworking now is mostly small furniture, tables, jewelry boxes, cutting boards, toys, and small projects that other people come up with for me to do.

 

 

Have you ever started a project without a pattern or plan? DT: Many times. It is part of the learning process. At times the results are amazing. Other times it comes out; what is that? Or I don’t want to do that again.

What craft project are you most proud of? DT: Here again, what is crafting?  I am a retired carpenter and a craftsman by trade.

With the help of my wife Rita, we designed and built a 7,000 sq. ft. two story, solar heated home. The only things that were contracted were excavation, concrete delivery, renting a crane to set trusses, hooking up the electrical panel, and installing cable TV. Along with some help from friends pouring concrete and setting trusses, we did the rest. It took 8 years. but it was a great way to retire. Even though I had been in construction for over 20 years I learned a lot. One benefit of many years of crafting, it teaches you how to pay attention to detail.

acrafty interview with david tedin basket from fishing suppliesHas a craft project ever challenged you in an unexpected way? DT: Yes. After watching a lady weaving baskets I thought that would be fun to try. After finally finding a book with instructions on basket weaving, finding the material (reed) in Southeast Alaska was not going to be easy. The basket I chose was coil with a rod core and interlocking stitches. I was a long way from the Southwest where this type of basket is made, so I went to the fishing supply store and bought rope for the core and fishing line (the type used for halibut hooks). I use this basket today when I do weaving demonstrations. It is so strong you can stand on it.

How has crafting affected your character? DT: It has made me more…

  • Patient. When you are working with small pieces, messing up one part can ruin the whole project. This has carried over in my work. When you have to concentrate on getting the small pieces right, then paying attention to detail becomes much easier when working with big pieces in construction. I do not like to do the same job over because I didn’t pay attention.
  • acrafty interview with david tedin kneelerGrateful. For those people who have put up with the mess that I am sure to make with a project, and for the ability to do whatever I may choose.
  • Organized. With any project, I like to have the materials ready ahead of time. It is easy to lose interest if you have to go searching for what you need next.
  • Supportive. If someone shows an interest in something you are doing it is nice to be able to teach another how it is done or just talk about what you are doing. It is also enjoyable to work along side someone who is doing the same thing you are, sharing ideas and methods.
  • Adventurous. Sometimes trying something new may make the stomach a little queasy. It is not only can I do this but can I do it right. It is rather exciting to try something new, but you have to want to do it. I often times had that feeling when I would start a new project in my work.
  • Persistent. This is something I am still working on. Some projects have taken a long time to complete. I suppose it depends on my interest level, sometimes I can get distracted with something that looks more interesting.
  • Proactive. This for me goes with being organized. Anticipating what will be needed and how it should be done. It also worked very well for me in my work.
  • Independent.  At times it is fun to work with others, sharing ideas and different ways to do things; at other times it is nice to be able to work alone. I find it easier to concentrate and things tend to go more smoothly. Most of all the rest of the world goes away.
  • acrafty interview with david tedin basket with pink and purpleDiverse.  Many different things interest me. Seeing something and wanting to try it without the fear of not being able to is great. If I mess it up or quickly lose interest I don’t do it again. The best part is finding things you like and continue doing it.
  • Imaginative. After working with other people’s plans, designs, recipes, etc. and learning the basics I find it easier to adapt or do it my way with good results.
  • Observant. Hopefully I have learned to see what others like and dislike; and how others accomplish some of the same things I am doing.
  • Consistent. I do some things over and over the same way because other ways I’ve tried just aren’t as good. Baking biscotti is one example. With woodworking there is always something new to learn; even though you are making the same initial design. Basket making, and pottery take years of doing to make each one the same.
  • Brave. Just do it.
  • Calm. I’ve found that if I lose my cool or try to hurry what I am doing I usually mess it up.

acrafty interview with david tedin basketCan you share a story about how your crafting has affected others? DT: I’ve taught and encouraged others who have shown an interest in what I am doing to go ahead and try it. I also have taught classes and done demonstrations to the public. I hope that when our kids were growing up my crafts made an impression on them.

 

 

 

acrafty interview with david tedin storage bench

What crafty goodness do you have coming up in the future? Why is it appealing to you? DT: Harvesting and selling the garlic we have raised, canning produce for the coming year. Making spice cabinets for the church bazaar; I’ve never made one before and a friend of ours wanted one modified to fit her spice jars. A half round table, because the plan I have looks interesting. A drop leaf table, a challenge to me because I have never done rule hinges. Basket weaving and baking comes with the winter months.

A special thanks to David for taking the time to do this interview. When he sent his responses back to me he said “I found out more about myself than I thought I would. Things I hadn’t thought about in years and things that I take for granted in daily life.” I always learn something from these interviews and it’s even more special when the interviewee gains from the process as well.

Dave happens to be my uncle (his wife Rita is my aunt), and their son, Chris Tedin, was featured in a previous ACrafty Interview. Another of their sons, Mark Tedin, is an artist probably best known for his continued work on Magic: The Gathering and other fantasy projects.

If you would like to contact David with questions about his crafts (or his outstanding biscotti), please contact me and I’ll be happy to relay the message…

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 CraftyPodquilter Betty Busbycross stitcher Katie Kutthroatembroiderer Sasha of What. No Mints?, jeweler Ron Buhler, and embroiderer Ellen of Schindermania!.

Hexagon Crafts Part 3

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

Hexagon pattern in car park

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

Hexagon Crafts in Sewing

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Pottery

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Knitting

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Quilling

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

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Woodworking

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Plastic and Perler Beads

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

 

 

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

 

 

Hexagon Crafts in Stained Glass and Mosaic Tile

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

The Easy Hexagon Pattern,

 

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - clematis stained glass

the Clematis Pattern,

 

 

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - celtic knot stained glass

the Celtic Knot Pattern,

 

 

 

 

 

 

hexagon crafts part 3 - geometric bougainvilleaand the Bougainvillea Pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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