Thursday, September 27, 2012

Whatcha Doin? Deb

Deb Buckingham is the Owner and creative force behind the Etsy shoppe The Artful Yarn. She is also the author of a new book of knitted washcloth patterns and works for Knit Picks as a designer. This amazing woman took time out of her busy schedule to let us know.....

What she is working on.......

 I'm working on fingerless gloves for a salon who requested them.
Also, writing a book about a woman who struggles with blog content. Who doesn't, right? Or at least some do. My character sure does. She's a romantic at heart, finds much comfort through knitting, and writes about the oddest things. She can't find a boyfriend to save her life, and has a corgi she talks to like a human being.
I'm also working on 3 sets of dishcloths for a customer. Love my job!

What she is reading.......

I am reading a book by Kristin Hannah (my OH-SO-favorite author), called Magic Hour. Amazing read. Kristin Hannah continues to amaze me. Just when I thought I had read them all, I come across this older one. *squee*

What she is listening too.......

 You know, we all have our favorites. Mine happens to be country, and Little Big Town. Their harmonizing is like no other. This CD came out last week and I ran to the store to pick it up. It hasn't left my car cd player yet. Brilliant!

What she is watching.......

Why, The Voice, of course. Who isn't. I love Blake Shelton. (but, you knew that from reading what I listen to) And of course, Adam is pure eye candy, and Ceelo, well, he's plain cool. Christina ceases to amaze me with her wicked vocals, and her choice of tops. But, that's to be expected right? You go girl, is what I always say...

Thank you Deb.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Treasury Tuesday

Today's treasury has been inspiredby the rich colors for fall 2012.

Today's anchor is a Storm Clouds photograph in rich teal by Ana Pontes Photography

Here is what she has to say about her shop

"Ola! I am Ana Pontes and welcome to my shop.
I'm a photographer and an artist (oil and watercolor painting) with background in graphic design. Photography and painting are my passion and color is my biggest inspiration.

I am the owner of art shop which I welcome you to visit for fine art photography and home decor. I am also a children's portrait photographer based in Curitiba, Brazil."
Here is what others are saying about her shop
"This is gorgeous and I am so excited to hang it in my room over my bed! Thank you very much for working with me!"
Until next Tuesday happy browsing everyone.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Crochet Square Joining Technique

I am often asked about my granny squares. Now granny squares are a basic item that most crocheters know how to make. Most of the time granny squares are one of the first things you learn as you learn to crochet. The challenge then becomes how you do something new with those grannies. Well today I am going to demonstrate a joining technique I use to create a great look to a granny square blanket, you could also use this technique for scarves.

This particular joining creates a ridged ripple along the squares as seen on this blanket. 

How I create this raised ripple pattern.......

Tip: work as you go, then you don't have look at a mountain of squares you have to join. (this only works with squares that do not need to be blocked.) 

As you know a granny corner has three chains. You will be joining the squares together at the middle chain of the granny square.

You will work evenly through both loops along both squares. 
Work around corner onto next square without finishing off. You will end up making two single crochets in middle ch.

The joining will end up looking like this creating a ridged detail diagonally across your blanket or scarf. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Treasury Tuesday

Another fall inspired treasury.

Today's anchor is a set of gift tags from Cards by Karen

Shop owner Karen Grise

Here is what she says about her shop...

Welcome to my card shop! I am a software engineer by day and a crafter in my spare time. I've enjoyed doing crafts since I was young. I'm originally from Texas, but I currently live on the West coast with my husband and crazy chocolate Labrador, named Hollister.

I run a very small shop, usually with paper and other supplies strewn all over my desk and dining room table. I started a few years ago after a suggestion from my sister-in-law. I've had a lot of fun making all sorts of cards. I do it as a hobby and on the weekends when I have time. Thanks for stopping by my shop!

In the last couple of years or so I've really gotten into paper embossing. It changes the texture of the paper and gives it more depth. After embossing I like to sand or ink the paper. Paper is flat and I like to get something more from its surface.

I also like to layer diecuts taking them from a flat cutout to a 3D cutout. You will see in all of my items that they are much more than just flat cards. They all have that extra set of layers or embossed texture which makes them unique.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have or if you would like a custom order of cards.

You can follow me on Facebook if you'd like:

Thank you for stopping by my shop!

Here is what others are saying about her shop.....

"Absolutely amazing service and perfect cards. Will definitely order from you again"

"Love this card!!! Perfectly made and safely packaged. Super fast shipping too. I will definitely be back for more of your awesome cards!!! Thanks so much:)"

"Karen's cards are beautiful, unique, and crafted with precision. Her shop on Etsy has become my favorite card shop. I'm always so happy when I open the package and get to see the gorgeous cards she's made for me."

Until next Tuesday happy browsing everyone. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

How I became a Whovian....

Much of my time is spent with a hook and yarn in my hand and a cup of coffee at my elbow so having a netflix queue on demand is an extremely useful thing. At the beginning of the summer I went looking through netflix for a throw away show to watch in the background of my crochet and I stumbled upon Dr. Who. Most everyone has a Dr Who fan in their lives and I have several so I decided Dr Who was a good choice.
I started with the first season because you should always "start at the beginning and when you get to the end stop." It was NOT a throwaway show. It became a thing. Slight obsession! I watched it from season 1 to season 6 and all I could think about through the 5th season was starting over from the beginning. LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!
A little on David Tennant my newest celebrity crush (and since I only have celebrity crushes I should really appreciate them to their fullest).
An actor able to carry off Shakespeare and laugh at themselves at the same time was no surprise after Christopher Eccleston but David Tennant brought something rather incredible to the role. He has these expressive eyes that could have been in silent movies. His understanding of his strengths as an actor make him a pleasure to watch, especially when he's playing such a campy role as the Dr. has historically been. This new incarnation brings a new respect to Dr. Who and I believe we owe that to David Tennant as the Dr.  Thank you David Tennant. I forgive you for the role you played in that debacle that was the fourth Harry Potter Movie. :)

So here it is, the 7th season and I am decidedly a Whovian.

This strange obsession has led to a new one and I must say that I may love this show more than I love Dr. Who just because I have loved the material since I was a kid. But the writers of Dr. Who have a new labor of love and if you haven't seen it its a must. SHERLOCK!!!!!! Its incredible, treats the familiar material in such an amazing way and its not a new incarnation of Sherlock Holmes its the same one just in a different century.

I am chomping at the bit for the 3rd season of this show. As I look forward to a new Who tonight my thoughts will wander to 2013 and the new fantastic Sherlock

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whatcha Doin? Me :)

What I am working on....

Cowboy Boot baby booties assembly line and a silk skirt repair?
I love special orders. They stretch you.

What I am reading....

This is the first time I have ever read these books and yet my mother has owned them all the whole time I was growing up. I've read all of Anne, all of Little Women, how I missed reading these is a blight on my education so I am rectifying my gross oversight.  What I have learned is that in comparison, we of modern day America are a bunch of lazy beggars.
This is the last in the series and then its some steam punk fiction and my most beloved Tolkien. I always want to read Tolkien in the fall. :)

What I am Listening To....

Loreena McKennitt and Celtic music in general, The weather has turned to fallish which always makes me want to go awanderin' and Loreena seems to embody wanderlust in her music. Check her out. She has a fantastic version of Noyes' The Highwayman set to music. Lovely.
I am also drawn to the soundtrack of Gladiator right now.

What I am watching....


Gotta love this show. Modern day Robin Hoods ( I love Robin Hood, have ever since Disney made a Fox look "foxy"), heists in truncated form, action, wit and stickin' it to the man. What's not to love. :)

I have become a Whovian. Its unexpected and a little sad but I defy anyone who starts this show at the beginning to try not to become one too. But more about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Treasury Tuesday

Since this is my first Treasury Tuesday I will tell you how it works.
First, what is a treasury? Treasuries are member curated lists on Etsy and one of the ways customers can find items that appeal to them.
I love making treasuries. I love finding Etsy sellers who make unique items or have an amazing vintage eye and promoting their items in such a unique way. I also find that creating treasuries allows for my own inspiration. I will see an item that will lead to my own ideas or will motivate me to make my shop better. The inspiration found through Etsy is almost unparallelled.

I create my treasuries using an anchor piece that stands out to me immediately and I build my treasury around it with color or theme. Each week I will feature the seller who creates my anchor piece. Their store and their story.

Today's anchor piece is a yellow skirt by laken & lila 

Shop owner  and momprenuer (I just love that) Heather Chopra.
Here is what she has to say about her shop.......

“ahhhh... laken&lila. Where did it begin? Almost 2.5 years ago.... I had been pondering the question, what do I want to be when I grow up. (okay in my early 30's I should have already answered that question). I had to do something I loved. Something that originally started as a passion - grew into something much bigger than I ever anticipated. That's where laken&lila began.

I began sewing at a very young age. I still remember making little dolls that looked like snowman when I was just 6 or 7. Of course at that age, I already knew I loved sewing, arts, and crafts, etc. It was not until high school when I had the opportunity to take my first sewing class. Oh it was great.... I made skirts and dresses and tops - oh my. I was in heaven. So when it was time to go to college I majored in communications.... so I guess all these years I've wandered back to what do I (me, myself) want to be when I grow up???

One of those questions, was answered for me.... a mother of a little boy (4 and a half to be exact!) Being a stay at home mom has been one of the hardest, most rewarding and most creative jobs of my life. At this time (2 plus years into laken & lila) I can't consider myself a stay at home mom anymore but rather a mompreneur.

But back to my question what to do with myself and my creativity.. (there are only so many over the top children’s birthday parties to plan each year when you only have one child.. lol) so I guess this is where laken&lila was born.

Of course I had to name this idea after my son (Laken). Now you say where does the name lila come from? Hopefully one day if the fates allow I will have a little girl just like me and her name will be Lila....

Laken's name came from one of my favorite places named Chautauqua Lake (it's in Western New York - google it). Luckily, my studio is located there just steps away from the lake.”

Here are what other people are saying about her shop......

"LOVE our skirt of the month!! Look forward to getting our package in the mail each month!! Will definitely keep buying from her in the future! :)"

"BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much for the great attention to quality of your products."

"My new favourite skirt - great seller... super communication, great quality, great price. Will buy again for sure!"

Until next Tuesday happy browsing everyone.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Ultimate Upcycled Owl

One of my dearest friends was surfing Pinterest with her daughter one day and she fell in love with these little stuffed crochet owls. I received a Facebook request for something similar and these fantastic owls are the result...........

Here is a PDF Pattern for this owl

This little guy is very easy to make using very basic single stitches. You will need.......

With your leftover yarn and crochet hook,

-Chain 2
-6 sc in second ch from hook, mark the first sc you made with a stitch marker (I use a safety pin) so you don't lose your place as you work in circles
-in first sc made on first round 2 sc (increase); inc in each sc around (12 sc)
-inc in first sc on second round, sc; *inc, sc* around (18 sc)
-inc in first sc on third round, sc, sc; *inc, sc, sc* around (24 sc)
-sc in each sc for 2 rounds
-inc in first sc on 5th round, sc,sc, sc,; *inc, sc,sc,sc* around (30 sc)
-sc in each sc around
-inc in first sc on 7th round, sc, sc, sc, sc; *in, sc, sc, sc, sc* around (36 sc)
-sc in each sc around for 11 rows

Lay your owl down flat and make sure your marker is in a top corner.

-cut a piece of fabric in a small oval and a piece of felt in a triangle

-glue fabric onto center of your owl and your piece of felt at the top center of your fabric oval so that it sits on the owl and the fabric.....
Sew eyes to each side of owl. Make sure they sit far apart
-sc 2 sc together (dec) sc, sc, sc, sc; *dec, sc,sc,sc,sc* around (30 sc)

Stuff owl

To close fold top of owl in half and you will crochet through both st to close
-sc through first sc on round 20 and last sc made; hdc, dc, hdc through nxt stitches to create the owl's "horns", sc through next 11 stitches, hdc, dc, hdc in through nxt stitches, sc through final sts and finish off. (13 sc, 4 hdc, 2 dc) Weave in end and you’re done.

This is a basic small owl. You can increase even more to make the owl larger. I have made one that was a foot tall and extra wide and I did two decrease rows at the top. Just make sure to adjust your button size to the owl.

If you would like owl eye buttons just convo my Etsy Shop