Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tipsy Tuesday

I usually do Treasury Tuesday but I decided to switch it up with Tipsy Tuesday which will focus on giving you tips to use in your crochet projects. 

I promised you last Wednesday that I would have color theory tips for you today. So I am going to talk about some simple color theory. 

My father is an artist so my younger years had palettes of colorful paint near an easel with a painting in progress. My dad really liked to do color studies of nature photography. He would take a picture of a waterfall, or a mountain landscape and manipulate a color family to mirror the photo he was working with. He would sometimes let me color with the chalk and oil pastels while he worked and I learned to LOVE color. 

I generally work in color. When I design a crochet collection I base it on colors. I tend toward bold color combinations but I will work with insane brights, pastels, primary or muted tones. I then find yarn to match my vision. So I am going to give you a few tricks that I use when working with color. 

First here is the color wheel. 

I use color wheels all the time. They are an extremely helpful tools even if you are not a designer.

TIP 1: When stash busting go "Around the World" working around the color wheel in a circle. Start at a dark shade of one color and move into lighter and/or brighter shades and then back into darker. So you end up moving from the middle of the color wheel to the edge and back down again.
I used this technique for the stash busting walk through last week. 

You can also use this technique when choosing colors for your next project whether it is your own design or you would like to use colors not indicated in a pattern you admire. 

This is an example of Around the World I am currently using in a project.

Tip 2: I call it Opposites Attract. Use opposite colors on the color wheel. I use this technique most of all and I find it suits me best. 

I used it when I created my Medallion Art Scarf and it sold the same day I listed it on Etsy. 

Here are the medallions close up

Maybe you're not one of those crazy people who can just put yellow and purple next to each other and think "Perfect!" That's okay, there are ways to navigate color wheel opposites without too much insanity. 

If you are using bolder colors you can use in between color shades, like blue-green or red-orange. For instance, if you want to use green but you don't want to be Christmas, use a pink. This is an example of Opposites Attract from one of my own designs I am working on now. Coral (which is a mix of orange and pink), Strawberry Pink (which is a richer pink tone), and Pistachio Green ( a green with a little bit of yellow to share with coral). Delicious!

You can also use neutrals, like creams or browns, or the grey scale as an accent color to break up two opposites. Just be careful when using black and white because they give you a bolder pattern and if you wanted a muted feel to your project they are not good choices. 

Butter Yellow                      Lilac                     Royal Purple
Lastly, you can use two tones of the same color with a direct opposite. I love working this technique with floral patterns. It turns out incredible.

Okay there are my two color theory tips for our Tipsy Tuesday. More tips are on the way. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Walk On Wednesday through Stash Busting

My yarn drawer was getting out of control, as they do, and I had been urged to stash bust by the members of Knitwits and Hookers, my local knit and crochet club, so I decided that it was time. I am going to walk you through my stash busting process and hope that you will find some fun, some inspiration and some useful information in your own stash busting quest. 

I realize that I said yarn drawer and most of you are thinking "Yarn drawer, how is that possible? I have a yarn room." I have one yarn drawer full of yarn that is not earmarked for a specific project or part of a product I make. It's mostly full of yarn I have used in gifts, products that are no longer in production or yarn that someone has given me that I had no specific project for. So yes, one yarn drawer, but by no means the amount of yarn I have in storage. 

Now on to our walk. When I first decided to tackle my yarn drawer I walked into the craft room and found this....

I had to come back when the princess had left the yarn drawer. (Which is why the lighting in the next few pictures is not ideal) I sat with my  yarn drawer next to my feet and, needless to say, it was definitely more knots than balls. 

 I sorted through the mass tangle, untangling and untying as I went. 

Tip: While you sort and untangle, pile yarn in color groups. If multi-color or variegated, make those their own stack. 

I then create a color wheel with my yarn. 

You do not have to know a lot about color theory to deal with a color wheel. There are a lot of resources online. You do have to have a general idea of where things go, so here is a color wheel that you can work from.
Color Wheel
Colors flow naturally from one to the other in a large circle. Grey scale is outside of the color wheel. 

Grey Scale

Now you might not have enough room or too much yarn to actually lay your yarn out in a color wheel, so here is a printable color wheel that you can use to kind of fill in the blank. Just make sure that you know which ball of yarn fits into which blank. 

Thank you clicky nicky.  
Tip: If you have a ball that no longer has a label, label it yourself and stick your new label into the ball with a T-pin. 

(Completely off topic note: if you ever have a few hours to wander around Deviant Art it is definitely worth the time.) 

So now I have my color wheel. I generally work two ways around the color wheel, Around the World or Opposites Attract. (For more explanation on those terms see next Tuesday's blog.) This time I chose to go Around the World. I chose a square I fell in love with on Pinterest. I used two coordinating or matching colors for the flower and bright white for my edging. Then I worked 
Thank you My Rose Valley 
around my color wheel starting with green to yellow, yellow to orange, orange to pink, etc. 

It turned out gorgeous, as de-stash projects always do. 

Please share your de-stash projects with me. Love to see them in progress or complete. 

Back next Monday for more coffee and crochet. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Treasury Trove Tuesday

Good afternoon, it is a gorgeous sunny day here in Colorado and so I decided to celebrate our Colorado Etsy Sellers with a sunny treasury. 

Today's anchor item is a sweet wire wrapped pair of earrings from Whitty Wire Jewelry

Whitty Wire Jewelry is designed and created by Pamela Whitlow. What she has to say about her art and Etsy shop....

Handcrafts have always been a passion for me when at an early age I learned the value of creating handmade items for the home. What my mother taught me has now evolved into a creative outlet that I enjoy sharing with others. 

Whitty Wire Jewelry first began as a hobby when I began creating jewelry for myself, family and friends. Soon I was being asked about the jewelry I was wearing and where it could be purchased and thus Whitty Wire Jewelry was created in 2010. After 2 years, I decided to venture into online sales through Etsy. 

The initial medium I worked with was craft wire and then expanded into the use of the precious metals such as silver and gold filled wires. Soon I was experimenting with fusing fine silver wire and then took some courses in metal smithing. Several years ago, I also learned how to fuse glass and have since learned some more advanced techniques that I now love to experiment with and thus make my own designs in glass as well as metal clays. I am beginning to incorporate the different techniques in each piece of jewelry. With the inspiration of nature and music, I strive to create jewelry for those from all walks of life.

My art is continually evolving and you will notice that new styles and one of a kind items will be appearing in my shop. 

What others are saying about Whitty Wire Jewelry....

  • Beautiful design, exceptional quality, and very reasonably priced (even with international postage). Would certainly come back again.
  • very beautiful! Love it!

Stop by Whitty Wire for a visit.

See you tomorrow where we will be taking a walk through stash busting. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Daily Grind

The Grind: Iced Coffee on our first truly sunny day here in Colorado

The coffee shop is Jives which is my very favorite coffee shop in town. Mostly because of a print of my second favorite Van Gogh.
Something about Van Gogh's work just captures my imagination. 

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent Van Gogh

And if that wasn't enough there is a stage with some acoustic guitars set up that any patron can just play.    

Right across from the park in Old Colorado City 

I was joined today by Deb Buckingham of Dishcloth Diva Knits On. She is an amazing woman, wonderful friend, published knitting designer and perfect kick in the pants when I need it. Sharing my passion for coffee and love of the fiber arts she can usually be counted upon to while away some coffee shop hours. 

Today I was perfecting the pom-pom pattern I gave you a glimpse of last week. I have just finished submitting it to a magazine so wish me luck. This will be my first pattern I did not publish myself. But don't worry. I will soon be showing off more patterns that you will be able to download for immediate gratification. Until tomorrow......