Favorite Quotes

Therefore do no worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. - Jane Austen

If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. -Mary Engelbreit

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Solution for Pre-Yarn

This week I attempted to crochet with the preyarn. It was not a success. Even when attempting to be delicate, the pre-yarn would break. After try to push through, the resulting trial piece ended by looking pretty tortured. I decided that line of thought was not worth pursing further. 

During a study break/procrastination, I looked through pinterest and found this. Before this week I had never heard of felting before. I found a couple instructional website, one being this one. 

 I decided to try wet felting first because I didn't need to buy any additional materials. Before are my suggestions if you are interested in wet felting. 

First a separated by pre-yarn into piles based on color. 

Turner decided he likes pre-yarn the way it is. 

For wet felting, take a chuck of wool about twice as large as you want the bead. 

Soak the wool in a mixture of hot water and dish soap. Before picking the wool up out of the water, place a small amount of Dawn in your hand. I used by kettle to prepare the water and Dawn soap. 
You will be using a good of amount of soap so pick one that is friendly to your hands. 

VERY gently move the wool mass around in your hand. You are waiting for the wool fibers to attach to each other aka felt. You do not want to add pressure too early. If you can still see or feel divisions or cracks, you are not ready to add pressure. 

Starting to add pressure in the rolling. 

After some more rolling. Notice the ball continues to shrink. 

Done. Now I have a felted ball. You will know it is done when you can put it back in the water and does not absorb the water back up like a sponge. 

A few completed felted balls. 

This is an example of adding pressure before the wool was fully felted. I opened up the crack a little for the picture. From far away it is not too noticeable. I'm concerned that once glued on a wreath it may not hold as well.  

One late morning/early afternoon I dedicated to felting and listening to my study material.

 I went to Michael's and bought a few dry felting needles but I haven't experimented with them much yet. Coincidentally at the craft show I went to this past weekend, there were a couple stands that were selling needle felting kits.

I bought this little number at the craft show as well. He is called a Horrible Adorable.. I may buy another larger one in the future. 

Also this week I finished by afghan. I think it turned out great.

My new/old project is continuing to work on my husband's Christmas stocking. I started it mid-2011 and I have a ways to go still.

Progress made while watching Texas A&M football. BTHO Arkansas!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Yarny Week

This past week I visited a yarn store hoping to get some guidance on what to do pre-yarn my husband brought back from his most recent deployment. They had never seen it before and suggested I google projects that used "pencil roving". I love the colors but I'm afraid since it is so delicate that anything I make may fall apart. I'm considering making a pillow that will be purely decorative.

If a reader has used a similar product, let me know!
If a reader has used a similar product, let me know!
To date I have seventeen rows of my first join as you go granny square blanket completed. The person I'm making it for is taller than my husband so I plan on adding about two more rows. I go back and forth whether or not I want to crochet a border. I think the edges will look unfinished if I don't. I've been googling  granny square blankets to see how others have done it and have yet to reach a decision. A factor in the decision is that I don't want to have to buy anymore yarn for this project. Originally I did not intend to buy any additional yarn to dwindle down my stash. About half way through I ran out of enough colors that I wouldn't have been able to keep the color balanced, hence a couple trips to Michael's. If a reader has a suggestion on how they have finished their work, I'm all ears.

My husband helping me model the length. He's 6'1''. 
This week I whipped up a quick baby blanket. I had a lot of time on my hands Thursday, waiting at a hospital for a family member's surgery (it was planned and he's ok; thank you for asking). I brought along three colors and crocheted all three strands at the same time. I learned about this technique in 2012 after making a few blanket for a pregnant family member. Here is the link if you are interested.  It grows quickly and turns out to be quite chunky. I'd say it took me 5-6 hours to finish.

I made one large granny square and bordered it with a row of doubles. 
I used a N- 9.00mm hook. 
I don't have a child so sometimes I'm uncertain when making blankets for my pregnant friends. This blanket is heavy for its size, is fairly thick, and obviously has a lot of large holes. I'm thinking it might be best as a ground covering? According to the family member I made for in 2012, the blankets I made then turned out well for her three boys. At that time I was having a lot of fun with an entrelac technique.
Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tangle Bomber in the Making?

Today I will send away my very first granny squares to yarnbomber.com. If you have not seen his work, it is awesome. The yarn is mainly left over from my basket project. I was considering mixing the yarns but my inspiration fizzled.
I'll be keeping the circles for myself. 
Yarnbomber has extremely ambitious crocheting projects. It's great that he allows others to become a part of his work. While my contribution is a small one, I'll be looking for it in his next installation.  I found out about the project one day while exploring instagram (@cztschladt). I created an account while at the Zentangle conference in October 2013 at the insistence of my roommate. I love it as a medium for people to share their stories, in particular there artwork. I found one person that leaves small crochet project for others to find which of course reminded me of a "random act of zentangle". 

This thought was percolating in my brain. I brought a rock back from one of my workout sessions with my husband on the neighborhood equipment. 

I haven't been tangling much lately but I felt inspired by this rock. I love tangling on everyday objects. 

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I think my new long term project is to tangle small everyday objects. I will continue to stash them away until I feel I have an acceptable number and then release them into the world. A tangle bomb would be a "random act of zentangle" or "zentangle inspired artwork" explosion. With my work I will probably add a mixture of words of phrases to the backs. While I would like to have more followers, I would rather open more people up into the world of artwork then promote myself. 

Below are a few pieces that I created right after the zentangle conference last year and have since given away. 
This one my mother kept

I almost regret giving this one away I love it so much. I best gifts are the ones you want to keep for yourself.  I left it on a jewelry counter in a Macys. 

This one I left on the table of a restaurant. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dry Erase Calendar

The Dry Erase Weekly Calendar is cute and easy to accomplish. I already had a frame when I found this project. In college, while I was taking out the trash, this frame was sitting right on top of the dumpster. In the frames were all graduation pictures. Why this person threw it out, I still don't understand. There was nothing wrong with it! Nothing! Why would I spend $20 when I got this for free? I have found the exact frame at Target if you do not have the opportunity to look through dumpsters.

For those of you who don't have wasteful neighbors, this is what you'll need:
  • A collage picture frame.  
  • Scrapbook paper. I had a different kind of paper for each day but the combinations are endless. At a craft store you can buy a pack or individual sheets. I recommend buying individually if you don't scrapbook. 
  • Scrapbook letters. You can also write the days of the week by hand;  I bought letters because I am critical of my handwriting.  
  • Scissors
  • A pencil or pen for outlining
  • A dry erase marker
The project takes about half an hour. Customize it how ever you would like!

  1. Use the backing of the picture frame and trace on the backside of your scrapbook paper of choice. 
  2. Cut it out.
  3.  Now for the lettering. Each frame is a day of the week. If you are a perfectionist, you may want to measure the letters so they are centered. I just eyeballed it and adjusted as I needed to. As you can see on the picture, I had to place Thursday vertically instead of horizontally due to the length of the word. 
  4. Place each piece of paper in the frame. 
  5. Find a place in your home, hang it and you are done! 
This is a repost from a blog that I started and stopped in 2012. It still gets a bunch of hits so I thought it would be a good idea to repost it here as well. It is not my original idea; there are a bunch of different versions floating around on pinterest and other craft/art blogs. I looked at a few back then as inspiration. I love my version which I created in 2012 to use in my office. I ended up not using it but I kept it around and it now has a place on the wall of my new home's kitchen. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Crochet Binge Part 2

Right before I moved I completed my hours for residency for the Virginia Board of Counseling. Due to the stress of moving and my last weeks of work, I failed to give my faithful supervisor a gift. I hope to have this done by the time I become licensed. I hope to take my exam in the next month or so. Right now it is a wait and see game. My life at the moment is exercising, applying for jobs, and crocheting.

 I am starting to miss drawing and/or zentangling. I need to get back to drawing because I plan on taking another art class in the Spring. It will likely either be drawing II or fundamental of design. I'm hoping I can get away with skipping the fundamentals class. Art therapy programs only accept specific credits.

Crochet Binge

At the end of July, my husband received new orders and since then we have moved to the Northern Virginia area. Prior to receiving the orders, we had already scheduled a vacation in August. I am a rather flexible person but I was not about to give up my planned out vacation.

While on vacation aside from jet skiing daily and an emergency vet visit, I started and finished a new crochet project. I wanted to make gifts for some of my coworkers. I ended up giving it to them a couple weeks before my last day so they wouldn't necessarily associate it with a good-bye gift. They may have done so anyway but oh well. 

I found the idea on pinterst.com from http://darlombfiberart.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/crochet-coiled-basket-guidelines-ideas/. This blog has a great set of instructions if you too are interested.