Friday, July 27, 2007

I Love to Swap

Not that kind of swap - get that out of your mind!

Craft swapping is such a fun thing to participate in (as long as it is well organized and you have a good swapping partner).

Many active members over on the Craftster forum run some fabulous crafty swaps with all kinds of themes. I have participated in a few and have had a lot of fun, crafted some fun things for others and received some fab things in return. The most recent swap had a 'Pink' theme. We were to craft a bunch of things with the color dominantly pink and send it to our partner. I made a purse, some jewelry, a decoupaged box, and a bunch of other things. In return, I received a weekender bag with detachable pin, a shoulder bag, and earrings. Truly amazing - my partner turns out to be a very accomplished sewer. Check out the weekend bag.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Cool Book for Amigurumi Crochet

I love this book - this is where I found the pattern that I used to make my cute little french hamster. It has great pictures and best of all it has easy to follow instructions (yay). It is called Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful

I have a whole collections of craft books - from cute felt mascots and other felt objects, needle felting, sewing to mosaics and decoupage. I'll have to share some more.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Vacation Craft Project

I have been wanting to know how to crochet cute little amigurumi critters for quite some time. Which is why I learned to crochet in the first place. I collect Japanese craft books that I can't read but love the pictures. I lurk and read lots of crafty blogs and have even purchased a few owls from artistic crochet masters. What I like about crochet is that it is forgiving - if you make a mistake or don't like how it is looking you just pull the stitches out!

I found a fabulous little book called Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful. The directions and diagrams seemed easy to follow so I attempted my first cute creature.

Voila! My version of the featured hamster pattern - french beret and all! I took my crochet hook, pattern, and a ball of yarn on the plane to the Northeast. A great craft to pass the time on the constantly delayed flights!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Simply Adorable Painting

I am finding that surfing the internet from blog to blog is just mindblowing. I see and find things that I would never have seen had I not been connected to the world. The hours go by but what fun I have. And I can share the terrific sites, ideas, products, art and more here.

This painting is by Creative Thursday. She is a painter and podcaster from L.A. She paints the most adorable, colorful, happy paintings. She posts a new one every Thursday (hence the name). Prints are sold on her Etsy shop (another addicting place to browse and shop!)

Monday, July 16, 2007

ARTful Sunday

Being the crafty mommy that I truly am, I seek out crafty and interesting things to do with my kids. Occasionally our local museum will have a family activity that is cultural and includes a hands on art or craft project. Today we visited for a Japanese themed event. Although the audio visual system was broken and the poor instructor had to speak over the chatty families to give directions on origami animals. Being crafty, my son and I caught on quickly and made a few cute things.
My best discovery, however was in the lobby just outside the giftshop. There was an ARTOMAT. This is a former cigarette machine that has been transformed into a cool piece of pop art itself and dispenses small works of art. How cool is that?! We purchased $5 tokens and had a hard time choosing what to vend. There were small placards that listed the artist with graphics and a hint of what was inside. We ended up with a small simple painting, a paper collage, a pocket square, and a cool printed box filled with 12 printed poems on printed cards (our favorite). My son and I both share a love of cute and interesting little things, so we enjoyed this.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Crafty Fun For All

I have always wanted to make these yo-yo's. It seems like a good thing to do with the basket of fabric scraps that I tend to keep. I just never knew what to do with them once there were made, other than a yo-yo quilt.
Here is a tutorial that I found from Hello My Name is Heather.
Make your own. Kids like these too, who knows what they can do with some cool fabric circles!How to make these cute yo-yos:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cool Finds

I love these pop art bunny cookie jars from Velocity

I think I have to have them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cool Ads - Like Eric Carle the kids author

I want to see if I can clip and post videos

I love these ads. They are like watching mini cartoons. Don't have a clue what they have to do with sneakers ohter than displaying the product at the end. Sure made consumers like me take notice and clip the video for my blog. Marketing genius.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sheer Determination to Crochet

I want to learn to crochet those cute amigurumi animals. And the food - all of those adorable yarn donuts and cups of coffee. I just needed to learn how to crochet.

I have an obsession with craft books and magazines, so of course I have begun to amass some with crocheting topics. Searched and studied online tutorials. I finally took some basic lessons from my mom, who has always been able to whip up blankets and sweaters crocheting and knitting. I began with a granny square. And I kept going.

I can make a blanket eventually, although the store no longer has the green.

Mom didn't know what an amigurumi was so I gave her one of the patterns I have been collecting until I can use them. She whipped up this panda:

I will practice and practice. Watch for my progress.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Crafting on the Road

I have the desire(compulsion) to craft something every day. Or maybe I just like to craft and that is what relaxes me and brings me enjoyment, like others who read a lot or play music. I have so many crafting hobbies that my craft room looks like a twister went through despite my constant efforts at organization. There are currently projects with jewelry (always), decoupage, sewing, and crochet. Eventually I will post what I made each day. Maybe others will post what they made each day. Which brings me to my topic..

I was away for the weekend and brought my crocheting along. I am new and attempted for the first time to follow a pattern. I am bent on eventually learning how to crochet cute amigurumi animals. I picked up a few books, along with yarn and hooks and have been trying. I am successful at basic crochet squares and granny squares. I bought fancy, ribbon looking yarn at our local Rag Shop that is going out of business (sad) and am attempting to follow the pattern on the label for a scarf. It looked simple enough but with 200 stitches before you turn my gage and pattern just don't look right. Practice, practice, practice... I have been reading the online tutorials that were linked to me by a site called Craft Daisies. Of course they are a little quick for me. I have managed to get through lesson 2 or 3. The tutorials are good if you are interested in learning how to crochet.

I chose to learn how to crochet because I wanted to have a craft I can take on the road with me when I travel. Most of my other crafty diversions are too messy or bulky. I have brought jewelry projects along in the past only to find beads and findings rolling away. Crochet is the perfect portable past time because one can easily start and stop, put away and take it out. They even have plastic crochet hooks so you don't set off any buzzers in the airport. I even bought a yarn and thread 'pendant' that takes the place of scissors so I can cut yarn.

I am now home with my new stash of tropical themes fabric fat quarters that I purchased at Three Crafty Ladies on Sanibel Island. It should be called three very smart and crafty ladies, as it has the most amazing selection of tropical themed craft supplies for such a quaint little shop. Stamps, shell crafting supplies, paper and stickers - even scrapbooking paper that says Sanibel Island on it, and a huge selection of quilting fabric, notions, patterns, and kits. Since I recently bought my first sewing machine I couldn't resist adding to my fabric stash here. I also picked up a pattern for a small quilted bag made with fat quarters. This way I can justify all of the fabric I have been buying - 'intent' to create a quilted bag.

More to come on my variety of projects and all of the cool links I have been finding.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A new blog

Time to jump on the blog bandwagon. I certainly spend enough time reading them. I am chronic crafter - I jump and dabble into all types of medium depending on my mood. And I like to buy unique, often indie things - either because no one else has them or they are so darned cute. Which is how I came to read all of the cute blogs - that I will post links to. I am obsessed with trying new crafts and get all kinds of ideas from blogs and sites and my other obsession - craft related books and magazines.

As much as I have aspired to be an artist (with no formal training mind you) I am a busy crafter and have come to accept that as a relevant hobby for now. Being a mom, I find many of the things I make need to be quick to start and finish (and I like instant gratification) or easy to start and stop without a lot of mess. Crochet is my new craft - it is clean and portable. Mosaics, which I love and have made some cool things with broken china and found objects, is a tad too messy to start and stop during the day as needed in my life. I have also taken to sewing, especially stuffed things, and needle felting.

As I gain experience I hope to make my blog look less generic and be able to share my thoughts, finds, and crafts.

For starters, here is a stuffed mushroom that I made for a craftster swap (I can't possibly keep everything I make). His name is Mr. Fun Guy (get it? Fun Guy, fungai?)