Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year Day!

Feb 29th! A day that appears by magic every 4 years! To all those who were born on this day, may you have a whale of a time celebrating this special day! For the others,lets have a happy Wednesday! :-) My hobby life is going great.. I learnt a new craft over the weekend! Macrame! For many, this might be their oldest hobby..but, I heard of this only recently. (as if I need any more hobbies!) I saw many pins on macrame in Pinterest. My trusty RavFriends at the South Asian Crafters group on Ravelry are wonderful enablers.. so, a macrame-along was started and all those who were interested joined in.. Here is my first attempt at macrame.


I used the thread and beads I had in hand and referred to this tutorial.This one has been gifted to my colleague/friend's daughter. I was told that the lil one liked the bracelet a lot. :-) Motivated by the outcome, I had to try other pins I had pinned on macrame. It finally felt like the hours of pinning on Pinterest finally paid off. ;-) This pin inspired me to dress up a few drab bangles I had with macrame. Here are the results.


Then I went bead-shopping and came back with a truck-load lots of beads. So, I naturally had to make a few more bracelets. Here are they..


My favorite is the pink and purple one..


I didn't follow any pattern for these bracelets. For the bangles, I made a bunch of square knots with beads at regular intervals. For the bangle make-over, I made double hitches in two colors. Here is the purple one on my wrist.


I'm still working on some embroidery samplers. The soft kitty sampler is done. I'm itching to start something lacy in knitting. I don't remember the last time I knit lace. So, I'll be casting on for a lace shawl soon. Tell me what are you working on..

-Josie

P.S: Thank you all for the crochet love for my previous post. I wasn't able to reply to your comments as last week was a bit hectic with the lil guy down with a bad throat. He is alright now. :-)

This post is linked to WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Along.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm all a-hooking!

My interest is crochet is like a sine curve. For a long time, I forget that I know this craft and then out of the blue, I get this irresistible urge to hook! ;-) So, after one such hooking phase, I ended up with a bunch of crocheted FOs. I've been wanting to make this Granny Boutique Bag for a long time after seeing so many cute versions on it all over the web and I finally took the plunge. I made two of it.. The first one is made from Anchor knitting cotton and I used the yarn held double.


The second one was done using variegated acrylic yarn in fingering weight. I love how the colors pooled in this version.


The bags are perfect for use as any gadget cozy. Here are the bags with my Hubster's cellphone for scale. Did I tell you that I lost my phone 2 weeks back?! I was more saddened by the loss of my contacts stored in the phone than the loss of the phone itself. Serves me nicely for not backing-up the phone contacts. sigh 





Then, I finished the set of 6 coasters I showed you here. I love how they turned out. I used Summer Spiral Coasters pattern for these coasters and Anchor knitting cotton held double and 4mm hook.


I interchanged the colors for one half of the set. Can you make it out in the pic above? Look closely! you'll spot the difference. ;-) I backed the coasters with coordinating fabric more for saving my face than to add structure. My joins and finishing technique need more practice. ;-) Here is a shot of the back of the coasters.


I'm glad I had coordinating fabric in my stash. I'm happy with my crocheting session. I'm hoping to make many more crochet FOs in the future. But, something new has caught my fancy.. I'll tell you more about it in the coming days. Hope you all have a nice weekend!

-Josie

This post is linked to Creative Friday hosted by Natural Suburbia and FO Fridays hosted by Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Soft kitty,Warm Kitty...

I love watching comedy sitcoms. My all-time favorite is F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I've watched all the episodes so many times and almost know the lines by-heart but, I can still watch a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. marathon. My hubster doesn't get it.. and, I call it our generation gap! ;-) My favorite sitcom that is running at the moment is The Big Bang Theory although I don't watch it regularly or in chronological order. If you are a fan of the BBT, you'll know the song 'Soft Kitty,Warm Kitty.." Its only natural that I use the lines of this ditty for an embroidery project.. so, here is the progress so far..


I plan to do the text in rainbow colors.. I have no plans for this sampler.. I might get it framed.. or make a wall hanging out of it. Here is another cute version of this song that I found online..


Maybe I should make a sampler with Phoebe's song, Smelly cat from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.. no? Do you watch sitcoms? If so, what are your favorites? I've been hearing about Downtown Abbey a lot in the forums I'm part of.. but, I haven't had a chance to watch it.. Is it that good? Share your favorite sitcoms with me..

-Josie

This post is linked to WIP Wednesdays hosted by Tami's Amis and Yarn Along hosted by Small things.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Earrings storage and display stand!

This is a FO of a different kind because it doesn't fit into my usual crafts.. Remember ages ago, I told you about my weakness for earrings. This has something to do with it. I love earrings.. earrings that dangle as the post-style earrings don't suit my face. I've been collecting earrings since my college days. So, after years of collecting them, I ended up with a storage problem. I used to store them in tiny ziploc pouches and it became  the shabbily organized part of my dresser table. So, after browsing online for storage ideas for jewelry, I made my own..

Here is how it went.. I found an old showpiece that was gathering dust in a corner in my home. I removed the frame around it. So, I got a frame.


Then I got a piece of  steel mesh and nailed the mesh behind the frame. You can find this mesh in any hardware store.


Tada! The earring storage and display stand is ready. Don't believe me?! See it for yourself..



This works only for hook-style earrings. So, this is only half of my earring collection. I need to find a way to store and  display my hoop and ring-style earrings. I see lotsa empty spaces in this stand. Time to go earring shopping, I guess. ;-) I have some earrings that are about 10yrs old in this collection. The best part of my day when getting ready to work is picking out a pair of earrings to go with my dress.  :-)


Yes. That's an obscene amount of earrings(C'mon! Everyone has a dark side to them, don't they?!) but, I simply can't resist the charm of a pair of lovely earrings. They don't cost so much and they are an easy way to cheer up your face without makeup. At least that's my argument and I stand by it. ;-) So, tell me what do you collect? ceramic figurines? whimsical salt and pepper shakers? earrings and bangles? Share your stories and make me feel better, please..

-Josie

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crayon tinting in quilting!

Have you heard of Pinterest?? If you havent, go there NOW!! Seriously! That site is my current addiction. There is something for everyone there and I go there daily for casual browsing or for some serious inspiration. One such expedition lead me to this lovely blog called MamaCJT  run by Carol. She does absolutely AMAZING work. Please visit her blog and spend some time on it. You'll be amazed. Here is a sample of her work..

                                                         
                                                      image copyright Carol Turznik

Can you believe that the entire piece is done with fabrics? lovely work isn't it? After getting inspired by her work, I had to try my hand at it. Since I haven't tried applique quilting till now, I decided to try the crayon tinting in quilting and here is my meek attempt at it.


Its very obvious that I need practice. I have a long way to go before I can perfect my free-motion quilting techniques.But, I plan to get there with practice. Do you have a technique that you are trying to learn in your craft? Share your story with me..

-Josie

This post is linked to WIP Wednesdays hosted by Tami's Amis.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's day!

For all the incurable romantics who are celebrating Valentine's day this year, Happy Valentine's Day! And, to the rest, every day is a Valentine's day. Isn't it?! so, Happy Tuesday! Here is a doodle heart from me to you!


I love the way it turned out. I'll get it framed soon. Since we are in the mood for hearts, here is another one called the Heart of darkness.


I embroidered this on tea-dyed cotton fabric. Its the same white fabric used for the doodle heart above...only dyed with tea. I recently stumbled upon tea-dyeing fabric and I'm glad I did. I love the rusty, antique and aged look it gives to the fabric and I can dye using stuff from my kitchen pantry. Here is a close-up comparison of the original and tea-dyed fabric.


Nice, isn't it?! OK. Forget tea-dyeing.. Tell me what's your plan for the Valentine's day.. Anything special planned? As I told you in my previous post, Alvin is my Valentine and he has gone to school now. ;-) Its your turn to share your story here..

-Josie

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eternal Love!

As I told you earlier, I'm in the mood for 'lurve' this Valentine season! Since I have 2 men in my life, finding nice gifts for them becomes doubly challenging. Just when I was going bonkers coming  up with something for them, I came across a design from Urban Threads that appealed to me a lot, something that could work on men! ;-) I embroidered it on a plain tee I got for Alvin and its a perfect Valentine for him. :-)


If you can't make out what the design says, it says: eternal  love. Cheesy,huh?! Alvin was so proud to wear it to school today. Its Rainbow Day at school for him today and he was supposed to go in one of the rainbow colors and this tee was just perfect! Here is he today morning..


I so want to embroider this on one of my hubster's shirts. But, I don't think the grown-up baby will want it on his tee. ;-) Here is a close-up of the design.


So, Alvin is my Valentine this year. I think I'm celebrating Valentine's day after so many years.. I remember going all gung-ho about it in college days. Those days!  Are you celebrating Feb 14th this year? If so, who is your Valentine? Are you making anything special for them? Share your stories with me..

-Josie

Friday, February 10, 2012

House on a pillow!

Are you wondering what happened to the house sampler I talked about here ? Well.. it got itself a pair and they both became cushion covers. ;-) I started the sampler on a whim and it took its own course and ended up as this.


I used the reversed design for the second sampler. The pattern is from September House called ScandiStitches. I had these polka dot fabric in my stash and everything fell into place in the end. Here is a close-up of the sampler while it was on the hoop.


Its a pretty house. Isn't it? I used simple back stitches and French knots for this sampler. I winged the design for the cushion cover and it fits a 16 inch pillow form nicely. I made the covers as envelope style cushion covers, the simplest kind.


These were made as a gift for a friend and I had a tough time packing these as a gift. I so wanted to keep them for myself. ;-) Oh! Don't worry. I did send it to her and she has received it too. See! I'm not a bad girl after all! I like projects like this that turn out nicer than how I visualize when I start them.


Do you have projects like this..that turned out beyond your expectations? Do you have a link to it? I'd like to see projects that pleasantly surprised you..

-Josie

This post is linked to Creative Friday hosted by Natural Suburbia and FO Fridays hosted by Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hearts for the season!

I'm not a big fan of the Valentine's day tradition. Hubster and I don't exchange gifts for Valentine's day. But, this year I've caught the Valentine bug and want to  make things with hearts in it. :D So, I started another sampler from Urban Threads called doodle heart. Here is the progress so far..


Since I can't stay monogamous to one project, I have another in progress as well. I've been wanting to try crayon tinting in embroidery and finally took the plunge. There are a bunch of tutorials on it.. Here are a few I referred : Little Dear Tracks and Urban Threads I got myself a 48-color crayon set from Faber-Castell and I felt like a kid when I worked on it. Here is my attempt at crayon tinting.


I'm glad with the results. Its a fun technique and adds a zing to the stitchery. I see myself using this technique a lot in the future. What is a new technique that you tried in your craft and liked a lot? Any fun techniques that you want to share.. 

-Josie

This post is linked to WIP Wednesdays hosted by Tamis Amis and Yarn Along hosted by Small Things.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Shapely Stripes Cardigan!

By popular demand (lol!) , I'm sharing the Shapely Stripes Cardigan that I finished last week. The house sampler has to wait for another day. I've worn this cardigan to work this week and it feels oh-so-comfortable and snug. When I started this cardigan, I was going to call it the Shapeless stripes, given my shapeless shape. (Shapeless shape! sounds funny.) But, this cardigan is pretty flattering to my figure and I'm thankful for that.


I love the length of the body and the sleeves and the best feature I like in the sweater is the hood I added to it. It didn't come in the pattern but, I wanted to add one. So, I winged it. It turned out nicely and goes with the sweater. Here is a view of the hood.


Here is how I added the hood. I hope it helps anyone who wants to add a hood to a sweater.


  • Pick up as many stitches you cast on, along the cast on edge. If you had foresight unlike me, you’ll do a provisional cast on and use those stitches later.
  • Knit 2 rows and increase 4 stitches evenly in every right side row till you've increased 12 sts. That is, 3 increase rows. You can go on increasing if you prefer a fuller hood.
  • Stop increasing and knit as set for about 11 to 12 inches and begin the crown decreases.
  • Pick 2 center stitches (or 1 center stitch if you picked up odd number of stitches at the cast on edge) and decrease on either side of the center stitches in every alternating row till you comeback to the original number of picked up stitches.
  • Fold the hood and Kitchener stitch the top of the hood or do a 3-needle bind-off.

Hood is done! Here is me with the hood on. :-)



I got perfect buttons from Itsy Bitsy. I got carried away with the button holes and put in about 10 of them. The sweater looked cartoon-ish with all the big buttons down the front. So, I took out about half of them and it looks alright now.


A Rav Friend mentioned to me that the colors in the sweater reminded her of Calvin and Hobbes. Its true, isn't it? Its one of the brightest garments I own currently. ;-) The bright orange yarn was from my Clapotis that was sitting in my closet without getting any use. I'm glad I frogged it to use for this sweater.


Here are the stats:

Pattern : Shapely Boyfriend
Yarn : J.Sagar Wash n wear Blended wool
Needles: 4.5mm and 4 mm(for ribbing)
Started: Dec 3rd,2011
Finished : Jan 29,2012
Ravelry Project: Shapely Stripes

-Josie

This post is linked to FO Friday hosted by Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This and that!

Yes. I have my hands full with this and that. I'm realizing that I prefer smaller projects that finish faster. So, embroidery samplers are my go-to projects these days. I have a new sampler in progress. I can't show you the full thing now. Here is a sneak-peek at it..


Its my first time embroidering letters and I'm using split stitch for this. Its my first time using this stitch and I love the volume it gives to the lines. This is another design from Urban Threads! Can you tell that I'm smitten with this site?? I have another crochet project in progress. Again a small project.. Here is a peak at it..


I'm happy to tell you that I have finished both my Shapely stripes cardigan and the embroidered house sampler. I'll reveal one of the either on FO Friday. But, you have to choose.. Leave a comment and let me know which one you want to see on Friday. Shapely stripes cardigan or house sampler?


ETA:  The question might not apply to those who know me on FB or Ravelry. ;-)


-Josie
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