Saturday, October 23, 2010

My yarn garden...

The book from my last entry was "100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet" (I did only crocheted flowers as I don't knit). I had fun shopping for the yarn and selected lightweight ones, like baby yarn and sock yarn. The book doesn't give specifics on yarn types or hook sizes so it was a matter of experimentation & finding what I was comfortable with. I settled on an "E" hook. I have my Nana's tiny hooks that she used for making doilies & teeny tiny flowers but I can't yet master using such a little hook (and I treasure the teeny flowers I have that she made even more!).

So, here's my little garden of flowers. I have no idea of what I will use them for but they were fun to make. My favorite is the large daisy-ish flower. The marigold (orange flower) is my least favorite - I don't think I'll be making any of those again! The instructions in the book were very good - even better were the illustrations showing small schematics of each flower, stitch by stitch. I know I will be referring back to this book for future projects.

On to this week's book.... "layered, tattered & stitched" by Ruth Rae. I love the look of a torn edge, be it fabric or paper. This book features projects with raw, sometimes frayed, edges. It sets aside all the rules of quilting that involve square corners & finished edges, encouraging experimentation and the creation of rich, layered projects.

I recently picked up some new hand-dyed vintage textiles at a quilt show - perfect for using in projects from this book. Check back to see what I've come up with!

Anyone heading to the Houston Quilt Festival? I am happy to report that I am going this year and that I even managed to score a room at the Hilton Americas (the one attached to the convention center). I haven't been able to go for a few years and I am super excited about the trip. There is nothing like the HQF! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

class with Maya

Yes, I did take the class with Maya and it was great! She is such a gentle, peaceful soul, don't you think? She brought piles of things to play with - it's amazing what can be made from cereal boxes & newspapers!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Paper projects & what's next...

I had fun with the projects in "Playing With Books". I didn't make anything complicated - just a few simple ones. I love my new pencil cup - I just rolled pages of a book & added little strips of color to give it some pizzazz. I glued them around a cardboard tube. Cute & quick.

I cut a bunch of circles from the magazine "Above" which prints on paper that is NOT clay coated - that makes it perfect for collage or other paper projects because it doesn't wrinkle like regular magazine pages. "Boho" magazine is another great magazine that uses the non-clay coated paper. Back to my circles... I cut a bunch of circles of varying sizes between 1" - 2". Ran a string between two circles & glued them together - keep going down the length of string with more circles for a fun and colorful garland. What a cute party decoration it would make...

Finally, I made an adorable paper flower out of book pages. It just takes a few simple folds to make a petal section - glue five sections together for the whole flower.

I love creating with simple, sometimes cast-off items. At the Squam art conference I took a class that was all about making art out of humble materials like cereal boxes, paper tubes and burlap sacks. Creative recycling at it's best!

"Playing With Books" also includes more complex projects like carving pages into beautiful sculptural works and cutting books into shapes with a band saw. I wasn't feeling that ambitious but have enjoyed reading about the work and seeing the photos. Some pretty amazing stuff.

The next book I'll be working from is "100Flowers to Knit & Crochet" by Lesley Stanfield. I read about it on Jenny Doh's blog and ordered it about two minutes later. Look at those yummy flowers on the cover! My Nana (my Mom's mother) used to crochet teeny flowers, I have a few forget-me-nots that she made out of fine crochet cotton. I'll be working with yarn - I've never been able to master working with the teeny crochet hooks used with crochet cotton. I'm looking forward to making a little garden of flowers to have as a stash of embellishments for future projects.
I'm also getting ready to head to Houston for the Quilt Festival. I haven't been there for a few years and am SO looking forward to being inspired by the fabulous quilts on display (and, of course, tempted by the offerings of the vendors!).
Hope you enjoyed reading about my projects! Happy autumn...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Back to Books...

My blog started with project called "Bookworm 52" and the original plan was to make one project a week from a book selected from my personal library. I did pretty well sticking to that at the beginning and then I drifted into other things. I decided it's time to return to the original plan - at least for this week, anyway.

"Playing With Books" (Quarry) by Jason Thompson is chock full of an amazing array of projects to make out of books. I've selected several projects that I'll be working on over the next few days & will post pictures when I'm done. I'm also thinking that some of the projects will translate nicely to fabric so I'm going to play with that a little bit too.

Speaking of paper... I couldn't resist buying the L Letterpress machine. I picked it up last week and can't wait to play with it! It's pretty much like a small die cut machine but instead of putting metal dies in the machine, you put raised images that look a lot like clear rubber stamps (the ones you mount on lucite blocks). I'm thinking I can use it for paper lithography also - something I really loved doing in my printmaking class earlier this year. Lots of plans for fun things.... anyone know how I can add a day to the week?

I'm anxious to start my playing with book pages... until next time, keep crafting!