11 July 2015

Craft desk organization

So I have been wanting to mega organize my desk.  About 80% of my crafty supplies are things like pens, pencils, brushes, crochet hooks, etc.  Stuff that just gets all jumbled in plastic tubs.  I fell madly in love with a pinterest solution - stackable wine racks.  This allows you lots of storage in a semi small space and everything in the cups would be easily accessible.  So while at Pier 1 looking for furniture, I picked up two of these:

What the pinners often fail to tell you is that basically no cups fit in these racks.  The best I found so far are the types of cups that I believe are 32 oz and a softer plastic generally seen as collector cups at places like movie theaters and amusement parks. I only have one or two of those, so I still needed more cups that would fit.  While sitting here staring the racks and it hits me: oh, hey the cleaning wipes container!  Perfect fit (and perfect pencil/marker container even without the rack).  I might have to stock up on cleaning supplies so that I can finally use my wine rack desk organizer ;)

31 May 2015

Crochet



I've attempted to crochet about a million times since I was a kid.  Never got past a chain.  Gave my yarn and  hooks away.  Or so I thought,  found a few hooks I still had and two things of yarn, I try once more and FINALLY figured out the basics.  Go me.

Not bad for a first real attempt using the wrong sized hook and yarn that had been used, torn apart, used again, etc.

22 May 2015

Needle Tatting vs Shuttle Tatting

As I said yesterday, I prefer needle tatting as it's faster and easier.  But shuttle tatting looks a little tighter and better to me.  Here's a sample of rings in two different thread sizes using needle and shuttle for comparison.


21 May 2015

Tatting

So when I decided I wanted to learn to tat last year (thanks Pinterest), I bought these Clover Tatting Shuttles.  While I am not the most coordinated person on the planet, I did figure out how to make a ring and make a chain, even picots.  Thing is the tutorials I found that really made things clear were all different.  Use two shuttles for a ring.  One for a chain.  Use the ball of thread connected.  Don't use the ball of the thread.  Putting it all together was so confusing.

I didn't want this to be like my attempts to knit and crochet AKA total failure.  So I kept watching videos and looking at pictures.  I realized needle tatting might be easier for me.  Needle tatting needles aren't the easiest or cheapest needles to find so before making the purchase, I grabbed some general craft needles from my desk.  Those needles are way shorter than tatting needles but they are long enough to see if you can figure out chains, rings, and picots.  Seemed much easier so I ordered the Handy Hands 3-Piece Tatting Needles Set.

I was immediately making rings and chains and linking them.  Nearly perfect picots.  Yay!  I'd say I moved from beginner to intermediate real quick.  Still, I envied people working with smaller threads.  I only made it to intermediate with size 10 crochet cotton.  I can actually make a much tighter ring using a needle than I can with the shuttles.  When I get to the size 20 thread though... *sigh*  It gets messy then.  I've found my rings look much better on the shuttle.   Maybe it's just me that needs to figure out both needle and shuttles, but it really does seem one if awesome for size 10 crochet thread or thicker (they have needles for up to yarn sizes).

I've decide to go with shuttles that have bobbins for practicing because I get a little crazy - trying this size, that size, this color... but with shuttles that's tougher to do as I only have two shuttles.  With a needle you can just pull the work off the needle, play with something else and then switch back again.  Shuttles you tend to wrap a fair amount of thread on them and then are sort of stuck.


So next up I'll be trying the Aerlit Tatting Shuttles With 2 Bobbins.   Hopefully I figure it out this time.  I did finally work out that you really either needle two shuttles that share a thread or to leave the ball of thread attached.   It would have been nice to know that earlier.  Darn those videos just showing you how to make a ring on the one shuttle and the chain with two.    A good page for seeing the different types of tatting can be found here.  If I improve using either methods, I'll post pics later.  For now all I've done was already posted here and was done with a needle.

01 May 2015

Art Journal pages

A year or two on my birthday, I got some K&Company SMASH folios with Amazon gift cards. I like doodling but kind of suck at it too.  Soooooo, I've finally started using them anyway.   First real pages = this two page spread of a favorite quote ("In matters of style, swim with the current.  In matters of principle, stand like a rock" ~ Thomas Jefferson).  My cat helped -  which basically means every time I started drawing or writing anything she came running over and plopped down on the book.  If I pulled her off it, put the book away?  No longer wanted my attention.  Break the book back out?  Yeah, she was back.  Silly kitties.

05 March 2015

My current project...

So I got this: Cosco The Avery Line 4-Shelf Open-Front Cube Storage Changing Table, Dark Cherry Finish for free for review.  No we don't need a changing table but I think the cube design will be perfect for storing things in the living room).  Haven't put it together to review it yet because it is my current decoupage project.  I figured it's be easier to to the placing and gluing and varnishing on flat pieces rather than the completed piece (my hubby has asked if I'm being smart enough to avoid covering the screw holes)...

Started today and only got two pieces of the wood covered.  Yes, that's a lot of comics but fear not -- I used the giant modern reproduction books and did not cut any old comics up.  It might also be taking awhile as I'm reading as I go / cut.  I think it's looking good my first serious decoupage project.

Close up with the edge piece next to it (probably won't do anything to those fancier edge pieces).

First section glued down with Mod Podge and light top coat.  Still needs the varnish top coat.



17 February 2015

Reversible drawstring bag

Despite the "help" I received from my cat, I did start and finish (minus some type of purse strap I've not yet decided on) a drawstring reversible Superman bag.  This is about the most advanced thing I've sewn because reversible and drawstring...


15 February 2015

Kumihimo with soutache



I got this Set of Three Kumihimo Disk Looms  (two round, one square) but didn't really have the ideal cord or threads for use with it.  So the obvious answer was to at least make something with whatever I had on hand.  What I had on hand was embroidery floss, pearl cotton, and soutache.
Flat Brain 10 strand Kumihimo with Soutache
12 strand embroidery floss Kumihimo  

02 February 2015

23 January 2015

Crafting with Christmas gifts

I received the Ricks Beading Loom for Christmas along with some beads and  a gift card to Fire Mountain Gems.  I bought myself a few loom patterns from Loom Tomb on Etsy.

Here's what I've been doing with them:

First time using a cabochon, so I practiced with a chipped one.
A ring pattern I found online.  Didn't use ideal thread for it, so need to redo it.



First time using the Ricks Beading Loom.  Hadn't used a loom since I was a kid.  This one is different in that you only use one thread as the warp thread (the thread wrapped on the loom).  This is good as you then don't have 10s or 100s (if you're braver than I) of threads to work in at the end of your projects.  Instead you have one or two.  The bad about this is that you need to know your exact project size before you start as you cannot adjust it as you go.