Monday, May 23, 2011

Square-a-Day: one week of catch-up

Wow, have I really fallen this far behind?  My squares are coming right along, it's the rest of the posting process that hangs me up!  Here we go:

Lemony Lime Citrus by SmoothFox {pattern here}
This was a fun one, and I love the little arches that showed up in the corners on the green round.
Starburst Flower by SmoothFox {pattern here}
Can you tell I had run out of blue yarn when I made this one?!  The starburst came out bigger than I thought it would, so I didn't have room to add any blue or white.  This is another one I would like to make in its full 12" size.  Hmm do I feel another blanket coming on?

Ladybug Square by Amelia Beebe {pattern here}
Honestly, this was one square I thought I would be ditching--just didn't think I wanted a ladybug on my blanket.  But it just might be one of my favorites.  And I think it will add jut the right touch of whimsy!  I used french knots for the spots--so fun!

Eye of the Beholder by Jessica Gil {pattern here}
This one went really quickly.  I'm sad that my smaller size omitted the little stripes of color between the outer rows.

George's Granny by Jessica Gil {pattern here}
Another super fast square, and I love how easy Jessica's pattern's are to follow.

And last but not least:
Impossible Hexagon by Stramenda {pattern here}
I had such high hopes for this one, but it was made to be a 12 incher, and I lost the beautiful effect of the lace work of the white.  I only did two rounds of the lacy white part (rounds 5 & 6), and when I skipped down to round 9 it all went wonky.  I'm going to do this one again as a 12 incher--it would make a beautiful accent pillow cover.

Haven't started today's square yet, but I'll be back later in the week with more squares.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Doily Flowers

Here's my last flower tute from the crop.  Hope you had fun!

Doily Flowers
Doilies are one of my favorite embellishments for paper crafts. They're inexpensive and you can use them in a variety of ways. This flower is a "cinch" to make and can be done in a "pinch"--literally!

I used two 4" doilies for my blooms.  Cinch up the center of each doily, one just a bit more than the other.

Adhere the smaller, more pinched doily to the top of the larger, less pinched doily.  
Adhere a pretty button or other embellishment to the center.
See, told you it was easy!

You have until May 29th to link up your creation in the forum to be entered in the prize drawing!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fabric Flowers

Here's another flower from the Scrapbook Heaven Garden Party Crop.  Stop by to see all the blooms!

Fabric Flowers
These simple flowers are popping up all over the place.  They're super easy and can be made with any material, from fabric, to paper, to ribbon, to rick rack, to crepe paper, and beyond.

For this project, I used plain white muslin. I like to tear the fabric, rather than cut it, to create a frayed edge resulting in a more shabby chic flower. I also used some homemade mist to dye the fabric.

First, mist the strip with plain water, then mist with the ink (this helps the dye to run on the fabric and gives more coverage with less dye).

Tie a knot at one end of the strip (this will be the bud at the flower's center)

Working in a circle, twist and turn the strip of fabric around the center. I like to keep my petals loose, but play with the tension to create different looks. If you're more of a visual learner, Rhonna Farrer does a fantastic video here.

When you get the fabric the way you like it, glue it to a circle of felt or cardstock to hold it together. Hot glue or fabric glue work well.

The fun part is coming up with ways to embellish your flower centers: buttons, medallions, old costume jewelry. For mine, I used pearl tipped pins.

Have fun, and remember to link up your project here before the 29th to be entered to win a prize!

Friday, May 20, 2011

3-D Flower Baubles : A tutorial

There's a party going on at Scrapbook Heaven this weekend.  We're having a Garden Party!  Stop on by the forum and learn how to make some pretty blooms for your projects.  I've scheduled the three flower projects I created to post each day this weekend.  To see the fantastic flowers from the rest of the DT, head on over to The Forum.  You have until the 29th of May to link up your project to be eligible for some great prizes.
3-D Bauble Flowers
A while back I made little paper baubles for a garland.
This technique works on that same idea.

The how-to:
  1.  Punch or die cut a symmetrical shape. (flower, heart, circle, etc)
  2. Fold each shape in half (a scoring tool helps get your folds nice and crisp).
  3. Simply glue each punched piece to the next, lining up along the folds. I used 4 punchies, but experiment with more to get a fuller look.
  4. Adhere the back flaps to your project and you're done!

The best part: the baubles fold flat for card shipping. 
These make great scrapbook embellies for framed layouts, too.

And a close up:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pinspired: The Printer's Tray

Hello, my name is Michelle and I am addicted to Pinterest.  When I am in front of my computer working, I can't help but click on the little Pinterest/Home bookmark...a lot.  I've been pinning and browsing and pinning some more.  I know someday these pins are going to come in handy, and my new mantra is "Time spent Pinning is time well spent."

So last week, I finally put some pins to good use and refinished the printers tray I've been holding onto for a few years.

First my "Pinspiration":

And here's mine, or should I say my boys':
You can see all of my pins here.  And if you're on Pinterest, let me know so I can check you out, too!

Square-a-Day: 12, thirteen, 4-teen, 15

Still at it!  More than halfway through a Square-a-Day for May and I am still hanging in there.  Yippee!

I thought Day 12 was going to do me in.  I had a really hard time following this pattern, lots of tearing out, re-doing, and tearing out again.  I was trying to follow two sets of written instructions, and now am just wondering if I would have been better off following the author's diagrams.  I've never crocheted from a diagram, but for this one I bet I should have. 

Grandma's Heart by Carola Wijma {pattern here}
Just now as I look at my photo, I see that I did the picot round in the completely wrong place.  Uggh!  I really loved the look Carola's block and was so disappointed in my feeble crochet skills when I couldn't replicate it.  I am not giving up on this one!

Day 13 brought some relief.  This square was quick and easy and I love the solid look the double crochets create (not to mention how fast those guys stitch up!).

Flower Square by Fiona Kelly {pattern here}

This block is much more lacy--I love all the variety in the squares Melissa chose.
Violet Block by Jacqui Goulbourn {pattern here}

I think this next one is one of my favorites.  I will be making this one again and using Melinda's full 12" pattern.  Because I am re-sizing my blocks to 7", I missed out on getting the rounds of v's in my block.  And I think the center of this one makes great flowers/doilies, too.
More V's Please by Melinda Miller {pattern here}

Day 16 is nearly finished, just need to add a round of white sc's.  

Thanks for checking out my squares!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Square-a-Day: eLeVeN

I met my Aunt for tea/coffee this morning and we went through some of her old crochet patterns.  She gave me a bunch, and I am hoping to be able to incorporate some of the granny patterns into my blanket.  There's even a triangle pattern that would work perfectly as a bunting.  Fun stuff!

Today's square from Melissa's CAL:
Flowery Square by Adaiha {pattern here}
 If it's flowery, it's for me!  I had attempted these layered flowers before and haven't had the greatest success.  It must have been the way Adaiha wrote her directions, or her technique of attaching a chain to the back stitches of the previous flower, but it clicked for me.  I'm not saying I did it correctly (honestly I think my two larger flowers are facing the wrong way), but it worked! 

And I finally caught onto photographing  my square from the side to show the texture (hey it's only day 11!):
 Isn't that Bee-you-Tee-ful?!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Square-a-Day: TEN!

Framed Flower by Sally Ives {pattern here}
I'll admit, this square had me a little nervous.  Round 4 where you "dc around ch into top of cluster in rnd 2".  Ummm, yeah, I had no idea what that meant, so I winged it.  Maybe I did it the way Sally intended, maybe I didn't.  Either way, I think it came out beautifully.  I love the round of blue where you crochet in the back loops--gives it a nice pop of texture (can't tell from the photo).

I'm working on a lengthy post about my stUdio space.  Hope to have it finished sometime this week.  But for now I will leave you with this photo of our menu board.  Why? Because I am random.  Because I grocery shopped today and planned our meals for the week. Because the boys like my silly little drawings.

StUdio Tour

Today, I thought I would do a post on my creative space.  I took these photos a few weeks ago during the short window when my space and the space I share with the kiddos was clean at the same time (a rarity around here).  So let's get started:

My space resides over our two-car garage.  It is accessible from a second staircase off our kitchen and from the upstairs center hallway.  When we built our home, we knew we wanted a space for the boys (aka the Playroom) and a space for me to create, so we decided to forgo the huge master bedroom suite (thank you hubby!) for this room where we spend most of our hours.

The shelving is a simple track system from the home improvement store.  Although not the most beautiful looking, I love that I can change and rearrange the layout of the shelving to accommodate my ever-changing stash of supplies.  I also tried to add coherence to the space by using a color scheme (lime and turquoise) and repetitive storage units (the striped baskets, the metal bins, the white drawer units).

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
  • Over-the-door hanger from Orla Keily: holds small tools (glue gun, heat gun, paper crimper, label makers, etc)
  • Pantry canned goods rack: holds ribbon and crepe paper
  • Striped baskets: hold works in progress, page protectors, chipboard and other recyclable packaging, memorabilia (baby calendars, school papers...), empty mini-albums
  • White drawers: hold large punches
  • Pegboard: holds embellishments where I can see them and remember to use them!
  • Green and blue metal bins: hold envelopes, Xyron, glue and staple gun supplies, embellies
  • Clear Art Bins: hold floss, fibers, buttons, and more buttons

  • Skinny green drawers: hold cutting mats, medium punches, small punches, eyelets and snaps, wire, lace and trims
  • Green and blue wire mesh baskets: hold more fibers, alphabets, metal accents, alpha rub-ons
  • Upcycled Starbucks bottles: hold buttons, rhinestones, flowers, pearls, hat pins, and other small embellies (need to spray paint the tops of a few more)

  • Magazine holders: hold 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock
  • Plastic bin drawers: hold alcohol inks, pearl x powders, Stickles, and a bunch of other stuff
  • Basket on my desk: holds journals, to do lists, inspiration journals, sketch books, and other little notebooks I love to keep
  • Shelves adjacent to windows: hold magazines, Stampin' Up! stamp sets, and more Art Bins of embellies

Monday, May 9, 2011

A bit of Monday randomness.

We're into week two of May and I'm still sticking with this little project.  I've been wondering what makes this daily project different than others I've attempted in the past and all I can come up with is "crochet is portable".  I can throw it in a bag and bring it to swimming, church, soccer, the doctor's, and on car trips.  I bring it outside while the kids are playing, and I throw on another round while I wait for water to boil on the stove.  I don't like to be idle for long, and crochet is the perfect thing to while away the minutes.  And these blocks whip up really quickly and look beautiful.

So here's day 9:
Falling Star by Melinda Miller {pattern here}
 There are quite a few of Melinda's blocks being used for this CAL (crochet-a-long) and I love them all!

Here's a peek at my progress as of last Thursday.  I think I love it!  I keep telling the boys this blanket is going to be mine all mine, after all I am the only girl in the house!

And now for a little scrapbooking, and I mean little.  Might be the change of seasons or the busy-ness of spring in general around here, but not much was done in the way of scrapbooking last month.  I've learned to just roll with this...sometimes it's just like will all come around again.

background: vinyl shelf liner in wood grain; mat: paper towel leftover from Easter egg coloring attached with masking tape; circle accents: spirograph over patterned paper
I took a photo of my crazy threesome after they had had a free-for-all with the body markers.  What started as a harmless bit of stamp tattooing quickly turned into a full-blown, all-out marker assault on each other.  Yeah, they thought they were so cool.

This is a framed page I donated for a charity auction.  Sorry about the fuzzy faces, but I wanted to protect these little cuties. 
This was such a fun page to create, especially the handmade embellishments:
And a few flowers I'm playing around with for a crop coming up next week at Scrapbook Heaven.  Stay tuned for the deets!
Alrighty, I'm off to a Mother's Day Tea at my youngest's class.  I told you this was a bunch of randomness!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Granny-a-Day: five-six-seven-eight

I've been crocheting right along this month (even a bit ahead of myself), but just not able to get these posts up.  My li'l ole puter is taking f..o..r..e..v..e..r to run Photoshop.  So today I am taking advantage of my Mother's Day gift from my kiddos (being good boys all day) and catching up.  Here we go!

Starfire by Melinda {pattern here}

I think the inner most part of this square would make the cutest little snowflake ornaments, don't you?  
Really loved crocheting this one.

Victorian Dream by Cindy Arman {pattern here}

I really liked this square, but I lost some of its beauty by down-sizing it to 7".  I might need to make 12" squares next so I can use the full pattern.

Passion for Purple by April Moreland {pattern here}
 I took a few liberties with this beautiful pattern.  Since the blanket I am working on is mostly flowers, I wanted to try turning April's pattern into a flower motif.  It worked!

On the Huh by Jacqui Goulbourn {pattern here}
I wasn't sure how this one was going to turn out and if it would fit in with the blanket I'm working on.  I think I like it and it adds an interesting geometric block to all the girliness.

That's it for today.  Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Square-a-Day: 3 & 4

As I type this, my first four grannies are blocking (first time I've ever blocked anything--I am learning an enormous amount on this project), and I am in the last round of Granny # 5.  Woohoo!

One thing I want to mention about my squares: sizeMelissa chose squares that would measure 12", and since I had already crocheted a bunch of squares at a 7" size, I am altering the patterns slightly so that my squares will come out to 7".  It really hasn't been an issue at all so far. Since grannies are worked in rounds, in most cases I am simply omitting some of the last rounds of the pattern, or leaving out a couple of rounds and finishing with the pattern's last round (to add a nice finished edge).  So far so good.

Here are days 3 & 4:
Maggie's Square by The Crochet Dude {pattern here}

Blooming Granny by Melinda Miller {pattern here}
Just looking at these pre-blocked photos I can tell the blocking is going to make a huge difference.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Square A Day: 1 and 2

Happy May!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

I'm off to a great start with my grannies (ha--see me in about a week!).  I'm not sure I want to post them every day--might kinda get on the nerves of my email subscribers (and I love my subscribers--mmmwahh!).  Think I'll put them up on FB every day, and do a post here every few days.  But I didn't want you to think I had flaked already on this little project.

Amethyst Square by SmoothFox  {pattern here}
Kata by Penny {pattern here}
I probably should have taken some notes when I was making these so I could give you a few pointers.  My crochet skills are, umm...still developing, and I often have to tear out and redo (sometimes frequently) with any given pattern.  Maybe that's what I love so much about crochet--it's very forgiving and mistakes just get torn out and no one ever has to know!