Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vote for your favorite Christmas card

Are you getting in a voting kind of mood?
Are you getting in a Christmas kind of mood?
Do you have a wacky sense of humor?
Do you appreciate a good spoof on a famous person or bit of iconic art?
Looking for a bit of inspiration for your Holiday Greeting this year?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the questions pop on over to:
The Finest Christmas Cards on Earth or (in the world) and giggle, get inspired, and vote!

If you do like spoofs on people, art and enjoy a twisted trip down memory lane (these go back 25 years) I bet you will get quite a kick of these!

I can't tell you which ones I voted for but I am eagerly awaiting the results to see what others liked!

I should also note, if you didn't realize it, that a lot of them were done old school cut and paste style since Photoshop hadn't been invented yet. That was fun to type. Hehe

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to crochet a spider web skirt pattern

I shall hook you up with a spider web skirt!
I shared the beginnings of this skirt inspired by some of the designs in Crochet It. Love It. Wear It! . Well it's not quite finished but I wanted to post the pattern as I promised before Halloween. Ya, it's just a few days before but if you are a pretty quick crocheter you could whip this up in time! I only have a few rows to go.

This is really I suppose more of a formula or guide rather than a full-on pattern for a spider web skirt.
1. Chain the length you want your skirt to be (from waist to hem)
2. Chain the width of the bottom space between each "spoke" (the vertical sections) Essentially follow the pattern above (the path the arrows take you)

When the path is on a vertical spoke single crochet to attach.(pink area highlighted on drawing)
Then single crochet the next loop area and attach to the spoke with a single crochet.

I just guessed at the number of stitches based on how it looked.

A few tips:

I worked with the project flat on a table or pillow on my lap.

I used the space from the previous row to make my next row. I would lay the length of chain stitches over the space I was duplicating to see if it was the same size and adjust as needed.

I wasn't going for perfection, this is a costume and a bit of irregularity was A-OK with me.

I am quite sure you could count exact numbers but I am more of a free form crocheter and like enjoying rather than counting.

If you make one leave a comment or link, I would love to see!

Jane Doe and Rorschach Amineko watch the moon come up over the Airstream

Jane Doe and Rorschach Amineko cuddled and watched to moon rise over Superfly (The Airstream)
Happy Halloween Stan and George Amineko back in Boston and to you all too!

Now onto some crafty links:

The Crochet Dude
Big reveal over at Drew's blog - his super cute strappy clutch purse design! Just in time for the holiday party season!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Do More With Your Dog, a tutorial on how to make an abstract painting from a photo and a vintage photo to try it out with and a 5-ingredient recipe for Frosted Flakes Bars.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make Halloween knit cuffs embellished with vintage pins inspired by the book Warm Knits, Cool Gifts.

Mixed Media Artist
Sometimes you just need to think about how to reuse items that you've made...

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares a new project for Jewel School and muses about The Big Move.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
There are various options for printing greeting cards onto glossy photo paper. Here are some money-saving tips from Eileen.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Having hand trouble due to carpel tunnel? This tip might help you out so you can get back to crafting.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi discovers an amazing new stamp company in her own backyard.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen's cooked up some delicious pumpkin scones just in time for fall; stop by to get the recipe!

About Family Crafts
Sherri will be carving pumpkins soon. If you will be too, check out these free pumpkin carving designs to download.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween kint cuffs embellished with vintage pins inspired by the book- Warm Knits, Cool Gifts

I simply LOVE knit cuffs. If you were around me when we were in production on Knitty Gritty you know this for a fact since I was cranking cuffs out daily, well for that matter all of us were! And so when I turned the page of Warm Knits, Cool Gifts: Celebrate the Love of Knitting and Family with more than 35 Charming Designs and saw this cool argyle cuff watch band I was simply tickled that it was cool enough to get the stash out and wear them. But I was also inspired by Warm Knits, Cool Gifts to kick them up a notch. I wasn't currently in need of a watch band but what I am always doing is looking for ways to incorporate my collection of vintage pins into accessories I will actually wear. I don't seem to ever wear a pin normally. I don't know why that is, but it is.

These two embellished cuffs were what I came up with. Each cuff is knit in stockinette stitch out of a fairly thin yarn that has metallic strands within it. So I get great sparkle to coordinate with the metal pins.

A few tips on popping pins onto knit cuffs:

1. On the cat pin I poked the hardware parts of the pin back through the knitting so that the pin was flush to the knitted surface of the cuff.

2. On the spiderweb cuff I rolled the ends up so that the spider web pin didn't flop around.

Next up on my list to make is a sweater inspired by the one featured on the cover, oh and some of the wonderful mini ornaments that the patterns look so wonderful!

If it sounds like I'm a bit all over, I am. This book combines super cute patterns and projects with amazing style.

More about it from the publisher Potter Craft:
Warm Knits, Cool Gifts: Celebrate the Love of Knitting and Family with more than 35 Charming Designs
Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter

"Warm hearts this winter with handcrafted gifts designed by knitting’s favorite mother-daughter duo.

With shawls to wrap up in, hats to pull over our ears, wool sweaters to keep us warm, and ornaments for the tree, autumn and winter lend themselves to knitting in a way like no other time of the year—and no one knows that better than knitting superstars Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter. In Warm Knits, Cool Gifts, Sally and Caddy share 30 of their most inspired patterns for the seasons that are perfect for gifting.

Filled with patterns from modern designs to heirloom pieces, Warm Knits, Cool Gifts offers gift inspiration for everyone on your list. The luminous photography and clear and thorough instructions make each project an irresistible must-knit, and the options for adding personal touches are endless. As you read delightful stories from Sally and Caddy’s own knitting experience and their expert gifting advice, you’ll feel as if they are knitting right beside you. Plus their signature Fit & Flatter tips and special Techniques callouts break down instructions step-by-step, making you a more informed, thoughtful, and intuitive knitter year-round.

SALLY MELVILLE is a widely published and highly sought after knitwear designer who teaches a dozen different workshops at over 20 venues across North America every year. Her work has appeared in magazines from Vogue Knitting to Interweave Knits, and she is the author of several books, including the best-selling Knitting Experience series. Visit Sally online at

CADDY MELVILLE LEDBETTER is Sally Melville's only daughter. She currently designs knitwear and teaches knitting classes.

Both women reside in Ottawa, Canada. "

Monday, October 18, 2010

It doesn't call the Bat Cave it calls the Burbank Fire Department

In inamongst all the super high tech stuff at The Burbank Airport EOC (that I was lucky enough to be able to tour with The Auxiliary Communications Service branch of the Burbank Fire Corps) there is still this hard line vintage phone to the Fire Department. Do kids these days even know this is a phone? We all did joke it called the Bat Cave, which incidentally is just up the road in Griffith Park.

On to crafty goodness!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has a really fun book to give away this week: Create Colorful Aluminum Jewelry.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win the new big and beautiful book Quilts Around The World by Spike Gillespie, a knit boxed eyelet pattern, a bunch of ways to get a "handle" on your books and journals and tips on painting realistic blood just in time for Halloween.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to make paper pom pom pumpkins inspired by the book Page Maps 2.

About Family Crafts
Sherri is hosting a Make-It-Over crafts challenge and is calling for people to submit their Halloween crafts made using recyclables!

Aileen's Musings
Aileen invites you to jump in the Wayback Machine and revisit a past Halloween Card tutorial.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi figures out how to use paper to decorate an apron.

Crafty Princess Diaries
There is a call out for professional crocheters, scrapbookers, and quilters.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Calling all totes! Eileen is looking for tote bag decorating examples. If you need some inspiration first, watch the video on how to make a recycled tote bag.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge muses about choices, consequences, regrets and living out loud.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to make paper pom pom pumpkins inspired by the book Page Maps 2

If I can't get my real pumpkins to grow because some critter insists on eating them before their time I will just have to make some myself! Here are some cute paper pom pom ones made using a spin on a tutorial in Scrapbook Page Maps 2: More Sketches for Creative Layouts and Cards.

Let me explain. I have three beautiful pumpkin plants in my yard and I had finally got a baby pumpkin that was about 2 inches in diameter. Then one day I went to water it and someone literally had taken a bite out my pumpkin! Another baby appeared and before it was even an inch someone was already chowing down on it! So yesterday I built a literal fortress of wire and screening around the next batch of baby pumpkins. Fingers crossed!
In the mean time I need some pumpkins to decorate with so I made some....just call me mother nature...uh maybe mother crafter???

OK here's how I made the paper pumpkins:

I die cut the circles out of some sparkly orange card stock with my Sizzix die cutter.
Then I cut a little bit off each circle so that the pumpkins would sit flat and not roll around.
Each circle was then folded in half and glued back to back.
A tiny bit of curled pipe cleaner was poked into the center space of each.

Let me just say that this book is simply packed full of great little details that I can't wait to put my spin on and use as decorating elements. embellishments to my crafts and as intended in my scrapbook and altered book pages. I bet you will love it too!
Scrapbook Page Maps 2: More Sketches for Creative Layouts and Cards
Becky Fleck

More about the book from Memory Maker Books:

More PageMaps to Kick-Start Your Creativity!

Even the most imaginative people get stumped sometimes. Author and artist Becky Fleck’s easy-to-use sketches will help get you over the hurdle with 92 brand new sketches for traditional and digital layouts, greeting cards, mini albums and home d├ęcor items. In addition, you’ll find new artwork for over 140 incredible layouts and projects in a variety of sizes that will inspire your own artistic creations.

- Discover new layout sketches and artwork from the author of Scrapbook PageMaps, including a full chapter devoted to greeting cards.

- Learn to use sketches to focus and coordinate your ideas whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed by materials, photos and journaling.

- Take your favorite sketches along with you! Included are 64 travel-size sketch cards for easy planning wherever you get inspired.

- Learn new techniques and methods with easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

- Find “Eye Spy” tips from the author that point out the unique, unusual and unexpected elements you can use to make any page even more special.

If you’re feeling stumped with how to use that special photo, or if you just can’t decide how to use those beautiful supplies, Scrapbook Page Maps 2 will help you tell your story!

About the Author

Becky is the owner of the PageMaps web site, which provides scrapbook layout and greeting card sketches to over 20,000 readers each month. She is also the author of the highly successful book Scrapbook PageMaps. Becky is a professional graphic illustrator, freelancing for several scrapbook and stamp manufacturers. She teaches extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally at expos, scrapbook stores and conventions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't bug me I'm crafting

I really feel that this big bug was thinking "don't bug me" with that look on his face. He was visiting my back yard and I spotted him while working on my Halloween decorations. He stuck around for quite some time.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi experiments with her own images to make a 3D card embellishment.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of the new book Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements, info about getting involved with conservation work with your dog and the upcoming ReuseConex event, and a recipe for cognac Cherries.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy gives you the low-down and her favorite picks from Drew Emborksy's new crochet book.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
If you've been hesitant to try decoupage on wood, check out Eileen's tips for beginners.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
It's 'fallish' and Madge has created a fabulous fashion friendly fall jewelry set for Jewel School.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi finished up her series on altered books with a flourish! ;-)

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to crochet a bead and Soft Flex bracelet inspired by Heidi Boyd's new book Wired Beautiful.

About Family Crafts
What is the most unique Halloween costume you have ever worn or seen someone else wear? Share your ideas and read about others.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shares this year's Herm and Ethel Freebie Halloween Postcards with you!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bead and Soft Flex crochet bracelet inspired by Heidi Boyd's new book- Wired Beautiful

I simply love Heidi Boyd's style and her new book Wired Beautiful exemplifies her wonderful design sensibility. Not only are the designs all pieces I'd like to wear, there are some really cool techniques she shows you how to do. Me being me, I had to mix them up.
She did some really cool crocheting with wire and knitting with Soft Flex designs. I thought I'd try crocheting with Soft Flex. This bracelet is what I came up with. It kind of reminds me of the weird sculptures you can make with those magnetic marbles or atomic structures.

This is how I made my Soft Flex and bead crochet bracelet.
-I gathered up some old necklaces that had a wide variety of sizes black beads, .019 Medium Stainless Steel/ Nylon Coated Soft Flex, and some crochet hooks.

(Yes those are another pair of ping pong eyeballs I made in last week's post hangin' out watching)

-I cut the necklaces apart and strung the beads onto the Soft Flex (about 35) in a random order of sizes.
To keep the beads and the the stitches from coming undone I put a small piece of Scotch tape on the end.
-Then I simply did a chain stitch sliding one bead up within each stitch. This is what it looked like with the stitches very loose. I ended up liking it when I pulled the stitches really snug and used a smaller hook(I/9). All that was left to do was secure the ends together and I can slip it over my hand because there is a nice bit of stretch and give.

Want to see an inside peek into her book? Pop on over to this post at her blog for a double loop earring project.

So if you in the mood for a new book packed full of all sorts of wiring inspiration and tutorials grab yourself a copy of:
Wired Beautiful:
30+projects to hammer, coil, spiral and twist
Heidi Boyd

More about the book from North Light Books:
"Wired Beautiful features 30+ projects that will get you excited about the many ways you can use wire in your jewelry projects. Best-selling author Heidi Boyd takes you through the ins and outs of working with wire for your jewelry designs. You’ll learn how to make wire do your bidding in four detailed chapters: Spiraled & Coiled, Linked & Hammered, Wrapped & Bundled and Knotted & Stitched. Each project includes clear step-by-step photos and detailed instructions.

With Wired Beautiful, you’ll discover:

Unique techniques. Introduces traditional wire techniques, but also new methods not typically found in wire-jewelry books, such as using a knitting spool, creating cages and flower shaping.

Fresh designs and great basics. In addition to the 30+ projects—including bracelets, earrings, necklaces pendants and rings—you’ll learn basic jewelry-making techniques you can use in your own designs.

Easy-to-find materials. You’ll be introduced to a range of materials you can easily find at your favorite online and local craft supply retailers.

Let Wired Beautiful wrap you up in great jewelry!

About the Author

Heidi Boyd is the author of eleven North Light books, most notably the Simply Beautiful series. She has a degree in fine art, and her goal is to make sophisticated design approachable and easy for all. Her work has been featured most recently in Stitch magazine, in Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts, and in Amos Crafts n Things. "

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cathi Milligan opens "The Glass Studio" and crafty links

My super talented glass artist friend Cathi Milligan has opened up a "bricks and mortar" studio called what else? The Glass Studio

You can take classes, buy beads, and glass art.

5052 York Blvd. in Highland Park, CA 90042!
323- 257-0764

She had an opening party that included glass make and takes (that's what I'm sporting on my wrist made in the colors of her logo.)

If you are in Los Angeles check it out!

Now on to craftastic links especially the first one if you are interested in winning a sewing machine.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
At Craftside this week you can enter to win a new Singer sewing machine and a copy of 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts and Tips, see how to draw 12 facial expressions, use and clean a kneaded eraser, make a silk lotus flower and a bunch of fun fashion sketch poses.

About Family Crafts
If you are thinking of having a Halloween party this year, Sherri has some great ideas and resources for you.

Aileen's Musings
Aileen offers a little fall inspiration with her Day of the Dead Fiber Necklace.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi's latest art cards feature an accidental colour palette.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy talks about crafting for charity and the simple "thank you" concept.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
The Artful Crafter receives lots of questions about whether different media can be used together. Here are some tips for sorting out the issues yourself.

Mixed Media Artist
Foil lettering adds a nice touch to your altered books or collage projects!

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
Check out a cute origami penguin in Plaid from the new book Origami World by Didier Boursin.

The Crochet Dude
Drew throws a wrap tour to celebrate his whirlwind blog tour! Check out his list of stops along the way and discover "new to you" crafty bloggers!

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