Thursday, March 22, 2012

Karen Kahle's Spiral Chairpad Hookalong

I'm starting to leaf out and bloom(at least today) with Spring! I've gotten into working on a rug, Mermaid pattern I got from Kris Miller at Spruce Ridge Studios.   Hooking it for our Kirby Hookin this June, and gonna have to be busier than I've been with my hook.

But eventually I want to try one of the hook and miss spiral chair pads that Karen Kahle has described on her blog... (linked above). Just a quick drop by to post about this great tutorial and project. I learned of it from my one of my other North Stars Kanknchester in An American Primitive Group...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Zentangle and the Art of Pinterest

I love Pinterest, but do try to limit my time over there. I've tried several ideas I saw over there with varying success, mostly due to the level of time investment I was willing to put into presentation over process. This is an ongoing tug o war in my creative life, as process and new ideas are far more entrancing to me than "fancying it up". Usually, my ideas though bountiful, are way more involved than most sensible folks would even speak aloud. For example, when I wanted to update a Raggedy Ann doll for the 20th century, Her name ended up Crystal, she had piercings, a belly button jewel, and several tattoos, although just a  single heart tattoo might have been sufficient. I gave her cornrowed hair, with quite an exotic colored yarn mixed in with the hair color I'd chosen, and even created a grandmother Pearl that shared the hair color, some of the features, but no tats or piercings. I made both of them a small quilt as part of the listing.

Both sold for their opening price, in their first listings, and both of them sold for under $20. plus shipping. Barely covered the cost of the materials used, let alone the time. But I was happy, because they were really both more like prototype dolls, than the beautifully finished ones that go for close to $100. occasionally. Didn't make very many other dolls to sell, because like a dragonfly, I flew off in another direction to explore.

I was still teaching school in those years, so the summer was my unpaid vacation time, and one of the few times I could work on things other than schoolwork, without feeling guilty. One of my main criticisms for the job, would be, that there was ALWAYS more and more intrusion by the job into my time for family. By the end, not only was I expected to spend the working day with in excess of 25 children(2 groups of them a day), do tutoring(which I enjoyed) and check work(in the evenings) but the additional expectation of "data mining" reared its ugly head. Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs couldn't have kept up. Don't get me wrong. LOVED being a teacher, most days, and kept at it for 35 or so years, so couldn't have been that unhappy. :)

Now, back to Pinterest. I've discovered several great techniques that I wouldn't have even known about, but also discovered that many times the pins don't hook back to the original info. I'm sure folks who think up an idea about a special way to decorate a cupcake, may not want everyone and their cousin to try to do them in the same way. So then they remove the photo, or rename the page.

So then, I go looking around for other options where the pins don't lead me... in doing that I discovered that You Tube has a number of tutorials on making Zentangles. So, for all of us that learn better by watching and doing. Get some paper, a black fine line marker and click below.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Yikes, it is already March!

February was a busy month for us, as our granddaughter had her 4th birthday. This year our "leapling" had her party on Saturday the 25th, but the celebrations continued until the following Wednesday when there was a pizza party for her classmates, and cake... There can never be too much cake! Don't cha know!

My first pair of zip up the front jeans made an appearance at her birthday party. Okay, I did have to lie on the bed to get them completely zipped up, but I could still breathe and the legs had plenty of extra room in them - which kind of surprised me (in a good way!)

I've been working on a surprise for her. Her hooded towel for swimming this year has a monkey theme. So one day I was looking at it and thought that the middle monkey needed some "monkey britches". Not because I'm a nut about clothing naked animals...but her nickname from me is Monkey Britches. These monkeys were fun to add some bathing suits to, and picking out the fabrics to use was fun as well. I added a shiny bow to the monkey face on the hood, and then had to add some dragonfly charms to the back as well. Time to quit. :) No need to add one thing more. Except some warmer pool water. Before long our pool days will start another wonderful summer!