Monday, December 31, 2012

HELLO 2013!!!

While reading several blogs today,
 I decided that I don't wanna look back at 2012, 
I wanna look what's ahead of me...

So today I took inventory of what I need to finish asap...

* Fair isle socks

* Poppies wall hanging

* Curtains for the kitchen & bathroom

* Work on writing pattern for Crochet Along (January 2013) mason jars

Not bad :)

Still looking for my quilting ruler and rotary cutter too...after our move a month ago it "disappeared" :(

So now it's time to say:


Friday, December 28, 2012

Start of the Poppies Wall hanging!!!

Finally, I got some important things that needed to be done squared away today and I still had some hours left in the day to work on my Poppies Wall hanging :)
But first I need to tell you that this chalk tool is AMAZING!!! See it has a little wheel on which the chalk falls out to draw a line. 
I still had it in my sewing box and I refilled it with chalk.
So easy and I don't remember the brand so I took two close up pics for you, in case you want to look for it.
I couldn't find my rotary cutter nor could I find my quilting ruler so I had to cut all the pieces needed for my wall hanger with scissors and measure with my yard stick.
 It took a little longer but it works.
Remember this is the wall hanger I am making.
I set up my ironing board after I finished cutting since I will be needing it while assembling the wall hanging.
Love my iron too, only $30 and it has a safety automatic turn off after 30 seconds!!
I rarely fill my water reservoir in my iron cos I use a spray bottle. It keeps my iron from getting calcium build up everywhere.
Can you see the gold sparkle fabric I found dirt cheap ($2/yd), love it!!
2 hours later the front frame part is assembled :)
It's looking good!!!
Hopefully tomorrow I will have some time again to work on it!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

January 2013 - Crochet Along (CAL)

I need to "pimp up" my work/design space and of course I want it to look cute but functional too so here is the Crochet Along for January 2013.

You can join in or just watch as I will periodically post some of my creations.
Let me know if you want me to write up a crochet pattern.
I used mason jars, the ones with the bigger opening at the top so I can store my hooks in there or my knitting needles.
Cute gifts too or you can use them to save up your coins or...
Some left over cotton yarns and a took my box with ribbons out.
And here are the results:
with a ribbon and flower
And one with just a variegated yarn and ribbon.
I will be making some more that I will be posting here.
So grab your hooks and start spicing up your jars :)
Love to see pictures and feel free to ask questions!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Design Tutorial: Color (wheel)

Let's continue on explaining a little bit about "color"
This is what I use for designing: the color wheel.
I know some of you will say: "how do I use this color wheel?"
It's not that hard so let's start with basics by showing your the color wheel:
Here is an explanation of the color wheel I got from this website:
The COLOR WHEEL has 12 segments that consist of primary, secondary and tertiary hues, or colors.
The three PRIMARY colors are RED, YELLOW, and BLUE. They form a triangle on the wheel. These colors cannot be mixed by combining any other colors. They are indicated on the color wheel with a P.
The three SECONDARY colors of ORANGE, VIOLET, and GREEN (marked on the chart by an S) are created by mixing equal parts of the primary colors they fall in between; ie, VIOLET is the secondary color produced by mixing equal parts of RED and BLUE.
The TERIARY colors are the colors that result from mixing the primary and secondary colors on either side of them: ie, mixing the secondary color ORANGE with the primary color RED results in red-orange. These colors are marked on the color wheel with a T.
Using the color wheel you can determine color schemes fpr balance and harmony in your artwork, webpages, desktop publishing designs or home decorating.
Hue: Hue refers to the, blue, etc.
The primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, or hues, are these colors at their full saturation or brightness; that is, there, there is no white, gray, or black added.
Value: the lightness or darkness of a color, or the relative amount (percentage) of white or black in a hue.
Luminosity, or Lightness: A measure of the amount of light reflected from a hue. Those hues with a high content of white have a higher luminance, or value.
Tints: white when added in increments to any color results in a lighter value of that color, called a tint. Blue and white make light blue, which is a tint of Blue.
Shades: black or gray when added in increments to any color results in a darker value of that color, called a shade. Blue and Black make dark blue, a shade of blue.
Saturation: The degree of purity of a hue.
Intensity: The brightness or dullness of a hue. Iintensity maybe lowered by adding white or black.
* * * * * * * *
Colors opposite of each other on the color wheel are COMPLEMENTARY colors, this means they work very well together (complement each other/balance).
Like red and green, blue and orange etc...
This is just a brief explanation about color and we can incooperate this into our "designs".
For example:
Red and green
I am trying to show you that this is just a tool to help you in designing...
You can also decide to use the rainbow colors, like my blog header of my own hand dyed yarns:
Or like I used the "rasta" colors in my design below:
There are so many ways that I won't be able to cover them all but know that working with the color wheel rules you design will look "balanced" and is "easy" on the eyes...
Be free, it's art so let those creative juices flow...
Have fun and feel free to ask questions!

Design Tutorial: INSPIRATION

In my previous tutorial about designing, I have been talking a lot about things that can inspire you. Today I want to show you that even "fellow" artists can inspire you...
Look at colors, compositions, objects, material use, forms, shapes, texture, techniques used etc...really look look

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest
Source: via Connie on Pinterest
Source: via Suzanne on Pinterest

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas day in our house...

Right, it's Christmas Day and I had these great plans to work on my poppies wall hanging, relax etc..but...nope, not yet so far.

Since we moved last month into this apartment, I kinda put some in places and said to myself that I would make it work better soon. Well, today was the day!

I was so fed up with looking at some bags with fiber in the dining room that I knew that I didn't have any space in the guest/design room to put it. So the only solution to put my mind at ease was to tackle this problem right now big time! This includes moving furniture, reorganizing the transparent big plastic boxes (in the hope some will end up being empty LOL) etc...

First thing to tackle was to unpack the 3 piece large bookcase in the guest room...ugh...I moved the 2 side pieces by myself to the dining room but I needed my hubby to help me with the big piece that goes in the middle. That done, I had to reorganize the bookcases and walk back and forth with stacks of books from one room to the other.

In the mean time, my hubby and the dog decided that they would be better off to go have a coffee at Starbucks instead of staying around in the house...:) which was fine with me! More "freedom" to move things around and less watching out that I don't trip over the puppy. He likes to know what's going on and check everything again which is very challenging to not step on him.

Now 5 hours later, I am kinda satisfied with final looks of the guest and dining room. Let's see if it's also pratical in the next few days. Here is the (temporary) end result picture:

We didn't exchange gifts this year because we decided that moving back to living at the beach was our Christmas present. It's so good to be back and being able to hang out with friends, visit the beach and enjoy our lives out here. I am pretty sure that our puppy Dr. Snuggles thinks the same.

The Verizon Unit (cable/internet provider) is still peeping it's head off since Christmas Eve, screaming that it needs a new battery, that will be fixed hopefully tomorrow by one of their tech guys that will come out and fix it.

From all of us here:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Have yourself a merry little Christmas...

First of all, I like to say to everyone and your loved ones:

So we have that out of the way :) let's get back to creating beauty again...

Besides that I love fiberart, I also love sewing. Not so much clothing but quilts/wall hangings etc., smaller projects so I don't get bored that fast :)

Today I went to Joanns since I have this poppies wallhanging quilt in my possession forever and the Christmas coupons from Joanns made it possible to buy the materials.

It was published a while ago in Sewing Savvy 2008 (discontinued) but if you are interested, thanks to the internet, you can still buy the pattern here for $3.29 free shipping PDF file.

So with the batting I already had in my stash, these are all the materials you need besides some embroidery floss (yellow) and your sewing tools.
  • Top green is for the backing
  • Dark green is for the outer border and binding
  • Yellow is for the inner border
  • Off white with a little gold in it is for the background behind the flowers
  • And the two packages of yellow/red and light to dark green are for the leaves and poppies.
So this is what I am going to be busy with over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Most likely I will not finish it in 2 days but that's ok :)
Again, Merry Christmas everyone!!! Be safe!!! xoxo

Friday, December 21, 2012

Inspirations for designing tutorial

I am pretty much a "loner" or a very quiet "observer" as I like to call it myself :)
I don't like to call myself a "designer", I will leave that decision up to you... 
Love to be by myself, mostly, especially when I feel creative inspiration that day...
On top of that, I have an amazing, loving husband that supports me and encourages me daily.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I first like to say that I dislike people that think that sharing "information" on how to design in our "trade" is like giving away a TOP SECRET document.
Well, I believe in sharing and these days the internet makes it possible for everyone to just "google" about everything you would like to know so why not share?
So I don't mind sharing my "top secrets" it's a free world so if you still have questions just ask me!
Some times I just like to sit somewhere and observe...soon enough my head starts working and the first thing that happens is that I picture the sketch of my new design in my head.
Second I draw out my little sketch book and sketch it out roughly. I might use or I might not. If I forgot my sketch book...well, I write down some notes in my phone.
Some times I just start thinking about all the places/countries I visited throughout the years and try to picture what first pops up as a memory. Than I try to write that down, just words no sketch. At home I will sit down and read through my notes and start translating them into colors or sketch some designs. Some will be executed...some won't...some will sit for a while and some sit for years...
Some times it's one of my friends/customers that tells me something they need/want and ask me to translate it into a design.
Some times I just take pictures from wherever I am or whatever I like.
In the end, there are a lot of ways to get inspired, in my opinion.
Just a package of a product or color combo's used in advertising, magazines, books...anything, you just have to "train" yourself to look different at things. It works for me...
I use these "inspiration" techniques for my knitting, crochet designs, my paintings and sewing.
Today, I have no idea what happened or inspired me but I drew up 22 sketches of designs up...
The only thing I can think of is that I "lost" the stress from the last few months since in the past, I worked way too much, had to orchestrated our move over 150 miles and unpack/settle in our new place. Or as I like to call it "life happened" :)
The sketches I drew up today are probably going to be a combo of crochet, knitting and/or sewing. I just have to work on each one and tackle all the details.
I start with determine the size, material choices, base colors/background colors, subject and finally detailing/accents. It's a process that takes a while, some times days/weeks/months/years. I have a bunch of sketches that just need detailing or a sample that I need to finish but I am married too LOL. There are only so many hours in a day :)
One important thing I learned while starting to design is:
"I can't "force" myself in being creative...I need to let "it" just happen"
"open yourself up to new ideas"
"think outside the box"
Maybe this little "tutorial" on how I get to my final designs helps you...good luck!!!
Need help/second opinion or....? Just ask...
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Remember for those who don't know...
I wasn't born here so...
I will make grammar mistakes or misspell words or..., I don't think I need to apologize for them, since English isn't my first/native language. Just picture yourself living in a foreign will never be a native speaker :)
thank you for understanding and just know: I do my very best to keep them to a minimum!!! :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Preparing for my mug rug sew along tutorial, granny square blanket and ....

For those who follow me on Facebook already know that I almost finished my crochet (granny square) CA King size bed cover.
Just a few more rounds to complete it, so it nicely covers the sides of the bed.
It is a huge project that at a certain stage you can only work on the bed or in a big chair.
Constantly turning it around to be able to keep working on it,
but after finishing 4 previous bed covers (same style, different color combo's) I knew what I was in for...
Blanket is made in Caron One Pound.
Last steps are the finishing rounds, reverse single crochet edge and working in the ends, it will soon be used on our own CA King bed.
Video for single crochet edge:
Puppy Snuggles loves it too :)
He has a fetish for blankets since he was 2.5 months young LOL
Almost done... :)

* * * * * * * * * * *
I finally made some time in the day to get my nails done (last nail tech flaked on me).
Taking care of myself:

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Tonight I found my little stash of fabrics so I can start thinking about combo's, patterns and work on the photo tutorial.
I even found a 2 yard Christmas panel that I still can use to make a Christmas quilt/wall hanging!!!
But that has to wait a little bit since the mug rug tutorial has to be done first.
Here is a picture of the few fabrics I have left, let me know if you see any combo's...

I don't know where I got the Betty Boop Bingo fabric from...????
Did I tell you that mug rugs are perfect fabric stash busters??
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
BTW did you notice that I have 2 blogs so that it is easier for people to follow:
You choose!!! Same posts on each blog so don't worry about missing out :)
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
So this was pretty much my day today...besides the regular errands/wife duties :)
See you soon again and thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NEW SEW ALONG and update on Christmas lights CAL

I have been contacted to hold a sew along here on my blog.
And since I have been looking around to start sewing again without starting on a whole big quilt...
I just want a small project but easy and useful I came up with this.
The idea is to do a sew along with MUG RUGS.
What is a mug rug?
As it says, it's a "rug" for your a blown-up coaster.
You can do all kinds of things with sewing/quilting techniques to your mug rug to fancy it up!
Well, it requires probably me writing a tutorial soon to show you how easy it is. Yes, pictures included but I have to go dig up my fabrics and see if I have to go "shop" to be able to make some.
I don't wanna get in trouble with ownership of certain pictures so you Google "mug rug"
or just click here for examples.
* * * * * * * * * *
Next thing on my list:
the daylight pic of the Christmas lights CAL

I think it looks great!!! :)
* * * * * * * * * * *
I had so much spinning around in my head to share but I am probably too tired cos I can't think of it now... :)
Well if I do I will write another post again soon, sorry
But do let me know if you want me to post about the mug rug tutorial!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I finished the CAL for the Christmas Lights and much more...

Okay, here we go....
TAATAAAAAA...I finished our CAL today and it's hanging from my covered front porch/entrance.
Simple, easy and fast crochet project to whip up in a few days. Don't forget it is PERFECT to use up those small amounts of yarn that we all have laying around somewhere...
My friend Tina finished hers too and send me a picture to share. Thank you Tina for sharing!!!
I love hers too, such a rewarding instant Christmas feeling these lights...
We picked up our first white (flocked?) Christmas tree ever and we love it!!!
Now I am in the "Christmas" mood :)
And like I asked in my previous blog post that I was looking for ideas for my windows for you all? Well I got what I many responses and emails with pattern (links).
Finally I decided to make the ones pictured below for the kitchen windows.
I will start them soon and I will keep you updated!