Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rubber Stamps

A friend of mine gave me a gift certificate, or card, to Michael's for my birthday. (Thanks, Sonya!) I decided to get a set of cutting tools to carve stamps and an ink roller. I only had cutting tools for engraving and woodcutting. I tried to do some rubber stamp cutting with those tools, but it didn't turn out as well as I would have liked.

So tonight I tried to make some rubber stamps with my new tools. Here is how things turned out:

Stamps and First Printing


















I made two stamps. The flower was the second one I did. It turned out better than the first I think because the size was larger. I was able to move the tools around the design easier than on the smaller design. These were both from some doodles I did in my sketchbook a while back. Next is a close up of the flower print.
Flower Print
I want to cut out a larger version of this design, but have the flowers alternating back and forth vertically. The printing technique I will try with that design will be silk screening with a freezer paper stencil. I will post pictures of my progress soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pineapple Doily

My grandmother has been crocheting as long as I can remember. She has been making doilies for all the grand children as a wedding gift. And if they don't get married, well she makes them for the bachelors and bachelorettes too :)

I have been searching for some doily patterns to try and take a stab at making them. I want to be able to give my nieces and nephews some when they get married. As old fashioned as that sounds, I really loved getting them as a gift from my grandmother when I got married. It seems like a tradition that needs to continue now that my grandmother has poor eye sight and can no longer crochet.


 (pictures from DMC.com)
A little while ago I stumbled upon a free pattern, left picture, for a pineapple doily over at DMC. They have several free patterns if you want to go and take a look. I just found another doily pattern, right picture today, Cebelia Crochet Shell Edge Pineapple Doily, when I went to find the correct links for this post. I can't wait to try it out.

Here is my progress on the traditional pineapple doily:

The tread is white, not multicolored. Even though after touching up the picture in photoshop, it looks green on one side and pink on the other :) I am on the fourth round of the pineapple pattern. The pattern is really easy to follow. You do a lot of repeating of a set of stitches all the way around the doily. So once you have the new row's first set of stitches, you can easily move around the pattern without to much concentration :)

The tread is a heavier size 10, bedspread weight. I am using a 2.65mm hook. Any smaller of a hook and it would be tough to use the bedspread weight thread, for me at least :) I have a spool of regular size 10 and size 20 that I plan on using for the other doily patterns so I can compare them. For those of you new to crocheting, the size 20 is smaller of the two. In crochet threads, the smaller the number the bigger the thread diameter.

I like how this is turning out. The only problem I have right now is that it will not totally lay flat. But after starching and pinning it should be fine. I have finished 8 rounds and am on round 9. There are 17 rounds total. I was able to whip through about 3 rounds last night in an hour. (I am a slow crocheter.)

I plan to experiment with some Irish Croshet patterns too. I recently picked up some books on thread crochet, two I bought and one I borrowed from the library:

(pictures are from Amazon.com)
I will post more pictures of the trims and doily patterns when I get some progress done on them. In the mean time, I have to cut some fabric up for a friend that is just starting to sew. She will be making decorative pillow cases to match the quilt I am making for her and her husband. In my other spare time, snicker, I want to make a hat and bag set. I have some ideas, but nothing has struck my fancy yet.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Stoli

We had the most wonderful weekend taking care of our friends' pet, Stoli. She is so adorable. We visited her on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We went for walkies. And had some meals together, well, she ate and we encourage her ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just for YummyGoods

Melissa over at YummyGoods posted a lovely fiberglass rooster picture today. I promised to share my own fiberglass-figure-as-a-sign-for-a-business pictures for her. So, here they are:

Carmen Miranda the Zebra

This lovely creature was on top of a roof on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. It belonged to a costume rental business with the name of Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds. I have always liked Carmen Miranda parodies, especially when Bugs Bunny dress like her :)
Lucy in Disguise

Fran's Hamburgers Since 1973
This was also on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. I actually popped in and had lunch at this place. It was just as you would expect a drive in to look like: jukebox, plastic baskets filled with fries coleslaw and a cheeseburger. Ah, Americana... The food was yummy too!
Fran's Hamburgers

Actually Austin has a lot, and I mean a ton, of great neon signs. Below are a couple of my favorites. If you are interested I have a Flickr set of the neon I have shot along my travels.
Docs
El Sol y La Luna II
Chuy's
Staff Theatre

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Vintage Sheet Swap

Well, I finished cutting up my vintage sheets for the flat quarter vintage sheet swap over at Crafty Little Beana. I had to redo one set because I found a hole in the middle of the flat quarter, Doh! It was the green backed flower one in the upper right corner that was the cause of my distress. And low and behold after I cut a second set, I found another hole. Grrrr.... Between the two cuttings I found two whole flat quarters to send to the swap. All is well now and I know the sheets will find new nice crafty homes to belong to :) I can't wait to see what comes back from the swap.

My favorites are the floral prints. I picked all these up at my local Goodwill store in Altoona, PA. My last visit yielded the yellow and yellow-green stripped ones. I think I will make some aprons out of the rest and maybe a quilt too. So many possibilities...

I have used the pink floral and yellow-green floral prints for linings in bags (two in from upper right). This pattern, Silk Pleated & Darted Purse, was from U-Handblog, Lisa Lam. She has great bag making tuts on her site. She also sells bag making supplies. She also posts to a craft business tips clog over on Craft-Boom.



Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kids Quilts

Kids Quilts: Quilts For Comfort makes quilts for siblings of ill children. I recently signed up to help out by making two jar blocks. The fabric for the jar had to have bugs or animals of some kind on it. I had these firefly, or lightning bug, prints in my stash, so I used them. The finished blocks measure 6 1/2" X 7 1/2".

This is the first non-strip type block I have ever made :) It was fun! I hope I can continue to donate blocks to this worthy cause.

Bug Jar Quilt Block

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lion Brand Just Hats Book





I am working on a crochet hat project from the Lion Brand Just Hats book. It is the Babka Hat by Lidia Karabinech on page 39. I started this on my trip to Kansas City. I am using an alpaca wool yarn. It will be a nice and toasty warm hat for the winter. Unfortunately since I am alergic to wool, I will have to also line the hat with a flannel of some kind.

Don't you just love those little bobble stiches? There are five single crochet stitches in a single stitch. You remove your hook from the last single crochet and insert it in the first. Then you do another pull though to create the bobble. I will post back with my progress on this hat as well as the liner installation.