Thursday, March 29, 2012

Plum Perfect & All Good Fun

Quick as a bunny, I just want to share today, all I've been up to lately, crocheting, scrapping, and art journaling...  just a little bit of everything really!

First, those who know me best, know that I'm a big fan of Harry Potter, the movies, and the books!  Well, I finally got around to making myself the Luna Lovegood's Crocheted CardiganHERE'S where you can find the pattern, and here is what it looks like in the movie...

I just love Luna, and I have to admit, while I have many favorite characters, I may relate to her more than any other character in the stories/movies!  She makes me laugh, and in turn, hopefully, helps me to laugh at myself!..

Well, first, I thought I'd go with the same exact color Luna is wearing, but then both Dear Daughter and I agreed the darker shade of purple looked better on me personally.

I used Caron Simply Soft, in Plum Perfect!  I LOVE this color, and am very tempted to use it in a purse too, when I can get around to it anyways.  The pattern suggests making crochet-covered buttons, but when I saw these buttons, I knew they were just perfect for me!

I picked these up from Walmart, and I just loved the smoky gem-like quality and colors.  I couldn't have possibly matched them any better than this, so I was excited to find them!  The pattern called for the use of 4 or 5, but I went with using all six!

While I'm still only thinking about the purse, I did manage to make a matching headband and scrunchie.  There was terrible lighting when taking this picture, but you get the gist...  Plum perfect, I think, in Perfect Plum!...   Now tell me..  Do you think I should make a charm necklace, not only to match, but to keep away the "Nargles"?!

Recently, I quick made a couple pairs of earrings, this time not in plum, but in white, and then red.

Update: Having been asked, I'll add that you could start with any doily/snowflake pattern to make earrings like the white you see here.  I will have to make adjustments myself to make a smaller 2" size.  But for the earring you see here, this is how I made the white 3" hoops:

I used size 10 crochet thread, (OR you could use embroidery floss), and I think I used a size 3 hook. (Just remember, your tension may be different than mine, and you may need to adjust accordingly.)
Round One:  Chain 3, 12 sc in second ch from hook.  Join to complete the round.
Round Two:   Chain one, sc in first st, chain 3, (sc in next st, chain 3) around, till you have 12 sc and 12 chain-3 spaces.  Join to complete the round.
Round Three:  sl st up to next chain 3 space, (chain 3, 2 dc in same space).  From there 3 dc in each chain-3 space around.  Join to complete the round.
Round Four:  Chain 1, sc in first st, (chain 5, skip next st, sc in next st) around.  Join to complete the round.
Round Five:  Sl st up to middle of next chain-5 space, make a sc through both that space and the hoop earring.  Crochet 6 sc onto JUST the hoop.  Then (make a sc through both the next chain 5 space AND the hoop, proceed crocheting another 6 sc onto JUST the hoop) around till you complete your way around the hoop (till you have 16 spaces actually attached to the hoop, and a total of 16 groups of 6 sc between all those attachments)... Make sense?  I hope so, but see photo, if not!  (0;  Fasten off.  Weave in ends.  I added just a dab of E600 glue to hold the ends of my stitches in place.

The red earrings are simply done in single crochets around the hoop.  Actually, it's hard to see, but I did two rows on this pair.  Both pairs are a good size, 3" in diameter, but surprisingly light!  Personally, I really only get away with wearing these, just when my hair is down.  I love them, really, but would like to make more in a smaller size...   maybe a 2" hoop next time around?...  for those ponytail days!  If you're interested, I did find a link to a YouTube video, where there is a great tutorial in which you can crochet right along with Jess, a very talented teacher, right HERE.   You can also find her website HERE.

"Anyway, my mum always said, 
things we lose have a way of 
coming back to us in the end."
(Luna Lovegood)

I've really been having fun, art journaling as much as I can lately.  I loved coloring, and drawing, ever since I can remember.  While painting is very new to me, and my work proves to be primitive, I'm sure, I'm still having lots of fun learning it, and I'm so glad to have rediscovered ART in general!  Here are a couple of pages I've done in my Book of Days journal.

Recognize the Andes Candies wrapper-paper I made?
  I've been using it!

Here's a face I started.  Right now I'm working with horrible paint brushes, and the cheapest of paints; but the more experienced and comfortable I feel with it all, as I go, the more I'll look into buying the more expensive necessities.  A pad of watercolor paper would be really nice, someday, as you can see how my composition-notebook paper bubbles up the way it does.  Shading will come MUCH easier when I buy the proper supplies as well...

I don't know...  
Do you think she'd look better with hair? 

Here are a couple of pages from my Life Is A Verb art journal...  These are a little more scrapbook-ish, than any kind of lessons learned in painting...  But they were fun to do!

The book, Life Is A Verb, is by Patti Digh.  Both this art journaling class, and Book of Days, have been hosted by Effy Wild, at  Love & Glitter!

A new art journaling class I've just recently joined in on is "Mind. Body. Soul.", at Words of Me Project!  Yes, now I have THREE art journals going at once, but here's the shabby chic cover I had fun making for this one...

Here are a few of the pages I've done so far...

Leslie's posts and prompts have been wonderful, and I highly suggest this course for anyone wishing just to get the feet wet with something like art journaling!

LOVE this tea set graphic from The Graphics Fairy!

Here was a very good prompt, I thought.  The dream may seem small, but at least it's an attainable one for me, at the moment!...  a very necessary one, in fact!  Here, I dream of cleaning up my little craft corner, which has turned into a gigantic mess!  Leslie shares how dreams can come true, by way of "micromovements".

Well, this covers everything for now, with the exception of some "happy mail" I've recently received!  I participated in a Twilight Altered Composition Notebook Swap, over at Mini Album Scraps!  I made one notebook for myself, and three others to send out.  Here's the one I made...

And here is the group of them I now have!...

What gorgeous work from all the girls at Mini Album Scraps!  I love every one of these books I received, and can't thank them enough!  The swaps are always so much fun there, and Lisa runs a tight ship, bless her heart.  NO "flakers" allowed in her swaps!  

My gosh, is that enough for today, do ya think??!!  I knew I'd better post it, because "hippity, hoppity", Easter and MORE projects are on the way here, and I hope to be posting again soon! 

Have a great day,
and thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On A Roll?

No..  Just raisin bread today!..  

But I do seem to be on a roll as far as productivity goes!  I only wish my productivity didn't keep me UP until 3:30 in the morning!  I started this bread sometime last night...

and I hesitated, wondering if it was too late to start it or not; but of course my good sense (ahem) told me, "Awwwww, go ahead!", and so I did!

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love THIS RECIPE, and many thanks to The Pioneer Woman for sharing it.  It was very easy to do, but with what fair amount of TIME it takes...  to let the dough rise, and rise again, and THEN bake...   Let's just say, I simply know better now to start this at an earlier hour!  Come morning, Dear Son and I did have some for breakfast, and it was delicious! 

Moving onto the topic of crochet, I just finished this little somethin-somethin I was working on for my kitchen.  I had trouble with one pattern, and unfortunately had to toss that small waste of yarn into the garbage can; but then I remembered the mandala pattern, from Crochet with Raymond.....

and the finished result was exactly what I envisioned all the long!  I had a black vinyl seat on this kitchen/bar stool I have, that was just starting to show some wear and tear; and you can imagine how the black electrical tape I used to fix it was a bit unsightly, so I decided to crochet a cover for it.

Once I found the right pattern I liked, simply altering it with a side, and a hidden drawstring closure at the bottom, I was able to whip this up in no time at all, and I'm really happy with it!  Now, I'm just wondering if I should make a second one, for when I have to wash this one.

Anyways, as I was waiting for my bread to bake late into last night, I had fun just dabbling in my journal with some paints, markers, stencils, and all that sort.  As I was flipping through the t.v. channels, I was inspired by a sermon aired on t.v. just recently, where the topic was remembering to take good care of the kid in you.

So this is what I put to paper after having seen that.  I also did another little quick and simple spread, remembering one of my very favorite lines in the book, by Kathryn Stockett, and movie, The Help.

Just a little somethin' we ALL should remember!
 Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Stop and Listen

"Stop, stop and listen for the bough top
Is whistling and the sun is brighter..."

I do love a sweet Saturday morning, so peaceful, with my cup of hot coffee to slowly savor; and while a cold, crisp Winter air still blows, the sun pays no mind to that, shining brightly through my window.  I'm so glad for this time that I can stop everything, rest for the moment, just to hear the birds chirping and chattering, clearly as appreciative of this beautiful morning as I am!

As usual, I've been so busy, during the days, so much to do and keep up with, but in my free time at night, after dinner, I love to visit as many of my Blogland friends as possible.  From there I make myself comfortable, with a pot of tea close by, or maybe a glass of wine, and I crochet, craft, work in my art journals, watch a movie, or read.  These are the quiet moments that absolutely save me, rescue me...  all of us, really, from the hectic demands and schedules a day can bring on.  Thank God for this quality, quiet time at the end of a day!

I have finally finished my Wool-Eater afghan, and thank goodness for THAT!  It is HUGE, measuring approximately 62" x 72"; and because of it's size, it was becoming difficult to work with, getting so large and now heavy!

I am so happy with it though!  It was an intimidating project to take on, I thought, at first; but every night I worked on it, the time and effort spent was very relaxing to me, and I enjoyed every minute I put into this bright menagerie of colors and memories.  Last post, I left off working with rounds in shades of pink and magenta, for Valentine's Day.  The next two rounds of green were for, again, a fresh beginning; but this time, these shades of green were meant for my daughter and her husband-to-be, as they just purchased their first home together!  Rounds 23 and 24, were done in white and black, to symbolize a checkered flag, and the two days it took this year for the Daytona 500 race just to commence!  

I was sad to find out that yet another musical talent had passed away in the time I was making this afghan, on February, the 29th.  I loved watching The Monkees on Saturday morning television, when I was a kid, and my favorite song by the group being "Last Train to Clarksville"!  But my favorite song by Davy Jones was "Girl", which was a single he recorded after the Monkees officially disbanded in 1971.  To promote the song, he performed it on an episode of The Brady Bunch, and the words of the song just caught me hook, line, and sinker!  I still love that song, and wish I had it among the small collection of 45's that I still keep!  In memory of Davy Jones, and this particular song, I made a round of bright and sunny yellow, to remember the following LYRICS, "Girl you brought the sun to me", that meant so much to an impressionable young girl with very little sunshine or confidence in herself as of yet...  (See the video HERE.)

Finally, Rounds 26 and 27 are done in shades of purple, in which I found such a fitting color stood for both creativity and nostalgia...   What a perfect way to finish my handmade blanket of memories!  A special "Thank you" to Sarah London, for the crochet-along pattern, and the inspiration to make this afghan!

It wasn't long before I found another quick little crochet project I'd been wanting to try!  This little guy...

my new crocheted rooster, comes by way of a pattern/tutorial from Luna at My Crochet, Mis Tejidos, which you can find HERE

I found a special place for him in my kitchen, where I keep various other roosters I collect.  Here he is hanging near a quilted project I made some time ago, inspired by Debbie at Ribbonwood Cottage!

I've done some art journaling, most often AFTER I crochet or craft, to both reflect, and then wind myself down for the night..   Here's an angel I painted.  She is simple, and looks very schoolmarm-ish to me, but I love how she came out!

Here's a quick little painting I did inspired by the snowfall we had on March 1st.  I miss the yard I used to have, in which I remember making snowmen with my kids...  hence the feelings I put onto paper, remembering to be thankful for what I DO have.

Here is a journaled-collage of things that bring me "joy".

I've even made some of my own homemade-decoupaged paper...

recycled from Andes Candy wrappers, for St. Patrick's Day projects!  I'm not even sure yet, but I think I will be using it for paper beads, and various other paper/art journaling purposes.

Recently, I received some happy mail, from my swap partner Elizabet, for the Tag A Month Swap, hosted by Creations By Tee.  The theme for March was either St. Patrick's Day or Spring, and here is the very pretty Spring-pastel tag she sent to me.  I love it, and even the very cute bird-stamped paper she wrapped it in too!  Thank you so much Elizabet!

I, of course, combined the two themes, and put together this tag for the month of March!  I am hoping she's received it by now, and hope she likes it!

I am so happy, when I can, to find the time to bake.  Before you know it, the warmer weather will be here, and it will become to hot to run the oven; so I am doing my best to take advantage of the time I have now!  I just wish I had a bigger freezer to keep all my homemade goodies in, but oh well.....

Don't these look delicious?!  Here are some Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins I made most recently.  We love how these came out; so this recipe is a keeper, and if you'd like, you can find it right HERE!

Now, here you see I even tried my hand at making homemade Orange Marmalade for the first time!

It has a bit of a tart taste to it, as I had trouble converting kilograms to American measurements in terms of cups...  But I'm happy enough with it, for my toast in the morning, and would definitely make it again sometime.  It was really very easy!  You can find the recipe HERE!

So, there you have it...  Just some of what I've been up to lately!  I started to crochet a little something for my kitchen last night, but found the pattern to be difficult to follow, so I am trying another pattern instead, sometime later today.  I hope to do some baking as well, as the colder weather today will be more suitable to do so.  Then, hopefully, we will be able to spend some time outdoors, in the nicer, warmer weather tomorrow.   

Thanks so much for stopping by today, 
and hope you're enjoying your weekend!