Monday, May 29, 2006

Yo-Yo Tutorial

First off, trace and cut a whole lot of circles. I used a CD as my template. Blue Trail of Sorrow, (16 top bluegrass gems) was just dandy. How could anyone resist a song with a title like Cotton Eyed Joe or Cruel Willie or Owl Feather or Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven? I'm figurin old timey music suites this project, after all, making yo-yo's was all the rage in the 20's and 30's. It was (and is) a great way to make use of those scraps. Anyway, your CD will make a finished yo-yo just a little over two inches. Obviously any reasonably sized template will do. I think I may try some teeny tiny ones sometime.

OK, on to the next step. Just go right ahead and start stitchin! The hem in this photo is a little wide, but hey, as long as you're consistent, they'll be the same size in the end. Because you're folding the edge of a circle you'll need to ease in a few ripples here and there, but you certainly don't have to snip the edges or iron. Well, at least I don't.

Ok, now we've gone round the circle, so before you pull it tight, turn it right side out.

Don't pull the gathers too tightly or they won't have room to lay flat in the end.

And there we have it! Simply stitch your yo-yo's together in your desired pattern. You're going to start finding them very addictive, because they're fast and I should mention, very portable! Before you know it, you've got a great pile of cute little buttons to play with. It's a wonderful way of trying out different colour combinations. Oh, I should mention, there is no backing involved when you create a bed cover. I'm just working on small projects at the moment, pillows and such, so of course they will lay atop other fabric. Have fun and let me know if you give it a try.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Love those yo yo's

I'm planning on making these into a tea cozy, maybe leave the green out. I had a disappointing hunt for red and yellow fabric the other day. (at my local thrift shop) Out of all of the clothing, bedding, fabric... No cheerful red or yellow cotton. And you know, it's not even thrifty shopping for fabric this way anymore, when they're charging $5, $6, $7 dollars for a shirt or skirt. Time to hunt down the rummage and garage sales I suppose. Anyway, making these yo yo's are a fun way to try out colour/fabric combinations and if my tea cozy doesn't work I guess these will become a pillow.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Will have Warm Feet

Here we go, a little change in colour. It's a popular combination right now, blue and brown, but one I've always liked. I spent a day sorting and organizing of my craft crap on the weekend. I've converted one end of my tiny dining room into a work area. I wanted to post a picture of the before and after, but the after isn't done yet. Seeing as I love interior shots of other peoples homes, studios and work spaces I may as well show mine as well. Soon...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mothers Day Weekend

I was at the beach (Spanish Banks) on Saturday. See downtown Vancouver in the distance? See the sock I am about to perform the kitchener stitch on? They say when you're about to attempt this, you should lock yourself in a room, unplug your phone and tell anyone in the home to not dare interrupt you until you come out. I made myself simplified written instructions ... Front knit off , front purl on, back purl off, back knit on etc. Knitting can be very frustrating, but when you do finally get IT you feel like such a genius!

I love this beach. It's big and open and windy. When the tide is out the kids play on their
skim boards, and the big kids play on their kite boards. See that big green kite? It's ours and yes, I fly it too. If you dig your heels in and lean way back, you can have it pull you a good ten feet! It's a trainer kite, a smaller version of the kites you use for kite boarding, and no, I won't be doing that!

After our beautiful beachy day we stopped at our local garden shop and bought a bag of lady bugs! Yes, 500 wonderful lady bugs to eat the aphids that have invaded the plants on our balcony. We have a yellow rose bush, named Lilly who is very happy now. Oh, I got the idea from Capello at No Appropriate behavior. Go check out her lady bug picture, May 8th post.

On Sunday when I came home from the coffee shop I was presented with this beautiful bouquet of orchids, and an excellent breakfast of crepes with berries and whipped cream. So to you Mothers out there with young children that made you those questionable pancakes on Sunday, just hang in there! I was also treated to a movie and then we hung out at English bay beach for the afternoon.

Now, if you look beyond the beginnings of the new blue and brown sock, across the bay, and to the left . . that was were I was the day before. In this picture I'm at a beach downtown. (Which you can see in the very first picture.) I think I made all of that sound confusing.

For my parting shot you get to see the green socks finally finished. I don't like these socks, I never have and don't think I ever will. I made a lot of mistakes during them too, probably because my heart wasn't in it. Well, I perservered and I'm glad I saw them through to the end, but more importantly, my needles are free for the new socks, which I love so far. Happy belated Mothers Day to those of you who fit the bill.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cherry Blossoms and Embroidery

Such an inconsistent blogger! Here it is one week into May already. Vancouver finally has some beautiful warm, sunny weather. It was a long time coming.

The cherry blossoms in my neighborhood are beginning to loose petals in the gusty wind, and some days it looks like we're having a pink snowfall. The path under the canopy of trees in our little park is now a blanket of slippery pink blooms.

I've wanted to try my hand at a little embroidery and a while back I made this small piece. I discovered that it's just too fine and finicky for my taste. I'll use this somewhere, probably on an apron pocket. I need to erase the pencil marks though. I traced right through the fabric from a drawing I copied. Not the proper procedure, I know, but the transfer paper didn't work well. It just rubbed off in no time at all.

I know there's been some interest in crewel lately and I've also seen some beautiful crewel in a few stores as well. I don't know how many times I've said "I could do that!" especially when I'm not willing to pay for something I really can't afford. So, I traced the pattern from this little vase,

took the drawing to the photocopiers and enlarged it, then using parchment paper and a transfer pencil, the fabric and a hot iron, I got to this stage. Now I had a decent image that didn't smudge!

This is the stage I'm at now. I started off with an embroidery hoop but found I preferred not using one. The fabric is completely puckered. I imagine I pulled the stitches too tight. I don't even really mind the way it looks, but I am considering filling in the background to remedy the situation. Give me your opinion. I'm not sure how much I enjoy this craft, but I'm sure that now I've had a little practice I'll be more likely to use some sort of embroidered embellishment in the future.

I found this little bird I a long time ago in a thrift shop. The full image is at the beginning of this post. I know it's not fine work but I think it has charm and I wanted to post it because it's so similar to what I've been working on.

Cheers everyone and happy spring.