Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back to cardmaking

Oh, I am so glad to have the world wide web for inspiration! Throughout December I was struggling to feel was a good thing that I had a stash of Christmas cards that I had made earlier to use for the card exchange that I was in...or I would have been in trouble!

So I spent most of the month surfing around the web, soaking up all of the lovely projects that are out there that I could see...without feeling the desire to head into my craft cave at all...

But, when the challenge came to use buttons on a card, I knew exactly what I wanted to do! And I ran into my craft cave and did it! (After making a quick run to the craft store for some adhesive, since the ones I had wouldn't hold the buttons on...)

And here we go!

valentine button heart

The cardstock and buttons are from my it a bad thing that using this many buttons on one card didn't even put a dent in my button jar? The stamp is from Katie & Co.

Here is a closer look at the way the buttons are piled on...

button closeup

Isn't that just clean, simple and fabulous?

It was too easy to do...I made the card, this one is a top fold A2 size, I added the pink mat and white front layer, cutting them 1/4" smaller than the layer before, then I traced a wooden heart shape onto the front of the card lightly with a pencil. Originally, I had intended to just fill the heart with buttons, but I did not have the sizes necessary to do that without distorting the heart shape or leaving too many gaps for the look I intended. So...I piled them on top of one another and voila! Fabulousness!!!

I'm linking this little card up to the first challenge over at the new Do You Stack Up? challenge blog...go have a look, they are off to a roaring start!



Knitting projects

So, as my profile states, I dabble in several crafty endeavors...of which knitting is one...

I actually learned to knit when I lived in Los Alamos, New Mexico...I had moved from Kansas, and had left behind a sewing group that was fantastic...we had a monthly sew-in, where we went to a shop from 4pm to midnight, and sewed, chatted and ate all night long. I missed the camraderie and like-minded crafty friends.

So, when I saw the notification of a weekly knitting group in the newspaper, that stated they would teach anyone who wanted to learn, I jumped at the opportunity. And to my surprise, I loved it!

I don't knit nearly as much as I did while I lived there, but occasionally I finish a project, yeah!

This first project was quite a work in progress...I fell in love with the yarn...Sensations, sold in JoAnn's is acrylic, but sooo soft, and not at all itchy, even with the fuzzyness...and it is I bought all the store had in this color, and started a lap blanket for myself....I knew that I didn't have enough yarn, but I figured that the store would restock it, and I would purchase the rest that I needed.

Well, that didn't happen! The store never restocked the yarn! I went to the other stores in town, no good. Then I tried online...still no yarn. I waited half a year, still no sign of the yarn...I was so bummed!

But I really liked this yarn, so I ripped out the afghan, and made myself a scarf.

reversible cabled scarf

I found an awesome pattern online for a reversible cabled scarf, that is really just one big cable...its fabulous! It was quick to work up, and not a difficult pattern at all. When I make it again, I'll actually use larger needles, because the 10.5's that I used actually made a stiffer fabric than I wanted...but I didn't make up my mind about that until the scarf was almost done, so I'll leave this one how it is. I love it!

Here's the clincher though...about a month after I finished the scarf...guess what I saw in my local JoAnn's???? That's yarn! At first I was upset...but then I just laughed, because there is no way that I'm gonna rip out my scarf!!!

Next is my most recent project...I have a favorite pattern book that I turn to any time I want to make a baby you have pattern books like that? My favorite is "Quick Knit Baby Afghans" by Leisure Arts. I have made four or five of the patterns...and have loved each and every one of them.

baby blanket

This blanket has an alternating pattern of knit and purl stitches, that make it look like it is made up of alternating easy, but so great looking! Here is a closer look at the pattern...

baby blanket closeup

I almost always make baby blankets out of cotton yarn, its just a personal preference of mine, I love the weight of the blanket. All of these patterns call for knitting with two strands held together, which is why they come together so quickly. They do take a lot of yarn...usually about 700 yards of both colors.

As far as colors go, I have always used one solid and one variegated...I like the way they blend. I like the colors available in the baby yarns now...they are so much more varied than just pastel pink and's fabulous. What is not fabulous, however, is the million or so ends that I have to weave in when I use those small balls of baby yarn...ugh.

So imagine my delight when I found a huge ball of cotton yarn! And I mean, huge! JoAnn's (and other places) sell Bernat Handicrafter Cotton yarn...and the huge skeins have over 600 yards in even the ombre colors...more in the solid colors! It was great! I made this whole 36" x 36" baby blanket from just one skein of each color!

This blanket now has a new home waiting for the arrival of my newest nephew, due at the beginning of April 2011...he is coming to northern Idaho, so I'm sure that a warm blanket will come in handy!



Monday, January 3, 2011

The last of the Christmas Cards

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted...but I have some projects that I'd love to share, even though they are out of season now...

But the great thing about Christmas, is it comes every year!

My 11 yo son and I were a part of a Christmas card exchange on the Cardmaker's message board...they are so nice to let children participate! He made some great cards...not all the same, like his Halloween ones were, but these all following the same design...

nathan's card exchange

I chose the sketch, he chose the papers and the stamps and the colors...didn't he do a fabulous job?

He did all the stamping himself...I helped with a bit of cutting and adhering the layers...

I made cards for the exchange as well...most have already been posted to the blog, but I have two more to share...

For this one, I was trying to capture an idea that I saw in my wanderings across the web...I'm not totally pleased with the results, so I'll be working on it again next year.

snow tree

For the last one, I tried the brick wall technique from splitcoast stampers resource page...I've wanted to try it ever since I first saw it, and finally did...I love how this card turned out!

brick wall

That's it for the Christmas cards...until next fall, I guess!