Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Crafts in the Interim

In the million billion years between when I posted, I was actually still crafting away! Here are some of my finished projects from the past two years.

1. Little Gifts!

So, two years ago when I became a "Big Sister" in my house, as is the tradition, I set my sights on making the very very best crafty gifts for my new "Little Sister". We all received certain materials: a glass vase from ikea, a cardboard box for their mailbox, and then about $10.00 that we would be reimbursed for. 

I decided that for my vase, I would use Modge Podge and this star punch that I got at the dollar store to create a stained glass effect like the picture below.

I was so excited when I had finished the hours of sticky star placement and coats of Modge Podge that I failed to take a final picture.. but use your imagination and it is probably not too hard to guess what it looked like.

My trip to the dollar store also yielded a couple of gems- a small notebook and a metal bucket I thought would be perfect as a pen pail! But they were boring and plain, so I decided to pull out the Modge Podge once again. My Little said that she liked Le Petit Prince, one of my favorite stories, and I thought that would be such a cute theme to use to decorate the pail and notebook. 

Last but not least, the mail box! She liked Pride and Prejudice, and I went pretty gung-ho. 

Oh Mr. Darcy... *swoon*

2. Bracelets

One day, I got the urge to create a number of stackable bracelets... and turned to pinterest for my fix!
My only complaint about this bracelet is that hex nuts aren't all that much cheaper than just buying stuff from Forever21. I am all about making stuff when it is cheaper than buying it, but as fun as this was, I rarely wear this specific bracelet. 

This one I made up myself by simply braiding cord together and braiding beads into the center. 

I gave it to my mom :)

These bracelets were the easiest and cheapest to make and I really like them!

3. Ami Doll

I made this as a birthday gift for a family friend. I winged the pattern and didn't write it down sadly :(

4. Teaching Crochet!

For six weeks this summer I worked grueling 11 hour days as a camp counselor. It was a lot of fun, but also incredibly exhausting. I was privileged enough to work in themed classrooms emphasizing art, cooking and sewing throughout the summer, but my favorite part was teaching crochet! I brought all of my hoarded hooks and yarn to camp and they finally got some use for once! The blue cupcake on the left is one (mostly) made by a darling boy camper much to my glee! He was so enthusiastic about learning to crochet, and especially learning to work in the round so that he could make things from the Amigurumi books I had also brought to camp! When he was done he insisted that we take a picture of our cupcakes together. I made my pink and brown one to serve as a pincushion, but all the kids were sad it had no cute face like the ones in the book. Oh, children. I can't believe I was able to teach the basics to between 7 and 15 campers... especially because I had to teach myself! Paying it forward feels amazing.

Anyway, that is all for now, but hopefully expect more posts soon! I have all the thoughts and pictures and everything all ready and just waiting for me to spend some time on them all.

Until next time!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Obsessed with Amineko

Last summer, I started with a glowing post about how excited I was to finally have time to blog, to really expand creatively... that was over two years ago. So go the best laid plans of mice and men. In that time so much has happened. But, never fear! I may have new yarn, new goals, and new projects, but I still have the same old love for adorable crocheted things. On that note, AMINEKO. Note: I did not make these... yet.

Recently I have become quite enamored of these whimsical little cats. Known as amineko, originating from the mashing together of the japanese words for crocheted animals (amigurumi) and cats (neko), this particular pattern has become enormously popular on craft blogs of all shapes and sizes. They are positively ubiquitous, which is excellent, since they provide the perfect subject for all sorts of cute posed craft photos that I spend hours of my day looking at.. hehehe.

I have started a couple but I never ever ever get past the head and body! On that note... expect a related completed project post soon!

An amazing thing that I discovered is the Hjartekatten project!

This program accepts donated cats from the Amineko pattern (although it has expanded significantly to include Amigurumi of many shapes and sizes). The cats are then given to children who experience heart surgery so that they have a friend who helps them feel like they are not too different and they have someone that they can share with! You can send along a name with them, although there's no guarantee that it will stick, so choose wisely!

Sooooo cuuuuuuuute!!!! You can also make 'sibling animals' for the siblings of children who experience heart surgery, so that they feel included and loved just as much as their sick sibling, who might get a lot of the time and worry of the parents, which I think is incredibly thoughtful. 

Maybe eventually I will get around to finishing one of these cuties.. until then I can dream! Here is the Amineko pattern for those of you more goal directed than I. 

Until next time!

I am back.

Hello. Hello. Hello. It has been two long years since I stopped investing my time into this blog... and I want it back! I am in a new place in my life, in a new city, in an apartment instead of a sorority house, and law school instead of undergrad. I can't promise I will always have more time, or post consistently, but I really want to try. So rather than excuses... content!!!

The largest project that I have ever finished is a blanket. In retrospect, I now realize that I didn't mention it all that much on here even when I was working on it concurrently with the development of this blog!

It is the Hexagon Blanket from Attic24. I was taken with the idea of a large project that I could work on in small pieces for transportability and convenience purposes, but later join together to make a blanket. I also liked the fact that it was not a Granny Square blanket. Here's a picture of her lovely blanket.

You may be able to tell from the difference in diameter between mine and hers that I added an extra layer in white in order to join all of my hexies together! It felt like it took forever... but it worked.

By the time I had enough to join the blanket I had a small mountain of these cute little hexes..

And I was getting really quite tired of people asking me why I was making so many coasters.

I decided the size of my blanket by laying it out on a blanket that is the perfect size for curling up in.

And then tried to arrange them in a pleasing manner... Which turned out to be surprisingly difficult. Although individually, I loved every single hexagon, I ended up feeling like all of the colors together were very overwhelming. So was my determination to avoid making any two of them the same. They ended up not matching at all! It is beautiful in a kitschy way, but without the white to buffer the colors I think it would have been utterly clashing and god-awful. 

To get technical for a minute.. I used the Attic 24 Join as you go method, and adapted it a bit for my purposes. I believe that I did a join every 3 double crochets and on the corners, and for the corners I chained one, joined, chained one, continued the pattern (double crochet in each double crochet, join every 3 double crochet). 

The blanket turned out great, if I do say so myself! I used cotton Sugar and Cream yarn, and it is getting softer and more cuddly the longer my mom has it as her TV blanket. Yeah, I gave it to my mom for Christmas, she cried, not a big deal.

Anyway, that's all for the moment... I have some backlogged posts that I have started and stopped and started again that hopefully I'll be able to get up here pretty quickly, and of course a huge to-do wish list for my crafting desires!

See you guys soon!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Newsy News

Hello again, everyone! Two posts in the same week- it must be summer or something. In all seriousness, I want to be a lot more committed to this blog. I really love blogging, and now that I actually have free time, I want to make sure that I am spending it doing something creative and rewarding, not just spending hours on the internet looking at everyone else's creative creations. So, that being said, I have a bunch of updates about this blog and me and all that jazz!

1. The Owl Feature
My far and away most popular free pattern has been this little guy, and for those of you who actually read my blog rather than just pop in to cut and paste patterns, you may remember that - GASP! I went back to link to the post where I told you guys this, but I never did!!! Ahh sorry! So I guess this is double exciting news. Welll, back in November, I got a Ravelry message from the editorial assistant of UK Let's Knit magazine to use one of my owl pictures for an example of free patterns available on http://freeamigurumipatterns.blogspot.com! Squee! The picture was published in the February issue, and here is the spread!

I felt really famous. Which I am not. But, you know, it's awesome for someone to want to publish you, right? I think it's pretty snazzy.

2. The Socks Picture

I am double super famous, obviously*, because recently this picture was chosen to be featured on the pattern page on Ravelry! DOUBLE SQUEE! I'd like to thank my fabulous Mother for being an inspired foot model. (*le sarcasm.)

3. Tumblr

I have a Tumblr! It's called Mock Turtle Soup, thus the picture above. It's like I have a theme or something.. heheh. A lot of times I want to share cool things I find online, but this is a blog about stuff I do/make and not things I find on the internet. Sooo.. my Tumblr is that! Awesome, beautiful, cool-eriffic things I find on the internet, all in one handy dandy place.

4. The Big Picture(s)
 People who read my blog regularly probably already noticed that there have been a couple of changes in the layout this week! I finally figured out how to make my blog wider so that I could have extra large pictures, and I am so so so happy with the result. Hopefully you guys like it too!

That's pretty much it for now, hope you are all having a fun summer so far!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Fabulous Londinium

HELLO WORLD! It has been another ridiculously long absence, but summer is here and I am officially unemployed, not enrolled in any classes, and living back at home, so I am free as a bird (sort of). I just got back from an awesome trip to London as well! I went with my mom, just the two of us. I had never been to England before (or Europe, for that matter), so it was just amazing. I have a ton of pictures... so I will only put about a quarter ton on here... :p heheh.

Jet lag means waking up at three in the morning and having a cup of tea, looking out through the windows at the dark London streets and wondering what the hours of sunlight will hold.

The first day, we set out at 8 AM for the Royal London Morning tour, via red bus.

The Underground! I loved the tube. It was really clean and fast. Not like BART at all. Thank god.

We took a clipper boat across the Thames to go to the tower of London. Prior to this, an old man on the tour fell down and hit his head, and had to go to the hospital in an ambulance. It was really sad, and we ended up missing all of the rest of the appointed tour groups for the day and the day turned into sort of a mess.

The clipper boat! I really liked the polka dots.

Really liked them a lot.

The Eye of London- a huge Ferris wheel like machine that has views of the entire city- which we were supposed to go on later in the week, but didn't because I was feeling really nauseous :( sorry Mom.

The ravens of the Tower are rather famous. "At least six ravens are kept at the Tower at all times, in accordance with the belief that if they are absent, the kingdom will fall."

These residences were constructed as living quarters for Anne Boleyn. She never got to live in them before she was executed.

Originally the ravens were drawn to the tower by the rotting carcasses in the moat that surrounded the tower. Since the moat has been dry since the early 1900s, the ravens are now kept in the tower by having their wings clipped.

Buckingham Palace!

So, we had a really hard day because of the man falling, waiting for 40 minutes on the dock and feeling nauseous and jet lagged, missing the royal beefeater tour due to ambulance earlier, and getting dropped off in the middle of nowhere by tour bus... and on the way home there was a double rainbow. It was a perfect arch in the sky, and it was lovely.


Tribute to the falcon headed god, Horus. "Horus served many functions in the Egyptian pantheon, most notably being the god of the Sky, god of War and god of Protection." Mythology nerd what whaaat!

 We were shocked by how many fantastic Egyptian artifacts there were at the British museum, and even more shocked when they told us we were allowed to take pictures! It was overwhelmingly cool.

"According to ancient Egyptian myths, the sun (Ra) rolls across the sky each day and transforms bodies and souls. Modeled upon the Scarabaeidae family dung beetle, which rolls dung into a ball for the purposes of eating and laying eggs that are later transformed into larva, the scarab was seen as an earthly symbol of this heavenly cycle."

My patron goddess... Athena. LOVE this bust.

Cute London shops!! <3

Sort of bright happy colors for an occult shop, but hey, what do I know?

On the third day, we went to Kew Gardens. It. was. amazing.

I felt like Alice, exploring a magical garden of huge, strange flowers, lost in another world. 

Heraldic beast statues in front of the Palm House- Gryphon and the Mock Turtle anyone?

BABY GEESE d'awww. They're so cute before they turn into frightening, grown up geese monsters. 

 A bumbling bee

The waterlily pond was something from another world. 

Please explain to me how these lily pads are real.

Temple to Aeolus, god of the wind. The garden had a couple of these temple buildings, known as follies, all over the gardens. They are called follies because they have no purpose.

A wisteria folly. I wanted to stay here forever.

Yummy cakes and things which I did not eat at lunch. I wanted to.. but they were expensive and they were sugary treats so I passed them up.


I did have some delicious sparkling orange beveragey thing though. Yummers. 

This is what a chocolate plant looks like! I was surprised, I had never seen one before.

They also had a random aquarium showing the denizens of one of the water lily pools. I expected minnows or something, but they had a puffer fish! So cute :)

More cute little British shops!

Me crocheting in the Tate museum! I am working on another Juliana Shawl for my mom's birthday. (It already passed, so this isn't really a surprise)


Delicious looking roadside fruit stand!

For anyone who thinks that British food isn't tasty- it really is! I got tired of the sandwiches pretty fast, and I always miss Mexican food almost instantly when I go abroad, but this brunch was fantastic!

London was so different from anywhere I have ever been, and it was beautiful. I was so excited to see things that have become familiar to me through the blogoverse, mostly through Attic24, like the Cath Kidston shop in Portobello Road, and yarn brands like Noro and Debbie Bliss! It was really a fantastic trip, words cannot express. Hopefully the pictures speak to that.

May all your journeys be so sweet as this one of mine has been!