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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book Review- All Dolled Up

All Dolled Up: Sewing Clothes and Accessories for Girls and Their 18-Inch Dolls

All Dolled Up by Joan Hinds
This collection of clothing designs for 18 inch dolls and their owners is charming and sweet. The part that impresses me most is the simplicity of construction. Joan Hinds has streamlined a lot of techniques for this collection.
The collection includes dresses, skirts, aprons and accessories as well as tips for scaling designs to suit dolls and girls both. Even the most complicated outfits wouldn't take more than a couple days to make and many of them could be done in an evening.
Skirts include a darling pleated skirt sewn on a pair of old jeans with a matching vest and a tiered gathered skirt.The dresses are wonderful. There is a simple jumper set that's just too cute made with the right fabrics.
The techniques include a method for making straps that doesn't use interfacing and an alternative to basting to gather fabric that is very clever and quick. 
The included video shows the sewing techniques that you'll be using to sew the outfits. Nancy Zieman hosts the video with Joan Hinds. 
Many of the techniques and patterns are things that can be very easily sized up so that Mom and daughter can having matching aprons or dresses and match the doll as well.
It also makes a wonderful introduction to sewing for children who are just getting interested in learning how to use a sewing a machine. The adult can sew the child's dress, and help the child with sewing a matching outfit for their doll. 
A lot of the clothes remind me of the things my mom used to make for me when I was 7 or 8. Classic designs that have stood the test of time, so if you do invest in the book,it's not unthinkable that you would make some of the same styles of clothes for your granddaughter that you might make for your daughter. 
You can get the book directly from the publisher at MyCraftivity.com or you can get it from Amazon here (Amazon is an affiliate link).

Lined Graph Paper

My daughter wants to start cross stitching. If you know The Amazing Turnip Girl at all, you know, she's not one to follow patterns. She'd much rather do her own thing, go her own way.
I used her desire to start cross stitching as an excuse to make a new kind of graph paper.
This is set up to print at 100 ppi. If you print it at that ppi, the darker lines are exactly a quarter inch apart which makes it quarter ruled notepaper as well as being graph paper. This means you can write notes to go with whatever you are using graph paper for on something that's pretty close to being lined like regular notebook paper.
Click on the image for the full sized version.

I have many kinds of graph paper for crafters and beaders here. I think it's probably the biggest collection of free beading graph paper on the net. I'm really not sure. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ribbed Soft Bangle (crocheted)


Originally, I was going to make a wrist wallet for my daughter who doesn't always like to carry her purse or wear something with pockets if she's just going to the convenience store. The idea didn't work out as planned so a few rows in, I decided "bangle bracelet".
That's the one on the bottom. She loved the bangle and has worn it every day since I finished it.

Really easy to make, and I think I'm going to try a beaded variation soon.
Abbreviations:
ch= chain
sc= single crochet
sl st= slip stitch
fpdc= front post double crochet, yarn over,  insert your hook around the post of the dc on the previous row from the front, finish double crochet as usual.
bpdc= back post double crochet, yarn over, insert your hook around the post of the dc on the previous row from the back, finish double crochet as usual.
After the first row of fpdc and bpdc all the fpdcs and bpdcs are worked on the previous row of them which forms the ribbing. It's a very simple technique if you haven't tried it before.
Ribbed Soft Bangle Pattern
Supplies:
Worsted weight cotton (dishcloth type yarn)
Size F hook
Size G hook
As shown, the finished bracelets have a 3 inch inner diameter.
For both bracelets:
Chain 30 loosely and join chain with a slip stitch being careful not to twist the chain.
For different sizes, a multiple of 6 for the top bracelet, a multiple of 2 for the bottom.
With F hook
Round 1-5: Ch 1(does not count as first stitch), sc in each stitch around, sl st to join.
For the bottom bracelet:
Switch to G hook
Round 6: ch 2 (counts as first dc), dc in back loop of each stitch around. Sl st to join.
Round 7: ch 2 (counts as first dc), fpdc in next stitch, bpdc in next stitch, alternate fpdc and bpdc all the way around, ending on a fpcd. Sl st to join.
Round 8: ch 2 (counts as first dc), fpdc in fpdc of previous round, bpdc in bpdc of previous round. Repeat all the way around ending with a fpdc, sl st to join. 
Break off yarn leaving a long (at least 14 inches) tail. 
Fold the tube in half with the single crochet rows on the inside and the ribbing on the outside. Stitch closed all the way around working in the back loops of the ribbed rows and through the beginning chain on the single crochet side. Weave in all ends.
For the top bracelet:
Switch to G hook
Round 6: ch 2 (counts as first dc), dc in back loop of each stitch around. Sl st to join.
Round 7: ch 2 (counts as first dc), bpdc in next 2 stitches, fpdc in next 3 stitches,* bpdc in next 3 stitches, fpdc in next 3 stitches*, repeat ** around ending with 3 fpdc. Sl st to join.
Round 8: ch 2 (counts as first dc), bpdc in all bpdcs, fpdc in all fpdcs. Join with sl st. 
 Break off yarn leaving a long (at least 14 inches) tail. 
Fold the tube in half with the single crochet rows on the inside and the ribbing on the outside. Stitch closed all the way around working in the back loops of the ribbed rows and through the beginning chain on the single crochet side. Weave in all ends.

You can vary the ribbing counts to make different styles. It makes a nice, chunky soft bangle bracelet. 


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Racing Recipe Set for Rosemary

I love the alliteration.
I hope you like this set that I drew up for a dear friend. Click on the images for the full size 100 ppi versions.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Elephant Box- new size!


This box takes 2 sheets of cardstock and measures 3 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 3 inches deep. It's just the right size for this little elephant!


You can get the crocheted elephant pattern either from Ravelry or from my Etsy shop for 2.00. The blank templates is available from my Etsy shop for 1.60.

The cute box is available here for free! Click on the images for the full sized versions, print at 100 ppi.





I hope you like this as much as I enjoyed making it. The elephant was a lot of fun to draw. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Threadless!

Okay.. I don't do the Threadless posts often, but *love love love* a bunch of their current designs, and since they are new, they are in stock in all sizes.

I Was Here - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Total love. I ordered this one. I also have the Red Riding Hood design by the same artist. One of my favorites. I wanted Bat and Rob too.

A Walk in the Clouds - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Isn't that pretty?

Don't Care Bears - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Also full of love for this design. It's so very the sort of thing I'd have worn in the 90s. I may get one to wear to the gym.

Comic Book Collectors Have Many Issues - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Too true.

RED - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
I do have this one. Actually, I have multiples of this one. One of my favorite designs.

Dreams of Flying - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Another just for the pretty.

Okay.. off to go buy teeshirts. At least a couple. Totally getting the coffee one. Deciding what other shirt I'll splurge on as well.

Book Review- Collage Playground

Collage Playground: A Fresh Approach to creating Mixed-Media Art by Kimberly Santiago is full of wonderful layering and mixed media techniques for creating collages. Several steps beyond anything you may have done in school, these techniques would also apply to rubber stamping and scrapbooking very well.
She uses old textiles, scanned images and lots of color to create these works of art. The beginning has instructions for the techniques used, followed by projects. Because of the nature of the pieces, and because it is an art book, the projects are starting points rather than hard and fast step by step projects. They give you ideas for ways to piece, layer, and create your own collages.
My favorite project in the book is the Anatomy of a Flower, using simple techniques in an elegant way, it's the most inspirational for me. My favorite technique in the techniques section is weaving. The use of old textiles in the books just thrills me as well. There is a vase full of flowers made with vintage handkerchiefs that comes in as my second favorite. It's bright, colorful, cheerful and the technique would work just as well with scraps of vintage floral fabrics from old treasured dresses. Or for that matter, it would work if you abandoned the flowers/vase theme altogether and designed something of your own based around your scraps.
It's a lovely book, lots of colors and ideas. It reminded me of how much fun collages were to make as a teen, and showed me a lot of ideas for playing with them as a grown up.

My son, who has never done any collaging, really liked this book and has been collecting pop culture ephemera to make his own collages. So that's a bonus. I love seeing my teens inspired to create.

You can buy the book directly from the publisher at MyCraftivity.com or by clicking the Amazon.com link above.The Amazon link is an affiliate link and helps pay some of the costs of maintaining this site.

Printable eagle box


This box is a bit out of the ordinary for my usual posts. Most of my designs are made and tested at 100 ppi which makes a nice small file for the web and still works fairly well for most of my designs. Every once in a while, I do one at 300 ppi. This template is one I didn't even have in 300 ppi until today.
I was trying for a faux leather effect, and that's the other difference between this and my more usual fare. It's very ink intensive. I do like how it turned out though, and my test model was made from the PDF so I could see exactly how the PDF would print out.

You can get the PDF here. This is the biggest file I've ever posted here, and will take a few minutes to download.  The reason I made it such high quality is that eagle was a long way away, I didn't want to resize the image to fit the box. 
I hope you like it. The pdf also includes one of the photos I took of that eagle if you want to use the image for anything else.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Kindle Graphite DX/K2 comparison

Well, I wanted it very very much. I didn't much want a DX when they first came out because they were so big, but I read a lot of craft and cookbooks on my Kindle, and the graphics are very small and not always clear on K2. Then they made the DX in that pretty graphite color with improved contrast.
How improved is the contrast? Well, the light grey is just a little lighter, the dark grey/black is a lot darker.
Taken with flash, click on the image for a bigger version. I wanted to take it in normal daylight conditions, so naturally, it's been very very cloudy.

As you can see, the graphite does have a lot bigger screen. It won't fit as easily in a purse, but a netbook bag would fit it perfectly. The contrast is much improved, and there is room for text under the graphic. The graphic in this case is one that is made to fit the K2 screen, but I'm very happy with how clear it is on my graphite.
The book shown is a short one I wrote about how to make brick stitch earrings that has some earring patterns and diagrams/instructions for making brick stitch earrings.

I read with my legs curled up under me and my book or kindle balanced on my knees, so the larger size won't be an issue there. A lot more text on each page, and it still fits just fine on the lip of the exercise equipment I use at the gym.
The biggest issue for me so far is the buttons, instead of having buttons on both sides, the DX only has them on the right side, and I'm left handed. That shouldn't take too long to get use to though.
The battery still charges at a decent rate, and still holds a charge for a long time. The different Whispersync connection is a little iffier, my K2 is a K2US. If I'm in the wrong place in the living room, I don't get nearly as fast a connection. But I just have to move a few feet and it's fine.
I'm very happy with it, and the slight connectivity issues I'm having probably wouldn't be an issue in a bigger city.
 This is the book I used for the side by side comparison if you're interested. I recently lowered the price to 2.99 after Amazon changed their royalty structure.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A printable box with a special story


The perspective makes the box look kind of small, it's a 3x3x1 inch box.


A little over 15 years ago, I started an afghan made up of lots of solid color yarns from garage sales, thrift stores and gifted stashes. It's all acrylic yarn of course, got as cheaply as possible. I crocheted hundreds of 3 round granny squares, edged them in single crochet with black yarn which mostly did have to be store bought. The squares are set on the diagonal which creates a nifty looking zig zag edge on all sides.
It took forever. It fits a queen sized bed nicely. 
15 years and 1 day ago, a week overdue to deliver my child, I became absolutely convinced that she wouldn't be born until the blanket was finished. I was frantic to finish. I called a friend to take me to get the last of the black yarn I needed. I worked through the day and halfway through the night. Finally.. it was done. It was as pretty as I thought it would be. Reminiscent of stained glass, somewhere around 40 colors of yarn total. Some only one or two squares of a specific color. No two squares next to each other in the same color. 
15 years ago today, my daughter was born.
Happy Birthday Queen of the Turnips. 
(she still sleeps under that blanket, which she absolutely considers hers) 

ETA: the knitting needles in the picture are a handmade pair that's very nearly done that I'm giving her for her birthday. I will be posting the pattern on Beadwork at BellaOnline when they are done. But not today. Today we celebrate!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Polka Dot Semi-circle close box

I haven't done a polka dot box in a while. This is a new size of an old template, and it's one of a set I'll be putting up on my Etsy soon. I'll bundle up a few different sizes in this style.
Click on the images for the full size 100 ppi versions. I did a couple different colorways, but if you have a request for a specific color, just let me know. The finished size is 2.8 x 2.8 x 1 inch deep.





I hope you like them! I'll post it on the Don't Eat the Paste Facebook page when the template set is up on Etsy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book Review- Sewn Spaces

Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces: Fresh and Modern Projects for Your Life and HomeSewn Spaces : Fresh and Modern Projects for Your Life and Home by Joel Dewberry is a book full sewing projects that showcase lovely prints to decorate your home.
Most of the projects are very simple even for someone who is an absolute beginner at sewing. The emphasis is on the fabric, not in fussy construction techniques and the introduction has instructions for the various skills and techniques you'll need to know to complete the projects.
The simplicity of the ideas combined with great colors and palettes is inspiring. From the first couple of projects which are appliqued cards, and going to more involved pieces, almost everything in the book can be completed in an evening to create one of a kind decor items for your own home or making a perfect gift.
One of my favorite projects in the book is the bird sachet. The shape reminds me of the pretty little felt doves that my great aunt made for everyone in the family for Christmas trees one year, but they are updated and made usable throughout the year by using brightly colored flowered prints for a very folk charming appeal.
There are lots of good projects in the book. Some wearables that are actually wearable. Designs that look modern and fresh. The home projects are good ones.
My favorites are the pocketed memo board, the butterfly mobile, the very roomy farmer's market tote, and the quilt and pillow cases.
You can get this either from MyCraftivity.com or by clicking below from Amazon.com. The Amazon link is an affiliate link and helps pay some of the costs of maintaining this site.
Sewn Spaces on Amazon.com

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Currently working on..

We are a household full of summer cold coughing, and we wound up missing the 4th of July fireworks because of it. It's a symphony of sick punctuated by sneezes.
So mostly for the last few days, I've been curled up reading or watching dvds with my darling husband and crocheting tawashi for my dad's house.
I didn't keep track of how I made any of them though, so expect patterns when I feel better enough to count up the rows and figure it out!
I also made this little snail. I'm very happy with the spiral on the shell, less happy about the body, so the design still needs some work.

And I used one a bead made by a local artist I like quite a bit in a necklace. 

You can find more of her work at Fish Lips and Bird Teeth Studio. Kelly very occasionally does magpie pieces that I adore. Her ravens are full of awesome and humor. This eyeball was one the little beads she was selling at a bead show in October. I got 4 of them and have been hoarding them for the right piece. I really like this necklace. 

Off and on I'm working on a Kindle book collection of recipes for a sandwich maker. It's lemonade out of the lemons of my oven still not being fixed. He did promise it would be repaired by Thanksgiving. Until then, well.. I'm working on adapting some quick bread recipes and other things to making them in a little sandwich maker. And debating getting my toaster oven back from my dad. 
Speaking of Kindle books, they changed the payment structure for them, and I reduced the price of my brick stitch Kindle book Basic Brick Stitch Earrings. It's 2.99 now. 
If you are interested in writing your own Kindle cookbook, craft book etc, I have a tutorial written for coding for Kindle format. You can find that here. It's completely free. I'd love to see more people use Kindle self-publishing for crafts and recipes. It's a lot of fun, and one of the easiest ways out there to self-publish. I have a bunch more mini-cookbooks planned. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cupcake Box- 4th of July printable

Another printable cupcake box. If you haven't seen these put together yet, check out my first one here.
The inserts are the same for both boxes, and print two to a page. To make two boxes, you print out one page of the inserts and 2 each of the top and bottom pieces. Click on the images for the full sized version.









Threadless sale and new Kindle

Alice's Sewing Basket - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
One of my all-time favorites reprinted. I don't have this one yet, but for Alice fans and people who sew, it's wonderful isn't it?

Heroes In An Art Shell - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
And Michaelangelo is a party dude!

Put the Needle on the Record - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever
Only a few of these left, but isn't it just a great design?

Shakespeare hates your emo poems - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

The new Kindle? I didn't think I really wanted a DX. I sort of wanted one. It seems like it would be nice, but my little Kindle 2 was just fine for me. Well. I was wrong. Because the new DX is *black*. And it's so pretty with improved contrast and after I saw it, I started telling everyone in my family how much I wanted it. Really really truly.

Isn't that gorgeous? Well.. hopefully my yelling "WANT WANT PRETTY NEW KINDLE!" was enough of a hint.

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