I Dream Of Crafting Blog

the super cool stuff I make

Home Sweet Home August 21, 2010

My lack of posts this summer would make it seem as if I’ve either, not done anything at all, or done so much I haven’t had time to post.  It’s a little bit of both.   In June, MrNTR and I and went on a small holiday to Oslo, Norway and I had another mini holiday in July/August with my best friend.

Opera House

Oslo was AMAZING!  We had a great view of the Opera House from our hotel.  I think I took this picture close to 11:00 at night.  I never saw it get dark while we were there and I usually went to bed about 12:00am.

I also bought some yarn.  I only found two yarn shops in Oslo and even though one of them was really small, they both had an absolutely stunning selection of brightly coloured yarns.  I wanted to get several colours to do some colour work, but it was just too expensive.  It took quite a while to decide between a bright pink and this bright blue and I’m very pleased with my choice.  I plan on using it to knit the Shalom Cardigan.

Per Tryving pt3

As I said, we moved in June.  In the move I acquired a craft room, so have been quite the busy bee this summer.  The main problem I’ve been having is the motivation to finish projects, mainly because I start sewing or knitting a cute summer clothing project during a two-day sunny streak, then it rains for the next month and my motivation is washed away in the rain.  Now I’m thinking about my autumn and winter wardrobe, so they may be unfinished until next spring.  However, I have finished a couple of projects for the new flat.

The first is an improv hanging hand towel I knit up during the World Cup.  Oddly, I enjoyed watching the US vs England match and the one where England got kicked out.  The towel was knit with a double seed stitch and a garter stitch border.  I don’t remember the number of cast-on stitches or anything, I just knit until it seemed like I was going to run out of yarn, did some dramatic K2Tog decreases and made a little fold-over tab with a yarn over button-hole.  I used exactly one ball of Lily Sugar’n Cream Stripes (colourway 21114).

My best friend came to visit, which was my second mini holiday, and I wanted to be sure everyone could lounge comfortably in the living room.  Our new flat only has a three seat sofa, so we could all technically fit, but it’s not always the most comfortable.  Since there really isn’t any room to add more furniture, my second project is a solution to a small living space – a floor cushion from Amy Butler’s In Stitches.

I am in total love with this fabric!  I bought it to make the floor cushion, but it only became a floor cushion in the end because I got a veto from MrNTR when I draped the fabric around myself and asked, “Do you think it’s too much for a dress?  What about a skirt?”  Needless to say, he answered ‘Yes’ to both questions.

As a floor cushion, it’s comfortable, though I think I need to add more stuffing.  Floor lounging would also be more comfortable if I made the second, longer cushion to go with it.  My favorite way of using it is propping the gum drop pillow* behind the floor cushion and leaning against the two.  It works well on the floor propped up against the sofa, or on the sofa, which is so comfortable it makes seam ripping a little less frustrating.

I also got a crafty souvenir on my bff mini holiday.  Can you guess where we went?

*After some wear and tear, I can say that if you make the gum drop pillow, make it with a heavy cotton and reinforce the seams at the top.  I’ve had it bust open in a few different spots and beanbag innards are not fun to clean up.

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Big Damn Heroes July 11, 2010

It’s definitely been awhile, which is not because I haven’t been busy, because I have, but as I said in my previous post I’ve been gift crafting.  Over the last month I’ve been crafting for a Firefly Swap on Ravelry.  Now that my spoilee has received her gifts, I can tell you about them.

I found out about the swap a while ago and had been coming up with various ideas for it, a Jayne hat inspired coin purse with chocolate coins in it, a Simon “medical kit” that included essential things any knitter needs, a few cross stitch ideas around various characters, a pink handbag for a shindig, bottle cap stitch markers for each crew member, and a few other that seem to have slipped my mind.  Once I received my swapper and did some stalking, I only used two of the ideas, the pink handbag and the stitch markers and I added a little project book, an embroidered bookmark and a variation of the Jayne hat.

The handbag is, big surprise, an Amy Butler pattern; it is the Clutch Handbag with Fabric Flower from In Stitches.  My version does not have the flower and I added a little fake button made out the lining fabric.  It was very easy to make, the only other modification I made was with the interfacing.  A lot of the patterns in In Stitches call for a very heavy interfacing called Timtex.  I don’t know if they sell it in the UK, they definitely don’t sell it at my local craft shop, so I used two pieces of heavy interfacing instead.  I’ve never used Timtex to compare, but the two pieces of heavy interfacing seem to have worked just fine.  The only other change I would make if I made it again would be to add some little pockets to the divider for a phone, keys, lipstick, whatever a lady doesn’t want to rummage around for at the bottom of her bag.  You can never have too much storage in a handbag.

Shindig Clutch

The idea for a handbag came to me from Kaylee’s cupcake dress in the episode ‘Shindig.’  The fabric I chose for the lining is also a reference to Kaylee and the bright floral shirts she wears.  It also has an element of Oriental style to it, which fits in perfectly with the Firefly verse.  Conveniently, one of my spoilee’s favorite characters is Kaylee and her favorite episode is ‘Shindig.’

Shindig Clutch Lining

Remember when I made stitch markers a few months ago?  Well, it was all part of my plan to make Firefly bottle cap stitch markers.  I wanted to get the hang of jewelry making to see if it was a reasonable project to undertake.  I’m not terribly good at jewelry making, but I think they turned out quite well considering.  I wanted to do more with the beads to make them themed around each character a bit more, but I couldn’t afford that kind of attention to detail.  However,  my small stash of beads did include a little leaf for Wash and an ‘autumn’ flower for Zoe.  I also tried to match up the bottle caps other people kindly donated (thank you everyone) to each character.  I don’t remember all of them and didn’t get pictures of the backs, but Shepard Book got a Bishops Finger cap (Shepard Book is a preacher), Jayne got a King Fisher cap that says, “Most Thrilling Chilled,” Zoe got a brown[coat] cap from the so-called “natural” Pepsi, Wash got a cap with a flower for his Hawaiian shirts, and Mal got a cap with a cock that says, “Courage.”

Firefly Crew Bottle Cap Stitch Markers

I also had some little graph paper books the Mr. brought back from a conference, so I covered it in a piece of brown felt and put a picture of the crew on it to make it a little more exciting.  I also made a little fabric bookmark with a quote from River, another one of my spoilee’s favorite characters.

Book for Crafty Browncoats and River Tam Fabric Bookmark

The least original, is the Jayne hat, but my spoliee said she would like one, just not in the original colours, red, yellow and orange.  Since my spoilee wanted this, and she doesn’t like chocolate and didn’t indicate any preference towards Jayne, I made the hat instead of the coin purse.

Variation of Jayne's Hat

I decorated the packing box with a big picture of Serenity and the River quote, “Mid-bulk Transport. Standard Radion Accelerator core. Class code 03-K64–Firefly,” (I only had the time and skill to allude to my package being a Firefly cargo ship, but I really wanted to make my package in the shape of Serenity and make the inside a sort of diorama) and I found this great comic to add with a little note.  After a month or two of crafting and watching the whole Firefly series about 3 times, plus some random episodes here and there, the Mr. decided that adding this comic was thing that made me really geeky.  If only.

This is what makes me geeky

 

Screen Printing Fail & Other Stuff September 1, 2009

Filed under: Pattern,Sewing — IDreamofCrafts @ 3:46 pm
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Last weekend I attended an all day screen printing workshop at the Urbis, Manchester.  I had what I thought were some really good ideas for t-shirts, but they turned out to be a massive FAIL.

My whale print was better in my head, but didn’t really translate into a good print because 1) the picture in my head involved better/more technical placement of colours, 2) once I put the board into my shirt to stretch it out for printing, the paper I did the stencil on wasn’t big enough and 3) the picture just didn’t translate.

I was really pleased with the robot print until I was trying to fill in the little gaps with paint, which also turned out terribly bad, and smudged a glob of paint I didn’t know was on my arm onto the side of the shirt, hence, the weird space invaders.

Amy Butler Gumdrop Pillow

On a more successful note, I finished the Amy Butler Gum Drop pillow.  One of the best things about Amy Butler’s patterns is how extremely easy everything is to make.  I have her book, In Stitches and have also made a few of the free patterns from her website and have enjoyed making her designs.  She uses simple shapes that usually require very few pattern pieces, if it uses pattern pieces at all and the construction and directions are really simple and easy to follow as well.  Yet, the finished product looks incredibly professional and much more difficult and time consuming to make than it actually is.

After a week of testing it out on the sofa, it’s a really great project and more comfortable than I originally thought it would be.  It’s best as an extra form of back support, as shown in the pattern picture; it’s proved to be an extremely comfortable knitting position as well.  There is also enough give with the bean bag filling that you can use it in the same way as a normal pillow for laying on the sofa to watch TV.  I will be making an ottoman sometime in the near future.

My super awesome husband also got me Let’s Make Cute Stuff by Aranzi Aronzo! Cute Dolls.  The title is not misleading at all; all the dolls/stuffed animals in this book are super cute!