Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fro-Made - Crochet and Chain Flower Necklace

I haven't had a lot time to do much of anything beyond unpack, but this weekend I was up at an insane hour and saw this necklace by Joan Rivers on QVC. Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of Joan Rivers or her aesthetic but I like the big rose collar. I went to the craft store and decided to use silver chain and turquoise beads for my version. But as I was making it I realized the beads made it heavy and not at all summer-like. I dis-guarded the beads and made my version without them.

Here's how it turned out:
CraftFro - FroMade

I freehand crocheted the flowers and I really like the way they turned out. What do you think?

I will post a "freehand" flower tutorial in the next day or so, so check back soon!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Welcome to the Burbs!..and crafty inspiration

So we've moved. There are a few last things to get from our loft, but we've pretty much relocated to the new little house since the bed got delivered.We've met most of the neighbors and even started working on the yard. I am having a bit of angst about the whole thing. I'll admit to liking having a bit of grass to sit out on with the Hubb around dusk but I also miss my city views and there's a jazz festival downtown tonight that is within walking distance of our old apartment. We'll see how I feel once we settle in and I set up my two most important areas - my home office space and my craft space.  

My next project that is not doll related it  is a jewelry project that will mix crochet and beading. I was inspired by this necklace that I saw on QVC at like 4 am the other morning. Pictures soon.


Monday, June 21, 2010

First Booties - to Embellish or Not to Embellish

Okay, so I admit it. I love to see patterns online and I "ohh and ahh" over the finished projects people post on sites like  But I usually don't get to the end of a pattern. But I decided a few weeks ago after a visit to the doctor when we find out the sex of our baby girl, I would try out some simple bootie patterns.

And viola! They aren't perfect - but they're pretty much done!

They were both supposed to be Mary Jane style booties. The purple pair was the easiest to make and would look most like Mary Janes on, but the blue ones are waaayyyyy cute.
Take a close look..

I am so glad I made them. Now, I need to decide whether or not to embellish them with something or not. If you're a Ravelry member you can find the patterns I used Here and Here.

I should add that these are the first things I've made for the baby and I haven't yet brought anything for the nursery. We're moving in two days and I keep telling myself I've been waiting for us to get settled in a new place before I buy anything, but I will admit part of my reluctance is first pregnancy worries and jitters. At 25 weeks now, I'm slowly getting over them and look forward to working on the nursery and preparing for her arrival.

Ohhh, and things to come. Over the next few weeks, I am working on a set of dolls inspired by some of my great friends in the style of the one that appears in my header. They don't know it yet (I haven't even sent them the link to this blog;)  Each of the dolls I make is done in freehand and I spend about twice as long making the wigs. I have a plan to make these have a function other than their quirkiness.

Here's a sneak peak of the first one..
I love the way the eyelashes turned out!

Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yarn Disfunction

Alright, the moving process has me in hyper-organization mode. I was putting away all my new yarn for all of my new projects and was confronted with one of my dirty little craft secrets. Tangled yarn scraps!

A few years ago I bought a bunch of yarn for really cheap at a craft store. The yarn brand will rename nameless, but let's just say that each skein was a tangled mess even before I got my hands on it. I used it to make and unmake numerous things and then my life got hectic/my mind wandered and the leftovers ended up at the bottom of a box.

Well, I decided to reclaim the scraps.

Little did I know it was going to be a day long project.

I tackled the orange-brown yarn first because I want to make a doll for a friend.

This is about a third of the way through the process.

Hours later - here's what I had.

Oh, the sense of accomplishment I felt. And then, I remembered there were two more to go.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Crochet Underachieving...a visual record.

The move has made it painfully obvious how many craft projects I have started and left unfinished. As I said in yesterday's post, most of the time I start a project just for the process. It seems I REALLY like the process.

Exhibit A - Unfinished Berets, Scarves and Neck Warmers
Berets, Berets, Neck Warmers, Berets

These are just a few of the unfinished ones I haven't unraveled or ----wait for it -- thrown away --- oh, the horror! I have completed one hat and one neck warmer in the last two years. I gave the neck warmer to a great friend and I lost the hat one unseasonably warm winter day when I took it off while I was out and about.

Exhibit B - Undone Amigurumi Dolls
unfinished dolls

A few weeks ago I saw a brilliant humanoid amigurumi on and realized that I wanted to make some dolls for our great hope. I started out with a few patterns from but ultimately just started experimenting with stitches and techniques. I'm happy to say that after realizing I had self-taught myself some bad habits and unlearned them, and after I had made numerous attempts at finding a body and head type I liked.. I finally got the hang of it. While these practice dolls will remain unfinished, I have finished a few and I'll share them here in the future. I have plans to make plenty more!

Exhibit C - Multicolored Rippled Afghan - To Finish or Not to Finish?
Baby Afghan

This simple ripple stitch afghan was my first project for the baby. I've completed about 1/3 of it and depending on what day you ask me, I'll either finish it or scrap it or use it for some other purpose. I'll keep you post it.

Okay, so that's it. My crochet underachieving has been shared. I feel much better about it already.Am I the only one that starts a bunch of different projects and then doesn't finish them?

The goal is not to start anymore projects that I don't intend finish.

Wish me luck,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Craft? Really?

That's the reaction I get sometimes from friends and colleagues who don't know about my obsessive crafting. I don't blame them for not knowing, unless you live with me - like my great husband - you don't ever see me straining my eyes to bead a bracelet or crocheting myself a hat or drawing with pastels. I'm a big city type who prefers to wear black instead of coordinates. I have huge hair and lots of shoes. I cook but I prefer to go out and eat. I'm an activist at heart and love a good sci-fi novel. Honestly, I wouldn't think I was a crafter either.

I've been beading and crocheting - self taught by book and internet - since I was a little kid but rarely does my craftiness leave the confines of my home.  You see, until now most of the craft projects I undertook, I didn't finish. I've got at least a dozen halfway done berets, scarves, portraits and little doll figures stuffed into totes all around the house. Every few months I go to the craft store, spend 40 bucks and start a new project only to never finish it.Some of these unfinished pieces show promise (I actually followed a pattern) and others are misshapen, missed sticthed Rorschach tests in yarn.

I craft to cope, to do, to make with my hands and to get myself out of my head. I'm an academic by trade and spend a lot of time reading big books, writing long papers and thinking much too hard about the fate of the world and other such minutiae. It used to be that when I picked up a crochet hook (and butcher a pattern I find online) the goal was just the process of crafting. The repetitive motion, the simple parts that grew into something larger - let me slow down my hectic life.

I have more unfinished projects than finished.

But that's all about to change. 

We're moving to the suburbs of our already too small town (in my opinion), I'm busy with my career and we're having our first baby!!!!

And now is the time to craft. I have a nursery to decorate, appropriately quirky and radical toys to make,  articles to write, and my sanity to keep. So, come along with me while I document my adventures of crafting a life in the burbs.

Wish me luck!
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