Crafting with Kids

This weekend, I had a brilliant idea to try tie dyeing with my son, the Warlord. We watched a few videos on youtube to get him all amped up. I highly recommend Colorful Steve. No bells and whistles, just dives right in. Perfect for the child impatient with a ton of wordy explanations.

I ended up going to Joann for supplies and bought a kit with primary colors and soda ash. Then, after washing and soaking our shirts in soda ash for 20 minutes, we got ourselves dirty.  I didn’t have a rack around, so we tried to work fast to avoid pooling under our shirts.  About a million paper towels were used to this end.  Next time, I promise to be more eco friendly!

The Warlord’s shirts turned out awesome.

Max’s is pretty great too, a red and black peace sign for the anarchist pacifist.

I love this one of mine. This was a white shirt from my closet that had gotten a bit dingy in the underarms. I’ve tried every trick to get it out, but nope. Tie dye to the rescue!  I used a mix of techniques: folding for the arms, spiral center, scrumbles around the spiral.

Pardon the mess. It is self-perpetuating.

This last one, I’m not completely thrilled with. I think it turned out a bit too dark and the peace sign bled a bit too much. This is not jersey material, but a very lightweight woven and I think that might have had something to do with it. I’ll still wear the crap out of it though, I’m sure.

Try tie dye with your kids! It’s a fun way to spend the afternoon, and it can be educational as well.  We learned about color mixing and even scratched the surface of geometric translations and symmetry. Good nerdy fun without the kid even knowing it!

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I’m still here

I feel like I have been so unproductive lately, but I think I’ve just been jumping from one project to another so much that I haven’t made significant progress on any one thing.  I’ve also been daydreaming and that begins to complicate things.

For years, I have held a dream of owning and operating my own store, and lately, I have been feeling like the time to actually do something about it is approaching.  I am currently a SAHM with a nearly four-year-old-son (He’s turning four on the 27th! Ahhhh, my baby!) and while I wouldn’t trade by time as a SAHM for the world, I have been thinking it might be nice to do something else on the side.  Warren will be starting pre-school in the fall.  It will be four days a week for three hours a day at a nice Montessori school right here in our neighborhood.  I’m hoping to use that time to really get going on things.  Maybe next year, he will go “full-time” and I can actually be able to devote myself to a brick-and-mortar shop.  Until then, I have decided to do a few local shows and fairs, possibly getting my greedy little paws on a vintage camper to sell from.  Of course, we don’t have the funds for that just laying around and I really am beginning to wonder how people get started on these sorts of endeavors at all.  I know what I want.  I know where I want to be.  I know what sort of items I want to sell (handmade, new, and vintage).  Hell, I even have quite a handful of willing, talented artists and artisans (from ceramicists to needleworkers) in need of an outlet to sell their creations.  All signs point to “GO.”  What it boils down to is that I happen to be excellent at daydreaming and visualizing, but the numbers and action plan turn my brain and nerves into mush.  I need to get over it.  I want to get over it.  At the count of three, I’m gonna get over it.

1

2

3

Nope, still nervous, but look at my stitching:

Sew on Wednesday iron-on transfer embroidery.

Granny Square obsession

Fern Leaf Doily. From a vintage pattern. It is nearly done, but I ran out of thread! Ack!

 

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thanks for listening to me whine.  I really will try not to do that too much in the future, but sometimes I can’t help it.  Also, there’s that whole accountability thing.  I’ve said it.  It’s there.

Love.

FO Parade (of sorts)

I finished a few projects that I failed to record here.  I need to get better about updating.  First up, a little embroidery project I came up with and gave to my mother (whose last name happens to be Fox).

To dress it up a bit, I wrapped some washi tape around the outer ring of the hoop.  I think it’s a cute touch and I do love finding clever ways to use my tape stash!

This project was my first time doing French knots and I might be addicted to them at present.

I also finished “Rabbit Run,” by the Prairie Schooler.  I love it!  I changed out colors to avoid a trip to the shop and it has a much more modern feel to it.

And lastly, I finished a small Dimensions kit of two poppies.

The kit was nice.  It came with more than enough thread, considering I used three strands rather than two throughout and still had plenty left over at the end.  It came with a needle and a hoop, which was a nice touch.

I have so many projects going at once right now, it’s kind of crazy.  I counted 6 embroidery projects on the hoops.  Maybe I should just put a lid on that if I ever expect to finish anything!

Jessica’s Alphabet–New pattern on Craftsy

I have a new pattern available for sale on Craftsy.   It’s called “Jessica’s Alphabet.”  I hope people like it as much as I do.

 

 

I did intend to post it on Etsy as well, but I’m kind of miffed.  I don’t like all the fees, especially when I don’t sell enough to make it worth it in the end.  On the other hand, Etsy is the only place I’ve had any success with sales.  I’m at a bit of a loss for what to do here.  Craftsy is nice because it is totally free, but their search is horrible.  Your items get lost in a sea of others, with no way to add tags or anything to make it stand out.  In fact, beyond a category, I don’t think you can conduct a keyword search through patterns on Craftsy, at least I can’t see how.  Keyword searches are really simple as far as database design goes, so I’m not sure what they are thinking in not including one.  Ugh.  A loud, resounding, “UGH.”  I guess the point of all this rambling on and on is to pose the question: Where is the best place for indie pattern designers to post their patterns for sale?  I looked into Storenvy, but it doesn’t look like you can sell files on there, just items.

Enough whining.  I’ve also been sewing:

I pulled this cute little skirt together in an afternoon, using a to-die-for flamingo print.  No pattern, just did it.

And above is a close-up of my invisible zipper installation.  I’m going to brag.  It looks ace.  Good job, me.  I also used a blue ribbon as hem tape for a nice and light finished hem.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get pics of that bit.  I have fabric for another skirt, but a little gremlin (who looks like my son, no doubt) has run off with my bobbin cover plate.  Whoops.

Wanna Play Videogames?

I’ve caught that plastic canvas bug that seems to be going around. I was encouraged by friends and inspired to make a three dimensional version of my favorite character from one of my favorite shows of all time:  ADVENTURE TIME!  BMO (or Beemo) is just the cutest little guy ever in the world and such a sweet character.  Plus, being rectangular, he is PERFECT for a first plastic canvas project!  I charted him out in macstitch and got started.  I’m using Red Heart Soft for the body and screen colors, but managed to find the rest of the colors in my stash.  They aren’t perfect, but they will work.

Here is the completed front piece!

I’m so in love.  I have charts for the sides and back ready and waiting for me tackle!  I’m planning to do his arms and legs out of i-cord.  I might have to buy yarn for that because I don’t have a suitable color.  I could use the blue in the circle button possibly, but it’s not quite “right.”  The plan is to line this and turn it into a little bag that I can carry around with me at ACen.  (For those not in the con scene, ACen is short for Anime Central.  It’s one of the largest anime conventions in the US and is held in Rosemont, IL.  I have attended every year since 2002!).  I’m actually planning a BMO gijinka cosplay this year, but I haven’t done much for it yet.  I need to get crackin’ since ACen weekend is fast approaching (May 16-18!)  Once I get some pieces finished for it, I will definitely post them!

Updates and Another Pattern

Hello, blogosphere.  Just a speedy little update.  I finished Merry Meadow:

It’s so hilariously cute.  It needs steaming and framing.  I have a pile of finished pieces now that all need frames!

I’ve also been working on a crochet cardigan of my own design.  Its very simple.  I chained enough for 160 stitches and started triple crocheting my brains out.  I’ve been doing decreases every 4th row.  I’m hoping to get the body to be around 18″ before starting the sleeves.  I haven’t really decided what to do with the neckline or the sleeves yet.  I like the look of set-in sleeves, but I’ve not done much garment construction with crochet to really know how to go about designing it.  Since this cardi is going to be a bit oversized, I thought maybe drop shoulders with more fitted sleeves…probably in a single or half-double crochet.  I have a few store bought sweaters like that and I do like them.  DECISIONS, DECISIONS.

 

And now for a bit of self-promotion (That’s what blogs are for, right?).  I’ve put my second pattern design up on Etsy.  It’s called “Hex Party.”  I was inspired by the ubiquitous hexagons in my life (EPP, furniture, bees, etc…)

 

You can find the pattern here.  It’s a great project for stash threads and easy to personalize.  I’d love to see what creative people can do with it!