Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I finished the crocheted cozy!

I ripped out and restarted this simple little crocheted phone cozy about a million times- but with the help of very generous people I think I might finally have the hang of the double crochet.  I think I am ready to learn the next stitch!!!  Here is the finished project:
Here is the strip of double crochet before I doubled it over and made the cozy- I think the edges look a lot straighter now.  I ripped this apart and started over for about a week before I finally got the hang of it.

I'm so thankful for all the suggestions and help I received on this.  Blogging friends are the greatest ♥  I've also worked just a tiny bit on my owl art doll- he has the beginnings of some tail feathers now :)  Hope you are having a creative week too!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Trying to get Back in the Saddle

So, the only way to get back into the habit of things is to start doing them, right? I've come to the conclusion that nothing is going to get easier until I get back into the habit of doing what I used to do. Lately, when I sit down to do minis, paint, draw--or even do a blog post it feels so forced. I don't think there is going to be a magical point where I am past that unless I just get back to doing it. I decided that I was going to start the habit of 30 minutes for some exercise after work and then 30 minutes of time spent creating something. Time carved out just for me- to help me start to feel like myself again. First thing- I had to clean up the craft room. Here's the before and after:

Whew- at least I have a cleaner desk to work on now.  What did I do after the desk was clean?  Well, I signed up this year for 2 different year long art groups.  The first was Lifebook held by Tam from Willowing- I'm still working on my second page for that course- and the second was Book of Days with Effy Wild-what I sat down to work on.  Click either link to find out more about these classes.  Book of Days is like a journal- I'm following along with Effy as she remembers and expresses her days through art.  I used an old encylopedia book as my base-here is the front and back covers after I altered them:
On the inside cover we included a space for a goodbye letter to 2011 and a looking forward letter to 2012.  I choose to put envelopes down for my letters.
The next page is about what I am looking forward to in the year to come.  The large heart is actually a flap that opens and I have written some personal things I am looking forward to and hoping to accomplish.  I drew a picture of a woman hugging herself because I am struggling with the feeling right now that I take care of everything else in my life more than I take care of myself.  If I am not the best I can be- how can I continue to do a good job with all other parts of my life?
This is my first spread of journaling.  I drew the owl because I have been working on one lately and since doing artwork has been a struggle for me lately, I didn't want to overthink this page and then not do anything.  When I first started working in this book I hated it.  I'm used to working on watercolor paper that I don't prep in any way.  With a book you are altering you need to either collage or add gesso to the pages to achieve a work area.  I've never tried writing with a pen over acrylic paint before and it was a bit of a learning experience to figure out what would work without clogging the pen.  However.....after I completed just these few pages- I am loving this book.  When you add gesso and the paint to the pages they almost feel like thin soft leather when you are finished.  I love to turn the pages just so I can feel them-it makes me smile every time. 
After I worked on my Book of Days for awhile I decided I needed to get back into working on my minis too- so I got the sunroom out.  I made a little potting bench for the corner of the room, finished painting the interior walls and started working on some plants.  I need to make some more plants for this room and it is finished.  It's so hard to photograph because of the glass- but I think this will end up being one of my favorite mini roomboxes ever. 

Remember this project?  The owl that I kept seeing in my head?  I've been working on him too.  Here is where he started:

Here is where I am at right now.  I know his legs are twice as long as his body- especially because my hubby keeps pointing that fact out to me--but I have a vision.  Can you tell where he is sitting?  I was having trouble taking a photo and remarked that I needed to get a light box built when dh had this idea- and I think it might work!  He is inside the cabinet that holds my sewing machine.  We thought if we painted this inside white and I bought a piece of foam core to put in the back that it might make a halfway decent light box for taking pictures for the blog.  I could even pin a piece of fabric to the foamcore to change the background.  I think I might try it and see how it works.

Before I end this post I wanted to say thank you to all who replied to my plea for crochet help.  I do have a very generous person working with me and I am keeping at it.  I have crocheted and ripped out the silly little phone cozy about 100 times- I wish I was exaggerating there.  I know I am having some kind of problem with the ends and where I am crocheting in the last chains before I turn.  I do the first inch or so perfect- but somehow as I go along I mess up somewhere and start getting crooked edges again.  I'm not giving up though- I will be posting a finished phone cozy here on this blog even if I have no hair left by the time I finish it!  One good thing- if I can't seem to figure it out I received my community education classes pamphlet this weekend and there is a basic crochet class offered in February.  It's only $15.00 and I'm thinking in my case it may be money well spent-lol :)  Have a great week.  My goal is at least one blog post a week from here on out- so see you soon!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crochet Help

This is a short post with a little plea for help.  I'm determined to learn crochet in 2012 and so I'm trying to do this first project of making a little cozy for my phone.  It's double crochet every row.  Can anyone tell me why my edges are scalloped looking?  Am I doing the first double stitch across in the wrong hole?  Is it just because I'm a novice and I'm not getting the tension right?  It's not supposed to have that scallop look on the edges,right?  Anyone have advice for me on what's going wrong? 

Friday, January 6, 2012

What I've been Working On

It's kind of strange- but I've had to take a break from blogging for so long that it feels awkward figuring out how to start up again.  So, until I get back into the groove- I thought I may show you what I've been working on.  I'm signed up for the Lifebook course at Willowing.ning.com.  It's a year long mixed media course learning to celebrate and honour ourself.  Our first lesson had to with celebrating the good qualities that make us wonderful.  This is my first page- I struggled a lot with it.  I really need to get past the fear I have of messing up and play with the supplies more.  I can feel myself holding back when I'm actually working on the piece and I haven't been able to get past that yet.  I don't know if it is the cost of the paper and materials ??  Anyhow- I may come back to her later after I've learned more and I hopefully get braver.

I've also been doing a little bit of miniature work.  I've decided that I need to finish up all of the works in progress before I am allowed to start a new project- and I have a really fun new project planned.  I pulled out the half finished tea room room box and the sun room box and I started working on finishing up the brick work on both pieces.  I used paper egg cartons on both boxes and then I paint the bricks after the grouting.  Still quite a ways to go-but it's a start.

Last........I'm still not giving up on trying to learn to crochet.  I've practiced and practiced my single crochet and now I've been practicing my double crochet.  As you can see- I have some more practicing to do- but I think I might actually be starting to understand where I am doing things wrong and how to correct it.  Little more practice and then I'll move on to the next stitch.  I'm going to have a lot of little scrubbing rags before I am a crochet master :)