Monday, July 6, 2015

Crochet Scallop Shawl - Neon Sherbet with Shocking Blue Fringe

When I was up in Portland, Oregon a few months ago I visited my favorite arts and crafts store, Craft Warehouse.  They have a really unique yarn selection and I was totally blown away by this amazing variegated neon sherbet organic handspun fiber yarn.  I bought as much as I could fit in my suitcase.  After much deliberation, I decided that a layered crochet scallop pattern would take the mesmerizing design of this yarn to the next level on a shawl.  And if that wasn't enough to catch your attention, I decided to trim the border with shocking blue netting and fringe.  I am absolutely thrilled with the results!

I love shawls.  They're so more fun, flattering and versatile than just wearing a jacket.

You can wrap a shawl around your neck and shoulders to create a layered cowl look.

The colors in this variegated yarn remind me of a summer sunset by the sea.

Crocheting a pyramid of scallops is like soothing arithmetic.  So if you don't like counting, I do not recommend embarking upon this pattern!

Crochet Granny Square Striped Pencil Skirt

Recently I was admiring the Crochet Granny Square Sweater Vest I recently made and started to ponder.  The only thing that would be wilder and crazier than my sweater design would be a matching pencil skirt!

I wanted the skirt to have the same sexy slimming effect as the sweater which required a fair amount of decreasing on the striped rounds.

The bottom of the skirt has 5 granny squares on each side but by the time you reach the top, the pattern has decreased to 4 granny squares on each side.

The key to crocheting a skirt that fits to perfect is keeping all of your stitches consistent.  In case anyone is wondering, I used a size G hook on this entire skirt.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Prexie Fun - Colorful Inspiration

I'm still in the process of moving.  It's really been quite an ordeal but that hasn't stopped me from crafting, creating and working on my shop everyday.  As far as stamps go, lately I've been really fixated with color themes.  Recently I worked on an unique color themed stamp set for a customer who plans to frame these stamps for display in her freshly decorated bathroom.  She wanted all red, blue and grey themed British postage stamps.  I found this subtly patriotic combo to be quite aesthetically pleasing in an unordinary fashion.

Let's not forget that color themed vintage stamps also work well as vintage postage.  Not only will these stamps accent purple themed save the dates, they can also be used to make a (political) statement.  You can use stamps to represent the destination of your wedding, where you first fell in love or to celebrate the fact that now same sex couples finally have the right to marry in all 50 states. Boo-yah!!!  San Francisco is a mecca for liberal ideas; the Castro is a flamboyant beacon and these pretty purple 3c postage stamps commemorate progressive thoughts and attitudes.

My final splash of color themed inspiration today is a card I just made for Mrs. Petersen.  She was my 1st grade elementary school teach at Ohio Elementary School in North Tonawanda, NY.  Not only did she show me how to make books out of used wallpaper catalogs with a sewing machine but she also introduced me to the wonderful world of calligraphy.  She's still BFFs with my 3rd grade elementary school teacher, Mrs. Holesko.  I was school mates with Mrs. Holesko's son, Steven, who tragically died of cystic fibrosis at a very young age.  When Steven was diagnosed with CF, Mrs. Petersen, always a very crafty lady, started making and selling handmade greeting cards to raise money for CF.  She's now long since retired from teaching and concentrates her creative energy on manufacturing cards at a frenetic level.  She has raised nearly $500,000 for CF over the span of 20 years with her cards.  She has made such a great impression on my life and she is living proof that crafty ladies are most definitely a force to be reckoned with.

The US stamp issues I used to decorate the cover of this card are what's referred to as Prexies.   They are a series of definitives issued in 1938 featuring all 29 presidents who were in office during 1789-1928.  These stamps are really fun to collect because not only are they jam packed with American history, but they come in a plethora of awesome colors and varieties.  

A little bit of color goes a long way.  Flipping and overlapping stamps adds extra texture and feel.

Nothing beats a handwritten personal note.  Nowadays you can find ink in a rainbow of bold and majestic colors.