Monday, March 19, 2018

Crocheting in the Library

Today I displayed and demonstrated crocheting in the third "Meet the Artist" event held in Wake County regional libraries that I attended. This one was in the Southeast Regional Library in Garner, NC. The other participant (on my right, but not pictured) demonstrated spinning and tapestry weaving.

I'll be doing the same crochet presentation this Friday at the Carolina Fiber Fest in Raleigh, NC. Then on Saturday I'll be back at the event but this time with my tatting friends. And, of course, it goes without saying that I probably will be adding to my yarn stash at the event despite the fact that I still have yarn from past Fiber Fests. It's funny how often when typing "yarn" I misspell it as "yearn" it that my subconscious is expressing its desire for more fiber?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Off the Hook: Little Crocheted Pieces

I have two crochet demos coming up this week, but a lot of the examples that I would usually bring to show the versatility of crochet are currently in display cases in two Wake County libraries. I decided to make some quick projects so I could add to the few pieces I still had at home. Here are what I came up with.

For this little crocheted amigurumi I used Jessica Doering's "Bunny Easter Peeps" pattern. It's free and available on Ravelry. I used Studio Samples by Nicole acrylic yarn from A.C. Moore in an aqua shade a little darker than shown in the photograph. The eyes are glass beads from my stash (which I've probably had for ~50 years...never know when you'll find a use for things), the nose is pink wool needlepoint embroidery yarn, and the stuffing is from a bag of polyester filling.


I made this little basket out of Hemptique brand hemp craft cord. The cord is rather stiff and, after wetting the pieces, I dried the main part stretched over a bowl until it was dried. It came out stiff enough so no stiffener solution was needed. The pattern is "Easter Basket,"a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn.

To fill the basket, I bought a crocheted chick and rabbit from Ten Thousand Villages.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lots of Fiber Crafts Demos This Week

This has been a big week for fiber crafts demos in our area by members of the Twisted Threads Fiber Arts Guild.

On Monday I participated in a demo at the Cameron Village Regional Library in Raleigh, NC. I demonstrated crocheting and gave out little crocheted hearts to people who visited our display. Another member demonstrated spinning and displayed some finished knitted and felted pieces she made with various fibers.

On Tuesday, I joined another demonstration at Eva Perry Regional Library in Apex, NC. Again, I represented crochet along with knitters and spinners.

Tomorrow I will be giving a presentation on shuttle tatting to a group of quilters. I hope that there will be some quilters who make crazy quilts because I'll have a lot of tatted scraps they can use to embellish their quilts.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Magnets for Lace Day

Every year the North Carolina Regional Lacers holds Lace Day in the spring in Chapel Hill, NC. It's a day of gathering with lacemakers from all over NC and part of Virginia to take mini classes, hear a lecture, take care of guild business, and display all kinds of handmade lace. Usually there is a vendor selling threads and tools, mostly for bobbin and tatted lacemaking. Those who register to attend also receive a goody bag.

This is the 4th year that I've volunteered to make magnets for the goody bags. Previous years' magnets were hearts, stars, and butterflies. This year it's balloons. Each magnet has a small piece of tatting...nothing fancy because I usually need to make about 90 of these to supply all the bags.

Over the years, I've purchased paper punches to have something different each year. This year's punch was smaller than those I've used before. I thought it would be too small to make a good magnet so I mounted the white balloons on scalloped circles of card stock in various colors. Each circle was coated with high gloss Mod Podge. After drying, the balloon piece was attached and then coated with Mod Podge Extreme Glitter.

The tatted pieces were rings of 10 picots separated by one double stitch. The thread is a DMC size 80. I left the tails on the rings so they would hang down like strings tied to a balloon. I gave each ring a swipe with more of the Mod Podge to make sure they would stick to the paper and to give them a little more sparkle.

After every thing was dry, I attached pieces of peel and stick magnet to the backs. This is the kind of magnet that is used to make magnets out of business cards. You can cut them into smaller pieces with regular scissors.

Every year it's fun to come up with a new idea for the magnets. I already have planned what I'll be making for next year's NCRL Lace Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

This Week's Blinged Shuttles

I finished decoupaging three shuttles this week. The one with hearts is the second version of the one that I wrote about in my previous post. I didn't like the final effect and decided to strip off everything on it and start over. This time I used Martha Stewart Crafts High Gloss Finish instead of the UV-activated gel. I like the results much better this time.

For the teal and gold shuttle I used a handmade paper made from cotton fibers. I bought the paper in our local Ten Thousand Villages store where I volunteer. I like the rustic finish of the paper which even shows through the gloss finish.

For the floral pattern shuttle I used a sheet from a Love Nicole Vintage Wallpaper paper pad that I found at AC Moore. This paper is thicker than the origami paper that I usually use. So far, it seems to be adhering to the plastic shuttle with no problem. 

Both papers were glued on with Mod Podge and then, after drying, I applied a couple of thin coats of the High Gloss Finish. All the shuttles are Moonlits that I purchased from Handy Hands.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Valentine Tatting Shuttle

In time for Valentine's Day, my latest "blinged" shuttle. This was my 1st attempt using UV-activated gel as a top coat. I think I made the coating too thick as it stayed tacky even after applying the UV light several times. So next time I try this I'll apply multiple, but thinner, coats. I ended up applying a final coat of Martha Stewart Crafts High Gloss Finish (HGF) which hardened the surface and eliminated the tacky feel.

The hearts are puffy stickers from AC Moore. The shuttle is a Ruby Gem Moonlit shuttle from Handy Hands.


Still fiddling around with this shuttle! The coat of the HGF didn't adhere to the gel surface to the point that I could peel it off. Disappointed with how the shuttle looked, I decided to peel everything off and start over. Getting the gel off required a lot of soaking in non-acetone nail polish remover and scraping off sticky residue. In the process the stickers were damaged, but luckily I has dozens of them left. 

After applying new stickers, I brushed on a thin coat of the HGF and left the shuttle to dry overnight. I plan to add 2 more coats and see if I like the results better. It's all a learning process, and, at this point, I'm still learning about using the UV-activated gel and whether or not I like working with it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Valentine"s Day Boxes with Tatted Hearts

Ten little boxes ready for Valentine's Day. The tatted hearts are in Rosemarie Peel's heart pattern and are in size 20 Lizbeth or Flora threads. The larger heart is the same pattern but changing the double stitches from 6 to 9 and the picots from 3 to 5. The boxes are from Target.