23 September 2014

Around The World Blog Hop

I was 'tagged' by Sue, of Magpies Nest, for this blog hop that has participants from around the world. You can pop over to Sue's blog to see how she responded to the blog-hop questions.
There are four questions that are suggested for each participant to answer on their blog, and the idea is that we share with the world about our creative thoughts and processes. It is a good way to get to know more about the people who's blogs we follow.
So here, especially for my followers, is my question and answer blog.

Q.1. What am I working on? 

Well, for me, that question is like asking how long a piece of string is. I always have so many things that I work on at the same time. Mostly because I like to work in different media at different times of the day.
Mornings are my preferred writing time. I am currently authoring a novel, and a book of poetry on a particular theme, and I am editing another fiberart gallery book for the International Free Form Fiberarts Guild of which I have been a member for about 5 or 6 years.
My afternoons are usually spent stitching, either hand sewing or crocheting.
At the moment I am working on this free form crochet neck adornment.

And this is my current sewing project....an English paper pieced quilt WIP.

Q.2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

This is quite a difficult question to answer because I'm a free-former. And that means that all free-formers work without patterns or charts etc. and will never produce the same item/garment as anyone else.
I suppose the only way my work differs from other free-formers is my personal choice of colour, style, and imagination - as in this cozy free-form crochet wrap......

....and this mixed media piece, hand-stitched, beaded and crocheted, Rock Pool (detail)

Q.3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

Writing is a form of escape, but I'm still not sure exactly what I am escaping from...if anything. 
Writing puts me in a 'calm' zone. I have an active imagination which is ideally 'kept in check' by sitting in a quiet place and 'playing' with words.
This is MY quiet place for writing.

And here are a couple of my favourite places to sit and stitch.
And with such beautiful places to stitch and think, and stitch and dream... 
why would I do anything else?

Q.4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I usually start a new stitching project with a picture in my head of what the finished 'thing' will look like. I then take one small area of it and recreate it in whatever way is necessary to achieve the look I want. This is when the project starts to develop on its own merits.
With the beginnings of the project in my hand, I can see what will (or won't) work with it. Projects are often abandoned at this early stage, and I often digress from the original 'plan' or idea, and let the project tell me what it needs to progress to the next stage. 
Very rarely do I have a project designed and completed in one go, unless it is a present I am stitching especially for a particular person, then the design is usually planned out in full first.
The designing stage is my favourite part. 
I hardly ever follow a pattern or chart, preferring to design everything myself from scratch.

If you would like to participate in this blog-hop and have viewers pop over to your blog post, you can leave a comment down below here with a link to your blog. 
I would love to see your answers to these questions too.


17 September 2014

A Glorious Double Rainbow Moment

Isn't this just wonderful.
I have just snapped this double rainbow from my deck. It was even brighter than the photo shows, and the second rainbow is more prominent in real life too. A shame the photo does not show it to its full glory.
I also too a shot of the whole arc across the sky, showing the light sky under it and the dark sky above it, but... (sorry) ... I must have had my hand in the way of the lens as it turned out too blurred and hidden. I was trying to shield the camera from the rain.
Anyway, I hope you get that it was a glorious moment, lol.

It is rather fortuitous that I had that rainbow to post here today because
Craft Work this week has been a bit sparse, but here is a glimpse of something for you.

I have a couple of very welcome visitors coming to stay for a long weekend with us.
I'm looking forward to a good catch-up with Emma (dd) and Chris.

I have been 'tagged' in the Blog-Hop, so look out for my post next Monday (22nd Sept) all about my work and my creative processes. There may be something to surprise you as you learn a bit more about me.

14 September 2014

FREE Crochet Heart Tutorial by Cyra

 by Cyra Lewis 

 A 3-D Crocheted Heart Tutorial 

Step-by-step photos included.

I made mine using #20 crochet thread with a size 1.00 crochet hook.
The heart was just the right size to use on a homemade 
birthday card for someone special (photo above).

     This heart could also be made as a cushion, in wool or yarn of your choice.     
The finished size would be dependent on the thickness of yarn used and the size of your crochet hook.

Crochet Heart Tutorial
UK crochet terminology is used here. 
Please see the end of this blog for a US terminology alternative.

Starting from the top of the heart.

Ch4, sl.st. to 1st ch to form a ring.

Ch1, 8dc  into ring, join with a sl.st. to beg. ch. (8sts)

Ch1, 2dc in every st around, join with a sl.st. to beg. ch.  (16sts)

Ch1, 1dc in same st., 1dc in each of next 2 sts., 2dc in the next st., *1dc in each of the next 3 sts., 2dc in the next st.,**. Repeat from * to ** two more times to the end of the round, join with a sl.st. to beg. ch.  (20 sts)

Ch1, working 1dc in every st. make 80dc working in the round, 
i.e. do not join rounds with sl.st. When you reach the beg. of the round just dc into the next dc st. and work in a spiral for 80 sts, ((or four rounds))

When you get to this point cut the thread leaving a tail of about 6 inches.

Now you have to make another 'upside-down cup' exactly the same, but do not cut the thread on the second one when you get to this point.

The following two photos show you how to join these two 'cups' together.
Using the tail thread on the first cup, oversew three stitches only, making sure that you join the second cup immediately after the last dc that you made (2nd photo)

Put your hook back in the loop from the last st. made, and st. 1dc in every st. going around the outside of both cups, but do not dc in any of the sewn sts.

After stitching one round of dc. in every st. around the whole piece, you will start dec. (st.2dc.tog.) at each outer edge.

Continue stitching dc. rounds, still working in a spiral, decreasing (st.2dc.tog.) at each side edge of the heart.

After about 5 or 6 rounds the hole will be getting significantly smaller (heading towards the point of the heart).

Now is the time to start stuffing the heart with the filling of your choice. This small heart does not take much stuffing at all, but a cushion sized heart will obviously take quite a bit more stuffing.

Continue the dc. stitching in every st. around and dec. at the edges.

(Below the joining of the two cups, it takes about 14/15 rounds to get to the point)

As you get closer to the point of the heart you may need to insert a little more stuffing to fill the point.

When you cannot dec. any more, sl.st the last two sts. tog. to make the point of the heart, cut the thread, pull through, and finish by weaving the tail inside the stuffed heart.

I Attached my heart to the card by making two holes in the card and sewing the heart in place through these two holes, tying the tails together and then losing the tails by weaving the thread back into the heart.


Ch. ------ chain 
dc   ------ double crochet
st.   ------ stitch
sts. ------ stitches
sl.st. ----- slip stitch
beg. ----- beginning
dec. ----- decrease
st.2dc.tog. ----- stitch 2 double crochets together

UK                      US

ch ....................... ch
dc ....................... sc (single crochet)


I can see these hearts getting used in many ways.
I hope you have fun with yours.

Please leave a comment here if you use my tutorial and feel free to share a link to your project.

10 September 2014

Gone Crazy Quilting Again

Doing a happy dance..... enjoying myself again this week. My sewing machine was packed away ready for the move, but I was so lost without it that it just had to be UNPACKED again for a special Crazy Quilting 'playtime'.

18" Cushion

And another crochet afghan baby blanket in pink & lemon this time.

Back to the packing.......... I really DO have a lot of stuff.

03 September 2014

Three Weeks Worth of Creations

Yes that's right...... here are three weeks worth of creations all in one post, as I haven't posted what I made while I was away (hiding from the world).

 Afghan blanket 
At the moment this is still in three main parts and cannot be seen in full as I have not yet decided which part goes where, lol. But this is the pile of work on the afghan so far. 

 Cot/Crib Blanket 

This is finished.

And, of course, I have done more work on the Building Blocks Quilt, now renamed: 
 "Party At My Place" Quilt 
The hand sewn English Paper Pieced hexagons are a great scrap fabric buster project, great to travel with, and great for working on while in the caravan.

All in all, it was quite a productive vacation.
What a busy little bee I have been.