Saturday, January 28, 2012

So, what were you up to?

Sometimes we have such an interesting week, we want to share it with everyone! That's what I'll be doing today.
My past week was fun, crafty, and educational.

On the 20th, I went with my mother to the Birch Aquarium at UCSD. This will get it's own post soon enough, so I'll leave you with this clown fish.
Clown Fish
Isn't it cute? It kept popping back into the anemone.

When we returned home, I felt like sewing, so I started on a re-style of this dress my grandma gifted to me.
Owly Images

I have a skirt for my sister, and the rest of the dress for myself. I just have to fit everything to us, and we can't seem to stay still long enough to pin things on one another.


On Saturday, I buckled down and started creating more things for the shop. I cut up some old scrap fabrics I had, and turned them into some pretty adorable bow brooches.
Owly Images

I also got a lot of knitting and crocheting done that day. Last proper free weekend before school started.

Owly Images
Got a good bit into the red beret on Sunday afternoon.

Owly Images
And I finished a hat commission from a friend.

Monday, school started on a very rainy day. I wish I took photos. Ah, infact, I have no interesting photos from this week, as school tends to suck me down this abyss of learning professors names, buying tons of supplies, and remembering where your classes are.

I'm hoping for a great semester this Spring. I have an entirely new attitude about everything, and so many people rooting for my succcess. Maybe one day, I'll go a little more into detail about my school things.

How were your past weeks? Any of you start back to school?
Take care!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Link Dump

Here are some interesting links I came across this week!

Bianca showed off some awesome books she's made for her class.

Sarai talked about why she enjoys wearing red lipstick. (I should probably go and see what shades of lipstick look good on me.)

Solanah shared photos from a lovely outing she and fellow vintage enthusiasts had.

Kathy showed us some old Chicago infographs, which I found very awesome.

Beth showed off some amazing handbags. I've got my eye on that yellow and brown one.


Hope you discover some new interesting reads from this list! I'm writing up a longer post to have up sometime tomorrow, and another talking about the little outing my mother and I had last week!

Take care, and happy crafting

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mini Update

Hello everyone!
I decided to pop in for a bit to leave you a mini update, so you know what's going on in my life. And by a mini update, I mean, what happened today. I'll have a bigger 'mini' update at the end of the week.

Owly Images

I started a hat over the weekend, and finished it up last night. When I returned from classes today, it finished blocking!

Red Beret

Red Beret

Red Beret

I can't wait to wear it. It was made from the extra wool I had from my mom's Meret, and the Borneo owls. And I constructed it by trial and error. I think I did a pretty good job, and it gave me confidence to work on a project for a later date.


After classes ended, I popped over to the art store and bought some colored pencils for my art course. I've used Prismacolors before, and I've always enjoyed their smoothness. It's gonna be hard to prevent me from using these to color non-school things, I can feel it.

Prismacolors

And as I was waiting to pay for my items, I saw the most adorable earbuds.

matryoshka earbuds

I find matryoshka things to be very fascinating, so I yelped happily when I saw these, and immediately bought them. Which is good, because the other pair I've been using finally died in both sides.

I figured I'd start another hat to give my hands something to do during my school commute, so I started this on the ride there.

Start of new hat

Lets see how long it takes to finish this one!

Take care, and happy crafting.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Link Dump

I decided to leave you some links to some things that caught my interest this week. Maybe they'll be of some interest to you as well!


Next Tuesday (the 24th) Elycia and Chantilly will be hosting a craft night! I hope I can pop in and observe, and make that cute little camera plush! =D

Allison Kaye adopted a super adorable cat named Batman. I love cats, so I live vicariously through other cat owners. (if you have a cat, let me know so I can make annoying cute sounds!)

The lovely ladies at The Coletterie posted up a nifty tutorial for applique. I think I'll poke about and see if I have any large prints I can chop up!

And I sort of want this Modcloth dress. And by want it, I mean I want to make it.



I start school on Monday, and I keep hitting mini walls when it comes to writing up my lesson things! Maybe being back in the school setting will psych me back into a good writing groove. Hmm. Fingers crossed!!

Take care.

PS- I might make this a regular thing. What do you guys think?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Busy Weekend

I'm trying to get as many things done while I still have ample free time. Don't want to have that overworked feeling so early on in the semester!!


Panda Hat WIP

A friend asked me to make her a panda hat the other day, and this is how far I've gotten. I need to sew on the ears, and make the face! It's already super adorable, I love it.


Fabric Scraps

I plan to do a bit of sewing later this evening, so I can deplete the growing stash of fabric scraps I have.


Knitting

Can one call 5 rows of garter stitch a WIP? Well, I am. If I zone out on my netflix queue, I should finish this.


Planner

I'm still working on my organizational skills. So I'm figuring out how to plan blog posts. I've got some ideas for recurring things, such as Inspirational mosaics, work in progress days, and things that made me smile that week. Do any of you have any other ideas of things which can work?

Take care, and happy crafting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Slowly, but surely.

View from my desk

I'm still trying my best for figure how to go about these lessons. But I think I'm doing pretty good. I can reuse bits and pieces from my speech presentation to get this started.
Everything is there, I just have to work on the execution.

2012 Resolutions

And I did it, I made resolutions for the year. I snagged an adorable printout from mygirlthursday and scribbled up things I plan to accomplish this year.

1. Increase my Self-Confidence.
I'm slowly getting better.

2. Apply to a craft fair.
It's something I've been wanting to do for a while. :3

3. Create more.
Just in general. Take a bit of time out, to make new lovely things.

4. Increase Social Media presence.
AKA, have not just my bffs following me on all social networks. (don't get me wrong, I love you guys, but I can text you all the upcoming info xD)

5. Smile more.
There's a reason for the 'angry' in Tiny.Angry.Crafter. I rarely smile, and I frown a lot. I need to work on the smiley part.

6. Work hard, and stay sane.
I work hard, but get burnt out so easily. Gotta work hard, and still have the drive to keep going.


If I keep at it, I'll have at least my intro for the knitting and crochet lessons up by the end of this weekend. So keep your fingers crossed, and feel free to yell at me on twitter to keep at it!

Take care, and happy crafting!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guest Post- Rosey from Sushi Candy

Today's Guest Post comes from my friend Rosey. I met Rosey through the Ball Jointed Doll hobby, where she made beautifully intricate clothing for the dolls. I've come to adore every single one of her endeavors, and wondered how she'd get it all done, and today's post gives us a bit of insight into how. -Carla

//


Time and Creativity


Free time is precious for everyone. A myriad of commitments can suck it up: school, work, children, etc. When you do have a good chunk of free time, what do you do? Do you get overwhelmed because there are too many things you want to do and end up doing nothing? Do you get discouraged about starting that project knowing it may take weeks or months to even finish? Do you spend the entire time planning on what to do and end up accomplishing nothing?

I struggled with this issue once my baby girl was born. Free time used to be regular and normal and then it vanished. I had two choices: continue with the never ending funeral dirge for what I had lost, or deal with it. After indulging in an ostentatious funeral march and bouts of hysterical weeping and pining, I chose to deal with it. Being able to express myself creatively is tied to my personal happiness. I was miserable without it.

The solution revolves around changing your mentality.

Be realistic. It is rare for anyone to get more than a few hours of free time. With this in mind, choose a project and start it.

Having problems choosing what to do? Rank your options using two scales:

* excitement (how much does this project excite and motivate me?)
* happiness (how happy will I be doing it?)

Nothing else matters. Trust me.

I started embroidery because I can put it down and take it up whenever my baby slept. It was a perfect start and go project.

The best part for me is how relaxing I find embroidery. I have a background in hand sewing so the transition to this new hobby was seamless. My first piece took a month and a half to finish. I grew confident and began smaller pieces as gifts for friends and family. Tiny snippets of free time were used productively. Each piece took a month or so to finish. Patience is key.

Do you have a project now? Start it. No excuses. Time is ticking.

The worst excuse is "Why start when I know I'm not going to finish?" The answer is simple: if you never start anything, you're guaranteed to never finish. It's not a race to the finish line. Arts and crafting is all about the enjoyment of the process. The result is just icing on the cake.

Watch the clock. Is your free time up yet? It should go by quickly since you're enjoying what you're doing. Put the project away and remind yourself that you have something wonderful to work on the next time you have a free moment. In time, your project will be done.

Currently, I have two embroidery projects and a novel waiting for my free time. Who is waiting for you?


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Guest Post- Alyssa from Alyoops!

Today, Alyssa from Aly-oops! is going to talk about the process of designing knit objects. I'm so excited to have this on my blog, as I adore Alyssa's designs every so much. I hope you enjoy this post, as much as I have.
-Carla

///

Designing Knit Objects

Hi everyone! In this guest post I’m going to detail out how I design and construct knit objects – these can be toys to play with or display, or just quirky random things.

The first step is to start with a vision. I spend a lot of time doodling at inappropriate times, so most of my dolls start out on pages of sketchbooks, notebooks, napkins, or any other surface, really. I like to keep a blotter page on my desk at work that I doodle on when on the phone. Whatever works for you! The important thing is that you need to have a good idea of what you want. Sure, changes are usually necessary, but the less of an idea that I have about something, the more likely I am to drop that project in exchange for something that has a stronger vision.


So, here we have a bit of a page COVERED with doodles. Any one of these can be a knit toy! Let’s start out with the big ole’ ballerina – She’s actually a character that’s been floating around my head for a while. I originally thought her up during the 30 Day Character Challenge that I tried (and failed) in November. Nina Ballerina!

So, now that we have our vision, the next step is to deconstruct it. Nina’s head and top bun are spheres; her body is kind of bell-shaped, with a tutu; her arms and legs are very thin, and end is big ole hands and feet. Hm, I know how to make all those shapes!

At the end of the day, knit toys are really just combinations of shapes! So, how are we going to combine these? I like to draw up a schematic – it’s my engineering background. The schematic breaks down the character into it’s basic shapes, and then I can start to form a game plan for how I’m going to make this lady. You can do this in your head when you get good enough!

First, I think I’m going to knit the head and body. Then, I’m going to pick up and knit each arm and leg. Then, I’ll pick up and knit stitches around the bottom edge of the body to make Nina’s tutu. Finally, I’ll do the embellishments – embroider the face, hair, and sew the knit top bun onto the top of her head.

Using this plan, I draw up my final schematic:

Notice that I have more than just the basic shapes! I’ve got directions for which way I’m going to knit (the arrows) and a symbol for sewing. I think the best way to combine the shapes for the head and the body would be to make two separate shapes, then sew them together. This sketch is easy for me to do – it only takes maybe ten minutes. The best part is, if I don’t want to make Nina right now, the sketch will stay in my notebook or I can upload it onto my laptop and it will live there until I feel like making her! I won’t have to re-invent the wheel from the original doodle.

So, how do you get good at doing this? Practice, of course! My best advice, though, is threefold:

1.) Knit A TON toys.

When I started knitting again in highschool, I knit toys almost exclusively, because they are so quick and rewarding! And my original designs were improved a hundredfold by knitting objects from designers, especially Hansi Singh. Doing these sometimes difficult projects allowed me to develop a feel for what does and doesn’t work. Should I make the project in one piece, or in separate pieces and sew them together? This isn’t a question about skill – the two finished projects will have different shapes! Have you every tried to make a cube in the round? Don’t get me started.

The second benefit of this is that you develop a repertoire of shapes. This is helpful because then you can do what I call “Frankensign” (frank-EN-zine) – splice two or three toy designs together to make something new. This is the easiest way to make toys – and you’ll see it on Ravelry forums when someone asks “How do I knit a (blank)?”

2.) Design, Design, Design.

Draw schematics. Doodle things. Recreate your favorite video game or TV show characters. Whatever! The point is, you don’t get experience unless you do it! You don’t HAVE to make every toy you draw up, in fact, I probably draw out thousand times more projects than I’ll ever have time for – but, you get a little rush when you finish thinking a design through. “Oh, yep, I could make one of those.”

3.) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

This is important with everything, but it’s even more so with designing. Don’t just rip out your mistakes – keep them, if you have the room or the money. This might not make sense with a sweater or a pair of socks, but with a toy, you’ll never know if you will need that shape again! So, take good notes, make down what works – but also keep track of what doesn’t. It goes back to building that repertoire.

Anyway, those are my bits of advice for everyone! Thanks for reading!



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Away for the weekend.

Hey guys, sorry for the quick post, but I'll be off at a convention this weekend. But fret not, I have two lovely guest bloggers lined up in my absence.

I might post some photos from the convention when I get back. And if any blog readers will be at the LAX Marriot for AnimeLosAngeles, feel free to say Hey!


Leopard

I'll leave you with this gorgeous leopard from the beautiful San Diego Zoo.

Take care, and happy crafting.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Swatches and plans

Happy 2nd day of the New Year everyone!! I hope all of you had a lovely 1st!

Today I swatched a stitch that was just yelling to come from my needles.

Swatch

I think the cables and eyelets look quite lovely together. I'm doing some figuring for what I want this to eventually become.

Swatch Close up

And a bit of a close up. I should probably block this, and pin it on my idea board.

I've been scribbling out how I'm going to go about my Knitting and Crochet lessons I announced on the last post.

Lesson Plan

I think I covered the basics, and I'll maybe add a few more and I think about it.


And I got to thinking about making mini monthly goals to set for myself.

  • Learn one new technique.
  • Draw more.
  • Take more photographs.
  • Make more shop inventory.
  • Sell at least 3 items.
Do any of you have any plans you set for yourself, either monthly or for the entire year?

Take care, and happy crafting.


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