Tuesday, July 27, 2010

P15, K82

And around and around we go!

The drawback to knitting a simple pattern like Cobblestone in the round is that it is, well, tedious. Repeating the same stitch over and over again can be hypnotizZZZZzz . . . Huh. Give me a moment while I wipe the drool from my keyboard. As I was saying, it can put you to sleep. On the other hand, it knits up very quickly. Plus, it's easy to keep track of where you're at, so it's perfect for subway knitting. Or, in this case, knitting on the four hour train ride up to visit mom. I got pretty far on the body of the sweater last weekend.

The yarn I am using is Lorna's Laces Sheperd Worsted in denim, which I purchased at Purl Soho when my friend and knitting mentor, Heather, was visiting from Cleveland.

I also frequent the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Last Thursday I took another class there with Will. It ws definitely worth the investment. Not only did I learn the technique of double knitting, but I finally left my comfort zone and gave holding the yarn with both hands (Continental & English) simultaneously a shot. I am an extraordinarily clumsy Continental knitter and my gauge is an absolute mess, but with each row it gets better.
I clearly need more practice. Perhaps a scarf when I finish the sweater.




Sunday, July 25, 2010

County Fair

Saturday was our family trip to the Saratoga County Fair. It was hot. While I was looking for pictures for a scavanger hunt I'm participating in, Mom, Jill and Larry held down the fort in the beer tent, which was the coolest place on the fairgrounds and had some pretty good music. The highlight of the day was the pie eating contest, which, it turns out, is not just for kids. I still can't believe I ate most of a pie in under a minute!
























Blogging can be redundant with Facebook. I apologize if you have seen these photos before.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gathering Dust

A couple of years ago, I took a wonderful class called Captured Through the Lens at Get It Scrapped taught by Katrina Kennedy. It was a great introduction to my new digital slr camera. I have been wanting to go back through the class handouts and review some ofthe lessons, but get discouraged whenever I look at the stack of papers I thrust into a file folder.

(Clearly, this picture wasn't taken using my dslr or any of the pointers I learned).

Then it occurred to me -- I have a Bind It All gathering dust behind the couch. It wouldn't take much for me to cut some cardstock and bind the class lessons into a notebook. Actually, it has been awhile since I have altered anything, and there are other supplies gathering dust, so why not break them out and use them too?



First, though, I need to remember how to use my Bind It All. I have discovered that YouTube is an invaluable resource for "how to" videos, like this one.

So, I went to work. Creating a mask from an underutilized Quickutz die and using FolkArt acrylic paint, Pink Paisely pattern paper, and gel medium, it did not take long to alter a piece of chipboard to make the face of my notebook. A few minutes later it was bound and . . . Wallah!





Monday, July 19, 2010

Cobblestone

Have I mentioned that I knit too?



I just cast on my fifth sweater of the year - Cobblestone by Jared Flood. The pattern, linked to the title of this post, is available on Ravelery. While I don't expect it will look like this, I do hope it will be wearable.








Sunday, July 18, 2010

Depth and Texture

Medicine Makers LIVE

I had such a good evening, catching my friend Sharon's husband play in his band.

When making this layout, I really stived to add visual interest by adding depth (laying papers) and texture (wrinkling and inking). I also practiced with my alcohol inks some more, using the celery on top of a piece of gold paper I've had in my stash for years.





Depth and texture are my goals on each page. My signature technique for adding texture is to stitch on a page. While there are lots of tricks for creating designs, I prefer to simply sketch out what I want in pencil, pierce the paper, then erase the pencil lines. The buttons and pearl accents also help add texture and somewhat mimic the explosion of fireworks.



The Process


Have you ever picked your own strawberries? Remember how plump and sweet they are? While the farmer did the work of picking for us, the strawberries at the Saratoga Springs Farmers' Market, fresh from the farm, were just as amazingly sweet.

When doing a page, I start with a stack of photos (if you know me, you know just how many photos I take!) and find a few that tell the story the best. Sometimes its hard to chose, or there are multiple stories to tell, so I do more than one layout. (There are multiple layouts in the work for the farmers' market. Raddishes are just so pretty :)

As I'm going through the photos, I sketch out how I want them to lay on the page. Then I start digging through my stash of paper for something that goes with the photos and the story behind them. Here, I chose My Minds Eye Penny Lane and So Sophie and Making Memories Noteworthy.


As I mentioned in the opening post, I want to improve the quality of my craft, so I wanted to use this layout as a canvas for experimenting with new techniques. Lately I have been watching the tutorials Jennifer McGuire did for Ranger products at Two Peas in a Bucket (link below). In this layout, I used cranberry alcohol ink on old pink Heidi Swapp chipboard. Since I do not have any pearls to make it shimmery, I used Decoart Craft Twinkles (a clear gel with glitter in it) to add some sparkle.

I love adding texture to layouts. To finish this one off, I created strawberry embellishments by running red paper through a Cuttlebug swiss dot embossing folder, cutting the strawberries by hand and topping them with green flowers (another trick learned from watching Jennifer McGuire's tutorials). I used a white Gellyroll pen to highlight the "seeds" created by running the paper through the embossing folder.




Saturday, July 17, 2010

Page Maps Sketch Challenge

In July 2010 Becky Fleck posted a sketch contest on her blog (the link is to the right) for a chance to win laser cut chipboard. The sketch really caught my attention and my mind went to work immediately. In particular, I started thinking about tone on tone layering and adding texture by coloring cardstock with ink.

This is the sketch:




And this is my take on it (using Bo Bunny, American Crafts and October Afternoon papers; October Afternoon and Adornit alphas; MM rub ons; and CK brads):



Friday, July 16, 2010

Why?

A question I have no doubt I will be asked: Why blog?

In answering it in this post, I hope that I can give some direction to this endeavor. I won't deny it, part of the reason is simple procrastination. But my main goal is to use this blog to improve upon my crafts' content and quality.

I lead an ecclectic life, which I love, but in order to truly capture it (the point of scrapbooking, which has been called Life Art by designer Ali Edwards), I need to take a few minutes to think about the activites I engage in and the people with whom I gratefully share my time. A blog can be a useful tool for developing journaling and chosing photos, which in turn will help layout design. It's also a useful tool for keeping track of techniques or sketches that interest me and how I incorporate them into my own projects and develop as a both a paper crafter and a knitter.

So it begins . . .