Sunday, January 27, 2008

Strange Development and CONTEST!!!

Perhaps not so strange at all, considering I seem to display the occasional spurt of O.C.D. This behavior usually coincides with elevated stress levels, and that's when things start 'changing' around here. Stuff gets tossed, and I mean HUGE amounts of stuff; leads me to wonder how, and why, I seem to always re-accumulate things. - And they're just that: things. I mean, you can't take it with you, right? So, what's the point in hanging on to something that's been sitting in boxes for 5+ years? - Or, I'll go on a total creative tangent, where I'll just make, make, make. And if I don't feed the creative urge somehow, I get really, really cranky. Does this ever happen to you? I know it happens to others, I've witnessed it first hand.

Anyway, all this to say that my latest spurt involves crocheting. Lots of it.
I. Can't. Stop. O.o

It's embarrassing really. Here, here's an excerpt of a phone** conversation I had with Maria last night:
M: "So how's the Krro' CHe Ting?
Moi: "Not bad, I made my first BEANIE!"
M: "To match your long scarf?"
Moi: " Yes. And now that I know I can do it, I started another one for my red set..."
M: " You're starting a second one?"
Moi: " Yeah, it's about halfway done."
M: "LOL!"

So, yeah, it's taking over. Mimi had a playdate yesterday, her little friend Kit came over for a few hours. Awesome kid that Kitty. Cute as a button! Anyway, being in each other's company in a context other than class is much more fun. Especially when there are crafts involved. Lots of glitter glue and google eyes for these girls. And so, the kids entertaining each other allowed me plenty of working time, and I started on a beanie to match this scarf:

I love this piece. By far, the most enterprising hooking (that one's for You Phosie!) =) project I've ever endeavored. I used 3 different types of yarn and two stitches - Single and Double Crochet. The light green (Dill) row is chunky Bamboo - incredibly soft, the dark row is Lion Brand Incredible in 'Accents on Black', and the center row is called Twister, in some kind of variegated gray/khaki blend called Sage Twist.

As the story goes with this project, I found that as I worked further along, my tension seemed to relax. This caused two things.
1. My rows get looser the further along I go, creating this strange 'curling' effect, which actually looks pretty neat.
B. Since my tension relaxed, each stitch requiring more yarn, I ran out of the ribbon yarn, banking on the fact that I'd only used a single ball on the first section. I was quite a few inches off of finishing my very last row with it, and couldn't find it anywhere. I mean, not even Michael's had it! I was distraught. But then, Kirsten came came through for me. I knew she'd bought some at the same time. But when I asked, she told me she'd used it in a scarf, but, it hadn't turned out the way she wanted, so if I was willing to take it apart, I could use it.

Ta-Da! Kirsten to the rescue!!!

It's quite long. The longest scarf I've ever seen actually. It's weighty, and feels luxurious. I wasn't sure about the different textures at first. I liked the way it looked, but after working with the bamboo and switching to the ribbon, it felt so different.

You know what? I feel inspired! I feel like having a little contest. Just a little something to chase away the doldrums. It's been cold, most of us have been sick, and I'm starting to see quite a few of my loved ones afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder in some form or other. So, who wants to play? Jewels is in a playful mood.

Here's the contest: How long is Jewel's super long scarf?

The first person to guess will be the recipient of a cute little handmade something made by Moi. The winner will get to choose between a beanie or fingerless gloves (the ones you slip your thumb through), or a thin scarf; the color shall be determined by what I have at hand. (No worries if a fella wins, I have 'non girly' colors.) Oh, and I will ship it anywhere in the world. One guess per person, and the contest ends Friday, February 1st, 8:00 pm, E.S.T. (LOL, how 'official')
So, ready?


Oh, a tip: I measure 5 feet, 5 inches tall.

Another Oh: Sorry Maria, but you have to skip this one. Oh, and to those of you who know Maria? Don't you even think about asking her! ;)
** Before hanging up, I told Maria I'd call her when my beanie was done. She replied "Ok, talk to you in 10 minutes..." ... Funny gal...
Two hours later... I was done. I called Maria, as promised, and when I told her I was done, she laughed. She laughed at me.... :) LOL! Of course she said no, she wasn't laughing at me. She was just very impressed. More laughter, then "I'm impressed, and you're obsessed..." LOL!

*******************************Finally got a shot of chapeau #1
Perfect match to the scarf

Also a cute shot of my red beanie, to match the shell stitch scarf and wrist warmers.

Have I told you how much I love crochet yet?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Let's see...

What have I been up to? Well, I'm still on this organization kick as far as the beading area is concerned. Just implemented my latest find: Filing trays. I've been using cardboard labeled storage boxes for my finished pieces and my pearls. I like that I can just glance at the boxes and find what I'm looking for in no time flat.
Now I can do it with my U.F.O.S as well. I found these two-drawer trays at Homesense. Lucky for me, I can stack two high on my shelf. I lined each drawer with a sheet of Vellux , and keep my unfinished pieces in them. The fact that I can pull the drawers out make the projects easily accessible and portable.

I've managed to find enough U.F.O.s to fill a drawer each for knitting, crocheting, and netting. I know I've got quite a few more pieces around here somewhere. Good thing I've limited myself to the dining room area as far as the bead stuff goes.
I have GOT to finish that piece on the right. I'm still searching for the perfect clasp for it. It's just one of those pieces that requires a lot of time and effort, and one that needs to be 'just so'. Then again, all my pieces are like that...

I just finished this cuff as a Christmas present for a dear friend. A bit different for me, no pattern followed.

My friend Kirsten gave me a neat book on crocheting with beads for Christmas, and I got myself another crochet book as well. Armed with these two books and 5 brand new crochet hooks, I've embarked on this brand new journey. A journey I fear will lead me down the road of an endless array of scarves, beanies and mittens... Sadly, I've also chosen to drag a friend down with me, and got Maria hooked on it as well...

Here is my latest piece.
Pretty magenta scarf in Shell stitch.

The first one, done in Treble Crochet.

Not one missed stitch!

And now, for the pièce de résistance:
My first hat!
And here is darling Mimi modeling her hat, which she loves and has been wearing ever since. Yay!
Love those pompoms!
As far as beading goes, I haven't done much lately. Well, I have made a few netted bracelets, using wooden beads. The beads themselves are no larger than a size 6/0, and are very light. I've been trying to use different materials lately, see if I can't get the creative juices flowing. I've been trying to not do as much of my bead crochet ropes as well. Guess I need to stretch different muscles.

Oh, I also decided to give myself a little present over the holidays, and got myself a beading book. I've been wanting to do a huge Egyptian style broad collar for quite some time, and since I've got all the necessary materials at hand, I was doing a search on them. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon Bette Kelley's site, you have GOT to go see this lady's work, it's breathtaking.

So, what's on the agenda for the next little while? Well, I'm sick. My little one and I are battling a stomach bug, AND I've got a sinus cold (shoot me now!) So, I've been catching up on all the sleep I've lost since Mimi's birth - what, I haven't slept in 6 years! ;) - and in between naps, I'm teaching myself new crochet stitches. I'll tell you this much, it's a lot less painful finding a crochet hook than a beading needle in bed...

Okay, I've been up since 3:30, couldn't sleep from all the coughing. But I'm sleepy now!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Blog

I started a new blog, it's called Perle Sauvage; that's French, for wild pearl.
I believe this one will be entirely devoted to the subject of tutorials. While discussing the subject of our bead knowledge, and how we all learned whichever stitches in our respective répertoires, it dawned on me that most of what I do know as far as beading goes, I gathered from the web.

I still remember the very first time I 'surfed the web', it was September of '98. Oh, how I take it for granted now, but back then, it opened my eyes to so many ideas, possibilities, and opportunities. I learned so much from different forums, enjoyed learning from so many tutorials and projects that more advanced bead weavers had so graciously shared with the world. I've learned a lot, and I think it's time I started sharing too.

That's where Perle Sauvage comes in. Perle Sauvage will be my sharing forum. I think I'd like to use it for nothing but tips, tricks, and tutorials. Well, click on the link if you'd like. And let me know what you think?