Yesterdays post made me want to explain some things. I had mentioned that I am a jack of all trades and a master of none. I had also listed a ton of craft and design activities that I like to do. I wanted to take a minute and talk about those.
I have been crocheting since my mother taught me when I was 9. I hated how it looked, but I liked the process of doing it. Well, recently I’ve found out that I was doing it wrong. (“You’re doing it wrong!” lol) I retrained myself to insert the hook properly and don’t mind the look of it anymore. So, I’ve been crocheting for 24 years and finally like it.
I am very picky about my yarn. I prefer cotton to anything else, but will settle for wool, alpaca or bamboo. Haha, settle! Fun yarns used to be my favorite, but I only use those when doing hairpin lace. Makes for a very fun scarf.
Mercerized cotton has been my thing lately and crocheted lace is my passion. I only make it a few inches at a time as a decoration on something I’m making. Saturday, I started a mushroom design filigree lace that I’ll probably edge with picots or something fancy. It’s twice as long as I like to make my pieces, but I hope to use it as a waist decoration on one of baby girls dresses. Mercerized cotton is the thin, non stretchy, usually cream or white, but comes in colors, yarn. hehe
I learned how to use PSP 7 about 7 years ago. Then I started dating my current partner in ’04. He has been a graphic designer for many years and is very talented. Well, being a Photoshop professional, he decided to show me Photoshop CS (I think or the one before it) and I took off from there. For about 2 years following, I made a small business of making graphics for print. I used that time to learn the program and to figure out the ins and outs of having clients. I learned a LOT! As you can tell from one of my first images on the left.
I’ve come a long way since then and have even learned how to use illustrator effectively. We’re not the best of friends, but in small spurts I can use illustrator without throwing my computer through a plate glass window [wink]. I use my graphic design knowledge to create the graphics for my business. Sometimes I even will help others with their graphics for fun. I just enjoy it.
I have been sewing off and on since I was 16. That first dress was an awesome experiment. And even though the lines weren’t exactly straight, I successfully installed a zipper down the back. I can’t fit into that dress anymore, but I wore it for years. I wish I had a pic to show you, maybe I’ll share it someday since it’s still hanging in my closet.
In the past year, I have sewn more than in my entire lifetime previously. I’ve gotten good at it. Honestly! I’m amazed at how far I’ve come from sewing crooked lines to being able to sew just about anything you throw at me. I’ve made so many different things and have worked with so many different fabrics and I’m still learning. I LOVE that part – the still learning part.
Cards Paper Crafts
In winter 07, I started making art cards – which are one of a kind blank note cards that people give to each other or frame. These are not to be confused with ATC’s. They’re the typical hallmark size but on the front is a one of a kind original work of art. I got a hold of a ton of materials to make these things and they just ended up being scrapbook style cards. I stopped hand drawing/coloring on them and started stamping and cutting paper. I have no idea what I was thinking. I should have stuck with the original plan.
The only one’s I really like to make now are with long pieces of 1/4″ wide paper. I weave the different papers, then sew or brad the woven paper to a card. I love the way they turn out, but won’t be selling them any time soon. Maybe a youtube video is in my future.
I love stamps and paper, but have reserved those for hobbies and business paper. For instance… I needed hang tags and extras to add to packaging. So, I make some tags with a hand carved stamp and put together some tiny journals and notepads to add as extras to orders. That puts my many papers to good use and I get to make stuff with paper. Win/win! Another for instance is my activity on Swap-bot. I make envelopes, notecards and ATC’s with the paper too.
I have to say that I love drawing with thread [ie embroidering]! I love all that you can do with thread, but drawing with it has got to be the best thing in life. I don’t embroider often, as I like to savor it. It’s one of those activities I save for a relaxing afternoon. I don’t have many of those.
When I was in high school, my mom had gotten into cross stitch. She would buy too many kits, then offer me one to do. My first cross stitch is long gone and it’s not a 3″ penguin like you’re probably thinking. It was a 12″ x 15″ 50 color house with trees and yard and wow! I finished about half of it and put it down. It was very similar to the one on the left. [just a google image I found]
So, last year I got an embroidery/sewing machine for mother’s day. I really enjoyed using the machine to personalize my projects with amazing embroidered pictures. It soon became an obsession to find all the quality free embroidery files that my machine could use. I have thousands of freebies along with the few hundred I paid for.
Within a couple months, I was so into embroidery, I wanted to try it by hand. I found some free patterns online and took off. I have a few faves, but still have a hard time paying for hand embroidery patterns. I have to 1) be ready to stitch it out and 2) have a project in mind for it. The problem with that is, I can make my own patterns. If I have an idea for a project, I make the pattern myself. So, I just end up creating my own patterns and forgoing supporting my favorite embroidery artists. :/
So, that’s a little history, a little insight and a little more info than you probably wanted from me in one sitting. ha! Well, it’s done. Hope you have an awesome day.