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Monday, April 24, 2006

Use What You Have Month

I haven't written so far about my Use What You Have Month. I have managed not to buy any craft materials except for a few bits I needed for my course (and for this Friday I genuinely don't need to buy anything new! I really will be using What I Have). However I haven't managed to stop buying magazines, naughty me. I did also buy one book - I really wasn't going to buy any craft books this month but this one on art quilts was exaclt what I had been looking for to help with my two major assignments due at the end of semester :)

I have made a number of things Using What I Have. For my April colourswap I sent off some sock yarn from my stash, plus I made something out of yarn and beads also from my stash (she hasn't got them yet so I won't post any more details just yet). I made myself a pair of orange (and pink) socks from yarn I had dyed at the start of the year; and I am halfway through another pair of socks also from yarn dyed then. I have knitted my mum a scarf out of (shock horror) eyelash yarn (for Mothers' Day) and I;m knitting myself a short keyhold scarf out of the same stuff for myself, all from the stash. And I think I will knit my mum a short keyhole scarf in another eyelash yarn from the stash, and use the rest of it for a long scarf for myself. I don't like novelty yarns a whole lot but this is really soft, long eyelash yarn that actually feels rather nice against the neck. Photos eventually. So pretty much all month has been spent using stuff from the stash, which I am pleased with.

I have also gone on a longer term Yarn Diet. See that ticker at the top of the blog? I'm in a challenge being run by Rebekah of Knit Knack blog (see my sidebar) which is a yarn diet with a difference. (Or you could call it a cop-out if you were feeling sarcastic!) We try not to buy any yarn for three months EXCEPT we have one free day per month (which can be cumulative). All participants donate some yarn, enough to make a scarf or pair of socks, and at the end of the three months the winner (or winners) get a share of the pot, so to speak. So far I have really not bought any yarn at all and I am so proud of myself! I even passed up the quite good and very cheap printed sock yarn I saw in Lincraft last week. I am expecting a big haul of sock yarn from Sockmonster (see sidebar) soon, but I ordered that halfway through March so I think I get let off that - anyway, I still have my free day for April. I had also signed up for a sock club but I;lm happy for that to be my yarn buying day each month over the next three months, anyway.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Project Colourswap

Project Colourswap is an offshoot of Project Spectrum (see my sidebar for a link). I have just about finished putting together my parcel to send off for April - I had to wait for some glue to dry on something before finishing it off, which I will do this evening.

There is a new questionnaire for the project which I will post here now:

Are you crafty? YES!!!!!

Would you enjoy things like: Buttons, ribbons andembellishments? Buttons and embellishments, not so enthusiastic about ribbons

Do you dye your own wool? One of my favorite things! I;m especially interested in dyeing sock wool right now.

Do you like to scrapbook or make homemade cards? Not really

What are your favorite scents? Floral scents, but either pure ones (like rose scent that actually smells like roses, or lavender, etc) or floral and/or green scents that are not too sweet or too spicey. NOT VANILLA OR TEA TREE OIL, they make me feel sick.

Do you like stationery and cards? Love cards, don't really use other stationery

Do you like to sew or embroider items? Just become obsessed with this!

Do you like beads? MMMM BEADS.... Yes, in other words :)

What kind of candy do you like? Not a big candy fun though do like chocolate and toffee.

Do you like hand lotions or soaps? Love 'em!

Do you like to wear costume jewelry? Necklace,earrings, bracelets etc. Yes, love it!

Do you like to make/or use stitch markers? Occasionally use them, don't make them, but love gorgeous ones.

Do you collect anything? Tiny teddy bears; things to do with wolves, bats or polar bears, or pharoah hounds; I also like dragons and Celtic and medieval things

Do you have any allergies?: Smoke, food, fiber, pets,etc. Smoke, most definitely. Can't wear mohair around my neck but can tolerate it otherwise, no other fiber problems.

Do you have any hobbies? All fiber related ones! Knitting, crochet, emrboidery, patchwork (sort of), textile art. Currently very interested in collecting variegated embroidery threads, of any composition or thickness.

Do you like scented or unscented candles? Don't like candles, sorry.

Are you a fiber snob? A bit - I don't like really plasticy feeling acrylics.

Do you like to play cards or board games? Only a little bit.

Do you like neon colors, pastel, light or mediumranges in the color of the month? Any and all! I LOVE COLOUR!

Do you like kitchen magnets or key rings? I do, indeed.

Do you like picture frames? Yes, sort of - I do like them but I don't really have any nor am I sure if I would use them.

I will finish off my thingy that I am making to send - which will be accompanied with a few other, colour appropriate things - to my pal on Saturday.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Project Spectrum - April - Orange/Yellow

I did this applique for my course a couple of weeks ago. We had to draw still lives with fruit and/or vegetables in charcoal - something that put me off art at school and which I still loathe to do (the still life, not the charcoal particularly, though goodness it is messy!). This is my stitched version of sweet potatoes. Each potato is layered organza using different combinations of red, orange and yellow, and then details stitched in using a variety of orange, green and beige threads. The painting around the outside was a moment of desperation when I couldn't decide how to finish it, and then I added a few orange blobs to the sweet potatoes too. It was surprisingly good fun, considering how much I hated the drawing process. Interestingly, I chose all the materials in daylight, and when the finished product is viewed under artificial light it doesn't work nearly as well, as the organza is quite sparkly and that's what you end up focussing on. This photo looks like the piece does in daylight. I have never done this sort of thing before and I am quite pleased with myself. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Project Spectrum - April - Orange/Yellow

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The Endeavour - or, What I Did on My Holidays Part 2

We went around the Endeavour, which is a replica of the ship was Captain Cook was sailing when he discovered Australia. This replica was made for our Bicentenary in 1987. It is a very faithful reproduction and it is a rare treat for it to be docked in Melbourne, so it was great fun to see it. We spent a couple of hours crawling around it - quite literally in the part where the clearance was only 4'!!! George took a couple of most unflattering pictures of me getting down to crawl through that bit. They are NOT in this picture collage!!! Posted by Picasa

The Buddy System - or, What I Did In My Holidays Part 1

It's nearly two weeks since the end of the school holidays and I have pictures still to post. The Buddy System was an interesting interactive art happening where we became part of the exhibition. Participants crocheted a flower, which was then pinned to the wall. The flowers are then posted on to your nominated Loved One at the end of the exhibition, extending the reach of lovingly made craft pieces into the outer world. Non-crocheters were taught to do chains in green wool that became the connecting pieces. I had Baby Bear (12) and her friend C (13), who is a crafty male who already knits rather well. They were both very enthusiastic about learning to do the chains. It was a fun half hour and C found himself the centre of attention as EVERONE wanted to see a 13 year old boy crocheting!! It was fun, though admittedly the crochet lessons were a bit sketchy and all the yarn was the most disgusting plastic acrylic - I understand why, as they were supplying it, but I HATE using the stuff! I also felt a bit incompetent as I could only remember one flower pattern, but the wall was full of gorgeous flowers made off site by other people who obviously had access to patterns. I could have done a great one with a pattern! I really liked the interactive approach and it will look very pretty when it is finished - and I like the ephemeral feelings about flowers and about this exhibition - but there was something about the atmosphere that I still can't my finger on that I did not enjoy. Posted by Picasa

A later note - George read this entry and said that every time he wandered into the room (he was keeping Wombat entertained elsewhere in the gallery) he felt completely frozen out and very unwelcome. And he is someone who schmoozes with women of all ages/sizes/shapes/nationalities to an almost embarassing extent. He and I are both very sensitive to atmospheres and the 'auras', for want of a better word, of people, and it's interesting that we both apparently had similar feelings. And no, we hadn't discussed it at the time.