Crafting is good for the soul

The world is much more beautiful with a little faith and a lot of magic...and tons of groovy handcrafted things!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ducky fashion

I embroidered a peaceful lotus flower on a scrap of peach flannel recently, and yesterday I turned it into an applique and put it on a newborn t-shirt for Ducky. For the detail on the lotus petals I used a running stitch, but practiced with it like I was quilting. I figure I need all the practice I can get quilting, that duck quilt is going to take some time!

Cute! I'm going to make some more little appliques this week. Oh, and also some pregnancy/fertility necklaces....

Here is Luna modeling the Ducky Shirt. Behind her is a stack of flannel square sandwiches waiting patiently to be sewn into a baby rag quilt... I'll get to that later this week. Along with hemming the silk pj pants that Luna is holding down.

And a close-up of the lotus. Darling Husband made the stencil for me, so it was a group effort.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Crochet project #2 - crochet edged fleece baby blanket. Super soft!!

My crochet stitches are much more even on this blanket. I think for the next one I will actually build up a row or two and do a scalloped, lacy looking edge! Rounding the corners is nice, too... everything flows better that way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

crafting Manifesto Rule #2

It's going to take a while to create the full Manifesto for my crafting, but here is my first rule. Ok, so it's actually going to be considered Rule #2 because I'm sure something amazing will come to me that absolutely must be Rule #1.

Rule #2:
If it can smell good, it should. Not only should the smell be pleasant, it should bring about a good feeling or help with a purposeful intent.

Today I made incense for the first time in at least a year. Really, I can't recall making incense at all while living in The Happys (what our neighborhood name loosely translates to). So I dusted off the old incense-making machine (me) and pulled some supplies out of deep storage and got to work. Lucky me - I have a stash of damn good incense materials, so the challenge was paring down and working simply. In the past I've gone overkill and added too many different elements, ending up with cones that didn't burn well, or powder or cones that just didn't smell good. I've almost learned my lesson in too much isn't necessarily a good thing with my essential oil creations, so I'm carrying that over to incense as well.

Today I made 1 non-combustible powder incense to be used with charcoal and 2 types of combustible cones. One cone is a groovy blend of opoponax, frankincense and sandalwood, the other is relatively plain which I plan to scent with essential oils as an experiment. The powder is amazing -- juniper with clove and some resins.

Below, left to right: completed powder blend, frankincense resin, opoponax resin.

Completed cones (which need to dry/cure for a week).

Luna, the assistant/familiar!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Okay, I just read this post on Crafting A Green World:

and now I'm inspired... To make more stuff? To try my hand at yet another craft? To finish UFO's (unfinished objects, neglected projects)? NO. I'd like to write a manifesto for my crafty self. Not today, though. I have some crocheting to do and a pair of lovely silk jammie bottoms to hem.

Here are some necklaces I made yesterday and posted on Etsy. For some reason I can't seem to find my stuff after I post or re-list. Just today. Strange and frustrating. I think I'm going to apply to a few Etsy groups, get acquainted with local Etsy-ers and maybe even post some questions on the forums. (GAH! Dreaded forums! I'm such a forum lurker, not really my style to chat and rant on those things. Rather do that here, I suppose!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

crochet-edged receiving blanket

Yipee!!!! I finished my first ever crochet project.

About 6 months ago I decided I would teach myself how to crochet. Using library books and some online tutorials I fumbled with the basic stitches - chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet stitch - and was ok. Then I set the yarn and fancy bamboo crochet hook aside and promptly forgot all I had learned. When I found out that Ducky was coming I decided it was time to figure out the crochet thing again. Luckily, my craftygoddes friend Delilahh was around to help guide me through the basics. Let me tell you, it's much easier to have someone help you than to try and figure it out on your own!

My first project is a flannel receiving blanket for Ducky with a crochet border. Very pretty. I learned a few things... to pay greater attention to yarn/thread gauge and to determine your stitches accordingly. The yarn I had was thicker than I would have liked for the weight of the flannel, and the pattern I was following was (of course) for smaller yarn and therefore called for a greater amount of stitches per inch... I figured it out as I went, but aren't all craft projects learning experiences? :)

The blanket kept me busy during our SF Honeymoon #1, Darling Husband drove lots and I was the crafty co-pilot. Note the bottom right corner of the photo -- Captain Henry's whiskers!

Friday, October 3, 2008

quilt for bro, quilt for Ducky!

I'm almost done with the rag quilt I've been making for my brother. My intention was to have it completed by the time he came to visit, so he could take it home to CO with him. Well, that didn't really happen. Last week I thought I was done, but after it went through the washer and dryer twice it came apart at a few of the seams. YIKES! I was having problems with the bobbin tension on my trusty ol' machine while I was sewing the quilt... guess the problems were bigger than I realized! So now I need to muster up some patience and patch the holes. It was a fun project and I learned that I definitely will not attempt to make a queen or full size rag quilt again any time soon. After 15 hours I stopped keeping track of how long the process took. A fun process... except for this damn hole-patching that I need to get on!

The cats were helpful, of course!

Completed it looks (and feels) cozy...

Ack! Loose seams = holy mess.

On a brighter note, my friend Darling Delilahh (craft goddess) gave me some amazing things last week during our crafty girl dinner date... A vintage hinged picnic/craft basket full of fun cross-stitch kits, crochet yarn and misc. craft stuffs! She remembered I'd been wanting a basket and came across this one recently and put it aside for me. As if that wasn't amazing enough on its own, she gifted me with a vintage baby quilt for Ducky... 18 years ago she bought the 1940's completed quilt top and started on a quilt for the child she was expecting. She made the bottom in a coordinating cotton muslin, placed the batting between, traced an amazing heart quilt pattern on the light squares and began quilting away! A few weeks ago she was cleaning out a closet and discovered this partially completed quilt, realizing that the design on the soft pink squares were dressed up duckies and decided to give it to me to complete. Her husband looked at her like she was nuts, he remembered her slaving away at that thing years ago and never finishing it. Now she was going to dump it off on someone else? Of course Darling Delilahh knows me well enough to know that I'd appreciate all the history of the duckie quilt: vintage, updated, worked on with love by her hands and passed on with grace to an aspiring quilter and mom-to-be.

It's a beautiful quilt.

Look at the fancy boyducks and girlducks!

Of course, I definitely need to work on it. There are a few stains, some strange holes in the original top and lots of finishing work. But I get to practice hand-quilting! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

photographer keeps her job!

It's been a while, dear blog. I do apologize. Life got in the way, please don't take it personally. 2 weeks ago my brother came to LA from the mountains of Colorado to visit, skateboard and see Nick Cave at The Hollywood Bowl. (wow, an amazing concert.) Then Dear Husband and I took off for a spur of the moment road trip to the Bay Area. So many excuses, I know. But I've been crafting away the whole time. Really! Proof will come pouring in, in the form of posts. Soon.

Most importantly, our photographer has redeemed herself and we've decided to keep her around. After watching a few tutorials on Etsy and reading a bit about point-and-shoot macro shots and lighting she's managed to take some decent shots. At least they're better than the old jewelry shots! Yikes! Here's a before and an after sample. To see more, visit my much more moody and image-friendly Etsy page.