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Monday, February 27, 2006
I Swatch-Therefore I am

The other day I sat down to practice my knit 2/purl 2 rib. To my dismay, I had forgotten how to purl. After much figuring out and the help of my mother-in-law I relearned to purl. Yeah!

The swatch on the left was made while I was waiting for an appointment at the hand doctors. It was knit on size 10 bamboo needles and the yarn is a yummy former-virgin wool from Ireland.

I turned the swatch into a dress for princess's barbie dolls. The dolls prefer to wear it as a long skirt. Hey, what ever makes them happy.
posted by Angel at 2/27/2006 01:13:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
The Adrenalin Rush of Knitting
I confess, I'm a fiber geek. I destress by playing with yarn and fibers. I can discuss the merits of various fibers for hours. I have fibergasams. And now it seems I get an adrenalin high from knitting.

I learned to knit less than a year ago. Part of why I wanted to hearn to knit was so I could make socks. I love funky socks and so many sock yarns are those funky colors I love. As faithful readers know by now, I learned to crochet socks the other week. I've known how to crochet 30 times longer than I've known how to knit. By learning to make socks by crocheting them I learned the parts of a sock and how they go together. I confess, I have a fear of knitting socks. I'm worried that I will mess up and ruin all the pretty sock yarn. But you know what? It's a silly fear and it is one that I need to get over.

Friday night, Hubby, Princess, and I went to the local craft store and I bought sock yarn. I wanted to drive over to the Mannings and get yarn there, but I just didn't have the time. I got home, petted my yarn, picked a pattern, and cast on. I messed up my first attempt and after about an inch of cuff, I frogged it. Then I started over. Before I knew it, it was midnight. I was so excited that I was making progress on socks that I was afraid I wouldn't be about to sleep for a while.

I spent more time this weekend working on sock 1 and I'm thrilled. I just finished row 20 of the cuff. I'll keep posting pics as I progress.
posted by Angel at 2/27/2006 12:43:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments links to this post
Friday, February 24, 2006
Goddess Of Spring Shrine

My lovely shrine is finished, all except for the hanger on the back. It looks so much better in real life. This was done because one of the members (Griselda) of my Goddess Dolls list challanged us to make shrines to the Earth Goddess. My Earth Goddess is the Maiden of Spring. I'm very pleased with her.

I went in for my hand check up yesterday and learned I had a new problem with them. Hands are so much trouble. I have Tendonitis in my left hand. Yippy! (feel the sarcasm, baby). I was given a shot of cortizone in the hopes that that will clear it up and I won't need more surgery. That stuff hurts. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, ok, maybe I would. anyhow, my hand feels better today. I'm hoping it takes care of the tendonitis. I love my hands and I don't want them to hurt.
posted by Angel at 2/24/2006 05:02:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Princess Ballet Socks---DONE!

I always feel that when I get finished with a project that I should have some guy like the one on Monster House come over and announce DONE!. I guess it's because I'm great at starting things, but I suck at finishing them. However, I should note, when you are making something for the 7 year old Princess, she will make sure you finish what you start for her. She wanted me to make her a pair of socks like I made for myself. She picked out this pink acrylic and a darker pink fun fur. My daughter's feet are fun to make stuff for, she has long, narrow feet and these toes that she loves to spread out. I started to make these and partway up the toe I decided to play with the pattern. What was the end result was a pair of Ballet socks. I just finished the second one, so when she gets home from school she can try them one. The above sock is being modled by my daughter and no she does not really have a tattoo (I love playing with the tubes in PSP).
posted by Angel at 2/24/2006 04:27:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments links to this post
Red Silk Socks

Ok, I admit, they didn't photograph the greatest. But beleive me when I tell you these babies are decadant. Over the summer I recycled yarn from a red sweater. I fell in love with this worsted weight red yarn the moment I saw the sweater. Once I started to take the sweater apart I looked at the content. This beautiful yarn was silk with a little wool and nylon added in. So right now it's cold and windy outside and my little tootsies are snug and warm in a silk/wool cocoon. I did these a little different than the green pair, this pair has rows of double crochet in them. I definitely could get into this natural fibers/handmade socks thing. It's a decadance I can afford.

posted by Angel at 2/24/2006 04:06:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Sunday, February 19, 2006
She Sells Seashells--ATC

I love how limited my drawing skills are. I can draw mermaid tails but I can't draw the rest of the mermaid. This ATC was made for the Day at the Ocean Swap. I'm really proud of this one. It's very simple, but the tail looks great. I used colored pencils and glitter-gel pens for her tail. She also has a hand that's showing, the gold/brown colored thing at the top near her tail. Trust me this one looks nice in real life. The fishies were cheated though. They are stickers I found in the scrapbooking section of the craft store. They do blend well with the drawing I did.

I'm begining to think I was a mermaid in one of my past lives. I just love the image of them. Some of my favorite dolls to make were my mermaids. I guess it's also because mermaids are portrayed as extravagant and colorful. I love anyting that is glittery, extravagant, and colorful.
posted by Angel at 2/19/2006 02:44:00 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Irish Wool Sunglasses Case

The backstory: I'm photophobic, or in simpler terms, bright light hurts my eyes and gives me headaches. Contrary to popular belief, I am not a vampire! I also lose my sunglasses all the time. Ok, maybe I'm a ditzy vampire. Since leaving home without my sunglasses on a long trip (or a short one) could result in a headache and car sickness I keep a spare pair in the door of the car. Well, they rattle against the plastic of the door and after an hour of hearing this on his daily comute, my husband is very annoyed. I've been given an untimatum--remove the sunglasses or find a holder for them.

Ok, now the project: last week I took a neighbor lady to the doctors. She's older, doesn't drive, I needed to do a good deed, etc. While waiting for her I started to crochet a sock but realized that it was too tight and didn't have a larger needle with me. So, I decided to make that glasses case I've been promising to make. The case was crocheted from recycled Irish wool that came from a men's sweater. The sweater said it was made from virgin wool, but since it has been knit into a sweater, I figured it was no longer a virgin.

The moral of the story: Idle hands frustrate husbands, busy hands keep him happy.
posted by Angel at 2/19/2006 02:26:00 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
My First Crochet Socks

I'm so proud of myself. I love the idea of handmade socks, but always had a fear of the heel shaping. Well, the other day I found a pattern online for a pair of crochet socks that could not be simpler. So I started to crochet these of Saturday night while watching Cartoon Network (it's a Saturday Night thing around here, we love the anime). By Sunday night I had the first sock finished (the one currently on my right foot). Monday and Tuesday were quiet time days in my house because my husband was home with a stomach flu. So I kept quiet while he rested and crocheted the other sock. I finished it yesterday around 1:30. Less than 4 days from start to finish. They are made from yarn that I recycled from an ugly sweater. The fiber content is a lambswool/angora blend with just a little nylon in it. I have to agree with the Late Albus Dumbledore on this one, there is nothing better than wool socks on a cold day. I'm not working on a silk/wool blend pair at this moment.

I took the silk/wool ones with me to my daughter's Girl Scout meeting last night. They were getting awards and I wanted to get pics of it. So, I'm sitting there waiting for the meeting to start, chatting with the other parents and working on my red socks. It fascinated everyone that I take sweaters and make things like socks out of them. The girls just loved watching me and how fast I crochet. For the record, no! I have no desire to teach a troop of 18 Brownies how to crochet. I taught them to sew earlier in the year and that was enough for me for a while.
posted by Angel at 2/15/2006 02:39:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 2 comments links to this post
Beach Babe---ATC

She's my first ATC that uses fabric on it. The blue background fabric was a scrap I had left over from a merman costume I made several years ago for my hubby to wear to the Fairy Festival. He makes a very cute merman. In this case I thought it would make a cool sky. Even mermaids need to sun themselves sometimes. She's dreamingly watching shark food, I mean buff surfer dudes surf the waves. I guess she's looking for a mate to take to her sandcastle under the sea. This ATC is for the Day at the Ocean Swap I am involved in. Card is dated 8 February, 2006.

When I was 5 I was injured by a shark. While on vacation in Ft. Myers, Florida I was playing in the water at this beach and I saw a grey fish swim near me. I started to splash the water and the next time I looked down the water around me was red. I freaked and started to scream. My father walked on water to get to me, grabbed me and ran out of the water with me. Everyone was called out of the water and my father called on the CB for help. This nice woman in a van transported my mother and I to the local hospital while my father and brothers followed in our truck. I ended up with 30 stitches in my left knee from a cut that was deep enough to leave a knick in my kneecap. The official report is that a shark swimming near my leg swiped my knee with a fin and cut me. I spent the rest of the vacation being pampered because I couldn't swim with my brothers, I wasn't allowed to move my leg or get the bandages wet. The part that upset me most about the whole thing was that in the rush to get me to the hospital, my father left my Baby Rub-a-Dub on the beach and she was lost. The last I heard, the beach where I was injured was closed to public swimming because 2 weeks after I was hurt a shark killed someone there. I was lucky, and I'm thankful that I wasn't hurt more. Am I afraid of sharks? No, I'm fascinated by them, I just don't want to be in the water with one.
posted by Angel at 2/15/2006 02:03:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Sirens at Play--ATC

I love this little piece of clipart. It's fun, it's colorful, and it's a vintage image. Sexy swimwear of days gone by. Anyhow, I decided that my bathing beauties were trying to catch themselves a few sailors.

This was a fun, playful card to make. It's also one of the few that I did the kitchy sticker letters thing with. Somehow it fits.

This card was designed for the Day at the Ocean swap I am in. It is dated 7 January, 2006.
posted by Angel at 2/14/2006 02:27:00 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
I Dream of a Time--ATC

"I dream of a time when a woman is valued for who she is and not for how much like a man she pretends to be."--Angelvista

I believe that is how the quote on this card goes. I forgot to write the quote down before I mailed it from my studio. Somedays I am truly more blonde than I naturally am.

The woman on the card is from a vintage photograph I found. I know nothing of her other than she is Japanese and from around the 1890's. The background papers are just collage paper I got for my birthday in December and the butterflies were punch outs. I really like the look of this one. It looks like more than it is.

This card is a one of a kind original. It should be at it's new home by now (it was a private swap). Card is dated 10 February , 2006.
posted by Angel at 2/14/2006 02:11:00 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Another Day Ends in Paradise--ATC
I love the simple beauty of this card. It's a silhouette of a hula girl against a hand-drawn topical sunset. I has been a while since I drew a sunset with colored pencils. I don't think I did too bad. It's an I wish I was there moment. We had a foot of snow delivered over the weekend and the temps haven't been above freezing all day. It's not too awful out there now, I just don't like when the cold wind blows. The snow looks pretty, but I'll take barefeet on warm sand to wool socks in cold boots anyday.

I'm catching up on a few pictures. This ATC is dated 8 February, 2006 and is part of a Day at the Ocean Swap I am participating in. I need to get my cards finished and sent soon.
posted by Angel at 2/14/2006 01:56:00 AM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Friday, February 10, 2006
Guiding Light ATC

Light Houses are facinating places. They look so delicate and fragile, yet they are designed to withstand the strongest of storms. Being as that I don't live near the ocean (the closest large body of water is 1 1/2 hours away, does the Chesepeake Bay have lighthouses) I saw my first lighthouse when I was about 13 on a trip to Boston. They just struck my fancy.

This ATC is for a swap I'm in in one of my groups. I used oil pastels to make the island and the background. The lighthouse, boat, and waves are really cool stickers I found at the craft store. Have you guessed yet? I've fallen in love with the scrapbook department at my local craftstore. Come to think of it, I've fallen in love with the entire craft store.
posted by Angel at 2/10/2006 03:36:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Bathing Suit Beauties-1913 ATC
I don't know the actual date of this photo. Judging by the gentlman's uniform, I was guessing about 1913 (sometime during or around the First World War). I fell in love with this pic because everyone looks like they are having fun. The blue paper ws decorated with colored pencils to give it a watery effect. The beautiful shells on the left bottom corner are some great stickers I found. This ATC is for a one on one swap I'm doing. It almost makes you long for the beach and warmer weather.
posted by Angel at 2/10/2006 03:25:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
What I've been working on
I know it doesn't look like much but there are a lot of hours of work laying there on my coffee table. I need a new rug for inside my front door because I'm doing my dining room in blue and white (my dining room is hte first room you enter in my house). When I was little, my paternal grandmother would crochet these great rag rugs with the huge crochet hook. I always loved them because they were so comfy. I decided to work on mastering my knitting and make a rug at the same time. This rug is made from blue acrylic yarn (found a few skeins in the back of my stash) and off white wool yarn that was recycled from some old men's sweaters. I make long sections of I-cord and then sew the sections together. It's a nice portable project when I'm making the I-cord and the sewing part can be done in the evening while I'm watching TV. I still have a way to go on my rug, but it's been a relaxing project. If I work on nothing else during the day, I make a point of adding to the rug in the evening.
posted by Angel at 2/08/2006 04:25:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments links to this post
Monday, February 06, 2006
Imbolc Faux Postage

In my little world, we celebrate every holiday with special faux postage. This is the faux's for Imbolc. Each stamp contains an image of Brighid or something sacred to her. May Brighid's blessings be with you all.
posted by Angel at 2/06/2006 04:15:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments links to this post
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Blessed Imbolc

Today is Imbolc It's a pagan festival that celebrates the first blessings of spring. We also bless our houses today. We're having Irish food for dinner and doing a little house blessing. I also have some craft time planned with my daughter tonight. She's really into making ATCs.

The picture at the left is a finished work of mine. It is titled "lady in the Blue Dress." She was handdrawn using oil pastels and then framed with a watercolor painted paper that bears the inscription "She is as eternal as the Seven Seas,/ She is as changng as the tides,/ She is as deep as the deepest oceans,/ She is the reflection of all you see." The verse is an original by me. She was then mounted on another piece of blue paper and placed in a shabby chic frame. Between the outside and inside borders of the frame I did quilling in colors to compliment the drawing. The drawing is under glass and the quilling has been sealed in a layer of glossy modpodge. I really like how this piece turned out. It's feminine and colorful, fun and pretty. I plan to list it on eBay very soon.

I also had the joy of taking apart the i-cord rag rug I've been working on because it warped. Handmade rugs are allowed to have a little wibble in them, but this baby was not a rug, it was a bowl. It has enough of a wave in it you could go surfing on it. It took me two hours to undo the rug and It's been another three hour's work sewing it back up, and I still have lots more sewing to do. I figure I would be able to sew more but I watch TV while I hand whipstitch this baby together and all too often I get involved in what I'm watching and forget to sew. Last night I got so involved in Mythbusters that I jabbed my finger about 5 times with the blunt needle. For the record, blunt needles to hurt when you jab yourself with them.

I finished my daughter's purse for her Barbie doll. I'll photograph it and share with all of you when I figure out where she hid it.

Until next time, keep making art!
posted by Angel at 2/02/2006 05:37:00 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments links to this post