Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Have you heard of Amigurumi???

While searching for my Monday's with Etsy featured seller I continuously ran upon Amigurumi Patterns. I'd never heard this term before. I happened to be Twittering at the same time, so naturally I asked about it on Twitter. (Have I told you that I'm addicted to that site??? Well, I am...)

Thanks to Jadielady & mysie_at_etsy for their help with this mystery!

Amigurumi means Knitted stuffed toy in Japanese (according to Wikipedia). Although crochet appears to be just as common during creation. The toys can be intricate or artistically rendered.

Traditionally, the patterns run in spirals and use multiple colors. These creations are made on small or fine needles, which prevents the stuffing from escaping. This translates into very time-consuming for me! ;-)

The patterns I've found are precious. Here are a few of my favorites...

Worm in Apple

Fairy Doll & Mushroom Set

Fuzzy Guinea Pig

Elton, the Sheep (doesn't he look like the Serta sheep??)

From the traditional to the not-so:

Pancake Stack Treasure Plate (this reminds me of an actual plate from the 60's!)

If you are interested in any of these patterns, just click on the photo and it will take you straight to the proper individuals' Etsy shop.


Moral of the story -

If you're looking for a way to test your skills and while away some hours...these may be just the thing you're looking for! Enjoy!

Photographic rights are retained by the individual artist.
Links are accessed through the photos above.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday with Etsy

I spent yesterday combing the Etsy Pounce feature for "new" and "undiscovered" artisans. I found some really lovely shops. Unfortunately, several had no seller "Bio" or Shop Policies listed. As much as I want to share Etsy finds with you, I'd like to know something about the seller (other than what their listings look like) before I feature them.

To me, buying handmade is an entire package. That's the same reason I love shopping at the farmer's market - I want to get to know the person behind the creation. It adds something to the experience for me. It's something you simply can't get shopping at Walmart...

During this long search I Twittered about it a few times. As luck would have it Popsicle Stick found me there. Will wonders never cease! Just when I needed a fiber arts oriented post...

Skate Socks Granny Square Afghan

Apparently she's been selling on Etsy for several months now, utilizing her fiber and other mediums to entice us. What a sunshiney, happy shop. It reminds me of the 70's!

Hang Ten Crochet Bracelet

She states that she picked up the crochet skills from her mother who went everywhere with crochet in hand (hallelujah...that makes me feel not so crazy!)

Knee Socks and Nikes Crochet Scarf

With almost too reasonable prices, and 100% cotton, customizable creations how can you miss? Hop over to visit when you have a moment and snatch up a great deal for that upcoming birthday or shower!

Bubblicious DNA Crochet Bracelet
(Doesn't this look like the old Bubblicious package??? Too cute!)

All photographic rights belong to PopsicleStick.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Don't worry - I'm still here!

Hey, everyone!

Sorry to be "missing in action" so long. I was vacationing this past week & had planned on blogging while I was gone, but my darn Internet connection didn't have a signal where I was at.

Oh well! Guess God was telling me to take a break...

I did complete several projects while I was gone, which I'll be posting this week, for your viewing pleasure!

Had a great time and I'm refreshed and renewed. Hope you all are well, too!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Mondays with Etsy

Pottery is another love of mine. Actually, I guess you could say that I like anything you can make with your hands. Making something out of earth is an added bonus for me!

I found Emburr a few weeks ago in the Etsy forums. I just LOVE her things! Ms. Monika has some cute pins made out of clay tiles- walruses, frogs, sea turtles, etc... There are even some color pencil drawings, mostly showing nature. But, my favorites are the larger pottery items...

Teal Tree ceramic soap dish, $12

Set of Cream Colored Cups, $22

Trio of Fish candle holder in Teal, $30

Monkia has a Fine Arts Degree from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, so she's accredited and has apparently devoted her life to art. Who can fault that?

Her "Bio" on Etsy states that "creating is what she does & who she is." That's refreshing to hear these days as more and more artists are creating solely for the purpose of gaining riches or fame. It's like a teacher stating that they teach so that they can help others grow & learn. Heart warming, isn't it?

Emburr's selection is currently limited, unlike many larger Etsy shops. I think that's a good thing. When artisans create for pleasure that's normally what you find, a limited selection, lovingly made. If you want cookie-cutter and huge stock - go to Walmart...

Hurry over and snatch something up before I buy all of the goodies! At prices like these, how can you resist?

Photographic rights belong to Emburr.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Have sticks, will travel...

Did you know that in the Middle Ages people would knit while walking? Yep. It's true. Above, you can see a few examples of sheaths that were used to assist with this task. One needle was held fast in the sheath, which would've been attached to a belt or sewn into an apron or dress. The sheath enabled them to knit faster & with more defined detail, while maintaining an open hand for other things.

Did you happen to notice I said people vs. women? Men used to knit MORE than women. Can you believe that? It's thought that they learned to assist in making fishing nets and other utilitarian items.

In the evenings, after a hard days work around the home, the family would gather for conversations after dinner. To make the most of their time, this family time would also be utilized for sewing and fabric making. The entire family could participate in the making of clothes & cloth for their needs. Makes me think of "Little House on the Prairie", when the mother would always mend things by the fire after dinner...

Ok. That's your history lesson for today. Time for recess class!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

To Do this week -

Finally started delivering the Prayer Shawls this past week!

Couldn't wait to get started, but we had a few small delays. The lady that is making our gift labels ready kept telling me that they were ready to go, but I don't have Microsoft Publisher to print them out. She was going to work something out at the church office, but I haven't heard anything about it in weeks. Perhaps she was otherwise occupied...

Last week I worked up a new label and got them ready to go, picked up about half of what needed to go out, and began giving them out at church. We'd decided against this originally, and the group wanted to go out two by two to deliver them at home.

At the last meeting, I had no one interested in going out to make the deliveries (only 3 other members were attending.) Of two other people I asked last week, one is now not feeling well enough to do it and the other wasn't sure about her schedule this week. I gave up asking after that. I probably could've found someone else, but by the time I lined up everyone's schedule with everyone else's we wouldn't have made a dent in the number that need to be delivered. (Since this is the first delivery, it would've been over 25 deliveries.)

I've lined up 5 so far for today, and will call a few more this afternoon if I can squeeze them in. 5 were delivered Sunday at church. I think that's a good beginning! Friday is designated for another delivery day for me. Ideally, all will be delivered by Saturday evening, as I'll be out of town next week.

Lesson - It's ok to depend on others, but when they don't follow through, it's no reason for you not to. Making tons of items to give out and never giving them is the same as never making them at all!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mondays with Etsy

We have another yarn "find" this week!

Atlantis Roving

SolsticeSupplies shop provides fiber from locally (Canada) raised animals. At Solstice Studios and Farm they raise llamas and angora rabbits for their fiber, along with dairy goats and chickens. They're working towards building a eco-community or village "where happy people and animals can exist in harmony together." How sweet!

Playground Roving

Solstice Supplies also buys fleeces and roving from local fibre farms. Their selection appears to all be dyed and ready for spinning. This is a perfect shop for those of you that already know how to spin or are looking to delve into this area.

Not into spinning and have no aspirations for it? I have located a two sites that have free project patterns for crocheting & knitting with this unspun roving! Or, you can try your hand at Needle Felting...

Pufpaff's has a pattern for crocheting rugs with roving. This would be perfect for the kitchen or tossing in front of the fireplace. This link provides a great knitted scarf pattern from Painted Ewe Rovings. It's a PDF file, so you can print it out immediately!

Jungle Drums

The listings state that they can work with you on quantities and dye lots. Fantastic!
All photographic material is property of SolsticeSupplies.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Kreativ Blogger Award

Dear, sweet WarPony, whom I've come to know through blogging gave me an award!!! She has three blogs, but the main one is centered around horses. I know, what does that have to do with knitting??? Nothing. Which is why I'm even more honored to receive this award! Thank you, WarPony!

It seems the tradition is to list 7 of your favorite things and then pass the award to seven blogs who you think deserve it. This isn't an obligation but I definitely wanted to pay it forward!

So here are my favorite things:

1. My faith

2. My family, actual and church - they're the best!

3. My garden

4. Creating with my hands

5. Learning new things - especially having to do with creating new things and learning more about other cultures

6. Fresh, straight-from-the-oven bread - yummy! Especially with a slab of butter on top!

7. Making new friends and getting to know them.

Kreativ Blog Awards I'm giving away:

1. To Miss Jen at Blessed Femina - I ALWAYS enjoy reading her posts! They're inspirational, enticing, and the photos are lovely. You know it's a good blog when you feel better after reading it! (By the way, she has a giveaway going right now...) AND, yes, I know her blog is award and tag free but, I love it and I'm saying it!

2. Cheap Healthy Good - I enjoy the recipes, creativity, and experimentation that goes on here! Enjoy!

3. Dave and Brit Plus One - They've shared the journey to becoming new parents. They already have one of these awards but, it's a great site.... Congrats, guys! She's lovely!

4. JadieLady - She keeps it short and sweet, shares lots of photos, and is very witty!

5. Anne Marie at Married to the Empire - Her posts are cute, thoughtful, and really invite you into her life, in snippets, of course! Best part, her hubby dresses like a storm trooper, and who doesn't love Star Wars????

6. Joy of Frugal Living - It appears that she has few followers. I don't know why... I enjoy her posts. She shares, is thoughtful, inspiring (they live debt free!) and seems super sweet.

7. TECHknitting - Hey, this IS a knitting blog! TECHknitting has wonderful photos, easy to follow ideas, and has helped me several times with confusing items. Can't say thanks enough for all of the hard work that goes into these posts...

Thanks again, War Pony! I've enjoyed getting to know you and wish you the best with your knitting.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mondays with Etsy

It's Ok We're Still Home

Today's find is BarbraJoan. Yes, it's another visual artist...

Barbra Joan is an artist living in Central Florida. She works in many mediums but enjoys watercolor and pencil/graphite the most. Her favorite subjects are flowers, women, nature and animals and she enjoys "bringing as much beauty to this world as I (she) can." Barbra Joan was honored with the Artist of the Year Award 2005-06 for her watercolor and pencil work!

Flower Pots


These designs come in different sizes, some are matted and some aren't. All would be beautiful to display in your home...

Her listings state that she is currently selling original works of art and may move into prints in the near future. Snag an original while you can!

All photographic rights are held by BarbraJoan.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Knitting errors...

It's inevitable. You're going to have knitting errors, some small and some large. If you're like me almost every project will contain an error of some sort. I've found that some are much less noticeable than others and a few are major errors that results in unwinding the entire project.

Whatever the case, don't give up! Errors are common occurrences. Tell yourself it's okay to have them. They make your item unique. Heck, at times you can even discover a stitch you've never made before.

When all else fails, find humor in your errors. This family made a film as proof of their mom's error...poor lady was aiming for a scarf with 35 stitches and ended up in the 200's! Can't you just imagine her being enthralled in a TV show and ending up with a sweater instead of a scarf?

Aren't children lovely????