Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brown felted purse

Here is the first purse, lined and ready to go!

2 more felted purse designs

This is a purse I designed in Mainland yarn (80% baby alpaca, 20% silk). My local Yarn shop offered to display them in her window to try to sell them. It's crocheted and felted. It doesn't show up very well in the photo, but there are 5 dots above the dark brown botton and 3 at the top. They are actually raised bumps. The handle goes from light brown at he bottom and into dark brown as it goes up.

This one is made from Cascade 220 yarn (100% wool). My idea for this one came from a paint idea card from Canadian Tire!

Here's the sketch and said paint chip! I think I interpreted it fairly well. I love the design idea paint chips, they are a wealth of creative ideas and inspiration!

Notice the 3 handles? I made them using a twisted cord method. Very tricky to figure out, but adds a nice touch I think. I'll try to post pics when they are completely finished. The brown one is just drying, then I'll line it, then off to the yarn shop I go! Wish me luck:)

Sunday, November 8, 2009


This was my youngest daughter dressed up for her school Halloween party. She enjoyed herself thoroughly!

This was her actual Halloween costume. She did her makeup herself. I think she did a fantastic job!

This is my oldest daughter. Her 11th birthday was Oct 30. She had a Harry Potter / Wizard party sleepover planned, but due to unfortunate circumstances ( her sister and one of the guests having the flu)it is now rescheduled. Doesn't she make a good Hermione Granger? We even ordered authentic Harry Potter carved wooden wands (she had Hermione's vine carved one from the movies) and the Time Turner necklace Hermione wears in Prisoner of Azkaban. The broom was from Walmart:) The tie was her dad's from his school uniform from England when he was around 7 yrs old or so.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


This was my youngest daughter's pumpkin. she decorated it herself.

These were our Jack'o lanterns this year. The girls carved them the beginning of October, so by the time Hallowe'en finally arrived, they had started to rot and mold! Did we ever get compliments on them! It looked like they had been burned and people kept asking how we did it! Lol! Unfortuneately I didn't get a picture before my husband pitched it in the bin:(

This was my oldest daughter's pumpkin. She wanted a horse on hers.

Friday, November 6, 2009


This was Merlin when we first got him at 8 weeks old. We were told he was part Persian.
This is Merlin now at almost 6 mths of age. By the way, I googled cat breeds and he is most definitely a Flame Point SIAMESE!! Crossed with a tabby, hence the stripey tail:)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Witch's Brew

The little white bowl from a couple of posts ago reminded me of a little fat cauldron. With Halloween coming up I decided to get creative and made myself a black cauldron purse, complete with toxic green witch's potion bubbling in it! I even found some green polar fleece to match for my lining. The liner is just sitting in it for now, waiting for me to finish sewing and installing it. It was giving me grief. I have it cut, but fitting it in properly is proving to be a challenge:) I'm debating on a drawstring in the liner so it can be closed, but you could also just fold it in to keep stuff safe. ...

The liner reminds me of a Kleenex. Maybe it could be made to hold a box of tissues? Hmmmm...

I made it using Black Cascade 220 wool and Patons Classic wool in Leaf Green. It was then felted in my Whirlpool Duet front load washer.

(I really need to get a proper light and set up a nicer area to take my photos!)

I felted another bag at the same time made in Alafoss Lopi. (*Note to self, don't do that again:) For anyone not familiar with Lopi yarn, it sheds dreadfully in the washer and the end result is a purse fit for Bigfoot!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A new adventure!

They say sometimes opportunity knocks and you should answer the door. Sometimes though, you can get so distracted that opportunity has to knock you over the head to get you to answer it! That has happened to me.

I used to do a lot of plastic canvas a few years ago but got bored with it. I had some left over tapestry wool that I hadn't used and didn't know what to do with it. I thought of crocheting something out of it, but dreaded weaving in all those ends as the skeins are very tiny. I decided to try felting it and made a very colorful fish hot pad and a small purse for myself. That was a couple of years ago.

Also around that time, as I was experimenting with felting, I saw an ad for a design contest on You had to use their yarn. I finally came up with a design and ordered the yarn, however, by this time, the deadline was almost upon me. By the time I got the purse figured out and made, the deadline was waaay past! :( Not to be put off, I decided to use the purse myself.

The purse was made to look like a flame when the flap was opened. I decided to call it "Eternal Flame" and made it to represent the eternal flame of hope kind of like they use in the Olympics.

To make a long story short, I have been using these 2 purses for a couple of years now and I am still getting as many comments on them now as I did when I first made them! The message finally sunk in one day (personally, I got tired of being hit over the head :) and I have decided to design, make and sell my crocheted felted purses! I'm just in the process of making a few purses to start and looking into maybe setting up a web site. I'm taking this one day at a time for now.

This is the first one of many. It's made from Lion Brand Wool in Lemon Grass and cocoa.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I bought a ball of a yarn called Mainland Earth Collection. It's 80% Baby Alpaca and 20% Silk. I originally bought it to try some free form crochet with, but wasn't happy with the outcome. I decided to try felting it and this is the result. I thought it turned out rather well. I only ended up with a small bowl, but it would look nice on a dresser or table with something colorful in it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

the journey of a free form purse

Here's the yarn I'm starting with for my free for purse. I want it to be in various shades of green (olive, mossy, lime, etc), browns, tans, oranges and a hint of purples / wines.
Here's a close up of the purse start. The liner is a piece of navy blue valour. If I remember correctly, it was re-purposed from a piece of clothing. I figure I'll just lay the pieces over top as I go along until it's the right size.
Here's a yarn I'm especially fond of. It's Nobo (No Boundaries) purchased from Walmart. I bought 3 balls as I absolutely LOVE the colors in it! Here's a glass pendant I found in Walmart as well that looked like it needed a home:) It will look perfect on my purse as a button I think. They were clearing out all their craft beads and stuff.
Here's a close up of it. The colors in it were really pretty (although the picture doesn't do it justice)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yarn haul! (aka: pay dirt! or: hitting the motherload!)

I made a considerable haul last week! A lady I know works at a seniors center and gets yarn donated all the time. Someone donated a LOT of crochet cotton but the seniors have a hard time working with such a small thread due to poor eyesight, arthritic hands, etc., so, knowing I crochet, she asked me to come pick it up! There are 29 balls of it!!

Don't they look like a bunch of pretty jewels? :) There were a few discontinued yarns like the 3 balls of Coats & Clark Speed Cro-Sheen in the top right hand corner.
And some I've never heard of like the 3 balls (2 cream and 1 silver grey) of Bernat Cassino. It's very pretty and has a slight sheen to it. The ball of Red Heart Lustersheen is old as well. I don't even remember the label like that! And the Walmart price tag of $1.44 for 2 oz. kind of gives it away; It's now $6.47 and 4 oz.!

pictures and revision of afghan

I did it. I actually took pictures like I said:)

I have to make a revision to the afghan I told you I found. It isn't as old as I thought, OR the afghan I thought it was. I took it out and had a good look at it and looked at the pattern; it was from a book of afghans called "Sweet Dreams" 10 Baby Afghans to knit and crochet, by American School of Needlework. Book 1013 (13). It was called "Snowbaby" designed by Joan Kokaska and had popcorn stitches above every shell (which I left off as I wasn't very good at them at the time and I figured if I did them all, I'd never get the afghan done! :) I made a baby sized one for my dd and decided to use some blue and white yarn I had to make a bigger one.

There was another afghan in the book I always swore I'd make, but never got around to it's called "Bedtime Tales" by Julie A. Ryan. It is a zoo theme where the animals have 3-d tails! It's adorable.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

sorry for the loooooong delay in posting

Wow! It's amazing how time can slip away from you without realizing how much time has gone by! I just took a good look at my blog and realized nearly 6 months have gone by since my last post! YIKES!! It's high time I remedied this. Ok. New goal: to try posting minimum of 1-2 times a week.

To update you, personal and family life has been very hectic with a lot of ups and downs over the last few months. Work continues on the basement with the spare room (my design studio:) being drywalled and painted (just have to put on the last coat:) as well as the rest of the basement drywalled.

The last few months of school were busy for my 2 dd's, with the last couple being the most hectic. Now we are in the process of back to school shopping for clothes, supplies, etc.

Family from England were here for 2 weeks in July so time on the computer was limited to checking emails. We spent a lot of time on the beach and boating. Great fun was had by all.

Knight has now started having seizures at a year and a half old (7 in the first month!). Researching seizures in dogs, getting him on meds to stop the seizures (none since he's been on it), researching alternative solutions, etc have taken up a lot of our time and energy.

We adopted another kitten (white with ginger ears, ringed tail and very pale giner marks on the paws) right about the time Knight started having seizures (which didn't help matters any.) Merlin is doing very well and doesn't take any guff from the other 2 cats or the dog! He usually puts the other cats on the run from the food dish, which we are trying to teach him is bad manners:)

On a crochet note, my yarn, patterns, and other crochet supplies and tools are in the spare room for now (until I decide to finish painting the room). I'm in the process of going through everything to see what I actually have. I just found a very old afghan I started 20 yrs or so ago!! It's only 18" or so long with no yarn to finish it, so I was thinking of finishing off the yarn that's there and make it a very short lapghan or shoulder wrap and find a local seniors home to donate it to. I'll try to take pictures later.
I have an idea I will find quite a few goodies I'd forgotten about:)

I've started making myself a free form purse to replace my other 2. One has to be repaired and the other is too small. I used a navy blue piece of valour for the lining. I think it was a piece of clothing in it's last life time:) It will now be re-purposed. I'll try to take pictures along the way so you can see my progress.

I want to make myself a crocheted felted purse as well and have several ideas, but need to find suitable wool yarn:( A local sewing and knit shop gave me the name of one in the area that has lots of wool yarn. I will go check it out once the kids are back in school so I can shop in peace :)

Well, I should go work on sorting my stuff out. :0)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

some interesting bits and bobs

I was cleaning my kitchen book shelf and ran across some items I'd made a few years ago. I thought you might like to take a look.
The first 2 were made entirely out of plastic canvas wool and felted. I used to do a lot of plastic canvas years ago, but gave it up in boredom. I still had a large bag full of the tiny little skeins you get of plastic canvas wool and wondered what on earth to do with them. They are so small, you would be weaving in ends forever! That's when an idea struck me; what about felting? The ends would felt in and you wouldn't have to worry about them. I used a color I didn't like and made a small swatch then felted it. It felted beautifully!!

I had a lot of greens and browns, so designed this fish hotpad. Being wool and really thick, it will resist the heat. (not that I use it with hot pans, I might wreck it!). The second was a small coaster I made out of the left over bits. I still have some of the yarn, but in lots of colors and only one skein of each. No the colors don't really go together.

This pot holder is crocheted in Celtic Crochet technique. It is out of the book "How to Crochet the Celtic Way" by Dot Drake and published by Annie's Attic. It's an old book I got from a Crochet Partners Member a few years ago. I also got "Crochet Celtic Afghans" by Dot Drake from her as well. Another Annie's book.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March is National Crochet Month, so let's CELEBRATE!!

March is National Crochet Month!! Yay!! There are many ways to celebrate. I am going to look up my magazine that had the learn to finger crochet tutorial in it, and teach my 6 yr old dd. She's been wanting to learn and I can't think of a better time. Can you? (now to find it... I think it was in an issue of Crochet! last year but for the life of me I can't remember which one! If any one knows, please feel free to leave me a comment. thanks!)

Another way to celebrate is to buy crochet books! I think this is the perfect time to get the books I've been hankering after. Top of my list should be Bendy Carter's book "Single Crochet A-Z". I didn't know there were that many ways to do a sc?? It boggles the mind!

Next on my list has to be "Beyond-the square Crochet Motifs" by Edie Eckman. The cover is absolutely gorgeous!

Since we are on the topic of motifs, Melody Griffiths "201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks , Projects and Ideas" should be included in the list. :)

I absolutely have to check out Renate Kirkpatrick's "Freeform Crochet and Beyond: Bags, Cushions, Hats, Scarves and More". Judging by the gorgeous picture on the cover, the inside must be spectacular!!

I could list more, but I don't think my budget would like that!! Lol!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's a great day for designing!!

Some days designing goes really well. I get my idea , start sketching, and grab my yarn and hook. I find the perfect place to submit the design to, and find the perfect yarn! Last week was like that. I had an idea, and sketched it out, wrote notes, etc. I decided what yarn I wanted to do it in and worked on deciding on where to submit. While I was thinking, the perfect opportunity came along!! Yay!! They even use the yarn I picked to do it in! Happy dance! Now to finish up the sketches, swatches and send them off. Then I sit back and wait.

I was just checking out my friend Ellen's blog (GoCrochet) and she had a link to a blog with some very pretty and unusual crocheted items.
O fil de lo . The crochet covered rocks is a cool idea. Wouldn't a bowl or basket of them look nice on a patio? Or they could be used as weights to hold down place mats and stuff on the patio table. The pieces of shell, crocheted around and joined into a necklace was very pretty. I have tons of shells I've collected over the years. I'll have to dig them out and have a look. I may have a new piece of jewelry and don't know it! :0) :0)

The Crochet Guild of America just announced the 2009 Design contest! It will be held at Chain Link conference this summer, Aug 6-9th. I'm putting my thinking cap on and deciding what to enter this year.

The weather is miserable today. The "light" showers they said we'd get are turning into torrential downpours! Yuck. The sky is dark gray and it's dark out. Oh well. It's the perfect kind of day to CROCHET!! I think I'll go get my stitch books out and play! :0)

PS - I've edited my last post for clarity and so I don't sound so snitty. I didn't mean it to. I was just having a day of frustrations. I apologize.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Yarn frustrations

I thought I'd talk about one of the frustrations I face as a designer. I'm talking about yarn. Yup, yarn.

As a designer, I get a great idea and start sketching. As I sketch and brain storm, I get more ideas! Things are going great! I'm on a roll! I can see it in my minds eye. The perfect design in the perfect yarn.

Step 2 is to decide where to submit it. I come up with a publication/ manufacturer that it would fit perfectly! I look at their call for patterns and my design is exactly what they are looking for!! Things are going so well, I'm getting goosebumps! I can feel the excitement!

Step 3: now I have to find out what yarn they want it done in. Yes, they quite often change the yarn color and brand and even sometimes the weight. But, if you submit it to a yarn manufacturer in a competitor's yarn, or use a yarn from someone who doesn't advertise with that publication, YOU WILL GET REJECTED, no matter how great the design is! That's where I sometimes run into trouble, choosing the yarn.

One of several things usually happen. A) the project is an environmentally friendly one and would benefit from being done in an environmentally friendly yarn ie) organic cotton, bamboo, etc, and being able to mention the enviro yarn as a feature would be a good selling point, BUT, the yarns they use/make doesn't include bamboo, organic cotton, or no cotton at all!

B) the perfect color yarn doesn't exist in the yarn they use/ make. They use brand x and brand y has the color you need.

C) they don't make/use the perfect yarn type ie) cotton, felting wool, etc or they don't have a very big color selection. You need felting wool, in specific colors and their colors are completely unsuitable. Sigh!

D) the perfect yarn type and color doesn't exist ANYwhere!! (darn imagination! lol! that's when I'd love a job as a yarn designer :)

I know the way to get a design accepted is to use the yarn they want. It's just frustrating to think that IF you could make it in the yarn you have pictured, it would be the most spectacular design in history. Unfortunately, you have to make it in the yarn available or the yarn they use and it won't show it in it's best light. Sigggghhhh. Back to the drawing board.

(yes, I know I can always submit to someone else who does have/use the yarn I want, but sometimes the project doesn't suit their format, or they use only in house designers. Sigggghhhhh....)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My daughter, the Gold Medalist!!

I just thought I'd brag a bit and let everyone know that my dd earned 4 gold medals and a silver in her figure skating competition on Saturday!! Yay!! (yes, I'm the proud Mom!)

Today has been getting paperwork and emails caught up and trying to clean off the desk :( I'm still hoping to get some crocheting in today. Tomorrow is another write off as I have to get groceries and get some shopping done. Although...that is ok too. I mean, what if a stray ball of yarn just happened to follow me home :0) I can't tell it to leave now can I? That would be rude! teehee:) I'm hoping to get to Micheal's this weekend. I haven't checked out their yarns lately.

We're trying to get a few things sorted out this month, then hopefully, soon, we can finish the spare room in the basement. That is going to be my design studio! (when we don't have company staying over, of course:) I'll finally have shelves to put bins on with my yarn neatly organized. (I can dream can't I? lol).

It's been so brutally cold here lately, so I've been crocheting hats to donate. I sent several in with my dd to her school for anyone who forgot theirs or don't have one. My daughter said the ladies in the office acted like it was Christmas! lol.

Well, I guess it's back to emails, cleaning the desk and catching up on paperwork!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm back in action!

I haven't updated in "quite" some time and I apologize. Sometimes things get a bit crazy and unfortunately you end up taking a break whether you want to or not :)

I'm back in action and ready to go!

Has anyone noticed that Bernat has redesigned their ball bands on the Bernat Baby Sport yarns? Well, they have AND they've changed their yarn...for the better! Yay! I bought a ball of their Bernat Baby sport in the color Caribbean Sea. It's definitely a lot softer feeling and a teensy bit thinner. I like the new feel. Yay Bernat! (aka Spinrite)

I've discovered a new favorite stitch...a linked dc! It's really cool. You insert the hook into the vertical bar on the front of the last dc made, yo, pull up a loop, insert hook into next stitch, yo, pull up a loop. You now have 3 loops on the hook. Yo, pull through 2 loops, twice and voila! 2 dc sts linked together! It makes for a more solid stitch than regular dc, but with a bit of elasticity. It also gives a slighty different look to the finished product. You can also alter the look further by going into only one vertical bar on the front of the stitch or by going through 2 bars (front and back) of stitch.

Knight (our 1 yr old pup) chewed a small hole in a crocheted cable stitch scarf I made for my daughter. :( I think my friend Ellen's ( blog post about repairing crocheted items might just help me fix it. Thanks Ellen! (Now I just have to study her post closely:)

I found some old dark blue valour material in my sewing box. Sewn into a "U" shape, it will make a nice liner for a free form purse! :0) I plan on just scrumbling and using the liner as my template. (the template idea is a suggestion Myra Wood makes in her book "Creative Crochet Lace"). I happen to have some odds and ends of yarn that I picked up (1 ball here and 1 there :) because "it was so pretty!" They are in shades of blues, greens and purples, with bits of other colors mixed in, but all in more natural colors and not neons or brights. I think the finished effect will be quite stunning! I may even leave a bit of the top of the folded over velour showing for an elegant touch. Hmmmmmmm....

Well, I should dash for now :0) My youngest dd will be home soon. I need to get her fed and get ready to take my other dd to figure skating practice as soon as SHE gets home. She has a competition tomorrow! We have to be there bright and early at 8:15 am or so.