Plush You! San Fransisco opened this Friday and I hear it went well. I wish I could have been there but two plush trips in a season is way beyond my budget. Unfortunately I did not have time to take more than one photo of my work before it went out there because I was rushed for time. Somehow I did not get my acceptance letter (spam filter ate it?) and therefore did not know I was in the show until 2 weeks before the show started. Luckily I had half of a another Whaley McBlubber compleated and a Snow Sprite from last year. So I only had to make one toy fresh and finsh up the whale. Still with it being halloween and a baby and wedding shower to go to it was a bussy few weekends. So this crappy in the box shot is the only evedence of all that hard work.
I had a great trip to Seattle where I got to go to the Plush You! show. Sorry the images are being posted so late. Enjoy.
Even on weekends I canâ€™t shake the habit of waking up at sunrise. Hubbie likes to sleep in when he can so I try to keep the house as still as possible those mornings. So no tv or anything else really noisy, just lovely quiet time with just me and the kitties. This Saturdayâ€™s project: capture some of those moments on the newly restored camera while tiring to figure out how the whole manual focus thing works. I love how the morning light gives everything a blue sleepy look.
The weather is turning nice. we have been getting some of those perfect 70 degree days here. The whole thing set me in the mood for spring cleaning. My neat little craft space that I had bragged about earlier was no where close to clean on Saturday. So I set to work and spent hours folding fabric scraps and sorting yarn. I also gave my pegboard a second look.
I ran to home depot and picked up a few supplies. One more set of magnetic mason jars, a few bars for holding screwdrivers and a multi pack of hooks and I was ready to go. Thread moved from the shelf were it fell down as I hunted for colors to several lines of screwdriver holders. Assorted smaller hooks were added all around for holding tools that would not fit on the big hooks I had before.
To top it off I made a few little bags to hold things that could not hang like pencils, double pointed needles and crochet hooks. The bags were fast and easy and they add great color to the space.
I had a stroke of luck late last week. I was very happy to hear that Crochet Me had entered itâ€™s new beta for where the content is user generated. I posted the patterns I have available here and had fun digging around seeing what else was there. About 5 years ago when I started really getting into crochet it was almost impossible to find and patterns that fit my taste. Now with the some of the great new service like craftster and flickr it has become easier. I really like how the new crochet me helps you search quickly through many of these free patterns without having to dig through 100s of blogs. And itâ€™s all free. Super cool.
The next day after playing with Crochet Me I got my Ravelry invite. It was all I could do not to dig through all day while I was at work. Ravelry has a great database of patterns. Unlike CrochetMeâ€™s the patterns are not all free, but rather soemthign that lets you know before you buy or download basic info about the pattern and what others rate it. How great. Ravelry wants to make it when one day you will be able to sell your patterns trough their service. What a great idea.
All this talk about patterns. I should tell you what I have been up to. I have spent most of the last two weeks or so working on writing patterns. While I never lacked respect for designers, I have gained a deeper appreciation of how hard it is to write clear directions. I usually write my patterns in my notebook as I go, it is a strange shorthand that I doubt anyone but myself could follow. Hopefully I will be able to have some sort of pay off for all this work. Wish me luck!
After making the tags for the plush you show I decided that it was time to change up the site a little. I had spent very little time on the last blog theme so I wanted something a little more sophisticated. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Other than working on the site I have been doing some light crafting. I have been working on a set of costars from the Purl Beeâ€™s site for a friend. I also was going to make one for myself. Other than that I have been letting my hands rest a little.
On Monday I finally finished my Plush You stuff. 2 remakes of pieces I had done before and one new original.
I will start with the new guy. I have not come up with a real name for him yet (a reoccurring problem I have) but I referred to him on the inventory sheet as just â€œCyanâ€ for obvious reasons. He is made from Brown Sheep Companyâ€™s Cotton Fleece Yarn in Robin Egg Blue. He took almost a whole skein to make and was by far the largest amigurumi I have ever made at about 9 inches tall. The foot pads are made from fabric from a local quilting shop that I think might be an Amy Butler print.
Now lets have a group shotâ€¦
I made some stickers for promosâ€¦
And cute paper tags.
For the last few months part of my morning routine has been the check out Softie Central. 5 days a week, sometimes even twice a day, Therese Laskey posts a lovely batch of softies on her blog. Almost every post has a theme and is filled with cute writing about each softie.
Therese has also started her own mini Oscars â€“ The Softie Awards. Amazing work from all over flickr, the blogisphere and from anyone else how has a digital camera. I know personally that the Softie Awards pushed me to make better softies. Unfortunately I did not find out about them until a week before the deadline so I had to franticly crochet my Kitsune for the amigurumi category.
Now Therese has a book out full of fun patterns from some of the best softie designers on her blog. It looks fantastic. I am ordering my copy today and I will post more about the book once I have been able to read it.
Softie Central has been such a huge resource for me in the last few months. Therese has also been more then kind herself when we have exchanged e-mails. I know it sounds silly but I jumped up and down and clapped my hands the first time one of my toys made it to her blog. I am glad that the book gives me and other Softie Central fans a way to support her financially.
2 weeks ago I got a call from a my good friend Jonathan, that I made the original set of pacman and ghost softies, for asking me is I would be willing to make another set for a friend of his who was helping him move. I was a little weary about saying yes because I rarely make the same thing twice and those ghost take up a lot of time. But after a kind e-mail form the moving buddy I decided to go for it.
One of the main reasons is that I really wanted new pictures of the pacman toys. That towel makes me cringe every time I see it. I have learned my lesson and will never again do a quick shot with whatever I can throw together in 5 minutes.
Making the toys for a second time was surprisingly enlightening. I found that I wanted to change parts of the pattern a little because I have learned better ways to so things. I reduced the number of repeat rows on pacmanâ€™s body from 8 to 4, which gives him a better-rounded shape. I also came up with an alternative way of making the points; the result is a slightly different look but a little easier on the hands.
R1: Form Amigurumi ring and single crochet 3 times into it.
R2-5: inc 3 evenly
R6: sc evenly
All that is left to round out the set of pacman/men toys is to make and sew on the eyes for the ghost. I just realized that I am out of blue buttons so I will have to make a trip to Hancock today if I want to finish them. I have been stash-busting lately in a way to offset the cost of the new craft room. I like how it forces me to use what I have and try color combinations I might not otherwise have tried.
In the sprit of what I just learned from redoing the pacman toys I play on reworking some of the toys I have done in the last year to go out in the Plush You show. I already have a new Lil Ugly on the needles. This time knit and not crocheted so I can get nicer increases on the belly. Also I have not knit in a while and I miss it.
A dream that has been forming in my head for a long time is finally coming true. I have a craft room. Well not a room. A corner of the room dedicated just for making all my silly stuff.
Before the glamor shots, a little history. I did not start regularly crafting until I was in collage working on my degree in graphic design. I started to crochet crazy then. I had a good yarn stash in various plastic shopping bags under my dorm room bed. Then when I â€œgrew upâ€ and got an apartment everything was shoved into a cedar lines chest my grandfather made me. Now I love that chest. I loved the idea of keeping my materials for making hand made stuff in something so wonderfully hand made. But I had to sit on it to close it and that was with bags of roving and my new sewing machine not even on the inside. There was just no way I could continue to use it.
So it was time to put the interior design books and all the great photos I have seen in the craft room flickr pool to good use. I knew I would need a table for my machine and lots of storage. So my husband and I started a hunt for a table. After looking around lots of stores and not finding what I wanted. Then we got lucky at Kudzu Antiques in Decatur Georgia and found a great old metal table. After loading it onto our truck we made a happy discovery â€“ the table top was slate. Ooh swanky. The top had a mysterious epoxy company sticker on it and it needed some cleaning and fresh paint on the metal but that is not a big deal.
Now that I had a work surface I needed a place to put all my goodies. Now I have two cats that love wool and cotton, they seem to ignore the acrylic. More than once I have found a very long trail of yarn wrapping around my old apartment. And they also figured out that spools of thread make a really cool sound on the hardwoodsâ€¦ Have I learned my lesson and stopped leaving yarn around? No. But I have learned that cats can only jump so high.
So overhead storage was a must. But being short, 5â€™3â€, I needed overhead storage that I could pull down to a height. I had been eyeing a set of cubes at target for a while but I needed to find shelves first. Ikea to the rescue with bjÃ¤rnum wall brackets that are 11â€ deep, they that is the same size as the cubes, how nice. Oh and look there is a bored the same length as the table, even better.
Now for pegboard. Just a good thing all around to have if you have lots of little tools. Target saved me again with a great pegboard for indoor use made of a pure white plastic with cute hooks and mini shelves that fit. The pegboard was also in16â€ squares so it would be easy to install on a normal home. But I live in a house made in the mid 50â€™s and after putting up several shelves my husband and I decided that the construction guys eyeballed where the studs should be because not a single one is 16â€. With the pegboard I can keep my tools out and I just love that I can have a jar of eyes handing on the wall.
Putting the whole thing together was fun at times but other times it was a real pain. 50-year-old wood does not take to kindly to having a screw put in it. We also marked up the wall real good, which led to a half-hour of erasing.
Ok so here are the final glamor shots.
Too bad it will never be this pretty again.