Crafty Bird

Welcome to my nest of fibre, fabric, paper, and beads...

Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for dropping by! I have a passion for all sorts of crafty goodness. Creating items with my hands and heart is a perfect complement to my working life.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oh my

Well, graduate school really puts a damper on my crafting life sometimes! I've done a little bit of knitting (and unknitting) on Orangina and River (remember River??) depending on my mood and if there is a mistake that needs fixing (where did those two stitches go??).

I did manage to make a little pouch for my dear friend Carley's birthday. She loves goats, so it is a goat pouch! I hand quilted around one of the goats and along a few seam lines; added ribbon trim and a tab; and attached a thrifted orange button; and inserted a turquoise zipper (also thrifted). The inside is lined with a cute kittycat fabric and there is flannel sandwiched between the layers to give it some body. All in all, it turned out well after some challenges with the lining and turning (I always manage to get the wrong side of the fabric showing at least once per project).
I also made her a card and gave her one of the birdy prints from Anna of Twelve22. She loved it. We cried. And now she is on her way to live in Turkey for a year! I will miss her company dearly (miss you Carley!).

I am off for a conference in lovely Baltimore this week - I hope to be back and finishing up some projects soon! Until then, happy crafting and keep smiling :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Goodies in, goodies out

Hello blogging world! I have been an absent blogger. Things have been slow in craftybirdland: my computer has been sick = less blogging. The sunny weather has been distracting as well - I can finally wear summer skirts, my plants are flourishing, and the days are long and very enjoyable.

I do have a few things to chat about though! I have been working on my accessory purse - it is blocked and seamed. I need to sew the lining together and then hand sew it into the knitted purse, and then attach the lovely wooden handle that I purchased. I will post progress photos shortly - the light here is not great in the morning for photos!

Here are a few cards I have made recently and that have now reached their recipients. A card for my dear friend, Carley, who successfully defended her masters thesis. Yah, Carley! The card is made with silver stickers, metallic pens, as well as a metal "journey" tag held down with brads.

I also made a birthday card for A's mother using a fern stamp in two colours of metallic ink (green and copper) as well as a few other stamps. The background is done in my favourite chalk ink in two colours - yellow and green, which is stippled on the card and then stamped over. The chalk ink background gives the card a nice aged feel. Quick and easy cards!

I also received a wonderful package in the mail from Snowbear a.k.a. Crafty Corner. What a sweetie! She had commented about the silver stickers (like the ones used in the card for Carley above) on my blog so I sent her a package with a set as well as a few other stickers. And she thanked me with this lovely package - so nice!

I also received a cute note from my Good Time Animal Swap partner - Stephanie of SumThings - that she received my package and the softies and bed are being enjoyed thoroughly by her three dogs! So nice to hear that she liked everything and that the dogs liked their goodies. She is taking a blogging break right now as her and her husband are adopting a baby from Guatemala - congratulations to Stephanie and her family! Um, I haven't heard a peep from my GTAS swap partner so Oscar cat may be out of luck. Too bad, as this was my first swap. Despite that, I really enjoyed making the goodies and putting the package together for Stephanie.

In other knitting news, I am still plugging away at Orangina. Ok, this is the slowest project ever for me! I have made some progress on the second panel and have completed around 10 inches, but need to get to 15 inches of lace. Then I will attach the front and back and continue with inches and inches of ribbing. It WILL get done in time for me to wear this summer though!

Enjoy the rest of your week folks!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pouch turned Purse

Well, I got a bit carried away knitting the repeats on my "accessory pouch" from Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays and it has now turned into a nice sized purse! Really, that's what I intended and I am quite happy with the size at 5 repeats per side. The red is a bit hard to photograph, but you can get the idea from the photo below. I was still having trouble with the pattern and really should have taken the time to chart it out. So, it it done, but not perfect - good enough for a rustic knit purse!

I have left each side on the needles so I can make adjustments after I pick up a set of handles. I am heading downtown this afternoon with my good friend to pick up the handles and some fabric to line the inside. I haven't been yarn/fabric shopping for ages (besides thrift stores) so it should be a fun afternoon!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Buttons and Bags

I have been gathering a number of buttons lately on two separate thrifting expeditions. At my first stop I managed to obtain a bag of old and rather plain buttons with some wonderful colourful sets thrown in. I think they make lovely button flowers. The second stop was at the thrift store right next to the grocery store - a very tempting location. There I found two bags that had numerous larger vintage buttons. Score! Here is a shot of most of them, together with three pink buttons already in my collection.

I also have been arranging my half of the study so it is more amenable to crafting and sewing (instead of studying and computer, which I seem to be doing at the dining table lately). I had this little storage shelf - a freebee from Canadian Tire I think - and it makes a perfect button storage and organization centre! I love to organize by colour (you should see my closet) and I have managed to separate all of my buttons into colour categories for each drawer. This system will keep my button collection manageable as the little drawers can only hold so many buttons. I have put one of my thrifted pottery sugar bowls on top (the one that stores my stitch markers) as well as a beautiful card set in a tin that I purchased at a Goth/renaissance/fantasy clothing store in Ottawa (called Trivium). What a store! I really wanted one of the outfits but had to settle for the cards. Sorry for the blurry picture.

My knitting has been, well, scattered and slow in the last few months so I decided last week to start something quick. I had 3 balls of Karisma Ull-Tweed in my stash (use what you have!) so I started the Counterpane Accessories Pouch from Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays book. My gauge is a bit smaller than the pattern calls for so I did three repeats for one side and then started the other side. I have already finished the three repeats for the second side and think I would like a larger purse (I'm not much of a tiny purse person) so I intend to do five repeats per side and then find a nice set of bamboo or wooden handles to top it off as well as some fabric to line it with.

I had a bit of a problem with the scallop pattern and, after not finding that anyone else on the internet who had any problems, just worked it out on my own. It seemed that one side of Row 4 was missing a yarn over so I added one in to balance the row and adjusted the rest of the pattern because this added an extra stitch to the end of the row. It looks great now and has similar yarn overs on each side!