2017. Wow. I can’t believe I started this blog roughly 13 years ago, nor that some of you have been around since the very beginning. Whether you’re one of my original few hundred subscribers or one of the couple thousand who discovered my site when looking for my most popular Halloween DIY, hi there, happy holidays, and happy New Year! I’ve got a lot planned for this little blog over the upcoming year, so if you’re an old friend- thanks for sticking around… and if you’re new- I hope you’ll pull up a chair and stay a while.
Some of you may note that I’ve slowly made changes to the type of content that I post. I’ve never been a mono-crafty person, and the blog will always adapt to whatever creative pursuits I’m into at the time, whether they’re knitting or crochet, cosplay or cakes. Coloring books are going to have more of a showing on the blog, as will as a variety of crafts beyond the yarn-based ones. For the last two years I’ve taken step-by-step photos of all the projects that I’ve made with the intent to focus more on sharing helpful DIYs, tutorials and tips going forwards, instead of merely showing off whatever I’ve made. I’m going to have more reviews coming up, both sponsored and non, and while there might be affiliate links popping up at the end of some posts, I can promise you that my reviews will always be strictly my honest, unbiased thoughts.
Another feature I’m going to add is a weekly roundup, to both keep track of and hold accountable to the projects I’ve got ongoing. Not everything needs to wait for a finished reveal, and sometimes quick projects or small pastimes get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day. To that end – this is my first Crafty Compilation. I plan to post these on Sundays and to cover the previous week’s goings-on, but this first one is being posted on Thursday because life LOL. Amazing how, even when one is off work in post-op recovery, when it comes to crafting, there still isn’t enough time! This first CC will cover some stuff worked on over the holidays, as well as last week.
- Gift knitting
Over the holidays I knit a special baby hat. One of Yannick’s closest friends had a baby girl just before the holidays, and when he showed me the gifts he planned to bring for the friend and his other young daughter, I told him I knew just the thing to make for the new arrival. The little girl’s dad has similar geeky tastes as we do, and I thought this pattern would be perfect.
I’ve knit it once before, back in 2013, as part of a Hallowe’en costume for a baby girl aptly named Leia. This was a pic of Jakob trying it on for me at the time:
and this is a pic of the little sweetheart in her full costume. Cutest Leia I’ve ever seen!
The pattern is very well written and it’s a pretty quick knit, even with all the icord. The hat and the ear puffs each took a night’s worth of knitting to work up, then the assembly took barely an episode of Elementary.
Forgive the bad pics, it’s hard to take hat pics without an appropriately-sized head! 🙂 I’m really pleased with how the hat came out, even though I’d knit it before and expected it to look the same. One thing I love about this pattern vs others out there is how it incorporates ‘bangs’ and the center part (not clearly visible in these photos but seen better in the one of Leia wearing it above).
- Drops v-neck sweater
I also completely frogged a sweater I’d been working on. Back in September I’d started a garter-stitch oversized sweater with a lovely gray yarn from my stash. I’d thought it would be perfect ‘no-look’ movie or tv knitting but after measuring a sweater I own that had the fit I wanted, I realized that what I was making wouldn’t have the proper shape. Plus I’d been having a nagging feeling that the garter stitch was eating up too much of my limited yarn. So I frogged it one evening last week and began this pattern instead. I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough yarn, and if not I’ll work the neckband and/or cuffs in something contrasting.
So far I’m at about 32cm of the 34cm I need to be at before splitting for the low v-neck.
- Doodle Fusion ‘Christmas Tree’
A few weeks ago I’d taken a page from Dede Willingham and done color washes across a bunch of my coloring book pages. From what I’ve seen she primarily uses acrylic paints, but I mixed it up a bit, using not only paint, but also my Neocolors and my Inktense. This particular page, from Zifflin’s Doodle Fusion, seems to deliberately invoke a Christmas tree, so that’s how I decided to approach it. I colored over the whole image with the inktense in shades of green. The first pic is immediately after wetting the pencils, and the second is the next day, after the page had dried.
My plan is to color the characters in colored pencil over the Inktense, keeping them muted and dark, but to color all the eyes and anything round-ish in bright gel pens, so they’d (hopefully) look like bright ornaments on the tree. If you squinted at it. Maybe.
This was after my first pass with the gel pens. I think I got all the areas I’d wanted, but I’m sure as I work on the figures I’ll find more. I’m looking forwards to coloring the characters now in dark tones to really make the gel pen pop.
PS- this book is crazy, and I love it. I’ll be showing a lot more of it in future posts.
- Art of Coloring: Disney Villains – Mowgli & Kaa
I finally finished a page I started coloring back in November in the Disney Villains coloring book Yannick had bought for me, but as this post is getting long I’ll save them for another. That’s another excellent coloring book that I’ve been working in quite a bit.
UPDATE: those pages are posted here. 🙂
- While the boys were off school for Christmas break I tried to keep them occupied with more than just Minecraft, Little Big Planet, or their new Skylanders Imaginators. Every few days we had ‘technology-free’ time during which we’d color, or do pencil puzzle books, and during one of those afternoons I taught them how to make their own stuffies. However I took a TON of photos and so I’ll share the step-by-steps of their work in another post
Alright, that’s it for this round-up!
If interested in either the pencils or book that I’ve talked about in this post, you can check them out here:
Derwent Inktense colored pencils:
Zifflin’s Doodle Fusion with illustrations by Lei Melendres
these are affiliate links.