Saturday, November 24, 2012

Red Barnacles - free form crochet

Yes, I know I have been slack in my blogging for the last couple of months, but I haven't been slack in my making. I am making a conscious effort to catch up on my blogging at the moment. So here is my "Red Barnacles".

There are about 15 different reds, and well over 200 'barnacles'. They are all done in SC (single crochet), with various sizes. No pattern was followed, I made them up as I went. For about 3 months there was always a ball of red yarn and a crochet hook in my handbag! I really love the texture this creates.

This is currently hanging in the ICAN@7 gallery. I'm pretty sure it will end up in my lounge room when it's finished - unless, someone likes this more than me (is that really possible?!).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wearable Art - Video Star

I entered the Wearable Art Showcase this year, held at Port Kembla. (Red Point Wearable Art Showcase)

My idea developed over a long time (just ask my husband - I'm sure he will tell you!). I started off weaving video tape to see what it looked like. Then I got a bit stuck on how to get the weaving off the cardboard I wove it around!

The hole dress is made from discarded video tape. And yes it sparkles!
The top of the dress is knitted video tape, the skirt is woven, and the train is crocheted (it's about 2m long!). There is no lining. There is just some elastic around the top & bottom edges of the knitting. The necklace is a band of crochet video tape, and the stretched tape tied onto it (when pulled the right way, the video tape curls in on itself, like a strip of jersey fabric, and becomes stiff enough to hold it's own weight).
Here are some detail photos:

I'm very happy to say that I won the Recycled section and the Peoples Choice awards!!

Stove top Scones - Chef's Toolbox Saute Pan

And here is my next trial - lemonade scones. But I didn't bake them in the oven, I cooked them on the stove top - 7min with the vent closed, 5 min with the vent open. These were so light and tasty. I really love the versatility of the Chef's toolbox Como Advanced range. And how easily the pans clean out!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stove Top Cake - Chefs Toolbox Saute Pan

non-stick, induction, gas, electric, stove or oven

Excuse my absence lately, I've been somewhat busy. Hopefully I can make it up a bit!

So I tested a stove top cake using the Chef's Toolbox Saute Pan. This is a HUGE cake!! And just as delicious & lovely and moist. Since making this at home I have done it while camping! (How awesome, and flexible are these cooking pans!!) The second photo shows the Chef's Toolbox bread knife - great for cutting cakes too. The last photo shows the the pan, straight after the cake has been removed, before cleaning - the non-stick surface is really good!

Keep watching - there is more to come!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Design your own tea cozy tutorial

There are heaps of patterns out there for a plain tea cozy - admittedly more so knitted than crocheted - choose one of these for your base. Basically your are going to make two squares/rectangles that are the height of the teapot from the base to the top of the handle, and the width big enough to go around the teapot when joined together. Then join the two square together and knit/crochet in the round, decreasing to fit over the lid nicely. Here's my naked tea pot (a small 2 cup cheapy at $5), and crocheted base (charcoal):

 I then added a 'frill' to the handle end. To do this chain a length that is as long as the opening of the handle (up the side + across the top + down the other side). Turn, ch1, and 2sc (or dc) in each chain, turn again at the end and 2sc in each stitch again. To make it more ruffly do more sc per chain/stitch. To make a less full ruffle, do less sc in each stitch (maybe increase only every 2nd stitch).:

Now add some fun texture! Here I have done some barnacle like shapes. Use a magic ring to start the center of each shape - maybe 15 to 25sc in the magic ring. Then working in rounds sc in each stitch. In the first few rounds you could increase 3 to 6 stitches per round to give a more 'pointy' barnacle. Make them all different - have fun - don't stress them, just make it up as you go! So here is my final tea cosy! A little Loani Prior like, but definitely my own style!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Customised Play Tent

Here is a tent that I made for someone who ordered it at the ICAN gallery / shop (at Redpoint artspaces in Port Kembla) - just finished it this morning, and I am really happy with how it turned out!

The customer like the example I have at the shop also with hexagons, but wanted a retro boy feel to it. I stuck mainly with the blues and oranges - some great retro reprint fabrics were used.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A New Dress For Me - Retro Style - Simplicity #7888

This is the pattern I used - I found it on ebay. It is a very easy pattern. There is the front (cut twice), the tie (cut twice), back bodice (cut once), back skirt (cut twice), a collar (cut twice), there is also a pocket you can add, and the usual facings around the front and neck.

I constructed mine a little different to the instructions, using more modern methods, but the outcome would look the same. And instead of putting a hook & eye for the inside of the wrap, I just added a small tie to the side seam. It took me two nights (after the kids were in bed!). And to be honest I only straight stitched the seams (no overlocking - because Troy got to my overlocker and de-threaded the whole thing and I couldn't be bothered fixing that on the weekend; and no zigzag - quick results are good!). The seam allowances on these older patterns is quite large (1.5cm), and I doubt this fabric would fray that much anyway.

The below photos are how it turned out, quite happy really! I'm pretty sure I will make this again. One variation I would make next is a rolled collar.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Easy Lace Skirt Free Tutorial

This is so easy it takes under an hour to whip up!
  1. Find cheap skirt - I got a stretch knit skirt from Supre for $10
  2. Find lace to attach - mine is a lace trim from an old curtain
  3. Work out how many layers of lace you need. Overlap the lace by a bit so that you don't see any stitching - I only needed 2 layers, and overlapped mine by about 1.5"
  4. Work out how long you need each circle of lace. If it's a non-stretchy skirt you can just measure width of the skirt, double it, and add 1" for a seam. If it's a stretchy skirt you may want to make your lace circle bigger and stretch the skirt as you stitch it on - check how much your skirt stretches when you walk. (Note - if your lace is quite stiff, it will probably not hang nicely if you have to stretch your skirt too much when sewing) - my lace circles were only 4" or 5" bigger than the skirt.
  5. Sew the seam for each lace circle, and press seams open.
  6. Attach the lace circles to the skirt. The bottom row should be attached so the lace is longer than the skirt. The top row should be attached just below the waist band. For a non stretchy skirt you can use straight or zig-zag stitch. For a stretchy skirt use a wide zig-zag stitch. Quarter the lace circle and the skirt, pin together and stitch.
  7. Wear with pride! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Funny Faces

Here are just a few funny faces I have snapped over our Christmas and New Years break ...

Troy at Christmas:

 Troy's first birthday - love chocolate cake mum!:

Big sister Lilly brushing Troy's hair; Troy about to fall asleep!:

Kids Play Tent (Teepee)

This tent was for my neighbour - for a combined Birthday & Christmas present for her nephew. I think this one turned out great - really love the colours. This time I did a 4 sided tent. I think it is a little easier to put up, and it's still about the same size. I made this pattern up myself (really not that hard to do being an engineer by trade!), and it used 4m of 140cm wide fabric. This one I picked up from Spotlight - they also had a lovely red and orange stripe fabric too.

There are two velcro fasteners down the front, and the closing straps are also finished with velcro. I think this would fit about 3 x 4yr olds (based on the size of my 4 yr old). Hope this boy loves his tent when he gets it!