You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2007.

VdayI feel a bit guilty now that I realize I never posted this wonderful gift from my "heart of exchange" pal.  I felt as though I did because I took the picture right away, but never managed to post it seems. 

I’d admired the pattern on interweave web site, and this inspired me to finally try one for myself.  For my first attempt on the left, I thougt I would be clever and use some hemp twine from my basket, but the gauge was off and it was hard on the fingers so I bound off after 6 squares, stuffed with cotton and chammomile and crocheted the edges shut.

Sma_008

My second attempt on the right, makes use of the easter egg yarn we dyed, but I’m not sure about color placement, and frankly, this project isn’t quite as thrilling as I thought it would be.  I may frog the whole thing and make a stripey lacy scarf instead, or some socks or a doll hat.  After all I still have the original from Evelyn which I love, love, love(and who, by the way, has just finished a gorgeous lace shawl), and you know what they say "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush" or something like that…

Found some glass lampwork beads  we originally picked up at a flea market in Tucson and decided to put them to use. I thought they would make a lovely addition to the garden, which thus far has been adorned with plastic beads (below left and center) left over from last year’s bird feader.

Beads_001 Beads_002 Misc_001_2 Misc_003_2

Frida thought they would make a lovely addition to her mermaid costume.  You may recall the knit mermaid tail from a past post; the crochet shell top was a recent quick-o addition which still needs some tweaking.   

  Mermaid_necklace

We had a lovely and very inspiring day at the Austin Fine Arts Festival today, followed by an afternoon at the Blanton (included with price of admission to the festival as was admission to the Austin Museum of Art, but there are only so many hours in a day).

We walked away from the festival with at least 8,000 dollars worth of mental purchases (no material ones alas) and lots of inspiration.  It’s hard to touch on all the highlights, but there was some wonderful metal sculpture (and I’m not usually into that kind of thing) and some very interesting jewelry, mostly silver, and some fabulous glass bangles www.toddmartinglass.com, but also a woman who constructed her jewelry out of masses of beautiful seed bead coral-like strands in rainbow tones.  A bit much for me, but I would love to try and make a single strand for earing’s.  I’m sorry now I didn’t note her name, so her ingenuity will have to remain anonymous for the time being.

There was a photographer with beautiful photographic prints on canvas of San Miguel, that made us nostalgic for home.  Not much in the way of fiber arts but I loved the hand carved brooms by Little John.  You can see them here: http://www.moonwiseherbs.com/handmadebrooms.htm,  but the pictures don’t do them justice. Wizened men are carved into the top of the handles–found branches with wonderful natural twists and curves and knobs.  The bristles themselves are woven or stranded with yarn or wire; some subtly dyed, some left wild and bushy.

I think my favorite though, were the sculptures by Armando Lopez.  ("Magic Angel" shown below, we didn’t see this piece at the show, you can see others at: Armandolopezjpg http://www.armandolopez.com/sculpture_gallery.htm)

Each piece looks like the illustration to a wonderful story, so it doesn’t surprise me that it was a childhood story that helped inspire his work.  You can read his full Bio on the website so i won’t go on and on, but it really was wonderful to see these in person and marvel at the interplay between humble materials such as corn husks and onion skins subtly adorned with gold leaf and precious or semi-precious stones.

I like Fridays, as I think most people who work a regular work week or go to school do, so I think its funny that it would be a Friday that would get branded as the unluckiest of days.  Of course, the most commonly cited origins of the superstition go back long before the formalization of the modern work week (Roman times?).  There are various places you can read about the origins and myths surrounding Friday the 13th (most commonly cited: the Bible, The Knights Templar, negative associations with women and the lunar calendar etc).  I thought www.crystalinks.com/friday13th.html offered a nice summary (with pictures!).

I also learned that Friday is traditionally not a good day to start projects.  I particularly liked the needlework quote below posted on http://www.snopes.com/luck/friday13.asp

"I knew an old lady who, if she had nearly completed a piece of needlework on a Thursday, would put it aside unfinished, and set a few stitches in her next undertaking, that she might not be obliged either to begin the new task on Friday or to remain idle for a day."   (1883)

No one mentioned however, that in Mexico (and perhaps elsewhere?) Friday the 13th is a lucky day.  This may be because of the number 13 special significance in the Mayan Calendar. (And you can begin to read about that here: http://www.caribemexicano.com/eng/mayancalendar/)

So what’s it been for me, definitely lucky!  I received an unexpected raise, and Jorge had an unexpected sale.  May the stars so favor you as well!

Easter_010My outdoor plans were foiled by cold wet weather and my daughter’s refusal to wear a sweater, so we went to town with the easter dye.  We dyed eggs and yarn and our fingers.  We baked and made fresh aloe gel from the pieces of the aloe that fell of when we moved it to a bigger pot; we talked to Aunts and Grandmas; we took turns hunting and hiding eggs indoors. 

And the weekend’s not over yet!  Now that the sun is out, (sort of) it’s time to pack up our egg sandwiches and go!

Easter_009 It seemed a shame to throw away all that easter dye, so we used the left overs and did some experimenting in dying yarn guided by Julie Theaker’s helpful Knitty article on dying yarn with food coloring http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring07/FEATdyeyourown.html.  I’m quite pleased with the results.  Thanks Julie!

Eastertank

And last but not least a finished object: I may still modify the neckline, but I’m quite pleased with the lacy ribbing at the bottom and the stripeyness throughout.

Freshly gathered flower petals grace this school easter project.

Cast_on_001_2 Eclipse_ring_008_3

Spring flower fairies frolick in the garden.  Perhaps some will play hide and seek with our eggs this weekend.

And last but not least… the Spring issue of black purl is up!!!

An elongated picture of Frida’s embroidered pillow graces the front page (the pattern and some of my own nostalgic ruminations are in there too)

http://www.black-purl-magazine.com/  Enjoy!

Look at what I found on the internet today:

Cassettepursesmalljpg A crocheted bag from recycled cassette tapes.

You see Mom? I’m not alone.  You can find the pattern for this and lots of other crochet projects from recycled materials here: 

http://www.myrecycledbags.com/2007/03/14/recycled-cassette-tape-granny-square-bag/