Monday, August 23, 2010

New Items in my Artfire!


I've been busy....and sick!  I caught a dreadful bug over the course of yesterday and today.  I woke up and felt like my head was filled with air, the pressure was intense and I could barely breathe because of the congestion.  I really, really dislike summer colds.  I went to the doc and they gave me antibiotics although I don't think I need them.  I'm contagious.  I caught this bug from my youngest and she's bouncing around (still sick) having a ball.

Anywho I stayed home as I didn't want to make the coworkers sick.  I went to sleep after coming from the doctor's and woke up to see the kiddies off the bus (I've been meaning to get a pic of them as I missed the first day).  I got them situated and ended up snoozing AGAIN.  I woke up shortly before four and posted my last post which I actually wrote last night, I just proofread and published.  I don't like being sick.

Well since I had the time I updated my artfire with new products. 

Chocolate Brown Slouch Cap with Flower Accessory.  I've been meaning to use this yarn for the longest.  I got two skeins (the last) seriously discounted at AC Moore around the same time I got the bamboo wool.  It is Red Heart Eco-Ways Cotton (recycled cotton/acrylic blend 75/25).  I don't really use cotton a lot and never thought to use cotton until someone at the market wanted to know if I had any cotton slouch hats.  Since I didn't it seemed natural to see how much yarn it would take to make one.  One skein made the hat and the remainder of that and a tiny bit of the next made the flower.  So I can make one more hat out of this.  I'm very happy!

Crochet Wide and Wavy Headband.  I've had this for awhile and contemplated what to do with it.  It's something called a panta which is pretty much a big headband that is super warm.  Now this is SC so there isn't much use for these for a lot of the year.  I just wanted to make one.  I have long misplaced the pattern but I do recall shortening it.  That thing was huge!  I used buttons instead of velcro...velcro and hair is just a bad idea.

Sunshine Gold and Red Visor Slouch Cap!  I have finally taken a decent picture of it.

Crochet Africa Slouch hat!  Africa is stitched into the crown.  I did this to help someone with a pattern for incorporating Africa into their pattern. 

Jamaican Rasta Cap with Flag!  I did this some time ago from this post

Finally I have been able to take ok pictures of it.  There was a glare off of the head that conflicted with the black previously.  Solution?  A less sunny day.

That's all the new items that were added.  I have some more things I have crocheted but haven't had the chance to blog about or take pictures. Case in point...I've had that headband for forever!

I have a lot of handmade jewelry I should list to my shop.  The market is so saturated I hesitated to venture into it.  I'll consider it in the future.

Vendor Market on Sunday


It was a good day!  It started out a bit slow but things eventually picked up in the early afternoon. I met some
interesting vendors and bought some really great items!
First purchase:  Carved hair picks
I am a collector of West African hair picks. I also collect Egyptian cats and symbols of Sekhmet while my husband loves West African drums.  Anywho when I saw these at another vendor's table (she was selling many items similar to my own) I was feigning to get them.  In the end we left with the picks, a shell drum necklace and some African tarot cards and she obtained my Sunshine Gold Bamboo Wool crochet hat.

Another vendor was selling these bent wire cuffs that I absolutely had to have.   Now these were a bit on the expensive side but luckily we had a good enough day I could invest in this beautiful cuff!  It was the main one that caught my attention  when I had passed his table earlier in the day and when I came back to get it another lady was trying it on..I thought she was going to buy it!  In the end she didn't and I obtained it.  He has no two alike.  These are actually bronze and thankfully I do not have any sensitivities.  It is now one of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

My mom came out briefly (she's visiting) but I guess it was too hot for her.  Gotta love that Carolina heat and humidity!  My littlest one went to sleep.

 My little entrepreneurs commandeered an empty table that was next to us (with our permission) and did their own setup with their crochet bracelets and some of my "mistakes"! 
 I got a chuckle...they were so pleased with themselves it was pretty funny.  I'm a firm believer in children learning the value of money.  I worked for most of what I got when I was in their age range.  I would do things like rake my neighbor's yard and get a dollar that I would then go down to Mrs. Chris store to spend.  I knew that doing little odd things like that even without being asked to would result in monetary compensation.  I was praised by the adults.  Anywho that entrepreneurship spirit never dies when planted early.  I had a monthly paycheck by the time I was ten playing the piano for my church and was selling my drawings by the time I was fifteen.  If I knew how to crochet back then it would have been on!

My pretty girls!  They both have beads now.  I just start on the little one's head first because she has so much.  I loved beads as a child even though I never wore them.  No one ever did them for me and I could remember feeling pretty down about that.  This is the first time I beaded their hair but it won't be the last...beads are fun and I can always hear them when they are coming!

"Look after your baby sisters."  I tell them that all the time to the point they do it automatically.  My boy loves his sisters.  When he was a little guy about two he did something that my sister and I still laugh about.  My daughter Lanie started crying in her car seat.  He dropped all of his toy cars to try and pick her up and calm her down.  It was funny and of course I stepped in.  I have pictures of her following him around with this look of adoration on her face and him helping her and they are still close to this day.

 Their first (and only) sale!  He was sooooooo happy about it.  He's a super saver.  He hoards his money for real.  There was a lost library book I was griping about paying the fees for last year (there's no excuse for losing a book).  Now he has a thing about buying goodies from the school store so I had discounted any contribution he may have as a lost one.  I was preparing to send it to the school but  to my surprise I came home from work one day and he gave me a slip of paper.  It was a receipt for the cost of the book.  He had paid it!  "I tricked you, Mama," he said, obviously pleased with my surprise and consequently hugs and kisses.  I was just tickled and I paid him the cost back also which really got him going.

Lanie loves to read.  This was the only time I went to the market and didn't visit the book vendor.  We were a bit further down this time and I try to stay close to our booth.  My husband says I have a natural presence for selling things more than he does especially since I made a lot of the things so he doesn't want me to venture too far.  The Egyptian items are his domain and we sold an Isis statue also.  Amazingly enough one of our large masks sold and the thumb piano.  Don't let the name "thumb piano" fool you. It has nothing to do with a real piano.  I have an ear for music so I figured out small tunes by the sound of the notes which do not have the same orientation as the piano.  I want to obtain a kora (a real one not a tourist one!) and learn to play it.

It was an overall good day all around.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Projects


I worked on some crochet flower hair clips today.  I love how these turned out and will be wearing one of the satin chocolate ones tomorrow.  I used a stone bead in the middle of those for texture.  The yellow one I used a red button. I really enjoyed making them.  They are super quick to work up and I may have some for sale in my artfire soon.  I put these hair clips on the back as in my experience they hold on the hair better than the other clips.  I used Jewel-It Embellishing Glue which is used to hold jewels and the like permanently through repeated washing.  I don't know if anyone would be washing these (I would recommend it over time) but it definitely won't come off or fall apart if they did.

I also made some earrings and a matching necklace.  I am going to set up at the local flea market tomorrow so these are definitely going with me.  I had these beads for awhile so it is high time I finally made use of them.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Crochet Projects


I devoted this weekend to crocheting.  I was inspired by the crochet section at the SC State Fair.  I'm definitely entering.  I've decided I am going to enter one of my swirl caps and a cape.  Now I have never done a cape before so I decided to experiment.  The skirt was a no go and I got tired of frogging it so I decided to use that yarn for the cape.  Unfortunately I ran out of the yarn and the store (where I bought every skein they had left) no longer carried that color (boo!).  So I picked up a pretty bamboo wool gold in the same brand and tried to decide how to do it.  This is what I came up with.

Starting Point should be realized by now that I never follow a pattern to save my life.  I liked the cape/shawl/turtleneck idea.  Thing is I'm not a fan of turtlenecks.  I do like cowls but not the real ruffly kinds just a roll or two.  I never crocheted a cowl before neither so this was going to be an interesting test of my winging it skills.  Also it's length was putting me off.  To me a capelet's supposed to be an alternate addition not the entire fashion statement.  Considering I have never actually worn one I may not be the authority on it though, lol.
Finished cape

Camera phones are funny and temperamental.  Hopefully that isn't a reflection of their respective users :-). 

Finished cape---I like it.

When it was finished I realized I had bought too much gold so I decided to use the tiny bit of rust red and the gold up into hats.  Even though it is supposedly aran weight this yarn is actually pretty fine for my kind of hats so there is some slouch but virtually none if you have a lot of hair.  Depends on how you wear them I suppose.  I'm going to make a gold one for myself :-).

Sunshine Gold Slouch Cap I now have for sale in my artfire store.   A beautiful hat.

Sunshine Gold and Warm Red Visor Slouch Cap.  This will be for sale once I get a better photo of it.  Not super slouch but with more give than a beanie.  I now have a small amount of both colors left so I would probably make a flower embellishment for the cape with that.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Current WIP - Skirt


I have frogged this skirt a million times!  It is really beautiful the way it is coming out except for the joining portion.  The pattern really isn't all that helpful in explaining it and I am about to call it quits on it.  The skirt is from this book HERE.  You can see by the details it is really nice and would be flattering...if only I could get the joining portion correct.  (Forgive the crappy camera phone pics!)

I will frog it one more time and if I can't get it right then I will find something else to make with this beautiful yarn.  It is Red Heart Eco-Ways Bamboo Wool in Rust.  It is great to crochet with and I am glad it was on sale...$1.67 a skein! 

See pic to the right for the problematic joining section.  Atleast I made it a little bit further down before it started to get all funky on me.  I can't really discern when the problem will occur until after a few rows, then I'm kicking myself. 

I made no leeway last night as I came straight home and went to sleep after work.  I didn't get up until this morning.  I hate that I lost a night of productivity but I was just plumb exhausted.

The SC State Fair is coming up!  I miss the deadline every single year.  Some of its procrastination...ok most of it.  Last year it was the requirements that got me.  This year I have met all of their requirements for entering some of my artwork.  I will be entering the professional division and I'm debating just putting in one of my pre-existing pieces or making something completely new.  I have until September 1st (September 10th for late registration).  I will most likely update my arts blog with any new artworks but I'll post my decision here.

While perusing their site I found a section for crochet crafts!  I never knew they had one...I never seemed to make it pass the art exhibits in years past.  I'm contemplating whether I should enter...they even have a section for thread crafts.  Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Facebook Giveaway!


I am hosting a giveaway on my facebook fan page

My first giveaway! I need more friends, fans, & likes! Have your friends reply to this post with
your name(who sent them). The 3 people who refer the most people by August 25th will win a product of their choice from the GIVEAWAY album!

ALSO...if I reach over 100 fans the top referrer will receive a custom ACEO drawing of a subject of their choice! Please see for examples of my art! Good luck!

It's my very first giveaway and I am excited!  

Completed Navy Blue Visor Slouch Hat


The commissioned hat is complete.  I began the hat after I got off of work and completed it a short time later.  I purchased the yarn yesterday.  I think I have enough for another hat if I combine it with another color.  I like it a lot and I hope the buyer likes it too.
 I have some ebay auctions up.  I am selling this print of this beautiful wide-eyed kitty called "The Wonderment" with free shipping!  The original sold on Etsy (my first sale there).  You can find the auction HERE.

I also have one of the baby headbands up for auction HERE.  I will have many more to come so stay tuned.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Local Vendor's Market


Yesterday I set up at the local flea market here.  I do this every now and then whenever time permits (or I am able to get up really early on a Sunday).  Anyways despite my early start, we didn't get out there until a little after ten so we had this rush to set up and get everything organized.  The thing about reserving a spot is that you never know who your neighbors are until you get there.  Our neighbors  were loud, disrespectful (using profane language around my babies!), and just plain disdainful.  My husband said they wouldn't be out there long so don't worry about it (easier said than done!).  Sure enough they attracted enough attention gambling and playing cards that they were cleared out by security not too long after.  I noticed that there was a reduction in the crowds but it didn't really hamper our sales.

This Visor Slouch hat sold and has been removed from my online artfire store.  The same lady that bought this commissioned me for a navy blue hat to be made in the same style so I am presently working on that now.  I anticipate having it done or mostly done by tomorrow.  This hat had gotten a lot of attention so I may do more in this style in the future.

The reception we got to our items was a lot stronger yesterday than they had been previously and I almost regret closing my Moya Arts store online so soon.  I am looking into my Moyartic site for refinement to start relisting some of my inventory.

This was our setup.  We had so many things with just a table to work with so we did what we could.  I wasn't anticipating anything beyond interest in our Egyptian items; however, our Hathor statuette was bought as well as several of our brass cuffs.  Naturally jewelry sold.  You can catch glimpses of the kiddies in a few of these :-).

We ran into a nice lady who had some of her husband's artwork.  His work can be found HERE.  We purchased a print of one of the pieces.  His work is some of the best examples of digital art I've seen in a long while.  One of my favorite vendors there is a book seller.  She knows books and we got to talking about our favorite black authors, Octavia Butler and Gloria Naylor mainly.  Her selection of rare and out of print books would astound you.

Overall I enjoy going and meeting new folks and such.  The girls enjoyed themselves.  I bought them a huge book of Mother Goose from the book seller and they spent a good portion of the time laughing at it. 

Other than the commission, I'm not doing too much crocheting these days.  I am working off and on on the blanket and on a skirt using some bamboo wool.  It takes a great deal of time and so does art.  I've become enthused about a new method of doing ACEOs so a lot of my time is being spent exploring that.  I have to divide my time to really make progress on both as well as work full time and take care of the kiddies.  No worries...multi-tasking is my thing.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Beanie Crochet Cap Pattern....FREE


I have decided to place this pattern for free on my blog.  This is my take on the beanie.  I've tried it in sc, dc, hbdc, and hdc.  The latter two were the most effective as caps. 

I originally had changed the pattern from single crochet to a herringbone half double crochet (already my professed favorite stitch). It still has great stretch and has a tighter feel and more interesting pattern.  For the sake of the learning curb the half double crochet can be used in its place and I have substituted it in the pattern. Also I made it so it would be in a continuous round rather than joining at the end of the rows. It makes it more seamless and the bump that sometimes occurs at the end when using this approach is hidden by the last step.   If you would prefer you could slip stitch in the starting stitch and chain two to start a new row.  The brim could also be flipped up and worn flush. 

chain (ch)
slip stitch (sl st)
single crochet (sc)
half double crochet (hdc)
You Need:
Worsted Weight or similar weight yarn in colors of your choice.
Olive, Tan, and cream used here.  Create color changes as desired.  Pattern is given in single color.

1 hook size j/10 - 6.00mm
tapestry needle (for finishing/weaving/hiding end)

Either make a magic adjustable ring or ch 4 and join with sl st to make a ring.
rnd 1:  8 hdc in ring join with sl st.  Mark this stitch with a stitch marker.  ch 2 (counts as 1st hdc).
rnd 2:  hdc in next st.  2 hdc in ea st around to last st, Move marker up and continue around. 16 hdc total.

rnd 3:  hdc in next st.  *hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st*, repeat from * to * around to last st.  join with sl st to beginning chain. 24 hdc total.

rnd 4:  hdc in next st.  *1 hdc in next 2 sts, 2 hdc in next st*, repeat from * to * around to last st. 
Move marker up and continue around.  32 hdc total.
rnd 5:  hdc in next st.  *1 hdc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in next st*, repeat from * to * around to last st. 
Move marker up and continue around.  40 hdc total.
rnd 6:  hdc in next st.  *1 hdc in next 4 sts, 2 hdc in next st*, repeat from * to * around to last st. 
join with sl st to top of beginning chain.  48 hdc total. 
rnd 7:  hdc in next st.  *1 hdc in next 5 sts, 2 hdc in next st*, repeat from * to * around to last st. 
join with sl st to top of beginning chain.  56 hdc total. 
rnd 8:  hdc in next st.  *1 hdc in next 6 sts, 2 hdc in next st*, repeat from * to * around to last st. 
join with sl st to top of beginning chain.  64 hdc total.
rnd 9:  hdc in next st.  *1 hdc in next 7 sts, 2 hdc in next st*, repeat from * to * around to last st. 
Move marker up and continue around.  72 hdc total. 
rnds 10 - 14:  1 hdc in each st. Move marker up and continue around. 72 hdc total.
rnd 15:  1 hdc in each st. Move marker up and continue around. 72 hdc total.
rnd 16:  1 hdc in each st around. Move marker up and continue around.  72 hdc total.
rnd 17: 1 hdc in each st around.  Move marker up and continue around.   72 hdc total.
rnd 18:  1 hdc in each st around.  Move marker up and continue around. 72 hdc total.
rnd 19:  1 hdc in each st around.  Move marker up and continue around.  72 hdc total.

Add more rounds here if desired.  Reduce number of rounds for shorter cap.

You can fasten off at this point.  Leave the stitch marker as this comes in later.

The Brim

(note on the brim: I've experimented making this in different ways.  To get it to flip up really nice make row 3 in the back loop.  You can also center 30 stitches across for #1 and follow rows 2-6 as given.  The choice is yours.  I change patterns too much to commit to any one.)

Using 2 strands of yarn, to the right, center 15 stitches. 
Row 1:  Join yarn with a sl st, 2 sc in same st, and in each of the next 14 sts. 30 sc total. 
Row 2:  Ch 1, turn, skip 1st st, sc in each st to the end.  1 sc into row edge, sl st into the next 2 sts along the hat edge. 
Row 3:   Ch 1, turn, skip 1st st, sc in each st to the end.  1 sc into row edge, sl st into next 2 sts. 
Row 4:  Ch 1, turn, skip 1st st, sc in each st to end. Sl st in same space as last sl st.  Fasten off and weave in ends.   
You can add as many rows as long as you would like your brim.

Row 5:   Rejoin the yarn at the back of the hat (where stitch marker is sitting), sc in each st around hat and the brim.  Sl st in starting st.
Fasten off and weave in the ends.

Experiment.  Create.  Have Fun. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ACEO (roughly) Drawing


I took a break from crocheting tonight to work on a drawing.  It is a shame that I have neglected something that I love so much.  I haven't sold on ebay in months and haven't even tried to enter any exhibitions for my larger format work.  *sigh*  It's hard knowing how to do so much with so little time to do everything.

I have this old book that's pretty much falling apart.  It has been read eons ago and had lost a few pages already.  The pages are slightly yellowed and a great backdrop to draw on.  The drawing is done in ballpoint ink, watercolor and goauche.  I do not know the archival quality of the ballpoint ink but it is much cleaner than pencil and shows really well through the letters without completely obliterating them.

It is roughly ACEO sized (2.5" x 3.5") but it goes over some because of the torn edges.  Working title: "...had invaded the inner citadels of her completely. There were no secrets the...barrier to throw up to protect herself...always naked, always open to pain." The wording wasn't intentional.  I noticed it after the drawing was done.  The child's withdrawn expression gives a lot of weight to the words.  This is very similar to the larger format work I have done that deals a lot with psychological effects of events, mostly past and ancestral events on a modern subject.  I'm probably going to explore this idea on a smaller format.  I went back in and made some areas darker like around the lips and the lower left.  That white area was competing too heavily with the details of her face and took away from the effect her eyes were intended to make.  I'll probably post the update later as an edit to this post.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Completed Fat Bottom Bag and Ribbon Cuffs


I finally completed the fat bottom bag.  I completed the pattern as written up until the last portion.  Then I crochetted the handles on each side to the mid point and joined them in the middle.  Then I did single crochet around each side and opening of the bag and the button flap in the middle.  I also crochetted a smaller pouch to go with it.  I like how this bag came out.

More pictures:
The inside lining.  

The back.

The bag with the matching pouch.  Since I was experimenting I tried out the cobble stitch with the pouch. These are some ribbon cuff bangles that I did yesterday using Lion Brand Incredible Ribbon Yarn.  These are my favorite bangles yet.