Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Late Summer/Early Fall Craftiness

Ok, first things first. Here are the pictures of the TUSAL bottle for the last three months. August is on the left and October is on the right. I thought I'd taken a picture of September but I can't find it if I did. It looked a lot like August except there was a huge blob of blue floss added. More on that later.

The first crafty thing to share is one of the more recent, but it is also seasonal so I'd best get it in now.

A while back, I made a biscornu out of some great purple fabric that came in a kit. The fabric really was awesome and I couldn't bring myself to throw away the leftover scraps after assembling the biscornu. The scraps turned up just in time for a make-a-scissor-fob desire to hit me. (I can always use another scissor fob because I own too many scissors.)

Purple is my favorite Halloween color -- especially when paired with emerald green. Thinking cap engaged for a Halloween scissor fob, I quickly found a small bat motif, tweaked it just a bit and had a bat. Instead of stitching eyes, I applied two red glitter chips from some glitter glue in the stash.

I wanted to put some words on the back of the scissor fob, but couldn't come up with anything pithy off the top of my head, so I turned to the Internet and started looking for batty things there. A wonderful poem by Frank Jacobs called The Bat turned up:

The Bat
By Frank Jacobs

Bats are creepy; bats are scary;
Bats do not seem sanitary;
Bats in dismal caves keep cozy;
Bats remind us of Lugosi;
Bats have webby wings that fold up;
Bats from ceilings hang down rolled up;
Bats when flying undismayed are;
Bats are careful; bats use radar;
Bats at nighttime at their best are;
Bats by Batman unimpressed are!

I fell in love with the line "Bats remind us of Lugosi" and knew that was what the scissor fob needed. The lettering style came from taking batty = deranged.

The scissor fob was assembled using the tag string from a Vera Bradley bag (love that emerald green!) and a bead from my stash. I had some black matte scissors that were just begging for this scissor fob. But, they would need a scissor sheath, too.

Again turning to my stash for inspiration, I found some supple, old boot leather and some pleather that came from gawd-knows-where, and some scrap black velvet. Yes, there was a bat in my future. This seemed to be the perfect sheath for these scissors with that fob at this time of year.

This really wasn't hard to make. If anyone has a desire for a tutorial, or just some instructions for making one, let me know and I'll be happy to fill you in.

The big blue floss blob that was added to the September TUSAL bottle was the orts from the (finally) completed Smokey Mountain Cats that I've been working on for a long time. I believe I started it around 2000, but one of my friends thinks it was around 2002 or 2003. Either way, it's been in the WIP pile for a long time and it was time for the final push to get it done.

This project is 184 x 140 stitches - a small one for many of you - but for your humble author, the ADD Kid, this was a mammoth undertaking and I'm pretty damn proud of myself for getting it done. And the funny part of it all? It's going to be given away. It's always been destine for AH and I hope it is appreciated.

Fall is my favorite season. I love the mild temperatures, sleeping under quilts with the window open, the changing leaves and the winds. Going to the Farmers Market is also a treat. All the produce looks great and there are colorful pumpkins, gourds and mums all around.

This is my friend SU. She is very talented with tiny knitting needles and crochet hooks.

She had come across the first tiny needles she'd ever bought and was bringing them to our stitching group so we could admire the beautiful rose wood handles on them. When she arrived at the stitching group, she discovered one of the needles had been lost - probably when she dropped them into her project basket. I offered to make a lining for her basket so it wouldn't happen again.

The happy ending to the story is that SU found the missing needle not far from her stitching nest. It really had dropped through the open weave of the basket. But that will never happen again.

Lately, I've been playing with felting sweater in the washing machine. After a couple of near disasters and some reading on the Internet, I learned to put the sweaters in pillowcases prior to felting them in the machine.

I'm still in the thinking stage on what to do with most of the felted sweaters. I've made cat toys with the cuffs

and some house slippers for Mama

but I've got a lot more already felted and ready to go - as soon as the inspiration hits me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Still alive and kicking

Contrary to popular belief, I have not been kidnapped by a band of skunks hell-bent on revenge and demanding the return of their kin. It's been a busy time at work and, after a day of sitting in front of a computer for work I had little desire to sit and type on one at home. I've been doing crafty things and have taken pictures along the way. Pictures and descriptions will be coming soon.