Mother’s Day Gifts

Remember the birthday necklaces I made in January and posted last week? Well, I decided to make Mother’s Day gifts for my grandmothers that would go along with them. This time, I made bracelets.

I used the same amethyst chips, some silver wire, and some silver chain. I made five beaded links and connected them together with chains. I once again used a magnetic clasp, because it is one of my new favorite materials to use in jewelry.

I also made some Zentangle cards to send with them. I drew the patterns with a Sharpie pen, and then colored them with Prismacolor markers.

Advertisements

Valentine’s Gifts for the Kids 2015

In the midst of the many other projects I have going on, I needed to make some quick valentines for the kids I babysit. I originally was trying to make a couple things, but in the end it was taking too long and I just went with the smallest, fastest ones I had.

The oldest boy had found a beaded bracelet in a shop that he liked, but his mom wasn’t about to spend over $50 for a bracelet for a kid. I thought that was a little insane as well, so I decided to go back to another craft I had abandoned a while before and make him one. But what I make for one, I have to make for all. Luckily this was around the time I was thinking of valentines anyway.

I made one for each, with their initial in the middle. That way there will be no fighting over whose was whose. I had originally planned out the pattern, but then ended up messing up early on and created the rest of the pattern as I went along. Once I had one finished, I used it as a template for the rest.

Then, because I decided to give up on the second thing I was making (which will now likely become Easter presents), I was ready to make the cards at 10:00 at night. And I had no red paper. And I had been to the craft store earlier that day to get crimper beads…Anyway, I made the colored paper again and cut out hearts. Then I cut the spots for the bracelets wrong and ended up having to tape the bracelets in place in the back. That is what I get for doing this at bedtime the night before I needed to give some of them.

Send It Off

I haven’t posted a project that didn’t involve yarn recently, and I want to correct that injustice. Because I do occasionally do something other than sit around an knit. Occasionally. Although I do have a giant string of projects waiting in my Ravelry queue.

Anyway, back in May (I should really catch up on these things already) I had a few occasions that required cards. And most times I like to make cards, unless I find a really funny one at Target. First was a friend’s birthday:

I started with my watercolor cards I bought to make Christmas cards last year and created the purple to pink wash. Then I drew the decorations with markers. I also glued rhinestones on at the last minute, but I didn’t take a picture of it after that (of course). Gold rhinestone in the centers of the flowers, if you are curious.

Then, there was Mother’s day. One grandmother got a lovely plant and the other got a card with a picture of a plant, a week late. Yeah, I’m on top of these holidays this year.

Again, I took my watercolor card and started with washes of color. Over several days, letting the cards dry in between coats, of course, I made a layer of yellow, then slowly added light, transparent washes of the orange and purple to get the desired sunset. Then I took my trusty India ink on a dry brush and created the palm trees with just a few, sweeping brush strokes.

On the inside of this one I used lettering stamps to write “Happy Mother’s Day!” in rainbow colors. Then I signed it and sent it out. Again, a week late. In my defense…well, there really is no excuse except I guess I was just a little busy with a billion different projects getting ready to go on my trip to France. Even though those things were a month apart. Yeah.

I cannot recommend these watercolor cards highly enough if you like to make cards of any kind. They have other versions for different media as well, but I find watercolors to be the best way to make these cards.

My question to you today is: What do you do about greeting cards? Do you make them, buy them, or send e-cards? Do you go for funny or more sappy poignant cards?

Printing Cards

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something non-knitting. To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve done anything non-knitting. I’ve been in a self-imposed knitting rut trying to make all those blasted squares in such a short time. Really have to stop doing that to myself.

Anyway, I seem to keep adding more media to my…”artistic repertoire”, if you will. This one is pretty cool, though. I’ve taken up lino carving. It’s a way of making your own stamps.

For this first one, I got a kit with a lino block, carving tool, and brayer (the thing you use to put paint on the stamp). The carving tool has interchangeable ends to carve different widths and depths of lines. The block that came with the kit is a hard material attached to a wooden block.

The process goes a but like this:

  1. Draw out the design on paper. This is especially essential for words, because the print is going to be reversed from what you see on the face of the stamp.
  2. Trace the drawing onto tracing paper in pencil. It has to be pencil so it will transfer to the block. I filled in all the areas I wanted to cut away to make it easier on myself. That way you just remove all the pencil marks and don’t have to worry about hollowing out the wrong part.
  3. Place the tracing paper onto the block and rub really hard with your pencil to transfer the design.
  4. Carve out the parts where you want “white space”, being really careful. Remember, any place there isn’t rubber, there won’t be ink. Even if that is just a slight scratch.

I decided to make something I could use for a while. What kind of a stamp could one use most often? A “thank you” stamp, of course. Somehow, I don’t have a picture of the actual stamp, but these are the cards I made from it:

Thank You Cards

It took a little experimentation to get the right concentration of ink so the image showed up without being blobby. I think I got it down pretty well. I really like the “distressed”(?) look these have.