The rewards of teaching

Last month I taught my very first in person crochet class.  Speaking in public has been something I’ve enjoyed in school and work, but I’ve never really considered myself a teacher. I still feel fluttery and excited when I think that I actually transmitted something I know to other people.

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I spent an afternoon teaching people of all ages how to do a chain, a single stich and a double stich. Most of the students caught on quickly and I was very surprised at how even the very young students understood the basics concepts of crochet. While I was teaching my mind went back to my grandmother, who first taught me how to make a chain. I saw her this past weekend and I’m happy to report she’s still teaching friends how to crochet. Go Abuelita!

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It was truly a day where I ventured into an unknown place and came back a happier and more confident person.  Best of all? I received several skeins of yarn as a thank you for my participation and I even won a door prize skein of yarn. These babies will keep my busy during the fall season while I crochet blankets and scarves.

Do you consider yourself a teacher? Let me know in the comments!

Peace out,

L.C.

P.S.  Many thanks to Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames for making this opportunity possible, specially to Lorraine! If you’re in the Seattle area and need a craft store with folks knowledgeable in a variety of areas, I can’t recommend this place enough.

Thanks as well to Lion Brand yarn, who donated many of the materials for the event.

Designing for Darby Smart

I’m excited to share with you that I was accepted as a designer for Darby Smart. What this means is that I’ll be designing crafting kits that may later be available for purchase through darbysmart.com. I ordered some materials: vibrant geode fabrics, soft t-shirt yarn and an embroidery stencil that are on the way right now.

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I’m also participating in a contest to win $5K for a complete living room re-do. If I win I’ll be creating many small projects to revitalize any old living room that’s been turned into a TV-srhine.

If you’re checking out the site, why not use my handy link: http://bit.ly/VGX9xI   (Click Esc to close the login popup)

It will give me an extra entry to the contest and who knows,it might be all difference!

Thanks!

Laura

Sculpey: Portal Turret

And now for another sculpey experiment: those pesky little turrets from Portal. These were seriously my favorite part of the game and months after finishing portal I still enjoying quoting the little turrets at random.

My sculpey turret

 

The biggest challenge with this figurine was making the little legs and figuring out how to bake them in the right position.

After a little thinking I decided to make an aluminum paper stand that would hold it in the right position while it baked. With the piece of foil you see on the image below I was able to hold the main body in the right position while the skinny little legs baked and  became sturdier.

Securing turret during baking

 One thing missing from this figurine is the tiny antenna the real Portal turrets have on the  upper back of their “heads”. I couldn’t figure out how to make something proportionally thin, so I decided to get rid of it completely. After baking and giving the sculpey a little coat of paint (I could see stains on the white clay) I covered it in gloss and proceeded to enjoy my little turret.

 
" I see you..."

 

If you havent played Portal I highly recommend it. It’s one of my favorite puzzle games and one of the few games that has created a lasting emotional connection.

Have you enjoyed watching my attempts at sculpey figurines? One more sculpey post to come this week!

xoxo,

Laura

Sculpey: My Neighbor Totoro

This week I’d like to bombard you with posts about different sculpey figurines I made over the weekend.
Throwing all of these into one post wouldn’t do them justice, and I’d like to take my time telling you about them.

The first I’d like to share with you is….My Neighbor Totoro!

My Totoro figurine

My Neighbor Totoro is one of my favorite Hayao Miyazaki movies and as I brainstormed what characters to create into sculpey figurines, Totoro came into mind immediately.

One thing I’d like to improve on (if I ever make a Totoro figure again) is make his body a little rounder. If you look at him from the side you’ll see he is quite flat front and back, and making him rounder would help in making the resemblance better.

I experimented with the edges of his belly, to see if I could make him look a little fluffy, and I think it worked a bit. As I keep learning about working with sculpey I think I’ll practice textures (because right now you can see my fingerprints over everything I make, hehe).

My Totoro figurine

I mixed black and white sculpey clay to create the gray color you see, and I’m glad I did. I really don’t think I’ll be using gray clay that much so there’s no need to buy a whole package of gray.

All in all, I’m very happy with my little totoro. I think  that for my lack of experience with sculpey he looks quite awesome. 🙂

Stay tuned this week…I have a couple more sculpey figurines to show you!

xoxo,

Laura

Back from Bonnaroooooo

I am back from the land of sweet tea and true music! My adventures in Bonnaroo were many and fantastic. I’ll make a separate post for the artists I was able to see.

Flying out of Seattle was sad and gorgeous….Look at the beauty!

Once in the south I saw houses of my dreams…

And the food! Dreamlike as well! Will need to look for quality southern recipes now.

Below there’s some fried okra, fried catfish, greens, and cornbread.

At bonnaroo, I found some pretty good craft goods! Cheap hemp! Yay!

Also, look at what was waiting for me in the mail when I came back!

My lovely Golden Ponies leather shoes I won in a Loveology contest! Looooooove them!

They’re sassy and comfy and classy.

Peace out, homies!

How to find new crafty books

I was pretty bored this evening after coming back from work and decided to spend some time at the library looking for crafty books I have not seen before. I realized that I usually go straight into the Knitting/Crochet section of the library. I started looking around at random and realized there are a lot of sections I never really bothered to look at:

Tip #0:  New Languages

When at the library, go to your usual section and figure out the Dewey Decimal classification for the section you like….for me it’s crochet and its usually 746.<something>  (Arts&Craft start at 745)

…then look in the International section for books with these codifications! In my library they’re just separate b/c they’re in a different language.

These books I found are lovely! And they include graphical patterns so I dont even need ot know Korean or Japanese to understand the basic idea!

Tip #1 : New Specialized Sections

Dont look just in the section of your craft…Go to the lace, weaving, sewing sections, anything different!

Kyuuuto Lace is a crochet book, but I found it in the lace section (I’ve checked it out before and loved it enough to go check it out again)

Sew darn cute…Obviously in the Sewing section….but I didnt expect to find such cute plushies!

Tip #2: DIY section!

  There’s a whole section dedicated to DIY, look in there too! This book has crafts of every kind.

I’ve been meaning to check this book out since seeing it in BUST magazine like three years ago, finally got it.

Quick and Colorful Apron!

I’ve meaning to make an apron since I realized that baking at random usually got some of my better clothes messed up with flour. But never fear! The internet is full of fantastic free patterns!

I searched for a while and found many free patterns (check out TipNut for a massive list of patterns). I finally decided on this one from CraftyGal  . With a title like “Dressing for Kitchen Success” I couldnt really refuse.

I chose some very loud fabrics I got for christmas about two years ago and some lace I got from Daiso, my very favorite store.

Here are the results! It was quite an easy pattern!

Lessons learned:

-When the instructions say “waist”, it’s just waist…not your “low rise jeans waist”. ‘Doh!

-Lace hides everything!

Adjustments to make:

-Make sash shorter

-Make bib shorter…apparently my torso shrunk like 5 inches in the process of making this apron.

-Cut off loose strings

Picture time!

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Waist closeup…pretty lace!  (It got folded in the other pics so you cant see it as well)

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Pocket closeup….more lace!

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Side view

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Pretty neat, no? It’s a great first sewing project I think, give it a try. 🙂

A bird called Fruncido Gomez

I was feeling pretty bleh today so I decided to crochet FREESTYLE!…This is the closest I’ve come to crocheting something straight off the top of my head. It was really relaxing. I recommend it to anyone with a few hours to kill.

Anyway, today I came up with this weird looking…bird. I couldnt come up with a name so my friend helped me. His name is Fruncido Gomez.

What are you doing in there?! I drink from that cup!

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Fruncido hides behind fashionable teapots. He’s a shy one.

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Fruncido ponders about flight.

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Finally, this cheered me up today while having lunch! Do you see the little vegtable heart in the spoon? 🙂

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Embroidery hoop fascination

I’ve been fascinated with embroidery hoop art ever since I saw the amazing things that Melissa Sue comes up with. So I started asking the internet for ideas on how to use embrodeiry hoops as frames and learned that it has become quite popular and a staple of crafty homes everywhere. So  I went ahead and bought a bunch of little hoops and hunted down for my wildest fabrics.

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I really want more tiny ones for this corner of my room.

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But I really like this single large one over my bed.

I got this one at a thrift shop for $2 and some kickass quilting on it.

Conclusion: I will never pay more than $5 for any kind of frame. And I really need a better camera.

Munny Experiments Pt. 1

More updates on my first Munny attempt.  This may end horribly, or it might just be the coolest crafty adventure ever.

I painted the main areas of my Munny to get an idea of what goes where. No idea if this is how you’re suppossed to go about, but whatever. It’s working for me.

I started putting on hair with Sculpey III. Let me tell you, hair is NOT EASY. I’m not even happy with how the hair turned out, but it’s the best I could do with what I know about sculpting (which is zero).

This is little munny before going into the oven.

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Godspeed, little one. Godspeed.

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…To be continued.