Monday, 31 October 2016

Blogtober 2016: The Result.

Aaah.  Nothing like the smell of slightly caramelised pumpkin in the evening... and the sense that the month, and Blogtober, are coming to a close.

I set my own goal for Blogtober, which was the standard "blog every day" goal.  I am happy to say I only missed one day!  And nobody's perfect... so hey!  I'm very pleased with myself.

I had a few setbacks this year, the worst one being that my Blogger app no longer works on my phone.  This means that I could not have a set time of day to blog (such as the school run) and as such I ended up scheduling posts on a mass scale.  I am hoping that maybe a fresh install will solve it, but if not, I may have to strategise.

I am looking beyond Blogtober into my blog-future.

I haven't been blogging regularly since the emergence of the quicker social media-- like Twitter and Instagram.  These days when I have a photo to share, I just plonk it right up on these other sites without as much wordsmithery or explanation at all.  The immediacy is great, but at the same time I feel like I'm leaving behind a part of myself; the verbose part!

I am all over the internet now like a rash, as I explained in an earlier post this month.  Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Twitch, YouTube, and not forgetting the website.  There's nine right there that I've mentioned, so I can't even dedicate one day a week to posting on each!  Vine is the one that suffers.  I love Vine as a viewer, but as a contributor I have a hard time condensing anything good into 6 seconds. The next least-used is Pinterest.  I need to find a good way to link my pins into websites and web shops so that I can better publicise my stuff.

I am considering getting back into regular blogging by doing certain posts on certain days of the week, and I'm sure you'll know all about it the moment I decide exactly what I'm doing!!!

Until then, why not drink the dregs of Blogtober 2016 by visiting my original post, following the links to the three other blogs participating and give them some loving (or maybe just friendly) comments. :)  I know I intend to!

Thanks to Karen, Wendy and Lyn for joining me, and I hope to see you far more frequently leading up to next Blogtober!

Oh... and Happy Hallowe'en!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Cro-tat Christmas Ornaments

It's been such a long time since I'd been to a crafting class that I wasn't teaching!  When I signed up to this Cro-tat class from Rainbow Valley Crochet, I was so excited... I could hardly sleep the night before, and I got there so early the workshop wasn't even open yet and I had to go looking for a cafe that was actually open before 10am (strange, you'd think most of them would be... but apparently not on Rochester High St).

The class was being held at Unravel & Unwind CIC and when I got there and got to meet Helen from Rainbow Valley Crochet and get stuck in, I was just so thrilled.  The time went by very quickly indeed and I got nearly one entire ornament done, minus the final round, before I had to pick my daughter up from school.

What a great workshop it was!  I ordered all of the kits so I could make more at home with my new skills.

Cro-tat is a combination of crochet and needle tatting and it was actually the first type of tatting that I ever learned, but I only tried it a couple of times and then years later I discovered shuttle tatting... but I think now that I've tried it, I like cro-tat better. :)  I suppose really I could now try needle tatting too!

Anyway... This is my first foray into Christmas Crafting for the year, not counting the samples I made for the beginner's cardmaking classes at Unravel & Unwind.  The first one is on Monday the 14th of November, in case you were wondering... :)

And I'm sure you were wondering what this Blogtober 2016 thing is that I keep banging on about.  Check it out on the original post.

As Blogtober 2016 draws to a close, I will be blogging my thoughts about it all... tomorrow.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Broomstick Lace Scarf

Seems like there's a halo over this, probably because it's just that good.... if I do say so myself...

I have had a go at broomstick lace several times, but have never actually persevered long enough to make anything useful... until now!

I saw a broomstick lace scarf made using the self-striping yarn with very subtle colour changes.   I love this kind of yarn, but as a crocheter, I don't often get the desired effect with them.  I still buy them because I just love to look at them.  I had started making a lacy bolero with this yarn-- King Cole Riot-- and the project sort of stalled.  I knew I needed more yarn to make it and I ordered some.  It came and I never even unwrapped the bag... until this pattern reminded me of its existence!

So I took the new balls of this yarn and started to make this.  I am really enjoying watching the colours change and watching this new pattern take shape... each time I finish a row, I enjoy just admiring it for a minute before starting on the next one.  I just love it.

Broomstick lace is one of those things that I can see my friends watching me make and going, "Oh, I could never do that, it's too fiddly!" and yeah... it was for about 3 rows.  After that, you just get into it and you get used to it.  Patience, that's all it takes.  Perseverance.  And for effect I should use one more word beginning with P.  Patience, Perseverance, and... Perniciousness?  I don't know what Pernicious means but ah well.  None of the other words I was thinking were at all appropriate.  Pernickety?  Pyewacket?  Precocious?  Pro-active?  Professional?  ... no, definitely not that.

Pumpkins!  That reminds me of October.  October?  Blogtober.  Take a look at other Blogtober 2016 participants by visiting this post.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Bookmarks, All Finished!

Here they are, as promised... well, three of them at least.

This is what became of the coloured-in bookmark sheet kindly provided by Crafters Companion, the company behind the Spectrum Noir Colorista colouring course that I took online a couple of months back.

Once the sheet had been coloured, I cut out each individual bookmark, laminated all of them, punched holes where indicated, then lined the holes with some no-setting-required "snap" eyelets that I have had in my stash for years.  I'm happy to have started using them up, and they were perfect for this project!

As a finishing touch, I dug through my stash for some weird yarn to use, and came up with this teal eyelash yarn, which I think worked a treat!

I liked the bleed-through effect that was on the back of the card, so I just laminated the one sheet with no backing layer.  Now I can enjoy both sides of the design... at least until I give them away!

My daughter has already taken one, and I believe I reserved one for myself as well... but where did it go?  I only have three here and there should be four... kitty?

So... we are rapidly nearing the end of Blogtober 2016.  I am pleased to say that through a great deal of scheduling (I maintain that scheduling is not cheating!) I have managed to do every day but one.  I missed yesterday because I was having a great time at a local craft drop-in centre, at which I am now volunteering twice a week.  We ended up just sitting and having a staff natter and it got very late indeed.

I hope that the one day is the only one that I will miss this month.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

24-hour Scarf Marathon!

I guess this one is going to take some explaining...

GMYD stands for Good Morning You Drunks, a show on Radio Free Radio, hosted by Matt Wade, Nathan Emilio, and Justin Wilson out of Hampton Roads, Virginia.

I have been listening to Matt and Nate and anyone who wishes to join them for about two years.  It started with a podcast, then a 24 hour podcast streamed onto YouTube, then an internet radio station, and now a second 24 hour YouTube stream simulcast onto their internet radio station.

These 24 hour efforts are made in order to raise money for their cause.  This year in particular, they need some funds to upgrade equipment and file paperwork to become a non-profit entity, opening pathways into becoming an FCC-licensed Community Radio Station.  Exciting!!

So I was wondering how (other than shooting them a chunk of change which I already did) I could help... perhaps using my skills?

Hmm... Crochet?

I decided to join them in their 24 hour journey, listening and watching, but also crocheting.  The resulting scarf could then be sent to them and maybe they could auction it off or something...

...then I saw the finished article and decided that no one in their right mind is going to want to bid for such a monstrosity!  I'm sending it to them anyway... but only as a creepy gift from a creepier fangirl.

The scarf was made using DK yarn already in my stash, in the colours of their show logo.  During the 24 hour part, I didn't crochet all through it but it still ended up being 6 feet long!  Any longer and it would be a trip hazard I suppose...

I decided to add the letters GMYD to the scarf, so I looked online and found Moogly's Crochet Alphabet.  Google it, it's free.  And from what I've already tried, quite easy to do with the basic crochet stitches.  It's in US terminology, if you're interested.

So Blogtober is coming to a close... if you still want to see who else is taking part so you can read their blogs too, check out this post.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Colorista Course Week 2, bookmarks!

The second week of the Colorista Course was about Colour Theory and I chose a colour scheme for my bookmarks... can you tell what it is?  I think it's triadic, or maybe split-complimentary... depends how much green I used, which as you can see varies wildly on each of these bookmarks.  I have a thing about colouring leaves anything but leaf-colours.. green, yellow, red, orange, brown... maybe a little aubergine veins on a green leaf.  This was fun though.  I have since laminated each one of these and attached a plastic eyelet thingy and some eyelash yarn in teal.

Must find that photo.... :)  I didn't already blog it, right?  Blogtober 2016 is playing tricks on my brain!!!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Colorista Class colouring page

I took the free Colorista Colouring Course recently.  I really enjoyed it, and the people from Spectrum Noir (Crafters Companion I think) provided it free of charge, with downloadable colouring sheets, projects, videos and e-books.  It was a great way to launch their new Colorista collection and make sure everyone gets the best out of their colouring products!

I have some catching up to do, I haven't completed all my "coursework" but I have been a bit crochet-mad recently... not sure if you noticed!!!

If you want to check this out, find the Crafters Companion channel on YouTube and there should be a playlist called Colorista Course.  Fill your boots while it's still up!

Only a week left in Blogtober 2016... you can still join in!