Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wool Eater Pillow

In the beginning of February I started crocheting a Wool Eater blanket using the pattern by Sarah London.  The pattern is being used for a crochet-a-long on Sarah's Blog as well as spawning a flickr pool and a group on Ravelry.  I have been really great about crocheting every week and being consistent on such a large project...  The weekly updates?  Not so much.  My first update was after 7 color rounds.  More than a month later, this update is at 14 color rounds.

Seven color rounds doesn't seem like a lot to have done in a month.  However, I took a little detour and made a Wool Eater pillow to match my blanket and completely obliterate the last remaining scraps of yarn from the first 10 rounds.  I started with the smallest amounts of yarn first and made a square Wool Eater block.  When it looked about the same size as the pillow form I bought, I started on the backing.

For the back I made a square the same size as the front using single crochet.  I tried to make the color distribution as random as possible using the leftovers from the front of the pillow.  When it looked basically the right size, I attached the front and back squares in a way similar to starting a new color with the Wool Eater pattern.  The top and bottom were easy because it is clear where each stitch needs to be.  For the sides I just guessed how far apart the stitches needed to be.  (Clearly I was very scientific with the whole pillow process...)  I am thrilled with how it turned out, and I am planning to make another pillow after the blanket is finished.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Project: Journals

This week my Monday Project was making journals using my stash of decorative papers.  This was actually a Sunday and Monday project.  I made the covers on Sunday, let them dry overnight, and prepared the pages on Monday.  I actually made three books today, but the third book had no pages attached when I took the pictures.  I couldn't let the fabulous evening sunlight go to waste!

Both books are made using decorative papers from Hollanders in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the covers, and Utrecht American Masters 100% Cotton for the pages.  The paper covering the fold of each signature is paper that I made by hand last summer at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland.  I also attached ribbons to the front and back covers so the books can be tied closed.  The binding is a basic Coptic stitch sewn with waxed linen thread.

I am gearing up for the summer craft fair season and kicking my book production up a notch.  This year I hope to do several craft shows with strictly books.  I also need to rotate out what I have in stores around the Cleveland area.  Right now you can see my books at the Urban Orchid near the West Side Market in Cleveland.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pink and Green Journal

This week I stopped by a new paper and book arts store called Small Studio.  I had heard wonderful things about the store, and they were all true!  I ended up picking up some beautiful decorative papers and some waxed linen thread in fun colors.  One of the papers I bought was a bright green sheet with pink branches and birds printed on it.  I arrived home and immediately started planning a book using that paper.  I pulled out some pages of white cotton paper I already had cut (well, torn with a ruler) to the correct size.  It is along the lines of a Stonehenge or Arches paper that I have leftover from a printing class I took.  As I was looking through my papers I also had green tissue paper I saved from a package, and various shades of pink paper I made over the summer during my internship.

Next I decided this journal needed some kind of closure and I just happened to have some green ribbon that would go perfectly with the bird paper.  (Actually, that shade of green is my favorite color... So I "happen" to have about everything in that same color.)  I started thinking about how the ribbon would attach to the book and remembered a sewing technique I learned over the summer where the signatures get sewn over a piece of leather or ribbon.  And the piece de resistance are the pink grommets that attach the ribbons to the cover near the spine.

 Everything came together so well, and the only thing I needed to buy was the decorative cover paper and the pink waxed linen thread.  This will actually be the first book I make and use myself.  Ginny at Small Studio said something that got me thinking.  We had a conversation about journaling and the benefits of capturing all the ideas and thoughts you have on a daily basis.  I realized the only time in my life I ever journaled consistently was 2 years ago during my Europe trip.  Looking back, the process of journaling really helped me gain clarity on certain issues, and my journal is my most treasured souvenir from that trip.  Starting today I am going to use this journal to write down thoughts, events, ideas, drawings, and everything else I used to do in my Europe journal or my high school sketch book.