Sunday, May 31, 2009

New book: Feltique

There is a new book out about working with felt titled Feltique. I am excited to announce that I have contributed three tutorials to this book. I have not had a chance to see the final product yet, but judging by all the amazing artists that contributed to it, I know it will be fantastic.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Summer Garden 2009

I had success with last year's garden, so I have planted another this year. Because I live in a concrete jungle, I need to use flowerpots.

I managed to squeeze in:
20 strawberry plants
6 herbs
2 tomatoes
1 pepper
1 mandarin tree

I am already enjoying the delicious strawberries and am really looking forward to harvesting the rest. You can see a photo of last years garden here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Coraline the Movie

I rushed out to see the Coraline movie on opening day. It was fantastic. I saw the 3D version and the glasses took some getting used to, but they worked very well. The artwork was superb and the music and story were just right. I highly recommend this move.

There are a few fun crafty links for Coraline over at the CRAFT blog including a knitting pattern for the Coraline sweater and a button poster.

Be sure to check out the map on the Coraline website. It is interactive and shows you a bunch of neat stuff.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Free Pattern: Top Hat for 1:6 Scale Dolls

I have been working on creating a mad hatter tea party diorama with my dolls and needed a top hat, so I made one. I am posting a pattern and instructions so you can make one too. This pattern is for personal use only.
Model: Mattel Top Model Head with Volks Neo EB Body
Outfit: Mattel
Necktie & hat: me
Teapot: Rement

Heavy card stock
White glue
Acrylic paint
Paint brush

1. Cut out all three pattern pieces and trace them onto card stock. Trace and cut out two hat brims. Test out the opening hole inside the hat brim to make sure it will fit your doll’s head. I made this hat for a doll with a ponytail, so the opening for the head is a bit large.
2. Fold the pointed pieces to 90-degree angles. The pointed pieces are used to attach the parts of the hat together.
3. Curl up the wall piece of the hat and stuff it into the hole of one brim piece. Glue the ends of this piece together and tape it closed from the inside. Glue the points at the base of the hat wall to the underside of the brim. Glue this brim down to the other brim you cut out so the points will be sandwiched and hidden between two pieces of card stock.
4. Place the top on the hat, concealing the points inside the cylinder of the wall with glue.
5. Let the glue on the hat dry. Apply several coats of acrylic paint, allowing it to dry, then embellish with a ribbon hatband.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Great Holiday Indie Shopping around LA

Yikes! The holidays are almost here. Here is a list of great upcoming shows that handmade gifts.

Art & Pottery Market
November 7 & 8
American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona

Annual Art Fair
November 7-9
Creative Arts Group, Sierra Madre

Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival
November 9
Santa Ana museum district, OC

Xiem Fall Ceramic Art Fair & Studio Sale

November 14th & 15th
Pasadena, CA

Felt Club
November 16
Shrine Auditorium, LA

Holiday Staff Boutique
December 12-14
The San Gabriel Bead Company, Arcadia

Handmade Galleries

Always open, Sherman Oaks

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Doll Sweater Tank

The girls had a get together today to catch up and have a drink at home. They had to take a group photo to show off their new sweater tanks. The perfect item for any fall wardrobe.

This new knitting pattern, sweater tank, fits most medium and small busted 1:6 scale dolls including Barbie, Obitusu, Volks, and J-Doll. I used Cotton Classic yarn by Tahki Stacy Charles. It is an inexpensive yarn that comes in a rainbow of beautiful colors.

The pattern is available at my etsy store.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Barbie is my gateway doll

The other week, I was at the bookstore picking up the latest Vogue Knitting magazine and came across Haute Doll. I could not put it down and ended up purchasing it. Inside there were all these beautiful photos of "Barbie like" dolls set-up in lush dioramas with amazing outfits.

As a kid, I had always coveted Barbie. I had the Skipper doll, The Sunshine Family, and other non-Barbie 1:6 scale dolls, but not an actual Barbie. To make amends for this, I purchased a Barbie about 6 months ago. She was cool, and I made the knit mermaid tail for her, but it was frustrating that her posing abilities were so limited. My need for 1:6 scale dolls was satiated, or so I thought.

In the pages of Haute Doll, I discovered ball jointed dolls (bjd's) and became obsessed with researching all I could find online. My first purchase was a Tonner doll, but I soon discovered the diy Asian bjd's such as Volks and Obitsu. Many of the Asian bjd's allow you totally customize them by choosing wigs, painting their faces, and changing their hands or feet. I also pre-ordered a J-Doll and discovered the wonders of Re-ment 1:6 scale miniatures.

I had not realized that I liked dolls so much. I guess Barbie was my gateway doll. Luckily the mermaid tail fits my new 1:6 scale bjd's. More doll knitting patterns will be on the way.

I have a Volks doll up for sale over at e-bay this week that comes with acrylic eyes. I over bought.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Squared Up, fingerless Mitts

I adore fingerless gloves because they keep your hands warm and still let you do things. The design for this Squared Up pattern was inspired by the open floor plans of loft living and the clean geometric lines of mid-century modern furniture.

This pattern calls for 3 colors of Sock by Shibui Knits. It is a really soft superwash merino wool in semi-solid colors. The pattern for Squared Up is available in my etsy store and includes sizing instructions for small, medium, and large sized gloves.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Knitting Pattern: Mermaid Tail for Dolls

Transform your Barbie into a siren of the sea with this new knitting pattern, Mermaid Tail for Barbie.

The pattern, which requires knitting in the round, increasing, and decreasing is now available in my Etsy store, AnsleyBleu.

The pattern calls for 1 skein of Cotton Classic yarn by Tahki Stacy Charles and US 5 dpns or a long circular needle.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Katamari Hat, COMPLETE!

I am so excited. I finally finished my Katamari Ball Hat that I started a year ago. I think I was afraid to make ear flaps for some strange reason so I put it down.

The other night I felt the desire to pick it up again, and it was done in just a few hours. I really like how it turned out and I love the colors, although they remind me of frog eyeballs a little.

I used an i-cord knitting machine for the "chin straps" and then sewed them to the corners of the ear flaps. You can read more details about what I used here.

Here are the directions for how I made the bumps. The pattern is based on directions by Easily Amused and The Knitting Fiend.

Merino Style yarn by Knit Picks (3 Colors)
8 – 2” Styrofoam Balls
Thin batting
Tapestry needle

Directions for Bumps
Using top down method mentioned by the Knitting Fiend
With waste yarn, CO 6 sts, knit
Transfer sts to 3 DPNS
Round 1 knit
Round 2 KF&B, 12 sts
Round 3 KF&B, K1, 18 sts
Round 4 KF&B, K2, 24 sts
Round 5 KF&B, K3, 30 sts

Change Color

Round 6, knit
Round 7 KF&B, K4
Round 8 - 10 Knit

Change Color

Round 11 – 18 knit

Repeat 7 more times for a total of 8 bumps.

Bind off all sts, leaving a long yarn tail to be used to sew bump to hat later.
Trim away the CO waste yarn and close up the top of the bump and weave in the ends.

Slice off one side of a Styrofoam ball, cover it in thin batting, insert into a stocking to keep the batting on the ball, and insert it into the knitted bump. The sliced off side should face out so that the bump will lay flat against the hat. I used Styrofoam balls inside the knit bumps so that they would retain their shape over time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Free Gift Box Templates

The Senri International School website that has over 35 templates for boxes available for free that you can print out on your own card stock. There are some really great designs available that are perfect for little gifts. I really like this one for a pyramid.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Twist Collective - New Online Knitting Magazine

Twist Collective is a new online knitting magazine created by Kate Gilbert and her knit designer friends. I am excited about this new format and the patterns available are lovely. The main difference with this magazine and other online knitting magazines is that the patterns are for sale.

It is a sad fact that knitwear designers get paid much less for their design work today than what they were paid in the 1980's. Although I enjoy a free pattern, I am more than happy to pay the small fee of $7 for a knitting pattern. This way individual designers make money for their talent and also retain the rights to their work. There is nothing like good pay to inspire great work. I hope this project takes off and sets a new standard for the fair treatment of artists.

There is a nice interview about Twist Collective with Kate Gilbert on episode 90 of the Ready Set Knit podcast.

Jenny & Nicole of Stash & Burn podcast also discuss this new magazine in episode 59.

There was a great discussion about the fair treatment of knitwear designers over at Cast On podcast, but I can't seem to find which episode it was on. Lily Chin also touches on this topic during her interview on episode 67 of Craft Sanity.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book Inspired Knits - Twilight Series

This summer it has been hot, so I have been doing much more reading rather than crafting. About a month ago I was bitten by the Twilight series written by Stephenie Meyer. They were so much fun to read. I also started listening to a great podcast about the series, Imprint.

As with many other books, this series has inspired a number of knitters. Two that stand out are this great pair of Eclipse socks by Shiny Knits that were inspired by the Eclipse book cover, and this pair of Twilight socks by Chicken Betty that were inspired by the Twilight book cover. I may have to start knitting socks!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last Day to Enter the Bag Challenge

Today is the last day to enter CraftStylish's Tote Bag Challenge. I just completed mine tote bag. I am calling it the Eco-Chic Floral Tote. I entered the eco-chic category. You can read and see more details about it here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Tote-ally Crafty Bag Challenge

CraftStylish is hosting a tote bag challenge, Tote-ally Crafty Bag Challenge, where the Grand Prize Packages consist of an official CraftStylish tote bag filled with crafty items worth over $250. The categories are Play Ball, All That Glitters, Eco-Chic, and The Omni-Crafter Special. The deadline to enter is 11:59pm ET on July 31st. Yea!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This weekend: Cirque Berzerk in LA

This weekend, July 24th - 27th, Cirque Berzerk presents Beneath, a full length theatrical circus experience.

I had the great fortune to attend this evenings amazing performance which was loosely based upon the story of Orpheus. There were beautiful male and female aerial acrobats, a contortionist, clowning, a cabaret performance, and fire stunts all set before a live original score. If you get the chance, I highly recommend it. It is taking place under the big top located within walking distance of the LA Metro Gold line, China Town stop.

Tickets are available here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Free Pattern: Merbaby

Angry Chicken has a great how-to up for this adorable Merbaby. I have been wanting to create a mermaid doll for a while now, but have not gotten to it yet. I love this idea and think it would make the perfect gift for one of the little girls in my life.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

How to: Outdoor water fountain

I have made a few small indoor water fountains in the past, but I found them to be a bit irritating rather than soothing. They splashed too much and the sound of it water made me think I had left the water on outside. So, I decided that this is an item better left outside.

I just came across this nice DIY Bubbling Water Urn over at Gardener's World. It looks really easy and fairly inexpensive to make.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Online Knitting Magazine

I just stumbled upon Knotions, a new online magazine with free knitting patterns. Yea!