Over the Ocean Shawl

 

 

 

This shawl has caused me some frustration but it’s finally done and blocked.  And it was finished in time for happy hour drinks on Friday. The pattern is Over the Willamette by Jenn Wolfe Kaiser and I used Superwash Merino Lace by Tess’ Designer Yarns for most of it (I love her colors). A  tiny bit of Cascade Forrest Hills was used just for the last row as I ran out of useable yarn.

Initially there would have been enough yarn to finish this project. However, I had started a different shawl pattern with this yarn and decided I didn’t like the way it was looking and so ripped it out. And I’m sure having this yarn in storage IN A SKEIN for almost 4 years did nothing for it. Not to mention that I had to rip out rows several times because of mistakes (so frustrating when I miss stitches). Needless to say, some yarn didn’t make it. Anyhow, the Cascade blends beautifully and this project is done!

Funny photo cause I can.  This is the first pattern that I’ve actually paid money for. $4.50 USD isn’t much but usually I choose free patterns or borrow books from the library. I bought this because I saw others using multicolored yarn  and getting beautiful results. I’ll be making at least one more. But not yet. I’m done with lace for a few weeks.

 

Someday and trying new things.

I’ve been holding on to this cross stitch kit for at least 5 or 6 years. Possibly more.

I received it for free at a craft store (in Ohio while visiting family) for buying something else. I can’t even remember what the other stuff was. This little kit has been moving around with me. From Ohio to Philly. On to Baltimore and Santa Cruz. Now it’s here in Brisbane. I even brought it on the plane in my carry on bag.

This kit has been moving city to city with me because “someday I want to try making this”. Someday.

This week I finally said enough. I opened it and read the instructions.

Someday finally happened this week. Enough with the “someday”. Why not now? What else was I doing? Browsing Pinterest? (I love Pinterest but it’s such a time suck.) I’ve never tried cross stitch before. I thought this would take lots of time to learn. This kit? Super easy. It’s actually very relaxing and almost meditative. Needle in, pull through and repeat.

I have no idea if there are “rules” for cross stitch. There probably are. But they don’t matter to me right now. I’m learning something new. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

I’m almost done with the kit as I sit here writing this post. My “someday” turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. This weekend I’ll be trying something else that’s new to me. Can you believe I’ve never used Sculpey?

My balcony and flowers.

All those containers from the thrift store are being put to good use on my balcony. As flower pots. I planted directly in them (no holes were drilled for drainage so I can re-purpose them later).

The flowers seem to be fine and actually thriving. I’m surprised really. I thought they’d be dead by now.

Simple stamps

I had an extra wine cork or two floating around and saw a tutorial somewhere around in the blogverse about making them into stamps.  It’s pretty easy to do and doesn’t take too long to make.  A marker, x-acto knife, wine/beer cork, and cutting surface are the only supplies you’ll need to make the stamps. (Of course, some sort of pigment and surface to stamp on are also needed!)

Draw your design. Simple designs are easiest. I made a star and a heart.

Cut away the extra material.  Either inside or outside the lines. (Yes, do be careful with the sharp knife, and keep your fingers away from the edge that you’re cutting. It’s easy for the knife to slip and cut your fingers instead of cork).

cork cut from the outside of the heart

I tried to make sure that enough cork was cut away for good definition.

side view...

Stamp away! I tried some calligraphy ink, which worked ok if I used a paintbrush to apply it to the stamp.  Acrylic paint was faster and provided more intensity. I just used what I had lying around (as I’m trying to use up some of the stuff I’ve had for a long time). Have fun trying out whatever you have on hand.

heart stamp with ink (applied to stamp with paintbrush)

heart stamp with acrylic paint

star stamp with acrylic paint

As you can see, the star stamp was made by removing the cork from inside the lines, which was a bit trickier.  This left the outside as the original circle shape. Of the two, this one is my favorite. 😉