Tag Archives: yarn

Decorating with Crafts

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Finally settled, more or less, in our new home. I have my finished craftwork displayed where possible, and have a bit more organizing to do in order to set up my work table. There is something uniquely joyous about having my own handiwork around me – not because I think my work is so fabulous, but because they are of my own creation – a bit of me on the wall, so to speak!

Remember the wooden plaque I found hiking in Arizona? It is hanging on the wall now, and is absolutely perfect where I have it. IMHO. It is below a treasured find, a b/w photo of John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt, at Yosemite, during the time of the formation of the National Parks system.

Here is a closeup >>>

Such fun, having it on the wall, where I can see it every day!

In my previous life in Rio Vista CA, I collected driftwood, as we lived on the Sacramento River. Two of these I have made into Candle holders. I found the globes in a dumpster, and was tickled to death to be able to recycle them this way!

Not the best pictures, I admit, but you get the idea!

                                                                                        ^More driftwood I have saved for later projects!

  One of my favorite projects. A found glass bottle, a piece of driftwood, and some collected sea glass, sea shells, a turkey feather, a dragonfly (one of my totems,) some lavender from my sister’s garden and a small snake pin (my other totem.) These reside now on the shelf under the window above my kitchen sink, and it makes me smile every time I see it! (closeup below)

<decoupaged on the wood, and then the word “mother” in different languages written around the petals of the flowers.  We use it by the door to hang the dogs’ leashes on – it is a fun memento of a job I loved.

>>Next up is  some of my painted houses. I was on a real kick for a while of painting on rocks. I quickly discovered that this was NOT my forte. Yet these little houses possess a piece of me, and have a charm and l that I simply adore. I didn’t make them to sell, or even give as gifts, but to experiment with a new craft, and create something that was original and “me.”

My home has lots of character and whimsy around – and that is the way I like it. You probably won’t find pictures of my living room in a decorating magazine, but neither will you see many designer magazines that show homes that are created by mixing family treasures, homemade crafts and a simplistic comfortable style meant to embrace doggie footprints, the smells of homemade baking, and piles of yarn and crafts in the making. Does your home make you smile and feel as if it expresses you and your family? If it doesn’t – you need to get busy crafting!

Some of my favorite handmade scarves live on this rack by the door, when they are not being worn.

Crocheted, dyed silk and fabric all have a place in my life…

I LOVE SCARVES!

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Book Review – Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion

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I first saw this book at the library – yay LIBRARIES! – and then requested a review copy from Net Galley. Janet Bristow and Victoria A. Cole-Galo, founders of Shawlministry.com have done a superb job of creating a useable and very desirable book for crocheters.

I have been a dedicated crafter for charity for many years; at one time I began and ran a chapter of Project Linus in Tennessee (www. Projectlinus.org) donating crocheted, knitted and quilted blankets for children. Our blankets and afghans were carried in police cars and donated to local women and children’s safe houses, and over the years our group worked together, we created many beautiful originals for needy children in our community.

Now, this book has inspired me to create crocheted shawls for several groups that I support, as well as for special friends. The concept of a “Prayer Shawl” is both simple and complex. It transcends religious boundaries, for the prayers come in the making, not particularly for the use. Now mind you, some use the prayer shawls they have for meditative, prayerful times, which is beautiful and tender. But the prayer is in each stitch of the crocheter’s hands, and many patterns are created with intent specifically directed at trios of stitches (for the Trinity, for example) and quite often the shawl is accompanied by heartfelt poetry or dedications.

These “Warm Hugs and Sacred Spaces” are designed both for men and women, and the book includes some smaller shawls for girls as well. There are 37 patterns in the book, and so far, I have finished one and started two more. (I am a bit ADD, so I like to alternate between two projects at a time!) [see photos] The one I have finished is called the Power of Three Shawl, designed by Elizabeth Barnet of Franklin Laies, NJ. I envisioned the ‘three’ as faith, hope and love, instead of the Trinity – and since three is a powerful number in many of the world’s religions, it is especially meaningful for me. I added a different colored border, and two little crocheted pockets.

 I am also working on the Textured Beaded Shawl, from a pattern by Jan Bass, from Hayward CA. I am doing it in a similar color to the pattern, but will add the beading differently. This pattern has the visual and textural beauty of popcorn stitches.

 

Last night I started the Peaceful Waves Shawl designed by Lizzy Crocker, Orange, CT. All three have been easy to create, and easily adapted to different yarns and your own ideas in borders, decorating and size. Most of the shawl patterns have a Prayer of Blessing or a Poem or a loving thought, often from the designer, that could inspire you to write one of your own to present with your gift of the shawl. Whether you are giving to a friend, a stranger, or an organization, the love and prayerful intent in the making is what makes these shawls so unique and special.

You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to use and enjoy the patterns, of course. And you don’t need to be particularly skilled or dedicated to the craft of crocheting – for it is a forgiving art, and the enjoyment in the process is joyous.

The Resource Pages in the back are helpful; here you will find a list of yarn-maker websites, ideas on starting your own Prayer Shawl Ministry, crochet definitions for stitches and techniques, a chart for understanding yarn weights, and a great page on color & symbology.

Whether you are simply an avid crocheter looking for original patterns to work up, an individual wanting to make a gift for a friend in need, or a group wanting to create your own charitable ministry this book deserves shelf space!

The authors also have a book of patterns for knitters. Publishers, The Taunton Press, have done a great job (in my experience) in creating a work without errors, with beautiful photos. See the links bar for more links!

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600852930