Tag Archives: crafts

Writing Prompt: Alice, crafts, and SHAG on the walls

What do you display on the walls of your home — photos, posters, artwork, nothing? How do you choose what to display? What mood are you trying to create?

Wall decorations have to be something I want to look at or that I have a personal connection to—cottage art or something for the sake of filling a space isn’t really my thing. It has to be interesting, and I’m more intrigued by people who decorate with a distinctive style than those who want a space to look traditionally correct, or like something out of a magazine.

I like anything related to Alice in Wonderland, so I go for interesting and unique prints, some from independent artists like Gemma Roman’s up above, others from official Disney artists. I also have a few Alice-themed puzzles that I’ve glued together. There’s a craft store nearby that’s selling huge (like, five foot tall) fake flowers—roses and daisies on these gigantic stalks—and it’s tempting to buy them up and make my own oversized singing garden.

Finished craft projects always get a spot on the wall—cross-stitch hooplahs, paint by numbers. I make lots of them, and am trying to build a style around the notion of excess. I have a librarian friend who’s well known for collecting formal artwork, oil paintings and such, and he’s covered every possible inch of bare wall space with his collection. It’s an entirely different method of collecting, and given how many pieces of embroidery I keep working, I’m thinking I’ll copy his display methods.

My ideal decorating style would be anything tiki-inspired or related to SHAG.

Actually, just let me live inside a SHAG piece and I’ll be set.

Moody colors and clean lines are always fun, and I can’t say I’m averse to macrame planters hanging from the ceiling. He has kind of a Mary Blair/commercial 60’s artwork feel with modern vector effects. I think it’s a hard left turn from the antiques I grew up around, to have a garish statement style anchored to a particular era or theme.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wall to Wall.”

Limerock blanket

Now that I’ve graduated and am searching for a job, part of staying busy involves catching up on projects that had fallen by the wayside or been shoved into a drawer. I’m good at starting things, let’s say. I should never have to leave the house, I’ve got so much to finish.

A couple of years ago, I was fascinated by a chevron baby blanket pattern featured on PurlBee—the colors drifted into each other in a really neat, modern way and I ordered up 7 hanks of Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton: Lemongrass, Lemonade, Bone, Tulip, Drift, Sleet, and Graphite. Actually working with the pattern just didn’t do anything for me, though, and it all sat in a bag until about three days ago, when I brought it out again and went looking for a more pointy chevron effect, as the PurlBee version just kind of dipped here and there.

Previous attempt: muddled. Every removable stitch marker I own is on there. Blankets shouldn’t require the planning and restructuring levels of a unilateral trade agreement.

Lo and behold, Espace Tricot’s Chevron Baby Blanket. Lovely! Pointy! Done deal. I’m using 10.5 needles, and CO 129—that puts 4 garter stitches at the beginning and end of each row, and I did 4 rows of garter stitches, all to prevent rolling.

For some reason, the start was cursed. It took me five or six (rage) froggings before the pattern seemed to stick in my brain, and I have been forcing myself to count the stitches in each RS wave section to guard against disaster, but last night I moved on to the second color in the bag, and after so many do-overs, it felt notable. Victory.

To calculate how much yarn I was going to need to complete a full set (both a RS and a WS), I pulled my working yarn through a yardage counter, and then measured again when I got toward the end. Here’s my counter and the scrap I was left with.

Yardage counter and Blue Sky Lemongrass leftovers.
Yardage counter and Blue Sky Lemongrass leftovers.

On to Lemonade!

Pretty Little Cities

2014 was my year of crafting; I hadn’t worked on cross-stitching in a long time and was completely taken by Jodi Rice’s designs on Etsy. She’s a fan of Mary Blair and takes clear inspiration from the Small World ride at Disneyland. The patterns are hard to resist for their distinct color palettes, but I think what makes them so fun to work on is their modularity. They’re structured by sections or pieces, so you can work on this building or that bit of flower and feel like you’ve made good progress.

I love them all, but I’m especially a fan of the tiny backstitching on the Statue of Liberty’s crown.