Friday, 21 February 2014

In the Studio - Feature

I'm the feature artist for "in the studio" at the Rural Creators Collective today.
 Check out the step by step mug making over here.

I'm getting some beer steins ready for the Carlisle Country Craft and Old Fashioned Market Mercantile in August.  I'm getting excited already.  You can check out pictures of last year's show over here if you like. It's a great family friendly event that will be worth the drive if you want to make a weekend trip of it (with plenty of waterfalls to visit in the area as an extra attraction).

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Old-Fashioned Games #2

I have mentioned before that I was working on some simple, old-fashioned games to fill the village green at the Carlisle Country Craft and Old-Fashioned Market Mercantile in August.  Here is game #2 if you are looking for a fun little activity with kids.
Who doesn't love hopscotch?  For this one, I used a piece of a table cloth that I picked up at the Goodwill, and some leftover seam binding.  I used different colours for each of the sections because I want it to have a kind of patchwork look to it (the time span we are going for at the show is about mid 1800s to 1910).  Plus, I didn't have very much of each of the colours.  My squares are 11", mostly because my tablecloth was only 78" long...I would go with 12-13" if I had an unlimited amount of space.
I made the numbers from seam binding as well, and just sewed them on.  At first I was trying regular numbers, but it was rather difficult to make the 2 and 3, so I switched to the straight lines of roman numerals.
The "stones" are small bean bags made of old children's shirts.  I may or may not add a coloured stripe or circle to the ones that are the same colour.  I haven't decided yet.  They are 3" squares, with 1/3 cup of beans inside.
Note: if you are playing this game indoors, I would stop here.  It won't slip on carpet, and for wood floors, you could just lay it out on those anti-slip mats.
Mine, however, is for outdoors - and it has to last a whole weekend.  I lined the back with a sturdy piece of fabric (that happened to be a futon cover in a previous life).  I sewed it together front to front and then turned it right side out and sewed around the edges a second time.  It should be pretty tough.
Once the front and backing were sewn together, I edged all  around the squares a second time.  It gives it a quilted look while making it less likely to slip around when a child jumps on it.  I plan on adding grommet holes to the corners, and quite probably the long sides as well, so that we can anchor the game down with tent pegs.

In case you are curious, this went together in an afternoon.

Linking up with: Keep Calm Craft On at Frontier Dreams
                         Hand & Homemade Mondays at On The Old Path
                         The Backyard Farming Connection
                         Fiber Arts Friday at Wisdom Begins in Wonder
                         Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A simple game with items on hand.

In August, I will be attending the Carlisle Country Craft and Old-Fashioned Market that is part art/craft show but also includes family games, costumes, food and drinks, animals and demonstrations of old-fashioned and pioneer skills.  I'm in the process of getting some of the games ready for the village green, and thought I would share the first one since it would be a great indoor or outdoor activity for any event (including an "I'm bored" day).
In keeping with the theme of the event, I have kept it as old-fashioned as possible by using the fruit buckets. Note: If you are making this at home, you could easily swap out shoe boxes, mixing bowls, or whatever you have on hand.
The "points" tags are made of leftover bits of felt and pieces of a ruined wool sweater.  I just drew out some numbers (on paper)  until I was happy with the size, traced them onto the felt, cut them and hand-stitched them onto the front circle of felt.  The backing is a second piece of felt.  The two circles are blanket-stitched together to hide the stitching of the number and make it a little more durable.
Note:  My tags have to be weather proof as the event is held rain or shine.  If you  are using this game indoors, you could simply draw the numbers on to a card stock tag.
The bean bags are made of some old children's shirts.  I found the ideal size to be 4 1/2" squares filled with 2/3 of a cup of dried beans.  With 4 patterns, children can play alone, against an opponent, or even in teams.
I did make some smaller squares (3 1/2") that were filled with only 1/3 of a cup of dried beans.  If I can find one more bucket, I will pair the smaller bean bags with it as a "target practice" or solo play.
Note: If you are using this game last minute, you can easily make quick bean bags using small children's socks filled with beans and tied firmly shut with yarn.

Linking up with: Fiber Arts Friday on Wisdom Begins in Wonder
                         Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia
                        The backyard Farming Connetion

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A bit of this, a bit of that...

I have finished the first gift for the Winter Solstice/Christmas stash.  Itty bitty little stitches...52" of them...
 ...I finally ironed it at 4:00 a.m. today so that I could make sure it wasn't all twisted before I cast off.
It seriously took me all of January to knit this tie, but I love the finished product, and I know a certain little dapper fellow will too.  Having said that, if I decide to make another, I don't think I will use sock yarn.

February's project is washcloths.  I cast this one on according to the pattern (which called for 63 stitches of worsted weight cotton.  It's huge!   I will finish this one the way it is, but the next couple will be cast on with maybe 43 stitches.  I will pair them up with a pottery soap dish and a bar of fantastic handmade soap. I am hoping to get four of these done this month.

 On the pottery front - the first teapot pod (teapod?) is finished.  N thinks it looks like a genie lamp, but I like it none-the-less.  There will be more - possibly with a shorter spout.  It's still drying.

 Test spoons.
Test pods.  Nothing is glazed yet.

And just because I thought this was hilarious...N was using this work space last night.  A dremel, chisel, a bunch of very sharp utility knives and blades, and a stuffed knit penquin!  One of these things is not like the others.  You may recognize Linda's penquin.

                        Fiber Arts Friday at Wisdom Begins in Wonder