Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last year's holiday cards

Since I started this blog last February, I wasn't able to show the process of making my holiday card from 2010.  The design was created in Illustrator, carved into 2 linoleum blocks, and then hand printed.

Slight ink variations. Ah, the beauty of hand printing!

I usually like to go with some warm and fuzzy Christmas lyrics, but nothing that straight up says "Christmas" so that I can send it to my non-Christian friends.  For this year I'm thinking "Tidings of comfort and joy."  And of course I love type, so it'll be very type-centric.  

Suggestions?  Post them in the comments.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crochet snowflakes are still cool

I'm coming out swinging into the Christmas season and kicking things off with a modern update to an old favorite, crochet snowflakes.

These cute, easy to make snowflakes probably conjure memories of your grandmother's Christmas tree, or that old lady neighbor who would give your family a little ornament as a thanks for putting up with another year of her crochetyness. But in spite of these associations, crochet snowflakes can be fun and fit into the modern home, free of doilies and those strawberry candies. 

I'm pretty new to crocheting (thanks, Pat for teaching me!), so this stuff is still new and fun for me to make.  To add a little twist, I've make a few different snowflakes and attached them together to make garland.  I won't get into the details of how to crochet, there are plenty of tutorials and videos out there, so I'm just going to tell you what I did to make my garland.  There are no less than a million snowflake patterns online so you could seriously do it up.  There's everything from super simple to pull-your-hair-out complex, and I've chosen pretty simple ones.  I'm making three different snowflakes, but the small ones are the same as one of the larger just with one less row, so it is really only two styles.  

Two different large, and one small. 

For the snowflake with the pointed tips in the center of the photo, I'm following this pattern.  For the other large snowflake and the small ones, I'm following this one, which has step by step images so it's great for a beginner.

For yarn I'm using Aunt Lydia's crochet thread size 3 in Iced Bamboo, which has a slight sparkle to it that unfortunately doesn't sparkle as much as I'd like, and a size E4 (3.5mm) J hook.  I want my chain to be pretty snowy so I'm making 4 of each large snowflake and 9 of each small for a total of 17 flakes.  A chain stitch (ch) will make the chain and the snowflakes get attached using a slip stitch (sl). 

Ready to be hung up

The pattern for stringing them goes like this:
Ch 40
*Slip stitch small snowflake, ch 20, sl large snowflake 1, ch 20, sl small snowflake, ch 20, sl large snowflake 2, ch20*
Repeat between * * 4 times
There should be one small snowflake left, sl it on and finish with ch40

Adorn your stairs if you have them

If you like, you can starch the snowflakes so they are stiff, but I prefer to let mine be soft.  They have a great vintage feel and look great draped on a railing or over a mirror (maybe in the bathroom?).  You can make the garland as long, short, big or small as you like by adjusting the number/type of snowflakes or the chain length. Or experiment with different colors and styles.  Plus, since it's not holiday specific, you can admire your creation all winter long!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Follow me on Pinterest!

I'm a little late in discovering Pinterest, but it's the best creative inspiration/idea sharing/visual smorgasbord/time killing website I've come across in a long time.  Needless to say I'm into it pretty hard.  For those of you unfamiliar, Pinterest is a "virtual pinboard" where you can stick any image you like onto your boards and view what others have posted.  Pins get categorized under every imaginable topic.  It's basically a great way to capture any sites you'd like to bookmark in one convenient and aesthetically pleasing location.

I'll be "pinning" some of my latest creations along with things I'd like to make and general pretty and creative stuff.  I will not be posting pictures of cute animals and probably not shoes.  Follow me at

It's been one doozy of a month at my normal job, but things have started to slow down a bit as we head towards 2012.  I'm hoping to post more frequently and overwhelm you with holiday crafts.