Knitting and A Freebie!

I mentioned knitting ……it has been a blessing during this time of recuperation. It has literally kept me going when discouragement has taken over.

Right now I just finished a sweater using a wonderful yarn. It is actually my favorite so far. It is thick and thin as you can see and has great color to it.

The sweater pattern and yarn I picked up at a yarn shop in Decorah, IA when I visited my sister who lives there. A lovely shop which I will visit again and take pictures. They have an online presence as well. The pattern is for Intermediate knitters but I think any adventurous Beginner could handle it. I adjusted the sleeve and the neckline a little.

I attempted a sweater early on and it was a bit overwhelming. I was determined to get back to it once I had more knitting under my belt.

The first sweater that I completed is actually a summer shell. It is made up of a variety of lace stitches. It was a lot easier than I expected and seemed to go quickly due to changing stitches often. It’s made of 100% cotton yarn.

Designing a winter cowl was my first pattern making venture.

The next item was fingerless gloves using a favorite cable stitch.

And the most recent design is for the warmer months. It is called Airy Denim Scarf and is made from 100% recycled blue jean yarn. Upcycling!

These patterns are for sale in my Etsy shop etsy.com/shop/dcartwork on ravelry.com and craftsy.com. By the way, the patterns were tested and approved on Ravelry

FREEBIE:
If you choose to follow my blog you can choose any one of these patterns for free. They are in pdf format. You can email me at dorisdjrdc@aol.com

Knitting will undoubtably be mentioned here again.

Have a good week!
Doris

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Elves

Need a special hostess gift? Want to dress up your counter or bar? Or do you just feel like doing a fun craft project?

Can’t tell you how many of these sold at shows this holiday season. Crazy! But they are cute. And easy and fun to make. And, of course, the thought of a bunch of little elves running around the place made me smile. 🙂

And, they are what they say, “easy peasy”.
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You can easily make a pattern for them from looking at the picture. A long triangle and then the little piece for the beard. And you can adjust the beard piece to your liking.

You will need old sweaters, I got mine from Goodwill. Wash and shrink them. Wool ones really do work best but if you are short on wool ones like I was, then an acrylic one will work

You will also need the fur for the beard. There is an assortment of fur available at JoAnnes Crafts and Fabrics store. Small sized metallic fur balls can be found at Michaels and the little wooden plugs may be found at your local hardware store, Menards, or Home depot.
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Assembly is easy. Take a beard and center it on the straight end of the hat on the wrong side. Zigzag across the entire edge..
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Next, sew together the long sides creating a point. Now this is where I thought it might be a pain but wasn’t. You turn it inside out. I thought it might be a little difficult because it is such a small point, but I guess beacause of the stretchy material it turned quite easily.
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Using a glue gun, I attached the wooden plug right below the hat centering it on the beard. And I also used a glue gun to fasten the metallic fur ball to the point of the hat.
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Voila! You have your elf!

Ornaments and Trimming Beards

So what do ornaments and trimming beards have in common? Well, the main thing is that they are items that I am creating for a Holiday Market in Naperville put on by Room 363. Indeed it is that time of year. And, shamefully, I am one of the few people glad to see the Christmas items on display in stores. Terrible, right? You see that preparing for a holiday show does not happen overnight. And I had a few ideas in mind but it involved using some Christmas themed items that were not readily available. For instance there is a certain color green tissue paper that I wanted to use for ornaments. I looked everywhere I could think of that sold giftwrapping. Then about the time I was about to forget that particular color I went into JoAnne Fabrics. They had put out a fair amount of Christmas decor and lo and behold there was just what I was looking for! With a sigh of relief I knew then that I would indeed be able to complete what I had just begun, and with time to spare.

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The elves are what I call Wine Elves. They are a nice little touch when taking a gift of wine for the hostess of the get together that you are going to for the holidays. It just slips onto the top of the bottle. Dresses it up a little doesn’t it?

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I really enjoyed working on the ornaments. I’m including some photos of them during the process. Easy enough to do, although a little messy with the glitter and all.

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Using styrofoam balls (I used the larger ones), loosen up Elmer’s glue with a little water and “glue” on about 3″ torn sheets of a tissue paper that you want to use. I used 3 colors.

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Let dry. A good way to do this is to poke screws through foamcore and then press the balls onto the screws like in the photos.

When dry brush on a thin coat of the glue mixture and then sprinkle with crystal glitter. Let dry again. This is the messy part…..I try to brush off as much loose glitter as possible at this point.

Using about a 5/8 ribbon wrap it around the ornament twice and tie a standard bow. (This can be a little tricky depending on the ribbon you used.) Next I hot glued some little gold berries to the top. You could use acorns for a nature feeel.
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Voila!
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Like I said, it is a little messy, but this could make a nice little gift couldn’t it? Or maybe you would just like it to dress up your own tree.

Enjoy your day! ( I’ve been battling a really bad cold this week and looking for some relief!)
Doris

Transferring A Favorite Photo

Hello there!

In my last post on transferring images I said that I would show how to do a standard photograph. Well, I decided to do one of a favorite photo that I have and wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to display it. This is a perfect opportunity to use the transfer process.
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Basically you need the same materials as for a painted image. That would be a photocopy of the photo that you want to transfer, gel medium, a preferred canvas, and a sponge.
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Apply the gel evenly to the canvas and lay the copy over it with the image side down. I chose an 8×10 canvas and simply printed a copy of the image off my home printer. If you go to a printer do get your copy, do not use photo paper for this process, use regular photocopy paper. My printer had reassured me that their photo paper was used regularly when customers wanted to transfer images. So I went ahead and used their paper for an order. Wrong. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong so I googled it. What my printer was calling transferring is very different from what I was wanting to do. What they were saying was transferring was in reality attaching a photo, face side up and it is simply “glued” on. That is not what this is about. The reason I settled on their paper was because of the size of the image my customer wanted to use. It was 20×24 and the printer can’t make copies on regular photocopy paper on something that large. Just a heads up to you. If you ever have any questions about it don’t hesitate to ask.
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I decided to crackle the sides instead of putting a standard frame on it. I based it with a medium brown (I used PPG Earthy Ochre, but any medium brown will work), used a crackle medium over this (I only needed a little so I used Martha Stewart’s Crackle Medium), and then painted it with an offwhite called French White, which is a BJM color.

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By the way this makes for great Christmas gifts. A real personal touch to gift giving.

I’m, not sure if I mentioned this in the last post, but when you transfer an image in this manner it will be a reverse of what it shows in the original photo.

So have fun with it and maybe someone you know will receive that personalized gift this holiday season.
Have a great day!
Doris

Transferring Photos Onto Canvas

A good DIY project here. Not difficult one bit. It does require some patience, or so it seems to me.

I have done these in the past of reduced photos of my floral paintings. People seem to like them so I thought I would attempt it for Halloween.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/205046384/halloween-decor-original-handpainted?ref=shop_home_active_10

You will need:

A canvas (I would start off with a manageable size, I used 8×8 for these)
Gel medium (I recommend getting a better quality, it will be worth the extra cost)
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A paint brush to apply the gel.
A photo of what you want to transfer.
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First off, make yourself a good photocopy of the piece you want to transfer. I prefer to go to Staples and get a good quality copy from their copiers. Lay it face side down over the chosen canvas so that you can line up the picture correctly. I crease the sides a little so as to lay it on the gel easier.
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Liberally apply the gel medium to the blank canvas making sure to fill in all the little valleys. Smooth it out so that there won’t be any air pockets created. Make sure you put enough of the gel on, about 1/8 inch thick or a little more. It does make a difference.

Position the photocopy face down onto the gel, adjusting it to sit in the position that you want. You can slide it around a little with no harm done so no worries there.

Smooth it out for several minutes with your fingertips. I find that it adheres much better if I take the time to smooth it out for a few minutes. Once it is adjusted and smoothed down set it aside overnight. It needs to dry thoroughly before you move on to the next step.
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Once dry you can peel off the paper and the transfer will appear. You will need to do this step a few times. Most directions say 1-3 times. I found I had to do at least 5 times. it’s no big deal really, you just want to keep this is mind. The way to start removing the paper is to use a damp sponge and blot the moisture onto the canvas. You can tell by the picture that it will look significantly different.

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Once all of the paper is removed you can finish the canvas off. with the Halloween ones I crackled the sides with an orange and purple base and black over it. For the transfers of my paintings I gallery wrapped the image. By that I mean that I made the photocopy large enough that it wrapped around the sides.
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So what are my overall thoughts on the process?

I truly love the concept. And I will be making more of transfers of my canvases. My Halloween ones? Well, to be honest, with the amount of time that I put into thransfering the images I could have painted them on alot more quickly. A little disappointing? Yes. Will it keep me from using the process again? Not one bit. Here are pictures of my floral canvases done up as transfers. Love them.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/126583734/original-wall-decor-8×8-painting-set-of?ref=shop_home_active_15

And I do plan on using this to transfer a photo that I would like to make look old and beat up. I will post on that as soon as I get it done. Is it worth the effort and do I recommend it? Absolutely. I do if you are wanting to transfer something as a gift, or if the original is timeconsuming , such as my oil paintings, or, like I said, if you are wanting to age and distress an old photo.

So, if you are at all crafty you can handle this one. Even if you’re not a real creative type. It would make for a great handmade Christmas gift. Very unique.

Hope you are enjoying the season!
Doris

Brrrrrr…….

Brrrrr…..seems that fall has arrived with a bang!

Thought I would show you all a few of the pieces I brought home with me from the market and the 4 I acquired on Thursday for upcoming shows. (getting inspired as we speak!)

This table is one of my favorite pieces, although I have to admit I say that alot.

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The little black chair will truly be difficult to part with. Hope it finds a good home.
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The rolling table can be considered shabby chic, but I tend to just think of it as pretty!
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The cornice boards are really special. Hand cut by a carpenter friend. I have a few painted in different colors but they can be made to your specifications easily. Not everyone has these exact measurements, I know, but wanted to show you somehting unique could be done.
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And here are 4 new pieces I picked up on Thursday.
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And then yesterday I acquired 3 pieces that I haven’t even unloaded yet. Going to be a busy week!

Oh, I almost forgot, yesterday I went to the Three French Hens Market held in Morris the second Saturday of the month from April to Octocber. If you enjoy these kinds of things it is well worth the trip. Very similar to Washington Market. Next month’s looks to be quite festive and hopefully you will see me there! (Haven’t gotten final approval yet, keep your fingers crossed for me!)

Have a great day everyone!
Doris

Washington Market

Hi there!

This is going to be a followup on the Washington Market that I took part in last weekend. I’m posting it as a precursor to a Holiday Show that they are talking about having. Something new to look forward to!

I found this market to be one of the best shows not just to participate in, but also to attend. The people that were walking through and shopping were constantly complimenting on the variety and the quality of the show. To me it was like a French market except there were no flowers (which, personnally, I think would be a fine addition).

The spaces were 10’x10′ but were more of a rectangle. It worked well with my displaying my pieces along the “walls” so that potential customers could browse easily.
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There were 2 long aisles with an asssortment of vendors. Fine jewelry, clothing (unique and reasonable)decorative items. And after some of investigating, there was a booth of wreaths made out of coffee filters. I had heard of them but had never seen them. They’re beautiful. Led me to watching a tutorial on making a shabby chic one. But that’s a whole nother post!
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Of course, it helped that the weather was such that it would have been difficult to not enjoy oneself!

My neighbor’s were great and we watched each others’ back when it came to needing something. To the left of my booth were 2 that had a variety of vintage and antique peices.
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To my right there was a booth of lovely 2 and 3 tiered dishes hand assembled and cut. Also next to that booth was one of large furniture pieces painted very French-like.
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All in all, it was quite an enjoyable weekend. It had been so long since participating in a show and I really don’t remember such a comfortable surrounding as this.

I hope this post maybe entices you to get out and visit a market this season. If not one that I am in then any one to get into the changing season. (I am sending in an application for a market in Morris in October called The Three French Hens Country Market. It is held every 2nd Saturday from April to October) Wish me luck! I will be posting about a few of the peices I have left from Washington Market and some ofthe new transformations coming up.

Have a great weekend! Bundle up if your in the neighborhood, going to be a chilly one!
Doris