Sunday

Collaged Photo Display Box

As usual, I was stumped on the thought of a Christmas gift for my mom. Let's face it, when you get to a certain age you pretty much have every object you want, need or desire. I figured I could somehow use the photos I had from our summer travels. Having done endless photo albums, calendars, mouse pads etc. etc. etc., I wanted to find something new to do.

In the days before digital cameras, when you took a roll of film to the drive-thru photo processing shop, Mom always had a bowl on the coffee table where she'd toss all the photos. It was an un-edited, un-retouched, un-Photoshoped collection of life as it had happened. With that in mind, I decided to gather up all the ephemera I'd collected from our trip and collage it onto a box that I'd fill with photos. I did have to pick and choose the photos. By the time everyone added their pictures to the Flickr page there were over 3000. I cut back to 180, which fit nicely into the box I found.

Finished Photo Collage Box



I started out with an appropriately sized box that I found on Amazon:
 

I put a thin coat of gesso onto the outside of the box. (In retrospect, I would have painted the inside of the box black at this point. I think it would have been easier than doing it at the end.) I was really happy with the quality of the box. I didn't need to do any sanding either before or after the gesso coat. I used my standard go to cheap gesso -  Windsor & Newton Acrylic White Gesso
Box after priming with gesso


I decided to cover the whole box in maps to have a uniform background to glue all the little bits and pieces I'd collected on our travels. I used a map of Prague for the top, and Berlin for the bottom. This gave me a sort of "neutral" ground to work on and provided continuity. If I weren't such a pack rat, and hadn't collected such a large pile of ephemera I could have stopped here and been quite happy. I picked sections of the maps that had the location of where we stayed and the neighborhoods where we spent the most time. I used Mod Podge to glue it down. I didn't do a coat over the top of the maps - just used the Mod Podge like glue. (Acrylic gel would work fine as well, but it's more expensive, so I usually keep Mod Podge around for these crafty projects.)

Maps


Then I gathered my bits and pieces together and started to sort through them. I picked bits from our favorite restaurants, museums and gallery exhibits and added in train tickets and menu images. Obviously, I carry a big bag when I travel and constantly stuff it with the throwaways that cross my path. Anything that has any sort of interesting imagery I keep. (Like the sheet from the Czech Mucha postage stamps.)
travel ephemera
I cut everything up, glued it down and using a watered down acrylic painted little house symbols on the map to show where we stayed.


work in progress
back of the collaged box

one side of the box - Prague memorabilia on top, Berlin on the bottom


box with photos inside


side of the box


top of the box - memories of Prague





Friday

1952 Vintage Hankie

Looking through my bins of random fabric bits and pieces I came across this delightful little hankie that had belonged to my grandmother. I immediately posted it for sale on Ebay, not thinking much about it until I looked at it closely as I was folding it up for packaging.
1952 Calendar Hankie
1952 Calendar Hankie
At first I didn't think too much of it, but as I looked more closely it has some wonderful little designs.

1952 Hankie, detail of January through March
1952 Hankie, detail of January through March
There are little graphics on holidays - like a champagne glass on New Year's. The Easter Bunny looks like he might be fleeing something.

1952 Hankie, detail of April through June
1952 Hankie, detail of April through June
Around each month are illustrations that call back to the simpler times of 1952. The wedding illustrations for June shows a car with cans tied to the back heading to Niagara Falls. No pricey destination weddings involving families traveling en masse to St. Bart's back then! Flag day is noted as a holiday. Do we even celebrate that anymore? And Father's Day has a pipe. Definitely not how we think of Dad's today!

1952 Hankie, detail of July through September
1952 Hankie, detail of July through September
The summer months feature the firecracker for the 4th of July, a mom and her child enjoying the beach and back to school at "State". Not quite certain what the symbol is for Labor Day. 

1952 Hankie, detail of October through December

Holidays show Christopler Columbus' ship; a bat for Halloween; a turkey for Thanksgiving; what looks like maybe a plane for Veteran's Day (on a Tuesday - since this was before the days of 3 day weekend holidays); and a tree for Christmas. A pilgrim proudly displays the turkey he's shot as his wife runs joyfully toward him. And Santa is pulling a tree on a sled in addition to a bag of gifts. When did Santa stop bringing trees?

I'm so delighted with this hankie I'm regretting putting it up on Ebay (click on the Ebay link if you want to see it). Oh well, I'm sure whoever buys it will enjoy it as much as I have.  Maybe I'll try to reprint it at Spoonflower.

Wednesday

Pinterest, Please Bring Back Autocomplete Board Titles When Pinning

Add your name to the request list http://bit.ly/172T6i1


A few days ago my favorite social media site Pinterest suddenly changed a key feature.

It used to be that when you were pinning something the last few boards you'd pinned to would pop up in a list along with a place to start tying the name of your board, which brought up a list. Now when you pin something the last board you pinned to pops up and you have to scroll down the list of all the boards you have to find the one you want.

I have a lot of boards. This is a huge hassle.

I posted a request about the feature and got this response:

We're always trying out new things behind the scenes at Pinterest and it sounds like you were a part of something new we were testing out.
I'm glad to hear that you liked it! I can't bring this feature back for you right now, but I will pass your feedback on to our team working on this feature.
Have a nice day,
Abby | Community Specialist

With that my request was "deemed solved". I will say I got a very quick response. Unfortunately, it still leaves me with the annoying fact that it now takes a lot longer to pin.
After hunting around the Pinterest site I found that other people have also asked them to put this feature back. If you agree, add your vote here :  http://bit.ly/172T6il


Saturday

Freeform Crochet Tutorials & Books

Workshop Scene
Photo from Sylvia Cosh::James Walters Crochet

Sylvia Cosh & James Walters have what I think is the most comprehensive selection of downloadable worksheets on Freeform Crochet Techniques. They've got downloads with both "English" and "American" translations of crochet terminology for each worksheet. The last sheet was posted in 2007, so it looks like this is they'll be posting. Reading through the list , it sounds like the syllabus for a complete course in Freeform Crochet.

1: Choosing Yarn & Hook
2: Terms/Abbreviations/Symbols
3: Crochet Stitch Reference – the Basics
4: Colour and the Colour 'Wheel'
5: Grey, Stone, Brown, Beige, Ochre & 'Natural' Colours
6: Colour Schemes
7: 'Scrumbling'
8: 'Crochet Circles' Fabric
9: Organic Crochet Patchwork
10: Spiral Scrumble
11: Square Scrumbling
12: 'Bosnian' Scrumbling
13: Bosnian Crochet – Neckpurse (simple project)
14: 'Tunisian/Afghan' Scrumbling
15: Openwork Scrumbling
16: Raised Square & Roundels (stitch patterns)
17: Raised Flower Hexagon & 'Lazy Wheel' (stitch patterns)
18: Intermeshing – Double Filet Basics
19: Intermeshing – Double Filet Neckpurse (simple project)
20: Spinnerama (Solomon's Knot Hanging Fabric)
21: Tote Bag Project
22: Simple Rounds and Spirals
23: Keeping Edges Straight
24: 'Flying' Stitches

I'm a huge fan of James Walters & Sylvia Cosh through which I've collected over the years. I'd say "The Crochet Workbook" is the book I turn to the most when starting a freeform project. I wasn't able to find it at any local bookstores, but of course Amazon's got it.  

Thursday

The Great Big Stitched Postcard Swap

postcardswap_200_red

I joined! I've stitched my card and it's in the press getting nice and flat. The theme is "Celebrate" and my card celebrates the postcards I've received from all over the world, and the circuitous paths they've traveled.

Stitched Postage Postcard
Stitched Postage Postcard


And the postcard I received, from Stephanie Campbell of Leeds, UK.
"Celebrate" Postcard from Stephanie Campbell
"Celebrate" Postcard from Stephanie Campbell

Tuesday

My Favorite Free Patterns to Knit or Crochet Scarves, Shawls and Cowls

Lightweight Cowl in Silky Alpaca Lace

I'm always looking for something lightweight that's easy to toss on and not think too much about. This cowl uses 3 balls (each a different color) of Classic Elite Yarn's Silky Alpaca Lace in an easy to follow pattern knit up on US8 needles. The pattern is designed by Cheryl Olson of Unwind. The yarn comes in both solids and Handpaints. Think I'll try mixing them both.
 


Classic Elite's Classic Silk Yarn is used in this skinny scarf designed by Talitha Kuomi. It knits up quickly, with just 13 stitches per row and only requires 1 ball of yarn, knit on US9 needles. Download the pattern here.

Saturday

Liberate Your Art 2013 Postcard Swap

Kat Sloma again hosted the Liberate Your Art Swap this year. "The swap encourages you to create, share and liberate your art into the world where it can do it's greatest good". Kat reports that 1290 pieces of art were liberated this year.

I've been using postcards as a format for making art but hadn't taken a photo of a piece of my work and then turned it into a postcard. I used Zazzle and was really happy with the quality and turnaround time.

magnetisedbylife posted this photo after receiving my card



I love this photo taken by one of the recipients of my card.

Here are the cards I received:
from Jane

from Lynne, Pennsylvania/USA

"Spirit Navigator" by Terry Garrett 

"Adorned and Alone" by Kat Sloma

from Mary Underwood

a page from the Sketchbook Project Journal by Tracy Delisle




Monday

State Map Postcards

State Map Postcards Received as of April 9, 2014
US Map made out of State Map Postcards
US Map made out of State Map Postcards
Missing States: AR,CT,DE,ID,KS,ME,MD,MS,ND,NE,NV,NH,NJ,RI,SC,WA,WV, WY


State Map Postcards Received as of July 7, 2013


State Map Postcards Received as of June 5, 2013


State Map Postcards Received as of May 8, 2013


State Map Postcards Received as of May 6, 2013


State Map Postcards Received as of May 4, 2013

State Map Postcards Received as of April 9, 2013
State Map Postcards Received as of April 9, 2013

State Map Postcards Received as of April 8, 2013
United States map showing State Map Postcards I've received
State Map Postcards Received as of April 8, 2013



State Map Postcards Received as of April 5, 2013
State Map Postcards Received as of April 5, 2013

State Map Postcards Received as of April 1, 2013
State Map Postcards Received as of April 1, 2013


Individual State Map Postcards I've received:

Alaska State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013
Alabama State Map Postcard received July 2, 2013
Arizona State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

California State Map Postcard
California State Map Postcard received April 5, 2013
Colorado State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

Florida State Map Postcard received April 1, 2013

Georgia State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

Hawaii State Map Postcard received April 8, 2013

Iowa State Map Postcard received April 9, 2013

Illinois State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

Indiana State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

Kentucky State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

Lousiana State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

Massachusetts State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

Michigan State Map Postcard received April 8, 2013
Minnesota State Map Postcard received April 8, 2013

Montana State Map Postcard received April 1, 2013
New York State Map Postcard received April 8, 2013

North Carolina State Map Postcard received April 8, 2013

Ohio State Map Postcard received April 5, 2013

Oklahoma State Map Postcard received May 6, 2013
Pennsylvania State Map Postcard received April 8, 2013
South Dakota State Map Postcard received May 4, 2013

Texas State Map Postcard received June, 2013
Vermont State Map Postcard received April 1, 2013

Virginia State Map Postcard received April 8, 2013

Virginia State Map Postcard received April 5, 2013
Wisconsin State Map Postcard received June 15, 2013