Do you remember a few years ago when I took all of those Picture classes from Tracey Clark? It started with Picture Summer. Then I did Picture Fall, Picture the Holidays, Picture Winter, a self-paced version of Picture Spring, Picture Color, and finally Picture Inspiration.
I really burned-out on that kind of class after Picture Inspiration, and I took almost three years off.
I’ve been ignoring all of the Big Picture Classes marketing emails since then, although I didn’t unsubscribe because, hey, you never know when I’ll be open to it again…
Long story short, I’m open to it again
Picture the Holidays is back, and it’s been updated for 2013. About half of the prompts are new, and the others have been updated in some way. And even if they are not drastically different, it’s alright because I am different. Or, at the very least, I have gained a few years of photography experience: I have new equipment and new perspectives.
I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
And goodness knows, once the Christmas season really gets into full swing at Casa Clarke, I will need something I can post here that doesn’t require me to come up with a lot of words. Me no talk good when me full of stress.
I do intend to take it easy, holiday-wise. But then, don’t I always? Yeah, I play it really, really cool until about December 23rd, and then HOLY MELTDOWN!
This year’s goals: no meltdown, happy family, lots of pretty pictures.
I think I can swing that.
If you feel like doing the photo-a-day thing in December, too, and you could use some creative prompting, take a look at Picture the Holidays. It’s fun, and there’s a built-in community you can take advantage of, if you like sharing your images and chit-chatting about them.
My sister is taking it with me this time, which is so cool. She’s been getting interested in photography lately, and it’s going to be so much fun to have someone to talk picture-taking with whose eyes won’t glaze over after the first few minutes. Yay!
Think you might be interested? The class starts December 1st, and you can enroll up until December 10th. You can get all of the details here.
I’m excited for this, but I’m also glad it doesn’t start until December 1st. I’m not done with Thanksgiving yet! Please pass the pumpkin pudding.
P.S. all of the links to Big Picture Classes are affiliate links, but I promise, I would still have shared this with you even if they weren’t
As I (try to) write, my kids are rehearsing a fight scene from a movie they are creating for their new YouTube channel. It’s not easy to focus on patchworky things while they battle in costume nearby. I’m very distracted by their whole process. It’s actually kind of interesting, and I love that they’ve put so much effort into this project. Still, it’s not very conducive to writing…
So here I sit, sipping coffee, thinking about how to best present my new patchwork scarves to you, and stopping now and then to give Boring Office Guy costuming advice. He’s the mastermind behind their new project, and he’s done most of the work for it. I may be biased, but I think it’s pretty cool.
Anyway. Must focus! Scarves!
I made these three patchworky scarves last week. They feature prints from Kate + Birdie Paper Co.’s Bluebird Park collection, and a soft flannel lining. They’re each roughly 4 inches x 60 inches, and they work equally well peeking out from under a wool pea coat as they do on top of a cable knit sweater.
I’ve been wearing my own patchwork scarf for years.
These three new ones are available in the shop, for your gift-giving pleasure
Now, for those of you who are comfortable sewing a straight line on a sewing machine, I’ve got you covered, too.
My new eBook will tell you how to take a single charm pack and a yard of flannel, and turn them into three patchwork scarves – one for you, and two for your gift list!
Why a charm pack? Simplicity! A charm pack usually includes pre-cut squares of a single fabric collection, which means all of the cutting and most of the color choices have been made for you. You can get right to the fun part of sewing it all together.
And, of course, if you like cutting and choosing color combinations, you can make your own squares from your own stash and use them instead.
MOTIVATED BEGINNER level, step-by-step tutorial.
Fully illustrated, 7-page PDF.
I hope you like them!
P.S. Quilting cottons may not look as cozy as, say, a knit or crocheted scarf, but the flannel on the back really makes it nice against the skin. And if you’re making your own, you can use fleece or a thrifted cashmere sweater for the lining if you really wanted to multiply the cozy factor.
I noticed it’s my half birthday today. I’m not sure why I still pay attention to that at my age. I mean, it’s one thing for a little kid to gleefully announce, “I’m six and a half today!” but it feels kind of wrong after you’ve grown up, doesn’t it?
Just the same, since I need a little something to put in this spot, and I’m kind of short on material at the moment, and I did happen to glance at the calendar and notice that it’s November 22nd, I might as well tell you: I’m forty two and a half today!
The mosaic below represents other people’s pictures that spoke to me this week. Be sure to click on the titles below the mosaic, if you want to know more about the image or the photographer behind it.
Around the Web
I spend some time each afternoon, Monday through Thursday, sharing my favorite crafty links through social media. And then I repeat them here on Fridays.
- *Make a Beautiful Designer-Look Colour-Block Cushion* a crochet tutorial from A Creative Being, via Tuts+
- *Big Woolies* a crochet embellishment project from Maize Hutton
- *The Very Hungry Caterpillar* a free crochet pattern from Twinkie Chan Blog
- *Hollie Hedgehog* a show-and-tell from Attic24
- *DIY Anthro Inspired Red and White Striped Tablecloth* a tutorial from Your Homebased Mom
- *Ruby Top* a garment-sewing show-and-tell from House on Hill Road
- *Dress & Blouse How-To* a sewing tutorial from Martha Stewart
- *Gifts for Geeks* a pattern roundup from AngelaB.me, via Sew Mama Sew
- *DIY ‘Polka Dottie’ Garland* polka dots in paper from MISS PARTY
- *DIY Polka Dot Shoes* polka dots in ink from Thyme is Honey
- *polka dot gift bags* polka dots in paint from The Pleated Poppy
- *Reupholster chairs* polka dots in oilcloth (I think) shared by Delicious Shots
Crafty Issues, Blogging, and Business
- *My Blog Must Haves* a handy checklist from Mod Podge Rocks, via CrafterMinds
- *5 Tips for Writing an Ebook That Sells* shared by While She Naps
- *Mismatched is only cool if you are 5 years old* branding tips from Lisa White, via Oh My! Handmade
- *How to Maximize Joy (and Reduce Stress) in Holiday-Gift Crafting* useful tips from Tara Swiger, via CraftyPod
- *Donating toys to the Philippines tragedy* (and why you should not) by FreshStitches
Hey, I’m just realizing it’s less than a week away from Thanksgiving… how exciting! I just love Thanksgiving. In fact, I have a small rant brewing: one in which I flip out over the fact that stores are opening on Thanksgiving night, before the pumpkin pie has even been cut into. I wish Black Friday would stay where it belongs: on FRIDAY!
Oops… almost slipped into Grumpy Old Lady mode, and really I’m far too young for that. I’m only forty two and a half, after all.
Have a lovely weekend!
I showed you the buttons yesterday. Today it’s time to show you where they ended up.
I am getting awfully predictable, telling you how fun it is to dress up little girls every time I have an opportunity to do it, but I can’t help myself. I really do get such a kick out of putting together sweet itty bitty outfits like these.
I usually like to steer away from pink, but I am not sure what happened this time. I seemed to have driven right into it.
All of the outfits feature handknit sweaters from the same pattern (In Threes – an appropriate title, given the number of them here) over tees and pull-on jeans from The Children’s Place.
This one is for my 3-year-old friend Cordelia, who is very petite, and for whom a 2T even looks a bit on the large side. I hope it fits her, but if it doesn’t, I’m sure she will grow into it.
I went with Berroco Vintage in Mushroom for this one. It has inspired me to knit myself something in that color soon. As I was stitching, I noticed it looked great up against my red gingham shirt and dark wash jeans.
Cordelia’s twin sister Natalie gets this set. It is also a 2T. This one really conks you over the head with the pink. Again, not sure what came over me… (I do really like it, though.)
This one was also done in Vintage. Color: Sakura.
This last one is for my niece, who will be one year old next month. I made the 18-month size, which I hope will give her some room to grow. I’ve made this pattern for her before, as you can see here.
The yarn is Knitpicks Swish Tonal in Pearlescent.
And now, cute as they are, I am officially done making this pattern. Three in a row is my limit.
I am so not a “production” knitter at heart
I made buttons last week. They were a prerequisite to getting some scheduled writing done. You see, I made the buttons so that I could put away the polymer clay supplies for the year. I needed to put the polymer away so that I could set up the sewing machine. And I need to sew so that I can write this month’s eBook (it’s going to be patchworky, my friends!).
Whew. It really is a relief to have the polymer clay put away. I am now a full week behind on my self-imposed writing deadline, so it feels good to finally be ready to sew the samples. Yay!
So, how about I show you those buttons?
The first three sets of buttons are for three little sweaters I just finished knitting. (I’ll show you the sweaters later). I wanted them all to be similar, but different. So, there are two polka dot sets and one striped set.
I have a polka dot button tutorial that you could follow if you wanted to make these. The only differences are in the size of the round cutter, and the placement of the polka dots. I went for a more precise placement this time, impressing a grid pattern on top of my button slab, and using a tiny cutter to make uniform dots. Given the size of these buttons, I probably could have gotten away with less precision. You don’t really even notice it.
If stripes are your thing, try this old tutorial of mine. I didn’t make these that way – I used a pasta machine to build a striped cane for uniform striping. But if you don’t have a pasta machine, or you like a bit of asymmetry, the tutorial should do you just fine.
The last set of buttons is for a sweater that doesn’t exist yet. This set was made almost exactly the same way as the rustic buttons I showed you last month, but they are less complicated. Instead of using multiple colors of pastels and cutting up the sheet, I just went with solid black. In the end, it might have been too much black, but I think they’ll still do.
Those buttons will be on the front of a cardigan at some point. I was thinking originally in terms of Christmas gifting (as you may know) but I am pretty sure I have talked myself out of that at this point. I think. Probably.
Tomorrow I will show you the cute little sweaters that the stripes and polka dots were made for. See you then!