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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Crafting

I'm not getting nearly as much done this year. In addition to increasing my hours at work and dealing with Beadboy3's terrible twos, it seems I can't finish anything I start, whether because I lack the right materials or I can't solve a design problem or even I just lose interest.  But I did get some Eastery stitching and crafting done.

Shiny Happy World's Fancy Felt Egg:

An egg wrapped in fabric strips:
There are a ton of tutorials out there for this.  I cut not-very-precise 1/4 inch strips and wrapped them around one of the kids' plastic eggs, using Modge Podge to hold it all in place.

I like to display my eggs in a big bowl on the mantle, but because I've used so many techniques (and bought some made from all sorts of materials), I've tried to get a more cohesive look by limiting the color palette -- pinks and purples, greens, and teals:

I can't resist a cheery yellow, though, so I got a little bowl for them, too:

I also stitched Down Grapevine Lane's Bunny in a Hoop:
Rather than lots of floss colors, I used the Caron Collection's Waterlilies silk thread in "confetti."  Easter lasts 50 days, so I should be able to finish the hoop, ha ha!

Friday, March 18, 2016

More Granny Squares

With the arrival of the second set of Bon Bon mini skeins, of course I had to crochet more granny squares.  This time I focused one using a different combination of four colors for each square.  But how many squares would that result in?  I remembered an old formula from my school days: n(n-1)(n-2)...(n-(x-1)), where n is the set of options and x is the number of objects per permutation.* So if each square uses four colors and there are eight colors total, the solution is 8x7x6x5=1,680 permutations.  That's a lot!

But that assumes that order counts -- pink/purple/green/orange is counted separately from purple/orange/pink/green.  I wasn't that fanatical.  I had to look up the "combination formula" I really needed: n(n-1)...(n-x-1) / x(x-1)...(x-(x-1)) -- 8x7x6x5 / 4x3x2x1 = 1,680/24 = 70.  A much more manageable number. 

But who was I kidding?  There wasn't nearly enough yarn.  So after the fun but pointless math, I simply organized the squares I did have into matching pairs, where the two together had all eight colors, and for the unpaired ones I crocheted matching squares with the unused colors.  The result was sixteen squares, which will make a nice pillow top someday:

I also crocheted a couple of ornaments in my favorite color combinations, from patterns designed by  Annoo and the Lazy Hobby Hopper:
Mine are lumpier than the originals
I only have a little bit of the yarn left over, but these items and the mandala are a pretty good output for two sets of mini skeins.

*I'm most certainly using the terminology and symbolism wrong.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ursula's Candy Animals

The matriarch of 100 Years of Solitude is a formidable woman: she finds a route from Macondo to the rest of the world, horsewhips her grandson when he turns into a petty tyrant, and spends decades keeping her family and her home from falling apart.  She also starts a successful business making milk candy animals, and I had the perfect plastic charms to illustrate that:

For the curious, here is an interesting post and recipe for milk candy, or canillitas de leche, and here are a couple other recipes.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Why Be Subtle?

The Bohemian box of beads I got from Blueberry Cove Beads had some very large brass filigree pendants that I didn't really know what do with -- they were far too big to fit on the necklace, and weren't really my style, anyway.  But their Facebook page shared an image from L'annexe de Marie, who has absolutely gorgeous fiber art and jewelry, including stunning pieces made of brass findings sewn onto felt and embellished with beads and embroidery.  Now I knew what to do with those pendants!

I love them -- enormous and colorful and fun to wear. Kind of like Easter eggs for the ears!

After making two pairs of earrings from the brass filigrees that came with the box of beads, I hunted through my stash until I found two matching brass findings to make a smaller, more sedate pair. The big ones with a coral background are for me; the other two are for sale in my etsy store.