Another great pattern on Ravelry caught my eye, this being the Clamshell pattern by Cherry Heart. I really liked the simplicity and versatility of the design, and did a few practice runs to try it out. Once I got the two alternating “stripes” down, it was a snap, a lot like the Ripple Pattern by Lucy in the Attic that I also love. I’ve made at least 4 or 5 blankets with that pattern alone! As for the Clamshell, I was pondering using up some of my yarn stash which has gotten a little out of control. That made obvious by a joke from my boyfriend. Whoops, I guess I do have a lot of yarn! As I started that project, we got news that a couple in the family welcomed a new baby into their lives and hey, perfect reason to buy some more yarn to match the colors on their announcement card and put that Clamshell pattern to work.
I designed some stickers for KDVS Radio this Spring. One of them integrates their space theme from this year’s Fundraiser. The other features the eternal mix tape.
Last month I finished this blanket for two of my newlywed friends who moved away to start their new lives on a farm in Oregon. My friend Emily is a lover of all things vintage, especially 1960s/70s era. I found this pattern for a modified African Flower afghan block featuring 8 pedals instead of the standard 6, creating a square instead of hexagon block. It has a nice vintage-feel and I like the colors – cool blues and purples – and I think the yellow centers really make the flowers pop. It was a great pattern to work with. The blanket took 3 months to finish and I’m incredibly happy with it! While sewing the squares together, I escaped the heat and watched tons of Star Trek: The Original Series. Engage!
Yay!! On the heel’s of yesterday’s post, I woke up this morning, past by with my morning coffee and sure enough, several seedlings were poking up from the soil. What a nice mid-week surprise. This is only 4 days after
planting sowing them!
I took them out yesterday and placed them in the bright sun for a while. They’re normally perched near an window inside, but the sun is obscured by trees. I think they enjoyed their afternoon sun bathing.
With a soon-to-expire $5 coupon in hand to one of our local garden/hardware stores, I made one of my garden splurges. Of course I spent more then I meant (isn’t that the purpose of those coupons?) The damage: a few packs of flowers, soil, sale plant pot, the obligatory succulents and some seed packets. I usually avoid seeds because they are so much work. This time I couldn’t resist checking out the sheet hanging beside the display of seeds to see what could be planted in July. That column was sparse, but I picked up three that could be started as seeds and planted later in the summer for a fall/winter crop. These were collard greens, cauliflower and kale. Three veggies that I love and would be perfect to grow at home. The last time I had success with seeds, it was with some tomatoes that I started that made it to the garden and to adulthood. Unfortunately, it was a bad year for tomatoes – we had a few strange hail storms in June and the weather was weird that summer so they weren’t very productive, but I was proud of those huge tomato plants that had once started as tiny seeds.
Summer is a good time for time consuming projects since my workload is usually lighter and my motivation is pricking to avoid boredom. I planted the seeds on the 13th, so I’m going to track them to see how they do. I planted them in potting soil, but afterwards read it’s best to plant them in specific seedling mix. How did I never know this? Well, the tomatoes grew just fine in soil, so let’s see how these do. I also designed and printed out a gardening log, so I’m going to be super-scientific with this batch. I’ll track their sprouting (if they do), fertilization times, planting, productivity and death.
Full sprouting ahead!
I love to paint, but over the past few years I have had very little time to do it. Right now we are in the middle of a massive heat wave and are trapped inside. It’s too hot to do anything. Anytime you step outside it’s empty with just the sound of buzzing air conditioners and vibrating wires overhead. It’s eerie. It’s our version of a snow storm, except it looks beautiful outside, but as soon as you step out, you are enveloped in heat and can only rush backwards back into the house.
I found myself painting for several hours over the weekend. It’s a great way to ignore the heat with the aid of some music or Podcasts, I lose all sense of what’s around me and forget the 105+ degree heat and anything rattling around in my head is silenced. I revisited some old sketches I did several months ago and also practiced drawing and painting some new things including geometrically based succulents. Of course, the succulents! They aren’t far from my brain… I won’t show the full paintings yet, but here’s a couple of glimpses. I’m really happy with the studies and I hope to show the finished pieces soon.
Freeform crochet is the technique of crocheting with no pattern. You play it by
ear…hook and formulate the shapes that become objects or pieces of a project. I was inspired by a crocheter and designer on Ravelry who has made some beautiful blankets using the freeform technique with birds and sheep. They are incredibly unique looking, taken originally from a Dutch crochet book. I’ve been experimenting with the technique trying out some sheep and attempting to use up some of my out-of-control yarn stash. It’s kind of tricky, but it’s really fun and very dependent upon your own creativity and imagination. So far I’ve made three sheep. Three lop-sided sheep. Your first tries will never be perfect. I always have to remember that! I’m going to keep practicing until I get them how I want them.
Before starting, I did some quick sketches of very basic sheep. That helps me visualize them, and prepares my brain for translating them from ideas, to sketches, to the crocheted versions. (This is part of the process for Graphic Design too. See what I did there?)
Hopefully by showing these somewhat embarrassing first tries I’ll be motivated to keep practicing and increase the sheep herd. I also think that they’ll pop once they have the crocheted background. I’m still brainstorming the color. Green to mimic a pasture? Is that too obvious?
Succulent update: Everyone survived the winter. We had some hard frosts which are unusual where we live. In order to save all my outdoor pals, I gathered them under a table and covered them with a tarp. It protected them from the frost and the rain, and kept the temperature high enough that they didn’t croak. The year before I didn’t use this technique and lost a few succulent friends.
Now that it’s summer, a lot of the succulents are going through their major growing time. Over the winter in the colder weather they go somewhat dormant and don’t need very much water or attention. Now that scorching summer is here, the soil dries much quicker and the succulents are bursting vertically, horizontally and some even diagonally. There are some that have grown several inches in just a few weeks! Pretty amazing!
I also try to have a vegetable garden, and it’s usually a failure. I am not attentive enough to watering or maintaining the soil or keeping the pests away. I recently put in a tomato plant a friend gave me and it got scorched in the sun. Oops. I think I may stick to succulents.
Succulents really are pretty miraculous! They can take hot and cold extremes. Some of them flower, others change color with the seasons. They do best with a little abandonment – they are independent little creatures, maybe that’s why I like them so much!
Your RSS reader may be having a fit, my apologies, but the blog address is now klingercreativegalaxy.wordpress.com. (I still haven’t been able to get “Klinger Creative”, it’s an abandoned page, arr!) Let’s go with the space theme. It’s fun. Relax!