Amidst some not-so-great times, this past year 2019 yielded more time for me to craft. I finished my last homeschooling duties in June (bittersweet), one of my kids moved out (very bittersweet), my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary (yay), my father died (sad), and two friends died (sad). Actually, right after our 25th anniversary by the beachside (during which I was messaging with siblings about my father’s declining health), I attended three funerals within six weeks. And other stuff happened last year. But the end of homeschooling meant more time for me to do things around my tutoring job. Guess what I turn to when processing grief: handwork. I’ve always loved to make, but having handwork to do when grieving or depressed is grounding for me. Just count stitches or loops and watch something form. I finally finished the below red blanket that I started about five years ago.
This crocheted flower brooch was for the young daughter of my friend who, sadly, did die from cancer (one of the two I mentioned above). Her daughter had a birthday a month after her mother’s funeral, and they both love my colourful creations. She liked it.
Mosaic knitting patterns. These things are addictive. I’ve tried a few of these patterns so far, and I really like the one in the following two photos. Sometimes people ask me, “Why would you knit such a pretty pattern with pretty colours for dishcloths?” Well, why NOT? Why not bring a bit of pleasure to the dishwashing task?
I finally finished decorating the last two of five lampshades I’d been wanting to decorate for years! Taking a cue from Kristin Nicholas’s beautiful hand-painted lampshades, I dipped into my paint samples jars after pencilling my design onto each shade. After the paint dried, I glued on the top and bottom fringes that I had crocheted, and voila, instant cheer and colour in our living room! I love these things!
I’ve been wanting to make cloth napkins for awhile. I had some; they were just squares of cotton cut up and fringed (not even hemmed!). And they were greasy. So I dug out my Wabasso vintage cotton sheets and cut out four each of three colourways (I didn’t have enough of the blue in the same pattern). I marked an embroidery pattern around the edges of each square and set to work on embroidering over the next few months (see, more slowstitch therapy). After that was finished, I cut twelve squares from a blue vintage rose sheet, and used those as linings for the napkins. You see, I wanted to try my hand at lined napkins with mitred corners and wide hems. Mission successful. The napkins feel substantial in the hand. I haven’t put them into circulation yet, though, because I want to paint the kitchen. Sounds silly, I know. But I’m holding back on the dishcloths and napkins until the kitchen has a pretty shell. 😀
I tried my hand at a fabric origami ornament. I used a piece of red silk and a piece of green linen, and voila. I love how it turned out!
I’m so excited about the winter hat I just completed!! I crewel embroidered some felted black wool and sewed the pieces together into a basic hat. Then I sewed on a band of blue cashmere and a lining of super soft cashmere. The attached flower is also cashmere. This hat is the warmest one I’ve ever had. And fun-looking for me, of course.
Did you notice the scarf around the neck of my hat model (daughter)? Here it is. Soft rectangles of cashmere sewn together. This thing feels so soft and luxurious around my neck, and it is made of all thrifted pieces.
I love papercrafting, too. I’ve had a big pile of file folders and a heavy paper in a closet for years, some of which I use for pattern-making. I decided it was time to destash. I spent time cutting rectangles and squares with my heavy-duty paper cutter one day. Then I fashioned all these shapes into modular origami wreaths, stars, and boxes. At some point, I will glue the modules together in the wreaths and stars. And then I will decorate everything somehow. Paint, glue, glitter, tissue paper… Depending on how they all turn out, I may offer them for sale. I have to say, I was pretty excited to discover a way of folding the box tops so that they fit over the box bottoms, without having to cut two different sized squares for top and bottom!
Thanks for reading this long update! I enjoy chronicling my projects – hope you enjoyed.