Monday, December 6, 2010

The ATC's That Won't

Byzantine Retro
Some days it's just not worth getting up in the morning.  I'm only participating in one ATC swap this month: Retro Christmas.  I thought about making a 50's-looking card, but an icon I found called out to me.  I decided to go for a Byzantine look. I wanted the card to appear old with the paint somewhat peeling, so I decided to use Tim Holtz's crackle paint.  This is the first time I've used crackle paint.  What I don't know about crackle paint would fill volumes, apparently.  Here are the steps I used to make the cards:
  1. Paint an acrylic canvas ATC with gold arcylic paint. Let dry.
  2. Glue on the icon image. Let it dry.
  3. Gold leaf the halos around each member of the Holy Family. Let it dry.
  4. Apply clear crackle paint and let it dry.
  5. Panic
Maybe I read the instructions wrong, but they said to apply a thick coat of crackle paint. For reasons unknown to me, the crackle paint cracked all right, and lifted the ink off the icon image with it. In areas where I used little paint, the cracking is really pretty.  That would be one or two of the cards.  The rest cracked way too much, varying from a little too much to "I can rub the entire image off the card" too much.  Lesson learned: Use crackle paint sparingly, at least over a printed image.  I need further experimentation to see just how it works with various media.

I intended to varnish the cards anyway to protect them, but this morning it became a "glue the 'paint chips' back on" exercise. After two coats of varnish, gluing chips back on where necessary and possible, I think I have 9 finished cards.  I won't say they're all good.  Far from it!  But they're passable, if somewhat delicate.
Byzantine Retro ATC card detail

Phinished Phiberwork Projects
I've finished quite a few knitting projects, and one crochet project that I'm very happy about.  I've hated crochet for years.  It makes my hands sore and my gauge is a nightmare.  Working at the shop, however, has been a wonderful thing.  Crochet designer, Linda Permann works there.  Although we usually trade days - I'm there when she isn't - she and I found ourselves working together for a week.  During that week, not only did she take the time to correct many of my mistakes, she helped me find patterns and yarns.  In some ways, I now like crocheting better than knitting.  I can design as I go more easily in crocheting than knitting.  No, I'm not abandoning knitting, nor can I ever see myself doing so, but I'm getting to really like crocheting.  So without further ado, here is my first post-Linda project, the Cardiff Cowl from Lion Brand Yarns.

Cardiff Cowl Detail
The pattern is reasonably easy, very pretty and only took one skein of Mirasol Nuna.  I bought two skeins, thinking I'd need both.  The cowl came in a few yards under a single skein.  I decided to make a knitted cowl from the second skein.  George found me a lovely feather-and-fan (Old Shale, Print o' the Wave) and cabled pattern, so that's what I used.  And here it is!

Feather Cabled Cowl

And fresh from the needles of a girl who hates doing colorwork, here are two versions of the Argyle hat from Crystal Palace yarns.  Both are made with a solid color of Merino 5 and a handpaint in Mochi Plus.  The first is my hat with the variegated on cream.

My Argyle hat

The second is a more intense rainbow yarn against black.  Honestly, I like this one even better than the first one.  However, I promised this hat to George and he won't give it back!

George's Argyle Hat

More Projects??

But I have to start more socks, don't I?? I think I only have five pairs going just now. Here are the latest, a simple sock made to show off the Footprints yarns I have. The set includes handpaint yarn for the body of the sock and a smaller amount of a coordinating tonal yarn for the toes and heels. I'm hoping I'll have enought for the cuff at the top of the sock. I'm using the Upstream master pattern from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways book.

And last, but not least, I've started a pair of fingerless mitts for George.  These will have detachable covers for his fingers so he can choose whether to have more dexterity, but colder fingers or warm fingers and less dexterity.  I just cast these on yesterday, so they're not far along yet.

George's Fingerless Mitts
It's been a busy time! Of course, there's much more going on, but this is a start.  One of these days, I'll get this blogging thing working better and post less in one post, but more frequent posts.  Someday...

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