Friday, November 24, 2017

Knitted Owl Hat

No Friday Inspiration this week - unless you are inspired by owls, which I do think are quite inspiring!  

I've been working on the first of three owl hats for awhile, caught up in what buttons to use for the eyes.  They really need a 1/4 inch button , but the only ones I could find were white, which sorta made them look like zombie owls to me.  Nothing wrong with zombie owls if that's what one is going for, but I wasn't!  Finally I realized, wait - I make buttons, I should make them.  So .... about 40 clay buttons later I got 18 that had holes big enough for a needle and that I didn't break while sanding!  It was worth it, though!

I have another hat ready for more eyes and a third planned in snowy owl colors - I'll either get good at these or go crazy!

About the pattern - it's an older one by Penny Straker and available here on Ravelry or her website here.  The pattern itself is pretty easy, but (and it might just be me) I had trouble on some parts understanding exactly what was being said.  And if you're making it and absolutely cannot find where the cabling instructions for the hat are (I spent WAY too much time looking for them!), they are at the bottom of page one under "Shape Armholes."  Also, I almost converted it to a knit in the round pattern and then read the comments of one knitter who said she did and regretted doing so because it was very hard to sew the buttons on a completed hat.  So I left it and am glad I did!  One has 18 of these tiny buttons to sew on and it would have been way too fiddly if the hat was not flat.

So, on to more buttons and the snowy owl!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November Bead Challenge #2

The Art Bead Scene Studio challenge this month was The Bouchardon Mill at Crozant by Armand Guillaumin.  I immediately fell in love with the colors of this impressionist painting!  The blue/purples, the red and orange poppies, and enough black to give a nice contrast.  I knew I wanted to make beads that captured this palette.  

This is what I came up with - the background is many colors of ceramic stains washed and rubbed together, then fired to set them.  I added black for contrast, fired again, put on the poppies, fired again, and finally fired a last time with a clear glaze.  They are about 13 mm in diameter.

And after admiring them for a couple of days, I laid claim to two of them and made this pair of earrings - one of my favorites among what I've made lately!

You can read more about the challenge here and look at how others are interpreting the inspiration piece in beads and jewelry here.  And if you'd like to create your own masterpiece with these beads, I've put four of them up in shop at  

And to celebrate my successful Holiday Studio Open House Sale this past weekend (it was truly soooo much fun!), I have a coupon code for those of you that live too far away to have joined in.  From now through Sunday, November 26th at 12 midnight PST, use the code OPENHOUSE to get free postage within the US.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 17, 2017

November Bead Challenge #1

Erin Prais-Hintz's November challenge on Earrings Everyday was to interpret one to four of these inspirational quotes:

Okay - of course I chose "Stars can't shine without darkness."  It's about stars!  I knew I wanted to go with a matte black background, so as little light would be reflected as possible, and white stars and hit it on the first try - well, a couple of tries to get the chalkboard feel.  This is a study in dark and light/black and white - I had the idea to make an old black slate chalkboard and do the stars like chalk drawings.  I remember (with several friends) covering my third grade teacher's, Mrs. Fieldler, blackboard with stars when we figured out how to make them in one motion without picking up the chalk!

I added a clear crystal for sparkle!

I've been hard at work on the next two challenges and also my first Holiday Studio Sale and Open House.  Stay tuned on Monday or Tuesday for the release of the next shop update of holiday and winter beads - and a special offer for you blog readers who aren't local enough to come to the sale!

Be sure to check out how other's interpreted this month's challenge here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Inspiration - Dorothy Tucker's Kantha Inspired Embroidery

I've been getting the embroidery itch lately - a deep desire to pick up some cloth and stitch!  It's been quite awhile since I've done any, knitting taking a forefront in my fibers work lately.  So while looking at contemporary embroidery artists, I came across UK artist Dorothy Tucker.

Her works are inspired/informed by the Bangladesh and Bengali embroidery form of Kantha.  Pieces of old fabric (like sari silks) are pieced together with stitching to form cushions and quilts.  Dorothy uses found fabrics and a running stitch to both draw them together and draw pictures.

In her artist statement, she also talks about using digital prints of landscapes, adding layers of fabric and areas of stitching, in creating her works.

It was this that got my imagination going! I'm just beginning work on a piece using these techniques - it should be ready to show you in a week or two!  And I may have finally found something to do with the old botanical print files I've been collecting!

In the meantime, be sure to check out Dorothy's work at the Textile Study Group here.  And she does give workshops in Kantha - the classes for 2017 appear to be finished, but keep an eye on her page here for next year. 

Happy Creating!  Deborah