Craft Catch Up

Kathleen's Card

Although I feel like I haven’t sat down at my craft desk for ages, it’s not the whole story. What I haven’t managed to do is carve out several hours to work on my art journal.  But I have made a few cards that I want to share here and I’ve also had some great crafting sessions with friends.

The birthday card, above, was one I made for my sister Kathleen, but when I sent it to her, I put the wrong street name on the envelope!  Her street is a “Court” and I put “Reach” which is what a lot of the streets are called at Sea Ranch.  I was really disappointed when she didn’t receive the card I’d made.

So…I made another.


It was similar but not exactly the same.  This one I hand-delivered.

Needless to say, the first card eventually made it back to me. I had used the definition of sister in the first card but put “sisterly” in the second one.  The first had a picture of a peacock.  A peacock-feather-patterned paper was in the second.  She might not have received a card on her birthday, but in the end, she got two cards.

Retirement Card

Here’s another card I created recently when my boss retired.  I had the idea of a gold watch and a kind of somber, old-fashioned exterior.

Inside Retirement Card

The inside was more upbeat and cheerful with the greeting on little tags.  It was a card many people would be signing, and I wanted to leave lots of room, but still have the message stand out.  I think the tags did the trick.

Best Wishes Tag

I spent two afternoons with a friend who is recovering from a serious illness.  Although I didn’t work on any projects, I really enjoyed assisting her with a photo/scrap album.  It was real craft therapy.  We played around with layouts, photos, paper and colors.  On my second visit we shopped for some supplies at Joann’s and she completed the layout on the opening page of her album.

My “Craft and Flash” group had missed a few gatherings but got together on a recent Sunday afternoon.  We ended up working on several bead projects.

I showed the others how to make Beaded Braid Bracelets.  I had to look up my post from two summers ago to get the measurements.  If you haven’t tried one of these bracelets, you might consider it now.  It is a fun and easy project that can be completed in just a few hours at most.

I left my camera at home so a big thank you to Phoenicia for letting me use her cellphone for these pictures.


Not only did she loan me her phone, but as usual for our Craft & Flash gatherings, Phoenicia cooked up a storm.  She made delicious refried beans (with star anise in the seasoning), chicken with onions and peppers, a watermelon and jicama salad with fresh mint, and both homemade guacamole and salsa.

We made little soft tacos and tostadas and sipped lemonade made from scratch, of course, with the faintest hint of lavender in the simple syrup.  It was a warm afternoon and I scooped some strawberries into a cup  with the lavender lemonade in the afternoon for an even more delicious combination.

Strawberry Lavender Lemonade

The next project was crocheted bead necklaces. I’ve tried knitting and did some weaving in high school, but generally I’ve stayed away from any kind of precision-type of crafting using hooks or knitting needles and yarn where you need to count and pay attention to the stitches.  I was skeptical when Phoenicia and her sister, and our hostess, Victoria, insisted this was an easy project.

Beads Threaded on Yarn

However, they were right and it was pretty easy.  My fingers still took some time getting used to the rhythm of the chain stitch every time I picked it up.  On the one hand it was a great first project because it was a very manageable size.  On the other hand it was a bit tricky because I kept having to stop the crocheting to move a bead over and I was using a fairly small crochet hook.  But I did it and had fun too.

First I took the skein of crewel yarn.  It looks similar to embroidery thread but it is a twisted 2-ply yarn – I’m going to try it with Perle thread this weekend, also a 2-ply yarn but made of cotton instead of wool.  Back to the necklace – I wrapped the yarn around a spool for easier handling.  A piece of cardboard would have also worked.

Then I threaded 220 beads – I think these are 8/0 seed beads – with a beading needle onto the yarn.  Once all the beads were on the yarn, I removed the needle and start the crocheting.  You crochet three chains then pull one bead into place and crochet one chain to hold it then three more chains and another bead.  After each bead you crochet a total of four chains; one to hold the bead and three more.  To finish it, I put a heart bead on which also served to hide the knot.  I crocheted the ends back into the necklace.

Crocheted Necklaces

These are necklaces that Victoria and Phoenicia made.  Look closely to see the Buddha head beads that they used at the end.

Me with Crocheted Necklace

I’m really pleased to have learned to crochet, albeit a very basic crochet stitch.  I love the necklace I made.  It was a great afternoon of crafting, talking, eating and relaxing with friends.

My goal before this weekend is done is to spend some time on my own with my art journal and practice some art.

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.  So do it.

Kurt Vonnegut

Thank you for the visit.















Filed under Crafts

6 responses to “Craft Catch Up

  1. like the necklaces because they seem dainty and light weight…pretty photo too!

    • Thank you, Marilyn. I hope to make another necklace or two and I like the light weight quality. Sometimes in warm weather I find bead or chain necklaces uncomfortable, and this one isn’t.

  2. Nice collection of cards and beautiful projects!

  3. Hi Dianne,
    I’d love to show you my new bracelet. Thanks for the inspiration!

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