Never-Ending Card

Having see the idea of a never-ending card on Wild Daffodils’ blog – HERE I had thought that I would like to try it.

Recently I needed a card for a Crafty Coffee friend’s birthday. She makes beautiful things out of many pieces of origami paper so I thought that she would appreciate that sort of card. (This appears to be called modular origami and the constructs referred to as Sonobe Polyhedra.)

I didn’t have much time but I managed to find some stickers in a shop when on the way to the cinema and thought my highlighter and silver pens could be useful. I made a demo model in paper to start with and scribbled on it as I developed my ideas. 0532-ready-to-decorate-cardThe final card was made with pieces of cut down postcard 3×6 inches as I had plain postcard sized pieces and it meant all the pieces could be the same shape.

Here is the first side 0532-page-1which opens up to show 0532-page-2Then lifting top and bottom gives 0532-page-3which in turn opens to. 0532-page-4If you peep through the gap in this side I think you can see the first side showing and if you open the card up top and bottom you are back at the beginning, all ready to start again.

I may have gone a bit overboard with the hearts but apart from the stars, which were an afterthought, they were all I could buy at the time.

I tried to make the card work both ways up as you can see.

The fact that the third one was in the shape of a cross gave me some ideas for Easter cards. So look out here come next Lent.


Trying something new

I am just starting on a new knitting project to knit a jumper: top down, circular needles, no seams! Yay!

But I needed four stitch markers and I had lost some of the ones I made ages ago Stitch markersand was using two of them for something else anyway.

So I started looking for ones for sale and was attracted to the pretty ones rather than the simple plastic ones. But then I decided maybe I could make them. So I went to a shop that sells craft stuff and came home with what I needed. You can see all the items here plus some beads I bought a while ago for a project I have yet to start.Things neededThat is a 3in1 pliers, tiger tail wire, crimps, crimp covers and some beads I liked the look of.

And I settled down and made these – Stitch markersIt was actually easier than I thought it would be.

The one on the left is the second one I made and I managed to break the glass bead at the top when finishing off so I replaced it with a crimp cover rather than waste all that effort. (This does also mean it can be used as a different one.) You can also see that with the last two I made (on the right) I cut the wire before I added the cover so I could hide the end!

And I decided to make a couple more tiny ones for my temperature blanket knitting. Small stitch markersA larger than life photograph!

The only unsatisfactory thing is that the pliers are no good at cutting the wire easily so I am going to have to try something else.

I am really hooked now and mean to try making some more. Have some ideas for using the beads I have but I think a visit to Hobby Craft may be in order!

Origami angel cards

Finished card

You would think with my lack of dexterity that I would steer clear of Origami but in spite of the problems I have folding the paper accurately, I just love it.

When my first child was born I made her a mobile out of origami which had a green frog, a purple fish and two different birds in yellow and red. The frog is one of my favourites.

Here is one I made when I was trying to get my granddaughter interested.Origami including frog

I realise that it is quite a long time since I have done any origami as I tend to make things when I see a need for them. Well now I saw a need for some angels for my Christmas cards that could be made in less time than the crochet ones.

I have two lots of origami paper. This my original pack. Original origami paper And a fancier set I bought later. Newer origami paper This has three sizes of paper and the orange and red angels were made in the largest size to make it easier but I made the angels for the cards with the smallest size.

I went on the internet and found many angels including this site which had very many different ones. I decided to try the eighth on the list by M Bright. Which you can see here made in orange. Orange angel The instructions say to use half a square – a right- angled equilateral triangle sort of half – but I simply folded the paper in half for speed.

I also liked the angel I found here – I made this one in red with another large sheet and although it was too big I decided that was the one I would choose,Red angel both because it was easier to make and also because I prefered the way it looked.

These were both made late in the evening as quickly as I could.

And here are the finished angels that I made the next day. Four angels As you can see I did have difficulty with the head and I still haven’t got my head! round the right way to do it.

If you look at the link above you will also see that I chose to fold down the point at the top.

Here are the four cards completed.Four cardsI expect that you can see in the top photograph if not these that I forgot to remove the dot that told me where to make the hole for the other cards. I put this down to the sense of time pressure I am under but it would have seemed wasteful to reprint for so small a mistake.

A Crafty Week – Day 1

If I have seemed to be less present on blogs this last week it is because I have had my granddaughter to stay for just over a week.

She came equiped with all sorts of craft materials.Craft materialsI would have loved for us to make something with that material but I wasn’t sure what and we had plenty of other things to do. (She had rescued them from the bin at school! she told me.)

Plus some craft booksCraft booksand colouring books.Colouring book

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I had planned a few outings but Monday was a miserable day so we settled down to some crafting.

Last summer I saw what I thought was a neat idea for using up scraps of yarn. (I think I probably saw it here:- ) and since then I have been saving up my cut off ends and really short scraps of yarn.

The detail on the web used a home-made paste but I decided to use diluted PVA glue like I had for my crochet baubles.GlueI had bought this at Hobbtcraft and I mixed it half and half with some water.

I covered table and chairs for protection and spread my yarn scraps out on a tray on the kitchen/dining table.Tray of yarn endsThis is just the ones that were left so you can see that there is plenty to make more bowls.

I covered a pyrex pudding bowl and a small glass dish with cling film and we dunked the ends in the glue mixture and spread over the surface.

I used a random placement more like the one I had seenClose-up of my bowlbut Louisa had her own ideas.Close-up of Louisa's bowlHere they are together after drying in the airing cupboard for a few days.Two bowlsHer’s had some gaps in it that I though made it vulnerable to breaking apartGaps in yarnso she let me wrap some yarn round the outside to protect it.Yarn wound roundThis was left to dry for another day or two.

Now the trickiest part was getting them off the bowls.

I think this was because the cling film clung so well to the bowl. Next time I think I will smear some vaseline or similar over the part of the bowl to be covered, under the cling film, so it is only holding in place inside the bowl.

I eased them very gently with a thin knife and my fingers. Here is Louisa’s bowlInside Louisa's bowland another view from the side.Side view of Louisa's bowlThe inside of my bowlInside my bowland sitting on my window sill.My bowl on window sillOf course life wasn’t just about crafting and later we went for a walk and then came home and Louisa picked up where she had left off last summer with Syberia II.Playing Syberia IIWe also started some crochet but what that turned into I will show you later.

December Montage

The makes for this month seem to be all about Christmas though I did also write a post about how I thought some photographs were better in black and white and some in colour.

I showed you my home made Christmas cards for this year and included a tutorial so you could make some yourselves, as the design would also be useful for Valentine’s day.

I shared the snowflake bookmark I had made for a bookmark swop and the one I had received in return.

I explained how sometimes life got in the way so some tasks, like decorating the Christmas tree, could be acomplished at the expense of others, like a planned Christmas decoration.

Finally I revealed some Christmas Coasters I had made as a present, with a few details of how I made them.

Tomorrow I will be publishing another montage post on all the knitting and crochet I have completed in 2014.

December montage

Christmas cards + tutorial

3 cards

This year I have got organised enough to make my own Christmas cards.

I think it is a rather fun idea that would work as well for Valentine’s day so I have also produced a tutorial.

The day I took most of the photographs the light was awful but I decided not to retake them even though the light is much better today as I have the problem of needing to decide on a new TV so life is getting a bit stressful.

The message inside the card is

Card insideOf course the love I am thinking of is not romantic love or even family love but God’s love shown in the life of Jesus. So I have included a little picture of the Christ child in the manger.

And here is a tutorial on making the heart design

It is based on a mathematical way of creating the impression of a curve with straight lines but here aesthetic considerations have been uppermost not mathematical ones.

You could make your own template but I found some on

I experimented and chose what I thought was the best number of holes for my purpose (48) and made an A4 template in Corel Draw.

TemplateThe grey dots come from the original template but I added the black dots because I thought they would help me not to make mistakes as I will explain.

I had bought some red card, as it seemed suitable for hearts.

Red card

I printed on the card then cut it in four pieces.

I had chosen to use white cotton. This is your normal sewing cotton.

The first thing you need to do is to make the holes in the card. I pushed a thicker ordinary sewing needle through the grey dots.

Template on card with and without holes
After on left, before on right.

Then threaded a finer needle with a length of sewing cotton.

I found that 60 ins (150 cm) was the right length for the first two parts and 36 ins (90cm) for the second two but you can choose a comfortable length and just start and finish as you need to if you prefer a shorter length. 60 ins does make quite a long piece.

I decided to start in the top hole. (obviously the side with the black dots is the back of the card). You need a good size knot so the cotton does not pull through the holes.

Starting the stitchingHere you can see I went in at the top where the arrow is, out at the bottom (hole 1), in again at hole 2, out hole 3, in at hole 4, and out at hole 5.

Here is how it looks on the right side. Can you see how we are progressing in a clockwise direction, using every hole at the top and every other hole on the lower half.

Stitching on the right sideThis is where the black dots come in. They help to check that you are using the correct hole for the lower ends.

I say upper and lower but actually we will progress round the circle. So keep going as above.

Half way (1st quarter)

Here you are halfway through the first part. From now on at one end you will be going into holes that have been used before. Can you see?

Continue going one at a time into new holes and missing a hole each time at the other end.

Half a cardioid

This is half of a shape that Mathematicians call a cardiod.

Finish the cotton and secure by making a couple of knots as in the picture below.

Finishing cotton

You now repeat the procedure in the other direction.

Aesthetic note! I do not repeat the top to bottom thread, nor do I duplicate the thread that lies horizontally, because I think it looks better.

Threads not to repeatI just miss them out.

So I start the second half thus………….

Starting second half of cardioid

It doesn’t matter if you start from the top as I do or from the bottom (hole 2) to be more like the other half. It will end up looking the same.

This is where I found the the black dots really came into their own to keep me on track.

Just do a mirror image of what you did before and you will end up with the full cardiod.

Cardiod finishedCardiod means ‘heart’ but to create a conventional ‘heart’ we can do better.

This is where you need the shorter piece of cotton.

Starting right side of heart

You start at the bottom go across to the hole halfway up (It is a black dot hole) then come out at the hole above that one coming back into the hole next to the one at the bottom. You then proceed, moving one hole anti-clockwise each time till you connect the hole at the top to the one half way up. (This is where you already have a thread taking this path but I was happy to repeat it this time.)

Right side of heart completed

Secure the end of the cotton and repeat on the other side, working up from thebottom as before.

Now you have your heart.

Finished heart

Photograph taken in a different light so the red came out differently (closer to the reality actually).

Here is what I think will make a printable A4 template. (Copy of one I used). Right click and choose “Save image as”

Printable template