Monday, June 30, 2014

Fancy Schmancy Nails

You all know how enamored I am with Julep nail polishes. I ordered a special July 4th set (called Independence Yay!), which arrived today.

I knew I wasn't going to be satisfied choosing just one plain color...

As always, the quality is amazing. The white is 2 coats, the red, blue, and glitter are just one coat apiece. A single coat with opaque coverage. Never heard of such a thing. (Note: I cleaned the edges later, and they'll sharpen up tomorrow- the bits on the cuticles always peel away after a day).

I love the glitter too!

These colors will all be wonderful for later, single-shade manis. But I had no intention of leaving these nails plain today. I intend to be FESTIVE!

It's been a long time since I did any nail stamping. I wanted a multi-color stamp over the white, so I painted both red and blue across the edge of this image...

And scraped...

And then picked it up with the stamper...

It stamped beautifully, not that you can tell in this shot. I decided to make a nice straight line on the red nail. I applied tape...

And then painted the navy from the tape toward the tip...

and then peeled the tape off. Nice straight line of polish from a not so straight line of tape.

And then I stamped some white stars.

I stamped a white design over the navy. This one I'm not quite as thrilled with because the white looks pale blue. Still, it's cool.

I decided to add dots.
 See? Dots.

And a few more.
And a small star on the thumbnail over the glitter. The glitter is a little rough, even with several top coat layers, so I only did a small image (and none on the pinky).

Let the celebration begin!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Anyone up for a trip to Italy?

Okay, nothing is set in stone yet, even the dates, but... there's a very real possibility that I might teach a week long course in using landscape, local color, and architecture to design knitwear in Umbria, Italy. Maybe next spring. The course would take place in Todi, Italy, with classes in the morning and afternoon trips to assorted visually stunning locations for inspiration (including to Assisi). We'd be staying in a hotel that used to be a monastery. The classes would be in English (since I don't speak Italian), and it would be marketed strongly to UK and European knitters.

That sounds pretty amazing, no?

Without knowing any more about it, and certainly not committing yourselves to an overseas trip, the planners wanted to know if any US or Canadian knitters might also be interested. As I said, we have no firm info yet, this is just a general question. All comments welcome.

So, anyone up for a trip to the Italian countryside for an intensive week of knitwear design classes?

Here are a few pictures to pique your interest (note: all of these pictures came from Yahoo and Google search- none had attributions. If you know who took them, please let me now so I can add that info).

The general location:


Friday, June 20, 2014

Girl Bunny Progress

This one is for me, so I didn't have to use washable yarns. She's all Alpaca (some from Blue Sky, some from a farm I visited when I went to New Jersey back in 2012). The yarn is heavier than called for, and I used size 5 needles, so she's bigger than the pattern says, though still under 12" tall. She's soft and squishy and wonderful.

Note: I didn't buy the separate Girl Bunny pattern, I just adapted the Boy Bunny pattern by guessing. I started the body stripes a little high and I made solid boots rather than Mary Janes, but she looks pretty good just the same. I did buy the extra dresses pattern, and I downloaded the two free dress patterns, Cupcake and Falling Snowflakes. But you'll need the basic dress pattern (either from the Girl Bunny pattern, or the Extra Dresses pattern) because the freebies just have the skirt chart. I am going to make Falling Snowflakes.

I didn't mean to get her smile crooked, but once I looked at her face, I liked the expression, so I left it.

She'll be so adorable in her dress.

P.S. Note the nail polish color changes...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Adventures in doggiesitting

Yesterday morning, I tossed an overripe watermelon as far into the high grass as it would go.

Guess who found it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Little Cotton Bunny Foo Foo

I'm making this pattern. He's a gift for a good friend's new grandson, so I'm using all cotton, and machine washable wool.

The unending stash yielded cones of Fox Fibre natural colored cotton (green and brown), eBay purchases from who knows how long ago. The colors look very similar on the cone, which is why I decided not to make the spot on Boy Bunny's head. I kept getting mixed up as to which yarn was which.

Boiling brings the colors out (we have very alkaline water, which also helps), though the colors are still pastel.

See? Light brown, and light green.

Head and ears boiled, body and legs before boiling.

How cute is this? I ended up coloring the nose with a sharpie, but on the next one, I'll use other yarns that aren't so similar in color and can knit the nose (and spot) as directed.


The sweater will be gray and brown striped. I will likely finish it tonight!

The pattern is fiddly, and the designer used some terms that were new to me, but there are lots of illustrations and it's very well written. I had no trouble following the instructions (and that's a rare thing).

I also bought this pattern, for Girl Bunny Dresses. There's a Girl Bunny pattern, with little removable shoes, but I can probably figure that part out by myself.  There are also patterns for a fox and an elephant (boy and girl each) in this series. I probably will stick with just the bunnies, but I'm certain I'll be knitting a set for myself.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A crackling good time

Terrible pun, yes I know.

I started yesterday with Julep Saaya, a beautiful pearly, shimmery peach. I had about five colors to choose from and no particular preference, so I did a Facebook poll on color choice, and Saaya won. It's gorgeous, but maybe not quite the right color for my skin tone. It'll be fantastic as accents, stamped designs, and in fancy color nails, however.

I didn't even know that the Ursula black was a crackle polish until it arrived. This morning, I decided to give it a shot over Saaya.

I tried to take a shot of the actual crackling but still missed it. The trick is to get a good thick coat of the crackle. It begins to split and shrink almost immediately. I think it's also important to have a nice gloss top on your undercoat, so the crackle polish slides easily as it shrinks. Side Note: the above coat wasn't quite thick enough. I swabbed it off with remover and tried again, with a good thick coat. I was much happier with the results on the second try.

How cool is this? Two coats of gloss on top (and a quick removal of the fuzz on my index finger) later.

I can see playing with this one a lot. (The index fingernail isn't jagged, that's just how the crackle reflects the light)