This semester is almost over and it has been a ride. Finals are coming up in the next few weeks and then I get to go back home. This is going to be another shorter post - to keep me sane. A lot has been going on in the world and a lot will go on so I'm going to keep it simple and just talk about a few things I've made. Actually, one thing I've made, one thing I haven't finished and one thing I'm working on now.

Puff Stitch Cell Phone Case!

{Tutorial}

This project makes me happy. The tutorial was for a sunglasses case but I wear glasses and I already have a case for them. The colours remind me of the beach - especially the darker blue with the specks in it. Once I got the hang of the puff (or bobble) stitch it was pretty simple to work up.


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Hello all! (Or whoever saw the Facebook post and clicked it.) I hope you laughed at least five times last week.

I've neglected my blog and I think the effects are hitting me now. I mentioned that I'm going into university in my last post and blogging was the last thing on my mind. Well no, laundry was the last thing on my mind but blogging was close. (Disclaimer: I do laundry. I just don't like it.) I was talking with another freshman this weekend and asked her what she had planned for the rest of the night. She said she was going to write a blog post. If my life were a movie, a montage of my posts and the pieces I've made and the songs I've put up would have played at that moment. I think the background music would either be "Untold Stories" by Buju Banton or "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. Take your pick. In short, all the feels came back so I'm here typing. That and the fact that my brain may implode if I don't take a break from Urban Studies reading.

I'm not sure what to write about though. I refuse to give a play by play because much has happened. Maybe I'll make a list? I've never done a proper list.

Laundry List of Things (since August 25, 2014)
  • I'm in university!
  • Taking an Art class (something that actually relates to this blog). We've turned in three pieces so far. I was able to use crochet for one of them. I'll post about them later.
  • Realized that Deerfield really does prepare you for aspects of university.
  • Realized I know less about my country than I'm proud to admit.
  • Realized I don't like spending money.
  • Pleasantly surprised by the Christian presence on campus. 
  • Learned to use chopsticks =D

This post was a bit shambly, I agree. I just really need to get back into the blog. 

Here's a picture of the few beads I carried because I miss my stash. 



My next post will be about my first piece for art: "Home is where" - coloured pencil on tracing paper.

The song is "I Want You Back" by Jackson 5. I wanted a universal feel-good type song and that came up on my shuffle. Also, I almost feel that way about my blog. Haha.

Until later,
Keren

P.S. Here's the link to the Cool Runnings clip that my title is from. 




Part of me doesn't want to say it but summer is essentially over. Next week I'll be an official university(!) student.

Before I get sappy, let me show you what I'm working on. I've been working on it for a while actually. I just haven't sat down and put a concerted effort in. They are the "Elegant Fingerless Gloves" in Crochet One-Skein Wonders. I'm not sure if the thread and hook I'm using are right for it. The pattern calls for me to do a few more rows before adding the individual fingers but I think I'm going to stop where I am. Round 13.


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I take photographs. There are a lot of photos gathering virtual dust on my computer and on my phone and I have a hard time deleting things. That's why I take to my blog to share them - or at least have them on record. I'm thinking of making this a sort of feature on my blog. That's why I have three working titles.

1) Life in Colour
2) Caught on Film (but no one uses film anymore)
3) Focus

I'm partial to the first and the last. But that's inconsequential.

For those who don't know, I spent the last two years at a boarding school in Massachusetts. Up until last month, Deerfield was basically my life and now another school is coming to take it's place. I felt so many feelings over the past two years but now my instant reaction to the "Deerfield" is to smile. I guess despite all the late nights and long phone calls for advice, my memory of DA is overwhelming positive. And I'm happy about that. I'm happy that my time there is done and I'm even happier that I get to visit every now and then.

Enough with all the talking. Let's see some pictures.


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I said I'd write again and here it is. One finished project and two in the works.

1. Magic Carpet

I'm not sure about the name but "right-angle-weave pendant with macrame straps" is a bit of a mouthful. I made another of these. I made a matching ring as well. It has flown off my hand twice and I've almost lost it once. Safe to say I'm not going to wear it for now. Last thing to note, these metallic beads never show up the way I'd like them to in pictures. The colours aren't as vivid as they really are. That's why I have a blurry picture - I think it shows the colours better.


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This week was not as turned up as the last two in terms of projects. Between a summer job and camp meetings and traffic and life, I just didn't have time to make a bagful of things. I've decided to share pictures from this week instead and show the bracelet/headband that I made today.

1. Crochet wrap bracelet/headband


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I've been almost two weeks with Internet. It's borderline amazing how much you can do when you're disconnected. It's actually amazing when you realize that you use the Internet for so much. I'd love to say that my time without Internet permanently changed me and I have decided to disconnect from this screen-obsessed world but as soon as I got wireless I binged. Lol. As my friend would say, "Home is where the wireless connects automatically."

#amiriteladies?

The lack of Internet prompted me to finish some pieces that I'd neglected a bit.


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I think you know but I'm back at home for summer. I've been doing some spring cleaning. I felt very accomplished when I cleared three shelves on one of my bookcases (and by cleared, I mean I threw some things away and moved the things I was unsure about to another pile - to be dealt with later.) The satisfied feeling faded when I spoke to my sister who reminded me of my other bookcase, and my boxes, and my dresser, and everything else. Haha. Oh sisters. You just have to love the gentle way they tell you to get your act together. [=

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I had an idea to do a Creation-A-Day challenge for July because I have a friend who is doing one for his poetry. I mentioned it to Mommy and she suggested that I make it a Creation-Every-Other-Day challenge for my sanity. Makes sense. However, I shall not do a daily or every-other-daily challenge. I'll just keep creating things.

This week I made a tam, earrings and a surprise.

1. Crochet tam

{Pattern}

I'm still trying to make the perfect hat for my hair. Remember when I ran out of yarn? I tried again and looked for the simplest pattern I could find. The one I used was only 9 rows. Can someone say, "Score!" Bulky yarn is fun because it's so big so you just do more with each little stitch you do. That wasn't the most literate thing I've said, I know, but it's true. Bulky yarn rules. Except when it doesn't. It was harder for me to see my stitches. It was mainly me trying a ting for each new row. It worked though so no complaints. I added another row after 8 because it was smaller than I wanted it to be.


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[Why is it "commentator" and not "commenter"?]

During the school year, I'd tell myself that I'd have more time to focus on the blog and such during summer. Now it's summer and I'm telling myself, "During the school year." [= It's all good though. I'm enjoying it. It's a mix between a lot going on and then moments when I'm just at home watching World Cup. Props to whoever conceived the idea.

I am watching the Cameroon-Brazil match so bear with me. Here's what I did last week.

1. Crochet Collar

{Pattern}


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I mentioned last night/this morning that I got started with jewellery because of a safety pin bracelet. That's really how all of this has happened. I'm not even sure why the idea came into my head - I can't tell you where I first saw a safety pin bracelet. I just know that I did and I decided that I wanted to make one. We bought the beads and safety pins from a pharmacy and I went home and began to work. For some reason we didn't get the elastic - I ended up using a piece of elastic we had lying around. The bracelet was actually on the verge of falling apart when I gave it to my teacher. (It's the thought that counts?)

I say that to say that I didn't wake up one morning and know how to create projects that I'm doing now. My first bracelet was made of safety pins and elastic that was bound to break at any moment. From there, I moved on to adding beads to elastic to make simple bracelets. It was World Cup season so I made a few blue-white, red-yellow, blue-yellow-green ones. =D

That's where I began. Nothing flashy.

{Pattern}

This website has nice instructions for making a safety pin bracelet. They gave me the tip about using the pliers.

Look at it if you're interested. Beads are fun. That's why I use them. If you want to make jewellery but aren't sure where to start just remember that you can start small. Beads and elastic. Drop a message in the comment box if you have questions about any of this. I may not seem it, but that would probably make my week - talking to someone about beads or crochet or making things in general. =D

Thanks for reading,
Keren





I guess I was getting a bit tired of the beads. Actually, I don't think that's possible but I did feel it was time to play with some yarn. Here's what I worked on this week.

1. A headband

{Pattern}

The pattern called for something bigger. It was supposed to make earwarmers but who in her/his right mind wants an 8 inch band of woven yarn around the head when it's thirty degrees Celsius inside? (That's eighty-six Fahrenheit for you non-metric folks out there.)

So I used eight chain stitches as my base instead of twenty. It took a while to get the pattern correctly but I started over and then got the rhythm.


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Did you know that I do art too? How would you? I've rarely mentioned it. Looking back at all the times I've felt like I have "done"enough or "made" enough - the times I've felt I wasn't devoting enough energy to creating - I realize that I should have just told myself to calm down. I seem to forget that I also go to school and take classes and spend time with people around me - my time is divided into pieces. One of those pieces is for jewellery, another for crochet but today I'm going to show another piece - my art.

It's so weird for me to say "my art". I typically see myself as an academic. I've always liked art and drawing and such but I didn't think I was good enough/didn't devote as much time to it. That's why I decided to take an art class. Spring 2013 I did an Intro to Studio Art course at my school and then 2013 -2014 I took AP Studio Art. Which was a ride. =D  We had a hilarious time in class. My accent and Jamaican-ness (whatever that means) provided many jokes. Our teacher was, is brilliant but also slightly deranged (he knows it though, so it's fine). It's amazing we got work done actually.

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I worked on square stitch this week. The bead pattern is similar to beading on a loom so I ended up using a loomwork book for one of my projects. For the other I used a pattern I found online. I made a bracelet and a beaded bead.

The bracelet:

The pattern was from Bead Weaving on a Loom by Fran Ortmeyer and Carol C. Porter. It took about three hours to make the pattern and then I added the chain.


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I just realized that last week was the half-way point for this term. Crazy.

I worked on brick stitch this week. I haven't used it a lot in the past so it was refreshing to use it this week. I made a bracelet, a ring, and a pair of earrings.

The bracelet was just two beads building on the stack below.

The beads:


The bracelet:


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Right angle weave (RAW) was this week's stitch. I only managed to do two small projects (rings) because I had to work on some of the research/reading that I did for the more bookish aspect of my directed study. I read Understanding Jewellery by David Bennett and Daniela Mascetti and The History of Beads: From 100,000 BC to the Present by Lois Sher Dubin.

Here's a statement that stood out to me:

"Beads are therefore among the earliest evidence of abstract thinking. They could not kill an animal or provide warmth, but could render in material form concepts of prestige, prowess, protection, and beauty" (Dubin, 24-25).

We go hundreds of years back and jewellery was still used as adornment. It makes me happy that things that have little practical value are so highly regarded.

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This will be a quick one because long week and nuff work and time zones. I promise that makes sense in my head.

I worked on herringbone or Nbedle stitch this week. It's called herringbone because of the V-shaped pattern it forms. It's worked in pairs and is almost like building up a ladder. I made two things again: a square sample and a mini-star charm.


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The second and week and I'm still doing this jewellery thing. I hit a bump earlier this week when I was behind schedule. I thought I could do daisy chain and spiral stitch in the first week but realized I couldn't. No worries though. I crossed a few things out and moved other things back.

I did two more projects this week. The first was a simple spiral rope with the Spiral Stitch.


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That's right. I'm running a class in jewellery and I'm the only student. I haven't been completely honest about me and crafting this term. My school gives seniors the chance to make their own course in a "Directed Study". I asked to do one in jewellery and came up with a proposal. The idea was to explore some of the history of jewellery and to practice a beadweaving stitch a week. I will need to revise this because it takes longer to make jewellery than I realize.

But more on that later. This week I focused on Daisy Chain.

I made earrings:


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Crochet is definitely more portable than beads. This past week I’ve crocheted on planes, in immigration lines, on buses, and in bed. I’m back at school so I’ll be stationary for a while and I plan to do more beads.

This week I played with a flower doily pattern. It’s spring now right? Tell that to the snow that hasn’t melted yet. I hope this doily can will some more grass to grow and sun to shine in these parts. I made three things.




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A few things to talk about tonight so let's get to it.

1. I finished my scarf/hoodie!

I did. I'm wearing it right now even though there is absolutely no need. When I first finished I was a bit disappointed because it didn't come out exactly like the picture. Since then I've worn it and received compliments on it and I'm used to it. I guess you could say I warmed up to it...because it's a scarf...and keeps me warm. =D

I know. That was corny. Moving on.

Here it is:

All pinned up

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I managed to run out of yarn again. Don't worry though - there's no shortage of yam around here. That's not the best part though. I went to Michael's - aware that I might run out of yarn but I was cocky and thought I could make it. I mean I saw the yarn, considered getting it and walked away. I can't even defend myself. Haha.

I'm still working on the scarf & hood from three or so weeks ago. Oh. I started it this year. I thought I'd been working on this for ages. I am determined to finish because it is getting on my nerves.

I finished the scarf part. Here it is - on a friend model. Model who's a friend.


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I don't have any creations to show this week but new things have happened. I finally changed the name and the theme as well! A lot of thought went into this and I pestered my fair share of friends for ideas and thoughts. Coming up with a name is harder than it seems. It's good to keep it simple. Part of my concern was about "branding" and "consistency" because I didn't want to seem flighty or capricious. Then I realized that I'm young. I'm allowed to change my mind. I do not have everything together and if I did, that would be a bit scary. 

I don't have much to say today. Let me know if there are any bugs so that I can tinker around in the html. (It's so fun that you can modify the templates straight at the source =D) 

Enjoy some Frank Sinatra. This song is going to help me get through this week. I am so close to a short break. Four more days. =D

Live a life that's full, 

-Keren





I was inspired by 'Frozen'. I would go into my thoughts on the movie but I'd just end up rambling. I will say that I appreciated it. I laughed, frowned, and I almost cried (Olaf by that fireplace). 

This week (i.e a few hours ago) I made a graphic/colouring/word picture.

I knew I wanted to do something from 'Frozen' - my friends kept singing the soundtrack. The idea for the design started when I should have been doing work but decided to doodle on the board instead. I came up with this pattern:


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Always Know Where You Are - BBMak

I just re-read my blog posts from June (when I revived this blog) up to now. I'm glad I did. I realize that even if the only people who read these are my family members because I signed them up for new posts by email, I'll be fine. I sincerely enjoy making things so I'm going to keep doing it.

Goals for this year:

  • Continue posting weekly
  • Use my current bead stash before I buy more. (Or too much more). I have a lot of beads and they end up just sitting there. So yes. I declare that I will put a substantial dent into my bead arsenal this year before I can get more beads.
  • Give my creations as gifts. I see most of my pieces as my babies so it's hard to give them away. However, hoarding is not healthy so I will give them to my friends.
  • Draw/design/use sharpies more. I read my Simple Life post and I want to make more word art things.
Those are goals I have for now. More may come up but I think that's a good place to start.


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First post of January. Can I get a Woot woot?

Anyone?

Moving on. [= I started crochet May 2013. If anyone's interested, I actually wrote a post about it on Tumblr. I think I've come a decent way and there's still so much more to learn and make. Why am I reflecting all of a sudden? It's because of the piece I'm working on now.

It's this bracelet. I tried making it sometime last year (while I was a young and naive learner) but I had no idea what half double crochet was and the diagrams were too confusing. Now, I know how to make it! So I did.


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