Sunday, 15 April 2012

3 Days of Craft: The Wrap-up

So perhaps you've been wondering what I did over Easter? During the highly anticipated 3 Days of Craft that I was so excited about? Actually, I spent the majority of my time on the computer, reading blogs and such. But I did manage to do a few things, and get a few things closer to done.

Firstly, the closer-to-done things. I worked on the scarves, both baby and adult.


Baby Sunlight Scarf.
The baby scarf is half-way done now. I'm using the same technique as I did with the Harry Potter scarf. I really love the tube effect with no visible joins. Unfortunately though, that means knitting half of each row at a time, so it's pretty slow going. I guess I forgot about that when I decided to make the new scarf the same way!


Chequerboard scarf, "front".
The adult scarf is pretty slow going, too. Firstly, I made a base of simple filet crochet. That part was easy. Now I'm up to the hard part. I'm crocheting a second filet grid, but attaching it to the first one as I go along. I've never seen anything made like this before, so I basically have to make it up as I go along. I don't think I could even describe how it's done. Every time I put it down, the next time I take it up again, I have to figure out what I did before! So it's very slow going.


Chequerboard scarf, "back".
Then for some bizarre reason, Husband and I decided to break out the Crystal Mining Kits that we'd had in the back of the cupboard for a couple of years. Inside the plaster brick are 8 crystals. You use the provided plastic hammer and scraping tool to excavate them. It's quite fun. I've excavated 2 so far. But again, it's a very slow process. The brochure even warns that you need to have patience, just like a 'real geologist'!

But the best thing I did - the thing I actually finished - was I tried out my Fuse Beads kit for the first time! I bought it a few weeks ago, but didn't have time to try it until now. Fuse beads are little plastic beads that you can arrange to make a pattern or a picture on a peg board. Then you iron them so they melt slightly and fuse together. There are a few different brands of beads out there. Mine are the Hama Beads brand. Here's an example of some fuse bead projects from the intertubes.

As you can imagine, this kind of format lends itself really well to things like pixel art - characters from old computer games, anime, pop art, etc. There's a lot of geekery in the genre! Having said that, I've also seen some gorgeous examples based on Navajo and European folk art. Here's a link to Tumblr with lots more examples (there are giant Totoros!).

There are a couple of advantages to the properties of fuse beads:

They're made of plastic, which means that -
They're washable and relatively durable. You can use them to make coasters, for example. (Though, seeing as they melt and fuse with the heat of an iron, I wouldn't use them to make a trivet or anything like that.)

It also means that -
you can easily glue them together or glue things to them.
You can make several sheets and glue them together to make a 3-dimensional box or basket. Or even a figurine. They'll stand up straight if you make a little stand for them or lean them up against something. You can glue decoden to them, such as bows, cabochons, googly eyes, etc.

Also -
They have little holes in them, so it's insanely easy to attach split rings or other findings and make them into jewellery - necklaces, rings, earrings, phone charms, bag charms, etc. Also, instead of fusing them together, you can use Native American weaving techniques to string them together into a flat or 3D piece.

Anyway, here are my and Husband's first projects!


Hama bead projects.
Here we see: a coaster that I made using the circular peg board, a star shape that I'll probably make into a hair clip, and a smily face that Husband made. Later he turned it into a fridge magnet.
We've made a couple more things since, but I'll post them later.

To wrap up:
well, this 3 Days of Craft was more like 2 days on computer and 1 day of craft but - hey - I did what I wanted to do and I have no regrets! At least my Startitis has abated a bit. As the saying goes, it's much easier to start than to finish. (Well, if no-one has said that, someone should have!)


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