Petalplum

crochet

hot pink + inky blue // the greater the artist

ellie2 Comments

I made this crochet bowl / vessel last week*. It just started and happened, I added pieces and cut scraps to size and crochet-worked them in as I went. I love this. I'm going to say it again. I LOVE THIS! If you want to make your own, it's similar to this tutorial I shared here.

I am so loving the inky blue at the moment. It's scraps from my screen printed fabrics, that were sewn into purses and cushions - the edges of stitched and snipped corners, the left over snipplets / scraplets. I am always collecting scraplets from my sewing floor. I love the raggedy frayed edges and the half unraveled stitching.

I make a lot of little bits of things in my making time. Some bits sit unfinished, half finished, not complete. Ideas formed and run off before they fully evolved. I know that's an okay thing. Totally ok. It helps other ideas to progress. Sometimes ideas don't form and work through to the end for a while. But when they do. When it happens as my mind's eye imagined. 

Isn't that just like the biggest thing ever. It's ego-boosting. And I mean ego in a good way. I am not afraid of my ego, when it's being good. I think and artist ego has a sharp edge to slip either side to full-on ego "I'm better than you", or real-ego "I'm the best me". I aim for that one. The other-ego of me, the best of me. It's sometimes a hard line to walk. Between loving what you do, and showing off and then gloating. 

And then. The other option is the doubt. I love this quote about an artist having doubt. It's taken me a long long LONG time to slowly, quietly, sometimes, call myself an artist. I wonder if I am an artist, or a maker, or just a wanna-be. I wonder what's the difference. Anyway. This quote makes me feel like I must be an artist, Robert Hughes is a man who knows his artists.

*This post was originally published on my old blog (which is now lost in past domains) in July 2013. I still love the colours of this piece, and how it makes me feel. Sorry the formatting is a little wonky, importing my blog posts meant that the images come in as they are and I can't re-format the look of it.

Crochet basket FREE tutorial and how I film my videos

Creative Process, Craft TutorialsEllie Beck1 Comment

I finally have my giant crochet basket tutorial up ready for you to make your own! Yay. And I thought I'd share a little of the behind the scenes of how I film my video tutorials. As much for keeping it real, but more to remind you - and show you - that you don't need fancy or expensive equipment, you don't need to know everything or be the most best at something, you don't need technical skills, and you don't need to wait around for someone else to help you. You can do what you want right now, with the simple tools that you have. 

 

Do what you can,
with what you have,
right where you are.
— Theodore Roosevelt

 

This past year and a half I've taught myself how to film videos and get them uploaded to my website. How to make sure they're the right format, size and all that. I spent a little while wondering if I might need some help, some better equipment, some know-how from someone experienced in such technical aspects. But only a little while pondering and wondering. Because - like a lot of things I do.... I know I can do it; I just have to jump in and try. 

I continue to surprise myself by the things that I can do. By simply trying, by making mistakes, learning as I go. Many things do not work out, many are wonky and totally "not professional", many have my own personal quirks, many are not what most people might put into the world as part of their business. But - you know what. I will not, ever let that stop me. I am not many, indeed I am not even a few. I am just one, just me. And if I wait around for the perfect everything, for the perfect filmed how-to video with all the right edited moments and perfect overlay of music or slide-ins of my logo or something.... If I wait for that - then I know it'll never happen. I mean; the whole tutorial in general will never end up on line. 

I am very much a 'done is better than perfect' person. But I am also, in my business as well as my creative practice, eager to show that things don't need to be perfectly edited, slickly finished, immaculately presented to be right or beautiful or interesting. That the world in fact needs more 'do it your own way' or 'make mistakes happily' attitudes towards getting things done. That a downloadable template needn't be so pretty that it goes viral, or gets all the re-pins. It just needs to meet its purpose of inspiring someone, showing someone, sharing something, offering something.

Anyway.. all that. Here's a couple of behind the scenes of the way that I film my videos. I use my phone, because I can't get the microphone on my camera to do anything (it films, but it's all silent), and using my phone makes it easier to then get it onto my computer to edit and upload. The tripod I have is for a camera, not a phone - so I need elastic bands and some rigging up of different systems to make it work. I need to legs of the tripod anchored with whatever to hand; sometimes a pile of books, sometimes an old metal tin. Sometimes my phone memory runs out, and the video stops filming before I'm finished talking - I have to either re-film or add another video, or simply write some extra bits and notes for you. 

I hope that these funny behind the scenes moments can remind you to go off and do things that you've been a bit too scared to try..... that you've worried you don't have the right tools, or the right knowledge to make it work. Just go ahead give it a go, make that mistake, step over the bridge. I promise that once you start you'll find it gets easier and easier to keep on going. 

Here's the FREE tutorial for my crochet basket. If you love my online work, and would like to support me in a financial manner, I have a Patreon page where you can donate as little as a $1 every month to help me create my artworks, write my writings (blog posts, stories, etc etc), film my videos and more. 

I'd love to hear about your just making it experiments. What went wrong? What went right? What did you learn? Did you have fun? 

Crochet a day :: Hexie Blanket

ellie1 Comment



I'm starting as I mean go on, this year.
Apologies for not being here for the past... months? So much to fill you in on, instead I'm just going forward. {You can find me most every day on Instagram - if you don't follow me there, you can watch along online here.}

On New Year's Eve I stayed home alone and started a crochet blanket. I aim to stitch hexies every week (I'm not committing myself to one everyday, but if I got 7 made in a week that would be good). This way I'll have a blanket or maybe even two ready hopefully for Winter cool. So far I have 33 hexies made. So I'm far ahead for day 10 of the new year. 

Compared to my crochet stones, with teeny tiny hook and thread, the larger hook and thicker yarn stitch up so quickly. I'm enjoying working on them bit by bit. Last night I stayed up late stitching away and piling up the stack of hexies. So far today I haven't touched the hook or yarn - except to move it from one shelf to another. 

The pattern is from the lovely Michelle of Poppy and Bliss. Check out her delightfully fun crochet projects and bright colours.

I'm aiming to make at least 80 - 100 hexies. They're all different sizes and the yarns are a combination of op-shopped and handspun wools that I've gathered from the local yarn shop and the environment centre. We'll see how I go with joining them together.... I think it'll be an "organic" finish, but that's ok. 

For me - this year. I'm working on the idea of do it rather than the perfection of waiting to be perfect at it. There's so many things I don't get started, let alone finished, as I feel I won't be good enough. This year - good enough is good enough (not in everything, but in my personal creative making).

crochet bowls :: the glint of the golden

Creative Process, Craft Tutorialsellie2 Comments

I have been making these lately. My nature is to become wrapped up in the making of one thing, with endless variations, until I no longer want to make that. I think crochet stones are still a love, but I haven't felt the urge to make one for a while, of course I would if someone asked me nicely!

But here - this is a similar process, with different evolutions. Crochet vessels. Some are more bowl shape. Some are part of my "embrace my wonk" shape. I love the little ripples and curves that happen along the way. 

I'm loving loving the golden threads I'm weaving through most of them. It's feeling so satisfying to have this sparkly jump out. Especially when they sit in the sunshine and glimmer and glint.

My mums hair used to do that. She had strands of coppery hair in amongst her darker (and they greying) hair. I loved the way that at certain lights, the sunshine would catch these copper hairs and her whole head would glint and glisten and glow. Lately my kids have been noticing the same in my hair. And oh boy, doesn't that make one happy. My girl has the same too - I can see it in her. 

So, here. I've come around again to talk of my mama. I think the more I envelop myself in my craft/art making the more I feel her deeply happily in me. I also feel the appreciation and support from my online friends (here and on instagram) to be so much what my own mother wanted for herself, and often wasn't able to find. Oh. I think that's another topic altogether. 

This is about how I love these crochet vessels. Them forming in my hands. And being a practical thing for our home. To gather and catch our keys, spare change, trinkets, though mostly my more crochet supplies and other crafty bits! Now that's pretty sparkly and golden itself isn't it!!

always with the crochet :: beautiful v useful

Creative Process, Craft Tutorialsellie3 Comments

Last week I sent these small crochet doilies off to their 'owner'. I wrote about it

here

. And with that project gone, I can move onto new and different crochet works. But the strange thing is, this pattern is now (finally) stuck in my head and I want to stitch this again and again. Ah ha - the mind is a funny thing. 

Anyway, I have some important pieces I need to get made and posted, for an Instagram Swap I organised. Life took over, and I haven't been able to make the pieces I want. I'm guessing my swap partners will receive some doilies and such. 

While I love making doilies and crochet covered stones, I keep asking myself the "importance" of them. Usually I have a thought/feeling/inclination to produce.make.create practical things. I question myself on why I'm adding more and more to this world of things that aren't practical and useful. I remind myself often of this quote; which I believe rings true for myself (and probably for many of you also):

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" William Morris

So, while my crochet stones may not be useful (except as little paper weights), they are indeed beautiful. Thank you William for your words.

Having said that - I am enjoying working on

crochet bowls

and vessels and having them become useful (and beautiful) things to hold the useless yet beautiful items.

* I gather a collection of crochet inspiration on my

Pinterest board

, if you're in need of some hookery. 

1000 crochet doilies & connections stitched

Creative Process, Craft Tutorialsellie3 Comments

This week I am finally sending off the 30 doilies I have crocheted for

Lisa Solomon

's 1000 Doilies project. I have loved working on these for so many reasons, the main being the connection to all the other people who were making them as well. 

How wonderful for someone to put the word out, and ask for people to follow a pattern and crochet some pieces to add to an installation of her work. 

You can read a little about Lisa's

art piece here

. I love the thread colours and the 10 doilies x 100 colours = 1000.

I first "met" Lisa through Instragram, I think.. I can barely remember anymore. Does it actually matter? Nope, not really. I was immediately drawn to her use of colour in a methodical and thoughtful way (I mean, look at those colours up there - this project is about tonal gradation and hues), and to her dangly tangly threads that I saw in her work. The finished yet unfinished aspect of it really captured what I myself felt I was working on - or maybe a bit of how I work. I urge you to go and have a look through her

website

and find some lovely.

Lisa is also super-cool. And I love that. Cool in a real way. She is an art teacher and a practicing artist, and a mama. I love her instagram feed with the view points of shape and colour and line. I love

her book

. I also love the way Lisa seems to be collaborative - she has connections with other artists, and gathers people in. She shares skills and advice. 

Mostly I love that Lisa trusted me enough to be part of this amazing project with her. With everyone else who is making. All these lives that we've stitched into our doilies will be gathered together into Lisa's hands and displayed. And most people who look at the art work (in real - I'll only see it in pictures) will probably see the beauty that is there. The colours and lines and shapes. They won't know the stories of the people who made these pieces. The way that I carried a little fabric pouch with my thread and hook and pattern, the way I never fully remembered the pattern, so had to carry it with me. The way I sat at cafes with threads in front of me, and other customers asked about the teeny little work I was making - and were surprised that I was making it to send to an artwork on the other side of the world. The way my family knew it was an important thing I was working on, for an important project, and helped me along the way - let me count that one row of stitches where I couldn't talk or I'd have to start again. 

And you know what. I love the fact that two of my very special instagram friends also made doilies.

Kate

(blog) /

foxslane

(IG) and

Cyndi

(blog) /

elf_girl

(IG). We encouraged each other and enjoyed sharing where we were up to. The way I thought maybe Kate and I could sit and crochet together one day, and somehow here we are are working on one big thing together. 

You can see the doilies here on the instagram hashtag

#1000doilies

. I'm following along to see the final work with all our stitches and those colourful doilies talking together in one room. Thanks Lisa for letting me crochet with my far-away friends. xxxx

*bottom image of threads stacked is from Lisa Solomon's blog.