All Things Monica

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New Endeavors!

Posted on January 14, 2016 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I have always been both cursed and blessed with many interests. The plus is obviously that I enjoy all of these things. The curse is that there are only 24 hours in a day, and a great deal of that time is taken up with work and sleep. So far, my way of handling that is to bounce from one thing to another every few months. This time, I’d like to take a more purposeful approach. I’m going to try to plan out my time among the various pursuits. For example, to work on writing, I’m attempting to take 30 minutes to write/research every day after work before I do anything else. After that, I can concentrate on the traveler’s notebooks I’ve started making, as those are often time sensitive. I’m doing research on blogging, branding, taking advantage of social media, etc. I don’t know that I’m a painter, but I at least want to give it a shot. I’ve customized some planners for a few people. Let’s not forget the photography! I have to find time to take, edit, and print/upload the photos for others to critique and/or enjoy. There’s just not enough time! Does anyone have suggestions or plans that have worked for them? Please comment!

More Journals

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 10:07 PM Comments comments (1)

I have done two journals using the coptic method, which I really like. See below.


This first one is my fave so far, mostly because I love the paper design so much. I'm also please that I was able to get pages lined.


I'm also please that I was able to get pages lined, and had a nice paper for the inside cover that compliments the outside.


I also had to include a little design on the pages themselves.


This is my third journal and second coptic; it will be a gift for my friend Angie. It's blank on the inside, so she can use it as a sketchbook if she wants. This time, I used a different pattern on the front and back because I didn't have enough of one or the other.








Bookbinding Bind

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 5:39 PM Comments comments (3)

I had an idea for a book I wanted to put together as gifts and thought it would be nice to make my own. I’ve found a remarkable amount of information and various ways online regarding how to do this. I made my first hardcover journal last night (pictures below). I’m not satisfied with the results (yes, I’m a bit of a perfectionist), but they’re not bad for the first time. I’m planning on using a few different methods to figure out which is best for me. Of course, the purpose of the book or its intende drecipient may determine the best method. For instance, for a recipe book, spiral might be best so it can lie flat, but a writing journal may be better with binding. There are many tools out there to make things easier, but since I have no money, I may have to use less-sophisticated methods to do some things. I’m not sure how to have lined pages unless I just print them, but that seems pretty tedious; it’s certainly doable, though. Like any new project, I’m excited and wanting to do everything at once. Also like a new project, the enthusiasm will last for so long, then I’ll move on to something else till I cycle back. (A cycle is usually 4-6 months at a time.) I'm excited to see where this leads.





 

 

Crochet pain?

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 1:49 PM Comments comments (1)

I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand in 2002, and will have to do the same on my left sometime in the near future. You can imagine the issues I have to deal with to crochet (and knit). So, I’ve been looking online and in stores for some solutions. I’ve found some great crochet hooks that are ergonomically-minded and some ideas on how to make your current hooks more ergonomic.

 

Most ergonomic hooks have been reviewed by other bloggers, so I won’t do that here (follow links to read review, if I could find one). Some of the top contenders are as follows (in no particular order):

 

Eleggant Hooks

 

Provo Craft Ergonomic Hooks

 

Addi Comfort Grip Hooks

 

Reflections Hook Set 

 

 

Boye Universal Ergonomic Handle

My current favorite is something I bought at Joann's the other day. I haven't found it anywhere online, but I LOVE it! It has attachments to fit almost any crochet hook, so you can use the ones you have. You can see from the picture that it has little inserts that fit onto the correct size hook. The handle opens so that you can shove the hook into the top and the insert keeps it held firmly. The handle is made of a rubbery plastic, so it's comfy and easy to grip.

It says it fits 2.75mm-6.5 (K), but I was able to get it to fit 1.5mm by using the two smallest adapters together like this:


 

One thing I’ve noticed is that if you crochet with a pencil-hold instead of a knife-hold, there’s not really anything out there to help you, but I wanted to share a few ideas. You can use the same ergonomic holders that exist for writing utensils! They might be too big to hold smaller hooks, so you’d need to rig something that makes the holder fit. One option to wrap rubber bands around the hook till it reaches the desired thinkness. Another is the comfort grips that already exist for hooks:


 

They worked for me to make the needle fat enough to fit the pencil holder snugly.

Another idea I saw on a blog was to use old pens to make holders! Check it out. That gives you more options for comfort and style!

 

There are also ideas that work for both ways of holding hooks. For instance, I read a comment on one blog from a crocheter that uses fimo modeling clay to make her own holder. She puts the clay on the desired hook, holds the clay on the hook as she would when working, takes off the clay and fires it in that shape. Voilá! Custom-made ergonomic crochet hook holder! I also thought that using rubber balls might work. Really, anything that can be fashioned onto a hook in a comfortable grip should work. I’d love to hear any ideas.

Crochet stint

Posted on July 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (3)

Some of you may know that I’m into several crafts (scrapbooking, crochet, embroidery, photography, making jewelry, etc.). I tend to enjoy them in phases. I got a new Interweave Crochet magazine yesterday, so I’m somewhat inspired to work on crochet now. I’m pretty picky about what I make. It has to be artistic or useful. No doilies, fake food, etc. I’ve made some stuffed animals for kids, clothes, framed things, etc. I haven’t been able to make too many pieces of clothing because there just isn’t that much out there that doesn’t look like Victorian granny wear. I know designers use crochet, but it’s impossible to find stylish pieces that aren’t slutty. I read in one magazine about how to use an item you like to make a crocheted piece in the same style/shape, so I’d like to try that. In the meantime, I’m still combing over the internet looking for crochet fashion that I’d actually wear. It doesn’t help that I’m not interested in scarves and hats or that I'm too cheap to buy the really nice patterns.

Fake food       Doily

Not bad, but how many ponchos does one person need?

Nice, no pattern available.

Victorian granny

Slutty

 

I did make this one, but it's too small for me. I'm not giving it away though because I WILL wear it!

Keeping up with the ME

Posted on January 22, 2010 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I've just added a Calendar page so that if anyone wants to know my general schedule, they are free to see it. I haven't decided if I'm adding things like doctor's visits, lunches, etc. We'll see. Right now, it's just the things i do on a regular basis.

 

i've been embroidering like it's going out of style. I started with ornaments for Christmas and am now working on something that would make a nice framed gift. I'll try to get some photos of what I've done and post them. They're pretty nice if I do say so myself. Of course, I'm not totally satisfied. The stitches could be straighter, but I hear that comes with practice. I like to keep my hands busy while I'm talking, watching TV, etc. Crochet and embroidery give that. Of course, I can't handle counted cross stitch because you actually have to pay attention to what number you're on! I'm far too preoccupied (some might say scattered) to deal with that.

Delayed

Posted on November 29, 2008 at 12:29 PM Comments comments (0)

Wow, it's been a while since I last wrote. Well, still working on classes, had a great Thanksgiving, and have started the crochet season again. Why "season", you ask? We don't have AC, and it's too hot to work with yarn in the summer, so I mainly do it in Fall and Winter. Now you know.

After the Party

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 5:17 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, we didn't get many people (only 4), but I'm pretty sure that's because I didn't call to remind them that it was Sunday. Despite that, we had tons of fun and made over $100! We took plenty of notes about things we liked. and didn't like: how long it took to set up and tear down, etc. I think we'll be able to do really well. Our products are quality and affordable, so people are happy to buy.

Jewelry

Posted on August 9, 2008 at 7:39 AM Comments comments (0)

I've uploaded images of some of my jewelry pieces. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Jewelry

More Jewelry News

Posted on August 8, 2008 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Angie, Annie and I met yesterday to work out more details for our new business. We've even given ourselves job titles.

Monica: Marketing Director

Angie: Artistic Director

Annie: Financial Director

Of course, we're also the Designers. We devided up many of the responsibilities, discussed who will have which responsibilities, etc. I'll be the one booking our parties, contacting stores, shows, etc., among other things. This is really moving along!. Once we get our site going, I will be sure to post a link.

More Jewelry Fun

Posted on June 27, 2008 at 11:06 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm really excited about my progress. I've made three silver rings, which I really like. I've wrapped one cabachon (stone or glass piece with no whole). It's good for the first attempt, but I want to take it in to the local bead shop to ask them how to improve it. I've also found some metal working classes through the local parks and rec services. I will be able to "learn to create unique and complete projects in copper, brass and sterling. Projects are designed to acquaint students with college-level metal working techniques: sawing, stamping, cold joining, soldering and stone setting." How cool is that?! I'll be able to make just about anything after that. Of course, the skills I have now will enable me to sell jewelry that can then fund more tools, supplies, classes, etc. I haven't been this excited about something since I started photography. 

More Jewelry Excitement

Posted on June 25, 2008 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I mentioned that two of my friends and I are working toward doing some craft shows next year. We're doing jewelry, photography, drawings, candles, and a few other crafty items. My main contributions are jewelry and photography. I'm really excited about making jewelry. I've even taken a class to learn more techniques. It's going really well. I just made 2 rings today with my new jewelry hammers, and I wire wrapped a cabachon (I'm hoping to make a ring out of it). My next gold is making settings and saudering. Can't wait!

Exciting Things!

Posted on April 25, 2008 at 8:28 AM Comments comments (1)

My friends Angie, Annie, and I are really taking the craft busines by storm. We've decided to really make a concentrated effort to make things for craft/art shows and to sell on our collective site under TwiZted Sisters Ink Inc. We each have our own website, and we'll start one soon for TS, so keep your eyes open! We're all extremely excited about what's happening. We've agreed to meet each week, we've talked about prices, a catalogue, etc. Whoo-hoo!

Art Festivals

Posted on April 7, 2008 at 10:11 PM Comments comments (1)

My friend Angie and I hung out today and had a great idea. All three of us (Angie, Annie, and I) started an art group for the three of us called Twizted Sisters. The purpose is for us to encourage each other to pursue and improve our various artistic interests. It can be painting, drawing, crafts, photography, writing, etc. Angie and I decided that we need to prepare this year to enter some art shows next year. We'd like to go to the ones that interest us this year to see for sure. That would also give us an opportunity to check out the displays, the type/quality of art, and help us decide what to do. Then throughout the year, we can prepare items, displays, save to pay for booths, etc. While we each do some different things, we all do photography, so that might be a good one to concentrate on for now. If we go to other places, we can do our other arts. I think it'll be fun. We may not make tons of money, but even if we make a little, it'll be worth it. I've even found some shows that have contests with cash prizes. Who knows?

 

 

Child Prodigy

Posted on March 28, 2008 at 8:33 AM Comments comments (0)

My friend Angie introduced me to the website of an amazing girl. She's 12 right now and has been drawing/painting since age 4 with the maturity that most adult artist seek. She had a spritiual transformatioin at 4 and led her whole family to Christ. She writes poetry among other things, and her spiritual depth can only be from God. Her insight and humility are what the rest of us should try to attain. Please take a look!

Akiane