Y Is For… Yarn! – Of course!

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  I love yarn, (which is probably obvious, since I wrote about the joys of a yarn stash on my main blog today, too).  But I do love the stuff - I adore digging my hands into it, squeezing it, feeling it reflect the heat of my hands back to me.  I relax when I feel yarn - it's a very tactile sense of calm.  Sometimes, when I'm working on a new design project and don't yet see the patter...
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X Is For… X-Stitch!

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  Cross-stitch is one of the easiest needle arts to learn.  It's just making little "x's" all over the fabric, using different colors to create a design.  This particular one is from a book called Hand-Stitched Boxes by Meg Evans.  The box is remarkably easy to make, and I've done several designs, but this is the pattern that's in the book and I'm sharing it here because it has cross-s...
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W Is For… Weaving!

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Weaving is one of the oldest textile arts in the world. The most complicated looms, like the huge one featured in the movie Wanted, are the same in principle to the simple back looms used in the mountains of Peru for centuries.  The idea is you use something to put the warp under tension.  Shown above is my simple Cricket Loom, with the warp threaded and some of the weft worked. The thing I...
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V Is For… Vinegar!

I love vinegar. I use it in salad with fruit instead of dressing; I splash it on vegetables when I steam them; and I use it as part of the seasoning when cooking chicken. I particularly like flavored vinegar. Making flavored vinegars isn't difficult.  You cook the vinegar with the additives, either before you let it steep or after, depending on whether it's fruit or herbs.  Then you let it stee...
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U Is For… Upholstery!

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Yes, I know. It's an ugly chair.  I, however, happen to like it.  It belonged to my great-grandfather and is in serious need of re-upholstering, but because of its construction that's not inexpensive.  For one thing, the pegs that hold the armrest in place are broken and the glue holding them in place is congealed and hardened.  Never fear, I have the missing piece in a safe space. What you can...
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S Is For… Soapmaking!

Soap.  We all use it.   But do we really understand what it is? Most, if not all, of the stuff we buy at the grocery store or fancy upscale shops isn't soap, it's detergent - or, if you're lucky, it might just be glycerin, which is a part of the soapmaking process but still not actual soap.  Soap is made when you add lye to fat and it saponifies, the chemical reaction that results in soap. ...
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R Is For… Rubbings!

Grave rubbings is a hobby common in genealogy.  People interested in their family history sometimes make rubbings of their ancestors' grave markers as a way of preserving it as art.  I don't know where most of my ancestors are buried, so that's not something I've been able to do with my genealogical research; however, that doesn't mean it's not something that is a satisfying way to spend an aftern...
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Q Is For… Quilling!

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One art I'd like to try someday is quilling.  This is an art that uses small strips of paper, wound to various tightness, to create a three-dimensional art.  When I was a child, I remember seeing ones that were usually monochromatic, usually white.  I don't know if that's because it was in vogue at the time or if that particular area of California just had artists that liked working in plain c...
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O Is For… Ojos de Dios!

Ojos de Dios is translated from the Spanish as, "Eyes of God."  First worked by the coastal South American indigenous peoples the Huichol, they are a  combination between a prayer, hope, and protection.  They became popular in the States during the 1970's during the resurgence of the Arts and Crafts revival.  As a Wiccan, I see them as a lovely way to intentionalize my craft and to make someth...
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N Is For… Needlepoint!

This is one of the earliest pieces I've worked in needlepoint.  It's comparatively early in my stitching career, since I did it when I was sixteen to seventeen; it took me about eighteen months in total.  It was, at the time, my most ambitious piece.  Sadly, it was damaged by the recipient when it was removed from the frame and returned to me; however, the fine folks at North Shore Needleworks...
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