Category Archives: how to

More Notan inspired designs

Put three different coloured sheets one on top of the other and cut through all three layers together. Then have fun arranging the pieces you’ve created.

Add a few doodle decorations if you like.

Use camera settings, photo-editing or Photoshop to play around with different effects.

Have fun!

And then there are the offcuts to play with….

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Great for greetings cards.  And I’m wondering about printing some out on canvas. They remind me of 1960’s designs. I think they would look good in a child’s bedroom or playroom, do you?

Click on any picture to see it larger

There are quite a lot of You Tube tutorials about creating Notan designs – This one is a simple one to get you started.

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Gallery

Notan Butterflies

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Letter

Notan, the letter A, paper cut art

My entry in our One-a-Week Photo Challenge. 

The Letter A

I came across the Japanese Art of Paper Cutting called Notan, which uses positive and negative space. Go to Pinterest to see the most amazing examples.

The photo was taken using the ‘Sketch’ setting on my Nikon D5200.

Step – by – step:

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A piece of A5 coloured paper and an A4 background

Notan, paper art, the letter A

notan, paper art, letter A

paper art, Notan, letter A

It needs to go on a coloured background

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Couldn’t resist a bit of doodling, and then it needed to go on a black background. Now some of the doodling looks like cut-outs.

Notan and doodling

This is such a good activity to do with children aged 4 onwards.

The designs would make great greetings cards.

Please leave your link in the comments – Cathy and I always look forward to seeing each interpretation of the prompt – she has a corker this week!

Paper Games with the Boys

Last week there was an Inset Day at the school so the boys, Big Bro 7 and Little Bro 5 came to me. They absolutely LOVE playing drawing consequences – I expect you know the game .. but just in case you don’t I’ll describe it.

playing consequences

Tear A4 paper into half, lengthways.

Each person has a strip of paper.

Without showing the others, draw a hat at the top of the paper and then fold the paper over to hide the drawing except for a couple of lines to show where the face should go. The papers then get passed to the next person.

Everyone draws a face and folds the paper again, leaving the lines of the neck showing.

Next the body is drawn, leaving lines for the placement of the legs.

The legs are drawn leaving lines for the feet.

Five lines are put at the bottom and the paper is passed round for one letter to be added in any space at each turn. This will create the name of the character.

Then we all open the paper and laugh at what we have drawn, and try to pronounce the names. We usually have to play at least 4 rounds before they want to move on to something else.

Next we hid our names in a secret design.

In pencil, draw a central line and write your name in clear bold letters, touching the line.

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Turn the paper round and draw a mirror image of each letter, touching the original letter.

Turn the paper so that the first letter is at the bottom of the page as in the picture.

With a pen or crayon, start to pick out lines and features to make a symmetrical pattern.

Keep going and make it as intricate as you can

The boys got into the secret element of it and went for further disguise. I have smudged out their names but I hope you get the ideaSecret hidden names

The idea is that the pattern looks like a design, it is only when it is held sideways and the right way up that the name can be seen. Or you can just continue creating the design until the letters are entirely obscured.

After all the drawing we got out under that clear blue sky …. to the woods and beyond …

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but more of that tomorrow as our Photo Challenge prompt is WALK

On the hook this Friday

mandala madness with spirostar centre

Can you see the hint of a darker turquoise?

This is how she looked just after I added that row:crochet table cloth

Sitting on the table I am making her for. I did wonder whether to stop here and leave it as a large mat for the table as it looked so pretty, but I’m itching to see what this pattern looks like when finished, so on I went.

I’ve had the mahogany table for years and I love the details in the design. I had to take it outside to get a decent photo of it.

vintage mahogany table

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As you can see it is not easy to clean!

The crochet pattern is Mandala Madness by Helen Shrimpton and I have used Spiro Star in the centre. You can see my tutorial here.

I am using Scheepjes Cotton Bonbon and a 2mm hook.

It will measure approximately 1m across when completed.

In the top picture I have just started the 10th ball of the main colour.

It measures 29″ or 74cm across.

The background is one of my unfinished abstract paintings on canvas in acrylic paint.

Pop over to Nanacathy for her weekly gem ‘Knit and Natter Friday’ where you can chat about all things yarny.

 

In a Watering Can on Monday

watering-can as vase

I was picking flowers in the garden when a neighbour stopped by for a chat, knowing I might be some time I popped the flowers in the watering can – boom! right there – perfect  for IAVOM!

They did make it into a vase as well. (but to me they look better in the can!)

ceramic vases and recycled teabags

The ceramic vases are the ones I bought at the Studio Pottery near Solva, Pembrokeshire, Wales. You can see these sculptural vases in detail in this post.

To cheer up a dark corner I added tea-light holders made of used tea bags.

re-purposed used teabags

My fascination with turning rubbish into art has taken me off at a teabag tangent.

I tear open used teabags, empty out the leaves and then dry them. They can then be used like paper, you can see a greetings card I made here.

For today – some papier-mâché tea-light holders.

teabag art

Add some pressed Japanese Maple leaves between the layers and hey presto a Teabag Tealight!

I think the spiky maple leaves look a bit witchy – do you? Good for Halloween?

Pop across to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what gardeners all over the  world are putting in their vases this Monday.

Photo Tutorial: Spiro Star centre for Mandala Madness

Mandala Madness is such a wonderful pattern created by Helen Shrimpton. Go to Google images to see the multitude of fabulous mandalas that have been created using Helen’s pattern.

I enjoyed doing her Spiro Star pattern so much for the Nuts About Squares CAL, that I experimented with putting it at the centre of Mandala Madness – I’m really pleased with how it turned outMM

and just had to try it in another colourway.

SpiroStar at the centre of Mandala Madness

A few people have asked me to explain how to marry the two together so here goes:

Make the Spiro Star up until Round 11

I followed the Spiro Star video tutorial by Esther from Its All In a Nutshell.

If you prefer a written pattern there is one on Helen’s site: with Photo tutorial.

About 40 years ago, I learnt to crochet from an American Book so all the crochet terms I use are US terms. And, I am left-handed, which you will probably notice in the photos. I have made a few slight variations in the way Spiro Star is worked, which I explain below, but you can simply follow the above tutorials until Round 11 if you prefer and go straight to Joining Round 1.

I am using a 3.50mm Drops Circus hook and Scheepjes Stonewashed 4ply cotton and acrylic yarn.

Round 1: Colour = Moon Stone

Starting with a Magic Ring, work a Ch3 then 15 DC giving you 16 sts.

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The pattern suggests you cut the yarn at this stage, but I try to minimise sewing in as much as possible, so after closing the circle with a slip st in the first Ch3, I open up the loop and pull the whole ball of yarn through and pull tight,DSC_0564 leaving the thread at the back whilst I work the next round.

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Round 2: Colour = Rose Quartz

Worked as the above tutorials suggest.

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Round 3: Colour = Rose Quartz

At the end of the round this is how it looks front and back.

 

I mark which stitch I’m aiming for to start the next round and working on the back

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slip st. up to it. (click on any photo to see it larger)

Then, turn your work to work from the front.

 

Start the next round as instructed.

Round 4 and 5: Colour = Moon Stone

Again, I have not cut the yarn, but pulled the whole ball through the loop as before.

Front:

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Back:

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The slip stitching hardly shows on the back.

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Rounds 6,7,8, 9 : Colour = Citrine

Spiro star

Rounds 10 and 11: Colour = Moon Stone

Slip st along the back, from Round 5, doing 2 chain sts at the end to get in the right position to start with a bphd.

(don’t cut the thread, it will be used for one of the Joining rounds)

Spiro Star in Scheepjes Stoewashed

Joining Round 1: Colour = Pink Quartzite

Working mainly in the back loops (bl).

Work a standing sc in the sc before any fpdbl (which is the point of the star),

*sc the next two sts together, sc, 2 blscs in the next st, 2blhds in next st, 2bldc in next 2sts, 2bltrs into next st, bltr, 2bltrs into next st, 2bldcs into next 2sts, 2blhds into next st, 2blscs into next st, sc.*DSC_0568 (1)

Repeat from * to * all the way round until the last repeat

at the end of this repeat, missing the final sc, slst into the standing sc to close.

Joining Round 2: Colour = Moonstone

joining Spiro Star to Mandala Madness

On the back of the work, slp st with the Moon Stone yarn into position. (into the joining slst).

(If using a fresh colour, join in any sc just before the sc2tog of the previous row)

Ch1 and do a bpsc in the standing sc from the round below, missing out the star point stitch, (effectively dec 1 st at each star point) bpsc in each st until the next star point st, miss this st. Continue round the petals and join with a slst to close the round.

Joining Round 3: Colour = New JadeDSC_0571 (1)

Start on the 4th st back from the star point.

Standing sc,DSC_0572 DSC_0573

sc, miss 4 sts, sc, sc, **ch 5, bpsc round the post of the centre tr on Joining Round 1, ch5, sc in the st 4 sts back from lowest point, sc, miss4 sts, sc, sc.**

Rpt from ** to ** til the last petal, ch5, bpsc on central tr from Joining Round 1, ch5, slst in the standing sc to close the round.

Joining Round 4: Colour = New jade

As Round 17 in Mandala Madness ( which is in Part 2 video made by Esther )

Joining Round 5: Colour = New Jade

as Round 18 in Mandala Madness

Joining Round 6: Colour = Larimar

This is very similar to Round 19 of Mandala Madness with a few little tweaks.

Start with a standing sc in the back loop of the st before the centre of the petal in Joining Round 2. (The central st has the bpsc worked in New Jade on it in Joining Round 1). DSC_0574 (1)Work this together with the sc in front of the bpsc behind the petal from Joining Round 1 , miss a st at the front and work a bpsc through the next st on the petal with the 2nd sc behind in Joining Round 1.

If you watch Esther’s video tutorial, I expect/hope this will make sense.

The stitch count to find those two central stitches at the top of the petal is the only thing that is different in this Round, so I go by the position of the bpsc in New Jade (Green) rather than counting the stitches.

photo tutorial, Spiro Star to Mandala Madness

Feel free to contact me if you get stuck!

So! We’ve done it! We’ve joined the two patterns together! Phew! I hope it worked for you.

Now move to the instructions for Mandala Madness 

You are ready to work Round 20 of Mandala Madness and continue with Helen’s pattern.

Enjoy!

Let me know how you got on. Any problems, please let me know. I am usually able to reply within 24 hours. This pattern has not been tested by anyone else so I would love to know if it works for someone else.

My heartfelt thanks go to Helen and Esther for the wonderful patterns and the amazing videos that helped me through them. A big thank you to both Helen and Esther for giving me their permission to share these instructions with you.

Go check out what else these fantastically talented and generous women have to offer – it makes my head spin to think of all the hours they give to this wonderful crochet community of ours.