Category Archives: how to

Mandala for Little Miss M

Mandala Madness, pattern by Helen Shrimpton

My celebratory TaDah! Moment

I started making this blanket back in July 2017 when I needed a break from working with the dark colours requested by Master R.

The pattern is Helen Shrimpton’s Mandala Madness with her Spiro Star at the centre.

It is for a single bed so I stopped at Round 88 in Part 14 .

I like the way the edge is shaped at this point, so I created the next few rows to keep that shape.

crochet edge, blocking pins

Edge

Little Miss M likes orange (Spice), so the edging had to be in orange.

I made small popcorns (3dcs instead of 5) at some of the points and the simple edging is 2scs, ch 2 repeat (US terms)

Blocking was done on an old blanket laid on the floor over a carpet.blocking crochet

I smooth the blanket out – take an overhead photo which shows up any lack of symmetry;

adjust;

pin with steel blocking pins right through the carpet;

spray mist the whole thing with water, then using a damp tea towel and the iron on its highest setting I VERY lightly press round the edges only of the blanket, reheating the iron when necessary (it has to be unplugged to reach);

I then lightly pressed the yellow and turquoise pointy bits so that they would lie flatter;

left it in situ over night to thoroughly dry.

Stylecraft SpecialDK and a 4.5mm hook – the blanket mearures 4’8″ across

List of colours (mostly chosen by Little Miss M):

Spiro Star Centre

Fondant, Saffron, Fondant, Cloud Blue, Bluebell, Bright Pink, Spice

Mandala Madness Part 2

Meadow, Turquoise, Fondant,

Part 3

Wisteria, Saffron, Wisteria, Sunshine,

Part 4

Spice

Part 5

Aspen, Pistachio, Cloud Blue, Bluebell

Part 6

Soft Peach, Duck Egg, Fondant

Part 7

Lobelia, Petrol, Bright Pink, Spice, Turquoise,

Part 8 

(My favourite part!)

Bright Pink, Cloud Blue, Saffron, Bright Pink,

Part 9

Meadow, Pistachio, Aspen, Sunshine

Part 10

Bluebell, Soft Peach, Meadow, Fondant, Bluebell, Cloud Blue

Part 11

Bright Pink, Spice, Turquoise, Fondant, Candy Floss, Bluebell

Part 12

Bright Pink, Spice, Saffron, Meadow

Part 13

Turquoise, Spice, Fondant

Part 14 

and Edge

Bluebell, Bright Pink, Petrol, Sunshine, Spice

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I could never have made this without the fabulous video tutorials by Esther at Its All in a Nutshell.

Huge thanks to Esther and Helen.

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Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. She asks us to add a book that we are reading, but I rarely read books nowadays. I do however watch DVDs whilst crocheting or knitting and one I have thoroughly enjoyed recently is this documentary about Gauguin, which gives a fascinating account of his difficult and colourful life

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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.

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.