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My First Blog Post

Introduction

Hello, I’m Tina Nicole Boyles, my nickname is Tea. I’ve always been interested in crafts. I always loved needlepoint and jewelry making but in the last three years I’ve learned Rug hooking, Punch needle, Crochet, Loom weaving and Loom knitting. The learning of a craft is a constant which is the best part of the journey; to create freely while maintaining the craft integrity.

2020 Quarantine -A crafter’s dream or nightmare :)

Here in Philadelphia we have been in quarantine due to the coronavirus-covid-19 being highly contagious. It’s a global pandemic and here in the U.S. , especially on the East coast, we have the highest confirmed cases. While the politicians fight about it, we are left a little confused, frustrated and for some of us, content. I am personally ok with a stay home order, but I get it. I understand why people are frustrated, they’re lively hood, they’re businesses are going down and unless they find a way to adhere to the ‘new normal’ they could go bankrupt. When we go out, we are asked to wear masks, to wash our hands as much as possible, and to not have company, remain and practice social distancing. There is nothing normal about social distancing in fact it’s very unnatural, even for introverts. So, we do this and acclimate the best way we can: Technology, quiet time, hobbies, binge watching TV and cooking more.

The Crafters, The artists- Well Crafters and Artists always find something to do, something to start and something to finish. That is the upside of a quarantine. The downside- No crafts shows, no craft festivals, no flea markets, relying on online selling. My little website for selling is http://craftncurio.artfire.com which I use for a point of reference for applications for craft shows. I’m happy to have it and it is not expensive about the same as etsy really, but I’m not in a rush to sell online. The interaction with people matters just as much as someone clicking on an item you made, imo. I like the personal touch and I want people to pick up one of my rugs and feel how it was made, feel the fabric check out the weave, this matters. To answer questions and form relationships with people so the word gets out about how cool and easy you are to work with and talk about custom work, person to person matters. BUT, at the same time, there is a current pandemic, and we have to be mindful and use the time wisely. Now is not the time to be or attend a market, a festival, a show. I look forward to being able to participate in the future, maybe in the Autumn or maybe in 2021- I’m patient, we can all be patient and in the mean time, I’m going to make things, rugs, small mats, baskets, decor, and enjoy the quiet.

Thanks for reading

The Online Presence and Pot Holder Loops

The online presence is important in today’s tech world. As well as reaching out to wholesale opportunities for materials. I still will focus on thrift shops but some items need to be top shelf quality for sustainability, not that you can not find great quality at thrift shops because I know you can and I have.

But to get back to the online thing I now have this blog Craft-n-Curio.com

I will be on Artfire.com at http://CraftnCurio.artfire.com

Still on pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/Tdonnelly1971

My New laptop should arrive today so I will be focusing on listing craft tools that are not being used, my finished afghans, and two completed twine rugs 4’x2′; the rest of the diamond paint key chains. The purpose of an online presence is to have everything I make seen. Also to use as a point of reference for future craft fairs that are jurored and a place where I can blog about what works and what does not work in my journey into the craft world.

I reached out to Harrisville Designs for their professional account info. because their loops are really great and strong for some projects I plan on in the future.

Potholder loops place mat/table mat I made 4 years ago
Potholder loops throw pillows

For the place mat I used the traditional pot holder peg loom 7″ and weaved 5″x5″ squares then made joins along the edges. I used chop sticks to keep the edge loops intact.

The Pillows I used a 12″x12″ square peg loom; I joined a 10″ loop to a 7″ loop and weaved two squares for a pillow cover.

WIP 2nd Twine Rug using Harrisville Loops 4’x2′

There are so many uses for the pot holder loops and I look forward to exploring different ways to use them.

Thanks for reading!

Rugs

Happy New Year! 2020 It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged, I’ve been busy. I love rugs and I really like learning to make rugs. Traditionally rugs are woven on beautiful heddle looms, which can be found in a variety of different sizes. I do not have a heddle loom, though someday I may. For now I have enough to keep me busy. Below are some completed projects I want to share.

Crochet round rug, it took me some time to learn how to crochet in the round and maintain the circle to stay flat. Those increases had me going crazy but a friend helped me so thank you friend now I can crochet in the round and make flat circles. For this rug I used Bonnie’s Craft 6mm cord, purple and jute, single crochet – it measures 24 inches. It’s not a perfect circle but it’s flat! lol

This rug I used t-shirt yarn that made. It’s called tarn, tarn is a wonderful way to use up old t-shirts, you can make anything from rug to baskets, totes, anything your creative self can think of as long as it works well with thick yarn. Usually your cuts should be an inch to 1.5 strips. Like Sharn (Yarn made from old sheets) and Plarn (Yarn made from plastic bags) you can re-purpose which helps eliminate waste and makes great items for your home, gifts or business.

Of course Ms. RavenPip inspects every rug I make for approval. This is a single crochet rug made from Bonnie’s Craft 4mm cord, burgundy, jute and black border. It measure 57″ x 40″ and is in my living room keeps the paws warm.

I used the Zippy Knitting Loom to make the above rug. Great for the bathroom or a chair cushion as well. This one sold at a market I vended at, I actually forgot I sold it lol. I used Harrisville Loops that I have a ton of. They are not inexpensive, but they are a great quality and make strong anything. Normally people use them for pot holders, which is great but you can only have so many pot holders. I made pillows, place mats, purses and have decided to use the rest for rugs.

When I tied the fringe on I thought it looked like grass, it still looks like grass to me, but I’m ok with it. It’s 4 foot in length, neutral tone loops. The grassy fringe adds to the earth colors I was going for. I’m very happy with this rug the loops were very easy to work with and the rug feels really great under the paws. It’s thick and durable and can be machine washed and dried on light cycle.

Using acrylic yarn is tricky with twining on my twine loom, I learned this the hard way making the above rug. You must sew the ends with acrylic yarn, no way around it and even though I plan on making another small rug with crochet strips I’ve been making, It will take time to twine it because I will sew the ends as I add on another strip. Other wise I will make too many knots which I did making the above rug, way too many knots. I was disappointed after I made it but live and learn. The problem with an abundance of knots is that knots can come undone if they are not tight enough and using bulk yarn with a ton of knots does not make a good quality rug, believe me I’m not anti-knot lol They have a ton of good uses but for this purpose I like the least amount of knots as possible. I decided to make crochet strips and spool knit cords and will be playing with them for rug making soon.

There is not much difference between weaving and twining, both are over/under the warp. The difference with twining is twisting, if you can braid three strands, you can twine. Over and under still happens you just twist the weft and seem to focus on the under while the over occurs. Below is a video you can check out :

When I first started to learn about making rugs I started with rug hooking. Remember latch hook? It’s still popular today. But I didn’t like the shaggy rugs, sometimes I like them but I wanted to learn how to make a tight rug and before you know it I was reading and you tubing and learned rug hooking. The above rug is made out of rug hook canvas, Rug hook tool called a locker hook and sheet yarn.

I have multiple type of rug hooking tools but for the rug above I used a locker hook. It’s called a locker hook because you thread the eye of the crochet hook with warp ( thread, yarn, twine) and as you pull up the yarn through the holes in the canvas you then weave the tool through the loops and the warp locks the loops in place. It’s easy and tricky because your material gauge needs to be right with the mesh you are using.

The above tool I used with the above rug. The rug hook is best used with weaver’s cloth, monk’s cloth, and rug hook canvas.

So many ways to make rugs, I didn’t even touch on Punching a rug, Tufting, Braiding, etc. as I learn new methods I will share- thanks for reading!

Pin Loom Weaving

I love pin loom weaving I just laugh when I read blogs and people say ” Pin loom weaving is a great quick way….” quick? LOL Not for me. I have 4 pin looms and I love them but I don’t feel continuous weaving/ weaving on the bias, as something quick. Be it my 5′ loom or my 12″ x 12″ looms. Could be that I’m still a novice, but I need to take my time.

This is a pin loom I was excited to receive last year. It is a 5 foot pin loom with a bulk sett. The space between the pins is 1/3″. A bulk sett allows me to use up to a size 6 yarn or 4 mm craft cord. Anything bigger than that will cause the loom to strain so it’s been quite a learning process as to know what I can weave and can not weave without causing damage. Since I’m self taught, like I stated above, I go slow. The loom is handmade out of red oak and is amazing. The Easel that it is tied to is also red oak and handmade by a gentleman in North Carolina named Jim. It is adjustable so I can have a 3′, 4′ and 5′ square. The first time I put it together and decided to use the 3 foot square I freaked myself out because it looked like a huge wooden swastika was in my living room. 😦 It made me feel weird and after I was over the uncomfortable part of it I was able to weave on it. But to be honest I’ve left it at the 5 foot state since. The 4 foot isn’t so bad but that 3 foot setting is just weird and creepy. The work in progress is a 5 foot rug made with craft cord and Jute twine. You can see it is starting to bow, so when that happens I have to sit and ease the weft back with a comb. That is the con for working on a pin loom this size. Ideally the loom would be in the diamond shape which would give me a better opportunity to have my work right in front of me and work the weft back to keep the line straight, but because it is so big It’s not possible. I dream of being able to mount it to a wall, but that is not in my reality while we live here because those poor walls wouldn’t know what hit them trying to mount a loom. With that I do my best, when the piece is taken off the loom it will fill.

The above is the exact same style loom, bulk sett, red oak- 12″ x 12″. In the position I was just taking about. The diamond shape square makes a difference when weaving on the bias. After the weave is finished you have a 10 inch square. Below is a funky little bag I made on the 12 x 12 loom using tweed yarn, the strap is spool knitted and I added a 1/2 finished flower as a snap. I’m not crazy about the little bag but it is weaved well strong and is still together. So if I ever decide to do another I’ll pick colors more to my liking. I use yarn that was given to me or I found at a price that I like to practice with.

So I broke down and bought a dragonfly pin loom and a star pin loom. I couldn’t resist- Noreen Crone-Findlay designed these looms and since I am a dragonfly and star fan I had to have them. She also provides weaving instructions. The patterns are for continuous weaving and they are easy enough but takes time to get it right, lots of patience. The little star has been sitting there for a few months now but I’m dedicated to finishing it. Hopefully in 2020. I plan to use wire and I really hope to make dragonfly wire wrapped citrine charms.

Above is a 4 foot afghan continuous weave. worsted yarn size 4

Above is a 3 foot small throw continuous weave. Homespun yarn size 5

Thanks for reading this, I look forward to sharing the pin loomed rug when it is finished!

Loom Knitting

Picture From GoodknitKisses.Com

Loom Knitting is a fun and great craft for knitting novices. I am a knitting novice, I have learned to use needles but for some mysterious reason I can not purl with knitting needles. Why? I have no idea, but I tell you I watched the technique done in slow motion to figure out how to do the purl stitch with those needles — no. It’s ok, to you out there who are awesome knitters with needles, I salute you. I even love you but I am not you. I am a loomer.

The reality of learning to loom knit is you will acquire more looms than you ever anticipated in your life. Every time you tell yourself you have enough looms something creeps out of the amazon or etsy dark and you’re spun. Clicking on view cart and before you know it you have 4 looms on the way . Why does this happen? I’ll tell you why. You need the looms. You didn’t think you needed more looms but after seeing that last video and reading over the pattern you want to try you realized you needed a particular size loom with a particular gauge to work well with the new yarn you just hid away. This is our life so let’s not pretend we have self control let’s just make great pieces and then make them again even better.

I’m happy to have this blog so I can really track the details I need as I complete projects. I always have a loom knit project on me. I knit on the bus, during down time at work, in bed, whenever I can. I really enjoy it and still have so much to learn yet. When I see what some of the knitters in my craft group make I note it and file it away for the next project to start. The ideas are always progressing and some of us (me) tend to start three projects at one time, a good thing as you will not be bored with just a focus on one thing. A bad thing because it takes us longer to complete. The photos I’m going to share are from last week and a couple of years ago.

Faux Braid scarf

Faux Braid cowl/head band- warmer

The following photos are shoulder wraps/small shawl that can also be worn as scarves. Done on a round loom 42 pegs, simple ewrap stitch and the pattern can be found on the goodknitkisses.com web site. Measures 50 inches in width and 16 inches in length. I enjoy making these, because they are versatile and easy to knit up.

Shoulder wrap color Jade
Same piece as above as a scarf
Shoulder wrap color dark purple
Same as above as a scarf
Black Shoulder wrap
Head band/ear or even Cowl warmer – Burgundy Tweed yarn by Lion’s Brand Size 6 super chunky yarn

Below are some more scarves: The next photo is Charlie’s scarf. Burgundy tweed yarn like the turban above. Charlie asked me to make him a warm burgundy scarf, not too long but enough to cover his chest. We, Shawn and I, met Charlie at a Flea market in NJ called Columbus Flea Market- known to be one of the busiest flea markets around. Except the day we go to set up. It happened the town over was having a harvest festival and Saturdays are not their busy days. Thursday and Sundays are their days to be jammed. So with that, we had a rough day but met a nice man named Charlie. I knitted his scarf and sent it to him not expecting a dime for it, I didn’t care because I just didn’t. I felt like Charlie could give me what he think it’s worth and I’m ok with it, he gave me $30.00. He sent me a letter thanking me and I’m grateful and thankful he liked his scarf.

Burgundy Chunky Yarn scarf- Charlie’s scarf- sold
Purple Cowl, Garter and ewrap stitch- cotton yarn
Guess Who? Yes Doctor Who – GiftedGarter Stitch and the first time I took the time to add fringe to anything.

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What is Diamond Painting ?

Diamond Painting took off in a serious trend of bling. There are a ton of you tube videos on it. I think there are pros and cons to diamond painting. I enjoy bead embroidery, so I found it from searching out canvases and kits to do bead embroidery on. I called it adult lite-brite but I saw how it took off then I learned about these massive canvases people were doing all over the world just by applying small drills to an adhesive canvas.

The Pros: it’s a meditative process that can really help a person quiet their mind. It’s not hard on your body, imo, with the repetitive motion of sewing, crocheting / knitting. So it’s a nice hobby to do while your body needs a rest from other work you’re engaged in. Anyone can do it; the skill it requires is to be able to sit still and follow a pattern. Very inexpensive. Some of the paintings are very pretty and turn out really well. The Drills; you will have extra drills after your painting is done and they can be used for other crafts. You can do your own custom DP, you can use different type of glue and decorate anything you want which helps eliminate waste.

The Cons: Everyone has different taste so while some may see it as gaudy, some may fall in love with the shiny bling aspect of it. Lighting is a need,so you’ll find yourself purchasing a light pad and a small frame to rest the pad and the canvas on. Like needlepoint and cross stitch get your readers out you will need them to see and follow the pattern for the tiny print. Those drills I wrote about above for other projects because they seems to multiply like an infestation lol, this in turn leads you to buy extra storage containers for the extra drills left over. So use them up. The waste, every time you buy a Diamond paint kit you also buy the trays, the pens, the baggies which is overwhelming. It’s up to buyers to figure out how to eliminate the waste, you can sell off the extra accessories you end up with or donate them to any organization that encourages crafting, eg. schools, libraries. Some paintings turn out well while other may not. Read the reviews and research.

Since it became a trend, interesting things are now being put together as kits for Diamond Painting. Book markers, key chains, ornaments, decorative discs with lights, decorative pillow covers and leather bound journals.

Here’s some pictures in diamond painting I did and some key chains too.

Butterflies
Cats
Hearts
Owls
Butterflies and Mandalas
Sugar Skulls
Two Happy Skulls- Sold
Nightmare b4xmas Jack & Sally
Celestial Sun
Dragonfly Pillow cover

I should have added about Epoxy Resin. Any Project you do where the DP is not behind a glass or plastic frame you should apply epoxy resin to the drills after you fixed them in place on your canvas. Definitely key chains, or any item that gets moved around or banged around in a bag, etc. Once the epoxy resin dries in about 24 hours the drills and stones are immovable.

To sum up, it’s a nice hobby for people like me who would never attempt paint by numbers, I’m not against it, it’s just not something I would attempt. I actually have bead embroidery kits to do and plan on it next year, but when I need to quiet down and relax I will still make shiny stuff. 🙂

Craft & Curio

This Banner was created by a colleague GloriaJae Design Studio.

What is Craft & Curio? It’s me. My work in progress and completed projects. Craft & Curio will be comprised of a variety of different crafts I enjoy and as well as sharing what I learn from other artists and friends. I want to share events we do and what we showcase. I’d like to write about experiences we have and reach out to a community of crafters and learn from you.