Saturday, June 11, 2011

Of Ninjas and Crochet

True happiness--how do we know if we have found it? I have ALWAYS found it difficult to answer that question. I am pretty easy to please, but then in the back of my mind there's a little voice asking, "Is this it, or is there something better?"

It took a lot of courage to step back and examine my life, as objectively and honestly as possible. I decided that unless I try to make changes, I'll never grow as a person, as a writer, and as a crafter. I had interpreted the happiness I felt as contentedness, when it really was COMPLACENCY.

And so, I covered my eyes and took that leap into unchartered territory--in my full-time work, in my craft, and in my personal life. I'm really hoping it all pays off. After all, I didn't rush into it unprepared--I have my God, my family and friends at my back. :)

Of Ninjas
I quit from my (stable, relatively high-income, low-effort) day job. I really want to grow as a person, and I think that in my new job, I will get tons of opportunities to do just that. I now work as content writer for Lemonade Stand Media, an advertising company that wants to explore the new frontier in media: the online universe. We have a group buy site: Right now, that is our focus. Aside from writing content for the site, I also play a role in promoting it through different social media channels.(Please click the link to see more ninjas :D)

Of Crochet
I have been writing for Crochet Spot since November 2010. I love helping people learn more about crochet, and writing patterns for them to enjoy (plus it doesn't hurt to have a little extra income doing something you like doing anyway). Rachel (founder of Crochet Spot and crochet superwoman) has been a very considerate and generous person in my life. Recently she asked me to write patterns for the Crochet Spot Store and of course, I was only too happy to oblige! So far I have had the pleasure of submitting two patterns for her, and I'm working on a fabulous third. ;)

I don't know when Ravelry started doing this, but boy oh boy, how happy am I that I can now share all of my patterns with non-Ravelers!

And Another Thing...
Another BIG change is coming to the artful hooker.


The artful hooker is getting married! (It's kind of weird talking about myself in the third person) :D To a civil engineer I met in college. To me he represents a lot of firsts (first boyfriend, first kiss), and I look forward to sharing more "firsts" with him, our families, and our friends. The wedding is about eight months away, and I'm happy to report that I have not (yet) become a bridezilla. :)

I'm not sure where all of these changes will take me, but I have steadfast faith that EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT. :)

Cheers to change, happiness, and love!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

P.S. I Made This...

So I can't believe I just found this site:

It's a site for all the girly-girls out there; doesn't matter if you haven't done a DIY project at all before. New York-based Erika Domesek ('s founder) explains all the steps in every oh-so-stylish project through a single collage-style photo! And don't worry, she also makes tutorial videos for her DIY projects.

Here's my favorite so far: her chunky pearl necklace. It's a great way to recycle all those pearl or bead strands you've grown tired of wearing, or have faded in some parts.

Fabulous, no? :) Happy crafting!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lovin' Lace

Lately I've been fascinated with lace. I only learned this week the different textures for lace like Chantilly and Duchesse. So lovely and romantic--each one more intricate and detailed than the next.

I'm so thankful that I know how to crochet. This lets me achieve that lacy look without spending too extravagantly! I love the designs of crocheted lace by Doris Chan, Vashti Braha, Lily Go and our very own Mimi Alelis. I even love the look of freeform lace (by Myra Wood) even though I don't personally like making freeform crochet all that much.

So for those whose interest I managed to get piqued, I'm sharing with you the link to the latest free ebook from Interweave Crochet:

"Crochet Lace Pattern #1
Corset Belt by Sandi Wiseheart— Inspired by such Hollywood stars as Queen Latifah, this easy crochet lace corset is crocheted using suede and accented with three crocheted flowers. Corset belts can be worn high or low, to accentuate your own favorite curves."

"Crochet Lace Pattern #2
 Broomstick Lace Capelet by Kate Pullen
—Looking from broomstick lace patterns? Light and airy, the Broomstick Lace Capelet by Kate Pullen combines mohair and silk yarn with broomstick lace to create a capelet with the perfect combination of elegance and practicality. Surprisingly warm, this accessory highlights the beauty of broomstick crochet. Stylish enough for an evening out and cozy enough for a stroll by the water, the capelet makes a beautiful addition to many outfits."

"Crochet Lace Pattern #3
 Crocus Scarf by Laura Rintala
—The Crocus Scarf by Laura Rintala lends the perfect crocheted lace touch to your spring ensemble. This easy crochet lace pattern is crocheted from luscious silk and begins with a simple fan-lace pattern."

"Crochet Lace Pattern #4
 Tunisian Lace Ascot by Ellen K. Gormley
— If you want to learn Tunisian crochet, the Tunisian Lace Ascot by Ellen K. Gormley is a great introduction to this technique. This quick and simple crochet lace scarf transitions seamlessly through the seasons, and the easily memorized crochet lace pattern makes it an ideal travel project. Though simple, the result is elegant and practical."

"Crochet Lace Pattern #5
 Victorian-Inspired Lace Bracelet by Sarah Read
— Don’t let the tiny hook and thread fool you—this charming crochet lace pattern works up quickly. The Victorian-Inspired Lace Bracelet by Sarah Read is reminiscent of historic thread crochet. Inspired by vintage Weldon's patterns, this charming lace bracelet makes a fast gift and shifts effortlessly from elegant to modern."

Of all these patterns, I've only made the bracelet (and I made it a looong time ago!). I made a few variations, though: I made a strap with an improvised, crocheted toggle clasp for easier closure. Here are a few pictures, and you can see my Ravelry project page for it, too:

I do love the Tunisian ascot and broomstick lace capelet! I don't see any practical uses for those though... *sigh* But it's always great to learn a new crochet technique. :)

Happy hooking!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Totally Crocheted Apartment

Madness. Crochet madness, that is.

It's what came to my mind as I browsed through the photos of the "World's First Thoroughly Crocheted Apartment."

I mean, I love crochet, and I love art. I even love me some crocheted art. But... Why. Why?? WHY?!?!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework

The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework
I was so happy to see this book on sale at my favorite bookstore. I went into the store just planning to browse through their craft books for inspiration... But then this beauty presents itself to me, with a heaven-sent 40% off tag to boot!

I love reading it. Somehow, while reading it my posture is ramrod straight. I instantly feel maidenly and proper. I guess Madam Therese's voice transcends through all those translations--I feel like a private tutor bent on my social survival is constantly chastising me. LOL.

Even though the language is a little outdated, I love the comprehensive coverage of everything yarny and thready and hooky and needly. Every time I pick up the book, I learn something new.

Plus, this handy dandy color wheel comes with it! It's placed in the back of the book, sort of where an accompanying CD would have been placed for something like a concise encyclopedia. How eminently proper for something so properly crafty. :)

I absolutely recommend getting a copy. For a craft compendium, it's actually portable! And it's a true timeless classic you'll consult over and over again.