Thank You Marie, Michele and June

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Today I am giving a big virtual hug to three woman who throughout the past year have whetted my crafty appetite with more crafty projects than I can ever hope to complete, have provided continuous exercise for my crafty fingers, and have broadened my crafty horizons by way of amigurumi and knitting/felting and creating beautiful objects from what I used to regard as trash!

Marie Mayhew at Marie Mayhew Designs; June Gilbank at PlanetJune: and Michele Pacey at Michele Made Me

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Thanks to Marie's genius at knit/felt pattern making - and my tendency to love almost everything she designs - I have now had the chance to find out all about "knitter's elbow"! AND I have a whole bunch of adorable gnomes, witches, and santas, Easter eggs and snowmen to show for it!!

And more in the works! Lots more in the works!

I joined Marie's Ravelry Group "Woolly Something" earlier this spring and created that sweet little guy at the top of the page during Marie's Woolly Snowman KAL this spring. You can find Marie on Ravelry here.

And thanks to Marie and her Pinterest Summer Adventure on her other blog "Been There Done Than" (where she tested many of the suggestions she has pinned) - I have discovered Dawn Dish Liquid! Don't laugh! That stuff is amazing! Read her post here, buy a bottle and try it on those pesky grease stains nothing has touched and most likely you will be hooked too! Check out her favorites from the series in this easy little collage.

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Woolly Snowbaby and big brother - image by Marie Mayhew

You can find Marie at Marie Mayhew Designs blog here, the Marie Mayhew Designs Website here and of course my favorite place to visit - her Etsy Shop "Woolly Something" right here!

FYI - Marie's patterns are easy and quick to knit and all of her patterns have been updated so that they are available as a PDF as well as in booklet form. And one of the things I appreciate most about Marie, is that she is constantly sharing new ways to play with her patterns - her little gnome pattern can easily become a santa, a witch or a leprechaun.

And what about that totally adorable snowman above? It happens to be Marie's "giant" adaptation of one of her patterns - Woolly Snowbaby. She used size 15 needles and three strands of yarn. Read more here. I have just completed my own big Woolly Snowbaby. Felting is completed and he is patiently waiting for me to embellish his belly and make him a warm woolly hat and scarf.

Thank you Marie! I have spent many happy hours knitting, felting and finishing your charming, sweet creations; and the happy result - through making your patterns, I have discovered one of my most favorite ways to express my need to make and create! Knitting and felting small scale creatures and objects! Can't wait to begin the pumpkins!

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Michele has singlehandedly brought me back to creating and making with recycled materials. I have a huge respect for how she approaches turning trash into treasure. The items she creates are always beautiful and useful and something that will be kept and used for a long time.

My personal observation of much "recyclable craft" tends, in my opinion, just to be on a brief layover on their way to the dump. I know that is perhaps harsh but there it is. And it is for this reason that I absolutely appreciate Michele and her collection of treasures made using trash - they truly are quite wonderful and likely to be treasured for a long long time.

I could create an awfully long link list here to my favorites - but instead I am linking you to her "recycled" category found on her blog "Michele Made Me". Take some time to just sit and scroll through her projects and be amazed and inspired! Of course recycling is not all she does - check out her other categories as well. You will quickly see why I (and many many others) regard her talent with awe.

Cereal Boxes! Thanks to Michele they have become one of my favorite crafting materials! Last Christmas I used them to create little trees and more recently little woven stars so that I could share the fun of making "wheat straw ornaments" out of something more readily available in most households. I don't know about you - but I love the trees to pieces! More cereal box joy to come to GBSN soon BTW!

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Brigid's Cross  - image made by Michele Pacey

But THIS! OMG! Michele created a Brigid Cross using cardboard strips to help me celebrate Brigid's Day! To my eyes, this is hands down the prettiest Brigid's Cross I have ever laid eye on.

Find out how it is assembled right here! I would have already made one just like it if it weren't for the fact that Michele has me chasing other cereal box rainbows right now!

You can find Michele right here at her blog Michele Made Me. Visit her recyclables category - you will find amazing ways to use foam trays, egg cartons, junk mail, tp rolls, and of course cereal boxes!

Visit her shop Michele Made Me Shop! I have purchased the PDF for several projects and I can tell you with experience behind me - they are beautifully produced and easy to follow. She has just added a new cereal box project here: I think it is a stunning storage solution.

One more place you will find Michele is at The Wreath Blog - although now that she has posted 353 wreaths this past year, she considers the collection complete - at least for now. If you are in serious need of wreath inspiration - this is the place to go first. Just for your convenience she has placed a big orange "view All Wreaths" button in the side bar so you can view all 353 wreaths in "one big scrollable window".

Thank you Michele! I tell you again and again you are my hero and you are! And my recycle muse! Just following your blog and watching you explore the possibilities that present themselves to you is hugely inspirational and an exciting adventure.

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Can anyone hear the word amigurumi and not think immediately of June Gilbank of PlanetJune? Everything I have learned about amigurumi crochet I have learned from June - through her tutorials and her patterns. And she makes it all so easy!

When I first began to learn to crochet, I was practicing on a little ball which employed decreases to shape one end of the ball. The first balls were a rather sorry lot - with gaping holes evenly spaced over the "decrease" surface of the ball. Enter June and her crochet tutorials (right here) and specifically her tutorial for "Invisible Decrease for Amigurumi" here! The "decrease" side of my very next ball was perfect!

I joined in this year for a CAL featuring plants - crochet enthusiasts wishing to join in could crochet any of her "flora" patterns - cactus to flowers. I chose the Bobble Christmas Tree and proceeded to make three of them! You just can't believe how much fun these trees are to crochet!

At Easter - my fiber egg basket was partially filled with June's crocheted Easter Eggs! And now - I am turning my attention to her holiday ornaments pattern because I just MUST have a few on my tree during the holidays!

BTW June, I need a red and white 'shroom ornament pattern really bad!

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Image of Ice Cream Bear taken by June Gilbank

And I have already picked out my Amigurumi project for 2014!!! This totally adorable Ice Cream Bear right here! If I can manage an elephant, I can manage a bear - right? And this one looks soooo sweet and cuddly and touchable!

June hangs out a LOT in her Planet June Ravelry Group here, and almost every month announces a new CAL on her blog PlanetJune. In fact - her newly announced CAL for the month of June is Reptiles and Amphibians - and THAT includes her brilliant dinosaurs!!!

She generously shares free patterns here - everything from cowls to posy blossoms to bowls of pears and apples! You can order her book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi" here, and you can find video tutorials and photo tutorials for everything amigurumi right here.  You might enjoy visiting her two flickr groups: PlanetJune Crochet (items made from June's crochet patterns) and PlanetJune Tutorials Gallery (items made from her free tutorials!) Go visit - you will be inspired - I promise!

Thank you June! You have made my entry into the world of amigurumi crochet painless and enjoyable! I appreciate so very much both your dedication to providing excellent educational tools so that amigurumi is accessible to everyone - AND - the unimaginable hours of work and thought that you put into every tutorial and every pattern. Without you - my decreases would still most likely be full of evenly spaced holes!!!

That cross is amazing!!

That cross is amazing!!

Love the cardboard trees. I

Love the cardboard trees. I made some these last Christmas.

Thank you Melba!  So happy to

Thank you Melba!  So happy to hear people are enjoying them!

Such a wonderful write-up,

Such a wonderful write-up, Pam. It's been so nice getting to know you over the last little while. I'm so glad I've contributed in my little way to inspiring your creating, although I know you are perfectly and wonderfully capable all on your own! Just the same, there's nothing quite like a sweet thank you like this to warm the heart! Thanks so much!



Michele!  You are welcome!

Michele!  You are welcome!  Just so you know - you were at our crafty table (Diand and I) yesterday!  I was sharing with her some very cool ideas your cardboard strips have inspired!  She held one in her hands - it's purpose was to hang on a wall or window - sat her mug of coffee on it and said - there - coaster!

Your friendship and inspiration adds big and little ideas and moments to our lives.

wow. Here's what I've

wow. Here's what I've learned over the past five years. And can you believe it's that long?

I met Diane, who became my idol very quickly, and I worked constantly on crafty objects (not knowing how to knit or crochet or even sew). I found, once I started working with paint, that I loved paint more than anything else. Oh, and markers. So now I work with paper and paint and ink and wax markers and felt markers. But Diane is still my idol.

Diane introduced me to you. Actually, I forced her to tell me where your blog was. And you weren't even scared of me!

I still haven't made a woven heart. I have, however, two of your woven hearts, your tin butterfly, spiders, and your beautiful gourd, up in our living room. In fact, I put the russian nesting doll way down on the bottom shelf, because, seriously. No match for the gourd.

I cherish your ATCs that you painted for me, and your bookmark and the cards with your lovely photographs. But I'm afraid I got rid of much of my 3D items I was collecting and going to use to construct things. My construction skills are not what they used to be. I have a set of PC shapes I bought when I was with Diane in San Luis Obispo, but you know what I'm doing with them? I'm using them as stencils! I paint through them! HAAA!

The beauty of this is that I can still yarn through them if I want to. PC is forever.

The reason I'm blabbing away like this is not only because I'm self involved, but also to say, even when things go too fast or we can't do everything we hope to do, or things change and we can't blog and email like we used to, some things last forever.

But enough about you. My Missouri Pinks are going great! I had to thin them out! (some died) And the Chinese ones almost have to be repotted! In fact, I'd better thin them out! (some may die)


p.s. Frankly, now that you mention it, I have too many tomato plants.

Don't we both?  Have too many

Don't we both?  Have too many tomato plants!  But then - can we ever have too many tomatoes!

I will never forget your support these past five years, Chris especially at the vewry beginning when i was just starting out.  You were always there with encouragement.

And certainly we have gone way beyond being "blogging buddies".  My sweetie and I both consider you our friend. 

Thanks, Pam, for the sweet

Thanks, Pam, for the sweet write-up. You are actually the one who is inspiring here! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with all of us. Keep it up!

Marie, you pointed out just

Marie, you pointed out just recently that our "relationship" began just over a year ago! - The day in fact that I spotted your adorable snowman's face on the sponsor page of  Portland's Rose City Yarn Crawl. 

I followed the link to your online store and the rest is history!!  Happy knitting/felting history!

And the adventure continues!  Planned for this summer - kitties, a big owl, and pumpkins!

aaaw you're sooo right to

aaaw you're sooo right to honour your three crafting friens, sweet of you. Yeaah they are brillaint crafters, but so do you as well.;-D I still be impressed every time i read a new blogpost.  Good luck and fun with all your new plans and idea's to craft. all my love and many dutch hugs jet

Where do I find directions

Where do I find directions for the lovely forest in the first grouping of photos? Thanks!!

Thank you Kat for stopping

Thank you Kat for stopping by!  Regarding the forests in the top image:

The very top forest hosting the little elves is created mostly using the Christmas Trees pattern from PlanetJune's shop here:  

She used a bobble stitch to creat them in amigurumi style and they are lots of fun.  Being a complete novice - despite a few "flaws" in my work - they still are adorable trees!

If you are referring to the trees in the bottom image - the instructions appear right here