Thursday, September 6, 2007

Beaded Crocheted bracelets

I am still fund-raising for Candlelight Books, a literacy program to send used books from the States to remote elementary schools in the Philippines.

Check out my Etsy.Com and buy yourself a bracelet or 2. Some of the proceeds will go to fund the shipping costs for a shipment this September.

Meantime, check out some crocheted and beaded bracelets for sale for only $5 each (plus $4.50 shipping costs).

Many thanks!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Grocery Bag Project

My next project is to crochet my own grocery mesh bags so I may rid our household of the plastic bags that mess up the environment.

Here are the contending patterns I am considering:

DIY Mesh bag pattern
for $1.99

or the long shopping bag

among others.

Hope to get started and will let you know about it!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Photos Into a Baguette

I have always liked photos and I have been daydreaming on crafting them into something I could wear.

Check out Baguettes for some affordable possibilities.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Crocheted and Recycled plastic bags

According to statistics at Reusable Bags.Com:

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.

Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.

As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.

Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.

According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude].

Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.

What a wonderful way to put our crochet skills to work for the earth by crocheting all the plastic grocery bags into a tote bag for, well, groceries etc.

San Francisco is the first city to ban the use of plastic grocery bags and this kind of crafting will definitely help out. I think I will buy a bag or two from Craftykathi and take them to our local Farmer's Market, so I can stuff the produce in there, without having to bag them in plastic.

The bag is easy to clean and will last for many years. Of course, it will save landfill and maybe ocean-floor or beach space because the plastic bags will not float around as trash.

The other bag I found interesting was the Eco-Organic bag for $6.95.

While we're in the subject of recycled bags, I found a couple more interesting one. There's Ecoist--they make the most colorful bags out of candy wrappers.

A Philippine women's coop makes totes from discarded Doy/Juice packs. And many more reusable bag ideas at

Oh, and if you want to crochet your own grocery tote bag out of yarn to rid yourself of the plastic grocery bags, there's a pattern that looks simple at Crochet Me that you would like to try.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More Etsy Inspiration

I don't think I will ever get enough of Etsy. The online array of pretty crafts--from vintage to kitschy, to modern and recycled--seems endless:

This flower pin ($12) is on my wish list. I know it will make a fresh statement for my white t-shirts for summer. Check out the crafter Tamar and her other crafts.

Beads have never been so unique and so much fun to look at. Check out Tsunami Beads:

Collage pendants are my favorite now, but I have no idea how to solder silver or if I am willing to commit to the craft:

Or maybe I could try bamboo tiles:

Actually, I check out their showcase every day, just taking in the creative energy, hoping for inspiration. . .

It's easy to post your creations online at Etsy. It costs just $7. I think about the fabulous Filipino talent back home and how their wares will easily stand out.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Etsy Online--Buy and Sell your Homemade Art

Check out Etsy--the online market for posting your own stuff. They have lots of crocheters, knitters, jewelry, ceramics, and funky artists. I have scoured Ebay and Amazon but Etsy is the champ when it comes to homemade art and crafts.

And if crochet is your craft of choice, check out cute embellishments at Strung Out Design

Check out the cutest vintage-looking pendant and charms from Gee Lizzie, just $10:

How about some doll brooches at Home Artist:

and hats, hats, hats at Tepperwear.

I found precious hand-crafted pendants by Pixnit for $7. Check them out:

They have hand painted furniture, paper art/stationery--everything your crafting heart desires. Who knows, because for only $7 you can post your online store or resources there for 24 hours, you might want to showcase your hidden stash, too?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Exchanging Gifts

This is a special scrap shawl I have just finished. It is a good way to use up all your yarn here and there to create something unique. It is a gift to a good friend who has given me something quite special and different for my birthday last year. Though she gave me a material gift, I cannot peg the value I put on the thoughts that came with it. The only way I can reciprocate is to make her something with my own hands, thinking good intentions for her as I crochet.

I hope she likes it. . .

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I found this flower scarf so pretty. I hope I can decipher the pattern.

Also, my latest project is this crochet bead necklace.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Market Street, San Francisco

Walking down Market Street is one of my big pleasures. There always something to see and artists to watch. I met this man who made pendants out of old spoons, with decoupaged icons pictures, adorned with charms or beads, all for $5.

I also gawked at the little stand of this Asian crocheter, her expert fingers double-crocheting almost unconsciously quick. She must have been in happy place because she did not notice that I was taking photos of her wares. (Crochet is like that--alters your state of consciousness).She churned out pretty bonnets in fun colors (lime, peach, fuschia, aqua) with detachable flower-pins for mix and match. (like peach and lime or pink and white). Bonnets with a flower were snapped at $10 (2 for $8). Her pretty scarves were dotted with flowers ($12 eac, 2 for $20) and the flower pins themselves were sold for $2 each, 3 for $5).

I regret not buying some flower pins because I told myself I could make. But then I haven't had the time nor the pattern. So, I will make sure to go back for some flower pins in the city soon!

Cap and Poncho

I must be truly homesick, as I have turned furiously to my crochet projects. Crochet really rests my mind and my spirit. Mabuti na itong crochet, instead of eating, smoking, or alcohol. The repetition of the stitches has a true calming effect on me, and I take advantage of this natural relaxer, this new-age yoga, everytime I can.

I am proud to post my latest projects--a bonnet and a poncho for my 7-year old daughter. Very timely, I must add, as we are about to enter the Fall season. I will be very happy to see her wear these hand-made knotted patterns, so she may be wrapped around my love all day.

All day is also what I can spend crocheting if I didn't watch it. Time flies so fast when crocheting, it is so amazing! I taught my mom and my cousin recently. I keep telling them I started with uneven and ugly squares also. Now, they keep complaining that they just can't stop! My mom, at least, finds relief for her insomnia. And I can't tell you how nice it is to have your yarn while you wait for someone or when en route on the bus or BART.

I don't know if I saved money by crocheting my originals but I know for sure that crochet saved me a lot of despair and confusion by steadying my spirit, ridding me of many angry feelings, and connecting me with my inner self.

Oh and don't worry, this blog will not be a showcase of my primitive efforts. I am only a beginner. But I aspire to get better soon. I am inspired and fascinated with the skill of the masters that chain out things so beautiful, I am breathless at the very sight of them. Ihope this site and the links I will find will inspire you, too!

Crochet and my Spirit

crocheting is one of my most favorite things to do. though i was no good at it at grade school home economics class, i picked it up quite late when my tita bing offered to teach me how to make glass holders she used to give us as christmas presents. another aunt, tita ceci, taught me how to read patterns. i have been hooked ever since. this is a picture of a bedspread i put together for my daughters, inspired by our local warm up america chapter. donating squares is one of my best things to do.

before you think i am turning into a granny on a rocker, hold on. crochet is not an old thing at all. when the hands are busy, the mind wanders off. when i crochet, i am transported into another world. in this world, my spirit awaits. as my fingers are now graceful with the hook and as i knot the thread or yarn in repeated patterns, my mind flits away into a dimension of quiet. alone with myself is where i find my wise voice, the one that drowns in the physical and busy, noisy world--but it is also the voice that is steady, loving, and always waiting for me, eloquent, ageless, and timeless when i want to listen.

so my spirit and i tell stories like old friends. we go through my life so far together, like a slideshow. there is no judgement, no guilt. we just go through a slideshow and skip it if it's too overwhelming to process at the moment. i realize my spirit is kind and she doesn't scold or scoff, and the insight she offers is always genius.

i realize i am closest to my Creator when i am one with my spirit.

while crocheting, i thought of a business. while crocheting, i thought of writing. while crocheting, i heard a message to teach a quilting class from the scraps i had from my clothing business. while crocheting, i thought of saving the earth. while crocheting, i realized that i haven't spent one-on-one time with one of my kids and that the other day, she seemed forlorn. while crocheting, i realized the kind gestures of my husband the other day but at that time, i was too busy to recognize. and so while crocheting, i realized that i was loved by my husband and my children, and how lucky i am to be with them, how beautiful life is.

paradoxically, while crocheting, i am free from body and boundaries. i am not a mother, wife, daughter, friend. i am just me. sometimes the possibilities are infinite, its profoundly overwhelming because i may be vaguely shown the answers to my life's problems and i am overwhelmed! and so my spirit gives me a chance to take it or judge it as impossible, or to leave it to settle in for another time. to be at this state is incredibly peaceful--my elementary words cannot articulate a dimension with none.

i am not only restored by crochet, i am recharged. sometimes, i can crochet way til midnight when inspired by the Holy Spirit. to make something out of balls of thread makes me feel alive. and the conversations i have when i am so near the Lord sure beats going to mass on sundays when no one is listening to the priest.

it has been said that crochet is the new yoga. now i know why. it is also a venue towards deep prayer for me.

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, linked creativity and spirituality by showing that a higher power connects the human creativity with the creative energies of the universe. she said that it is when one is creative that God speaks to her.

i hope you find your venue to being with your spirit. sometimes it could be walking or running alone, music, writing, painting, beading, scrapbooking. it was albert einstein who said "imagination is greater than knowledge." try to leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous--you will find the answers you are looking for.

for all crocheters and knitters out there, check out Save the Children and find out how you can save premature babies survive by stitching a bonnet to keep them warm.