PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

Archive for August, 2008

needlebook and pincushion set

You may remember my Offset Square Wrist Pincushion tutorial from a year ago. I still use my pig pincushion every time I work on a sewing project, and it’s really made a difference to me (no more lost pins to be discovered on the floor or stuck in the sofa weeks later!). But now I have the pins under control, I notice all the more how often I lose a needle. I’ve luckily never found one the painful way (by standing/sitting on it), although I did once find a lost needle embedded in the sole of my shoe! That was a lucky escape for my foot, as I rarely wear shoes in my house; I don’t think I’d be that lucky a second time, so it’s high time I fix this problem…

I still have some of the same pig fabric in my stash, so I designed a little needlebook to match the pincushion. Those little piggies still make me smile!

needlebook and pincushion by planetjune

This needlebook has a ribbon and button closure, and two felt pages inside to accommodate the needles. As well as a variety of sizes of regular sewing needles, I’ve put some self-threading needles in the needlebook. (I first heard about these needles from Kathy and they really come in handy for the most boring part of a sewing project: finishing off all those loose ends of thread. If you machine sew, I do suggest you pick up a packet – they really speed up that process!)

needlebook and pincushion by planetjune

The needlebook is large enough not to get lost but small enough to be convenient, and the needles stay safely inside the book until they are needed. I was thinking of adding a pocket too (for a needle threader and/or mini sewing scissors), but I think I’d prefer to keep it as it is.

I do love these quick easy projects, especially when they cost nothing because I have all the materials already! Plus, having a matched set makes me very happy. Hopefully my new needlebook will be just as useful as the pincushion has proved to be…

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hummingbird pop up card

I’ve just reviewed this pattern for Folding Trees, and here’s the hummingbird card I made. Isn’t it gorgeous? And it looks a lot more complicated to make than it really is!

hummingbird pop-up card made by planetjune

Click through to Folding Trees this week to read my review of the pattern and to enter our contest to win a pattern of your choice from Easy Cut Pop-up, the people who designed the amazing hummingbird above and many more wonderful pop-up card designs!

You can now see my review of the Easy Cut Pop-up pattern, below.

PS – Thank you to everyone for the Discworld love! Many of you have asked, so I’m in the process of writing another post about it, to give you a bit of insight into how I designed the Disc to make the landmasses – watch this space…


Review: Easy Cut Pop-up Cards

This review was originally published on my old papercraft site, Folding Trees.

Kirigami is a Japanese art similar to origami, but with kirigami you cut the paper as well as folding it, making it easier to create more complex shapes. Easy Cut Pop-up specialize in unique pop-up cards patterns with beautiful kirigami designs, such as the above koala and joey card. All their designs look wonderful, but are they really easy to make? I was given the opportunity to try one of their patterns, so I can now answer that question for you with this review!

I downloaded my pattern, the Hummingbird pattern, as a pdf file. The file includes the pattern pages and pages with pictorial instructions. The website also includes links to YouTube videos of each model being assembled – what a great idea! I would recommend you watch the video all the way through before you start your model, to get some familiarity with the process.

To begin, you need 3 or 4 sheets of letter-sized cardstock (you could probably also use heavyweight paper).

June’s Tip: at my local craft store, the only letter-sized cardstock I could find came in packs of 50 or 100 sheets, and the colours weren’t great either. Try checking out the scrapbooking section, which has individual sheets of paper and cardstock, in a much wider range of colours, patterns and textures. I bought 3 sheets of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper and trimmed them down to 8.5″x11″. Much cheaper, and I got to pick the colours I really wanted!

Print the pattern pages directly onto your cardstock. Score the sheets along all the dashed lines, then fold each sheet in half along the marked fold. Cut along all the solid lines with scissors, cutting through both thicknesses of cardstock. The scoring took only seconds to complete. The cutting took a little longer, because it pays to cut accurately along the lines. The advantage of these designs is that, as each piece is symmetrical, you cut both sides at once, saving on half the cutting!

June’s Tip: make sure you have some comfortable, sharp scissors to cut the cardstock with. My scissors weren’t comfortable to begin with, and my hand was hurting by the end. In any of your crafting, if your hand does start to hurt, TAKE A BREAK.  

hummingbird pop-up card in progress

Now for the fine folding and assembly. Fold all the pieces along each fold line. This was the only step I had a slight problem with – I couldn’t figure out whether to make one fold forwards or backwards. It was easily solved though – I just revisited the YouTube video, skipped through to the part I was stuck on, and found the answer within a few seconds. Assembly was very simple – the pieces are cleverly designed to slot together easily.

And wow… the result is amazing! It really was quick and easy to make. This is my finished hummingbird card:

hummingbird pop-up card made by planetjune

I have never made a pop-up card or done kirigami before, and this pattern made the process really simple. I highly recommend Easy Cut Pop-Up card patterns if you want to make spectacular, unique cards for your friends and family (there is even an option to print your own message on the front of the card!), or display the finished cards as beautiful artwork.

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Amigurumi Discworld

Looking to buy a Discworld pattern or a finished Discworld?
See my Amigurumi Discworld info page.

In general, I’m not one for picking favourites, but ever since I was first introduced to Terry Pratchett’s books at age 11-ish, I have bought and loved every single one of his books. I even have two copies of some of them! In my student days, while I still lived in the UK, I queued for hours at book signings so I could spend a few seconds with the man himself, and he was unfailingly nice every time.

Since I made my sea turtle in March, I had a feeling it reminded me of something… Then it came to me: most of Terry’s books are set on the Discworld: a flat world carried through space on the backs of four elephants who themselves stand on the shell of the giant star turtle, Great A’tuin… (Google image search if you don’t know what I’m talking about 🙂 )

The idea to make a crocheted Discworld has been running around inside my head ever since. I thought it would make a wonderful art piece, so I’ve been slowly designing and assembling the pieces to create my Discworld model. I made sure the size for my small elephant design would fit on the turtle’s back… I spent hours studying, sketching, simplifying and photoshopping the Discworld Mapp so I could recreate it in cotton yarn (and my process for that would take up a whole post by itself)…

And, finally, today it has all come together with the finishing touches to the fourth elephant. Drumroll please… In honour of the genius of Terry Pratchett and his books (and totally unauthorized, so I hope he won’t take offence), allow me to present the Amigurumi Discworld:

crocheted Discworld by planetjune

crocheted Discworld by planetjune

crocheted Discworld by planetjune

Small print: Discworld is © Terry Pratchett. I have made my homage only for fun, not profit. I don’t have the rights to create a crochet pattern based on the Discworld, so please don’t ask me to do so 🙂

Please leave me a comment if you like my work – your words mean a lot to me!

UPDATED 5 Sep 08: I have just posted a Discworld update. Terry himself has seen the pics and commented! And I have added some details on how I made the Disc.

Looking to buy a Discworld pattern or a finished Discworld?
See my Amigurumi Discworld info page.

Comments (77)

I’m a teacher!

…or at least, I’m going to be. The brochure for the Fall Creativ Festival in Toronto just arrived:

creativ festival brochure

And let’s have a look at page 42. See anything familiar?

creativ festival brochure

That’s right – I’ll be teaching a crochet class to make my PocketAmi Mouse and Bunny! Unfortunately for my marketing, the keyword PlanetJune is missing from my blurb (how did that happen?!), but luckily my name isn’t very common so I hope people reading the brochure will google me if they want to know more about me.

For anyone who might be in the area, the show runs October 17-19th 2008, so make a note in your diary to keep the weekend free – it’s going to be a great show! For more info on the show, see the Creativ Festival website.

My class is on Saturday 18th from 11am to 12.30pm, and I’ll be at the A Needle Pulling Thread booth all day on Saturday when I’m not teaching, so please remember to stop by and say hello to me. (I’ll be easy to spot: I’ll be the one surrounded by crocheted animals!)

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tunisian scarflet finished

Way back in February I posted some crochet WIPs. I finished the granny square throw shortly afterwards, but never quite got around to finishing this scarflet:

wip: tunisian scarflet

Once winter ended, it seemed a bit strange to be working on a scarf. Plus, it’s my first attempt at tunisian crochet, and the stitch pattern is a bit complicated, so every time I picked it up, I had to relearn the stitches. But I had some time this week, so I decided to finally finish it so it’ll be ready for the cold weather. And here it is, ready to wear:

tunisian scarflet

I used Bernat Bamboo yarn in Dill. It’s a wonderfully soft yarn, with none of the itch factor that I normally get from yarn against my neck. These photographs really don’t do it justice: the lovely subtle green shade just refuses to photograph properly.

I decided to carry on the ‘natural’ theme from the bamboo yarn (it really is made from 89% bamboo!) and I found these sweet little wooden buttons with a woodburned flower design to finish it off:

tunisian scarflet button detail

A scarflet is such a clever little design; here’s a little picture of me to give you an idea of how it works:

tunisian scarflet in use

I enjoyed the tunisian crochet, although I think I should have started with a simpler stitch for my first attempt. With hindsight, I see that the Bamboo yarn doesn’t have good stitch definition, so I could have made the scarflet with a basic tunisian stitch and got the same effect in much less time.

But overall, I love the scarflet. Almost enough to make me look forward to winter (okay, not quite that much)! I can’t wait to wear it; the yarn is dreamily soft, and the tunisian crochet makes it thick and warm whilst avoiding the bulk of having a scarf wrapped around and around my neck.

Comments (7)

how to crochet a miniature schnauzer pup

Since I posted pics of my crocheted miniature schnauzer puppy, I’ve received several requests for a pattern. There is no pattern as such, as it was a hybrid between my AmiDogs designs and Roman Sock’s brushed crochet idea. But you can recreate my hybrid to make a dog of your own, using this magic formula:

miniature schnauzer recipe

Not enough information? Read on for more detailed instructions…

Ingredients

Method

  1. Find an appropriate yarn (see the Brushed Crochet tutorial for yarn ideas) – I used Patons Spirit. You only need one colour of yarn.
  2. Crochet the pieces for the Boston Terrier, following the pattern as written, except for the following points:
    • Use a size G or H (4.5-5mm) crochet hook
    • Ignore the colour changes and work all stitches in the same yarn.
    • Use 12mm animal eyes as your puppy will be larger than the Boston Terrier (it’s approx 9 inches in length)
  3. Brush out all the pieces (see the Brushed Crochet tutorial for instructions).
  4. Sew the pieces together as per the Boston Terrier pattern. I made my schnauzer sit by positioning the back legs alongside the body instead of underneath, but either standing or sitting is fine. The tail should be sewn on at the very back of the body, pointing down, not sticking up as with the Boston.
  5. Fold the ears forward and secure in this position. (If you need more help with this step, you can find more detailed illustrated instructions in my AmiDogs Jack Russell Terrier pattern).
  6. Brush the finished dog some more to disguise the joins.
  7. Trim the long hair on the dog’s muzzle into a schnauzer-y shape 🙂

Enjoy your cute little schnauzer puppy!

miniature schnauzer by planetjune

FYI, if you would like to buy both Boston Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier patterns, they are also available as part of AmiDogs Set 2.

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tissue paper carnations

This week on Folding Trees, I am running a daily series on different types of paper flowers. To get things started, I followed a few online tutorials to make tissue paper flowers, but the end results looked really childish – not the elegant decorative look I like. So I had a think and came up with my own method to make these tissue paper carnations.

paper carnations by planetjune

I think they look lovely – the darker petal edges add a lot of realism and give the flowers a more professional finish. My inspiration was some beautiful carnations I was given last winter (thank you, library friends!):

carnations

And here is a close-up of my paper version – pretty similar, don’t you think?

paper carnations by planetjune

If you’d like to see how to make your own, check out my tutorial on Folding Trees!

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    June Gilbank

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