Hooked & Stitched–Mystery Garden Wall Hanging

This is the first time I attempt to weave on rug canvas so I purposely painted it with Lumiere paint so the bits showing would add to the design. I do think it turned out extra color crazy. All I know is that I had so much fun creating this–mostly because I took the attitude that anything goes. I just had a vague idea in mind, began choosing fabrics and colors, and couldn’t stop until it was finished. Luckily I found a beautiful branch that adds a special touch.

Mystery Garden - Hooked & Stitched
Mystery Garden Wall Hanging – Hooked & Stitched

The design includes locker hooking, weaving, stitching and crochet. I used a variety of Color Crazy fabric strips including Hand-dyed cotton, cotton plaid, Poppana, woven cotton, Satinique (poly) strips, metallic yarns and cotton twine. The fringe includes crocheted yarn and twine beads.

Mystery Garden Wall Hanging in the Making
Mystery Garden Wall Hanging in the Making – Clockwise from top left: weaving in the background foliage with a locker hook on painted canvas; deciding whether to locker hook top frame; time to sew-in tails, pull up and snip where acceptable; the back view with tails.
Locker Hooked Mystery Garden Wall Hanging
Locker Hooked Mystery Garden Wall Hanging

The inspiration for this design definitely came from a recent visit to the Provence region in France where summer colors were beginning to bloom.  I’m so inspired by the tissage (woven) wall hanging designs I’ve seen there and online. I’m also always inspired by the creative stitches of my own customers like Brazilian Artisan Crafter Sumara Ghizze Pio. I must try this again with a different Color Crazy palette–maybe more weaving and crochet.

 

 

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Colorful & Delicious Zucchini Tagliatelle Recipe

Quite often I find I don’t have a single idea in mind for dinner. It’s the ultimate challenge. I take a look in the fridge and try and draw inspiration from what I see. On this particular evening I felt lucky. I saw mushrooms, a red onion (I love mushrooms and onions!), Aidell’s Organic Chicken Sausage and some veggies. What I came up with is a zucchini tagliatelle that turned out delicious and definitely low carb.  I could have had two servings! Here’s the recipe:

Zucchini Tagliatelle
Zucchini Tagliatelle
Recipe: Zucchini Tagliatelle with Mushrooms and Chicken Sausage
Ingredients:
  • 4 – 5 Medium organic zucchini or a combination of summer squash & green zucchini sliced length-wise into approximately 1/8″ thick pieces that are about 1/2″ wide with mandolin and/or sharp knife.  See photo below.
  • 2 medium organic vine-ripened tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups diced heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 Aidell’s Organic Sweet Basil & Roasted Garlic Sausages (or another favorite) diced large
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms and/or a combination of crimini, shitake, & porcini–your choice
  • 1/2 sliced medium red onion or a sweet onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves (or 4 medium) minced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari sauce
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, butter or olive oil for sauteing
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dry Italian herbs — combination of oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil Leaves — tear leaves from stems. Save two small clusters for presentation.
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese shavings. Save some for presentation.
  • 1/4  - 1/3 cup dry Chardonnay wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 2 – 4 depending on size of servings

Zucchini Sliced with a Mandolin Cutter
Example of Zucchini Sliced with a Mandolin Cutter
Instructions:

Brown the diced sausages in large saute pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee or butter on medium heat. Once browned, add sliced onions and saute until translucent. Add two tablespoons olive oil, ghee or butter, minced garlic, dry herbs and mushrooms. Saute until caramelized. Splash on 2 tablespoons of Tamari sauce and saute for 1 minute. Add wine to deglaze pan and stir until almost evaporated. Add diced tomatoes and saute until tomatoes are soft and incorporated. Season at this point with salt and pepper if needed. Add sliced zucchini and/or summer squash. Gently fold in pan to incorporate. Cover and simmer on low heat until zucchini is almost translucent. Al dente is preferable. Remove from heat. Tear basil leaves and add to pan. Top with cheese shavings ( save some for the presentation). Fold over very gently to incorporate basil and cheese. Cover for approximately 2 minutes to melt cheese. Serve immediately with sprinkled cheese shavings and a small sprig or two of fresh basil. Enjoy!

By the way, if your sensitive to lactose or on a dairy-free diet like the Paleo diet, just leave out the Ghee and cheese. You can also saute in chicken broth.

Disclaimer: I’m by no means a trained professional. I just love to cook and hardly ever use a recipe. So try this and adjust as needed.

 

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New Colorful Items & Locker Hooking Bracelet Kits – 15% Off

What will you craft this summer? Color Crazy has some great summer crafting ideas. Check out the new bracelet kits in some fun summer colors and the new Satinique fabric strips for locker hooking, crochet, knitting, mixed media and other craft ideas. 15% Off until July 15 with code:

Summer Colors

Color Crazy locker hooking Bracelet kits are available in a variety of rich colors and include all materials–canvas, Color Crazy hand-dyed cotton strips, Satinique fabric strips, ribbon for framing, and locking medium. Locker hooking tools sold separately.

Also new this month antique metal claps. Locker hook a beautiful belt.

color-crazy-bracelet-kits-locker-hooking

 

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Craft Recipe: DIY Party Lantern or Color Crazy Fern Ball

You’ve probably seen these types of paper party lanterns. They’re inexpensive and come in different colors. Well, I recently finished my own version of a party lantern and thought I should share. My neighbor asked if I could help by creating it for a fundraiser to benefit the Bouverie Preserve, and I thought sure, why not? This is a  fun project you can do with kids or a group of friends to create colorful party lanterns for a special event.

Color Crazy Party Lantern
Color Crazy Fern Ball

This is also a great way to use up leftover strips of fabric, ribbon and yarn. I got a little color crazy and painted it with Lumiere luminescent paints–this way it would cast a shimmery glow when lit up– glued on a little fuzzy yarn (you’ll need some patience if you plan to glue yarn on a big lantern), and strung up the bottom with lots of Color Crazy Fabric Strips and ribbons tied on to locker hooking canvas. The theme was the Bouverie Preserve so I called this the Color Crazy Fern Ball.

Here’s a close up of the fringed lantern:

Lantern fringed bottom created with lots of Color Crazy fabric strips and ribbons
Lantern fringed bottom created with lots of Color Crazy fabric strips and ribbons

Color Crazy Lantern Craft Recipe

Ingredients:
Paper Lanterns–Buy white if you want to paint them, or you can find different colors and sizes at Luna Bazaar at great prices. They also have the led lights for lighting them up.

  • 3.75 Mesh Canvas–3″high and long enough to wrap and overlap to make a round circle that fits the bottom of your lantern
  • Lumiere luminescent paint or other paints of your choice
  • Fringed novelty yarn of your choice for added texture
  • Lots of colorful fabric strips and ribbons to create the fringed bottom. I used the Color Crazy hand-dyed fabric strips, the Color Crazy Satinique fabric strips and some leftover bits of sheer ribbon.
  • Fast drying glue like Quick Grip. You can also use Elmer’s glue.

Tools:

  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes
  • Tapestry needle and locker hook or crochet hook

    Satinique Fabric Strips
    Satinique Fabric Strips

 Instructions:

  1. Paint: If you plan to paint, prepare and protect your area with newspaper or a drop cloth. Follow instructions to open up your lantern and set up. Paint one side first, let dry. Once dry, turn over and paint other side. I chose the Lumiere in Citrine to paint the whole lantern. I then used the Halo Blue Gold color to paint my version of ferns.
  2. Optional: Attach yarn. Create a pattern with glue. Go one small area at a time…let the glue dry a bit and get tacky and then attach yarn. Use adhesive in a well ventilated area. You can also attach other embellishments like paper or fabric flowers.
  3. Create Rug Canvas Tube: Paint the locker hooking canvas and let dry. Fold over long edges and wrap to form circle. Tie together or use tapestry needle to whip stitch edges and form circle. color-crazy-locker-hooking-canvas-lantern
  4. Create Fringe:  Cut long pieces of fabric strips and ribbon and/or yarn too–about 6 – 9 inches depending on the size of your lantern. Tie strips to canvas starting at the bottom and working your way up to the top. Use the locker hook to pull strips through canvas and tie on. Skip a row or two depending on coverage needed. Alter colors so there’s a good mix and alter lengths also. Continue to tie on until canvas is completely covered. Use scissors to snip edges at an angle and create the fringed look.
  5. Tie Fringe Tube on Lantern: Use the tapestry needle and long pieces of fabric strips to tie the fringed tube onto the bottom of the lantern. You will need poke through the paper at the bottom of the lantern and tie to the aluminum wire securing the edge. Create ties with fabric strips around the top circle of the tube and tie on to the lantern. You can tie knots and create bows to add more texture to the bottom.
  6. Ready for the party: Hang your lantern and enjoy!gocolor-crazy-craft-recipe-party-lantern-fringe-tube

 

 

 

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Sweet Peppers Mat in Spicy Colors – Free locker hooking pattern

Piment d'Esplette Peppers

Piment d’Esplette Peppers

If you’ve read my books, you know that I’m always inspired by what grows in my garden…and recently, I discovered the Pimente d’Esplette peppers from the Basque region in Spain. They’re sweet and mildly spicy. Great for cooking and making sauces. They originated in Mexico and were introduced in France during the 16th century. They’re planted and growing in my garden right now.  I love growing things as much as I love locker hooking so I couldn’t help but locker hook this simple but highly textural design in some spicy colors. The result was a super colorful design and a free pattern for my Color Crazy site.

Locker Hooked Sweet Peppers Mat

Locker Hooked Sweet Peppers Mat – 9 x 9″

 I used some of the new Color Crazy Satinique strips to add some shimmering color and the Color Crazy Poppana strips to add texture. So much fun to create this!

I also used the Ruched Frames technique I introduced in my Locking Loops book to give the peppers some body and give the design some depth.  I started out by locker hooking the peppers in three different shades and then changed back to two for balance. The middle pepper is stitched in Ruby Satinique.

Sweet Peppers design locker hooked with ruched frames

Sweet Peppers design locker hooked with ruched frames

If you’d like to try this design, it’s pretty easy if you know how to locker hook (If you haven’t locker hooked before, learning just takes a little time locker hooking until you get the hang of it). Check out the free Sweet Peppers Mat/Trivet Pattern at this link.

I think a backing in a linen burlap will help finish it nicely. I’m thinking I’ll just have to make this a trio of designs–like the Garden Trivet Trio in my Hook, Loop & Lock book. Next up eggplant, tomatoes…or maybe some tri-color carrots.

Sweet peppers mat in Satinique fabric strips, Poppana, & hand-dyed cotton.

Sweet peppers mat in Satinique fabric strips, Poppana, & hand-dyed cotton.

 

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Hooked, Stitched & Colorful: Layers of Texture in Designs

Brazilian Artist Using Unique Texture Adding Technique for Locker Hooked Designs

I recently discovered some amazing designs. Some artisan crafters are using layers and combining varied materials to create wonderfully textured, colorful designs.

The designs below are from Brazilian artisan crafter Sumara Ghizze Pio. She locker hooks panels and layers with stitches, felt pieces and beads to add texture. She says she uses materials that would otherwise be discarded–upcycling to create beautiful tote bags and wall art.

Locker Hooked Tote Bag Design by Sumara Ghizze Pio.

Locker Hooked Panel on Tote Bag Design by Sumara Ghizze Pio.

Framed locker hooked panel by Sumara Ghizze Pio

Framed locker hooked panel by Sumara Ghizze Pio

 

Sumara Ghizze Pio's Locker Hooked Panel Design for Tote Bag

Sumara Ghizze Pio’s Locker Hooked Panel Design for Tote Bag

Want to create a similar look? Try locker hooking designs using a variety of materials… Cotton fabric strips, wool yarn, and silk strips for your base and yarn stitches for accents. For extra texture, cut or tear strips of woven fabrics like cotton voile, denim, linen, knits like t-shirt fabric or osnaburg. Layer additional accents with cut pieces of fabric and beads. Get creative with color and mix it up. For color inspiration, try Color Crazy’s Explore Color Collection–great packages of wonderful pre-cut fabric strips in surprising and fun color combinations.

 

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Locker Hooked Photo Box with Texture–Color Crazy Craft Recipe

Since I love to cook, I love collecting, altering and creating my own recipes. So…why not “Color Crazy Craft Recipes?”– Fun recipes to get you started that you can make all your own. I’m starting the first batch of craft recipes with the Locker Hooked Photo Box. These photo boxes are beautiful on their own, but you can also locker hook a ruched frame to add a hand-crafted touch. You can use these as beautiful photo frames and gift boxes. Choose your own colors to customize.

Color Crazy Craft Recipe: Locker Hooked Photo Box

Color Crazy Photo Box with Locker Hooked & Ruched Frame

Color Crazy Photo Box with Locker Hooked & Ruched Frame – Gift Certificate Inside! I used this one as a wedding gift.

 Color_Crazy_craft_recipe_photo_box_ruched_frame_blog
Locker Hooked Photo Box

Slip in a 3″ x 4″ photo or a greeting or a simple “thank you!” for a gift. I used the gray one above to give a gift certificate as a wedding gift. To get started, choose a box in a favorite color. I chose the Color Crazy Orange/Tangerine Plaid ribbon first and it matched the yellow, orange and fuchsia boxes but I thought yellow worked best.

Color Crazy Photo Boxes in Yellow, Orange, and Fuchsia

Color Crazy Photo Boxes in Yellow, Orange, and Fuchsia

There’s a variety of fun colors to choose from to make your own…

Color Crazy Photo Boxes

Color Crazy Photo Boxes

Learn more about how to create ruched frames in the Locking Loops book.

 Ingredients

Supplies for Color Crazy Photo Gift Box

Ingredients for Color Crazy Locker Hooked Photo Gift Box

  1.  5-mesh canvas – 49 x 38 squares
  2.  Color Crazy Photo Box
  3.  20 yds. 3/4″W Color Crazy Plaid Strips (or your own color choices)
  4.  12 – 14 yds. 1/2″W Color Crazy Fuchsia Strips
  5.  3 – 4 yds. 1/2″W  Color Crazy Rayon Ribbon in Orange Creamsicle
  6.  Optional: additional ribbon or yarn to add more texture
  7.  Locking Medium–Matching yarn or black sturdy medium weight acrylic blend
  8.  Ruched Frame Padding–Bulky yarn
  9.  Card stock
  10.  Quick Grip Fast Drying Adhesive or similar glue
photo_box_ruched_frame_pattern

Pattern for Photo Box Frame

Tools

  1. locker hook
  2. tapestry needle #13
  3. clamps or clothespins
  4. scissors

 Instructions

  1. Cut canvas piece – 49 x 38 squares. Fold over edges shown by gray in pattern above.
  2. Cut out the rectangle frame and secure edges with a bead of Quick Grip glue. Let dry.
  3. Use tapestry needle and Color Crazy Rayon Ribbon to frame all edges.
  4. Use locker hook and black or matching yarn with Color Crazy Fuchsia Fabric Strips to locker hook frame, sew in tails to finish.
  5. Use tapestry needle and bulky yarn to sew on ruched frame padding to desired thickness.
  6. Use tapestry needle to stitch on Color Crazy Plaid Strips to form ruched frame. Sew in tails to finish.

    Locker hooking and stitching the ruched frame for the cover

    Locker hooking and stitching the ruched frame for the cover

  7. Glue just one edge first. Add a bead of glue to one long side of the frame and the parallel inside of the frame. Not too much because it will ooze. Just enough (1/8″w bead approx) to glue onto photo box top. Let dry until a bit tacky. Align with back of top lid overlapping slightly to fit and press down. Hold in place for a couple of minutes until it sets. Let dry.
  8. Follow same instructions to glue the rest of the edges down. Use clamps or clothes pins to hold in place until dry. Press inside frame edges with fingers until glue sets and holds. Finished canvas piece will overlap photo box slightly.
  9. Print a photo on a heavy stock photo paper or a greeting on a card stock that measures 3 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ and insert via the side slit on the top of the box. Use fingers to arrange in place. It’s a tight squeeze, so you’ll have to apply gentle firm pressure to guide it in.  Voila! You now have a beautiful photo box with a locker hooked and ruched frame to give as a gift.
Below: Locker hooked and ruched frame on top of photo box held with clothes pins for glue to dry (you can also use binder clips or clamps).

 color_crazy_recipe_locker_Hooked_box_frame_fuchsia_orange_pinned-blog

 
Everything You Need for Color Crazy Craft Recipe  - Photo Box with Locker Hooked Frame

 

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Create Loopy, Hooked Flowers–Free Shipping Weekend

Locker hooked Dahlias and Peonies have to be one of the fastest and prettiest things you can create with this craft. In honor of Mother’s Day, Color Crazy is offering free shipping and making it easier for you to give it a try. You can begin by using the Explore Color collections to get started. Step-by-step instructions below…

Locker Hooked Flowers in a Basket

Locker Hooked Flowers in a Basket
You’ll be pulling up long loops with your locker hook–a technique that’s covered in my Locking Loops book–and you won’t be needing locking medium. Best of all, each flower can be completed in under 15 minutes!
Step 1: Cut canvas 2 – 3″ square of either 5-Mesh or 3.75 Mesh (depending on width and weight of the fabric strips or ribbon you’ll be using)
Step 2: Paint canvas using Lumiere paint to secure edges, or use a bead of Quick Grip glue around edges. Let dry. I do like painting the canvas in case it peeks through all you’ll see is a pretty metallic glimmer. You can also leave extra canvas exposed at the back if it’s painted.
gocolorcrazy_Lumierepaint
Step 3: Choose your flower fabrics or ribbon strips. Note: You can actually use wider strips on the 5-mesh canvas when pulling up long, fluffy loops of ribbon. The 3/4″ wide strips should work well.
Poppies In Plaid from Explore Color Collections

Poppies In Plaid from Explore Color Collections

Step 4: Begin with the flower center by locker hooking a 3 x 3 or 4 x 4 square in the very center of your canvas. Pull up 1/2″ to 3/4″ high loops, or higher if you want a fluffier center.
Step 5: Start the body petals of the flower outside the center by pulling up longer loops–from 1″ to 2″ long. Make them longer as you locker hook each circle around the center to end up with about 2″ long loops at the outside circle of your flower.  Sew-in tails or clip and plan to glue on a backing to secure.
gocolorcrazy_flower_back
Step 6: Voila! You have yourself a locker hooked Peony or Dahlia or your very own flower creation. Use them as pins, attach to baskets, tote bags, gift boxes, or place anywhere you’d like to see a beautiful flower. Once you realize how easy this is, you’ll want to try different kinds of ribbon, yarn and combine them with fabrics. 
White Dahlia locker hooked with White Noodles Yarn and Yellow-Orange Plaid Fabric Strips

White Dahlia locker hooked with White Noodles Yarn and Yellow-Orange Plaid Fabric Strips

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Sea Anemone with Tentacles – Locker Hooked Purse

I’ve had this locker hooked purse design in my head for some time. I was doing some spring cleaning and was planning to donate old t-shirts.  It was time. I pulled out an old gray t-shirt and got started. The result is this little purse I call the Sea Anemone. I need to make more in different colors!

Sea Anemone Purse locker hooked on 3.3 mesh canvas with t-shirt and sheer strips.

Sea Anemone Purse locker hooked on 3.3 mesh canvas with t-shirt and sheer strips.

It’s locker hooked on 3.3 mesh canvas with t-shirt strips layered with torn grey drapery sheer strips on top. It’s attached to a chrome purse frame with rods. The loops are locker hooked in variegated length to create the body. I pulled out the tails of t-shirt strips to create the tentacles and added a few more. A few snips, a bit of glue and stretching, plus a light touch of luminescent gold paint on the tentacles finished them. More tentacles?!? I’m still debating the chain handle/strap–would something out of fabric be more appropriate? Hmmm…I do love the way it turned out and I can easily change the handle.

I had a swatch of leftover grey cotton knit and a small swatch of tapestry fabric I used to create the lining. I also added a small square of sari fabric I recycled for a pocket. Some hand stitching, some machine stitching plus glue, and the lining was attached.

Sea Anemone Purse side view.
Sea Anemone Purse side view.
Inside view of Sea Anemone purse

Inside view of Sea Anemone purse. Includes pocket out of Sari fabric.

See varied steps below:

Creating the locker hooked Sea Anemone purse

Creating the locker hooked Sea Anemone purse

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Locker Hook Easter Egg Coasters & Baskets

It’s that time of year again!  I’m always tempted to buy more chocolate in egg and bunny shapes–love the malted milk eggs. I just wish they had more options in dark chocolate. I’m also inspired to create more with bright colors, so I couldn’t resist creating these Easter egg coasters. So easy and fun.

I also include my favorite baskets in this post.  The Floppy-eared bunny basket from the Locking Loops book is a favorite.  The colorful green and purple is a favorite with my readers.  Can’t help but imagine a fun kids tea party with these coasters…

Locker hooked Easter egg coasters

Locker hooked Easter egg coasters on 5-mesh canvas with Color Crazy strips

 

Locker hooked Floppy-Eared Bunny Basket--featured in "Locking Loops" book.

Locker hooked Floppy-Eared Bunny Basket–featured in “Locking Loops” book.

 

Easter basket in fabric and yarn--featured in "Hook, Loop, & Lock" book.

Easter basket in fabric and yarn–featured in “Hook, Loop, & Lock” book.

Here’s how to make the egg coasters…

How to locker hook egg coasters

How to locker hook egg coasters

 Some of these have a ruched frame right in the center with just a little padding stitched underneath with a heavy yarn. Learn more about the “ruched frames” technique in my Locking Loops book or view some of the videos at colorcrazy.com.

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