31 January 2015

New Clipart Bundle: Samuel the Lamanite

This week, I finished and posted my Samuel the Lamanite clipart bundle (part of the Book of Mormon series).

Click here to view this listing on Etsy!

This set comes with graphics representing:
  • Samuel the Lamanite
  • Jesus Christ (2 graphics: as a baby, resurrected)
  • Nephi, son of Helaman
  • An angel
  • A pair of repentant Nephites and a pair of angry Nephites
  • A city wall
  • A stone
  • An arrow
  • Speech bubble for Samuel
  • Sword of justice (mentioned by Samuel)
  • Signs of the Savior's birth (2 graphics: sunset with no darkness, a new star)
  • Astonished Nephite falling down
  • Signs of the Savior's death and resurrection (8 graphics: darkness, tempest, lightning, rent rock, resurrected person, earthquake, broken highway, destroyed city)
  • The cross
  • The Garden Tomb
  • Zarahemla

Here's a preview:

The set comes with both .jpg and .png files for each graphic and is 300 dpi. They come with a personal and small-scale commercial use license (see the Terms of Use in my Etsy shop for details). And it's only $5.00 for these graphics and a license!

Click here to see this bundle in my Etsy shop!

What's next?
I'm working on a line art version of the Lehi's Dream bundle. Then, I'll probably return to my work on Old Testament clipart. I'm leaning towards Joseph and/or Moses.

21 January 2015

Rapunzel’s Frying Pan (Free Pattern)

As promised, here is my pattern for the little frying pan for the 8 1/2 inch Rapunzel doll. The pattern for the doll myself is not my own, so I definitely won't be sharing those instructions (gotta respect a designer's hard work and copyright). The doll's pattern was designed by Lisa Jestes (check out her cute Etsy shop).

This is my first pattern ever. Yes, I know it's just a little, simple one but I'm thrilled that I've gone from clueless about anything beyond a chain stitch to figuring out on my own how to make a teeny tiny accessory that's the right size for a specific doll. Feel free to leave any constructive feedback, if you see any needed changes to or have any suggestions for my pattern write-up--I'm learning!

Rapunzel’s Frying Pan
By Michelle Boyd (Bellflower Blue Studios)

Skill Level: Easy

sl st: slip stitch
ch: chain
sc: single crochet
FLO: front loops only

Notes: For 8.5 inch doll

Size: 4 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches (approximately 10 x 4 x 1 cm)

1 skein on gray or black worsted (4)
G/6 -4.25mm hook
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Round 1: Make a magic ring, 9 sc in ring
Round 2: 2 sc in each stitch around (18)
Round 3: sc in FLO in each stitch around (18)
Round 4: sl st, sc, ch 15
Round 5: sc in 11th stitch from hook (to make loop large enough for the doll’s hand), sc in remaining stitches to the edge of the main part of the pan, sl st

Finishing: Fasten off and weave in ends.

Pan pattern, copyright Michelle Boyd. The pattern for the pan only can be shared but not sold without my permission.

20 January 2015

Rapunzel and Other Creative Projects

I mentioned before that I wanted to work on a Rapunzel amigurumi and some charity crochet. Well, last week, both missions were accomplished! Then, I started a couple of other projects and made a special cake for Mom's birthday.


Here she is!

What a cutie! The pattern is by Lisa Jestes. This little doll is about 8 1/2 inches tall and made of worsted weight yarn, polyfill, embroidery thread (lacing and eyelashes), and just a dash of my Bare Minerals blush. The peachy yarn is lightly scented (Lily Sugar n' Cream Chamomile), which I like but I'd probably not use if I were making it for someone allergic to perfume, just in case.

The pattern specified that the bodice would be done in the round, which meant that once the doll is assembled, the dress can't come off. However, it was mentioned that it could also be done in rows. I decided that maybe in the future I might maybe try my hand at making Punzie the wedding dress from the Ever After short, so I opted for the rows. I also added a button and loop. The button was created using a tutorial from Mr. Micawber's Recipe for Happiness. The loop is basically made by slip stitching to a top row, making a number of chain stitches, slip stitching to a lower row, and weaving in all ends.

Once she was done, I decided to accessorize. Of course, Rapunzel needs to be armed with her favorite weapon, a frying pan! Then, I realized that I now know enough to improvise a pattern for the pan (yay!). I'll work on posting a pattern for the pan shortly.

Now that she's armed, she needs her best friend, Pascal. I'm using Peggytoes' Leon the Chameleon pattern (sans comb).

Hat for the Mystery Camper

So, I managed to make my first hat, then immediately gave it away.

It started with a walk with the family dogs. The two little pups love to walk over to this one lawn, then run with me to their favorite tree and smell all the squirrel and gopher holes around it. While watching them do this, I noticed on the other side of the fence a camp in the bushes. I discussed this with my mother, who had been preparing a lesson on Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk "Are We Not All Beggars?"

We decided to defer judgment and to do something to help. Mom collected food and hygiene items and sealed them in a bag and I made the hat above and bagged it as well. We walked together with the dogs and tossed over the fence. Would someone find it? Would they use it?

As it turns out, apparently yes. When we were last at the tree, we could see that while no one is there during the day, they must be there at night--the bags are gone and some of the items have been tucked away for later.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Speaking of Mom, I made this for her birthday. I used Rock Recipes' lemon velvet cake recipe and added lemon slices dipped in sugar.


The Venetian Mask

My brother brought back several mask blanks from our family trip to Venice. Since he has a great deal of artistic skill, decorating blanks is a much more affordable way to bring back a piece of Venetian culture than buying a pre-made mask. 

He decided I might want to try my hand at mask design and included one as part of my Christmas gift, along with a gift card for art and craft supplies (new paints and yarn, wheeee!!!!!). I am having fun figuring it all out.

After looking through my photos, I found inspiration for the design of my mask. I'll be using a rich blue instead of the red.

The red, white, and gold mask on the right is my inspiration.

Here is the blank with the design penciled in. Of course, I couldn't use the original design as is because of the shape of the blank, so I had to adjust here and there.

I'm working with my brother to decide on the best way to create raised lines and whether I should put down the raised lines or the background paint first.

Update on My Etsy Shop and My Book of Mormon Clipart

I've had a couple of requests for more work on my Book of Mormon clipart lately. So, I'm working (as I'm able--lots happening!) on a Samuel the Lamanite bundle and turning my Lehi's Dream bundle into line art. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd take a moment to share what I've already done based on this great volume of scripture. Currently, I have two bundles:

Lehi's Dream
Click here to see the listing

Graphics include:
-Lehi and his family (Sariah, Nephi, Sam, Laman, Lemuel)
-Tree of Life
-Iron Rod
-Mist of Darkness (the PNG version for this graphic is translucent)
-Great and Spacious Building
-1 fruit from the Tree of Life (glow around it is translucent in the PNG version)

 Nephi and the Brass Plates

Click here to see the listing

Graphics include:
-Nephi and his family (Lehi, Sariah, Sam, Laman, Lemuel)
-Nephi in disguise
-Laban (2 version: awake, passed out)
-Zoram with the keys to the treasury
-Servants to chase Nephi and his brothers
-An angel
-The brass plates
-Speech bubble ("I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.")
-City walls
-Lehi's tent
-Sword of Laban
-Gold, silver, and other precious things
-Moon (for when Nephi goes out by night)


12 January 2015

About My Shop and My Christmas Crafts

About My Etsy Shop
A year and a half ago, I opened Bellflower Blue Studios on Etsy. It was a way to give myself a project between jobs but it's also given me a chance to get out of my comfort zone and try new things.

Trying New Things, Exhibit A:
Making silhouette art for a custom order

Trying New Things, Exhibit B:
Learning how to convert full color graphics to line art

My first clipart bundle had a pink baby owl theme. I made my first owl graphic to be included on a poster for a friend's baby's first birthday and I decided to make more. Owls, as it turns out, are fun to draw!

My first bundle

Just before I opened my shop, I had been volunteering for my church as a Sunbeam teacher (Sunbeams are the three-year-going-on-four-year-olds--the name, I believe, is related to a song, "Jesus Wants Me for A Sunbeam"). Because scripture stories were a big part of my lessons, I always appreciate anything visual and kid-friendly related to these stories. So I decided I wanted to include bundles of graphics related to these different stories.

A scripture story bundle

What I Made for Others for Christmas
Most of my handmade gifts were crochet this year. It took me years to learn crochet, mainly because I'm a lefty...well, sort of. Pens and pencils belong in my left hand; computer mice and scissors in my left. Don't make me switch over or it will only result in illegible writing, cursors where I don't want them, and jagged cut edges. But I'm not entirely sure I have a dominant hand for my utensils. I'm not purely a lefty or ambidextrous but one thing I am: a left-handed crocheter.

There's a reason they make crochet videos for lefties. Trying to figure out which way what bit goes where and not knowing if I should be going this way or that is a daunting puzzle.  It wasn't until after grad school that it clicked.

I was living in Virginia at the time and one woman from church offered crochet lessons. Sitting in her living room, we tried to work out a way for me go beyond a chain stitch. And suddenly, I got it! Single stitch, double stitch, slip stitch...all the basics! I've made a number of scarves and some rose-shaped luggage tags and such since, but it was this Christmas that I ventured into something more difficult.

Now, Uncle R and his girlfriend got scarves. Scarves are classic and useful and there are so many different types of scarves that you can make. I forgot to take a photo of these but here are the links (the patterns are free):

The other two crochet gifts expanded my repertoire.

Working in the Round
Sometime in my youth, I started slipping little surprises into my mother's stocking so she'd have something fun to look forward to. This year, it included a sheep ornament (she collects little sheep) and pawprint ornaments of the two family dogs.

Mom's sheep wrapped in its little red scarf

Doggy pawprints

The sheep ornament pattern is available for free at Stitch and Unwind.

I also sent a homemade gift to a friend in Utah with a twisted sense of humor--an angel for her tree. Okay, not exactly, your usual angel. It's a weeping angel from Doctor Who. I spent my childhood terrified of Doctor Who--Uncle B watched Dracula and scared the bejeebies out of pint-sized me, then watched Doctor Who. Baby me assumed that this Doctor-fellow was equally frightening. (By the way, I also couldn't eat potstickers until I grew up because Uncle B said they'd stick to my head and suck my brains. The joys of having a teen uncle.)

Then, as an adult, I saw David Tennant as the Doctor and was transfixed. There's just something fascinating about his facial expressions and energy. And just as I thought, "Hmm, this show's okay," along came the weeping angels. Shudder!

Anyways, this friend of mine now finds weeping angels funny because of me and I decided that she needed one of her own.

The pattern is available for sale on The Silver Hook on Etsy. I modified the hair and added an embroidered face as surprise (my friend's favorite part). Not bad for my first attempt at amigurumi!

Future Plans
I've had two customers ask for Book of Mormon story bundles: Samuel the Lamanite and line art for the Lehi's Dream one. Then, I'd like to make some bundles for Joseph in Egypt and Moses and maybe another owl bundle (community helpers theme, maybe?).

Now, I'm pushing my crochet skills further with more amigurumi and trying a Rapunzel pattern. This requires a little modification too because the pattern feature a non-removable dress and I decided I wanted to try dresses that can be switched (maybe, the wedding dress from Tangled Ever After). It hasn't been as hard as I feared and little 'Punz is looking good!

I'd like to crochet for charity too and I've been collecting some ideas. Stay tuned!