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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Aphrodite's Attique on Craft Cafe

Question:  What materials do you use to make sun catchers?

For the dragonfly wings, I use small beads, mostly glass seed beads and bugle beads, with some crystal accents, and larger beads for the body and head. For butterflies and rainbows, I can use larger glass beads, since they don't require as many. I use only glass beads and silver-plate wire in as small a gauge as possible for support. (With wire, the smaller the gauge, the heavier the wire - for example, 16 gauge is larger than 22 gauge, it's kind of confusing at first ( lol.)

Are the dragonfly sun catchers easier to make then the butterfly or rainbow ones?

The rainbows are the easiest of all, since the basic design and color scheme is set by nature...of the butterflies and dragonflies, I find the dragonflies easier - in fact, the dragonfly design came about when a butterfly I was working on sort of got away from me and developed a life of its own.

Are there very many people who still wear shawls and ponchos? I always think of shawls with the elderly for some reason.

Surprisingly, there are - I think they're coming back in style (especially the ponchos); I guess like most fashion, it goes in cycles. I have a friend in her 60s who has several of my ponchos and wears them constantly, and one of my daughter's friends in her 20s just ordered one, so I guess they span the age range. Shawls are a classic, but I think they have a more limited appeal - you have to know how to "manage" them, or you end up looking like the White Queen in Alice.

What is different about a cloche hat, than any other hat?

A cloche is a style of hat from the 1920s, it's a simple rounded shape that fits close to the head and is very feminine and flattering to just about everyone.

Are you also a graphic artist? If so what software do you use and how long did it take you to learn how to use it?

A Halloween craft printable

I've been doing graphics and digital art/photography for about 15 years - I moderated several boards on a huge artist site for several years and had a large web site with galleries of my images and resources for digital artists that I hope to revive someday, and still have a store on CafePress where my artwork is available as posters and calendars and on items like mugs and Tshirts. My favorite programs are Paint Shop Pro 7 and Poser (PSP is sort of a "poor man's" Photoshop, less expensive and with an easier learning curve), but I'm also familiar with Photoshop and some landscape programs like Terragen. I'm totally self-taught, mostly through experimentation and online tutorials and groups/ didn't take long to become proficient, but I'm still learning and discovering new things I can do and new ways to do them - I don't think I'll ever figure it all out! (Kind of like my cell phone, lol.)

Are your printable gift tags the correct size and spacing to print out on any existing templates (as in you can tear each individual one due to perforations?

They are standard sizes, but not arranged for templates at this time - but as I find templates to work with, that's definitely an option for the future. Right now, they're spaced to fit as many as possible on a page and still leave room to wield scissors or a rotary cutter around them.

Do your pony tail scrunchies require a pattern? What do you use to keep them in the hair (typically rubber bands)?

The scrunchies have no set pattern - I currently have three styles that each use a different decorative stitch, but the number and size of the stitches depends on the yarn and the size of the hook used, so they're all a little bit different. They're crocheted around a standard size basic ponytail elastic in a neutral or coordinating color, although you won't see the elastic unless you stretch them out fully.

How long have you been doing your craft?

I've been crocheting for 25 years, doing graphics, art and photography for 15 years, and beadwork for about 8 years. I've always been a crafter - I've also done sewing, soft sculpture, needlepoint, paper crafts, silk flower arrangement, and am downright dangerous with a hot glue gun!

How long have you been selling on the net?

I've had my digital art store for about 10 years, but just started selling my crochet and beadwork a little less than a year ago.

Where do you get your ideas from for new items from?

Anywhere and everywhere, lol! Requests and suggestions from friends, pictures and patterns on the Internet, things that I find useful myself (like the scrunchies) - and usually one idea will lead to another (hmmm, what if I did it this way, or that way, or hey, what about...?) I always have some new idea simmering in my imagination, waiting for me to find the time or materials to try it out!

Any tools that you use and give a brief explanation of their use?

I can't do without my bent nose pliers for bead work - they help me grip small pieces when my fingers are just too big, and give me some extra "torque" for bending stubborn chain links and jump rings. For crochet, I prefer metal hooks, I just like the feel of them and they're smoother than plastic....I've heard good things about bamboo hooks, though, and plan to give them a try soon. For graphics, my favorite is the Tubes tool in PSP...tubes are single images on a transparent background that you can combine and layer to create more elaborate images - for example, I have a tube of a cat's head that I've embellished at various times with hat tubes, a Mardi Gras mask tube, an eyeglasses tube, etc...I've created entire scenes using nothing but tubes!

How did you learn your craft?

I'm pretty much self-taught through books, tutorials, groups/forums, and trial and error, except for crochet - I took a class to learn the basics, and then went on from there on my own.

How long does it take you to make your various items?

It takes about an hour and a half to make a sun catcher.  Crochet items depend on the size and how elaborate the pattern is - a scrunchie takes about 20 minutes, a poncho can take 4 or 5 hours, an afghan can take 10 or 12 hours...a printable graphic sheet takes about an hour to set up (including the watermarked promo pics), depending on whether it's a mix of images or just a single image, and whether I'm using an image I've already created - if I'm creating a new image from scratch, there's no telling; sometimes they just come together and sometimes they involve blood, sweat, tears and gnashing of teeth, lol!

Aphrodite's Attique on Craft Cafe
Aphrodite's Attique on Cafepress
SweetDreamsdigital on Crafepress


  1. Such beautiful pieces ... I adore the cloche hat (thanks for the explanation ... I really never knew how cloche hats differ from others). I'm so envious at all the talent! :-)

  2. I love the bracelet! Could also be made into a beautiful headband!