Posted in Blog

Alpacamade Tangles Mag

Alpacamade Tangles magazine on Flipboard

Flipboard is one of the social media apps we tried over the last year. What started as a convenient place to park links for future reference became Alpacamade Tangles Magazine.

Currently there are over a thousand completed #tangle pieces and process drawings. The images range from #ACEO cards, Christmas ornaments, a manniquin, a skull and everything in between. There are even a few #atc/#aceo cards from our collection.

Consider this the official magazine launch and check back often for updates.
Happy browsing!

Posted in Blog, crazy quilt, embroidery, off-needles

Off my needles, finally!

Through the window of one of my Sunday haunts. Yes there is a coffee logo on the window.


The object in the foreground is a crazy quilt square I am embroidering. This project is a “take-along;” it fits into the bag and keeps me busy during those boring down times throughout the day. In truth, I have never quilted; I chose a crazy quilt because they seem so easy. They are not as easy as the quilting divas make them look; I did not remember the stitch and flip method when I started. Since this quilt is a skill building project, I am totally winging it. The haphazard zigzag stitching gave me an excuse to brush up on free hand embroidery as well. There is no getting around it, this project is an “only mother would love it” project; not my best work and that is fine with me.


Off my needles, finally! This diagonal knit scarf was started in August June and was pushed aside countless times until the weather turned. The scarf was meant to be a stash buster. Somehow I thought I needed more yarn, forgetting how crap-de-crylique stretches, it ended up being long enough to double over! Eventually I will just whip-stitch the long sides together and make a keyhole out of it. Owell. Heartside Gallery’s holiday sale was one of the best sales on record. However, my little fabri-gami ornaments did not do as well as I thought they should have.


The feedback on the hand knit mug sweaters from three shows was that customers bought them as cuff bracelets,  go figure. My holiday season is over in that the big rush is always preparation for the holiday sale therefore; the rest of the season is mine to enjoy, like today in one of my Sunday haunts. The alpaca says, “Be merry!”

Posted in Blog

Step it up GR

Broken glass on Ionia & Cherry

While out on a Sunday morning walk in downtown Grand Rapids, I noticed something I have not seen in the fifteen years I have lived here; trash on the streets in the morning.

Trash outside Peppinos pizzaria

Yes there are enough Vodka bottles in the Heartside neighborhood around Luckys to build a house. The culprits are camped out or passed out somewhere nearby and the Safety Ambassadors or business owners call a bus regularly to take them down to Mel Trotter to sleep it off however, the trash I saw is not from them.

Trash outside the Coney Island

The patrons of the bars and restaurants in and around the Heartside and Arena neighborhoods are responsible for the trash this morning.

Hopcat on the corner of Ionia & Weston.

One of the worst messes I saw this morning was on the corner of Ionia and Weston right outside Hopcat and Georgios. The owner of Hopcat has also been the driving force behind the outdoor events on Ionia. When questioned about noise complaints, he shows little concern for the residents on Ionia or Weston.

Good job McFaddens

Credit where credit is due,  McFaddens street patio next to the Coney Island was squared away as was SanChez bistro.

SanChez bistro neat as a pin & serving breakfast.

With a visitor estimate approaching half a million people during ArtPrize,  Grand Rapidians should resurrect their civic pride. The trash on the streets in the Heartside and Arena neighborhoods is not from the patrons of Heartside Ministry, Guiding Light, Mel Trotter, Degage or the homeless, it is from the rest of Grand Rapidians out for a night on the town.
Step it up G.R.!

Posted in Blog, mixed-media, Tangles

Tangles: white work 001

Taking the big plunge into larger scale work and white work with tangles and doodling.

12x12 (s)crap wood white work tangle

Having admired the mono-color work of several tangle artists as well as the object decoration experiments,  I decided to jump in with both feet so-to-speak.

The base is 12″x12″ re-claimed (s)crap wood. It took two coats of gesso and two coats of flat black to prepare. I had no plan, so what you see is truely a Michelangelo-esque process of the tangle telling me what it wants to be.
I intend on using white however, I may throw in a surprise if all goes well.

Post Notes:
the gesso is homemade acrylic gesso.
A recipe can be found waaaay down at the bottom of this blog post.
The surprise mentioned above might include glass, maybe  😉

Posted in Blog, knit

On My Needles: 6.24.2014

On my needles for the last week is this diagonal knit scarf.

Diagonal knit scarf

There is nothing fiddly about this pattern and it produces a stunning result with ombre varigated yarn or color worked stripes.

The first attempt was ripped out as I clearly had done something wrong or the pattern was not clear regarding the transition which forms a corner and creates the diagonal in one step.

The only caution I am including is; buy more yarn than your pattern calls for as the ridges require an extravagant amout of yarn. Nevertheless, the results are well worth the effort. This diagonal knit scarf will make a beautiful stash buster if worked in all same weight fiber. Whip these scarves up over the summer & get a jump on your gift list!

Post Notes: Do a search on _diagonal knit_. Read through a few patterns; choose a pattern that makes sense to you. Everyone reads things a little differently, one person’s explanation will be crystal clear where another’s may not be.

Posted in ATC, Blog

ATC Beads 001

Just about the time we got our first really good weather, life seemed to be determined to re-arrange itself. As a result we have not done an Artwalk yet, all the summer season plans have been delayed and our official launch is being pushed off again.

Beads 001

No writing, tangling or work for sale has been done in a couple of weeks. However, the temptation to pull out one of two new calligraphy markers was irresistible.  This ATC/ACEO is the result of wanting to practice beading and wanting to use a new pen.

This was not an easy card; a couple weeks not drawing and the hands seem to have forgotten how to control the pens. The eyes got tired also making it necessary to leave finishing until today.

Lesson learned: makers of handwork need to keep their hands working everyday.