Tag Archives: crocheted washcloths

“Reorganizing Sale” February 18 at Portraits of Animals Shop in Carnegie Antiques

panoramic image of shop

About one-third of the shop!

In the next few weeks I’ll be completely reorganizing my shop in Carnegie Antiques, taking home things that haven’t shown any interest and heaping up things that have, moving furniture in and out and restocking with new framed art and packaged sets of cards.

The sale will be this Saturday, February 18, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

I’ve moved my greeting card printing to a new printer who uses new paper stock which doesn’t match the older stock. Select individual greeting cards will be $1.00 each, reduced from $2.50.

All matted photos are $2.50, reduced from $5.00.

Everything else is 10% off the price that is marked including other individual greeting cards and sets, crocheted pawprints and flowers, tote bags, framed and unframed wildlife, nature and flowers prints and anything else you can find there.

Carnegie Antiques and Portraits of Animals are located at 423 West Main Street in Carnegie, PA 15106.

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Open House October 22 at Portraits of Animals and Carnegie Antiques

panoramic image of shop

About one-third of the shop!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
Judi and I will join forces and open early, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and will both have discounts for visitors!

I’m offering 10% off your entire order of items from my Portraits of Animals shop including greeting cards, crocheted pawprints, tee-shirts, tote bags, unframed prints and anything else you can find there.

As a bonus, I’m offering 25% off framed artwork over $25.00, both originals and prints! I’ve been framing even more prints of my feline, wildlife and nature art as well as photographs, including views of Pittsburgh. I’ll be bringing in a few originals as well, so if you’ve had your eye on something, now is the time to get it! If the cost is less than $25, the 10% discount still applies.

ETSY PURCHASES
You can see a good bit of what’s in my shop in my Etsy shop. And for recipients of this post who can’t make it to the open house, I’ll also extend FREE SHIPPING for any items in my Etsy shop through the end of October. It will be as if you bought it in person! Enter “OPENHOUSE1011” in your shopping cart and it will automatically deduct the shipping.

Carnegie Antiques

In addition, Judi has been packing her shop with so much new merchandise I can hardly keep track of it all, and she’ll be offering discounts as well. There’s new furniture large and small, sets of dishes, hand-painted china, novelties, jewelry and more. Make sure you take time to visit Carnegie Antiques too!

Carnegie Antiques and Portraits of Animals are located at 423 West Main Street in Carnegie, PA 15106.


The Aster Washcloth, Inspired by My Favorite Autumn Wildflower

photo of asters

Wild Autumn Asters

My favorite autumn flower is not a domesticated variety but is the wild aster that blooms wherever it can grow.

My set of summer flower-themed crocheted cotton washcloths was inspired by garden flowers as they bloomed in my back yard, but as summer wore on the wild asters began to bloom in the woods and fields as well as around the edges of my garden, where I let them grow for the birds and other wildlife who visit.

three crocheted cotton aster washcloths

Set of three aster washcloths.

The inspiration

The slender blue rays surrounding the tiny yellow center make it seem delicate yet it grows in intense heat and drought in late summer to bloom undiminished all through autumn. The seeds provide forage for migrating birds and the stems a convenient place to perch even in winter. Of course, they also bloom in shades tending toward purple and pink and snowy and creamy white as well, but the blue is my favorite.

And there are hybrid varieties of asters which have long been garden favorites. These flowers inspired the familiar patterns which are the first and the simplest flower I remember embroidering on tablecloths, napkins, pillowcases and doilies, as well as the flower found on vintage china and other tableware, and I’m a sucker for this as well.

Working out the design

photo of crocheted cotton aster washcloth

Crocheted Cotton Washcloth, Aster

As I worked out the design, I wanted to maintain the look of the rays and the detailed of serrated edge around the outside of the flower and the tiny yellow center, its overall delicacy and its sense of floating above its leaves, while producing a cloth that was functional as well as easy enough to make in an amount of time that would justify its cost. The colors had to be from easily obtainable off-the-shelf cotton yarns so that there would be no delays in ordering materials at any time.

That’s a tall order for a washcloth! Each of my designs fit these criteria, as did the aster, though I created a few versions that had far too much yarn involved or had such complicated stitches around the edge that they took forever. I also had a raised center as the aster flower has raised stamens in its center, but that felt awkward and took too long to dry. Finally, I put it to the test in both the bath and the kitchen to make sure the yarns were colorfast, that it performed its task of washing and also dried quickly enough that it wouldn’t grow mildew, a caution with using cotton yarns for products like these, and that it could be washed and dried in the dryer without losing its shape or shrinking. In the end, I was pleased with the design and glad to add my favorite blue flower to the set.

A wash cloth, a dish cloth, a hand towel, a doily…

This washcloth averages 9″ in diameter, though like most handmade items they vary up to 1/4″. In addition to their obvious use as a washcloth or dishcloth, I have a friend who uses these as small hand towels in the bathroom because they are absorbent and large enough to dry your hands after washing.

They can also be used as doilies for decoration or to protect a table top from scratches, and are even thick enough to be used as a hot pad. It’s not useful as a potholder, though, in part because the stitch is more open than a potholder generally is to allow for easy drying time.

set of aster washcloths with soap

Gift Set of Aster Washcloths

Ordering

I offer these in my Etsy shop as singles for $7.50 each and sets of three for $20.00. I also have gift sets consisting of two aster washcloths and a bar of vegetable oil and goats milk Lavender handmade soap, packed in a straw basket with green shredded packing tied with a white ribbon, all for $20.00, pictured at left. Each washcloth or set includes a decorative card including information and care instructions.

I also offer a discount on the purchase of two for $14.00 and three for $20.00, and you can mix and match the aster with other designs, but these are too numerous to list as products on Etsy. If you’d like a custom set, just send me an e-mail or a conversation on Etsy.

set of five flower washcloths

Set of all five cloths.

Other flower patterns

Inspired by the flowers in my garden as they bloom from spring through autumn, I designed these crocheted washcloths to brighten up your bath or kitchen or anywhere in your house.

red rose washcloth

The Red Rose Washcloth

The first was the rose, which I have always loved to draw and paint, and as I watched my roses bloom I envisioned how I would interpret the furled petals swirling out from the center in a crochet pattern, deciding to make it as a cotton washcloth. Then my daisies bloomed and as I worked out that pattern the idea was born for a set of washcloths of all my favorite flowers!

Crocheted washcloth collection

The Garden Collection of crocheted washcloths.

The full set consists of a rose, daisy, sunflower, red poppy and aster. The main rose is red, but I’ve also crocheted the rose in pink, white, yellow, lavender, burgundy, variegated…all my favorite rose colors, and you can see what’s available on Etsy as well. See the full set and the individual cloths on Etsy.

I wanted the patterns to be relatively simple, both easy to make and easy to enjoy, no more than two colors, and in simple stitches that would be practical for their intended use, easy to handle and drying relatively quickly. They can also be used as hot plates, doilies or just for decoration!

Each cloth is between 8″ and 10″ in diameter and is made of yarn-dyed cotton. I’m selling them as a set of five and also individually and in sets of two and three of each pattern.


Open House December 18, 9 to 4!

panoramic image of shop

About one-third of the shop!

One more open house before Christmas plus gift ideas for the animal and nature lovers on your list for any holiday! Click here to find my December e-newsletter on the internet.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18
Hard to believe Christmas will only be a week away! Judi and I will join forces and open early, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Judi will be offering deals on all the beautiful things she has in the shop. Carnegie Antiques and Portraits of Animals are located at 423 West Main Street in Carnegie.

I’m offering 10% off your entire order of items from my Portraits of Animals shop including greeting cards, crocheted pawprints, tee-shirts, tote bags, unframed prints and anything else you can find there.

As a bonus, I’m offering 25% off framed artwork over $25.00, both originals and prints! I’ve been framing even more prints of my feline, wildlife and nature art as well as photographs, including views of Pittsburgh. I’ve brought in several larger originals as well, so if you’ve had your eye on something, now is the time to get it! If the cost is less than $20, the 10% discount still applies

10% OPEN HOUSE DISCOUNT EXTENDED TO ETSY PURCHASES
You can see a good bit of what’s in my shop in my Etsy shop. And for recipients of this newsletter who can’t make it to the open house, I’ll also extend the discount to items in my Etsy shop! I’ll apply the discount after your purchase.

Enter “HOLIDAY10MERCHANDISE” in your shopping cart and it will automatically deduct the 10%.

Enjoy! Perhaps I’ll see you at one of my events this holiday season.


Girly Pink and Purple Pawprints!

Pink and purple pawprint set

Girly Pink and Purple Pawprint Set

I was so inspired by the little Dora the Explorer couch—formerly my great niece’s but now a perfect kitty bed—that I decided to adopt the colors from it for another set of crocheted pawprint washcloths.

three on dora bed

Three big cats on the Dora Couch.

Besides that, I LOVED pink and purple when I was growing up. My bedroom had bright pink walls and a hot pink shag carpet, I made myself a hot pink Dazzleaire afghan with as much of any shade of bright pink, lilac and purple as I could fit in there. I can relate to these girls and their pink and purple!

Light pink, bright pink and violet purple! I designed this set of pawprints for my great-nieces and all the other little girls who love PINK and PURPLE as much as I do (and always did). Let’s hear it for Girl Power!

So this set is for the little girl in your life, or maybe the little girl in your heart!

You can find this set in my Etsy shop.

You can also browse other colors of pawprints and other crocheted washcloths in my Crocheted Washcloth Collection on Etsy. I’m working on new color schemes for the pawprints every day!


Crocheted Washcloths are a Hit on Etsy!

Crocheted washcloth collection

The Garden Collection of crocheted washcloths.

Two of my flower-themed crochet washcloths are featured in collections on Etsy:

Thanks to both of you!

Inspired by the flowers in my garden as they bloom from spring through autumn, I designed these crocheted washcloths to brighten up your bath or kitchen.

As I watched my roses bloom I envisioned how I would interpret the furled petals swirling out from the center in a crochet pattern, deciding to make it as a cotton washcloth. Then my daisies bloomed and as I worked out that pattern the idea was born for a set of washcloths of all my favorite flowers!

The full set consists of a rose, daisy, sunflower, red poppy and aster. See the full set and the individual cloths on Etsy.

I wanted the patterns to be relatively simple, both easy to make and easy to enjoy, no more than two colors, and in simple stitches that would be practical for their intended use, easy to handle and drying relatively quickly. They can also be used as hot plates, doilies or just for decoration!

Each cloth is between 8″ and 10″ in diameter and is made of yarn-dyed cotton. I’m selling them as a set of five and also individually and in sets of two and three of each pattern.

I’m so pleased with my latest offerings, the tote bags, gift bags and crocheted washcloths. Along with my block prints and small framed prints they really represent more of what I create.

If items are offered as sets, such as the crocheted pawprint or flower washcloths, or the gift bags, I can fill a custom set if you contact me and describe what you’d like.


New Merchandise, Wow Am I Excited!

Gift Bag Display

Block-printed Gift Bag Display

I finishing up my latest e-newsletter, just as I’ve worked up the design and production of several new products. I recently featured cotton tote bags here, and I’ve expanded on that idea, and I’ve also designed a series of crocheted washcloths in addition to the pawprints.

close up of gift bags

A close-up of a few bags.

As you see above, I’ve also been working on ideas for gift bags. These are my “experiments” with block printing on bags, some of which worked fine, some of which did not. I purchased various styles of bags in various colors, then mixed various inks and paints to print. It was so much fun I had to stop myself before I had no more space to set them out to dry.

Studio with Cookie

Studio with Cookie.

The tricky part of it was finding a water-based ink or printing medium that would actually adhere to most bags without running when it got wet; normally I have to use oil-based ink for this, and that’s based on—guess what?—petroleum! YUK! We’ve all seen enough of that lately, it smells like tar balls and I have to use turpentine to clean it up. I don’t want me or my kitties to breathe that stuff any more.  So here’s my first venture into going petroleum-free in my studio. More on that later.

Cassie and Tyler Tote Bag--yes, dogs too!

Cassie and Tyler Tote Bag--yes, dogs too!

The cotton tote bags I featured last month were indeed pretty, but when put to the test by myself and others the lightweight cotton muslin just wasn’t strong enough; I usually load my bags, but I found myself being too careful about what I put in mine, which would result in not using it. I want you to have a product that you will use and will last for years, for your sake and for the sake that my kitties’ images are on them! I’ve been working with several canvas bags, and while I haven’t come up with the final bag I decided it was time to get the designs out there.

god i'm cute tote bag

"God, I'm Cute", one of the series of my black cats featured on black bags.

Really, part of designing products to sell is working out the materials and methods part of the idea, but the other part is audience response. I like these images, but I need to know what you think. While the gift bags and the tote bags are “not my final answer”, I’d love feedback on the designs. I always start out with images people have responded to generally, then find a product with which they are appropriate. Sometimes, though, I end up using things myself, so I value your opinion.

Flower Garden Wash Cloths

Flower Garden Wash Cloths, handmade from my own designs.

I’m creating my e-newsletter in Vertical Response this time; I’m trying out each one of the e-newsletter companies to see which one has the best deal for my usage level and design needs. I prefer to use these companies rather than setting up my own e-newsletter because they are a “safe send”, meaning your identity and contact information is kept in a database at Vertical Response and isn’t retrievable from the e-mail so it doesn’t lead any spam to you, plus I’m not using my own e-mail account and won’t be considered a spammer for sending too many messages. If you’d like to receive my e-newsletter, please e-mail me privately at bernadette@bernadette-k.com. I’ll enter it in the database for this first newsletter. You can opt out later if you decide you don’t want to receive it.

crocheted pawprint washcloths

Crocheted Pawprints, the "Brights" set.

My quarterly e-newsletter includes information about all of my work here in my studio, including my commercial art—graphic design, web design, illustration, writing, photography, etc., etc. It’s a way to let people who know me for one discipline learn about what I do in another and see all the influences in my life.

Thanks for looking at my new stuff! I’ll be back later…


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