Thursday, 29 March 2012

They say, you must think out of the box... but let's start with the box first

I've been trying to find a way to package my crochet earrings and a nice handmade box seemed like a good idea. I tried using whatever paper I could find at home. Old calenders, magazines, even some old wedding invitations - the paper is pretty thick... a little too thick in fact. But nothing was really working well. My first box was a disaster and I actually gifted it to a friend of mine. Fortunately, she, an arty-crafty person herself, didn't scrutinize too much and was very pleased that I gave her a handmade gift box. Phew!
My first gift box, made from an old wedding invitation

This box does look kinda cute and quaint doesn't it? But believe me, it was terrible! I made this box from an old wedding invitation I found at home. It was a dark violet color and looked pretty nice for a box. But because the paper was very thick, the seams were so evident. My poor measuring skills didn't help either, the top and bottom didn't exactly fit!

I was really happy to find some good paper, suitable for origami projects.I tried it again, and this time I got all the fold right. 

And finally made a proper box. Yippeee! 

These little boxes are perfect for gifts. You can make them in different sizes and color and you can decorate them in all kinds of ways. Making a gift is one thing, but when you put into a handmade gift box, the person receiving it knows you really care. :) 

Maybe, in my next post I will put up a tutorial on how to make these boxes. It's really simple, but my instruction writing skills are pretty poor. So maybe I will put up a picture tutorial. If I can get all the pictures right :).

Friday, 23 March 2012

The Crochet Story

My crochet story isn't an exciting one. The story doesn't begin with 'I fell in love with it' and end with '...and there was no looking back'. All I can say is that it took a while for me to get into the 'crochet groove'. But once I got there, I was "hooked"!

The Bumpy Start
I learnt some crochet when I was in school. We had a 'work experience' class forced upon us. We were supposed to learn how to make wall hangers, do embroidery and other simple crafts, but it only ended in a laughter riot!

As part of our classes we were introduced to crochet. Frankly, I didn't like it much.We did flowers and table mats and other things that seemed to be absolutely useless to any average 8th grader! In a desperate attempt to grab our attention our teacher told us that we would be making a crochet cap. Bling!! The lights go on! I think that was the defining moment in my 'crochet story'. Making something that could be used everyday and, better yet, it was a cool accessory. Skull caps were big when I was in the 8th grade so it seemed like a sensible reason to learn how to make it. And so I learned to make a crochet cap.

Bye Bye Crochet
Sadly, our crochet classes were short lived. By the 9th grade we had plenty of other extra-curricular activities and all that eneded by the 10th grade. Any average Indian knows that from the 10th grade on wards, your life is limited to thick books and infinite exams.

I did some crochet though. I made a couple of caps. Flaunted one when I went on a school picnic, and lost it on the trip too.

I moved on to college. Had a bunch of new experiences and forgot all about crochet. But every once in a while I found myself crocheting away when I was craving to do something 'arty', or when I wanted to impress someone with a handmade gift :).

Rediscovery: Hello Internet!!
Frankly, it's when I finally 'grew up', got a job, a computer to myself and came into my own that I got a chance to rediscover my interest in crochet. I have to say that the World Wide Web played a big role in it. I Googled 'crochet' and the images that came up blew my mind!! For as long as I can remember, I believed that crochet was a limiting art form; where you could just make a handful of things. Boy was I wrong!

I gave a couple of simple projects a try. I made earrings and gave them to friends, made a cap for a dear cousin brother or mine and made wrist band for another close friend. Slowly but surely, I got back to crocheting.

The Obsessing Begins
Soon I found that I was going crazy! There were so many things I wanted to make!! I started getting more supplies, started planning my projects, formulated ideas and patterns and trashed more than half of them. I started focusing on crochet jewelry and I totally loved it! The infinite possibilities and the uniqueness of crochet jewelry attracted me the most. Soon I was making earrings on a regular basis and posting pictures on Facebook. Some people even bought my stuff!!

Enjoying The Ride
The compliments from my friends and the encouragement they gave me with all their wonderful comments on Facebook has been quite a joy! It made me want to do more!  I felt confident enough to launch a line of crochet jewelry. But, of course, doing something for fun is very different from doing something for 'real'!

The Birth of Blue Orange 
Finally, after much doubt and MUCH procrastination, I have finally put my head together. Blue Orange my take on crochet jewelry. Although crochet is a very European art, it's amazing how you can add the 'desi' feel to it. I have to say, I am really happy with the results. The joy of creating something cannot be explained in words. (Maybe this is what my mom keeps trying to explain to me when she obsesses over me!!)

And so folks, this is my crochet story. If you have been patient enough to read through this post then God Bless You. If you haven't, well then just look at the picture below and enjoy :)

In memory of my first crochet project, I made a crochet cap.
Jazzed it up with a brim and a big flower.