348 posts categorized "Tutorials • Projects • Products • Techniques"

September 18, 2016

Key Cozy Tutorial

KeycozyHeart key cozy tutorial. Crochet a heart as follows:

Ch3, join with sl st in first ch to form ring, ch3, (2dc, 3sc) in ring, ch1, dc in ring. Ch1, (3sc, 2dc) in ring, ch2, sl st in ring.

Place key on top of this heart.

Make another heart, place on top of key and stitch together.

February 14, 2015

Smudged Heart Candles Tutorial

Here's a little Valentine's Day tutorial for you: Love candles.

I start by buying the small white clear religious candles in glass that can be found in the ethnic/religious aisle in most grocery stores.

IMG_3303Tear and place 2-inch thick strips of masking tape onto a piece of transparency. Also tear and place .75-inch thick strips of pink neon tape on the transparency.

Feed the transparency through a typewriter and type the word "love." I got my typewriter on eBay. It's a Baby Hermes Jubilee. I love it. If you don't have a typewriter, you could write the word with a permanent marker, collage a word onto the tape or leave the tape alone without any text. That's pretty too.

IMG_3284Use scissors to cut the pink tape to have a scalloped edge. Peel the strip carefully off of the transparency and stick it to the top edge of the candle. 

IMG_3286Cut the typed wider tape into the shape of a heart and carefully peel the tape off the transparency and stick it onto the body of the candle.

IMG_3291Use a pencil to lightly and imperfectly outline the heart and then use your finger to smudge and blend the pencil outline so the heart can look nicely smudged.


With love,




February 11, 2014

Hello Bunny

Not sure where the bunny came from but all of a sudden, they seem to be everywhere.
Hello bunny.




IMG_6647And still exploring altered art within the pages of an anthro catalog. Bunnies didn't come out here though. Yet.


IMG_6646I've been using these Dermatograph pencils lately ... especially when working in catalog or magazine pages for altered art. They won't reactivate with water like the Stabilo and it just gives you this ability to make great marks on glossy pages. Thank you to Dina Wakley for turning me onto these.


February 03, 2014

Tutorial :: Valentine's Jars with Fold Over Elastic Ponytail Holders

I have a Valentine's play date with some girlfriends coming up soon and decided to make each of them a gift. Here's what I came up with. Super fun and easy to make for your Valentine's!

Jenny DohPaint the front of a small jar with a bit of Titan Buff acrylic paint. Two coats. Let dry. I happen to have a lot of little jars but you could use any sized jar. Jam jars, olive jars, mason jars, etc.IMG_6028Cut a heart with a piece of red felt and secure it onto the jar by wrapping it with white thread. Tie. You could also use thin craft wire for a slightly different look but I really love the delicate look that thread gives.

IMG_6032Use fold-over elastic (FOE) to make ponytail holders. I found my FOE on Amazon.

Cut the FOE into 9.5 inch strips, fold them in half and tie the ends together. Trim the ends as needed. (I used 5/8-inch wide FOE.)

IMG_6035Place the pony tail holders into the jars.


Use a pencil to add doodles and words to the painted area.

Note: If you were to go and scratch the paint with your fingernails, the paint would come off. But why would anyone do that? Don't do that. If you were to rub vigorously the pencil doodles with a wet finger, you would smudge the doodles. If you feel like someone might do any of this to your jar, you could do the pencil doodles before you put the felt and thread on and spray some sort of a sealer on the jar, let dry, and then wrap the felt heart on with the string.




January 27, 2014

Paper Boat Necklace in a Bottle

I like that obsession takes you in all directions ... sometimes big and sometimes super tiny. Like these teeny tiny boats that I've been making. I like them quite a bit. And I wanted to make a commemorative something for my show this Saturday and decided that this would be it. Suspended on red string and in a bottle the boat can stay. Or it can be taken out and worn as a necklace. I'll be putting some up on my little Etsy shop as well for those who can't make it to the show. :)





December 19, 2013

Waves of Obsession and Some Free Motion Stitched Explorations

I've been doing lots of explorations in the studio. During these last few days, for some unknown reason, I've been doing a whole lot of free motion stitching. Not sure how long this obsession will last. For me, obsessions come in little waves. And I've learned it's a good thing to just ride them out and see where they take me.

So this free motion stitched face is my latest exploration. Before it looked like this ...

Jenny Doh 4
it looked like this. And before I started this, I used ...

Jenny Doh 3this earlier sketch as a point of reference. And this sketch was being made while listening to Cat Steven's beautiful version of Morning has Broken.

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird ...

Jenny Doh sketch

Here are a few additional pieces I've free motion stitched.

Jenny Doh 2
Jenny Doh 6
Jenny Doh
This last one actually sold recently and so it's no longer with me. Sort of sad but happy that it's going to someone who adores it.

So I've been asked are all my works for sale? Well, some are and some aren't. One of these days, it's my goal to try and upload some of my originals onto my etsy shop (which has been vacant for a long long time ... just not enough time in the day) ... but in the meantime, what usually happens is that when a person likes what they see on my IG or FB feed, they let me know. And then we go from there. So if there's something that speaks to you, by all means, feel free to write me at jenny@crescendoh.com. I'll let you know if it's available or not. And one of these days, like I said, I'll load a bunch up in more of an official manner on etsy or something like that.

November 24, 2013

Tutorial :: Nibs, Nib Holders, Dip Pens, Etcetera

Do you ever wonder what to call these things?

IMG_2024They are some of my favorite writing instruments and are actually composed of these pointy metal things which are called nibs. Nibs come in lots of different sizes. They also vary in the level of flexibility. When you find a nib you love, you might buy a bunch of them like I do. The best way to get to know about nibs is to try them out. They don't cost very much so I say get to know as many as you want.


I suppose you could hold a nib with your fingers to write with but that would be inconvenient and so you usually put them in these longer objects called nib holders. Nib holders also come in lots of sizes and thicknesses and colors. They're a bit more pricey than nibs so you probably won't buy as many nib holders than you would buy nibs. But the best way to learn about nib holders is to try them out. (Note: The two that look really weird like the second from the left and the one on the right are called oblique holders. "Oblique" means slanting. Makes sense, right? No need to be afraid of oblique holders. They are one of my favorites to work with.)


So then you push the nib into whiever holder you want to use. There's really no wrong way to do this. Just shove it in there so that it's nice and tight. The holder's job is to keep the nib nice and steady so you can write with it. If you decide you want to put a different nib in the holder, just pull it out and put a different one in. Usually, most nibs will fit in most holders so don't worry too much about potential mistakes. If a nib for some reason doesn't fit into a holder, then don't put that nib in that holder. Simple as that.



After you have the nib in a holder, you dip it in some ink. Some folks recommend that you put a new nib to a flame for a few seconds or to dip a new nib first into gum arabic to help break it in. I've done that before and sometimes I've not done that. Whatever. And becasue you dip the nib into ink, that's why you call these nibs with holders "dip pens." People also just call them calligraphy pens ... which is a bit more of a general term which could mean other things.


Once you dip it, you'll see that a bit of ink gets captured in the nib. Not a lot. Just a little bit. This shot below shows the nib's concave side, where you can see the captured ink.


Enough to write a letter or a word or even a couple of words. Depending on how much a nib captures, you'll have to redip to get more ink on the nib to finish what you are writing. (Note: Isn't that thick nib at the top cool? I think it's rad. It was given to me by Lisa Engelbrecht. Thanks, Lisa!)


Here are some pens with calligraphy-type nibs that you don't dip into ink. The nibs also don't get removed. Usually. Rather, they come with ink cartridges that you replace now and again. I personally call these "calligraphy ink cartridge pens." They're convenient when you don't have the wherewithall to take ink to wherever you are going.


The one thing I've learned about nibs and nib holders and such is that owning every variety available is not what will make your lettering awesome. Practicing and experimenting is what will make it awesome.



September 10, 2013

Knit Cross Apron

I'm diggin' my new apron I made with a cross motif that I knitted with Crochet Hemp and appliqued. Here's how I did it.


  • With worsted weight natural Crochet Hemp, cast on 4 stitches on size 8 (5 mm) knitting needles.
  • Rows 1–7: Knit
  • Row 8: Knit 4, cast on 4 (8 sts)
  • Row 9: Knit 8, cast on 4 (12 sts)
  • Rows 10–15: Knit
  • Row 16: Bind off 4, knit 8 (8 sts)
  • Row 17: Bind off 4, knit 4 (4 sts)
  • Rows 18–23: Knit
  • Bind off all stitches and bury all ends with a tapestry needle



  • Spray the back of the knit cross with fabric spray adhesive and place onto apron. Use hand-sewing needle and thread to stitch the cross along all edges to the apron.
  • Use black perle cotton to add a running stitch to the top and one side edge. Add small cross stithces near the knit cross.




September 03, 2013

Embroidered Converse Tutorial

Love wearing Converse, don't you?
Recently, I decided to add a little bit of embroidery to my black pair. Here's how ...

jenny dohFor the right shoe, I took one of the stitched white lines of the shoe as my guide to add simple straight stitches, first with red perle cotton and then white perle cotton to make an arrow. No pattern, no transfer lines ... I just went fo rit. And then I added some scallop-shapes with back stitches, and then some random straight stitches and French knots.

Jenny Doh
For the left shoe, I made a heart, using one of the stitched lines of the shoe as my guide. Again, no pattern, no transfer lines. More like doodling with needle and thread. I finished with some small cross stitches and straight stitches.

Jenny Doh

With some white socks and skinny jeans, I'm ready to go. Easy peasy.

Jenny Doh
Happy embroidery! :)

September 02, 2013

Fisherman's Rib Cowl Tutorial

Hooray! I'm happy to report that on this blazing hot day, I have completed my cowl. I'm so happy with it. And yup, it was all done on Second Stage.

jenny doh
What makes a cowl a cowl and not a scarf is that it is a connected loop so that there aren't swinging ends like a scarf. And the connected loop is made by joining the short ends with a simple twist added to it. I'll show you how.

First, I knit up a piece using the Fisherman's rib (here's a great tutorial showing you how to knit the Fisherman's rib) so that it was approximately 20 inches long. But you don't have to use this rib. You can use any pattern you like!

Before joining the short ends, I folded it like this.
jenny doh
Then I picked up the two inner corners like this.
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... and then lined up the short edges like this and weaved them together.
jenny doh
This twist results in what is frequently referred to as mobius or infinity. The twist makes the cowl rest beautifully on your neck, no matter how you put it on.

You can add this twist to knitted, crocheted, or sewn items. You can make it short like mine so that you just slip it over your head so it rests on your neck or make it long so that you slip it over your head and let it hang really low or twist it around your neck a few times to make it super chunky.

Here's how it looks when the ends are weaved together.

jenny dohThe reason I like this cowl is that the rib and the wool make it super chunky and thick so that I don't have to knit very much. Just 20 inches. And you can wear it to cover just your neck or you can wear it so that it also covers your mouth ... for days when it's super duper cold.
Jenny Doh
Happy knitting. :)

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