Category Archives: Crafting

Shifting Gears to Gifting.

Dee:  After my month long knit-a-thon for NaKniSweMo, which I totally plan to participate in next year, I’ve started in with crafting Christmas gifts.  Well, I did switch out the bear buttons on my sweater first for ones that had Nordic design and just look better overall.

2015-12-03 09.48.08

So, then I got to business and tried my hand at some crochet…not my strong suit…at all.  I wanted a sunny side up egg cotton washcloth to gift with a bar of bacon soap that I found at a craft show.  I had to watch an online video frame by frame to learn how to crochet a flat circle.  After that I had to adapt my stitches to keep the thing flat and a bit free form to mimic the egg.  It turned out pretty well and made me smile so all’s good.

2015-12-03 10.04.09

Next I got to work on some wooden sheep ornaments.  I placed a custom order back in July with a guy on Etsy and then added my own felt ears before wrapping them up in colorful fleece.   I have an entire flock to outfit however they need to have their ears added first.  Cute huh?!

2015-12-06 10.08.142015-12-06 10.06.06

More to come…happy knitting!

A Penny For Your Thoughts?

Dee: Lately my thoughts have been focused on pennies.  I made some jewelry to give as gifts with locally pressed pennies and now I am hooked.  I cannot stop.  Friends are even pressing pennies for me whilst they are on vacation.

2015-08-01 15.50.51

I’ve been doing some research into pressing pennies I’ve learned some tips and tricks for the best possible outcome.  Today I tested different methods of cleaning the pennies using common everyday household items.

2015-08-15 09.34.58

Method 1:  Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt into 1/4 cup of vinegar.  Drop in the pennies and the magic happens right before your eyes.  This took less than 5 minutes.

Method 2:  Ketchup, since it’s basically made from a large amount of both salt and vinegar, is quick as well.  This method however leaves the pennies smelling like ketchup.  Frankly, since method one worked so well I would save my ketchup for a burger in lieu of clean currency.  This method also took 5 minutes.

2015-08-15 09.51.18

Method 3:  Barkeepers Friend is something I use to clean sinks with yet you can clean pennies quite effortlessly when you sprinkle it on them while they are wet.  This method requires a tad bit of scrubbing the penny between your fingers as you rinse them off.  This was also a five minute endeavor.

2015-08-15 10.01.59

Method 4:  Cola Cola…hmmmm this picture is worth a thousand words.  We probably shouldn’t be drinking this stuff…just sayin’.  Plus this method took four hours and the result was less than stellar.

2015-08-15 10.06.24

Method 5:  Finally, if you have pennies that are circa 1982 and later you can use the eraser method.  I tried in on one side of one penny only since it was a lot of work and the effort just didn’t wow me.

2015-08-15 10.22.36

The white towel has the vinegar and salt on at the top and the ketchup on the bottom.  The green towel has the BarKeepers Friend pennies and the red towel are the Coca Cola pennies which still came out a lot less shiny than any of the other methods.  My recommendation is to stick with the vinegar and salt.

2015-08-15 10.00.102015-08-15 10.16.072015-08-15 14.28.46

I finished my Cameo shawl also this afternoon using some of WEBS Valley Yarns Charlemont .  I love this yarn and this pattern.    Next up I’ll be knitting a quick garter stitch hat using some Lorna’s Laces Bulky in Go Pack Go.   Happy knitting!

2015-08-15 17.57.182015-08-15 12.17.20

 

Happy 4th!

Dee: Happy 4th everyone!  I’ve got a Crock-pot full of barbecue pulled pork to be served on brioche buns, chili lime spiced corn on the cob, barbecue beans, and a fresh strawberry pie with fresh whipped cream all set for our Independence Day dinner.  Followed by an evening with friends and fireworks, making it a fun and delicious menu for the day.

I continue to knit and craft my way to sanity.  Since I last typed,  I’ve finished my second Colorful Day Cowl with a fuschia gradient 5-pack of Sophie’s Toes.  This project accompanied me to California in May, to KIP day as well as countless waiting rooms and lunch breaks.   I love it and will love wearing it in the fall.

2015-06-28 08.13.46

 

I took Terry out for her birthday and we went to make glass fused pendants which turned out pretty nice.  This was my second attempt with improved results.  I think I want to go again one more time.  Mine is on the right.

2015-07-01 13.18.46

I love giving handcrafted gifts whenever possible, so this explains the barefoot jewelry I made for a pool lounge loving co-worker’s birthday. Basically I used 26-inch length of 7 mm elastic cord that I strung with seed beads for around the toe adding an other mixed set of earthy colored beads accented with some silver tone etched sun beads.   The result may be a bit frivolous yet also sort of fun.

2015-07-03 18.52.36

I continue to work on my hat for July as well as the Noro Veil Stitch Cowl in their Taiyo Sock yarn.  The stitch is so fun to work and the result is open and airy.  I cannot wait to wear this one in fall with plain dresses and tops.  The reason I chose the Taiyo over my other choices was the fact it’s 50% cotton, making it cooler to wear indoors all day.    This is now my travelling project and the two color hat stays at home.

Happy knitting!

All That Glitters

Dee: I love to gift.  I prefer to give items that I have made.   Y’all know I love to knit but sometimes, that process just takes more time than I have.  Lately I have really enjoyed fashioning bracelets.  They are fun to wear, they are pretty quick, relatively speaking, and usually one size will fit most which is a bonus.  I really should learn to work ahead and create a jewelry shop of sorts to “shop” when a gifting occasion arises rather than my current process of looking at Pinterest for inspiration and then at my supplies on hand and trying to find a match.  Take a peek at what I have created recently .

2015-03-10 20.37.04

2015-03-05 11.35.23

2015-03-26 12.50.54And now…back to the knitting.  I’m currently contemplating my next hat of the month project as I knit on my Colorful Day Cowl using a Sophie’s Toes Magic Ball.   It’s the perfect travel or Netflix binge project.  I don’t mind all the ends since I weave as I go.   Happy Knitting!

Giddy Up

Dee: There’s not much time left for Christmas knitting.  I just don’t have the inclination to knit every night after work.  Instead I’ve been making jewelry and doing some general crafting,  My creative juices are flowing but in way too many directions.  I need to focus!!!  I made this tree bauble for an ornament exchange at work.

2013-12-02 21.11.16I also knit a sweater vest for a cool cat.

2013-12-02 12.28.59

There is a pair of slippers for my mom I need to knit up quickly and I have high hopes that I will knit two hats (one for each son) and a pair of socks (husband) before Christmas day.  I’m not the betting kind but I would bet that I’ll at least get the slippers and hats done…at least that’s the plan.  Think good thoughts and say a prayer for me, I’ll need it!

Inspiration…

Inspiration…where does it come from?

I’m observant, creative, and I love to spend my free time on pretty much anything other than housekeeping.  I accumulate supplies, sometimes in mass quantities.  I have always been someone that sees, then mimics, tweaking as I create.  Sure I often follow knitting patterns to the letter but knitting isn’t the only way I create.  There’s cooking…and there’s crafting.  Lately it’s been jewelry making.

I’ve discovered O-rings at the hardware store and I love them.  I’ve made a number of O-ring bracelets as gifts and the recipients always love them.  There’s a lot to like about them.  Basically you can’t destroy them.  They are virtually indestructible as they are meant to get wet, be wet and stay wet.  I continue to explore their possibilities.

2013-05-21 15.53.38My most current inspiration comes from the mail carrier.  It’s catalog season and my mailbox brings many treasures every day.  I peruse the catalogs as eagerly as I do a new magazine.  I love the Sundance catalog.  Their merchandise buyers and stylists really have me hooked.   When I opened the catalog this afternoon I found clothes that I would love to wear, hats that I would love to knit, and jewelry I would love to create.  I am not sure where to start but I am thinking I would like a new hat.  Basically there are just a few weeks of prime crafting time ahead of me before the Christmas holiday so I need to quick it into high gear and get my gifts made.

I should have posted about my California yarn shop excursions or my trip to Meg Swansen’s knitting workshop earlier this month but I was just so excited by Monica’s seasonal pumpkin donut postings that I had to jump in today and post about what is occupying my mind.  I’ll get to the knitting next time….Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago is next weekend so I’ll do a big post after that…I promise.   That is right after I score some donuts since somehow I am completely Jonesin’ for a pumpkin or apple cider donut.

Spring Cleaning

Hoarding is not a good thing.  My laundry/craft room is only so big.  I have to make some decisions about what needs to go.  You would think I would start with the stuff you can see but I figured if I attacked the things inside the cabinets that I never go into then I’d have space for the things I can’t find a home for.  So I started with some magazines that I thought I never wanted to live without.  Turns out that since 1988 I have much more creative and crafting skill then the projects reflected in these back issues of a defunct magazine.

St Patricks Day and etc 007

Seriously…this would be the ugliest lamp ever.  Grab some lamp parts, plaster, rope, and a garbage bag and you get a shabby chic lamp?  Nope…not even close.

St Patricks Day and etc 008

While paging through my late 80’s collection of magazines I did learn some interesting things like Pillsbury’s Funetti cake line was new in 1989. Also I could make some nifty looking keepsake frames, mirrors, and boxes by gluing seashells I “found”  while on vacation all over them in a pleasing pattern.  I never want to do that…ever!  I really do like shells though.

St Patricks Day and etc 015

I could make the mother – daughter sweater set…but I don’t have a daughter…

St Patricks Day and etc 014

There are some leaflets and projects that I did do…I made the busts with heads made out of shrunken apples.  In my defense I did this in junior high school.  Sadly I no longer have the bust I made but seeing the project guide brought back fond memories indeed.  I also found a leaflet for making flowers out of pinecones.

St Patricks Day and etc 019

I did decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon garlands cascading down just like I saw in this picture.  It was one of my favorite trees!

St Patricks Day and etc 017

I did come across a real gem in my purging…a leaflet that has real possibilities.  In full disclosure I actually did wear crocheted vests like this made by my mom and grandma when I was in grade school.   I must have been too young at the time to realize that there was a need for bags to carry around your feathered farm animals and rabbits.  Who knew?!  I kept this instruction leaflet, it was too funny to ship off to the Goodwill.

St Patricks Day and etc 020

St Patricks Day and etc 022

I ran across my son’s membership packet for the Pee Wee Herman Fun Club…complete with 2 autographed 8 x 10 portraits.  And the purging continues…I’ll keep you posted on anything else of interest that I come across.