Sunday, January 31, 2010


So this is a different kind of post today. At work I was talking to one of my supervisors who commented on my skirt, which happens to be one I've made. She told me about a pair of pants she was trying to hem, and how horrible it was trying to find the patience to hand sew the whole thing.

If you don't own a sewing machine or don't feel like you have the time or skill to sew hems, Hemming Tape is one of the most useful things you can own. All it takes is an iron, and in a few minutes you're done!

And trust me, I hate hems, and I hate hand sewing, so I feel you!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crocheted Beret

This beret is fashioned after one my great grandmother made for my aunt a long time ago. Now that the original one is wearing out, she wanted a new one. Since I didn't have the original pattern my great grandmother used, I went out to find the most basic one I could and then copied the size of the original. This way, the fit and shape would be similar even if the look was different.

I really like the yarn I used, too. It was a cotton, which made it difficult to work with on a metal needle, but it also made it feel very homecrafted, which I always like.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Valentines Day Bowl

Success!! So after the miserable failure that was the first bowl, I decided to err toward simplicity. I found a cute tiny metal bowl marketed for making individual cakes, and I used that as my form. I then decided to "decorate" it by using food coloring while mixing the dough, instead of paint.

While it did burn, leaving the inside an odd brown color, I'm still happy with the overall appearance. I think it might have been interesting to even use several different dyed pieces to weave or fold together, for some color variation. I added my color when I did the water, but I also wonder how it would have looked if I had added it after the dough was formed. Maybe a marble would be pretty.

There's lots of variations for this one, and I think it allows for a wide variety of gifts and pieces. Hope you have fun experimenting!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Problems with Salt Clay

So I thought I'd present one more problem I had with salt clay that you might have also. At the same time I made that bowl, I was also baking a flat round piece that I was going to paint and present as another gift.

However, it came out of the oven bowed, even though the cookie sheet stayed flat. If you do want to make something flat, I'm thinking you might have to weigh it down with something, or maybe flip it half way through the bake time.

Also, the instructions I was using recommended baking for 9 hours. The original bowl and the round piece were both left in for about 10, and the bowl I'll post about tomorrow was left in for 11...and burnt. I still like it, but that might be some useful information to know.

Hope your projects come out more successful than mine!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ugly Bowl

So here's another testament to my not-always-perfect creative eye. This little beast was supposed to be my Valentines Day gift to my boyfriend...Until it turned out ugly. I was using instructions from my book and it had this cool idea to embed things into salt dough before baking it.

So I was going to make my boyfriend this cool bowl he could leave on his desk for change or paper clips or that sort of small thing, but the only bowl I could find as a form was too big! But I decided maybe it would be ok anyway, so I made it (remember the salt dough recipe?) and started baking it with an embedded chain around the base.

Half an hour later, I check its progress and the whole thing is slipping! I had to add more clay to the base of the bowl, entirely covering the chain, just to maintain its shape!

Even after fixing that, all the rest of the embeded pieces fell out, and I had this very plain, way too big bowl. AND it cracked! So I decided, to make it more than a clay bowl, I would add a different kind of embellishment-- Cloth! Cloth ribbon to cover the crack, some cording to add to the top...Ta Da!! Hideousness!

I will have to try again, because this thing is way too ugly to force on anyone.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine's Day Cards!

Happy Valentine's Day!...Ok, I know it's not February yet, but if you're going to hand make everything, you have to start early!

These cards are made with precut card and envelope  packages from Michael's, and stickers from Target's dollar spot. I made about 10 cards for about 20$, and compared to 3$ a card at Hallmark, I think that's pretty good-- Plus I had the fun of making them!

I think that this is a good thing for kids to do, too. If they feel like they have to buy the packaged Valentines cards for their classmates, at least encourage them to make some for their closest friends, relatives, or teachers. Handmade cards are very sweet, and it doesn't force a teacher or relative to store something.

I like the mix of textures and prints and colors. I have some true red, bright pink, and pale pinks, cardboard stickers, layered stickers, metallic stickers, and traditional flat stickers. It makes the whole thing just a little more interesting.

I'll be posting the gifts I make too-- so keep an eye out for those!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crocheted Doilies!

Hello!! So I know I already showed you my scrap yarn project, but as everyone knows, there are several different sizes of yarn, and it takes a little finagling to get a smaller yarn to work on a project that's entirely made of bigger yarn.

So instead, I decided to do a second project with my small yarns. This blanket is going to be entirely made of these doilies. After I have enough to make a whole blanket, I'll arrange them and sew them together, for a very pretty, decorative blanket.

Hope you like!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cheating Again

While I am, admittedly, cheating on my wonderful craft blog, I'm actually really proud of my first post and would be much obliged if you went and checked it out!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


So I don't know what all of you think, but I really really dislike this mitten. I dislike it so much that I'm not even going to make the second mitten.

Now, it would be fairly easy to say that it's the pattern's fault (this is another pattern from my book) the fact is I did a poor job picking the yarn and needle. Since I didn't own the size recommended I just used the needle closest, and I was trying to use a yarn I already had in my stash.

If I had known I was going to dislike it earlier, I would have frogged the whole thing and wound the yarn back up, but all the way to the end I was hoping I would like them. I'm planning on finding something to do with this-- we'll see!

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Header

I'm sure you noticed the new header already but I thought I'd say a few words about it anyway. I have basically zero experience when it comes to photography and how to manipulate photos, so what I did up there was just playing around, but I think it would be a fun thing to learn. Obviously, since I'm not taking any classes, all I'm going to be able to learn how to do is what I can figure out online, but I think what I made looks alright. At some point I'd like to draw it entirely on the computer and have a cute little cartoony header up there.

I figure I'll change it occasionally, until I find something I'm truly happy with. Or maybe I'll just change it up as I learn new things!

The only things I did with this photo is alter the warmth and the lighting, and of course, add text. I added the original photo here so you could see the difference. What do you think?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New About Page

...On the other blog. (Kind of like the other woman, get it? Cuz I'm cheating on this one?)

Ok never mind. I know this is a cop out, you know this is a cop out, we all know. Go read the About section anyway.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sad Day :(

So for the first time in 41 days I have NOTHING crafty or creative to show you. And as much as I would like to promise that it will never happen again that would probably be false :(

But I promise, any time I do something interesting, I will post it. The problem, what with school and all, isn't finding time to post, but finding time to craft. I am pretty sure that Wednesday-Thursday should be productive, but since I have night classes after work all day on Monday and Tuesday, those days will probably be sad and dismal and post-less...

I am going to try to do enough on the other days and over the weekend to work up a buffer so that's not a problem, but we will just have to see.

Craft a little extra for me!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ball Gown Update

So the first thing I did when I got my gown home is take it to the dry cleaner's. The reason for this is I wanted to see what would happen to the neckline if a professional dealt with it, and I'm really happy with the results.

Also, I have some work I need to do on the gown, like repairing the tulle, and I wanted to see if the tulle that was already there was nice enough to fix, or if I needed to replace it. Happily, the tulle is in very good shape, and I can just tack it up where it has come loose and actually be done with this gown entirely!

I'll update again soon :)

First introduction to this gown here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Scrap Yarn Blanket

I think everyone should have a scrap yarn project, and this one is mine. Originally, I called this the "Wild Thing" blanket because it was the leftovers from this guy, but when I had used all my leftovers from carol, the blanket barely measured 2 ft in diameter. Since I wanted this to double as a bedspread, it's obviously not big enough, so now any time I have worsted weight yarn, I'll add it to this.

You'll notice the blanket isn't entirely flat, and that's because while I was working with this pattern, I decided that it was flawed and I knew better how to make it work...

The solution to my un-flat blanket is to give it to someone who won't care and will think it's awesome because it's not brother! He likes that it's round, he likes that it's made out of yarn that wasn't bought for the project, and he likes that it's not flat. Perfect!

If, however, you are able to follow a pattern (unlike me) you'll end up after several months of small projects with a very cool, colorful, and one-of-a-kind piece that tells a bit of a story of your knitting history.

Very, very cool!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Blog

Just for the semester, I'll be keeping one other blog, on advertising, its methods, aims et cetera. If you're interested, have a read once a week here. I'll try to post if I put something new up, to help you avoid looking in two places.

I hope to update on a couple of other things coming up soon-- an in-progress blanket for my brother, and some updates on the Ball Gown!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bird Houses

You may think it's too early for spring crafts, but if you don't do them early enough, spring gets by before all your ideas are done, trust me! Plus, I'm already excited for sunshine and Easter and May!

So in my spring mood, we painted bird houses for the back yard. We bought the tiny ones from Micheal's and each of us painted one, and I think they would make the cutest little row hanging from the eves, or a cute centerpiece for a spring party, or a cute mantel decoration. Plus, it's an easy craft for children, because they are finished before they have time to get bored with the painting.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Glass Paint

So one of the ideas in that book I bought was for painting on glass. While I didn't specifically use any of the patterns the book mentioned, I did buy some Iridescent Glass Paint by delta creative to see what would happen and here's the results!

It was a lot of fun to do, and I highly recommend it. Later, I'll try some of the specific ideas in the craft book, but for now it was good to just see how it went.

I think it would be interesting to buy a bunch of antique bottles, decorate them like this, and then set them in a window for the light to shine through.

Millions of ideas!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Puppy Chow

So everyone knows the classic Puppy Chow (if not, there's a recipe here) but when my Mom and I wanted to make it for the boys watching the Championship game, we realized we didn't have chocolate least not normal ones.

So white chocolate Puppy Chow it was! We kept the rest of the recipe the same, but the white chocolate made for a much more sweet mix. I think because of how strong white chocolate is, a half batch will do. It was very tasty, and VERY sweet!

Happy football season :p

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ball Gown 2!

So here's the real thing to learn from thrift shopping; the right item is out there, you just have to spend the time to find it! About ten thrift stores later, I find this little beauty. It's green, not pink, but I was informed that pink was a bad color on my skin, so green it was. No good pictures now; when I wear the gown, I'll update with pictures :)

The first gown post is here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Relationship Scrapbook

I love doing scrapbooks, but if you don't keep up on photos, it can be a little overwhelming. When I'm scrap booking old photos, I go through them and pile them into "general" categories, like Christmas Photos, Vacation Photos, or School Portraits, etc.

My favorite way to do scrapbooks, through, is by keeping up with current photos. For example, this one is from mine and my boyfriend's relationship scrapbook. Every time we're together (since we live apart) we take photos and I print the best ones. These I put in a scrapbook for us to remember everything we do together.

When we do live together, I am hoping to update the scrapbook on a "once a month" basis with my favorite photo from that month. This way, the scrapbook will grow different as our lives grow different, with new homes, new lifestyles, and children. I also keep one for my Mom and one for my Dad, which I update on Mother's and Father's day. These scrapbooks contain photos from the various things we've done together in that year. I'll make sure to post photos from those next time I update them :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Awesome Secondhand Store

I really hope you have one of these stores in your area, because it's one of the best second-hand places I know. They have a good 'buy and sell' policy for store credit, so that you can bring your old clothes in and buy new ones. Everything in the store is very gently used, and the racks are organized by type of clothing and colors.

And because I can't help but brag; my new find, for less than 20$ :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Craft Book!

I'm super excited about this; a general crafting book! This way, when I have a "crafter's block" day, this book can give me new ideas! I'll be sure to say if the idea comes from this book though :)

More information about it here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Knitting Needle Holder

I have been trying to find a way to store my knitting and crocheting hooks, because what I'm using right now just isn't working. They've been stored in a small purse, and the big ones don't really fit in the bag, and the small ones get stuck in the bottom of it.

The new bag I've bought isn't perfect, though. It has place to store double points, straight needles, crochet hooks, and a large pocket for circulars, but I'm not happy with the circular storage. I bought strips of velcro instead, and I'll sew it into the top to hold the needles. I'll post pictures when it's done!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dinner Disaster :(

No photo today, because that would be super sad. We tried to make baked macaroni...and it turned out to be dry noodles. Maybe we're supposed to fill the whole dish with milk? Any hints?

However, I did make a tomato salad that was mighty tasty-- sliced tomatoes, pepper, salt, and vinegar. Toss the whole thing, and that's it! Pretty tasty :)

Hope your dinner was better than mine :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Ribbed" Scarf

I made a new scarf! It's from the hair-yarn from the wild thing, so a scarf was a good choice, because it let me knit until I was out of yarn.

I wish I could show you the pattern for this one, because it's a very different rib than I'm used to, but if you want to know it you'll have to find someone who owns this book, which my boyfriend got me for Christmas.

There is one thing I can tell you-- the patterns are laminated, which means I can mark them up with a white board pen and then erase the marks so that the pattern can be reused. I've thought about getting this done for patterns I pay for. I'm thinking even buying protective slips for binders would work.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ball Gown

I have my senior ball next spring, and I wanted a vintage (sweetheart neck, pink, tulle, ballet-inspired dress). Needless to say, this dress hardly exists, so we've been scouring the vintage stores to find them. This is the first one I've found. It's not perfect (obviously) but I think I can make it work.

I'll have to make the hemline shorter, remove the straps, add more tulle under the skirt, and somehow hide or get rid of a largish stain in the front and replace all the bows...but it was only 18$ so if I don't find another that's better I'll be very happy :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chocolate Bowls

Mom and I decided to try something new for a dessert-- bowls made out of chocolate! We used a chocolate melter, but a double bioler would have worked fine, or one pan inside another. You can also melt chocolate in the microwave, but be careful not to overcook it (it's harder to monitor).

We used balloons as the shape and dipped them into chocolate and then hung them up to dry (some needed two coats) and then cut the knots off the balloon so that it deflated less violently. It was a little difficult to pull the chocolate off the balloon, but we found that if you start at the walls and then pull it off the bottom, the bowl is less likely to break. After the bowls were dry, we put a dot of chocolate on a plate and set the bowls in them (this way they stand on their own).

Next time I might try making them smaller (maybe with water balloons) or with white chocolate or swirled chocolate.

Make sure to make a couple extras in case they break!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Crayons!

Out of old ones :) I peeled the wrap from all my crayons, broke them in half, and dropped the pieces in a muffin tin. They went in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes (but keep a good eye on them) and came out beautiful!

They're good for adults (the multi colors make pretty backgrounds in scrapbooks) and for little kids (who don't care about coloring in the lines) but middle kids that want to color things "right" may not like this idea, and then you might have to break for the crayon melter that crayloa just put out.

It's a fun project though, so I highly recommend it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thrift Store Finds

I just wanted to show off some more finds. We spent the entire afternoon going through a strip of thrift stores, and I found some great things; a cute cardigan, two pairs of slacks, a rain jacket, and an embroidery hoop (I plan to learn to embroider soon!).

All this, and I spent less than 20 dollars. Thrift stores are great-- and today I doubled my formal business attire!! Awesome. Just be sure to be VERY picky. Thrift store finds can be fun, but if you get a sweater home to find it has major stain in the back, you'll be very unhappy (and they usually have poor lighting in those places). Good luck!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Carol the Wild Thing

So you know I learned to crochet and I have finally finished my first project! Meet Carol, from this pattern. One of the few times I don't heavily alter a pattern! However, I did change the way I made horns and claws. Instead of making them with clay as suggested, I bought beads made from shell to use. That cut down the time necessary for the project, and it was one less frustration.

The only reason I needed to avoid a frustration was because the hair took ages. I put each piece of yarn on his head individually, and that looked really good, although it did take longer than I would have wanted. Next time I want to do an animal with hair, I'll have to look up other, less tedious, ways to do it.

Anyway, I do love crocheting, and I suggest if you're learning to pick a stuffed project to work on. Stuffed animals generally have all the basic stitches with none of the fancy design work, so it's the best way to learn the normal stitches.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

My new year's resolution: Graduate! Ha!
Hope you have a great year planned :)