Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merrily We go Along...

I've been busy working on Christmas presents and clearing out my craft cabinet.  I knitted a few hats for my extended family.  I just love the Lavender Lace Beanie designed by Lorna Miser from the book.  101 Designer One-Skein Wonders Edited by Judith Durant.  I've made it several times and it is a true beauty when done.

I use a circular needle and a few stitch markers to keep me on track.  I use my post-it note to keep track of where I am in the pattern.  Reasonably easy lace pattern and great for a quick gift.

A recommended pattern that will definitely delight anyone when you make it.

I knitted this pattern in a dark grey for one of my cousins, which made a small dent in the skein, but it still has a lot left.  I think I might need to make a scarf to match.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Treat Carrier

Around this time of year, I like to send some holiday treats to work with my husband.  I often worry about my plate being left at work or broken. It's a heavy glass plate and I feel more comfortable sending something a bit lighter and less apt to break.

I looked around the house for some things to create a treat carrier and found a few paper plates and red plastic drink cups.

I pierced the cups and plates with a sharp tool I had in my craft cabinet.  It's used for ceramics.

I cut one of the cups down to shorten it as the top does not need to be so tall compared to the bottom.

I pulled a string that I had through the bottom hole and tied a knot so that it does not pull through.

I pulled the loop through the hole in the big cup and the second plate and tied another knot to cinch down the plates together.

Finally I pulled through the second cup and tied another knot.

Viola!  A treat carrier that was easy to make and I don't have to worry about losing it at the office.  I placed a piece of duck tape at the bottom so that it doesn't fall apart.  Fingers crossed.  It should not be handled by the loop on top while full.  Visions of cupcakes on the ground.  That would not be good.

I made some chocolate cupcakes to place on top and wrapped the whole carrier in plastic wrap.  The carrier can fit 30 cupcakes.  Yum!

For the recipe, here's a link to my food blog:
Samantha Experiments with Food
http://samanthaexperimentswithfood.blogspot.com/2012/12/one-bowl-chocolate-cupcakes.html

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas is a coming: Part II

Pierceware
A few years ago, perhaps 2 years, I purchased some oven bake clay for a project that I found on the Martha Stewart website. The title of the project is Cameo Appearances: Pierceware.

I never got around to the project, but had already purchase the materials.

The materials that I already had from my craft closet.

Reading the instructions from the website, I remember why I never got very far with this project.  The tool needed to make the nice holes in the clay is brass tubing, which I never found after I had already purchased the clay.

The instructions also call for wooden slabs to create an even layer of clay seem like a good idea as well.  Add it to the shopping list.  As a final flourish, I think red ribbon will be a nice touch for the ornament.

Today, December 6th, I went to the store to search for brass tubing and the wooden slabs.  I found 1/4 inch thick flat wooden trim for the wooden slabs although I probably could have done just as well with 2 paint stirrers.  The brass tubing was not available according to a person at the local Home Depot.  I searched through the aisles for a usable replacement and came up with crimp sleeves.


I'm not sure it will work out, but we shall see..

To be continued...

Link to the instructions for this project.
http://www.marthastewart.com/267032/cameo-appearances-pierceware

Christmas is a coming... Part I

Somehow, Thanksgiving came and went and now December is here!  As usual, my intentions of finishing one project get trumped by a more pressing issue which at this point is the holidays.

Fortunately for me, my craft closet has lots of unfinished projects from Christmas past.  After a quick look through my closet I find several projects to get me started and hopefully can finished quickly.

Christmas Stocking
A few years ago, I sewed some stockings for Christmas from a beautiful plaid fabric.  At the time, the family was my husband, the cat and I.  This year with a new little one, we need one more stocking for the mantle.  With the fabric found, I can begin.

Materials for project:
Festive Fabric
Thread

The old stockings I made 2 years ago.  
















I used a stocking I had made before for a quick template.
















I sewed the sides.  Cut a flap for the top and sew to attach.




















Create a loop from a rectangle of fabric and sew to attach to the fold. Voila! Done.




















For stocking templates:
Mini stocking
http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/pdf2/felt_mini_stocking_final.pdf

Stocking template
http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/pdf2/felt_stocking.pdf

Custom Stocking template
http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2011Q4/traditions-stockings-msl1211.pdf

Pinup Wreath
I have all I need in my craft closet for a handy holiday card wreath.

Materials for Project:
Embroidery hoop
Clothes pins
Glue

The instructions are quite simple.  Affix the clothespins alternating back and forth.  Pretty much it.






I affixed the first clothspins at the top, bottom and the sides.










Then I attach the clothespins in betweens.  I used hot glue.  I'm not sure about the longevity of it, but if it falls apart, I'll know to use wood glue like the instructions said.


The finished project with cards in the clips. 

Yay! I finished 2 projects today!

Link to the directions:
http://www.marthastewart.com/273148/pinup-wreath?center=307034&gallery=856463&slide=188969


Holiday Cards
Several years ago, I bought a kit to create a bunch of holiday cards. Note the year on the cards 2008, which I believe was the year before I purchased the kit.  It had cards, buttons, fabric flowers, and stickers.

Materials:
Cards
Buttons
Stickers
Hot glue


I had fun messing around with the buttons and the hot glue.  Now I just need a good family photo to go inside.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Let's Get Started: Yarn

The biggest space hogs in the closet are my fabrics and my yarn.  I'll start with these to clear space. Let's begin!

YARN:
So.. Here's the thing.  Most knitters and crocheters I know have a stash of yarn.  For most, it's probably a box or a bag, but I have an embarassing amount of yarn.  My collection has grown over the years for three reasons.  1) Yarn comes in a variety of colors and textures, and I fell in love with the feel or the color or yarn when I enter a yarn store (beware!) and bought it with no intended purpose at time of purchase.  I bought the yarn because it was beautiful.  2) Also, as people know that I love to knit, I've received a few balls of yarn as gifts.  3) As most knitters know, there are ends and pieces of balls of yarn left over from past projects or those projects that didn't quite work i.e. total project failure.  These reasons aside.  It does not excuse the large accumulation of yarn I have!

Here goes.
The shameful photos.  My Yarn Stash Exposed!








Since it's been getting colder, I've decided to start with a small project for my little guy's hands, some mittens!  I looked around for some inspiration on the web and there are a variety of free patterns.  I settled on the infant mittens from the purl bee.  (http://www.purlbee.com/infant-mittens/)  It looks easy enough.  I might be a wee bit rusty in the knitting department, but I'll try.

I've come to know that I am a "loose" knitter.  I knit continental, which I find to be the fastest what for me to knit and maybe that's why I have a bit of a loose knit.  With that in mind, I have to remember to reduce my needle size by 1 mm, and the pattern should turn out perfect.

First, I need to find the perfect yarn in my stash.  Looking through at my odds and ends, I find a variegated blue yarn left over from a past project.  I think it was a baby blanket.  The good thing about baby knits is that it doesn't take too much yarn to complete, so I hope it is enough for these mittens.  The pattern calls for 2 yarns but since the yarn is already variegated the project will go faster than written.  Yay!  Here's hoping.


The project is going ok so far.  The cuff was looking too long, so I stopped after 10 rows.  It called for 12 rows.. I'm not sure how the project will turn out.  It may go as some projects go, a complete failure and pull apart or it might work.  I'll let you know..

Ever forget where in a pattern you are?  I use a post-it and tally up my rows.  I put a tally after I start the row so I know which row I am on.

Infant Mittens instructions from the Purl Bee:
http://www.purlbee.com/infant-mittens/

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Unfinished Objects: Clearing out My Craft Closet

If your like me, you look at something in the store and if it's too expensive or just not quite right for your style you think, "I could make that!" without thinking about the time that you'll invest to shop for, buy, and finally craft the perfect item.  But it's the process of creating something with your hands that is enjoyable and gratifying.

I've dabbled in knitting, crocheting, sewing, candle making, lip balm making, crafting homemade cards among many other things and have the craft closet to prove it.  With a new baby in the house, I'm attempting to trim down my craft closet as it is in the baby's room.  I'll try to resist adding to my craft closet and use what I have accumulated.  By exposing my embarassing amount of craft items, I will hopefully be shamed into paring down and get those projects done.