2014 Crafting in Review

I had a busy year of knitting, though not so much a busy year of blogging….oops. Many of my knits were for me. Oh such a selfish year. I did make some gifts for my mum that I was super happy about, a few scarves for friends and family, as well as a hat for a family friend who underwent chemotherapy and who I hear is doing well.

1. Olympic Mitts – part of Ravellenic Games. Mystery + Manners

My first knit of the year was this massive Olympic project. Ravellenic Games are one of my favorite knitting times. I like a challenge. I loves this gloves and wear them quite a lot.

Mitts

2. Group KAL Color Affection

I think you guys have all heard about this well enough, haven’t you?!

Color Affection

3. Many Infinity Lace Scarves or Cowls

Made the bright pink one for my grandma since she is so bright and happy. I love her. I also made the green/blue one as a Christmas gift for my guy’s mom. She put it on right away so that was quite the happy moment.

Infinity Lace 2 Infinity Lace

4. Deer Hat

I made one for my mum and one for me. I couldn’t love this pattern more. It’s just plain fun and crazy. I offered to make one for my guy for his hunting trip but he declined. Party pooper.

Deer Hat

 

5. Mr. Fox Stole My Heart

Eeee! I was positively giddy about this knit and still am. I wish I had more places to wear this. He still needs a little tweaking, I want to get a snap so I can snap him around my knit. Must wear more often.

Mr Fox

6. Longhorn Hat for my man

I knit quite a lot of orange this fall. This was an experimental hat and one that did not fit him right away. Still happy with how it turned out, but I feel like it may fit me better than him.

Longhorn Hat

7. Lola Headband

This has gotten alot of use lately with the cold temps. I adore this project and want to make many for friends. Takes longer than you would think (my head CANNOT be that large, oy!), but is completely worth it.

Lola

8. Gifts – bookmark and hat

I’ve made this bookmark quite a few times and think it is such a nice, handmade gift. Use Stiffy to stiffen the yarn.

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9. Socks for my mum

I absolutely love making socks, the perfect travel knit. I now know my basic pattern by heart. Thankfully my mom loves knit socks. Perfect match.

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All of my projects are on my Ravelry project page if you would like to see or purchase the patterns.

I hope you had as lovely of a knitting year as I! To many more!

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Medallion Earrings

The crocheting continues! Serious all, if you don’t know how to crochet and really don’t know if you care about learning…just do a Ravelry search for crochet earrings and your mind will be blown! There’s too many cute things not to try it.

Case and point… my new earrings!

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Find the pattern on Ravelry (for free!) or at the designer’s blog: Taraduff’s crochet and other stuff.

Since I’m a newbie, I’m not cool enough yet to be able to crochet on such tiny, tiny hook with miniscule thread. So mine were crochet with a size D hook.

Do it!

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Crochet Kuchi Earrings

crochet earringsFirst, I just want to remind you that I’m completely new to this crochet thing. Though that crochet class helped immensely, I can barely understand the directions so crocheting actual items (as opposed to free-form thingies) is pretty hard.

To make me practice, I’ve chosen crochet as my September blog theme though you could hardly tell by the looks of this blog this month. Oops.

Anyway, I’ve been lusting over ridiculously beautiful crochet earrings on Ravelry. They are lacely, gorgeous, intricate and look extremely difficult.

Probably because they are.

I’m confused by everything. Most patterns say “oh just go ahead and start with a magic loop”. Well what the hell? I Google’d it and yea okay, magic loop is like what I learned in class. You chain a number of stitches, slip to connect and then start making your stitches into the circle — but the pattern directions DO NOT always tell you how many to chain!! This is just too much freedom for this constrained knitter. Knit patterns are not free. They do not just leave important things like the number of stitches in the cast on row just up to you. Squeak! Okay, so I realize that the magic loop is magic because it is adjustable. But, eek! That’s just the sort of thing that would freak a newbie out.

But I blindly, lovingly jumped and tried out some earrings.

done!With partial success.

These earrings were adapted from Life in a Gilded Bottle’s Crocheted Kuchi Earrings. I say adapted because I tried to complete the pattern but well…I’m new to this and couldn’t understand what to do next. I’m sure it will all sink in with time.

Basically my pattern involves these following rows instead:

  1. Ch 5 and join with sl st to form a ring.
  2. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), *dc into the ring and ch 1, repeat from * 6 times, dc (8 in all). Turn
  3. Ch 3, dc 2 times into every space across (15 in all).
  4. With yarn needle, thread through last loop to secure.
  5. Grab your earring hook and stitch remaining thread through hook and secure.
  6. Grab your bottle of Stiffy Fabric Stiffener and soak earrings, lay flat overnight to dry.
  7. Ta-da!

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Polka Dots and Popsicles

The Pops

I keep having partial success with my boozicles. I’m not fully in love with the ones I’ve made but they keep getting better as I learn. Hopefully I’ll have some success this weekend.

popsicleWhy am I telling you about my failures? Well, because experimenting and mistakes creates frustration so I decided to finally stop guessing and just look it up! And I’ve finally figured it out. The ratio for alcohol to other ingredients for popsicles in quite low, basically 20% of your liquid ingredients. Which in my book was just not enough.  I was hoping it would be more like half and half.

But, no.

And actually, it is better that way. The alcohol taste in my newest pop was just enough.

Here’s the recipe:

Razzle Grapefruit Pop

  • 1/4 cup Austin’s Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka
  • raspberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • one tablespoon sugar

Recipe is for a four-part popsicle mold with straws that I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond for less than ten dollars.

  1. Blend together sugar, water, vodka and a handful of raspberries
  2. Add mixture to popsicle mold
  3. Drop in a few whole raspberries, these are delicious when frozen
  4. Freeze
  5. When ready, run some hot water over bottom part of mold and wiggle pop free.

Notes: If you don’t want seed, you should strain it before pouring into the molds. Also, we made this with two teaspoons sugar and found it a bit sour. Why goes easy on sugar, it’s dessert! Yum!

The Polka

polka

Since I’ve moved to Texas I’ve tried to be better about acessorizing…because Texans really, really, really like their bling.

So back in May, I decided to start buying and making jewelry and now I love jewelry and made this my month blog theme for May. My favorite find has been Charming Charlie.

I’m a bit of a plain Jane when it comes down to it, so I’ve been trying to step it up. Usually, I opt for dangly earrings as my only accessory. But today I think I’ve done a pretty okay job with sprucing up my outfit in a spartan-like me sort of way, pairing up my bright red polka-dot shirt with some gold and rosey dots.

These are all purchased, but I’m loving some of the jewelry my friends are making and am hoping to incorporate some more DIY jewelry in September’s blog theme!

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Crazy for Bracelets

new braceletI know guys, I’m a bit behind. Things have been crazy. Shame, shame…I’ve been making jewelry I swear! Just not blogging about it. Bad me.

Time to get caught up.

So the internet is a dangerous place, right? I’ve been lusting after everything on this website that has DIY designs for a bunch of bracelets. I mean, who wouldn’t want a bracelet made out of a zipper?!! So, when I was at the hardware store the other day, I decided that I would also pick up the gear to make the adorable DIY Nut Bracelet from Truly Smitten.

And truly, I am smitten. I could make like five thousand of these in more colors and wear them forever.

DIY Nut Bracelet

The Hardware

  • Twine, leather, whatever you want to use as the base, but make sure you have enough to go around your wrist twice, remember you are braiding this! Cost: $1.99
  • Nuts, I basically brought my twine with me and measured up to see what size hole I needed to be able to thread the nut through. Granted, tough men will look at you strangely while at Lowes, whatevs. I liked the gold but there is also silver. Choices! I used six nuts for this one, but you can use more! (I think I will next time).  Cost: $1.70 (breaking the bank, guys!)

braidingDo It

1. Tape down three pieces of fiber, knotted at the top. Yup, that is Charlaine Harris’ face. What? Doesn’t everyone use the back of the new Sookie Stackhouse novel to affix their braiding?braiding 2

2. Braid about halfway down and start to braid the nuts into the braid: thread nut on right twine, braid. Thread nut on left twine,

braid, repeat. This takes some patience and dexterity. Hint: I threaded mine on early and then made sure I pulled down tightly on the braid. Note: It may not look correct right away, I noticed I had to “arrange” the nuts so they laid correctly. You can do it!

3. Finish your braid, knot and affix clasps. I like the hooks with a circle and straight bar. Much easier for my clumsy hands.

Then pose.nuts

Okay so that last part is un-necessary.

This may be my favorite bracelet of the month, which is largely in part to the ease of finishing. Most of my bracelets have been made with larger thread, mostly because I like the leather. That has proven difficult to get to affix. One big hint I have for you is: clear nail polish! It is a life saver. Knot your ends to their clasp real tight, snip close and then apply some clear nail polish. I used Sally Hanson’s Hard as Nails because that seemed appropriate.

Enjoy!

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Rubber Bands

Now that I’ve discovered a whole new aisle in the craft store I haven’t been able to stay away! I’ve been experimenting with different textures to make a set of stackable square knot bracelets. This is a rubbery texture in a warm copper tone. I’ve also been experimenting with different closures. These hooks are my favorites so far.

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Hanging Out: Jewelry Organization

I’ve opened the floodgates. Upon figuring out how to make one cute braided bracelet, I’ve decided to go a little crazy and make a bunch more…and the month just started.

This could be dangerous.

Thankfully, my DIY-crazed brain has prepared for an abundance of jewelry. Thanks again, to Pinterest. Here’s a quick look at how I organize my jewelery.

By now, I’m sure you have all learned that I live in a very small space, very. small. space. Strangely enough, I love it. I hung up a new picture in our studio yesterday and fell asleep telling my guy that I really love our little home. I meant it. It is small and holds everything we need, especially since I have a Keurig. This small space has meant; however, that I spend lots of time dreaming about Apartment Therapy’s Small Spaces with evil thoughts ideas and most importantly, that I have learned how to use the walls in our small space. Thusly, most of my jewelry rests on the walls in our bathroom.

Necklaces

My necklace organization is pretty simple right now. I hung an industrial-sized hook from Ikea and place the longer necklaces on the back part and the shorter up front. photo 3-1Easy Peasy. Sometimes they get tangled though, so I, of course, have done my DIY research and came up with two projects.

Queued: Wood hanger necklace organizer. This looks easy… like most things on Pinterest, I’m sure it is not.

On My Wishlist: A necklace organizer on a rake! Way down on the to-do list…like for when we get a house because I don’t think our tight space is the best place to place a rusty rake right now.

Earrings

My earrings fall into three categories: dangly, studs and other. “Other” are those random bits for which I’ve lost one and refuse to throw away the other in hopes of stumbling upon its mate one day. I’m sure I’m not alone in this collection. Those go into my random jewelry box of hope. The others are organized nicely.

The Studs

earringsRecently I’ve taken up cross-stitch and have become obsessed. It occurred to me, and other geniuses on Pinterest, that cross stitch weavery make the best earring holders for your studs. Functional and more importantly, you can display them in a pretty way. I have my most used studs on a little oval hoop and have been planning on adding a little something to fancy it up. Ideas:

I like the idea of stitching a nice background and just adding in the earrings randomly. This one features some cute insects.

Or an ocean wave.

Another idea I’ve considered is a decorative border. I’d have to make my earring holder larger and I’m okay with that. More excuses to buy earrings!

Dangly

earring frameI love dangly earrings. I have actually been afraid of necklaces for so long that dangly earrings have been my main go-to for dressing up. They always got tangled up, until I found a Pinterest project to solve my problem.

My guy helped me with this Pinterest project and ever since I’ve totally been able to get his help when gathering supplies and making projects. He actually wants to make one of these for all of his girl friends. How amazing is that?

Learn how to make your own chicken wire earring holder here!

As I stalk people on Pinterest, I’ve found out that there are lots of ingenious ways to organize your jewelry. I’m currently looking for one to organize bracelets. Any ideas folks?20130507-225458.jpg