Fish Scale Wind Catcher

I have finished the Tassel Wind Catcher I wrote about in my previous post .  It is gorgeous!!!  Dare I say this might be one of my most favorite pieces to date?!?  Oh, definitely in my top 5.  This wind catcher is also one of my bigger finished projects and I am struggling right now for good placement to showcase it in photographs…mostly due to the fact that Spring has not yet sprung in South Jersey.

While I try to figure this photography issue out, I thought I would take a minute to share what I’m up to today……

Fish Scale Wind Catcher 1.jpg

I’m so excited to be working with lots of colors still!!!

I found this funky piece of driftwood at the park a few weeks back and I wasn’t sure how I could use it for macrame work, so I had set it aside hoping I would be able to use it eventually and this morning when I saw it I knew it would be perfect for the next wind catcher I want to make.

The colorful pieces for this one are made from melting transparent pony beads.  The larger discs are shaped using a cupcake tin and the smaller melted pieces were set out individually on parchment paper.

***Don’t forget to create a well ventilated area where you are melting the plastic beads.  The fumes are awful!***

Fish Scales.jpg

In order to obtain the fish scale appearance, the beads will have to melt very flat which requires a hotter oven.  For this group of beads, the oven is set at 425 and I kept them in for almost 30 minutes.  The larger discs went in at the same temperature, but were finished melting at 22 minutes.  After the discs cooled, it was just a matter of drilling small holes for the fishing line to pass through.  I put two on each one of the smaller discs parallel to one another.

Now that I have all the supplies to create the wind catcher, I just need to sit down and get started.  Maybe while I am working on this one I can figure out a good way to photograph both so I can share them with you.

 

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Out With The Old

Before the day completely gets away from me, I wanted to stop by and wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!!!  I hope you have plans to be with family and friends over the next couple of days.  One of my favorite things about New Years Day is my husband making wings for us to munch on while we watch all the football games.  It takes him hours to get a big tray of them done, but boy are they worth it!!

On that note, I will be heading out soon for the grocery store (and the liquor store) to prepare for tomorrow.  I wish it wasn’t so darn cold outside.  The sun is shining, but it’s deceiving….the temperatures might be out of the teens by now, but I doubt it.  I’ll resort to extra layers today and consider myself blessed that I can keep my hair a mess and throw it in a messy bun hat.

Since I am printing a master copy of my pantry list, grocery store list, and weekly meal planner today, I decided I will share those links with you so you can print them out.  It’s so helpful to grocery shop with a plan….especially when there are young children helping you shop.

Anyway, here is to keeping it all together in the New Year!  See you in 2018 🙂

Grocery Shopping List- All Out Of….from Life In Yellow

Pantry Essentials List-  Pantry Essentials by Moms Bistro

Meal Planning Weekly Sheet-  What’s For Dinner by Baked Bree

BONUS:

Recipe Card (full sheet):  Red Recipe Card by Printables by Design

How I Was Able to Organize My Crafting Blog in One Day

At the end of every year this sense of urgency comes over me to get organized before January.  In years past, I would walk my home and make a note of all the things I put off the previous twelve months that have now created little pockets of clutter seemingly every where.  This year I am purposely ignoring the house mess to focus on the blog mess first.

There have been a lot of starts and stops with Knot Your Way in 2017.  When I published my first post there were goals I had that are much different than the goals I am ending the year on.  Now, I admit when I began my blog I didn’t have a defined direction.  As time has passed and I have shared patterns and projects both here and through my other blog Notions & Necessities,  I can see that both are in desperate need of some attention and focus…maybe even some consolidation.

Last week I spent a whole day online searching for forms to help me tame this beast and let me say I could not be more grateful for the people who put the work into the forms they offered for free!!!

My biggest find by far was the Ultimate Blog Planner Kit 2018!!  Finding this 15 page FREE printable was such a relief! Designer Blogs clearly worked hard on this comprehensive kit and it was so easy to download and print that I signed up for their newsletters.  I love the kit and I hope they have more of this awesomeness in 2018!  If you are considering starting a blog or need to organize a current blog, I highly recommend checking out Designer Blogs.

Once I had a bank of forms I could use to get the blog organized, I now had to address the issues surrounding the crafts I create.  At first I didn’t think it would be a daunting task, but since I have been crafting for over 20 years with no real system of record…..well, it’s daunting to say the least.  Nevertheless, I am tackling this project with the resolve to get it all together from material and supplies to patterns and posts.

The easiest way for me to share the information that I gathered and found incredibly useful is to just list them out for you.  Whether you are crafting, blogging, or just trying to organize your personal space; these free printables are so helpful!

Free Printables for Staying Organized

Pattern Cards – found at Isn’t That Sew.  The pattern card is for sewing projects.  I love that it has a place to sketch or paste a finished photo on.  I will be attaching these to each sewing pattern.

Binder Covers– I have 6 different binders I will be using to sort my chaos and I would love to have beautiful binder covers….I found a real gem at Home School Giveaways when I came across a post from August 2015 for some very colorful AND editable covers with pretty spine cutouts too!!!

Monthly Calendars 2017– I need to do some back tracking with postings from this year.  Luckily, I found colorfully bordered monthly calendars for 2017 at Short Stop Designs.  I put these to work right away and I love the color theme.  It makes me want to get the months in order!

WIP Cards– I found the perfect work in progress forms for my needs at Frogging Along.  More than one WIP card prints on a page, so I get more cards for less printer ink AND all the information I need to have is right there on the form.  Another time saver for me 🙂

Hooker’s Journal– The Crochet Crowd has a free Hooker’s Journal.  I downloaded the whole kit and I have added the Reference Page, Notes, and Monthly Challenges into my 2018 organizational tools.  The kit is very comprehensive and has a number of useful pages.

Project Details Form– I found a very simple but very useful form at Craft Diaries.  I actually love the spacing on the form and the fact that there is a lot of room for notes.  I will be using this form with every project I work on so I can track it’s origin.

Blog Post Planner (with & without lists)- This form was a real gem I found just this morning.  It was clear from the post and the forms themselves that Anderson and Grant put a lot of work into this.  Since I am still learning about the networking aspects of blogging, I am so grateful for this!

So, that’s what I have so far in the organization department.  I love all these tools and I am incredibly grateful to the people who not only put these forms together, but then offered them for FREE!  Trying to do all the work to create forms for myself would have been a very long task.  Using the links above, I have a good grasp on my system of postings and crafting from here on forward and it only took me a day to get it all situated.

I have a system in place that allows me the ability to highlight patterns I have worked in the past as well as current ideas for projects.  Things are put together in a way that is understandable and requires minimal paper pushing.  That’s always a good thing.

Are you currently working on an organizational project?  I would love to hear about your methods and what works best for you.  It doesn’t just have to be about fiber crafting either….I need to organize my kids, appointments, the family schedule, meals, shopping….you name it.

I’m making Christmas Stockings!

Check out how cute this is…..

I made this stocking in under an hour!!!

It’s beautiful!!!

I hate to stop working on the other three I need, but…..

I’m off to do some holiday shopping today.

When I come back I’ll show you where I found this free pattern and talk about my learning curve.

Oh, before I forget, I finished Mom’s birthday gift! It’s super cute. Maybe a bit advanced for my skills, but I did pretty good and I’m pleased. I’ll share photos and that free pattern after the New Year.

Lots of reasons to check back frequently…sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook for all the latest projects cause you won’t want to miss a single one.

Just a Peek

Today, I’ve been working hard on the pattern that recently had me off the rails. It’s been frustrating to say the least.

So today I picked out some fabrics I thought would match nicely. I’ve created three attempts on this pattern and all three have been fails…honestly, I’m fighting through frustration to work this pattern correctly.

I’m sure it will be beautiful when I get it right.

Some times I forget that good crafting requires you slow down…be patient and accept imperfections for the beauty they can create.

Anyway, here’s a peek at the fabric I’m working with…all of these squares came from other nice projects I made for family.

I didn’t post yesterday because I had to take a “sick” day. I definitely had too much spirit 🎄🎉 at the Christmas party on Wednesday night. It seriously took me a whole 24 hours to feel normal again…I’m a light weight and clearly not in my 20’s anymore. It was worth it to spend some time with friends.

If you’re working on any patterns or projects that are frustrating you, please share. I’d love to hear your story.

Off the Rails!

I mentioned yesterday I had a plan for the hexie angle template I found. As you can imagine it involves fabric scraps. Who doesn’t love using up scraps??

The scraps I had in mind were already cut, but to the wrong size for the pattern I want….

this is where it goes off the rails….

Now I have to decide whether to change the pattern or the fabric scraps…

Off the rails I go and…

After some Pinterest searching I decided to stay with the original pattern because it is just that cute!

So fabric scraps it is….

I have half a years worth of all kinds of project scraps…it is a mountain….

A mountain I was putting off, but I need a lot of 5″ x 5″ and the swatches have to match.

Still not on track yet, but getting there with a plan. I spent most of last night and all of today cutting this fabric pile down to manageable squares I can work with either for this project or one in the future.

This is how my world looks today…just watching mindless television shows, measuring and cutting.

While the original project is on my mind, I’ve definately started working on a mountainous project that is off the rails….

And then there is my cat…

There is no room for the cat today and he’s upset.

What tha?!?

Well, at least his feelings are clear on the matter…anyway…

My goal is to get through this today and get my hexies cut tomorrow so I can share some of the work.

I hope you check back…if not to see my work than maybe just to make sure the cat hasn’t followed through with his plot.

Until then…Happy Hooking!

Holiday Travels and WIP

I was so blessed this year to extend my Thanksgiving holiday into the following week by taking a long over due trip to visit my sister and her family.  Florida this time of year is perfect weather!  We went to the beach a few times and just enjoyed our visit.  I can’t wait to see them all again and I will not let as much time go by before we see each other.  Check out this beautiful picture of the full moon over Ft. Myers!!  It was breath taking and my little camera phone does not do it any justice (sadly the good camera was in Jersey).

Full Moon Ft. Myers

This time of year I’m usually going crazy trying to get Christmas in order and this December is no different.  Just because I was on a mini-vacation doesn’t mean I stopped crafting for Christmas….I just had to get a little creative and adjust for the confined space of an airline seat.

Airline Tray Shot

Just a little snapshot of my over ambitious crafting on the plane…I managed to make it work with a little help and the crafting continued….

So, I’m crafting for Christmas and since Hubs bought me a sewing machine this past year I decided to ease some of the crochet burdens with sewn items instead.  I am still learning my sewing machine and haven’t even worked with many of the programmed stitches or embroidery, but I felt confident enough to find a few project designs and I can say they are coming along with much success.  I can’t wait to share the patterns and show off the final products!

Today I am going to have to focus on unpacking and getting settled back into our daily routine.  Tomorrow I’m going to come back and share three free patterns that I worked last week as gifts for the youngest to give her teachers and after school providers.  I’m really excited at how the items turned out…AND…each pattern took less than 3 hours (some less than an hour)!