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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Bohemian Baby Mobile and More

Whenever I’m looking for a new craft, I start at my Pinterest boards and then I go through the supplies I have on hand.  Many of you know that I was blessed with the birth of a beautiful granddaughter in the late fall of last year and this latest piece was inspired by her beauty and the lovely way her Mom has decorated her nursery.

I admit I started out looking for a toy or a doll I could make for her to play with since she is on the move these days, but when I saw a photo of a bohemian baby mobile, I had to give it a try……and it came together nicely with items I already had on hand.

Bohemian Baby Girl Mobile.jpg

Isn’t it adorable?!?

The base is an old embroidery hoop I had on hand along with various mediums of fabric and thread.  The piece measures a little over 18″ in length from the hoop to the ends of the fabric.  I created the piece to hang in the nursery, but not directly over the crib.

It would be nice to say that it worked up quickly, but there was a lot of time in gathering all the supplies and cutting the fabric pieces as well as the knotting I did with most of the thread I put on the piece.  Overall, it took me three days to complete.

Of course, I can’t stop with just one mobile…..so now I’m working on one for my house.  It’s a tassel mobile I started right after I finished the Boho Baby Mobile and I love it so far, but it’s taking an enormous amount of time….

Boho Tassle Mobile.jpg

The handmade tassels are what is so time consuming.  I bought a tassel maker at the craft store to help, but it’s still a lot of work.  I have been making tassels in my free time for going on two weeks and I’m still not finished!

Today I will be finishing the last of the tassels I need to go around the hoop and I will  be adding either wood beads or plastic beaded sun catchers to it….probably both.  I plan for this piece to be longer and for the pieces to move in the wind.

I can’t wait to show off the completed work.  I will share finished photos later this week.  I hope it turns out as lovely as the Boho Baby Mobile did.  Check back to see my updates, or better yet, subscribe so you won’t miss a single post!

Happy Hooking!

Making Maja Beads

I’m drinking coffee this morning and waiting for the 4th and 5th Nor’easter storms to hit our area.  It’s the 1st day of Spring and weather stations are forecasting over a foot in some areas.  I want to believe it will just be rain….maybe it misses us all together???  Probably not, but one can always hope.

Originally the candles in my work space were lit for ambiance.  Now they are providing the light to work by as the storm moves in covering up the sun with thick dark clouds.  The plus of any big snow storm is the quiet it creates.  The perfect setting for good meditation.  I guess that makes today a perfect day to share what I created over the weekend….Maja beads.

Maja Beads-Purple Tassel

I love this set.  I used purple and white cording with a purple and white tassel attached.  I followed the steps I found here.  Not only is the article very informative, but the instructions make it easy to follow.

You know me….I started with items I have already on hand.  I made my own small modifications to account for that aspect, but it didn’t change the look or the use.  It did change the size and I have trouble wrapping it around my wrist to wear as a bracelet, but it makes a lovely accent piece as a necklace.  The beads are the perfect size for meditation.  I use this set the most, but I enjoyed making Maja beads so much I created two more sets in differing sizes to see how they would come out.

Maja Beads-Pink Tassel.jpg

The pink tassel set is slightly too large to be a bracelet.  I tend to hold the tassel and charms in my hand which isn’t always ideal when I’m out and about, but I love how this one turned out and I wear it as a necklace often.   I have tried to meditate with it and the beads are a little small in my opinion, but I think when I have practiced meditation longer they will be wonderful.

Maja Beads-Maroon Tassel.jpg

Obviously this one is extra-large and I hung it over my meditation space because I love it as a wall hanging.  I will probably add a large stone and a large charm to it, I just haven’t made it to the craft store…..stupid Nor’easter!

The snow is falling now so I know it won’t be all rain as I had hoped.  I think I’ll make a cup of hot tea and meditate* before the chaos of a big snowfall begin.

 

 

*meditate on how I don’t want another school closing….meditate on how I want the power to stay on….mediate on how chilly it is sitting on the floor…meditate on…

Last Minute Gift Creation In Under 30 Minutes

With almost no days left to spare I have finished my Christmas creations!!  Most of the time I am up late on Christmas Eve stressing out about finishing up gifts for Christmas morning; which is why this year I am feeling pretty proud of myself!  I can credit my awesome new sewing machine and tons of free patterns for my success.

After getting everyone out the door this morning I sat down to find a project I have been putting off…aka. scrolling Pinterest.  I lost a whole hour drinking coffee and typing in different search words to find some wonderful patterns….maybe too many patterns…

I’m stuck with an idea and I can’t match a pattern with it…..yet…..

While I sort out which object I want to make, I’m going to take a few minutes to share a pattern that I created just this fall for a Travel Mug Cozy.   This pattern is quick, easy and it’s a beginner pattern, so even if you haven’t been working with yarn for long, you can make something beautiful to gift as handmade!

To finish off the beauty of the gift, I’ll provide a link to a printable for wrapping your cozy around.  Just print it on some nice card stock of your choice and it’s ready to go!!

Travel Cup Cozy.jpg

Aren’t they great?!!?

The buttons are part of a multi-pack I bought from Wal-Mart.  The one on the left is wood with painting on it and the other is made from coconut shell.  You can add any kind of embellishment you want.  If you know that the recipient loves flowers, charms, bling or plain; you can add anything to the piece you want to make it unique!

Grab your cotton yarn and your favorite hook…..heck, grab any yarn you have on hand….this pattern will work up right if you stick to the measurements…

Travel Cup Cozy

Cotton Yarn

H Hook

Button or other embellishment

Fabric measuring tape

Tapestry needle

You will need to know the following stitches:

ch-chain

sc-single crochet

dc-double crochet

sl st-slip stitch

*If you choose to work with a smaller yarn thickness or a different sized hook, you will need to adjust your beginning chain.  Chain your beginning chain until your piece measures approximately 3″.  Be sure to turn your piece and begin your work on an odd number (ie., ch 17, turn and begin in 2nd ch from hook).  This way you are working the stitch pattern on an even number of stitches. 

Start:  ch 9.

Row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from the hook, *dc in next stitch, sc in next st*, Repeat to end, ch1, turn.

Row 2:  sc in same st, *dc in next st, sc in next st*, repeat to end, ch1, turn.

*Repeat row 2 until your piece measures 8″ or it fits around your travel mug without too much stretch.  At the end of your last row, ch1, turn.

Last Row:  Bring both ends together and sl st through both your 1st row and your last row at the same time.  Fasten off and weave in your ends.

Align your embellishment to the opposite side of your piece from the seam you created and attach using yarn or embroidery thread with a complimentary color.

That’s it!!!!  Beautiful, right?

Let’s finish the piece with a beautiful printable to wrap it around and gift this baby like we worked on it all day!!!

If you like the cup cozy printable I wrapped my work around, you can find the link here.

This Southern Girl Can has patterns for her cup cozy too and they are beautiful and work up quickly too.  She also has a ton of other patterns and printables, so go check her out and give her some love for the freebies!

If you decide to create some mug cozies of your own, please post some photos below.  I would love to see what you make.  If you notice any problems with the pattern, give me a heads up.  This is one of my first patterns, so I hope you love it as much as I do.

Happy Hooking!!

Let’s Talk Fabric Place Mats

I didn’t post yesterday because I spent a good majority of my waking hours strolling through JoAnn Fabrics.  I brought Hubs with me so I would have someone to bounce ideas off of, but he ended up holding about 14 bolts of fabric and a ticket for the cutting counter while I bounced around from accessories to buttons to yarn to him again.

My love of fabric didn’t really begin until earlier this year when I started working with my new sewing machine.  It doesn’t take long to go from an idea of something that would make life easier to finding a free pattern on the internet.  I love that people who have been sewing for years would offer their patterns and tutorials for free.  It makes life so much less frustrating when you are mostly self-taught.

So, these beautiful piles of fabric that Hubs patiently carried through the store for me all have a project for Christmas attached to them.  I have taken a few photos and will continue to as I work at completing these gifts by the end of the weekend.  I expect my crafting areas will just be a flurry of cutting, pinning, sewing and cursing…(I’m still a beginner).  In the meantime, I can share a Christmas project I worked on two weeks ago that I was able to gift early to family last week on my trip to Florida.

Placemats Christmas 2017-2.jpg

Aren’t these great?!?

I think these mix/match place mats are perfect for any Christmas table setting.  There are three sets for the family gifts and since they each have such different tastes, I was able to play with themes I knew each would like.  The set used for the picture was a mash up of child-like designs for my sister’s home.  She has two young sons who love all things Santa, all Christmas candies, anything that blinks or glows at night and hopefully their Auntie since I made these cool place mats for their Momma’s table 🙂

Here’s how I made them:

I had some nice woven place mats and that is where I got the measurement from.  Mine measured 18″ x 14″ and they seem perfect for my table setting of four.  To simplify some of the work, I bought fat quarters and after washing and ironing the squares out, I started cutting them to 18 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ and also cutting one sheet of interfacing for each place mat also cut to 18 1/2″ x 14 1/2″.

I used heat fusing interfacing at a medium thickness.  I believe some people use a thin sheet of batting or interfacing that sews into the material versus ironing in.  Since I don’t like to iron I surprise myself at the choice, but it does work together quickly and the steam heat assures a good bond.  No matter which method you choose, turn one side of your place mat right side facing away and the interfacing attaching to the back side of that fabric.

After you attach the interfacing or batting to the wrong side of one piece of your place mat, you will grab another piece of fabric and putting it right sides together with the interfacing piece you just created you will sew around the piece creating a 1/2″ seam and leaving an unsewn area along one of the long sides approximately 3-6″ wide.  This is for pulling your place mat through and showing the right sides of fabric.  Before you turn your fabric make sure to trim off excess and cut your corners so they will be nice and sharp when you turn it.

When you are done sewing around the piece, grab a chop stick or a poking stick that will not damage your fabric.  Reach inside the pocket you created with the place mats and pull the right sides out through the hole.  After you have turned the piece, make sure you use your chop stick to poke nice corners in the fabric and help sharpen the seam down the connecting sides of the fabric.

When it’s nice and straight in all the corners and around the piece you will want to give it another press with the iron.  It will make the place mat easier to work with in the sewing machine and help place your finishing stitches around the work correctly.  I make sure to tuck in the fabric that created the pocket and line it up so that the top stitch I will create around the entire piece will also seal this pocket leaving no openings around the work.  So, after you iron the piece, just work a finishing stitch around the entire edge of the piece.  I try to keep this seam at 1/4″, but I really am just learning this craft, so sometimes it’s closer to 1/2″.  Trim loose threads and the place mat is done!!!

I created the napkin rings to match as an after thought to go with the place mats.  I searched on the internet for ideas that would work up quickly and found a suggestion for using shower curtain rings….GENIUS!!! I got 24 rings for $2.00.  I cut strips of scrap fabric to 3″ x 12″ and folded them in half creating a long tube.  I ironed the fabric and sewed a seam at 1/4″.  I tried to make them inside out and turn them, but I couldn’t get a good grip on the tubes and it was a frustrating mess.  By creating the seam on the outside I had a lot of stray threads to deal with and I am not sure how long these rings will last, but they turned out adorable…..just slide the tube onto the ring and adjust it to where you like it.  Trim up the threads and the ends and it’s done.

The place mats and the rings were both a big hit.  I think everyone loves to get holiday themed items as gifts.  If you know their style, JoAnn Fabrics is sure to have some beautiful prints to choose from.  Remember if you are doing 4 place mats and you use the fat quarters as suggested above, you will need two fat quarters for each place mat or 8 fat quarters for a set of four mats.

I hope you try this pattern out for yourself.  It’s definitely a beginner pattern that is pleasing and works up pretty quickly.  If you got your fabric tomorrow you could have gifts ready by Sunday.  If you do make them, I would love to see your finished works.  If you have any questions while you are working with my instructions, leave me a message in the comments and I will help as best as I can.

 

 

 

A Week of Frustrations

Well, that’s what this past week of project work has been….I started out working on a sandal pattern with flip-flop bases to them.   I tend to stitch loosely and with this particular type of pattern, it is not a positive attribute to have.  I did finish at least one of the sandals all the way to the end and then had a good laugh with the family as I put my foot in it and showed everyone my summer clown shoe.  Since it was a failed project, I didn’t think to take a photo but I will in the future.  I am going to practice this pattern or another similar one and I will do some step by step photos.

My second project this week was not a complete failure, but I didn’t approve of the final outcome.  It was another tank top with a really beautiful design under the bralette.  The pattern was easy to read and the stitch work itself was easy, but I ended up with a back strap that was way too long and the shoulder straps were oversized as well.  So, I did some quick fixes to it and my daughter loves it and says she will wear it……I’m gonna start another tank top for her and lower my needle and yarn sizes.

Since I don’t have a new project to share, I thought I would share a post that I put on my Instagram and Ravelry accounts earlier this year.  I did quite a few pillow projects and this happened to be one of my favorites….

Katie's Pillow.jpg

I found this wonderful pattern for FREE!!!!!  Right, I love free patterns….especially when they work up this beautifully!  This particular one is written in a  fit to size pattern, so I was able to get a larger pillow than she worked in her pattern and follow the steps with no problems at all.  Other than the sizing difference, the only variation I made was to the flower on the pillow itself.  I was making this as a gift for my sister who has two young  boys running around the roost.  Although I love the flower clip idea that was suggested, it just wasn’t a practical option….that flower would not have made it a week. So, I looked up a puffy flower pattern and sewed the applique to only one side.  That way if my taste and my sister’s taste didn’t match, there was always a plain side.

You can find this pattern on my Ravelry page which has a direct link to this pillow pattern.  Click here for my Ravelry page.  While you are there, check out some of the other free patterns I have linked on my page.  I am always adding new projects.

Happy Hooking!

 

Perfectly Pretty Pouches

Necessity is the mother of all invention, right?  Well, that’s how this cute little pouch pattern came about.  I work in the restaurant industry and often have trouble keeping my cash in my apron.  One busy afternoon I was fighting to shove the wadPouches of loose bills deeper inside the pocket when I realized that it was only a matter of time before some of my hard earned money would slip out and hit the floor, so after a few failed attempts…..a perfectly pretty pouch.

The pattern is simple for beginners, can be made in a variety of sizes and the use of buttons/baubles is endless.  I wanted this particular pouch to be stretchy and durable so I opted to use worsted weight acrylic yarn.  Of course, there are several mediums that would work for this pattern and purpose.  If you choose cotton yarn, it will be durable and survive through endless washing, but it won’t be as stretchy as the acrylic yarn.  Using t-shirt yarn could be the best of both worlds and I will be trying that medium on the next pouch I create. Continue reading