Knotty Jewelry

That is a great name for the collection of jewelry pieces I’ve been designing since last week.  It all started with learning how to make the half square knot and creating some cool accent pieces for my beaded elastic bracelets….and now, I don’t know that it is an “obsession”, but as I am working a bracelet or anklet, I’m already thinking of the next one I can make!

There are so many inspirational photographs online and so many free tutorials it is easy to get swept away.   Look how pretty this beginner anklet is I made for myself:

Blue Bead Anklet KJ.jpg

I haven’t taken it off since I finished making it and it’s holding up beautifully and wearing very comfortably!  I just love it!

Once I broke out the seed beads….well….I’ve made two trips out for more colors of both seed beads and cording to work with; as well as buying a few things that will make working the bracelets up faster and easier.

This morning I am working on this pattern for bracelets and anklets…

Teal with Silver Beads KJ.jpg

The possibilities are endless for this pretty little piece.  The picture shows Red Heart Thread in Aqua #10.  The silver beads came in a multi-pack of beads I bought from Wal-Mart.

This is my favorite combination so far.  I’m making a bracelet now, but I will be making an anklet size for these as well.  When I have finished a few more of them, I will come back and share the free tutorials I used and a good list of supplies.

I’m going to get back to working on more pieces.  I have plans to make these two patterns in particular and add them to my booth when I sign up for a few craft fairs this coming summer.  Plus, I’m feeling crafty, so it is time to get back to it.

Happy Hooking!



Twisted Knot Jewelry

Yesterday I made a run to the local dollar store in order to find all the last minute things I would need for creating an allowance system/chore chart for Gracie.  I’m putting the finishing touches on it today and getting it set up for her to use starting next week.  I will share all of my printables with photos in a few weeks.  I want to see what we find useful and what we don’t.

In the meantime, I spent most of yesterday learning a bit of macrame!  I had no idea how satisfying creating knots could be!!!

Seriously, I love the stuff I created!  Check these out….

Half Knot Bracelet.jpg

I loved the bracelet so much I made an anklet….

Half Knot Anklet

If you want to make one, you probably have what you need on hand.  It does take some time to complete, but if you get started now, you could have one before the end of the day!

I used Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton in Aqua and Burgundy.  You could also use cotton twine, hemp, leather cording, or baker’s twine.  Just make sure it is a tough thread for durability.

You will need a clipboard or something to hold it tight for you and a pencil or similar to wrap the loops of thread around at the beginning.

Do you know how to create a half square knot?  Well, I didn’t either, so I had to find a tutorial.  This video from Wool and the Gang was the most helpful.  I don’t have a background in macrame or creating knots for any other reason, so it took me a bit to get the hang of it.

I watched this video just to see how to finish the bracelet.  There are some great ideas online for ways to close these bracelets, so I guess it is up to your personal taste.  I wanted to wear mine long term, so I created a large knot on the finished end so it would fit through the loops on the beginning end of the bracelet.  For the anklet, I just tied the two ends together and snipped the ends leaving enough to fray with wear.

I have a sizing chart for both men and women’s jewelry measurements on my Pinterest board in case you are making one for someone else.  If it’s for you, measure it for a perfect fit.

I’m going to make a few more of these and learn some different knot patterns to create some other pieces.  I’ve been interested in using charms for the bracelets and small bells for an anklet.  If I get brave enough, I might even try to make a plant hanger or a boho wall hanging.

If you have an interest in working with macrame, this is a great place to start.  The investment is minimal and the reward is new jewelry!!



Braided Copper Toe Ring

Mondays are my day to get the week organized and it seems that this week I really have a lot going on.  The more I run the house like a CEO, the more I add to the to do list.

With that there is also a real sense of accomplishment when I can knock things off the list that I really do need to get done.  If you are in need of some organization for your home, blog, or yourself personally, here and here a post with some really helpful free printables.

Today, I am working on not only getting ready for the week ahead, but I am also tackling a scheduling project for Gracie.  This is in it’s infancy, so I will post more about it when I have it set up and functioning.  It’s just one of the many things I am trying to accomplish today.

However, I didn’t want the day to pass without sharing a really cute and easy jewelry craft I created in just a few moments!  Seriously!!  It takes no time at all to make this great toe ring and if you would prefer to wear it on your hand instead, it is size-able to any part of any finger!  It’s really cool!

Braided Copper Toe Ring.jpg

I made a couple of these braided rings and gave one to Elizabeth, my oldest daughter.  She likes wearing it as a cuff ring on her hand.  This little project is a win in my book because I hardly ever create something that my teenager wants for herself!

So,here is how I did it….I purchased the copper jewelry wire at Wal-Mart on a shopping trip.  I chose 14 gauge so it would be more flexible while I’m learning how to work with wire….remember, this is only my second wire jewelry project ever.

I cut three equal lengths of wire from the roll.  My lengths all measured 6″.  This is way more than you need, but I wanted to have lots to work with  in case I made any mistakes.

I began by twisting the three wires together at one end and while pinching this spot, I separated the strands so I could begin braiding.  I secured the twisted end to my clipboard (you could tape it down also)…and I braided it all the way to the end.  It comes together nice, but don’t try to braid it too tight, it ruins the look.

When you have finished braiding, you will need to flatten your wire.  I still have to buy a nylon hammer for my tool kit, so for now I placed the braided wire inside a folded washcloth and placed it on a flat heavy table top.  I grabbed my small household hammer (the one that made my husband laugh when we started dating…he dubbed it the “Tapper”) and gently tapped up and down the washcloth to flatten the braid as much as I could without damaging anything.

After I flattened it, I had to trim the piece down, so I actually cut a 1.5 inch piece from the center of the braid because it was the prettiest.  Make sure you tuck the three wire ends on each side of the cuff into themselves and pinch them flat with jewelry pliers.

Now all you have to do is decide where you want to wear your cuff.  I have one for my thumb and one for my toe and I love them both!!

I hope you enjoy the tutorial and have fun making some for yourself.



Is That Another Rug Pattern????

It’s that time in the winter season….you know, when leaving the warmth of your bed is only tolerable because there is hot coffee. As I shuffle my way to the kitchen, I can feel the chill settle in my bones. I know how blessed we are to have good heat in the home; but that doesn’t stop me from checking the temperature about 15 times a day. I’m just sure that it’s 40 degrees in here!

Cabin fever is real my friends and I have it bad!!

If you are anything like me then you have a to-do list that is unreasonably long, rooms that you continue to walk by and continue ignoring even though it needs a cleaning and you have at least six crafting projects unfinished. I should add that I have no real interest in doing any thing…..except maybe napping…I feel like Garfield.

Garfield the cat

I should get moving. I mean, I still have Christmas stuff up in Gracie’s room and I have done little more than vacuum and spray air freshener in there since Christmas Day! Seriously! I clean the floor, grab the dirty clothes, spray the air and back out slowly. I usually mutter under my breath, “Jimmy Cracked Corn!”

Well, the door is closed, so I can pretend it’s clean and pick a craft project to work on for today….just for today though, tomorrow I’ll clean 😉

If you are following along, you know that my current obsession is crochet. I have to decide whether to finish a current project or start a new one…it’s all about priorities.

The project I grabbed this morning and started stitching on was not a chunky blanket, but another rug….I know; but my feet are cold and that makes me think about the floor. Besides, who can’t use more rugs???? It is a work in early progress, so I will show a little now and share my pattern when it’s all finished.

Pink and Purple Rug.jpg

The lovely rugs I made and talked about in my Stay-cation post are great, but since I didn’t follow the second pattern exactly, I did have some issues. It wasn’t sturdy enough worked with three strands. It’s too big and needs the stiffness the extra strands will give it.

Because I only used three strands I also had trouble getting the circle to lie flat. I added the shell border on my own with the hope that would weigh it down. It did, but the rug didn’t hold up well to high traffic….or light traffic for that matter.

So, that rug got a good wash and is now a circle throw for the couch. It looks good there and it’s less frustrating on the couch versus the floor. Moral of this one is if you want a rug, follow her pattern….please. If you want a cute throw for the house, three strands and a cute border should make a perfect piece.

If I am going to do a quick rug review before I get back to what I’m working on today; then I have to take a minute and talk about the Pom-Pom Rug I made just after Christmas. I had such high hopes for this one. I loved how colorful it was and how much of my yarn stash it ate up. As I predicted, the pom-poms have been pulling apart and the frayed yarn ends up all over the floor. I made this one with all acrylic yarn of various weights and it’s a fail….as a rug. It might be beautiful as a tapestry though.

I haven’t tossed the idea of pom-pom rugs out the window, though. I have been gathering cotton yarn and creating new poms of all different colors. When one of the craft stores has cotton yarn on sale, I will grab some. I only have a small handful of poms now, not nearly enough to start a rug. For now, that idea sits in the unfinished piles.

It’s time to make another hot cup of coffee, get back to working on this new rug and show-hole Season 6 of Catfish. I hope what ever you are working on today turns out amazing! Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you all about Gracie’s new rug…..and then I’ll stop obsessing over making rugs…..probably.

Let’s Make a Blanket In One Day

It’s Tuesday, but it feels like Monday because the kids were out of school yesterday.  I woke up feeling behind yet motivated.  So I am sitting in my crafting space watching my favorite reality drama with two unfinished projects and a long list of to dos for today. The coffee is hot and there is a chill in the air as another snow storm moves into the area.  The quiet in the house today will hopefully keep me focused, but this weather has me wanting to pile yarn over my lap and make the biggest, warmest blanket I possibly can!

In fact, I think that’s exactly what I’ll do.  I’ll grab some super bulky yarn and before the sun sets on today I should have a really nice soft blanket to keep me warm until Spring!!

I have made quite a few blankets using super bulky yarn.  Most of them have been baby blankets for friends that are expecting, or throw blankets for the house.  There are a ton of free patterns out there and all of them can be modified to a larger or smaller size; but you don’t need a pattern…Really.  I’ll show you how, but first….

Here are two blankets that I made last year…

Baby Boy Blanket

Baby Girl Blanket

Aren’t they great?!?  These are super soft and warm for brand new babies!! The size of a baby blanket is normally 35″ x 35″ so these work up in just a couple of hours!!

They do eat up the yarn though.  The baby blankets typically take two to three skeins depending upon the tightness of the stitches.  The boy blanket above took just over three skeins and the girl blanket took two skeins almost exactly.

Oh, you will need the bigger hooks too if you don’t have them already.  I work most bulky blankets with the 9.00 mm or 11.00 mm hook.

Before you start, you will want to know what size blanket you want to make so your shopping list will be correct.  I found this wonderful compilation of sizing for blankets that I want to share with you.  The list can be found here.  Be sure to pin it or print it for future reference.

This blanket is the only one I have made for myself so far….and yet it is usually found in the living room warming little girl legs 🙂

Cream Blanket.jpg

It’s a beautiful blanket and I can throw it in the washer and dryer along with other linens, so it isn’t a high maintenance piece either.  This blanket is a twin size and if I remember correctly I used almost 10 skeins of yarn before the blanket was finished.

I created these blankets using three different types of stitches and without a written pattern!!  That is how easy making a blanket can be!

The key is to make your foundation row the width of the blanket you are creating.  When you have the correct measurement, you may need to verify that your stitch count works for the type of stitches you want to use.

For example:  I used the star stitch for the cream colored blanket.  This stitch requires an even number—and the foundation chain ends on an odd number to allot for the single crochet start on Row 1.

Once you have your count right, you are off to the races!

If you are just starting to learn crochet, working simple stitches with bulky yarn can be very satisfying and make you feel accomplished.  It is hard to fail with these kind of projects.

If you are still not sure how to proceed without a written pattern, I have been lucky enough to find a super simple beginner pattern for a bulky baby blanket at Rescued Paw Designs.  Her pattern is very easy to read and she has some great photos of her blanket too!

Should you make one, I would love to see it!  I think I am going to make today’s blanket into a circle….maybe a mandala pattern……oh boy!  I’m feeling inspired all of the sudden.  Time to pin some ideas!

Check back to see what I find and as always…..Happy Hooking!



Mom’s Birthday Present


A few weeks ago I was working on a project for my Mom’s Birthday.  I shared as much of the information in this post as I could at the time and well, she opened her gift and she likes them!!! What did I make?  Hexi-Coasters!!!

Wanna see?

Hex Coasters Finished

Adorable, right?!?

I think they turned out really cute for a first try with hexagons, but let me tell you…it was not an easy pattern to work.  There is a lot of cutting and ironing and shaping and pinning and holding while sewing….Whew!  Most patterns I have worked I can finish in a few hours…..maybe a day.  This one took me a day of planning and ironing, a second day of cutting and pinning together and a third day (a few hours) to sew together, turn and iron again.

It felt like a lot to handle at the time, but I would bet this was not a beginner sewing pattern.  I’m a beginner though and I think they turned out well after I calmed down and focused.  Be prepared if you want to make these, they take patience.

Hex Coasters 1.jpg

Here is the link to the pattern I worked with for this project.  The template for the hexagon here has two sizes.  This patterns requires the larger of the two.  You can also purchase the plastic templates at any crafting store along with some retailers like Walmart and Target…if they have them in the crafting sections.

Busy As Can Be offers great photos with some good instructions to help along the way.  I couldn’t have done it without the inspiration or her helpful tutorial!  As with my other patterns, she was gracious enough to share for FREE!

It’s mid-January and if you are looking for a project that is a really great scrap buster, this pattern is a great choice.  It was a bit difficult for me, but this entire project was new for me from beginning to end.  If you have skill, then this should be a quick and easy project just like it’s described in the free pattern.

If you do make a set for yourself or someone you love, share your photos with me.  I would love to see your results.



A Spring Pattern for this Weird Weather!

What is up with the weather?!?  I don’t know if it is strange where you live, but let me tell you I live in New Jersey and I am sitting in my room with the windows open, the fan spinning overhead and I’m wearing a tank top!  It would be a perfect mock spring day if the sun was shining, but it’s raining so bad out….and foggy….like a scary Stephen King novel.  I’m torn between wanting to go out and wanting to curl up with said author’s latest and greatest drinking hot coffee and scaring myself.

Figured while I am deciding my next move I would tell you about this beautiful Slate Crochet Vest pattern I found at  Busting Stitches.  This pattern is so easy to follow and she has even given the patterns for all the sizes from S-4XL!!!!!

For this project I am working with Woolike Yarn by Loops and Threads.  I have one skein right now in White.  If you aren’t familiar, it’s a super fine yarn that recommends working with a 3.5 mm hook.  I chose this yarn when I was on my trip to Florida.  I loved how soft it felt and I knew I could search my pins and find something beautiful to make with it.

Spring Vest 1.jpg

When it was -15 outside two weeks ago I was thinking about making an infinity scarf with this yarn and I still think that would be a beautiful project for winter, but working on this light-weight vest has me thinking about walking outside in the park.

Because this yarn is super fine weight, it takes more stitches and a bit more precision to work the pattern.  I love that the vest is made working with a 5.00 mm hook so there is some space between the stitches.

I don’t know how long it will take to finish.  I would like to say under a week, but I may set this one aside here and there and come back to it…..I can say that with some confidence now that I have put some organization to the patterns I’m working.  I have a great printout for my work in progress, so no more guessing what hook I was using or the type of yarn (if I threw out the label).  You can find that free printable here.

I’ll certainly post my progress with this project, but you don’t have to wait for me…get started on one of your own!  If you have cabin fever like my friends in Western Pennsylvania, this is a decently long enough project it could carry you through a week or two of work…..that’s a good brain break.

I know this warm spell in Jersey won’t last, so I’m going to head outside and hope the rain shower in progress will dull it down to at least a sprinkle.  Maybe our little town will be blessed to end today with a clear sky and a beautiful sunset.

I hope you enjoy the free pattern.  If you are feeling inspired today, I would love to hear about what you are working on.

Happy Hooking!