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!

Macrame Wall Hangings

I guess it’s been about a month since I started my addiction to macrame.  In that time, I have managed to complete three wall hangings.  I wanted to share them with you and see what you think.

I did all the workings free-handed and I don’t have any patterns to share since I’m learning as I go.  Also, when I started pricing cotton cording specific for macrame I almost fell over at the cost.  I did order a small amount to work with on my second wall hanging, but material costs have pushed me to look for other mediums for projects.  I’ll give my reviews on the materials as I work with them.

So….what I have learned so far about macrame is that there are only a few basic knots to learn and once you master tying knots and how they come together it’s easy working from there.  You will need something to attach your macrame work on (in my case it is driftwood), you will need your chosen cordage and plan for about triple the amount of your completed piece size; and finally….bring your creativity.  You can add beads, cuffs, feathers, paper cutouts and more!

Alright, let me show you what I’ve made so far:

The first one is a double patterned hanging.  I used nontraditional cording for both sides of the work and I share it with mixed reviews.  I like how cotton clothesline knots straight and clean, but I don’t like the way the bottoms fray when the piece is cut.

The darker side was made using cotton thread I have used for some crochet projects.  I like the way the material holds together and there is no fraying on the ends.  The way I finished the ending knots has created a clumping of cords at the base of the piece, so I don’t love that either.

I guess for this piece my favorite part of it is the beautiful driftwood I used to hold the pieces together.  One of the perks of living by the Delaware River…..lots of free driftwood to work with 🙂

Macrame Double Wall Hanging

My second wall hanging is by far my favorite.  I found this wonderful piece of dark red driftwood with amazing ends on it.  I saved it specifically for working with true cotton cording for macrame.

This piece was made using 100 yards of 3mm natural cotton cord.  It was about $20 for the cord with shipping.  It didn’t take too much time to put together either.  I really do love this piece.  I found a vendor on Amazon that sells the cording from 1mm-6mm in large spools, so when I begin working on larger projects, I can order the cording in any size I need.  I didn’t do a lot of price comparisons, so I would encourage you to shop around if you are thinking about starting macrame projects of your own.

Just look how lovely the piece is:

Macrame Wall Hanging 1

 

Macrame Wall Hanging 1-A

I just love the ends of this driftwood branch!  I also love the color.   It’s not every trip I find driftwood with this color….I wish I did though.

Alright, the third wall hanging I made is for candles or even as another planter/sprout jar.  I wanted to work with jute cording since I can get my hands on it with out having to wait for shipping.  I’ll show you first and then tell you about it.

Jute Cord Candle Holder

So, I thought jute would be painful to work with since the cording has a rough texture to it, but that wasn’t an issue.  The cording works up very nice.  It holds a great knot that looks thick and beautiful.  The piece is sturdy and I can’t wait to put some tea lights in it and light up the porch when the weather gets warmer.

I could see making more jute corded projects, but they will all be for outside.  I don’t know if it was just this brand of jute I worked with or if I can expect all of them to have a putrid petroleum smell.  It was awful…..made me sick to my stomach.  I turned on the fan in the room and it helped, but it was still pretty disgusting.  After I hung it up and took photos, I hurried it out to the porch where three days later it still smells…….a lot.

So, I hope you found the post inspirational and informative.  I am still searching for some wonderful cord options to work with over the next month.  I ordered a bulk supply of rat tail cording in a variety of colors.  I didn’t have any real project in mind, but I hope to find some creative uses for it once I arrives.

If you are working with macrame in any form, I would love to hear your stories of success and failure in your pieces and in your choices of material.  I will be posting more creations this month, so if you aren’t subscribed, click the follow button and make sure you don’t miss a single post.

 

Macrame Plant Hangers & Sprout Jars

For me, it was only a natural progression to move from working with knots and beads for jewelry to doing the same thing on a larger scale and dive into the world of macrame!

After having already made a ton of beaded bracelets and anklets,  I’m growing bored with creating the same pieces over and over.  Time to look for inspiration on Pinterest.  I did add some wonderful key ring  photos I found, but it wasn’t sparking my creativity like I wanted.

You know I’ve always believed that the best crafts to make are the ones born out of necessity and I don’t really need key rings right now……so, looking around I thought about what I could do with materials on hand to improve the look of the space and feed my need to be creative.

Well, there is a beautiful spider plant hanging above my work desk from the plastic hanger it came with when I bought it last summer at the store…it is pretty awful…love the plant….hate the hanger…

I want to make a plant hanger like the ones my Mom had in the house when I was younger, but I’m going to need some help deciphering the photos I pinned since most of them don’t come with instructions.

I settled on a YouTube video tutorial about plant hangers using recycled t-shirts knowing that there is a bag in the closet overflowing with old clothing and I also have one metal clasping ring just perfect for holding the weight of a plant.

That means I can make one for free with recycled household materials and I love that!

My First Plant Hanger.jpg

I made my first hanger with cotton clothesline and it isn’t quite right.  It works, but I didn’t tie the knots in the correct groups and it’s making the hanger a big unstable.  I also don’t love the way the clothesline frays at the cut.

My second plant hanger is my articles feature photo and it’s my favorite so far!!  I love that I made it for free with an old t-shirt and a lovely container I had sitting in storage.

The sprout jars I made were an opportunity for me to work with other materials and it gave me the chance to scale my work to a smaller size.  I was also able to put some lovely driftwood pieces to use and some beads that were too small to thread onto the larger cording.

 

 

I even went so small I used cotton twine and made some smaller sprout jars that won’t hold the wide mouth jars….only jelly jars.

Sprout Jar 2Sprout Jar 1

I love these little pops of green around the house in places that might be too small or too impractical for a larger house plant.  I’m also able to save more of the spider plants sprouts instead of tossing them when I prune.  These would make really nice housewarming gifts or a last-minute gift when visiting with friends.  You could use the jar for a small candle or fresh cut flowers.

Do you want a project that will have a small impact on your wallet and a big impact in your house? Then grab some t-shirts you don’t like any more, unhook an extra key ring from your house keys, search YouTube for video help or Pinterest for inspiration.  You will have a mastered this skill in no time at all.

I’ll be sharing some of the other macrame pieces I’ve made in upcoming posts.  If you don’t want to miss a moment of my crafting obessions, then hit subscribe and join me on my journey.

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.

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.

 

 

Stay-cation

It has been days since I last posted.  My only excuse is that I took a little impromptu stay-cation thanks to the subzero temperatures and a blizzard that landed in South Jersey last week.

The benefit to a stay-cation and a lack of writing is that I began AND finished another beautiful rug and I have photos and links to this wonderful pattern as well!  So, you get two patterns for the wait 🙂

Last week I left off with a blizzard bearing down on us and three new cones of cotton yarn to create something with.

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In this photo you can see not only the cones I am using, but the lovely swirl stitched rug I already completed.

Let’s start with the small aqua colored rug I worked last week….

Granny Stitch Mandala Rug.jpg

This picture shows the size of the rug really well, but not the color.  I didn’t notice the color saturation until after I got started with this post.  The color that is just a peek in the first picture is the true aqua color of the rug.  It’s my favorite color right now.  I just love how cheerful this color makes any room.

So, last summer I bought some of the Bernat’s Home Decor yarn and made a lovely tote bag out of it.  As I normally do, I bought about 2 skeins too many for the project so I would have more to create something else with.

In case you haven’t worked with this yarn before, let me tell you what you are missing out on.  This yarn is made from jersey cotton which makes it soft and stretchy and the tubular shape makes it simple to work with.  Because the yarn is bulky, you can count on your project to work up quickly (the rug took me under two days to complete) and the material guarantees that it will handle well in the washer and to normal wear and tear.

As with all my patterns, I found this one for free!  It’s an easy pattern that is not only understandable, but comes with wonderful picture tutorials and help along the way if you should need it.  You can find the pattern here.

I followed the pattern exactly.  My rug is 25 1/2″ in circumference.  It lays flat and it is such a cute accent rug next to my side of the bed.  I plan to look for some more Bernat colors to work more of these rugs up and possible sell them at craft shows….or maybe I’ll just make a couple more for myself 🙂

On Thursday, as the blizzard closed in on us, it was time to find a rug pattern to use with the cone’s of Peaches & Creme cotton yarn I bought.  I went with “Panorama” because the base of the color is neutral and it has little splashes of pastel colors in it.

For the rug I decided on, the pattern called for 6 strands of yarn to be worked at one time.  The creator of the pattern used 28 balls of Peaches & Creme yarn to make her rug!  I could have broken up the cones and created 6 strings to work with, but I didn’t really want to hassle with it.  I figured worst case scenario I would just pull the stitches and start over with another pattern.

Luckily, I didn’t have to do that.  This pattern was super easy to work up.  It did take me 3 days to finish, but I set it down a few times to watch Netflix with the family and to do some baking; so I guess I will say that it works up in a “few” days.

Even if it takes you a week to do, it’s so worth it!  It’s so pretty and feminine!!!

Daisy Rug

Now, it’s not unusual for me to take a pattern and change it up a little to either fit with the yarn I have on hand.  For this rug, I wanted it to be as large as I could make it while still working within the constraints of only having three strands of yarn.  So, first things first, the pattern….

You can find the pattern here.  Yarnspirations is such a great resource to find patterns and a community of other crafters.  If you haven’t checked out this site, I highly recommend you do.  I get so many great ideas just browsing around!

Alright, now you have the link and you can see the beautiful pink rug that inspired me to make this one!  So, this pattern calls for a P Hook with 6 strands of yarn worked at the same time.  I only have three cones, but I wanted my rug big, so I started with the P Hook, too.

Nope, that was too loose of a stitch pattern for a rug.  Remember, they are suppose to be tight stitches on a rug……so I brought my hook down to an M Hook and it worked up nice and tight, but without the stitches being a struggle to work with.

I worked the pattern exactly as it’s written.  When I finished the last row around the rug, I fastened off and weaved in the ends.  I tossed it on the floor and…..I liked it.  I wasn’t in love with it.  It needed something more.

It needed a thick border on it to keep it laying flat (I work with loose stitches generally).  It just seemed unfinished.  So I grabbed my phone and surfed Pinterest for crochet edging and borders that could work.

I decided to do a shell stitch since it ‘s heavy and it leaves a ruffled edge that works well with the flower pattern.

To do the shell stitch, don’t fasten off after you make the last sl st of the pattern given, work the slip stitch and then chain one.  *SC into the same stitch, skip the next stitch, DC 5 times in the next sc, skip the next sc, SC in the next stitch.*  Repeat the pattern all the way around the rug and fasten off.

It’s really cute and easy to make.  The rug I completed measured 54″ in circumference which is just 4″ shy of the finished rug in the pattern, so not too bad at all for a first try.

I placed the rug in Gracie’s room because kids are a great tester for the durability of all things homemade!

I hope you decide to make one of these rugs.  They just add such a nice pop of color to the room!

Happy Hooking!