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!

 

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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!!

 

 

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.

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!

 

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!

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

Bracelets You Can Make In Under An Hour

Yesterday afternoon Hubs and I loaded Gracie in the car and traveled north to fight with other mall shoppers and exchanged a few gifts.  There wasn’t as big of a crowd as we had anticipated, so we finished up shopping quickly and headed out for a nice bite to eat at our favorite Pho restaurant.   On the way home the NJDOT had updated the highway boards to warn of the winter storm that would be passing through the area in the next 24 hours.

I didn’t panic over bread or milk, I panicked over the thought of not having a project to do or the ability to get to a craft store to get a project going again!  So, with as little stress in my voice as possible, I asked Hubs if he would make a stop before home at our local Wal-Mart and I would head into the craft section and brainstorm something to work on during a snowy day.

My mind kept going back to a pattern I rediscovered while organizing my bookmarks this past week.  It’s for a lovely white triangle shawl that is made with cotton thread instead of yarn.  I knew I could find the size #10 thread I would need, even if I could only choose between three colors….so, white it is.  I will, of course, keep you posted on the progress once I really dig into it.

After I grabbed two spools of thread to start the project I couldn’t help but check out the jewelry section and grab some copper wire to play around with when I got tired of working on this shawl…..maybe I could twist some semi-precious rocks for my necklaces, or a ring….I’ll have to figure out where my skill set lies before I get too excited.

In the meantime, I still have some beading and elastic cording saved from before Christmas and that’s the craft I wanted to share today.  The supplies for this craft are simple and you can decide how budget friendly you want it to be with your choice of beading.  I think for these bracelets, I probably spent around $15 for everything.

Beads for Bracelet.jpg

So, here’s what you will need:

.08mm elastic cording (or equivalent to slide your beads on)

Beads or charms of your choice (enough to make at least one 7″ to 9″ bracelet) For this project I used lava beads, quartz beads and red jasper (I think).  I grabbed a box of mixed wood beads, too!

Scissors

A little dab of super glue (or crafters glue)

* For a woman’s bracelet- measure the wrist if you are able…if not, measure it approximately 10″ (8″ for the beading and 2″ for securing).  The average man’s bracelet should measure at 10″-11″ finished.

Here is where you can learn to do a surgeon’s knot.  This is how you will secure the bracelet.

Ready????  Then you will need to decide how you want your bracelet to look and begin stringing the beads onto the elastic cording….I suggest leaving it on the roll while doing this so the beads don’t slide off the other side.

When your bracelet is the size you need, then cut the elastic from the roll leaving a few inches to work with for tying.

Tie your two ends together using a surgeon’s knot.  Now, do a second surgeon’s knot and tug the ends tight again. Trim the ends down.  Dab the two knots with some super glue and let it dry.  Slide a bead over the knot and cover it and viola!!!  All done!  It’s gonna look great and last for a long time.

Check out the bracelets I made from these beads and a few I had left over from previous craft projects….they are really divine!

Finished Wood Bracelets.jpg

It seriously took me about an hour and a half to complete all of these.  I wear most of them everyday….they make me happy.  I can add essential oils to the lava beads on the bracelets for mood elevation, so that’s good for my anxiety.

These are so easy and so gratifying to make.  I encourage you to head to the craft store and pick out some of your favorite beads….you could have a beautiful statement piece for your jewelry collection before the day is out.

If you do make one (or several like I do), I would love to see your finished projects.  Any questions?  Need some help with it, leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

As always,

Happy Hooking!