Feb 27, 2014

Easiest Ever Jewelry Set

Over the weekend I had some Mother/Daughter time with Little Miss. Part of it was going to the craft store where I bought some items for making some necklaces.

Most of the items I bought were clearance pieces that were Styled by Tori Spelling. I didn't know she made a jewelry supply line and I didn't really care it had her name on it. But it was clearance and good "bones" for jewelry so I grabbed several pieces.




Here is how I made this one little piece into a full jewelry set.



First I took some needle nosed pliers and removed the two extensions with the rows of crystal beads and closed the jump rings that the extensions came off.



I slid the extension pieces onto some silver wire earring hooks I had (my ears are fussy with metal) and clamped them down lightly to prevent the chains from sliding around.


Then I separated the double chain and turned it into one long chain instead of two.

And that is how I made my jewelry set I am wearing today at work for a whole $3 plus earring hooks. Ain't $3 fancy looking?

Reading Makes me Want to Buy Things

The problem with sitting in front of the computer all day is severe but it's not what you think. It's not lack of movement. It's not eye strain. It's not the possibility of losing feeling in your legs or turning your butt into a flat pancake.

It's about reading. And I read about making things.

During my free time during the day I read about crafting and jump from blog to blog or search with google about ideas I have. Even better worse are the tutorials on how to make things. Those cause the most damage.

I gather up all these ideas and all these projects and inevitably come up with a list of things I have to buy to make them.

Here is my current list of the week of things I think I really need:



Each of these things represents items I need for some brilliant masterpiece!! TBD at a later date. HAHA

Feb 26, 2014

Circle Fun Granny Square Pattern

As promised here is my pattern for my Circle Fun Granny Square I created. I usually only write patterns for myself so if anything is unclear or if you right-handers need the images flipped ( I'm a lefty- SORRY!!)  please leave me a comment and I'll get back to you!


This pattern will follow the color way of my sample so almost each row will be a different color. Finish off each row and join on the next color the way you feel comfortable. I prefer to finish off and start a little to the right of the last join to prevent an easily seen seam.


I am rocking it with this pattern though. I currently have 15 squares of various color ways! I'm getting there. Only one bazillion left.

*Please note that this pattern is written in US terminology and that when using this pattern that stitches will wrap around any open chain stitch loops.*

I used crochet hook size I or 5.5mm size. This made my squares about 6 1/4 inches x 6 1/4 inches.

Round 1  -Lilac yarn

Ch 3. sl st to 1st ch to close, forming a circle. Sl st into hole and ch 2.

Round 2 -Lilac yarn

Work 8 sc in hole and join to the ch-2 stitch. Finish off.

Round 3 - Blue yarn

Join on and ch 3. Work 2 dc in each sc from previous row. You should end with 18 stitches. Finish off.

Round 4Green yarn

Join on and ch 4. (Skip the next st. Sc in 3rd st and ch 3) Repeat all the way around the circle. Sl st to close and finish off.

Round 5- Pink yarn

Join on at one of the ch-3 spaces from the previous round. Ch 3 then work 3 dc on the same ch-3 space. (Ch 2 then work 4 dc in the next ch-3 space) Repeat all the way around the circle. Sl st to close and finish off.

Round 6 -Green yarn

Join on the 3rd dc of a 4-dc group of the previous round. Ch 3 and work 3 dc in the same st. You should have a grouping of 4 dc in the middle of the previous 4-dc grouping. (Ch 1, work 2 dc in ch-2 space from previous round, ch 1. Work 4 dc in the 3rd-dc of the 4-dc group) Repeat all the way around the circle. Sl st. to join and finish off.

Round 7 - Blue yarn

Join on at the 2nd st of a 4-dc grouping on previous row. Ch 2. Work 1 sc in the next 2 stitches. In the 4th st work 2 sc. Work 1 sc in the following 3 stitches. You should have 8 sc stitches in a row with 2 coming from the 4th stitch. (Ch 3 skipping 3 stitches on previous round, work 1 tc in the 4th st. {Work 1 tc, ch 4, 1 trc in the next stitch} This will be your corner.  Work 1 tc in next stitch. Ch 3 skipping 3 stiches on previous round. Work 1 sc in the next 3 stitches. Work 2 sc in the next stitch followed by 1 sc in the next 3 stitches. ) Repeat ( ) 2 more times to complete your square. Join and finish off.

Round 8 - Cream yarn

Join on and ch 3. Work 1 dc in each stitch of the previous row. When you reach the Corner stitch { } work 1 sc the tc stitch. In the ch-4 space work  2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc. Continue working 1 dc in each stitch going around except corner stitches.  You should end with 22 dc on each side.


TADA!

Later on I will be doing a round by row photo shoot for anyone who thinks I make no sense.

Feb 19, 2014

Peace, Love & Understanding Printable

Lately, I've been getting into more and more printables. I like that I'm able to do it at a computer and don't  have to drag out countless art supplies that will, undoubtedly, not be put away again promptly.

I heard one of my favorite songs from Elvis Costello today and it made me want to make a printable. So I did and I'm sharing it with you.

You can download it HERE.

 
 
And just like my Starlight Printable it's made to print on a standard sheet of paper and to fit nicely in a 5 x7 frame.

Feb 18, 2014

Circle Fun Granny Square Success

I've been working on that granny square motif that I was creating over the weekend. And working and working. Then finally there was success!!

After trying to turn my circle into a square 4 times, I finally did it!  And not in any way that I have ever been taught or have seen before....



I actually traced my circle onto a piece of cardstock and drew some lines to visually turn it into a square. I counted the stitches in the circle and determined where my corners would fall. Then I used my brain to find the correct stitches to fill the voids based on their height. It was a totally avant-garde attempt but it actually worked.

My sample is complete and I wrote out my pattern. Today I even managed to produce my second and third square so I could double check it. I am very happy with the outcome and proud to say I made this pattern all on my own.

 

Once I triple check this pattern I will be sharing it with you.

Feb 17, 2014

A New Granny Square Blanket

Everyone in my house has been sick lately with one thing or another. To stop the spread of icky germs, we've been washing all the bedding and sheets. In this great wash-fest it had dawned on me that we may not have enough blankets to cover us while the germy ones are being washed.

So with some inspiration to de-stash from a fellow blogger at Attic24, I decided to make a granny square blanket with my scrap yarn. It's the perfect way to use up scraps and I have never actually finished a full-sized one of those....

I started working something up Saturday night and now have a lovely multi-colored round of my own design. The round is lilac, sea green, variegated blue, and pale pink so far. I will have to be careful washing it because this is all mystery yarn!! No labels.  Regardless, I think it will look fabulous.


So far, the only yarn I've bought for this project is a nice cream colored Red Heart Super Saver yarn called Aran. I bought it because I thought I needed something neutral to pull it all together and border all the squares. This is for a blanket that kids will most likely spill things on, so I'm going for functionality and lasting power. That and we all know how inexpensive the Super Saver Yarn is.

I swear it's a nicer color than the photo but cream can be such a hard thing to photograph.



My next big hurdle is actually turning my lovely circle into a nice even granny square.  I couldn't possibly go with a pattern. Nah. That would be easy and something someone has already done before. I'm going for original and probably more difficult. Ha ha!Wish me luck!




And once I get one square done and am happy with it I am going to be posting instructions.  I doubt everyone wants to do it the hard way like me.

Feb 14, 2014

Starlight Printable

Lately my boys have wanted me to read Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to them. It seems to be one of their favorite books at night. We have this one by Iza Trapani and the illustrations are just wonderful. They are colorful and expressive, which is what they enjoy.

In honor of their new found adoration of the book I made a printable to share. This is the first printable I've made and actually wanted to share because I think it turned out well.

Click HERE to get it.

It is made to fit a 5x7 frame and printable from home since it's on a standard size paper.

 


I'm going to get this printed out and framed this weekend. I'm thinking a blue frame would be rather fetching.

Feb 13, 2014

Modern handprint art for Kids-Tutorial

A little while back I posted about some canvas I got for making some personalized art. This is what I decided to do with those small pre-stretched canvases.




I bought these at Hobby Lobby for a total of $12. They came in packs of two for about $4. I thought they were the perfect size for a family craft I wanted to make.


I  have three small kids and because of their ages we can't make complex or laborious art together yet. Nevertheless,  I wanted to make something nice with their handprints but have it be more permanent and not too dated. The turkeys, the penguins and the flowers on construction paper are nice but they weren't what I was looking for.

So I started searching and found handprint art I actually liked on Pinterest. Out of all the handprint art I've seen these kid handprint ghosts are my favorite.

I took that idea and to make it more fun by having them add a modern background.


I think they turned out rather nice.

Modern Handprint Art for Kids



I find this project works best spaced between two sessions. One for the background work and one for the hand printing over top. That is unless, you want your handprint to smear into the background (which could look nice, too).

Supplies:

  • 5 x7 or 8 x 10 Pre-stretched canvas - one for each child. (Chose a size that will comfortably fit they handprint you want. If parents or adults want to do one, select a bigger size for bigger hands)
  • Paint brushes- lots in various sizes. (kids don't want to wash out a paintbrush before changing colors if they switch brushes at all!)
  •  Acrylic paints
  • Paper plates- one for each child
  • Drop Cloth
  • Aprons/Messy Clothes
  • Wet rag (for cleaning up messes)

Directions:

1.     Prepare your painting area. If you are painting on a table be sure to cover it. Cover the chairs, the floor, anything in the area.
      *tip- use a garbage bag or old pillowcase to cover the back of your chairs.*

2.     Prepare your kids. Make sure they have on mess making clothes and aprons.



3.     Put several colors of paint on each paper plate. (If you want variety, give each kid one special  color that is different than the others). 

 4.     Have your children paint their canvas in the various paints and using various paintbrushes.


This is mine in progress.



This is Little Miss's art in progress.




This is Mr. A's progress after the first day. I didn't get an action photo of his because I was afraid of what he would do if both my hands were busy. He did manage to get paint up his nose when I wasn't looking. The whole 3 seconds I wasn't looking.





5.     Let the paintings dry.


DAY 2

 
6.     Paint your child's hand with paint and help them stamp it onto their canvas. The more paint on the hand, the larger and heavier the imprint will be.


Little Miss's hand was thoroughly coated while I painted lightly and worked my paint into my hand.  You can see how her print is fuller and mine shows more ridges and is fainter.

7.      Let dry. 


*I am currently doing this is shifts. I tested it with myself and Little Miss. I had feared that 5 people at the same time might be too chaotic. I will update this when the whole gang has been ART-ified. 

UPDATE:

Here is the whole gang.


 I had hoped to hang these up in the hall this weekend but need to pick up some more hardware first. 

Feb 12, 2014

Artwork Teaser

I'm halfway through an artwork project with my kids.
 
 
 
For now here is a picture teaser.
Hopefully I'll have some finished images up for you by the weekend.

Feb 9, 2014

Hidden Art Treasures

Since we moved into our house in the summer of 2012 the office because the catch all. Boxes of random things, broken things to be fixed, things I took away from the kids because they were being used as projectile weapons, etc. All of them were shoved inside.


Following my list I've been cleaning and organizing in there and going through random boxes.While doing that I came across a box of take-away prints from a few years ago.I went on an art gallery hop in New York City and brought back all these prints.



I felt my house was half done because the walls were bare. they won't be for long. I plan on framing lots of these up and hanging them all over!



With my pile of picture frames I got from the thrift store, I am in business!


Here is one chilling out with my Degas print I got from DIA. I like the metallic colors together.




These I have already put up on the gallery wall in my office.





This one lives in the master bedroom.



Funny story about this frame. This got scratched up between the thrift store and arriving at the house. So, instead of frowning I adapted. I took an old nail file to the edges and seams to add some distressing. Then I took a hammer to it and added some more impurities. I think it turned out nicely. 


I still have many others to pick from but I need more frames!!

Feb 6, 2014

Family Cookbook Project


 I like to cook. I love finding recipes off the internet and revising them to fit my needs. Because of this I have tons of scrap pieces of paper and notes and no real 'go to' cookbook. All those notes and scraps were held inside a beat up composition notebook and I had to flip through the pages every time to find exactly what I needed.

I had enough. It was too messy. And I also realized I would be the only one to know where to find the recipe and how to make it. So I made my own family cookbook. It's cheap, easy, can make a great gift or a hand me down in your own family.

Family Cookbook Project 

 


Grab a pile of recipes that you love.

Open up your favorite word processing software. I chose Microsoft Word so all of these instructions will be for that program.

Adjust the page layout and margins you want first. I chose to have mine in landscape format with narrow margins. This allows a nice area for a border and lots of space for recipes.












 Add your own nice border by using this simple trick I learned from a friend at work.
     -Go to Page Layout
     -In the third box over select Page Borders
     -Click the Art line and select the artwork you wish to use as a border.
          In this section you can change which part of the page gets the border, how wide, etc.
     - Select Ok




Then add your text to the first page. This is where I put my title. 
You can add a picture in here as well. I chose to use clipart for my cookbook but you can also use photographs of the food or of your family cooking.



 Since I'm weird, I draw and use text boxes for everything. I like that I can move them all over to change the page's appearance but it won't mess up the whole document's text formatting.

If you use text boxes like me you can remove the outline and the fill color making it invisible. Removing the fill is a good idea if you plan on using colored paper. A white box on a pink page might not be your vision.





 
* Optional* Add page numbers using the footer option. I chose not to since I plan on adding more later.




 Using text boxes to set up the page the way you want. Looks orderly!
Once you have all the recipes you would like SAVE and review your document. Just to be sure nothing ended up in the wrong spot.

Print out your cookbook.

Print out your cover page on a heavier paper, like card stock for extra strength. I printed the recipe pages on regular old copy paper.

You have many option for finishing off your cookbook. You can use sheet protectors and insert it into a 3 ring binder if you want to save it form spills or you can go get it bound at an office printing store. Most stores can bind it for around $5 or under.



I chose to get mine bound using a plastic comb binding and have a clear cover and vinyl backing put on the back. I chose the plastic comb binding because I can flip it open easily and it will lay flat. I also like that I can add pages later on if I like.


If you make this project please send me a link to share your finished product. I'd love to see it!

Feb 5, 2014

Shaking off the Cobwebs

It's time to spring back into action here. It's been too long since I've done the extra little things that make me happy. And by extra little things I mean crafting.

I think I got the craft blahs after my third child. I had to carve up my time a little differently with the new addition. I also had to be practical with what I was actually able to accomplish.

Sleep is vital to me so that had to stay, sorry. My family and children come first so other things were put on  put on hold; my crafting, my Etsy shop, and this blog.

I have now found my balance and it's time to press on. Slowly and steadily I will be rebuilding my Etsy shop and this blog.



I have also been slowly working on that very big list I posted here each night. Since I don't usually get the chance until after the children are in bed it will take time. But I feel accomplished when I can actually cross something off.

However, it doesn't help when I see other things that need repairing/fixing along the way. Ignore them already!  Armed with a hammer and nails last night, I reattached the baseboard trim in the stairway, the trim on the door going up to the stairway, and reattached two precariously hanging certain rods. They are the unattractive basic version but for right now it will do. I don't need to add -hang decorative curtain rods- to that list. I think I've got plenty on it already.


Blank Canvas = Open Opportunities

About two weeks ago I went on a craft supply buying binge. I was utterly determined that I needed some canvas so I could make new artwork for our house. With my husband behind me I finally found what I was looking for at Hobby Lobby. Then I bought more than I could possibly need.

First I bought a yard of natural colored duck cloth. Just getting that yard cut was a struggle because the employee kept finding these black oily spots on the canvas. More and more of the bolt was unrolled. It probably took 5 yards to find one yard that was blemish free.

I was happily going to take my one yard for artwork when this happened. Then my little craft brain went busy. If it took that long to find a good yard of canvas then this has probably happened before. There must be a remnant!!! So, naturally I dug into the remnant bin and grabbed another 7/8 of a yard for 50% as well.

A smart person would have taken just the remnant and gone on their merry way. A smart person without a plan would think 7/8 of a yard is more than enough for a project that isn't fully formed. A smart person would have taken the original one yard back and left with just the remnant. 



So, it pretty much goes without saying that I bought them both.


  And 6 smaller pre-stretched canvases for a family art project I've been itching to do.


I get so excited with new art supplies. I start dreaming of all the possibilities I can make. Will it be abstract, geometric, textured, a still scene? I'm just not sure yet.