Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Master Pages

Ok, all! I'd like to draw your attention to the sidebar at the right of my blog. Scroll down to just past the feed services. You'll find three little link to master pages containing posts and articles I've written about knitting, crochet, DIY and upcycling.

The How to Knit page is completely new. Cue the fanfare!

In January, I'll be adding some more how to knit posts on this blog. I also have a few more ideas of how to improve this place, maybe consolidate some of those articles into ebooks and a couple other ideas.

There will probably be a survey towards the beginning of January, if I can find a way to make one. I'd really appreciate any and all responses. I'd love to learn more about you all!

As for now? I really need to get back to making more gifts! How is it December 16th already??

Friday, December 12, 2014

Mmm. Oily.

Since coming down with this cold or whatever earlier in the week, all I've been doing craft wise has pretty much been in the kitchen, and that just involved soup or tea.

However, I did get that oil put together for the hubby.

Of course, he hasn't used it yet. Well, whatever. It's just coconut and lavender oil mixed together, so I might use it as a facial moisturizer or something. The stuff smells heavenly, and after I put it together, the skin on my hands felt wonderful.

Otherwise? I really need to get knitting this weekend. I can't believe Christmas is the week after next. I really need to get cards and packages out!

I've gotten ahead of myself, though. Today, I stumbled across the below video.

So, I wandered off to her blog, and printed myself a calendar!

NEXT year is 2015. For some reason, I kept thinking it'll be 2016.
I'm going to use it for daily yoga, since I'm getting out of shape again, but I thought it was the sort of thing my readers would be interested in.

If you didn't feel like watching the video, here's how you do it:

Step 1 - Find a thing you'd like to do every day. It could be knitting, making cards, putting jewelry together, eating breakfast, writing, etc.

Step 2 - Put thing you'd like to do in "Activity" section.

Step 3 - Do thing every day.

Step 4 - Cross day off on calender once thing has been done.

You'll end up with a chain of marks that, if you break it, leaves a glaring gap. It's a pretty neat idea for people who are visually oriented, like many crafty folks are.

Anyway, this weekend, or maybe this evening, will mark my knitting-fest. Wish me luck in getting everything done!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Goodies Galore

Very late start today, but that's ok. Today's Wordless Wednesday is all about breakfast goodies (muffins made from scratch, hot coco not made from scratch), kitties (caught between pawing the plastic over the window and bolting through the house, and oils (mixing the two together in a bit for hubby to treat his cracked skin with - poor guy).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Does Hairspray Really Keep Glitter In Place?

Last month, I decided to glitterfy a dino lunchbox for my nephew who adores both shiny things and
dinosaurs. Since he's a boy, it's hard to find anything geared towards him with glitter on it. Apparently, manufacturers think only girls should like pastels and shiny things, while boys like bright colors and dynamic scenes.

Psh. Whatever, manufacturers. Boys are just as welcome to like all that glitters as girls are, so don't be surprised when consumers customize your nonsense to their tastes.

Anyway, coated four dinos on the lunchbox with glitter glue. Then, I discovered that said glue runs when put on too thick. Woops.

All dinos became glitter dinos.

I had hoped that since I'd used actual glitter glue, I wouldn't have to worry about it flaking off quite as easily. No such luck. Once the glue had dried, I noticed glitter coming off.

I probably should have used puff paint instead. Ah well.

My test site before application.
So, to the internet I went. Turns out there's not a ton of things you can do to keep glitter in place, but I did see repeated suggestions of using hair spray. We have hair spray! We don't use it often, but it's there! Why not give it a try?

my test site after application.
Now, bear in mind, the first time you try applying any sort of chemical to fabric, test it on a part that won't be easily seen, first. Fabrics can grow discolored, some might actually melt when certain chemicals are applied, or the substance just might not affix.

So, that's what I did. I wiped the excess from the box's liner and waited for it to dry.

While the hair spray didn't discolor anything, or break the fabric itself down, I don't think it reacted very well with the glitter glue. As you can see in the picture, it looks like the glitter had already started to come off.

When I touched it, more easily came off on my finger!

From the second swipe. I hadn't thought to get a pic of the amount that came off the first time.
So, is hair spray good at affixing glitter glue in place? Not in this case. In fact, it seems to have made it worse. Though, maybe it does work on other types of glitter.

This is another reason why to spot check before going all out on a project.

Looks like I need to find another option for this project. Maybe I can pick up some Modge Podge or something before I need to ship this goody out.

Monday, December 8, 2014

How to Mend Plush Slippers - Part 2

My bunny slippers have been waiting for this mend for a little while, so today it happened. Here's how I
patched up the worn out bottoms of my plush slippers. You could probably use this method to add extra grip to a new pair, as well.

  • Two sheets of felt, or enough to cut out two pieces for the bottoms
  • Skid-protection padding (I found mine at Target, but they should be available in any store with a home maintenance section)
  • Something to write with
  • scissors
  • glue gun
Here are the steps I took:

Step One - Prepare Felt
Just like in part one, trace an outline around your slipper on the felt you'll be using, and cut the piece out. You'll need two of these pieces. Since I was using felt sheets, I just layered the two and cut through them both. Two pieces - one cut!

Of course, using a red marker might not have been a good idea. I'd brushed the back of my hand over the outline, and got marker on my hand. Now, whenever I catch the red out of the corner of my eye, I think I'd managed to hurt myself.

Wow. Reminder to self - use lotion more often. Holy dry skin, Batman.

Step Two - Cut the Skid Protection
Roll out the skid protection pad, and place one of the felt pieces on it. Since you'll be folding the pad over the felt's edges, trace an outline of the felt, but keep the line about half an inch to an inch away from the edge, then cut along your outline. You'll need to do this twice.

Step Three - Say Hi to the Kitty
This one is conditioned upon whether you have a cat, or not. My feline supervisor stopped by, so what's up, pussy cat?

Step Four - Glue Padding to Felt
In retrospect, I probably should have reinforced the padding by gluing the bottom part on before folding the edges along the wrong side of the felt. So, that's something to keep in mind, if you'll be trying this.

Instead, I'd just folded the edge over the felt a bit at a time. I started with one of the long edges.

I had thought about trying to cut the outline, so there would be no folding over, but I wasn't up for the frustration that comes with inevitable mistakes. Instead, I just folded the edges over as I went and glued them in place.

A word of warning: This is a very messy step. Our glue gun isn't super-hot, so I didn't get burned, but if your glue gun runs too hot, either wear gloves you don't care much about or find a tool to tuck the edges down with, since the wet glue will come up through the holes.

Lost quite a bit of nail polish in the process, too. Good thing I don't have any more formal events for a while.
Step Five - Glue Bottoms On
Unlike gluing things to the insides of slippers, gluing them to the bottoms is relatively easy. I started by applying glue to the bottoms in a zig zag pattern.

Then, I pressed the felt/skid-protection to the bottom of the slipper.

We're not done, yet, since the edges aren't fastened down. I don't have much practice with using a glue gun just yet, so those who are better with theirs may be able to get the edges down from the start. I ended up going around and gluing them in place after the majority of the bottom was in place.

There we go! Unless you'd like to add a few stitches around the edges for extra stability, you're done!

If you'd missed part one, you can find it  here. For more mending, upcycling and alteration tutorials from me, check out my master list.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Flowery Muffins?

I really need this coffee to kick in. I'm so ready to nod off. How do I keep messing my sleep schedule up like this?

Anyway, while I got nothing done in terms of mending, knitting or more permanent crafts, I did get a little baking with my mom and flower arranging done over the past couple weeks.

That one lily bloomed beautifully.

I may take out some of the smaller roses, since they're suffering. Some of the larger roses might be dried, as well, but I haven't decided what I want to do with these on a long term basis, yet. For now, I'm just enjoying their presence on my desk.

Every time I get a bouquet of flowers, I'm reminded of how nice it is to have fresh blooms inside. I think to myself, "Hm...it'd be nice to have fresh flowers on a regular basis," and plan on picking more up the next time I'm at the store.

Oddly enough, that never happens. Maybe I should look into finding some more flowering plants.

Speaking of which, here's an updated pic of my pretty little African Violet.

Those will be some pretty little blossoms when they open. I'm a little surprised that I haven't killed the thing off yet. I still have the mother-in-law's tongue plant, too.

Maybe my indoor plant record is improving, huh?

As for baking, my mom and I made a slew of pumpkin mini-muffins. They were pretty good.

The ones in wrappers went with us to assorted Thanksgiving get togethers, while we just nibbled on the others throughout the week. I think I'll make up another batch this weekend.

I like having healthy breakfast options that require no work to prepare. Obviously, I'm not a morning person.

Now, let's see if I can hold the sandman off long enough to remain conscious until bed time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Flowers

This weekend was my sisters wedding, in which I took part. I got to take the bouquet I carried home!