Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday WIP. So much yarn!

I may or may not have spent most of today knitting, instead of sticking to my to-do list.

Yeah...well. I have a lot of work to do on gifts, so I guess it still needs to be done, right?

Anyway, here's what I've accomplished this week:

This is what I've been working on today, the bat'leth scarf. I kinda screwed the first blade up, since I had a hard time getting the hang of the pattern, but didn't feel like unravelling it and redoing it. It's not TOO terrible, and I don't think it'll be noticeable when it's worn.

Anyway, if I have enough yarn (and time) after finishing this scarf, I may keep it and make a better one to give the person I have in mind. Otherwise, I doubt they'll mind the imperfections. I will have to block this thing like crazy, though, which might help with the shape a little.

 I got almost halfway through this goodie when I ran out of yarn. So frustrating. So, I ordered more and started on the bat'leth scarf.

And guess what arrived in the mail today!

Ooooh, yeah. Maybe I'll be able to finish the goodie next week or this weekend.

And lastly, but not leastly, my pretty blue pumpkin:

I think I'll name him Puffer the Pumpkin. Or maybe Frank. I don't know. It doesn't matter. With it is Bob the Zombie and my first attempt at making a little Leo doll. Bob and Leo hang out with us year 'round.

Now, I should probably get more done on this to-do list, huh?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How To Make Your Own Blue Pumpkin

This year, I've decided to hand small toys out alongside candy. As a way to cue parents of kids with food allergies, autism or other conditions that prevent them from eating sweets, I thought I'd put a
blue pumpkin out front.

I realize it's supposed to be teal, but as I don't have teal paint, blue it is.

Since I'm not much of a shopper, I decided to make my own.

Here's what you'll need if you'd like to make a pumpkin similar to mine.

  •  Decorative pumpkin, preferably with a built in light. I got mine from Target for $3.00
  • Acrylic or fabric paint (I used fabric paint left over from these shoes. We'll see if it peels with time)
  • Glitter (Another Target find for $1.00)
  • Newspaper (for quick clean up)
  • Foam brush
Since paint and glitter is involved, a mess will probably happen, so I'd only do this project in an easy to clean area. I ended up doing my painting in our little enclosure out back.

Step One
Spread newspaper on your working surface. That way, once your pumpkin is dry, all you'll need to do is fold the left over glitter into the paper and toss the whole shebang.

Step Two
Squirt some of your paint into the newspaper or a paper plate, and give the pumpkin at least two coats. With this paint, I found that one coat left too many streaks for my liking, but two coats provided enough color to leave just enough streaks to look somewhat rustic.

I didn't bother preserving the black lining of the eyes, nose and mouth, but if you'd like to keep the shading for yours, put some painter's tape over the areas you don't want painted.

Once everything's dry, you can just peel the tape off, and you'll have nice, clean lines between the painted and unpainted areas.

Step Three
Sprinkle glitter liberally. I personally like the messy look, so I just unscrewed my glitter containers, pinched some between my fingers and sprinkled it over by hand. If you'd like more of an even look, some containers have lids with little holes in them from which to sprinkle the glitter. Make sure to do this while the paint is still wet, so the glitter will stick.

You may also be able to spread clear glue, or modge podge, over the dried paint, and roll the pumpkin in a bowl of glitter. I haven't looked yet, but there may be a way to seal the glitter in place, since it will come off on your hands when you first handle your new decoration.

Of course, glitter is messy by default, and I'll probably be finding it around the house months from now, so if you'd rather pass on this step, I don't blame you.

Step Four
Add whatever details you'd like. I decided to experiment with some old blue glitter puff paint, so I drew a couple of spiders, and the veins in the stem. However, kids can use stickers, or you can make your own little decorative touches.

In fact, while I was in Target, I noticed quite a variety of craft supplies, including googly eyes, small containers of paint, and twine. You can get very creative with those things alone!

Step Five
Let dry, and enjoy! The paint I used dried within a couple of hours, but different types of paint have different drying times.

Of course, this simple craft is good for all colors. If you're a fan of awareness campaigns, October is dyslexia, cancer, breast cancer and bullying awareness month, so if you want to show your support with appropriately painted pumpkins, here's the way to do it!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Creepy-Cute-Cool Eyeball Crafts

Now, I do my best not to be judgmental about things people do to their bodies, but some things, like contact lens jewelry, just make me squirm in the least enjoyable way possible.

Just...NO. Don't DO that.

I have absolutely no problem with lenses with outrageous colors. In fact, I think those are pretty cool. If I needed contacts, I'd probably try getting at least one pair to wear when I feel like getting a reaction from people, but I can't cope with things actually hanging off of the lens.

ANYWAY. How about some fun Halloweeny eye arts and crafts to get our mind off of the disgust associated with sparkly things dangling from living eyeballs?

Glow-in-the-Dark Jewelry
I featured EyeGloArts back when I was still doing monthly shop features. Since then, I've been following them over on Facebook. This weekend, Lorraine posted this awesome peice there.

Reptile Red Glow in the Dark Eye Pendant
Seriously, how fun is this? It's perfect for Halloween, or anyone who likes wearing these sorts of goodies year round. If you haven't already, check out her shop. She has a ton of amazing things there.

Eyeball Bows
These are so cute! I found this super easy tutorial on YouTube that tells you how to make your own.

One of these days, I'll have to pick up some white clay and some paints to give it a try. I may end up just making a couple of duct tape bows for our Halloween kitties.

Eyeball Lights
Landee, over at Landeelu posted a great tutorial of how to make your own string of eyeball lights. Check it out here!

This is another one I'll need to try one day. I think I'll bookmark it and see if I can get some clearance lights after the holiday season ends.

Of course, there are countless edible eyeball recipes that involve everything from lychee to cookies and gelatin. There's something visceral about disembodied eyes that make them perfect for Halloween shenanigans!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Warm Fuzzies

Last weekend, I decided to get started on stuff for the holidays. As such, I've been working on the biggest thing, before starting on the smaller ones.

I'm not saying what it's going to be, but I WILL say that I'm in love with this yarn. After all of the stuff for other people is done, I think I'll need to make a nice, big blanket with this stuff for winter writing.

So warm and cozy. Also soft.

All the things I love about yarn.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday is Tardy

Woops. Yesterday just wasn't a good day, but there's no reason why today shouldn't be better. With that in mind, here's this week's Wordless Wednesday - Halloween home edition!

Yep, still have my goofy little bat mobile from last year.

I love this adorable witch. Hubby's not so happy with the orange dress, as it likes to shed, but he only has to put up with it for a month.

Not really Halloweeny, but I enjoy this window's lighting.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Crafting While Cuddling Kitties

Cool weather is upon us, and as any human who has been claimed by a feline knows, this marks the

beginning of snuggle season for the cats in our lives. At least, that's the way it goes for the cats in my life. Once they're settled in, it's a crime to move them, lest they use their Power of Cute to reap revenge.

So, what can we, the crafty, do while our laps are full of warm, fuzzy goodness?

Of course, this is the activity most felines prefer you use your hands for. Scritches, pets and general cuddles are the most important part of ensuring your Feline Overlords/ladies remain happy.

If you do manage to commence with any other activities, you must take frequent breaks to offer suitable homage.

Paper Craft
I've discovered that doing things like origami and making custom cards is possible without disturbing the furry master occupying my lap. Paper folding doesn't require much mobility other than the hands, but custom card making does require a bit of work space organization.

Before getting started, make sure everything you need is within easy reach. The less reaching and twisting you need to do, the fewer disturbances your cat will need to deal with.

I often knit or crochet while acting as a living pillow for our kitties. They actually seem to enjoy when I work on larger projects, because they get an extra layer of warmth the finished expanse rests on them.

Of course, I still need to be careful not to let them catch sight of trailing yarn. There's something about it that is irresistible to the playful kitty's paws and mouths. Working with yarn covered in cat slobber is not pleasant, though it does ensure I wash the article once I'm finished with it.
DrawingAs long as you're not planning on doing anything involving paints, charcoal or other messy mediums, it is possible to work on visual artwork with a cat. In fact, said cat may appreciate acting as model for your artistic endeavors.

Although there's no reason why you can't be productive during cuddle season, once the kitty decides they want your attention, they have ways of getting it.

Yes, Your Highness, I get the message.