Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just a Little Afghan Update

Sock knitting has been taking up most of my fiber time, but every now and then I've been picking up the crochet hook. Here is the Offset Shell Pattern afghan I've been working on.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fibers on Friday: WIP

Hi Guys! Here we are in our sock challenge where we should be able to show our works in progress. Next week....woooohooo....we should be done! So, here's my second sock as of a few minutes ago. Tonight I'm working on the heel flap.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Have You Seen the New Craft Hope Project?

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

I was excited to see what the newest Craft Hope Project was. As I started reading about it, I wanted to shut down the computer, go back and pick my kids up from school, and hug them tight all day long. It's a hard one. It's about kids. Sick kids. It would be much easier to put the blinders on and continue knitting my happy little socks or my happy little NY Cardigan, but no. I'm going to pour my little heart into knitting a beanie or two for this project. Wanna join me?

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Birthday Card: CPS 252

**If you're my cousin and your birthday is this Saturday, please read no further***

My card stash is incredibly low. I really need to beef it up. I needed a Birthday card today so I made one using this week's CPS sketch (my go-to!) I really didn't go assembly-line style (I should have), I just made two cards using the same sketch.

Card stock: PTI
Patterned paper: Cosmo Cricket
Stamps: PTI Everyday Button Bits
Ribbon: PTI

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fibers on Friday: Moving Right Along

Another wonderful Fibers on Friday!! I'm happy you're here!

I've finished one whole sock and am on to the leg of the second. How are you coming along?

I've got my plan for what to knit after this sock challenge! I'm going to knit the NY Cardigan pictured here:

I've ordered and received my yarn from Knit Picks. I went with the Gloss DK in Fedora. I'm excited.

I've also decided to knit another pair of socks. I know!!! So soon??? I'm going to knit a pair for my kids and I'm going to MAKE MYSELF knit them using the Continental method of knitting in order to speed along my knitting. If I'm going to be a sock knitter, I need to train myself to be quicker.

If you're participating in the Turning Heels Challenge, here's where we are in the schedule:

  • January 6th we'll show off our cuffs and leg of the sock.
  • January 13th we'll show off our heels. Yes, Turning Heels in the New Year!
  • January 20th we should be done our gussetts and foot and be ready to close the toe.
  • January 27th we'll be well into our second sock and we'll display our works in progress.
  • By Feb 3rd we should be able to take a picture of our feet adorned in TWO fabulous socks!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine Wreath

Oh how I love how this turned out! The inspiration came at first from this idea at Life in the Thrifty Lane, she covered a heart shape in felt rosettes. I knew I wanted to make a wreath, but use the same rosettes. In her post, she directed folks over to this site, Take Heart, for the rosette tutorial. I also knew I wanted to use yarn....what with my love of knitting and all...I thought it only fitting.

This is what I started out with. The styrofoam wreath is one that is flat. I intended to wrap the yarn very neatly around the form.

But as I worked on it, I thought it needed a little more dimension, so I'd wrap very neatly for several inches, and then go back over criss-crossing a little.

I found it useful to work with small balls of yarn at a time....although I kept dropping and unraveling them. I used a spot of hot glue every here and there.

I made a bunch of the rosettes after reading the tutorial and glued them on. And I added some bling because that's how Veronica did it...beautiful.

And here it is in all of it's NATURAL LIGHT glory!! Ahhhhhh, so bright and crisp and contrasty and fresh and lovely!!

Now, I fully intended for this wreath to be hung on my front door, but it's too white!! We live so close to a major road, it's just too dusty and yucky and I know it wouldn't stay clean. So, I hung it on my mirror right in the entry way....I've never hung a wreath from a mirror, I feel so trendy :-) And that only means one thing....I need to make something else for the front door!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Valentine Specimen Art

Specimen Art! Who knew? Thanks to blogland, I do! I saw this idea at Embellishing Life. I got right to it. She printed out a bible verse, but I opted for this poem which has several words suitable for highlighting in red.

A White Rose

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.

~ John Boyle O'Reilly (1844-1890)

Also, in keeping with the "specimen" aspect of this project, I used little push pins to make it look like the hearts were pegged on that way. Click on the image for a better view, if needed.

I really love how my Valentine's "mantel" is coming along. Stay tuned for one more piece....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chore Charts

Kinda behind the power curve, aren't I? I've never done an official chore system with my kids. They are very big helpers, but they've never gotten credit (or paid!) for their help. While I feel there are things they should be doing that are just part of life and don't deserve payment, I also feel it's time for them to earn their own spending money so they can see what it takes to SAVE and WANT and WAIT for what they want.

So, here's a chart I've implemented. I spent quite some time looking through ideas and trying to determine what would work for us. I'm not even sure this is it, but it's what we're going to try for now.

I got the frames from a thrift store and painted them this mossy...glossy...green.

I picked out some nice scrapbook paper and matted my chore list.

The girls each did their name and a little embellishment.

I put the glass back in the frame so they can use a dry erase marker to check off what they've done throughout the week. I've yet to decide what their allowance will be. Maybe .10 per check mark??

They were both quite excited to do their chores this morning even though last week when we were discussing the whole prospect, Paige said, "I'm not playing that game."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fibers on Friday: There's An App For That

It's Fibers on Friday and we should have TURNED HEELS IN THE NEW YEAR this week!! If you're participating in the sock challenge, and you've never knit socks before, I hope it went smoothly! I can't wait to see your progress.

I want to share a little "techy" thing I found this week. But, I'd like to preface it by saying I'm NOT techy!! In fact, when my husband got his iPhone a few years ago, I refused to even touch it. Like, I would not lay a finger on it. If it rang, I wouldn't grab it to hand it to him! I think I went a full 6 or 8 months without touching it. But recently, a terrible thing happened. My ipod AND GPS were stolen from my car (that made me LOL....I'm NOT techy). So what's a girl to do? Replace both of those gadgets or roll them into one by getting an iphone?

I went for the iPhone. The young dude at Radio Shack LAUGHED and RIDICULED me when he saw how ancient my phone was. It was funny. I was proud.

But now I have to embrace this technology. I have to remember there are lots of resources right at my fingertips. So, the other night as I was knitting my socks, I needed to track my number of rows. I was about to grab a scrap of paper, but it occured to me.....there might be an app for that!!

Low and behold, here's a free app for counting stitches and rows. It's adorable. A little confusing at first, but play around a little and it won't take long to figure out how to use it. And here ya go....if you have an iphone....I've done a little of the work for you (check out the screen shots.....oh yes, I'm high-speed!):

My search in the app store:

Install the one by KAZE and create a work list

You plug in the number of rows you need to knit (or stitches) and every time you complete a row, you tap on the little kitty in the bottom right corner and it keeps your tally.

There's even a spot for disabling the sleep function of your phone, so it will stay awake while using this app.

So, that ALONE, is worth having an iPhone, right? RIGHT!!!

And now here's my sock progress. I turned the heel

And picked up the stitches for the gussets and worked about an inch of the foot last night.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fibers on Friday: Show Us Your Legs!!

Helllooooo!!! How's everyone doing on their socks??? Here I am leading this challenge and I barely made the first deadline. My pattern calls for a 6" leg, measuring from the cast-on edge. But I like to make it about 7", so I'll work a little bit more tonight. Here's a pic from earlier this afternoon and I've since knit another inch.

Furthermore, I finished off this super easy, super quick drop stitched scarf. Our February ski trip is fast approaching, so the girls needed new scarfs.

I can't wait to see your sock progress! If you're having any difficulties, please reach out and we'll try to help! And if you're behind, don't worry! Just have fun!! Here's the rest of the plan:

  • By Dec. 30th everyone needs to have gathered their supplies and checked their gauge.
  • January 6th we'll show off our cuffs and leg of the sock.
  • January 13th we'll show off our heels. Yes, Turning Heels in the New Year!
  • January 20st we should be done our gussetts and foot and be ready to close the toe.
  • January 27th we'll be well into our second sock and we'll display our works in progress.
  • By Feb 3rd we should be able to take a picture of our feet adorned in TWO fabulous socks!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Cricut Card and mini-tutorial!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I've spent the past several days making thank you cards. It turned into a WAYYYYY bigger project than I'd ever intended, but it was fun and it really got me acquainted with my Cricut. I'd never made a card using it and, let me tell you, it took a little research and tweaking to get it right.

I pulled out all the stops!! I used the Cricut...I used embossing techniques....I used glitter...I used buttons!! And my girls helped with much of it.

Since it was such a project, I took pictures along the way so that if YOU have a Cricut and have never made a card with it, you might be inspired to do it now.

First things first, I went to Card Patterns for sketch inspiration.

Then I looked through my Cricut cartridges for card ideas. I have Winter Woodlands and it has a card function button, so I researched how to use it.

  • Choose the "card" button and then the image you'd like cut out. I chose the mittens,
  • Choose the size. I made a 5" card, so all my dimensions will be to fit a 5" card.
  • Cut out card.

I wanted to add some texture and design to the mittens, so I stamped them with snow flakes using Versa Mark and then embossed them using my new heat tool! fun stuff right there!

Next, cut out a frame of patterned paper to matt the image.

  • Load a full sheet of patterned paper and move the blade down and over 6". It takes a lot of paper to do this, unfortunately. but you can use the scraps for something else.
  • Hit the center point button. This will allow you to cut a square and then a circle without having to find the center point of each.
  • Cut a square by hitting shift and the square shape. You need to cut a 6 1/2 inch square. The dimensions for this are measured on the diagonal (that was a huge learning point!).
  • The blade will return to the center of the square.
  • Then cut the circle from the middle of it. Hit shift and the circle shape. Change the size to a 4 1/2 " circle. Cut.
  • You now have a nice matt to adhere around your image on the card.

Next I wanted to add glitter to look like snow around the mittens.

  • Put 2 strips of packing tape over the image on the inside of the card so that the sticky side is facing out on the front. Be careful not to touch the exposed tape with your fingers or the glitter will not stick properly. Also, do this step on a craft matt so you'll be bale to pull it off and do the glitter!
  • Turn it over and glitter away!

I wanted the white glitter to really look like snow, so I found that applying a white piece of paper over the tape on the inside really let me achieve that. So, I cut a 5 X 5" piece of white paper for that.

Lastly, I put 3 buttons along the upper edge and my "Thanks" sentiment along the bottom.

Whew! As you can see I made several. I always do! Assembly line style is the way to go.

I hope this little tutorial helps someone :-) I was shaking my head at how much time I was taking to make these cards, but I really enjoyed putting my Cricut to the test and using it to the fullest potential!