Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bridal Shower

So.  My sister's bridal shower is tomorrow.  That means I am pretty safe in showing off her gift I made. Well one of them.  Her shawl is blocking in my son's room, so I can't show that yet, but I will.  This is a cross stitch project I made.  I chose my own colors.  The pattern came from here.  I didn't use the embellishments because I thought they looked a little cheap.  And I liked it plain better anyway.

I hope she likes it, because this thing was a paiiiiin.  Not the cross stitch.  I had that done so fast.  But the size is just so unusual.  I could NOT find a frame.  I finally found this hideous Ford picture at a store that was the perfect size.  Except it wasn't a frame I could just swap out the inside.  And it was black, which I didn't think would look good.  So I took a chance, and bought it anyway, along with some bronze spray paint.  I had to pry off the paper glued to the back.  Pull out the staples holding in the FOAM picture of the word FORD.  De-glue the frame, and then finally finally spray painted it. Then I traced the glass from the frame onto some cardboard, cut it, and wrapped the fabric around it, weaving it closed in the back with thread.  Lastly I glued paper back onto it to keep it all safe.  So the back isn't pretty, but it looks ok from the front right?  I'm pretty pleased with it.

I also made these:

Crappy pics, I apologize but they are SO GORGEOUS in person.  The beads and crystals are cream and lavender, and they really sparkle.  The earrings don't match the pattern, but I thought they'd be too big if I made them the way I made the pendant.  Which is in need of a chain.  And the earrings need ear wires or something.  But otherwise they are done, and I think the whole set is pretty fabulous!

So now, off to wrap that picture and prep for the morning, gotta be up early!  

Friday, August 1, 2014

New bling!

So it's been some time since I have posted.  It's been a busy month, I feel like I am always on the go. There has been a lot to do for my sister's upcoming bridal shower, decorations and favors to craft. We finally finished it all up, the shower is next Sunday!  I still have to block her wedding shawl, although I DID finally finish it.  The knitting got a bit boring at the end, and the crochet border took DAYS.  But it is done and out of the way.  I have to finish the frame for her other gift.  I don't have a picture of it yet, but it's a cross stitch pattern, I'll take one when it's in the frame.  It's an odd size so I had to repurpose a frame when I finally found one.  It's not even an actual frame with a back.  So, I'll have to decide what I'm going to do with it to keep it in.

With her shawl knitting out of the way I am still working on the wheaten for my LYS, and I am working on a sample Crocus patch blanket for Knitspot.  It's in their mohair blend yarn, which I discovered after they sent the yarn.  Normally this would be an issue.  I had NO reaction to it!  It's coming out beautifully.

I also crocheted some squares for a comfort blanket, but of course forgot to take a picture of those... they were a fun distraction, I don't get to crochet much!

I am taking small knitting breaks by working on my Once Upon A Time sampler.  I'm still only on the border, but that's ok.  I'm enjoying it!

Michaels had a coupon for 30% off all jewelry purchases, so I stopped for some cording (for projects I want to do with the kids) and beads.  I picked up some pink pearls and seed beads (I know they look peachy but they're really a soft pink), and some clear crystals and made this:

This is the video I used.  I LOVE how this came out, it's so simple but stunning.  I will definitely make more of these.  I also have beads on the way from Artbeads.  I decided I want to make a bracelet and necklace to go with my bridesmaid dress.  This is the pattern I bought to use:

Funny enough it's by the same person who designed that other chunky pearl bracelet I made some months ago.  I bought lavender and cream pearls and crystals, and I can't wait to get them!

And now for the saga...

So a few weeks ago I decided to try a deal from Amazon Local, which is a bit like groupon or the others.  I had just gotten an email from them for $10 off my first deal, so I took a look around and found one for this bracelet.  Here is the website: Iris.  It was $34 for a bracelet with 5 beads and 5 charms, supposedly worth $170.  (Here's a link to the deal, it's still up as of today)  So after looking around the site, I decided I liked it enough to spend $24 bucks and try them out.  I saw no really negative reviews when I did research either.  After the issue I had with that Modicure company and their horrible service, I always look for reviews.

I have a 6 inch wrist, so I chose the 6.7 inch bracelet.  I thought that would fit without too much drape but still leave room for the beads.  I picked 5 pink beads, and 5 of the silver charms, and placed my order.  They shipped it right away, within several hours I had an email with a link and tracking info.  I anxiously waited for my bracelet and within a few days it came.  The first thing that I discovered was that the bracelet on it's own was too small.  It barely fit on my wrist, I think due to the rigid clasp area (it's a magnet).  With the beads on it would not stay together, and would squeeze into my wrist. Secondly, several of the beads looked nothing like the pictures that I ordered.  I was pretty disappointed in this.

So I got on the phone with their customer service.  They told me they don't do return labels, but that I could reorder a new size bracelet for a discount, they're normally $40, I would only pay $8. It was that or pay to ship it back to them and wait for them to process a return and allow me to reorder. Because I got the bracelet so cheap, and wanted to actually be able to wear it (and not wait), I decided to just pay for it.  I was emailed a discount code for that, and told to reply to that email with pictures of the beads I was unhappy with.  I did that and used the code to order a new size bracelet.  (I ended up going for the 7.5 inch which seemed huge but I knew that I lost at least an inch in size with the beads on based on how the other fit)  I then discovered on the original bracelet, the magnet had fallen out of one side of the clasp.  So I emailed that as well.  I assume they don't check these things over the weekend, but I got a response on that following Tuesday.  They agreed to replace the bracelet (of course I had already ordered the other at additional cost) and the beads.  Everything free shipping.

So today I finally got all the replacements.  The 7.5 inch fits pretty well, I think the smaller 7.1 inch would have been too tight with all the beads on.  After all that, I'm fairly happy with the purchase.  It was a little frustrating to deal with but they did take care of the problems I had.  So now here are a few pictures.

The ones I was unhappy with were the daisy looking one on the bottom left (they show better in the picture than in person, they're so tiny you can hardly see them) and the two on the top right.  The striped one on the site was a totally different color and you could see the stripes.  And the top flower one is also the wrong color.  I love the yellow orchid looking one most I think.  I know it stands out but I liked it so much I had to get it.  One thing I really like, is that there is an extender chain on either side of the clasp so if the magnet comes undone, you don't automatically lose the bracelet, or drop it possibly breaking one of those glass beads.  This has already saved mine a few times, such as when I was putting Olivia in her car seat and tugged it loose.  

So if you're willing to take a chance on that, this was a pretty good deal all things considered.  Just keep in mind those murano style glass beads can vary in design by a good deal!

Well I think that's it for now.  I'll post again when I have something to show!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A new addition

I have some fun new stuff going on, but I should probably catch some things up first.

I finished my mitts, and added buttons, which I thought were perfectly sized and super cute.  I had them on hand, figured I'd use what I had on hand instead of go to the store for new ones.

They have little gems in the center!

And of course one mitt came out bigger/smaller.  That always happens.

Here's a progress shot of sugarfrost.  It really isn't much further.  I love it and want to knit it but  nearly ALL of my knitting has been on my sister's wedding shawl.

Same goes for this, Syrah.  I'm a little further I think, somewhere in the middle of the third section, but again, haven't touched it.

Still no blocked winterwood.  In fact I also knit a Windward, no pics.  And I'm working on a sample Wheaten stole for my LYS, no pics either lol.  Also, I need to find my camera charger... because ALL of my other pictures are on my phone!

Lets see... I can steal some pictures I plurked:

This is the Wheaten for my LYS, I use it for travel knitting right now, this is the only other thing I'm actually knitting other than the wedding shawl.

As for the new addition, I bought a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 116 sewing machine.

I originally bought the E20 model.  Took it home, set it up, HATED it.  I felt like everything I tried to do was a struggle.  Normal sewing would tangle.  Reverse would randomly not reverse (might have been my issue because when I took it back to the store everything was fine) or again, tangle.  So I hauled it back and upgraded to this.  I had ONE tangle setting it up (I think I threaded it improperly or something the first time) but other than that it's been perfect.  I love how it sews, I love how easy it is to use, just the whole thing.

So after messing around with some scraps, I decided (more like I couldn't stand not having something to sew) to go back to Joanns and get some simple little dress patterns and fabric.  I saw in the add simplicity patterns were on sale for 1.99, so I looked on their website and picked out a few of the simpler looking little girl's dresses.  Went in and bought them, and enough fabric for 4 dresses.  

Now I've always messed around with sewing.  I've never really been taught, although I learned basic use of a machine because my mother has always had one.  I've always MEANT to learn.  I've never used a pattern, and the most ambitious thing I've done is learn how to make box bags for my knitting.  This was a whooooole nother animal.  The instructions were about as clear as mud, and when I first opened them up, I nearly gave up then and there until I could get help.  But I took it a step at a time, and in the end, I made a dress:



I learned how to gather (ruching), how to baste, how to add elastic, and how to efficiently rip out seams that were done wrong or accidentally stitched into the strap lol.  I'm proud and she loves it.  I feel SO much more confident in my abilities.  I will be making two more in this style, and a fourth dress from another pattern.

I have plans for lots of other things, including, a tote bag, dresses for ME, a cover for my spinning wheel (so I can leave it out without the cat chewing the drive bands in half, yes she's done it...), hopefully dresses for the older girl, and I'm thinking vests/ties for the boy child b/c he LOVES to dress up and those are his favorite.  I found this awesome tutorial on how to make an Infinity Dress and it's all I can do to not run out immediately for fabric... cuz it looks soooo easy.  And like something I'd wear nearly every day if I could.  And lastly, I have a bunch of stuff I can now fix, things with seams coming apart, or broken zippers.  I think this machine will be getting a LOT of use.  And that's exciting to me.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bracelets with a side of knitting...

I've been sort of in a craft slump lately.  I'm managing to work on some things, but I haven't really been in the mood so it's been forced.

I think it started with these:

I found a picture on pinterest of these bracelets and they were so awesome looking, I just HAD to make them.  I couldn't find instructions anywhere, so I commented on the blog the original picture belonged to, and she kindly linked me to a tutorial (right here in case you want it!)  It was in another language, but I managed pretty well.  The first one I did was the bronze one.  I modified it because I had less crystals, so there are only 8 sections of that instead of 10.  It was fun to make, but fiddly, and it came out too big in the end.  So I started another one, with more crystals, and modified again.  Still too big, but also not.  My hands are SO small and so are my wrists, that bangles just don't work well.  You have to be able to fit your hands into them with no clasp, so for me in my case, they end up too big overall.  I think I may end up cutting these back up, I can't wear them, so I guess I'll reuse the beads.

Luckily I DID have some success in another kind of bracelet.  If you've seen how those Alex and Ani bracelets have gotten so popular lately, you'll recognize these.

I borrowed one from my sister, that she'd been given as a gift, because I just KNEW I could make them at a fraction of a cost (they retail around $28 each!)  I took it to Michaels to match it up to some wire I'd seen there before.  Turns out even with her bracelet I ended up with the wrong gauge wire.  It was hard to see in the packaging.  So I bought 16 gauge but 14 would have been better.  Regardless, I was determined to use it anyway.  It's softer, so more flexible, but when they're made and on they keep their shape just fine.  The one with the key and hope charm I made first, also bought from Michaels.  Cheap and not really what I wanted, but good enough for a test.  After I made that one I wanted another.  Of course!  I remembered that my mom had bought me these two charms years ago, meant for a charm bracelet I have, but never got added to it.  They are a little dirty, I need to clean them up, but they worked well.  I got them when I started my college courses on graphic/web design.  I love these bracelets though.  I may redo them in the thicker gauge when I get some but I haven't been back yet to grab it.

Price:  the wire was about $12 for a package.  It comes already coiled, at least the brand I bought.  I think it's silver plated but as my small one threw out the package the second I put it down (she just loves to clean up, and I didn't notice!) I can't remember for sure.  I had a 40% off coupon, so the wire ended up being more like 7-8 bucks.  One package can get probably 8 bracelets on average.  More or less anyway, depending on your wrist size.  I have small wrists, so I could probably manage 10 out of it.  The charms were anywhere from $1-$5 depending on the ones you picked.  I got two for $2.50 each.  So, the charms are the most expensive part in this!  I already had a tool from years ago making stitch markers.  I used one like this which cuts, grips, AND bends the wire into a loop.  Very handy.  Maybe I should do a tutorial?  

I also finished my "cleopatra" bracelet.  I am happy with how this one came out as well.  I will be making another, but haven't decided on the color.

I also made another bracelet like my last green one.  It looks off in the picture.  The pink beads are right, but the seed beads look like a blue purple here, and they are a reddish purple in real life.  I don't like it as much as my first, but it's cute.  I wanted brighter colors.

Here's a picture of winterwood.  It's been finished, last night actually, but until it's blocked I won't take another one.  It was actually a pretty fast knit, once I got past the edging.

I also started some Kiltie Mitts.

I've had this handspun rambouillet for some time for these.  There was a KAL starting and I figured it would be something fast to distract from the lace shawls I've got going on.  I showed my wing of the moth last time.  I also since started Syrah and Sugarfrost.  So that makes 4 including my sister's wedding shawl.  The thumb of this one and its button tab has since been finished and I cast on for the second.  They're a bit loose around the wrist but I think that once the band is attached with a button it will be fine.

I think that's it for now, I'm sure I will have more soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I may have mentioned, I am becoming slightly addicted to this beading stuff.  It's only gotten worse since my last post.  I finally got around to making that second bracelet with the gray pearls.

I was disappointed that you could barely see that some pearls were darker or lighter.  I should have gone with completely different colors.  Maybe I'll just need to make a third version?  But at least this one fits me.

This is the underside, see here you can tell better that the smaller pearls are lighter.  (Tutorial link again, it IS in russian, but totally easy to see what she does.)

After that one, I found MORE tutorials I wanted to try.  I ordered some beads and Fireline thread to make a seed bead bracelet from the artbeads website, but when I got my order (on Saturday) the Fireline was not in it. So, they are sending it but as of today it's still not here.  So on Monday I went to Michaels to see if there was something else I could use in the meantime, and ended up getting some Beadalon Wildfire thread.  For the pearl bracelets I'd been using Nymo thread, which is nice and drapey, but splitty and I didn't condition it like you're supposed to because I didn't know... oops! 

Anyway I figured I'd try another bracelet with the beads I got at Michaels with the Wildfire.  I used this tutorial by Jill Wiseman and  I ended up with jasper beads instead of crystals, and I really like the look of it, although I'd like to do a crystal one as well.  

I really like that the clasp is made with the beads from the bracelet as well.  It looks so put together and finished I think.  This took me less than 2 hours from start to finish, it's really fast and simple.  I can see myself making quite a few of these.

That one went so fast that I decided to start the bracelet I originally wanted to make, with the wildfire instead of waiting on my fireline.  This is the tutorial.  Also by Jill Wiseman and beaducation.  She is SO thorough and talented.  I'm really liking her designs, I just wish there were more!  This is a slow one to make, and uses an absolute TON of thread.  I've used probably three times as much as I did in the above bracelet and I'm not even done yet.

This design also has a toggle and loop clasp made from the beads, which I love.  I also changed up the design a tiny bit.  The original starts thinner and increases to a wide band and then back down.  But I have such small wrists I wouldn't even be able to do all the increases and decreases, so I just started with a larger width and did it straight.  I think this looks very egyptian, or like something cleopatra would wear.

I have more beads on the way for another version of this, as well as a russian spiral bracelet design I saw.  Beads are so cheap, and at artbeads I can nearly always get 10% off and they have free shipping over $10.  So it's easy to fall off the wagon there lol.  Anyway this is the russian spiral I fell in love with when I saw it on pinterest: 

I ordered beads to try something similar, with multiple colors.  I'm really anxious to get them and start this one!  Ok I think that's enough about beads.  Let me do a quick update of all the other random stuff I'm up to.

A final picture of that embroidery, wrinkled, and still not sure what I'm gonna do with it:

I finished the Sugar is Sweet Sampler, I think I will be buying a wooden hoop to mount this in, and maybe the above embroidery, and either wrapping the hoop with ribbon or crocheting around it.  I've seen some cute examples of it.

This needs a good washing, look how dirty it got from holding it, right in a ring around it!

Lets see... oh I finished my hitchhiker (rav link)!  After like 9 months... it was torture, but I think this yarn and pattern are perfect together and I love it.

Sorry for the crappy nighttime pictures.  Color is somewhere in the middle of these.  It's STR Mediumweight in Puck's Mischief, and I needed maybe a skein and a half?  I didn't weigh it yet.  And I did 42 teeth of course.

I started a Wing of the Moth (rav link) shawl, after having the yarn and pattern in my queue for EVER. This was the design that introduced me to Anne Hanson's design's and it has been true love ever since. I just never got around to this first lovely shawl.  Yarn is jaggerspun zephyr in the pewter color.

I also started Winterwood (rav link), another one of hers.  I always loved her designs with the little lace trees, so this was a no brainer.  The yarn is... Tucker Woods Estrellita.  I REALLY wish they sold this online.  I got it at rhinebeck last year, and I looove it.  The color is gorgeous.

Sooo I think that's it for now, still working on other things and there are lots more things I want to try, but I think I'll end here.  Thanks for reading!  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Stuff

I've continued with my obsession with trying out new things.  In two days I made 3 rag quilts!  I had already had some of this fabric forever, with the intention of doing one for Olivia.  I loved it so much I had to make two more for a friend.  She just had a new baby and has a daughter as well, so I made one for both of them.  This first one is for Olivia, it's cotton fabric on the top and bottom with a flannel center.  I mistakenly bought regular cotton when I went to the store and just went with it.  I love how it came out and so does she! (Link to the tutorial I used)
This is shown pre-washed, as are the next two.  I have since washed Olivia's and it's frayed up nicely. These two I made a bit simpler.  Just a flannel top and bottom, and they also need to be washed. Joanns had a sale on flannel prints, half off per yard, so I picked up a few prints and threw these together pretty fast.

I can't wait to see how they wash up, but I need to get to the laundromat!  I should also mention that I used a half inch seam to sew everything b/c the tutorial didn't specify but other tutorials I found generally used that.  And I did not bind it, I just did a half inch seam all the way around and snipped it as well.

I started and finished my first "real" embroidery.  Cross stitch doesn't cout to me.  I found this pattern free here, and followed it.  I had a lot of fun with it, and love how it came out.  Of course this picture is not the finished one... I guess I forgot to take one lol.  I need to figure out what to do with it! (Oh the other picture is on my phone I guess! I wonder how to get those here...)
I bought more cheap glass pearls in the right sizes, to make another of those beaded cuffs.  Just for kicks.  

And I have two other cross stitch projects in the works right now.  Because I have project ADD like that... this one is the Sugar is Sweet Sampler:
And the autumn sampler, which I had to modify (I cut out a square) to fit the fabric I wanted to use up.  It's my last piece of aida, and I thought that the blue would look great as the sky on so many of the frames.
I am also desperately awaiting their Tea Time sampler that I think is coming out on April 1.  And I have one last treasure to share.  I keep seeing pictures on the Frosted Pumpkin FB group of everyone's wip's. And all these adorable needle minders!  I decided to make my own, but it came out pretty horrible, so after seeing a few members had shops, I looked around and bought two from Oh Needle Mind.  They were a good price, and she had two of my weaknesses, hummingbirds and matryoshka dolls.
I think they're perfect.  I looks like an image is glued to the back of some clear acrylic or stone and then the magnet is glued behind that.  It's very secure, and the magnets are SUPER strong.  They are also a silver color, I know most magnets are black.  I bought black ones from the craft store when I attempted my own, and they leave black smudges.  My magnets are also weaker even though they are probably twice as thick.  These are very low profile.  And they hold the needle very well.  Not so strong you're yanking the needle off it, but strong enough that I held my hoop upside down and it didn't come off, not even when I shook it really hard.  Either way I love them, and want more!

Alright, enough from me!  Until next time...


Monday, March 10, 2014


It's been years since I've blogged.  But lately I've missed keeping track of my projects and crafts. Ravelry sort of replaced my blog I guess, but it doesn't cover everything I do, since I've branched out so much in my hobbies.  More than knitting, crocheting, and spinning, I've begun dabbling in beading (both the weaving and embroidery kind) and embroidery/cross stitch.  So let me show you the things I've been doing lately!

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest searching for interesting things to craft.  One day I came across some bead embroidery collars, they were SO beautiful.  So I began searching for tutorials and then kits.  I found a cheaper kit on etsyPurple Bead Pendant.  The instructions were very clear (and the seller was extremely helpful and responsive!), and it included nearly everything you need to get started.  I had to get my own glue, needles, and thread.  It took some patience, and came out a bit lopsided, but I'm proud of it!  The oldest girl child has claimed it.
I also made this bracelet.  It was my first time trying something like this.  I mostly did it to see if I could. I followed this video tutorial.  I bought super cheap beads from my local store, but even at that it looks pretty good.  The seed beads are one size too large, I'll be doing another with the right size, and it came out a tiny bit too big for me.  Also it would have looked better if I used the larger beads in the contrasting color for the 2nd and 4th rows as in the tutorial.  But it was REALLY fun.
I'm doing a lot of cross stitching lately.  I recently made this one as a gift and LOVE how it came out.  I used the eiffel tower chart from this etsy shop, and then added my own lettering from free charts I found on pinterest.  (Does it look a little crooked??? I hope not...)
I'm also working on some Frosted Pumpkin samplers.  Right now I'm still catching up on the woodland one, and just started on the autumn one with some changes.  I also have the materials to start their Once Upon a Time one, but I'd like to finish woodland first.  I also bought the pattern for the sugar sampler.  I plan to do that one as a gift as well.  Here's a woodland pic, I've finished april june and july since I took it though...
On the knitting front, it's mostly been things I can't show yet, but right now I'm knitting a shawl for my sister for her wedding.  It's in October, but its cobweb yarn so I want to have lots of time to do it.  And actually I would like it done for her shower in August anyway.  I'm using Filatura di Crosa Nirvana in the cream color and this is the pattern: Victoria.  I am 3 repeats in (out of 22 I think) and while I don't want to show it, in case she wanders over to this blog somehow, I can show you the swatch.  
She picked the pattern, and saw the swatch anyway.  I've gone up 2 needle sizes.  The swatch was on size 3's and I'm using 5's.  I wanted the pattern to be more open.  I can't wait to see how this shawl comes out.  

I've started using audible again.  I have a ton of books from the last time I was paying for it that I haven't even listened to.  I had built up a bunch of credits and one day just used them all up.  Right now I'm listening to the Eragon series.  I don't know how it's taken me so long to get to it.  It's not bad, considering his age when he wrote it.  I'm on the third/last one and i'm enjoying it well enough.  I've also recently downloaded the first two books in the Way of Kings series, those will be next I think, they have amazing reviews.  And for the kids and I to listen together, we've been doing a learn to speak russian one (pimsleur audio).  They enjoy it, and I'm finding it fairly easy to pick up and remember.  So far so good!

Well I think this will do for now.  I'll have more pictures to come!