Monday, February 16, 2015

Wow...I haven't posted in almost three years!!! I had not realized it had been that long. What with me moving twice in six months to my present location (June of 2013 and again in Dec of 2013) and some minor health issues last blog was the farthest thing from my mind.

This is a new year with new ideas. I am excited about a lot of new and creative ideas I have come up with and will be sharing them with those who are interested. This year I expect to really get back into being my creative self...something I have had to put on hold for far to long.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fabric Bookmarks

Back in Oct of 2010 I created some nifty bookmarks from fabric and vinyl. The bookmarks were really easy to make and one can make them using fabric scraps. They would make great additions for craft shows and art bazaars.

Materials Used:
cardstock or actual bookmark (comes in a pack of 10 or so)
Heat&Bond (ultra)...I wanted my bookmark as stiff as I could get them without using cardboard.
Iron-On Vinyl
fabric (go wild & crazy...or not)

1.Using cardstock cut whatever size you are comfortable with. Mines measures 2"x6". (I can't remember if I used an actual bookmark or cut my own.)

1A.When cutting fabric I cut my pieces a little bigger all around...1/4".

2.Cut heat&bond to size of cardstock and apply it to one side only...using appropriate iron temp. Let cool. Peel off paper lay fabric over, apply iron once again until fabric sticks. Let cool and cut excess fabric. Repeat process for the other side. Note: Read and understand manufacturer's directions for applying heat&bond.

Note: The iron-on vinyl can be a little awkward to work. I remember placing my bookmark down and then cutting another piece and laying in on top. Please follow manufacturer's directions for best application method.

3.I cut both pieces of vinyl about 1/4" wider all around because you want the sides to overlap and come together as in making a sandwich. The overlap edges will bond together when the iron is applied to it...forming a seal. Cut some of the excess vinyl leaving about a 1/8" edge all around.

Make a few of them first to get a feel for handling the ultra bond and especially the iron-on vinyl.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Knitting with Fabric...

I spent half of Thursday getting stuff together to donate to one of my favorite thrift/charity stores. While going through boxes I found some stretch rib knit fabric. I have had this fabric for about three years, never made anything out of it, did not think I ever would and wondered why the heck did I buy it in the first place.

Twice this fabric was tossed in the giveaway and twice it was taken out. Why was it so hard to decide whether it was a keeper or not? I could make a knit top and leggings with it...only at 50+ the thought of these added accessories would have looked quite foolish on me. Would have made me look shorter and a bit more chunkier than I already am. Would have made people wonder if I was going through my second childhood/teenage years. Although I truly don't care what others think of me...(just last month I left the house with an Aunt Bea a lot of looks for that one)...I don't purposely draw attention to myself. if I was not going to make clothing out of this material what would I use it for? I had it sitting on the table for the rest of the day not really thinking about it. Spent the rest of the day rummaging through hundreds of sewing patterns seeing if perhaps I could give some of these away. I happen to come upon one that has instructions for making fabric crochet baskets, rugs and placemats...great idea!

I chose knitting instead of crochet. I felt of the two that knitting would put less stress on my wrists because I have in the pass suffered from carpal tunnel (very painful!). My project is a simple rug and knitted in a basis knit stitch...nothing fancy.

The fabric is a stretch rib knit with horizontal stripes...great colors...reminds me of fall, candy corns, pumpkins, falling leaves and blue skies. I am knitting my rug on size 17 needles that are 14" long. I am knitting in the Continental style...yarning over and holding the "yarn" in my left hand while doing the actual knitting with my right hand. I have sort of anchored the left hand needle on my leg at a slant because the bigger the rug gets the heavier it becomes.

I have not cut the whole piece as it would eventually become a big tangled mess but have opt to cutting four to five continuous strips. Continuous strips...when I reach about an inch from the bottom I stop cutting and start another row. This method also leaves small tails which after I am finish I will go back and tuck them in with a crochet hook.

So far the rug measures 14" x 14" and it is only half finished. It will be square in shape.

A note about using knit fabric: I personally feel that because of the stretch it is more giving, easier to handle and is less stress on the wrists.

I think this would make for some really interesting placemats. Also one can crochet or knit these into many shapes (heart, oval or whatever).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Early New Year's Resolution

Was looking through my yarn stash today and wow... I have way to much...over three maybe four huge plastic containers full of yarn. I say maybe four because I am sure that I have misplaced one container.

I have baby fingering yarn, boucle, novelty yarn which includes the fun fur, knobby yarn, yarn with shiny threads, ribbon yarn, plain old acrylic, cotton and my favorite wool yarn. Way to much!

I have made an early New Year's resolution to knit or crochet on something everyday until I get down to one container. So far in seven weeks I have knitted and/or finished off five hats, 1 pr of fingerless gloves and four scarves. At this rate I should be looking at one container maybe by June!

Not only do I have a stash of yarn but I also have a ton of knitting needles...many which have never been used. I have the aluminum ones which I rarely use. Then there are the plastic ones which are all double pointed. I taught myself how to use them last year. I have been trying for years how to figure them out and finally grasp the idea from a minute video I watched on the internet. I also have wooden needles, bamboo needles and two sets of hand carved ones which are just to pretty to do anything with but look at.

Did I say I crochet. Well I have a bunch of hooks aluminum, plastic and wood and also a couple of hand carved ones but unlike their knitting cousins I have used them. I love the way they move through the yarn.

I keep my needles and hooks in a big ole jar but will have to do better. Seems every time I want to work on a new project I have to practically dump out the entire contents to find matches or mates. I will have to break down and sew some of those pouches that are sectioned and one can just roll them up when not in use. Great Idea!

Here are some infant/toddlers hats done in three types of yarn. The one in the middle and the pastel one on the right are very soft yarn. The blue stripy one is cotton.

This striped scarf was fun to knit and is geared more for fun-wearing...I call it "sherbet". The stripe effect is from the yarn itself...makes for some really cool stripes.

I am working on two adult hats at the moment and will be starting on another pr of fingerless gloves. I will take some photos of these projects later. I have been looking through my vintage knitting books because I love the older infants and toddler patterns...they are the cutest! I will be working on some booties, mittens and baby sweaters next. Stay tuned....

Zip...Zipper Away....

I have decided to make some coin purses, belts with bags and other "short" totes to carry coins, cards, phones and any other small devices one chooses to carry. I was thinking of making my purses in fabric and ultra suede, add beads, charms and other embellishments. I am thinking of using buttons and velcro for closures but am also thinking of putting in zippers. The only problem is...I have not sewn in a zipper in over twenty...that's 20...odd years. I am a lazy seamstress. I try to avoid making anything with a zipper and rarely do I put in button holes or buttons. I like elastic...(rave on)...or buttons loops.

So I get out one of my machines and find the zipper does look strange. I manage to connect it to the machine with almost no problems. Went searching for the box of zippers which was well hidden behind a tightly stacked shelf of fabric. I next went in search of "how to sew a zipper" on the internet.

Well...after practicing for half an hour I did manage to sew one in with not to bad results....

Not perfect but getting there.......

More practice is needed but I know I can do it....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Last time I posted I was getting ready to do a craft second show ever. What a lot of work!

The show itself was a learning experience...more good than bad. The most important thing is that I loved it and will do it again.

Some things I have learned...
*Always make too much and remember to bring everything...ran out of scarves and boas the first day! Had a customer offer to drive me home to get more...don't know whether she was serious or not.

*Bring stuff that you don't particularly like but maybe someone else would...did not have enough of these items.

*Always have business cards ready to hand out...had to make some quick cards on the puter overnight.

*Be more organized...saves time and stress.

*Start making items at least six months in advance...a must!! Saves time and stress.

*Make a list of what items to make and stick to adding more stuff until you finish with your list...saves time and stress.

*Make sure to have someone to help you out...for breaks and helping with sales...someone who will be as enthusiast as yourself. Had the help but...the enthusiasm...

This show was also the first introduction to my gift baskets. I did not sale any of them but I did get some referrals...and...was asked if I might be interested in doing a child only show at a later date.

Here are a few pics of my baby baskets. I also made some knitted cotton baby washcloths and burp pads.

The empty space on the table was
because I had just sold some wash-

Overall the experience was a good one. Although the show did not pull in the numbers as promised...(very low)..I did make sales. Sales were not as good as I would have liked but the people who did come...came to buy.

To sum it all up...I enjoyed myself immensely and would love to do another show...soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crafty Fingers!

So I am working my fingers off trying to get ready for a craft show the second weekend in December. Must get ready!

So far I have knitted scarves, made earrings, bracelets and rosaries. I am cutting out material for mini pillows, making a kiddie bean bag game and pincushions with real emery. Emery sand is great for keeping straight pins nice and sharp. Got my emery here...

I have created a list of things to make and am going down it checking items off as I make them. Seems the "list" has gotten longer because while sitting here creating things my mind is working double time creating with the you know what I mean. I think most crafters have the same problem. We start with one project and while we are creating we come up with half a dozen other ideas.

I bought some really neat fabric months ago and will make tote bags from it. Well...then I decided I should make coordinating keyrings. I thought the fabric would also look good as a does. Now I have two dozen of them...still have to make the bags and keyrings.

Went looking for a free vintage knit pattern for a baby layette. I personally think the vintage patterns especially for babies/toddlers are the cutest. Found quite a few patterns...there are a lot of sites offering them.

For those who like vintage patterns you can sometimes get caught up with finding the right yarns to match those use in the patterns. Most of the yarns used in them are no longer available. This site offers "Discontinued Yarn Charts" which includes such info as...manufacturer, brand name, description(yarn content), put up(weight) and approx yardage. Great information to know! Hope this helps someone.