Monday, May 27, 2013

Steampunk Backgrounds

I have found some vintage steampunk backgrounds that I will have the perfect project for (stay tuned for that project). The backgrounds will be printed out and cropped to the appropriate size that I will need.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hands-Free Cross Stitch Chart Holder

Whenever I do cross stitch I can never find a convenient place to put the stitching chart without having to constantly be picking it up to look at it.  Then if you trying to look where the stitches go, the chart is forever slipping or in the way of the stitching.  Also, if you are holding the chart you do not have two hands to stitch.  It took just a little bit of thinking to come up with this useful addition to my cross stitching tools.

This was very simple to make, only a couple basic supplies.  I got a 6" x 9" clipboard from my nearby box store.  I opted for a plastic one so it would be easy to keep clean. It has a retractable hanging tab just above the clip.

The next thing you will need is a 6" long piece of wire that you can bend.  I bent it in half around a  dowel to get make a nice curve.  Then I held the wire with my jewelers pliers about 3" from the bend and twisted the wire together a few times. At the twist, I bent the wire to make a hook.  I made a rough curved shape to fit around my cross stitch frame dowel  Below is the finished product.

Once the hook was made, I put the wire up against my frame's dowel and pressed the wire around the dowel to make the curved shape.  Try to make the wire to fit snug around the dowel so it stays put.

Finally, I made copies of my pattern and thread color charts and folded them so they fit on the clip board.  I made two copies of the thread chart because it is two columns and folded each copy to show each column.

The stitch chart is on top on the clip board with the thread charts underneath.  I had one copy of the thread chart at first but if the color was in the second column, the chart was upside down to view it.  Finally, to help you keep track of what you stitched, I use colored pencils with similar colors to color in the squares of the chart that are done.

This has proven to be a very useful addition to my crafting tools.  Later on, I plan on designing a much nicer looking holder to replace the prototype.  Happy stitching.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Shoe Shopping

A few weeks ago I brought my daughter, Rose, shopping for shoes.  She wanted new shoes for spring. While she was looking at the girl's shoes not really seeing anything she liked, the clerk came over and suggested she look at the women's size 5 shoes.  The helpful clerk explained to us that a girl's size 3 1/2 is the same size as a women's size 5. Of course, the women's shoes were all too grown up for her. She settled on a pair of girl's black wrap sandals with a 2" heel.  

Tonight my daughter informed me she needed a pair flat sandals for school. We went back to our local Payless and she found a cute pair of gold flats. I got to thinking why can't I look in the girl's shoes for a pair for me. The heels on women's shoes are ridiculously high and having ankle surgery a few years ago makes it very hard to find shoes that don't hurt my ankle. So after a bit of browsing and chatting with the helpful women there, I settled on the same pair of black wrap sandals my daughter has and a pair of pink peep toe espadrilles. This was the first time I have left a shoe store ecstatic about buying shoes. 

Below is a chart to compare sizes (please keep in mind girl's shoes are slightly wider than women's shoes):

Girl's             Women's
3 1/2                   5
4                         5 1/2
4 1/2                   6
5                         6 1/2
5 1/2                   7
6                         7 1/2

Happy shoe shopping to all those women who don't want shoes with 5" heels. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Unplanned day

This morning I made some homemade laundry soap and the intention was to test it out. But, circumstances being what they are, I ended up at the hospital with my youngest to have an abscess taken care of. So, my testing will have to wait until We a home again. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Using Your Sizzix to go Green

Here are a few ideas I have learned to get even more use out of your Sizzix and other machine dies. The first several are GREEN ideas, as they use throw away items.
  • You can cut thin metals, such as aluminum pie plates. I made some silver snowflakes to use as Christmas ornaments this way. You can also layer the cut pieces of aluminum to make a sturdier piece and use it to make jewelry.
  • You can cut thin acrylic, such as the bakery containers you get at the grocery store. You can spray paint the acrylic piece once you have cut it. After the spray paint is dry, use a spray sealer on it to protect the color. The acrylic makes great, lightweight pieces for jewelry.
  • You can use your dies to make a stencil. The acrylic mentioned above works great for this. Cut the shape from the acrylic and then use the "negative" space that is left over as a stencil. The way you get double the use from that one piece of acrylic.
  • You can use your dies to create stamps. Cut the shape out of foam. You can then adhere it to a block of wood or use the acrylic blocks for the clear stamps.  Got a case on your cell phone? Did you know the clear stamps will stick quite nicely to it. Just be careful not to get ink all over it. 
(Contributed by Colleen Mailly, thank you.)

Bulky Yarn Round Rug

This weekend's project was make a new little area rug for my bathroom.  The tile floor gets cold and a little soft rug to stand on is just the answer.  It was made with two strands of bulky yarn and a very large size S (19mm) crochet hook.  In all, I was able to make this in just over two hours last night sitting on the couch. If you would like to make this, here is a link to the pattern:  Bulky Yarn Round Rug Pattern

Right now Blogger is not allowing my to insert a picture of the rug, but here is the link for it:
Bulky Yarn Round Rug Picture

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Very First Blog Post

Well, here goes, I am a blogger now.  This blog was set up to share my love of crafts, things I have learned over the years and hints to make your crafting easier.  For the time being, I will be posting once a week.  Once my youngest enters first grade, then there will be more hints and tricks. 

Happy crafting.