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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Sari Silk Bowl on: March 12, 2018 08:18:44 AM
I recently signed up for a yarn subscription box from Darn Good Yarn, and got my first box on Friday.  When you sign up, you can choose to add a 'mystery item' for an additional $5, that is normally sold for more.  Since I like surprises, and I like being pushed out of my comfort zone craft-wise, I added the item, and waited to see what came.  My mystery item turned out to be a beautiful roll of wide sari silk ribbon!  I searched their site, and found a great pattern for a bowl made out of the same ribbon, so I whipped that up yesterday.  The pattern called for a 10mm hook, but I had only a 9 or an 11.5.  The 11.5 kept catching on the work, so I switched to the 9mm (an aluminum hook) which worked much better, but still it was harder than my poor hands liked.  While the project was small and should have been very quick, I had to take breaks to rest my hands.  It had nothing to do with the ribbon, it is just hard to crochet through while keeping your stitches very tight so the bowl will stand up on its own.  All in all I'm very happy with how it came out, and I'd happily make another one in future, after my fingers rest up a bit.  Cheesy 

2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Rainbow Ripples Neckwarmer on: March 12, 2018 08:10:15 AM
I signed up for a subscription box from Darn Good Yarn a few weeks ago, and got my first box on Friday.  The crochet project for the month was a pretty little neckwarmer, made of a roving silk yarn, that is created from silk waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.  The yarn is fair trade, and helps women in India & Nepal support their families.  I normally don't work with silk, but I really enjoyed this quick little project.  I started it after dinner on Saturday night, and finished early Sunday morning.  I would link to the pattern, but it's not up on their site yet. The whole piece is about 20" around, and 6-7" wide.  The colors are so happy and bright that it was a joy to work on.  Smiley

3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / The Purple Step Stool of My Dreams on: March 03, 2018 09:44:10 AM
A few weeks ago I posted the Purple Chairs of My Dreams, which I finished to go with the small dining table in our kitchen.  I had a bit of the purple Unicorn SPiT gel stain left over, and wanted an excuse to use it.  Enter the boring little step stool that lived in the corner of that room!  (You can actually see a bit of it in the background of the pics on that post.) My husband bought it for me back when we were dating, when he started to get sick of me asking him to reach things for me in the tall cupboards.  About 12 years ago?  The poor thing is used constantly, and had gotten a bit dirty and stained, so I scrubbed it down with soap and water first.  Then I sanded it down with my new sander (bought for another project I'll post soon!), and set to work re-staining it.

I wanted it a bit rustic looking, so I sanded a little heavier in some areas, and a bit lighter in others.   It got two coats of Unicorn SPiT in Purple Hill Majesty on the body, and 2 coats of General Finishes Dark Brown on the steps, then 3 coats of oil based finish.  Now it's in the kitchen ready to be of help again, and no longer ashamed of it's shabby appearance compared to the new cool furniture in the room.  Grin

For reference, this was the stool before I sanded it down and refinished it. 
4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Star Light, Star Bright Dishcloths on: February 21, 2018 01:42:49 PM

These were made for StudioANF in the Hookers Only Swap.  I had originally intended to make her another project entirely, but we're having some work done on our house, and when contractors suddenly changed dates on us, we were forced to empty my studio with just a day's notice.  Every single craft supply I own was unceremoniously shoved into the guest room, where it is currently piled to the rafters.  All I had outside that room was the yarn for an afghan I'm making my husband, and 4 skeins of dishcloth yarn.  Fortunately they were bright happy colors, and I decided to just go with it.    

The pattern is free, and can be found HERE.  The yarns are all I Love This Cotton in vintage teal, banana, mulberry, and brights (the rainbow multi color).

Hopefully they will make the boring task of doing the dishes just a bit more cheerful.  

5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Hookers Helper Necklace on: February 21, 2018 01:34:02 PM

This was made for StudioANF in the Hookers Only Swap. Each charm hanging from the pendant is actually a crochet stitch marker that can be removed and replaced via a lever-back earring hook. The large disk is a yarn cutter, perfect for NOT losing your scissors in the couch cushions.

Here are each of the stitch markers laid out individually.  They include Vintaj charms, Czech glass beads, and freshwater pearls. The color scheme was chosen to match the scrappy quilted basket I made her to keep yarn in.

And the pendant, when the stitch markers are removed.
6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Scrappy Quilt-As-You-Go Basket & Bonus Scissor Sheath on: February 21, 2018 01:32:45 PM

This was made for StudioANF in the Hookers Only Swap.  She requested a rectangular basket for keeping a few skeins of yarn in.  My first attempt, using a different pattern and extra stiff interfacing did NOT work out, and got chucked in the bin.  This one was made with this pattern from the Bernina Blog.  But instead of making the fabric sandwiches, then quilting, I did 2 large quilt-as-you-go panels, then cut the basket pieces out of them.

The basket holds about 4 skeins of average yarn, in this case Caron Simply Soft.  The color scheme came out of one of her Pinterest boards, which was filled with fabrics she liked.  I noticed that most of them were turquoise or teal, with bits of flamingo pink thrown in.  So I dug through my stash for anything that fit. 

I have to say that I'm thrilled with how the basket came out, and I'm glad my first attempt didn't work out, because this is much cuter. 

Studio also had a pair of scissors on her wishlist, which I picked up for her.  Since I made my quilted panels pretty big, I had a little leftover, and made a matching scissor sheath to match.  It is cut out as a heart, then folded in half, with one of the globes/tops, folded down and sewn in place, with some buttons as embellishment. 

7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Blueberry Vanilla Oatmeal Muffins on: February 21, 2018 01:12:23 PM
Sometimes, we need to start the day off right.  With homemade muffins.  Homemade, relatively healthy, blueberry vanilla oatmeal muffins.  These are not as sweet as muffins from the grocery store, as they have about half as much sugar, but the berries are bursting with tart sweetness, and the oatmeal gives them a bit of substance to help you stand up to a rainy morning. 

Blueberry Vanilla Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup quick (1 minute) oats
1 cup buttermilk (or milk substitute of choice +1/2 tsp lemon juice)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar lightly packed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 heaping cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400℉, and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, or spritz with non-stick spray.

Combine the oats and buttermilk in small bowl. Let stand while preparing other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Whisk together. Set aside.

Add beaten egg, oil, & vanilla to the milk and oat mixture. Mix well.

Add oat mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened.  Gently fold in the blueberries.

Fill muffin liners 3/4 full.  Bake for 15-22 minutes or until top bounces back when lightly touched.
8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Hookers Only Swap - Round 2 Gallery on: February 11, 2018 05:50:16 AM

Hookers Only Swap - Round 2 Gallery!

Link back to the original thread: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=454037.0

Mistress Jennie ---> StudioANF
StudioANF ---> Mistress Jennie

Bugaboo1 ---> Inselaeffchen
Inselaeffchen (sent 2/14) ---> Bugaboo1

craftADDchick ---> geekgirl1000100
geekgirl1000100 ---> craftADDchick

curiousfae ---> sheepBlue
sheepBlue ---> curiousfae

craftylittlemonkey ---> pottermouth
pottermouth ---> craftylittlemonkey

Status Colors
Green = Sent
Orange = Sending Late with Communication

Magenta = Missing Package
Blue = Received (but haven't POSTED pictures yet)
Purple = Received & Posted Pictures

Strikethrough = Feedback Given
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / The Purple Chairs of my Dreams on: February 10, 2018 07:53:11 AM
Just before buying our house in 2016, I bumped into an Etsy shop that made the most beautiful furniture, and promptly fell in love with all of their tables.  (Nature Inspired Crafts on Etsy.  The owner Kent is super nice, and was great to work with.)  It was an extra happy surprise that they are here in TN too!  So when we moved in, I started saving for a small table for the breakfast room, and was able to buy it last summer.  The table is made from reclaimed wood, and inset with beautiful iridescent tiles in deep purple and blue, that shimmer with hints of olive green, magenta and gold.  Only problem?  The awesome artist who made it, doesn't make chairs to go with it.  What's a crafty girl to do, besides make them her own damn self?!?! 

Originally I was going to stain whatever chairs I found a solid brown, in the same stain that the Etsy artist used, but while looking around for the chairs, I bumped into some on Target's website, that had the back and legs painted in a vibrant color (turquoise, blue, red, sage, white, etc.), with the seat in a brown stain.  Clearly I needed to add some color to the chairs, to stand up to the beautiful color in the tiles!  I searched for unfinished chairs, and finally found some that I liked the shape of, from made by International Concepts for sale on Amazon for $130.  They come in pieces, which was actually perfect for me, as I could stain them all individually before assembling them. 

I began searching for colorful stain, and discovered a company called Unicorn SPiT that makes incredibly bright gel stains.  I admit that this took me a bit of trial and error to get right.  I wanted to be able to see the woodgrain through the stain, and according to their website you can dilute the stain (which is VERY thick and goes on like tempera paint) with water. I diluted it to about 80% stain and 20% water, and used a brush to apply it.  Sadly, I didn't like the results.  It was a greyed out purple, and was very streaky.  So I sanded it all back down, and bought another bottle of the stain.  (All colors available on Amazon, a few of their colors available at Home Depot.)  This time I kept the stain undiluted and used a rag to apply it.  It took 2-3 coats to get good solid coverage, and it dried a BRIGHT poster paint purple that was kinda terrible, and had me worried.  (My husband was eying them dubiously at this point.)  After everything was dry and assembled (and sanded and buffed with steel wool several times between coats), I started in on the polyurethane coat.  They got 3 coats of an oil based finish, with a day between coats to dry.  This took the bright (kinda awful) purple into a deep rich tone that I LOVE.  Seriously, I keep going into the kitchen, and just stand there staring at my awesome new chairs.

And since they look so good, I'm thinking of sanding down the boring old wooden step stool that lives in the same room, and staining it purple to match with the leftover stain.  And of course, since the table is handmade, and the chairs are diy, I *clearly* need to make a rug to go with all of it....  So of course, that's in the works too.  #neverdone #ialwaysneedanewproject Wink 
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Fairy Godmother Dreamcatcher on: February 06, 2018 07:43:57 AM

(Pic stolen from itsmereba, and altered.)

While working on a few other projects for the Fairytale Swap, I bumped into some ribbon in my stash that reminded me of the tote I was working on for my partner.  It was so pretty, I wondered what I could do with it for her, resolving to at least use it to wrap her gifts up.  A few hours later I dug through one of my containers of charms, and saw a magic wand charm, and it came to me.  Fairy Godmother Dreamcatcher!  Full of cute fairytale charms, and beautiful ribbons and fibers reminiscent of princess gowns and gossamer Fairy Godmother wings.  

The hoop is wrapped with the original ribbon, and he web is strung with a few strands of metallic silver and lilac embroidery floss held together.  In the center is a light purple Swarovski crystal heart, with a silver Fairy Godmother on one side, and a pocket watch on the other.  Below that, hung among the ribbons are a rhinestone encrusted angel wing, filigree crescent moon with a pumpkin coach hanging from the center, a magic wand, a crown, and several antique gold stars.  The fibers are a mix of ribbons, seam binding, yarn, threads, etc.  I'm really happy with how it came out, but none of the pictures quite captured the colors correctly; deep sapphire blue, bright lilac purple, burnt pumpkin orange, and a rich magenta.  

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