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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Rainbow Sun Catcher for My Porch on: May 17, 2018 01:23:33 PM

After making a set of Antique Silverware & Key Wind Chimes for my mom for Mother's Day, I had a lot of bits and bobs that I had pulled out for it on my work desk, so yesterday I set about turning them into something.  I had 4 smaller prisms, and 1 larger one, that I decided to turn into a sun catcher for my porch.  I didn't want the crystal prisms to knock into one another, so I staggered the lengths of beading wire I used to string them.  I used a wide mouthed canning jar band as the base, and some chain to suspend it.

After getting the prisms in place, the piece felt a bit bare, so I added some old key charms that have been in my stash for years.  I bought them to use in jewelry, but when I ordered them the listing didn't note that they had bible verses on them, and I'm not religious, so they were just gathering dust.  After that I added some teardrop crystals in a rainbow of 8 colors.  Strands of a single color felt a bit sedate, so I ended up rotating the colors in each row, so the rainbow sort of swirls around the piece, mirroring the swirling length of the prisms.  Since a pair of wind chimes I had on the porch had recently fallen apart, I already had a spot just waiting for this piece.  Smiley
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Antique Silverware & Key Wind Chimes on: May 15, 2018 03:23:13 PM
About a year ago my mom decided she wanted a set of wind chimes made from old silverware.  She picked up some flatware along with various trays and silver portions of old servingware to use as bases, and mailed me a whole box of stuff.  She asked my dad to drill holes in the flatware, but didn't think to have him make some in the bases.  To be honest, I wanted nothing to do with making these wind chimes!  So the items sat around for the last 18 months.  But with Mother's Day looming this year, I decided I really should get around to making them, if only to get the stuff out of my house.  There was a great deal of trial and error, and some cursing.  Ok, a lot of cursing.  But I finally managed to get something together that would be well balanced and hang straight. 

I started by matching the silverware in terms of length, shape, and weight.  While she sent about 20 pieces, only 8 could be well matched into pairs, so there are 4 pieces of flatware on each side, in ascending order of length.  To give the strands added length, they are hanging from links of Czech glass and crystal beads.  I reversed the order of the flatware on the other side, so both sides would be equally weighted.  Once I got them all on there, and evenly spaced apart, I felt like there was too much dead space between them, so I dug through my stash until I found a bag of antique keys.  Then of course I had to make more strands of beads to hang them from, and added the keys in between the flatware.  Each bead is separated by lengths of chain made from individual jump rings and oval rings, all handmade.  All in all it was about 80 crystal beads placed on headpins. 

While I wanted to throw it out the window while I was making it, in the end I'm very happy with how it came out.  And most importantly, my mom loves it.  She has it hanging outside her kitchen/dining room window, so she can hear it while they eat. 

You can see a video to see how it moves and sounds on the second image here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BiuJe48ATcx/
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Setting up for the Harry Potter Craftalong ~Midsummer Term DO NOT POST HERE! on: May 14, 2018 01:59:24 PM
Setting up for the HP Craftalong Midsummer Term


~*Midsummer Term HPC Staff*~
Headmistress Mistress Jennie
Deputy Headmistress noodle-bug

Gryffindor Head of House Abbeeroad
Hufflepuff Head of House Moonflame
Ravenclaw Head of House FiberAlchemist
Slytherin Head of House ErinAquaheart

Alchemy Professor seeuudee
Apparition Professor noodle-bug
Arithmancy Professor  noodle-bug
Astronomy Professor Inselaeffchen
Care of Magical Creatures  ErinAquaheart
Charms Professor Inselaeffchen
Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor noodle-bug
Divination Professor  FiberAlchemist
Flying Professor  gaudiknight
Herbology Professor  Mistress Jennie
History of Magic  jenleahlynn
Muggle Studies Professor  noodle-bug
Potions Professor  Inselaeffchen
Study of Ancient Runes  jenleahlynn
Transfiguration Professor  ErinAquaheart

Kitchen Elf Abbeeroad
Pinterest Pixie seeuudee
OWL/NEWT Examiner Abbeeroad   

4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Sari Silk Yarn Mats/Doilies/Trivets. on: May 02, 2018 02:43:04 PM
I've been working on renovating my studio over the last few months, and in doing so, I keep coming across supplies I had forgotten all about in my stash.  I found 3 skeins of recycled sari silk yarn, that I had bought at various places simply because they were pretty.  Aside from using some on a few dreamcatchers I've made, the yarn has mostly sat around because it isn't really soft enough for hats or scarves, and because I only had 1 skein of each, which wasn't enough to do a very big project. 

I stumbled across the Sunshine Mat pattern for a mat made out of banana fiber on Darn Good Yarn's website, and wanted to give it a go.  (It's currently free.)  I didn't have any banana fiber, but the sari yarn seemed like a decent substitute.  With my yarn, Rounds 1 & 2, dont seem to have enough stitches per round to lie flat, so I altered mine a bit, increasing to 12 stitches in Round 1, 24 in Round 2.  If anyone wants to try the pattern with a similar yarn, I noted my changes at the end of the post.  The yarn for this one was from Red Heart, and the color is called Charming.  It measures 14" across.

This is a pair of matching mats, made from the Aunt Aggie's Trivets pattern.  The pattern is free, and comes with three designs in different sizes.  These are the middle size.  I honestly have no idea who made the yarn, or what the colorway is, as I've lost the band on it.  Possibly from HobbyLobby, before I stopped shopping there?  They both measure about 9.5" across.

This one is also from the Aunt Aggie's pattern.  It's the large size.  I was running out of yarn and couldn't do all the rounds as written, so instead I did Rounds 1-6, then instead of Rounds 7 & 8 I did a row of 8 single crochets per chain section. It measures 13 across.

I'm not exactly sure what to do with all of them.  I think they'd be great under a plant, or under a pretty bowl on a coffee table, but they wouldn't necessarily fit everyone's style.  Perhaps they'll go to my more Boho friends for Christmas....  Smiley

Changes for the Sunshine Mat Pattern
Round 1: 12 dc
Round 2: 24 dc
Round 3: dc, ch 1
Round 4: sl st over 1, dc, ch 2, repeat
Round 5: sl st over 1,2 dc, ch 4, repeat
Round 6: sl st over 2, dc, ch 6, repeat
Round 7: sl st over 2,5 dc, repeat
Round 8: picot, 4 sl st, repeat
5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Stash-Busting Farmer's Market Tote Bag on: May 02, 2018 02:19:17 PM
Since I started renovating my studio a few months ago, I've been rediscovering all kinds of supplies in my stash that I had forgotten about.  One of those was 3 balls of ribbon yarn that I bought in grad school for a costume design project, and never used.  I'm trying to use up some of this stuff to make more room, but had a really hard time with this yarn.  There just weren't a lot of ideas out there for what to crochet with ribbon yarn, which feels weird as something like a scarf or hat.  After some searching on Ravelry, I found this Eco Warrior Market Bag pattern.   

I worked the pattern as written, but when I was done with the body of the bag, it was WAYYYYY too small.  (Something that was apparent while working on it, but the pattern says it will stretch a lot, so I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt.)  I ended up frogging the last few rows, then repeating the Row 11-19 section (the same stitch pattern over and over) up until row 30, then I did two rounds each of Row 20, 21 & 22.  Here it is with 4 skeins of yarn in it.  The first version barely held 2 skeins.  I think if I were to do another one, I'd do another round of 6 increases so it was bigger around, as well as tall. 

No real plans for it, so it will probably go into my stash of handmade Christmas gifts.  Smiley
6  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Opinion Question on crocheted doilies/trivets from Sari Silk on: April 28, 2018 07:14:05 AM
Ok Hive Mind, I'm at a bit of a loss here...

A few weeks ago I saw a cute pattern for a mat, made out of banana fiber yarn.  I didn't have any of that, but I did have some recycled sari silk yarn laying around, so I made the mat out of that. It came out very pretty, and it used up a whole skein of yarn I had no idea what to do with that was just languishing in my stash.  Yay!   Cheesy

So I decided to use up the other 2 random skeins of sari silk I had laying around making more mats/trivets/boho-esque doilies just to stash bust.  Made a second that turned out well, then I dove into the last skein.  I made the medium sized trivet in Aunt Aggie's Trivet pattern and decided to make 2 of the small size trivets to go with it.  But I'm really not sure what I think of the small one.  (Seen on the right.)

I think it kind of looks like a hot mess.  What do you guys think?  The two tone nature of the yarn looks extra 'busy' and that it lacks the open-spaces that make the medium sized one work well.  Should I frog it, and just make a second of the Medium size?  It's not like it took that long to make.  Maybe an hour?

For those of you who are curious, here's the first mat I made, that started all of this.  Made from the Sunshine Mat pattern:

And the second one that went pretty well (Large size of Aunt Aggie's Trivets, Rounds 1-6, then an improvised round 7 because I was running out of yarn.):
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Tealberry Moon Shawl on: April 23, 2018 01:26:47 PM

While we *finally* seem to be getting spring down here in the South, according to my mom, it's still cold and snowy in New England.  Over the last few years she's been complaining that she just can't seem to warm up in the winter, so even though I know she'll balk at it, I decided to make her a shawl to help keep her neck and shoulders warm when she's watching tv or reading in bed.  

The pattern is free, and is called the Lunar Crossings Shawl, by Crochet Kim.  I hooked it up with Red Heart Unforgettable, in Tealberry.  It took 2.6 skeins to do 6 full repeats of the motif; on the 7th repeat of the motif I did rows 7-11 as written in the pattern, then added a row of single crochet, placing 4 single crochet in the point.  After that I added a row of modified picot stitches, starting with a picot in the first space, then doing 3 single crochet stitches, repeating to the point where I started the picot in the 2nd single crochet and completed it in the 3rd stitch so it would be centered, then continuing as before.  

To do the modified picot, ch 4, then place your hook in the left side of the 'V' of the first ch, AND through the top of the next stitch (3 loops on hook), yarn over, and pull through all 3 loops.
 It is a modification of this video, where you can see what I mean about the 'left side of the V'.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GGlzZZl3I8

8  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / CHALLENGE 123 ENTRIES / A Rainbow to Follow the Rain on: April 06, 2018 03:44:08 PM
So excited to share this!  I've been working on it for a few weeks now, having made a prototype, then frogged it, then made a new prototype, and finally this version.  The rainbow is a crocheted granny spiral, and the clouds are crocheted appliques.  The rain is crystal teardrop beads and glass seed beads strung onto beading wire.  The metal hoop is 14 across, and there are 12 colors of yarn in the spiral.

The clouds were crocheted from Buttercream Luxe, in white, and the rainbow from a mix of Caron Simply Soft, Vanna's Choice, Lion Brand Heartland, Bernat Satin, Red Heart Soft Solids, and Red Heart Super Saver. The Granny Spiral pattern costs $1, and can be found HERE:  The Cloud Appliques pattern can be found HERE.

I hope everyone's spring is starting to look brighter after the long winter we've had. 
9  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Unicorn Smoothie! Lactose-free and vegan friendly! on: April 01, 2018 12:07:07 PM

Unicorn Smoothie!

Folks, even for the rainbow unicorn princesses among us, life is not always perfect.  In fact, it can be tough to be a unicorn, when all the foods marketed to you are full of dairy, but you are lactose intolerant!  When Starbuck's launched their Unicorn Frappuccino, I was left out in the cold, unable to partake of such a magical beverage.  Fortunately I came across a non-dairy, and much healthier version, from Brooke Lark's blog.  All credit for the invention of the recipe goes to her, but I made some tweaks to it, so I'm including my personal variation below, but be sure to check her blog post for the original version if you're interested.  Brooke used some all natural food dyes from McCormick, that according to McCormick's website were in stock at my local Walmart.  Despite an hour of careful searching I could not find them, so I substituted Wilton gel colors, and they worked just fine.  Since there was so little of them used, they didn't lend an off-flavor to the drink at all.  As for vegan folks, I know some choose to eat honey, and others do not.  If you'd prefer not to, I'd try swapping out the honey for agave, but it might be a bit more viscous when drizzling.  Smiley

2 cups of unsweetened cashew milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
1 13 oz bag of frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup whipped honey, divided
gel food coloring in pink and blue
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lime juice (really perks up the mango which can be a bit flat flavor-wise when frozen)
Non-dairy whipped topping (I used Vivian's Live Again, generously given to me by patty_o_furniture, but So Delicious also makes a great ready-made version.)
Pearlized Rainbow Sprinkles
1/2 tsp blue sugar, (preferably leftover from making Mermaid Cookie Mix in a Jar), but any sugar sprinkles will do

Start by mixing 1/4 cup of the whipped honey with the almond extract and 1-2 drops of blue gel food coloring.  You want this somewhat thick, so that it sticks to the sides of your glass when your pour the smoothie into it.  Set aside, while you dig out your blender.

Add the mango chunks to the blender, along with the milk, remaining 1/4 cup of whipped honey, vanilla extract, lime juice, and 5 drops of magenta gel coloring.  Use the chop setting for a moment, before moving up to puree, and blend that mango goodness!!!

Check to make sure you're happy with the color, and adjust if necessary.  

If you are using a mix for the whipped topping, whip that stuff up!  Otherwise, spoon on some ready-made whipped goodness.  Top with rainbow sprinkles, and a dusting of blue sugar.  Pop in a smoothie straw, and retire to your porch to sip your beautiful beverage in the sunshine, and make your neighbors jealous.  

Then take pity on them and offer them one of their own!  Cheesy  After all, unicorns spread their magic far and wide!
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Rainbow Infinity Scarf on: April 01, 2018 09:47:26 AM

A few weeks ago, I made a rainbow ripples neckwarmer from some silk roving yarn that I received in my monthly subscription box from Darn Good Yarn.  A friend saw me working on it, and freaked out over how much she liked the colors.  Clearly, it had to go to her!  But I wanted to add something like a hat to go with it, afraid the neckwarmer alone wouldn't go with anything else she might have, so I contacted DGY, and asked if I could buy another skein.  The customer service person directed me to their regular listing for their worsted weight silk roving, in 'watercolors'.  The picture didn't look exactly like my yarn, but I figured if customer service told me that was it, than that was it, and that perhaps someone working on the website had photobelieveped the picture to look a bit more vivid. So I ordered 2 skeins.  When they arrived I was very sad that they were not at all the same color.   Cry  But rather than cry over spilled yarn, I decided to find a different way to use it up to make something bright and cheerful.  This is the result.  The pattern is the Dragonfly Infinity Scarf (aka Double V-Stitch Infinity scarf) by Alyssa on Undeniable Glitter.  Since I was working with a limited amount of yarn, I made it a bit narrower, just 3 full-shells in the middle and 2 half-shells on the ends.  Wrapped twice it sits up close to the neck, rather than hang down over your boobs, but is still plenty loose for comfort.

*Also, I just got new glasses, and I'm trying to get used to them.  Every time I see myself in them I think I look like me, but in some sort of disguise.  Like this is my Clark Kent look...  Tongue
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