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11  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / painted bottom basket on: May 23, 2012 05:24:03 AM
This was another item for the fox and owl swap. I used plaster to cover a wooden disk and build up the tree. I then carved an outline of the fox and painted the piece. i covered it in resin to protect it as I was using  it for the bottom of the basket and wanted it to be function-able.

12  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Mosaic tea tray on: May 23, 2012 05:15:43 AM
I made this for How lovely in the fox and owl swap. Originally I had planned to just stain the wood, but when I poured the resin it leaked out and I had to paint it. I have never had a problem with a tray leaking before, but i have always painted first. The pattern is from a knitting chart on ravelry.

13  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Rustic Wired Basket tutorial on: April 12, 2012 03:28:56 PM

Tools needed: pliers, wire cutters, scissors, and Popsicle stick (not shown)

Materials: grapevine wire, moss garland, and 24 gauge brown coated wire

The first step is to make a frame out of the grapevine wire. You may need to use the scissors to cut the fibers after cutting the wire with wire cutters. For this basket I used two circles (one larger than the other) joined by three supports. Cut more wire than you need and wrap extra around it to secure it. The canoe basket had an oval with a curved support to shape the bottom.

Now you need to make the wire mesh for the sides. I like to use one and a half yard pieces of wire to work with. You will then have to join them as you work. Fasten on end to the larger, top circle. To make the first row of links you wrap the wire around the popsicle stick and down through the frame. wrapping links all the way around.

For the rest of the rows you wrap around the stick and through one of your links. It is very similar to nalbinding and you continue to work your way around until your work can stretch down to the base.

At this step you will not use the stick. Just wrap around the base catching each loop to secure it.

The base is a little more challenging as you need to make decreases. A wooden circle with holes drilled around the edge could be wired in for a solid base. To start weaving the base you need to wrap around the stick catching the wire used to secure the side to the base. You will not be able to fit more than 2/3 wraps on the stick at a time. To decrease, every other row needs to catch two links at a time. If you look carefully you can see the wire going through two links below.

Continue around until the last row and run the wire through all loops and secure end. At that point you can straighten out the bends in the frame from working the mesh.

Cut a piece of garland that is slightly larger than the top edge of basket. You want to overlap the ends. Secure the garland with excess wire wrapping around the basket top.

Cut three times the length of the desired handle, using grapevine wire. Thread the beads onto center of wire. My wire had a slub so I was not able to center the beads and had to cut an extra piece to finish off the short end. Wrap excess around the handle. This helps to secure the beads as well as give it strength.

To finish your piece you can paint or stain the beads, add sheet moss to the bottom, or add a bow.

I had to cut out a lot of the working pictures. I had trouble down loading more than one at a time even after decreasing the size.
14  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Canoe Shaped Wire Basket on: April 12, 2012 09:51:51 AM
Yesterday, I got it in my head that I wanted to make a wire basket. I couldn't find a tutorial so I had to wing it. I don't seem to find anything here that was similar either.

I wanted something similar to a gathering basket, but decorative so I can display it when not in use. I started with paper grapevine wire for the shape. I then wove a brown 24GA wire for the sides. To finish it up I wired a moss garland to the top, added grapevine handles with stained beads for a decorative grip.

If anyone is interested I can work up a tutorial for a small round one, using what I learned.
15  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Baby Hat with Dogwood Blossom on: March 03, 2012 02:52:29 PM
I thought this hat resembled bark so I decided to make a dogwood inspired hat. When I was little the kids used to tease us. Our last name was D***wood and we were poor and had ratty, hand-me-down, fake fur coats. So they called us Dogwood. Now I realize the beauty of the dogwood and appreciate the sturdy branches that support the flowers.

I decided to let it become what it wanted. I started with a random cabled forest for the edging, then changed to a reverse stockinette, finishing with spoked top that tapers to a tab.

I like the rustic, but sweet look to it.
16  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Steampunk Dressmakers Shrine on: February 23, 2012 03:12:58 PM

I used Tim Holtz's dressform die cut, recycled boxes for chipboard, a cd crate, a watch, and items from stash. I used tan fabric to give it a military feel.

I used measuring tape ribbon on the sides to keep with the sewing theme.

I made a faux leather top and decorated with a spool cut out, a key, and buttons. This was to cover the winemaker embossing. I like the combination of leather and lace.

I re-wrapped an old spool with matching thread and finished it with a corsage pin. The brown tulle was leftover from my daughter's prom dress. I stained the lace with leftover coffee and added roses and brass details.

The belt is made from parts of the watch band. I like the asymmetrical detail. There are tiny watch gears used to represent a broach and larger ones as details on the front of the shrine. The backing is a book page wrapped onto cardboard stenciled with gears.

I may make more of these.
17  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Scarf Display Cutout on: February 17, 2012 01:54:12 PM

I love to make scarves, but taking pictures can be difficult. Weather it is is finding a model or getting the point of view on the scarf. I decided to make a cut out. I started out with cardboard and sketched a silhouette. I wanted a neutral background with a subtle pattern. I used a tattered book to decoupage it. All of my supplies I had lying around the house.

You can see a repair I made. It helps to have a large enough box that you do not have to extend over a fold. I did support the back with a 1x4 to prevent further problems and to support it.

I used Mod Podge in a satin finish to prepare for my paper scrap. When that ran out I also used school glue.

I then placed my scrap in the desired spot. It looks better when you have randomly torn pieces. I tore off the headers for a more uniform look but did not worry about the margins.

I used more adhesive to seal the piece onto the piece. Add one piece at a time overlapping. Turn your pieces so they are not all going in the same direction.

It works great to showcase bold colors, monochromatic neutrals, or anything in between.

18  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / creamy chocolate truffles on: December 25, 2011 10:40:08 AM
While reading the Jan/Feb issue of Cook's magazine on my nook color, I found an article on making chocolate truffles. It is simple just microwaving and mixing the ingredient. They go through the steps of trial and error, trying to get them the creamiest. I followed their tips and was sure I was going to ruin them. They turned out great. At least they were creamy. My shaping was a little off. They recommend resting the ganache for two hours on the counter and then refrigerating for two hours, then slicing and rolling. Mine was in the fridge for longer than two hours, my sister realized she had forgotten the ham for Christmas lunch and I watched the baby while she ran to get it. Chilling, slicing, and rolling was supposed to make them simpler for beginners as opposed to piping. I might try piping next time. Even though I had washed my hands it felt wrong pinching in the corners and rolling them into balls. My hands were all chocolatey and they still weren't perfect balls. In part this may have been because I chilled them too long. As I rolled them into balls my boys and my nephews rolled them into the cocoa, nuts, or coconut. I definitely recommend reading their article. Now that I have the basics down I want to try different variations.

One thing we found was to tap off the extra cocoa. Otherwise you are likely to inhale it when you sample them.

19  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / felted interlocking crochet hotpads on: December 17, 2011 01:32:02 PM
My hot pads doubled as samplers. With felting this technique I found less was more. It is best not to finish off a piece like you typically would. Also it looks better to leave off the last row of "b" side.

I have been fascinated with interlocking crochet lately. It is a fun technique with interesting patterns. I was concerns about it in certain applications though. The mesh work would allow hooks and needles to slip through so a project bag would need to be lined. Lining would negate the purpose of a reversible fabric. Felting also make great coasters and I am thinking a rug as well.

close up of texture
20  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Unisex Scarf on: December 12, 2011 07:17:08 PM
After seeing some of the other interlocking crochet items on here, I decided to try it myself.

This scarf is made from acrylic, but the pattern really makes it.

I think it would look great with a navy pea-coat.

This is the unfinished scarf, but shows the back.
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