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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / 50 Projects 2018-Reach for Your Crafting and Creative Goals! on: December 28, 2017 06:17:19 AM
50 Projects 2018

Open to post lists and discussion because people can't wait for me to set this up properly! ha ha ha

(temporary pic until the official start date of January 2018)

2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Repurposed Candle Holders on: December 24, 2017 12:06:05 PM
My parents entertained a lot and had loads of candle holders...everything from fine crystal to gold...wood, glass, metal...they loved their candles and I remember many dinner parties with the tables decorated with flowers and candles.

Things have become a lot more casual now in our house...we have a lot of buffet type dinners. I selected a few sets of candle holders for special dinners and decorating during the holidays, but many of the other candle holders have been given away or repurposed.

I found a set of wooden ones that I was just going to give to the thrift store...but, as fate would have it, kittykill listed that she wanted some painted candle holders in the Secret Santa Swap!  I dug them out of the box and decided they might work for this project.

The wood was Bermuda cedar that had lost its smell (I believe they were over 50 years old!)...I sanded them and gave them a base coat of primer. I then painted them white. On the first one, I drew a simple floral design with pencil...bad idea...the pencil lines showed through the paint! I wiped off all of the pencil and then decided to free hand the painting. After painting the main flowers and leaves, I then outlined them several times with a sharp point sharpie. Finally, I painted dots...hundred of dots... lol.

The final step was two coats of clear gloss spray paint.

I liked how they turned out, but more importantly, so did kittykill! Grin

I am going to try this again with some wooden napkin rings!

3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Chakra Mandalas on: October 30, 2017 05:46:42 PM
I purchased an ebook of  chakra mandala cross stitch patterns and have been slowly finishing them this year.  I am not much of a cross stitcher but these were easy enough that I felt I could do them by starting at the easiest and them moving into the more complex patterns.

The first thing I learned was that I was not suppose to turn the hoop and the pattern...so, my little crosses on the first one I did sort of go in all directions...oops...

Once I figured out how to keep everything correctly lined up, my crosses turned out much better and even. By the time I got to the last one, I felt pretty confident that I could do some more pieces down the road.

I didn't do them in any particular order and I used only threads from my stash (which I basically inherited from other people).

Here is the group shot:

Individual shots.

I did this one first...I kept turning the hoop so I could follow the pattern easier...once I realized my stitches were also turned, I adjusted for all of the others.


I did this one last.  It was my favorite and also the chakra that has the most meaning for me.  Happens to also be my favorite color.

Solar Plexus
I made a pretty big mistake on this one but decided not to unpick it. Learning to accept mistakes and move on.



This one was challenging for me because of the spiral pattern. I had to keep counting to make sure I was in the correct square.

Third Eye


Had a lot of fun. Learned a lot. Relaxed.

Thanks for looking!
4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Small Box with Vintage Halloween Black Cat on: October 25, 2017 07:53:37 AM
I was lucky to be paired with cabaute in the recent OTT Halloween Holidays 2017 swap. She challenges me to do my best and come up with something that fits her themes in each swap she joins!

Since she likes vintage items, I decided to search the internet for an image that I could reasonably use with my limited embroidery skills.

I painted a simple little box black and then added some subtle striping by using glitter/shiny nail polish in a silver/grey. I added felt to the bottom and a neat paper trim that I got from Alpha Stamps.

The paper inside is also from Alpha Stamps as are the two trims that I used on the lid.  I love those tiny pom poms and have them in every color ...finally getting to use some of it! Grin

I drew the outline of the cat face on felt and then basically free handed the details. Probably why he is a bit off center...lol...

I am using cabaute's pics since she is a way better photographer than I am!

5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / 1898 Ear Muff Hat--free pattern available on: October 23, 2017 06:36:42 AM
Winters can be brutal in central Pennsylvania so I decided to make some hats for the men in my life based on this old pattern that was used to keep fishermen's ears warm in New England.

The ear flap parts are made flat and then folded over to make the hat extra warm...ears can get frostbite so easily if exposed to harsh weather for too long!

The hat turned out a tad too big for hubby, but another friend snatched it up. I am currently working in a few more.

The hat is fairly easy to make and works up quickly.
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My Real Life Heroine on: September 23, 2017 05:13:16 PM
Kittykill and I have been friends for a long time.  We met only once in Boston at a mod meet-up, but that was all it took for us to develop our friendship!

She is my real life heroine...she loves dogs, she has a crazy, lovable hubby, she is kind to everyone, she kicks ass, she is beautiful, she is talented, she is creative...everything that a real life heroine should be!

When she posted a pic of this shawl. I told her I would make it for her. I finally got it blocked and ready to send.

Here is the link to the pattern.

It had to be blocked a couple of times to get the pattern to stick: But I finally got the perfect "W".

She knows she is receiving it, so there is no secret...kittykill is my own super heroine in real life!
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Big Crochet Pumpkin and Friends on: September 20, 2017 09:41:00 AM
I love fall because...PUMPKINS!  I love pumpkin everything so I joined the swap of the same name!  My partner, bywilma said in her questionnaire that she liked crochet items because she herself does not crochet.

I found this tutorial and decided to give it a try.  I had yarn in my stash that was a little more rust in color that I thought would be perfect.  The pattern uses a bobble stitch that took forever!  I had no idea how large the pumpkin was going to be! ha ha

Anyway, I ended up dyeing the filling brown because I am just not good at very tight crochet stitches.  That in itself was a project!  My hands, towels, and sink turned out brown as well...

After I did the big pumpkin, I decided he needed some friends...I made these little guys just crocheting round and round until I got a tube.  I think there are some tutorials on this one, but I just figured it out from the pictures.

Here is a way better picture taken by my partner...

I have so much  of the yarn left over that I am going to make a few more of the little ones to give to friends!  Plus, all that brown stuffing... Grin.

Thanks for looking!
8  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Mini Quilting Projects showing "cheaty" binding on: September 11, 2017 12:53:57 PM
I make a lot of small quilted items for friends and family that require quick and easy techniques to get them done.  One of my favorite is using what I call a "cheaty" binding.  Here is a small project I did to show you how it is done.

1.  Either cut out your fabric to the size you want plus seam allowances (my project is about 14") or, finish piecing your project and then cut it to size. Cut out your lining to be about 2 inches bigger than your front piece.  My backing is about 16".

2. Cut your binding strips from the backing.

Example:  I want a 1/2" binding. I will use 1/4" seams. So each binding strip will be 1" wide. Cut two strips 14" and two strips 16".

3. Sew the shorter pieces to your front fabric at each end and press.

4. Sew the longer pieces and press.  Notice that my strips are longer than needed.  It is because I really hate to measure.  I will trim it later.

5. Trim and cut out a piece of batting to fit your top fabric.  It is super important that you cut the piece to exactly your front piece  Be sure your top is right side up.

6. Next, right sides together, put your backing piece on top.  If you need, to, trim the backing to fit your top. Again, make sure they are the same size as you will be sewing on the back and have to catch the front and batting in the seam!

7.  A little tip...sew from end to end with some reinforcement stitches there the two perpendicular lines meet...like so:

8.  Don't forget to leave an opening to turn your piece right side out!!!

9.  Trim the corners so you will have a nice pointy point!

When you turn in right side out, you need to poke out the corners:

See how it looks like binding already?  Cheesy

10.  Hand sew the opening with whatever stitch you want...I use an invisible ladder stitch.

11. Quilt your piece.  The last step is to stitch all around your piece to highlight your "cheaty" binding!

I know there is a way to fold over the back and use it as binding, but I can never seem to get the corners right and spend so much time fussing with it. 

You can play with this and do the strips for your backing in contrast fabrics to get even more looks!

Have fun!

9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Matryoshka Doll Tunic on: August 20, 2017 09:07:20 AM
A few years ago, craftylittlemonkey sent me some lovely sheer fabric and lining to make a skirt.  I kept it because , well, I stopped making clothing years ago...but, the fabric was just so unique and it needed out of the closet...

So, since I do not wear skirts often, I decided to see if I had enough to make a tunic.  I did!

The fabric is sheer and frays a lot, so it took a bit of work cutting it out and then finishing all of the edges nicely.  I used French seams.  The only thing I would change if I did it over again is to use a darker interfacing...the white showed through too much so I had to double the fabric in the facings.  I made a shell to wear underneath as well.

Can't wait for cooler weather to wear it!

Close up of fabric...love the matryoshka dolls!

Thanks for looking!

10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Boot Trees from Bed Sheet! on: April 15, 2017 10:32:04 AM
A few years ago, we had a challenge to make something from a bed sheet.  I made a dress from the top sheet but still had the bottom sheet left.  Since it was a twin size, it languished in a wash basket for years...

This winter, I bought a bunch of new tall boots and since it is finally getting warm, I am putting away my winter wardrobe. I have used commercial boot trees in the past, rolled newspapers, etc. But I was never happy about them.  I started doodling around and came up with this idea.

I cut the elastic from around the bottom sheet off very carefully. I measured around the fattest and thinnest part of my boots and the height...I sort of drew a wedge from these measurements.  I added the elastic to the sides, making a loop on one side. Stuffed the thing sewing the bottom by hand. After I stuffed them in the boots, they looked plain so I added a felt flower that I sprayed with Fabreze. Target has these really cute baby hangers that I found years ago so I am using them to hang my boots in a closet!

Boot tree and one boot:

The boots can stand on their own if I want:

Boots ready to hang in the closet for next year!
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