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31  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Lego Block Dishcloth (A Christmas Eve Saga) on: December 28, 2015 04:58:30 PM

For the Craftster Winter Nerd Battles, the December Battle Royale was Lego vs Lincoln Logs. Since I have never owned any Lincoln Logs, I knew I had to go with Legos. But, I had no idea what to make. So, since I knew I'd be traveling to my mom's for Christmas, and my step-dad has been the happy recipient of many of my crocheted dishcloths, I figured I'd pack the supplies to make it while I was there.

It turned out to be a good thing that I had packed a few craft projects in my carry-on...

Shortly after the airport shuttle picked me up, I discovered that, due to a huge storm in Atlanta, my flight out of Boston was delayed... and delayed again... and again... and again. When I got to the airport, I learned that by the time I got to Atlanta, I would have missed my connecting flight, and no additional flights were available for at least 2 days on this particular airline.

I was offered a full refund on my trip, which I took, but then had no flight until my mom, frantically working away on the computer down in FL, found me a flight. Whew!

But, it didn't leave for 7 more hours...

So, into the travel craft stash I went!

Note the lovely airport carpet...

I crocheted up 3 Lego blocks using a pattern I found on allfreecrochet.com.

They were smaller than I expected, which worked well for a dishcloth.

I edged them in green then I got too tired to think any further about how to join them.

Ideally, I would have made up a couple of smaller Lego blocks (perhaps a 2 X 2 brick and a 1 X 1 brick), but my brain just couldn't deal with figuring out the pattern modifications (which would have been fairly simple under normal circumstances).

Instead, I just joined the blue and red blocks together with single crochet, and then I stitched them to the yellow block. I filled in the extra space beside the yellow block with some rows of green (the green represents a green Lego base plate), then crocheted around the edge for a border. Nothing fancy.

It's not perfect, but it gets the job done! And, my step-dad was happy. And, I made it to FL late Christmas Eve (it turned into Christmas Day on the way home from the airport), so there was holiday happiness all around!
32  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Frog Beanie on: December 13, 2015 11:23:31 AM
I've been making hats to donate to the "closet" at the school where I work. It's a place for the needy/homeless kids to pick out clothing items for themselves. Middle school kids are just goofy enough to wear a frog beanie, so I used this pattern to make one. The original has glue-on googly eyes, but I wanted to make sure it was washable, so I crocheted the eyes instead.

I had the basic beanie made in no time!

And then, I had to make the parts for the eyes.

The part that took me the longest (I don't really like to stitch bits of crochet together, for some reason) was finishing the eyes and attaching them to the hat. But, I finally attached them to the hat this morning.

Whew! Now, I hope one of the kids likes it as much as I do Smiley
33  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Picture Hosting Support / Problems uploading pics from an iPhone on: December 13, 2015 08:16:13 AM
Over in the Nerd Battles discussion board, this question came up. I have been having the same problem (as puzzled-penguin), so I thought I'd post it here. I'm not sure if it was a problem before a recent update.

I also have a problem where the photos rotate when I upload them.

Is there a trick to adding more than one photo a day from my iPhone? It will only post the first photo I put up over and over within a specific date.

I've never had that problem with my iPhone but I've noticed I can't do the 5 upload at once thing and it has to be the first of the upload slots to work. As long as I do each photo individually it's usually fine. Although photos that are too large (in mb) don't load, I need to email myself and resize them.
34  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Fridge & Freezer Inventory Frames on: November 30, 2015 03:50:18 PM
I have the very bad habit of putting food in the fridge or freezer and forgetting that it's there, especially if it's not right in front on the top shelf. I end up wasting a lot of food, which is definitely not good.

So, I decided to make an inventory sheet and keep it posted on the fridge. I also made one for the freezer. I still have to make one for the chest freezer, but I bought the frames for this project before I ordered the chest freezer (2 years ago  Tongue ).

I used acrylic paint, which didn't work very well on the frames and I had to use multiple coats to get any sort of coverage.

I designed and printed the lists and put them into the frames. I backed them with cardboard, and held it in place with duct tape (the thrift store frames had lost the clips to hold the photos in place). I glued a bunch of magnets to the back, but they are not strong enough, so right now, they are sitting on a shelf beside the fridge.

I'll update the list after I go shopping or have a big day of cooking. Since it's already designed, it's easy enough to change. In a pinch, I can always hand write new additions on the list. Now that I know what I have on hand to use up, I can start thinking about what I want to make! I already have a couple of ideas. And, last night I wanted chicken pot pie, for some reason, and I found one in the freezer while I was taking inventory!
35  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Upcycled Planters on: November 30, 2015 03:34:10 PM
After the delivery of pizzas and sodas for a party at work, the 2 racks that held the 2-liter bottles of soda were left with me because somebody thought I could "do something with them." They've been sitting on my porch for at least a year and a half...

I decided to combine them with some single-serve cereal cups to make hanging planter (but, I don't have a way to hang them at the moment, so for now, they'll be sitting on a table by the window).


2 empty bottle racks
16 empty single-serve cereal cups
spray paint (white & green- paint & primer in one that works on plastic))
rope (will be used later)

Step 1:

Lay out the cups along the ground and spray with several coats of paint. And, remember to tell your brother that the green paint will make the driveway gravel blend in with the grass in the spring.

Step 2:

Lay out the racks and spray with several coats of paint, flipping part way through to paint the underside. Try to get in all of the nooks and crannies (much more than I realized). And, don't forget to tell your brother that the white paint will make the driveway gravel blend in with the snow in the winter.

Step 3:

After you've chased the cups around the yard on a windy day, put them in the trunk of the car to dry, along with the racks. Go visit a museum while they dry.

Step 4:

Arrange the cups in the planter. Then, after you realize that you don't have any plants to actually plant, pop a couple of plant cuttings that are rooting into the cups as photo props.

Step 5 (for later):

Figure out a way to hang the planter in the window using the very cool glow-in-the-dark rope. You could probably consult with your brother in a few months when his memory of the great gravel incident has faded...
36  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Cases for Smiles on: November 22, 2015 10:41:03 AM
These pillowcases are for Ryan's Case for Smiles. I first heard about this organization when it was called ConKerr Cancer. They collect and donate pillowcases for kids in the hospital so they can have something to brighten their day. I'll be dropping off 9 pillowcases at a nearby quilt shop that acts as a donation center, and they'll deliver them to local hospitals (most likely in Boston). When I bought the fabrics a few years ago, I specifically tried not to get patterns that were too babyish. They need cases for older kids, too, so I tried to pick fabrics that would appeal to tweens and up.

There is a pattern on the website that uses something called the "hot dog method" which encases the seam for the accent strip.

Then, I used French seams to encase the side seams.

And, after a few years in the to-do pile, I finally have a stack of 9 completed pillowcases!

I washed them all in dye/perfume free detergent, and I just need to bag each one up and send them on the way.

Each pillowcase uses a yard of fabric (1/4 yard for the edge piece and 3/4 yard for the body), but you can also add in an extra little accent strip of fabric between those pieces. Next time, I might do that. It's definitely a good way for me to satisfy my "must buy this fun fabric" urge and put it to good use!
37  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Pear Cozies on: November 22, 2015 09:19:59 AM
At lunch the other day, a co-worker pulled a badly mangled pear out of her lunch bag, commenting,  "Pears don't travel well." To which I replied, "You need a pear cozy! I'll make you one!"

A search for patterns produced a couple of options and, while this one was free (and came with patterns for an apple and a banana cozy), I made a small donation for it. I decided to make 2 of them so I could have one to keep.

No more bruised pears for us!
38  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / CD Organizer Baskets for the Car on: November 21, 2015 12:08:10 PM

Even though I've been told it's "old fashioned," I still like to buy CDs, especially for playing in the car. I like the cover art, the booklets of lyrics or pictures of the bands (and sometimes even liner notes!) and streaming music chews through my data plan (and cuts out on me in several places along my commute). But, I have the bad habits of not putting the CD back in the case I took it out of and also of tossing them into the back seat, moving them from the pile on the front seat, whenever I have a passenger (not often, so the CD pile can get big). I end up with a jumbled mess of CDs with discs in the wrong cases.

I found a plastic storage bin that would hold 2 rows of CDs, but I wanted to make individual baskets. This will hopefully help me keep them more organized but I also tend to keep one disc in the player for days (or weeks), so I'm hoping that by having 2 separate baskets in the bin, I can use one, take it into the house to refill it, but still have one in the car (because I know I won't swap out the other ones right away).

To make the baskets, I measured the size of the bin plus the height and width of the CD. I made the lining the same way and nested them together. Instead of turning and top-stitching, I finished the raw edges with some coordinating bias binding tape that I had in my stash. The fabric was leftover fabric that my mom and I used to make wall art for her house in FL (we covered 9 or 12  1-foot square canvases with the fabric, and arranged them in a grid on the wall), and there was a lot of leftover fabric (we matched the print across the square panels, so the length of fabric I had contained a bunch of random cutouts.)

I do have to confess that somehow, and I still don't know what I did wrong, I made each basket twice as big as I needed. My math brain truly abandoned me and a project that should have taken an hour at most took me at least 4. I finally decided to just cut out the extra material in the middle and seamed the 2 halves back together. One of these days I'll figure out where I went wrong with my measurements. Smiley

39  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Match Jars with Sandpaper on: November 21, 2015 11:37:23 AM
My friend and I both work at schools (she teaches elementary art and I teach middle school science) and when the holidays roll around, there are a number of people (office staff, classroom aides, custodians, teachers on the team, etc.) to give gifts to. To make things a little more affordable, we put together these little jars to hold matches, with sandpaper on the outside for striking. We used "strike anywhere" matches, which I couldn't find in the store, so I bought them online. The jars came in a box of 18 and were in the wedding section of Michael's.

We drew images of holly leaves and a gingerbread man and traced them onto the back of brown sandpaper, and then cut them out. We used a tiny hole punch to punch a face and buttons on the gingerbread man. From the red sandpaper, we cut little tiny bows for the gingerbread man, and punched out berries for the holly leaves. We glued the sandpaper onto the jars using tacky glue and we secured them with rubber bands until they were dry. Each jar contains 30 matches (but has room for more). We plan to gift them with small, holiday-scented candles.
40  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Steering Wheel Cozy on: November 21, 2015 11:27:56 AM
Several years ago, I saw this steering wheel cozy posted online (I thought it was on Craftster, but it must have been somewhere else), and bought the pattern (by Hook Candy). I finally decided to make it only to discover that the pattern had been lost when my computer (and backup hard drive) crashed. The pattern designer kindly sent me a new copy Smiley Cheesy

I had to play around with the gauge since my steering wheel was 2 inches smaller than the one in the pattern, plus I crochet on the tight side, but I finally managed to get the length right. The pattern is crocheted into a strip and then seamed together. It uses a long crocheted chain, woven between stitches, to secure it onto the wheel.

I needed to wait to put it on the car since I had to bring it in for service, and when I saw the black handprint left on the door by the technician, I was glad I waited Smiley  I did give the steering wheel a good cleaning before I put the cozy on. I made mine out of acrylic yarn, so I can easily take it off to wash when needed.

Now, when winter finally arrives, my hands won't be so cold in the morning. And, if I leave it on for the summer months, they won't get burned by the hot steering wheel.
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