Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Doily

After my original 1918 Doily, I was anxious to do the "real" one in red.

It turned out a bit bigger than the trial run. a LOT more than I expected!

But to give you a little perspective on just how big it really is, here's a pen on top of it.

And this is the hook I used.
I haven't starched it yet, but I'm hoping to maybe give it as a gift... someday... Do you think it's too big to be used? It's much larger than a dinner plate, and I know doilies don't have a reputation for practicality to begin with, but is it something people would use?

Either way, it's wonderful to have accomplished it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bead Necklace, Final Product

Well, I got rid of the golden-yellow beads with the too-small hole, and I found some gold beads instead. They were perfect!

Next, I thread them on to decide how I would crochet them, and hubby and I liked them just the way they were! So I kept it.

The gold spaces out the decorative beads.

Three gold beads on each end; crochet to the mis-matched silver toggle clasp and assume that your hair will keep that covered so that no one will notice except the people that read your blog.

Finally finished! Just in time to wear to a rehearsal dinner last week.

I haven't been able to check anything in blog-land since Thursday morning. It's going to take several days to catch up on what all of you have been up to!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crochet Thread and Bead Necklace, Take Two

I took several suggestions from you all on my latest attempt at crocheting with beads (oh yuck...I was typing too fast, and it came out "crocheting with meat." Oh PLEASE!! That is when you know you've taken your craft too far!).

On my next trip to Hobby Lobby, I found some beads that I thought worked really well with what I had. However, once I put them together, I didn't like the combination with the thread. I also added a strand of gold thread to it, only to learn that my new beads had a very tiny little hole...

Here's the result:
You can see the gold thread at the top, and it just adds a little sparkle to the thread. But it almost dulls down the smaller beads.

Can you see why it has taken me several days to post this? I was a little disappointed.

But, I still really love these beads! Click on it for the full effect of the design of the bead.

Today, I picked up some actual gold beads (smaller than these golden-yellow ones) to see if it gives me more of the look I want. Of course, that was after I double-checked that the hole was larger on them. =D

Suggestion time again! Should I create this same look but swap in the gold beads? Or should I put the gold in between the decorative ones? Should I try something completely different?

I welcome your suggestions and advice!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yarn Link Party

Hey everyone!

Mandipidy and bugaboo, mini, mr. & me are having a Yarn Party until the first week of April! Head over to link up your favorite yarn projects.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Scalloped Potholder

Here's my quick project from the weekend.

Sorry about the poor quality photo, but we had just left the good camera and had to settle for hubby's phone before I gave it away.

I found the pattern here and used Size H hook, and worsted weight cotton yarn. You make the pattern twice and then sc them together for a double-thickness trivet. I might even make this pattern again and add a stripe or different color for the last rounds and edging.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ugly Coffee Cup Collar

My most recent Coffee Cup Collars were pretty well received, though she seemed a bit disappointed that I didn't give her a conglomeration of ugly colors like we had joked about at one point.

Never wanting to let her down, I came up with this:
She was pretty excited about it! =)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Long overdue thanks

Nearly a month ago, Rachel from The Life of Riley awarded me The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, and I haven't taken the time to properly thank her.

Thank you, Rachel! 

Go check out her blog. She is an amazing quilter, seamstress (do people use that word anymore? do they take offense to it? ...sorry, my mom's still old school and uses that word, so what do I know? "sewer"? "sew-er"? "sew-ist"? ...moving on), and an all-around creative crafter! 

In order to accept this award,
I need to tell you 4 of my guilty pleasures. 

Are you ready for this? I'm not sure I am... (deep breath...) Dive in!

1. Bones. Have I ever mentioned that I'm a Bones fan? Probably not, because it's too easy to get started talking about it. We don't watch much TV at our house (with the exception of some great shows on Netflix like Monk, Top Gear, and Psych as well as the occasional movie), but we turn on the TV each week for Bones. I was first introduced to it during the writers' strike. I watched the full season that was online, then went back to the beginning to watch them straight through from Season One. It's not for everyone--it's gory and scientific with unexpected humor thrown in, thus putting it in the category of "dramedy" - a crime drama combined with comedy. There are also certain episodes that I can't stomach watching more than once, but since it is currently in its Sixth Season, it's easy to skip over the bad and find the good ones. (So true confessions time: Did anyone watch this week? Who didn't melt at Billy Gibbons handing over those tiny little hats??!!) Did I mention that I shouldn't get started talking about Bones? If you've made it this far, you're also a fan or wondering just how crazy I can actually be. It's OK, I don't mind.

2. Smarties Candies. Ahhh, a lovely moment of childhood. What is it about those that I love so much?

3. Reading. I can much too easily get sucked into books and stories. It is really quite dangerous. I've been known to get so caught up in stories that it affects my outlook and attitude of a day.

4. Shopping. I don't have unlimited patience for it, but I really like to find good deals. It doesn't matter if it is clothing or craft related, I still feel bad spending the money on things I don't "need." I sure love the hunt for the deal, though! 

Which brings us full circle to #1: Bones. Last week, my dear, sweet, loving husband was at Best Buy checking prices on something for work. He'd had a gift card for quite some time, and he was checking out some game things or other stuff boys enjoy. ;-) In the process, he came across Bones DVDs for Season 4 and 5 (the two seasons I don't currently own). They were both on sale (for a ridiculously low price!!!), PLUS he had the gift card, so dear loving man that he is, bought them for me. Even better, he knows how much I love a good deal! Only spending $5 per set is an amazing steal! Yep, I love him even more for saving money when he was thinking of me. ;-)

Now you know why I stick to crafts rather than talking about myself on here! I'd lose readers faster than I can blink!

It's time to pass on The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award to Carol at Naturally Carol! She's a lovely lady from New Zealand now living in Australia, and she is such a sweetie! She's been working hard for some time to collect cushions for people that have lost so much due to the February earthquakes and flooding. Check out her beautiful collections of cushions!

Another huge Thank You! to fellow blogger and friend Mary at The Epic Adventures of Skarymop & Co. for sharing the Stylish Blogger award. She has a fantastic blog of funny stories and AMAZING recipes! Hop over there and follow her for some great cooking inspiration!

...and now back to your regularly scheduled crafting...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another way of crocheting with beads

Rachel at The Life of Riley has inspired me with some interesting ideas! For a non-crocheter, she sure has sparked an attempt at crocheting creativity from me.

In January, she posted a necklace her mother-in-law made around 20 years ago. It was called Crocheted Beaded Necklace, so of course, it caught my eye. Go take a look...but be sure to come back.

After seeing that post and other necklaces made by her m-i-l, I started thinking about ways to make some simple and elegant jewelry that would take a bit less time than the Bead Crochet Rope necklaces that I usually make. Specifically, I had an idea for a necklace that would go with a formal I'm thinking about wearing this spring.

On Tuesday, I stopped in Hobby Lobby to take a look at their beads. I wanted to see if they had anything that matched what was in my imagination. Most of all, I just wanted to find something that I could try as a trial run.

This is what I came up with.
Note it is very similar to Rachel's, but it's not nearly as pretty. As I said, this was my trial, so I just used some very cheapy "pearls" and old green thread borrowed from my mom's stash a while ago. But it was enough to show hubby to see if he liked the concept I was trying to describe to him.

I also found some other great beads for $1. I tried something similar to the above necklace at first, but with less beads, I wasn't sold on the finished look.

Try number 2, I kept them closer together:
I like this a little better, but I'm considering yet another attempt. What if I were to keep all the beads closer together at the bottom of the necklace with fewer chains in between and more chains toward the top and back of my neck? Does that make sense? Would that look better or worse? Or do you need a visual of it like I would?

Now, keep in mind, neither of us are sure that we're settled on this thread, either, but these are so easy to make, I don't mind trying several things before deciding what I want. And I think these beads are SO pretty that I don't want the whole necklace to look cheesy.

Here's a closer shot of the beads:
Earth tones with some golf flecks.

To wrap it all up, let me show you why I developed a Crochet Callous while doing these on Tuesday night.
Notice this hook has a little extender on the end of it? I think I mentioned before that these tiny hooks belonged to my great-grandmother years ago (I just love having a little family history to them!), but I really wish I knew some stories behind them. All I can tell is that the brand appears to be Milward, and it was made in England. Well, that little slit on the extender happens to land right against the palm of my hand under my pinkie (or is it pinky?). It's not always very comfortable, but this is the first time I noticed any "battle scars" from it!

Well, share your ideas with me! I always feel like I can feed off others' creativity much better than trying to come up with all of it on my own. How should I use those earth tone/gold fleck beads?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

That is fabulous!

...or as my nephew used to say, "Fab-lee-ous!"

I just noticed a weird mark on my hand only to realize it is a blister or callous formed from the crocheting I did last night! Wow, I've never been so excited about a blister before!

I'll show you why I have it tomorrow.

(Yes, I'm fully aware of my freakazoid tendencies...)

Latest Coffee Cup Collars

I promised a friend some Coffee Cup Collars of her very own. She also happens to be a barista, so I would imagine they'll get some good use! I plan to give them to her tonight, so here's hoping she likes them!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Headband Catch-up

I was gathering my headbands to give to some friends, and I realized that I hadn't taken pictures of all of them.

Here are a few of the stragglers.

These are coordinating Infant and Toddler Headbands. The Infant Headband is slightly thinner, shorter, and has the yellow flower and pink background. The Toddler Headband is about as wide as my "normal" headbands, but is slightly shorter. It has the pink flower and yellow background. Both headbands have a little white flower button in the center. I would just LOVE to see a couple sisters or cousins sporting these two headbands in a photograph!!

This is a cream colored headband in TLC Amore yarn with coordinating rosette. Very soft and elegant for a variety of outfits.

This last one is white with white flowers (hard to see...). The buttons are wavy-textured in red, blue-green, and black.

I have a "trial project" that I really want to get back to now! Hopefully I'll have something to show you on that later this week.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Homemaker on a Dime

Isn't that just a great blog title?

Don't we all want to be great homemakers as inexpensively as possible?

Even if you don't, there's a great link party over there, so pop over and check out some other quality blogs! Maybe you'll find some new friends.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fellow blogger giveaways!

Notes from a Crazy Mothering Chick is having a fun crochet giveaway in celebration of reaching 50 followers! Go check it out and enter! Look at her amazing projects while you're there!

Also, Rachel from The Life of Riley is having a CSN giveaway over at her blog. You'll be amazed at her many talents when you browse her blog!

Go, now!! What are you waiting for?!!

Pirate Hat Feature

Should I be developing a complex that people like me best when my face is completely covered? =D

That's fine by me, because it sure is fun to make something that people like!

(Also, I still have tinges of green and yellow that I'd love to keep covered, but I just can't pull it off to wear this hat during everyday life.)

All this is to say that my pirate hat was featured at Little Eme.
Check out her wonderful blog!
little eme featured

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A winter craft

After Christmas, I told you about a fun craft that hubby's cousin did with the kiddos, and I promised pictures. Well, I finally remembered to grab it out of the drawer to snap a picture.

Grab some fabric paint (she's SO much more brave than I am) and paint the bottom of each child's foot (generously). Press the footprint into the middle of the shirt. Then let them make fingerprint snowflakes all around. Let them decorate the snowman according to their abilities/age.

Yep, his snowman is sporting a baseball cap rather than a top hat! Funny boy.

I decided to go ahead and put the year on the sleeve for memory reference. Later we decided to put his name and handprints on the back. That didn't work quite as well. I wasn't generous enough with the paint the first time, so I ended up doing it again (and tried to line them up again...crazy). I put an outline around each handprint, and that seemed to work.

So now you have a fun kid-approved craft idea for winter or to commemorate a snow-day or something!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Neckwarmer Fail

A while ago, Beth at Visions of Sugar Plums had mentioned that she wanted to see a small neckwarmer/scarf with a slit instead of buttons. I figured that wouldn't be too difficult, so I gave it a try.

I'm not a fan.

I like that the slit is big enough that the other side fits through but not too tightly, and I like that it's small enough that you don't lose warmth.
But I'm just not pleased with the overall outcome. Perhaps it would work better for a knitter? Or a more skilled crocheter? Maybe it just needs some embellishment...

Well, we take the good with the bad, so now you've seen a "bad."