2016 Crafty Goals

I keep my crafty goals very general because my yarn is my de-stresser! I would never want to ruin that with too much pressure on my beloved hobby but I think it’s important to grow, learn and be a better version of yourself… even when it comes to yarn!

How did I do last year? What’s in store for this year? Have a look:

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Sew a Fish Extender or Closet Organizer

Going on a Disney Cruise? Then you may want to participate in a Fish Extender group! If you don’t know what this is, I’m going to send you to read this wonderful blog post by Darcie. She explains it very well. I’ll also suggest that you join either the Disboards she mentioned or the Fish Extender Facebook Group. Both will help you find fellow cruisers that want to share “a little pixie dust.” They’ll also help you with  ideas for Fish Extender Gifts and don’t forget to search those 3 little words on Pinterest. Great ideas!

Alternatively, this is a great closet or wall organizer for use at home!

Project Materials:

Background Fabric: 16 x 32″
Interfacing for backing: 8 x 32″
3 Pockets: 11 x 8″ each
Pocket Interfacing: 11 x 8″ each
Heavy Duty needle for sewing machine
Thread to match
Download the Pocket Pattern here
1 pkg Extra Wide, Double Fold Bias tape

**These Written Instructions may be all an experience sewer will need. If you’re a beginner or find these instructions unclear, the video below may be helpful.**

1. Apply interfacing to pockets and one half of background fabric.

2. Fold background fabric in half (long ways) wrong sides together and sew all edges together.

3. Pleat pockets (see pattern for where to crease fabric). Press.

4. Baste along bottom of each pocket.

5. Apply bias tape across top of each pocket. Re-press creases in pleats.

6. Apply bias tape across the bottom edges of TWO pockets.

7. Align 3rd pocket along bottom edge of background. Apply bias tape across bottom encasing all layers.

8. Pin a pocket 1″ above top of bottom pocket. Pin last pocket 1″ above middle pocket. Attach bottoms of these 2 pockets by sewing along stitching line of bias tape.

9. Baste long edges being careful to align edges of pockets with edges of background fabric.

10. Encase long edges with bias tape on each side. Finish top edge with bias tape or a zigzag stitch.

11. Fold over 1.25″ at the top and sew to form the rod pocket.

12. Decorate with names, etc!

2015 Crafting Goals

Usually I don’t make goals for my crafting. Why would I want to put pressure on myself regarding the very thing that I do to relive pressure?! Well, I took a different approach this year and made a list of things I want to learn or accomplish. When phrased like that, the pressure is alleviated and I’m left with a plan of focus. That much different that measurable goals that are either met or marked FAIL!

Basically they are:

1. Reduce the scraps/open skeins collection.

2. Use some currently-owned paid patterns (and books, magazines) rather than just running to Ravelry when I need a new project.

3. Improve general knitting skills. (Ex: I’m currently practicing a flat-knit mitten pattern where I’m improving my edges, learned the mattress stitch and can now manage 2 mittens at the same time!)

4. Practice working with tiny needles and yarn. (Maybe one day I can try to knit socks!)

5. Improve knitting color work!

6. NO YARN Purchases (Exception: Great sale + coupon OR to meet a specific need.)

There’s more to say on the subject so if you want to hear more, click the video below then share some of your goals! I’m willing to bet we have a few of the same!

Christmas Crafting

Yarn crafting is my first love but I have to admit that I’ve fallen in love with my new Silhouette Portrait Die Cutting Machine. So far, I’ve made Christmas tags, small gift bags, gift card holders, and I’ve learned to etch glass yet there’s so much more I want to do with this thing! Take a peek at this video to see what I’ve been up to in addition to the normal excitement and preparation of the Holiday Season!

No Christmas baking at our house this year. The doctor put down her foot about sugar and carbs so I’m trying to wean myself off. However, I wanted to have a baking-type experience so I tried my hand at salt dough ornaments. There are tons of recipes and instructions out there for this age-old craft. (Just take a look at Pinterest!) Click the video below to watch over my shoulder as I figure this out!

Merry Christmas 2014!

My Favorite Play Dough Recipe

The Holiday Season is upon us and this healthy family won’t be making sugar cookies so we have to find something that’s just as fun and festive. The solution may lie in the many, many online tutorials for making salt dough ornaments! This reminded me of the homemade play dough I made when my children were little. While there are gazillions of salt dough recipes out there, this one is my all time favorite because it’s very close to the commercially made “Play Doh” that everyone loves! This recipe was given to me years ago by a college professor. It’s cheap, easy and fun to make!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need but watch the video for handy tips!

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Optional:
food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan. Stir constantly to prevent sticking over medium heat. Mixture will be soupy for a while then ALL OF A SUDDEN it will thicken and stir itself into a ball! Immediately remove from heat but continue stirring. Dump the hot dough out onto a floured surface and continue kneading as it cools.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator OR it can be frozen for later play! Projects can be air-dried (don’t make them too big or thick). Alternatively, (though never tried my ME) is to put them in a pre-heated oven on the lowest setting for 1-4 hours depending on the size of the object.

Dyeing Acrylic Yarn

Recently, I ran across a couple of YouTube videos explaining how to dye acrylic yarn (virtually impossible to do by conventional means) by using acrylic paint! I was curious so I gave it a go and I share my experience with you. (Links to the original instructional videos are in the description box on my video:

Interesting… very interesting! If your interested in dyeing acrylic, I wouldn’t suggest this method. Some of the commenters told me of special dyes for synthetics that would work better.