Monday, March 26, 2012

Visiting With My Daughter

Not much happening with crafts this week...My daughter flew into Tampa, to visit us through the weekend. It's really great to see her, so we are busy catching up on everything....I gifted my socks I was going to keep for myself to her, and decided to order some more of the same yarn to make another pair....She had cold feet while staying at the house, and so I decided that's a great excuse to give her some socks made with love....and a few grains of  sand from the Florida Keys, where I knitted most of these blue socks....I call these my "Oceanic" socks....

Now I'm making another pair of socks for myself in a totally different color....IF I don't give them away after I get done with them...This sock yarn is Pagewood Farms Hand Dyed Sock Yarn..called "Yukon" in the "Maple Leaf" colorway...I LOVE the earthen colors in it....The feel of it is wonderful....70% Merino Superwash / 20% bamboo / 10% nylon....With so little nylon, I'll have to be careful when I get to the cuff as far as a good clingy rib is concerned, I would guess....This yarn feels so wonderful working with it, I think I will keep them! I only have about 20 skeins of sock yarn in my stash still to be used!
Pagewood Farms "Maple Leaf" colorway

Monday, March 19, 2012

Paper Beads? Who Would Have Thought?

I ran across a wonderful jewelry project that just captured my fancy. They were triangular earrings with paper beads in the center of them. She apparently saw some on Anthropologie, and made her own! I love that, when someone figures out a way to make something fashionable for less money, a knockoff for something expensive. I did that one time when I saw an evergreen wreath decorated with seashells and grasses in a Coldwater Creek magazine. I made one for my mom and it turned out just like the one in the catalog!  I made it for less than a third of the price shown in the catalog.

Jewelry can be SO expensive....Here are the earrings she made...
The gal that does this blog, has a tutorial on her blog on how to make the earrings and how to make the beads. Here it is in case anybody wants to make paper beads or the earrings...

Basically, you take colorful magazine pages, measure triangles and start cutting the paper into triangle strips! Using a rotary cutter and quilt mat is highly recommended, but not necessary. Because I live full time in an RV, I don't have all my cutting supplies from my quilting days, so I just used scissors....Not quite as precise and maybe the beads won't roll as centered as if you did use a rotary cutter, but good measuring is the key too!  Once you've measured and cut your triangles, then you start rolling the paper around a toothpick. You don't glue the paper to the toothpick when you start or you'll never get them off the toothpick! You put a speck of glue at the end of the skinny tip of the triangle on its final wrap around the toothpick. After it has dried, you brush ModgePodge, that craft acrylic coating that goes on looking like Elmer's Glue on the beads while they are still on the toothpick. A final coat of  polyurethane spray varnish is recommended in the tutorial, but to me that's overkill with the ModgePodge already serving that function. But if you want a lot of gloss on the beads, then that might be a good idea. ModgePodge comes in different finishes, by the way...There's a gloss finish and a matte finish if I remember correctly.

So now I'm on a roll!  (tee hee, hee) I've been rolling paper beads for the last week! 

I have found that using magazine pages...your common magazines that are published weekly or monthly, make very skinny beads...there doesn't seem to be enough substance or thickness to the pages to make a nice bead. It's also difficult to pick good pages that make a nice color when rolled...You try to look for really cool graphic pages with quite a bit of one color for the beads but those are hard to find. I had a lot of women's magazines on hand that I started with, but just wasn't happy with the colors or the thickness of the beads when rolled.  Finally, I resorted to using scrapbook paper (NOT the heavy page weight but the thinner weight) and was much happier with the results. All the beads shown in the above photo were made with Colorbok scrapbook pages...a collection of 24 pages in one book, purchased at WalMart for 5.00....the nice thing about using a scrapbook collection, is the pages are color these bead colors go wonderfully together! I'm going to call these my "tropics" beads...

The wire used for these triangle earrings was jewelry wire hammered flat, but I think I'm going to use square wire instead of round, so I don't have to worry about hammering it flat.
And now, I'm ready to attempt the earrings, just as soon as I get some gold jewelry wire...16 and 22 gauge....Hopefully, they should be done by next week! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Remembering When....

No photos today...I don't have one of the ABC book I made years ago for my daughters....My youngest is expecting her first child, and out of the blue, she called me to ask me if I remembered an alphabet book that I made for the them when they were little. She started talking about it and the memories came flooding back. I made it back in the early seventies.....

It was a fabric ABC book, entirely made with muslin squares, and every page had something stitched down and made from vinyl or felt. We started going through the alphabet and came up with quite a few. It was so wonderful to be taken back to that time. As she talked to me about the pages she remembered, I could see myself back at my craft table, sewing these pages and enjoying making the book so much as it came together.

Some of the pages we remembered were: b for banana, the peel was velcroed in place and you had to peel the banana. C was for clock, it had moveable hands....i was for igloo. It was little felt white pieces velcroed in a little puzzle...J for jack-in-the-box--open the lid with a stretchy cord and button, and the jack in the box slid out on some sort of stick. K was for kite, the little bows on the kite tail snapped and unsnapped. There were real laces to tie and untie on a shoe, Q was for a quilt where you had to weave the strips in and out..T for tree had little felt acorns to snap back on the tree top, and the V page had a violin with stretchy elastic strings. Wish we could have remembered all the pages. I think I had checked the book out of the library, and painstakingly copied all the patterns onto tracing paper, then cut out all the parts, then sewed and glued and put them together. Every page had something for the child to do on it, from buttoning, lacing, fastening, zipping...great fine-motor skills practice!

Kerry said she played with that book for years, it was so gratifying to hear that. I didn't remember that it was one of her favorite childhood toddler activities.. It made me so happy to hear that!..She wanted to know if I'd make her a 2012 one for her baby. Of course I will, sweetie! It will be so fun to try and recreate that with a slightly more modern take on the alphabet. Probably will change the J page to something other than a jack-in-the-box.  Will have to forget the "jacks" idea, too!  Too ancient for today's kids!

I loved taking that memory trip down memory lane today.......

Monday, March 5, 2012

Anybody Want to Buy Scarf Yarn?

After teaching a successful scarf class in Webster, FL, I was hoping to have a second career in hand. Unfortunately, I have found that the market for scarf yarns and the ruffly scarves is just not out there in RV parks. It sure is in other places, but I'm not there, darn it! And we are not staying long enough in any one place for me to do another class....I have quite a bit of scarf yarn skeins for sale. these are 100% acrylic and make the wildly popular knitted ruffly scarves that are so hot right now.  I'm hoping that someone will see this  post and want to buy this yarn which has continued to be VERY hard to find online in stock. If you see something you would like, please email me. I would prefer paypal payment. If the yarn doesn't have the label on it, it's still a full, brand new skein. One skein will make a long scarf. Depending on the density of the holes, scarf length will very on the number of stitches you cast on as well......

#1. spring colors of mint green, rose pink, light pink, beige, and a little bit of khaki..The colors of the photo are somewhat stronger. In natural light, the colors are a little lighter than as shown...Rozetti Marina I'm sure, but I don't have the label....   10.99
#2. Plums, deep magenta, deep rose, lavender....This is called Plum Preserves and it is Starbella yarn...5.00.

I have lots more, at least eight or nine more skeins in lots of different colors...I just thought I'd throw out some feelers thru the blog to see if anybody is interested. Thanks for looking!