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Tagged with " crochet"

Thrift Store Monsters & Friendship Bracelets

Jan 29, 2014 by     No Comments    Posted under: Crafts & DIY, Slice of Life


There’s nothing my cats love better than Craft Day. Seriously. It’s like Christmas, catnip, empty boxes, felt mice and warm laundry fresh out of the dryer, all wrapped up into one glorious event. It could have something to do with the fact that my craft room/office is strictly off-limits to them without supervision, so they leap (quite literally at times) at the chance to enter the restricted area. But it could also be because they’re also pretty social creatures (you may not have realized that about cats), so they look forward to opportunities to show off for our house guests. TicTac, pictured above, is the worst offender.

1. Craft Day Set Up

Craft Days are a pretty special event for me too. They’re a chance to spend time with some of my girlfriends, catching up on life, the universe and everything, while trying (and figuring) new crafts and projects. We only had a couple in 2013, but we’ve resolved together to try to find time to have them more frequently. Last year’s projects included water-coloring, spray-painting plant silhouettes and sculpting little animal figures from polymer clay, and this year’s ideas are proving to be just as exciting.

As you may imagine, a lot of our ideas come from projects or products we find on Pinterest, but they also come from things we stumble across in real life or on Etsy.

Steph stumbled across the first idea for our January Craft Day over at Apartment Therapy. They had a blog that highlighted some artwork that someone had created for their home by adding monsters to thrift store paintings – brilliant! I’m not a great painter (mostly from lack of practice), but I fell in love with the idea and immediately went on the hunt for a painting. I found the little metal sign, pictured left, at the Goodwill by my house for a whopping $2.99.

The second idea was to try our hand at crocheting our own version of these cute friendship bracelets. Steph found on Etsy. I love to crochet, so was definitely on board with giving this a try.  Because they were a for-sale item, we didn’t have a step-by-step guide to follow, but thankfully we both knew enough about crochet to muddle our way through.

The great thing about both projects is that between Steph and I, we had all the supplies we needed (minus the thrift store paintings) already on hand. That almost NEVER happens. When Steph arrived, we wasted no time in jumping into to Project #1, and by some crazy happenstance , we both ended up purchasing watery-themed pieces, so had similar ideas of creating a kraken-like creature for our paintings.

3. Craft Day - Steph Painting

I absolutely LOVE how Steph’s kraken turned out, and the poor fisherman never saw it coming!

4. Craft Day - Aliera painting

I ended up painting a little octopus, who ended up better than I had hoped, which means that I’ve stumbled across a new hobby (like I needed another one), but I can’t help myself. I can’t wait to try this again!

5. Detail Shot (Aliera Painting)

Stitch made an appearance after all the hard work was done (typical Stitch), but seemed to enjoy hanging out and getting to know Octavius (the little guy had to have a name after all). I was actually so excited about how the painting turned out, that I immediately hung it up in our guest bathroom.

6. Friendship Bracelets

While our paintings dried, we started on the crocheted bracelets, which worked up much faster than I expected. We kept things simple by making one really long single crocheted chain, then sewing a button on one end to serve as a fastener. I didn’t have any charms on hand to embellish the bracelets with, but if I try this project again (which I very likely will) there’s a lot of versatility and customization to play around with – stitch styles, buttons, charms, yarn types and colors.

And because we like to know where our next craft is coming from, we’ve already decided what to do for our February Craft Day. Steph found a pretty great (if daunting!) tutorial on how to make rustic, handpainted wooden signs that we’re dying to try.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what crafts you’ve tackled already this year. Share your favorites in the comments below!



CopyCraft: Mug Coaster Cozy

May 10, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Crafts & DIY


I stumbled across this Mug Cozy Pattern from Micah Makes while on Pinterest earlier this week and decided it was something I just had to try.

Micah’s pattern was easy to follow and ended up being the perfect project to keep me from feeling restless while watching the final Back to the Future movie with Chris this evening. (One of his birthday gifts was the Back to the Future trilogy, and we’ve been watching one movie every night.)


Illustration Credit: Back to the Future Trilogy Poster Set by Justin Erickson

As for the pattern itself, I’m definitely going to want to give it another go (probably this weekend if I have time). When working from a new pattern, I have a tendency to crochet tighter than the pattern calls for, so the cozy I made this evening may have difficulty fitting larger mugs.

For round two, I’m planning to use a different color palette though – I’m thinking about teal with a black border in honor of my favorite football team. What do you think?



Feeling Inspired: Valentines Day Crafts Round-Up

Jan 23, 2013 by     3 Comments    Posted under: Crafts & DIY
Crocheted Blanket with Hearts

Be My Valentine Pattern from Red Heart

Now that our floors are complete (yes, I know I still owe everyone our “After” pictures), I’ve been ITCHING to get back into my crafting. Unfortunately, my craft room is still in disarray and many of my supplies are living in boxes scattered throughout the garage and attic. Despite that obstacle, however, I still managed to compile a pretty extensive list of  Valentines-themed projects I’d like to tackle before February 14th. Not sure if I’ll get to all of them, but if I can at complete three or four, I’ll feel pretty accomplished.

The first (and consequently the most time-consuming), is this adorable “Be My Valentine” pattern from Red Heart. When I stumbled across the pattern on Pinterest earlier this week, I immediately created a V-Day themed board, printed off a .pdf of the pattern, and went out that night to pick up the appropriate yarn. I’m currently about four rows into the project (out of 82), and hoping that I can cross it off my craft to-do list by next Sunday, February 3. While that may seem like a pretty quick turn-around, I find that I’m always more successful with my crochet projects when I give myself a deadline.

I haven’t crocheted in awhile, and I’m definitely feeling a little rusty, but this project couldn’t have come at a better time, as one of my coworkers commissioned me for a smaller project earlier this week!

I think one of the reasons I’m so determined to jump into the deep-end with Valentines-themed crafting is that I was very disappointed by not being able to decorate much for Christmas this year. Because of the state our home was in due to the flooring project, and our trip to Seattle over the holidays, I wasn’t really able to get into the Christmas spirit other than hanging my stockings over the fireplace and putting a wreath on our door. I’m also getting ready to roll into an array of baby showers, bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings, so if I don’t craft now, I’m not likely to get the chance again until June!

Other crafts that I’d like to attempt are as follows:

Picture Me Valentine:
Because we missed out on even sending Christmas cards this year, I’ve been toying with the idea of sending out personalized Valentines greetings instead. I really love these valentine photo cards from delia creates, and am hoping I can talk Chris into posing with me to create something similarly cute (perhaps mimicking some of the poses from my “Cutesy Couple Photos” board on Pinterest).


Photo & craft idea credit: Delia Creates

DIY String Heart:
So, I saw this originally on More Design Please (which is a great compilation of art, design, crafting and more), but eventually traced the original tutorial back to Green Wedding Shoes. They put together a great post that walks you through each step of creating the string heart accompanied by stunning photos (courtesy of Katherine Elizabeth Photography) such as the one below.

What I love about this project is that it’s simple, but dynamic, and it’s also reminiscent of a project I did for geometry back in the fifth or sixth grade. While purchasing yarn for project number one, I went ahead and purchased pins and embroidery floss to ensure that this project made the final cut. Updates as soon as I have them!


Photo & craft idea credit: Green Wedding Shoes

Friendship Bracelet with Hearts:
My little sister LOVES making friendship bracelets, so I thought it would be neat to gift her one on Valentines using the pattern I found below. Because I know she’ll be wowed by the little hearts, I’ll be including the pattern when I give it to her, so she can in turn, impress her friends!

I found the pattern over on La Manufacture, and she includes a great video tutorial in addition to the graphic below.


Photo & craft idea credit: La Manufacture

Framed Heart:
The last time Chris and I were at Ikea, I scooped up a couple of frames that would work for a project like this quite nicely. Of all the Valentines crafts I’ve been collecting, this is probably the easiest, which strangely enough means that for some reason I’m likely to put it off to the point that it will never end up getting done (although I certainly hope that’s not the case.)

For some variations on the theme below, I definitely recommend checking out Pearls, Handcuffs and Happy Hour to see how she incorporated a variety of frames/layouts into her project. She was also brilliant – using sheet music scrapbook paper (when I first saw the image, I despaired because I didn’t have any sheet music handy, and was afraid I was in for a long search).


Photo & craft idea credit: Pearls, Handcuffs & Happy Hour

Heart-shaped Corner Bookmarks:
For all my book-lover friends, these little heart-shaped corner bookmarks are a MUST! I found the tutorial over on Craft and Creativity.

Photo & craft idea credit: Craft & Creativity

Photo & craft idea credit: Craft & Creativity


Fluttering Heart Wreath:
I still haven’t decided where I’ll hang this wreath if I decide to make it. Because it’s made out of paper, I’m not sure it would hold up very well outside on our front door. (Guess I’m kind of putting the cart before the horse here by worrying about where to hang something that hasn’t yet been created. Typical me.) ^_^

This heart wreath was embedded in a slideshow of more great Valentines ideas from Better Homes & Gardens.

Photo & craft idea credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Photo & craft idea credit: Better Homes & Gardens

In addition to the crafts I’ve listed above, I also have a secret craft I stumbled upon that I’m DEFINITELY going to be making, and since several of the people who occasionally trip across these pages may perhaps be a recipient of said-craft, I’m going to hold off on sharing what it is until Valentines Day.

What crafts have made their way onto your to-do list?

Wooly Bully

Jan 8, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Crafts & DIY
The Raiders, the group name of the guys in my brother’s vehicle unit in Afghanistan, will be getting some warm, woolen caps from me in the very near future. It’s my first project of the New Year and it’s pretty timely, based on the weather reports I’ve been getting from Kabul.

I’m using an oatmeal colored wool-ease blend (I was told straight acrylic might be dangerous to the guys) from Lion’s Brand Yarn Thick & Quick.

It took me about 2 ½ hours to finish the first one, so I’m hoping that with the weekend nearly upon me, I’ll be able to at least have four finished by Sunday evening. A pretty lofty goal considering Chris and I have some packing to assist with, but I’m pretty sure I’ll at least be able to finish the second and third.

The tricky part of these will be finding a place to do custom patches for the hats. The guys want their names on the hats as well as the name of their unit. While I’m flattered at their faith in me, I can’t embroider so I need to find someone who can create custom patches for me.

I’m going to be bugging the military surplus stores in Jacksonville as well as the seamstress who bustled my wedding dress.

Wish me luck!