Thursday, March 31, 2011

365 Items in 2011: Update

A little up date on how I'm doing with making 365 items this year.  I made 106 items in January, 52 in February, and 73 this month.  Thirty-seven of those items have been quilt blocks (not simple blocks).  The grand total so far is 231 items which leaves 134 items left to make.  I have actually made more than 231 items, but depending on what it was, it was grouped together and counted as 1 item instead of 2 or 4 items.  An item to me is something that can be sold or given to someone / it can stand on its own.  So even if something is simple, if it can be given to a person by itself then it counts.  I am keeping a running tally on the right hand side of my blog here.  Not everything I make is blogged about.  Sometimes I forget to take a picture of it before giving it away, and sometimes its for other reasons such as if it is for a swap (keeping it a secret until the person receives it).  

I really wanted to host a monthly link party for this challenge.  However just as I was about to, the one free link party tool that I found was going to start charging people.  So no link party :(   However I would love to hear about how you are doing.  Feel free to also leave your blog or flicker address in a comment below so that we can check out your wonderful creations.  

Cardboard Basket

This morning I saw a blog post on how to make a bird nest style basket out of a cereal box.  I had to try it.  So I cut up two cereal boxes and went to work.  I feel like it is a mess, but I did do it.  Next time I will cut the cereal box a lot thinner.  I also have an idea for how to tie the parts together with the yarn a little bit better.  I'm thinking of adding some fake flowers to it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Box Exchange Blocks

Last night was my quilt guild meeting and I had not worked on my two box exchange blocks at all.  I've been in a crocheting mood and not a sewing one.  So I needed to buckle down and do my quilting homework yesterday.  This was for the regular box exchange block.  First I needed to cut out 3 diamonds out of light, medium, and dark fabric with the grain going a certain way on each one.  Then I needed to mark a forth of an inch intersection on each one.  
I've been in a "red" mood because of the crayon swap that I'm involved in on ravelry.
Next I sewed the medium and dark diamonds together, starting from the 1/4" intersection mark.
Then I sewed the light fabric to the dark and medium fabrics, again starting at the 1/4" mark.  Yes, this is a block with a Y seam.  Y seams aren't actually hard to do, you just need to take your time with them.
Here is the back before it was ironed.  It was ironed clockwise (dark to medium, medium to light, light to dark).
Here is the finished tumble block.
Next I needed to work on the paper pieced box exchange block.  I was forewarned about this one.  You have to make 4 blocks and then sew them together to make the finished block.  Although it was not hard to make, it took an hour just to make one of the 4 blocks.  That means that the finished block takes 4 hours to make.  
Here is a work-in-progress picture.
Here is the block that I made.  Again, this is just one of the 4 blocks that makes a finished block.
Here is the original finished block by the owner of this particular box exchange box.
While at the quilt guild meeting last night I saw this large portfolio sized bag.  It stopped me in my tracks, it was so amazing and beautiful.  It was made out of woven ribbons, and it was lined.  I really really want to make one, but maybe not as big as this one.

More Blossom Hot Pads

I've been slowly working on this blossom hot pad for Easter.  To me Easter colors are purple and yellow.   Yes pastels and white are totally Easter colors, but purple and yellow really say Easter to me.  What's funny is that they are pretty much the colors shown on the pattern's picture, except my purple is much deeper.  Last night I had to frog an entire round, because I crochet into the front stitches instead of the back ones.  I only have 2 more rounds to go before I'm done.

I finished this one last week.  I reversed the red and orchid / dark pink colors that I had used when making the 2nd blossom hot pad.  The darker color (red in this case) looks better in the back.  I used up all of the red and dark pink skeins of cotton making the two red ones.  The center yarn is the same as the other red one.  Its a self striping yarn, so thats why it looks different.  I still have a good bit of it left over even though it was small to begin with.  
Here is my current crafting bag.  Its packed with a variety of cotton yarn, the blossom dishcloth pattern, scissors, a crochet hook, needles (in an Altoid container), my kindle, a notebook, a jelly jar (it contains threaded needles (this needs to be removed from my bag), some soda tab bracelets (those also need to be removed), and a Leapster 2 handheld system for my youngest son (he needs something to do while out and about as well).  The bag itself is a reusable shopping bag.  Normally I use something more fun, but this bag was around when I needed one.  

After I finish this blossom hot pad, I want to experiment with crocheting soda tabs some more.  I want to figure out how to crochet a soda tab bag.  I know that there are patterns out there for it, but they cost money.  I can buy one, but I would rather figure it out myself.  Thats part of the fun.

Tuesday Tot Craft Time: Paper Pizza

It has been months since we were last at the library's drop in craft time.  We finally went back today.  Today's craft was making paper pizzas.  I used to do this craft when I was a preschool teacher.  Instead of the red paper for sauce, I used red glue (just add food coloring to the glue).  It was always a lot of fun.
The supplies are a brown paper bag cut in a large circle, a smaller circle cut out of red paper, shredded yellow paper, a strip of black paper (to cut olives out of), scissors, and glue.
First put glue on the back of the red circle.
Lay the red circle on top of the brown circle, thus adding your sauce to your crust/dough.
Then add glue to the other side of the red circle.
Then add your cheese and toppings on your pizza.
Adding red glitter would also be fun for the sauce.
Add more glue where needed.
Now you have your own personal pizza.

You can also make a board game out of this.  I need to find mine and take a picture of it.  Use the circle toppings as the spaces in the game.  Take it to a teachers' supply store to have it laminated at a good price.  You can make your own "people" or whatever out of clay.

Save your pizza boxes (the more clean ones), and let your kids have their own pizza restaurant.  

You can also make your own pizza with your kids using pita bread, pasta sauce, and your favorite toppings.  

Edited to add:  I just tried to find the pizza board game that I made years ago.  It is buried in the garage.  It looks like it is going to be a while before I can show off my homemade board games.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I have a question for all of you.  I have been seeing that more and more bloggers are creating their own facebook fan page.  I wasn't sure about it at first, but it seems like a fun thing.  They can share what they are working on and cool things that they see on the web.  I normally do that to an extent with my ravelry group.  Plus the whole social connection is cool to.  My question is should I create a facebook page for textiles4you?  Would anybody be interested in following it?  If I did it, I might reopen my twitter account as well (which has been closed for about a year).  

What do you think?  

Edited to add:  I just went ahead and did it.  I created a facebook group page called "Textiles4you."  I keep running across interesting things that I want to share with other creative people, and I don't always feel that there is a place to share it at.  So we'll see how this goes.  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Soda Tab Bracelet Videos

Here are some of the crochet pull tab bracelets that I made this month using this pattern.
Two days ago I made a video tutorial of the green bracelet (shown in the bottom right hand side of the block of 4 photos).  For that tutorial I did a voice over.  It just didn't seen like a good enough tutorial to me.  So I made another one last night, thus the blue bracelet that you see above.  For this video tutorial I used a microphone while I taped myself making the bracelet.  I like it much better.  It did go from being an 8 minute video to a 14 minute one, but it is worth it.  I did get the permission of the pattern's designer to make the video.  Below is the video.  I hope that you enjoy it.  I am also including another soda tab bracelet video that I made this week.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Toadstool Pincushion

I am on a roll today.  It has been a while since I last made a bottle cap pincushion.  I sold my two favorite ones in December, one of which was a mushroom.  So I wanted to make another toadstool mushroom.  I also video taped myself making it for my show and for you tube.  Now to start editing these videos. 

Soda Tab Bracelets - 2 Ways

Recently someone on you tube asked me to make another soda tab bracelet video but making one with Xs.  Since it has been a month since I last taped an episode for my local access t.v. show, I taped how to make this soda tab bracelet.  It might be a few days before it is on you tube.  My computer doesn't like it when I make videos due to lack of space.  I really need a larger hard drive.
Pattern for this crochet bracelet here.

Blossom Dishcloth & Soda Tab Bracelet

True to my word, I made another blossom dishcloth (hot pad to me).  This one is for the crayon swap that I am in.  I am making my partner lots of red things.  I started another one for her yesterday, but I reversed the two solid colors.
I actually found the pattern for this on ravelry so that I can share it with all of you.  The original pattern was from one of those freebie patterns in front of the Lily's Sugar'n Cream yarn at Michaels.  This is a good stash-busting project.  The center doesn't use much yarn.  It looks like you can make 2 to 3 of these using the same 3 skeins of yarn.  
I made another crochet soda tab bracelet for the swap as well.  I used a thinner cotton yarn than I did with the blossom dishcloth.  This yarn I actually got from someone in a swap last year.  I used an F hook and 12 soda tabs (vs the 14 in the pattern).  My swap partner's wrist is the same measurement as mine, so I know that it will fit her.  Plus she has daughters, so she can give the bracelets to them if she doesn't want them.  I gave the green one that I had made to my 3 year old for St. Patrick's Day.  He loves wearing it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blossom Dishcloth

The other day I needed to pick up some supplies for my class from Michaels.  On an end cap was my favorite yarn, Lily's Sugar'n Cream.  It might seem strange that that is my favorite yarn, but I really love cotton yarn.  Anyway, hanging up in front of the yarn was one of those free patterns.  I knew that this was one pattern that would be made/used within a week.  So last night I went through my Lily's Sugar'n Cream stash and followed the free pattern.  I finished it today.  I love it.  It doesn't look like a dishcloth to me, and I don't plan on using it as one.  I'm thinking hot pad.  I plan on making a few more starting tonight.
When I showed my husband the finished product he said, "Wow!  It doesn't look like a wreck anymore."  He saw the beginning stages of this project and it did look like a weird mess.  I can't wait to make more.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Crochet Pull Tab Bracelet & Daisy Class Prep

Today I made another crochet pull tab bracelet.  This time I used cotton yarn and a size F hook.  I like it much better with this yarn vs. the acrylic yarn.  The pattern calls for 14 pull tabs, but 12 fits my wrist nicely.  
Tomorrow morning I am teaching a Daisy Troop (Girl Scouts) how to make juice pouch notebooks.  Because of their age, I do a lot of preparation.  To prepare I clean the juice pouches (inside and outside), cut the pages for the notebook (100% post consumer recycled paper), fold the cut pages in stacks of 5 (will equal 20 pages), sandwich the pages between two juice pouches, paper clip the 3 layers together, hole punch through all of the layers (this part can be hard for adults to do, but apparently I've got good hand muscles for it), then cut and thread several tapestry needles.  I was told that there would be 17 girls tomorrow, but I prepared 24 notebooks and about 30 to 35 pre-threaded needles in assorted colors.  I do this because I like there to be a choice, otherwise I would feel awful for the child who got stuck with the only one that was left.  I will also bring along the supplies to make paper beads.  A lot of kids like to add the paper beads as tassels to their notebook.  So with the notebook practically made in advance you might ask what the kids actually do / learn.  They learn how to clean the juice pouches, how to do a special type of book binding, how to make a notebook out of other materials (this can easily translate), how to add new paper to their notebook (thus reusing it), secrets of their new notebook (What?  Secrets?  Yes, secrets that I only tell to the kids in the class), and how to make paper beads and add them to the notebook's binding.  I really love teaching craft classes, especially eco-craft classes.  Tomorrow should be a lot of fun.  Because of the girls' ages (about 6 years old), I hope that several parents stay to help.  With 17 girls, its hard to individually help everyone who needs some one on one help.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Plarn Easter Basket

I made this plarn basket today.  The plarn was made from white with green writing plastic bags.  This could be used for both St. Patrick's Day (because of the green specks, holding gold chocolate pieces) and for Easter.  I used a size I hook.
sc = single crochet, st = stitch
- Form a loop and sc 8 times into the same loop.
- Row 2: 2 sc in each st = 16 sts
- Row 3: 2 sc in st, 1 sc in next st, repeat = 24 sts
- Row 4: 2 sc in st, sc in next two sts, repeat = 32 sts
- Row 5: 2 sc in st, sc in next 3 sts, repeat = 40 sts
- Rows 6 - 8: sc in every stitch
- Rows 9 and up: 2 sc in a stitch, skip a stitch, repeat.  This forms a V pattern.  You might have to fudge it a bit at the end of row 9 (like 2 sc twice in a row instead of skipping a stitch).  Your 2 sc in a stitch for rows 10 and up should always be in the last row's V shaped stitches.
- When you reached the hight that you want, sc in 3 stitches, chain one, and turn work.
- Work these 3 stitches back and forth until you get the desired length that you want for the handle.
- Then crochet the end of the handle into the other side of the basket.
- Bind off and weave in the ends.

I filmed myself making this, and will have it up on you tube soon.

St. Patrick's Green Photo Collage

I really love photo collages, especially when they are about a specific color.  So I decided to try to make one using pictures of things that I have made and nature photos that I have taken.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I thought that it might be fun to try and paint shamrocks on my nails for St. Patrick's Day.

Here is my St. Patrick's Day video round up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Round-Up

Yesterday I made another lacy clover, but this time using cotton yarn.
Here is the acrylic lacy clover that I made yesterday.
I also made this crochet soda tab bracelet yesterday.
Paper bead bracelet with green thread.
My friend delights made these mini clover clothespins for me.  I use them to hang up cards and decorations with.  You can find her Etsy shop here.
Sock creature made from a St. Patrick's Day sock.
Plarn (plastic bag yarn) made from white and green bags, and plarn and novelty yarn (work in progress).
Origami cranes made from candy wrappers.
Kool Aid dyed knitted cable cowl (wip) and a knitted dishcloth.
Vintage flower hair pins made by Funky Mommy.
Crib Quilt
Pinwheel blocks

If you want to see some more cool ways to decorate for St. Patrick's Day, head on over to my friend spookycuddle's new blog.  She keeps her Christmas tree up year round, and she decorates it for each holiday.