Tag Archives: crafts

Book Review: Creepy Crawly Crochet – Perfection!

creepy-crawler-crochetCreepy Crawly Crochet

by Megan Kreiner

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley and the publisher.

As an experienced crocheter (I’ve been crocheting for over 50 years) I feel confident in stating Creepy Crawly Crochet is the perfect instruction book with really cool, creepy but cute patterns.

It begins with fiber and hook suggestions as well as where to find black fiber fill (around Halloween they sell it under the name “Halloween Hay” – who knew?!). This is important for creepy figures that are done in dark colors, because no matter how tight your stitches are, the crocheted fabric will allow white fiber fill to be seen. From felt to project bags there are suggestions and guidance regarding the best type of each item to turn out perfectly.

Kreiner gives step-by-step instructions for crocheting from the beginning slip knot to binding off. She then follows with each stitched used in the following patterns, including “Finishing Touches” like whip stitching your project together and embroidery stitches that will add details to your project.

Tips and Tricks is the next section that helps with the little things that will make your Creepy Crawlies perfect.

The patterns themselves are clear, concise and detailed. There are images to enhance and clarify the directions. Each pattern has a color picture to allow you to see exactly how the project will look when finished.

All of the Creepy Crawlies are cute – in a creepy way. It is hard to pick out one or two that are my favorites over the others, but I have a soft spot for Frankie. He is on the top of my list to make for my grandson. My other favorite is Poe the Raven – he would look very cool sitting on my desk at work next Halloween.

If you aren’t that into creepy, you can still love this book. For instance, Jack and the Headless Horseman is a great pattern for a horse stuffed animal. You could make Jack with a head, and it is just a guy on a horse that all kids would love.

After the patterns, Kreiner has templates for the felt pieces used to finish off the characters. She also gives the abbreviations for the pattern instructions, crochet hook conversion charts, yarn weights and resources.

It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, if you crochet toys or dolls, this is the book for you. I can’t wait to make my favorites.

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Book Review: Lazy Crafternoon – Tons of Cute, Affordable, Easy Crafts

Lazy CarfternoonLazy Crafternoon

by Stella Fields

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the publisher in connection with NetGalley  & Capstone in return for my review. Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman

Lazy Crafternoon made me want to pull out the craft supplies, call a few friends and have a fun crafty day. Fields has compiled a collection of crafts that are easy to make, useful and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

She begins with explaining supplies and how to use them. They are common in most if not all households (scissors, glue, paintbrushes) or easily purchases at your local craft, hardware or even grocery store. The most exotic thing she discusses is decoupage glue, so you won’t have to order something from an expensive craft house to complete her projects.

The projects are divided into different sections:

Accessories includes headbands, decoupaged shoes (I cannot wait to do this to a pear of my favorite flats that are looking tired!) and a diffuser necklace that uses essential oils to name a few. There are a total of 10 crafts in this section.

Decorate gives the reader instructions for ribbon wreaths (think Christmas gift!), no sew pillows and cute flower pot makeovers. There are a total of 14 crafts in this section.

Study is the section of school supplies that can be used for many other purposes also. My favorite in this section is the cinch sacks – they can carry so much more that books – think knitting! They are perfect for the project on the go. There are a total of 10 projects in this section.

Celebrate is all about party decorations and gifts wrappings. The coolest trick to make wrapping paper with a lint roller will absolutely be used this Christmas in our house! You can celebrate with all 11 of the projects included here.

Food is the final section. Why food in a craft book? Remember the title is Lazy Crafternoon and in order to have a Crafternoon you have to add friends and food to complete your day. There are 7 crafty type recipes that look yummy and perfect for your crafternoon or for giving or just plain enjoying yourself. The one I can’t wait to try is sun tea in mason jars. How fun to personalize each one for the person that is going to enjoy it?

Overall, this is the best, most versatile craft book I’ve read lately. The ideas are fresh, easy and Fields reminds us how fun it is to spend time crafting with good friends and of course good food. This is written for teens/young adults but adults will find plenty of projects they will want to do – I did!

Watch for Lazy Crafternoon at your local bookstore or online, it is available on August 1, 2016 but can be pre-ordered now.

 

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WIP Wednesday Christmas 2015 Projects

This was a busy and fun Christmas season. My favorite handmade gift was a joint effort. My husband made this beautiful doll bunk bed for my cousin’s little girl. I might have posted a pic earlier before I completed the bedding in her favorite color (purple) and of course Anna and Elsa comforters and pillows finished the gift.

Ella's doll bed

She really liked it 🙂 I highly recommend going over to Ana White’s website (http://www.ana-white.com/) . That is where I found this pattern and many others I am going to try and talk the hubby into making. 🙂

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I made 5 cabled ear warmers for my best friend to give for Christmas as well as 2 more for one of my work friends. They turned out nicely and I decided to make an additional one for myself. I used this pattern: Braided Cabled Ear Warmer by Jessika Cates, and you can see more pics on my Ravelry site, I’m “writeknit”.

2 earwamers done

This one is mine, made from the alpaca/wool blend that I bought when we visited the local Alpaca Farm last fall.

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As a joke, I made these fun shark slippers from this pattern Crocheted Shark Slipper Socks by Stacie L. Ratcliff. My girlfriend’s daughter jokingly asked for them for Christmas, so the least I could do is crochet them for her! They are fun and from what I heard warm. LOL

Shark slippers

Here is a side view:

Shark detail

 

I made my father-in-law’s annual flannel shirt. It is the 36th Christmas therefore, the 36th shirt. Honestly, it is the only thing he wants, so that is what he gets 🙂 The 2016 shirt will be made on the new sewing machine my hubby got me this year (read this in a VERY excited voice). I use the same pattern since 1980, but this will be the fourth sewing machine in as many years.

damn shirt 2015

My cousin’s scarf has been on my blog before because she isn’t on FB to see it. She really liked it so that made me happy also.

Becky's scarf complete

This year’s NICU hats numbered 31. I also made a Santa hat for the nurse that works in the unit as well as a Santa hat for my son’s godson. Here are all the hats before we delivered them.

NICU hats on tree

Last by not least, I wanted to make little snowflake ornaments for my family. I saw one at work, so I had a general idea as to what I was going to do, but it took a few tries with patterns that didn’t work out for me to finally write a simple pattern myself.

I began with a 2 inch tin with a removable top that that is clear. Next I worked up the pattern with sport wt yarn just a bit smaller so it was snug to pull over the tin. I blocked it dry then sprayed the heck out of it with spray starch, sprinkled with glitter, then let dry over night. Full disclosure, the first one I couldn’t wait for it to dry, so I used my blow dryer, which worked like a charm.

Ornament 2015

The hardest part was finding the perfect picture for each of my aunts and cousins that would fit in the 2 inch “window” nicely. The hubby helped scan them then I got each one cut and inserted into the tin, added the snowflake and a bow on the top. Here is one of the finished ornaments. This was for my Great-Aunt Kathie, the picture is of her mom and dad, my Great-Grandma and Grandpa.

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Here are more of them. By the time I got done making them, I was really loving the pattern. Lucky for me I made notes, because I’ll never remember how I did it next year if I decide to make more. I think I am going to write it up and offer it as a free pattern if anyone is interested.

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I was going to list my works in progress, but honestly, you all have to be tired of reading this by now. So, next Wednesday I’ll share my anticipated project list for 2016. I know for sure it will include at least 2 pr of socks, NICU hats, teaching a Lunch & Learn cowl at work and other adventures with yarn.

What are you hoping to get done this year?

 

 

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Christmas Craft is Always a Blast!

I have posted before about our annual Christmas Craft. To catch you up, it is always a surprise until after Thanksgiving dinner. The craft has to be easily completed by the youngest person participating (the youngest this year is 3) and has to have the ability to be personalized so all of the projects turn out differently.

When this tradition started many years ago, we didn’t have the HUGE advantage of Pinterest. This year I found a couple of ideas using wine glasses. One was creating a snow globe effect and the other was painting the outside to use either as an actual glass to drink from or as a candle holder.

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There were lots of different designs. Our youngest artist painted a blue snowman as well as a plastic wine glass instead of the glass one the grown-ups used. We also helped her make a snow globe out of one of the plastic glasses.

The craft didn’t cost much. I purchased the wine glasses at the dollar store for $1 each. The plastic wine glasses were 6/$1. I got paint brushes in a package of 12 for $1, then just threw them out instead of trying to get the paint out of them.

The paint was .79 – $1.50 each, but I only purchases primary colors, black and white with a 30% off coupon at Michael’s. I also got all of the little snowflake, tree and reindeer stickers and figures 50% off with the additional 30% from Michael’s. The glitter, glue and cotton balls I had at home as well as the rubbing alcohol that is needed to clean the glass before painting. For under $20.00 we had an afternoon of fun and everyone has a Christmas decoration or wine glass to take home.

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She was not happy with the camera flash interrupting her painting. 🙂

 

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It is a messy, noisy, fabulous way to spend Thanksgiving!

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Concentration….

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And sometimes you have to take a break to play with a few toys 🙂

This is one of my favorite traditions, what are some of yours?

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Filed under Christmas, Crafts, family, Family fun, memories, Thanksgiving

WIP Wednesday 2 Weeks Late

Helloooo! I’m back after a 10 day vacation and a week of recovery of said vacation 🙂 The first few days were spent in North Carolina and Virginia, then we spent 4 wonderful days with our youngest son and daughter-in-law. I’ll do a post later highlighting all of the fun places we went and things we did, with the exception of the first little town we stayed in, Black Mountain, NC since it is linked to a future WIP.

We stayed at the Red Rocker Inn, and yes there are red rockers in all sizes on the fabulous front porch of the B & B. In the evenings, hubby and I sat out on the porch, chatting while I crocheted on the purple sweater I’ve been working on. I only have a few inches left, then the trim. I am pleased with the way it is turning out.

purple sweater pattern 7.15.15

This is a closeup of the pattern.

Black Mountain is a great little town with shop after shop of artisan crafts to admire and purchase. I was ecstatic to find a local yarn shop nestled between a Dulcimer shop and a great restaurant – The Trailhead check it out here: thetrailheadrestaurant.com ,

I know what you are saying, since I shared my stash closet pictures, what is this crazy woman thinking?? I’m thinking I need some local yarn. Hubby is the best, I was touching all of the yarn, looking for something local and he didn’t even sigh. Nope, not once. Yarn is the best souvenir in my opinion. I get to remember the trip the whole time I use it to make something.

I picked up a wonderful skein of wool hand dyed with lupine native to the area and some had made buttons for my sweater. Here is the yarn and I’ll share the buttons when I finish my sweater. Black Mountain yarn I think it will be enough to make a warm winter hat. I’ll probably save it until after the holidays as I am starting to think of all the things I want to make before them.

I have to confess I also ordered 2 skeins of yarn to make my cousin a scarf for Christmas. It is Abracadabra made by Hikoo yarn, and looks like a whitish cream color until you get it in the sun, then it turns purple. It was pricey and the skeins are only 50 grams of DK weight, so I am going to pair it this skein I picked up last year that is pink & purple with a bit of sparkle. I can’t wait to start it, but want to finish my sweater first.

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I feel pretty good about my progress this week. I just might finish my sweater before next Wednesday 🙂

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Filed under Abracadabra, Black Mountain, Crocheting, HiKoo yarn, Knitting, local yarn shop, stash, WIP Wednesday, yarn

WIP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I’m happy because little Xavier is doing so well – he is up to 3 pounds! He’ll be in the hospital for a while, but before you know it he will be home with his mom & dad 🙂

His blanket is finished, and will go in the mail by the weekend. I used Knit Picks Brava worsted yarn and modified  this pattern: Puppy Dog Granny Afghan Square by Rhonda Guthrie. I’ve made this several times. It works up really nice.

Xavier's puppy blanket with Mea

Mea likes the new blanket 🙂

Xavier's puppy blanket finished

This pic has shows the whole blanket.

Xavier's puppy blanket face

Here is the detail of the dog’s face.

My next project will be started tonight. I’m in a sock making mood, so I’m putting down the crochet hooks for a while and picking up my knitting needles. I’ll let you know which pattern and yarn I’ve decided on next week. I’ll use something from my stash – which is bulging out of the closet where it lives. Hopefully I’ll make good progress this week while riding in the car on our mini road trip.

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I am very Thankful for Christmas Craft and lots of other stuff

Christmas Craft/Thanksgiving part deux. My life is incredibly good. I am truly blessed. The most important thing to me is my family. As long as everyone is ok, I’m ok. I fret, I worry, I implore the higher being that watches over us human fools to no avail when I think things are not going as they should in my fragile little world.

Life is indeed good even with the bumps that have lately popped up in my road. The people in my family that have been sick are all on the mend and back to work. I am thankful for both of these things.

The move at work is almost complete and going much smoother this week, so work life is settling down. Hubby only has 5 days left to retirement. I am so looking forward to having a house husband to leave our weekends free. We are happily moving on to the next phase of life. I am thankful he is able to retire while still young enough to enjoy life more because he has worked really hard to provide for our family for almost 40 years.

I am thankful for our extended family. Our house was full of laughter, fun and love the last two days while we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday together. We ate good food, reminisced, and made this year’s Christmas Craft and shopped. I am thankful for each and every one of my family both near and far this holiday.

I’m making a new resolution that can’t wait for January. I will look at the bright side and will be thankful for big and little things. Especially remembering the little things because they make up my day to day life.

Here are some of the pictures of our Christmas Craft this year.

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