Friday, December 6, 2013

Baby Blankets Available

I've been away for a while, if you didn't notice ;)  I have been a little burned out on creating tutorials and writing posts. It is so time-consuming for me. Maybe one day I will learn a faster and better way. Until then, posts will be a little more brief. Bear with me.

I have also been busy with my new obsession; Crochet-trimmed Baby Blankets. Inspiration came from Rose Hip. Beata is an amazing designer with a soft spot for vintage things and designs, another new obsession of mine. I intended to try to recreate the crochet trimmed pillowcases she makes from vintage and vintage-esque fabrics. But, before I could start, I decided to try a blanket like I saw on her site. Now, I could go out and buy the book that features her pattern, but that would be too easy. No, instead, I have to come up with my own pattern. Now, that might come off sounding like I'm too good to use her pattern. On the contrary, I would love to use her pattern. I'm just too cheap frugal, to buy a pattern. So, let me say clearly, I did not use Rose Hip's pattern, and I encourage you to purchase the book where it has been published. What I have done here is a completely amature attempt to create the same look.

So, after all of that, it turns out,  I purchased supplies to make 8 of them to sell, another of my hair-brained ideas. Not that I know anyone needing to buy baby blankets, I just wanted a reason to make them.

Here's a peak:

So, check out my Facebook page here, or click the link to the right to see what I have. I'd love to hear what you think.

If you like, I will work on posting the patterns.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Burlap Summer Wreath

One last Summer post, I promise!

Hold onto Summer a little longer with this adorable Burlap Wreath. And, you don't even need a fancy wreath frame to make it, thanks to Saved By Love Creations.

I used Johnnie's tutorial to make my old wire hanger into the perfect wreath. This was such a money saver, which you know I love!

Wire hanger
Roll of burlap ribbon
Ribbon of your choice
Wire ties
Heavy-duty wire cutters
Hot glue (if you front door gets a lot of heat, use E6000 instead)

Because the only supplies I had to buy for this were the burlap ribbon and one of the white ribbons, this project only cost me a whopping $4.80! So make use of what you've got and make this cheap and easy Summer tribute.

First, the flower decorations. Follow my tutorial for these Hemp Chord Flowers. Or, use a few silk flowers, if you like.

Next, use Johnnie's tutorial to shape the wire hanger, and use the pliers to form a hook at one end. I had planned to feed the burlap onto the wreath as she did, but decided I wanted it to be gathered on the inside instead of through the middle. So, for this look, insert the wire only about 1 inch from one edge of the burlap instead of in the middle of it. I also found it easier to feed each layer separately because the strands in the burlap kept catching on the wire when I fed multiple layers at a time as she did.

Once all the burlap was on the wreath, space it out as you like and cut off the excess wire with heavy-duty wire cutters, Again, use the pliers to make a hook at the finished end. Then connect the ends by the hooks and use the pliers to close the loops. Space out the burlap as you like and shape the wire as needed.

Trace the inside circle of the wreath onto the cardboard and cut out the circle. Cut about 2 inches away from  this circle around to form a ring. Hot glue this to the back of the burlap wreath. This keeps the burlap from falling forward.

Next, to cover up the wire from the front, hot glue your chosen ribbon to the front of the wreath over where the wire has been inserted.

Use the wire ties (remove paper if needed), to attach your decorations to your wreath. Simply feed the wire through the back of the twine flowers and twist. Then feed the twisted end into the burlap.

Finally, tie another ribbon at the top to mount the wreath.

That's it! I can't wait to change mine out for Fall, and Christmas, and . . . well, you get the idea.

How will you decorate your Burlap Wreath?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Twine Flowers

I love these little cuties! Started out making a few for a wreath, and just couldn't stop! Found a few tutorials on how to make them, but had to tweak them a bit. These will be adorable on wreaths, hair clips, frames,  or packages. I've also seen them used to embellish cards.

Warning! This tutorial is VERY detailed, and wordy. Don't get overwhelmed, you should be able to follow the pictures.

Okay, so lets begin.

Cardboard (I used a cracker box)
Circle shape to trace or circle cutter
Pencil or pen
Ruler or straight edge
Hot glue
Stick pins (tip, have one pin marked differently than the rest - I used a black pin)
Masking tape
Bakers twine, sisal twine, hemp chord, ribbon, etc.
Large eye needle

To make the looms:
If you don't have a circle cutter, trace and cut two circles from the cardboard. I used two different size cups to trace circles, 2 3/4 inches and 3 1/2 inches. You need two circles the same size for each template. Using a straight edge, draw lines across the diameter intersecting in the center (or as close to the center as you can), creating pie pieces. I made six lines on each, to make eight petals.

Glue the matching circles together, in the center, with the piece with your lines facing out. 

Put a small dab of hot glue between the circles in the spaces between the lines. Place a pin between the pieces along each line with the head out about 1/2 an inch. If the pins seem loose (loose enough to slip out on their own), add glue between them. You want the pins to be secure, but easy enough to remove and re-insert. For added measure, place a piece of masking tape between the pins. My black pin becomes my starting pin (pin 1) and reference point.

To make the flowers:
Begin with the end of the twine held to center of the template, with about an two inches of extra twine beyond.  You will use this to tie off the finished end. (In this pic, I didn't have a long enough tail, so make yours longer than shown).

Wrap the twine around pin 1 and straight down and around the opposite pin. 

Bring it back up and around pin 2 - to the left of 1.

Down to its opposite pin and back up to pin 3 to the left of 2. Repeat. Once you go completely around, you will have two loops of twine on each pin. Go half way around again, so you have three loops on each pin. 

Cut the twine leaving about 20 inches of length. Thread it onto the needle. 

At this point, you'll need to slide your finger or yarn needle between the petals, pushing the twine toward the center of the loom, so your flower center will be small. This will also define your petals.

Take the needle and insert it behind the right side of the loops on the pin opposite where you stopped making loops (should be the pin to the right of pin 1). 

Pull the chord out on the left side of those loops and pull tight. 

Insert it, again, behind the right side of the same set of loops and across behind the set of loops to the left of the first. 

Pull tight and repeat around until the end. 

When you reach the last set of loops, only insert it behind that set and stop and hold the chord tight. If you find the loops look uneven, adjust the stitches you just made up or down as needed, and loosen or tighten the stitches also as needed. You have secured the petals. Now you need to secure the center.

Insert the needle between the two petals across from and one petal to the right of where you finished securing the petals and under all of the strands of twine across the center to the opposite side. Pull tight. Insert again, across and one petal to the right of where it came out. Repeat until you have "sewn" between each petal (six stitches total).

 Now make a couple of stitches into the middle of the center 

Tie the end to the starting end to secure and cut the ends, but leave at least a quarter inch of length.

Remove the pins from the template to remove the flower.

Fluff the petals.

You can now use it as is or attach a button to the center. 

Or bling, as I did with the hair ribbon.

I'd love to know how you might use these! I can't wait to add mine to so many things!

These will be on my Christmas Gifts this year!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Seed Stitch Washcloths

During our loooonnnggg drive to and home from Colorado a couple of weeks ago, I had plenty of time to work on my next afghan - which I can't show you for a while :( But, I needed a break from it at times and decided to work up these quick little washcloths. They are perfect additions to some Bath and Body Works gifts I am giving soon. Just a little personal touch.

These use the seed stitch, which I fell in love with a few months ago. Found it on Pinterest. I am so very basic in what crochet stitches I know. For years, I stuck to the single, double, half-double, and triple stitches. The most I varied, was to combine the stitches, alternating rows. I thought that was it, unless I wanted to try filet crochet. Filet crochet intimidates me, so I didn't venture past the basic stuff. I am getting a little more adventurous. My tunisian crochet Valentine's Wreath was a first step. I also enjoyed making broomstick lace afghans, many years ago. So, I think I am ready to try some different stitches. Starting with the Seed Stitch.

Pattern Breakdown:
You will basically interchange the single and double crochet stitches. Determine the width you want your finished project to be (minus any trim or edging you want to add, rounded edging adds 2/3 inch and double crochet edging adds 1 1/2 inches) and chain an even number to that width, plus one turning chain. Then, in the second stitch from the end, start with a single crochet, followed by a double crochet. Repeat single, then double, across. You will finish with a double crochet. Chain one turning stitch, then turn and repeat the same process to end. I didn't count my rows (sorry), but if you want a square, then, as you work, simply fold the piece diagonally, corner to corner until coordinating sides meet evenly. I used the same trim as in the Color Block Afghan on the bright colored cloth, then just a double crochet trim on the neutral one.

So simple, but looks so cool! 

Here is the pattern I came up with.

Peaches & Creme or Sugar & Creme (1 skein makes one washcloth)
H hook for tight stitches (bright cloth), I hook for looser stitches (neutral cloth)
Large yarn needle to weave in ends

ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
sl - slip stitch

H hook (I hook)
Ch 31 (29). Turn, or create foundation row. Row 1: In second stitch from the end *sc, dc in next chain*. Repeat between *s across to end (should finish with a dc in last stitch), ch 1 for turning stitch. Turn and repeat row 1 to end (the length you desire). Do not finish off.

Rounded Edging: You will begin trim along the side of the washcloth. Place stitches along side in approximately the same spacing as you would if there was a chain to stitch into. Chain 2, sl into same stitch, ch 1, dc in first stitch along the side, sl into same stitch, ch 1 (this will be repeated on each corner). [*Dc, sl, ch1*. Repeat between *s along the side to last stitch, then place both the dc and sl in the last stitch, then ch 1, and repeat in the first stitch of the next side]. Repeat between [] to last corner. Complete the last stitch the same as all sides, sl into top of ch 2, and finish off. Weave in ends.

Double-Crochet Edging: Ch 2, [dc length of side. Place 2 dc in last stitch and 2 dc in first stitch of next side.] Repeat between [] around. Sl into ch 2, finish off. Weave in ends.

The washcloth will shrink about half an inch or more all the way around.

These are fun to make and a cute addition to your guest bath decor. Be sure to add them to your next housewarming gift or Bath and Body Works gift like I did.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Spring Mantle Reveal

Well, here it is, finally! The Spring Mantle is complete! Well, almost. I can't help but continue to adjust and make changes, so it already looks different. And, it will be changed again, since I am putting my Patriotic Wreath back on the front door, I will move what's there to here and switch it up a bit more. Anyone else do that? Is it to keep things fresh, or because you want to display everything and you continue to get or make new things? I'm guilty of the later, for sure.

Sorry for the blurry pictures. In a bit of a rush to take them before guests arrived for a birthday party :)

So, to re-cap, I shared three new projects with you for Spring (I know, it's Summer, now - don't judge!). 

The Crochet Hoop Art was a fun little project. I loved creating the trim pattern. I'm sure I will use it on future projects, maybe some pillowcases?

This little Spring Crochet Tree will surely show up again in the future. Removing the daisies opens it up for a lot of possibilities. The crocodile stitch was really addictive once I got the hang of it. And, the tutorial I found was such a big help.

The final project, the Spring Yarn Wreath, so the most fun. The ombré yarn made such a cool pattern. And, the pink flower added just the right punch, but can so easily be changed.

The added touches were mostly things I had around the house or were given. The green bird - a cute ceramic watering can - was a gift from a student, as was the potted ivy. The dragonfly tea light holder was another gift. The "SPRING" blocks were a sale purchase from Hobby Lobby. The cross, tea cup and saucer, lantern, and pillow were mine from the past. The ivy vine trimming the windows and the bird houses is also from Hobby Lobby. And, the bird houses were from Michael's, finished with a bit of craft paint for a bright touch. Oh, and the "B" you've seen in my post My 1st Attempt at Washi Tape. The rest you've seen before in my Touch of Vintage Mantle.

Share with us your favorite part of this mantle. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Spring Yarn Wreath

This Spring Wreath was a last minute addition to my Spring Mantle, but it turned out to be my favorite part. Even made a few adjustments so it would the the focal point.  Although, since then, I put it on the front door to show it off more.

This project follows the same instructions as the Patriotic Wreath from July 2012. Although, my materials are different.

Yarn Bee brand yarn in Breeze
Round styrofoam Wreath
Yarn needle

Simple list for a simple craft. Begin by holding the end of the yarn at the back of the wreath with a tail. Wrap the yarn over the front and through the hole around the back and over the top again. Repeat. Be sure to wrap over the tail end. 

As you wrap, overlap the last round of yarn on the underside of the wreath (toward the center) for every other or every third round. Do this by laying the yarn over the last wrapped strand and hold it as you make the next wrap around, laying the next strand against the one previous to what you are holding. Release the strand and it will lay on top of the two. This allows the yarn on the outer part of the wreath to cover the surface fully while the yarn on the underside must be made more "condensed." Repeat around. 

Note: the yarn used in this project is ombré, and you will need to adjust your pattern of overlaps as needed. Try to overlap strands of matching color in case they slip over the other side as you can see in the following picture.

At the end, check to make sure all of the surface of the wreath is covered. Finish where the last wrap matches or coordinates with the first wrap.

Hold tight (or temporarily tape the end while you cut it and thread the needle) and use a large eye yarn needle to sew the end into the back of the wreath under the last rounds. 

Attach flower. This one came with a pin backing and alligator clip attached.

To mount, this wreath needed two loops attached to the back, one on each side, which were used to hang it on two thumb tacks on the window. Use small pieces of the yarn and sew each under several strands on the back of the wreath then tie the ends together to make a loop. To place on my front door, I tied a ribbon to it at the top and hung it from that.

Hang your creation, and enjoy! I'd love to see yours. Share them with us here. 

You've now seen all three projects from my Spring Mantle. 

Next up, I'll share the final reveal, so stay tuned . . .