Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hello Again...crafters!

When I left my crafting life, I thought I was through. I thought that time and obstacles would be the end of my creative drive. Boy was I wrong. In the last year, I have published 5 books and been included in an anthology. I have continued to make cards, but never got into the video/picture mode that is a requirement for blogging and such. I have found that I have some time on my hands, so I am back in the saddle.

Good thing too. I have tons of crochet patterns that I haven't finished up for publication. I have some new card layouts I cannot wait to show. I may even start a Youtube channel with tutorials. I would like to thank those who have patiently continued to explore the scheduled posts I had for 2015. It means the world to me to see that so many people continued to read.

Here's a small list of things that will be coming in the future:

Updates to my patterns (formatting)
Cascading Ball Gown - Barbie, Skipper, and Stacie
Ball gown sets - Skipper and Stacie
Mailbox Playset
Barbie Bedroom Set
Raccoon Beanie
The Dabbler Fairy Beanie

I cannot wait to go on a new crafting adventure with you all!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Throwback Thursday - A Beanie

Good morning readers! I have found that I enjoy crafting for National Hat Month. Perhaps it is the oncoming chilly weather that makes me long for something to cover my head and back. What I know is that I hardly crochet for myself and this "celebration" allows me to be a little selfish and add a new beanie to my collection.

This week, I wanted to share one of the hats I created previously. It is a pretty simple hat, but here goes:


It's called the interchangeable beanie. The flower is removable, which means you can have one beanie and any number of embellishments that can be changed at any time. I thought it worked with someone who changed their colors very often. I will say that this blue and green doesn't go well together, but it does draw your eyes to the flower.

In hindsight, I would have made the beanie black or white and created a myriad of colors with the flower or other such embellishments.

What's your favorite hat?
Sarah

Monday, September 14, 2015

Make it Monday - Ridge Hat with Brim

Hello readers! I announced yesterday that this week's theme is National Hat Month. In honor of this month, I have chosen to crochet a beanie to add to my collection. The pattern comes from a blog called Stitch of Love. The owner of this blog has been quiet since 2013; however, the free patterns are still available to use on this blog. Here's the link to my project: Ridge Hat with Brim.

With this, I need to make a note. I will not put the instructions to this beanie on my blog. It is not my pattern. You must follow the link above by clicking the words Ridge Hat with Brim to have the pattern.

Materials:
Worsted Weight yarn  - I used Caron One Pound Baby in Denim
Size H hook
Yarn needle
Stitch Marker (optional)

I know that the pattern and Stitch of Love uses a different set of materials to accomplish the goal. I have issues using smaller yarn, so I went with what was comfortable. Like with any pattern, I chose to accomplish it in a way that fits my body and how I crochet. Crochet is so versatile. Given that I have crocheted MANY hats and beanies over the years, I found this one more hands on with the clusters and front post double crochet. Yet, it turned out so beautifully.

There were a few changes to the pattern that I had to do to make it fit. First, I ended up stopping at Row 6 of the flat circle to make it fit my head properly. I have a smaller adult head. It is important to make the hats fit your head instead of following a pattern and not be able to use it.

The second change I made was subtracting one row of the body to ensure my eyes were not covered up by the brim.  And that leads me to my third change. I ended up removing rows 1, 2 and 5 from the brim. It was too long to fit my head. I didn't mean to skip 1 and 2, but I miscalculated. It worked for my head, so that's a plus.


Here's the work in progress. This is working on the brim.


This is the finished product.

I thought about putting a braid around the brim with a flower, but I kind of like it plain. The original pattern comes with a huge flower to put on the side, but I absolutely LOVE Bonita flower patterns.

One thing I did notice with the pattern had some numerical issues where the stitch count did not add up in the beginning of a new row as it does the rest. For instance, in the brim the pattern designer has a 4 stitch count in the first section of row 1 and has a 5 stitch count in the second section. I corrected this on my own hat as that removes some stitches.

Overall, I love the pattern. As I was crocheting it, I thought of tulips and other spring-y patterns. I bet if you wanted, you could turn it into a basket by stopping at Row 7 on the body and putting a handle.

Happy Crafting,
Sarah

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Revealing the Theme - National Hat Month

Hello Readers! Who would have thought that we would have so many things to celebrate in our life time? As I searched these events, I was so shocked at the sheer amount of things to celebrate. Then, I found something that matches the crafting theme so well - National Hat Month!

Yep! National Hat Month seems like the perfect opportunity to make September all about hats. Unfortunately, I found two non-hat weekly themes that prevent this from being a complete hat week. Do not despair! I have tons of hats to share with you this week.

The material list is pretty easy for this week's Make it Monday.

Materials:
Worsted Weight Yarn
Size H hook
Scissors
Yarn Needle
Stitch Marker (optional)

See, super easy!.

I did choose to use Caron One Pound Baby in Denim for my hat. I cannot wait to show you the results of my Make it Monday project.

See you tomorrow,
Sarah

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Journals and Writing

One of the first things I did when I was preparing for a fall craft fair and after my foray into paper crafting was cover a composition notebook. Since school days, composition notebooks were used to write down thoughts and work with writing prompts. Children on a daily basis continue to do this as a way to practice writing and grow as individuals.

In high school, my English professor required us to write daily as a way to reduce our stress and to talk about anything we wanted. It could be about boyfriend troubles. It could be about life. Or about our jobs. It could be anything under the sun. I didn't understand how very calming and relaxing writing without an audience was. I do now, which is why I am sharing some of the composition books I covered.




Each of these have their own qualities and match someone's traits. Thankfully, they were all purchased! It showed me that there are still many people who use the composition notebook as a portal to write their thoughts.

*Suggestion* Buy one of these for your child at home. Allow them to decorate it. And start writing a note to them each day with their reply on the back page. It will bring you closer and encourage them to confide in you.

Sarah

Monday, May 18, 2015

Make it Monday - Binding a Book - Photo Heavy

This project was done months in advance because it was created for my mother's birthday. Her birthday falls in December, close to Christmas. We had plans to go out for lunch, but I wanted to make something special for her. Something I took time on. I have the luck to have a mother who truly loves everything homemade or anything given to her. Her humbleness stuns me every time. In recent months, she had told me that she had been studying her religious text. So this Make it Monday project comes from the desire to help her progress.

Yep! I bound a book. Two of them in fact. And I would have to say that they are more along the lines of a booklet. The ones I have made are meant for note taking or other such things. You can obviously create larger books than the ones I completed. All you would need to do is puncture the paper a little at a time to accomplish this. And cut the designer paper larger to cover the added paper.

Materials
Paper cutter
Designer paper or colored paper
4-6 sheets of white copier paper
needle
thread
scissors

Here are the instructions on how to accomplish this project:

1. Take 4-6 sheets of white copier paper and fold them in half. Be sure to press the bent side with a straight edge or a bone folder.


2. Cut the designer paper to 8.5 x 11 to fit over the paper. You can also add 1/4 of an inch on either side to overcompensate. (Excuse my crafter's mess - This was around Christmas time.)




3. Fold the designer paper over the copier paper. Remember to press the seam with a straight edge.


4. Take your threaded needle and puncture the center of the paper from the inside. Leave a longer tail because you will need to tie the ends together.



5. When you bring the needle and thread out, puncture another hole about 2-3 inches away from the center. I went a little further on this one than I did my first one.



6. Take the needle through the paper and back across the center to the opposite side. I didn't measure. I just eyed the space to see what looked right. They are about equal distance from the center. Puncture the paper and pull the needle to the outside of the booklet again.



7. Finally, push the needle through the center hole. Pull tight. Then cut the needle off leaving a long tail to tie.



 8. Tie the two ends together twice and cut a majority of the excess. Fold the booklet.

Congrats! You just made a booklet. Here's the pictures of the two finished booklets I completed. I chose not to embellish them as I knew that my mother would love them, but you can embellish them with ribbon or stamps or whatever you wanted.


These are bookmarks I made to match the booklets.


Booklets and bookmarks together.


Finished and packaged. If you are wondering, I took a 8 x 10 cello bag I purchased from JoAnn's online (with a self adhesive closure), added the booklets and bookmarks, and closed it. I then took a piece of brown cardstock (scrap) and folded it over. I stapled it onto the cello bag. I used a scrap piece of the flower designer paper to cover the staples.



I hope you have found this tutorial informative and choose to do it yourself. It is relatively easy. It was super quick. I was able to accomplish it within ten minutes (minus the bookmark part since I laminated). A bit of that time was trying to thread a needle....because my threader broke. So, you can accomplish this project in less than 10 minutes without a doubt.

Take some time to create some homemade books and bookmarks for someone you care about! The gifts don't have to be expensive, especially when they come from your heart.

Sarah

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Revealing the Theme - National Children's Book Week

From the age of nine, I had a desire to write. It was so important to me that my father suggested I start using the GED book to learn high school and college level words. I spent time studying and writing the words in the dictionary. I would have 10 new words each week. By half way through the year, I wrote a 16 page short story - romance of course. Nervously, I read it to my little sister who sat rapt at each word. I was sitting on the dresser and she was sitting on the bed. I remember feeling enthralled at her response and hoping that she would love the story I had to tell. Yes, had. Within moments of finishing, I waited for the response. When she told me that it was good and she loved it, I breathed a sigh of relief and celebrated internally with jubilation.

That feeling is something all children should have growing up. They should have a safe situation to express their voice even if the words coming out of them is not something we agree with. Sometimes...all someone needs is to be heard.

So, with that in mind...this week's theme is going to focus on the act of writing. One aspect of most lives is literature. I remember creating my own book in fifth grade. It was entitled - Mighty Morphin Spider Rangers. LOL! Yes, after the Power Rangers. It was really huge then. What it did was allow me to use my creativity and mind to create a story I liked.

This week....we are focusing on National Children's Book Week.

But in a different light than one would think we would celebrate. So please join me this week on this blog to focus on Children's book and writing.

Before I finish this post, I will provide a list of the materials needed for tomorrow's Make it Monday.

Materials
Paper cutter
Designer paper or colored paper
4-6 sheets of white copier paper
needle
thread
scissors

Sarah