Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pearl Knotting Attempt # 1

I recently found a Craftsy class on jewelry making for about 50% off, and I was excited to get it.  It has directions for projects like pearl knotting and chain maille.  At some point in the near future, I really want to try to make chain mail, but I figured that I would start out with something easier.  I bought the supplies listed for the pearl knotting section of the course.  It sounded simple enough, so this past weekend, a friend and I tried out that segment of the course.  As usual, the Craftsy instructor was easy to follow and very detailed.  However, I learned that the silk thread I purchased for the knotting was far too thin. 

All was not lost for I was eventually able to  create a knotted bracelet using the a couple sizes of faux pearls and some seed beads.  I like the color combination in this bracelet, and I made the knot every 3 beads.  I had to put in a lot more lengths of thread than used in the demo because it was so thin, which meant it knotted up easily.  I used the seed beads by the knots because their holes were smaller.

I have ordered several sizes of thicker silk thread, and I look forward to trying the knotting again with the proper supplies. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Valentine's Day Crochet Roundup

Valentine's Day is almost upon us, so I figured it was time for a Valentine's Day DIY roundup.  This roundup features 20 cute DIY crochet projects with a Valentine's Day theme.  All links are for free patterns, and I linked to Ravelry where there is either a download or link to the pattern.  Have fun!  :) 

20 Free Valentine's Day Crochet Patterns:

1. Valentine's Day Hearts by Stacey Trock

2. Valentine's Day Heart Yarn Wreath by Allison Hoffman

3. Valentine's Day Coffee Kozie by Becky Ferris

4. Valentine's Day Water Bottle Kozie by Becky Ferris

 5. Valentine's Day Stripe Bag by Lion Brand Yarn

6. Easy Valentine's Day Choker by Anitalite

7. Crocheted Valentine's Day Hearts by Country Woman Magazine

8. Amigurumi Cupcake for Valentine's Day by Cristina Batista

9. Happy Valentine's Day Hat by Amy O'Neill Houck

10. Sleeping Mask or Not by Maryanka

11. Valentine Bear by Makayla Yager

12. Heart Shaped Table Mat by DROPS Design

13. Pop Heart by MyGurumi

14. Grandma's Heart Square by Carola Wijma

15. "Hearts" Barbie Outfit by Katrinna Fruit

16. Crochet Lips Hair Clip by Nuria Pastor

17. Valentines Lily Doll by Lily/Sugar'n Cream

18. Valentine's Kitty Hat by Teri Mitchell

19. Valentine Envelopes by Lion Brand Yarn

20. Valentine Teddy by Stephanie Jessica Lau

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY Bib & Medal Holder

I have been horribly inattentive to my blog the last month...or two.  I've been busy at work and home and have been doing other things, but I am returning to my weekly blogging.

For one of my husband's Christmas presents this year, I made him a race bib and medal holder.  Last October, we started participating in local races for fun and fitness.  They help motivate you to keep training and improving, and they can be a lot of fun.

My bib and medal holder is based on some ideas I saw online. I modified the words and the layout to fit our needs.

Here are some pics of our board.  We haven't had a chance to hang it up yet.

In the fitness room where it will eventually be hung:

Closeup of the hooks:

Closeup of the vinyl lettering:

  • wood board (mine was approximately 12" X 36")
  • paint (I used spray paint)
  • hooks
  • vinyl letters
  • transfer vinyl
  • cutting tool (I used my Silhouette)
  • hanger hook
  • hammer
  • awl

Step 1:  Come up with a plan for the board layout, color, etc. and get your supplies.

Step 2: Paint your board.  Let it dry.

Step 3: Measure out the space for your bibs and medals versus where you want your vinyl lettering.  Add your hooks.  I added 2 sets of hooks for the 2 main bib sizes, and then had a row of hooks below the bib area for medals (some races give them to all finishers, like the 15K we are doing in February).

Step 4: Cut your vinyl letters and attach them to your board.  In order to add your letters, you will need to use the transfer vinyl. (If you need help with the process for adding the vinyl, there are some easy to follow tutorials on YouTube.)

Step 5: Add your hanger hooks to the back.

Tah dah!!! You have your very own personalized bib and medal holder.

You can change it around in variety of ways--only a word rather than a phrase, no words, only a bib holder, only a medal holder, add a shelf, etc.

 I really like how ours turned out, and I look forward to adding more bibs.  On a funny note, can you spot the error in the writing on the bib holder?  I didn't even notice the error until after I gave the holder to my husband...and he hasn't seemed to notice yet.  I think it looks fine, but it made me chuckle a little bit when I noticed it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Liebster & Amigurumi Chemistry Flask


I had previously seen blogs with these Liebster award buttons, but I didn't really know what it was until I was nominated.  Thank you, Lyndsay, at The Happy Chateau for the nomination/award.  Here is her explanation of the award:

In case you aren't in the loop about what a Liebster Award is (I actually wasn't prior to being nominated), it's an award that bloggers give to each other. Basically, if you're nominated, you answer some questions about yourself and then you pass the award on by nominating other new bloggers...

If you are nominated {read on for my list of nominees}, here on the steps you should follow to “accept” your nomination:
  1. Read my answers to the 10 questions selected by the blogger who nominated me.  
  2. Find 10 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate for the award.
  3. Write a post on your blog featuring the Liebster Award and include in your post answers to the questions I pose to my nominees {found below my list of nominees}.
  4. After you have written your post, comment on each of your nominee’s blogs telling them that you have nominated them.

Here are my answers to Lyndsay's questions:
1. When and why did you start blogging?
I first started blogging during law school as an outlet to share/vent my feelings about the whole process.  However, I was so busy with law school that I wrote a few posts and abandoned the blog.

After law school, I started thinking about activities for free time like crafting, cooking, etc., and I thought a good way to basically journal my attempts at these things would be to blog about them.  I also thought that making myself do a weekly blog would be a way to put pressure on myself to actually keep up with the blog, as well as pressure to continue crafting and trying new things.

2. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
Coming up with the name was pretty easy.  For 3 years of my life, everything in my life was law school.  I ate, drank, and breathed law school.  All of a sudden, law school was over and the bar exam was over...and then I had this full time job and extra time on my hands.  I had to learn to live like a normal person again. I finally had time to talk to people and try out new things.  It was kind of weird at first.  I didn't know what to do with all the free time.  Thus, Law Student to Life Student.

3. Who are your blogging role models?
One of my all time favorite blogs is Keeping It Simple.  Kaysi has a lot of great ideas.  I don't know that I have blogging role models, but if I did, then my blogging role model would probably be her.

4. What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of blogging?

My favorite aspects of blogging would be sharing a post involving a craft that I really enjoyed making and then getting feedback from other bloggers who also enjoyed the post.

My least favorite thing about blogging might be the photography.  I feel like I need to take good photos, but I often have trouble getting the camera to reflect the correct colors, lighting, etc.  Other times it's hard to get a clear image.  Since starting to blog, I have learned a lot more about my camera and photo editing.

5. How do you come up with ideas to blog about?
At first, it was more difficult to come up with ideas because I wasn't used to thinking creatively...I had spent 3 years focusing on cultivating my logical side.  So, reigniting my creative side has been a huge goal of mine with this blog.  I now have so many ideas of things that I want to make that my project queue is probably endless.  I'm sure I'll hit a brief creativity slump again at some point, but for now, I'm enjoying trying lots of different types of projects.  I know I have focused a lot on amigurumi lately, but there are a lot of other types of projects in the queue too.

6. What kind of content do you want people to come to your blog to find?
My blog is mostly trying and sharing DIY crafts, whether it's sharing a pattern/project that I created or sharing my experience trying out a DIY project someone else shared.  I try to put my own spin on it or share what I learned from trying out the project.

7. Do you have any advice for other new bloggers out there?
I'm still a new blogger, so I don't have a lot of advice.  The biggest piece of advice I have is probably to participate in linky parties.  They are a good way to socialize, see what other bloggers are doing, and to share/publicize your blog.

8. What are your future goals for your blog?
I would like to branch out more to other types of crafts like sewing.  I might try to do some more home owner  or cooking kinds of posts.  My main goal is to just keep at it and keep crafting.  I really enjoy seeing what others are making and getting feedback from other bloggers and crafters.

9. Does your family have any special holiday traditions?
We have a stocking tradition that I really enjoy.  Every year, we go to the Dollar Tree and buy stocking stuffers there.  We normally set a max limit and then spread out in the store.  The goal is to find items you think the person will enjoy, whether it's their favorite candy bar or a silly toy.

10. Which area of your house is the most challenging to decorate? Do you have any plans to tackle it?
The most challenging?  I know the easiest for me are living room, dining room, front door, and kitchen.  Other than those areas, I don't put a lot of active thought in decoration.  I placed items and decorated when I moved in, and I haven't done much since then.  My bedroom could probably use some decoration help.  The walls are bare.  I suppose that I should consider decorating that room.  Perhaps that kind of thing could be a blog post.

Now for the fun part.  :)  I get to pick 10 bloggers, and pass on the Liebster to them.  The Liebster award is like a fun chain letter.  (If I picked you and you have more then 200 followers, then your followers info was not shared publicly...or I didn't find it.)

The following are my nominees in no specific order:

1. Amigurumi Food
2. Jennifer Martínez-Orozco at Crateando, que es gerundio
3. Sukigirl at Sukigirl
4. Cats on the Homestead
5. Christine at the diydreamer
6. Becca at Halfway to Hipster
7. Diana at Unusually Lovely
8. Marni at Haberdashery Fun
9. Audrey at Aubrey B.
10. Ann at The Rustic Redhead

Questions for the nominees:

1. Why did you start your blog?
2. What is your favorite blog to visit and why?
3. How has blogging impacted your life?
4. What advice do you have for new/newer bloggers?
5. How did you come up with the name for your blog?
6. How do you promote your blog?
7. If you could go on vacation anywhere, then where would you go and why?
8. What is your favorite food?
9. Have you ever had a DIY project fail?  What happened?
10. Do you have any special New Year's Eve traditions?

Amigurumi Chemistry Flask

I made this flask a few weeks ago, but I haven't shared it yet.  I wanted to make something different from a doll or animal, and I came across this free Earl Lenmeyer pattern by CraftyShanna. (Isn't the pattern name great! It made me smile.)

This pattern was very easy to follow.  She did a great job with it.  I like how my little Earl Lenmeyer flask turned out.  I think it would be fun to make some other lab themed amigurumis to go with it.  I did find some free patterns for test tubes and molecules, but there are not many other free patterns that I could find, and none for equipment like a microscope.

Other Links for Science-themed Amigurumi  :

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tutu Fail

I've started doing 5K runs with my husband, and they are a lot of fun.  While at these runs, I see a lot of people wearing tutus.  I did a holiday themed run last weekend and have another one this weekend, so I thought I'd try to make one myself.  They look so easy to make, right?  Well, mine didn't turn out so great.  I think I would have better success next time, but here is my tutu fail and how to maybe fix it next time.

First off, I wanted to make mine holiday themed, so I got a roll each of green and red tulle.  I measured the tulle against my leg (forgetting to account for the poof effect) and cut strips.  I looped the tulle around the elastic band and pulled it through.

It was really easy to make.  I think my biggest problem is the length of the tulle strips and the colors.  Maybe a longer tutu would look better?  The colors also clash big time with my workout attire, so better color planning would be good. 

I tried to take some selfies, so that you can see what I'm dealing with.  As you can see, it's pretty tacky, but I think I might still wear it to my next run anyway, especially if it's cold.  Tacky can be fun.

I plan to do the Liebster post sometime later this week.  As you can tell, I'm already behind with this post.  However, it's trial week, so that prep takes precedence over blogging time.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ornament Wreath

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We sure did.  Our tofurkey and sides were great.  :)

I have been wanting to make an ornament wreath, so with my time off for Turkey Day, I did.

--wreath form
--shatterproof ornaments
--glue gun and glue
--ribbon (optional) (for hanger and/or to make the bow)

This wreath was much cheaper than some of the other ones, like my balloon wreath and ribbon wreath.  I ended up using this package of ornaments, plus some ornaments I already had.  For my hanger and bow, I used scraps of ribbon I already had.

Step 1: Gather your supplies and figure out your arrangement.

Step 2:  If you are adding a bow or hanger, add them, so that you know where to place your ornaments.  I made the bow by cutting strips of 2 types of ribbon, gluing the edges to the middle, and then wrapping the center with ribbon.  It's super easy.  I added the bell for a small embellishment.

Step 3:  Glue on your ornaments.

Step 4:  Hang it up, step back, and find any large holes or places that need more ornaments.  Add those ornaments.

Step 5:  You are done.  Hang up you new holiday wreath.  Enjoy!

Interested in another type of holiday wreath?  Here are my holiday wreaths from last year:

Candy Wreath

String Wreath


Monday, November 18, 2013

Holiday Sugar Scrubs: Testing Various Supplies

Sugar scrubs are super popular holiday DIY gifts right now.  I have seen a lot of great recipes on Pinterest.  Instead of trying to come up with a new recipe, I decided to test out some different supplies.

I made 2 variations of the basic sugar scrub:

  • red dyed light brown sugar with olive oil
  • green dyed white sugar with vegetable oil

I used the following ingredients in both scrubs
  • 3 C sugar
  • 1 C + 2tbsp oil 
  • 15-25 drops essential oils
  • food coloring
  • storage jars 
Note: You can spend a lot for storage jars or very little.  I got mine half off at Hobby Lobby.  You need something with a tight lid, preferably sealed.  Each sugar scrub filled 4 of these little jars.

Brown Sugar Scrub

For my brown sugar scrub, I mixed together all of the ingredients listed above, using brown sugar and olive oil.  I used peppermint essential oil and mixed in red food coloring.

I stirred and stirred, but the olive oil and sugar do separate.  They go back together pretty quickly.  I used the entire bottle of red food coloring.  As you can see, the color is a dark red.  I used nearly 25 drops of peppermint oil.  The olive oil has a stronger smell and kind of covers the essential oil a little bit.  The brown sugar scrub with the food coloring did not appear to stain my skin.

White Sugar Scrub

Next, I made a white sugar scrub.  For the white sugar scrub, I mixed together all of the ingredients listed above, using white sugar and vegetable oil.  I used cucumber melon essential oil and mixed in green food coloring.

There were some noticeable differences from the brown sugar scrub when I made this one.  For one thing, the color was very bright, which I would think is a result of starting with a lighter base.  I really like how the color turned out.  Another difference is that the vegetable oil had a much lighter smell and I needed less essential oil.  Additionally, the scrub mix didn't separate.  It stayed pretty consistently together.  I'm not sure if the stability is about the sugar, oil, or both, but it was much better.  Finally, I did notice that my finger tips were very slightly green after using the scrub, but it did wash off pretty quickly.

So, there you have it.  Two types of DIY Sugar scrubs.  Both were inexpensive and easy to make.  The two scrubs are very different, but they both seemed effective, and I like how they turned out.