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.