Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Game board / Gift box

Awhile back I came across this tutorial for making a box out of an old game board. I thought this was something I might like to try sometime, so I added it to my Pinterest board.
Well, it's almost Christmas and I was looking for a way to wrap a gift card in an interesting way and this came to mind. However, I didn't have any old gameboards around the house and the ones from the thrift store were nothing special. Enter my friend Aimee, who gave me this gem from her collection. It is perfect since the recipient works in the banking industry.
I think it turned out OK. The only trouble I have is the lid and that I cut through the board and had to make a hinge from tape. I might have to come up with a different arrangement for holding the lid on. It was a fun project, quick and easy, but it does take some finese not to cut through the board when making the sides fold in.  
Here is the link if you would like to try this project for yourself.

Happy Trees and Happy Cards.

A good friend of mine found this adorable felt tree kit at a thrift store. It had felt to make four of these trees and she and made one up for me. I've since made three more for a friend of mine. Talk about "paying it forward".

Anyway, I was trying to come up with the perfect idea for a Christmas card for her and since I love this tree so much, I thought I would make a "Happy Tree" card. I think it turned out really cute. I may add "Merry Christmas" to the bottom, but you get the idea. I just used some old paper from Stampin' Up for the card and the tree and added the black and pink brads for the eyes and cheeks and then drew in the stitching with an ink pen.

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sky Scarf, November, 2012

Only one more month to go! Can you feel the excitement? Yes, it will soon be Christmas and then New Year's Eve and... the Sky Scarf will be done! I have had projects that have taken more than a year to complete, but never one like this where you had to do something on it every day for a whole year. It has taken commitment, but I'm glad I've done it. After it's finished, I'll have a special post to recap.

You may wonder what the sky was doing on November 8 that made me use the rainbow colored yarn. Well, it was my birthday! I decided to do something different on that one day. I guess I could have commemorated other special dates, but I decided to do just this one for me alone. I cast on 46 stitches at the beginning of the year for this scarf because most of this year I was 46, but now I'm 47 and no, I didn't increase one stitch for the rest of the year's worth of scarf. :)

If you've followed the progress of my Sky Scarf; please leave me a comment. Let me know if you have been working on your own or if you think this is a project you are ready to take on. I'd love to know.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tulip Time, 2013 - Poster Entry

Here is my entry in this year's Tulip Time poster competition. Sadly, it was not accepted into the Top 20. It is 18" x 22" and was done in graphite pencil. I plan to pick it up, do a little more work to it then frame it and perhaps hang it up at work.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cross stitch is back!

About three weeks ago I posted about getting back into cross stitch. I started with a pattern of a compass that I found in an old magazine. The pattern was sampled from the book "Stitch Graffiti". I edited the compass, adding in a spiral also found in the book and a sailboat of my own creation. I thought the design would be the perfect front panel for this Monk's Bag tutorial from The Purl Bee.
Last week I went to our local fabric store looking for the perfect materials. I needed three or four. One for the lining, one for the front and back panels, one for the outside of the handles and one for the lining of the handles. I ended up choosing three. I loved this green material for the lining and the front and back panels because it was the same color as the green spiral in the cross stitch design and it's print reminded me of a compass (win-win). I liked the blue material for the handles because it looks like water (sailing) and I like something dark for handles because they get tend to get dirty. I also used the blue for the small inside pocket. The lining of the handles is a red batik print with sailboats on it. I thought this was perfect since it matched the red of the sailboat on the cross stitch panel and our sailboat CRUSH has a red stripe too.
I am pleased with how the bag turned out. There are things I would change or do different with the handles if I made it again, but I think it's a nice sturdy bag and I hope to use it from time to time. Doing some cross stitch again was fun too. Too bad that I need reading glasses for it now.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Sky Scarf, October, 2012

We've reached the end of October. Only two more months on the Sky Scarf. There was a lot more grey this month; even some of the darker grey. Not that there hasn't been any blue sky, just lots of clouds. The temperatures have dropped into the mid 40s, but we did have a couple of days in the 70s. We kept the sailboat (CRUSH) in the water for the month, but didn't do any sailing. I'm looking forward to being done with this project. It hasn't lasted as long as the sweater for my husband, but there isn't any way to work ahead. You just know it's going to take a year. Monthly updates on Ravelry seems be to showing less and less knitters keeping up with their scarves. I'm pleased I've stuck with it. As you can see from this photo, the scarf is really, really long now. I'm contemplating sewing it up into a cowl of sorts instead of keeping it as a flat scarf, but I'm not sure how I would do that. I'm not a big scarf person and this one is wool. Yes! I'm one of those people who hate wearing wool and yes, it's itches. :) On to November. I even have a special yarn planned to use for my birthday. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bringin' Cross Stitch Back.

A couple of weeks ago, I was cleaning out my basement studio and decided to go through some old magazines and tear out any ideas or patterns that interested me. In one, I came across a free pattern from the book "Stitch Graffiti" by Heather Holland-Daly. I used to do a ton of cross stitch. In fact, my parent's still do. Yes, BOTH of my parents. My dad loves it too, though he hates back stitching, so my mom does that part on his. Anyway, I immediately knew I had to make it. It was of a compass with a star and moon on lime green linen and it reminded me of sailing. I kept thinking of this pattern over the next few days. I must say that this is a great book! Lots of cool, updated looking cross stitch patterns. So many cool ideas, in fact, that I decided to change the original pattern a bit by adding in one of the "spiral" designs from the book. I also added in a sailboat of my own design and modified the compass arrows and dots a bit. So, what I'm ending up with here is probably 75% the original designer's pattern and 25% mine. As much as I loved the original pattern, I really liked the changes making it my own.

Now, what am I going to do with a piece of cross stitched fabric? I have enough throw pillows and pictures on the wall and the sailboat doesn't need anything more. The pattern mentioned you could also use this for the cover of a journal but I remembered having seen on the website "The Purl Bee" a tutorial for making a (modified) Monk's Bag. I'm thinking this cross stitch piece would make the perfect front panel for the bag. I love tote bags and especially shoulder bags with long straps that make carrying a bag, hands free.

Check back to see the finished design incorporated in the Monk's Bag pattern. I can't wait to go and pick out the fabrics.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sky Scarf, September, 2012

Here is my progress on the Sky Scarf at the end of September.
It's been nine months and no baby, but I've definitely felt the labor.
Three months to go and it will be done. Looking forward to winding it up and
getting on to something new. I'm hoping to use some grey yarn these last months.
This scarf is pretty blue, not what you'd expect living in West Michigan.  

The Sky at about 2:00 p.m. on September 30. The leaves are just starting to change.
This is along the Kalamazoo River just outside of Saugatuck, Michigan.

My Son's Custom Tae Kwon Do Weapons Bag

My son takes Tae Kwon Do lessons and at 14 years old is a 2nd degree black belt.
He loves majoring in "weapons" and bi-weekly has to bring them all to class.
It's a bit of juggling, so I decided to make him a bag to carry them all.
We looked online at "weapons" bags, but didn't find anything close to what he was looking for.

This bag is just over six feet long, the length of his bo staff and is fifteen inches wide,
there are three pockets the full length that are five inches wide, but vary in width themselves.
The pockets all close with velcro and the material is a heavy weight duck cloth.

The bag has a handle and a shoulder strap made from webbing.

Here are the weapons: bo staff, nunchakus, tonto (wooden knife),
 escrima sticks, and bokken (wooden sword).

Here is the bag with the pockets closed.

Here are all the weapons in their pockets. The bo staff pocket is the length of the bag, is the center pocket and opens from either end. The tanto and escrima stick pockets are at one end and on either side of the bo staff pocket. The bokken and nunchakus pockets are at the other end. The pockets for the other weapons such as the tanto, were shortened since the tanto is only about 12 inches long.

The total cost for the bag was less than $20.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Sweater...

I didn't originally think that this sweater really deserved a blog posting of it's own, but I'm just so darned happy to be done with it, that's exactly what I decided to do.

My dear husband wanted just a plain crewneck sweater in an off white.  My mom had an old Columbia-Minerva Hand Knits for Men book probably from the late 50s or early 60s. Great place to find a crewneck sweater pattern. The one I picked has set in sleeves. There were also options for saddle sleeves and raglan sleeves. The yarn I used is Plymouth Encore worsted weight. It is 75% acrylic and 25 % wool. It was knit on size 8 and size 5 needles and is miles and miles of boring stockinette stitch. I think next time I would add a cable down the front or a stripe of another color or something to add some interest. I started this sweater on September 18, 2010 and just finished the seaming this morning and the weaving in of the loose ends this noon, September 19, 2012. It still needs to be washed to even out the stitching and maybe flatten the seams a bit. I like how it turned out and hopefully it will fit.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sky Scarf, August, 2012

Here is my Sky Scarf update for August. The scarf is now 3/4 done as is 2012. Thought I would include in this month's photo the little "Hello Kitty" notebook that I am keeping track in. I mark the dates down the page, two columns, make note of the sky and check off the rows when done. This summer, I would get a little behind on the knitting portion, just noting the sky. September has begun and I'm actually looking forward to adding a little more grey and white into the scarf in the coming months. Now is a good time to start preparing if you want to do your own sky scarf. Take a look back in the Sky Scarf posts for more information about the yarn I'm using (Cascade 220 Fingering) and the "pattern" (Leafcutter Designs). The gal over at Leafcutter Designs also has a conceptual knitting pattern involving social networking. Check it out.

Friday, August 31, 2012

"Fancy a Spot of Tea?" - FREE Dishcloth patterns

One of my favorite dishcloth designers (KrisKnits) seems to have stopped designing dishcloths and blogging. I hope this is temporary because I've always loved reading her blog and knitting her patterns. I have quite a few of her sets of patterns and would love to have seen more.

Anyway, it was mentioned in a forum on Ravelry, "What would you like to see in a new set of dishcloth designs?" One of the subjects mentioned was a "tea" set. So, here we go, my third pattern to go on Ravelry is a four pattern set of "tea" related dishcloths. These are free and the link to the pattern can be found by clicking HERE. You will find both these charts and written out directions for all four cloths.

I hope you enjoy these and your comments are welcome. As with the dishcloths from Kris, these are knit on size 3 needles with Lily Sugar & Cream yarn. I usually cast on and off with size 4 since I am a tight knitter and this makes the edges not pull in. Finished size approx. 5 1/2 to 6 inches square. I'm sorry I don't have photos posted yet of the finished cloths. But thanks to the work of two awesome test knitters, I can verify that these patterns are both mistake free.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bookmark Scraps

Today was kind of a slow day at work and since I'm the church librarian in addition to the church secretary; I decided I would make some free bookmarks. I love to do something creative everyday and this was the perfect thing.

I have a ton of scrapbook/cardmaking paper, so I took the box along. When you have a lot of paper, it's difficult to know where to start and what papers to choose, so I just started with the first solid color paper I found and then the first patterned paper that went with it.

Some papers were already the perfect size for bookmarks, but some needed to be cut down. Most were around 6 inches long and between 1 1/2-2 inches wide. I then laminated them so that they would last.

Lastly, I posted to Facebook that people were welcome to stop by the church library and check out one of the new books we have added and while they were at it, they could pick up a new bookmark too. I know these will go quick, so I'd better make more.

(By the way, my favorites are the two orange ones with the cut bottoms and the two green ones with the pink hearts. I just might need to snag one of these for myself.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

DIY - Money Cuff Tutorial

I came across a tutorial the other day about making a cuff to hold change for a child. It incorporated lots of velcro and sewing. Then I came across  tutorial about making these darling little pouches from the cuffs of men's dress shirts and thought that these two ideas would be great together. I don't profess to be the first person to come up with this idea, but I haven't seen it before.

First, you need a shirt with cuffs. Cut off the cuffs as close to the sewn on cuff as possible.

Second, button one of the cuffs, laying it flat, deciding how much of a flap you want compared to how deep a pouch you want. Lay this on top of the other cuff. (You might want to try to on at this point to be sure you like where the pouch is positioned on the cuff as it will button around your wrist.) Mark lightly or place a pin where the folds are and open it up.

Third, sew through the two cuffs across where the bottom of the pouch is and where the top flap will fold over.

Fourth. sew the side seams of the pouch. Do not sew across the flap, leave that free to button closed.

Though this wrist pouch is not big enough to hold an ID for an adult. It will hold change or bills and would be perfect for a child or times you just need to carry some money.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sky Scarf, July, 2012

We have made it through the hottest July on record here in the United States. Here in Michigan, I think they said it was the second hottest. Either way, it was a scorcher.

I finished the Sky Scarf for the month of July. Since we take our two week vacation the last week of July and the first week of August, it through me off a little. We didn't go too far away from home so I just made note of the sky where we were and went with that. I didn't take the scarf on vacation. Only five months to go and the scarf is just over five feet long.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sky Scarf, June, 2012


 Here is my Sky Scarf update for June, 2012. The scarf is 5 inches wide and 53 inches long. I cast on 46 stitches and am working a 2 x 2 rib. We haven't had any rain in the area for quite awhile now. The scarf for June reflects a lot of blue sky and occasionally a few clouds.

My New Bike!

This is my new bike! I don't think I was this excited when I got my brand new bike back in the mid-late 1990s. This beauty is a 1960s era Schwinn Racer (?). It has a license on the back from 1968 and we paid $20 for it at a garage sale. I think it's great just the way it is. I'm not going to paint it or anything. Just look at that front fender! Wow! I would like to add a basket. Right now it lives at the marina where CRUSH is and has yet to make it's first trip to the grocery store. Soon.

CRUSH Updates!

Here is CRUSH and Squirt at their new home for the summer of 2012.

Our neighbor is gone, so I was able to take some good pictures this past weekend.

This year we purchased a new main sail and this is right after we put it on a raised it. It's just a plain white sail, no logo or anything.

The red blob on the front is the new foredeck bag I made to hold either the jib or the genoa sail. It fastens with a zipper right to the front stay. We just added a bungie extension to the halyard that holds up the back of the bag off the deck, so that it's not suspended so high up.

Now I have to start sewing on the main sail cover. I purchased the instructions for the foredeck bag and the main sail cover from Sailrite. I really recommend them. In addition to selling the instructions, they also sell complete kits and have really helpful FREE instructional videos.

The other update to CRUSH this year, was the new grey paint on all the non-skid surfaces. We think she looks great and not at all her age. (She is 30 years old!)

See Squirt hiding out under the dock? After many trips to various motor doctors, my wonderful husband was able to fix it himself, so we have a full functional dinghy this year. Great for taking across Kalamazoo Lake for fun. If you look close you can even see the (rubber) snakes we keep on both boats to try to defer the swallows from crapping on them (the boats, that is, marginal success).

BTW. CRUSH is a 1972 Helms 25. Hull #44.

Here is one photo of the interior. The curtains are also new this year. Gone are the bright red print.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sky Scarf, May, 2012

Today is the last day of May and it's grey. You can see the two balls of grey yarn stuck on the end of this needle after I did my two rows for today. It hasn't rained yet, but it might sometime within the next couple of days, so I'm not cutting the yarn yet. The sky today was an overall grey, no blue, no white, nothing but grey. I'm not depressed by this at all. The temperature is in the high 50s, I think. Very comfortable for me. Anyone who knows me, knows I like it cold and melt when the temps get above 70. I won't even say how I feel when it hits 90. I don't like to think about it. LOL.

It actually was pretty sunny this month, lots of blue yarn.

Anyway, I just ordered and received a skein of the light grey and the light blue. I was down to the two small balls of the light grey that you see in the photo and one very small ball of the light blue. I'm hoping that these two additional skeins will get me through the year. Just a reminder, I'm using Cascade 220 Fingering held double. I ordered it from here and it runs $5.00 a skein. I initially bought five skeins; two blues, two greys and a white. Personally, I could have gotten away with one blue and one grey, but I have used the darker shades a couple of times.

Tomorrow, we'll start the month of June and we'll see what the skies hold for us. Thanks for stopping by and comment if you enjoyed this post.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

“Bouquet of Art” Miniatures

Here are my two entries in the “Bouquet of Art” Miniature show at Washington Square Art Gallery. They be sponsoring an exhibit for all Holland Friends of Art members during the month of June, 2012. Both of these paintings are watercolors and approximately 3 x 4" in size. The Washington Square Art Gallery is located at 453 Washington Avenue here in Holland, Michigan.