Zodiac Fuzzy Poster – Complete!

I first shared this poster while it was in progress, about a year ago. I’m happy to report it is now finished and adorning our craft room wall. While I don’t follow astrology predictions, I do enjoy learning about the signs, the constellations behind them and what patterns are observed for each sign.

Fuzzy Zodiac Poster

I used fine tip permanent markers for most of the poster, but for larger sections like the border I used the markers that came with the poster. They are not as high quality, but they were very effective for getting large chunks of work done.

I am particularly fond of the trees in this poster. The marker ink layered up nicely and created unexpected bark effects on the tree trunks. A similar effect happened on the earth globe, where marker layers created an “ocean current” look.

For those interested in making their own: I found this at the kids art section of Bartell’s drug store. I suggest checking your nearest “all in one” drug store to see if you find one similar. If you do, please share!  I think I may need another one soon, this is very addicting. 😀

-L.C.

DIY Tshirt headbands & accessories

I’ve been experimenting with new materials a lot lately and one of them is T-shirt yarn! T-shirt yarn is basically a long strip of t-shirt fabric that can be used as a heavy weight yarn for any craft.

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Last year when I started my venture into designing for Darby Smart, I picked several skeins of T-shirt yarn to play with. I racked my brain for a while on how to use them, and recently came up with several fun ideas: bracelets, necklaces and my favorite…. headbands!

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Tshirt yarn will make chunky and lasting accessories, and if you make your own T-shirt yarn you can easily start a whole collection of color coordinated accessories. This material is also perfect for exercise headbands as they will absorb sweat and are very easy to care for.

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To create any of these, just follow these guidelines. This is the example for a chunky headband, but the instructions are the same for necklaces or bracelets.

  1. Find some tshirt yarn and a large crochet hook :
    1. I used an I size crochet hook, try out some different hooks to find your perfect fit. Usually, the bigger the hook, the looser the stitches will be.
    2. To make your own tshirt yarn check out this tutorial. You can also buy the one I used here.
  2. Start a crochet chain and keep going until the chain is long enough to go around your head comfortably.
    1. For basic crochet tutorials, check YouTube
  3. Slip stitch the beginning of the chain to the end
  4. (Optional) Start a new row over your chain in whatever stitch you prefer. I wanted a dense head band so I made a row of half double crochet.
  5. Try on the headband  as you crochet it, that way if its too tight or too lose you can start from the top quickly.
  6. Once you’re happy with the fit and size of your accessory, cut the end of the yarn and fasten off.

And tah-dah! You’ve got your new t-shirt yarn accessory.

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I took my very patriotic headband to yoga class and it worked like a charm! It kept stray hairs and sweat off my face. It fell off once during a forward fold towards the end of class, but its quite comfortable now so I wouldn’t tighten it any more than it is.  The best thing is, you can hand wash these or throw them in the washing machine, like you would any t-shirt.

I hope you can try this out, let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks!

L.C.

P.S. – This isn’t a sponsored post, but I did get the tshirt yarn compliments of Darby Smart.

D.I.Y. Phone Strap Kit

One of my latest crafty acquisitions has been this fantastic phone strap kit. The official name is “Happy Sweets Elegant Creamy Clay Kit” in Chocolate.

I’ve seen many videos on YouTube about people using these and they make it look so easy! But I gave it a try anyway! Note: You cannot eat anything in this kit!

Contents of the kit

I wanted to share some pictures of what I got, how I used it and what I made with it. Hopefully this will help you figure out if you’d like your own kit!

You can use your own beads too!

Use the lighter, foamy clay (set of 3) to make the cookies and chocolate. You just press the foamy clay into the mold and clean up the edges. This was super easy to do so I went a little overboard. ^__^

 The heavier clay (set of 2, brown and cream/glitter) is for using as creamy filling (to be used with piping bag & tip). I found the piping bag pretty hard to work with and I ended up using my hands to mold clay when the piping bag broke.

The beads you can put pretty much anywhere, but note that you do need glue to make them stick to the clay.

 I had a lot of fun making these! I still have some materials left so I plan on making some more soon. These little gifts are on their way to some special people! 🙂

If you want your own kit they’re about $15 USD (as of 4/20/12) at JBox.

That’s all!

xo,

Laura

P.S. – This isn’t a sponsored post but I do use my jlist affiliate credit to buy some of these items.

Sticker-Making Pen Tutorial

Leave it to me to buy something and completely misunderstand what its even for. Silly. Silly. Me.

I recently purchased a pink Sticker Making Pen over at Jlist under the assumption that it was some kind of roll on glue you used to make common paper sticky like stickers.

No, it just turns out it’s a gel pen with glitter. I was furious and embarrassed when I saw what it actually was.

So I’ve been ignoring that silly pen for quite some time now. It wasnt until a few days ago that I learn that yes, these pens are used for making stickers (not just for covering stuff up in glitter).

The way these pens work is you use the gel pen to draw whatever you want turned into a sticker. Wait patiently until the gel dries, then PEEL OFF  the shape you made. THAT’S your sticker.

Way to go Laura. Way to go.

I actually like the little pen now….and I make little stickers when I’m bored.

If you want one of your own little pens, they have a BUNCH over at Jlist.

They run around $4.20 a piece (as of 3/7) but I saw some sets available as well.

Here’s my little tutorial on how to use this pen:

1. On a smooth surface like plastic , create the shapes you want to turn into a sticker. Writing on a porous surface like paper will stick the gel and paper together. You can also add beads and things to your stickers.

2. Let it dry for several hours. The thicker your “sticker” the more drying it will need.

3. Peel off carefully. If your sticker is too thin it might break. If it breaks, just put some more gel over it and wait for it to dry again.

4. Enjoy and stick on stuff you like! 😀

If you like these kinds of posts stay tuned! I have another shipment of fun things coming from Japan. 😉

Lap blanket for Grandma

My grandma had an unfortunate accident while picking some fruit from a tree, and for the past few months she’s been sitting around with a leg cast.

I decided to make her a little lap blanket for christmas so she can cover her legs in case it’s too breezy.

This little gift is on its way to Puerto Rico, and will hopefully keep her warm. 🙂

The pattern is based on the Vibrant V-Stich Wrap pattern by Judith L Swartz. I basically used the stitch of the pattern but modified the shape since I wanted something smaller. I also used different yarns since I ran out of the blue I wanted to use.

I improvised the J and am really happy with the way it turned out. Crafting all those crazy amigurumis with their strange shapes has really paid off!

Are you staying warm these days?

xo,

Laura

Finding Vintage Crochet Patterns

d o i l yI sometimes like to challenge myself with old patterns and I also enjoy checking out what kinds of garments folks liked to crochet in the old days. I havent ever finished a vintage crochet pattern (except this one), but its been on my to do list for a while.

These are some of my favorite sites that come up when I want to check out

Celt’s Vintage Crochet (way back machine link)

A good yarn

Doris’ collection of vintage pattern books

Antique Pattern Library

 Try searching online for “vintage patterns”, “antique patterns”…you’ll be surprised at what you can find! I also recommend checking out books at the library…they might have things that are not available online at all!

Tips for finding patterns in unavailable sites:

Is a site down? Unavailable? Disappeared? Try one of these steps to see if there is a copy of the site online still.

Option 1: Way Back Machine , my favorite option and usually the most reliable for old sites like geocities and angelfire

1. Copy the link for the site

2. Go to waybackmachine and paste url

3. Explore different snapshots (versions) of the site…many geocities sites that are now down are still cached in way back machine.

4. Just because the site is down, dont forget to credit where you the pattern from! 🙂

Option 2: Search engine cache, works sometimes if site was taken down recently

1. Copy site name and/or URL

2. Paste into Google/Bing/Yahoo, etc

3. Most Search engines have a “cached” option  many results. Click “cached” to see if the search engine has stored a copy.

Mohair Blues

This is what happens when you buy something because it’s fluffly and sparkly.

I went to the craft store last week and came back home with a skein of Mary Maxim Mohair Glitter yarn after being mesmerized by the beautiful colors and the soft sparkly glow it had.  Sparkles alone dont usually entrance me so quickly, so  I suspect I also bought it to experiment with a new fiber.

Sparkle Sparkle

Well, I spent a few days just staring at the beautiful skein of yarn, wondering what I would do with it, until last  night when  I decided I would just crochet a simple, double crochet scarf for myself. This is how far I made it…

Notice all the missed stitches on the left, which create that slant on the side

I had issues everywhere….issues with the tension, issues with seeing the stitches and issues with the texture. First, the tension…I usually crochet very tightly, but for this scarf I was trying out an I hook (recommended on the yarn label), which forced me to crochet a lot more loosely that I normally do. Next, seeing the stitches…I always have problem seeing the stitches when its a very dark yarn and also when the stitches themselves are fuzzy. This yarn is of a light color, but I still couldn’t make out where the stitches where after I had made them. This made me miss several of the final stitches and my scarf ended up looking like a funny looking square. And finally, the texture….the yarn looks very soft, but it isn’t. I’m not sure if it’s the nature of mohair or the fact that it has metallic glitter in there that makes it quite rough to the touch.

Something else I’m trying to understand is why is this considered a bulky yarn. The strand itself is super thin, so I was thinking it would be better to crochet this with a much smaller hook. I’m trying to find a “mohair fanatics” site so I can learn more about this yarn and the proper way to use it.

All in all, it was a very good learning experience, but until I figure out how to conquer the mohair I don’t think I will be purchasing it again.

That’s all for now! Happy weekend!