Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Very-True Quotation from a Book I'm Looking Forward to Reading...

"Despite what we knitters know to be true, the non-knitting world somehow persists in thinking that a "knitter" looks a certain way. Most likely, this picture is one of an elderly woman, grandmotherly and polite, sitting in her rocking chair surrounded by homemade cookies and accompanied by a certain number of cats.

In reality, a knitter today is just as likely to be young, hip, male, and sitting at a "Stitch and Bitch" in a local bar. Several of today's best knitting designers are men, and a knitter is as likely to have body piercings as homemade cookies.

Despite our diversity, the tendency to be accompanied by a cat is an oddity among knitters that cannot be explained.

- Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ombre Nails

Hi Friends,

Have you noticed the amount of ombre in the world today?  It seems like this style of shading a color from dark to light has seeped into everything from hair colors to clothes to kitchen utensils lately, and it turns out that it's super easy to join in on the fun.  You only need 2 things: a colored nail polish and a white nail polish.

  1. To create a dark to light affect, with your thumb being the darkest and your pinky finger being the lightest, paint your thumb pink, using the pink nail polish right out of the bottle, then make four matching pink nail polish drips on some tin foil (or cardboard or anything else you can throw away).  Now drip some white nail polish next to each pink drip, making sure that each white drip is significantly larger than the last.

  2. Mix the pink and the white together.

  3. Use your newly made shades of pink to paint your nails.
Tip: Always wipe off your brush every time you switch from one color to another so that all the colors don't bleed together on your nails or -- even worse -- inside your jars of nail polish.

How easy was that?!  And look how pretty your nails will be:

Happy shading!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Unexpected Uses for Yarn

Hi Friends!

Have you seen TLC's new show Craft Wars yet?  I watched it last night and found it pretty entertaining.  For me, there were three highlights to the episode.
  1. Getting to see Erica Domesek, author of one of my favorite blogs, p.s. I made this.  She is every bit as smart and adorable on TV as she is in her blog.

  2. There was a funny montage of one of the contestants gleefully shaking glitter all over a wishing tree, and she looked just as crazy as I'm sure I look when I get excited about glitter.

  3. One of the contestants used yarn to write words on notecards, which got me thinking about all the other ways you can use yarn that have nothing to do with knitting.
If you are anything like me, you probably have a million leftover scraps of yarn from knitting projects of yore and nothing to do with them.  I had a look around the web, and found these 5 fun and unexpected ways to use yarn:

1. Make a statement with Family Chic:

2.  Decorate greeting cards with Crocheted Couture:

3.  Add yarn to a fishtail braid with A Beautiful Mess:

4.  Make a hanging lantern with Wednesday Custom Design:

5.  Wrap up a picture frame with Centsational Girl:

Be sure to click the links and check out all 5 of those great blogs!

What else do you do with your yarn?


Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Washi Tape Birthday Card

Hi Guys!
I was in Target the other day and low and behold, it's already time to buy school supplies. Isn't it still July?  Anyway, as I was walking by, I realized that they were selling 4-packs of Target brand washi tape for $4 and I couldn't resist it.  I decided to use it to make my grandmother this birthday card:

The Supplies I used are:
  1. Blank notecard
  2. Construction paper
  3. Washi tape
  4. Embroidery floss
  5. Push pin
  6. Scissors
  7. Tape
  8. Glue
  9. Black sharpie
  10. Toothpicks

Here's how to make the flags:

  1. Cut out one little flag shape from white construction paper.

  2. Use the first flag as a stencil to draw 5 more flags that match the first one and cut them out.

  3. Cover each little flag with washi tape by placing the flag on the sticky side of the tape and cutting around it.

  4. Use a push pin to make 2 little holes in the top corners of a flag.

  5. Thread embroidery floss through the little holes.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with all the other flags so they are all strung together on a line.

  7. Tape the ends of the embroidery floss to the back and inside of the card.

  8. Place a loop of tape on the back of each flag to stick it down on the card.

Once you've made the flags, it's time for all the finishing touches:

1.  Stick a long strip of washi tape onto the white construction paper and write the card's message on it.  (I had my awesome big sister do this part for me because her handwriting is significantly better than mine.)  If you have stamp letters, I think it would also look really great to stamp your message instead of writing it.

2.  Cut out the message in the shape of a long flag.

3.  Glue the long flag message(s) to the upper right hand side of the card.

4.  Cut off the pointy ends of 2 toothpicks, then glue them together on the edge of the card so they look like a flag pole.

5.  Cover the whole back of the card with washi tape so that you cover up the place where you taped the end of the embroidery floss to the back of the card.

6.  Also cover the upper inside part of the card for the same reason that you covered the back.

Now you should have a fun, handmade card to write in and mail!
Happy taping!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Check out what I unwrapped today...

You don't have to tell me twice!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hair Bow Happiness

Happy 4th of July!

When I was looking around the internet for fun, patriotic DIY projects for my last blog post, I was really surprised that I didn't find anything about great hair accessories. I decided to remedy that by making a big, red, stripy bow and a tutorial to go along with it. Check it out:

I wanted to take the "no-sew" approach to this project, so I got some 1/4 inch thick Stitch Witchery iron-on fabric adhesive from Joann's. I also got a whole packet of big hair clips for $2 and a half yard of fabric, of which I only used a teensy bit for the bow.

Here's how to make it:

  1. Cut out a 5.5” x 6” piece of fabric so that the bow will be 5” x 3” when it's finished.

  2. With the front of the fabric facing down, find the 6” side of the rectangle and fold that edge over a quarter of an inch. Place a strip of fabric adhesive inside the fold and iron it down.  The heat will activate the adhesive and make the fold permanent.  Now repeat this step on the opposite edge, as shown.

  3. Fold the sides of the fabric together like french doors so that the 6” width becomes a 3” width.

  4. Put several strips of fabric adhesive inside the folds you’ve just made and iron it all together.

  5. Pick up your freshly-made 5” x 3” rectangle and pinch the middle of it between your fingers.  It should look like a bow now.

  6. Cut out a 1.5” wide strip of fabric and fold it french door style like you did to the other fabric in step 3.  Put some fabric adhesive inside the folds and iron it down to make a strip of fabric that’s 1 inch wide.  Wrap this strip around the middle of the bow where you were pinching it with your fingers.  Cut it so that it’s just long enough to overlap itself in the back of the bow.

  7. Add some fabric adhesive under the overlapped portion at the back of the bow and iron it down.

  8. In theory, you should now have a no-sew bow.  I felt a little unsure about the strength of the fabric adhesive, however, so at this point I took a big needle and some embroidery thread and sewed down the middle strip on the back of the bow in order to make the whole thing extra-sturdy.  I think it really helped, so I recommend doing it.  Then I continued my stitches along the seam on the back of the bow and began to sew in the hair clip.  While you are doing this, make sure that you only sew through the back part of the fabric so that your stitches don’t show on the front of the bow.

  9. Sew the rest of the clip onto the bow, and you’re all done.  Turn it over and admire your work!

I’m really happy with the way my bow turned out, and I hope you are equally happy with yours if you make one too!  I wore mine all day by the pool yesterday at our day-early 4th of July cast party, and it added the perfect amount of festive flair.

Enjoy your holiday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

4th of July Ideas from around the Web

Hi there!
Can you believe it's already July 2nd?

I did some serious blog browsing last night, and there are tons of really great ideas out there for decorating, primping, eating, and having an all-around fun time this Independence Day.  Below, I've compiled a list of my 5 favorites...

1. Patriotic Paper Flowers DIY tutorial from Live Laugh Rowe

2. Red White and Blue Jello Shots recipe from Saucy Pants

3.  Patriotic Nail Art tutorial from The Beauty Department

4.  4th of July Bunting free printable from Nifty Thrifty Things

5.  Watermelon Stars idea from One Hungry Mama

All of those awesome pictures are from the original blog posts and I don't own them, so head on over to those blogs to check out more great pictures and all the fun tutorials that go along with them.

Happy 4th of July!
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