3/4 Finished

Three months left in 2015 (and only 86 days to Christmas. Not to induce panic in anyone who may be ill-prepared for the “making season”…I should start some things), so it’s a good time for me to start panicking taking stock of where I am sitting with my goals for the year.*

You can read all about the original list here, but I’m just going to jump into the ones I have actually done something about.

Videos

IN nine months I have filmed and uploaded a grand total of…one video. Not looking very good for hitting my goal of ten videos this year. The videos I am wanting to make are going to take time and thus keep getting pushed aside for my other projects that keep coming up and take priority.

Projects

I am doing much better on this goal because the quicker projects average out nicely with the longer ones. Official count is 51:

  • 10 Sewing repairs of clothes/toys
  • 8 Baked goods
  • 7 Knitting projects
  • 6 Newly sewn items
  • 5 Beading projects
  • 4 Cross-stitch pieces
  • 2 Rubberband loom guys
  • 2 Paper projects
  • 2 Crochet projects
  • 2 Painted shirts
  • 2 “Building” (as in furniture-putting-together) projects
  • and

  • 1 Set of Woven coasters

I think next year I will break that category into its sub-categories. It’s obviously a lot quicker to patch a shirt (most of the time) than it is to make a new one.

Posting

This is the easiest one to keep track of, especially with the handy new chart on the stats page:

I’ve done well for a couple months at a time, then basically not posted for a month at a time.

All this reflecting brings up the question: How do you stay motivated to try to finish a project as the deadline approaches? Specifically when you are pretty sure there is no way you will meet the deadline?

*In case you haven’t noticed, these posts are my way of putting something up when I can’t really be bothered to write something. Or when I don’t have pictures for what I wanted to write. Because they are stuck in the computer that is currently unplugged and my laptop doesn’t have the right program to use that library.

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Birthday Shirts!

I’ve mentioned before how June is a busy month for birthdays around here. Well, we have two of them. Now that I think about it, that describes every month March through June. Anyway, I decided to make t-shirts for both birthday boys. One asked me for a Baymax shirt and the other was having a cooking party so I made him a cupcake shirt.

I used my contact paper masking method to create stnecils for some fabric spray paint. I made the basic picture using the paint, then added the details in a couple of different ways.

For the cupcake shirt, I went back in with some embroidery thread to create outlines and details.

The other one being a cartoon character, I thought drawn details would fit better with the style. For that I used my trusty Sharpie pens I found on my trip to the closing Office Depot.

They both turned out really well. Well enough to say definitively that the contact paper method really works for creating stencils for the spray paint. It just takes a lot of light coats of paint to prevent bleeding and pooling at the edges of the sticker.

I Love Yarn Day

Though it might be every day for me, tomorrow is apparently “I Love Yarn Day”. According to the Craft Yarn Council, this day happens on the second Friday of October. They even have a website where you can find local celebrations. Most of these seem to come in the form of a flash mob. I have no idea what a yarn flash mob would be, but it does sound interesting.

They also suggest ways to celebrate on your own, such as knitting/crocheting in public, wearing something knit, gifting yarn, making things for charity, etc. Basically, do something yarny. And pretend that was a real word.

I will probably celebrate by looking at my current project

IMG_0961.JPG

as I walk past when getting up in the morning because I am spending my weekend up to my elbows in small children. But maybe I will get into the spirit by wearing a headband or barrette. Because, you know, it’s still 90° here like it’s not the second Friday of October.

Wrapping Up Warming Up For Christmas

Warming up for Christmas

Last July-ish I gave myself a goal of making hats for the women at Elizabeth House. I did end up making enough for the women living in both houses, though I had hoped to make more and have extras. That didn’t work because I got distracted, possibly a little bored, and tied up in some other projects. But, like I said, at least I made nine sets (adult, child, and infant).

Here’s the end result of this project:

Adult Hats

Adult Hats

Child Hats

Child Hats

Infant Hats

Infant Hats

They got distributed in Christmas bags to the residents.

I didn’t keep up with the project as well as I had hoped, and I didn’t work at the pace I originally expected. I don’t think I’m going to do something like that again. Too much stress to put on myself when I was also trying to make Christmas presents, working extra hours with a new baby, and just generally busy with the holidays. From now on, I think I’ll stick to donating to projects headed by others so it’s not all resting on me.

Keeping It Clean – Washcloth Pattern

I LOVE cotton knit washcloths. I love making them, and I love using them. To me, they get dishes cleaner than regular washcloths, plus they can pick up more messes around the kitchen. And I make plenty of messes around the kitchen.

I’ve made washcloths many different ways, but I think I like this straight knit version the best. It knits up quickly and works really well with self-striping yarns. Plus, you can create whatever pattern in the center you want, like this heart:

Want to make one? You’ll need a pair of size 8 knitting needles and worsted weight 100% cotton yarn.

*These instructions are for the plain cloth, but you can create your own chart for the inner pattern in whatever design. The inner part is about 38 stitches by 54 rows.*

Cast on 46 stitches. Knit 3 rows.

Row 4: Knit 3, yarn over, slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over,* yarn over, knit 2 together* repeat to last 6 stitches, yarn over, slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over, yarn over, knit 3

Row 5: Knit 3, purl 19 stitches, increase 1, purl to last 3 stitches, knit 3

Row 6: Knit 3, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to last 5 stitches, slip 2 stitches knit wise and knit together, yarn over, knit 3

Row 7: Knit 3, purl to last 3 stitches, knit 3

Repeat rows 6&7 until piece measures 1 inch less than desired length (for mine, I ended at 9 inches).

Repeat row 4.

Knit 3 rows, increasing 1 in the middle of the first row only. Bind off. Weave in ends.

If you just like using these washcloths but don’t want to make one yourself, I offer them in many colors on my Etsy site.

If you make one and post pictures, let me know! I would love to see other versions.

What kind of household items do you prefer to make yourself instead of using store-bought? What colors or patterns would you like to see in a washcloth?

Love Fishes, A Valentine Paper Craft

These started out as Valentines for our friends at church, but I got a late start and they weren’t ready in time. Instead, we ended up giving them to our neighbors, plus I sent one to the recipient of the Soft Kitty and gave one to the little boy I watch currently.

These fish are made completely of paper hearts. I used those raised sticker hearts for the eyes and lips. The templates for the paper hearts came from the original Valentine craft on Family.com. I chose to use card stock instead of the other scrapbook papers to make these cards a little sturdier.

I marked them all with recipients’ names on the opposite side before they were attached to their corresponding presents.

I really like all the ideas on Family.com, even though they are mainly directed at people with young children. My mom and I especially enjoy the plethora of Phineas and Ferb coloring sheets and craft ideas.

What is your favorite place to find inspiration for your craft projects and presents?

Button Ornament

It’s a bit late, considering the holidays are over, but I wanted to share the ornament I made for an “Ornament Exchange” back in December.

It didn’t take very many supplies, just some different sized buttons and string.

I got the original idea from an old Martha Stewart Kids project and changed it up a bit by using string instead of pipe cleaners that I couldn’t find anywhere in the house.

 

I think he came out pretty cute. What do you think?