Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope all of my United States readers have a fun and safe holiday.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Blog News

I've taken a little vacation! You've probably already noticed that though.

During this time I've been thinking about the direction of my blog. Who is it for and where is it going?

Really, I want my blog to be for just about every crafter. Where is it going? Well, I'm trying to streamline my blog. Out with the things I rarely do and in with the things I'm doing more often. I'd like to have more focus. Just a little, maybe!

Now for the news. I am going to continue my stitch series and project updates. I'll also be creating a stitch series for crochet and a "fun things to do with little kids" section.

I know what you are going to say, "Pamela, you haven't been crocheting long how can you do tutorials?" Well the answer is simple. We're going to muddle through them together! I can't think of a more fun way to share my crochet successes and downfalls then blogging about them.

I hope you stay tuned!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stitch Series Chevron Stitch

This is the final installment of the chevron stitch series trilogy. Today you'll learn how to combine both the left and right slanted chevron to make this stitch.

This pattern is best suited for heavier weight yarns. Chevron makes an excellent center for an afghan or stole. It can be used for a scarf or a skirt. You can use right slanted chevron for the left front of a sleeve and left slanted chevron for the right front of a sleeve. You could use the full chevron for the back of the shirt.

Method:

This stitch is a multiple of 16 stitches.
You will need a stitch marker.
  1. K2, P4, K2, pm, K2, P4, K2
  2. P1, K4, P3, sl m, P3, K4, P1
  3. P4, K4, sl m, K4, P4
  4. K3, P4, K1, sl m, K1, P4, K3
  5. P2, K4, P2, sl m, P2, K4, P2
  6. K1, P4, K3, sl m, K3, P4, K1
  7. K4, P4, sl m, P4, K4
  8. P3, K4, P1, sl m, P1, K4, P3
Repeat these 8 rows for you pattern.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Stitch Series Left Slanted Chevron

Today's post is the left slanted chevron stitch. This may also be called diagonal ribbing.

This stitch can be used exactly like the right slanted chevron. In the next stitch series, I'll show you how to combine the two for the full chevron stitch.

Method:

This stitch is worked over a multiple of 8 stitches.
  1. K2, *P4, K4, repeat from * end with K2
  2. P1, *K4, P4, repeat from * end with K4, P3
  3. *K4, P4, repeat from * 
  4. K3, *P4, K4, repeat from * end with P4, K1
  5. P2, *K4, P4, repeat from * end with K4, P2
  6. K1, *P4, K4, repeat from * end with P4, K3
  7. *P4, K4, repeat from *
  8. P3, *K4, P4 repeat from * end with K4, P1
Repeat these 8 rows for the pattern.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stitch Series Right Slanted Chevron

In today's episode of the stitch series, I'll be discussing the right slanted chevron. This stitch can also be called diagonal ribbing.

This is a wonderful little stitch to add interest to any knitted piece. Unlike regular ribbing, this fabric is not very stretchy at all.

Method:

Right slanted chevron stitch is worked over a multiple of 8 stitches.
  1. K2, *P4, K4, repeat from * end with K2
  2. P3, * K4, P4, repeat from * end with K4, P1
  3. *P4, K4, repeat from *
  4. K1, *P4, K4, repeat from* end with K3
  5. P2, *K4, P4, repeat from * end with K4, P2
  6. K3, *P4, K4, repeat from * end with K1
  7. *K4, P4, repeat from *
  8. P1, *K4, P4, repeat from * end with K4, P3
Repeat these 8 rows for your pattern

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Stitch Series Baby Fan

This is called the baby fan stitch. It is so named because it is a smaller version of the popular feather and fan stitch.

This is an all over lace pattern that may be used in many ways. Baby clothes, cardigans, shawls and any lightweight garment can be made with this stitch. This is also a good trimming and contrast stitch.

Baby fan stitch forms a scallop at the cast on edge of the fabric. It is an all over lace pattern that does not need to be blocked.

Method:

This stitch is worked over a multiple of 11 stitches.
  1. K2tog 2 times, *(yo, K1) 3 times, yo, k2tog 4 times, repeat from * end with (yo, K1) 3 times, yo, k2tog 2 times
  2. P
  3. K
  4. P
Repeat these 4 rows for your pattern.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spiral Afghan Start

This is the start of the spiral afghan I will be working on for the next few months. This is a crocheted afghan. I'm really looking forward to making it.

Right from the start I'm making changes. I was going to use all Simply Soft yarn. The yellow is a different brand and a baby yarn. My husband really wanted this afghan to be soft. I also wanted the afghan to be a little looser that I originally crocheted it so I'm using a size larger hook.

I'll have progress reports and tips along the way so stay tuned.

I hope you enjoyed my post!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Impressionist Afghan Cont.

I've been slowly knitting along on my afghan. Even though my progress is slow, I am still enjoying this project. There are so many color changes, it keeps things interesting for me.

Unfortunately I've run into a problem. I need to set this aside again for a bit. The thing I just said I wouldn't do I'm doing!

I promised my husband a summer blanket quite a while ago. I actually started some it a month or so ago. It ended with him not liking the color combination. We were finally in a yarn shop together and I got him to pick out the colors he wants.

Since the Impressionist afghan was knit for fun, I think I can set it aside and work on a project someone else wants. The new plan is this: finish his afghan as soon as I can and then work on the Impressionist afghan. He really wants it for summer so we'll see if I can finish quickly.

I hope you enjoyed my post!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stitch Series Zigzag Ribbing

 Continuing with stitch series posts, we'll be learning zigzag ribbing.

This is another excellent cool weather fabric. Pullovers, cardigans and afghans come to mind when I see this stitch. Of course, you can always do what you like.

Method

This is worked over a multiple of 13 stitches.
Odd numbered rows:
K3, *P7, K6 repeat from * end with P7, K3
  • P3, *K4, K2tog, yo, K1, P6 repeat from * end with P3
  • P3, *K3, K2tog, yo, K2, P6 repeat from * end with P3
  • P3, *K2, K2tog, yo, K3, P6 repeat from * end with P3
  • P3, *K1, K2tog, yo, K4, P6 repeat from * end with P3
  • P3, *K2tog, yo, K5, P6 repeat from * end with P3
  • P3, *K1, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K4, P6 repeat from * end with P3
  • P3, *K2, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K3, P6 repeat from* end with P3
  • P3, *K3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K2, P6 repeat from* end with P3
  • P3, *K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1, P6 repeat from * end with P3
  • P3, *K5, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, P6 repeat from * end with P3
Repeat these 20 rows for your pattern.



I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Stitch Series Acorn Stitch

In this post, we'll discuss the acorn stitch. This is a chunky textured fabric that should be used carefully.

This fabric makes a wonderful trimming and little final details. I find the acorn stitch to be more of a fall or winter themed fabric. I think it's used best for warmer wear. This fabric should be fully blocked to show off the pattern.

This fabric is very interesting to me. It's difficult to determine which side is the front. The front is the side with the slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over showing. If you've done the long-tail cast-on, the tail will be on the left.

When you turn this fabric over, there is another very interesting pattern. It almost resembles a cabled stitch. Personally, I think you could use either side you wanted to.

Method

This fabric is worked over a multiple of 12 stitches then add 3.
  1. K2 *yo, K2, P7, K2, yo, K1, repeat from * end with yo, K2
  2. P5 *K2, sl 1, K2tog, psso, K2, P7 repeat from * end with P5
  3. K3 *yo, K2, P5, K2, yo, K3 repeat from *
  4. P6 *K1, sl 1, K2tog, psso, K1, P9 repeat from * end with P6
  5. K4 *yo, K2, P3, K2, yo, K5 repeat from * end with yo, K4
  6. P7 *sl 1, K2tog, psso, P11 repeat from * end with P7
  7. P5 *K2, yo, K1, yo, K2, P7 repeat from * end with P5
  8. K1, K2tog, K2 *P7, K2, sl 1, K2tog, psso, K2 repeat from * end with K2, sl 1, K1, psso, K1
  9. P4 *K2, yo, K3, yo, K2, P5 repeat from * end with P4
  10. K1, K2tog, K1 *P9, K1, sl 1, K2tog, psso, K1 repeat from * end with K1, sl 1, K1, psso, K1
  11. P3 *K2, yo, K5, yo, K2, P3 repeat from *
  12. K1, K2tog *P11, sl 1 K2tog, psso repeat from * end with sl 1, K1, psso, K1
Repeat these 12 rows for your pattern.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stitch Series Moss, Seed, Rice Stitch

In this stitch series post we'll be discussing seed stitch. There are actually a few names that come to  mind when I think of this stitch. Seed, moss and rice stitch are the most common I think.

Seed stitch is an extremely versatile and easy stitch to create. This fabric can be used for nearly everything. You can use this stitch to replace garter stitch for a more interesting fabric.

Method

  •  Co any uneven (odd) number of stitches
  • K1, P1 across ending with K1
  • Repeat this every row to create the seed stitch fabric.
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Stitch Series Basket Weave Stitch

The next stitch in our series is the basket weave. This is a very versatile stitch. It can be used for a sweater design, blanket, shawl, stole, socks, skirts and just about anything else you would want to make.

The stitch number for basket weave is a multiple of 6 plus 2 more stitches. If you are to do this pattern after a ribbing, make sure its a k2, p1 ribbing.

The fabric made is extremely stretchy. It will, however, bounce back into place like any other ribbed fabric.

Method

  1. *K2, P4 repeat from * end with K2
  2. *P2, K4 repeat from * end with P2
  3. *K2, P4 repeat from * end with K2
  4. *P2, K4 repeat from * end with P2
  5. K
  6. P
  7. P3, *K2, P4 repeat from * end with K2, P3
  8. K3, *P2, K4 repeat from * end with P2, K3
  9. P3, *K2, P4 repeat from * end with K2, P3
  10. K3, *P2, K4 repeat from * end with P2, K3
  11. K
  12. P
Repeat these 12 rows for the pattern.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Polymer Clay Workshop


This past weekend I got a chance to attend a polymer clay workshop hosted by Alene Sirott-Cope.

I don't work with clay. I'm not very good with manipulating the material the way i want to. It usually doesn't turn out the way I'd like. I have always left dents, fingerprints and smears all over my work. It also generally looks like a two-year-old made it.

All of the above being said, I had a wonderful time. I also think I did a pretty good job on my vase. I had planned out a few designs the night before. Ultimately, I went with the one you see in the picture above. I changed it from my original idea a little. I'm always doing that though!

I am planning to do a tutorial on how to make this vase in the coming months.

I hope you've enjoyed my post!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Small Vacation

Some may have noticed that I have taken a small break from my blog.

My projects are getting out of hand! I have a tendency to do one project then start another before finishing the previous one. I continue to do this until I am overwhelmed. This is what has happened to me recently.

In order to finish more projects and not feel overwhelmed, I've decided to lay down some rules for myself. I can do 1 large project at a time and must finish it before starting another large project. I can do a few small day projects here and there but nothing that will take more then 2 days. I have a tendency to do many large projects all at once and I'm hoping this will help me keep things under control.

For now, I will continue the Impressionists Afghan and stitch series tutorials.

I hope you enjoy what's to come!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hair Bow


My hair is forever getting in the way no matter what I do. I created this bow headband mainly to keep my hair at bay when I wash my face or wear a mask. This cute headband could in fact be worn whenever you like.

This is very much a beginner crochet pattern. The only techniques you need to know are single crochet, chain and the slip stitch.

Materials:

  • 1/2 ball bulky weight yarn (I used Benat Alpaca in fern)
  • Size I 5.5mm crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle

Method:

  • Measure around your head where you want the headband to go. This is the length of your crochet headband. If you crochet loosely, make the length of the band a few inches shorter.
  • Chain 7
  • Single crochet in second chain from hook then single crochet across. Chain 1 and turn your work. Single crochet across starting from the first single crochet.
  • Complete 10 rows of single crochet.
  • Attach the two small ends together with slip stitch to make a tube. Turn the tube inside out and set aside.
  • Chain 15.
  • Single crochet in second chain from hook. Single crochet across chain 1 and turn. Single crochet across starting with the first single crochet and ending with a chain 1 and turn.
  • Continue doing single crochet rows until the length reaches you measurement. Measure the headband against your head to make sure it will fit.
  • Thread the smaller band onto the larger one.
  • As before, slip stitch the two short ends together. Fasten off and weave in the ends. Turn your work inside out and your headband is done.
  • Situate the smaller and larger bands together so that they resemble a bow. Pinching and twisting when necessary.
I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pirate Octopus


Shiver me timbers scallywags! This is the sailor octopus by YarnYard on youtube. I've turned him into a pirate for extra cuteness.

This little guy was so much fun to create. I used worsted  weight yarn and a size H hook to make a bigger toy. I'm certainly going to make more of them. He does need shipmates!

The pattern for this is on YarnYard's Youtube channel. Most of the pattern is written in the description box. The rest of the hat and the face is gone over in the video along with the written pattern.

YarnYard has several free amigurumi tutorials that I think are extremely cute. I highly recommend trying all of them.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Birch Forest Part IV






This is the final instalment of the birch forest painting. This is originally a painting tutorial on Youtube by Amy Pearce. This tutorial is how I did that painting. This tutorial will cover finishing your painting.

Materials


  • Fine point brush
  • Sea sponge
  • Titanium white
  • Crimson
  • Yellow ochre
  • Cadmium yellow medium

Method

  1. Your trees need a few branches now. Using your fine point brush and white paint, paint some branches on your larger trees. Let this dry.
  2. Using a clean sea sponge, dab yellow ochre and cadmium yellow medium on top of the painting lightly.
  3. On the bottom of the painting use crimson and yellow ochre to create more foliage. Don't go all the way to the bottom because you want the dark red to show through.
  4. Dab whatever is left on the sponge across the top.
Congratulations your painting is now finished!

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Birch Forest Part III






In part III of this birch forest painting series we will be creating the trees. This was originally a painting tutorial on Youtube by Amy Pearce. These are the steps I took to create my version.


Materials


  • Yellow ochre
  • Titanium white
  • Ivory black
  • Fine point brush
  • 1/4" stiff flat brush
  • #6 flat brush

Method

  1. The paint on the background should be dry by now. Using the #6 flat brush dip into the yellow ochre. Paint thin tree trunks across your canvas. Make sure not to go to the top or bottom of the painting. I staggered the bottoms of the trunks for a different effect.
  2. Using that same brush, dip into titanium white. Paint on top of the tree trunks blending the color out at the top and the bottom.
  3. Using your fine point brush, dip into the black paint. Create little black lines on your trees. Do not go all the way across the trunks. Don't do very many of these lines because these trees are supposed to be far away. Let this dry.
  4. For these next trees you'll want to make them wider. These trees should be at least double the width of the previous trees.
  5. Using yellow ochre, paint two tree trunks. Go all the way to the top of the painting this time. Then paint over the trunks with the white. With these trees you want to make sure to keep the white color in the middle with the yellow showing on both sides.
  6. Take you stiff brush and run it across each tree trunk to add more texture. Continue making trees in this manner until you have as many as you'd like in your forest.
  7. Using the fine point brush, create lines like you did previously only many more of them. After this, make knots in the trunks by adding bumps to some of the lines. 
  8. Clean your brush and then dip into the white. To highlight the knots, line the knots on the top only.
I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Birch Forest Part II






Part II of the birch forest painting tutorial is all about background. Please remember this painting is a Youtube tutorial by Amy Pearce.

Materials


  • Primed canvas
  • 3" brush
  • Sea sponge
  • Titanium white
  • Sap green
  • Cadmium yellow medium
  • Yellow ochre
  • Ivory black
  • Crimson

Method

  1. Mark off five sections of your canvas. You'll want a large section in the middle and a skinny section on top and bottom of that. On top of these will be a medium width section.
  2. Paint the middle section. Mix sap green with a small amount of the black and paint across the canvas.
  3. Using the sap green alone paint the second sections and blend into the darker green.
  4. Mix sap green with titanium white. Paint this color across the very top and bottom of the canvas making sure to blend into the last painted section.
Stippling:
Now when all the paint is dry, we'll create the foliage.
  1. Use a dry sea sponge. For the foliage on top, dip the sponge in yellow ochre and cadmium yellow medium. Lightly dab the sponge across the top taking it down almost to the dark green.
  2. Using the same sponge, dip it into the crimson and yellow ochre. Lightly dab across the bottom of the painting.
  3. Mix ivory black and crimson for a deep red color. Dab this across the very bottom of the canvas.
Your background is now finished. On to the trees!

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Birch Forest Part I






I've always enjoyed watching people paint, looking at paintings and even trying to paint myself. It's a way for me to rest my hands of needlecraft yet still express creativity.

This is the end product of a tutorial by Amy Pearce. Her video is very clear and concise. She doesn't skip steps either like some tutorials do. These are my steps that I took to create this painting. Part I is setting up the canvas.


Materials

  • 18 x 24" canvas
  • gesso
  • gesso brush or old flat brush
  • fine grit sandpaper

Method

  1.  Shake gesso really well. This step is important.
  2. Using your gesso brush, apply a thin layer of gesso to your canvas.
  3. Let this dry and wash your brush.
  4. Sand the surface of the canvas lightly. Remove the dust from the canvas by blowing, tapping or brushing it off.
  5. Repeat the above process two more times. Your canvas is now ready to be painted.
I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Container Candle






Have you ever wanted to make a candle without all of the hassle? Container candles are the way to go! There isn't a mold to set up. The wax used in containers is also easier to use. It generally has a very low melt point. So let's get to it!

Materials


  • Thermometer
  • Melting pot
  • Glass glow palm wax 1 lb
  • Vybar 1/2 - 1 t
  • Steric acid 1-3 T
  • Glass containers (clean and dry)
  • Scented oil (I used honey scented oil)
  • pretabbed wicks

Method

  1. Set up your melting pot in a pot of boiling water. Add 1 lb of wax or the amount of wax needed to fill your containers. A good way to measure is fill your container twice with the wax. That's about how much you will need.
  2. My wax package recommended pouring at 200F so I waited until that temperature to add my additives. Mix well but do not whip. Insert a pretabbed wick into your containers then pour in the wax. Allow the wax to harden and cool. Depending on the size of your container, you may need a second pour.
Your candle is now finished. Very easy and somewhat quick. In active time it's quick! Light your candle and relax.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Knit Sweater Progress





This post is just a quick progress report on my knit sweater.

The sweater is still knitting up easily. It is hard to find the time to work on it though. I haven't made any changes to the pattern as of yet.

It does appear that I won't need to make the hip increases after all. The yarn seems to be really stretchy and I'm knitting the next size up to make it rest more loose on me.

I have noticed that this sweater seems to be a little heavy. I may need to alter the shoulders. I won't know until I'm done though!

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Stitch Series Garter on the Bias



Here is another instalment of my stitch series. This one is called garter stitch on the bias. This is the traditional method for making Shetland Island shawls.





Method


  • CO 3 sts
  • k1, yo, k1, yo, k1
  • k5
  • k1, yo, k3, yo, k1
  • k7
  • Continue in this pattern k1, yo, k(x amount of sts), yo, k1 then knit the next row
For decreasing do the following:
  • k1, s k psso, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
  • k across
  • continue until 5 sts remain
  • k1, s k2tog psso, k1
  • k
  • bind off
As you can see, this pattern is very simple. The fabric it creates is stretchy and movable.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sea Painting 2.0






This is my second attempt at this painting. I don't believe I ever even posted about the first attempt.

My first try, in retrospect, was going poorly from the start. The background was one solid color of blue that was very poorly painted. I had wanted to have a solid background at the time but I couldn't figure out how to make it smooth. The background looked choppy. It was just plain awful!

The rest of the painting was actually going well. Then I got lazy. This painting was taking a very long time and really I just wanted it done. I quickly threw the rest together. It looked so very bad. I ended up tossing the painting.

The idea for this painting still hasn't been put to rest in my mind. I think it's time for round two.

I'm actually very pleased with how the background turned out. I wanted it to be from the perspective of looking up from the depths of the water at night and seeing the moon.

I have so much more to do on this painting. I hope not to cut corners on this run through.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

First Raglan Sweater



This pattern is called $5 in Paris and was created by Anna Peck Maliszewski.

I picked this pattern as my first sweater for a variety of reasons. Mainly, it is a free pattern and uses yarn I already have in my stash. It's also an easy pattern to follow and is made in the raglan style. That means I can try this sweater on as I go.

So far it is knitting up quickly. For some reason I thought it would take a long time to make. The only thing that does take time is putting half of the stitches on another needle so that I can try the sweater on. I think it may be well worth it though.

With every pattern I use, I'm changing this one a little. Bold for a first time sweater knitter! At least I think so. I'm making the sweater longer which will mean increases for the hips. I also want to make the sleeves longer. Not drastic changes but changes I wanted to mention. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Eccentric Rug



You may recall that in a recent stitch series post I showed you the eccentric stitch. Well truth be told I was working on this rug at the same time.

I think this is an extremely fun and interesting rug. Since I used such a bulky yarn and large needles, it knit up quickly. The pattern is also easy to remember once you've done a few of the pattern repeats.


Materials:

  • 4 balls 92 yards each super bulky yarn. (Loops and Threads Cozy Wool) in Barley and Wool
  • US size 15 knitting needle
  • Tapestry needle
  • Size N 9mm crochet hook

Method:

CO 38 sts
  1. k
  2. k
  3. k
  4. k4, *yo, k8, k2tog* 3 times, k4
  5. k3, p1, *p2tog, p7, yo, p1* 3 times end with yo, p2, k3
  6. k6, *yo, k6, k2tog, k2* 3 times end with k2tog, k4
  7. k3, p1, *p2tog, p5, yo, p3* 3 times end with yo, p4, k3
  8. k8, *yo, k4, k2tog, k4* 3 times, end with k2tog, k4
  9. k3, p1, *p2tog, p3, yo, p5* 3 times end with yo, p6, k3
  10. k10, *yo, k2, k2tog, k6* 3 times end with k2tog, k4
  11. k3, p1, *p2tog, p1, yo, p7* 3 times end with yo, p8, k3
  12. k12, *yo, k2tog, k8* 3 times end with yo, k2tog, k4
  13. k3, p1, *yo, p8, p2tog tbl* 3 times end with p1, k3
  14. k4, *sl, k, psso, k7, yo, k1* 3 times end with yo, k5
  15. k3, p3, *yo, p6, p2tog tbl, p2* 3 times end with p1, k3
  16. k4, *sl, k, psso, k5, yo, k3* 3 times end with yo, k7
  17. k3, p5, *yo, p4, p2tog tbl, p4* 3 times end with p1, k3
  18. k4, *sl, k, psso, k3, yo, k5* 3 times end with yo, k9
  19. k3, p7, *yo, p2, p2tog tbl, p6* 3 times end with p1, k3
  20. k4, *sl, k, psso, k1, yo, k7* 3 times end with yo, k11
  21. k3, p9, *yo, p2tog tbl, p8* 3 times end with p1, k3\
Repeat rows 4-21 7 times and end with 3 rows of k. Bo and weave in ends. Using your crochet hook sc all the way around the rug. Cut 20 18" lengths of yarn in each color. Attach the fringe as shown in the picture.
The gauge of the rug blocked is 15" by 42"

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Layered Goat's Milk Soap



Today will be a very quick soap making tutorial. I'm sort of a soap making "cheater" for lack of a better word. I don't make soap from scratch. Gasp! I use the melt and pour soaps.

I really like these melt and pour soaps for several reasons. You can add any scent you want. You can add dried herbs or flowers. You can also create any design you like with your soap including this layered look.

I get my soap from Peak Candle Supply. Their soaps come in one pound blocks. This way you can make a few bars of soap at a time and not dozens with the traditional method. So now on to the tutorial.


Materials:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Paper to make boxes
  • 1 block goat's milk soup
  • 2 t cappuccino hazelnut oil
  • small amount of orange oxide
  • soap mold

Method:

  1. Make four origami boxes with 10 x 10 inch paper. Make four lids making sure when you fold the boxes the ends don't quite meet in the middle. This will make the box larger.
  2. Cut your soap block in half. Set half aside and cut the remaining half into chunks.
  3. Microwave soap for 30 seconds. Stir the soap and microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat this heating and stirring until the soap base is melted. Add half of the scent and pour halfway up four soap molds.
  4. Let the soap harden. Scrape a fork across the soap. This will make the layers attach to each other more easily.
  5. Melt the second half of the soap the same way you did the first. Add the last of the scent (I really wish I had chocolate scent!) then mix in the orange oxide. I used roughly 1 t but use as much or as little as you like. Pour the soap base into the molds filling them completely.
  6. When the soap has hardened, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in the boxes.
I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sea Corals




This is another practice of some painting techniques. This is extremely simple and quick to do. I used my blending practice from earlier and added on a simple sponge technique.

Even though this was practice fro me, I really like the way it turned out. That said, as with everything I make, there are some things I would do differently.

I really should have added some bright colors to the forefront so that more coral would be nearer. For the most part, the blending turned out alright for me. I certainly do need more practice I think!

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blending with Acrylics




I think a mottled background adds so much depth and character to a painting. Especially when compared to a plain background. I also feel there is more you can accomplish with your painting.

I have in fact liked this background technique for a very long time. I just recently learned what the name of it is. Thanks to Youtube I've also been able to learn this techniques from several artists.

It's really simple to do. Much simpler than I thought it would be. All you have to do is put globs of paint on your canvas and blend them in. It's almost like applying makeup only with little x brush strokes.



These two small paintings were done as practice. The first painting was blended left to right. The second painting was blended with the colors spread a little more sporadic. I used only three colors:

  • light portrait pink
  • brilliant purple
  • prism violet


I actually used really cheap bad brushes to make these. I think that might be obvious though! I plan to keep practising this technique and I'll post more on my progress.

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chicken and Dumplings




There's nothing like a good homestyle meal you up during these cold winter months.

This chicken and dumplings recipe is much like Cracker Barrel's. You can easily add carrots or peas for a pop of color if you wish.

Ingredients:


  • 3 qts water
  • 1 1/2t salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 lb chicken
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t ground pepper
  • 6 parsley sprigs
Dumplings:
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 1/4 t salt
  • 1 C milk

Method:

Bring water to a boil. Add chicken and the rest of the soup ingredients. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and set aside. Strain the stock and wash the pot. Pour 6 cups of the stock back into the clean pan and heat over medium heat. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the milk mixing until smooth. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into 1/2 inch squares. Drop dumplings into simmering broth and cook for 15 to 20 minutes stirring often. Tear the chicken into pieces and add to the broth.

Serves 8

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Eccentric Stitch


This is the second fabric in my stitch series. This stitch is call the eccentric stitch.

Eccentric stitch is a little more advanced than the garter stitch. The stitches used are:
  • knit
  • purl
  • yo
  • p2tog
  • p2tog tbl
  • sl, k, psso
The fabric this stitch creates can be used in several objects. It can create a beautiful shawl, stole or afghan fabric or even a rug. Garmets can also be made with this fabric if a somewhat lacy look is desired.

Method:

Multiple of 10 + 2 stitches
  1. K1 * yo, k8, k2tog repeat from * end k1
  2. P1 * p2tog, p7, yo, p1 repeat from * end yo, p2
  3. K3 * yo, k6, k2tog, k2 repeat from * end k2tog, k1
  4. P1 * p2tog, p5, yo, p3 repeat from * end yo, p4
  5. K5 * yo, k4, k2tog, k4 repeat from * end k2tog, k1
  6. P1 * p2tog, p3, yo, p5 repeat from * end yo, p6
  7. K7 * yo, k2, k2tog, k6 repeat from * end k2tog, k1
  8. P1 * p2tog, p1, yo, p7 repeat from * end yo p8
  9. K9 * yo, k2tog, k8 repeat from * end yo, k2tog, k1
  10. P1 * yo, p8, p2tog tbl repeat from * end p1
  11. K1 * sl k psso, k7, yo, k1 repeat from * end yo, k2
  12. P3 * yo, p6, p2tog tbl, p2 repeat from * end p1
  13. K1 * sl k psso, k5, yo, k3 repeat from * end yo k4
  14. P5 * yo, p4, p2tog tbl, p4 repeat from * end p1
  15. K1 * sl k psso, k3, yo, k5 repeat from * end yo, k6
  16. P7 * yo, p2, p2tog tbl, p6 repeat from * end p1
  17. K1 * sl k psso, k1, yo, k7 repeat from * end yo, k8
  18. P9 * yo, p2tog tbl, p8 repeat from * end p1
Starting with row 1, repeat these rows for your fabric.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Chocolate





It's Valentine's Day! Are you thinking of picking up some chocolates for your sweetheart or even yourself? I've got a better solution; make your own!

These chocolates taste delicious and you can make any variety you want. These chocolates are like truffles only you don't have to shape them into balls. You can flavor them anyway you wish. I make rum and sake flavored. I hope you kept those boxes!

Ingredients:


  • 2 C semi-sweet or bitter chocolate
  • 1/3 C whipping cream
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 1 t alcohol or extract
  • Cocoa powder for dusting

Method:

  • Place cream and butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a whisk until butter is melted. Add Chocolate.
  • Stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and add flavoring.
  • Pour into boxes lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Cut into squares and dust with cocoa powder.
These chocolates will melt with the heat of your hand so be careful.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Origami Box






I've always loved paper folding although I'm not very good at it. The origami flowers and animals always look so pretty.

Unfortunately, my skill level is just boxes. They are useful to put things in though and I kinda feel like I accomplished something when they are done. This is one such box without a lid.

Materials:


  • 6 x 6 origami paper or any decorative paper

Method:

  • Place you paper decorative side down.
  • Make 2 mountain folds.


  • Unfold these folds and fold the corners to the middle.
  • Fold two opposite sides to the center.


  • Unfold these sides all the way.
  • Fold both sides with a folded triangle to the middle.

  • Unfold the sides halfway.
  • Take the point of the unfolded triangle to the center making the other two sides of the box.
 

And that's it! All kinds of little things can be put in these boxes. Paper clips, rubber bands and even chocolate!

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!
 
 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Knitting Stitch Series



I have been mulling over creating a series that shows different knitting stitch patters for a while now. I think I have finally worked up the courage to put it out there and see what happens.

The goal of this series is not to show the reader how to do the basic stitches. Knit, purl, yarn over and the like. This series is more on how to use these basic stitches together to make a pattern. I want this to be more of an inspiration to create your own knitted works of art!

These are patterns that are the building blocks for many final designs. Many designers, myself included, start out with a basic stitch pattern we want to use and then build from there. The hope is that you'll be able to create your own unique designs.

The first stitch pattern is the garter stitch. This is one of the most basic of stitch patterns. Any number of stitches can be used. Any type of yarn and needle size is also suitable for this stitch.

To create the garter stitch fabric all you do is knit every stitch and every row. That's it! Very very easy right! Here is an example of garter stitched fabric.

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!