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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Mod Pillow


It's hard to believe I started this last January, especially considering the total time it to me to make this was probably less than two weeks. I kept putting off binding the squares together, but now it's done! Actually, it's been complete for over a month.



Loves it! Of course, as soon as I put it on my bed, my youngest decided it was hers. I managed to convince her it looks good on my bed and offered to make her one. She let it be. The pattern in simple and quick - just don't be like me and keep finding other things to work on. PATTERN HERE. ~ OP

Monday, November 19, 2012

My New Sewing Machine


After my sewing class was cancelled, several false starts, 2 machines missing parts, and one lesson on my cousin's machine, my so very gracious and thoughtful husband decided it was time to get the right tools for the job. He surprised me yesterday with my first sewing machine. Hallelujah! It's not even Christmas.


My first project was a double pointed needle rollup...not too bad for a first go with no pattern, and errrrrr....no pins. Also, that cute little squared off picture means that I am on Instagram (@theeighthchild) now and the Twitter (@the8thchild), where I post my daily crafty happenings and works in progress. Come say hello!! It will be good times.~ OP

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Stripes, Chevrons, and a ?


During our family vacation to Florida this summer, Hubble and my brother spotted a yarn shop in Sarasota while we were out thrifting. They should have known better than to mention it to me, especially while on vacation. A u-turn and a couple of lights later, we arrived at A Good Yarn. What a treat that shop is! I highly recommend stopping in if you are ever near Sarasota, FL. They have their own local yarn that is inspired by photographs of the beach, ocean, and underwater scenery. Anyhoo, as overwhelmed as I was by the yarn bombed palm tree out front and the drool worthy fibers inside, I managed to make up my mind. In the clearance section. Not surprising really.

I scored some Cascade 220 for $2.50 a skein and came across a tub full of some Noro sock yarn, which I had never used before. It is truly beautiful; to work with and to see. Had I known all of those colors would come from the seemingly jungle green and red ball of yarn I thought I had picked up, I would have bought every single ball. It was vacation after all.

I worked up this pattern hoping the self-striping yarn would embolden the stitches, without overpowering the whole piece or making it look too granny-ish. And it did. It was so exciting to watch stripe after stripe align itself and show off the next color. How does it stripe like that anyway? I think I spent more time looking at it, as I hooked it, than actually crocheting. It's lovely.


But now I'm stuck. I have another ball in this colorway that was meant to be added on to this for a wrap. I don't think I would use it as such, though. Not really a wrap kind of girl. It could be a scarf, but I would prefer a little more length to it, leaving me with an even smaller amount to find a purpose for in the second ball. I have also thought to make it a table runner, but I don't think that is what this is meant to be either. Any ideas? ~ OP

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day of the Dead Bunting


Just in time to celebrate with the dead. I have been putting off making this for years, but it was so quick to make. 3, maybe 4 hours to complete and I hook slowly. PATTERN HERE, and it is definitely one of the better skull patterns around.


I didn't bother to block mine. I was too anxious to hang it up. There is a good chance it will stay up most of the year...maybe travel from room to room.


And in case you missed it, I have two FREE blank sugar skull PDF's HERE. Happy haunting! ~ OP

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nyan Cat Scarf

I don't think I ever showed you this, even though I made it last Christmas during my yarn-gift-extravaganza! I will not be exploiting my efforts quite so much this year. It's the Nyan Cat! (Aunt E: he's a popular internet video part pop-tart, part kitty, and part rainbow...and that's pretty much it)




I used Lucy's ripple pattern for the rainbow and the rest is all mine. Unfortunately, mine stops at about 6 feet; not 10 hours.

Sidebar - going out of town with my favorite catty wenches this weekend to pillage and plunder a winery. Huzzah! ~ OP

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sugar Skull Printable


BOO! Here's a fun and easy blank printable template (HERE and HERE) for kids and adults. Add some colorful, spooky flair to your haunted house this Halloween. ~ OP

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Upcycled with Nail Polish


The quest to declutter is never ending and I found this old scrapbooking flatware amongst my supplies. I am not even sure why I owned them or why anyone would use these in a scrapbook. At an inch and a half long, they were the perfect size for earrings, but were dingy and in need of some shine. Grab some supplies and you can make some too.

You will need: Nail polish color/s of your choice~Clear top coat polish~Trinkets/bead/scrapbooking baubles with something to hook to~Earring hooks~Jump rings~Fine sandpaper (120 is good)~Flat needle nose pliers to open and close jump rings


Sand any rough edges on all sides of piece.


Apply between 3-5 coats of polish to each side, allowing time to dry completely before moving on.


Apply 2 coats of clear polish to each side, allowing time to dry completely between coats.


Add your jump rings and hardware. Jump ring tutorial here, if you've never done it before.

Punch some holes on any piece of recycled cardstock or cardboard to give as gifts or rock them yourself. My little earring cards were courtesy of my kiddos last Christmas. They made me an entire gift tag set. Works well for these, don't ya think? ~ OP

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Housekeeping


Hey there. Just an update, in case you are interested in mommy musings, family life, the day-by-day rundown in my crib (because I am oh-so-interesting), you can follow me HERE, which is my old blog resurrected, renamed, and all previous sins vanquished through baptism in the World Wide Web.

In this space, you can expect all things that I makey and maybe takey pictures of. Sounds like fun right? ~ OP

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Grit Stitch Washcloths


Simple stitch. Right amount of scrub. Being auctioned at the Farmer's Formal Fundraiser for Earthdance. Pattern here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jar #2

 I am counting this glass in the Jar Challenge because it inhabited the same cabinet and was begging to be modified. This is the perfect votive or tealight holder for the shorter days heading our way and couldn't be easier to make.

 
Here's how you do it...1)Collect some pretty leaves outside and press them between some paper and heavy books for 2-24 hours. 2) Grab an old jar or glass, tissue paper, modpodge, paintbrush, and scissors. 3) Adhere flattened leaves to the glass with Modpodge and paintbrush. Take a quick coffee break and let dry for a bit. 4) Use paintbrush to cover one section at a time with Modpodge. Adhere tissue paper gently, pushing out any air bubble from the center to the edges. Continue around entire piece. Trim excess paper and let dry completely. 5) Cover entire piece with another coat of Modpodge and let dry completely. Lightly sand any rough edges and you're done!


Now I just need to decide who to give this too...I wish I had some beeswax tealights to throw in there. Maybe some flowers? ~ OP

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Couple of Cowls

Two lovely cowls for two lovely ladies. You may recognize the first one. I've made it before.


Add a twist for extra snuggles.


Or go glam. I loved this yarn. 100% wool with sequins. Bet.


PATTERN HERE (lace sequin cowl in red).  It would seem Autumn is on the horizon. Peace ~ OP

Friday, August 31, 2012

Jar the First


I actually completed two jars on my first week of the challenge. Huzzah for wuurkin' it! I crocheted some size 20 thread on a D hook to get a lacy wrap for this jar. I filled it with some Asian Orzo and gave it away to an oldie, but bestie. I love sharing!


I wanted to keep the lid with it, but not the gold color. It didn't fit the thread well, so I found an image with complimentary colors and modpodged it down. I winged this part, but here is a good link for 'podging lids.


My favorite things about glass jars is how versatile and pretty they are on their own. You could drop a tealight in there for a lacy glow or punch a hole in the lid and use it to keep your yarn ball from rolling all over the place or a small vase. Dressing them up and giving them away just adds to their appeal. I am anxious to try some other techniques too and maybe improve some other crafty skills with this. We'll just have to see how this project progresses. Mooches ~ OP

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jar Challenge


You've heard me say it before - I despise clutter. I also detest waste - probably more so than clutter. My cabinet full of glass food jars proves it, but it is to the point where I cannot save anymore from the recycle bin. I can't just dump them in there either.

I use as many as I can for food storage. Some are designated as toothbrush holders or various types of receptacles. I am really proud of finding uses for them in my home instead of 1)spending money on new items that serve the same purpose and 2) wasting the energy it takes for them to be recycled.

So I am proposing an ambitious challenge to myself. Each week, I am going to add some pretty pretty and give them away. Hopefully, the unexpected gift will brighten someone's day. It might even be you. ~ OP

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Small Pentagon Ball


This is my new go-to baby gift because I am always shocked at how quickly this ball works up. The bright and random colors keep me turning it over and over in my hands. Hopefully the new babe will delight in it as much as us grown-ups.

It is the perfect blend of monotonous stitching and intricacy making it a lot of fun to put together. Slowly, my yarn stash is dwindling with this project. I only hope I have enough of the fun colors left to make one for my crib. PATTERN HERE. ~OP

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Makeover - Starfish Earrings

Color is 'Cajun Shrimp' by OPI

As I go through my old and unwanted things, I always ask myself if there is some way to change so it can be used again. I have some Tiffany knockoff silver earrings that I used to love wearing when they were bright and shiny, but they eventually took on a worn patina that was not so nice. Since I wasn't sure if they were real silver, I decided to forgo the aluminum and boiling water and set my sights on some bright, coral-colored nail polish.

If you have some old metal pieces that could use a pick me up, grab them and your favorite color nail polish for an easy makeover.

You will need:
220 grit sandpaper or nail buffer
Nail polish - color of choice and clear topcoat
Old jewelry
Jump rings/Earring hooks/hardware (optional) - you only need this if you decide to change it out.
2 pairs small, flat pliers (optional) - for changing out your hardware

  1. Remove any jewelry hardware with pliers or tape over it with painter's/masking tape.
  2. Using fine grit sandpaper (220 or higher), lightly sand the surface you wish to cover.
  3. Apply first coat of nail polish color. Let it dry completely between coats. I did somewhere between 6-8 coats to achieve the finish I wanted, but you can do more or less depending on your piece and how the polish covers.
  4. Apply at least one clear top coat. Let it dry between coats. Tip: I tried using an acrylic sealer on this first and it "pulled" my nail polish, causing me to have to apply extra color coats. Use the top coat polish instead.
  5.  Add your hardware back or replace it and you are ready to groove.
I wear these all the time now and I am in love with the color. It's on the fringe of the neon craze, which suits me perfectly. ~ OP

Monday, July 23, 2012

Repurposed Scccowl


I was going through my winter storage bin and came across an old scarf that had fallen out of my favor. It was still in great shape, but not really my style or colors. It was also about 3.5 inches wide by 8 feet long!

While I am embracing a more minimal lifestyle, I also try not to waste and there was life left in this scarf so it thought it might get worn more as a cowl. I couldn't agree more.

Perhaps you have an old scarf too?

Lay your scarf out flat and make sure there are no twists, unless you want them. I used some scrap yarn to weave the ends together and fastened off, but you could just as easily use a sewing machine or enjoy a little hand stitching. Since mine was so long, I can twist it four times or double it twice. Much more manageable methinks!

And here is a pic of my new camera. Do you love it? I really do. ~ OP


Monday, July 9, 2012

Pillow Progress


This is joy and delight measured by 3 inch yarn squares. So satisfying. So bright. Being bound as I type. Well, not literally. ~ OP

Friday, July 6, 2012

Notes From the Week - July 6, 2012


It's a weak week for leenk links.

-We saw our first red tomatoes this week. Yippee!!
-The hose is having trouble keeping up with the drought. Trying not to lose any trees this summer.
-Bud initialed the sofa after it got into it with the baking soda (see pic).
-Lots of art and board games and pictures taking up our days.
-Excited for the Higgs Boson.
-Hinterhof - a poem.
-Temporary whiteboard drawings - Sehr gut.

Did you have a good week? I stayed pretty Zen. It was nice. ~OP

Monday, July 2, 2012

Plant Markers


I linked to these a few weeks back and rushed out to make them for my hosta garden. Last year I boasted at least 11 varieties, but this year I have something like 20 hostas and I LOVE them. I felt it was time to label or name them to help keep up with what I own and these clay markers were the right amount of whimsy and simplicity for my garden friends.



Cute yield: High, especially with awesome cookie cutters
Effort: Not worth it. As cute as these are, I won't be making more. They took to long and made my hands hurt, which is not what I want in this type of craft. Update: I also would not use hot glue if you intend to use them outside because the clay pops right off the sticks. Time for some E600.
Price: Again too much for what you get. Sculpey is expensive and the thick popsicle sticks were high also. Add to that a clay stamping set that is not easy to use and for $20+ I made 10 markers.


This project is not hard, but my expectations were different. It did however, inspire me to name all of my plain, green hostas after the Fellowship of the Ring, although future markers will probably be made from thrifted spoons. ~OP

Friday, June 29, 2012

Notes From The Week - June 29, 2012


Too hot - even for water balloons. We're gonna need more popsicles I think. I am going to keep the linky love going for now. Hope you find something wonderful. ~OP

-Book Landscapes - These are really beautiful.
-Pretty pressed flowers - Nice and easy DIY.
-House props - Interesting tidbit on items used solely for display purposes. Thanks for the link Glutennifer.
-Photo Transfers - I have wanted to try these so badly. Does anyone have a laser printer (pew-pew!)?
-Pretty Photos - They make me think of Fall (too early), but in a good way.
-You are not special - Something to think about when praising our wonderful babies.
-Wool Landscapes - I think I see a yarn volcano in my future.
-Retro Library Posters.
-Colorful Garden - Made from miniature cameras.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dog Days


The high was 108 today in the STL, so I went on an extended popsicle break. I rather enjoy breaking blog protocol and am changing things up again. It's skittish, erratic, and fun. ~ OP

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Recycled Art Canvases

This summer the kids thought it would be fun to have an art show before school starts back up. They are working on different types of projects each week and learning new techniques. Since the idea for the show was not planned for, neither was a budget. In an effort not to stifle creativity, and keep an eye on the wallet I came up with some guidelines for their materials. I will fund any project (without exorbitant costs) if:
  • All previous projects are 100% complete before moving on. I am going to try this myself, because I notoriously have several unfinished things "going" at once. They are welcome to start something else while their paint dries, but the materials must be on hand.
  • They must dig through the recycle bin, goodwill bag, or house for materials first. If they find something they want to use, they must make use of it in a timely fashion so we don't have a mountain of recycling clutter.
  • They have to try hard and have fun! After that, I will pick up whatever materials they need.
I have seen several posts recently reminding me about using old cereal boxes as art canvases. That fits with our art show plans beautifully! Below I have compared three variations of this upcycled art supply.



  • Great coverage
  • Labor intensive, but easy
  • Uses more supplies
  • Good texture
  • No waste
I used newsprint we had on hand instead of tearing out book pages and I am pleased with the result of it. It did however take quite a bit of time between seaming the edges, tearing the paper, and adhering with ModPodge. In the grand scheme of DIY, the labor is minimal, but by comparison to the other canvases, too much work. Let's paint already!

SPRAY PAINT CANVAS


  • Great coverage
  • No texture
  • Smelly - it must be done outside
  • Minimal time and effort
  • Waste from spray can
I already had spray paint and it was by far the shortest and best covering method. The drying time was shorter, but it smells terrible. Because of this, you are bound by the weather as to when you make it and you end up with an empty paint can at some point, but if you are in a hurry this will do.


  • Thin coverage
  • Good texture with brush or roller
  • Takes more time
  • Minimal waste
  • Easy peasy
Obviously, this one will need several more coats of paint since I used craft paint instead of wall paint primer, but I had every supply on hand and it was cathartic brushing the paint on. No good for a time crunch though.

I will probably use a mix of the three canvases to offer more variety to the kids. I won't buy any spray paint for this project, but rather use what is in the house to keep the cost and the smell down. I believe I favor option three the most, for its therapeutic qualities. Have a great afternoon! ~ OP

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We've Got Fruit

Big Beef Tomato
Hooray! All three varieties have sizable fruits on them and the Roma plants are huge. Luckily the only pests we have encountered are those wascally wabbits who have vandalized every bed in the yard...and up went the rabbit fencing. If I see them contemplating the steel enclosure for too long I deploy my professional rabbit chaser Boober because Bella is no hound dog. I don't even think she knows what a rabbit is. ~ OP

Monday, June 11, 2012

Notes From The Week - June 8, 2012


-Dude thinks he has a mustache growing (see photo). I think I have more facial hair.
-Numbers - I thought of Jenn when I read this.
-I made friends with a Robin who visits with me while I garden and I am quite fond of her now. Boober named her Pretty. I named her baby Fledge.
-Wildflowers - Info on cultivating wildflowers. I thought you spread the seed and let it go...
-Infusing play into work - I particularly like the suggestion to pretend your coworkers are robots or vampires. Just think if everyone at the office did this.
-Bud has one zinnia blossom so far. She's a deep pink.
-Double Chocolate Bacon Cookies - Hubble might get these for Father's Day.

How was your week/weekend? I received a July issue of Real Simple the other day and could not believe it was already time to think about the 4th. I feel like summer just started. The kids and I are making the most of our days, but it is making it difficult to fit in mommy's extracurriculars (i.e. crocheting, blogging, photography, creating). I still get to do those things, but the schedule has no room for nudging right now. We might burst, but we are having lots of fun. ~ OP

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Apologies


Conversation with Mel (not verbatim, but close):
O: As usual, I was doing too many things at once and the chocolate scorched or caramelized. It looked kind of like ganache, so I spread it on some pretzels with some peanut butter and it worked out!
M to J: She's really good at figuring out what to do when something doesn't go according to plan.
O: (in defense) Well, I just hate wasting stuff and it was either that or I was going to have to make the family stand over the bowl with spoons until it was gone (in jest).

Later between Mel and J:
J to M: Yeah, I just love her little critters and animals she makes.
O: Are you talking about me? For real?
J: Yeah, I loved the ball you made and I don't know how you follow the patterns. That's beyond me.
O: It was a lot of fun to make and went super quick. I was surprised....yada, yada.

Notice, not once did I thank either one of them for their compliments. Mel has been a friend of mine for years and J is a degreed art major. I highly value their opinions and reacted as though I don't deserve to hear those things from them. I thought this was an area I have improved in over the years, but the light bulb went on last night showing me the stairway to improvement.

What is so difficult about accepting that someone thinks you are good at something, especially when you can share their sentiment? I notice that I skip the gratitude in favor of a logical, but unnecessary defense for my actions/creations/thoughts/writing. I notice that it often leaks out here. In thinking over this last night, I also recalled feeling more intimidated, thus more likely justifying myself, towards the males I look up to. I feel like that comes from the shortage of verbal praise men offer and being spoiled on the positive feedback many women are anxious to proliferate.

However, I can't do anything to control another person, nor do I want to. I can however, work on my reaction to praise and the lack of gratification I perceive from someone I admire. I am going to try to respond thoughtfully and gratefully when I hear something nice. I am going to avoid interpreting a lack of response from someone else as disdain. Although I have a penchant for self-deprecation, I am going to give myself more gratitude and flexibility. So, thank you Mel and J. You are very kind. Oooo, see! Already improving - baby steps - boogety. ~ OP

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Top of The Laundry


I thought making a monstrous heap out of the clean laundry would make folding it more fun. The kids certainly enjoyed it. I got stuck between the pile, a basket and a table leg at one point, but I got quite a chuckle out of rolling around in there. Hubble, on the other hand, was not impressed. I should have pushed him in it. He just didn't know what he was missing.

Now that the pile is under control and I am home everyday, I am making a point to wash, dry and fold one load each day, provided there is enough laundry for a load. No more baskets of dreadful, unfolded raiment all over the house. The kids separate their clothes once a week, I run it through the cycle, and they put them away. It's not as fun as a mountain of clothing, but it is far more manageable. I like that.

What do you do to stay on top of drab chores like folding laundry or washing the dishes? Which chore is your least favorite? ~ OP

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rabbit Spirit


Who do I spy, behind the flowers?
 

I waited for it to pass, for hours.
 

A shy and bouncing funny bunny
with two large, round eyes


I can't believe it! It just might, no it couldn't be,
A Totoro Surprise!
 

So much cleaner than having an actual pet rabbit, and I think, cuter. This Totoro was originally destined for my niece on her 8th birthday, but he was not completed in time. After my most recent Gabba debacle, I decided to finish Totoro and give him to Boober for her birthday since she shares her cousin's delight with the little rabbit spirits. As for my neglected niece, I am hoping to come through with her own Totoro very soon. He is so sweet, though, I may have to make one for myself as well .~ OP