crafts

And she’s off…

Today is a big day! I just dropped my little girl off at Girl Scout camp and she is off to enjoy a weekend of fun in the wilderness with a bunch of her friends.

I had posted a picture of her for my friends and relatives to see and was asked if she had a sit-upon. I didn’t realize these things had been around for so long. I don’t remember making one when I was in Girl Scouts, but my mom and aunt  remember making them when they were kids…and they have a significant amount of years on me.

For those of you who don’t know what a sit-upon is, the Girl Scouts of America defines it as “A lightweight pad or mat used when sitting on the floor or ground.” Pretty self explanatory.

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The supplies…

My daughter had missed one of her Brownie meetings while my parents were in town visiting, so we needed to play catch up. As part of earning her first badge, she made a pretty snazzy sit upon. My mom and I found the supplies at our local JoAnn’s and she put it all together with minimal help.

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Marking for the holes…

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Lacing it up!

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All finished!!

Now she has it packed up and ready to use it on her first camping trip!

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Let’s Talk Crafty Christmas…Part 4

I think that David’s present was one of my favorites to make…

I consider David to be an integral part of my becoming a fan of the show Supernatural. Those Winchester boys are certainly fun to look at! Well, not too long ago, I scored myself a ticket to Supernatural Con here in Burbank. While I was there, I was scouring what little they had in the way of swag to find the perfect Castiel souvenir for him. I had a tough time. I left with a Destiel mug, but I was disappointed that they didn’t have more there.

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Just a head and some limbs.

So I decided that a pint sized Castiel would be the perfect gift.

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Alas, poor Castiel…

I used the book AmiguruME by Allison Hoffman to make this project. It’s a great book! I highly recommend it!

The scariest part of this project was giving him the five o’clock shadow. That is mascara on his cute little face. I was so worried I would mess it up.

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Finally, here’s our favorite angel.

I think he turned out awesome!

I also made David a Rooty hat from one of my favorite designers, Alex Tinsley. I feel like I am in the mood to knit all kinds of ear flap and pom pom hats lately. Hopefully soon I will get to make one for myself. I have a few other things to clear out of the queue first!

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A Rooty hat!

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Let’s Talk Crafty Christmas…Part 3

Ashley’s presents were all Hannibal themed this year.

Last year, For Ash’ birthday, I had made her a shoe box Hannibal Lecter Playset by modding a few Mini Mochi patterns. It included Hannibal and a stag in Hannibal’s office. I told her I would try and make her more characters. I didn’t realize how difficult they would be. It is hard to make characters that you can actually identify when knitting so small. I tried to get as close as possible, but Will Graham’s hair was a serious challenge for me.

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Like I gave his little tiny soul a fright!

Yes, I put in al the little hairs individually…like a crazy person.

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This is what I ended up.

I also decided to weave her a nice sized scarf with a combination of some of my hand spun singles and commercial yarn I had in my stash.

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A woven scarf…

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…and a really awful picture of the felted stag head detail.

I think she really liked them! Hopefully at some point I will get a picture of all of her little Hannibal characters together!

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Stitches West 2014: Adventures in Fleece

It was a few years ago when I had convinced myself that I wanted to adopt a fleece. I had gone through this whole phase of wanting to go from sheep to garment. This involved me bringing home a dirty fleece once. A really dirty fleece. So dirty that I gunked up my kids’ bathtub and then my husband instating a Renfroe household rule banning me from bringing dirty fleece into the house.

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Bella on the scale.

But I can explain…

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Walking the floor with two bags of fleece.

The household rule banning my possession of dirty fleece is common knowledge amongst my knitting group. But Courtney is a smart girl, and adept at getting around the rules. So months ago she told me she had an idea.

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Courtney and David with Bella and Lucky.

Courtney did her homework and came up with the perfect plan for us to wash a fleece in the hotel bathroom. She knew exactly how to sell it to me… my husband couldn’t possibly get upset with me if I brought home clean fleece.

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The bag of Bella fleece.

So David, Courtney and I went to Judy’s Novelty Wool booth and we split 2 fleeces, three ways. Now, Bella was already cleaned, so no problem there. She was greasier than David liked, but I don’t mind my fleeces slightly buttery. That lanolin is good for my skin. So half of the work was done and Bella was tossed aside. Lucky, however, was our dirty one. The three of us put down a shower curtain on the floor, dumped the fleece out, and started to sort pieces into “dirty” and “less dirty”.

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Starting to sort the fleece.

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Proud parents!

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I actually took this picture by accident when trying to take some video.

We stuffed the fleece into lingerie bags to soak in the tub.

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Lingerie bags are ready!

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Soak #1 with plain water…

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Check out that water! Here is where I let Courtney know she is making me nervous holding her phone over the tub.

We soaked the fleece for twenty minutes in plain hot water. Then we soaked in hot soapy water. Of course there were multiple soaks, but I passed out on one of the hotel beds sometime before 1 a.m. I hear that Court and David were up until 4 a.m. They let me sleep because I had to drive us home from Santa Clara and they knew I needed the rest. Of course, this means I don’t have any photographic evidence of David breaking one of the salad spinners that they used to dry the fleece when they were done. Sorry, I’m no journalist.

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Courtney and Dawn.

Now, this isn’t the end of the story (or process). While I have Bella here at home, Lucky is still at Courtney’s house. Lucky was dry enough to bring home in the van, but she still needs some work. I am hoping to get together with Courtney sometime soon so we can finish work on her and get her ready to spin!

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In need of a crafting intervention…

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 | blah blah blah, crafts, Miscellaneous, UGH! | No Comments

I have a bit of a problem.

I know I am still in the hell that is Crafty Christmas. No, my gifts aren’t done…and it’s only taking me FOREVER because I am dragging my feet. I love making gifts for my friends, but I am feeling like the stuff I made just isn’t enough…which makes me want to make more…which I have no time for…

But in addition to this, I am having weird crafting feelings. It’s a combination of trying to figure out what knitting projects I want to take to Stitches and the strong desire to try something new. I don’t want to work on any of my current projects, I’d rather rip out old projects and given them new life. That sweater I didn’t finish? Frog it! The coat I knit for my London/Paris trip in 2011 that is too big for me because I got stuck in the rain? Rip it out and make it a smaller size! All of my hand spun yarn? It wants to be hats and cowls and anything that means it is ultimately set free from my stash!

Then there is Pinterest, which makes me feel like I am not quite living up to my fullest potential. It’s like these people are the worst kind of over-achievers. Does that stop me from going on Pinterest and pinning ALL THE THINGS? Of course not.

This past weekend, I was getting ready for the day and having a conversation with my husband. I told him that I had just pinned a boatload of embroidery projects the night before, and that my logical brain was telling me that this is a problem because:

  1. I don’t know how to embroider.
  2. There aren’t enough hours in my lifetime to make all the things I’d like to make.

I explained it to him very clearly and calmly, like I was staging an intervention for myself. How do these people do it? Do they not have kids to take care of? Maybe they are stay-at-home moms with a lot of time on their hands? Maybe they are just over-achievers who swing toward the manic side of the crafterverse? All things I have heard from other people when asking me how I do it.

So, as sad as I am about it. I am not starting anything new. Not until Crafty Christmas is done, anyway.

And let’s just be honest…this is really just me struggling with a little ADD.

Celebrating Christmas…pageant style.

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 | crafts, FO's, Holiday, Miscellaneous | No Comments

Welcome to the Christmas Pageant!

If you are someone who knows me, or has been a reader of my blog for awhile, you probably know that I celebrate my Birthday pageant style. Well, it looks like I am celebrating Christmas pageant style too! Essentially, Christmas is just going to bleed into my birthday this year.

This mostly has to do with the fact that my knit group has postponed Crafty Christmas until we go to Stitches West, which is the weekend after my birthday. Now, this is totally fine for me, but I imagine it might be annoying to some of them as it is creating a knitting nightmare…a knitted gift bottle neck of epic proportions. I know this because I talk to Courtney, who every year is the most ambitious of us.

So, since we are in a spoiler free zone, you only get to see completed projects that have been gifted or are non-gift items. It doesn’t give me much to choose from as far as photo posting. Be prepared for another month of small random craft projects….no really….

For now, enjoy the Christmas Whisps I gifted them last year. They even decorated them for the holiday season!

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David’s had blinking lights!

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Ashley’s…

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…And Courtney’s…complete with stitch markers.

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Kiddie craft corner…

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Wingin’ it!

Happy New Year! Well, I have been celebrating the New Year with mass consumption of chocolates and lots of knitting. Of course, all of my current knitting projects are top secret crafty Christmas presents and the projects that I have completed can’t be posted yet because they haven’t yet reached their intended destinations. This is pretty much all I can give you… My kids are high on the rubber band bracelet craze. Rainbow loom, Crazy loom, whatever you want to call them, the kids have been asking for them. I knew that they were getting looms for Christmas, so I started checking out Pinterest for different pattern ideas. While I was searching, I found a pin where someone stuck two thumbtacks on a wine cork to make a portable option for making single and fishtail bracelets. I grabbed what I had lying around the house and made one. I handed it to the kids with one of my crochet hooks and they were in business, cranking out bracelets left and right! They even made me some!

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I am becoming a pro at this!

Then they got their looms and started making more involved patterns. They still prefer to use my crochet hooks over the plastic ones that are included with the looms though. Here is a great place to find tutorials for various bracelet patterns.

The closest thing I get to snow…

Monday, December 23rd, 2013 | At the office, crafts, crochet, FO's, Holiday, Pattern, stash busting, yarn | No Comments

This year, I wanted to give gifts to EVERYONE! That is not an easy feat when you already have a ton of crafting to do. Small projects are ideal.

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Presents for my coworkers.

I decided to crochet snowflakes to attach to packages and that people could use as ornaments. The most popular were the bright neon yellow ones that my kids started calling “pee pee snowflakes”. I made those limited edition.

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My neon yellow snowflake!

They were a hit!

If you feel like crocheting some, you can find the pattern here!

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I’m a lean, mean, craftin’ machine!

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 | blah blah blah, cowl, crafts, crochet, Holiday, knitting, stash busting | No Comments
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I had said this represented half of the yarn I need for the holidays…but I was wrong. It’s only about a third.

I am rocketing through my holiday crafting like nobody’s business! I am making gifts for just about everyone this year. I made sure that I set clear deadlines for myself so I will know when certain things need to be done. First things first…teacher gifts!

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A Casu Cowl for one of the school teachers and snowflakes for the teachers at daycare.

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Sitting outside knitting another teacher cowl. This time it’s the Honey Cowl…which looks great in variegated yarn.

I am eager to clear out the stash. Stitches is coming up and I need to make room for more yarn! The majority of the crafting this Christmas is coming from stash…and when I say majority…I mean pretty much exclusively (cough cough withtheexceptionoftwoskeins cough cough). This means NO YARN SHOPPING. Can you believe it? Yeah…I can’t either.

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Hangin’ with my Bronies!

Thursday, December 5th, 2013 | blah blah blah, crafts, Video Blog | No Comments

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed for my pal OsakaJack’s podcast, Into The Spotlight. It’s a fun podcast for fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I was super nervous, but it was a lot of fun!

Last night it aired on Everfree Radio and now you can give it a listen on Youtube. We talk MLP, but we also talk about animation, fandoms and crafting.

Enjoy!

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