It’s been since November that I last posted and I’ve been trying for ages to make a new post but it keeps not happening. I’ve been getting past a yarncraft slump, where for months I didn’t want to do anything more than give some of my softer skeins an occasional squeeze. I’m past that now though, and have knitted a few things, and am currently working on the Good Vibes shawl from  wonderful French designer. I’m almost done with the big main color section and I will start the first stripe tomorrow when my other yarn color arrives.

Speaking of yarn, I’m currently cold sheeping. I’m hoping to make it through the end of the year without falling off the wagon, but we’ll see. My big goal is to get down to only 38 miles of yarn in my stash- I had 52, I donated 4, and now I just want to use up another 10. There are a few exceptions of when I can buy yarn, though for the most part, no new yarn is kind of the rule.

  1. I can use gift cards to buy yarn.
  2. I can accept yarn from swaps or as gifts.
  3. I can buy additional yarn to finish a project I’ve started.

Its pretty simple, but if you buy yarn like I tend to, its not easy!

I rearranged my craft room yesterday, and picked out another 3 bags of stuff to donate. This included all the sewing patterns I previously had listed for sale, so those are gone now, and I have more room on my shelf. Of course that shelf is mostly filled with large skeins of yarn… LOL.

The website also underwent a physical change a few weeks ago, getting a complete makeover. I like to think it looks more modern and on trend with what’s good today… Of course the 3 dozen emails I get in spam every day offering their design services seem to think otherwise! Ha!

Did you know my shop always has coupons available? And did you know know that you don’t even have to know what they are to use them?

At any time, I have several coupons available, and all of them that apply to your order will be added automatically at check-out. Just visit the cart page to see your savings!

These are the coupons available from now until the end of the year- they can add up to big savings!

  • 10% off rainbow items
  • buy 3 get 1 free on $5 earrings
  • 8% off wearable yarncraft
  • 8% off $20
  • 12% off $50
  • 16% off $100+
  • 10% off brick stitch earrings
  • 10% off video game jewelry

There’s also a local pick-up option available. I’m in Lancaster, CA, in the 93534 zip code and am often available to orchestrate pick-up orders. Just choose local pick-up at checkout and I’ll email you about when you’d like to come by.

I’m going through my inventory and while I have several items I’ve just added to the shop with more to come, there are also several that I am considering donating. So, if you want to score some free stuff (just pay shipping) check out the shop portion of the site and sort by price from Low to High. Or just click this link.

There’s a few scarves, a pair of ginormous slippers, some earrings that just aren’t quite up to par, and a pot holder that has too small of a hanging tab. These items are well-made, they’re just not moving well and I want them gone. So click on through and see what you can grab!

There’s also a few beading patterns, but those ones are always available for free.

The craft fair was yesterday and to keep it simple, I’ll just say it was disorganized and not very many people were making sales. Traffic was so-so, and several people commented to me that they would never spend money at something like this. It was just not a good day.

After all that, today I decided I needed a little retail therapy. There were several good coupons in the apps for both Joann’s and Michael’s, so I decided to visit both of them.

This is what I came away with.

Joann’s

Caron jumbo skein with a 60% off coupon – $5.99 (reg. $9.99)
RHSS jumbo skein with a 40% off coupon – $4.79 (reg. $7.99)
8 regular skeins of RHSS with a 30% off coupon – $2.44 each (reg. $3.49)
2 Big Twist value at 25% off – $2.39 each (reg. $3.19)

Total savings $17.18

After that I decided to go back to Michael’s and got this stuff.

Michael’s

3 skeins Craft Smart with 20% off coupon – $2.39 each (reg. $2.99)
2 skeins Caron Simply Soft at 2 for $5 & 20% off coupon – $2 each (reg. $4.49)
Impeccable BIG! on sale for $7 and 20% off coupon – $5.61 (reg. $9.99)

Total savings $11.09

I spent $54 including tax on 18 skeins of yarn, mostly in colors I didn’t already have.

Now the question is where am I going to put it all?

So if you visit often, you’ll see I haven’t made a blog post here in a while, nor have I added any new shop items. I’ve been distracted from my work as a crafter by my music practice. Not only am I still practicing my ukulele (and now I have 4 of them + a banjolele), and my mountain dulcimer (though not as often), I took the plunge and got myself a violin and took my first lesson on it on Friday. I was worried about how the lesson would go but my teacher was great, and sent me home with some homework. I see her again in 2 weeks and I can’t wait!

I’ve always loved violin/fiddle music and really wanted to learn to play but was afraid to try because all I kept hearing is how hard it is. But my time with my ukes has given me some confidence now that I can almost play a few songs and I decided to go for it.

So if its “quiet” over here, its because I’m practicing!

ukulele gig bag

As some of you might know, I have two ukuleles. A tenor, and a concert. I have a soft sided gig bag that came with the tenor, but my concert has no such bag to protect her while travelling. I decided to knit and felt the Hana Hou! gig bag pattern and make my own.

Unfortunately it didn’t go exactly to plan, and the bag fits my tenor better than my concert, but its super thick and padded and will probably protect either of them better than my other bag does.

ukulele gig bag
This was before I felted it- as you can see, its freaking huge! Almost double the size it needs to end up.

After 4 cycles in a hot water/heavy agitation wash, it wad down to this size and not getting any smaller.

ukulele gig bag
Please ignore my dirty feet. Being barefoot is awesome!
ukulele gig bag
This is it inside out. I made a simple fabric lining, hand stitched in place, and velcro will secure the flap tucked in to the bottom to keep and uke from falling out.

And finally, hanging out with my concert uke inside. Its a little big for it, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I would definitely consider making this again, though I would have more fun with the colorwork.

ukulele gig bag

You can see details here.

I was struck by an idea this evening for a simple way to display the necklaces I’ve made for my shop rather then just having them all stuffed into a drawer. My solution? It cost me $5 and about 15 minutes.

Remember my bench rebuilding project? I had a piece of wood left over from that that was 34″ long- which was only 2″ shorter than I initially planned on, and sawing wood down to smaller pieces with a hand saw sucks, so I went with it like it was instead of cutting a larger piece down.

Then I popped over to Lowe’s, bought a package of screws (I only needed 2) to mount the board to the wall, and spent another $3.58 on a package of 40 7/8″ rounded, semi-circular screw hooks. I drilled a hole near each end for the mounting screws, and one hold down the middle every 1.5″ to screw a hook into. Remember when drilling your pilot holes to make them a size smaller in the wood then the actual screw is.

Then I screwed it into the wall and hung up all the necklaces! Easy, and fast! You could of course paint or stain the wood (I might spray it white later on) but I just put it up as is.

I know, do I need a new ukulele when technically I can’t play the one I have yet? Probably not, but when I saw this DIY kit I had to order it. Its not full on build it yourself- the uke body is already together and really you just pin/glue/screw a few pieces in place and bob’s yer uncle. It took about 30 minutes to assemble and another twn minutes to string and tune, once I realized I had done some of the assembly wrong.

Anyway, I started out with a nice plain paint job and it quickly turned into this.

ukefront ukeside ukeback

It’s loud, but honestly it doesn’t sound as nice as my tenor does. There’s a big difference in price though between them, and quality. But it was still a super fun little project and I’d say worth the $40! Looks like I’ll have to build a new ukulele stand too!

My boyfriend and I have this old wood and iron bench in the backyard, that after about 11 years, has all but rotted away. I decided to replace the wood in the old bench so people can safely sit on it again- and the timing was great because we are hosting a BBQ in a few weeks.

I went to Lowe’s and purchased 4 pieces of wood which I had them cut down to size for $7 and change total. I also spent about $2.50 on two packages of screws, which I used about 2/3s of.

IMG_20160504_193400I did have to cut the two smallest pieces of wood vertically with a handsaw after I got them home but that was simple enough.

The first step to rebuilding the bench was to take it apart. I don’t have access to a jigsaw, so I had to reuse the top piece of wood from the bench but that piece doesn’t get a lot of stress compared to say the seat.

IMG_20160505_103231 After staining the wood I bought, bolting and screwing things back into place was pretty simple, and we have a bench that can safely be sat on by us or our guests at our upcoming BBQ.

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I went by one of my favorite thrift stores yesterday morning because I wanted to check out something I thought I saw the day before. What was I after? This. An almost 8 pound bag of buttons!

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For anyone unfamiliar, typically buttons are purchased on a card with somewhere between 2 and 8 buttons to a card depending on size. A card can cost anywhere from $2 to $6 retail. There are literally thousands of buttons in this bag. I paid $28.33 after tax for it. If there are 2,000 buttons in the bag, I paid $0.014 per button. That’s a steal!

I’ve been working on sorting them the last day or so and wow it is slow going!

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On the left are the colored ones, plus the black shanked buttons and the ones made out of shell. In the middle are all browns and metal ones. And on the right are black ones, and the whitish ones. Most of them are divided further by size, unless I only have enough of that color family to fill one spot. I’m nowhere near done sorting them, but I’m going to keep going until I fill up all three containers and then pass the rest onto Tracy at Art Resurrected.

There have also been quite a few conchos that I will be giving to someone who is really into leather-work right now.

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This is about half of them that I dug out of the buttons- there’s literally about 90 of these.