As some of you may know, I am a member of the Ravelry community. Ravelry.com is a fantastic community that brings together people who knit, crochet, weave, and spin. I’ve been a member for a bit over a year, and it seems like every day I am on the site, I discover something new and wonderful. Last night I discovered the Random Acts of Kindness group. What is this you ask? Its a group that pairs people’s wants (often small things) with people who might fulfill them. I was able to find multiple people looking for just the thing I’ve had laying around for some time and was so happy to ship out a few small packages this afternoon to people who were asking for things I’ve been wanting to get rid of. I used to be part of the BookCrossing community years ago and I participated in the RA(Bookcrossing)K groups there too. Its always no nice to bring a smile to the face of a stranger!

Today I shipped out several skeins of embroidery floss, a skein of fun fur yarn, and a package with several of the little zippered pouches I made so long ago along with a bonus pair of earrings. There are a few other small packages I hope to send out as well- I’m just waiting to hear that what I have suits what the person really wants. 🙂

If you are a member of the Ravelry community, you can find me here. I’m inkdork. 🙂

On the 15th of January, I got in the car with one of my best friends and I drove with her to Kent, Washington. We spent a lot of time just hanging out, but I also did some crocheting and some shopping.

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This is the throw blanket I did almost entirely while at Nikki and Dennis’ house. It’s a chevron pattern with 4 rows of shells down each side. I had hoped to use up all of the yarn I broth with me but didn’t quite do it.

I also visited two fantastic yarn shops and between them, spent about $120 on some really lush yarns I normally wouldn’t have bought plus a book on crocheting monsters.

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There are all sorts of neat designs in the book and I hope to make a few of them.

The two shops I visited are So Much Yarn in Seattle, and Maker’s Mercantile in Kent. I have nothing but good to say about either one of them.

I’m flying home early Wednesday morning so my bags are all packed but I’m looking forward to sharing with you my new lush yarns after I get home and can properly photograph them.

Saturday night I will be at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum selling my makes at the craft fair and chili cook-off. There will be a campfire, cowboy singer, chili cook-off, coffee, and cocoa! You can download the flyer for distribution and more details here, HotH Flyer 15.

Chili, Crafters, and Cowboy Songs at “Holidays on the Homestead”

Visit the Antelope Valley Indian Museum on Saturday, December 5th from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. for an old-time country Christmas celebration! Originally a 1930’s homestead, the historic grounds will be decorated in vintage holiday style with live acoustic music around a campfire, a chili cook-off, tours of the grounds, a country craft boutique, real cowboy coffee brewed over the fire, and hot chocolate or cider for the kids! Explore the unique hand-built museum and whimsical grounds at night with soft lighting and the smell of fresh greenery, and the wintery sky sparkling over the desert.

Stay warm around the blazing bonfire while cowboy singer Michael Tcherkassky, “The Saddle Serenader”, croons the romantic poetry about life on the range that cattlemen composed by day during their journeys across the old west, and was then shared around the campfire when the sun went down. Michael has performed traditional cowboy songs and poetry for many years at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival and other events around the country.

The country craft boutique features one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. The crafters carry on the artistic spirit of Howard Arden Edwards, who built the Indian Museum to house his collection of American Indian artifacts. The Craftsman-style building is decorated with his colorful representations of Indian culture and creative hand-made furniture. This is a great opportunity to support local artists and find unique gifts!

Rose Edwards was known for her tasty rib-sticking chili and cornbread feasts at their holiday celebrations. Try Rose’s original 1930 Christmas chili recipe and the chili cook-off entries, complemented by delicious cornbread generously provided by The Lemon Leaf Café.  Our 2015 judge will be ranger Colin Daxon, who recently joined the department.

Event admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, and ages 5 and under are free. This event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, which provides funding to help keep the museum open.

I applied for a spot at a craft fair and chili cook-off on December 5th at the Antelope Valley Indian museum. Its supposed to be chilly in the building things are help in and the chili cook-off is held outdoors and there’s also stuff going on around the campfire, so I’m hoping to sell some warm accessories!

I’m going to bring a plastic tub filled with scarves, and a few other items and label is $20 Each or 2 for $30. I have something like 13 or 14 scarves made up, plus a few other things I want to share now. I had this bright idea that some of The Crochet Crowd’s recent projects would be really fast and easy so I dove right in. Let’s start with the Christmas stocking. Its the cutest of my new makes and while it gave me a little grief I’m very pleased with it.

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Cute, right? Its made from 17 same sized hexagons, carefully stitched together like this:

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Then you just stitch up the side seams and you get this?

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Seriously, follow the diagram and get the right shape! Learn from my example! LOL The first photo, my final result, shows it really is super cute and I loved my color choices. It also let me use up more stash yarn that was leftovers from other projects. This will be in my $20 tub.

Then I have these granny square slippers. I’m not sure what happened. They were supposed to be a lady’s medium but pretty sure they will fit a men’s 9 or even 10. They did use up almost all of my dark grey yarn though plus quite a bit of the spring green. They will be in the tub too.

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I decided to pick up my knitting needles and try out this faux-cable scarf, which to my delight, when smoothly and without issue and the colors worked really well together.

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Feeling good about these projects, I decided to crochet some mittens. I’ve never made mittens, but how hard could they be? I had the yarn picked out already- an ugly yarn made from sweatshirt fleece that is super soft and warm and just screamed mittens! I got started. I ran into several issues in the pattern. I made mistakes. I kept going. I had two weird ham-warmers with thumbs. This morning I frogged them back to the 4th row and started over, and ended up with actual mittens for hands instead of hams.

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They’re not amazing, and that yarn makes them ugly as sin, but they will go to my craft sale booth too and if they don’t sell, I will donate them to thrift the following Monday.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m currently thinking about making another pair of mittens because I’ve not yet had my fill of torture this week. I hope you’re enjoyed these new makes, and I’ll have more to show you later on!

Good evening friends! I haven’t posted for a little while so thought I’d pop in and show you a few new makes. After I made the triangle scarf I showed you last time in the Red Heart Super Saver yarn, I decided to make another one, this time using some pesky boucle yarn I had in my stash that I’ve been eager to see gone. Boucle yarn is not something I like working with, and honestly, its a pain in the butt. If you make a mistake, its very difficult to pull out your stitches and chances are the yarn will just break instead and you’re left with a mess. But after its crocheted or knitted up, it makes a very nice fabric that feels pretty nice to the touch. Anyway, here’s the boucle yarn triangle scarf.

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I don’t feel like I’m tooting my own horn to say this turned out beautifully and is really eye catching! I think I will keep it for myself and hope I get to actually wear it often enough to justify keeping it.

My Halloween costume this year involves snakes, so obviously I needed a pair of snake earrings. I decided to tackle this out of polymer clay and made myself a pair using Premo clay in a mixture of a medium green and their opal clay because I wanted to give them some pizzazz.  The opal clay, though soft enough for me to indent with my fingernail, proved really hard to mix and after running it through my pasta machine about ten times, I ended up working in a few lines of Sculpey Liquid into it as well but it never really reached that nice soft warm stage. It was malleable enough though for me to make my snakes.

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As you can see, they are really basic, and if you know anything about snakes, you’ll see they are coiled backwards- a necessary cheat to make them hang evenly from the center. You can see they have a bit of glitz to them as well, from the opal clay. I gave them tiny black eyes with itsy bitsy bits of black clay, and one of my dotter tools. I haven’t added ear wires to them yet as I am waiting on a package of niobium ear wires to arrive first. Since they seem to work so well for me, I order ten more pairs to convert more of my earrings over to them.

I’m not doing a lot of crafting I can share lately because I’m trying really hard to get the big project (a Christmas gift) I’m working on done on time!

ladybug musicI’ve been working on some new stuff and I have some things I did a while ago that I kept forgetting to share with you. As some of you might know, I play on pool league once a week and it can be tough to tell your stick bag apart from everyone else’s when they are all basically the same. I made this little charm for my back to mark it as mine and I also made another one for my ukulele case while I was at it. They’re just simple clay shapes stamped with rubber stamps. The ladybug one I painted before baking using dust from colored chalk pastels, and the other I painted with acrylic paints after baking. They were both super easy to make and there’s so many different things you could do with this idea.

I finally finished my triangle scarf that I have been waiting over a week to get the yarn to finish it. It figures I’d pick the one stash yarn I can’t buy anywhere around here when I needed more to finish! But it finally arrived yesterday and I was able to finish it this morning. I went crazy on the fringe though, but I really wanted to use up all of the yarn in that second skein and I did.

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I think it turned out really pretty and its very wearable. Now if it will just get chilly enough so I can wear it!

I started this two days ago and I expect it will be finished before the week is over. When its done, it will say EAT SLEEP BUILD REPEAT and of course there is the little Lego guy head in there. When it’s done I will frame it and put it up in Mattie’s Nerd Cave on the wall and then he can have some themed decorations.

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I really wish I could decorate my craft room, but the main wall is cement, being part of the garage, and nothing will penetrate it so I can’t hang anything unless I use stickies.

I’ve been sick with a terrible cold the last few days, but when I heard the local Friends of the Library were holding a book sale at our local library, I ventured out not once but twice to see what I could find. I felt like death but still went to look for new craft books. New craft books created a big pull to get out.

I was a little disappointed they only had 3 small boxes with craft and sewing books and magazines in them, but I managed to find these 7 to take home with me.

books1 books2 books3 books4And the best part is I paid an average of $0.40 a piece for them! They are all in pretty good condition, just some cover or dust jacket wear, and they all have some cool patterns in them.

I also got two cook books and a Gnomes book for my friend Tracy who little did I know was actually looking for that book! The cook books are on chicken and making stews and soups, two things we enjoy, and the Gnomes book is an art book, which after flipping through it, is pretty amusing.

I haven’t gotten much crafting done the last few days since I’ve been sick, but here are a few items from my shop you might have missed!

These are all handmade by me, and unique in that they won’t be made exactly the same every again. And who doesn’t love a unique handmade piece?

This first one is my Curse of the Sea Witch necklace. You can purchase it for $14.99 here. It features glass seed beads and crazy baroque freshwater pearls in two colors.

sea witch

This dyed orange turquoise butterfly set is super pretty and ready for Fall! It’s $16.99, and made up of stone butterflies, dyed orange turquoise, small crystals, and large vintage Japanese acrylic beads. The central focal bead is glass.

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I hope you’re all having a great day today and are ready for the weekend! Happy Friday, and see you next time!

redheavy2Just a quick blurb here tonight for you.

I spent some time this morning taking photos of and adding some items to my shop I somehow missed adding before. I know you blog subscribers see my new posts, but I don’t think that new shop items are sent out in the same way. Pop on by the shop and have a look! I’ve added new knit and crochet, and new jewelry items with probably more to add over the weekend. I literally have so many items I sometimes miss adding a few. The newest items display first, so you don’t even have to go far to see them. Just click on Shop!

I also got super lucky and the price dropped on the ukulele I wanted so I was able to order it! I’m so excited for it to arrive! Shipping estimates say about a week, but I’m super hopeful that it will arrive sooner. I can’t wait to start learning to play.

I’m still hoping to make the sales I missed out on last Monday though and I have some other people very interested in some other items. Fingers crossed I make all the sales and then I can start putting aside some Christmas money.

If there’s any item you’re thinking about, know I try to make my shipping rates as close to spot on as possible and if I overcharge you on shipping, I will issue you a partial refund. The coupon code UKULELE is good until the end of the year for 20% off of everything in the shop, even though I’ve already ordered it.

I haven’t posted in a few weeks but I’ve been busy with my crochet, some knitting, and I started a new craft last night. Let’s start at the beginning though.

Let’s start with my Mickey blanket which I was only able to finish with the help of a really nice fellow yarn crafter who mailed me a few yards of the orange yarn I needed to finish. I didn’t want to buy a whole new skein of yarn for just 8 or 10 yards worth that I needed.

I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll be doing with the Mickey blanket, but I suspect I will be gifting it to someone in the future. After that, I started a new blanket, and while I’ve done quite a bit on it, I want to make it bit enough to cover our Queen-sized bed, so I still have quite a ways to go. Here it is though with what I’ve finished so far.

More #crochet #blanket #progress. Still have a long way to go though. #redheart #yarn

A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on

I’m hoping to have it finished in the new few weeks but it will be slow going, especially now that it takes me a good 40 minutes to do one round at this size.

I took a break from that blanket for a bit and knitted up this quick scarf, which turned out really really well and it’s definitely a keeper.

And last but not least, I decided last night to try out resin. I won a kit from a blog contest some time ago, and figured I’d give it a try. I wasn’t sure if the resin was too old or not, but figured worst case it didn’t set up and I’ve chalk it up to user error and if it happened again, to being bad resin. I placed some tiny seed beads into the molds and then poured my thoroughly mixed resin into it, letting it set up a bit before adding another sprinkling of beads. Then I left them to sit overnight and this morning I had this. I need to file down the edges a bit more because they are a little rough but all in all they turned out how I wanted.

I want to do more earrings but with tiny bits of threads in different colors embedded into them and I’d also like to create a light switch plate embedded with various tiny scraps of fabric. I can’t believe I never tried resin before this, it was so fun on my first try!

So all in all, I feel like this has been a pretty successful couple of weeks of crafting! I’m looking forward to more resin pours in my near future!

Gifted & thrifted yarns don’t count, right? Totally not like buying more yarn.

Monday night I took my crochet work to pool league with me to work on between games. It was getting close to the end of the night when Jean, the lady who runs things, asked me if I’d like some yarn. Would I like some yarn? Sure! She ended up giving me a huge bag of yarn from her car, mostly Red Heart Super Saver, but a few skeins of Lion Homespun and some Jiffy as well. There was also another skein of a brand I can’t think of in there as well. Unfortunately, the yarn had some smoke odor to it, but that turned out to be easily remedied.

I ended up packing 4 or 5 skeins into each of four pillowcases, tied them in a knot, and threw them into the washer on delicate with some Arm & Hammer detergent and some white vinegar. After that I put them through a delicate dryer cycle, which would have gone really well except two of the pillowcases came untied, which created a huge mess.

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I ended up losing an entire skein of yarn to the dryer, becoming one huge tangled mess, but 1 skein lost from about 20 is pretty minor, especially when it was all free to begin with. I was able to slide all the labels back onto the skeins and since the odor is gone, I can stash them with my other yarn now without worry of contamination. There were multiple skeins of several colors, so I just put one into my wall stash of each, and the rest are being stored in a tub for now to be cycled through as I need them.

And I might be getting more yarn from her again later! Hopefully if there’s a next time, I won’t have any pillowcases come undone!