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.

stocking

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

stockingun

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

stockingbad

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.

grannyslippers

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.

knitscarf

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.

uglymittens

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 afternoon friends! I love Halloween. Its absolutely my favorite holiday of the year? Christmas? Who needs it? Give me fun costumes and spooky decorations any day! And since its almost October, why not get started with some spooky crafting? Bring on the Halloween skulls!

Wednesday night I started out with making some little polymer clay skull earrings. I didn’t worry about them being perfectly accurate but I did want them to be recognizable. They turned out to be so easy to make I decided to make a larger one today for display around the house.

This is what I started out with. Lots of white clay, and a few tools. I didn't use anything fancy, just those things pictured plus a one inch ball of aluminum foil.
This is what I started out with. Lots of white clay, and a few tools. I didn’t use anything fancy, just those things pictured plus a one inch ball of aluminum foil.
This was my almost finish and before baking picture. As you can see, it looks pretty boring and you can see a hint of the foil in the eye sockets.
This was my almost finish and before baking picture. As you can see, it looks pretty boring and you can see a hint of the foil in the eye sockets.

The basic skull shape is a ball that’s been pressed a bit to make the lower end someone narrower then the top. Make a pair of eye socket indentions, and then use a few small strips of clay to add the cheekbone ridges. A little more clay is adding to the lower front to make the lower jaw project a bit, and then add some clay to the upper back of the skull to add fullness to the braincase. I also added indentions into the sides at the joint of the jaws.

Teeth were simply scratched deeply into the surface, working out from the horizontal line, so lines were etched away from the split between the jaws. This keeps the horizontal scoring from being filled in by tiny bit of clay being drug down into it when drawing the teeth.

Then things got fun! After he baked and cooled a bit, I got out my yellow and brown acrylic paint and mixed them together to get a medium yellow-brown. I applied it everywhere with a heavy hand, and then quickly wiped it off before it could dry. Then I used only dark brown and dabbed it over the areas I wanted to have more definition and wiped it off. This is the end result.

skulls1 skulls2 skulls3 skulls4

 

 

 

 

modelI had so much fun making these and I hope you’ll try them too! They really can’t be easier! I did have a little help for basic shaping from a small clear plastic puzzle skull, which helped me quite a bit with the details of the larger skull. Sorry this final photo isn’t as clear- I snapped it with my phone without great lighting and its a little grainy.

Hello friends!

Over the last few weeks I’ve made some changes. If you’ve been to the site recently, you’ve likely seen the biggest ones right away. The most noticeable change is that I changed the way the website and shop look. I decided to go with an unmodified theme that was made especially to work with my shop software and the result is pretty good.

The second biggest thing that changed is I removed all of the graphic design portfolios from the site and am focusing purely on the shop aspect. I’ve also redone the menus to better focus on the shop and make it friendlier both on computers and on mobile devices. I haven’t been doing much graphic design and to be honest, the laptop I current have is awful and makes it nearly impossible. Less stuff = simpler to navigate.

The third thing, and this might interest you if you intend to place an order, is I got out my postal scale and I weighed almost every item in the shop and re-calculated shipping rates by the half ounce. What this means is you will get the absolute lowest possible shipping rate I can afford to give you. There is no way anyone can say my shipping rates are unfair! I hate paying too much for shipping, and I’m sure you do too.

The fourth thing is I’ve been adding new products like crazy! Your best bet is to pop by the site and see for yourself, but I’ll show you a few images from the new items here so email subscribers can get a quick peek.

There are several other new items, plus of course the other 200+ items that previously existed in the shop.

I’m planning to add more over the next week too, so pop in, have a look, and remember there is always a coupon code available. Right now and through the end of the year, that code is UKULELE for 20% off of everything. That includes sale items too!

I’ve also added a way to comment on and discuss items in my shop. You don’t have to log in or register to do it- just fill out a name, email address, and ask your question or leave a comment. Easy!

The last two days I’ve been playing with my polymer clay and I’ve made a few things. On Friday, I made a fish. Yes, a fish. I just kind of started squishing the clay around and let it form into whatever came to mind and this was it. I added a little detail post-bake by rubbing dark blue acrylic paint into the scratches where I drew a few scale shapes, gills, and nostrils, and wiped away the excess, leaving just enough of a stain on the other surfaces to give the idea of a slightly mottled color.

fishy

 

Unfortunately, I busted off one of his tail fins when I put him in the oven and didn’t realize it until after he came out so I had to glue it on later after I had glazed him and baked him again. Still, I think he’s adorable, and he’s not sitting on our TV stand, just under the edge of the TV.

Saturday I used two of the tiny mirrors I bought and made these little garden looking glass earrings. I made the flower arrangements opposite of each other, and they turned out pretty well. I think the one on the right below turned out a bit better but they look good and I wore them last night.

mirror1

 

I know I could never wear these to Jami’s house because her little dog would lose her mind going after the light reflections these cast in good lighting.

mirror2

 

I was worried they’d be too heavy (I still haven’t tried out any of the Souffle clays that are supposed to be lighter weight for jewelry making) but they’re very wearable and I feel like i could make others to add to my shop.

LB1I’ve been working on new projects and new items for my shop, and working on promoting my social media profiles for Kittyloaf Designs more. Its something I only seem to do sporadically, because honestly making all these posts, comments, and whatever else is a lot of work. I use Hoot Suite to help me out, letting me pre-schedule various posts and updates as I think of them, spreading them out over a few days at a time. It really does help because I can manage these things as I have time, cross post to different social networks, and not have to do the same thing 3 times manually. One click (or there about) and its done!

My Google+ page for Kittyloaf Designs suffers the worst. I have literally 3 followers on there and its because I almost never use Google+. Why? Because I do most of my social networking in the evenings from my mobile devices, and the Google+ app only shows me content that is 10 days old and older. I can’t find any settings that relate to this, and I’ve tried reinstalling the app, but its always the same old 10 day old stuff for me.

Anyway, I’ve added two new beading patterns, and their related finished products to my shop. They are my new Deadpool earrings, and my Mario star earrings and patterns. Over the next few days I have some other ideas to work on, so stay tuned!

I have a good friend who has her eye on a domain name (one she’s wanted for years actually and is still available- yay!) and she’s thinking about buying it and setting up a web site. I told her to let me know and I will help her get set up. I honestly have no idea what she intends to do with this possible web site but I’m really hoping she decides to do it and we can work on it together. Having a web site can be a lot of fn and give you a creative outlet.

I gave her my referral link to my web host, A Small Orange, so I will get a percentage off on my new renewal, and I also gave her a coupon code so she can save 15% as well. If you are in need of a new host, A Small Orange has fantastic up-time, and their customer and tech support can’t be beat. I honestly cannot say enough good about them after using them for about 5 years.

If you use this link (http://asmallorange.com/?ref_id=kittyloaf) and use the coupon code FRIENDME at checkout, you’ll save 15% off of your invoice, and I will save that same amount (15% of your invoice) off of my next one. Why not help each other out? Everyone likes to save money.

As I’ve been making changes to the layout of the site and tweaking the CSS, I’ve been having a friend take a peek for a second opinion. I felt all the changes were going smoothly, but she tried to load the new site in her Android phone using the default browser and discovered a big problem- the background was loading over the actual content. All she could see as a result was my background image spread across the screen.

Apparently this is a known issue with the theme I am working with, but I was able to find a snippet of CSS to force the background into the background where it belongs when viewed. I am hoping this issue is addressed in the next update of the theme, but until then, I’ve got all my modified files backed up and ready for the next updates in case those files are over-written.

Some of you probably think this is a lot of work, but I can never leave things as they are and if I see there is room for improvement, I try to make those improvements. Sometimes I get in over my head, but like nearly everything now, the internet can be a fantastic resource in finding out how to do a thing and learning how to solve your problem the next time you run into it.

I was out at my Mom’s house Friday night and found some old jewelry I had made some time back. One of them caught my eye as the perfect thing to wear to the wedding I am going to tonight. It is a chunky necklace made out of fat wooden beads, and a strip of old t-shirt material. If you ever do any crafting, you probably already have everything you need on hand to do this.

The construction is super simple. Take an old t-shirt in whatever color you want your necklace or choker to be, and cut a strip that is about 6 to 8  inches longer then the length you want it to be, and wide enough to wrap around your beads twice. You don’t want to skimp on the width because otherwise your beads might fall out. If your beads have a circumference of 2 inches, you’ll want the fabric strip to be 4 inches wide.

Starting in the middle, lay one bead down and roll the width of the fabric around it. Take a piece of narrow ribbon and tie it in a knot next to the bead. Do this on each side of it. I left my tails long and dangling, but you could cut them off and secure the knots with a dab of hot glue.

Work your way along the length of the strip, adding beads and ribbon until you have as many as you’d like.

To wear it, just tie the ends of the fabric behind your neck.

You could dress it up using other fabric types too. Smaller beads inside and a dressier fabric might create an entirely different style and feel.

Not this week because I just bought a new dress for a wedding I am attending Saturday, but next week I plan to stop by Joann’s and pick up some fabric for this fantastic skirt project. I stumbled across it the other week, and the more I look at it, the more I want to go back and recreate it.

I won’t be using the rainbow color scheme, but am thinking starting black on the top, and working my way through the grey spectrum to end in a white layer on the bottom tier, and am thinking about edging it with a scalloped lace to finish it off.

The hard part will be finding enough different shades of grey to work my way through the spectrum, but the good thing will be I will only need a half a yard or so of each color. Hopefully I can find a good diversity of patterns to keep it interesting to the eye.

Not sure about the waistband yet, and what color I am going to do it- white would be a logical choice to balance the white bottom, but at the same time, I think it would also be a great time to add a color into it- maybe a black and red polka dotted fabric, or black and purple. Hard decisions abound!

I’ll be sure to take many photos of the progress once I get started and post them. Its been a while since I’ve had a fun sewing project to work on. Now if only I had a sewing machine here at the house.