Resolution Goals Updates

Hello, everyone! I’m back! And I won’t lie, I’m really glad I took last week off. I really needed that time to work on homework now that I’m taking a couple more courses– even though I already graduated– and to give myself a little time to look over the past few months and look at the rest of my year. At the beginning of the year, I created a list of projects that I wanted to work on and get done craft-wise, which I called my Resolutions List. Since we have gotten halfway through the year, I thought I should go back and look at what I have finished, as well as looking at what I want to work on, and what I would like to change on my list.

On my list, I have three projects that are taking a lot longer than what I originally planned. These three things are: the Gilmore Girls CAL, the Friends CAL, and two shrugs. Now, I don’t want to completely get rid of these items on my list… but I also do not know if I can actually complete them all by the end of the year. Due to this fact, I am looking at how far I have gotten on each of these items, and taking that into consideration for how I am going to edit the goals on my list. Another thing that I didn’t really anticipate when I wrote this list was the amount of projects I would find later on that I wanted to work on. For example, the perler beads that I have been working on lately and the kit for Disney Princesses that Shmuzzy gave me for my birthday.

Right now, what I am planning on doing for these things on my resolution list is this:

  1. For the Gilmore Girls CAL—of the fifteen squares I want on my blanket—I have finished three squares (just a refresher, I have finished the Luke’s square, the Swan, and the Apple). I want to finish at least three more within this year. The three that I would like to finish are: the Love Rocket, the Car, and the Original Banner. This doesn’t seem like much, but I think that the banners and the Luke’s square are the largest pieces and it will feel like I have gotten quite a bit of the blanket done once I have gotten that far. This would also put me at being just over halfway (I think… area-wise) on the blanket, and at a point where I could start putting the pieces together.
  2. As for the Friends CAL, I think there is a possibility that I will just have to be okay with how far I have gotten with it so far… because I am not sure if I will end up finishing the squares the way I originally planned, or if I will scrap them and start over.
  3. As for the shrugs? I would like to finish one shrug and get halfway on another this year. I think that would be a good compromise to finishing them.
  4. The items I didn’t anticipate doing this year, but am adding to my list include:
    1. Finishing Captain Picard. He was supposed to be a gift and I feel SO BAD that he isn’t done yet! Hopefully he’ll get to his recipient before her next birthday!
    2. Make at least one Disney Princess, one Star Wars character, and one Winnie the Pooh character. Those kits need to get used!
    3. Finish all the perler beads Sir Shmuzzy had on his list. I am so close to finishing them already, so I figure I might as well put them on this list!

Perler Bead Update

Hello, everyone! First things first, I wanted to let you know that there will not be a blog post next week, since it is Independence Day and I’m currently unsure of if I will be starting to take a couple classes next week.

I posted a couple weeks ago about the list of perler beads that Sir Shmuzzy has asked me to make for him, so I wanted to give you all an update with how it has been going. When I made that post, I believe I was working on or just finishing up making the patterns for this project. Last week, I started working on actually making the characters.

It honestly has felt like more time has passed between when I finished drawing the patterns and when I started working on the characters, but when I checked how long it had been it had only been about 2 weeks! TWO WEEKS! Anyways… last week I started working on making them and I finished quite a few. At this point, I just have Yoshi, Little Mac, and the various Mario power-ups. I am hoping to make a few more this upcoming week, but I have one little thing that is slowing me down… I am almost running out of black perler beads! And they are in almost all of the characters! So after this week, I will be putting the perler beads on hold until I am able to get to a craft store!

19495770_1471098589613617_1379767506_o

19495881_1471098572946952_1594401573_o19495986_1471098596280283_1039142649_o19531575_1471098586280284_630171402_o19496233_1471098599613616_489969208_o.jpg19551479_1471098576280285_1982595648_o

Sewn Coasters

Hello everyone! Its that time of the week again! As some of you MIGHT know, I have been attending a quilt club at my local quilt shop every month. Originally I went because it gave me something to do, but the more I go, the more inspired I am to work on a variety of crafts, and eventually attempt my own quilt. Every time I go, I also come home with ideas about color schemes and the items that I could create. I’ll talk more about that in a different post later on though!

Anyways, at the beginning of this month, in addition to their regularly scheduled club, the local quilt shop hosted a trunk show (where a pattern creator brought in examples of quilt patterns she has made and discussed with us the basic concepts of how to make her quilts), and they promoted a quilt show that was just outside of town. I ended up going to both of these events (which I honestly was not planning on doing since family was in town, but my aunt and great aunt ended up going with me) and I really enjoyed it. The group hosting the quilt show was also selling a few items that they had made and some kits to make those items at home ourselves.

One of these items that also came in a kit- form was a set of coasters that resembled pinwheels. What baffled me most about these coasters was the fact that you could tuck your hand into the coaster, and I couldn’t quite figure out how they had done it. My aunt and I “ooohh”-ed and “aaahhh”-ed over these coasters for quite a while when one of the other women looking around told us that they were pretty easy to make, and that the pattern has been around for a long time. I asked her if she knew what the name of the pattern might be, because I wanted to look it up later on. She didn’t know the name of the pattern, but offered to show us how to make them instead! My aunt picked out a kit she was going to buy, and the woman opened it up and pulled out the pieces for one coaster. Each coaster apparently takes five squares of fabric, all the same size. (I made mine using 5″ squares.)

And here’s what we learned:

To make the top of the coaster, you fold and iron four squares of fabric in half so that they are triangles with the “right side” (aka the side of the fabric that the colors or images can be seen best on) are facing out. If you want to have the patterns be directional, make sure you check that they all go the same way before you press the fabric. These triangles will then be overlapped to form a square. (Notes: Each of the triangles has a 90 degree angle, that will be the corners of your square. Also keep in mind that once it is laid out, each triangle will be laying half on top of, and half below, another triangle.)

The fifth square is then placed on top of (or below, depending on your sewing preference) the four overlapping triangles with the right side of the fabric facing the triangles. Then, sew around the square leaving no spaces! There is NO HAND SEWING INVOLVED. After I am finished sewing, I flip it over to make sure I didn’t miss any edges of the fabric. To turn the project so that the right sides are all facing out (and to cover the stitches) just poke your fingers through the middle of the overlapping squares and pull the back out through there. Make sure all your corners are pushed out, and iron again.

And then you are done!

Part of what I love about this project is that I do not have to sew anything by hand after turning it inside out. I also love the fact that these are super quick and easy to make. For the first set of these that I had made, I used some pre-cut 5″ fabric squares, so all I had to do was iron, lay them out, and sew. The evening I did the ones with the pre-cut fabric, I did the ironing and laid out the combinations I wanted, and managed to sew up eight coasters in about 45 minutes! (My timer was one episode of my current binge-watching show on Netflix!)

Be warned, however, that the cutting can take a long time! My mom had suggested that I make some coasters in my cousin’s wedding colors to go with the rest of the gift for their shower this weekend. The colors they have weren’t in any of the pre-cut packages, however, so I had to cut them myself… And I discovered I am not good at cutting squares. (I am blaming this fact solely on my small cutting mat and the bad rotary cutter I attempted to use!) Thankfully, I had learned about a tool at quilt club that helped me to fix my wonky squares. And I’d say the coasters were a pretty good success. My cousin passed one of them around the circle for a bunch of people to look at and figure out how they were made, and a few people asked if they were fancy handkerchiefs for the wedding!

And here they are! Last week, I made 19 coasters, and one mini pot-holder (top right). The eight blue and gray coasters on the left and right of the picture were for my cousin, and the other coasters will either be for me or family and friends for Christmas. The pot-holder is really small, but it was mainly a test to see if an idea my mom had would actually work or not!

IMG_20170615_1947180_wm

Clay Questions

Hello, everyone! Recently, I have been talking about some of the things that I have sort of wanted to do since I started learning how to crochet. (Trust me, if you want so many ideas that you cannot possibly do them all, consider joining a Facebook group that features your favorite craft. Sooo many options!) One of these items that I have seen people use a lot is hooks that have been wrapped in clay to make them more ergonomic. There are many creators who sell their hooks online, but this is another item that I thought I would like to try doing myself.

As I started gathering the supplies to do this project, I was also thinking of making my own yarn bowl out of clay (this was before I had the opportunity to paint my own), so I had purchased a large block of air-dry clay. However, I couldn’t find much information about using this kind of clay for projects like the ones I had in mind. Because of that fact, I started compiling a list of questions I had in regards to this project. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I will be able to get myself some answers for these questions when I make my air dry clay hooks.

  1. How does air-dry clay compare to oven-dry clay for hooks?
  2. Can you color/ dye air-dry clay? (Because most air-dry clay only comes in white.)
  3. Will the air-dry clay hook crumble over time?
  4. Does air-dry clay feel dusty(?) when it dries?
  5. Will air-dry clay leave any kind of residue on my yarn?
  6. How do the clay hooks compare to the adjustable ergonomic handle that I have?

I made a set of oven-dried clay hooks a couple weeks ago. So far, I have not used them much because the one I have tried felt like I might have accidentally done the clay too close to the hook. (Granted, I did not take them on vacation with me.) BUT, make sure you keep an eye out for an update about my questions on the air-dry clay, and a more in depth view of how the oven-dried clay hooks are working out for me. These will be coming up in the next few weeks or so once I have had a chance to use those specific hooks a bit more!

Perler Beads

One thing that I have enjoyed doing since I was a kid is creating things out of perler beads. (If you don’t recognize the name “perler beads”, you might recognize them as “melty beads”.) Children often use perler beads to make colorful shapes (hearts, stars, circles, etc) and use an iron to melt the beads together. A few years ago, I rediscovered the glory of these meltable beads, and realized how much you can actually do with them! One of the things that I made was a large Repunzel for one of my friends’ birthday, which I finally found the pictures for—look at her and how pretty she is!

 Repunzel

I also had started a Mary Poppins, but did not end up finishing her, due to the fact that her umbrella had some stability issues. Then I took some of my perler beads off to college with me. That semester, I made a Chip (from Beauty and the Beast) and some other designs. And when I met Sir Shmuzzy (my boyfriend), I made him a set of things that are Star Wars related, later on I even made him some South Park characters.

Chip

 GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Now I am breaking out my perler beads to make some other things for Sir Shmuzzy. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen the pictures of what was done to the first perler beads that I made for him (if you don’t know, he recently framed them to make them look fancy, a picture of them now is on my Facebook Page). Doing this gave him an idea for something that he would like for his future office/gaming room, so he asked if I could make a bunch of his favorite NES characters out of perler beads. All of the characters he wanted are the 8-bit versions, with specific poses. Here was his list:

  • From Super Mario Bros 3:
    • Small Mario
    • Bowser
    • Fire Mario
    • Peach
    • Super Luigi
    • Super Mario
    • Tunuki Mario
    • Raccoon Mario
    • Frog Mario
    • Hammer Mario
  • From Duck Hunt:
    • Dog
    • Duck
  • From Bubble Bobble
    • Bub

    • Bob
  • Others:
    • Kirby
    • Link
    • Scrooge McDuck
    • Seamus (in suit)
    • Little Mac
    • Excite Bike Guy (doing a wheelie)
    • Yoshi

I have a lot of work ahead of me on this project, and I have all the patterns figured out, but this week I am travelling with family, so I am hoping to start them next week or the week after!

Mermaid Tails

Hello everyone! Now, technically, I crossed mermaid tails off of my resolution list in January and February, when I had made four mermaid tails for a Valentine’s Day order for my sister- in- law’s family. Here they are if you haven’t seen them!

 18697608_1439310892792387_1036079023_o

Anyways, I also REALLY wanted to make one for myself, because they work up so fast and they are great as a lap blanket. I started working on one for myself in March, but then I ran out of one of my yarn colors… and then my family came to town for my cousin’s wedding… and then I got sidetracked by some other projects and things… BUT NOW!! I am proud to say that I am finally finished with my own mermaid tail, and this is the third item I can check off of my resolution list! Here it is!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Mother’s Day Gift!

 

Hello everyone! Happy WEDNESDAY! I know I typically only post Works In Progress on Wednesdays, but today isn’t just any Wednesday! Today is the Wednesday that MY MOM IS COMING TO VISIT! I am super excited to show you all what I made for her for Mother’s Day (now that she will be getting it), and I am even MORE excited to show it to her!! (Can you tell I’m excited?!) Anyways, at the beginning of March I shared a flower washcloth on my Facebook page, which I had just finished and have been using as a “coaster” for my essential oil diffuser. Here is a picture of it if you missed it:

 

Happiness

 

Almost immediately after posting this image on Facebook I received a text from my mom asking if I could make her a few with different colored centers and white petals. Being an awesome daughter, I told her OF COURSE I CAN. (An excuse to go buy yarn, yay!) Then I asked if she had any idea in mind as to how many and/or what colors. You guys, I will not lie, I think she was already working on answering this question before I even asked because her response time was SUPER FAST. She wanted six flowers, with the centers being turquoise, lime green, pink, yellow, lavender, and orange. At the point when this conversation occurred, the local Walmart had a sad looking supply of cotton yarn (it has recently gotten much better, anyone else noticed this?), so I had a nice excuse to go to JoAnn’s and purchase FIVE balls of cotton yarn when I visited Sir Shmuzzy a week later!

 

The flower washcloths are really easy to make using this pattern from Ravelry, and they don’t take very long at all. I decided to pace myself working on them so that I wouldn’t get burnt out and stop after only a couple. I started out by making all of the centers of the different colors in a day or so, and then made my goal to do one or two per week (in addition to my other crafty goals for the week). Some weeks I did more than planned, but this way I didn’t feel like I was abandoning one project for another for too long.

 

In addition to the flowers, I found this great card that really sums up my mom and I’s relationship well, so I added it in with the coasters and laid them out for my mom in the room she was staying in when she comes to visit today!

18676726_1437314392992037_304507164_o

Here it is all laid out on her bed!

18675111_1437314242992052_1743179432_o

Planner Pages

Hi all! I will have another post on Wednesday to show you what I made for my mom for Mother’s Day, but I wanted to quickly share something with you all today!

You all know that I have been working on my own planner pages, and I wanted to make some to print out to speed up making my own planner, and because it’s easy to alter whenever I need to! Making a printable planner page also allows for me to add in things that I didn’t have space for when making my own pages.

In my hand drawn planner, I had two pages. One of these pages contains information over each day on it, and the other page included my weekly overview with goals and other things to do, as well as an area to keep track of my water and vitamin intake. For the printable version, I made two pages, one with two half sheets of the weekly overview, and the other with two half sheets of the days of the week information on it. I decided to do it this way so that I could print out a bunch of pages with one page on one side and the other page on the other side. (My printer actually messed up and tried to print out over 100 copies of the first page. Thankfully I only had about 30 pages in the tray, and when it ran out I pressed the cancel button. Then I just turned the pages over and let the second page print on all of them until they ran out too. So now I have over 60 planner pages once they were all cut in half!)

I bought this seven hole punch to last year to make pages for my 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ binder and zippered planner. This hole punch made it really easy to punch holes and place all the pages in my mini binder after cutting them all in half. Now when I open my mini binder to a specific week, I can see both overview and daily information pages at the same time, which I really love!

PrintedPreview

On these sheets, I also added one of my favorite inspirational quotes from one of my favorite TV shows, “It is the struggle itself that is most important. We must strive to be more than we are. It does not matter that we will never reach our goal. The effort yields its own rewards.” -Commander Data (Star Trek The Next Generation episode The Offspring). I love this quote because it shows how even if we work hard and don’t get the results we wanted, we still gain something out of that hard work.

OH! Last minute add to explain the left sheet (the “Weekly Overview”): the reason I have a “Goals” and a “To Do”, is because I use one as the items I would like to get done that week and the other is my list of crafty things that I want to do that week. Also, the blank 8 x 3 grid is for me to track my vitamins and/or whatever I know I’ve been bad about taking lately and the grid above it is to make sure I am getting enough water, it helps me keep myself accountable for those types of things. And finally, the B BF WIP TBT FF is where I track if I have posted and/or scheduled a post for different aspects of my Miss Fuzzy’s Facebook page.

Anyways, here is the planner page printables: Weekly Overview001 and DailyInformation001

My Yarn Bowl

Something that I have sort of wanted since I started crocheting was a fancy yarn bowl. In fact, it was one of the things I considered to be MAJOR on my craft resolutions list. There are tons of really cool ones online, and I have seen one or two in real life, but none of them were quite my style. I started looking into how to make your own, or finding places that I could go to paint one, when I remembered the Workspace on the Iowa State campus! The Workspace is a craft area where students can go to paint their own pottery (they have a kiln) and work on other projects that might require larger tools. While on campus with my boyfriend one day, I took a small detour down to the workspace to see if they had yarn bowls and how much they cost. (Total honesty here, I was kind of surprised that they had yarn bowls, and even more surprised that when I went to actually paint my yarn bowl that they only had one left!)

Before I went to the Workspace to paint my yarn bowl, I planned out what I might want for my design. First I decided that I wanted the theme of my bowl to be Star Trek, since I have already painted a Star Wars related cup (go see it on my Facebook page, it was my throwback for last week), and because Star Trek: The Next Generation is one of my favorite things to watch while I crochet. After deciding on the theme for my bowl, I started looking for quotes from the show that I might want to include. The list of quotes could go on and on, but the list I took with me included:

  • “Flair is what makes the difference between artistry and mere competence.” (Commander William Riker, “Time Squared”)
  • “I could be pursuing an untamed ornithoid without a cause.” (Commander Data, “Data’s Day”)
  • “I would be delighted to offer any advice I can on understanding woman. When I have some, I’ll let you know.” (Captain Picard, “In Theory”)
  • •”Life’s true gift is the capacity to enjoy enjoyment.” (Lwaxana Troi, “Cost of Living”)
  • “It is the struggle itself that is most important. We must strive to be more than we are. It does not matter that we will never reach our ultimate goal. The effort yields its own rewards.” (Commander Data, “The Offspring”)
  • “That’s the wonderful thing about crayons. They can take you more places than a starship.” (Guinan, “Rascals”)

Many of these quotes I chose because they either made me smile or they spoke to me in some ways. The two quotes that I chose are underlined above. The first one is a quote that I really enjoy (haha, see what I did there?); the second one is from my absolute FAVORITE episode because not only does Picard throw a temper tantrum, but I also love this quote because Guinan is so wise and insightful. I also added a small “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” on my bowl because it is definitely one of the most well known Next Generation quotes, in addition to being one of the quotes my boyfriend suggested.

After printing out and selecting the quotes I wanted to use, I found a picture of the Starfleet Command logo that I printed out and used as a guide to paint Command logos on my yarn bowl. I ended up drawing four of these, two of which I colored in red for command, and one each of yellow (operations) and blue (sciences and medical).

Let me know what you think of my yarn bowl! I am so excited about it! And now, I get to drink some tea (earl grey, hot) while crossing another item off of my resolution list!

 

Planner Update

Happy Monday, everyone! Remember how I was having my planner problems a few weeks ago? I thought I should give you an update on that. I have been using the planner pages that I posted and am about halfway through the pages already made. So far, I have been enjoying using my hand drawn planner! Here it is at the beginning of the week, look at how clean and pretty the pages are:

And here it is when the week is over (I blurred it out a bit because it’s so messy):

The only downside to this is that I don’t care much for the fact that the spacing is not always consistent when I draw it out. This is something that won’t be a problem when I start using the printer friendly version that I have been working on.