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!

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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!

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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:

 

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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!

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Here it is all laid out on her bed!

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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!

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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.

Plarn: The Tutorial

It’s Monday again, everyone! Last week, I had talked about plarn and the people who have been using it to make mats for the homeless. After writing the post, I realized that there was something I wasn’t sure of. How many bags does it take to make a sleeping mat for a homeless person? I have been cutting up plastic bags and have lost count of how many I’ve cut up, but I knew it wasn’t enough. Instead of Googling the answer, I went back to trusty ol’ Facebook to ask if anyone had made some. Two people responded to my inquiry. One woman said that the last ball she had made had 200 bags worth of plarn, cut up into thin strands, which made 2 1/2 mats! Another woman said that in one mat she makes, it takes about 400 bags. So in total honesty, it depends on how thinly you cut the bags. Now, as promised, I’ll show you how to start making your own plarn!

First things first, gather up your plastic bags! If you are like me, you probably have a stash somewhere, with a large amount of crumpled plastic bags. I like to lay out my plastic bags in a pile and try to place a heavy book or something on them to get them flat, because that makes things easier for me. While doing this, I also check for bags with holes, because we can’t have holes in the bags, or else this plarning method won’t work. For the tutorial’s sake, I’m only doing one bag. (But to be honest, there’s a whole pile being flattened in my room right now!)

 

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Step One: Lay the bags out!

 

Our second step is to take the bag, and fold it. Make sure you fold multiple times, this helps so that you do not have as much cutting per strip to do. Notice in the bag below how the handles are together and the part at the bottom of the bag (where the bag is kind of sealed together) are folded in on themselves. This is important for the next step!

 

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Step Two: Fold!

 

Now, we are going to cut off the handles of the bag, and the bottom of the bag that is sealed closed. Try not to cut too much of the rest of the bag off with these areas, so that you are not wasting the part of the bag that can be used for the plarn. Also, keep in mind that you can recycle these parts of the bag! If you were to open the main part of this bag right now (you could, but I don’t because cutting is easier if it is still folded up), you get a loop of plastic bag.

 

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Step Three: Cut off ends of the bag!

 

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Step Three: Cut off ends of the bag!

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Step Three: Cut off ends of the bag!

Now that you have your plastic bag loop, cut it into one- to two- inch strips. This creates smaller plastic bag loops. Other ways you could do this would be to skip the folding from step two and use a cutting mat with a rotary cutter (or even a pizza cutter, according to one of the responders to my plarn inquiry on Facebook) to cut the ends and these strips as well.

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Step Four: Cut into Plastic bag loops.

Finally, we are going to tie the bags together. The best way I have seen for this is to lay the loops overlapping (as seen in Step Four: Photo A) and pull one loop through itself (as seen in Step Four: Photo B) to create a knot. Just make sure you do not pull too hard once the knot is made, because that may stretch the plastic and make the plarn thinner.

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Step Four: Photo A

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Step Four: Photo B

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Step Four: Photo C, Knot

Continue step four until you have enough plarn to start, and add more loops as you go along.

 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, happy plarning!!