Sunday, May 13, 2012

A New Look

  It never hurts to update things and make them a little more attractive.  Today is the day for this blog.  I had the opportunity to change the look a little and hopefully make it a little more attractive and easier to read and find things that you might be looking for.  I hope you like the new look.  Stay tuned because more great crafts, knitting projects, and events are coming soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day of Caring=Day of Knitting Love

  WOW!  When was the last time something went better than your wildest dreams?  This year's United Way Day of Caring Knit-In brought in more people than we expected and we were thrilled they were all there.  We knitted caps, booties, blankets, and prayer shawls and had a blast of a time.  Taking over the showroom at Lumberton Chevrolet I am not sure all the sales people knew what was going on with yarn, needles, hooks, and patterns flying everywhere.  Not only did we have a great turn out for the knit-in but we had a pile of items that were donated.  More are still coming in and all have to be tagged.  Thank you to everyone who came out to knit and donated items.  Especially those first timers who had never knitted before and are now knitting wizards.  Stay tuned for the final tally and check out our knit in page on Facebook.
  The United Way Day of Caring also involved other projects from around the county.  Projects ranged from landscaping to wheelchair ramps building and even a huge canned food drive.  To learn more about the Day of Caring check out this article in the Robesonian.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Getting Ready for a Day of Caring

  Tis the night before the Second Annual Robeson County Knit In and I can't think of a thing to rhyme with this.  Truth is I've been busy getting a head start to make sure we have lots of baby caps, and booties to share with little babies this year.  Using my knitting loom (yes I realize this is a little like cheating but it is so fast and easy and the caps are so cute) I whipped out a 4-H green hat.  The one thing I have learned is that thicker yarn is better when it comes to the loom.  Since I knocked out this cute little cap I decided, like babies a second should be on the way.  I  picked a more baby like yarn for the next cap.  It too is machine washable and will work for a boy or girl.  It is white, fluffy with pick and blue specks all around.
  Both caps will be part of the items collected as part of the 2nd Annual Robeson County Knit In which was created as part of the United Way Day of Caring.  Each year the United Way holds a day where industries volunteer manpower to help families in need and nonprofits with a host of projects ranging from building wheelchair ramps to painting buildings.  For the second year running a group of us will meet at a predesignated location (Lumberton Chevrolet this year) to knit our hearts out.  Knitters and non knitters are welcome we will add some lessons and lots of looms to our list of supplies.  So if you would like a day of knitting come on out to Lumberton Chevrolet starting at 9 am tomorrow and we will help you make neat and awesome items that will be donated to either the Cancer Center (for adult items) or Southeastern Regional Medical Center (for babies).  Last year we had about 100 items donated and hope to exceed that this year.  Any questions give Margaret Crites a call at the Robeson County Rape Crisis Center.  You can also follow us on Facebook at Robeson County's Second Knit-In.  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stretched Out Over this Craft

  Pinterest.  Need I say anything else?  This is where this idea came from and once again it looked so easy I had to try it.  I bought a two dollar vase in case I completely screwed this up, rubber bands from the grocery store, and grabbed the etching cream that stays in the craft closet for occasions such as this.
This is a three step craft.  The first step is to place rubber bands on the vase in a random pattern.  The more they cross each other, the more unequal they are, the better.  If you have varying widths of rubber bands the more unique the design as well.
Next I covered the entire vase in etching cream and let it stand for about 10 minutes.  I was very careful about gently applying the cream so as not to disrupt the rubber bands and mess up the possible design.
Lastly I rinsed the vase in water and let it dry.  The effect is not as bold as if I had used a frosted spray paint on the vase but I admit I like that it has a modern, one of a kind look, that does not bash you across the head. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Hot Project!

I have to admit something. I have, thanks to a co-worker discovered a site that makes my craftiness go off the charts. The site is called Pinterest, it is a virtual bulletin board that allows you to pin anything you like to it and repin what others pin. It is the mecca of crafts, humor, food and anything that you can think of. My new found site has me a little excited, in just a week's time it appears that I have pinned about 900 items. Of course with the intent to make or experience all of the items I pin. So craft item number one (number 2 on the overall pinning list-number one is on my cake blog) was something that pulled in several people from my office for craft therapy and research. The project, crayon art.
No we are not coloring with crayons, well not in the traditional way.  All you have to do is hot glue crayons (with or without paper) to a canvas. Then you take a hair dryer and turn up the heat pointing the air stream at the crayons and let the fun melting begin.  Those are the instructions I had so needless to say I have come up with a few tips.
My first piece was one of those trial and mostly error pieces. Being a 4-H Agent I thought I would be extra creative and tape off a section of the canvas to say 4-H and only melt green crayons. Unfortunately the heat of the melting wax and the strength of the blow dryer blew the tape off the canvass drastically effecting this experiment.  I also staggered the crayons on this top.  Now I know, The more crayons pasted at the top the better. Most importantly, you need to tilt your canvas while you are blow drying the crayons so that they melt in a downward pattern and don't splatter across the canvas.
As my co-workers worked the project we found out a couple of other interesting tips. Crayola Crayons work better than off brand crayons (more color less wax). Also taking the paper off and gluing the crayons straight to the canvas allows for a neater design. Use less crayon if you want a small drip pattern and you can also allow for a hand painted design in the white space when you get done. Also if you move the dryer across the entire canvas melting all the crayons at once versus one section and then another you get a smoother design. It does take some patience to melt the crayons and make the drip pattern fairly even. Overall you end up with a really neat design. My co-workers are now working on a circle and heart patterns as well.

If you would like to see more of my future crafting projects on Pinterest feel free to e-mail me with your e-mail address and I will be happy to send you an invite to the website.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Volunteering to Burn Up a Table

As many of you know crafting and cakes are my hobby and I have a day job. Fortunately my day job allows me a creative outlet on many days. Every February we have a state conference for 4-H volunteer leaders. It is a great chance for the volunteers to receive training, network, and they raise funds for the Volunteer Leaders Association. As part of the fundraising there are basket raffles, a country store and on the last night an auction. This year the district we are in is holding the auction, and I have a tradition of making sure there is something in the auction that will hopefully fetch $100 or more. This year I am unable to bring a really big item so I am making a table with the new 4-H logo on it.
I am starting with a round that I purchased at Lowes that is one inch thick and has a 15 inch diameter. Then I printed the logo from the computer and traced it with a good old fashioned piece of carbon paper under it. With the logo traced and in place it was time to start wood burning. That took a bit of patience with all the words in the new logo. A few hours later I had the entire logo burned in. I have to admit I took a couple of breaks because the wood burning iron got a bit hot, too hot to handle almost. After debating for a bit I took a paint pen to outline the words but the paint started to run. After giving it time to dry, a little sanding block allowed me to almost erase some of the run off paint. I chose to fill in the rest of the lettering with the paint pen but not outline it so it would not run causing the letters to run together.

With the green line and clover finished, it was time to let it dry. Then a few coats of polyurethane that allowed the wood to darken and have a nice sheen. After it was all dry it was time to attach three

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dish Cloth Mania

In earlier blogs I mentioned how my dishcloth stockpile has been completely depleted. Now it is time to knit like a crazy woman and start the stockpile again for another craft show. I made sure to buy extra cotton yarn so I could get started. These are very popular because they are green (people use them and throw them in the washing machine, then they can reuse them), and the ridges in the dishcloth are great picker uppers. The cotton yarn means they are gentle enough not to scratch anything but they are also strong and will last a long long time. The ones shown here are done in white and swimming pool blue.
It only takes a couple of hours to make one. The pattern is quite simple, and it's fun because you are knitting from one corner to another. Use the size needles as suggested on the yarn. Cast on four stitches and knit the first row. The second row knit two, yarn over one, then knit to the end of the row. Repeat row two until you have the width you want (anywhere from 30-40 stitches, I like mine big so I use 40 stitches). When you get to the desired halfway point it is time to decrease the stitches. Knit one, knit two together, yarn over one, knit two together, then knit to the end of the row. Repeat this until you have four stitches left. Cast off and tuck in your ends. Voila-dishcloth. Simple and easy. I charge a dollar per dishcloth when I am selling them. Happy knitting.