Monster Purse (shaped) Threaders

Over on the TAST Facebook group our faithful leader Sharon from Pintangle posted a question the other day asking for our stitching confessions. It was such a great question and really got quite a response! The most common confessions ranged from stitching things other than the fabric being worked, to our work (corners of the fabric, finger calluses, pant legs, even hair!) to spitting to thread a needle… and everything in between.

I must “confess”, I continue to do these two things on a regular basis, as well as a myriad of other confessions on the board. I found myself chuckling and mentally saying “yep, me too!” over and over throughout the course of the day. The most discussed confession was definitely the spitting threading technique. Some say it’s no big deal, other women recounted tales of Aunts and Grandmothers tsking them for this supposedly improper technique and teaching them the “proper” one instead.

I will say threading a needle is tricky at best, at worst it is a downright impossible feat that may reduce you to a puddle of tears.

Soon you find yourself bleary eyed, desperately seeking reprieve from your threading woes…

anyone will do, you say…

your spouse  …who is out-of-town, convenient.

your live in elderly parent… with eyesight worse than yours. Can she even see the needle??

the 4-year-old you’re baby sitting for the evening… who’s mother has a phobia of letting her handle sharp objects, and up until this moment you could completely understand the logic of this phobia… but she seems so reasonable with other toys, you say…and now you begin considering the logic of that silly rule, just this once.

the next door neighbor… after you desperately explain 3 times you are not trying to sell them anything you just need this needle threaded… what? a needle? never heard of it,  while slamming the door in your face. ..

perhaps your cat…. who continues to lick his paws giving you a look of complete disdain for the depth of which you have allowed yourself to sink.

Wait?

What?

That’s never happened to you?

Hmm…  just me then, alright.

Well for some of us… it’s moments like these when you may find yourself in need of your very own Monster Purse Shaped Threader!

The one post that inspired this particular crafting adventure is found here. (I just love Wild Olive and all the fun inspirational and informative posts Mollie puts up on her blog!)

Since AJM and I have been working on embroidery samplers we’ve been having some needle threading issues of our own. When I presented the DIY Monster Purse shaped threader idea, she was very excited.

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They were both very excited for craft time!

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Though she didn’t quite understand exactly how it worked, she had faith that I was leading her in the right direction. We picked out some materials, based on Mollie’s suggestions (and based on what we had in the house) and got to work.

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Here you can see we’ve got some 32 gauge craft wire, Felt sheets cut into a few pieces, various colours of embroidery floss strands, large blunt needle for hole punching and our mini glue gun!

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We followed the basic instructions over at Wild Olive. First we folded the felt and poked some holes in the center.

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Even BAM helped!

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Then spent a half hour embroidering our big felt pieces.

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Finally we assembled our monster purse shaped threaders!! I did this by putting a little hot glue along the inside and pressing the wrong sides together, like a sandwich with one closed end. I added a little hot glue on the metal wire, where it is inside the felt sandwich and on the openings where the wire loop comes out of the felt.

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Yep, it’s hard to tell who’s cuter… the threader or the model.

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Well I suppose it’s time to hang them up and move on to dinner!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you buy something other than what is in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you  shop by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

 

TAST – #1 Fly Stitch

I started following along with the embroidery stitch TAST challenge over at Pintangle last week!

I am doing mine in square inch format, known as “Inchies”, and working each stitch daily. My oldest daughter, AJM,  is also doing the challenge, but in the weekly form. Every Sunday, she’ll start a new stitch. I’m making her sampler each week, by drawing out (in pencil) some different pattern with that weeks stitches. I’ll be including a small combination pattern with the previous week(s) stitches as we progress into week 2. I think this will help her learn how to use her new and old stitches together.

I will post my corresponding  inchie along with her weekly sampler once a week on Sunday or Monday for your viewing pleasure! I’ll include pictures of the previous weeks completed sampler as well!

Without further ado, may I share our “Fly Stitch” for stitch number 1!

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AJM seems to really enjoy embroidery. She spent a few minutes after dinner working on her sampler! Even BAM (my 3 year old daughter) sits next to us with her big needle and plastic stitch mat. It’s a lot of fun!

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Introducing my Inchies!

Alright in honour of my new found need to be creative and learn stuff, I’m starting an embroidery sampler of inchies!

I’ve divided up a cloth with square inch sections and decided to start in the center. The only rules I’m giving myself is I have to do an inch a day. I can repeat stitches if I want more practise or do a completely different stitch in each row. I’m not sure what will happen yet.

Today’s stitch was the basic straight stitch. I chose light green cotton embroidery floss and made a swirly square design, free hand sewn.

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What crafty things are you working on? How do you fit creativity into your schedule?

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This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

Curtains!

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Today we put up curtains in the girls rooms. It was no sew and super quick. Basically we took 3 pieces of fabric, measuring 2 yards each, a 1/2 pvc pipe, some screws, a saw and a drill. J measured the space across the room where we wqnted to hang them and cut the pipe. Then he screw the pipe into place, semi snug to the wall. Finally we put the fabric over the pipe and smoothed it along the pipe so it was even. Super simple and the girls love them!

**update**

I pulled the curtains down and sewed them up nicely! I ended up putting snaping loops along the top and hemming the bottom.  Then I added snapping curtain ties and attached them to one side so they wouldn’t get lost.  They’re so lovely! PhotoGrid_1428870207095

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Make it! Bug Bags

Woah Bug Bags!
Yeah, a sun is not a bug.

I suppose a frog is also not a bug.

But a ladyBUG is a bug, and a BEE is a bug, so we’re just gonna go with bug bags.

Plus that’s what the book we used for inspiration calls them…so…anywho.
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Let’s get our materials together!

  • Different colours of felt
  • Scissors
  • Washable Marker … yep, it rinses right off the felt, just run it under the tap and squeeze a few times, it also gets all over your fingers, don’t wipe your face when doing this project, until you’ve washed your hands. Trust me.
  • Shapes or Pictures… you want to make into fun bags. I started with two from the book (ladybug and frog) and then used a big circle and some freehand for the sun and bee.
  • Thread … I chose black and white, but if you like things to match, then match the colour thread to the piece that you are attaching
  • Sewing Device… I have a machine, but this can be done completely by hand using a straight stitch (in zigzag pattern), back stitch (around the body to close it up and attach the legs, arms, antennae, and handle, and the French knot (for the eyes)

First choose the shapes, bug or whatever you are going to create into a bag.  With a few simple shapes you can create an endless array of possible bugs.  Don’t like bugs, how about a sun? fish? butterfly?  Use your imagination and you will be amazed at what you come up with.

For this demonstration I will do a bee! This is in honour of my friend N and her “love” for bees. Okay maybe she doesn’t love bees… but maybe she’ll like this one for it’s colourful, stinglessness.

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Yep! That's my amazing "Bee" sketch

Draw out your pieces onto white paper.  One main body, one of each different leg, one atenna, one of each different wing, stinger, etc.  Generally I don’t draw basic shapes, that I will only need one of, onto white paper.  Eyes for example, I’ll just cut to small circles that closing match, right out of the fabric.
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Cut out the white paper shapes and trace onto your fabric colour of choice.  I let AJ pick out her colours for the bee, this got her excited about the project and gave us some quality hang out time.  If your child is old enough to use scissors, let them cut out some of the basic shapes that don’t necessarily need to be perfect.
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You will need to trace and cut the following from your fabric; one whole main body and two 3/4 main bodies (basically fold one end down about 1/4, creating a straight line and trace) eyes, legs/arms, other optional pieces (wings, antenna, tongue, and body decorations.)

Draw and cut out  a 2″ x 6″ rectangle for your bag handle. (you can make it longer and/or wider) 
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Take your two 3/4 body pieces and your main body piece and set aside all the other stuff for a bit.  Overlap the two 3/4 back body pieces so that they are the same size as the main body piece.  Fold over the overlapped part so that they are still 1/2 or so overlapped. 

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Pin them and run a stitch along the edge to secure it.  Pin the two pieces in place, double check they match the top piece, and sew the at the overlapped section, leaving the middle open. 
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Place your arms/legs and stinger so they point inward and pin.  Run a quick baste stich to hold them in place. Place your handle and pin, pointing inward.  Run a baste stitch to secure. Set finished back body piece aside.
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On main body piece, place, pin and attach eyes, decorations, wings and atenna.
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Finally pin your main body and bottom body, right sides facing each other.   Run a short length straight stitch (or backstitch) all the way around the entire body, closing it up.  Reminder to double check that all the pieces were tucked in, not out, so you don’t catch any legs or other pieces.
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Pull the inside of the bag out, through that open pocket and smooth out the edging so that it takes the right shape. Smooth out any quirky parts, by jabbing a pencil eraser end in there and pushing the edges out (like if you have a tail on your little creation).

Hand it over to the love of your life, those little cherubs, and bask in the smiling laughter that will ensue as they stuff all kinds of blocks, milk caps and crayons into that little bag over and over.
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Repeat process about a bazillion more times as the children have discovered your new found ability to make bags in a variety of designs and begin requesting all types of animals, bugs, objects, etc.

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Make it! Princess (or Prince, Queen, King, Empress, Emperor) Crowns

Today we made princess crowns.
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From this brown paper roll I have that we use for all kinds of crafty things, including making patterns for sewing!!
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But today it was all about princess crowns.
It was fun, quick and super easy.
All you need are a few simple items and you’re ready to give your daughters (or sons) a title of royalty. 
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Supplies!!

Items:
Paper (enough to make it all the way around the head, we cut ours a bit short and just used some scraps and tape to add length.)
Markers (preferably the washable kind!!)
Scissors
Tape
And any other sparkly things you think might made it more super, glitter, little beads, ribbons, string, etc…and of course some glue if you go that route.
We kept it simple with just markers….and crayons work just fine for those precious 2 year old fingers who want to just paint your entire house and their bodies with the markers, just when you aren’t prepared for that kind of madness.  I wasn’t, so I decorated it for her.
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First, if you are making two, cut down on time by folding your paper in half lengthwise and then in half widthwise.
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Draw half of the design on the paper.
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Cut it out along the lines.
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Open it up!  Then cut along the center line for the two crowns, so they can be detached.  Unless you have children who like to stand head to head and then they can just wear them together. 😉 Now, measure the child(ren)s head and adjust accordingly, by chopping off or adding paper. When you’ve got the correct length, take two pieces of tape and tape along the cut on the inside and outside, this makes it more durable.
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Now go ahead and pass those markers or crayons out and let the children decorate their hearts content.
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Blam! Done.  Now bequeath those titles, while you crown your newly Royale and go on with your day.
Have a beautiful day,
Dashaina

Clue #2
Easy Knit Choice B

Yep!

I’m going on to clue #2.

Clue #2 Here!!
Clue #2 Here!!

I made a mistake on the previous clue and ended up with two rows of blue….

Maybe I’ll keep that pattern, but I’m not crazy about it, I’ve been thinking about using different colours.

Anyway.

Today I moved on to clue #2. K and I decided to choose the same stitch again, choice B-Easy Knitting, Shingle Stitch. I chose brown this time . After downloading the video instructions for the stitch, I was ready to get started. Aurora joined me in watching the video and I followed along with my project.

Oooo... So nice!
Oooo… So nice!

By the end of the evening I’d completed 1 set and 4 rows.

Woo Hoo!

Yeah!!
Yeah!!

Looking forward to Clue 3 on Tuesday.

Have a crafty day!
Dashaina

Clue # 1
Beginner Knitting Option A

What to do?

When I looked through the choices under clue #1 I was presented with a few decisions….

Knit or Crochet? A,B or C?
Knit or Crochet? A,B or C?

First, would I crochet or would I knit?  Second, would I choose beginner, easy or intermediate?

Hmmm…After a brief consultation with my friend K online, we had decided we wanted to do this KCAL together.  So I picked Knitting and so did K!!  

While some of you may remember I’m a professional crocheted (yep! I’ve had a store online AND actually sold things I’ve made crocheted and sewn). This time after looking through all the choices, I decided I wanted to learn something new.  Knitting!  

A few years back (alright maybe 5ish years ago now), J’s mom aka Other Momma (to my girls), patiently sat on the patio of the Dome and taught me how to knit.  Since that time, I’ve completed one knitted project, which I blogged about at the time, for Aurora…which has since gone missing.  That being said, I felt it was time to focus and conquer my ridiculous fear of knitting.

Clue #1 , here we go!

I chose letter A (beginner knitting) under the knitting options of clue #1 and went to work.  I downloaded the four short videos accompanying the beginner section, casting on, knitting, purling, and .  I downloaded the pattern sheet and went in search of the needed supplies.For this project I would need a pair of MATCHING knitting needles around size 8 (I only found 6’s and they are working just fine), some yarn of worsted weight ( I stuffed a few colours in my bag and walked out of my closet, ended up picking green to start), a pair of scissors and a tape measure (thanks to O.M. I have a magnetic one now!).

I sat down on the couch during quiet time and began watching the video tutorials.  Starting with the cable cast on and (once mastered) moving through knitting and pulling.  Even Aurora came and watched those last two.  After which, I got opened the pattern and got started….seems to be going pretty well.  Even Aurora started her own “knotting” project.

Yeah we're knitting!!
Yeah we’re knitting!!

By the end of the day yesterday I was 5 sets in to clue #1 and getting a bit bored. Plus, let’s face it, I’m never going to wear a long scarf here, so I decided to make this more as a sampler of all the stitches I can learn.  So I’m thinking about what to do next.  

Halfway through Clue #1
Halfway through Clue #1

I completed 6 sets and finished off with 2 rows of the garter stitch (in blue) last night. Today I plan on watching the videos for the “easy” choice under clue 1 and either adding that, or starting another “sampler” of all “easy” stitches and then the same for all “intermediate” stitches”.  Then using them as wall art!

Now what colour do I want to choose?  

Hmmm….

Have a crafty day!

Dashaina

Mystery Knit/Crochet – A – Long
Introduction

Back at the beginning of August, I signed up for a mystery knit/crochet-a-long over at the Bernat website.  It stated that it would start in September and emails would be sent out when it began.  A month went by and I completely forgot about.

Then a yesterday I got an email stating “Clue #2” for the mystery KCAL.  I thought to myseff.  Weird, I don’t remember getting “Clue #1” and at the same time I thought.  Sweet! I had forgetten all about this awesome event.

So I spent the next 3 minutes looking through my trash bin in my email, and sure enough, it had been deleted by accident.  Oops!  I happily opened up the email and perused through the clue #1 and read the accompanying little story.  This looks like it’s gonna be sweet.

Let's Get Started!!
Let’s Get Started!!

Also, even if you are new to kniting or crocheting or both, have no fear! Bernat has created a wonderful tutorial video for every stitch they give us in the KCAL.  They videos are clear, concise and easy to follow along.  Even my daughters (4&2yr olds) sat captivated by the knitting instruction. Ha!

You don’t have to buy anything, you don’t even have to use any specific type/colour/size of anything.  Just pick a hook or needles up that you are familiar with and a pretty colour of worsted weight yarn and let’s get started.

Let the fun begin.

Have a beautiful day

Dashaina

Super Carrot & Adventures in B-Town

I made a crochet helmet today!  Then went up to b-town to visit A & S and their two lil’ guys, who are super cute and fun, anyway I showed A my hat and she loved it!  She had to have it right then and there, she asked me how much, I said $25 and she said sold!  So I sold my first hat today!  That was pretty exciting!  Okay well back to the rest of the day before b-town.  I hung out at the dome and crocheted all day, I made the hat and then one square for my shoulder shrug and I started a square for the baby blanket present I’m making. I made J some super tasty tortilla lunch, an apple, a banana and some animal cookies.  Then we had 2 burritos for pre-dinner snack.  We headed up to b-town around 5p and got there for dinner @6.  Dinner was mashed potatoes!! (our favorite) and steak (yumm-o), squash and salad.  It was all delicious.  Then I headed to shower before heading out and J went to play with the kids.  Then we all brushed our teeth together, me, J, A and her two guys.  It was a party in the bathroom!  It was cool though.  Then the lil’ dudes headed off to bed, but LP (the youngest one) was really wound up, so A just told him to run up and down the hall for a bit to wear himself out, and boy he did!  It was so funny, then he wandered into the room J and I are staying in and asked what I was doing, I was crocheting, he asked if he could watch and I said “sure, hop on up and you can sit next to me” and he sat there transfixed while I did double crochet after double crochet.  A came in a while later, after storytime was over, and asked LP to come get ready for bed and he negotiated with her for 5 more minutes so he could watch me crochet more, it was so sweet!  So he sat there for another 5 minutes and then off to bed.  Then J and I headed out to the chinese food place, we got there and it turns out they don’t have DESSERT on the menu.  All they had was green tea icecream or something lame like that!  J and I looked at each other, and he said “do you want to escape and go get dessert?” and I nodded vigorously and we made our apologies and off we went.  We headed down the road to the local Price Plopper and headed straight to bakery heaven, but I was so overwhelmed by all the tastiness to be had that I had to leave, empty handed.  Then we headed back to A & S’s house where we were sleeping over and played on computers and eventually headed off to sleepytime land…goodnite.