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Crafty Time!

Just a quick note, I’m so happy to announce that I’ll be selling some of my crochet and candlework at the Lacey United Methodist Church flea market Saturday, July 21. I’m looking forward to a great day and to meeting some fun and interesting people.

Blog visitors who are looking for further information can contact me at jchinique@yahoo.com, thanks!

psst

“psst…tell a friend!”

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On My Hook

Baby blanket I am making for my son’s teacher, who is due back from maternity leave next month. I’m not sure how much bigger to make it – it’s about 32 inches square before blocking. Does anyone prewash their baby/cotton items in Woolite or Dreft? I’m also trying to figure out how to finish the edges, I don’t know if a picot or shell would be too much, considering it’s five colors, including the variegated.

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Kitchen Sink Soapmaking

I picked up a melt and pour soap kit at the thrift shop a while back; it’s been sitting on the floor of my bathroom closet waiting for me to become inspired. I made these while the kids were playing this morning after breakfast.

"clear" glycerine soap block

I popped some chunks of the clear glycerine base into a glass measuring cup and microwaved it in short, 10 second bursts until it was liquid. First up on the menu was the lemon bar. I’d had lemon extract sitting in my spice cabinet since I bought it by mistake 6 years ago. I think I’ve used it twice since then. Very strong, with a pungent lemon scent. (Not at all Pledge-like.) The few drops of yellow food color I added next were a bit too much in retrospect (my boys and I came to the conclusion that the foamy yellow liquid looked a little too familiar, if you know what I mean…) A little zested rind of a lemon added just the right touch of visual interest.

Cinnamon toast was next – starting with some vanilla extract and ending up with two bars – I added additional product because the brown got very dark and I wanted to be able to see the bits of sugar and cinnamon through the clear soap. These took the longest to dry and distorted the plastic molds a bit when I neglected to let the hot mixture cool a bit before pouring it.

There was still a bit of vanilla-y brown left over so I tried something similar, this time with “exfoliating” coffee grounds and a bit of A&W root beer ice cream topping, because, why not? It’s my 10 year old’s favorite.

Cinnamon Toast, Lemon Zest and Orange Lychee

I did a quick search for some internet soap recipes and found that you can add baking soda as a skin softener. That coupled with some red made a a nice muted pink; and I was thinking of pulling some rosewater out of the upstairs vanity when I found peach fragrance oil packaged with the kit. Unfortunately, the baking soda precipitated to the bottom and caused cracking when I de-molded the soap. (The root beer stuck as well – I’ll definitely use some type or release agent – Pam? – next time.)

Peach Fizz and Root Beer

By now I’m just about done and the natives are getting restless, so I finish up the last bit of pink with some OJ from the fridge (no pulp!) and raid the spice rack again to find an appropriate match for it. No cardamom, and orange-clove smells too much like autumn for me. I guess I could have tried ginger, but I love the look of the black lychee tea leaves suspended inside the orange bar.

I’m definitely going to try some of these again. One of the molds was hexagon shaped and begging to be turned into a milk-honey-almond bath bar. Making soap was a lot easier than I thought, and the kids were able to help a bit too. These will be nice to go along with hand-crocheted washcloths and spa items for gifts or craft shows.

For now though, I’ve got a sink full of dishes to wash. And these delicious smells are making me hungry!

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Halloween Craft Ideas for Kindergarteners

I agreed to do a craft for my youngest’s school party , and they were pretty much covered as far as juice boxes and munchkins (the theme is “Halloween Breakfast”.) It needs to be something quick and easy, plus not messy. So I dug through some supplies in my “studio” and found some large jingle bells.

I figure I can paint them orange at home and have the kids string them onto green or brown yarn/ribbon along with some felt or foam leaves. I probably need to do a test run with my 5 year old at home to see how easy it’s gonna be. Maybe they can crayon a face onto it if there’s time.

Idea two is to have them poke cloves into some clementines and make a nice “pumpkin face” sachet. I think it’s kinda cool because there’s a lot for the senses, the scent of oranges and having to manipulate the cloves. It’s all natural materials, which of course is a plus to me, but the messiness factor may be an ugh to the other moms.

It’s tomorrow morning – what would you do?

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Some Crochet Links for October 2008

Political Puppets by Lion Brand Yarn
Free pattern for each candidate.

10 Gift Ideas For Crochet Lovers

Rachel gets crochet inspiration whilst window shopping.
From her free pattern site.

A Matched Set
Spanish language blog featuring photos of women posed with their dogs and wearing garments spun from pet hair.

Martin makes a crocheted ring bracelet.

Another great holiday (or anytime!) gift idea, Crocheted Nesting Bowls at the design blog Apartment Therapy. Look for the diy links in the comments section.

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Bunny Links Multiplied

On the heels of my “Stripes the Long-Earred Bunny” post, I’ve noticed that I have been lucky enough to be the landing strip for a lot of searches for a crocheted bunny pattern. Unluckily, however, for anyone else, I didn’t have any patterns posted. So, seeing dozens across the net of late, I now present a compilation of “hare” raising pattern links for you floppy, loppy bun lovers.

bunnynaidasmolly.jpg Naida’s Crochet has a PDF for “Molly” on Etsy

donationbunnies.jpgbunlavenderbrowncraftster.jpg

Several versions of the Lavender Bunny on craftster are based on this one, available for free from Sara Binns

bunlionbrand.jpg Lion Brand has a free Best Bunny on their website

bunfluffywibit.jpg Craftster’s Wibit posted a free super-cute fluffy bunny

bunny_smallaikokats.gif Katcrochet has a free PDF for a bunny named Aiko

bunflopsyepatterns.jpg “Flopsy” and friends for sale on E-Patterns Central

bundarncatetsy.jpg Darncat also has an Etsy pattern (amigurumi style)


Thank you for flying Bunway Airlines.

bunway.gif

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Growing the Snake

New toy made at the request of my 3 year old; he’s very happy with it so far. I’ve sewn in the eyes and tongue, and have been stuffing it as I go.

The whole thing is crocheted in the round, pattern from Yarncat. I originally saw it at Dot’s Crochet a few months ago.

 

I’m trying to keep it a little soft and mushy so he can bend it. I could probably still manage to get some armature wire or pipe cleaners in there to shape it. That’s a stitch marker behind the head, it’s supposed to go on for 100 rounds. We’ll see. I’ll work on 5 or 6 rows before I get bored and put it down for a (too) long while. On the upside though, I did just find out that I can single crochet -in the dark- at the movies!

I love the way the variegated is making a spiral camoflauge pattern. The yarn is Red Heart super saver in “Sage Mary”. I may change the face, possibly move the eyes down and add a goofy smile.

He wants me to make him a dragon after this.

 

 

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