Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I dyed my own embroidery floss! Yes indeedy!

A couple weeks back I couldn't find the right color embroidery floss for a craftster swap project... looking for the right kind of gradient. Having had past tie dying experience this summer I thought why not try dying white embroidery floss with the tie dyes?

It worked like a charm you can see for yourself... just remember that color varies from monitor to monitor & I'm so thrilled with how it turned out!

For this project, I used the tulip one step tie dye kit in bright rainbow colors...following manufacturers instructions for mixing & preparing my work area just as I had when doing T-shirts.

I soaked the skeins of floss in the soda ash water mixture for over half an hour first... then spread it out on a protected card table. Rather than 'tying' the floss...I just dripped the color onto the areas I wanted...then popped the skeins into baggies for the color to set.
For some lighter...less saturated colors, I simply pressed fresh white floss onto a previously dyed skein as it lay on the table...& the colors came out softer looking as the dye was transferred.
If you dye your own floss too ...either using this method or another one, I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The wonderment of childhood... we could learn a lot from our kids

I'm going to try to blog more photos I've taken over the course of the summer... as there are some real gems that remind me of what it means to be a mom... & to take the time to stop & smell the flowers.

This was a very good day!

My son loves to pick flowers for me...even if they're only dandelions, I make such a fuss over them because I'd much rather have a fistfull of weeds that mean something... than 10 dozen roses that don't mean anything!

This is one of the joys of being a parent!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rice Pudding... Why make it from a box when it's so easy from scratch?

If you love rice, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg & don't have an aversion to milk... then you are going to LOVE this!

It's an old family ~ friend of the family you know it's good!

Rice Pudding

1 gallon milk
1 heaping Cup of uncle ben's rice... if you have river rice available...that is good too!
1.5 Cups sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
nutmeg... sprinkle in as you stir.... if you like nutmeg...use a lot...if not...use a little!

In a big pan heat up milk on medium heat.
Add sugar, rice, and vanilla...then stir a lot ~until you get tired & stir some more...adding in your nutmeg as you stir.
When it's all steamy & looking like it's about to get that thin 'skin' on top... pop it in the oven. Bake at 325 degrees... uncovered for about 2 - 2.5 hours or so. When the 'skin' on top is thick & bubbles up, then you know it's done!
Serve hot or cold with or without whipped cream! It's all good!


Why I Love Custom Creations...You Can't Beat Handmade!

Nothing beats making something special for someone to cherish.

I had a couple of custom orders lately that really meant so much for me to make. One custom order I'm wrapping up now is some of the cutest stuff I've ever made...for a special girl.
I'm going to call her my #1 fan because if she had the means, I'm sure she'd own one of everything in my etsy.

The item in the photos shown here is another custom order I was pleased to make for a special lady. It is a replica of my large breast cancer pink ribbon necklace...which I gave away here on my blog after my own personal scare.
This piece is done in a smaller scale.
I had to sculpt the center ribbon, as I didn't have any other charms that would fit the desired mold.
I'm very happy with how it came out...since I hadn't cast any of my sculpted pieces within resin before. To meet the deadline & get a good cast, I decided to make a few of these & let the lady pick the one she wanted. There are so many little things that could prevent it from coming out perfectly...such as bubbles, resin not setting up properly, & the embedded stuff shifting into a bad position. Keeping a careful eye on the pieces as they set up prevented any errors...& I'm thrilled they all came out beautifully!

I included 3 chains with the pendant since she said she intended to wear this one a lot & also packaged it cute in a window lidded heart shaped tin!

If anyone has a vision of what they'd like to see in a custom made piece...I'm always happy to make something fabulous to be treasured!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Crafty update on craftster swap...

Hello all!

I've been getting crafty in a swap over at craftster! This one is so fun because of the number of people involved...not to mention, it's embroidery! Woot!

It's the Tea Towel Tour ..round 5!
We are a large group broken down into smaller groups & in this swap we each embroidered a design on our own item...then sent it on to the next crafter down the list as we recieved our next towel to embroider on from the previous crafter on the list.
Confusing eh? Trust me, it's way cool & way fun!
The gallery is filling up with all sorts of pretty and interesting designs!

Here's my latest contribution... the gal I designed it for wanted a zodiac I chose to do pisces! I was inspired by another crafter's embroidery to do a 'mirror image' with that inspiration and theme...this is the result:

...animals with eyelashes are so fun to draw or stitch! Even though the fish are similar...I had to make one with green eyes & one with blue!
If you've never participated in a craftster swap, you're missing some serious fun! I love to meet new creative people & get fun mail & make things!
Swapping is a great way to blend all of those loves together! Why not go check out craftster for yourself?
This past weekend, I dyed my own embroidery floss! Will post details with photos soon!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A day at the park...

The weather has been so lovely the past few days!
Not too hot or cold... with a slight breeze carrying a hint of Fall on it's way.
We took the kids to the playground at the park & you can see that babygirl is so proud of herself... going down the big tube slide for the first time!
She wasn't going to do it, but I told her I'd catch her, so being the little daredevil that she is...she did it!
I love the static in her hair!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Freedom Necklace Giveaway by isewcute

We Have A Winner!!!

(Due to a slight boy is filling in for my babygirl doing the drawing...& she is doing okay now...just taking a nap)

Congrats to Princessminders!!!!

This is the second time I'm doing a giveaway on my blog! Yay!

The piece I'm giving away is a 'Freedom' heart shaped resin pendant necklace in remembrance of the tragedy of 9/11 ...never forgetting those who's lives were lost as well as their families & friends.

I often craft for work through some of my own feelings... the bear in this photo was made within the two weeks following 911... I was hoping to donate it to a charity so that the money would go to the victim's families...but I had no idea where to send it...& it was so large to would have to be picked up at my house. My daughter enjoys him. I named the bear after my father who is a volunteer fire fighter.

The pendant is hand cast resin...with red white & blue cupcake sprinkles, star sprinkles, various glitters, & letter beads that spell out the word "Freedom".

It has a ring at the top that I solder closed to prevent loss & dangles from an 17" black enameled ball chain...or if you prefer, I can turn this piece into a keyring!

The value of this piece is $25.

It will be packaged in the cute little heart tin with the window lid shown here:

To enter to win, all you have to do is visit my etsy & come back here to tell me three things in the comments below before the end of the day today...Sept. 11, 2009:

1. Your favorite item

2. Your least favorite item or what I should improve...I'm looking for constructive criticism help my shop be the best it can be!

3. What item would you like me to make in the future.

Be sure to leave me your email address, as that’s what I’ll use to randomly choose a winner at the end & notify the winner.

I will do the drawing & announce the winner tomorrow, Sept. 12, 2009!

Please feel free to share your own personal experiences with Sept. 11th & how it has affected you & your loved ones.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sushi to Eat... and Sushi to Sit on...

I have a problem... too many crafts and too little time.
I get all excited about a project, collect the materials, start work... & then inevitably something will come up that prevents me from getting back into the groove.

Tonight I thought I'd try making sushi for my sister in law who came to visit for the weekend. I've only had the sushi mat for years...just sitting unused in my kitchen drawer.
The first roll was too big... and the second was too small... finally the third was just right! It's not rolled as tight or as uniform as I would like it to be... but with a little wasabi & soy sauce... we were good to go! I just googled 'california roll recipe' to find out how it was made.

Now that dinner is over, I'm thinking of revisiting this old project I started at the beginning of the summer which has slipped through the cracks... a sushi seat cover!
It would look so cute in my craft room with green walls and pink curtains... if only I would finish the dang thing! The seat is from Ikea... gotta love Ikea!

...maybe I'll work on it...


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation....

We've taken 2 weeks to spend our time together as a family sharing experiences, winding down from the everyday chaos...which has also meant limited television/internet access, & much traveling.

Here are a few of the things we did as a family on our summer vacation:

Road Trip
Swam in a Pool
Went Out for Ice Cream
Celebrated 2 Birthdays
Played with Cousins
Rode a Carousel
Threw Rocks in the Lake
Had a Pizza Picnic Outside
Watched a Bald Eagle in Flight
Posed for Photos with a Moose
Watched several Sunsets
Caught a Fish...then let them go...
Took a Nap...or two
Went to a candy store that had nearly everything imaginable!
Looked for Shells
Ate Lobster with an Ocean View (& fed leftover fries to the seagulls)
Took my train crazy boy to see some boxcars up close

I managed to:
finish a book...then read half of the sequel,
attend a knitting guild meeting with 15 wicked talented weavers, spinners & knitters,
visited with another etsy seller who raises sheep & knits up the most wonderful things from her yarn,
do some keep up with a craftster swap I'm participating in...the result is in the photos above...
make a delightful spinach pesto pizza for my family (recipe to come soon!)
It was really nice to step back and take things more slowly...spending time with family & watching the sunset rather than staring at a computer screen or tv.
It was wonderful...everything I'd want a vacation to be...& still it is so nice to come home afterwards and to sleep in my very own bed.
As Dorothy put it... "there's no place like home"