Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to cut a pair of socks and make them lace up the back

I love to cut things up, no surprise there. And I have cut my fair share of socks but always horizontally, but today I have my first vertical cut (also known as "steeking" in the sweater/knitting world). I was inspired by this page in the wonderful knitting book Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace.
This page features a pair of socks that have a line of lacework up the back center that is so beautiful. I thought I could steek a pair of socks and add some lace trim to make them lace up the back.
How I made my lace-up the back socks:
I tried the socks on and marked the spot I wanted to cut down to and I also measured the socks while they were on me from the bottom to the top edge. I did this because I knew the socks were stretching a bit and the lace trim I was using did not stretch. It ended up being about an inch and a half longer than when the socks were off.
So all I did was cut from the top edge down to the back of the ankle.
Then pinned on the lace trim to each side stretching the sock evenly to be as long as the trim.
I sewed the trim on using a stretch stitch and slightly pulling the sock as I sewed.
I did take great care to make sure both sides of the trim matched up.
I then used 1/4 inch organza ribbon to lace the two sides back up.

Whether you like to knit your lace or you are like me and are a Sweater (knit) Surgeon I bet you will love and be inspired by the too pretty book from Potter Craft:
Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace
Wendy D. Johnson

"With 20 original patterns for gorgeous lace shawls, sweaters, hats, gloves and of course socks, popular blogger and author Wendy D. Johnson provides thorough instruction on the best lace techniques for aspiring, experienced and advanced knitters. Many knitters are intimidated by lace, but with a little guidance anyone can create beautiful pieces. As she did for the toe-up sock technique, Wendy demystifies lace knitting by thoroughly explaining the basics and offering the best techniques to create the most intricate-looking patterns. She shares a wealth of tips that will help new lace knitters avoid any frustration. Twenty projects for beginners through to advanced knitters include scarves, shawls, afghans, accessories and sweaters. Ranging from a lightweight seashell camisole for summer to a thick cowl for winter, Wendy presents projects that are surprisingly easy and fun to create and great to wear year-round."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter turtles

As far as I'm concerned everything is better with bunny ears on it. And add a bit of irony to the mix and you get downright hysterical in my book!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to paint vintage style dahlias, 2 ways to create collages and make a recycled soda bottle bird feeder along with a recipe for atomic tofu pecan loaf. 
RockPaperInk.comFashion Filter: The Fetish: Fashion's Guilty Pleasure
Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows us step-by-step how she created faux copper patinaed paper flowers.
Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy reviews an interesting new e-book on Fair Isle knitting that has some very cool embedded videos.
Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Learn how to create cute clay pot garden bells for your yard!
Mixed Media Artist
Got a few paint-soaked paper towels lying around? Don't you dare throw them out!
Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
See how to sew a scissor holster garter.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to sew a scissor holster garter

Do you like to make projects that have a slightly sinister or snarky quality like I do? Then you will love, love, love the new book Criminal Crafts: From D.I.Y. to F.B.I. Outlaw Projects for Scoundrels, Cheats, and Armchair Detectives. I will be making every project in this book!
The first one I had to make being the scissor aficionado I am was the one Criminal Crafts called a shiv cozy. My version came out more what I would call a scissor holster garter as it's made with elastic lace.

I simply wrapped a piece of elastic lace around my thigh to fit snug.
I then traced the scissors in the shape of a triangle onto a piece of black felt.

I stitched one triangle to the underside of one end of the lace and the other triangle to the top (as in the photo but I did sew with the lace on top). This will form the pocket between the lace.

Then I sewed the triangles together along the two sides leaving the top open. I decided I wanted it a bit smaller so the scissor handles would peek out the top so I did sew it a second time and trimmed.

I can't wait to wear it under something!

If this looks like your type of craft project and want more check out:
Criminal Crafts: From D.I.Y. to F.B.I. Outlaw Projects for Scoundrels, Cheats, and Armchair Detectives
Shawn Bowman

more about the book from the publisher Andrews McMeel Publishing:
"Criminals attract an audience. People admire the sneakiness and creativity of the profession while cursing the dastardly outcomes. So why not have all of the tricks without the trade? Criminal Crafts brings together illicit behavior and artistic expression with dark humor in this do-it-yourself project book. Author Shawn Bowman focuses on original crafts and recipes themed in noir, murder, retro espionage, pulp fiction, mafia, and voodoo.

Crafters and mischief lovers alike will love this book of 30 projects revolving around notorious criminals and their activities. From John Dillinger's soap gun to Bonnie Parker's gunshot poetry journal, readers will find themselves both amused and intrigued with the devious creativity. Not to mention how impressed party guests will be when they show up to Flaming Amy cocktails and cocktail bars stashed in violin cases. And just wait until you show off your shiv cozy! From the practical to the classically kitsch, Criminal Crafts are art projects readers will love."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Photo: A girl can dream

I am so jealous of this garage work bench. Someday mine will look like this!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make two paintings at once, applying and underpainting, a whole bunch of color variations of the Dutch Tulips quilt block and some springtime cross stitch patterns.

Breaking Down a Budget (including a sample form!)
Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi experiments with rubbing alcohol and acrylic paints...and ends up with a fun background paper!
Lindsay Sews
Do you tackle one sewing project at a time, or work on multiple projects at once? Lindsay shares modern quilt blocks from a few recent works in progress.
Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Learn how to make a beaded pull chain for overhead lights or fans.
Crafty Princess Diaries
Tammy has been trying to take a decent photo of her latest finished object, a crochet ripple shawl.
Craft Buds
Die-cut felt flowers and strings of grosgrain ribbon are the ingredients for this simple toddler toy. Get the tutorial for a button snake to keep your little one busy during a summer car trip or in the waiting room.
Aileen's Musings
See how you can win your own set of new Color Mists' Patina Collection by checking out Aileen's Pin it & Win it blog contest!
About Family Crafts
Read all about the Dr. Seuss-themed baby shower Sherri threw for her daughter and learn how she made many of the decorations and gifts.

Friday, April 13, 2012

How to make recycled sweater pansy flowers

As I write this it is coming down in torrents outside my window. So it is only apropos that I be making bloomin' good flowers inspired by the equally bloomin' good book Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers to cheer me up. I bet they will make you smile too!
I might have mention that I am on a big crazy shoe kick (pun intended) right now. One of my favorite quotes I spotted at the Glendale Quilt Show was "Cinderella is proof that shoes can change your life" Well, I took it a step (another bad pun intended). I changed the crazy shoes by embellishing them with recycled sweater pansy flowers I made inspired by knitted ones featured in Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers.
I went to the recycled sweater stash and for this project I went to the tiny scrap bag (yup I don't throw any bit away!)
I cut out the shapes of the petals like the ones in the picture. Then I followed the directions in
Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers on top stitching the petals together with the purple, red and white yarn.

I will surely try knitting some of these beautiful flowers as well as cut up some more sweater scraps into other flowers. There are 40 to try! If you like making flowers too I bet you will find this book as inspiring as I did!

More about the book from the publisher Potter Craft:
Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers
Nora Bellows

"Designer Nora J. Bellows’s extraordinary Noni® bag and flower patterns have earned her acclaim and endeared her to a loyal following of knitters all over the world. Now, in her first book, she offers lifelike knitted flowers that rival the beauty of true botanicals. This is a collection of luscious designs and essential techniques that knitters will turn to again and again. Inside, you’ll find:

• 40 exceptional knitted and felted flowers, from Angel’s Tears Ddaffodils to ylang ylang
• 6 beautiful yet practical garment, accessory, and home projects perfect for floral embellishment
• Clear instructions for knitting, felting, wiring, and finishing your work"

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Easter egg chain link fence decoration

I have been having so much fun decorating my ugly chain link fence for each holiday. Here is the Easter egg version. Happy Easter all ya'll!

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Don't throw those Easter egg shells away. Here's how to make an egg shell mosaic box using them.
Mixed Media Artist
Never throw ANYthing out, not even paint-soaked paper towels!
Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on portrait poses, how to make frosting bunnies, chicks and eggs, along with info on house rabbis and a recipe for white bean dip with rosemary oil.
Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi explains how her puppy became the Easter Bunny for a set of greeting cards.
Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you the bowties she made with her DIL and gives you a few links to easy tutorials for making your own for the young man in your life.
Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess explains how to make a simple art book.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Unusual Easter Egg decorations

I have been having some fun decorating eggs but not really the usual way or with the traditional themes. I was flipping through The Art of Papercutting and I came across this page that has a tutorial for decorating eggs with paper. Well, in keeping with my theme of unusual and recycling, I went to a copy of a fashion magazine to see what paper I could harvest.
I found a picture of a rather cranky lady and the word "guilty" and hey, in my mind they would make an awesome bit of egg decoupage.
After the dust settled...actually the Mod Podge dried I popped on my finger tip Hot Glue Gun Helper and flipped the switch on the Ad Tech cordless hot glue gun and secured a ribbon loop and a recycled Glass Glintz to each of my eggs.
As you can see I decoupaged one egg with a photo of scissors and stamped the word "head" on another....you get the joke right?
Egg Head??? Paper cutting???

Yah I know dorky!

If you like working with paper there are tons more great projects in:
The Art of Papercutting
Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

More about the book from the publisher Cico Books:

"Papercutting has a long history, originally as a traditional folk art practised across Europe and North America, and now elevated to new, sophisticated levels. Here, Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell presents a stunning collection of 35 papercutting projects, ranging from party decorations, decoupage pictures and paper flowers, to greetings cards and gift tags. All have easy-to-follow instructions, with advice on the best paper to use for a superb result. Papers used in this book range from lightweight crepe paper and tissue to heavier weight card and water-colour paper. Recycling plays an important role, too - finding, collecting and using small scraps of discarded paper to incorporate into something new is a rewarding process. Here you will find wallpaper, postage stamps, gift wrap and postcards given a new lease of life. Whether you are new to the art of papercutting, or a skilled crafter looking for fresh ideas, the projects featured in the book will inspire you to pick up your scissors and a sheet of paper and create something beautiful."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...Easter!

No, this trifecta of cuteness is not mine, they belong to a good friend of mine who let me get my "bunny lovin' fix". They were so soft and silly.

I hope you have crafted up something this springtime that is making you smile. If not here are some ideas that might help:

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to make an Easter egg pop art decoration, a recycled leather Steampunk style cuff, embroider multicolored yarn "X" shapes on your knitting and a recipe for bacon butter.


Off Book/Typography/PBS Arts video

Mixed Media Artist
Even though she has very few drawing skills, Cyndi is pleased with the results of her latest quilt experiment.

Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery
How to applique a "Zzz" pillowcase.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
You can make any size envelope with the Crafter’s Companion Ultimate crafting tool. Look at how easy it is to “push the envelope”

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess takes a road trip and visits an amazing yarn shop in Florida.

Carmi's Art/Life World
The spring ring. So easy to make and wear!

Aileen's Musings
Aileen shows you how she turned trash to treasure with a re-purposed whisk, ribbon spool, felt and a little ingenuity.

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