74 entries categorized "crafting"

A Crocheted Red Scarf

He needed a red scarf for a costume he wants to wear later this month; I needed a distraction from a marathon of Walking Dead episodes...so I crocheted him a red cotton scarf. He keeps wearing it. ☺️#alwaysmybaby #my_18yo

He needed a red scarf for a costume he wants to wear later this month; I needed a distraction from a marathon of Walking Dead episodes...so I crocheted him a red cotton scarf. 

Here's how:

I made the scarf with red cotton yarn and a J crochet hook.

I made a chain long enough to reach from one fingertip to the other of my outstretched hands (about 5-1/2 feet)

I then used single crochet until it was the width he preferred (fairly wide; about 6"). 

That's it!  

He keeps wearing it.  He's 18, but he'll always be my baby.  

How to Felt Wool Yarn Scraps into Balls (for Juggling! or...whatever use)

Ready for the easiest tutorial ever?  Like, ever?

Our little gal, 10, wants to learn how to juggle.  It all started with one tennis ball.  You can't juggle just one ball, she soon figured out, and said, "Mama, we need to buy more balls."  

But, see, this child moves onto the next thing in about .0006 seconds, so there wasn't time for the 4-mile trip to the store for more tennis balls.  I wanted her to learn to juggle!  "Who knows, she might become a clown," said her ever-sarcastically-supportive big brother. 

Since we'd been making pompoms for critters (from this craft book, which I highly recommend; we're rather smitten with it, and it's inexpensive!)... as I was saying, since we'd been making pompoms, we had leftover bits of wool yarn, so we made our own little balls!

Here's how we made little woolen balls:

1. Wrap 100% wool yarn into a ball shape (or, if you have little woolen scraps like we did, gather a bunch into a ball shape in your palm).  Create a ball shape larger than you'd like the felted ball to be - ours shrunk by about a third.

2. Fill a bowl with hot, soapy water (we used Dawn, but I don't know if that matters).

3.  Swish, swish, swish, the ball around until it felts!

And there you go.  It really is that simple to make your own felted balls.  And you said you're not crafty...

Our little gal is taking three balls for juggling practice, and I'm eyeing the others for possibly stringing together as a garland.  Do you have any other ideas for these little balls? I rather like making them, and could easily end up with far too many!

Giveaway & Craft Book Review: Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses

I was recently given a beautiful craft book to review:  Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses (and I have one to give away!  Hang on a minute; let me tell you about it first...). 

The book has over 25 patterns for t-shirt dresses for little girls.  Wait, even if you don't sew much!  Here is what I really really like:  the dresses all begin with a t-shirt.  All you do is add the skirt material and embellishments.  And they are cute.  


Even though the book's patterns are especially for girls aged 2 to 8, I find the patterns easily adjustable for my 10-year-old.  Even just using the concept is helpful!  

The book is a glossy, quality paperback with full-color illustrations and photographs throughout, including a 12-page T-Shirt Dresses 101 tutorial. 


To Learn More about Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses:  Visit

To Purchase the Book, or to View Pages:  Visit the Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses page on Amazon (if it's still out of stock, visit the publisher at Sixth & String Books

To Enter the Giveaway of one book shipped to one winner for free:  Enter the information into the entry form below.

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On Frogging & Trying Again

Cast on, knit, purl, purl, purl, purl, knit ....frog*. 


Where's the J hook? 

Chain, single, single, double, double, half double, single, bind off....huh, it's another not-what-the-pattern-photo-looks-like. 


Decide it's a little bag, or a hand cuff or...I know! It's a neck sweater!

And that.  Sums up my weekend. 

Did you get a little more than that done over the weekend?  (I hope so)

*frog  (frôg, frg)n.

1. Any of numerous tailless, aquatic, semiaquatic, or terrestrial amphibians of the order Anura and especially of the family Ranidae, characteristically having a smooth moist skin, webbed feet, and long hind legs adapted for leaping. (from this dictionary)
2. To "rip" out one's stitches, as in "rip-it," "rip-it," "rip-it" out (go ahead, say that out loud.  hear the frog noise?).  I have frogged more projects than I've finished this weekend.  (from the dictionary in my head, but frequently said in knitting & crocheting forums).

A Simple Box for Thread (& Dozens of Free Sewing Tutorials)


I recently noticed where our ballerina keeps her sewing thread, and thought it was such a good idea, I wanted to share it with you...



You can find those boxes at Michaels, in the wooden objects section.  It holds three thread spools neatly. Great idea, right?  She's a smart kiddo.

Speaking of sewing (aren't we?  speaking of sewing?), Sew Mama Sew is showcasing the most wonderful free sewing tutorials on the 'net, categorized for us!  Here is Imagination, here is Color (which includes this amazing Scrap Map of America that I will make for our little school room), and here, under Growing, is a recipe for Lemon Sugar Scrub (so, obviously, it's not all about sewing).  There is one category for each weekday of November, so surely we can find a gift idea to sew!

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Speaking of Inspiration...

I have spent more hours than I'd care to admit at Ravelry lately (I'm JustPureLovely there...find me if you join!).  I know I'm spending more time fingering my yarn and looking at patterns than I am in crocheting and knitting things, but the yarn is so soft and the patterns so endless! 

Here are a few of my favorites that I hope to start crocheting or knitting soon:


Do you prefer knitting or crocheting?  Or do you like to keep a project (or two) going in both, like I do?

I prefer knitting for relaxation and for my smooth bamboo needles, but I prefer crochet when I want to finish a project quickly. Most gifts from me are crocheted. 

If you want links to any of the above, let me know! They are all free patterns I found on Ravelry.

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On Turning 14 (& Sewing an Infinity Dress)

Our ballerina turned 14 recently! Right before she turned 14, she sewed an infinity dress. Have you seen those? They're dresses that can be worn this way and that way, thanks to two very (very) long strips of fabric that may be folded or wrapped in different ways.

image from www.flickr.com

Our gal used a purchased pattern because I had a hard time finding a pattern online. But now that there's Pinterest, the patterns are easy to find! You'll notice our version is a bit more "decent" than some versions. Our girl is, after all, just 14. We didn't want the dress wide open down to her belly button.

image from www.flickr.com

She used a t-shirt-type fabric (you can tell I know nothing about fabric names!) from Hancock Fabrics on the clearance rack for just 99 cents a yard. The dress takes about 5 yards so our cost was only about $6 with the pattern.

I must have taken too many pictures...

image from www.flickr.com

Here's a view of the back. There are many ways to tie this dress; this is only one way:

image from www.flickr.com
And here is the front, tied the same way:

image from www.flickr.com


Isn't 14 such a sweet age? Happy birthday, baby girl!