Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craft Challenge thus far

The Mix N' Match Craft Challenge over at The Perfect Pear has been going pretty well. Everyone's been creating amazing things, and I'm so excited I was runner up for round one and tied for the win in round two! You should go check out what everyone made!

Round One: The supplies we had to use were yarn, glitter, and paper clips. I crocheted some snowflake ornaments.

Round Two: Our items were fabric, ribbon, and buttons. I sewed this itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot...clutch purse!

I'm so happy that people actually voted for my things! What an awesome feeling. :)

Round three's creations aren't posted yet, but the items were paint, markers, and wire. This round was pretty hard and I kept changing my mind about what to do. Plus I left my wire at home when I came back to school monday so I improvised and used the wire from inside of twisty ties! This is what I made:

It's a CD ornament sort of thing. I'm not completely happy with it, but I do think it looks pretty cool. I hope Lauren posts everyone's creations soon!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On Growing Up

No matter what I'm doing, worries about the future are always in the back of my mind. I'm in my junior year in college so some very serious decisions need to be made soon. I mean, I have a major. I don't know how I picked one, but I did. It's "Letters, Arts, and Sciences" and you use it to sort of design your own major, mine being "Art & Entrepreneurship." So basically, I'll be taking a lot of art and business classes in hopes of starting my own art business of some kind. But that's pretty much the extent of my goals.

I was always one of those kids who was pretty good at every subject, but didn't have an interest in any one thing more than the others. It also doesn't help that I am probably one of the most indecisive people you'll ever meet. So I never could make decisions, and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But I know that I want to do something that makes me happy. I probably could do a lot of things if I applied myself, but I'd rather not do some mindless job I don't enjoy. I've never been all about winning or getting to the top, I just want to be happy. I've never been a fan of the whole "decide what you'll do with your life right out of high school" phenomenon either. Instead, why aren't we encouraged to explore the world a bit first? In the end, the only thing I can figure out that really makes me happy is making things. The hard part in that is figuring out how I can make a living...

So the question is, what can I do for a living that will support me while I still live happily? Would this art/craft business just be a side thing? Man, life is full of questions sometimes, isn't it? There are so many decisions laid on such a small person in the world. I'm not sure where my future will lead but I'm looking for the way to get there. But some days I just feel like my car's perpetually in neutral instead of driving forward. I know they say it's not about where you get to, it's about the journey. But sometimes it's hard to go on a journey with no destination. Hopefully I can figure things out and have at least some certainty in my major by the time I graduate next year...

Anyway, this brings me to another point. I've had a few people tell me I should start selling my stuff. I would absolutely love to! But I just always felt like I wasn't good enough to sell my stuff, and that no one would want to buy it. But I kind of think this blog has given me more confidence! I've been pondering the possibility of opening up my own Etsy shop sometime soon. It seems like everyone has one. I would have to keep on top of it and figure out what I would sell, but I think it would be a great experience for me. What do you think? It would be a small step towards the future, which I don't think could be a bad thing. I'm trying to find my niche in the world while finding my stitch in the craft world, and at this point I think I just need to keep taking new steps.

I'm thinking of maybe asking for a couple of books for Christmas. Maybe Craft, Inc. or The Handmade Marketplace. Has anyone read these or have any other suggestions? Please let me know! Also let me know if you have any suggestions about Etsy or just the life of us crafty types in general.

And so we end with The Weepies. They're amazing, as is this song. And the video's kind of silly. Enjoy! :)

"I can't really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else, but in the end the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself..."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy turkey day everyone! Err, well...yesterday. It's officially the holiday season because I saw Santa in the parade! Which means Christmas music, which makes me all kinds of happy. :)

I've been crafting off and on, but I've been pretty much overwhelmed with family stuff and amazing food. I'm definitely not complaining! I love Thanksgiving. I just wanted to do a quick post of one of the things I recently finished. I finally put an end to the scarf that I started way back in my second post ever. As it turned out, I didn't have enough of the yarn to make a full length scarf, and I had no idea where I had got the yarn. Hence, I improvised and decided to make it a neck wrap!

What do you think? I just crocheted buttonholes and added some buttons. But I think I need bigger buttons so I may change them later...
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and has an awesome weekend! Enjoy your leftovers. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Someone has a hat addiction.

Hats have seemingly become my obsession as of late. I actually finished a couple of hats last weekend which I realized I never posted. The first was this one which I had started back in this post.

I crocheted it using this Vickie Howell pattern, but I don't think it turned out quite right. I think it's a bit too slouchy - it's so heavy, it has the tendency to slide off. I followed the instructions and used the same kind of yarn and everything, so I don't understand...I think I'll try to make another one using this pattern but make it a little bit shorter.
Then I knitted this green striped hat, and now I'm knitting a scarf to match it.

Then last night I crocheted a hat with this bulky textured yarn. And then I made a pom pom for it. This one was so fast to make...and it's so warm too!

I also started knitting another hat last night. Oh yeah, I'm a MACHINE! I'm planning on most of these hats and scarves I've been making to be Christmas presents, but I won't say for who! I hope everyone likes them, though! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year

This whole year has been going so fast, I still can't even believe Halloween already happened! But Thanksgiving is this coming week and Christmas will be upon us before we know it. It's just a little over a month away! Which means I need to get crackin' since I plan on making a lot of my gifts this year. My spare time will be consumed by hats and scarves! Which I don't mind, really. :)  I have a few things started and others planned, so that's a start. But I also need to attempt to keep them all a secret, which could potentially be hard...

A big part of my Christmas wish list this year is also going to be craft supplies. How cool am I? Haha.

Dear Santa, 
Please bring me a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, fabric, and lots of yarn. I have been a good girl all year.
Little Katie V.

Okay, so that's not all I want.  But I must say I am looking forward to Christmas and that homey feeling that comes with all of the decorations.  We always get a real tree, though so it'll be a while before we decorate. But this is what I'm looking forward to:

Ahh, I love Christmas lights. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Break

I took a break from all my yarn and did a quick embroidery project.

I haven't done a whole ton of embroidery so I just wanted to do something for practice. I did a quick sketch and this was the result! It was a nice break away from all the yarn and now I have more embroidery ideas to do soon.
Speaking of breaks...starting now I'm now off for Thanksgiving break! Woohoo! My mushy brain needed it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Sister...aka my Guinea Pig

I love having a sister who will wear things I make. She really is like my guinea pig sometimes, and I love getting her feedback about things. Especially when it's positive! Haha... In fact, I made her senior prom dress when I was in 9th grade, how's that for trust? Maybe I'll post that sometime...
Anyway, back to the point. I crocheted another hat on Saturday. I went for a random, uneven stripe-y look so I wasn't sure how it would turn out. But Ali apparently liked it since she wore it as soon as I finished it - I hadn't even weaved the ends of the yarn in yet! So that made me happy. I made her let me get some pictures before she went out since she just happened to be modeling it so nicely. :)

Her kitty came over to say hi while taking pictures...

So, thank you to my awesome see-star for always testing out my creations!

Mix N' Match Craft Challenge

I just signed up for The Perfect Pear's Mix N' Match Craft Challenge! It runs from November 22 to December 22 and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun! You should go check out the details on her blog. And then sign up. : )

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ribbon & Lace Bracelet DIY

I decided to try my first DIY tutorial!  Tell me what you think!
I made this simple but cute and dainty bracelet.

I used:
1" wide ribbon
3/4" wide lace hem tape
1/4" wide elastic
and of course, a sewing machine

*You can, of course, use any other widths, colors, etc. and it's the same basic idea.

 Cut 12" of the ribbon, and 9" of the lace.

Measure your wrist and cut a piece of elastic about 1" shorter than this. Then pin the lace in the center of the ribbon (about 1 1/2" from each end)

Stitch the lace onto the ribbon about 1/4" from the end. Do this for both ends.

Flip the ribbon over, stitch the elastic to the ribbon along the stitching you just made, with about 1/8" overlapping. Do this for both sides.

Zig-zag stitch over each end for reinforcement.

It will look like this.

Stitch through all three layers by stretching the elastic so that the ribbon is flat.

Then wrap it around your wrist to see where you want to stitch it closed. (my wrists are pretty small so I had a bit of extra ribbon) Then stitch at the length you want it, cut 1/4" from stitching, and zig-zag stitch over the end.


You can leave it the way it is or sew buttons on like I did. And that's it!

How easy was that? Simple & cute. Hope you enjoyed my DIY!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Give me more yarn!

I'm growing fonder of yarn by the day. There's so much you can do with it! I'm still pretty new at knitting and crocheting, though, since I had always been more of a seamstress. I'm definitely "expanding my craft," you could say. But don't worry, sewing machine, I have not abandoned you!

Anyway, I made a couple of quick projects I'd like to share. First I made a crocheted headband. I've crocheted plain old headbands in the past, but this time I made one with three strands that go across. I made some in other colors too. These are so fun to make!

I pulled my hair back so you can see it better...

I also tried making some crocheted earrings, like I said before. It was just practice so I used white...my mom says they look like big snowballs though. So I'm not quite sure if I like them. Maybe in a different color or a different shape. I'll try to make more later.

So what do you think? Would a different color be better? Or a different shape? Or maybe I need to get thinner yarn or something so it's not as...fluffy? Yeah, fluffy. But, anyway, it's an idea!
I also finished a couple of hats - I will post pictures of them soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Magic!

Have you ever heard of Lisa Pavelka's Magic-Glos? If not, it's pretty fantastic stuff. I came across it last year and made some dried flower necklace pendants for my mom and sisters for Christmas. They're fun because you just laminate the flowers and can cut around them in any shape you want before you apply the gloss. It was a long time ago, but I believe I used this site for the idea. I made one for myself out of several petals from different flowers I had picked on a family vacation to Washington. For some reason I still hadn't put it on a chain or anything even though I've had it for a year!

The other night I had the idea to just crochet a chain out of hemp and crochet the pendant into it. I also added a little key from one of my mom's old earrings with a jump ring. Then I put a lobster clasp on the top and it's a necklace!

I think the look of the crocheted hemp is pretty cool...but I have a feeling I might change my mind and want to put it on an actual chain or something.

I kind of keep forgetting about the Magic-Glos, but I still have a lot of it left so I think I'll make some more dried flower jewelry soon! Plus, free souvenirs like flowers are the best and this is a great way to turn them into keepsakes you can wear!

Because I'm Nocturnal.

I seem to always get into the not-so-healthy routine of staying up into the wee hours of the night/morning, as seen by the fact that it is now after 3 am. Sometimes it's good because I can be quite productive during my late-night adventures, but other times...not so much. Tonight I think is leaning towards the latter. I think it's partly due to my mind knowing that I don't have class until 4 pm... Anyway, I just wanted to do a quick update and be at least a little productive. I finished this hat that I started the other day.

Overall it turned out pretty good, but I did have some problems. After switching to the brown to decrease I realized it was going to turn out too short...so I tore out stitches and added the tan stripe before switching to brown. That isn't really a bad thing, though. The top looks a little wonky too, probably because I didn't cast on the same amount of stitches that the pattern called for, which made decreasing uneven...oops. I went by this pattern but didn't follow it exactly. It also doesn't say when to switch colors, which is why I had to guesstimate. This was my first time using double pointed needles to finish the top of the hat too! It's a little tricky but it went pretty well.
Now, I think I want to do a matching striped scarf out of these same yarns to go along with the hat. It should be fun!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tiny Flowers

Trying new things is always a good idea, right? Lately I've been jumping between so many project and there's so many more I want to try. I love it. But one of the things I've recently been doing is attempting to make some fun crocheted flowers. Some of them I've made using different tutorials on Youtube and some I've made up myself...or adjusted the patterns I've seen. There are few more ideas I want to try out with crocheted flowers too. But here are a few of the ones I've made so far:

I used one of them to make a headband:

I think it's pretty cute but I feel like I wouldn't really wear one like this. I think I'll try to make some with smaller flowers since I might actually wear them more.
I also made my first pair of earrings! They're really simple and took no time to throw together, but it's still fun. Now I need to try out some of the other stuff I got to make jewelry too. Also maybe I could try...crocheted earrings? We shall see.

I feel like an old lady.

I've been switching back and forth between so many projects, I think my addictive personality is kicking in. You know when you start doing something and you get hooked on it for awhile and that's all you wanna keep doing? Yeah, well, at the moment all I want to do is keep knitting and crocheting...weird, I know, since most people might that's "for old ladies." But it's not! And hey, I enjoy it, so who cares? I also have the problem that I usually hate stopping in the middle of something so I'll just want to sit and keep going on a project until it's finished...or until I actually get tired of it. This is not always a good characteristic.
Anyway, I've gotten quite a bit done on this slouchy hat I was talking about. I think I may have made the band a bit too big around, but we'll see.

I've also gotten quite a a bit done on this scarf...

And I started this hat too...I'm using this pattern for it.

See, I told you I was working on a lot of projects. This isn't all of them either! There are so many things I want to make it's hard to keep track of them. But I'm being pretty productive so that's good! As long as I keep up with my schoolwork. (I am, I promise!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rainy days and mondays always get me down.

It's been so gloomy and rainy out today, I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep. Or crochet...that also seems appropriate. Good thing it's the end of the week for me! I love not having friday classes. Well, I don't have any new projects to post about, though I did start another hat using this pattern which I found through The Crimson Owl. It's so cute, I can't wait to see how it turns out! I've only gotten the ribbed band done so I have yet to try out the puff stitch...but it looks like fun! I'm thinking this might be a Christmas present for my sister...so shh!

I bought a few things the other day! Some new fabric and some supplies to try my hand at making some jewelry. I know some people might not like it, but I bought my fabric at Walmart. In fact, that's where I buy a lot of my fabric. Leave me alone, I'm a poor college student! I know their selection is pretty small but I can find fun fabrics there for a fraction of the price I would find them at a fabric store. Everything I bought was $1.50 a yard. I'd say it's hard to beat that. But anyway, don't these look fun together? Not sure what I'll use them for yet, but I think they would look great in a quilt or something.

I also bought some gray flannel that yearns to be a pair of super comfy pajama pants.
I think maybe later I'll try making some earrings or something...I'll also post a picture of that hat once I have more done! That's all for now, have a great day...or evening...or...whatever time you're looking at this, I hope it's great! : )

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Touch of Triangles

While browsing through some craft blogs for a quick and simple project, I found the perfect thing.  The Crafty Fox has this great tutorial for crocheted triangle garland.  How cute!  I needed something in my room to give it a more crafty feel, anyway, so this is the perfect quick decoration project.  The directions are really easy to follow, too. Nothing in my room really matches anyway, so I made mine with some old  brown and pink yarn I had.

Well, I guess they kind of blend in with all the pictures here. haha

Voila! These are so fun and really quick to make, so I will definitely make more in other colors. I can put them EVERYWHERE! Well...maybe not. But they're still fun.