OMG I Knitted!

I’ve always admire knitters, it is amazing the things they make, not to mention the patience and dedication they put into their work. I didn’t grow up around any knitters and know as an adult I really don’t have the patience or time to learn, or so I thought! I kept seen on Pinterest on “How to Knit a Scarf in 30 minutes even if you are an Amateur”, it seemed interesting but I was skeptical, would this be one of those “Good Ideas, Bad Ideas?” …I dismissed it for a while but desperate times called for desperate measures! You see I have this tendency (or need) to learn a new skill when ever life gets overwhelming, its my way of pulling away and letting my mind breath. With constant house showings during Jaden’s nap time and not knowing what comes next, I took the challenge to learn how to knit. You might be wondering when would I find the time to learn?! Well, that’s the miracle behind a toddlers 1 to 2 hours nap!

Like everything else, there are tons of tutorials out there, but everybody learns and teaches differently and sometimes finding the right tutorial can be a buzz kill on it’s own. I’ll share with you what I found.


Arm Knitting

The majority of the tutorials out there claim that you can get this done in 30 minutes to one hour, the truth is: if you’ve done it before -yes-, but if you are a newbie: no way! It took me a couple of “naps” just to figure out the technique let alone start the project, but once I figured it out it became extremely easy since it’s a repetitive process. It’s actually fun and pretty cool I must say! At one point I even considered making scarfs for everybody for Christmas! …I quickly woke up from that day dream though!

Out of all the DIY tutorials, this Video Tutorial was actually the most helpful, specially when she switches perspective and you can see it as if you were the one doing it.

They all recommend that when arm knitting you should use bulky yarn (that’s why it looks so full and nice), living in South Florida I really have no use for a thick woolly scarf, so I decided to try it with a more thinner “fresher looking” yarn. I honestly know nothing when it comes to yarn, I just bought based on touch/feel and price.

shopping

I’ll admit it looks different from the bulky infinity scarfs but it is something I can wear in Florida and I can proudly say I knitted it in about three hours! (Thanks to a good nap and The Wiggles!)

IMGP1416

byLisandra

IMGP1425

If you are interested there are other things you can do with arm knitting; like blankets and shawls, check out this Site for more Free Patterns!


Finger Knitting

1-4

The one thing that attracted me to this technique was the fact that almost all tutorials show kids of all ages doing it. It seems it is a common craft for children, though I’ll admit I’ve never heard of it before. I literally learned how to do this in about 30 minutes, I was so happy with my quick progress and speed that it wasn’t until I was half way through knitting my rope that I started to wonder: “what am I suppose to do with this?!”

I stopped and went straight to Pinterest looking for clues as to what to do with my rope. I couldn’t find many projects related to this, I considered making it into a bowl (we will be doing this on a later post) but I was afraid it wouldn’t survived the whole moving process once we sell the house (yeap, still working on that!). I really didn’t want to make another scarf but I couldn’t think of anything else. I used this other Tutorial to make the rope into a scarf (it’s pretty much the same process as with arm knitting) minus the pompoms!

finger-knitted-scarf-tutorial

Here is my finished product! I love how delicate it looks, it’s extremely soft and surprisingly not hot like most knitted scarfs, it’s perfect for Florida weather!

IMGP1402

IMGP1395

You can also make a vintage looking necklace out of the rope, I’ll be doing this next time!

LL_Necklace

The yarn you choose has a lot to do with how delicate or ordinary your final product looks. Once more I went for thin, soft, delicate yarn but this time with a hint of shine to it. My advise is, go with a yarn that appeals to your sense of touch and style. The yarns suggested by most tutorials are what you should use, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get it wrong if you choose something else, it just means it will look different and who knows if better!

Untitled

But then again, this is my first time knitting! Still not sure about knitting?! How about yarn crafting! Here are some cool DIY Ideas!

543px-Yarndoll11

Yarn Doll

yb-45

Yarn Bowl

Yarn-14-Aerial-645x429

Yarn Lantern

See you next week!

Advertisements

Burlap Canvas DIY!

Burlap seems to be everywhere now a days: Christmas trees, wreaths, pillows, curtains, flowers, baskets…you name it! It’s funny because not so long ago, it was a last resort itchy fabric used for Indian and scare crow costumes! Burlap and linen canvases are attention magnets on their own, their natural color and texture requires very little done to add elegance to any home or office decor. The problem is that -as all things “new”- they are a little over priced, provided that you keep in mind that you are buying burlap not silk!

Online you will find advertisements for burlap canvas ranging from $0.79 to even $1.09 on Clearance. Great right?! But don’t be fooled, the all say “Available in Store Only”, and there is no such thing in the store; is more like $5.99 for a single 5×7 burlap canvas vs $4.99 for a pack of two white stretch canvas of the same size. It gets worse when it comes to linen canvases: $8.99 for a single canvas of the same size! Remember, we are talking about one single, non professional grade canvas. I’m not cheap, I just value my money and I’ll pay the set price for a professional grade canvas for my paintings, but some craft projects don’t need a $25 canvas if you get what I mean! So, what can we do?!

We can wait for those wonderful 50% off a regular price item + 20% off your entire purchase coupons we love so much, or we can make our own! Here’s how:


MATERIALS:

  • Laminated burlap roll

Laminated burlap has a thin plastic coating on the back that makes it a little more stiff. It’s perfect for printing purposes and is more durable. If you cant find it, no worries, buy a yard of regular burlap and some Freezer Paper, follow this simple tutorial and you will have laminated burlap of any size for any use!

Untitled-1

  • Wood frame

You can either build a frame using a 1×2″ board, or simply buy an unfinished wood frame at your local craft store. Your frame should be a simple “wood” (basswood or pine) frame. Plastic, metal or pressed wood frames will not work for this purpose and it would be a waste to use a decorative frame since you will be covering it.

20150210_153020

Cost: $1.00

  • Staple gun

Make sure your staples are not longer than the width of your wood, you wouldn’t want them showing up on the opposite side of your frame! A regular office stapler is not strong enough for this project.

  • Glue

I used wood glue, but if you’d like you can use any strong glue. Remember you are working with a thick fabric that doesn’t absorb the glue as easy, regular craft glue might not be strong enough to hold it down.

  • White Cardstock

Covering the back of your new canvas is optional. If your edges are perfectly trimmed you can leave it as is.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First cut a piece of burlap big enough to cover your frame. Leave enough room to fold the burlap over the back of the frame, you can trim excess later. 20150210_160042
  2. Remove the cardboard piece from your frame, you don’t want a strangers face showing through your work! You could leave it off, but you’ll notice that you can see through the canvas, if that is not a problem continue to step 3. Use a piece of white cardboard instead, that way your canvas will look better front and back. 20150210_160110
  3. Now is time to staple the burlap. Make sure it is as straight as possible, you can see a cricket burlap canvas long before you can see the artwork on it! Staple on side first, stretch it as much as possible and staple the opposite side. You have to make sure your canvas is stretch before stapling. 20150210_161353
  4. Once you are done with that side fold the corners nicely and stretch and staple the other side. Do one side at a time; stretch then staple.
  5. Trim any excess. It’s ok if you have areas that are not 100% perfect, you can always cover them up. 20150210_161811
  6. When covering the back of your canvas you have two choices: partial or full coverage. I went for the partial coverage with the purpose of making it easier to hang. I just cut 4 even strips of white cardstock and glued them. Half of my strip cover the burlap and the other half the frame, that way it not only looks good but it secures the burlap ends. 20150210_162356
  7. In order for the cardstock to dry flat (not buckled) I put the canvas in a home-made book binding press and left it for about an hour (that’s how long the wood glue needs to bind). Then I removed it and left it to completely dry over night. You can use anything from heavy books to a couple of wine bottles to keep it pressed, the heavier the better. 20150210_163221

That’s it! A home-made burlap canvas that cost only $2.46 and I still have enough burlap left to make 2-3 more canvases depending on the size!

20150211_073344

You can use this technique to create all sort of fabric or linen canvases, so next time you see a piece of fabric with an awesome print, make a frame and hang it! This is my canvas put to use:

20150212_102026

Have fun! See you next week!

Ten Minutes Camera Fixes!

I recently came to a rude awakening when my Samsung Galaxy pictures, where simply put: not enough. I do own a DLSR camera but with my little one always on the move, it became easy just to carry my phone on my back pocket. Now I realize the effect of my “lazy/comfortableness” and I’m back to using my DLSR. The problem was that I needed something more “mommy friendly” to carry my camera when alone with my bundle of energy! My awesome camera backpack is just a little too much when carrying a diaper backpack also! There are tons of choices for camera bags at all sorts of prices, but I needed one for our trip to the local fair on Sunday morning and it was Saturday afternoon; a little late to go shopping. I resorted to finding something at home that I could re-use as a camera bag. The must have list was: it had to be super sturdy, small, easy to open, carry and handle, plus it had to be waterproof. Too much to ask for huh?! Not really! As it turns out I found the perfect fit on a lunch box I had purchased in Walmart about 5 years ago!

Untitled

Of course it needed some touch ups, but it took me ten minutes to fix it up and it cost me absolutely nothing! The hard liner is like a very hard toss proof Tupperware you can remove from the bag itself. I found a black t-shirt on a bag of clothes we where taking to Goodwill and used it to cover the liner. I used E6000 glue (but any permanent fast dry glue will do) to make sure the fabric would stay in place.

IMGP1196

Once it was dry I re-used a long strap I had from an old bag and I was done! It has plenty of space for my DLSR plus two lenses, the black lining makes it look like an actual camera bag, plus I have an extra front pocket to carry my keys and cellphone! It was a quick fix that came in very handy; easy to carry and I didn’t have to spend any money.

IMGP1240


Camera Strap

Now I didn’t get a chance to do this before our trip to the Fair because I didn’t have any leather at home, but after a photo-shoot on Tuesday morning I decided I’d had enough with my camera’s uncomfortable strap. If I’m carrying this puppy around like I should, I’m going to be comfortable! I saw this awesome Scarf Camera Strap in Etsy that I instantly fell in love with, but when I went to buy it, it turns out it was sold out. I’m not one for flowery designs so I was a little disappointed, then I realized I could probably do it with one of my own scarfs! All I needed was a piece of leather or suede for the ends and some hooks, off I went to JoAnn Fabric Store. To tell you the truth I personally don’t like leather, so I was open to a soft strong suede fabric which I didn’t find, but the great thing about being in the right store is that if you look hard enough you’ll find what you are looking for, even if you don’t know what it is! I found some Suede Cowhide Elbow Patches that were perfect: soft, strong and big enough for my needs! They were a little pricey at $9.99 for a pack of two, but after using a 50% off coupon, $4.99 was just the right price! When it comes to hooks you can take your pick, metal or plastic they average about $3.50 a piece.

diagnl-ninja-strapNow, camera straps usually come with an adjustable part at the end, I chose to omit that. Why? Well, the strap is for my personal use and I know what length is comfortable for me. If you happen to want to do this, you can add the adjustable part by removing it from your old strap, or you can just make it “One size fits all” like mine. You’ll need a sewing machine with a strong needle and thread, sew slowly if you are afraid your needle might break.

This makes for a great gift for any photography lovers out there; man or female. Chances are your photographer has a set length they like to use for their cameras, use a tape measure when they are not looking and make a “One Size” for them or for your self! Better yet, make them a knitted one, just make sure it’s a soft breathable fabric or thread.  For less than $10, I am happy and comfortable with my new strap!

IMGP1236


Lens Cover

41Vb4QAloYLA while back, I had purchased a 18-55mm lens on Amazon for a really great price, but unfortunately it came without a lens cover. No biggy, I could probably figure something out… but I forgot about it completely until Saturday night and I was using the camera Sunday morning! The joys of procrastination! I looked all over the house and since my other lens cover didn’t fit this one, I search for something that I could use to protect my lens while walking around. Thank God for Play-Doh! The Play-Doh plastic cover fit perfectly, I used the soft part of a Velcro strap to wrap around the camera and glued a small square piece of the rough Velcro part on the Play-Doh cover, wallah! Not the most professional thing to use, but definitely a last minute life saver!

20150129_142649B


Here are some pictures  of our trip to the Fair!

IMGP1092 IMGP1082

See you next week!

A Personal Touch to a Boring Office Desk

When it comes to workspaces, you can always put them in one of three categories:

  1. plain/boring with absolutely no personal touch what so ever
  2. over the top with way to much of everything or
  3. the ones that make you go “Wow…I wish my desk looked like that” with just the right amount of stuff

I recently visited my husbands new office and I realized that he was on the first category, so I decided to help him out. He really doesn’t have much usable wall space since his wall are covered with eraser boards (I guess financial people need a lot of space for numbers!) so I had to stick to something simple. I like the idea of pinning photographs on a frame with clothes pins, but I though I make it a bit more useful. 2ff2f4ece035fca7d5f20e68a236d3d8 I don’t usually buy picture frames at the dollar store, but for the nature of this project, it was the way to go. I choose the biggest frame they had (“Certificate” frame), and got rid of the glass. I had some 12″x12″ cork tiles left over from a previous project and some decorative clothes pins I had gotten on clearance for $0.50, so I had everything I needed! 20141221_154459 I used some white twine and created three “clothes lines”,  then I glued them to the back of the cork tile and proceeded to seal the back of the frame with some black construction paper. Just like they do to seal paintings, prints and portraits.

dsc1549sm

Check out the link for Framing Instructions.

That’s it! It works perfectly to hang pictures and drawings, and if he runs out of clothes pins he can always use the cork board! It literary took me less than 10 minutes to complete this tiny project! This frame is pretty simple because he likes simple things, but if you are doing this as a gift or for yourself, decorate the frame with anything that brings a smile to your face! It’s all about personal touches!

20141221_162020B

In my search for inspiration I came across these simple yet totally personable ideas that you can use for your self or as a gifts. Check them out!

684ad7299e2a087fc802b72b165587d2

With such a big variety of decorative buttons available at the craft store, this can be as chick or as manly as you want it to be!

385be21f57b11b1d13fe7f3960709122

Perfect touch for a professional look!

e6e85ae89d33c160c5e375a18d5900f8

Totally chick!

cad8213f8ef539e3f3e30ebee5165e1a

You can actually use mini bow ties instead of bows for a manly look! P.S. don’t stress your self trying to make miniature bows, they are extremely cheap at your craft store.

3ebfad7c7f3ab6462796d19f6d9f4dd0

Never forget a personalized Clipboard!

What is a desk without your own coffee mug?! Here are two techniques you can use to personalize an ordinary mug:

dd3366f61b6f6b1a64f6a51b60d5925e c37ccac0c1890651eae0b241d8013a7b

34d7979d4003d3811b81cf1c29304bb9

I’m saving this one for my new desk! Why limit your self to a small mouse pad?! Go big and personal!

PROJ-0324_2-600x600

A Set of Personalized Folders!

Or something as simple as a care free plant!

de006f523f2827a227c008ba98035547

Take your pick and share your own ideas! April 22nd is National Administrative Day so you got plenty of time to start working on a gift!

Canister Up’Do!

As the Holiday Season comes to an end, I have to say that I’m glad its over.  20150106_110443We didn’t sell the house before the end of the New Year like we had hope for, but it turned out to be pretty busy and hectic all the same. Now we are up to our ears with packing, clearing, fixing and staging, hoping to get this selling down pack in no less than 2 months, since our new home will done by mid February. Needless to say, time for any other projects is very scarce, but I’ve delayed the packing of some of my supplies just so that I can share with you a few small projects between here and there. Our big projects -like building a dining bench and a shared office area (among others)– will come later!


Our current canisters have become sort of an eyesore for me, we’ve had them for what seems like forever and though they work, there’s only four of them and we need six.20150105_094936

I love Yankee Candles and I had collected six empty jars with the intentions of using them to store and organize crafts supplies (like you see in almost all craft room pictures), but as it turns out I didn’t like how it looked, if you ask me, it still looks messy. These jars are great because they seal perfectly, can hold heat and are dishwasher safe, plus with very little effort you can match them to your kitchen or house décor!

20150105_094852

First you need to remove any wax residue. Your candle is finished once the candle wick turns off by itself.d0504d03e96db96c7d6d89a1a36d85a5 Place the jar with the remainder of the wax in the freezer and let it sit for a day (some people say a couple of hours, I leave it and come back the next day), the wax will pop out completely and leave your glass jar ready for use. I’ve found that it works quicker when you place the jar in the freezer while it’s still hot and the wax is still in liquid form,  the heat and the cold react together almost instantly and it makes it pop out faster. Don’t worry, the glass will not crack! If your wax has already harden, just place the jar upside down on the freezer.

Next, it’s time to get rid off the labels and the messy glue residue they leave behind. If you have tried this before, I’m sure you’ve realized that this can be frustrating, they must not really want you to recycle glass containers because they make sure those labels are really hard to come out! I mean, have you ever tried to re-use a wine bottle?! It’s like the use cement on those labels!… IMG_2490The good news is that I found a method that actually works in getting rid of that unwanted glue residue no matter how messy it is! You can find the original post on my Pinterest Techniques Board; you pretty much mix equal parts Baking Soda and Vegetable Oil to create a paste, place it o top of your glue residue and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Then scrub away with hot waters! I’ve tried other methods and this one has works the best for me.

Once your bottle is clean, just wipe it with alcohol to remove any oil residue (always do this before painting any glass surfaces).

You can either use a store bought stencil or create your own. The best way to ensure sharp edges when creating your own stencil is to use contact paper. Just remember to flip (mirror) your image and remove any air bubbles before painting or the paint will leak through. I used my die cut machine and cut out some vines, then I drew the words and cut them out using an X Acto Knife.

Now you are ready to paint! When choosing glass paint you might be tempted to head straight for the Martha Stewart Glass Paints section, they have so many awesome colors it’s hard to resist, but you’ll be surprise to know that you can find equally good quality paint for half the price. Maybe with a more limited assortment of colors but sometimes you just need the basics.  Depending on the brand, some are labeled as “Multi Surface”, read the back of the label, you are good to go if it says it’s good for glass surfaces and that it air cures in 21 days or could also be baked.

asdgasg

It is important to remember that when using a stencil, less paint works best. I know it is tempting to just add a thick layer to get it over with, but take my word when I say it usually makes a mess out of a simple project! You end up with messy edges you will need to clean up later, so avoid loads of paint. If you need to layer to get a more solid paint color, add a thin layer and let it dry, then reapply. Usually when painting glass one layer will do. If you choose to buy Martha Stewarts Glass Paints, double check to make sure whether you are buying the opaque or translucent kind.

Now dab away with a sponge!

Here is the final product! I used the same design in two different colors since I couldn’t really use white for “Flour” or “Sugar”! If you are wondering why two “Sugar” jars? The turquoise one is for brown sugar!

20150108_171129

One last thing, any time you paint glass you need to cured it. It won’t look permanent right away but once it’s cured, it will be. You usually have two choices: bake it in the oven or air cure it. Since I’m moving within the next month or two, I’m in no rush to bake it, I’m letting it air cure. I will post some pictures of them in our new kitchen once we move!

See you next week and…

New-Year-2015-Resolutions-1

Projects Completed!

No matter how much you plan and prepare yourself for the Holidays, it never fails to creep up on you! I mean, can you believe Christmas is just 5 days away?! Wow… it just seems like the year started yesterday! .

It’s only been 11 days since my last posting, but it’s been so hectic that it feels like I’ve neglected you for longer than that! I beat myself up when I can’t post twice a week like I had planned to, but I wanted to share with you what I’ve been up to. Between painting frames as gifts and a big Christmas order with just 8 days to complete and deliver, I will tell you I’m happy to be able to lay back and have some Coquito* while looking at the big pile of already wrapped gifts! Here are some of my Christmas Projects/Gifts!

20141217_230735

Hand Painted Nail & Thread Art on solid wood. This one is for our bedroom in our new house but it will be available in my shop by January!

This was an order for 130 Tags/Greeting Cards to be done and deliver in 8 days! That’s including individualized mailing address labels for each 130!

20141218_210050 20141218_210308

20141217_222759

Hand Painted Irish Blessing on Canvas. Perfect gift for anyone with an Irish background!

20141218_182847

Another Hand Painted Nail & Thread Art on solid wood. I had so much fun using this technique I had to make a gift out of it!

20141217_223005

A sweet little gift for the new baby! Hand Painted on Canvas.

20141217_222607

There’s a gift for every personality! Hand Painted on a canvas.

I promise to have my shop ready by next year, right now is a work in progress! Enjoy all your Christmas parties and preparations! See you next week!

*In case you were wondering, “Coquito” is a national Puertorrican Holiday drink made with coconut and rum among other things, it’s 10 times better than eggnog!

Gift Wrapping Made Simple!

One of the many things I love about Christmas is the abundance of gift wrapping, yeah there are other occasions during the year were you wrap gifts, but during Christmas, you get to wrap “tons” of gifts! I’m sure that I probably stunned a couple of people with that statement because not everybody enjoys this, but the truth is that when you give a gift, presentation is key. It just means you cared enough to take a couple of minutes and tried your best, nobody expects you to deliver professional results, but nobody likes careless wrapping either! For me wrapping a gift is therapeutic! I just enjoy finding new ways of folding paper or making a bow, if it was up to me I would set up a “Neighborhood Gift Wrapping Center”! I’ve added a new Pinterest Board under the name of “Gifts” to help you out with simple, original ideas to wrapping gifts not just for Christmas but through out the year. Long and forgotten are the days that nice gift wrapping was only done at Macys!


993567fbc3491f8a2e1d59bcef94f614

Repurpose an old sweater or anything knitted! Beautiful, elegant & simple!

"Gift wrapping is not the problem is the bows!" No worries, a roll of yarn will do wonders!

“Gift wrapping is not the problem is the bows!” No worries, a roll of yarn will do wonders!

d6b23fbacb20855369b21c27a03bb773

“Gift wrapping paper is so last decade!” Then packing paper it is; it only cost $1!

bd68bc8390081ad93a5f029178ed056a

No time to shop for everybody? If baking is your thing, check out this Printable Template  to wrap cookies!

11b1c1b0e03aabfe3d1ed3029281132e

“Gifts Cards for everybody!” Sure, why not, but… do you have to put it in a card? Now that is definitely “last decade”! Try something fun!

ae6144e8adf1a47723d5a973bc08933e

Now who doesn’t like cash?! Switch the chocolates for dollar bills and insist they open the box! The look on their face is totally Facebook worthy!

asdfasfd

Now what is a party without a good bottle of wine?! Here’s another use for that sweater you got last year, plus check out more ideas on my Pinterest Gifts Board.

487bd8f17ed92502d44557cedbf1a1a9

Need a gift box? Do you have some cereal in the house?!

d23d92f96df821fa8a35140704f65044

Want to give bow making one more try?! The link to this tutorial is no longer available but the pictures are actually pretty straight forward.