13 days of making | day two

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I am having too much fun with this.

A couple weeks ago, I snagged some craft foam from a friend of mine. I had absolutely no plans for it, but the crafter in me wouldn’t let go. Then yesterday, I got this idea to cut letters and put a positive affirmation on the wall. Lo and behold – I HAD SOME CRAFT FOAM!

My favorite part of this is that the letters are completely freestyled and totally imperfect. For whatever reason, the backwards L felt right to me, just spontaneously and a little silly, and perfectly matching the saturated, primary school vibe of the colors. Also, aren’t kids the realest people you know?

BE REAL. With yourself. With the world. It is a mantra I live by and it felt important that these words reflected me: little skill in straight lines, a little goofy, and inexplicably bright. The type A in me tries to fight these not so perfect qualities all of the time. Even with this project, I agonized a little bit over not posting yesterday because this is supposed to be 13 straight days of posting. “Actually, it’s 13 days of crafting,” I had to remind myself. Full disclosure: I edited this post because I had a few more words on my spirit. I hope you don’t mind!

Check back tomorrow.

xx

I wrapped my steering wheel!

wrapped steering wheel

Is it too late for spring cleaning?

Because that is exactly what I am doing right now. My birthday is at the end of May, and I have resolved to declutter my life and come into my next year of life refreshed and unburdened by things I do not need/love/even realize I still have.

It has been really easy to get rid of clothes and shoes, especially after seeing all these sewers, crocheters, and knitters participating in Me Made May. Hopefully in getting rid of things, I can add more handmade items to my wardrobe and ehemm spend more time shopping for yarn ;). Plus, it is nice to know the pieces in good condition will be used by someone who actually wants and/or needs them.

Craft items, on the other hand, have been a real struggle. When I shop in craft stores, I roam around looking for good deals and stocking up on items I think I may need, but haven’t really figured out a project for. Actually, it’s hilarious, I didn’t realize I had that habit until I went to a fabric shop with my mom and she did the same thing…I started telling her about it and she was like well where do you think you learned your habit from?! oop!

Instead of trashing supplies, I am challenging myself to use them up, hopefully resulting in a bunch of totally free birthday gifts to myself. Enter this beautiful blue roll of twine.

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Definitely from the clearance section of Michaels.

As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly how to use it. My steering wheel has been peeling from sun damage. Initially, I was going to yarn bomb myself and knit a cover, but I couldn’t find anything in my stash that was grippy enough to not cause me great danger when driving. But twine, that stuff is griptastic.

This project is super easy. Just wrap it around the wheel, catching the ends as you go. A couple of tips:

  • Keep it tight, otherwise, you won’t be able to properly grip the wheel and that is incredibly dangerous
  • Be patient. This took me about an hour and a half. It is a great way to relax on a cool morning, but it is by no means quick.
  • Tie a square knot to secure the end. If you aren’t worried about ease of removability, add a little dab of glue at each color change
  • Make a bobbin. I was too lazy and did not do this and I probably wasted time unwinding and untangling slack.
  • Turn the wheel (while in park) so that the part that you are wrapping is close to your lap.
  • Choose colors you love!

I absolutely love my new cover. It’s amazing how something so simple can make a huge difference in your life. I seriously look forward to getting to my car in the morning just to see that pop of blue through the window.

Are you still spring cleaning? Any interesting projects come of it?

Just Rip it Out

If you go to a movie and less than halfway through you realize said movie was the worst thing you’ve ever seen, do you leave or stay until the end?

That was an actual question from my college interviews back in the day. Of course, high school me completely freaked out because I couldn’t figure out if this was a riddle or if I should just be myself. seemed too normal.

I remember answering that I would stay, so at least I could be an expert on how bad it was, and my interviewer saying something along the lines of hogwash! Ok, he probably did not say hogwash but he did disagree.

Fast forward several years, and several abandoned bad films, later, I found myself falling back into old habits. If you follow me on instagram, you probably remember the cross-stitch project I was dragging my needles through a few weeks ago. It sucked. I kept messing up the counts and changing the colors and hiding it from myself until finally I just stopped.

Why was I stressing out so much over a non-commissioned piece? There’s the money argument: I bought the pattern, the Aida, the floss. But floss is super cheap and the pattern and Aida are reusable. There’s the time argument: over the course of a month I had finished about two-thirds of the piece. But much of that time was stressful. Which made no sense. Knitting, crochet, cross-stitch…the point of all these is to relieve stress, not increase the stress. So I ripped it out.

And then I snipped because the ripping was taking too long. Snip snip!

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It sucked. Then it didn’t. Seeing that pile of floss felt good! Sometimes we fall out of love with a project or a pattern. That’s okay (unless it’s for someone else, then you gotta finish!). Maybe down the line you’ll fall back in love with the pattern. And if you’re knitting or crocheting, chances are you can reuse the yarn in something you’re actually into. At the very least, your hoop/needles/hook will be free to do something that gives you joy. Personally, I can’t wait to jump into stitching a chart I dreamed up at work.

Do you have something lying around that you’re totally over? Rip it out! Tell me about it 🙂

Handmade for the Holidays | DIY Winter Tree

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Did you just find out you’re having company for the holidays and realize you have no decorations?

Look around the office and everyone is festive except you?

Need a break from gift knitting?

If you’re like me, you answered YES to all of the above. Don’t worry, I GOT YOU!

This is a quick and easy winter tree. It requires little money and most of the work can be done watching a couple episodes of Gilmore Girls  (c’mon, I know it’s not just me). The inspiration came from an IG post I saw a few months ago of a giant pom pom Christmas tree. Of course, I only admired because there was no way I had the time, money, or perserverence, to make life size tree from pom poms, but it was beautiful. Fast forward, I was helping my aunt decorate for Christmas when I realized I was going back to bland house. That, combined with my coworkers Christmas decoration bing sprung me into action. When I saw the mini tree-shaped water bottles I had lying around the idea came back to me…POM POM TREE. Here goes nothing.

Materials

One Skein Self-Striping Yarn. The long stretches of color mean that you can make sizable pom poms in many colors from one skein. I used one from the Isaac Mizrahi collection at Michael’s because it was so fluffy and it captured all of the colors of a tree and winter and Project Runway hehe.

Throwaway Yarn.

Cell Phone. Hopefully less ratchet than mine ha!

Scissors.

Mini 8oz. Water Bottles. Drink up! I happened to have a ton from Thanksgiving and they are the perfect tree shape!

Hot Glue & Gun. I imagine craft glue will work too, but seriously a hot glue gun is the greatest thing ever.

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Werk:

1. Wrap the yarn around the cell phone hamburger style (short way) until it begins to change colors. Now this is a judgement call. Sometimes I wanted the pom pom a little fatter so I kept winding. Other times I stopped mid-color because it was getting too fat. Using an iPhone 5, I found about 15-18 winds to be the sweet spot.

2. Cut the yarn from the skein at one end of the phone. Attempting to hold it’s folded shape, slide the yarn off the phone and tie the throwaway yarn around the middle. Double knot tight enough to make a bow-like shape. Snip the ends of the throwaway yarn close to the knot so they can be hidden. This matters less if your tie is close in color/texture to your pom.

3. Now snip up the bow! Slide the scissors under the fold on each side. Don’t worry if you miss some loops…just keep snipping till they’ve all flared out. Now at this point, some people will keep shaping until they have a perfectly round pom pom. DON’T! I wanted my tree to be very imperfect and whimsical. That’s why I chose a floppy yarn and I let the uneveness prosper. Repeat steps 1-3 until you have about 15…you’ll need more of the browns than greens and ice blues.

4. GLUE! My favorite part obviously! When I was an itty-bitty Girl Scout I used to always play with the hot glue (and yes maybe burn my fingertips but hey, at least I didn’t eat it!) when my mom/leader was turned away. Years later, when I moved out, she gifted me with my very own hot glue gun…hmm, maybe there’s something to that moms have eyes in the back of their head thing. =)

Okay back to the actual action of GLUE! Stagger the poms. Say, 6, 4, 2, 1. Again, it depends on the fluffiness of your poms. Just made sure you don’t glue them too close to the bottom edge, else the tree won’t stand on it’s own. If you kept the wrapper on (like me), it’s good gauge for where to stick the first row. For the first tree (below), I only had four rows and the last two were just one blue stack on top of another. I kind of stuffed the second tree (in the snowy pic above). Again. GO WILD! Only you know what works for you.

AND YOU’RE DONE! Time to decorate and go crazy.

Ornaments.

Snow.

Tinsel.

All the fixins.

Tree only

Tree #1 was a huge hit in the office. My coworker graciously made garnet and gold *cough cough* stars to use as ornaments and mock gifts and a giant start as a topper. So clearly this one is a Christmas tree. But it doesn’t have to be. Like I said, these colors reminded me of winter and since winter only occurs between the hours of midnight at 7am here in Florida, I decorated my home tree with tons of stuffing/snow.

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And LOOK. A Christmas card!

What do you think? Super easy? Any modifications to make this even easier?

Happy crafting! Now back to those pesky knitting gifts I thought I could breeze through before Christmas =(

Disclaimer: I found a similar tutorial on Pinterest while I was trying to make sure that I didn’t copy anyone. While there are key differences between our tutorials, I wanted to give this one a shout out too! No copyright infringement was intended; I’m not here to steal ideas. However, it’s not surprising that this has been done before; I just want to be clear and open about the only one that I’ve seen.