Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Project DeStash

My fingers are sore from working with yarn!

My mother recently had some work done on her house and had to clear some items out of the basement, my former bedroom. This means, all the yarn that I left behind me has suddenly arrived on my doorstep to bury me even deeper. My current craft project is a simple, and yet complex project- find ways to use up all of the yarn I have.

I've been searching Ravelry for patterns and suggestions and finding so much fun stuff that I'm now afraid I won't have enough yarn! I'm making afghans to use up yarns I have a lot of, or a little of (wonderful scrap yarn pattern I found!). I'm turning baby yarns into gifts for my cousin's new baby. I'm planning to make a ton of dinosaur and unicorn hats for the children in the family. You'd think the first step would be to finish all the projects I already have started, and to clear out the finished projects... oh no, now I've started a dozen more.

It will keep me warm in winter! And, let's face it, nothing compares to finishing a craft project and then having a use for the outcome! Wish me luck! (And an excuse to buy more knitting books and supplies!)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Year, a New Semester

This year is starting off less than impressive. I'm only teaching one course this semester, which means little money and a lot of spare time. This is, of course, rather stressful and upsetting, so I'm trying to refocus on the positive aspects. Namely, if I'm home more, I can focus more on the housewife attitude I wish to aquire. That means, more time for keeping the house nice (required now, as we're bringing home a kitten soon!), cooking (good for our budget and waistlines), crafts, reading, having my lap warmed by cats, learning new ways to go Green, and possibly even blogging and adding photos. We'll see about that last part, clearly.

So, let's see how this semester takes us, shall we?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Knitting and Crochet

It occurs to me that if I were in actuality a housewife, I would spend all day on knitting and crochet forums, discovering new techniques and patterns. I would buy knitting and crochet books to teach me the things no one else has ever taken the time to teach me, like how to actually read a pattern. I would breeze through the buildup of yarn I've accumulated after years of knitting, and turn it into kitty blankets for the Snuggles project, or scarves to donate to shelters for battered women. This, of course, when I wasn't busy looking through cookbooks and finding local fresh produce stands.

I have been knitting for years, but no one taught me more than a basic garter stitch. I've been crocheting on and off for nearly as long, though with minimal instruction. I finally bought my first yarn working books- a book on crochet basics, and one teaching me how to knit socks. If I get my lazy butt around to it, I might post progress on here, and actually join a knitting forum or some such nonsense.

We shall see.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Do Live!

It's been too long since I've updated this, but I blame the wedding that came in early September. I'm also back to teaching Freshman Composition two days a week, and if anything can suck the spirit right out of one, it's ignorant students! I am, however, more or less alive, and I've been cooking up a storm! That's right, my primary pseudo-housewife duty these days is to cook up the produce we've been having delivered. Recently I've discovered that butternut squash is delicious, and avacado is fun to cook with. I've also been baking a lot of bread!

As far as crafting type things, I made my own garter for the wedding, and decorated the centerpieces. I may take and post photos here at some point. The wedding was lovely, and I'm officially a wife now- so that makes the title more accurate!

I hope to start updating here again more regularly- I'm just too lazy to upload photos most of the time!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Friendship Book Madness!

Friendship books, or FB's, are little paper booklets that people make and send around through
the mail, even internationally, inscribing their information, and if they're looking for penpals, people to swap with, etc. The idea seemed really interesting to me, so I made the mistake of asking a few people on Swap-Bot that said they had spares to send them to me. I got an envelope completely stuffed full, and it's all I can do to reply to them all, and figure out where to forward them! I joined a few FB swaps, and arranged a few private trades to do so, and I know there will be more heading my way. It's really neat to see where they've been though, and I hope to get a few unexpected letters out of it!
I've also been stuffing envelopes for Ikasucon again, and there are 50 finished, stamped and ready to go out in the mail. Now I just need to wait for more stamps and the rest of the forms that need mailing. I did this for the con two years ago as well, and enjoyed it more than any sane person should.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keeping Busy!

Yesterday I got some wonderful letters, but admit to taking my time to replying. Instead, I worked on a few projects with materials I already had to hand. Budget and all that!

First, I made a few bookmarks for a bookmark chain that came with a swap I recieved. They are decidedly not fancy. Just a piece of ribbon with some beads I already had strung on, held on with knots. Many of the beads overlap, as I only have so many that will fit on a ribbon! I think they came out quite nicely, despite being so simple.

I've also been making magnets. I started doing so with labels and stamps that have come back with the RSVP cards to use as memories, as it were, but I've gotten a little out of hand. Cute images from stationary, various other stamps, the pictures on the back of calendars... for which I find other uses! In this picture, you see some stationary images, that I have sent back to the penpal that sent me the cute stationary, some neat SPCA stamps, and really nice stickers that I liked.

I did a fair bit of beading as well. I made a set of earrings with some beads also on hand. They were hard to photograph, let me tell you! But they came out really well and gave me ideas for new/similar designs.

I also made Faire Favors, for myself and my fiance. Those who go to Renaissance Faires with some frequency might know what I'm talking about. They're little trinkets that you make and give to your friends. Mine were made with seed beads and charms, in the colors that I tend to wear. I made my fiance's along the same basic design. I don't know if I'll make any next year, but it's fun to put them together.

Finally, I got a really amazing swap package today! It was for a fairly simple swap that could have just been a letter, but in this package I got three tea bags, a half dozen postcards, and the awesome swap response on some neat stationary. I was so excited that I thought it deserved to be blogged about!

I spent today writing a lot of letters in response to swaps I've gotten, and doing swaps that I got partners assigned for. I packaged most of them up in envelopes I've made myself from calenders sent by various charities. They look really cool, and it keeps them from going to waste. After this weekend, I'll have a ton of thank you cards to send out as well, due to my first Bridal Shower on Saturday. I'm not that thrilled about the party, but the mail I'll get to send afterward has me all excited!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baking Crayons

When I was very, very young, my mother took me (and probably the other girlscouts too, but it's been a while so the memory is not crystal clear) to a convention that was based around children. I can't remember what she was presenting at her booth, but she let me wander freely around the area, as this was a younger and more innocent time. A few booths down was a nice lady who had really cool chunky crayons, and I kept coming back to her and talking with her, becuase I thought the crayons were way too cool. Finally, she gave me one as a present for keeping her company, and I was very happy with my prize. What happened to it after that, I could not hope to tell you, but I'm sure it's in a box in the basement somewhere.

Fast forward twenty years or so, and we've got a box of old, broken crayons that sit on my desk and take up space. While browsing around online, I saw suggestions for melting them down, and it reminded me of that childhood memory... so I decided I'd melt them down and turn them into chunky crayons for my cousins.

I took a small muffin tray, (meaning, not making full sized muffins), sprayed the inside of it with Pam, broke about three crayons into each well, and put them in the oven at about 400 degrees. There doesn't seem to be an exact science for this, and that temperature worked really well. I spent some time unwrapping other crayons for the next batch, and when I looked, the wax was melted. And the house smelled like melted wax, but there you go. They took a lot longer to solidify again, and they weren't all that easy to remove. Most popped right out, but about four had to be pryed out with a knife, so they're a bit rough around the bottom edge. I wiped the Pam off of them, an easy task, and voila! A nice dozen new crayons!

One Note- silver metalic crayons will melt to a green.