Busy Life, Slow Blog

Somehow, life gets in the way of keeping up with a blog!

One thing to note is I just opened an Etsy account and will (gulp!) attempt to sell some of my handiwork. Come check it out if you want. Feedback and suggestions appreciated.

More posts coming soon. I’ve been a busy, busy woman and have lots of crafting stories to tell!



Weaving in the Ends

Anyone who crochets or knits knows that finishing a project requires weaving in the ends. It’s tedious, especially if you’re a newbie like me using a yarn needle to do the job.

Threading a yarn needle is easy but can be time consuming when you’ve changed colors several times and have lots of loose threads that need to be tucked away.

I thankfully discovered finishing needles on Amazon.  They are inexpensive and make the needle threading faster and easier. All you have to do is stick two fingers into the open space, grab the yarn and pull it through. My only complaint is they have a little nub on the side that snags the yarn when you’re weaving in the ends but it was easily removed with a nail file.

FullSizeRender (4)Please note that I paid for this product and am happy to give it a good review.

Experiment with New Crochet Stitches by Making Doll Clothes

Crocheting doll clothes is a great way to experiment with new stitches and trying out different types of yarn. They’re quick projects and as you’re learning a new stitch, it’s ok if you make mistakes because the kids that will play with the clothes won’t notice or care.

I recently learned the V, bauble, star and arcade stitches. They weren’t difficult and are oh so pretty!

Here are examples of my work and links to the sources I used to learn the new stitches. I prefer step-by-step instructions with photos over videos because I can move at my own pace, however, if you prefer video instructions, there are plenty available.

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How to Make Cute Doll Stands

To keep my grandkids’ dolls from toppling when they’re doing a fashion show, I made stands that should keep the toys off their faces and please the eclectic tastes of the little ones who like colorful things with lots of bling.

Thick cardboard, chopsticks, colorful paper and glue are the foundation for this project. If you can’t find thick cardboard, simply glue pieces of cardboard together until you have the desired thickness. The cardboard I used is about 1/2-inch thick and I liked using Chef Craft chopsticks because they were inexpensive yet sturdy and smooth.

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Doll Clothes Earn an OH! EM! GEE!

I’m not an expert at crochet, not even close. It’s been years, in fact, since I tried my hand at the craft.

This year, however, I’ve been on a mission to create everything a child desires for fashion dolls. (Yes, I’m that kind of grandma.) The most recent effort has been crocheting doll clothes.

It’s been fun – and sometimes frustrating – as I relearned the basics, learned new techniques and figured out how to make the clothes fit the dolls’ bodies. Some of my attempts were so bad, they ended up in the trash but I learned from every mistake.

Despite imperfections, some of my creations are worth keeping and I’m proud to report my 6-year-old granddaughter exclaimed: “OH! EM! GEE!” when she saw photos on my cell phone during our visit a couple weeks ago.

The kids haven’t actually played with the clothes for a variety of reasons, one being that they weren’t finished.

That’s because sewing on snaps and buttons is a task I despise so my crafty sister and I made a deal that she would do that task. For every five outfits she finishes with fasteners, she gets to keep one for her grandchildren. I think it’s a fair trade. I hope she feels the same.

Here are some of the first outfits. Several others are in the works.

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Thrift Store Bargains

This project is another example of thrift store bargains.

The dolls are all from a local Red Racks thrift store and no more than $1 was paid for each. Most, in fact, were purchased during the store’s frequent half-price sales so a whopping 50 cents per doll was the cost. They needed rehab but that was easy and inexpensive as you can see in this post about fixing Jasmine’s hair and this one about a group of dolls my daughter refurbished.

Not only are the dolls from Red Racks, the yarn used to make the clothes is from the thrift store. It’s not that I’m a total tightwad but not much yarn is needed to crochet a doll outfit so it doesn’t make sense to purchase a new skein when only a little is needed.

Besides that, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of yarn without the expense of purchasing a whole skein.

Eyelash yarn, for example, is gorgeous but I quickly learned it’s not a product in which I want to invest money or time. It’s great for adding edging pizzazz  but it’s difficult to work with. Using it for an entire project would make me insane.





Wildlife Encounters Can Have Deadly Consequences for Humans, Animals

News this week about a baby bobcat that had to be euthanized after it bit someone was sad and a lesson about handling wildlife. Even though it was only three weeks old, the bobcat had to be euthanized to check for rabies.

It’s not optional.

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I Bought a Bowdabra… Now What?

Yesterday my macho husband asked if I’d like to go to a craft store with him.

I fainted.

I picked myself up from the floor and croaked “WHAT? WHAT did you say?” and he replied “I need to go to a craft store. Do you want to go with me?”

I fainted again.

When I came to, he explained he needed letters to put on his newly camo-covered ATV and the hardware store didn’t have what he wanted.

Before he could change his mind, I quickly grabbed my wallet and off we went to Michael’s where he found his letters and I purchased a few things, including a Bowdabra.

Continue reading “I Bought a Bowdabra… Now What?”