Ta-Da! Simple Crochet Triangle Scarf

Triangle scarf

I am still in love with Caron Cakes yarns. The wool/acrylic blend is so soft & squishy – I really can’t resist it! I think this colorway, called “Turkish Delight” is my favorite. I knew I wanted to use it to make myself a cozy triangle scarf. 

Because I wanted a pattern that I like to call “TV crochet” I search for something with a repeat that would be easy to remember, and minimal difficulty. I settled on Simple Triangle Gradient Shawl from Three Sticks Design. I had to rewrite a portion of the pattern in my own words (the way it is worked at the peak of each row), because I found it a little confusing as-written, but overall it is a good pattern. I also changed the picot edging up a bit. Instead of chaing between picot stitches, I slip stitched. I just prefer that look.

My notes for this project on Ravelry.
Triangle scarf

I have been wearing this scarf out several times a week, and even a couple times at work as a shawl. My co-worker made this with neutrals and it is just stunning!

With this project over, I think it may be time for me to finish up my Atlanticus blanket!

Unique, Handmade Valentine’s Day Card + A Free Printable!

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I realize than many people dislike Valentine’s Day, but I am not one of them. I’m all about the love, the chocolate, the hearts, the flowers, and especially the cards! I think one of the reasons a lot of people don’t like this holiday is because of the perceived pressure to spend, spend, spend. I totally get that, and I’m here to tell you that really, the best Valentine gift for your sweetie is one from the heart. A simple, handmade Valentine with a heartfelt sentiment will no doubt be appreciated beyond an expensive dinner in a restaurant or pricey jewelry. Read on to find out how I made this unique bouquet card for Valentine’s Day

When ProFlowers invited me to participate in their DIY challenge to create a beautiful handmade card, I was definitely up for it! I wanted to put a little bit of a twist on my card, and I have to say — I’m quite pleased with my project!

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

The selection of Valentine’s Day flowers at ProFlowers is full of beautiful choices. It was not easy picking something to work with — my head was spinning with dozens of ideas! But I ultimately hose a bouquet of 18 long-stemmed red roses because I wanted something classic. Because I absolutely love roses anytime of year, but especially on Valentine’s Day, I decided to make the flowers part of my card. ProFlowers has some really cute vases to go with their Valentine bouquets, and I absolutely fell in love with the Rustic Heart vase. Not only does it fit right into my home decor, but I immediately knew how I could personalize it.

The first thing I tackled was the vase. It looks like a heart carved into a birch tree, so it seemed obvious to make sure my husband’s and my initials were on there! I cut them them out of silver vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo, but you could easily use stickers or even a paint pen!

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

Next was to create the card. As I arranged the roses in the vase, Shakespeare popped into my head. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!  There was my inspiration! I made a simple folded card out of cardstock and scrapbooking paper. Then, I lettered the beginning of the sonnet. 

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The rest of the “card” is hanging off the roses themselves. I cut tags out of black cardstock and ran a silver paint marker around the edges.

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

Then I wrote out one through eighteen on one side of the tag. I used my favorite oblique holder, a Zebra G nib, and Dr. P.H. Martin’s Bleedproof White ink, my favorite white!

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

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On the other side I wrote down why I love my husband. I tried to include a mix of silly and sappy reasons. I knew that I would enjoy finding each hand-lettered tag and spending time reading over every one of them.

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Then I looped baker’s twine through the holes and attached each tag to one of the roses.

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

ProFlowers Valentine Card Challenge

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If you’d like to recreate this bouquet card but don’t have calligraphy skills, don’t worry! You can write the numbers in cursive and then thicken the downstrokes to create “faux calligraphy.” Or, you could print out these free tags on cardstock, cut them out, and write your own messages on the back! 

Free Printable Number Tags

Download your free tags here!
Numbers one-nine and numbers ten-eighteen.

I hope you’ll give a homemade card or gift a try. If you do, please make sure to share a photo or a description of your project with me! I want to hear all about how you are going to make it a handmade Valentine’s Day this year!

In order to facilitate this post, ProFlowers provided me with a free floral bouquet and vase. I received no further compensation. All opinions are my own.

Some Recent Silhouette Projects

Since getting my Silhouette Cameo for Christmas, I have really enjoyed using it to kick up my crafts. There are so many possibilities! It can be overwhelming for a newbie, and I’ve read about people who keep their Silhouette in the box for months (or longer). Well, let me tell you — take out the machine, install the software on your computer, read the manual, and just play around with it! Will you mess up your first project or two? Maybe. Probably. But that’s OK. That’s how you learn. Isn’t that what we tell our kids? It’s totally OK to make mistakes! Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from having fun.

Here’s a picture of the first vinyl project I made. (Yes, I did go back and fix the missing apostrophe!) This was just using the Recollections brand vinyl from Michael’s. I wouldn’t say the vinyl is amazing, but the cup has held up for a few months now, and in a pinch I would buy it again.

First vinyl project

After realizing that cutting vinyl wasn’t actually terrifying, I decided to buy the Craft E Vinyl Assortment of glossy permanent vinyl from Amazon. It was easier and faster for me to purchase this instead of tracking down Oracal 651 from a vinyl retailer and I love this stuff! It weeds easily, adheres well, and if you have Amazon Prime in two days you’ll have it in your hot little hands. I used the Craft E Vinyl to create this sign for my dad to hang in his workshop.

Tool Rules sign

For St. Patrick’s Day, Laura needed to wear green to school (obviously!). I still had not ventured very far into the world of HTV (heat transfer vinyl), and all I had was a sheet of metallic gold Cricut vinyl I bought on sale at Joann’s. But it did the job and my little leprechaun made it through the day without being pinched! For this design, I simply found the shamrock wreath online, brought it into the Silhouette Design Studio, traced the image, added my text, and was ready to go. (When cutting vinyl to iron on to clothing, don’t forget to mirror it – I made that mistake!)

St. Patrick's Day shirt

Next is a travel mug I made for Drew’s birthday gift. After Christmas, Target had 2-packs of Contigo brand travel mugs on clearance, so I scooped up a package. My husband is a huge fan of G.I. Joe comics (and even has a Cobra Commander Halloween costume), so this was a no-brainer. I love how it looks, even thought it was incredibly simple!

Cobra (GI Joe) travel mug

After deciding that I was going to want to delve a little futher into making custom creations that used HTV, I placed an order for some better quality supplies. First order of business was to make myself this shirt. Yes, I do think I am very punny!

Calligraphers are always write!

And last I’ll share the Mother’s Day gift I made for my mom. Glass cutting boards were all the rage in the FB groups, so I picked one up at Dollar Tree and made this design from scratch. As you can imagine, it’s not that easy finding anything that says “Babci” on it, so I think she was happy with it. This was another project that required flipping the image before cuting it because you actually stick the vinyl on the underside of the cutting board (that way it is still functional).

Glass cutting board

There are so many other project ideas in my head! I’ve also used it quite a bit to cut complicated shapes out of paper (that’s how I did my son’s Confirmation invitations). And I also use it to cut out envelope templates. Again, it’s just faster and easier than doing it by hand. I look forward to sharing more ideas soon!

{Tutorial} Sew Easy Loopy Scarf

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

It’s been a couple years now since I made my first loopy scarf, but I still enjoy creating them and if you’re looking for a last-minute handmade gift, this is perfect! One scarf takes about an hour to complete from start to finish (maybe a little more for your first one). The best part is that you don’t need to know how to knit or crochet. Yes, it’s true — you really can make a funky handmade scarf without those skills, as long as you have a sewing machine. Grab a drink, put on a movie, and let’s get crafting! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

 
Loopy Scarf Tutorial

  • A sewing machine
  • One skein of Homespun yarn (or a similar bulky yarn)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Basic sewing notions

Set your sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch. Adjust so that the stitch is somewhat narrow.

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

Next, decide how wide you want the scarf. My prefernce is approximately six inches wide, mostly because that width makes the looping easy.  There are about three inches on the left and I use a rubber band to mark three inches to the right (for a total of six inches).

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

Now you’re ready to start looping! Holding the end of the yarn, make “loops” going from one side to to the other. Keep doing this this until you have about 1.5-2 inches “looped” and then carefully move up the yarn so that it’s under your needle. Slowly start sewing (let me stress the importance of going slow when working on this scarf), being sure to backstitch at the beginning. Try to get the yarn strands really close to each other, but don’t bunch them up into a pile.

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

When you finish sewing together the first few loops, make sure to leave your needle down to secure the yarn while you continue making loops. Repeat this process until the scarf is as long as you’d like!

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

Just in case the directions aren’t clear from the photos, here’s a short video that explains how to sew the scarf together.

Hopefully that will clear up any questions. As you sew, you’ll see that your scarf appears flat as it comes out the other end of your machine. Once you’re done, you’ll just fluff out the scarf and voila! You have no-knit, no-crochet scarf that sews up in no time. 

Loopy Scarf Tutorial

 

 This project was originally featured as a guest post on Sugar Bee Crafts.

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Guys, last year I had to miss out on the debut of the Country Living Fair here in Rhinebeck at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. We had events that entire weekend and there was no way I could eek out the time to attend. But this year? I wrote it in my planner as soon as I found out the dates and I was not going to miss it again!

The weather was absolutely perfect for a day of walking around and being absolutely inspired by all of the creative ideas I saw. The fairground was transformed! I had just been there for CamporALL with the Cub Scouts, but it didn’t look anywhere near as pretty as this. Check it out — buntings everywhere! And I swear they were misting the scent of lavender and cinnamon because everything smelled wonderful.

Country Living Fair 2014

Obviously the vendors want you to buy their wares, but I couldn’t help but steal a few ideas for finished products that were out of my budget. This “Pickles” sign was one of them. The sign, while super cool, was not coming home with me for over $100. And while I doubt I could do a perfect lettering job, it still provided some inspiration.

Country Living Fair 2014

I loved these chairs with the ragamuffin strips hanging down the sides — kind of like a prim tutu, isn’t it?
Country Living Fair 2014

Here was another project I thought I could replicate with a shabby frame, some ticking, an old BINGO card, and a cute vintage image:
Country Living Fair 2014

And who knew that if I could safely take down a hornet’s nest I could not only use it as a home dec accent, but I could also charge $35 for it? (But I have to admit — it does look cool.)
Country Living Fair 2014

Here are a few more “this and that” photos of pretty things:
Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

Country Living Fair 2014

I am already excited for next year! I’ll have one more Country Living Fair post this week all about “glamping.” I’d never heard that term before, but if you love the idea of cute caravan/camper decor… just wait! These ladies had more style in their tiny little campers than I do in my entire house, LOL.