Friday, August 24, 2012

Daily Craft - Playing with wire

While all my craft stuff was packed away and mostly out of reach, the one thing that I did have access to was my jewelry making supplies.  It all started with a tutorial for half herringbone wire wrapped beaded drops.  That resulted in me attempting the technique on several different beads.  My best efforts were a pair for myself, and a variation that is now in my shop.  I just love how simple but elegant the design is, and how the wire really highlights the beads.

A pair for you?
A pair for me!

Of course, this got me started with admiring other wire wrapping online, which led to checking out hammered wire pieces, and....well you know how it is when you start down the rabbit hole.  Next thing you know, I had to order a hammer, steel bench block, and more wire to play with.  Those supplies arrived last week, which resulted in a copper bracelet (photos to come in a future post), and yet another supply order for some items with which to give the wire a beautiful patina.  Yup, I've lost myself in yet another crafty vortex; however I'm thrilled that I'm going to be offering some fun new jewelry in my store soon, once I've perfected some new techniques!  In the crafty world, does it ever just stop with one thing?  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Daily Tip - Foaming soap!

Today I have a simple household tip to share, inspired by husband's complaint that the new soap I'd put in the kitchen wasn't lathering enough.  I'm not sure if he's  become accustomed to the foaming soaps that I'd picked up at Bath & Bodyworks, or if the dispenser for the soaps I'd grabbed at Bed Bath & Beyond ($1/each on clearance) just sucked.  Seeing as we still had the foaming soap dispenser, the answer was actually very easy! 

Pouring regular soap into the foaming soap dispenser on it's own won't work because the soap is too thick and will clog the dispenser.  All you need to do, however, is add water.  We put in a mixture of 1 part soap to 4 parts water, then gently mixed it together.  At first it wasn't mixed enough so the dispenser didn't want to foam properly, but I figured it was just because the soap was still somewhat settled at the bottom and was too thick.  We tipped the bottle back and forth a few times to mix it up again, and it was soon working perfectly. 

$0.20 vs. $3 for a container of soap.  When the other foaming soaps in the house run out, I think we'll continue to use this refill method.  Definitely a worthwhile savings! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Daily Craft - The other thing I knit

I shared with you the blanket that I finally took pictures of, and now to share the other thing that I knit up for the little one. Baby's first cardigan!  I also started knitting this before knowing gender, so went with what I hoped were relatively neutral colors.  I think it'll work out just fine for baby boy.    :)

Even after sorting through the many, many piles of baby clothes, I'm still in awe of how tiny each piece of clothing actually is.  I know this picture would look much more inspiring if it were on a real life model rather than a plastic hanger. I'll have to take an 'after' picture when he's actually big enough to wear it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Daily Craft - A finished blanket

You may recall that I started a baby blanket a while back.  I actually started it before I even knew that we were having a boy, and had elected to knit up neutral beige/greens.  At the time, I had also decided to incorporate a pale blue, which is a nod to the fact that I suspected he was a boy all along.  

While I've been making various things all at the same time, I'll admit that I finished the blanket a few weeks ago and had put it aside for blocking.  Seeing as it's knit in an acrylic/micro-fiber blend, steam blocking was required and I only just managed to get around to doing that.  It could probably use a little more work to square it out, but I'm sure running it through the dryer a couple times will probably take care of the last part.    

Here it is though - one super soft blanket, which I adore and can't wait to snuggle the little guy in it.  :)  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Daily Ramblings - Where did the couch go?

I think my unborn child may have more clothes than I do.  Husband and I unwittingly fell into the perfect storm of hand-me-downs with this kid.  Our two nephews are also fall babies and, as they are quickly growing out of the clothing and other baby gear, there is a stream of stuff making it's way into our house.  After receiving two huge boxes of clothes yesterday, we now have enough clothing to cover him from approx 0-9 months.  I happily sat in front of the TV, watching Olympics highlights, and sorting by size until the entire couch had been overrun by tiny little outfits.  It's all so cute I can hardly bear it!  Meanwhile, a similar thing is going on with one of my closest girlfriends, also with two boys.  She's also been toting around a box of clothes for me for the last 3 weeks.  [Seriously, nobody buy this baby any more clothes!]  I don't even know the right way to thank my sister-in-law and my friend (and their respective husbands of course) for their generosity.  It's truly overwhelming, in a wonderful kind of way.

I'm a few days from being in my third trimester and I can't help but wonder where the hell the last 3 months went.  I've heard that the middle three months are the best.  I no longer have the nausea from the first trimester, and haven't fully developed the discomfort of the last. Jenny (the masseuse at my chiropractor's office) has been keeping an eye on my progress.  A couple of weeks ago, I told her that I was hoarding the massage sessions that my insurance will cover until I really needed her.  Back then, she looked at my ankles and said "it's ok, they're not too swollen yet."  This week, when I was there for my weekly pilates session, she took one look at my ankles and said "it's time".  I'll be seeing her on Saturday, cankles and all. 

Meanwhile, the feeling that time is running out is upon me.  There's still so much to do and organize, birth classes to be attended, books to be read, things to be made!  I remember months ago thinking how much time I have....and now realizing that the time is slipping away quickly.  He's strong enough now that his wiggles are evident from the outside of my belly and he seems to be enjoying his yoga first thing in the morning as I'm trying to ignore the alarm clock.  Soon enough, he won't just be the alien being that's taken over my belly, he'll be a real life little person.  It's weird.  People ask us if we're ready and, honestly, we have no idea if we ever will be.  Feeling somewhat unprepared and all, I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Daily Craft - A custom made necklace

While I am definitely in baby mode when it comes to my recent crafting, I was asked to make a necklace for a co-worker.  When time permits, I'm all about making custom pieces as it makes me think outside of the box and create something that I may not usually do.  I've also been frighteningly neglectful of my online shop since getting pregnant, so jumped at the chance.

In this case, it ended up being a beautiful smokey Swarovski briolette, wire-wrapped to a quatrefoil link.  Now that I've made the finished item, I love this design and need to make more like it!