Make the world go round

Archive for March 2011

A while back a dear friend surprised me with a very special gift! I’ve been wanting to post about it for a while, but the days get away from me so easily.

This special gift including blooming daffodils is my very own starter garden and includes all kinds of wonderful vegetables and herbs. Sorry, I have no picture, it’s been dark out when I’ve been photographing, so I haven’t gotten a shot yet! Just picture a 16″ terracotta pot turned into a miniature vegetable garden including a small lattice piece for my snap peas to climb up and a splash of color with my daffodils!

I can already imagine how great my homegrown sugar snap peas, green onions, lettuce, spinach, parsley and rosemary will taste My cooking just got so much better! I made seafood on the half shell and was able to use my fresh parsley in the coating for the scallops, it was so yummy! I’m inspired to plant some additional vegetables too; I can’t wait until the harvest later this year!

Thank you my friend, I love my garden!


Visited the Gem and Mineral show in Cottonwood, AZ on a whim. I have so many beads and gemstones the last thing I really need is more. You can’t walk in to a show like that and not find even more that you have to have. So I knew I was tempting fate. All things considered, I think I walked out of the show with some unique pieces that will be great additions to my wardrobe.
 I found four pieces to use as pendants and look forward to crafting the necklaces to complete the piece.

Picture Jasper with Lapiz frame

Picture Jasper with Lapiz frame

Ocean Jasper – found only in Madagascar

Ocean Jasper – found only in Madagascar



On a side note, these pictures were taken with my newly crafted macro photo studio.  I love my studio, though my masking tape is questioning whether it wants to stick or not. I used the DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio on the Strobist blog to guide me, and I used some shooting tips from my dear friend at Vasara Photography to help me nail the shots.  In my impatience, I didn’t get the best shots here, my depth of field is a little too shallow so there’s more blur than I’d like, but, I can keep playing with the settings to fine tune the results. The best part is that I have the studio for all my future projects, so hopefully my photos will improve dramatically!

 The last creation for my in-law’s was the gift for my father-in-law that pulls it all together and gives him some daily activity to keep him entertained while his wife travels the world.

After much brainstorming I finally decided to make a countdown calendar.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own countdown calendar

  • Spiral Bound Index  Cards (whatever size you find)
  • Stickers (assortment based on the special days you find)
  • Paper (assorted, to print your events on)
  • Glue
  • Gift box (I used a photo box)
  • Materials for projects you choose to include or make as part of the kit
    • I used:
      • Yarn
      • Poly fiberfill
      • Pretty paper – blank
      • Envelope
      • 2 sheets of paper
      • Instructions for drawing a bird
      • Recipe
      • Bottle of salsa
      • Can of Beans
      • Envelope


What to do:

Step One:

Figure out the dates for your countdown. Write them down in a list so you can make notes next to them, like this:

  • Tuesday, April 5 T-15
  • Wednesday, April 6 T-14
  • Thursday, April 7 T-13
  • Monday, April 18 T-2
  • Tuesday, April 19 T-1
  • Wednesday, April 20 T-0

Step Two:

Surf the internet to find websites that highlight the special days during the time that your countdown occurs. I searched Google for “Special events calendar 2011” and for “Fun Holidays Calendar 2011” I was looking for non-traditional holidays, things like Opposites Day, National Walk to Work Day, or Hammock Day. Some of the best sites I found were:

As you find holidays that fit the person or would be fun to include, write them down on the list you created. Keep looking through the list until you have something for every day. If you find that you don’t have enough to fill up your calendar, consider including a special recipe for them to make something you know they like. Buy the non-perishable ingredients for the recipe and include them in the kit. Buy them a television series, DVD, book or magazine and include that on the list of things to do as well.

Step Three:

Now that you’ve got your list (and you found some additional  reasons to craft) it’s time to start building your calendar.

You can either hand write on your calendar the days and your events, or you can use a template in your word processing program to put three index cards to one sheet of 8 ½ x 11 paper and print them out. Put each event on it’s own index card

Step Four:

Decorate with stickers as appropriate

Step Five:

Decorate the cover of your countdown calendar

Step Six:

Collect all the items you need to help celebrate your holidays.

Step Seven:

Assemble all your items in your gift box

Step Eight:

Present your countdown kit to the lucky recipient!

I have a lot of pictures so bear with me on this one, just keep scrolling down to see the Countdown Calendar I created and the final presentation.

Countdown Kit Final Presentation

Countdown Kit Final Presentation

I’m glad I have some extra cards left over from my KITs, I’ll be sending a note to Max tomorrow, I hope you will to!

A moment of your time can help someone else’s dream come true! Max is a 12-year-old living w/Leukemia and his wish is to receive 1M Get Well Cards. Please send a card to this young boy.

PO BOX 111
Neola, IA 51559 USA

 'Mighty Max' Low

Note: more info on link in the article: Battling Cancer, A Superhero Kid Asks For ‘Get Well’ Cards | MTV Act Blog “In hopes of breaking the Guinness world record, ‘Mighty Max’ asks for 1 million get well cards. …”

Andrea from Saving the World… One Craft at a Time and I were able to have a great start to the weekend by shopping together for craft supplies.

A local church has an annual rummage sale where they have all the families bring items for the sale and they have a huge sale for an entire weekend. The best part is that for five dollars you can fill a big with anything they have and get away with the bargain of the year!

I’ve been looking for t-shirts to create Pieced Jersey Pants for my nephew. So this was a great score for me. Not only did I find great t-shirts in great colors, but they had some fantastic surf logos on them too so I’ll definitely be incorporating those into an upcoming project.

Rummage Finds Repurpose

Rummage Finds Repurpose

I found a basket that I’m going to use to create a centerpiece for Easter with rolled fabric flowers and/or crochet flowers decorating the handle and fresh flowers in the basket.

I also found a pair of pants and a shirt I can use as is which is great because I really needed an extra pair of pants for work.

Rummage Finds

Rummage Finds

The best find of all was the lace shirt that I can repurpose for my tie dye tank. The shirt was stained in spots, but I can use that for the pieced jersey pants, and the lace I can cut off and sew to the tank I made to embellish it and dress it up. I can’t wait to finish it!

Tie Dye Tank

Tie Dye Tank that I will apply the lace to

In line with the abundance of destashing in the blogosphere, I’ve been wanting to use up some of my yarn supply (it has nothing to do with telling myself I don’t get to buy more yarn until I’ve decreased my stash). Crochet is the easiest craft for me to consistently do since it’s easy to work on while the family catches up on the hours of DVR.

Maggie Too

This is the Crochet Lola doll, we dubbed her "Maggie Too"

I like to keep at least one project going so I always have something to fall back on. I especially love small projects that produce results quickly, although there is something to said for the rhythm of a large project when it’s a stitch you love to create. (like the Hooded Baby Blanket). I think I’m going to create some stitch samplers so I’ll have them to remember my favorite stitches.

So this project came from the Lion Brand Yarn website, it’s their Crochet Lola (they also have a knit version). I’ve never made a doll before and I haven’t done anything with changing colors, so this stretched me a little, and I love the way it turned out.

Since I was destashing, I didn’t follow the pattern for yarn recommendations, and the gauge is definitely off in some places, but I think it adds to the charm of the handmade feel. The colors also could have been more fitting, but again, I was working with what I had on hand, and I’m still pleased with her!

Maggie Too Hair

Maggie's hair is two different sizes of curls, and I can't wait to crochet a whole bunch for our beanies!

My favorite part of Maggie Too is the hair, the cute little curls really add texture and bounce and bring her to life! I love them so much (and so does the Fruit Ninja) that I’m working on a beanie pattern that will incorporate the curls and create an adorable beanie hat to wear next winter.
Maggie Too was crafted with the intention of giving the Fruit Ninja’s dad a companion while his wife is off traveling the world. We figured it would help him to have someone to talk to (other than the cat) while she’s visiting their daughter in Guam. [Note: they were supposed to visit Japan as part of the world traveling trip, due to the events there that part of the trip has obviously been cancelled. Our hearts go out to everyone in Japan and remind you to be prepared, you never know what will happen, or when. Love your people!] I think Maggie Too will work terrifically as a temporary companion and more importantly, I love that he loved her as much as we did!

Maggie Too Action Shot

Maggie Too with her new companion and in her new home!

We gathered 8 of us together for a birthday party for Beans’ friend, good food, great cupcakes and some tie dye. Everyone except Beans and myself had never worked with tie dye before. They’re all 18 years or older, and have never done tie dye.

NEVER done tie dye. Wow.

Thankfully four more people have been introduced and loved it. Not only did they love it, but they created some beautiful wearable art!

Tie dye and cameras don’t go that well together so all I have are pictures of the finished pieces, and then only some of them. I’ll try to get more and add them in.

Rain's Tie Dye

So many colors and the bulls-eye spiral is awesome

Taz's Tie Dye

Great soft effect, this technique would be great for dying fabric for sewing patterns

Tie Dye Skirt

This is for my niece, it's going to be a skirt, she requested the blue and green, I love the blending

Tie Dye Tank

This was a spiral roll, and turned out better than I hoped, can't wait to embellish this!

Tie Dye Folded

I love the colors, but the fold didn't have as much impact as I hoped. This was a simple back and forth fold.

Tie Dye Triangle Fold

This was my favorite "wing-it" technique. We folded this long strip like a paper football (in math class, we all did that right?) which was just a triangle fold up the entire length.

Tie Dye Scarf Traditional Version 1

This was a traditional scrunch and rubber band into a ball before applying the dye, used a lot of dye on this one.

Tie Dye Scarf Traditional Version 2

Same as above, with less dye. and more randomness in the scrunching if I remember correct.

Since the party one of the artists has gone on to have her own tie dye session to make gifts for a friend, and another one has claimed she wants to have a tie dye session on a regular basis!
To have your own tie dye party this is what you’ll need.
  • Tie dye kit (make sure to buy a kit with enough dye to cover all the shirts/fabrics your guests bring)
  • Cotton fabric, t-shirts or tank tops (socks, pillow cases, etc. – just make sure it’s cotton or the dye will not take)
  • Extra rubber bands
  • Extra rubber gloves
  • Outdoor area
  • Tables
  • Plastic table cloths or trash bags to cover the work area
  • Bucket of water to soak the shirts in
  • Instructions for tie dye patterns (comes in the tie dye kit, but you can find more on the internet)
  • Make your own hoagie sandwiches (assorted breads, meats, cheeses, condiments and veggies)
  • Fruit tray
  • Chips
  • Assorted Beverages

We skipped the formal invitations and decorations, but I can envision all kinds of fun to really pull this thing together into a more formal party if you wanted to.

Don’t forget that tie dying can be time-consuming and is messy. Make sure to allow plenty of time (check your tie dye kit instruction and find out if your t-shirts/fabric need to presoak in a chemical treatment, or just water) for the dying process. Art takes time, and getting the shirts prepared for dying, especially for newbies, can be challenging. Most of all enjoy yourself and have fun creating a one of a kind wearable art item! We ate our lunch, tie dyed, and then came back in for dessert and games. Do whatever works best for you and your friends!

Be on the look out for pieces I create from the dyed cotton fabric!

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