Saturday, September 28, 2013

How to Make Needle Felt Acorns

Autumn is here and I can feel fall in the air.  I love the cooler weather and cloudy skies.  Today I am going to share with you a quick project that's perfect for fall.

Last winter when I was in Spokane, Washington, I visited Paradise Fibers where I purchased some wool roving (carded wool).  I wanted to do some needle felting which I  had never done before.  I was inspired by the lovely designs that I had seen on Planet Penny.


Since I'm always looking for a bargain, I bought this kit for the needle felting at my local Michaels store for under $3.00 after using my coupon.  It contains the needle and sponge pad.


Here's how I made the felted acorns.  First I took a few strands of the roving.


Then I blended those strands together with my fingers.


You can see, it's in the shape of a ball.  I then took the felting needle and started to push the needle through the fibers.  


You want to "felt" the entire ball of roving.  To achieve the round shape, I took fibers from the outside of the roving and brought it to the inside, using the felting needle each time.  You goal is to have all the roving felted together.


After the roving is shaped the way you want it, you can insert it into the empty acorn cap.


I didn't have a hot glue gun so I used Elmers glue.  I put the glue on the inside surface of the acorn, then I inserted the "acorn" itself.


 You can use the felting needle to gentle push the acorn into the shell.  Let the acorns dry and then use them in your autumn decor.


This would be a fun project to share with your children.  I remember when I was a child, I lived in a small town in Idaho.  There wasn't any Michaels or Joann's back then.  There was one little tiny craft shop and it was expensive.  One day my Mom let me go there to make a project using pipe cleaners.  I think it was an octopus.  Isn't it funny that I remember this memory that over 50 years old!

Recently, there's a new store that opened up where I live.  It's called Daiso and it's like a Japanese dollar store but items are $1.50.  They offer a packet of roving in various colors for $1.50/package.  This is a great buy.

After doing this little project I found that the brown roving I bought felted much better than the red.  It was a different type of wool and not as fine.  I wish I could tell you more about felting but this is as far as I got on my felting project. 

I hope you each have a wonderful week and please remember to check Handmade Monday.  You will be amazed at all the wonderful craft ideas you will see!

Wishing you the best,
Pat




Saturday, September 21, 2013

Would you Like to Meet for Coffee?

Fall is in the air.  It is so nice to feel that autumn is here.  The nights are cooler and the air is so fresh without the heat of summer.  I really enjoyed yesterday with the overcast clouds.  It reminds of of those wonderful years I spent in Gig Harbor on the Puget Sound.  I love the rain.

I am still working on my knitted afghan and I finished my moebius scarf but I ran out of time and energy to show the picture of it.  So, instead here is a quick, fun project that you can do.  It's knitted stars and they are so much fun to make.  They are made on DPN (double pointed needles) and you can use sports weight or DK weight yarn.  You only need a little amount so it's a good project to use up odds and ends.



Stars are popular at Christmas time but you can also use them anytime of the year in different color schemes.  Here is the pattern:  

Supplies:
1 set DPN size 3
small ball of sport weight or DK weight yarn
darning needle

And the finished product!


I hope you enjoy this project.

Now for my invitation to you.  I will be in England the latter part of October.  I am so excited for this trip.  My daughter is taking me on a three week journey through England and France.  We will be staying with some dear family friends while in England.  I know I have a lot of blog friends in the UK, so, if you are close to the West Midlands (Bromsgrove, Rubery, etc), I would love to meet you for coffee.  My treat!  Just comment or e-mail me.

There's lots of more news about this adventure that I can share with you at a later time.

I hope you each have a great week and I would love to hear from you if you have the time.

blessings to all of you,
Pat


P.S.  Remember to check out Handmade Harbour for some great craft ideas!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vintage Style Lacey Crochet Baby Blanket

Greetings everyone.  I hope each of you had a great week.  Our weather has returned to normal and the evenings are once again cool and pleasant.

This week I will share with you a baby blanket I have been working on for the past 10 days.  It has been so much fun that I couldn't put it down once I started on it.

As you may recall, I crochet and knit with a group that makes items for charity.  We recently received a large donation of yarn and there was two new packages (with 10 skeins each) of this yarn.  I took one of the packages and my friend took the other.


 

 As you can see, this is a woven ribbon type yarn.  I didn't know how it would knit up but it was great to work with.

I wanted to find a crochet pattern that wouldn't be boring to do and yet not too complicated.  I looked online and through my stash of old patterns.  I found this pattern tucked away in my pattern stash.  I've had it for almost 30 years and thought it would be a fun pattern to crochet.


Here's the finished product.  I think it came out cute although someone has already asked me "how will a baby use a round blanket".  Well, that's up to the Mom - I just had fun making it!



Before I end this post, I want to share with you my great "find" of the week.  I stopped by my local World Market; I love that store with all the goodies they offer from around the world.  They had some of their African items on sale and I purchased this basket for 1/2 price for a total of $19.99!  I had wanted one for a long time and it will be perfect for my large knitting projects like the afghan I am currently working on.



I would love to hear about what you are working on.  Also, feel free to e-mail me if you would like a copy of this pattern.   Please come back again and visit Lilly My Cat and stop over at   Handmade Harbour for some great crafting ideas and also check out this blog for additional creative gifts.

take care,
Pat



Sunday, September 8, 2013

Recipe for Homemade Vinaigrette

Wow!  It has been so hot here in Southern California that I can hardly wait until this heat wave disappears!  It's the humidity that's the worst and it doesn't cool off in the evenings.  The weatherman says it's suppose to return to normal next week.  And, to think it's September!

I have been busy working on numerous projects but none are finished to share with you yet.  I thought you might like this easy recipe for homemade vinaigrette.  I like to make this ahead of time and it keeps for a couple of weeks in the frig.  It's easy, inexpensive and I think it tastes better than those store bought ones that you pay a lot of money for.

Here's what you will need:


* Oil - I use grape seed oil but use the oil of your choice
* Assorted vinegars - balsamic, red wine, rice wine vinegar, etc
* Salt and pepper
* Fresh garlic
* Tarragon
* Dijon mustard


Shahnaz's Vinaigrette
In glass container, press two cloves of garlic.  Add in1/3 cup of seasoned rice vinegar and 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar.  Add in 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of each black pepper and salt.  Last, add in 1 teaspoon of crushed dried tarragon.  Stir well and let sit one hour before using or refrigerating.

 
Have fun experimenting with different oil and vinegars.


Dijon Vinaigrette
In a glass container, crush one clove of fresh garlic, add in 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 4 ounces of balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic) and 4 ounces of oil.  Stir well and let sit about one hour before using or putting in refrigerator.


The fresh garlic adds a unique flavor to the vinaigrette without overpowering the taste.  


After living here in Southern California and shopping at the Persian markets, I have discovered this wonderful grape seed oil.  I now use grape seed oil for all my recipes that use oil.  I found this wonderful white balsamic vinegar at my local Trader Joe's store. 

I hope you have fun experimenting with these recipes. As long as you keep the oil to vinegar measurements, you can mix up the vinegars and the seasonings.

Until next time, have a wonderful week.  And, please stop by Handmade Harbour and check out their Handmade Monday post to see some great craft ideas.

Take care,
Pat :)