Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crafty Idea: Bottle Cap Magnet



Turning bottle caps into crafty magnets, is fun and easy to do. Using Mod Podge Glue and Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, I created these fun magnets using bottle caps from one of my favourite pops.




My favourite source for bottle caps.

Using my 1" circle punch, I punched out the images I wanted from some gift-wrapping my son received.  I glued the circle to the inside of the caps using a paintbrush. When dry, I placed several drops of the dimensional magic and waited overnight for it to dry. With a small bead of hot glue to the flat part of the cap, I glued a magnet and pressed the pieces together with my fingers.




When dry, the dimensional magic has a smooth, shiny surface. It dried clear, therefore allowing you to see the image that was glued in place.




If you are thinking of making a bunch of these and would rather not drink a lot of pop, may I suggest that you check out your local craft store or check online. There are lots of places where you can purchase plain bottle caps as a craft item. A great place to start your search is on Etsy.

As an added tip, because I used quite a bit of the dimensional magic, I found that it worked best if I left it overnight to dry. I also covered it with a glass to protect the finish while drying. You will also want to remove any air bubbles with the tip of a pin or needle, prior to drying. This was my first time using the dimensional magic, so I was not sure what to expect. I like the effect, and will like to try some other projects.

Can you guess which one my little one likes?




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Patchwork Pincushion



I have never been much for making quilts, doing appliqu├ęs or patchwork designs. I have always responded with the statement "I don't have that much patience." However, I have been seeing so many beautiful quilted pieces as of late, that it is moving me in the direction of trying my first quilt. I have even created a new Pinterest board, dedicated to the subject.

To get my feet wet, I decided to try making a pincushion, which was also needed for my sewing classes.  I had an idea of how I wanted it to look, but could not find a tutorial that showed me how to make the one I had in mind. I decided to think through the process and create my own pattern.

I'm sure that an experienced quilter will have some great advice on a more efficient way to make it, but I had fun with the process and it turned out the way I had in mind.




I filled the cushion using eco-fill and used a pink vintage button in the centre on either side of the cushion. The finished pincushion is 5" x 5" square. The reverse side of the pincushion is the solid 100% cotton fabric. I hope that my little project will inspire you to try one of your own. I love making pincushions and I think they make wonderful gifts.

Tutorial coming soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Review: Crocodile Stitch Fashions



Crocodile Stitch Fashions by Lianka Azulay

I added this book to my craft library this past summer, but was still trying to wrap my mind around how to do the crocodile crochet stitch. With the completion of my recent cowl project I was able to figure things out.

The book presents a range of fashion accessories using "super fine" to "light" weight yarn. There are eight very beautiful projects featured in the book. All of the projects in the book are listed at an intermediate level. The photos are very clear and the instructions are easy to follow. The author has also included a very handy conversion chart at the back of the book. My personal favourite is the "Triangle Shawl," which is featured on the cover. I'm looking forward to trying the projects and hope to share them with you.

Here are some great videos that I have also found helpful in learning this stitch.

Monday, October 15, 2012

At Home: Laundry Room Makeover

This past summer my husband and I decided to tackle several projects around our home. The laundry room was at the top of the list for several reasons; including the fact that we needed more storage space and the old plastic sink just had to go. This was a project we had started before, and did not get as far along with it as we had hoped. We had updated the appliances and reduced some clutter, which was just the tip of the ice burg. However, this time, I'm happy with the results and even though we can do with a few minor "homey" touches and a countertop over the machines, I'm happy with the results.




One of the things that was really important was having a sink that could handle my tie-dye projects and to have more storage to keep things neat and tidy. Another consideration was having a rack to hang a few items. We also wanted to brighten up the room and create a breezier feel.







We were really happy to get this wonderful sink. It is deep enough to handle my projects and the stainless steel is a major bonus. The unit includes the facet, sink and cabinetry.







Transformation

The room had two open shelves, which really did not work very well. We wanted everything to be contained and to maximize the space.



1. Removed the shelves and old sink.



2. Repaired the walls and followed by wiping, priming and painting.






3. Installation of the new sink and wall cabinets.





Finished Laundry Room!

This project features the following Crafty Idea project: Clothes Hook.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crocodile Crochet Stitch



In my continued effort to develop my knitting and crochet skills, I have been exploring new stitches. One of my recent projects include the very beautiful "crocodile" or "mermaid" crochet stitch. After knitting the initial piece to about 8"x 24", I added three rows of this stitch to finish it off.  I also added a velvet ribbon to bring things together.

I love combining knitting with crochet, and seeing the wonderful results you can get. I am looking forward to wearing my new cowl this winter and trying more projects with this stitch. I also think that the colour is amazing and looks stunning with my cream wool jacket.



For this project I used a size J/10 (6.00mm) crochet hook and size US 10.5 (6.5mm) knitting needles. I was able to complete the project with one ball of Lion Brand "Homespun" yarn in "Tulips" colour.


A great video tutorial on how to do the crocodile crochet stitch can be found here!

Friday, October 5, 2012

6 Reasons Your Business Should Use Pinterest

by Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby

There are so many social media platforms available and deciding which ones to dedicate your time and efforts to can be challenging. Once you think social media, many of us think time. However, in today's world investing the time needed to connect with your customers, prospects and others in your industry is vital to the survival and growth of your business. To simply choose to ignore the growing influence that social media has on business development and the world around us, might be the biggest mistake a business owner can make. Yet the next question that comes to mind is, how can I sift through the over abundance of information available in order to decide which social platforms are best.

One of the best places to start is by better understanding your customers and your target audience. What are their social media habits and what platforms match with their preferences and lifestyles. Another important factor is deciding what platforms best highlight your business' products and services.

Given that my business is built on the idea of creativity, I chose Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com) as one of my social media platforms. Pinterest allows me to share creative ideas and to gather inspiration. It can also be very addictive. You can spend hours wasting time, but also spend hours discovering great websites and gathering amazing resources.

In short, Pinterest is a virtual pin board that lets you organize and share visual content that you like on the Internet. You can curate a collection of images or videos that can compliment your own work. You are utilizing other people's content to add value to your customers' experience. It is visual and very easy to navigate. It is easy to join and all you need to do is install a "Pin" button on your browser. Better yet, many sites have a "Pin It" button, which not only lets you know that they are okay with you collecting the image and linking to the information, but it makes it supper easy to do so.

You can create a "Board," in which you will "Pin" to. When you click on the image or video on your board, you are taken back to the source where you can review the full details. It is that simple . . . well almost. I say almost, because as with any social media platform, you have to learn how to make the best out of it to enhance your business, and it takes a commitment of your time to the process. Connecting with others, sharing, repining, and providing feedback on other "Boards," are important factors for getting noticed. The idea is to have fun and connect with others.

Here is a snapshot of some of my boards:


Here are 6 reasons your business should use Pinterest:
  1. Great way to encourage visitors to your blog or website
  2. Gain links to valuable information and a wealth of inspiration
  3. Gain more exposure by posting original images of your work on a board that features a collection of your work
  4. Interact with customers and others in your network
  5. Raise awareness of your business or things that interest you
  6. Take advantage of the fastest growing social media platform
Check out the "Pin Etiquette," along with other great information for getting you started. Another great article for getting you started can be found on wikiHow by clicking here. For more news on this social media platform visit Mashable.

When you do join, follow me on Pinterest.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Crafty Idea: Clothes Hook

My husband Don and I recently gave our laundry room a makeover. Nothing major was done, but we did add some more storage space and upgraded things a bit. We wanted to have somewhere to hang a few items, but the room opens out into our side deck, which means that there is not much you can do against the one wall. The solution was to add a clothes hook, so I had to come up with a crafty idea that would fit the limited space available.

So what do you think?



If you want to try this crafty idea, all you will need is a piece of wood and some simple screw-in finials.

  1. Measure your spacing and drill holes on your wood for where you will like to place your hooks.
  2. Sand and finish your wood with paint or wood stain (optional).
  3. Screw your finials in place using a double-ended screw. You may need to use shorter screws, depending on the thickness of your wood.
  4. Mount your finished clothes hook. To support the weight of what you are hanging, it is recommended to screw into a wall stud.





Tip!
To hide the screws that hold the rack onto the wall, I placed the screws just under the finials so that when you screw the finials onto the wood you do not see the head of the screws.


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