Archive for Crafts

Christmas Crafts 2012- The Year of the Crochet Hook

3-IMG_0101My crafting,  crocheting fest this year continued with another great pattern I found, but this time on the Lion Brand Yarn website.

My Mom told me about this website, and they have tons and tons and tons of free patterns for both crocheting and knitting.  And the patterns are for all skill levels.

The pattern that I used for quite a few homemade gifts was called Family of Beanies.  It allows you to make many sizes from one easy  pattern.  The yarn that I used for this beanie pattern was a soft, thick yarn, Hometown USA.  A great, soft yarn.

I made beanies for the Montana family, beanies for my son and his girlfriend, beanies for my son-in-law and grandson. beanies, beanies, beanies


Then Travel Man said, “Where’s my beanie?  You know sometimes my travel takes me to the cold weather.”  So I’m off to the store tomorrow to get some gray yarn.  Travel Man’s favorite color.  I guess you know what I’ll be doing for New Year’s.

Evans beanie turned out so cute I made him a scarf to go with it.

Photo credit to Elaine Zee.

Photo credit to Elaine Zee.

Such a ham for the camera. He’s was pretending he was cold and freezing, totally set up this pose himself.  His ensemble was blue and orange for the Chicago Bears, of course .

Then the football rivals in the house got scarves in the Green Bay Packers colors.  This was some great yarn, variegated with the team colors.  No switching colors required.  The surprise here was my daughter had no idea I had been working on this gift.  You see I did most of the work in the car while Travel Man was driving us around doing our errands.


All in all I got everything finished that I set out to make before Christmas Day arrived.  It’s always fun finding projects to work on that will be given as gifts.  And I’m discovering it’s great to find a pattern that is universal that can be given as a gift to the girls or the boys.  Maybe next year I’ll make everyone some socks or mittens.  Stay tuned for Christmas Crafts 2013.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow…..


This year for some of the Christmas gifts and doo-dads I was giving I got totally hooked on crocheting.  I have never gotten into knitting, just a crochet girl at heart.

I found the pattern for this little beauty on Red Heart yarn’s website, and it was soooo easy to make I could hardly contain myself.

Every time I sat down to watch tv I was making a snow flake.  Each one only took 15 minutes or so, and then I was on to the next one.

When my sister was here visiting in November I sent her home with a dozen little flakes to make a garland to string across her front window.

1-photo (2)Then for Christmas day I taped an ornament to each person’s gift.  I loved sharing my little flakes with everyone.

Funny thing though, when you do a project like that you never make any for yourself.  I’m thinking I need a garland for my front window for next year.

I’m off to crochet. Happy trails everyone.

So, are you a knitting or a crochet person?

Tie-Dye Day at Camp Grandma

One fine sunny morning at Camp Grandma I decided it was time to try my hand at tie-dyeing.  I had purchased a little tie-dye kit at Joann‘s Fabrics, along with some white t-shirts that were on sale.

This kit included the three bottles with the dye powder, rubber bands, and plastic gloves, along with the instructions of course.  It was supposed to be enough dye to make 6 shirts.  We made two kids shirts and one adult shirt.

In order to make this a successful project with Evan I had to have ALL of the supplies we would need set-up before we got started.

We headed outside to a table I had set-up on the  patio, covered with black trash bags.  I wanted to keep the mess in an easy to clean up state.  And I knew that Evan,  being only 6, might not have the patience to wait around for the process we were about to dive into.  I was not able to take pictures of our processing, so I will do my  best to describe the steps of our project.

  • We laid two of the shirts out flat, and then pulled up the center of the shirt into a long skinny tube-like shape.
  • Then we put the rubber bands around the shirts in 4 or 5 spots along the length of the tube.  Similar to this:
  • For the third shirt, it was twisted it into a ball from the middle of the shirt. 
  • Next the rubber bands were placed around the ball like the sections of an orange. 
    The shirt looked like this:

Now for the fun part.  Evan and I put on some plastic gloves and carefully and slowly began to apply the dye to the shirts.  Each section between the rubber bands was a different color.  We had red, navy blue and a teal blue.  Very patriotic in the end.  Once all of the dye was applied to all of the sections of the shirts they were left to soak for the rest of the day.  We put them inside plastic grocery bags, tied them shut and then cleaned up our table.

After about 6 hours the shirts were rinsed first under only cold water.  This was to remove the excess dye in the shirts.  Then the rubber bands were removed, and the shirt was rinsed again,  in only cold water.  This was to remove the last remaining bits of the excess dye that had not set into the fabric.  Next the shirts went into the washer, cold water only, on the shortest wash cycle possible.  Mine takes about half an hour.  Then I threw them in the dryer on a very low heat. 

The end result looked like this:

We purposely left a section white, as we were going for the red, white and blue effect.  That was Evan’s idea.  But with this kit the colors set in very well.  Evan was so excited with how they turned out he modeled quite graciously for me.

When we do this project again,  I will make sure I have another set of hands to help with the mess.  The dye is fun to work with, but takes some skill in getting the colors on the sections of the shirts without running over into the next section.  This process is not as intense as using a Rit dye process, but the results were pretty good.  This project will be a great memory for Evan in the years to come.  I still have fond memories of tie-dying some awesome,  orange sheets with my Mom, and her girlfriends, and all of the kids, many moons ago.  

And to all of my family – what do you guys think about a tie-dye party for an end of summer shin dig, or maybe for the holidays?  Leave me a comment.





We Made Garden Markers

The gardening season is in full swing and I have a few projects that I’ve been meaning to share with all of you.  We are already harvesting our zucchini, and had our first grilled zucchini last week.  Oh yum.  And by the way how is it possibly the 6th of August already?  Didn’t we just celebrate the 4th of July?

I had been wanting to make plant markers for the garden so it would be easy for Evan to know what all of the plants are, and just because I thought it would be cute.  Plus I had seen a lot of ideas for the markers on Martha Stewart‘s crafting page, so I was inspired.  And as a bonus to the budget, I wanted to spend as little money as possible on this project. 

There were these dilapidated stakes from a short border fence we had taken apart at one time or another.  Great these will be my new garden markers.  Next I went into the garage and perused my leftover paint shelf.  There was this great green color just calling my name. I call it my lime sherbet paint.

 So off Evan and I went to paint the sticks.  This was of course during one of our “Camp Grandma” days.  Evan loves to paint so I knew he would be a good helper for this project.  We painted one side of the sticks, let them dry, turned them over and then painted the second side.  This took up most of our morning, and then we went for a swim.  I left the sticks to dry overnight, so we could put the lettering on for the plant names.

The next week at Camp Grandma we painted the plant names on the sticks.  I bought some paint pens (the only thing I had to buy!), as I knew this would make it easier for Evan to help me.  I was really glad I got them because he had a lot of fun being creative with his lettering.

These are my favorites of everything we painted.  I love how Evan got the patriotic theme going.  And he did make one marker that says, “Evan is cool”. 

Here’s the rest of the finished markers, and how they look in the garden.

This was a great, inexpensive project.  It was fun collecting all of the supplies from “stuff” on the shelves around the garage and in the garden shed.   Evan and I had a lot of fun together, and the markers look so great in the garden.  A great summertime project.  Of course Evan had more fun making mud pies.  More on that adventure later.  Happy Monday everyone! 

Camp Grandma – Week Two

Week two of Camp Grandma encompassed a very busy Thursday.  We had lots and lot of fun painting, using tempura paints.    I have a roll of art paper that we use for this type of painting. It comes in so handy for painting or coloring.  We had paint brushes, a small painting roller, and some cut up sponges to paint with.  Evan learned how to mix primary colors, and what colors they made. 

Here’s Evan in action painting a blue elephant.  It was fun to watch him keep adding things to the painting; birds, clouds, trees.  He had a lot of fun making a mess outside.

These are the pictures Evan wanted you all to see of how messy his hands got with this project.  He kept going over to the hose to spray them off!

Here is the collection of the finished paintings.  He was a very busy camper on this day.

 These are the pictures of the circles Evan made from mixing the primary colors.  He got very excited when he mixed blue and red because this made my favorite color-purple of course. 

Mixing the primary colors.

On Friday of our second week, we had a special guest for the day, Uncle Bryan.  Uncle Bryan took Evan to see Madagascar 3, and then we had a great swim after Evan got back.  We also went for a Golden Spoon, frozen yogurt.  Yum, Yum.

Camp Grandma is keeping me busy on the days Evan is here with me.  He will keep on going like a little Energizer bunny, as long as I have plenty of activities for him to get involved in.  This week we’ll be trying some tie-dyeing, and hopefully some cookie baking.  I think Evan wants to go to the beach.  We’ll keep you all posted on our activities later this week.  Remember Wednesday is officially the first day of summer!

What’s your favorite summertime activity?

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