Friday, May 07, 2010

Mother's Day Gifts

 We've been busy creating gifts for the Grandmothers around here.  The boys were very busy all week playing mad scientist with Melt & Pour glycerin soaps (with various teas, cocoa butter and vitamin E oil added in) and with Epsom Salt Bath Bars.  They loved every second. 

I, however, have not loved every second, but only because I started stressing out that we hadn't done enough for the Grandmothers.  So this afternoon I knit the face cloths to go with the bath stuff.  My hands are aching now, but it was worth it.

Face Cloths - I began with the Double Bump Dishcloth, but I modified it.  I cast on 23 and then followed the directions as written.

Have a great Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Crafty Links

Anybody who knows me well knows that I'm a research-aholic.  I will research a topic to absolute death to learn about it.  For the past week I've been researching two topics: Mother's Day Gift Ideas and Online Free Piano Lessons.  Money is a huge issue for both of these.  I have little to none, so everything has to be thrifty-fied.  Like that word?  Just made it up, but you can research it if you want too.

I thought I'd share some of the stuff I found out there in the Interwebs with you:  (most of these are from

For Mother's Day:

Crochet Beaded Bracelets
Bath Salt Bars
Multi Strand Finger Loop Braiding
Wood Pendant Necklace 
Faux Tea Bags with Tea-Scented Soap 

I'm not telling what the kids are making for their Grandmothers (not that they probably can't figure it out from the pic), but here they are playing mad scientist:

General Crafting:
How to make lipstick with crayons (I am so going to order some molds for this.  I mean, do you know how many crayon pieces I have lying around this house?)

Fire-Breathing Dragon Cake!!
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup from Scratch
Cough Drops - Viewing Comments 1-50

Free Piano Lessons:
Learn How to Play Piano, Free Online Piano Lesson, A Friendly Place to learn piano.   This is so cool.  A young guy who was fed up with all the fake play by ear stuff and wanted to have real lessons for people who didn't have money to go take their own lessons (that would be me at this time.)  He could do with a real camera guy, but otherwise, I'm really impressed.  His hair's kind of wild too, I guess it ups the fun factor a little.

I'm currently looking into piano curriculum for the boys.  I can teach them both up to a point, then I'll have to get someone else for them.  Anybody have any suggestions for what books I should get?  The boys are ages 9 and 4 respectively.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Stitches South 2010

Let's talk Stitches South 2010 shall we?

There was yarn galore at the Cobb Galleria last weekend, but I carefully avoided it.  I'm trying to be good and not blow the yarn diet.  Plus the prices there still felt too high.  But then, I tend to look for the "workhorse" yarns that give you more bang for the buck yardage wise (sweaterly speaking.)  I did drool over some amazing lace weight yarns though. 

I didn't quite avoid making a couple of other purchases though.  My one impulse buy was these silk caps that I walked by and made the mistake of touching.  Heavenly soft!  And such glorious color! 

The person running the booth gave a demonstration in how to knit directly from the caps which was really cool, but I will probably spin these up instead.

My next purchase was not on impulse.  I took a class while I was there with Melissa Leapman.  The class was basic pattern drafting 101.  The first half of the class concerned stuff that I was already familiar with, but the second half was really good.   She  had us learn how to design a drop shoulder sweater, which I had never done.  But she really blew me away when she put algebra into the mix.  I knew how to do the math the hard way, but had not even considered using algebra to get the same answer in half the time.  doh!

I want basic pattern drafting 102 now.  Like yesterday.  It was so much fun and I hope that I can retain at least a quarter of the info. that she threw at us.

But back to the non-impulse buy.  It was Melissa's book:  Cables Untangled: An Exploration of Cable

Her cables are just gorgeous and I can't wait to use them.

There was more fiber on the whole than there was last year, which I was really glad to see.  That was my one big complaint from last year's Stitches South.  There were also more vendors here this year.  Oh, if I had just had some more pocket change!  I could have done some real damage to the wallet there.