Friday, February 25, 2011

433 Fiber Arts Friday - Yarn from a T-Shirt and a Headband Tutorial

I am going to try to institute Fiber Arts Friday on my blog. I am trying to set goals for posting, gain some consistency. It will also take some of the guesswork out of it. I craft like a chicken with its head cut off, so I need a little guidance sometimes.
My first project is upcycling a t-shirt into "yarn". If you have read my blog for a few months then you have seen my other t-shirt projects (my t-shirt rose wreath and my t-shirt Christmas tree). I obviously have an abundance of t-shirts. However, I wear the same ones over and over, so I need to clear the closet. Here is one more project to accomplish that goal. 
I first ran across this idea on StumbleUpon (if you have never used it, check it out! Its a great search engine that will suggest sites based on your interests) when it suggested this blogpost on Craft Passion. As usual, if my tutorial doesn't make sense then I will suggest you visit the original.

You need to start with a t-shirt (obviously) ... make sure your t-shirt does NOT have side seams.
In the pictures I am using a rotary cutter, but the first two balls of yarn I made I just used a good ol' pair of scissors.
Cut off the body of the t-shirt below the arms.

The trick to making a continuous length of yarn is to leave an inch on one side of the shirt UNcut.
I made each strip 5/8ths of an inch thick.
Slice, slice, slice...
 You will end up with something that looks like this. See the solid piece on the right.
I slid my arm under the solid section to make sure I did not cut into the strips.
 It is hard to see here, but you will make a diagonal cut between each strip. So, if you are coming up on the first cut section you will cross over to the second cut section on the opposite side. (there is a better picture on the original post, promise).
 Then just take your length of "yarn" and stretch it out. It will create a tube effect.
 Roll it up all nice and pretty and ready to use.

Upcycled T-Shirt Yarn Headband

T-shirt yarn
P Crochet Hook (11.5 mm)

Chain 30
 Slip stitch to join.
Chain 2
Double crochet 17
Chain 13

 Slip stitch to join.
 Weave ends through. I left mine long and tied into a bow until I can create a flower to embellish.

The first one I made was twice as thick. I created this headband, but instead of weaving in the ends I chained 2, Double Crochet 17, Chain 13, Slip Stitch to join, then weave in ends.

 And I still have plenty of t-shirt yarn to play with!

linked up on ....

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special

Monday, February 21, 2011

432 Doodle and Paint

It all started when I stumbled across a blogpost about mandala coloring pages. I have no clue where it was, but it could have been any number of places as there is no shortage of mandalas on the internet (though make sure you have an anti-virus installed if you plan on Googling images ... trust me). I tried downloading some images, but they didn't print up with enough clarity.

I put them to the side and moved on.

After a few days I started thinking about it again. Really what I was looking for was something to "color". I wanted to just let my brain shift into neutral. I wanted to take crafting and art to its simplest form.

I am IN LOVE with Alisa Burke's sketchbooks. You can see a few examples here. I knew I wanted to play with my watercolors. And so I broke out some watercolor paper (I stole this Strathmore pad from Katie), a ruler, and a Bic Mark-It ultrafine point. The watercolors are the Koh-I-Noor Watercolor Wheel, and a water flow brush.
And I started to doodle. I traced a circle with a bowl, and I started filling it in.

And I just kept doodling...
I liked it, but I never know when to leave well enough alone, so I kept going ...

And when I realized I could hypnotize someone with my doodle, I stopped. But I was afraid I would mess it up by adding paint. So, I took a picture of a small section and added color in Photoshop to see how it would look. It took much longer to do on the computer than it did when I got up the nerve to use my real paints.

Actually, before I painted this particular piece I drew two others to play with, but I did them on larger paper. I did a heart...

 and a peace sign (Katie loves peace signs)....

I did finally get up the nerve to paint that first doodle.

I might be slightly obsessed with these. I am working on another right now. I am loving getting back to the simplicity of coloring. It is nice just to lose yourself in the details and repetition. Very calming.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

431 What a Difference a Week Makes

Last week the kids went to school a total of one and a half days ... and one hour on Monday ... due to snow. It was bitter cold (for Mississippi). A few days we did not make it out of the teens. Today? Today I am sitting on the deck typing up this blog post while Connor runs around. It is 56 degrees currently, though yesterday we reached 67.
I personally love snow. I love the way it looks. I love snuggling up inside while it is so cold. However, when you have two kids both of those joys are taken away. They make a point of walking through every inch of snow, leaving (adorable) footprints. Snuggle inside? Only after you have frozen your tush off while sledding. And then there is no relaxing. You have to remove wet clothes and replace with dry. You have to make hot chocolate ... for them. Then you get to do loads of snow dirty laundry. About the time you would be able to sit down and relax, the kids are warmed up and ready to go again. Somehow, all this fun ends with grumpy kids. Not exactly sure how that happens.
In other words ... I am ready for SPRING!
But, that didn't stop me from taking pics of the kids enjoying the snow. Katie had her BFFs sleepover Wednesday night when we knew there would be no school the next day (for good reason this time, we got five inches of snow and the roads were covered).

While I got Connor ready to play the girls hit the back yard. What is it about kids and eating snow? Its not like I had gotten around to making snow ice cream ... yet.
  We met up with my friend Indira and her girls for some sledding in the park.

I tried to take a group picture, but Connor was too busy screaming about how he wanted to sled to participate.
 He did try to get Shailey to sled, but she wasn't interested.
 And the girls discovered a way to sled standing. I think it was an accidental discovery, born of a sled taking off before everyone was on, but the girls loved it. It really only worked with a girl sitting in front of and behind the stander, but they certainly tried other ways.

 Proof, the moms were there ...
 And snow angels are a must! Connor loves making them ... he might even try making them in just grass. Shhhh.

 We all headed over to Indira's for pizza (thanks again Indira) and play time.
And of course yesterday was Valentine's Day. Yes, we should show our love everyday, and in our family we certainly do, but sometimes we need to be reminded that those NOT in our home might need to be told. But seeing as I never am on time for ANYTHING ... you know I forgot to tell those that I love that they are loved. I should get to that today. In our home though we started the celebration early.
A goodie box from Grammy with candy and some gifts for the kids ... well, a few for me, too :)
 Sunday morning we had a breakfast made with love.
 Bacon says LOVE!
Katie asked me to come and have lunch at school with her on Valentine's Day, and I can't turn that down. I had promised to make her something, so I finished it up and brought it to lunch. A cute cuff bracelet. I haven't been very crafty this week, so this bracelet and a small basket for her V-Day treats is about the extent of it. I made one more thing, but it isn't finished yet.

I hope everyone's Valentine's Day was filled with love ... and chocolate. Definitely chocolate.