Monday, January 13, 2014

DIY Stencils, Alcohol Inks, Watercolor Inks, Ink Tools and Glimmer Mists

I don't know about any of you guys but I'm on a super tight budget when it comes to crafting supplies. Of course there are always several things on my wish list. And every time I go into a craft store it gets harder and harder not to get 'just one or two' or ALL of those items.

So imagine my surprise when I found out by watching, Lindsay The Frugal Crafter's YouTube channel, that I could make 80% of craft supplies on my list, and that I had almost everything I needed already!

Alcohol Inks
First you needs some alcohol ink markers. A long time ago I bought a huge lot of prismacolor markers off of EBay. And while I do love them, I noticed I had quite a few doubles, so that's what I'll be using. You also need alcohol, the higher the % the better. And something to store your ink in. I'm using spray bottles I got from a Christmas beauty kit. The kit was regularly $5 but on sale for $3. I got 5 kits! Each kit came with 4 bottles of sented body spray, 4 bottles of shower gel and 4 bottles of lotion. I dumped the body spray (because I'm impatient), washed out the bottles and have been making my alcohol inks in them. The rest of the bottles i've been emptying out more slowly by adding 2-3 of them in my kids' bath. If you use a bottle of lotion with the shower gel it makes the bubbles last longer. Then I just wash out the bottles and let them air dry. I'll be making my watercolor inks in a few of these.

Making the ink is really simple, if a bit messy. Here's a link to the video I watched. You just fill your bottle 2/3rds with alcohol add the tip and filter from the marker and let it set for 20-30 minutes. Then you take the filter out squeezing the alcohol ink back into the bottle. You may want to use gloves for that part. 

Watercolor Inks

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Yes I smell of elderberries, no my mother is not a hamster. . .


On a whim yesterday morning I decided to check the elderberries. We have a small patch behind the barn and it was loaded!!! 

I spent next half an hour - 45 minutes picking / climbing in and out of those bushes . . . 

And the amount that I got from that little patch was AMAZING!!!

A whole 5gal bucket plus a smaller 6qrt bucket!!!!



When I finally got the berries off the fronds, and got them washed and clean, I had 3 quarts of berries! Add them to the peaches we have ripening on the trees and I've got at least 2 batches of jam to make! I'll be checking the patch again today for more ^.^

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fall crops




So, I found some seeds from 2 years ago, when i was crazy into gardening. I have no idea if they're still viable but I'm going to plant them anyway. I had already bought some beets, carrots and sugar snap peas, they're mostly planted, though I still have some carrots and peas left to plant. I'm going to plant them in containers on the front porch this weekend. I'll also be putting in a rain water collector and planting some other fall veggies that I will pick up at my local greenhouse. 


The peas and carrots I planted at the beginning of the week are starting to sprout YA!


I have them planted among the tomatoes. There are still a bunch left to poke their heads up and I will have to thin them when they get bigger but I'm hoping for a bumper crop :) 


My mint and lemon balm on the other hand are trying to take over the world! I've already harvested pounds of each. Pictured above is my pineapple mint and below is the lemon balm.



That's all for now tootles!  






Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Whatcha doin?

Hi again, long time in between posts I know. I wish I could say it won't happen again, but I try to be honest with you guys :)

Ok so here's what I've been up to lately, or at least fairly recently :)


Felting

Here are a few pics of some slippers I made for myself:




These are wet felted and then needle felted. Unfortunately they don't fit . . . "frown" The width is great but they rub my toes just enough to be irritating.  


However there is a silver linning; I will be posting a tutorial very soon on how I made the second set, & these beauties will be going into my Etsy shop www.BittyKittiesPlace.etsy.com for sale




Knitting

Next up is a sweater I'm knitting for my daughter. I had been eyeballing this book "Lovely Little Knits for Little Girls" at my local yarn shop Fiberworks, for a long time.

I really like the look of 99% of the patterns in the book and when my daughter found this wonderful yarn with sparkles (universal yarns classic shades sequins lite - color 405 primrose) its so soft!


  Well, I could no longer resist. I looked at the yardage needed and got 4 skiens. I should have read the pattern too, but having 2 extra skiens is not something I'm going to complain about. I've done the back, both front pieces, and one sleeve.



I have a couple major issues with this pattern:

First - The way its written you have to keep track of what row your on for the garment itself and the wave/cable has row repeats you have to keep track of. In and of itself this one's not too bad until you add in the increases and decreases. Now you have to figure out which stitch your on in a wave/cable row because it may not be the first one. I've taken to writing each and every row down on a note in my phone, along with any increases and/or decreases. Even doing this my counts are almost never right.


 Second - There is something very wrong with the sleeve pattern. Even if you follow the pattern exactly the stitch counts don't add up. And if you continue on for the 12 more rows it takes to get to the right stitch count, and then continue for 6 more rows just in case, the sleeve is still too short. I'm making the 7-8 yr old size and the sleeve doesn't fit my 5 yr old! They will be more like half sleeves. Which is ok, I guess, but I'm still miffed about it. Which is why its taking me so long to finish the other one.





Experimental spinning

I took a class on Craftsy called: Spinning Dyed Fibers. I love Craftsy classes and I really enjoyed this one too. It also made me think about how you can have a bit of control over how your yarn turns out. Something I never knew before, I just thought you grabbed your roving/fibers and spun however you felt like that day.

This is the roving I started out with:
4oz Hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester from Frabjous Fibers
the color is #251 Chipotle
First I split it into 5ths and re-braided one slipping it back into its packaging.

This 5th I pre-drafted and then Navajo plied it onto itself.

For this 5th I split it into 3rds and spun each one to a bobbin, then I plied them together.


This one I spun with a modified fractal spinning technique. I split the fibers in half vertically. I spun one half attempting a thick and thin texture. The other half I split into 3rds. One I pre-drafted and plied with my first half. The other two I pre-drafted, spun to 2 different bobbins and then plied them together. Then I cabled the two yarns together.


For some reason I didn't write down or take a picture of the last 5th, ? ? ?    Ooops!


There are more projects but I'm having trouble coordinating how to get my pictures uploaded from my phone, camera and iPad, there has to be a better way . . . .



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hello again!


Sorry its been a while, life has been kicking my butt lately. 
Here are some of the things I've been up to;


Thank you cards for all of the cub scout leaders:
I used my cricut campin' critters cartridge, cuttle bug embossing folders 
and tim holtz distress ink pads to create these thank you cards.





Signs for our first aid kit, for our first camping trip:
Again I used my cricut campin' critters cartridge to make both of these cuts.






Random masculine card
I used scrap papers, bakers twine, the guitar is a sticker die cut
I popped up on foam pop dots, and you rock is a digital stamp.




I did do a mother's day card but the picture did not turn out right:
I used scrap papers, cricut a child's year cartridge, a digital stamp, and a die cut chip board frame covered in white glitter. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Lambs!!



Oh my gosh!! They're SOOOOOO CUTE, and I am so pleased to introduce you to them!


This is Marilyn she was born to our ewe Lizzy. She was the smallest in a set of triplets, unfortunately the other 2 lambs didn't make it. She's small and sleeps a lot more then the other lambs, even though she was born first. Here I'm trying to give her a little extra nutrition. For those of you who are wondering, yes I did try a bottle first. I even tried a rubber glove (goats seem to like them better then a bottle) She drank this way for me once but I haven't been able to get her to do it again.


Please meet Coco and Elvis. Coco is a the colored lamb and Elvis is white, though he has one or two spots of color. Their momma Tilly, she's a Tunis, is a bit of a nut.Even though we've had her for month's now and I go in their pen and try to interact with her, you know show her we're not going to hurt her / get her used to people, she's still a nut.

Our newest Finnesheep Phoebe had 2 little girls; Hippie and Rita. Hippie is very interesting, her wool is twice as long as any of the other lambs. Rita is a mountain climber. When her mom lays down to rest, she likes to climb on top of her and bounce around.


And last but not least, we have Squirrel. He has some definite spunk! His momma was our black ewe Trouble. I'm not sure if you can tell but those are skids being used as the sides of the pen. Squirrel is instigator and will slip behind the skid to visit Gretta. When Elvis and Coco see him they do the same.


Gretta's pen is in the corner between Tilly and Trouble. I don't believe we will be seeing any lambs from her this year. I believe she may have had one but it was stillborn or she failed to care for it.


I have some more sadness to write now. . . Our Blue Faced Leicester, Lisa, recently passed. She was carrying triplets. The vet, my husband and I tried but we were unable to save either the momma or the lambs. The vet said there was nothing we could have done differently. Sheep are really good at hiding when they don't feel well. Anything I might have questioned I contributed to her pregnancy and the multiple's she was carrying. I will be talking extensively with our vet to prevent future problems.