November 19

Purple Lilac Crochet Doily – with Free Pattern

My First Doily

Purple Lilac Doily
Purple Lilac Doily

When I was a teenager, a friend of my mom showed me how to crochet a granny square.  Of course I didn’t know at the time that it was a granny square.  I made a few hot pads for the kitchen and then I forgot all about crocheting.

This past May when I went to visit my parents at their new home in Puerto Rico, my mom asked me if I still crochet.  I said not really, why?  She showed me that she had a square tablecloth on her round dining room table and she wanted a round tablecloth instead.

With Christmas coming, I remembered that she told me that and so I decided to pull the yarn out and start looking at maybe doing a tablecloth for her.  I haven’t crocheted anything that intricate or large before.  So I started with a doily and this is my first doily.  I think it’s pretty, though I’m not sure I’d like it as a large tablecloth.

 

Supplies

Purple & Lilac Crochet Cotton
Purple & Lilac Crochet Cotton

One thing I love about crochet work is that you don’t need a ton of supplies for your project.  You need four things really: a pattern, yarn/cotton, a crochet hook, and starch.

  • Crochet Cotton – I used this multi-colored purple and white crochet cotton, I believe it was size 10.
  • Size 7 Crochet Hook
  • Starch – This is used after the project is complete to help protect it and maintain shape.

In an effort to be transparent to my visitors, please understand that I get small commissions from purchases made through the links in this article.  Please review my full disclosure at the very top right side of this site, in the list of pages.

If you’re new to crocheting, as I am, I’ve recorded a real short video to help you get started with the basic crochet stitched.  I start with a slip knot and walk you through the chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet.

The video below shows a quick demonstration of those basic stitches to help you get started.

All stitches that were used in this project are demonstrated in the video.

 

Free Crochet Pattern For You!

Are you interested in trying this doily for yourself?  I’m here for you!

I wouldn’t be writing a blog if I didn’t want to help other creative folks like you create your own masterpieces.

If you’d like a free copy of this Purple Lilac Doily crochet pattern, just drop your name and email in the box below and I’ll send it right to your inbox!






 

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Thank you for letting me share my journey with you. I appreciate your time and feedback.  Please leave a comment below and let me know how your doily turns out!

Your friend,

~Ki

 

November 12

Altered Book & Mixed Media Canvas Photo Album

How Do You Craft a Project to Hold 49 Pictures?

Mixed Media Canvas
Mixed Media Canvas

Earlier this year I found a great deal where I could go to Glamour Shots and get our pictures taken for free.  The deal allowed me to get a DVD with all of the pictures plus 1 print out.

My mom had previously asked me to get nice pictures done of my son and I because I hadn’t done so in years.  So I saw this deal as the perfect opportunity to do so.

The problem was that I had nearly 50 pictures when I was done and I wanted to give them to my parents in the form of a Christmas gift.  So I wanted to make something special for them instead of just handing them a stack of 49 pictures.

And this is where the Mixed Media Canvas came in.

 

How I Made It

This was another fairly simple but time consuming project.  It was messy too.  I was talking to a friend and co-worker about what to craft to hold the pictures.  He suggested some form of tree, I liked where he was going with the idea.  When I think of tree, I picture lots of branches and family pictures as I work on family ancestry a lot.

The Altered Book

This led me to thinking of a book.  So I decided to alter a book and use the book pages to form pockets.  I would turn the pictures into bookmarks and then attach the altered book to a mixed media canvas so that my parents can display it on their wall if they so choose.

Altered Book
Altered Book

So I took a rather thick book and distressed the pages.  Do to this, I alternated between a pocket knife and a tool from my Making Memories Distress Kit.  this roughed up the pages for me.  The next step was to paint the page edges.  For this, I used a travel toothbrush, Americana’s Oak Gel Stain, and Lumiere’s Metallic Gold paint.  I first applied the stain with the toothbrush and then went over it with the gold paint.  This made the book look old.  Next I used Tim Holt’s Tea Dye distress ink to distress the pages that the book is open to.  I crumpled the pages a little first to give it some age and character and then I just distressed it lightly.

Once the book was done, I started creating the bookmarks.  I printed all of the pictures from screenshots of the DVD.  I had some tag die cuts that were given to me in a swap that somebody created with a tag die.  I distressed the tags with the Tea Dye distress ink and then glued the pictures to the front and back of each tag until I had 24 tags.  Then I took some miscellaneous embellishments and glued them to the top of each tag to keep them from sliding down into the book.  They make it easier to pull each tag out and look at the picture as well without tearing up the tags.  Once they were dry, I slid them into the book pages and used Mod Podge to glue the pages together creating pockets for the tags.

Craft Supplies

The Mixed Media Canvas

Once the book was done, it was time to start the mixed media canvas.  I took a blank canvas and used my X-Acto knife to cut slits in the canvas to hold the corners of the book.  This will help with the stress on the glue since the book is so heavy.  With the hidden pockets holding the book corners, there is less chance of the book eventually breaking off of the canvas.  I slid the corners into the cuts and used duct tape to secure each corner in the cut canvas and help prevent the canvas from tearing any.

Mini Canvas
Mini Canvas In Progress

Next I mod podged a sewing pattern down in the corners to give the canvas more texture.  I cut two pieces of lace and mod podged them down to the top and bottom edges of the canvas for texture as well.  Next I glued down a bunch of embellishments like gears, beads, flowers, ect.  Once everything was glued on and the glue was dry, I covered everything but the book in a layer of gesso to prime it for painting.

I covered the book with seran wrap so that I wouldn’t mess it up while I was painting and spraying the canvas.  In hindsight, I should have measured the book and marked the canvas without gluing it down until the painting was done.  But the seran wrap worked perfectly at protecting the book and I think it turned out better than it would’ve had I attached the book last.

Once the gesso was dry, I sprayed the canvas with the following Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist colors:  Chocolate Covered Cherries, Dragonfly, and Autumn Nights.  I also used Adirondack’s Purple Twilight Colorwash.  After the first layer of sprays, I painted a coat of Lumiere’s Pearlescent White over everything.  Once that was dry, I put a second coat of the glimmer mists and color wash on.  Finally, after the second coat of mists was dry, I used Lumiere’s Metallic Bronze paint to touch up the embellishments and edges of the canvas to give it an aged appearance.

After all of that was done, I cut a piece of cardboard slightly bigger than the main display picture and I decorated it similarly to the actual canvas.  Once it dried, I glued the main picture to it and glued it to the open pages of the book as the main display.

The Final Result

This project is designed to hold a lot of pictures in a unique way so that it doesn’t wind up on some dusty shelf with a bunch of old photo albums.  I firmly believe that handmade gifts that have a lot of thought involved mean so much more than store bought gifts.  I think this project might end up being one of my mom’s all time favorites.

The following video shows the making of this altered book and mixed media canvas.  It’s a pretty long video so I have increased the speed so that you see me working quickly but get an idea of how I did it.  Feel free to fast forward to the very end so you can see how it all came together.

 

I hope this post has inspired you to find your own unique ways to display your family portraits and maybe get creative for your mom and give her something truly from your heart.

Happy Crafting!

~Ki


July 11

Craft Swap Tracker

How Do I Keep Up With Swaps?

Craft Swap Tracker
Craft Swap Tracker

Why do I need a craft swap tracker?  Well because many crafting groups and members run or participate in craft swaps.  Craft swaps are fun ways to trade our handmade items but for those of us that like to do this a lot, it can be a lot to keep track of.  One of the most important things with these events is keeping track of and meeting the swap deadlines.  Otherwise, you gain a new reputation as a flaker and people don’t want to swap with you.

When I created my Craft Planner to start keeping track of everything I’m involved in, I knew that I needed a craft swap tracker as well.  So I created a blank template that I can simply print out and fill in the blanks for each swap I get involved in.

Swap Tracker Template

Group Swap Tracker
Group Swap Tracker

The top of the craft swap tracker sheet calls for the name of the swap.  This is followed by the details section which is where I fill in the item that I’m swapping, the due date, any fees to included such as postage, the deadline, the group the swap is listed in, and the organizer of the swap.  I simply left blank lines for each of these fields so that they can be written in as necessary.

The second part of the craft swap tracker is for group swaps.  If it happens to be a group swap that I’m participating in, then I will be sending out multiple items, either to the organizer, or to each individual participant.  So this section allows me to fill the table out with the date I sent the item, who I sent it to, the tracking number, the date I received my item, and who I received my item from.  Finally, at the bottom of each sheet is a Notes section for anything I need to make note of.

Free Craft Swap Tracker For You!

Do you have trouble keeping track of the swaps you participate in?  Well worry no more!  I do like to share. Otherwise, I wouldn’t participate in swaps or be writing a blog, right? I’m excited about getting organized this year and I’d love to help you get organized as well. I am sending out weekly emails with some tips and tricks on getting organized in your craft space and keeping up with everything on your plate. If you’d like a free copy of this craft swap tracker template that you can totally customize and print yourself, just drop your name and email in the box below and I’ll send it right to your inbox!

Thank you for letting me share my journey with you. I appreciate your time and feedback.  Please leave a comment below and let me know how you’re keeping up with things!

Your friend,

~Ki

July 5

Craft Stamp Inventory

How Do You Track Your Craft Stamp Inventory?

Craft Stamps
Craft Stamps

Why a craft stamp inventory?  Well because one common pain point of crafting is knowing what you have on hand.  The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play with supplies such as stamps.

The two main types of stamps are wood stamps, where the rubber stamp is affixed to a wooden block, and acrylic stamps that aren’t attached to any kind of block.  My wood stamps are stored on stamp shelves hanging on my wall so they aren’t really out of sight.  However, my acrylic stamps are stored in plastic CD cases in a drawer.  So it’s easy for me to forget that I have them and almost impossible to remember which ones I have exactly.

My stamps are rarely used for this reason.  I’ve also found sets of stamps that I have multiples of because I loved the stamp set but forgot that I had already purchased it.  So once again, I find myself buying duplicates.  For these reasons, I knew that my Craft Inventory Binder definitely needed to have a Craft Stamp Inventory section.

Fair warning though, this was one of the most frustrating sections to create because of how many steps it took to create it…and how many stamps I had on hand.  Each of the CD cases in that drawer has anywhere between 3 and 10 stamps in it because most of them came in a set.

Stamp Section

Stamp Section
Stamp Section

Like the Paint section, the divider for the section was made with a piece of cardstock from the K&Company 8-1/2-Inch by 8-1/2-Inch Ancestry.Com Scrapbook Album Kit.  I cut the paper down to 5  7/8 in. to 8  3/4 in. to fit the mini binder.

I distressed the edges using the distress tool from my Making Memories Distressing Kit.

I used a regular hole punch to punch the three holes for the binder, then I inked the edges of the paper with the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad, Tea Dye.

In order to get the divider tab, I used the ancestry.com paper and my Tim Holtz File Tabs die to cut out the tab.  The Sizzix Bigz Die – Tiny Tabs & Tags by Tim Holtz will also work for this.

I stamped the word Stamps on the file tabs using the Miniature Alphabet and Punctuation Marks Rubber Stamp Set by Hampton Art.

I also used a stencil and Stickles to put the section name on the divider page.  The final step was to actually set up the inventory sheets.

Inventory Sheets

Craft Stamp Inventory
Craft Stamp Inventory

The actual inventory sheets for this section were super simple to create.  I took a blank piece of printer paper and folded it in half to fit my mini binder.  Then I stamped the name of the manufacturer at the top of the page.

I used various colors of ink for various manufacturers and simply used the actual stamps to stamp it’s image on the craft stamp inventory sheet.  This serves two purposes for me:

  1. It allows me to see what the stamp will look like on paper.  So while I’m working on any given project, I can page through my inventory sheets to see what stamp images I have available for the project.
  2. It allows me to double check my inventory while I’m at the store looking to purchase new stamps.  As long as I have my binder with me, I can check the craft stamp inventory section to determine what I already have on hand.

Keeping track of products I already have on hand reduces the chance of buying duplicate items which saves money, space, and frustration.  I just have to remember to take the Inventory Binder with me when I’m headed to the craft stores.

I hope this post was helpful to you all as you work on your own organization.  This is yet another small step to my goal of getting organized for more efficient crafting.

Happy Crafting!

~Ki


July 1

Paint Inventory – Craft Inventory Binder

What Paint Do I Have On Hand?

Paint Inventory
Paint Inventory

Paint is one of those items that many crafters tend to accumulate a lot of.  There are many different types and colors to choose from so we may grab one or two for a project and after awhile (and several projects), we have a pretty decent supply of paint.  So how do I know what paint I already have when I’m at the store looking at the paint sale?

Believe it or not, there was one point in time where I bought a couple of the Folk Art Sahara Gold only to find out that I already had SIX of them at home!  Talk about a waste, I could’ve spent that money on other colors or other supplies.  Oh well, such is life.  We live and we learn, right?

To prevent this from happening again, I created a specific section in my Craft Inventory Binder to keep track of what I already have on hand.  Now I can just double check the Inventory Binder while I’m standing in the paint aisle to ensure I don’t purchase duplicates…again.

Paint Section

Paint Section
Paint Section

This section of my Inventory Binder is very similar to the Ink Section.

The divider for the section was made with a piece of cardstock from the K&Company 8-1/2-Inch by 8-1/2-Inch Ancestry.Com Scrapbook Album Kit.  I cut the paper down to 5  7/8 in. to 8  3/4 in. to fit the mini binder.

I distressed the edges using the distress tool from my Making Memories Distressing Kit.

I used a regular hole punch to punch the three holes for the binder, then I inked the edges of the paper with the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad, Tea Dye.

In order to get the divider tab, I used the ancestry.com paper and my Tim Holtz File Tabs die to cut out the tab.  The Sizzix Bigz Die – Tiny Tabs & Tags by Tim Holtz will also work for this.

I stamped the word Ink on the file tabs using the Miniature Alphabet and Punctuation Marks Rubber Stamp Set by Hampton Art.

I also used a stencil and Stickles to put the section name on the divider page.  The final step was to actually set up the inventory sheets.

Inventory Sheets

Paint Sheets
Paint Sheets

There are three main types that I use for crafting.  Folk Art Acrylic Paint is what I use most often, so I created sheets for those first.  I only printed inventory sheets for brands I actually own, just like I did with my Markers.  The brands I have inventory sheets for are as follows:

Feel free to click on any of the links to obtain the inventory sheet for your own use.  I created the Folk Art sheet using Microsoft Word but the others were already out there so I just printed them.

Once printed, I just color in the appropriate box.  By doing this, I know when I’m at the store that, if the box is blank, I don’t have that color in my inventory.

Keeping track of products I already have on hand reduces the chance of me buying duplicate items which saves money, space, and frustration.  I just have to remember to take the Inventory Binder with me when I’m headed to the craft stores.

I hope this post was helpful to you all as you work on your own organization.  This is yet another small step to my goal of getting organized for more efficient crafting.

Happy Crafting!

~Ki


February 6

Baby Boy Canvas Wall Art – Mixed Media

Baby Calin Memorial

Last year, one of the gals in my Craft Group tragically lost her grandson shortly before her birthday.  While many in the group worked on creating birthday cards and sympathy cards for her, I wanted to create something special that she could display and remember her baby grandson.  I decided a mixed media canvas with a picture of Baby Calin was the way to go.  This way should could hang it on her wall and see his beautiful smile regularly.

 

Supplies

Art Alternatives Canvas Panel Super Value 5×7 Pack of 12
Brand New Aqua Oxford Blue Bulk Tissue Paper 15″ x 20″ – 100 Sheets
Hero Arts Hero Arts Mounted Rubber Stamps, 4 by 5.25-Inch, Old Letter Writing
Hero Arts – Moments Background – Mounted Wood Stamp – E309
La Blanche Vintage Pocket Watch Rubber Stamp
Mod Podge CS11302 Original 16-Ounce Glue, Matte Finish
Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi Medium Gloss
Adirondack Paint Dabber – Pool
Adirondack Paint Dabber – Cloudy Blue
Blue Trim
Tim Holtz Vintage Shabby Mat Stack
Hampton Arts Studio G Mini Alphabet Stamp Set
Tsukineko Full-Size StazOn Multi-Surface Inkpad, Jet Black
Strokes Office Supplies 12 Paper Edger Scissors with Organizer Stand! Great for Teachers, Crafts, Scrapbooking (SBA5115)
Smooch Accent Inks, Bayside

 

Baby Canvas

The first thing I did was stamp the tissue paper with the script stamp, the moments stamp, the pocket watch stamp and the black Stazon ink pad.  I used the Studio multi medium gloss to adhere the tissue paper to the canvas and tore gently around the edges.  Next I used the two colors of Adirondack paint dabbers to add a little more color.  I used Mod Podge to adhere the picture and glue for the trim.  Next I cut a piece out of the Tim Holtz Vintage Shabby mat stack and stamped the sentiment on it.  Once that dried, I drew over the stamped letters with two different color blue smooches.   I adhered that and a doily to the canvas and then used flowers and other embellishments to decorate.  Check out the video below to watch me create it:

They say that those who have lost loved ones never forget it.  They remember their lost each and every day.  I think about a dear friend of mine that I lost a few years ago pretty regularly and having her picture on my wall has helped me to remember her bright smile and happy face rather than remembering her as she was in her last days.  My hope with this project was that Grandma could remember her precious baby grandson with that amazing smile and let go of the tragedy that took him way too soon.  May it bring her a little more peace.

~Ki

January 30

Valentine’s Day Altered Candy Box

Valentine’s Project 2016

 

Over in my Messy Desk Crafters Facebook group, we hosted a swap with our members for Valentine’s Day this year.  It was a one on one swap which means thatpartners are assigned and we each make something for our partner.  Our object was to alter a box or candy box and fill it with three handmade items.  I was a bit excited about this as I have been slacking in the crafting department lately and wanted to accomplish more than just the Christmas canvases.  So this is my first craft project for 2016!

Before I get into the project, let me just preface this by saying I’m not really a hearts and flowers type of girl.  I can play with some clock gears and ink things up all day long but flowers and glitter just make me uncomfortable.  I like to grunge and distress things, make them look old and antique.  Prettifying things is not my thing!  I can do it, I’m just not comfortable with that particular type of art.  Therefore, I have to challenge myself every now and then to do things I’m not comfortable with so I can try and improve my skill sets.  Practice is always good.

Before I altered it...
Before I altered it…

When I went shopping for the box, I wanted to be sure to get a heart shaped candy box…just to celebrate the holiday.  I found one that already had a flower on it and had ribbon stitched into the top of the box.  I thought the ribbon and flower both were kind of ugly but I liked that the ribbon was stitched in and I wanted to challenge myself with altering embellishments that were already in place.  So I went ahead and bought it.

After I got it home and ate all the chocolate (hey it was like 9 pieces and it lasted a week, don’t judge!), I took the before picture and then stared at the box awhile.  I almost instantly regretted buying one that was already decorated.  I tried to take them off but both would have damaged the lid and I was fighting the urge to grunge it up.  So I started by covering it in modeling paste. I used Liquitex Professional Modeling Paste Medium, 16-oz to cover the lid and ribbon.  I remembered having some metallic red and gold acrylic paints so I was planning to treat it like a mixed media canvas.  But after covering it with modelling paste, I found that I was out of the metallic red paint.

The red paint that I did have was drying up and I didn’t think I had enough to paint the entire lid.  I went with Folk Art 660 Metallic 2-Ounce Acrylic Paint, Pure Gold
and Folk Art 661 Metallic 2-Ounce Acrylic Paint, Sequin Black
paints.  I ended up not liking how that looked either.  So I covered the lid with flowers, a few other embellishments, and some ribbon.  If you’d like to see the creative process from start to finish, have a look at the video below.

 

After gluing all of the embellishments and flowers on, I accented them with Viva Decor .8-Ounce Mother of Pearl Precious Metal Liquid Color.  I absolutely love this paint, it has a super pretty metallic look to it.  Once that dried, I added some goodies for my partner, extra trim and stuff.  I topped it off with three of my handmade lace button flowers.  I ended up not really liking the final product.

Completed Project
Completed Project

My best friend told me it’s real pretty, so she loved it at least.  She also reminded me that it’s not grungy which is what I’m most comfortable with when it comes to art.  So I’m hoping that my swap partner is more into flowers and hearts and likes the final outcome.  If not, I’m sure she’ll enjoy the goodies inside.  While this wasn’t one of my favorite projects, it turned out okay I guess.  Let me know what you think!  Is it too much?  Too busy?

If you’re interested in joining in on the fun over at Messy Desk Crafters, hop on over and check us out!  We’re a fun bunch of crafters that enjoy sharing in each other’s lives.  We don’t judge, and all skill levels are welcome!

~Ki