Author Archives: Rachel
Polymer Clay Things I’ve Made
When started buying materials for making things out of polymer clay, I went way overboard and bought way too many things that I never ended up using. I bought a lot of supplies without having a project in mind, which is a terrible idea for me. I like the feeling of having everything that I could possibly need, but I also don’t like to be wasteful. Kits are a wonderful thing, and I try my best to find and buy nice starter kits. I want to stop being wasteful, but I love learning new things. The things that I actually needed for these projects were just a few colors.
The main project I had in mind to do was to make little sitting animals. I was inspired by the papercraft finger puppets from the Japanese site Terra Cotta.
I made this piggy to give to a friend at work. (Sorry the pictures are blurry, I snapped them before I gave it away while at work.)
This little ducky sits in my kitchen window most of the time. He’s been through some rough times and has lost each leg from being knocked over by one of our cats. When different colors are joined, they don’t always stick well, but I superglued him back together and you’d never know. 🙂
I made this cat to look like my sister-in-law’s black cat, Ian. I made it as a charm with glow in the dark eyes. I was intending to give it to my sister-in-law, but right after it was baked, I lost it. It was at the bottom of a basket, not to be seen for a while until my mother-in-law found it.
Loom Knitting, which I like to sometimes call “cheater knitting,” is a really simplified way to make knitted items very quickly. As a kid I had a small loom that I would use to make doll dresses. It’s very similar to the rainbow looms that are popular right now (anyone with a kid under 12 probably knows). I saw a knitting loom at the craft store and a lady was in the isle who had used them before. She said it helped a lot with being able to knit while having hand or wrist pain. I had knitted a scarf before, but it left my hands hurting after a while of working on it, so this sounded perfect.
I started on a scarf for my mother-in-law and got really far… Then my turd of a cat decided that he wanted to chew apart the yarn!
Yes, this adorkable turd! I left it sitting down for a second, just got up to go to the bathroom, and he had already severed the yarn. I was easily defeated by the thought of how to properly fix the severed yarn and just put it away for a few months. I had bought everything in the spring time and eventually came back to it in the winter. You’d think I would have learned after the first or second time but that sucker is quick. He’ll quietly walk up, be cute, then I turn my head or get distracted by the TV and he’s there chewing the yarn. TWO more times. The last 5 inches of the scarf has the yarn chewed through a total of 3 times! I did eventually finish the scarf. My mother-in-law also added an embellishment of lace at the bottom. It looks even better now 😀
Some of my coworker’s wives were pregnant with their first kids, so I figured I would try to knit something for them. I bought some super soft, bulky yarn and made a couple baby blankets.
The loom I used is the Knifty Knitter XL loom. The loom is round, but there is a way to knit a flat panel on a round loom. This video uses a stockinette stich which looks perfect.
This video uses the e-wrap back and forth.
I used this method for the baby blankets and my mother-in-law’s scarf. There is a small issue with this method. Because you wrap the yarn around the peg in alternating ways the stitch looks more like a ‘y’. It can be a neat look, unnoticeable, or strange for some yarns. I figured out a method to make the stitch more smooth. I will post a video about it later. I also need to figure out how to give away some knitting looms I bought!
If you’re interested in loom knitting, check out www.loomahat.com
Reblooming an Orchid
The orchid that I promised not to kill is still going strong! After the flowers wilted, theres a technique to getting the existing spike to produce more flowers. I’ve read that doing this may make the next bloom have less total flowers on the next round, but the result is a quicker time to the next bloom. So it has its tradeoffs. If you are ok with the tradeoff, what you do is cut the spike just after one of the joints. Then, use cinnamon powder after cutting to prevent any bacteria growth. It took a few weeks after cutting the spike before this came out.
I can’t wait for them to bloom again. 🙂 If the spike had turned brown instead of staying green, at that point I would have had to cut the spike all the way back (about 1 inch from the base of the plant) because it would no longer bloom from that spike. It would have to grow a new one to bloom again.
For Valentine’s day it seems to be a tradition for my husband to give me an Orchid, which I secretly hope for every year. So I have a new addition to the family!
A Hobby I Never Intended to Pick Up: Shuttle Tatting
I can blame this one on Reddit. In the list on the side of of the /r/crafts subreddit, there is a link to /r/tatting. Tatting? I had never heard of it before. Here we go again. Tatting wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to research! But I had to know everything about it because… you know… addict.
This is how bad my addiction is: I don’t actually like the look of tatting. There are some really beautiful things out there, like TotusMel‘s Etsy shop. I just don’t think it’s something that I would ever wear. It’s just not my style.
The main reason I picked it up is because making it looks neat to do. Also, it’s cheap. You can either buy some tatting needles for $12 or a pair of shuttles for $7, and a ball of thread (I got Lizbeth brand size 20 thread in rose pink and black). I think needle tatting looks easier to do, but shuttle tatting isn’t difficult either.
To get started, I went through the tutorials at Tatted Treasures’ Learning Tatting. There I learned to make rings, picots (the t is silent), chains and how to read patterns. Figuring out patterns and how to read them is the hardest part for me.
For my first real project, I followed this video to make a pair of earrings. In the video, she is doing needle tattings, so I watched it, wrote down the pattern, and then did it with shuttles instead.
I didn’t do a very good job of tying off the ends. When I started to make the second earring (on the right), I totally lost track of where I was and made a short chain instead of the long chain that was supposed to be in the middle. Oops 🙂
The pattern from the video:
R 3— 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
R 6 j 6
Ch 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
R 6 j 6
Ch 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
R 6 j 6
Ch 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
R 6 j 6
Nail Art: Stamping
Years ago, an online friend of mine posted about her nail art and I was blown away! She explained that it was a stamping system by a company called Konad. I thought it was so neat to be able to get that much detail on your nails so easily.
I bought a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have. Although, my collection is not as large as some that I’ve seen.
Anyway, here are some of the pictures I’ve taken of my nails over time. I figured I’d post a little about my nail art since I just recently did it for the first time in a while (last picture).