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Random Acts of Craftiness, Recipe

Christmas Craft: Salt Dough Ornaments

I’ve seen plenty of salt dough ornament pins lately on Pinterest but it was my sister who finally pushed me to succumb to making them with her.

I have to say, I’m so glad we did.

She just recently had a baby and had the idea to make hand and foot prints of the baby in the salt dough ornament.

Now I have to admit, some of them didn’t turn out quite right. For example, I had the *bright* idea to outline the imprint in a black sharpie and fill in the imprint with acrylic paint. Man, that one ended up looking like an animal print. LOL… I’m still laughing about that one.

But, I quickly redeemed myself when I very carefully just painted the inside of the imprint.

Here is the basic recipe for Salt Dough Ornaments:

– 1 c. flour
— 1/2 c. salt
— 1/2 c. water

Mix all ingredients together. Roll out dough to a 1/4 ” and use whichever cutout you’d like (cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, etc.). You can also use a decorative stamp to put mini initials on the ornament. To be able to hang the ornament, take a straw and gently cut out a small hole. Stay at least 1/8″ away from the edge of the ornament.

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Bake in the oven for about 200 degrees for roughly 2-3 hours. *I don’t recommend trying to speed up the process by jacking up the heat because it can cause the ornament to become very brown on the bottom. Trust me, I know because I’m pretty impatient :) … You can also let them air dry for a few days but I found that baking them makes them stronger.

Once they are done baking / drying, you can embellish as you like. I used mostly embossing glitter and acrylic paint. If you want to write on the ornament, I recommend using a very fine tip sharpie marker. Once your embellishments have dried, take your choice of hanging material (thread, fishing line, yarn, rafia, ribbon, jute, etc. etc.) and poke through the hole on the ornament leaving a big enough space for the ornament to hang nicely.

And WA-LA!

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Swatching, Yarn

Whatcha’ Swatchin’?

I went to one of my most favorite LYS Natural Stitches a little over a week ago and decided to get measured for one of the Custom Fit patterns by Amy Herzog. So to start the process, I had my measurements taken and picked out my yarn. Picking out yarn… fun! Getting measurements taken… not so fun! LOL. I ended up picking up 2 skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu (because it is a rather large skein at 620 yds.) which is a blend of Merino /Bamboo in a lovely mustard color and 5 balls of Berroco Folio in a cranberry color.

I decided to start swatching with the Folio since I know myself and I know it will take me longer to swatch because this is DK weight yarn.

Not sure which Custom Fit sweater this will eventually become as that will be decided once I finish this swatch and go back to Natural Stitches…

What’s everyone else swatchin’ at the moment?

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Recipe

A Recipe: Old Fashioned Gingerbread Men

My husband mentioned today that he wanted me to make him some gingerbread men cookies. Me, shocked, said I didn’t even know you liked gingerbread men cookies??? His reply? Yessss…

So tonight that is what I did.

I found an awesome recipe from RealSimple.com and as they say, the rest is history!

This batch made exactly 36 cookies as the recipe suggested so I was pretty pleased.

The end result was a deliciously solid cookie on the outside with a moist center on the inside!

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Hand dyed fiber, Hand spun yarns, Yarn

My latest handspun

Here is a small pile of my latest handspun.

From bottom left to top middle to right: Fiber by Gwen Erin Natural Fibers (mixed variety spun into a gradient), Fiber by Louet (natural Dorper top), and Fiber by Turquoise Owl (mixed fiber puni blend)

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I have become so much better at my spinning by taking the Craftsy spinning class “Drafting from Worsted to Wollen” offered by Jacey Boggs Faulkner. She is a spinning genius. Thanks to her, I now know how to spin thicker bulkier yarns more consistently. And she totally demystified long draw for me as well. When I bought her class, I believe I got it on sale for $19.99 – what a great deal and totally worth it!

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Hand-crafted gifts

Handmade Holiday

Last year I started a tradition.

I was going to craft a new handmade gift for my family to present to them each Christmas.

Last year it was wreaths and no-sew fleece NFL blankets.

This year it is handmade soaps and scrubs with a couple crocheted face scrubbies.

For the scrubs, I whipped together 3 different varieties: Lemon Sea Salt, Coffee, and Vanilla Brown Sugar.

For the soaps, I have 2 different varieties: Lavender base and Oatmeal base. The lavender bars are scented with a mixture of lavender, sandalwood, and vanilla while the oatmeal bars are scented with either vanilla, sandalwood, sweet magnolia, and orchid or a mixture of all 4.

Anyone else hand-crafting their Christmas this year??

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Photography

Getting better acquainted with my Canon T3i via Craftsy & Rick Allred

This Christmas will mark the first year that I’ve owned my Canon T3i. I’ll admit that ever since then, I’ve let the camera do my creative work for me. But, all of that is going to change. Especially since I recently signed up for Rick Allred’s intro to DSL photography class through Craftsy.

Craftsy (along with Creativebug) has been my mainstay for increasing my crafty knowledge repertoire.

While I mostly sign up for knitting/crocheting/designing classes, photography is a key part of my crafty life regarding my yarn & fiber dyeing. I have to be able to accurately reflect to the public the colors that I produce on my yarns and fibers so I figured that by adding this photography class, I could do just that. It also will help me capture those everyday moments of my family and increase my portrait taking skills.

I went to my sister’s house a few days ago and wanted to take some nice pictures of her Christmas tree. This gave me the opportunity to play around with some settings.

**Please be forewarned. I’m no way no how trying to act like I completely know what I’m talking about below with the photography terms or descriptions I’m about to use. I’m still learning terms like aperature, ISO, depth of field, etc. etc. So please forgive me when I go on to describe the method to which I took the below pictures.**

With these two pictures of the ornaments, I used the close up feature which created a nice shot which I believe is generally called macro photography. It basically blurred the background to each photo.

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Here are some other photos I took of her beautiful tree most of which I just played around with filters.

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Accessories, FO's, Hand dyed roving, Hand dyed yarn, Knit-wear, Knitwear, Roving, Spinning, Style, Yarn

Maize mitts… or a variation of

When I was recently looking through my hand-spun yarn stash, I picked out some fiber dyed by Three Waters Farms that I spun into a lovely 2 ply. I believe I have close to 800 or so yards between 6 skeins. The fiber is a mixture of Polwarth wool and silk and let me tell you… the colors that were dyed into this fiber are absolutely gorgeous IMHO- especially if you love blues/greens/silvery grays with a hint of light chestnut. I spun this yarn early in my learn to spin days back in spring / summer of 2013.

So when I was pondering what I should knit up in this hand-spun, I thought why not a nice pair of chunky fingerless mitts?? I stumbled across the Maize pattern by Tin Can Knits mostly because I knew they offered some free patterns and I really enjoy their designs.

I decided to hold the yarn doubled so that it would come out to a worsted to aran/chunky type yarn.

This was the swatch:

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Not too long after, the swatch turned into a pair of these:

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And then this… :

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Overall, great pattern and I have to say, my hand-spun was pretty consistent throughout. However, if I do decide to make these again, I won’t be doubling the hand-spun. Also, for some reason, I had trouble keeping track of knitting the knits and purling the purls and somehow ended up with misplaced stitches. Also, I must not have measured the first one correctly because the second one is a tad bigger. Not enough for a non-knitter to realize but enough for a type A like me for it to bother.

I really want to put these in the dryer to shrink a bit but I don’t want to end up hating myself afterwards and ending up with a useless felted mess.

I tried blocking out the difference but the blocking seemed to only make them bigger and I didn’t even pin these in place.

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So I ask everyone reading this post – what would you do? Throw them in the dryer and keep a watchful eye or live with them being a tad on the un-fitted side??

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