Friday, June 24, 2016

A Little Bauble - Pinterest Project For June

I really like the idea of "floating necklaces".  They just have a light and airy look, especially for summer.  So when a tutorial for one popped up on Pinterest one day, I took it as my opportunity to learn how to make one.  This project comes from the blog "A Little Love Everyday!"

It seemed especially easy, using pretty basic materials - wire, beads, and a clasp.  This one in particular was done with two strands of wire, which would secure the beads to give the necklace its floating look.

Here's what I came up with:
I like it, but my necklace refused to do the alternating bead thing that the tutorial shows and describes.  Look at the next photo (from the tutorial) and see how the blue and white beads alternate?
Not my photo.  This is the photo shown in the tutorial.  Pretty, isn't it?
In one bead set, the white bead is on the bottom, and in the next, it's on the top.  Then they alternate.  I like the way that looks, but my bead sets of three refused to do that.  I'd get it right, and the next thing I knew, they were jumping back to what THEY wanted to do. 
Talk about stubborn. 

I used 6mm faceted beads in a blue/purple blend color, and 6mm beads in silver-lined clear.  If you look closely, you'll see that I used a mix of faceted and non-faceted silver-lined beads.  I had to roll my eyes at this goof because I didn't even notice it until the necklace was finished.  I figure that if I didn't notice, then not many people would either.  And if they do, they'll just think I was being artsy.  Yeah, that's it.

Would I attempt this project again?  Yes, but I would try it with a heavier gauge wire.  Maybe that's my problem. I used .012", 12#, 7-strand beading wire.  Also, I could possibly use lighter weight beads.  Or less beads.  That's the fun of jewelry making.  You can create and re-create to see what happens.

I have worn this necklace and will continue to because I like the way it turned out.  No matter that it doesn't look exactly like what I was attempting.  Thanks to "A Little Love Everyday!" for this tutorial.  You can find the tutorial HERE.  Try it, have fun with it, and see what you can do!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Want To Stitch For A Good Cause?

A Facebook group called Rainbows For Peace And Comfort has been started.  The goal of the group is to stitch enough squares to complete two quilts and numerous banners for the victims, survivors, responders, and others involved in the Orlando tragedy that happened last Sunday. 

To find the group, please go to:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbows4peace/

It is a closed group, so you'll have to join.  To find out what the group intends to do, go to "Files" and then click on "Quilts And Items Being Made".  To get more info on the stitched square specifics, click on "Square Guidelines".  Also in "Files" is the Sign Up List, where you can edit the document by listing your name and what you'd like to stitch.


One chart in particular is called "Rainbow Butterfly" and can be found on Etsy HERE for $3.97. This will be a recurring square in all of the projects so many are needed to be stitched.  If you decide to stitch one of these, please use the colors recommended by the group - 321, 720, 444, 700, 995, 208, and black or white for the body depending whether you're stitching on black or white fabric.
Here's mine so far.
Other designs and motifs can be stitched too.  There are a few additional designs in the Files section, plus you can stitch an appropriate chart you already may have - something like hearts, peace signs, doves, butterflies, etc. - as long as the finished stitching fits into the square guidelines.

Do you only have time to stitch one square?  That's great!  All help is welcome!  Can you stitch two, or three, or even 4?  That would be wonderful too! 

As I write this, there are 179 members.  That is amazing, but more are needed and appreciated.  Do you have questions?  You can post them to the group.  There are a lot of helpful people there. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Please consider stitching a square for this worthwhile project.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe Giveaway!

Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is having a giveaway and it's a good one!  Actually there are two of them going on.  First is the Patchwork Quilt Floss Collection Giveaway, a collection of beautiful, rich colors perfect for Halloween stitching.  Then there is the Star Spangled Banner Floss Giveaway with a selection of reds, whites, blues, and golds.  So click on the links to go over there and enter!

I'm happy and excited to say that I have completed the stitching portion of my secret stitching project.  I still have more to do to complete the entire project, but getting the stitching done is a major accomplishment.  It will be a while before I can unveil it, so I appreciate your patience!

But look!  I am back to stitching on Kaleidoscope.  It's fun to dig out the WIPs and decide what to work on. 
Do you like this design?  Check out Sheena Rogers Design website.  You'll find a huge selection of her mini cushion designs along with others.  I can't decide which is my favorite!

Have a great remainder of the week.  I'll be back soon to show you my progress.

Monday, May 30, 2016

May Pinterest Fun!

I have really been on a crochet kick lately, haven't I?  In an attempt to expand my crochet horizons, I've been pinning small crochet projects to teach myself new stitches and techniques.  The project I chose for my May Pinterest attempt is something I've been wanting to do since the first time I saw it.
I found this pattern on Starting Chain on Facebook.  Starting Chain offers tutorial videos for all kinds of crochet projects and stitches.  So if you're on Facebook, take a look at their page.  I will put a link to the actual project below.

Back to my project. 

Is that not the cutest thing you've seen in a long time?  Look at his adorable face!
I used Sugar N Cream cotton yarn (the same yarn that I used for my cat cup cozy) in an off white color.  This is supposed to be a trivet, so you want to use cotton yarn because it will be able to withstand the heat of whatever you put on it.  Synthetic yarn might melt, so please take note of this. 

The question is:  Would I want to put something on this and cover it up?  Maybe not.  I might just hang this up somewhere.  Either way, he will be my kitchen mascot.

You can find the link to the Chicken Hot Pad project HERE

To sum up, I liked the easy-to-follow instructions for this crochet project. The instructor tells you how many stitches you should have at the end of each row.  That really helped me.  I think I had a little miscount right at the end, but it didn't seem to have much of an impact on the cuteness of this finish.  The instructions also are very clear on how to make each type of stitch and I appreciated that reminder. 

See how I'm breaking out of the "I can only crochet things that are square or rectangular" routine?  Now I can crochet things that are chicken-shaped.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Spring Cross Stitch Giveaway Winner!

I'm happy to announce that the winner of my Spring Cross Stitch Giveaway is:

Christine Barnsley
From the blog Patchwork Allsorts

To determine the winner, I used the random number generator at Random.org.
Number 8 was drawn, and counting down 8 on the comment list was Christine's name.  Congratulations, Christine!  I will be contacting you by email.

 Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.  Come back and visit often to see what's going on in the CraftyCat world.  A Summer Giveaway will be coming up!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Cross Stitch Giveaway!

I haven't had a giveaway in a while, so in honor of my favorite season and my favorite month, May, let's have a giveaway! 

I started this blog intending to post about all kinds of crafts, with the main focus being on cross stitch.  You've noticed lately a definite lack of cross stitch, haven't you?  With the secret cross stitch project going on, I just can't post yet.  I am really concentrating on getting that one done and am not working on any others right now.  Therefore, no stitching posts. 

To hopefully make up for that, my Spring Cross Stitch Giveaway includes a colorful chart in lovely springtime colors, fabric, floss along with a cute charm and beads.
The lucky winner of the giveaway will receive the Lizzie Kate Flora McSample chart "Heart Sampler", the 28-count Cashel linen fabric in mint, a tiny heart charm and beads, and every color of DMC floss that you'll need to complete this project. 
The fabric color is really a pretty mint green color!  Sorry I couldn't get that in the photo. 
Just look at the beautiful color combination of the floss in this project!

And all you have to do is:
1.  Follow my blog. 
2.  Comment ON THIS POST by noon EST on Friday, May 27th. 
That's it.  Nothing complicated or demanding. 

I will draw the name of our one winner on Friday, May 27th at noon, and will announce the winner right here on my blog.  I'll also contact the winner by e-mail.  Oh, I almost forgot.  Please, please, please, make sure that there is a way I can contact you!!  

Thank you for all of your kind comments.  I appreciate each one, as I do all of my followers.  If you're not a follower yet, please join by clicking on the "Join This Site" button.  

Good luck, everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Crochet A Cat!

All right, let's get back to crafting, shall we?  In honor of my sweet kitty, Ozzy, my project for last week was this cute Cat Cup Cozy.  Just click on the link and you'll get to the video which contains complete instructions.
It's been my goal for quite a while to learn different crochet techniques and to break out of my "I can only crochet things that are rectangular or square" mode.  Remember?  So seeing as how this project contains something circular, something ear-shaped, and something tail shaped, I thought it would be a good starting point.

It's pretty cute, right?  The instructions say that chaining 37 will fit around a Starbucks cup, so that's exactly what I did.  I have one of those reusable Starbucks cups, but it's in my car.  Could I have gone out to the car to get it so that I could see if 37 chains would fit around my cup?  Well, yes, I could have.  Did I?  No.  I chained my 37 and then followed the instructions using Sugar N Cream cotton yarn in an off-white color. 

When it was completed, I FINALLY retrieved my reusable Starbucks cup and found out that it was waaaaaay too big for my cup (which is a Grande, by the way).  Yeah, I just had to laugh.  You know that saying, "measure twice, cut once"?  In my case with this project, it was more like "nah, you don't have to measure at all!".  And that was not a smart crafter decision. 

It does fit on my giant Tervis tumbler though!  Which makes no sense at all because:  A) Tervis tumblers are insulated already, and B)  It hides the cute design that's already on the cup (which in this case is a bumblebee).  But it does show you how cute the cup cozy is when it's actually on a cup. 
Now, as usual, I can come away with some positives even though the cozy was a bit bigger than what I needed.  I learned some new techniques, used crochet stitches that I haven't used in the past, and it did turn out looking like what it was supposed to.  And it's pretty darn adorable.  I now have the courage to attempt more adventurous projects.  Also, the instructions are very clear in the video, and this is a quick project.  You might be able to complete it in an evening. 

Hmmmm, maybe it will fit a Starbucks Venti cup.