Friday, November 28, 2008

Homemade Play Dough

Today is a cold, rainy day here in Texas - perfect for doing some indoor crafts. My son has never played with play dough before so I made some using simple ingredients from our kitchen.
(It is recommended that children be two years old or older to play with this dough and of course they should be supervised at all times.)

What You'll Need:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
food coloring
wax paper

How I Did It:
Dump the flour, salt, and cream of tartar into a pot and mix well.
Now add the oil and then begin stirring in the water a little at a time.
Cook over medium heat and continue to stir.
The dough will begin to thicken and form a ball.
Keep cooking until the dough doesn't seem sticky then dump it out onto some wax paper to cool a bit.
Divide the dough into four lumps (or however many colors you'd like to make) and knead some drops of food coloring into each. I used about four drops per ball but you can add more or less to get the colors you like.

I taped newspaper over the table and set him loose. The color never came off on anything and it didn't really have a smell. Keep the dough in an air tight container or plastic bag. I'll let you know how long ours lasts.

This was a lot of fun to make. Maybe I'll make more for the kids for Christmas and include some cookie cutters and things to go with.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Nerdcore Tribute

Since the moment I heard of MC Frontalot, I have been bopping around the house rapping about spam, old video games, and Star Wars conventions. Finding Nerdcore has truly been a revival for my interest in music, which wanes frequently because of the nature of my home - a home I share with a musician and a radio exec among others. We run a radio station out of our home for goodness sake! So music is always playing. Most people listen to music to relax, my relaxing means getting away from music for a while. But I just don't get tired of "I Hate Your Blog" or "Yellow Lasers". So, at the suggestion of my friend Scott, I have begun my newest project... an amigurumi Front.

I have tons of ideas for props to make for him. He will definitely have a microphone. I'm not sure yet how I'll fashion his glasses but most likely they will be felt. I've made much progress since these pictures were taken. He's got a body, waist, and half a leg now.

Here are the arms and the beginning of the head...

And here is the head...

As you can see in the photo, I am adapting the pattern "Punk Bunny" from the book "Amigurumi! Super Happy Crochet Cute" by Elisabeth Doherty. I'm considering sending the finished product to MC Frontalot along with a letter of my appreciation of his music. I don't know what he would do with a doll of himself but whatever he does with it will probably be better than what I might do with it if I were to keep it for myself!!

EDIT: Here's the progress I've made today. As you can see, he even has little socks! I'm going to lengthen his pants of course. They're just a little short because the grey yarn is thinner than the others.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Handbag Complete... Well Mostly

I finished my purse yesterday, except for one little detail. I still want to embroider a little skull on the front. I'm going out to dinner tomorrow so I'll try to do it before then. I made a few mistakes and learned a lot while making this purse. Luckily, the mistakes I made were ones that affect the appearance only and shouldn't be problems structurally. That won't matter much since I'm keeping this one for myself but now I know a few things to pay attention to when I make one for someone else. Here's how it turned out!

As you can see, all my stuff fits perfectly which is good because the lack of extra room will keep me from amassing more and more stuff as I go along! The red zippered bag holds a diaper, wipes, powder, and a brush for my son. Then I have my wallet, cell phone, sunglasses, a ton of pictures, two sets of keys (OCD dictates that they be separated by frequency of use), my Buffy the Vampire Slayer pocket mirror, some Aquafina lip balm, a hair clip and hair bands, a picture my son drew to give to my dad tomorrow, tissues, a few important papers, guitar pick, Visene, two pens because for some reason I always end up with more than one, and some Hot Wheels cars to keep my son busy at restaurants. How did I get all that stuff in there?

EDIT: I found another picture that shows the lining better.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Handbag Just For Me

This afternoon I started a handbag for myself. I'm using an I hook and some Red Heart yarn that long ago lost their labels. The colors are black and grey. I was inspired by this beautiful purse by Futuregirl. I've made the flat bottom already and lined it with my ultra cute skull and flames fabric. Then I'm going to make the rest of the purse in a tube shape so I can easily get my hand in to line the bottom of the sides. Then I'll connect the tube to the bottom and add the handles. This probably won't make much sense to you until you see the pictures. I know this is an unusual way to do a lining but I'm not so great with my sewing machine yet and I'm pretty sure it will be functional so I'm giving it a try.

Here you can see the begining of the striped bag, the black bottom piece, the lining fabric, the handles, and my hook...

And here you can see the flat bottom piece already lined...

If you look at the corner you will notice the word "Designed" which is a part of the fabric you're not supposed to use, haha, but this is part of a fabric remnant that is just barely big enough to use so I am not wasting a thing. But it won't be noticable way down at the bottom of my cluttered purse, trust me!

Flower Center Slouch Hat

A couple of days ago I made the Flower Center Slouch Hat (warning: this link opens a PDF file). For some reason, every time I've ever made a "slouch" hat, it doesn't end up slouching very much. I think I crochet too tightly to get good slouch. But I still like this hat and I think it will match my blue scarf I made last year. I used a J hook and Caron Simply Soft Eco in Ocean. I stopped a couple rows early in the pattern and just did a couple rows of double crochet at the end.

Wheel Lattice Lapghan Complete

I finished the Wheel Lattice Lapghan a couple of days ago. I decided a simple squarish double crochet border would look best on it. I can't wait to give it to my grandmother for Christmas!

Armies, Half Way Finished!

I finished one of my Armies yesterday. I think it looks great and it's really comfortable. It looks like I have used about half the skein of yarn which is perfect. One more to go!

Half Moon Shawl Progress

I've made a bit of progress here and there on my Half Moon Shawl. I'm out of yarn now so when I work on it next I will have to frog the Candy Apple Shrug to get at the last skein of grey yarn. I've got about three rows left before finishing the pattern but it's going to be much too short yet so I'll have to repeat some rows.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wheel Lattice Lapghan Progress

Today I picked up an old project that has been hibernating for a few months. I started an afghan for my grandmother back in January using the Wheel Lattice Square. I used an H hook and stopped it at 8 inches instead of the full 12 because I just thought it looked better. At least it started out to be an afghan but my lack of funds kinda coerced me into making it a lapghan instead. In other words, I ran out of yarn! But I think it's big enough, it's like a throw. For the blocks I'm using Vana's Choice in Taupe (which does NOT look taupe to me - it's the darkest one!) and Wool-Ease in Mushroom, and I'm using Caron One Pound in Taupe for the joins and border.

Here are some close ups of the squares...

And here's my progress as of this afternoon...

I finished up that last join and started a double crochet border after dinner. It should be done in a few more days.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Visit From the Frog of Sadness

Unfortunately I had to frog the Chakra Purse. I thought I could correct the mistake I made and I did a couple more rows expecting to keep going but when I did a stitch count I was off by like 15 stitches. Have no idea how that happened but I don't have time to be trying to figure this pattern out just yet. I need a purse and a million other things by Christmas. But I do plan on trying it again some day, I really like this purse. Until then, I'm off to find another pattern. Wish me luck!