October 2013 archive

DIY Polymer Clay Crochet Hook Handle

| Crafts & DIY, Crochet

DIY Crochet Hook Polymer Clay Handle Tutorial

DIY Crochet Hook Polymer Clay Handle Tutorial

DIY Polymer Clay Crochet Hook Handle – As you all know by now I really enjoy crocheting.  It’s what I do to relax.  A while ago, I tried my hand at amigurumi (the Japanese craft of crocheting small stuffed animals).  It took me a little less than an hour to decide that amigurumi wasn’t for me and then it took me a bit longer to realize why… it hurts my hands. The little hooks that you use to crochet in this style are so tiny that you really have to get a good grip on them and I found my hands would cramp up.

A few weeks ago, I randomly came across a photo of someone holding a hook covered in what I presumed was polymer clay and I had my “ah-ha” moment – that’s what I need to do for my hooks too. I went to the store and bought a variety of Fimo packages in different colors along with a straight blade for cutting the clay. I rolled and twisted and rolled some more until I had some marbled designs that I was happy with, popped them in the oven and 15 minutes later I had beautiful and practical crochet hooks.

If you’re hands hurt from crocheting, I highly suggest this easy modification that will make a world of difference for your hands.

Material:

  • Polymer clay in various colors (Sculpy, Premo, Fimo, etc.) *if you just want the functionality without the hassle of mixing colors, you can make things easier by just using one color.
  • Straight blade or sharp knife
  • Cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Crochet hooks

Directions:

  1. Choose 3-5 colors of clay and knead the clay until it’s soft and then roll the clay into little logs (I made them about 2″ long).
  2. Take all the logs and twist them together. Roll on a smooth flat surface.
  3. Fold over and twist again. Roll on a smooth flat surface. Keep doing this until you’re happy with the design. *Be careful not to do it too many times or it will all just turn into one color – likely grey or brown.
  4. Roll the clay smooth and until it’s about the width of a pen and about 4″ long. If you find your piece of clay has gotten too long as you rolled it out just cut off any excess clay so that you have it the correct length.
  5. Gently take the end of your crochet hook and with a back and forth twisting motion push the hook into the clay. Be patient, it goes in pretty easily as long as it isn’t forced quickly. Keep going until you’re almost at the end of the clay log.
  6. Now roll the clay with the hook in it on the smooth surface and taper the end closest to the hook.  Feel free to trim a little from the end if it gets too close to the end.
  7. On the side furthest from the hook, gently tap against your hard surface until it’s flattened.
  8. Ad a small circular piece of white clay to the end. This is where you’ll write the hook size with a permanent market or use a stamp to mark the size.
  9. Place  the crochet hook and handle on a cookie sheet that has a layer of parchment paper on it.  Cook in the oven at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes (add a few minutes if it’s thicker than 1/4″).
  10. Take out of oven, allow to cool.

Also, if you’re new to crocheting and would like to take your crocheting to the next level before you try your next crochet project, I highly recommend some of the online crochet classes at Craftsy. Craftsy has amazing courses taught by world class instructors.

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~ Jamey

Tutorial on how to make polymer clay grips for your crochet hooks.

Tutorial on how to make polymer clay grips for your crochet hooks.

40 Comments

Easy Reversible Crochet Boot Cuffs

| Crochet

Pattern for reversible crochet boot cuffs

Pattern for reversible crochet boot cuffs

Easy Reversible Crochet Boot Cuffs – One of my very favorite things about this time of year is being able to break out my boots.  Over the last season or two, boot cuffs or boot toppers have really become popular and rightfully so, they really help showcase your beautiful boots. I’ve been wanting to purchase some boot cuffs for a while now but haven’t found anything fabulous so I decided just to make my own instead.  I created this design without any pattern (I’m thrilled they actually turned out). There may be better ways to make the boot cuff but this is what I came up with and actually, I love them. *A special thanks to my husband for being so patient while I directed the photo shoot and he took the shots. You’re a good man!

Download Reversible Boot Cuff Pattern

Reversible Boot Cuff Pattern

Materials:

  • A soft medium weight yarn. I used Red Heart Soft in Light Grey Heather.
  • Crochet Hook – US J10/6 mm.
  • Yarn or tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Basic Boot Cuff Directions:

Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, sc = single crochet, dc = double crochet, tr = treble crochet (U.S.)

Part 1: Ribbed side of the boot cuff

Ch 15.

Row 1: 1dc in the third chain from the hook and then one dc in every stitch until you’re at the end of the row. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 2. 1sc in each stitch until you’re at the end of the row. Turn.

Row 3: Ch 3. 1dc in each stitch across row. Turn.

Repeat rows 2 – 3 until you reached your desired length. Keep wrapping the piece around your leg in the knee/calf area to fit to the correct size. The cuff should be snug enough so that it doesn’t fall down your leg but not too tight that it’s difficult to get over your pants. For reference mine was 13 inches wide. If these are for someone else, you’ll want to measure their legs before you start making the cuffs.

Part 2: Textured side of the boot cuff.

Ch 18.

Row 1: 1sc in the second chain from the hook. *Tr in the next chain, sc in the next chain*, rep * until end of row. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 3, *tr into the sc from the previous row, next sc into the tr from the previous row*, rep * until end of row. Turn. (tip: your tr should always be going into a sc stitch from the previous row and your sc should always be going into a tr from the previous row).

Repeat Row 2

Keep up this pattern until this piece is as long as the ribbed part of the cuff. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Now using your yarn or tapestry needle cut a long piece of yarn and carefully sew together the two parts of the cuff along the longest sides (see photo below). When the long side is complete, sew together the two short sides. Weave in any loose ends.

Follow the instructions above and create another boot cuff for the other leg.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this free pattern. If you’d like to get your hands on more crochet patterns check out this great book: Crocheted Scarves and Cowls: 35 colorful and contemporary crochet patterns

Looking for more great crochet patterns: Crochet Fingerless GlovesDone In A Day Baby BlanketEasy Crochet Can CozyTulip Textured Crochet Dishcloth, Colorful Solid Granny Square Dishcloth, Crochet Beach BagOutland CowlCaps for a CauseCrochet Infinity ScarfCrochet Cat BedCrochet iPhone CaseEasy-Peasy Crochet Beanie

Easy pattern to make your own crochet your own boot toppers.

Easy pattern to crochet your own boot toppers.

 
13 Comments

Best Salad Ever

| Cooking

Best Salad Ever

Best Salad Ever Recipe

Best Salad Ever Recipe – This weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada… I’m still having trouble buttoning up my pants.  We were blessed to be invited to two Thanksgiving dinners and for the one at my mother-in-laws house I was asked to provide a salad.  As soon as I found out that a salad was my contribution to the meal I knew what I was making, the best salad ever of course.  I found this recipe many months ago and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser.  It’s both yummy and beautiful. I’ve modified it slightly from the original recipe as we found that one way too sweet.  There is already so much sweetness in the fruit and candied almonds there’s no need for large amounts of sugar in the dressing.  I also added the croutons to have something a little salty to help balance out the sweetness. Give this salad recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Download the Best Salad Ever Recipe here.

Best Salad Ever Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 4 shallots or green onions, chopped
  • 1 can mandarin orange pieces
  • 1 diced avocado
  • 1 diced apple
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup bread to make homemade croutons (sourdough or focaccia bread works well)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp old fashioned (grainy) mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut up about 1 cup of bread into 1 inch cubes and place in a bowl.  Add 1 tbsp of olive oil (add a little more if it’s too dry) and sprinkle evenly with garlic powder. Mix well and then spread on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Place sugar and almonds in sauce pan or skillet and cook over medium heat until sugar melts and starts turning brown – keep an eye on it as it can burn quickly.  Remove from heat and place on a plate to cool.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and finish the salad with the croutons, nuts and salad dressing.

Modified from this original recipe.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  Check out some of my other recipes including: No bake energy balls,  Bailey’s dipped toasted marshmallowszucchini quinoa pattiesperfect chocolate chip cookiesmarinated feta cheesemediterranean hummus.

You may also want to checkout my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

~ Jamey

Recipe for the Best Salad Ever.

Recipe for the Best Salad Ever.

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Monsters Coloring Page

| Kids Fun, Printables

Monster's for your kids to color.

Monster’s for your kids to color.

Monsters Coloring Page – The air these days is colder and crisper, the leaves are beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow and the sky is grey more often than blue… fall is here!  The kids are starting to think about the upcoming holidays including Halloween. I’m looking forward to seeing all the cute little ghosts and ghouls this year.  While we’re waiting for this scary and magical day, I thought it would be fun to create a monster coloring page in honour of the upcoming holiday.

Download your monsters coloring page here.


Jennifer over at http://www.jennifermcguireink.com has made some really fun personalized monster notebooks with these monsters.  For her tutorial please visit her blog here.

Looking for more fun, check out this super cute Notebook Doodle animal designs that are just waiting to be filled with color – Notebook Doodles Super Cute: Coloring & Activity Book

Looking for more great kids stuff: Monster and Ghost Spray Away, Blank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

Thanks for reading! ~ Jamey

The kids will love this scary monster coloring page.

The kids will love this scary monster coloring page.

 

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