Imperial Crochet

As Christmas approaches, we all know that feeling.

Baby’s Favorite Blanket

If you’ve read my Branding a New Etsy Shop – Choosing a Logo post, you already know the story of the blanket I use as my logo.

While away for the wedding (the one I made the crochet wrap for), I was pleasantly surprised (and proud) to learn that the little boy who owns the blanket has chosen it as his very favorite.  So much so that he wants to bring it everywhere he goes.

The problem I noticed was that at a little over a year old, the crib size blanket I made for his baby shower was too big for him to drag along behind him as he toddled along.

As soon as I got home, I made him a brand new blankie.  This one is much smaller and should reduce the tripping problem being caused by the large size of the original one.  I didn’t make it too tiny either though.  I still wanted it to seem like a blanket for him.

I used Stitch Studio by Nicole yarn and a size larger hook than was recommended to create a large Granny Square.  I then crocheted a row of single crochet stitches to finish it off.  No, it’s not the same as the first one.  And it’s nothing spectacular but it is super soft and snuggable.   I’m hoping he’ll like it just as much as the other one.

Here’s a photo of the new one:

Granny Square Snuggie

I love the colors!

He hasn’t received it yet.  It’s on its way to him as I write this.  I’ll let you know if he likes it as soon as I know.

This situation has me rethinking my baby blanket sizes.  A “crib size” blanket is wonderful because the child will get lots of use out of it for a longer amount of time but a smaller one would make it easier for the child who chooses it as his or her favorite.

Which size baby blanket do you prefer to make, gift, or use? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments.  I love hearing from my readers!

Thanks for stopping by!


Barbara Briggs Designs

I love Barbara’s work. Just stunning!

barbara briggs designs

It’s been a long time coming, but…

Here it is…my “Staggered Geometric Warped Square Bracelet”. I’m extremely pleased with the finished design and feel it was definitely worth the time it took to execute. The geometric bracelet is composed of warped squares (inspired by CGB and CB) worked with Delicas and accented with seed bead edging. Optional triangles are worked into the design as well providing additional interest and embellishment. I love the vibrant colors! A
tutorial is in the works…I hope to have it ready later in the week with kits to follow.  Stay tuned!

Weird Weekends

I look forward to reading this blog every week. You can see why:

Weird Weekends

This weekend I am going to share with all of you our Epoxy Jewelry making experiment.  This was not my idea nor did I lead this project.   Gwen (my 14 year old daughter) headed this up guiding both her little brother as well as myself through each step.   (If it sucks… it is all her fault)

Epoxy 01

We started with clay to create the molds for our jewelry.  Gwen decided on a tear drop shape, Ben a simple circle, and I chose a heart.   Gwen didn’t approve of the “finishing” of my heart and smoothed out the inside of the mold telling me that I had to do a better job or it wont work.

Epoxy 02

Epoxy 03We baked the clay for 30 minutes in the oven (basically following the instructions).

NEXT…. the most important part…  we  looked for what we wanted to put into the clear epoxy.   I found an old tooth of mine.   I thought that the tooth would be awesome but  Gwen said that “Mom wouldn’t approve”.  I guess in her mind since I had shaped the mold into a heart that it must be a gift for mom.

I gave into the adolescent peer pressure, put aside the tooth and decided to get some small flowers.

OH THE DECEPTION…   Ben and Gwen didn’t limit themselves in the same way they limited me.  Ben found a dead beetle in the garage and Gwen found some insect wings.  hmmm…

We gathered our stuff and placed them out to be painted.  You must paint the objects or the epoxy will leach out the colors.  We used clear gloss paint and while I painted my stupid flowers I was incredibly jealous  of Ben’s and Gwen’s cool things.   (I blame Isabelle)

Epoxy 04

Epoxy 05

Before you place anything in the mold you must treat the mold with “Mold Release” or the epoxy well not come out.   Gwen had made all of the necessary purchases and you can see above what we used to treat our molds.

Epoxy 06

Epoxy 07

Here is the epoxy Gwen had purchased.   It has almost no smell and it cures relatively quickly.  It comes in two parts that you mix together.  You must be very precise in your measurements and it is measured by volume not weight.  Notice how carefully Gwen is pouring out the two liquids.

Gwen had an earlier attempt and it never went hard.   She said that she just “guessed” when mixing the 50/50 ratio.   I told her projects like this require precision in measurements and that it is very important to carefully follow the directions.   (This was not very genuine since I would have done the same thing…  I just wanted to sound like the wise father.)  You can see that we marked clear plastic cups with black lines so that the amounts would be exact.

Epoxy 08

Epoxy 09

Epoxy 10

We poured the epoxy into the molds and then placed in our “decorative” items.  umm…I am not sure that Ben’s dead bug is very decorative.

We also placed in a small copper wire so later we could connect chains.  The epoxy takes several days to become hard.   We impatiently waited and I admit that I was ready to cheat and take it out early but Gwen took to heart my “follow instructions” and wouldn’t let me.

Epoxy 11

I pulled it from the mold and the side that was touching the mold was “milky”…. hmm this isn’t at all what we wanted.

We used some very fine sanding paper and even Isabelle’s nail buffer to try to smooth out the surface.  (Don’t tell Isabelle)  This was great for smoothing things out but it didn’t make the epoxy clear.

Epoxy 12

After googling… (sounds so weird)…

We learned that all we had to do was to brush on a thin layer and it would smooth out and become transparent.  We mixed up another small batch and brushed it on.   This process worked very well to our surprise!

Here are the finished items!  (Wished I could say mine was the best)

Epoxy 13

Even with the clear paint my purple flower petals turned white.   Nothing went my way on this project… first letting them talk me out of the tooth and then loosing the purple color.

Worst of all…

I am extremely jealous of Gwen’s bug wings.  In any case look how nice these turned out with just a little added top coat.

Epoxy 15

Ben’s is a little bit “bubbly”.  We played with the beetle too much when it went into the epoxy.   Ben told me that he is giving this to Hanna, his oldest sister for her birthday.  I smiled and said I bet she will love it…(wonder if she will ever wear it)

Here is Gwen’s necklace.  I honestly love hers and find the wings really intriguing.  I hate it when my kids show me up in these kinds of things… and when I can’t even lie about whose is better.

I gave Isabelle her heart and well being French she didn’t know that she was suppose to at least pretend to like it.   (She told me that she didn’t like the shape or the flowers… wonder if she would have liked the tooth?)   Gwen told me that I should do another one for mom but with her mold…

Ya Gwen…rub it in.

Slow Crafter

This is from OBT’s post. I just love this!

Slow Crafter



Justyna Wołodkiewicz/Nibyniebo

“Slow crafter” Justyna Wołodkiewicz makes fun, sculptural hoop art in amazing color combinations, and I want them all! Her elements run the gamut from architectural to organic, but what they have in common is that they’re all fun to look at, and look like they’d be fun to touch, too. In addition to creating these wild and wonderful pieces, Wołodkiewicz also does custom work, and even offers PDFs and tutorials on how to make some of her creations. I asked the artist why she calls herself a slow crafter:

“slow because embroidery is slow in its nature. But also slow as opposite to quickly mass-produced in order to sell. Rarely repeating my own patterns. Created mindfully.”

I also asked Wolodkiewicz what inspired her, and this is what she told me:

“For my recent series of XXI century states of mind I’m mostly inspired by human nature. What we feel and what we are – life made up by our brains or brains shaped by life! The jungle of emotions- contrasting feelings, imperfections, beauty-…all wild human nature! I love to study it.”

I love the idea that this hoop art represents a state of mind. They really do look to me like creative thoughts taking shape (maybe as illustrated by Heinz Edelmann!).

Check out all of Wolodkiewicz’s beautiful wares in her Etsy shop, Nibyniebo.

All images property of Justyna Wołodkiewicz/Nibyniebo, used with permission.