Friendsgiving

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Last weekend, I came up with another excuse to gorge myself with way too much food yet again. I had a few friends over and we had a little “friendsgiving” a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving because we all have totally crazy schedules. I don’t have many pictures because my friends are shy and I didn’t want to force them into this awkward “take pictures for the internet!” type of thing. Plus, I live in the moment and totally forgot to take pictures of everything.

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Our menu consisted of classic Thanksgiving fare with a twist as 1/3 of us were vegetarian. Everyone was in charge of different aspects. I made the main course, appetizers, and dessert. And I made some apple cider just for funsies. I made some individual pot pies, 4 chicken, and 2 tofu for the main course. I even came up with this cute idea of using pie crust letters to show which pies were vegetarian. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture. I should also note that I used Ina Garten’s chicken pot pie recipe, which states that it makes 4 servings. It probably makes a little closer to 400 servings. I have no idea who could eat that much pot pie, but my friends went home with enough leftovers to make about 4 more pies each. Oh, Ina.

When you have pie for dinner, you can’t have pie for dessert too, which left me a little stumped. Pie is the go-to Thanksgiving dessert. Plus, I was a little overwhelmed with the pot pies and didn’t really have time to create a fancy dessert. Bennett came up with the great idea to make a little s’mores bar with sterno candles and tons of fancy chocolates. I highly recommend it. He also bought those flowers without so much as a hint from me. He’s got this hosting thing down pat.

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My most proud moment is probably this centerpiece I made. It’s a miniaturized version of this tutorial with some glasses with salt and tea lights and scattered metallic pom poms. I kind of love my paper hollies.

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We even got Kirby in the Christmas spirit with the sweater Lacey got him. I kept it on him until everyone got to see him, but his fur coupled with the sweater made for a very hot dog. Too bad you look so cute in that sweater, dude, because you will have to wear it again.

All in all, it was a rather successful even. We all ate until we hurt, and we had a ton of fun. The food was good, and so was the chatting, and I didn’t get too stressed out while preparing. Success!

Macrame Wall Hanging How-to, and Cats. So.

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Two exciting things to report:

I made a macrame wall hanging that I am actually proud to display
and
I got a kitty!

Let’s talk macrame first. I’ve been wanting to create a macrame wall hanging for a couple months now, to hang over our bed in our apartment. I bought some stuff for it while I was still at Lee’s parents’ house, but it’s sort of an involved craft and I make a mess/take up a lot of room while I do it. So I had to wait to be in my own space first.

What I bought:

100 yards of cotton piping, 1/4″ (I started out with only 50 yards, but quickly realized that wouldn’t be enough)
A three(ish) foot wooden dowel (home depot, most art stores carry these)
Tape
Scissors

The total cost was about $40, which is a lot, but these puppies can sell for up to a grand if they’re done really well and they’re as big as the one I made. If you make a smaller one, I’m sure 60 yards would be plenty, especially if you used a smaller size of rope or a different kind. A lot of people use plastic rope, which you can find at Home Depot. I found my rope at a little yarn shop close to my work, but I know they also have it at places like Hobby Lobby.

The first macrame I did was made of really thick yarn, and while I really like the texture, it was a bit too stretchy and the hanging narrowed at the bottom. I also used the square knot for that one, so I wanted to change it up for this hanging. I used an alternative method of the square knot, which uses a loop and looks slightly different.

Make sure all your individual strands of rope are twice as long as you want them to be when you cut them, because you will fold them in half when you attach them to the dowel. Fold in half, then wrap around the dowel by pulling the two ends through the loop you have created. It will look like this:

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As you can see, I did not remember to make my rope twice as long as I wanted it to be. I think if I had, each piece would have been about 12 feet long, maybe a little longer. I had to tape them together at the ends and try and camouflage it into the knot on the dowel. It worked pretty well. Also make sure to tape the tips of your rope, so they don’t fray.

Now for the fun part, knotting!

Each knot takes four strands of rope. You will be working with the two outside strands of each knot. In each row, you will alternate which four strands you are working with. You’ll grab the last two strands from the knot on the left, and the first two from the knot on the right in the row above.

To start, separate the two outer strands of the four from the two in the middle. These are the two you will be working with for each knot. Create a “C” over the two center strands with the rightmost strand.

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Then (this is sort of hard to explain), using your pointer finger and thumb on your left hand, reach through the loop you just created, under the two strands in the middle, to the base of the loop. Grab both side and pull through to the other side, so they wrap around the two strands in the middle and create two smaller loops inside the big one on the other side. You will be grabbing from underneath on the right, and bringing them through to the left. It will look like this:

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Now, take the leftmost strand and string it through the two loops you have created, like this:

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Pull through until it is taut. You will now have two loose ends. Pull these, along with the loop on the bottom right side of the knot, until the knot sort of twists and straightens out to look like this:

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And there is your knot! I usually have to reorganize the middle strands so they aren’t all twisted up; you want them to stay straight.

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So, go ahead and repeat this until you run out of strands. Make sure you alternate between each row of knots. In the end, I was pretty happy with mine. It came out like this:

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I had to take a straight iron to the rope that was left hanging at the bottom. It honestly made the piece look a thousand times better. I also added an angled edge to each side to make it look a little more interesting.

In my next piece, I would love to incorporate a different color, or attach some yarn somehow to make a chevron pattern. I’ll keep you guys posted! And both of you, let me know if you want one. I might ask for a little help paying for the materials, but I can’t have a hundred of them around my apartment and I love making them!

Now, on to the interesting part: my kitty!

His name is Kristoff, or as we call him, Kristofferson (after the cousin in Fantastic Mr. Fox). He’s a rescue kitty. He’s still super shy, his current kitty cold probably has a little to do with that. But if you put him down somewhere he will curl up and fall right to sleep, be it your lap or a bed you make for him full of comfy pillows and blankets in your dresser drawer. He is too cute to handle. His tail curls around his little paws every time he sits down. He loves to snuggle. We are so very happy to have him in our home.

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The Easiest (and Cheapest) DIY Wreath Ever

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I like wreaths, but I don’t like wreath making. And I really don’t like spending a bunch of money on a wreath either. I decided I needed one, though, so after a little research for inspiration online, I got to work creating a wreath that fits my simple Christmas decorating personality and my thin wallet.

You literally need 4 things to create this wreath:

  • Dollar Store Christmas Garland
  • Bottle Brush Trees
  • Hot Glue
  • Ribbon

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All I did was take my garland and wrap it into about a 14 inch circle and wind it around itself. You can hot glue the ends together if you’re worried, but the wire works really well.

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Figure out your arrangement for the bottle brush trees by laying everything on the ground. When you find what you like, just hot glue those guys straight onto the wreath.

Add a ribbon to the top to hide your wreath hanger.

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You’re all done!

I do feel like it needs something. I think that something might be flocking, but I’m a little to frugal to purchase something so frivolous. I do have some leftover pinecones, though, do you think those would look good on the bottom?

How Much is Too Much Crafting?

Tree Stocking Holder

Guys, I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew in the DIY department. I decided to make all of my Christmas gifts this year. In addition to that horrible mistake, I’m also trying to come up with awesome crafts for my work blog. I made the mistake of not hiring any new bloggers and just deciding to create more of my own posts. Now, in the middle of the holiday craft rush, I’m trying to create these amazing holiday crafts for an email and just the blog in general, and I’m trying to create stuff that is gift worthy.

As a result, my house has been taken over by crafts and Christmas. Seriously, who already has stockings hanging? Me, because I had to make stockings for work, and even made stocking holders. And to get the pictures looking good, I had to decorate my mantel. I have a winter wonderland mantel right now, and it’s not even officially winter.

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I think the bane of my existence, though has to be these stupid ornaments I’m working on for my (hopefully) last holiday project this month. Do you see that disaster on my kitchen table right now? Those suckers have been drying for 2 days now, and I tried to get everything done yesterday, but they still weren’t dry when I was working with them. I’ve ruined 2 pairs of pants, a sweatshirt, and have paint in my hair from these guys. I also dropped an ornament on the floor, and the inside wasn’t dry so in addition to the glass all over my floor, there was also wet paint. It was a fun night.

DIY Marbled Ornaments

I think the majority of the torture is over now. Alyssa’s gift is done (I started it in August, so you’d better like it) I’m working on Mom’s gift now, and I would like to thank you, Lacey, for giving me an extra month to work on yours. I’m actually having some fun with the gift making, but I feel super weird about already having Christmas stuff up. There’s no point in taking it down, though, and I happen to love Christmas decorations. I’m hoping since I’m getting all of this horrible crafting stuff over with before it’s even officially Christmas, maybe I’ll be chock full of the Christmas Spirit by the time it’s actually okay to celebrate.

So, that’s what’s up with the late posts and why I might possibly be a Grinch come December. I hope you guys like your gifts, probably not as cool as something I could buy, but you’ll all know that blood, sweat, tears, and Kirby fur went into them. All in the name of love.

DIY Travel Wallet

DIY Travel Wallet

Hello from America, Lacey!! Before Lacey took off for a new country, I wanted to give her something to keep her organized. It’s really important to keep all of your important documents at hand, so I thought it would be really useful to make her a custom wallet with a pocket for her passport and that would be big enough to hold boarding passes.

Sew a Travel Wallet

I headed to one of my favorite fabric stores in Portland, Cool Cottons on Hawthorne and poured over all of the adorable fabrics for like 20 minutes before making my decision.

Continue reading

All American Headband

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Sup sistahs.

So, this is what I call the “All American Headband.” I found the original beehive pattern here: http://www.beingspiffy.com/blog/the-hive-knit-dishcloth-pattern.html. When I first saw the project I was just interested in whether or not I’d even be able to pull it off, but then I found that it was actually a really fun pattern to knit and full of possibilities. So, the instructions are essentially the same, the difference is the size of the needles, the amount you cast on and using different colors. 

What I love about this headband is all the opportunities it provides. Want to be school spirited? Use your school colors, one for the outside of the circle and one for inside. Like sports? This will keep your ears warm and let everyone know where your alliance lies. Or, you can be like me and be patriotic/make matching headbands for your pong teammate so everyone knows how cool you really are. (And who needs to be mature, right?)

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So, the actual pattern.

I used size 5mm needles and Bernat Baby Sport yarn which is gauge 3 and by the way, is not at all itchy. For the colors I used Caron Simply Soft – gauge 4, which also feels nice. 

CO 18 stitches

Start with the color you want outside the circle

Row 1: Purl across

Row 2: Knit across

Row 3: Purl across

Row 4: Switch to the color you want inside the circle. K1, P3, slip 2 as if to purl (do this every time you slip) with the yarn in                 front (yif), P6, slip 2 yif, P3, K1

Row 5: K4, slip 2 with the yarn in back(yib), K6, slip 2 yib, K4

Row 6: K1, P3, slip 2 yif, P6, slip 2 yif, P3, K1

Row 7: K4, slip 2 yib, K6, slip 2 yib, K4

Row 8: K1, P3, slip 2 yif, P6, slip 2 yif, P3, K1

Row 9: K4, slip 2 yib, K6, slip 2 yib, K4

Row 10: Switch back to your original color (or if you want to have three colors, like mine, you would switch to your third                           color) K1, P3, slip 2 yif, P6, slip 2 yif, P3, K1

Row 11: Purl across

Row 12: Knit across

Row 13: Purl across

Row 14: Switch back to the color you want in the circle K1, slip 1 yif, P6, slip 2 yif, P6, slip 1 yif, K1

Row 15: K1, slip 1 yib, K6, slip 2 yib, K6, slip 1 yib, K1

Row 16: K1, slip 1 yif, P6, slip 2 yif, P6, slip 1 yif, K1

Row 17: K1, slip 1 yib, K6, slip 2 yib, K6, slip 1 yib, K1

Row 18: K1, slip 1 yif, P6, slip 2 yif, P6, slip 1 yif, K1

Row 19: K1, slip 1 yib, K6, slip 2 yib, K6, slip 1 yib, K1

Row 20: Switch back to the color you want outside the circle K1, slip 1 yif, P6, slip 2 yif, P6, slip 1 yif, K1

Repeat rows 1-20 until the pattern is long enough to fit around your head, CO, and sow together. 

Here is the headband being worn in a normal, hair up type of fashion as well:

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Welp, happy knitting sisters. Just think of all the sport teams that we don’t watch possibilities with this. Have a good one!