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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Turn Winter Bills into Holiday Thrills

The Cap'n and I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and for voting- so far it seems like Juneau may be winning, but I have a secret sneaky feeling that a tropical destination could still pull ahead!  Anyhow, keep voting, and we'll let you know what really develops.  

In the meantime here are a couple of projects I've posted a bit about before, but now you can have a more in-depth look at getting rid of dreaded bills by crafting them out of your life!!
With the holidays ramping up and the temperatures dropping off, the bills are bound to begin piling up around your house.  To defeat those winter bills blues think outside the box by using the bills themselves (ok, their fabulous textured envelopes) to spread some holiday cheer!  Here are two projects to take you from down and out to in the holiday spirit.
Winter Windowflakes
The interior patterns of security envelopes abound with perfect patterns for snowflake-style décor.  
Step 1: Gather a few of the white and blue interiors of envelopes, a circle punch, floss, and some small white circle stickers (the kind you use for pricing items at garage sales).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Big BIG News

Please forgive the quality of this video, but not the hilarity!
It was such a wonderful moment, we were so glad to share it with friends, and only wish that we could be together with others at this time of year.  The Cap'n surprised me with a ring as the last "gift" in our white elephant gift exchange.  The we skyped with family afar and called others.  We got the ring sized in one hour the next day (who knew they were that fast!  they knew I wouldn't let it go for longer probably).

No, we haven't made any plans yet - I'm actually very afraid of my wedding, in that I'll-want-to-craft-everything-myself kind of way.  So, I'm trying to think of letting it go- or destination.  So, in the spirit, please vote to the right on which wedding is best!  Just for fun, but we'll see what wins! 

Thanks all, love, T

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Three Christmas Wreath Stories to Craft By

This is the story of one night, three wreaths and two crafters . . .

  One magical evening a few weeks before Christmas I sat down to decorate my apartment in holiday style. With snow sprinkling beyond the twinkly lighted windows, I armed myself with three foam rings (thanks to the local craft store), some hot glue (and hot cocoa) and supplies scrounged from the depths of the craft closet, and got to work. With only one evening to get the décor done I needed to whip out three wreaths within record time to get the holiday spirit flowing.
 The first wreath started off in a blur of red and green yarn. Taking one strand of dark green and one strand of light I made a knot and pinned it into the foam wreath using a straight pin. Quick as a bunny, I began to wrap and wrap and wrap the strands around the wreath base. As I wrapped, the strands twisted together to make a mess. I wrapped and untwisted and wrapped and untwisted as I went. Suddenly, I looked down and noticed the wrapping had completely covered the base! I tied the ends around and left a long tail hang it by. The wreath was fully covered, but something inside me was unsettled. Where were the red berries on this green wreath? Where was the green leaf to the red berries on the green wreath? I sighed. But then it hit me, wrapping red yarn into red balls could easily make berries, and I could crochet a small green leaf in minutes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Public Market Success!

This year I shared a booth again with Anji Gallanos of Ruby's Hill. She makes this beautiful enamel jewelry that I love.  Anyhow, Cap'n and I knit up a storm (yes, Cap'n knits in the off-season!) to be ready for the Market and still ran out by the third day.  Insanity!
 This is the stock on day 2, the display was chock full to the top of each bin on day 1.  Whee!

When a Crafter Turns 30

Everyone gets together and is fabulous!!  Thank you to everyone who showed for my rockin' 30th, this post is way belated I know, but nonetheless I wanted to show a few shots from the evening, no matter how late . . .
Adorable Mr. Ciambor immediately runs over to give me my card when I enter. 
 Have you ever had a private party at Shoefly??  It is AMAZING!  We did a pre-party there and then headed to the fantastic Rookery Cafe for the real party.  I suggest this to anyone who ever wanted a fab party that is all catered and decorated for you.  No work, and TONS of fun!

So, starting at Shoefly, first off, you can bring your own snacks and drinks- yeah, eating, drinking, and shopping all in one!  Then, everyone has fun running around trying on shoes.  And at the end of my pre-party at Shoefly the girls were amazing and all chipped in to buy me a pair of kicks! Love you ladies!!! Then we headed to The Rookery for pizza and more fun . . .
We have the folks from the Empire, the family, the AK Litho crowd, the Allen Mariners, the Brewery and more!!
Look how handsome the cap'n is in his new suit!!
And check out the gorgeous freshwater pearls he gave me for turning 30!!  I feel so grown up!

Travis, the owner of the Rookery and a longtime friend of mine made the most amazing food!!
And amazing cupcakes by Yquem were had by all!! Pumpkin Spice, Mexican chocolate and Latte Whip- mmmmm.
 If you too would like a Shoefly party, a Rookery party, or a delish cupcake catering by any of the fab. people above then let me know and I will pass along their info to you.

I really want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who made my 30th transition so much easier than it could have been, Caro and Christy for rocking the Shoefly, Trav and crew for setting up and cooking at the Rook, and J on cleanup crew along with the shining star of the night, Cap'n, without whom, none of this would have happened.  I am blessed.  Thank you!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Top Five Knit-Quick Tips

The roomies knitting madly on their scarves before the snow strikes!
It's the perfect time of year to pick up those pointy needles and stick them in a skein of wooly, nubbly, cozy yarn. In the past week I've helped teach two new knitters the magical ways of weaving, bringing the total of knitters in my house to four. From youth to wizened ages, knitting is a pastime that appeals to, and warms, our hearts, necks and heads. So if you are a newbie to this historic method of cloth-making, then here are my top five tips to get started quick and get warm faster.

1. It's All About Tension
As a first-timer one of the hardest things to grasp is to relieve the tension. Tendencies towards super-tight knits make it difficult to insert your needle in the correct spot, and too-loose knits make it impossible to bring the loop through as it will just fall off midway. So watch the tension by practicing and keeping it consistent to be a better knitter.

2. Keep Your Fingers in Place
There are a couple of ways to knit - continental style (where you hold the yarn in your left hand) and English style (where you hold the yarn in your right). Either way you play it's important to keep an eye on your fingers. To help keep the tension consistent when I'm English knitting I wrap the yarn end around my pinky. That way the yarn slides through your hand while maintaining tension with a quick squeeze of the pinky and ring fingers.