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Monday, December 22, 2014

Handmade Holiday Gifts: Jewelry Plates

These little plates are for my sister, I saw the idea for the lace version at top on Pinterest (of course!).
Mine are a bit wobbly, but I kind of like that.

I got the idea for this plate from a local potter who was making these amazing beautiful bowls with topographic maps carved into the bottom.  So gorgeous, I thought it would remind my sis of her favorite mountain and home.
This project took just one evening if you need a quick gift.  I used some Sculpey I had on hand, rolled it out, carved and then baked it.  You can carve it after you bake it if you like.  I did throw some white paint on them to make them look clean.  

Enjoy and Happy Holidays, more holiday ideas coming your way this week, stay tuned!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Arm Knitting on a Plane - Quick Holiday Gifts

Yes, that's me arm knitting on a plane - it can be done!

Ever heard the adage ‘Give a man a knit scarf; he’ll be warm for a day. Teach a man to knit, you’ll be warm forever’? Alright, that isn’t quite accurate, but it does have a ring of truth. If I could only give one gift for the holidays I would teach all my loved ones to knit to keep themselves (and me) warm throughout the season. But the time commitment on a craft like knitting can be daunting, so I put aside that thought until I heard of the newest and goofiest sounding trend in the world of weaving, Arm Knitting.
Arm Knit Scarf with Buttons
It’s not a joke, but you do look silly, because you really use your arms as knitting needles. With wide availability of extra bulky yarns and the two largest knitting needles possible, a scarf can take under an hour to whip up using this method, making a plane ride enough time for anyone to learn and walk away warm. Another body knit, Finger Weaving, is also an easy craft for kids and adults alike. So if the whole fam is hopping a plane for the holidays, pick up a few skeins on the way and get your body knit on. Plus seeing that row of entanglement will be a holiday gift for the rest of us this Christmas.
Finger Weaving turned into a Looped Infinity Scarf 

Arm Knit Infinity Scarf with Buttons

Supplies: Three skeins chunky weight yarn, your two hands
Step 1: Hold three strands of chunky yarn together to make one thick strand and about 2’ along make a slip knot and pop it over your wrist.
Step 2: Cast on 6 total stitches onto your right arm. The original slip knot does count as the first stitch. Casting on is the most difficult step so follow the images here. There are also other options for casting on. I’ve outlined the quick and easy method, but search online for other versions and videos. Make a 4 shape with the tail of the yarn (the end not connected to the skeins) in your left hand. Insert your right hand into the top of the four and cinch the loop down onto your wrist. Repeat this until you have 6 loops on your right wrist. With this easy cast-on method you then must transfer these stitches to your left arm by sliding them over one at a time.
Step 3: Six loops should be on your left arm and the working end (the end connected to the skeins) will be hanging near your left hand. Grab this end with your left hand.
Step 4: Pull the first loop off your left hand with your right hand. Keep holding the working end in your left hand.
Step 5: Pull up a loop of the working yarn through the loop you just pulled off and pop it over your right hand. First knit done! Cinch this down and take the working end in your left hand again. Continue the process of pulling the loops over your left and creating new loops onto your right until all are on your right arm.
Step 6: Reverse the process exactly onto your left arm. Continue until all except 2’ of yarn is knit.
Step 7: Cast off by repeating Step 6 but for each loop on the final row you will pop it over the loop behind itself to bind off the end.
Step 8: Attach large buttons or weave the ends of the scarf together to make a loop.
Now wrap it up or wear it!

Finger Woven Looped Scarf

Supplies: One skein chunky weight yarn, your two hands
Step 1: On your right hand (you may reverse this onto your left hand if you’d like) hold the end of the yarn between your thumb and index finger with your palm facing you.
Step 2: Bring the working end of the yarn behind your index finger, in front of your middle finger, behind the ring finger, around the pinkie and weave the rest of the way back to the start. Make a small knot securing the yarn.
Step 3: Weave the yarn again as in Step 2.
Step 4: Bend your pinkie finger and pull the bottom loop up and over the finger. Repeat on each finger from left to right.
Step 5 & 6: Repeat Steps 3 & 4 until yarn is completely knit. This will create a large icord (invented long before the other i-electronics). Knot off the end by running the last tail of yarn through the loops on your fingers.
Step 8: Loop this long cord several times and then neatly wrap and tuck the end to create a multi-layered looped scarf. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween makeup for the procraftinator

The Alaska Crafter column is back!  Check it out in its print edition in today's Juneau Empire, or read on for a last minute halloween fix!

Here we are again Juneau, another blustery year gone by and October ushering in the crafter’s most hectic holiday, Halloween. If you’re anything like me you’re aflutter with a mixture of trepidation and excitement brought on by a little thing I like to call procraftination. Yes, the fine art of waiting till the 11th hour to whip together your Halloween costume. I hear you protest, that has never been me! Hah! Even the most dedicated and honed crafter has slipups — some years the Halloween deadline approaches and we all find ourselves sheepishly in the ransacked costume aisle with no supplies, no shipping options and a touch of panic.
Never fear, the Alaska Crafter will help set you back on track! Years of self-inflicted procraftination mean I know every trick of the trade to make it appear as if I did not wait until the last minute to hastily assemble my costume. And this year’s secret weapon . . . makeup.
Makeup can be transformative in a very efficient amount of time, is readily abundant and if you can channel your inner artist a few hours before the big spook night you may just be able to convince your friends and family that you are not a procraftinator, which seems like the best of all possible solutions to never repeat that word again. Ever.
Alaska Crafter’s 6 Steps to Makeup Success
1. Plan: Whether you’re a ghoul, goblin, vixen or vampire, you’ll need a little bit of research to keep you on track. Find an image of your ideal makeup and keep it handy. Map out your makeup beforehand by drawing an outline of your face and the general sketch of the design you’d like to apply on paper first so you have it as a reference.

Check out more after the jump

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Knitting Up a Storm

New items up in the etsy shop!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hair-Beards, Halloween and Fame

This is a long-belated post about my foray into the world of fame via a beard and some beer.
Just to start with a visual . . .

For halloween one year while working at the Alaskan Brewing Co., I came to work dressed as an old man complete with union suit, Elmer Fudd hat and a beard crafted from my own hair. I have to say the hair beard was a winning look and quite easy to put together.  Tutorial to follow ;)

In comes craftbeer.com to the story - the crew at Craft Beer created a contest for the "Beards of the Brewing Industry", and I was submitted (along with a few other locals) to rep Alaskan.  In my bio I wrote  “I want to win to give hope to the scraggly, the patchy, the peach-fuzzed, the thin and under-bearded and the naturally beardless masses of the brewing industry!”, because who better than a woman in a union suit to do exactly that?

Well, did I win?