Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. --  Hans Christian Andersen

Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. --  Hans Christian Andersen

I wanted to add a bright jolt of color to my front door.  I made this door decoration from recycled magazines and buttons from my stash. 

You will need:
Smoothfoam 12" x 1" Disc 
Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue Pen
old Magazines
buttons - various sizes, shapes and colors
scissors
aluminum Foil
foam sponge
green acrylic paint
double-faced satin ribbon in green
tape measure or ruler 

Let's Create!

how to make paper flowers

1.     Cut out petals.  Carefully cut or tear out magazine pages.  As orange is my color-du-jour, I chose pages with that colorplus a few in shades of green. Vertically fold the magazine page in half.  Fold it the same way again.  With each petal cut, you will automatically get 3 more due to the folding of the paper.  I chose to make my petal round at the top and tapered at the bottom.  If you would rather have a daisy look to your flower, make the top of the petal pointed.  The key here is that each petal has tapered bottom and is approximately 2" tall. For a slightly rustic look and to add a bit more texture, lightly crumple the petals in your hands.

2.    Glue petals to the button.  Pinch in the paper at the tapered end of the petal.  Add a few dots of glue and place on the back of the button.  Each flower should have 5-6 petals. To keep the buttons from sticking to your craft table, place them on a piece of  aluminum foil and allow to dry.

3.    Paint Smoothfoam disc.  Squirt some paint onto the foil and paint one side and the edges.  Allow to dry.  Paint the other side and allow to dry.

4.    Add ribbon loop.  Cut a 24" piece of ribbon.  Glue ends together.  Allow to dry.  Glue to top of disc.  Allow to dry.

5.    Glue down flowers.  Arrange the flowers on the disc.  Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, add a few dots of glue to the center of the back of each flower and press into place on the disc.  Allow to dry.

The 411 on getting started with Craft Fairs

You've been to a few craft fairs.  You think to yourself, hey I could do that!  Well you can, but it's a bit more complicated than you think.  I sell mostly hand-knit beanies and beret for babies and adults.  They are whimsical and part of my mission to bring color to the grey days of winer.  

Here are the basics of what you will need to consider to get started:

 business license - most cities require you to collect tax. Yes, this is a business so you will need to register as one.

Inventory system - An excel spread sheet of all items you've made and sold within a year.

Quickbooks or other form to keep track of expenses and income. Makes tax time much easier.

Portable table and for outdoor show a Tent (with weights)

Money apron or cash box

Tags to label all your items with price and inventory item

Labels with your logo and care instructions and possibly size.

Square or other app for taking credit cards which then necessitates  a smart phone

Twitter account, Facebook account to advertise show dates and invite family, friends and collectors,

Newsletter - Mail chimp or other electronic newsletter system

Shopping bags ( I tend to buy holiday ones on sale to use the following year at holiday craft fairs as they make instant gift wrapping.)

A foldable dolly is and investment to save your back

Lunch box and water bottle.

Business cards

Quality photos of your items, good photographs increase your chance of being juried into a show.

Items intended for children come under strict regulataions for safety reasons. Read up on them thoroughly.

You've gotten your business license and your smartphone with square app, you are ready to go.  Not so fast.  You need to do research into what shows are where and when.  You can't be in two places at the same time, so make a calendar of deadlines and showtimes.  This will prevent the "Oops, I have two shows this weekend!"  I 've scheduled two a few times, but it always loses me money as only I the make can really sell my hats, plus I then end up having to pay someone to assist which eats into my profit. I tend to only show in the fall due to my inventory being wool hats and I tend to stick to my hometown and my former hometown. I could do more shows around the country, but unless I have  a place where I can crash and can get there by car, it is prohibitively expensive.  I am not ready to go to that level of capital investment.

Each show has a certain feel and therefor market clientele. Who are there clientele, if you sell jewelry, the largest category item, then it is worth finding out how many jewelers they allow.  Do they allow vendors selling goods from other countries?  Theses items are cheaper and therefore direct competition for spending dollars.  Is the crowd young or older, you will pitch your items to that market.  I don'r sell well at certain Indy shows and no to not even try.

How do you know when you are breaking even.  Some folks think it is when you earn back your show booth fee. Well you also have to consder the cost of your items and your time sitting there selling your work.

How many folks do they expect on average?  You need to be prepared with your inventory.  Some shows like One of a Kind are so big that you need to be prepared for the sheer volume.  They also have higher booth costs.  

a table

portable chair

lunch box and thermos / water bottle

inventory, display items (mannequins, shelving or whatever highlights you work to the best advantage)

mirror,

booth sign

business cards

sales book

inventory sheets

foldable dolly

sunscreen and bug spray if outside

 table cloth

money belt

change

smart phone

square app

tape

duct tape,

scissors,

labels with bix name and website for sales book receipts.

I keep most of these items tucked into  a couple of large boxes so on the day before the show, I can quickly pack my car without stress. I just have to remember my change and smart phone.

3 weeks before the show, send out a newsletter about it.

Build excitement about it b giving sneek peaks of your studio as you prepare

Retweet friends in the show with you to support them and they will hopefully support you too.

The week of, send out a digital postcards reminding folks.

If you forget,  post a photo of you at your booth on Facebook, chill and enjoy the day (yesterday I forgot to do this....).

 

The Mocktail - non-alcoholic drinks for your party

photo credit: TheCrimsonMonkey/E+/Getty Image

photo credit: TheCrimsonMonkey/E+/Getty Image

There is nothing mocking about a mocktail.  I stopped being able to drink after my stroke.  Rather than bemoan the fact that I can't enjoy a merlot, chianti or fab pinot noir, I now am now deep into the exploration of mocktails.  Add the further challenge that they need to be low in sugar and free of food dyes to meet my funky dietary requirements.  My drink du jour is the Arnold Palmer.  A good one is slightly sweet with sour undernotes.  My easy peasy version is  simply store bought iced tea, with lemonade and a splash of peach juice.  So 3/4 iced tea, 1/4 cup lemonade and a splash of peach juice.  I follow that up with a twist of lemon, for a stronger sour note.  But I''ve been poking around and found some far fancier versions.  Check out the following recipes.  You can really have fun varying it by making different types of iced tea like, Hibiscus which will give it a pink color. The three to one ratio of tea to lemonade keeps the drink from becoming too sweet. Make a raspberry one and add some fruit to the bottom and a spring of mint to make it festive.

The FoodNetwork

Martha Stewart

Houston Press

The Blurry Lime

Now thinking about upcoming parties I want to have, I am thinking a punch bowl of non-alcoholic Sangria might be fun.  Here  are a few versions:

The Kitchn

Food.com

And as mint, ginger and lime are one of my favorite flavor combos, here is a recipe for a non-alcoholic Moscow Mule.

Fever Tree

I am currently experimenting with simple syrups made with Agave Nectar which will sweeten a drink but is less likely to give you a sugar crash.

Try offering a few mocktail options at your next party as someone needs to be the designated driver, but wants to have a fun drink too.

My book suggestion- 

This book, Zero-Proof Cocktails by Liz Scott is filled with tasty ideas and well worth the investment if you are going alcohol free like me.  If you have a great recipe, I'd love for you to share it in the comments section.  Thank you.

Free Pattern :: DIY Quick Knit Gift / DIY Spa Gift

The only gift is a portion of thyself.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only gift is a portion of thyself.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oh my goodness! Christmas is in just three weeks!  What to make? What to make?  You want it to be a nice gift with a sense of thought put into it, no problem.  What about a spa package! WHAT?! Those are impossibly expensive.  Not if you make it yourself.

I've become addicted to making dish cloths and face cloths.  I have to admit, I didn't get the craze for these tiny knit treasures when they first started appearing on Ravelry and such until  I received one as a gift from a student.  A worsted cotton knit up into a wash cloth is super absorbent and extra soft and add that it is handmade, it's the ultra luxury item.  Add it to a delicious smelling soap or bath salt, and you have fabulous spa gift.  

©2015Lindsay-Obermeyer-Knit-Dishcloth

You will need:

1 skein of Sugar-n-Cream
#8 knitting needles
scissors
Tapestry needle.

This pattern is for a basic bias face cloth which is knit from one corner to the next.  

Cast on 4 stitches.

Knit one row.

*Turn and K2, YO, knit across the rest of the stitches*. Repeat from * to* until you have 5o stitches on the needle and what looks like half a square.  if you want it bigger, that's fine Keep going until the desired width is achieved.

Next row* K1, K2tog YO, K2tog, Knit across the rest of the stitches.* Repeat from * to * until you are back to just 4 stitches.  You will end up back with just 4 stitches.  Bind off final 4 stitches.  

Weave in tails.

Click here to download the pattern. -  Download Bias Knit Dish or Face Cloth

Buy a bag of plain Epsom salts.  For every cup of salt mix in 4 drops of your favorite essential oil. I like lavender and rosemary mixed together, stir thoroughly. Use a glass or stainless steel bowl as plastic may absorb the essential oils.  Package the salts in a pretty bag or jar.   

Free Pattern:: Quick knit Infinity Scarf

An infinity of passion can be contained in one minute, like a crowd in a small space.  ― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

An infinity of passion can be contained in one minute, like a crowd in a small space. 
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

This is the EMILY SCARF.  She saw me knitting the cowl for my niece and said, "Well, when are you going to make an infinity scarf for me?! (note pout and pathetic look)  You know I get cold while standing outside waiting for the bus at 5:30 am." My daughter is subtle as a sledge-hammer. So while talking with a friend about Christmas, I realized that I didn't have much for my daughter.  We decided to have a lean Christmas this year as we have all we really need and well, funds are tight.  But my daughter needed an infinity scarf!  I had the perfect yarn.  A friend at my knitting ministry restashed some luscious Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky.  It is buttery soft and Alpaca is one of the warmest fibers on the market. Sweet Pea will no longer be cold while waiting for the bus, not on this mom's watch!!!!!!  So shhh shhh, don't tell her about the scarf. It's a surprise, though the sneak walked into my studio as I was trying it on for the first time.  She exclaimed- THAT's MINE! I WANT IT!  Again, subtle as a sledgehammer.   At least I know my last minute knitting will be appreciated!  This cowl took about 4 hours from beginning to end.  As it's a chunky yarn, it is a fairly quick knit and a good almost last minute present.

I wanted a quick knit with lots of texture.  I contemplated cables, but the yarn is soft, so the cables didn't have the pop I wanted, so I settled on a rib, but then half way through, I got bored and switched to welts.  As a result, there are vertical ribs and horizontal ribs.  I like how the textures play against each other.

I wanted a quick knit with lots of texture.  I contemplated cables, but the yarn is soft, so the cables didn't have the pop I wanted, so I settled on a rib, but then half way through, I got bored and switched to welts.  As a result, there are vertical ribs and horizontal ribs.  I like how the textures play against each other.

You will need:
2 skeins of Cascade Yarn's Baby Alpaca Chunky, 100g / 3.5oz 108yds /100m in color 0558 ( velvet leaf)  Alpaca has a fabulous drape, so working this pattern up in another yarn will lead to a garment with quite a different flow and drape.   
#9 26" circular needles.
Scissors
Tapestry needle
stitch marker

Gauge: 3.5 sts to the inch 4 rows to the inch.

Let's Create!

Cast on 176 stitches using long tail or cable cast on method.

Begin 2x2 rib: place a stitch marker (K2, P2) repeat across the round, ending with a P2.   Be careful on the first round not to twist your stitches. (I twist the cast on edge to the inside of the ring, so I can keep track of my stitches.) 

Continue working in the 2x2 rib for the next 4 inches.

*Knit for the next 6 rounds.

Purl for the next 4 rounds.*

Repeat from * to * ending with a knit round of 6.  

Bind off all stitches.  Sew in tails.

An infinity scarf doesn't really need to be blocked.  So, wrap and give!

©2015Lindsay-Obermeyer-knit-cowl

 

 

 

Free Pattern :: Last minute Knit Gifts! :: Knit Cowl for Beginners

What is bought is cheaper than a gift.  ~Portuguese Proverb

What is bought is cheaper than a gift.  ~Portuguese Proverb

have an adorable high energy neice who refers to herself as a fashionista.  She is a seriously silly little girl.  And as my favorite and only neice, I wanted to make her a special handmade gift for Christmas.  A few years ago I made her a pink and purple hat with her name embroidered on it.  Given that she is still into pink and purple, I decided on making her a hot pink cowl that tucks into her jacket and keeps the winter chill out. It's also nice to wear indoors with a t-shirt.  

You will need:

#8 circular knitting needle
1 ball of worsted yarn, approx 200yds (I used Red Heart Soft)
tapestry needle
scissors

Let's Create!

Terms:

4x4 rib (knit 4, purl 4 and repeat

Guage: 4 sts to the inch in stockinette on an 8.  For a firmer rib, go down a needle size or two.

Cast on 120 stitches and work in a 4x4 rib for 10 inches.  Bind off in the pattern.  Sew in all ends.  Done! This took me approximately one evening to make, so not the very last minute of very last minute gifts to make, but doable before December 25 given that today is December 18.  And really is there anything more fun to give than something handmade and from the heart?

This would be equally cute for a boy in a tweedy brown, gray or forest green.

Print this Pattern

 

Free pattern :: How to create Day of the Dead Beaded Paper Mache Skull

“Wherever I walk, wherever I sing, there is a blossoming of flowers, a rapture of song. And there my heart is alive.” - - Huichol saying

“Wherever I walk, wherever I sing, there is a blossoming of flowers, a rapture of song.
And there my heart is alive.” - - Huichol saying

 

I've long admired the handiwork of the Huichols, a Native American group living in west central Mexico.  They are well known for their art, in particular, their yarn paintings and beaded objects.


I've always wanted to try my own hand at beading a sculptural form, so in honor of the Day of the Dead, I have.

You will need:

paper mache skull
white acrylic paint
sponge brush
size 11/0 seed beads in assorted colors
Aleene's Glitter and Gem Glue
toothpick
pencil
a sheet of parchment paper
plastic lid/bead tray 

Let's create!

1.     Cover your work surface with some parchment paper.  Squirt a quarter-size amount of paint onto the paper and proceed to paint the skull.  It will need two coats of paint.  Allow the paint to dry between each layer. Hint: I use parchment paper on my craft table to keep wet objects from sticking to the table surface.  The paper will easily peel away.

 2.     Lightly sketch your design onto the skull using a pencil.  Pour your first color of beads into the bead tray.  Trace your first shape with a line of glue.  Tip the toothpick into the glue.  This adds just enough tackiness to use as a tool for picking up a bead and positioning into place.  

3.     Working in small sections, fill in your entire design with beads.  To keep mine lightweight, I didn't cover the background, simply the foreground/design. 

©2013Lindsay_Obermeyer-Skull

To learn more about the Huichols and their amazing art, check out this great video.

Free Pattern :: Christmas :: Bird House Ornament

 A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  --  Chinese Proverb

 A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  --  Chinese Proverb

This little birdhouse ornament is a tribute to my feathered friends who bring delight to the cold and bleak winter landscape with their streaks of color and aerobatics.

You will need:

3" Smoothfoam cube
6 sheets of The Robin's Nest scrapbooking paper - Christmas Collection (North Pole) and Classic Glitter Swirl Collection
1 package of Jolly Dew Drop Mix
Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue Pen
Aleene's Decoupage Glue Matte
1" circle punch
12" of 3/8" gold ribbon
6" of 1/4" double-faced satin ribbon
scissors
ruler
pencil
sponge brush
needle nose pliers
12" piece of craft wire
wire cutters
sharp thick sewing needle, awl or skewer

Let's create! 

1.     Trace around the cube on the back of 4 sheets of scrapbook paper.  Cut out the 3" x 3" squares and glue the papers onto the cube using the decoupage glue and sponge brush.

2.      Punch 72 circles with the circle punch from the scraps and remaining red / green papers.  Punch a circle from one in dark blue.

©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-Christmas-Ornament

3.      Decoupage the circles in place by allowing them to overlap each other.  Start at the bottom and work toward the roof's peak.  At the peak, fold the papers to follow the roof line.  HINT: Use a few straight pins to hold the folded papers in place while they dry.  Decoupage the blue circle onto the front of the bird's house.

4.      Trim paper circles along the front and back of the house, but allow to hang over the edge like eaves at the roof's bottom edge.

5.       Glue gold dew drops around the edge of the blue circle.  Glue red and silver dew drop around the edge of the of the back of the house and the roof's edge of the front.  Use white diamond shapes to finish outlining the front of the house.  Allow to dry.

6.      Wrap the first 8" of the wire around a large knitting needle, crochet hook or wooden spoon handle to obtain a double loop.  Twist the remainder from the warp around the shaft of wire loop using the needle nose pliers.  Punch a hole at the center of the roof ridge.  Push the wire loop into the cube until the loop is flush with the roof ridge.

7.      Tie a bow around the base of the loop using the gold ribbon.  Use the satin ribbon to hang the ornament from the metal loop. 

 

 

Free Pattern :: Ribbon and Sequin Lavender Sachet

"Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected." -- William Plomer

"Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected." -- William Plomer

I love lavender sachets.  You will find one stashed in every drawer of my house, let alone in each yarn bin of my craft closet.  They smell wonderful and are a natural alternative to moth balls.  

Laura Foster Nicholson's Cake ribbon was the inspiration for my latest.  This is a great afternoon project.  Make one for yourself and another for a friend

Materials 

1 foot                   Laura Foster Nicholson's Cake Ribbon

1 fat quarter     linen or a 24-28 count even-weave cross stitch fabric

1 foot                   1/4" ribbon (I used a vintage pink ribbon from my stash.)

1  package          sequins  (These are a matte finish with a pearlescent coating)

1 bottle               Aleene's® Jewel-It Embellishing glue

1 spool                thread to match 1/4" ribbon

1 spool                thread to match fabric

1 ounce               dried lavender 

1                             rotary cutter

1                             rotary matt

1                             metal ruler

1 pair                       scissors

1                            sewing needle

1-foot                   tin foil

4-5                       pins

sewing machine

©2012Lindsay-Obermeyer-DIY-Lavender-Sachet

Measure and cut two 4 3/4" squares of linen using your ruler, rotary cutter, and rotary mat.

Cut your favorite "cake" motif from the ribbon.  This square is roughly 2" x 2" in size.

Pin the ribbon to the center of one piece of linen.

Machine sew it into place using a straight stitch and only 1/8" seam allowance using the thread to match your 1/4" ribbon. Remove pins.

Place the  1/4" ribbon around the edge of the "cake" ribbon covering up your machine stitches.  Pin the border into place, carefully tucking under the ends.

Cut an arm's length piece of the same sewing thread.  Thread your needle and knot the end.

Hand stitch the 1/4" ribbon into place with a small running stitch.  You can machine sew it, but I love the look of hand embroidery.

©2012Lindsay-Obermeyer-DIY-Lavender-Sachet

Cover your work surface with tin foil.  Pour a few sequins onto the foil.  Place the embroidered ribbon front of your sachet face up onto the foil and proceed to make small dots of glue around the center image.  

Place one sequin onto each dot of glue.  If you are having trouble picking up the sequins, try tweezers.

Allow to dry.

Once dry, remove the foil from your work surface.  Pin together both squares of linen, face side inward.

Using the straight stitch, machine stitch around the edge of your sachet with a 1/4" seam allowance. Be careful to leave a 1" gap at the bottom edge that you don't stitch.

Cut the corners close to the edge of your stitched line.

Turn the fabric right-side out finger pressing the seams flat.

Fill the sachet with lavender.  I found it easier using a spoon rather than a funnel of any kind.

Hand stitch the gap closed using the ladder stitch.

Free Pattern :: Crocheted Floral Baby Hat

Babies are such a nice way to start people. ~Don Herrold

Babies are such a nice way to start people. ~Don Herrold

I thought I'd start this new year off with a new baby hat pattern.  This sweet and simple to make crochet beanie fits a 6-12-month-old and has a 16" circumference. A sweet Dahlia flower is crocheted right into the hat.

This is a beginner's level of crochet.  You need to to know the magic circle method of beginning and how to crochet a circle.

You will Need:

1 skein each of Lion's brand Baby Wool (medium worsted/ #4), pale pink(color A), cream (color B) and a rose pink (Color C).
Scissors
Tapestry Needle
Crochet hook F ( or size to obtain gauge).

Gauge: 4 sts and 2.5 rows to the inch.

Stitches you will need to know: Double-crochet, single crochet, slip stitch

With Color A:

Start with a magic circle.  But rather than use single crochet stitches. Chain 2 and Double crochet 12 stitches into the circle.  Once finished, tighten the circle.  This closes it firmly at the top.  

Round 1: Ch2,1 dc in the same place,  2Dc into each stitch. Slip stitch the last stitch to the fi=the top of the chain-2 for a total count of 24

Round 2: Ch2,  *2 double crochet in next stitch, 1 double crochet in next stitch.* Repeat from *to*, slip stitch last stitch to top of chain-2 for a total of 36 stitches.

Round 3: Ch2, Chain 2, 1 double crochet in the same place, *1 double crochet in each of the next 2 stitches, 2 double crochet in next stitch.* Repeat from * to *, slip stitch last stitch to top of chain 2 for a total count of 48 stitches.

HINT: If your circle is not remaining flat. Tighten the magic circle or loosen it up a bit, either way, may provide the necessary tension to flatten the circle.  If this doesn't work, try using a different sized hook.

Round 4: Start with color B, Single crochet into next stitch, skip a stitch, 5 DC into next stitch, skip a stitch, * single crochet into the next stitch.  Repeat from * to *.  End with a slip stitch into the first single crochet.

©2016Lindsay-Obermeyer-Crocheted-Baby-Hat

Round 5: Switch to Color C:1HDC into the first stitch, 1SC into next three stitches, 1 HDC into the next stitch and 1 DC into the next two.  Repeat from * to *.  Complete round with a slip stitch to the first single crochet. What you have essentially done is fill infall the spaces around the petals, so you ghould be looking at a flat circle again. 

Round 6: Ch2, 1 dc into into the same space. 1dc into each stitch fro the entire round, end with a a slip stitch into the top of the Cha2.  Repeat this round until the hat measure 7- 8 inches.  Fasten off.  

Weave in all tails.  

This beanie is easy to adapt to a larger or smaller size.  The petal count will be different, but simply star petal after Round 2 for a 0-6 months old hat or add a Round 5 of just pale pink to make it a toddler sized hat.

This post is from January 2016. I switched blogging platforms and migrated my most popular posts.   I lost all the comments in the process.  So if you've seen this pattern and made a comment in the past, I do apologize.  Leave me a new one!  As always, if you see an error or have a suggestion, let me know.

Free Pattern :: DIY Dog Toy

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. --- Gilda Radner

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.

For me they are the role model for being alive. --- Gilda Radner

Toony loves to play.  When we first adopted her from the Humane Society, she was nervous and chewed through all our other dogs toys in quick order until she got to what we call the mop which is essentially just a rope with knots on either end.

As I had some leftover shirt materials from making a t-shirt yarn rag rug, I thought I'd make a few dog toys, based on the rope model. So I took the top bits and cut off the arms.

I took one piece of the fabric and cut three parallel lines in it, stopping my cuts one inch from the edge.

I then proceeded to braid the strips together.  

Once finished braiding.  I created large overhand knots at each end, to keep it from unraveling.

Once finished, Toony seemed to know it was for her and couldn't wait to play fetch with it. For

more DIY upcycle projects take a look at these great projects from Cotopaxi -   View this photo

Free Pattern :: Crocheted T-shirt Yarn Rag Rug

My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

I love my dogs.  They protect me, watch over me, and provide an endless amount of joy and amusement.  Their favorite perch in the house is in the bench window seat of my studio on the second floor of our house.  They love to watch all the action on the street, barking their warning of approaching dogs and humans.  The bench seat was getting a bit torn up by their claws, so I need to add some protection and with my ever growing stash of t shirts, I decided to upcycle them into t-shirt yarn that I could crochet into a rag rug.  I wanted the rug to be substantial, machine washable and yet a  soft spot for my dogs to hang out.  As you can see above, Josie loves her new spot.  Miss Toony was jealous and decided to move in on Josie's territory.  Missing from the pic was their ensuing dog spat of snarling and snapping at each other.  Josie wanted the rug to herself.  

©2016Lindsay-Obermeyer-DIY-Rag_Rug

Want to make one for your dogs?  This is what you will need to make a rug 14" x 36".  

6 adult t-shirts
6 balls of worsted cotton (I used a variegated Sugar and Cream.)
Scissors
Ruler
Tapestry needle
H crochet hook

First, you need to cut your t-shirts into yarn. Save all the extra bits for a dog toy following in my next blog post.

Here is a great video on how to make the yarn from Upcycled Stuff.

Now to get started, you chain the width you want the project to be.  So I initially chained 14 inches.

Insert your hook into the second stitch from the hook and work a single crochet while wrapping the yarn up an around the t-shirt yarn.

Work your way along single crocheting as you go, pulling and catching the t-shirt yarn as you go. If you run out of T-shirt yarn, add more by simply overlapping the ends and working right over both.  

You will bend the t-shirt yarn as you turn to work your way across the row. Insert your hook into the last stitch of teh first row to begin.

Work your way along single crocheting as you go, pulling and catching the t-shirt yarn as you go. If you run out of T-shirt yarn, add more by simply overlapping the ends and working right over both.  

That all there is to it.  Work until you get to the desired length of your project.  To finish off, crochet one row without the t-shirt yarn to give it a nice finished edge.  Sew in all ends.  Trim off all dangling t-shirt yarn.  I know there are projects out there to crochet with the actual t-shirt yarn, but I found this process was easier on my arthritic hands and I like the extra dash of color from the cotton yarn.  Think of how cute this would be in a little girls bedroom?!   Or as a rug in the bathroom. If you are a marathon runner and have collected t-shirts from your runs, this is a fun way to repurpose them.  I do advise that you use a non-slip mat underneath it to keep it in place or if for a bench seat.  I staple gunned mine into place, so my dogs wouldn't constantly knock it off the bench when jumping up.

I've been working with the young company Cotopaxi on developing this blog post.  Their mission is sustainability and the repurposing of materials into great outdoor gear and hiking backpacks  They are a public benefit corporation based in Delaware, which means part of their corporate mission is not only sustainability but poverty alleviation.   I love it when companies take on positive change in the world as their mission!!  They've offered additional projects for you to make by upcycling your clothes into new projects. 

That all there is to it.  Work until you get to the desired length of your project.  To finish off, crochet one row without the t-shirt yarn to give it a nice finished edge.  Sew in all ends.  Trim off all dangling t-shirt yarn.  I know there are projects out there to crochet with the actual t-shirt yarn, but I found this process was easier on my arthritic hands and I like the extra dash of color from the cotton yarn.  Think of how cute this would be in a little girls bedroom?!   Or as a rug in the bathroom. If you are a marathon runner and have collected t-shirts from your runs, this is a fun way to repurpose them.  I do advise that you use a non-slip mat underneath it to keep it in place or if for a bench seat.  I staple gunned mine into place, so my dogs wouldn't constantly knock it off the bench when jumping up.

I've been working with the young company Cotopaxi on developing this blog post.  Their mission is sustainability and the repurposing of materials into great outdoor gear and hiking backpacks  They are a public benefit corporation based in Delaware, which means part of their corporate mission is not only sustainability but poverty alleviation.   I love it when companies take on positive change in the world as their mission!!  They've offered additional projects  for you to make by upcycling your clothes into new projects. 
  

   

Free Pattern :: Super Quick Crocheted Valentine Decor

©2016Lindsay-Obermyer-Crocheted-Valentines-Decor

This project is simple and takes full advantage of the yarn and Valentine decoration sales happening at local craft stores.  To create a felt heart with a crocheted trim takes just a half hour or less. Use a large felt heart for a placemat or small ones for coasters.  

You will Need:

The desired number of felt die cut hearts in preferred size with edges pre-punched ( I purchased mine at Michaels, it was their brand.)

1 ball of variegated worsted, #4, weight yarn in a Valentine scheme color. ( I used Red Heart Classic in a variegated  hot pink, red, orange.)

H crochet hook

scissors

tapestry needle

Scotch guard

Let's Create!:
Starting at the tip of the heart, slip stitch through one hole and attach yarn to the heart.  #Skip a hole, work 5 dc in the next hole to create a Shell.#  Repeat from #to #. Work the scallop stitch ending with a scallop,  until you are three holes from the point where the two curves meet. The space is too narrow for a scallop, so work a single crochet stitch into the next 7 holes,#work 5 dc in the next hole and then skip a hole, Sl st in the next hole.# Repeat from # to #.  End with a slip stitch.  Cut yarn, Finish off.  Sew in all tail ends.

©2016Lindsay-Obermeyer-Crocheted-Valentines

Scotch guard both sides to protect your efforts.  Washing these would possibly wash out the sizing in the felt. Scotch guarding will allow you to use a damp sponge to clean them off.  

Frugal Times / Recipe :: Homemade Gluten Free Dog Biscuits

“Hounds follow those who feed them.” -- Otto von Bismarck (1st Chancellor of Germany)

“Hounds follow those who feed them.”
-- Otto von Bismarck (1st Chancellor of Germany)

My Papillons aren't at all spoiled.  Not one wit.  Toony the black and white Papillon we adopted from the Humane Society has a sensitive tummy and various allergies, so all of her dog food and treats come from a small pet food shop.  The treats get expensive, so I was looking at an alternative that I could make at home using basic ingredients and fairly low in cost. The ingredients are a tad expensive initially but may be used to make many batches.  The following is for 28 dog cookies.

Initially, I wanted something very Martha Stewart, nicely rolled out and using a heart cookie cutter to make them for their Valentine's Day treats ( remember, I told you that my dogs aren't spoiled.) This dough is too sticky to be rolled out.

Preheat oven to 350

1/2 can of canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons of organic peanut butter

2 eggs

2.5 cups of rice flour

Total cost, approximately 8 cents a cookie.  With enough ingredients left over to make at least another batch.  ( I did purchase the canned pumpkin on sale.  I tend to buy a number of cans when on sale after Thanksgiving.)

Whisk the eggs, pumpkin and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in the flour.  The dough will be stiff and slightly sticky which is why I didn't roll it out and use cookie cutters.  Instead, I used a small ice cream scoop to make equal size balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I dipped a fork into the flour and pressed the dough flat. They are a bit rough looking, but no less tasty to dogs. Bake in a 350 oven for 40 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.  The cookies will be delightfully crisp and chewy.  Place in an airtight container and refrigerate as these treats do not contain any preservatives.

Toony LOVES these cookies.  I couldn't get a good picture of her eating one as she would grab it from my hand and run off at full speed to her favorite corner of the house.  But as you can see in the above picture, she is no nonsense when it comes to begging. Josie our other Papillon thinks she has just found her way into heaven with these cookies.   They are people -style treats just for dogs. Some recipes call for salt and spices.  The dogs don't need the salt or the spices.  As Toony is gluten sensitive, I used brown rice flour rather than wheat flour.  If you do use wheat flour, please use an organic product as many flours have been contaminated with potassium bromate.  Pumpkin helps keep your dogs regular, plus they love its flavor.

So show your 4-legged friends a little love and make them some cookies just for them. 

 

Frugality :: What my Grandmother taught me about saving money

If saving money is wrong, I don't want to be right! --William Shatner

If saving money is wrong, I don't want to be right! --William Shatner

It was drilled into my head at a young age to save money by both of my grandmothers.  Grandma grew up during the depression.  Gammy married the day before the banks crashed and closed.   With the Depression a large part of their lives, it was inevitable that their tricks and tips rubbed off on me. I'm glad it did as I struggle to pay off large medical debt on an artist's income, these tips make it feel less difficult.

  • Gam's favorite tip was to make all your own meals.
    She's right.  It is far cheaper to make mini meals and freeze them for lunch at work than to buy Lean Cuisine.  You are also guaranteed the quality of the product and can adjust what you make based on dietary concerns.  For example, I am on a low salt diet and many frozen meals are high in sodium.  She would let nothing go to waste. If a veggie was turning, she'd chop out the bad bit and throw the rest in a stockpot to make a veggie stock.  Chicken bones also went in.  I don't eat meat, but I do make a lot of bean-based dishes, so I make a big pot of beans and then freeze what I don't need.  Dried beans are far cheaper (especially when bought in bulk) than canned beans, bonus is that I make them low in sodium.  I also freeze homemade muffins as then I always have a quick snack or breakfast ready to go, microwave and you are done. The convenience cuts down on me buying a snack on the road and I eat healthier.  
  • When's the last time you hosted a potluck?
    Potlucks are fun for get togethers among friends.  You can assign dishes or make it a true pot luck and end up with 10 salads. With everyone sharing in the cost of the food and it is home cooked, it is cheaper than going out to a restaurant and you may learn of a new recipe.
  • This brings me to another of Gam's and Mom's tricks:
    They would  get-together with friends and make food for the freezer and then trade dishes.  I works a bit like a cookie exchange. Everyone makes something and freezes in single serving batches and then trades.  You can make it together and save on entertainment bills.
  • Both Grandmothers were avid card players. 
    Entertainment these days means going out, like to the movies or shopping or an amusement park, but you don't have to leave home to have fun.  You can invite friends over for a game of Gin Rummy or Bridge.  Invite the kids for board games and save on baby sitting.  I copied this method and hosted knit nights at my home.  So friends would come over with their knitting and we would have a potluck dinner and enjoy each others company while knitting.
  • Gam said to know your farmers.
    It's interesting that the trend to shop local rose again with the recession, but it also makes sense.  By getting to know your farmer, you know what you are buying.  Gam would get calls from different area farmers about what was in season and send me off to buy what she wanted usually by the bushel or two. She'd spend all summer freezing and canning for the winter.  I frequent a local farmer's market.  They see me coming and yell out what seconds they have available knowing that I will probably buy up most of it.  Seconds are the veggies that aren't as pretty and may have a bad spot, but are actually just as full of flavor, so you can get freshly grown veggies at a fraction of the cost at the markets. Want to know how to preserve food?  Contact your local university extension program for the Master Preserver' Program.  You will learn all you need to know and then some.  I learned from my grandmother, but I know folks who've taken the programs.  They are usually free or very low in cost and well worth it.  Don't have time teach yourself by checking out books on the subject from your library.
  • Grandma  swapped and shared - the barter economy.
    Grandma loved to bake.  She couldn't eat a whole cheesecake by herself, but she loved making them and having a slice or two, so a local shop owner she knew would trade her the rest of the cake for some of his dried tea.  Yep, BARTER is the name of the game.  I bartered dental work for an artwork. A professor I had bartered legal fees for a divorce for one of her artworks.  Many cities offer barter exchanges and registries are popping up online, such as Hudson Barter Exchange.
  • Make your favorite clothes.
    Grandma sewed all her sons clothing until they were teens.  Today I don't think that makes much sense with how cheap some fashion is, but I do believe in making many of my own sweaters.  I have the pleasure of making them and then the fun of wearing a custom fit item.  This is a bonus for us ladies with awkward figures.  I am built like a stick so clothes tend to just hang on me.  I only develop curves when I custom fit my sweaters.  Woman will large breasts whose sweaters hike up in the front can knit with short row darts in the front to ease this problem.
  • Buy what fits you and is well made rather than what is in fashion, even if it isn't on sale.
    Both grandmothers lived by this credo.  Flash fashion is meant to be worn a few times before it wears out or fades. What's the point of buying a shirt that looks horrible in just a few washings.  Buy what you like,that fits well and is well made-even if it isn't on sale, you will wear it so many more times and always feel like a million bucks.  A shirt that cost $20 but is only worn 4 times, costs $5 a wearing.  Whereas a shirt that cost 40, but is worn 20 times costs only $2 a wearing.  See, breaking it down into units helps you see the savings.  

Free Pattern :: Knit a Spring Wreath

She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbor: "Winter is Dead."-- AA Milne from When We Were Very Young  

She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is Dead."-- AA Milne from When We Were Very Young

 

In honor of the much awaited first day of Spring, I decided to make a welcoming front door wreath.  Last fall I painted my door a very Feng shui Reddish persimmon colored door.  I love it as I can tell friends to look for the red door.  Well now I can say look for the red door with the bright green wreath!

If you love to knit, but haven't made much more than a scarf, then this project is perfect for you!  You are essentially making two scarves.  

You will need 

1 each of Sugar and Cream Peace, Hot Green and Mod Green
#8 straight needles
tapestry needle
tape measure
scissors
12" diameter foam wreath form
pin head straight pins

Gauge: 4 sts to the inch and 6 rows to an inch.

Begin by casting on 28 stitches with Peace.  Knit the first row, Purl the second row.  Continue working in stockinette stitch with odd rows Knitted and even rows Purled.  When you've completed knitting all of Peace, attach Hot green and knit until you have reached 37 inches. Cast off and leave a 16" tail.  

Pin the top of the  scarf to the wreath.Smooth the scarf over the wreath form .  Pinning it in place as you go.  Sew the top to the bottom once the scarf has reach around and formed a circle.  Use the whip stitch to secure top to bottom and then whip stitch the scar edges together around the wreath.  Remove all pins.

Cast on 24 stitches with Mod Green. Knit every row for 12 inches.  When completed cast off.  Whip stitch together the cast on edge to the cast off edge.  Forming a loop.  Cut a 24  inch piece of mod green and wrap it around he center of the loop to create a bow form.  Pull tight and knot.  Stitch center of bow to the wreath, covering up wear the cast on and bind off edges meet.  Add a loop for a hanger and attach to the door.  

Of course this wreath could be made in other colors for other seasons or holidays.  You could further embellish it with crocheted flowers, silk flowers etc.  

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FASHION :: Knitwear Inspiration :: Chanel Fall / Winter 2016-17

 A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

 The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -- Coco Chanel

 

Chanel has been a frequent source of inspiration.  In my college days, it was the suit fabrics I loved.  I'd go to the couture stores, study the fabrics and then try to replicate them on my loom.  But these days, I study the knitwear and beadwork.

 This collection is ultimately urban and yet very wearable. Get ready to flash your knees, ladies.  Forget tights and pull out your most handsome hand knit knee socks. Or knit a boot topper to wear with your knee high skirt.  I love the modified ponchos that look a bit like a sweater tossed over the shoulders.  The look is carried further with scarfs that look like sleeves.  And all those fingerless gloves.  Yeah!  Take some of that knitwear and add a few well placed grommets.  Throw on a few chunky pearl ropes and you are ready to head out the door. Lagerfeld hit it  out of the ballpark.  

This post is from a year ago. I am in the process of transferring data from my old blogging platform to this one.

Free Patterns :: The Rainbow Collection

Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. Maya Angelou  

Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. Maya Angelou

 

I love rainbows, don't you?  They are frequently a source of inspiration for my designs.  The Rainbow Faith Bracelet I created for Ehow.com.  As it is made with crystals, it is extra sparkly.

©2016Lindsay-Obermeyer-rainbow-scarf-for-ehow

I also made this finger knit scarf or Blanket for Ehow.com.

 Easy to make and a perfect car trip project. 

And last but not least, my rainbow children's beanie, because aren't your children the gold at the end of the rainbow?!  I posted this pattern on my blog earlier this year.

Free Pattern :: Felt Hearts Valentine Decoration

"At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet." -- Plato  

"At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet." -- Plato

 

These easy to stitch felt hearts declare your love to all who see it.  

 

 

You will need:
4   9" x 12" sheets of craft felt in 3 shades of pink (You will need 2 sheets for the largest heart.)
6   colors of your choice of stranded embroidery floss
1  yd of pink 3/8" wide grosgrain ribbon
Aleene's ® Turbo Tacky Glue
pillow fiber polyfill
embroidery needle
tapestry needle
scissors
pins
Hearts paper pattern 

 Let's create!

 1.  Cut out the three felt hearts.
Line up 2 sheets of one color.  Pin in place the paper patern and proceed to cut out the largest heart. Take the next color of felt.  Fold it in half.  Pin the heart pattern in place and cut out the next heart. Repeat this procedure for the final heart.

©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-valentine

5.  Proceed to the second heart.
Tuck the ribbon attached to the bottom of the largest heart and pin it into place at the top of the second heart.  Cut another 4" piece of ribbon and tuck it into the bottom of the second heart and pin it into place. Embroider and stuff as with the large heart.

6. Proceed to the final heart.
Tuck the ribbon attached to the bottom of the second heart and pin it into place at the top of the final heart.  Embroider and stuff as with the other two hearts.  

7.  Finish with a ribbon bow.
Use the rest of the ribbon to make a bow. Evenly trim the ends on an angle.  Glue into place.  Allow to dry.  Hang your masterpiece from a hook.

Variations:  Add some dried lavender along with the fiberfill for a fresh scent and hang it in your bedroom.  For a 4th of July variation, use red, white and blue felt and matching threads.   

Free Pattern :: Etchall Challenge

You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.  --  Maya Angelou

You can't use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.  --  Maya Angelou

I haven't experimented with etching in years and even then I only used a dremel.  When the
opportunity came about to participate in the etchall® Design Challenge, I jumped at it.  The product
has been a crafting mainstay for 80 years.  I want try it out in my art, but rather than experiment first
on glass sheets, I gave myself the challenge of trying it on the curved surface of my favorite pitcher.
It's so easy to use! 

You will need:
4oz etchall® Etching Crème
2 sheets of etchall® Etchmask Vinyl
etchall® Squeegee
scissor
small flower squeeze punch (I used one from Fiskars.)
hole punch
sponge brush
timer
baking soda
paper for covering work surface

©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-etchall-pitcher

Let's create!

Cover your work surface.  

Cut the vinyl into 1" x 1" squares or 4x4 squares if looking at the grid on the reverse side of the vinyl (picture 2)

©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-Etchall-Pitcher

Center the square of vinyl in the squeeze punch and punch out a flower (picture 3).  Save the flowers for another project.
I stored mine in an envelope.

Apply the squares on the surface of the vase in a random pattern (picture 4).  As the surface is curved, it is critical that you use the squeegee to
push out any air bubbles especially along the edge of the flower cut out.   

Using the vinyl scraps, punch small circles with a hole punch.  Apply those to the center of the flower cut outs.

©2013Lindsay-Obermeyer-Etchall-pitcher

Use a sponge brush to dab / brush on the etching crème.  I tried to use the squeegee as stated in the directions, but
I found this difficult on a curved surface.  The sponge brush worked.  There was a trick to applying it so that the glass
didn't look streaky.  You need a thick even coat that is spread evenly.  If you see streaks (picture 5), apply a bit more.
I did one side of the vase at a time as I wasn't sure if the crème would run.  It doesn't. 

Set your timer for 15 minutes.  Scrape off any excess with the squeegee and return to jar, then rinse off crème under
running water until all residual is completely removed.  While the water is running, pull off all the vinyl squares and dots.  
With the water still running, pour some baking soda down your drain to neutralize the crème.  Hint:  Use a steel sink,
not a porcelain one or you may end up with an etched sink!

When my daughter saw the results she exclaimed, "WOW! You can see the flowers!  That's cool, Mom!  Can I do it now?" 
Her best friend just got married.  She's thinking of etching a pitcher with matching glasses for them, though after looking
at the etchall® website, she might make a frame with her friend's wedding date etched into the glass. 

Next up for me - the glass on my front door, but in the meantime I'm sketching out ideas that combine glass etching with
mixed media applications.