Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't Forget! and Other Notes

Don't forget, I am having a give away until January 31, 2011.  See my post on http://craftersniche.blogspot.com/2011/01/all-moderncom-giveaway.html

I also wanted to mention that I am closing my Etsy Store on-line.  I decided it wasn't worth my time to have it, since I do orders for people I know and word of mouth.  I am currently changing the way my blog will look to show the design styles of the things I do the best.  At the top of the page you will see Home, My Store: Baby Hats, My Store: Canvas Hand Bags.  All you will need to do is click on those headers and you will be able to pull up all the styles of hats and bags that I can do.  There are limitless Color options and styles so I am not set on just one style.  I'll add photos as I do more of them so keep checking back!  I also have other things on hand that I need to sell, so I will add an additional page of things I have In-stock.  Will have to do that another time.  I am also going to offer a 10% referral fee to my customers.  If you refer someone to me, I will give you a 10% discount on a future purchase for your word of mouth referral.

When I first started I wanted to do review for people.  As I come across things I have personal knowledge of I will still post about those.  I find that a lot of fun and love giving people recommendations for others.

As always, thank you for taking time to read my blog!  I do love your comments, even though I am still trying to figure out how to respond to each comment made.  Any suggestions? :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oh Baby!

Today I am on cloud nine! 
The last few days have been so good.
You see we finalized our adoption with our son yesterday.
He all ready felt like our son,
but yesterday's formality with the judge made us feel like we are a family even more.

We have a special relationship with Jackson's birthmom, an open adoption. 
We love Jackson's birthmom.  
God certainly gave us more then we dreamed of.
As Jackson gets older it will be wonderful to see them develope a special relationship of their own.

Another reason for such a good day is that our Pastor and his wife are adopting a little baby girl too!
The baby is due soon, but there is something about adoption celebrations that get me all giddy inside!

I know how they are feeling... 
The anticipation.....
The worries...
The happiness you feel...

So today I am going to an Adoption Celebration!
So excited about that and my wonderful husband has taken the boys
and are going to go sledding at grandpa and grandmas!

I wanted to make something for the Adoptive Family.  I found out that our Pastor's wife likes Tangerine so I really wanted to add that color into the scheme.  Do you know how hard it was to find Tangerine yarn?  Most places didn't carry it.  So I ordered it.  The yarn itself was made out of recycled cotton shirts.  Pretty amazing!  But I decided to make the hats as neutral as possible and just add splashes of color.  The cream yarn I chose was really cool.  It is naturally caron called Spa, a silk soft bamboo blend.  Pretty nifty!  It is so soft and WW3.  I hadn't worked with something like that before and you do have to make adjustments to your pattern to make it bigger.  The hat with the tangerine flower needed to have added rows at the end to make it big enough for a new born infant.  I really couldn't tell you how many but I added enough to make it work.  I decided to single crochet a "ribbon" to weave in and out of the filet stitch to add a little more color to the hat.  I think it turned out nice.


For the next hat, I used a pattern from Leisure Arts called Fun Fashions for girls.  It has 14 crochet designs in sizes 2-6.  I have really enjoyed this book and have made quite of few things out of it, experimenting with yarns and adding finishing touches to it.  One of my favorite pattern in it was the Rose Motif hat.  I was curious if I used the cream yarn as the project above, if it would make the Rose Motif hat smaller to fit a newborn.  I was right!  I used a smaller hook size, G-6, and made the below hat smaller to fit an infant.





I also added one of Sylvers Designs Double Strap Booties to go with the hats using the same Spa yarn mentioned above.  I did make one change.  Since the yarn size would make the booty smaller in size, I used the size 1 pattern instead of the size 0 to make it fit a newborn. 

Interested in the booties and making them, visit Sylver's Designs Etsy shop for details.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby Hats

As you can probably tell, I love making baby things, especially hats!  I recently made a couple more hats for a friend who is expecting in February and love seeing them come together!  The pattern I used is from Lion Brand.  I really like their web-site as you can find free patterns on there.  I ended up making small changes to the pattern to make it more girly or boyish.

I chose this pattern, to make the two hats below and updated them by adding a scalloped edge to make it more feminine.  I also added a flower and embellishment to add an extra special touch to it.


A white see-through ribbon is woven in and out of the filet stitch.



All flowers are stitched to hat to prevent them from curling up.

If you or anyone else is interested in a custom made hat, feel free to contact me. 
I would love to make one for you!
Hats show are for a 0-3 month old babies,
but I can also make a larger size hat as well.

Friday, January 14, 2011

AllModern.com Giveaway


After the holidays are over, it seems a little boring so I decided that
January is a good time to do something fun!


I love finding neat things to decorate my home and I had not heard of CSNs stores until recently.  After browsing their store I found some neat things that I liked so I am pleased to do a January giveaway from one of the CSN Stores that sells everything from furniture to modern d├ęcor!

One lucky winner will receive a $25.00 gift code to their store, http://www.allmodern.com/.  Gift Certificate is also redeemable any of CSNStores.com's 200+ online stores.

1.  Entrants are limited to US and Canada readers only as CSN only ships to US and Canada.

2.  Giveaway ends January 31, 2011 and the winner will be notified after that.

3.  What can you do to enter? Spread the word!  {Make one comment for each entry}

  • 1 Entry when you visit their web-site and tell me what you like there.
  • 1 Entry when you follow me on Crafter's Niche, my blog.  {includes current and new followers}
  • 1 Entry when you tell your facebook, twitter friends about this giveaway
  • 1 Entry if you blog about this giveaway on your own blog.  Please include your blog site.

Thanks and good luck!!

Sylver Designs Review

I'm always on the look out for a good baby pattern to crochet something cute!  I found Sylver Designs  on Etsy.com a long time ago but never bought a pattern until we had a snow day recently and I wanted something different to do.  I really enjoyed looking at Sylver's patterns and admired how cute they were.  With so many differnt color options out there you can come up with some pretty cute baby booties and not have one alike!

What I like about Sylver Designs was how quickly I go my pattern.  I think I received it within 3-4 hours after paying for it by paypal.  I was eager to get it and try it out!   So I decided to make a pair of booties for someone I know having a baby soon.  Here is my finished product so you can judge for yourself.

Sylver Designs showed her pattern in two tone but I wanted to make
an all pink one to show how dainty the booties really can be!

A cute flower button makes it look even more precious!
I love that the booties will actually stay on the foot instead of slipping off as the baby moves.  You can make various sizes for different baby ages too which is great!

I definitely rate this pattern a A+!

So go ahead and check out her store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/sylver?ref=pr_shop
You will love what she has to offer!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brown and Red Handbag

Recently I had the opportunity to make a second handbag for a friend of mine.  It's always a little scary making something for someone you know, but I enjoy making the handbags so I gave it a shot.  To find out a little more about what my friend expected, she emailed me a picture of her budget wallet.  You can really find out a lot about people by what they have in their purse, and I absolutely loved seeing her wallet!
Isn't it cute??

It's scary going shopping for fabric not knowing for sure what your customer wants.  To get a better feel of what she was expecting, I asked my friend what main colors she wanted.  She wanted a dark brown and maybe a red rose on the front, and she also mentioned corduroy.  With that in mind and once I saw what she was wanting to match her bag with, it was off to Joann's to find material! 

The fabric I chose was a cotton canvas.  It is more durable then just cotton.  A couple tips in working with cotton canvas:
1.  Sew the cut edges before you pre-wash it and dry it.  It will keep the edges from fraying badly and wasting your material.
2.  Fray check is your friend.  Use it on all cut edges after cutting your pattern pieces out.  It will keep your fabric from fraying in the future.


I know my friend loves red. So I picked up this fabric piece and emailed her a picture to see if she liked the print.  At this point I gave her a couple options in how I could do the bag.
1.  An all brown bag with a red rose.
2.  A brown bag accented with red fabric.


A cream trim piece breaks up the bag colors and adds a feminine touch to the bag.

A pocket on the inside adds a nice touch.
Snap encolsure.

One thing I did differently with this bag was add interfacing to the inside pieces to give the bag more of a shape.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pure Soap

I don't know if you are like me, but I dread Winter. . .

Why?

'Cause I know that my hands will get so dry that it hurts. 
Even worse when you have little children around. . .
 You are constantly washing your hands every time you change a diaper,
get a snack, get their lunch, or wiping their little noses.

So what should you do?

I decided to try something new this year.  When I went home for Christmas my mother gave me some home-made soap she made.  One rose bar was made with coconut oil and olive oil and the other with avocado and coconut oil.

Before this I never really thought that home made soap could be better then the name brand we normally get.  Actually we use liquid soap for washing our hands, and it is usually the off brand with "aloe" in it.  But who's counting?

I decided to do a test one the soap and try my best to use my mom's soap every time I wash my hands.    The question I had was, "Would it dry my hands out as much as the liquid soap?  What is different about it?"

The difference I am finding after using the soap with olive oil and coconut oil is simply this:

1.  It lathers SOOO much better then regular soap.
2.  My hands are not drying out as much as they normal do.
3.  I am not having to use as much lotion to soften my hands.

So I simply had to ask my mom for the recipe.  She gladly complied.  I have yet to make this.  I just thought the process of soap making was a unique thing to me.  I would love to try this and hope one day I will.

Soap on left made with avocado and coconut oil.
Soap on the right made with coconut oil and olive oil.

Pure Soap
{depending on size of molds this recipe makes 6 rose bars and 1 bar soap}
16 ounces coconut oil
2.9 ounces lye {Sodium Hydroxide}
1/2 cup warm water.

Combine the lye-water and the fat; stir occasionally for one hour and forty minutes.  Add 1/4 cup hot tap water and stir for ten minutes.  Add another 1/4 cup hot tap water and stir until the soap is thick and smooth (a few minutes).

Time in mold:  24 hours
Place the soap in a freezer for 3 hours, then remove it from the molds.

Age: 3 weeks.  Why?  It needs time to age so that it will not burn you when you wash your hands.

You can make many cleaning products from Pure Soap. 
Spray cleanser
laundry powder
soft-scrub cleanser
toilet bowl cleanser
jewelry cleaner

**My mothers additional instructions:
Put newspaper on the area you are working.
Use stainless steel bowl and whip.
DO NOT use aluminum or you will have a very big mess.
Measure water and place in bowl.
Use a digital scale to measure lye and fat.
Pour lye into bowl with the water and stir till dissolved.
Place fat and or oil in next.
Stir fat till it is melted.
You may use other oils or fat but keep the total to 16 oz.

I use 8 oz olive oil and 8 oz coconut oil.  It makes a very good soap.
Also, I make avocado soap using 1.6 oz of avocado oil and the balance coconut oil.
Very important, add the lye into the water and not the other way around.

**Use cider vinegar to clean up or if you get some lye solution on you.

You can find your ingredients at Texas Natural Supply store.