Super Sekret Christmas Gifts COMPLETE!

Yellow, Hobbes #2: COMPLETE!! ^_^

     

I’m the tiniest bit bummed that Yellow Hobbes didn’t turn out the same size as Original Hobbes — this would be due to the fact that I didn’t realize the yellow yarn I had in my stash wasn’t actually worsted weight like the recently purchased orange.

Side note for future reference: the random yarns you chose from your stash without first looking at the labels (on the assumption that all your yarn is the same weight) probably means that you are going to be in for a bit of a surprise in the end. Let this be a lesson learned. 

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Commission Project: COMPLETE!

Crochet cellphone carrier/protector/pouch/cozy (ugh I hate that term!)/whatever: COMPLETE!

This would be my first commissioned project in ages and it came with an interesting customization request: an added belt loop!

I designed this pouch ages ago for TheHubbs’ assorted electronic toys (cell phones, gameboys, PSVita, Nintendo DS, etc) and quite a few people have asked over the years where he got his Pocket-O from. When he tells coworkers or casual observers that I made it for him, they always seem to express their amazement that it’s even possible to make something like this.
  
I am immensely proud of how the whole thing turned out as there was a lot of crochet-drama going on: tons of frogging back, so much cursing at my sloppiness & poor observation skills (there is in fact a visible right & wrong side when adding a border!), and the continual bemoaning of my lack of mental visualization abilities & engineering skills on my part. 

Let me just say that things become way more complicated when a piece needs to be turned inside out to become the finished product. 

Creating a belt loop is lot harder when you have to figure out and remember which side of the piece is considered front/back or pretty/ugly to determine what will become inside/outside when it’s complete! While you’re doing that, there’s also the issue of remembering that the sides need to be stitched together with the right/pretty-sides facing, so that when you do turn it inside out, all the pretty stitches are what you actually see; but that little flap closure also needs to be properly sandwiched in the middle of it all before it can be stitched closed and finally declared complete! 

*Whew!*

Currently all that’s left to do is: stitch on my creation label, make some cute packaging, and make some updated thank you business cards to be included in the whole delivery of the Bumblebee Pocket-O™.

As a side note: I have a bit of a conundrum in trying to decide if I want to change, or if I should change, the name of my little crafty business-self. 

Cuz really: it could be kinda hard to explain the concept of the name TeaseMeGirl Handmade. Although, I suppose could come with up a cute, marketable, answer for backstory. I still like the name and TMG Handmade just doesn’t sound as cool!

To be honest, it makes me sad to be changing my crafty business name after all this time, but something niggling at the back of my brain is saying I should do it for the sake of professionalism and/or marketability, especially if it comes to TheHubbs having to field any questions on my behalf, should he get any more commission requests from coworkers or potentially someone out of the blue.

On that note, I guess I have some brainstorming to do. *ponder*

Halloween thoughts & ideas!

Now that Thanksgiving is more or less finished for the year (Mark & I still have thanksgiving turkey to do with my family this week during family dindin night — WOO!! One more turkey dindin!!), I can start working on HALLOWEEN ideas!!! :D

I spent a bit too much time on Pinterest this evening while I was in bed waiting for The Moose(tm) to kick in and as a result, I have a whole bunch of Halloween ideas running through my head that I want to make this year to spiff up the outside of the house with.

The biggest thing I am excited about this year: I want to try to make a whole bunch of “wood-looking” Halloween signs to hang all over the outside of house. I’m thinking that a lot of it will have to be DIY crafty stuff using recycled materials like cereal boxes, paint, construction paper and a roll or two of wood grain printed duck tape so it will be lightweight to hang on the vinyl siding. But honestly, if I had the mad skills to make them as wooden signs, and could afford materials to do so, I totally would!

Cute Halloween sign examples: Break Off In Case of Sparkly Vampires, One Hour Broom Parking Violators Will Be Toad, Spooky Directional SignAnnual Witches Ball – Free Broom Parking Cats Welcome.

For some extra added fun, I have some old text books that I might consider turning into spell books just for kicks! The only problem is that I have no idea where I would be able to put them for display for Trick’or’Treaters to see and ogle over.

Awesome spell & magic book examples: Decorative Spell Books (tutorial), Necronomicon (tutorial), Hocus Pocus Book (tutorial), Altered Halloween Books (tutorial), Book of Shadows (tutorial)

*starts vibrating audibly in excitement!*

AmiNeko finally made

 New amineko handmade stuffy for our Goddaughter Bug’s birthday is complete!

 I’ve always wanted to make one of these guys ever since l saw the orignal crochet pattern* when it was first published, but at the time I just couldn’t wrap my head around reading symbol diagram-only crochet patterns.

These guys are just so darn cute and I think I may need to make at least one more of these cuties for the cats ^_-

Needless to say, as you can see in the collage below, each of the kitties has her own opinion on the embarassments I inflict on them with a stuffed crochet cat :D

 

*Link to original pattern is located one the left, in the first column, and is the second item down in the list.

Refashioned Sweater to Cardigan Part II

Hah! I got it almost perfectly separated — there are a couple spots where I accidentally tore the fabric trying to rip the seams (top left & bottom of the V) but I’m hoping a little bit of snipping will help clean it up enough so that I can add on a bit of border.

Question is: should I use a strip of fabric like most people have done or do something radical & crochet one on in something obnoxiously bright and cheery?

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Refashion? Upcycle? What??

So I’ve been spending far too much time on Pinterest lately. That website is probably the most amazing place you could ever log into to lose yourself without even realizing it.

Usually it starts off as a search for something rather boring, and then all of a sudden you see something out of the corner of your eye and you’re immediately sent down the rabbit hole to the next pin that catches your attention.

Seriously. If you have problems with shinies, be warned. You’ll be gone before you even know it.

Anyhow, during this magical foray into the world of never ending Pinterest links, I discovered the terms ‘refashion’ and ‘upcycling’. Both words essentially mean taking an old discarded object that’s of no use to you in its present state, and recycling it into something new — potentially making a better and more useful item than its previous iteration. At least that’s my definition of the concept.

I’ve noticed that upcycling is usually used for discarded items like shipping pallets, wine crates, old gutters, old shelving and other hardware types of things. The item(s) are combined with other bizarrely useless items, combined together, given a new coat of paint, and then it’s now considered magically transformed “up” into something brand spanking new of better use & value to its owner.

It’s all in the eye of the beholder, remember. I mean there are some pretty cool project ideas out there if you’re into the whole DIY thing, of which I totally am and I am totally going to put all the blame on my Dad for this one. He’s the one that I probably take after in the department of scouring junk shops for stuff I can turn into something more fun. TheHubbs on the other hand, for some reason, isn’t so keen.

One of my favourite examples that is super easy and I think happens to be super cute, are cake stands. I absolutely love the idea of being able to make my own unique & one of a kind cake stand! One of these days I’ll get around to going to a thrift store to find some magical one off pieces to make myself something sweet.

You probably have a pretty good idea by now as to what the term refashion means if you apply the above concept to similarly recycling old clothes which are no longer loved or of any use. Second hand shops are obviously veritable gold mines for clothing that one can refashion into a garment that is by far much nicer than its original state.

So far my favourite idea has been simply taking an old, unloved, no longer worn, mens sweater and with a few deft snips of scissors, maybe a pass or two with the sewing machine and you’ve now got yourself a lovely cardigan.

Seriously!

With fall fast approaching (I’m pretty sure I felt the stirrings of season change this afternoon while I was out and about doing labs) I’m really excited to start wearing sweaters. This will be the first year in a really long time that I might actually be cold enough to wear one since we dropped my steroid levels at the beginning of the year. Guys, this is HUGE news!

Anyhow, so I’m sitting here at the kitchen table with one of TheHubbs’ old sweaters that he no has absolutely no desire to ever wear again and gave me permission to sacrifice it for the purpose of attempting my first refashion into a cardigan-ish type of garment.

To be honest, I dunno that it’s going so well.

If I was smart, I would just do what everyone else does and take a pair of scissors to just make a few deft cuts, add a couple seams and be done with it. But no. I’m not that kina girl. In my head, it seems to be that I apparently need to take a seam ripper to this bad boy in attempts of salvaging as much of the sweater’s shape & form as possible to reduce the amount of actual cutting I might need to do… except that it’s probably going up in flames at the moment, as right now it looks like the collar of this thing isn’t actually a separate piece tacked on, but in fact is part of the main body folded over itself and sewn into place..

GAH!!!! *panic!!*

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I. WILL. MAKE. THIS. WORK. DAMNIT!!

Wish me luck ^_^;;

Candy Cane Spiceworm Gloves — way overdue update!

Over the weekend I had the urge to work on a new crochet project and decided that I wanted to work on something that was created just for me.

In the process of trying to come up with something that piqued my interest, I remembered that I still had my unfinished Candy Cane Spiceworm Gloves that I had started way back in 2010.

2010!

It’s been almost three whole years since I began the project and I still can’t believe it. o_O;; It just seems so weird to read, and realize all that time has passed on paper, yet it does not physically feel like it’s been three years. Where does time go? It’s such a bizarre concept to think about time escaping to somewhere unknown, somewhere untraceable by the mind…

Anyhow, I managed to get back into the swing of working on the gloves pretty quickly — it only required a few replays of the original technique video of the pattern, I loosely based my gloves on — and now I am rather proud to say that I’ve almost completed my first mitten in its entirety! It’s still in need of a thumb, but it looks and feels pretty fantastic considering all the tedious work that came from making each individual thrum!

Candy Cane Spiceworm Gloves, minus thumb
Candy Cane Spiceworm Gloves, minus thumb

The biggest concern from the get-go for this pattern was that this yarn is so bulky and there’s so little per ball (50g/60m) that I thought I may be screwed. I only have 4 balls on hand and I had bought it back when K1C2 was having their going out of business clearance sale, eons ago, so there’s no chance of buying more should I need it.

This stuff is so beautifully soft and squishy but I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough to complete both gloves. What I had originally decided to do was to allocate 2 balls of yarn per mitten, hoping to get the body completely finished to the fingertips and then use some other similarly massive, bulky & squishy yarn to finish the thumbs – in fact, if you recall the green yarn I used for my first ever blanket project, the Expensive Woolly Blanket of Doom from waaaaaaaay back in 2007(!!), I still have some of that left. believe it or not. So I thought I would make the thumbs green.

Turns out, the 4 balls of yarn that I have is enough to complete the mittens in their entirety! I’ve finished the body of mitten #1 and there’s still about 1/3 of the second allocated ball remaining (for this mitten) to make the thumb!

I’m so thrilled that I will be able to complete the mittens in all the same colour instead of having to make that colour change I had originally planned for the thumbs. I am a little disappointed that the thrums are so janky-looking in the spots where you can see I started to decrease each round for the mitten top, but I can’t really complain too much since this was my first attempt at making a mitten without being able to properly read a mitten pattern (or any visual pattern, for that matter) in the first place.

Cross your fingers I’ll be able to remember how I originally started the pattern when I begin mitten #2 in the very near future.