Summer Time Day Trip

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 16 May 2011 at 8:16 am

My first week off from school ended with a day trip to visit family and do an itty bit of shopping. It is hard to squeeze in visiting everyone, a meal, and some extra activities when I’m only there for the afternoon, but somehow we managed it this time. The only bummer were the lovebugs that were splattered all over my car! Literally there were clouds of them all the way there. My dad was such a sweetheart and hosed down the car for me. If I had to drive another mile, I would have had to stop and wash my windshield it was so bad!

Rather than eating out, my mom picked up some food from Publix, so it was easy for everyone just to eat whenever, and she, my sister, and I popped out for about 45 minutes to make a super quick shopping trip to an accessories store they had both told me about. As someone who makes accessories, of course, I tend to be an accessories junkie!

The place we visited is a chain-style store called Charming Charlie. It has a little bit of clothing, mainly tops and little dresses, but the focus is on all kinds of accessories: purses, scarves (like the two I bought pictured above), belts, jewelry, shoes, watches, wallets, hats, and hair ornaments. I’m sure if I had more time, I would have bought a few more things. Of course, one drawback was that I’m sure it is all imported. Plus, even with that, some items, like the purses, I thought were overpriced. However, generally, I thought it was a great shop and I’m bummed that there aren’t any around where I live. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a similar shop but all of the items would be made in America?

So I’m looking ahead to another week off. I’m planning on doing some writing work, but I may take some time to get some sun and read as well. My fingers really need a crafting break, so I’m thinking of taking a day or two to sit outside, sweat, and read on my Kindle.

Craft Links for the Week

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 15 May 2011 at 4:16 pm

My first week of summer vacation was nice. I probably could have gotten more accomplished, but it has at least been relaxing. In fact, I have even been doing a little cooking, which is something I rarely do. I don’t usually enjoy it that much, but I just made a few simple things like this banana bread a la Bisquick of course.  Here are my weekly installment of craft links. It looks like everyone is keeping busy.

About Family Crafts
If you or someone you know is graduating this year, check out these fun graduation related projects.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen is excited to announce her article & how-to that just came out in Amy Power’s INSPIRED IDEAS: The Happy Birthday Issue.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Some days you just want to draw dolls. Carmi has a new book!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are a couple of recycled rhinestone buckle necklaces, a pattern for knitting penguin sweaters, vintage style anchor and star embroidery patterns, and some fun pictures from Unique LA Spring 2011.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Who doesn’t recycle cards and gift bags these days? This was a real simple recycling project. Look at the card Jackie gave Eileen for her birthday and then how Jackie received it back on hers!

Mixed Media Artist
Do you have spare t-shirts hanging around that need a new purpose?

Scallop Stitch Baby Afghan Completed!

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Saturday 14 May 2011 at 4:40 pm

Yeah, it is done, and I love how it turned out. The finished sized is 35 inches wide by 42 inches long. I ended up using 2 skeins of Bernat Baby Softee in Baby Denim Marl and 3 in Pale Blue, though I had plenty of left over yarn in both colors. I used an I size crochet hook, and alternated 5 stripes, starting and ending with the Pale Blue yarn. Each striped section is made up of 19 rows of scallop stitch. The entire afghan is made using this stitch except for the straight sides of the blanket, which I finished off using Pale Blue yarn and just a simple single crochet down each side.

The scallop stitch is great because you end up with a really nice texture and no holes like you get if you do granny square or V-stitch. Hopefully, the baby who receives this will get years of use from it.

3/4 of the Way on the Baby Afghan

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Wednesday 11 May 2011 at 8:48 am

I see the end in site for this baby afghan I’ve been crocheting. I’m on the last section of the darker blue yarn. At this point in the photo, I had just a few rows done, but last night I made more progress, and I’ve got about 9 more rows to go! But, who is counting, right?

Once I get this last section done, I need to figure out the trim. At the very least, I plan to do single crochet down the two sides that are not scalloped, but I may do something around the entire blanket. I’m, obviously, undecided at this point.

While this baby afghan has taken a little longer than some of I have made in the past, I’m really happy with how it is turning out. It’s very soft and squishy. Shell stitch is so awesome for that. Fingers crossed, I get this done within the next few days or at least by the end of the week.

Super Saver Yarn Has Its Place

Blogged under Fiber Fun by Tammy on Monday 9 May 2011 at 12:05 pm

Since I live in the south and most of what I make needs to be washable, I use a lot of acrylic and a little cotton yarn as well. Wool is totally out. I’ve done some work with bamboo, which I liked of course, but still acrylic tends to be my main source of yarn use.

Like most people, I started with Red Heart Super Saver. It’s inexpensive and pretty easy to find. As I became more proficient at crochet, however, I expanded into other brands like Vanna’s Choice and Bernat. And, yes, as most yarn crafters will tell you they are much softer than Super Saver. In fact, many knitters and crocheters have real issues with Super Saver. It’s got a reputation as cheap and scratchy. I won’t say this isn’t true. Even Red Heart has an acrylic called Soft Touch, so the company obviously offers an acrylic yarn that is soft and nothing like its Super Saver brand.

I’m writing all this, however, to say that Super Saver yarn does have a place in the yarn crafting world. First of all, it is a great yarn for those new to crochet or knitting. For less than $5, you can buy a hunk of yarn and even a hook or knitting needles and you are ready to start. That hunk of yarn can really go a long way too for a beginner who might want to start with small and easy projects like hats or fingerless gloves. How many crafts can you say that about?

It is also good for some charity projects such as making afghans or hats for adults. I used some turquoise and brown Super Saver yarn to make some hats for the homeless and even had enough left over to make a cover for an ottoman. The colors are great, and hey, I stick my feet on this thing, so it needs to handle some wear and tear.

And, then, don’t forget about our beloved pets. I have odds and ends of blankets and squares I’ve made up over the years that make for lots of cuddly spots for my furry friends. Here is Chanel enjoying an old afghan that I rolled up into a tube shape for her. This afghan is from back in my early days of crochet when I think I attempted to make a baby blanket from variegated Super Saver, but by the time I was done, the child was in college!

I would guess this afghan is at least 15 years old, and yet, it’s in great shape. So while I can’t claim Super Saver is my first choice of yarns to work with, I think too many yarn snobs out there dismiss it too quickly.

Crafty Link Time

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 8 May 2011 at 5:38 pm

About Family Crafts
Watch these videos and learn how easy it is to decoupage!

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen offers you a slide show demonstrating how to create your own vibrant deli paper backgrounds.

Beading Arts
Don’t miss our next giveaway package from the fabulous Cherry Tree Beads!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi shows off three years of hand cut silhouettes!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a cool tutorial on how to melt foam into a cute doll basket, 10 great “shoe” themed greeting card ideas and a great list of self-portrait ideas from the new book Unfurling by Misty Mawn.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Who doesn’t recycle cards and gift bags these days? This was a real simple recycling project. Look at the card Jackie gave Eileen for her birthday; and then how Jackie received it back on hers!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Stef shows how to make a sock gift card.

The Crochet Dude™
Drew announces tour dates for his Summer Boot Camp Series!

Craft Club Gets Some Press

Blogged under My College Craft Club by Tammy on Saturday 7 May 2011 at 9:21 am

Finally, Caring through Crafting is getting some press, yeah! And it is posted on-line, double yeah!

Every time we have a meeting, I post a flyer about it on my office door. As luck would have it, an adjunct professor who teaches at the college and also writes for our local paper saw one of the flyers one day and asked about doing a story on the club for a weekly insert called Luminiaries. She came by to one of the meetings that was also a joint project with the English Club. We were making fleece blankets for Save the Chimps. Since chimps don’t mind how fancy the blankets are, we just got yards and yards of fleece and cut them up into blanket size pieces. This way, no one had to be a craft or sewing expert to participate. Anyway, here is a link to the full article, which I think is wonderful: Carting through Crafting – Connecting Creative People.

Gift of Crafting for Mom

Blogged under etsy by Tammy on Friday 6 May 2011 at 12:58 pm

I’m not just a seller at Etsy; I very often buy items over there too. And that is right where I went to first when I decided to get mom some crafting supplies. Like myself, my mother is into crafting, and she added jewelry making to her list this past year. This has actually made it easier than ever to buy gifts for her since I know as a fellow jewelry maker that there are all kinds of great gifts to buy for her like tools and supplies. For this Mother’s Day, I purchased a number of vintage charms in lots of 10 to 20 from an Etsy seller called DIY Closet, and I plan to split them up with her, some for me and some for her.

For those of us with crafty mothers, rather than make her something this Mother’s day consider buying her supplies for her favorite form of crafting. Or, you can always get gift certificates too, and those are super easy to mail as well.

Patrotic Crochet

Blogged under Fiber Fun,Social Networking by Tammy on Wednesday 4 May 2011 at 2:50 pm

With the news that Bin Laden is now gone, there is even more reason than ever for many US crocheters to show their patriotism. One great way to do this is also a very simple way as well, making squares as part of the Yahoo Group Heartmade Blessings. The group makes crochet squares, similar to the one pictured above, and then assembles them into what they call comfort-ghans. These are given to an assortment of people who need some kind of comfort, and this often includes families who have lost loved ones in the armed services.

I have been busy working on a baby afghan for a friend, but I hope to get back to making some more squares during the summer. These are so easy, perfect to do in front of the TV at night, and a great way to help someone who may need a pick-me-up.

Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 1 May 2011 at 1:19 pm

About Family Crafts
Do you want to learn how to make mosaics? Sherri can help!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi’s big Fairyopolis card making post is over on the Crafter’s Companion site this week.

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside we have a Royal wedding post by Natalie from the UK, a fun way to display your mixed-media inspiration elements, a shadow crazy quilt piecing technique and a fun bunny cake decorating idea.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Check out the Mother’s Day Parade of Crafts on The Artful Crafter. You’re sure to find something to make that will put a smile on mom’s face. Kid-friendly projects are indicated by our little Miss SmArty icon.

Mixed Media Artist
Have you seen Lark Publications’ beautiful new book, 500 Raku?

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Take a look at this new book review: Knits That Fit from Potter Craft.

Craft Hope
Consider participating in the 12th project from this combination craft blog and charity organization. They need lots of bracelets to give to children.

Humble Beads
Get a sneak peek at the beads she created for her beads of the month program.

Lion Brand Yarn
This company has oodles of different types of yarn. These are some they suggest for baby items.

Are you a pro or even semi-pro crafter? For example, have you had work published in magazines or do you do any freelance work for craft companies? Do you also have a weblog and blog at least a few times a week? If so, then you might be interested in joining a weekly kind of link carnival a few of us have been doing. Feel free to email me at tammypowley @ for details.

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