Cascade Shawl

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Wednesday 12 September 2012 at 12:27 pm

Nicole from the Positively Knitting podcast is running a “Sacred Skein Craft Along.” By “sacred” she is talking about skeins of yarn that we horde because they are too good to use or you are looking for that perfect almighty pattern before you break it open. This happens to crafters in general. I used to be really bad about buying gorgeous beads and then not using them because I was afraid the finished piece would not do them justice. I think I have gotten much better about not hording the good stuff when it comes to my craft projects, but I still felt the urge to participate in Nicole’s craft along.

Pictured is my progress so far on the Cascading Stylish Shawl pattern by Michelle B. of It is a $1.99 pattern available through She uses Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock yarn, which is fingering-weight. So I decided to crack open my fingering-weight Chroma yarn in the Guppy colorway. I’m loving it so far. I think this is going to be a gift, but we will see if I am able to part with it when I’m done. The total finished length is 68 inches, and I’ve only got 9 inches done, which means there is a good chance I won’t finish this by the end of the month and be able to submit to Nicole’s craft along. However, her idea did urge me to get started on this and use this yarn that I have admittedly waited to use until I found this perfect pattern.

Super Adorable Stuffed Animals

Blogged under Sew Simple by Tammy on Monday 10 September 2012 at 5:56 pm

I still have my fingers crossed that sewing is slowly making a come back in the crafting world, and here is one example, an adorable new book called How to Make Stuffed Animals: Modern, Simple Patterns and Instructions for 18 Projects. The book is published by Quarry, who was kind enough to let me offer you a little sneak peek into the book. You can download it here. It includes a little bit of the first part of the book plus two adorable projects, a little bunny and a narwhal. Warning: Cuteness Alert! I may be receiving a review copy of this soon, so I will give you more details about the book if I do.

Weekend Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 9 September 2012 at 11:52 am

We are just hanging out crafting and web surfing today.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi has been experimenting with t-shirt fabric all week. Who knew it could be used like yarn?

Cherie Burbach
Cherie makes a glass sculpture using candy dishes, ashtrays, and a tea light holder.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a fun mixed-media card tutorial and the graphics and techniques it was inspired by along with a recipe for edamame hummus.

Crafty Princess Diaries
The Crafty Princess is giving away a book about chain jewelry this month. Enter for your chance to win.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Wood and copper combine for a casual blue jeans themed bracelet. Instructions included.

Mixed Media Artist
Cut out felt circles…check! Stitch together…check! Add a button on a wire…check! Smile and share your felt flowers with your friends!

Zombigami Book Review

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Saturday 8 September 2012 at 12:36 pm

Halloween is around the corner, and that means lots of fun crafting opportunities, especially if you have children. Why this particular holiday brings out the crafter in many of us is hard to say. Maybe because it is just a fun and silly time of the year. This sort of silly fun is exactly what Zombigami: Paper Folding for the Living Dead by Duy Nguyen is all about, a new book I was recently sent to review from Sterling Publishing. It is zombies. It is origami. They both merge together in a crazy how-to book filled with wacky characters like Suzie Gravemaker who you can make using paper and traditional origami paper folding techniques.

The book has a brief introduction that includes paper, glue, and folding tips and then jumps into the 13 projects. Each includes step by step illustrations and some brief text for each folding step. There is also a full color photograph of the finished item with the addition of a spooky background. After the projects section, there are 13 perforated pages, one for each project, that are mini-posters you pull out and hang up. To top it off, the back cover has a pocket full of 50 sheets of origami paper.

This book is spiral bound and retails for $9.95 US and $11.95 CAN, and is obviously geared toward children. I’m guessing kids around 8 or so and up would be able to handle the folding as well as the freaky text inside. For example, the Phineas Gouge character is described as someone “who can take an arrow to the head and still try to eat you” (Nguyen 27). Of course, crafty adults will also enjoy this, especially if you enjoy origami or paper arts. Considering the cost of this book and the fact that it has the supplies included and ready to go, I think there is a lot of fun packed between its pages.

Club Yarn Score

Blogged under My College Craft Club by Tammy on Friday 7 September 2012 at 10:39 am

This mountain of yarn is from one donation from a woman who is moving from the area and was thus forced to go through her crafting supplies. It is 6 bags of yarn! It is going to take some time to go through it all, but most of it looks like acrylic, which for our club is perfect. Our service projects, like making snuggles for animals and baby afghans, usually require using acrylic yarn. Plus, many of our members are learning to knit or crochet for the first time, so again, nothing better to use than inexpensive acrylic. Now I need to spend time digging out my office!

Crochet Hooks: Wood vs. Bamboo vs. Aluminum

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Monday 3 September 2012 at 7:25 am

Crafters are always thinking about the tools they use, and there tends to be endless choices to make when selecting them. When I first discovered bamboo crochet hooks and knitting needles, I shunned my previous use of aluminum hooks and needles. I thought I had found “the” perfect material for these tools. However, after awhile, I realized that sometimes aluminum works better than bamboo. I tend to work faster with an aluminum crochet hook because it has more glide to it (if that makes sense), and for some types of yarns, like cotton, I also prefer aluminum.

Now I’ve added wood into the mix in the form of my first Harmony crochet hook that I got from KnitPicks recently. It is made of laminated birch, and it is so pretty! But is it practical? I have been using it on a shawl I’ve had in the works for awhile, and I’m giving it the thumbs up! It feels light in my hands (it’s a size G) and it has a fair amount of glide to it. Plus, the hook end is nice and deep, so it grabs the yarn really well.

I’ve tried all three types now – wood, bamboo, and aluminum – and I don’t really have a favorite any more. I like them all, and I really use them all based on what I’m making.

Some Crafty Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 2 September 2012 at 9:10 am

June is building houses now. Come see what’s going in… maybe even build one of your own!

Blue Glass Garden Sculpture With Bud Vases and Beads
Cherie makes a glass sculpture with some gems she got at a rummage sale.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
This is the week Carmi is gathering flowers to dry for the winter projects she has planned.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are fun tips on how to date your work easily and use tracing paper and photos to sketch your ideas, an idea for probably the easiest crochet scarf, and the 7 types of foraging walks.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Are you making Homecoming Mum corsages this year? You’ll find everything you need at The Artful Crafter – from suppliers to directions, including love chain weaving instructions.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi shares about a bracelet project that took her four tries to get it right!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Bead and button spiders have been made kicking off the Halloween decorating.

Chain Jewelry Book September Giveaway

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Saturday 1 September 2012 at 11:03 am

September is here, and that means I have a new giveaway going on here on the Crafty Princess Diaries. We are looking at the craft of jewelry making again, this time looking at chain jewelry and the book Chains Chains Chains: 25 Necklaces, Bracelets & Earrings. For more details about this book, you can pop over and read the review I posted here.

Now for the info on how to enter the giveaway. First, here are all the rules and regs:

This giveaway is available to anyone living in the continental US. Post your comment only once in this blog entry and you will get a chance to win. The deadline for entry is September 30th midnight ET. Then during the first few days in October 2012, I will randomly pick one winner. Make sure to include your email address when commenting. I will email the winner who will have 5 days after the drawing to reply back with a mailing address. Anyone who does not reply after 5 days will no longer be eligible to win, and I will draw a new winner.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, leave a comment answering the following question: Do you use chain in your jewelry designs, and if so do you make the chain yourself or use prefabricated chain that you purchase?

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