Book Review: Fashion Crochet

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Saturday 30 November 2013 at 11:23 am

Awhile ago, I was sent a review copy of Fashion Crochet: 30 Crochet Projects Inspired by the Runway written by Claire Montgomerie and have picked it up and put it down many times because I was confused about a few things. First, I was not sure if the instructions in this book are written in UK crochet terms or US crochet terms. In the beginning part of the book, called “Practicalities,” there are a few tables that show conversions for hooks and also abbreviations. I read through some of the instructions, and I’m 98% sure that it is written in UK terminology, so this is something to keep in mind if you are used to US terms.

The other reason why I had to think over this book is that I feel like the projects are really young. Now, I have to say “young” to me is 20s and 30s. Of course, when I review any book I think of how the wearable projects would look on me, and I really could not picture myself in most of these because I’m well past my 30s! However, if you are young or like to crochet items for young and hip girls, then most of these projects will probably appeal to them.

In fact, the focus of the book is to take inspiration from crocheted wearables from the runway and turn them into projects you can make yourself. So you end up with young and trendy clothing and accessories. Since I live in the South, I tend to lean towards accessories, and that is where most of the items I like came from.

The Granny Square Cowel is one of the first projects. While I liked the overall design, the colors (though they matched the runway version shown as inspiration) did not appeal to me. Another project that I liked but would change some is the Fabric Fringe Scarf. I like the scarf but not the dangling piece of fabric. Other projects that stood out to me as being possibly wearable…even for an old lady like myself…were the Green Fern Poncho, Cloche Hat, and the Chain Should Bag. I especially liked the Crochet Bangles project as well, lots of possibilities there. Projects that did not speak to me so much were the mini skirt, shorts, and beach coverups.

Overall, I felt there were some hits and misses with this book, but again, I may not be the best audience for it because you are not going to see me in a skin-tight halter top (as shown on the cover). Crochet is often not considered very fashion forward, so it is refreshing to see that a designer was able to make projects that are young and trendy.

Free Shipping for Black Friday

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Friday 29 November 2013 at 10:06 am

For today only, 11/29, I will be giving free shipping for anyone who shops through my Black Friday Web Party. Just go to my Thirty-One web site here: and select the My Parties link. There is no minimum purchase required, and along with the free shipping that I am offering, Thirty-One has an awesome December special going on right now too.

Interested in your own December party? Contact me at tammypowley @ yahoo dot com.

Get Slim and Get Sassy Too

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Saturday 23 November 2013 at 1:18 pm

Except for maybe spinning, crafting tends to be a very sedentary activity. Then there is my day job. While I usually am on my feet when I’m teaching, much more of my time is spent sitting as I grade papers and do other teacher-type tasks. Add that to getting up there in years, and my weight has become a constant battle for me. Honestly, even when I regularly exercise, I see little difference other than maybe toning up some, but as far as my weight…that dreaded number on the scale…nada. Exercise alone used to be all I needed when I was younger, but after a certain age, unless I spent hours and hours at the gym every day probably, it is not enough to control my weight.

It comes down to just not eating as much as I would like to..period…and that is for all foods. I have always eaten fairly healthy. Even when I was a child, I would not eat very much red meat. It drove my poor mother crazy. I have also always loved vegetables. Raw, cooked, there aren’t too many that I won’t eat. I like sweets, too, of course, but I’m fine if I have a few bites of chocolate a day. So how do you cut back on eating when you don’t eat junk food or indulge in lots of sweets? It comes down to cutting back on pretty much everything.

The problem seems so simple to solve, but for me it has not been as simple as it sounds until recently when my sister (after I told her I was curious about it) gave me a bottle of an essential oil product called Slim and Sassy. She has been experimenting with essential oils for awhile (see her blog post about it here), and eventually she became a doTerra distributor.

Admittedly, I was really dubious about this stuff. I read up about it online, and while many people did say it works, many also said it tastes awful. I’m pretty wimpy, so if I don’t like the taste of something, there is a good chance I won’t use it. Along with the bottle of oil, she gave me some empty capsules with instructions to put 3 to 4 drops in one of them and swallow it. I started trying it out 4 days ago. Even in the capsule, you can still kind of taste it, and while it’s not great tasting, I can tolerate it. In fact, today I just put a few drops in a little water and chugged it.

According to the manufacturer, you are supposed to put 8 drops in a 16oz glass of water, and you are supposed to take it in between meals. I’ve just been taking it once, 3 to 4 drops, in the morning, and it does help to take it first and then drink a good amount afterwards because the taste tends to linger for a few hours.

I was too chicken to step on the scale before I started this. I know the numbers would be horrifying, so I’ve decided to gauge how well this works by seeing how my cloths fit. I felt really good when I woke up this morning, so I bravely took out a pair of pants that I have had to struggle getting into lately. And…happy dance…I zipped them up with no problem!

So why and how does this stuff work? It is made up of natural products: grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon. For whatever reason, as least for me, this combination curbs my appetite. If I get hungry at all, which I have not found that happening too much, it lasts for about 5 or 10 minutes, and then I’m fine. In fact, it’s a mild hungry feeling at best, not my usual must-eat-now-or-pass-out-feeling. On top of that, I feel a little extra zip, not wired up but just a general good and energetic feeling.

For anyone struggling with weight, I feel comfortable recommending this product, and I am shamefully suggesting anyone interested should contact my sister (at to find out how to get a bottle, or you can shop directly on her web site. Slim and Sassy is under the oil blends section.

I know it’s not even been a week since I started using it, but I am sold that it does work. In fact, once those same pants start to be a little on the baggy side, I may even be brave enough to step on the scale again.

Ornaments & Organizing

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 23 November 2013 at 12:24 pm

Organize Any Activity Room with Decorative Fabric Baskets
These hanging baskets can be made in many sizes to fit your needs and they have myriad uses around the house or in the office.

Eiffel Tower Felt Ornaments
Make some Eiffel Tower ornaments for the person who enjoys all things Paris. They’re easy and made from felt.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has a really important thought to share with you all this week…

Crafty Princess Tote

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Friday 22 November 2013 at 4:46 pm

The Cindy Tote is one of my favorite totes’ from Thirty-One. I purchased my first one right after becoming a consultant back in March when I hosted my first party, and I selected it as one of my half-off products. I ended up using it a ton because it is a nice, large structure bag that I can fit all the items I need for school like my ipad as well as books and notebooks, and I can still fit what I would normally put in just a purse (makeup bag, phone, wallet, etc.) Plus the side pockets are perfect for a water bottle and umbrella, both staple items I usually have to have handy.

As part of another party I had this past month in honor of my birthday, I purchased my second Cindy Tote, again at half-off, and I was daring at had it personalized with Crafty Princess on it. The fabric is called Black Tweed, and I opted for purple thread and font number 13. Though most of Thirty-One’s products can be personalized, I have been a little chicken about doing it very much. In fact, there is no purple in the black tweed fabric, even though there are other flecks of color like red, but I really wanted purple since that is kind of my color for the blog. I am so glad I took a chance. I love how it turned out!

Ah, Alpaca Scarf

Blogged under crochet and knitting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Sunday 17 November 2013 at 3:03 pm

Here is one of my latest projects. It’s just a simple crochet scarf using open stitch and some super soft baby alpaca. I have only been able to find this specific baby alpaca yarn at the Knit and Stitch Boutique in Cocoa Village, so I had to have my sister pick this up for me since I didn’t have time to go by the last time I was in town.

This is a special gift that I plan to give to my veterinarian. On one of my last visits as we were discussing safe cat toys (this is after she found a pony tail holder in my cat’s carrier and warned me nicely about how dangerous these are because animals will eat them and get them caught around their intestines), and I mentioned how I had made some mouse toys from alpaca yarn. She was surprised to learn that there was such a thing as alpaca yarn and told me how she was allergic to wool.

This vet and her entire office have gone above and beyond countless times for my animals and me as well. I could write a 5,000 word blog post about just that, so I made a mental note that I had to make her something out of alpaca, and of course, it had to be this specific kind from the Cocoa Village shop since it is ubber buttery soft! I know she does go up north now and then, but just in case she ever wants to wear it down here in Florida on the few cold days we have, I decided to make it using a very open style stitch because alpaca yarn is very warm. She is very petite, and I am going to make it long enough for her to double around her neck in case she ever wants to use it where it really gets cold.

Oh, and that adorable cupcake zipper pouch? I got that during the last Thirty-One outlet sale, which I have heard rumors may be popping up again in the next few months. I will definitely post about it on here when I get any details.

I haven’t decided if I am going to do a single crochet around the entire scarf or not. Some of that may depend on how much yarn I have left once I get the length that I want.

Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 17 November 2013 at 2:33 pm

Paper Craft Turkey Card
Cherie makes a cheesy Thanksgiving turkey card out of an old grocery bag.

Don’t forget, for all of those folks who follow the June on ACreativeDream, Pinterest, Facebook. or Craftsy… she has a FREE calendar for you!!!

Make a Snap-and-Go Toy Bag for Smoother Family Trips
This snap-and-go road trip bag holds lots of small toys and makes it easy for a child to retrieve them en route.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi’s been collecting quick and easy…and pretty…tutorials for your gift-giving needs!

Monster Time!

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Wednesday 13 November 2013 at 5:23 am

Looks like he needs his tooth glued down a little better, but here is one of the few monsters I’ve been making lately using a free pattern over at the CraftyisCool weblog. I added arms and a tiny amount of hair to this guy.

Crafty Princess Is Back

Blogged under amigurumi by Tammy on Tuesday 12 November 2013 at 5:14 am

I have had to take a break from Crafty Princess Diaries for awhile because I just had too much going on, including a jewelry book deadline and, more recently, a new dog in our house. My to-do list is still massively long and the new dog needs lots of training because basically no one taught him anything…, but I really miss coming over here and talking crafts, so I’m back! Yeah!

I’ve been doing a little crafting in between all my deadlines and potty training. Pictured is one of my latest finished project: Blair, the Ghost Bunny. He is a new pattern from Freshstitches, and I have been on the lookout for a good bunny pattern for awhile. Love how he turned out, and I think I have enough leftover of this yarn to make another one. Both, of course, will be added to my small stock of toys to be donated at some point when I get a decent number of them together.

I have lots more to chat about, including a big stack of wonderful craft books to post about, so I’ll be back!

My Happy Birthday Party

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Monday 11 November 2013 at 12:30 pm

Today is the last day of my Happy Birthday -The BIG 5-0 Party! Get 10% off your total (not including tax/shipping) when you purchase through my party linked under “My Parties” here:

With every $50 purchase, you can also get a chance to win this super cute Cupcake Zipper Pouch!

I will close out the party on 11/12/13, so shop today!

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