Monday, May 27, 2013

Calling All Crafters!

I love being able to use my "craftiness" to help someone else, and I know many of you do too--that's why I'm writing this post.  

Deanna, a Craftster friend of mine (she's known there as bunny1kenobi ), is looking for crafted donations for a silent auction to be held August 3rd in Canada.  The money that's raised will benefit Deanna's cousin Lauri, who is fighting cancer, because her treatment is not covered by insurance. 

You can find a Facebook page about this cause, created by Lauri's daughter Candace (who is spearheading this effort), HERE.

If you would be able to make and send something for the auction, please contact Deanna at for the mailing address.  If you will be mailing your crafts from outside Canada, remember to allow extra time for the package to arrive before August 3rd (it usually takes about 2 weeks from the U.S.)  

If you send something, I would love to hear about it in the comment section, below.  And if you send me a picture of what you make, I will post it on this blog.

I will be sending these two zippered totes for the silent auction.  I hope this fund-raiser will be a huge success!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bracelets Featured at Mixed Kreations

Do you remember these Scrappy Fabric Braided Bracelets I made a while ago?

Currently, Linda at Mixed Kreations is featuring them on her blog!  She makes beautiful jewelry as well as other crafty goodies, so hurry over there and take a look!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Perler Bead Challenge

Now that I'm a moderator at Craftster, I'm organizing a crafting challenge.  I am happy to announce that the "Anything Goes Perler Bead Challenge" is now open!  All you have to do is make something--anything at all--using Perler Beads and then enter it on the challenge board between June 12th and June 18th.  That's plenty of time for you to get your hands on some Perler beads (also called Hama beads in some parts of the world) and get crafting!

Since I'm organizing it, I won't be entering the challenge, but after looking online and seeing all the cool things people are making with these beads, I wanted to try it myself. I started with something simple:  a coaster!

After I came up with a pattern, I placed the beads on the peg board (which is sold in craft stores, either separately or packaged with beads). I found that tweezers were very helpful for placing the beads.

When all the beads were in place, I carefully carried the pegboard to my ironing board (dropping it at this point would have been a disaster!) The beads come with a piece of parchment paper, which I placed on top of the beads before ironing. The directions said to iron at medium heat for 10-20 seconds; I found that I needed higher heat than that.  After the beads were melted enough that they were all sticking together, I flipped the coaster over and ironed the back, too.


Okay, since that was pretty basic, I wanted to try something a bit more challenging (I am being inspired by a CHALLENGE, after all!) so I decided to try making a table for my doll house.

 It started the same way as the coaster, with a simple square, but I wanted it to have more depth when viewed from the side, so I also made two squares that were empty in the center, like a picture frame (hey--that's a good idea--I should make a picture frame next!), which I hot-glued to the bottom of the table.  Then I made four legs out of the Perler beads, and hot-glued them in place.  The extra layers of beads on the underside of the table helped to support the legs.

Here's the finished table. Alice approves!

 Any member of Craftster can enter the challenge, even if you've just signed up. It's a great community to be a part of, and I hope that if you haven't signed up yet, you will now, even if you don't enter the Perler bead challenge. (But I hope you will enter the challenge too!)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Yo Yo Garland

One of my Blythe friends, Susan M., send me a wonderful fabric pack of charm squares, and I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do with it:  make a yo yo garland for my Blythe doll house!

Where did I get such a fabulous idea, you ask?  From Mollie Makes, one of my favorite crafty magazines! I love the magazine, and I love the name.  (Hmmm...maybe I should rename this blog Leslie Makes...)

I cut the fabrics into 3" circles, then sewed under a small hem and pulled the thread tight to make each yo yo. Then I lined them up on my kitchen table and, working a few at a time, I applied two drops of Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue to the back of each circle.  I cut a long piece of baker's twine and pressed it into the glue to finish the garland.  It was dry and ready to hang in about an hour.

I have one tip that I want to share with you:  DON'T apply the glue in the center of each yo yo like I did, because then  the garland won't hang flat against the wall.  I learned that too late!  Instead, put the glue about 1/3 of the way down from the top of each circle, and you won't have to resort to tape on the back of your yo yo's to make them hang flat.

My finished garland is so pretty!  I love the colors in this package of fabrics!

Here's where I put it. This is the newest room in my dollhouse bookcase, and it was looking pretty bare and boring. It isn't finished yet, but this garland has made a big difference in the feel of the room.

Yo yo's aren't just for dolls, you know; you could easily make a garland of larger yo yo's to accent some part of your home.  They would look cute over a doorway or mantle. If you use yo yo's in your house, I would love to hear about it!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hope in the Mail

Tomorrow I'll be sending these hearts off to a friend in need.  Feel better soon, dear; I love you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A New Knit Dress

Hoo-boy, this day didn't start out very well. Yesterday I had a root canal, and today my head was throbbing so much I didn't want to move at all.   Since I knew I would probably be sitting on the sofa all day, this morning I decided to tackle a new knit doll dress pattern, so my day wouldn't be wasted.

This is a free pattern that I found on Ravelry, called the Blythe Lacey Mini Dress by Jane Pierrepont (aka Polly from Polly Makes.) She is a fabulous knitter and designer, and I really appreciate the great patterns she offers for free!  Thanks, Polly!

 I've considered trying this pattern before, but I wasn't sure I could do the fancy stitches.  Since I had nothing but time today, I told myself to just go for it--and it came out GREAT!!!

When I saw the lacey pattern starting to develop, I think I might have started chortling with glee!  This was so satisfying to knit, and once I got the hang of it, it didn't seem hard at all.  It is knit on two needles, so it has  a seam half-way up the back, and closes at the top with a snap. I made up the flower detail from wool felt and cotton embroidery floss.

The bottom edge was the hardest part; I actually had to try it at least half a dozen times before I figured it out--but what a great feeling of accomplishment when I finally got it!

My head is starting to feel better now, and I have some new knitting skills--so I guess this day wasn't so bad after all!