Friday, September 30, 2011

Tutorial: Halloween Silhouette


IMG_9428Today I have a really simple and cheap Halloween decoration tutorial. It’s for a Halloween Silhouette to place in either your window, picture frame, or mirror. If you don’t have all the same supplies in the house you can adjust it if need be. For us this was a zero dollar project which is great but then I have a lot of odd things in my house. You’d be surprised what I can make with the odd and ends craft supplies laying around.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Halloween Countdown


IMG_4894Halloween is a big deal in our house. I know it’s a huge deal to most pagans, and the majority I know decorate like crazy for Halloween/Samhain. Here the latest we start decorating is October 1st, and I swear I’m holding myself back from having already started. I’m getting my fix out though working on some Halloween items for the Etsy shop, but that’s for another day to write on.

I wanted to let everyone know some of the things you can look forward to in the month of October since I hope it’s going to be big.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Domestic Witch’s: A Witchy Fitness Challenge


 I’ve decided to join the Domestic Witch’s Fitness challenge. After Wee Rose I lost all but 5lbs of the weight I had put on but from the increased stress over the past few months along with a few other things I’ve gained much more back on top of it. It’s something I’m definitely not proud of.

This seems like a good opportunity to step and be motivated with a clear goal in mind. The challenge goes for 3 months from October 1st to December 31st.

In our house the challenge will definitely focus around weight loss, exercise routine and portion control. I think we eat fairly good, though could benefit from a vegetarian meal or two a week. Really I think we just eat too much. One weakness in our house is the dreaded evening snack which can rang from a bowl of cereal to a piece of pie. So I guess the first thing to say is bye bye night time snack and then we’ll work on the rest.

So come on and join me in this and if anyone else is planning to join up let me know, we can keep each other motivated.

Pirate Name


I will admit I have a weakness for pirates, especially dark, swarthy pirates. Honestly if I could sucessfully combine pagan, gothic, pirates into one look and not seem like I walked out of a bad 80s music video I would daily. Of course then I’d need the energy to take the time to dress that way too! So when I saw this quiz over at Witches in Stitches I just had to do it.

My pirate name is:
Mad Bess Kidd
Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

As quizzes go this one had a few good questions in it, so go ahead and try it and let me know what your pirate name is.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Completed Project- Wee Rose’s Baby Blanket


IMG_9363_2Over on April 1, 2010 I shared the progress of Wee Rose’s baby blanket that I was knitting, over on my old personal blog Finagling Life. I can now finally say I finished the blanket. Yes yes, well over a year later.

Luckily I wasn’t knitting a baby blanket but had purposely picked one sized to be more of a toddler blanket. She is just outgrowing the baby blanket my mom knit her so the timing was perfect for the upgrade.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Winter Finding is Here


Mabon also known as Winter Finding in Asatru/Heathenry is upon us today. It’s the second Harvest and if you were a farmer a time to access how well the crop was this year and celebrate if it was good. It’s also a day of balance as today marks when our days have shortened to where the length of daylight and night are equal.

For those seeking more detailed information plenty of people have written about it so I don’t want to repeat it. Here are some great sources:

It’s a day of subtle change as I see it. It isn’t like Yule where things come anew completely but I’m still hoping for a bit of change here in our household. To celebrate we’ll be having a mini feast here, some roasted chicken with stuffing, veggies, fresh bread and maybe a pumpkin pie.

For all the crafters out there I want to share a great little pattern for a crochet pumpkin from a great designer, Planet June.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, and share what your plans are for the day!

-Velody

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Google + Stitch ‘n Bitch


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I just had this great idea, or I at least think it’s a great idea. How about using the Google + Hangouts feature to start a Stitch ‘n Bitch group. I’m using the term Stitch ‘n Bitch because its something many people are familiar with really it could be open to anyone who creates and wants to hang out while doing so. It would be useful to those who are experienced and those that are just learning.
With the use of webcams not only can we show off our progress but we can teach each other new things. If you’re interested either comment here or come join Google + and add me. I think I’ll schedule the first hang out for this weekend. I think the evening would be best, after I have put the kids down to bed for the night but what does everyone else think?
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Pseudonymity


Some how know myself before I started blogging and working on Treegold & Beegold along with a few of my more observant early followers may have noticed that I’ve done a clean up on my identity online over the past couple of days. Originally many things were linked to my Facebook account that I’ve had for years, it’s full of friends and family, Cityville games, and the whole lot.

Unfortunately last week I lost my job and am now hunting for new employment. My career field is engineering which is still a bit of a conservative old-boys club. Things are changing but I prefer that almost nothing about my personal life comes up by HR Departments.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Social Site Pagan-Playground.com


Pagan-Playground

I just came across a new Pagan Social Networking site that seems to have a lot of promise the other day. It’s called Pagan-Playground. It seems to have started back in May and has a fair amount of people on it.

Some features are:

  • chat
  • personal blogs
  • forums
  • groups
  • polls
  • photos
  • videos
  • sharing websites
  • a store option where you can link items from Etsy for example. 
  • there are even apps for iPhone & Android

There are all your normal social network features too like having a wall, being able to friend people and subscribe to various things.

I’m anxious to see if the chat picks up good at evening. It appears to allow for webcams which I think is a big plus. So come on over and join up. If you do drop me a comment so one of us can send a friend request to the other. Or just search for me there. I’m under Velody.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mabon Wreath


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This article will also be appears over at The Pagan Household tomorrow!! Please go check it out and show your support.
September 23rd is the Fall Equinox this year and as I know it called by some it is “Pagan Thanksgiving.”
This year I decided to do a zero budget craft with the family, a Mabon Thanksgiving Wreath. The wreath is purposely made only of materials that are flammable so that if you so wish you could burn it as part of a magickal working.

Monday, September 19, 2011

October 22–A Halloween Party at A Fanciful Twist



I’ve just learned about blog parties and will probably be doing 3 or more in the next coming month. They seem like a great idea because it’s a simple way to get myself out there and it’s also by creating good content. It’s probably going to be about making a craft of course now just to figure out what.
Should it be a free stuffy pattern? Maybe a pumpkin or a black cat? Umm.. I’ll keep thinking on it.
If you have a blog and would like to join in just follow the link on the invitation.
-Velody

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Adventures in Learning to Machine Embroider


Unfortunately the poor Reborn Totems and specifically the Raven have been set aside by a new kid in toy. A few days ago I showed off my new toy the Brother SE-400 Embroidery and Sewing Machine. I’ve tested in on normal sewing and it’s great. My old machine was in desperate need of servicing, the tension was off and it didn’t seem to be feeding evenly. Now I can understand how bad it had become using something that works. The first run of the Raven was actually the first thing I sewed on it.
The big reason I bought it was to be able to create and produce my own embroidery designs for items. To do so I’ve tried multiple different embroidery programs either free or gotten through questionable means. I think I finally found one that does what I need it to and makes sense. I have a book on the way so hopefully it’ll help me with the actual best way to program the designs to be sewn.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Messing up my first attempt at Bias Tape


IMG_9312I’ve never made my own bias tape. I’ve always just bought a solid color from the store at prices I always thought were a bit too much. Well for an upcoming item I wanted to make my own from this cute fabric I got at Jo-ann’s yesterday. If you’re a follower of the Facebook Fan Page then you already know I screwed up making it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Toy


This just came in on Monday. It's a Brother SE400 sewing and embroidery machine. I love it! It sews great and I've done some of the built in functions with good success. Now I'm currently trying to make my own designs. I hope to be able to show something off soon along with an update on the raven soon.
If only the kids will let me get stuff done! LOL but isn't that always the issue?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Try on the Raven


IMG_9300So I showed the pattern progress the other night and tonight I have pictures of the first attempt. It isn’t right yet so I have changes to make but from putting it fully together I know exactly what to change. This first creation is now the property of Lil ‘R who is very happy to have it. It’s now his bosom buddy I am happy to report and that brings a huge smile to my face.

Things that need to change though:

  • The neck is way to long.
  • I want the wings to be a little wider and shorter.
  • I’m doing to do the beak as a separate piece, probably felt.
  • The tail was a complete failure. Need a full redesign.

The final one will also have hand stitching to help with the shaping. This one was done using a jersey knit sheet. The material is very stretchy and stuffing it nicely so that it isn’t over stuffed or lumpy is a real issue. I learned a lot of good lessens though in my first run and I’m happy that though he isn’t shop ready he is still kid approved.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reborn Totems


I’m returning back to my work with the plushies but this time as a line for sale in my Etsy shop. There going to be called Reborn Totems and will be totem animals made from reused fabric, in other words the fabric will come from clothing or linens that I have found. I have always strongly believed in reuse in my ideals of being mindful of Mother Earth and this is fulfillment of that idealology.

The first totem up is a Raven. I have a few in process pictures to share and hopefully my first prototype will be up shortly and a final design with at least one up in the shop by the end of the week. I think the next totem up after that will be an owl. There are a lot of different animals that are more common totems, that I will be focusing on and the design to creation process for each takes a bit. I really love doing this though and I hope you all like the results too.IMG_9277IMG_9278

Friday, September 9, 2011

Multiple Use Cover All-In-One Diaper Tutorial


FINALLY the completed tutorial. I've tried hard to test this and explain it well. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments.
The great plus of a multiple use cover is you need to make less covers total. Covers are the costly part of cloth diapering and they take a bit of time to make. PUL isn’t cheap. With this diaper you can get multiple uses out of a cover with just easily replacing the insert after each use. The flaps at the top and the bottom let you drop out the insert into your dirty diaper storage without touching it and then just put in a clean one. Toss the cover to be washed when you feel it’s time.
FinalDiaper2
**Note this diaper has a leg gusset that is optional to do. In our household we've found it be really helpful in containing things within diapers but it's a bit tricky to sew on. It has taken me a few tries to master it so if you want you can leave it off entirely.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Multi Use Cover All-In-One Diaper


Flip Diaper 9-04-2011-First Try (2)_2Last night I finally finished my first Multi-Use Cover All-In-One diaper. It's now in trials and I've started to work on a tutorial as I work out the kinks. I thought I'd provide some pictures and a description of exactly what it is.

The cover is made with PUL fabric which is a waterproof Polyurethane Laminate. I purchased mine online. The store is listed on the Links page. This diaper is similar to a pocket All-In One diaper except it doesn'Flip Diaper 9-04-2011-First Try (4)t have a pocket. Instead there are two tabs on each side where the insert slips into. The purpose of this is so at a diaper change you can drop out the insert into your diaper pail and add a new one without having to change the outside. Just use your judgement on when past to get a new outside, I'm experimenting on how often right now. I'm thinking at the moment whenever it is for a Flip Diaper 9-04-2011-First Try (1)_2BM change the entire thing.

The biggest plus to all of this is the inserts are easier to sew, or cheaper to buy/made. The largest expense is in the PUL covers of which you need many less. I'm thinking to make 6 or so. I already have 2 completed to add to my current stash. I'm trying to tweak a few things so that the covers have a bit more stability and the liners feel more secure.

Also PUL fabric is a PAIN to sew but with some google searching learned a few tips I'll share tomorrow and hopefully have the tutorial done, WITH PATTERN**!! Up by the end of the week.

** Pattern will be for size 6/9 mos on up. Wee Rose was always a chunky baby. Pattern could easily be made adjustable with the addition of snaps but I don't know the information or a baby to try out the size placements. I will research and see about adding them in the future. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Triple Moon Goddess Bottle Cap Images Set


I have a new item up in the shop.

This is for a digital 4x6 file containing a single sheet of 15 1" images. Images are of a very high resolution, 300 ppi. These can be used with bottle caps in scrapbooks, jewelry making, hair bows, and other assorted crafts.

$1.50

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tutorial: How to Prepare and Flatten Bottle Caps for Crafting


One the major design elements in the hair bows I create are the emblems. The metal in each is actually from a bottle cap and there are a few steps that have to be done in order to get them ready for use. The bottle caps bought in bulk from a brewery supply store and have a liner inside which is what creates the seal with the bottle. You can buy bottle caps from craft outlets that already have the liner removed but they are much more expensive. I did a cost analysis and including the shipping to get the bottle caps each cap costs me about $0.05. Also I flatten mine before use. These are the steps that I go through to get them ready for having an image added to them.

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Bottle Cap with the liner. This is how I receive them.

 

 

 

 

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Get a pot of water to a good boil and add the bottle caps. 

 

 

 

 

 

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The liners have begun to deform as they melt slightly. You can see the edges curling up on this one. You can spot them in the pot doing this and just fish out the ones that are ready. Only take out one or two at a time.

 

 

 

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The aluminum will cool very fast after they are pulled them out of the water. I drop them quickly on a towel to remove most of the  hot water water and then I just use my fingers to gently pull the liner out.

 

 

 

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Be quick about it or it'll begin to cool again and you may be left with a small bit in the center that stays stuck.

 

 

 

 

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In this case I pull out my Xacto knife and carefully remove this last little piece. If it is being very stubborn I will throw it back into the pot of boiling water.

 

 

 

 

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The tool I use to flatten my bottlecaps is a tortilla press. Yep, nothing fancy. I've read of people using all sorts of equipment but this works great for me. I got it off of Amazon for ~$12. I couldn't find any in nearby stores.

 

 

 

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Put the bottle cap in the press towards the middle and close.

 

 

 

 

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Voila! A cleaned and flattened bottle cap ready for use.

 

 

 

 

I hope that you found this helpful. Do you have a great tip for making a craft project easy to do? If so please share.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I LOVE fall and Halloween


We're coming up on my favorite time of the year, fall. Here in Florida fall as I've been told is nothing like you'll  see farther north. Here it's a time of wonderful temperatures, with the highs often only in the mid-70s and the beginning of a crispness on the breeze. It is the perfect weather for spending time outside and camping. Our spring and fall is the equivalent of some areas of the countries summer. Often we stay in all summer because it is so hot and rainy, so fall is the best time to get out and do things.

I also love the cultural decorations of fall, the mystical and mystery that surrounds Halloween or for us Pagans, Samhain when the view between the world of the living and the realm of the afterlife becomes the thinnest.

I have grand aspirations of projects of making things for Halloween but we all know I won't get nearly as much done as I hope. I have a plethora of saved projects from other bloggers though and I hope to share a few of them.

 

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This on came across my blogs this morning and I am in love with it. From Shanty 2 Chic it's a set of Apothecary Jars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blog Uncommon even did their own version using the tutorial from Shanty 2 Chic. I like the extra wood below the jar and how the letters hang on the outside.

 

They also did a Christmas version with the letters saying Joy and peppermints inside. Hey maybe I could even do them for Ostara and they could say Egg!

 

 

 

If you know of any great fall crafts please be sure to share!

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