Tons of Tentacles

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Happy Sunday, all!

I’m not sure how much I have expressed my love of all things with tentacles. I am also not sure where this obsession started, save perhaps vague memories of the large octopus sculpture at the Shedd Aquarium. So I figured this week I would highlight some of the lovely pieces of cephalopod paraphernalia I’ve come across lately. First up being all of these wonderful clay pendants from Indolent Jellyfish:

The teeny pink dumbo octopus is soooooooooo cute! I also adore the sweet purple octo and the awesome vampire squid. The artist also has a plethora of very life-like nudibranchs, nautilus, cuttlefish, and (of course) jellyfish. I would like one of each, please. Up next, I wouldn’t mind giving our living room a bit of a bump with some gorgeous pyrography from Glenouther Crafts:

The patterning and shading really makes it!

Or perhaps if you or someone you love has a special occasion coming up (or maybe an important interview), consider one of these beautiful ties from one of my all time favorites, Cyberoptix:

It comes in the shade of your choice, of course.

Last but most definitely not least, I present a mug I’ve been lusting after ever since they made their debut…tentacle mugs from Dryad Pottery:

I love the blue ones best.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tentacle-y romp this Sunday, next week will be a perfect time to start thinking about fall décor (yes, I can’t believe it’s that time, either).

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Yarn Project Totes

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Happy Sunday, all!

As we are at GenCon this week, once again I thought we could take a look at travel totes but this time around focusing on yarn projects. The issues I usually run into when bringing along my crochet projects often include tangled yarn and/or carrying the right hooks (but not all of my hooks), so I’ve been looking in to DIY patterns to solve these or at least reduce them.

This first one from SewMamaSew is an all-inclusive type that can fit at least a couple skeins of yarn and has pockets for both patterns and other utensils (hooks, stitch markers, etc.):

This second one from JustCraftyEnough could be placed inside of a larger tote for portability because it definitely solves any tangling possibilities. I really love the idea of essentially having a portable yarn bowl:

This last one from CherishedBliss is probably my favorite, not only because of the clever graphic but also because of the clever construction with multiple grommets and pockets:

 

I hope these inspire many happy traveling craft shenanigans.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Crafting on the Go

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Happy Sunday, all!

Gen Con starts this week and we are super excited to be there again! I don’t know about you but I always have some kind of projects I am working on and many of them are small enough to tote along with me. The problem I often have, however, is how to best travel with everything I need but in the smallest possible space. Even when there are only two of us in the car, we are often gone for at least a week and that requires a lot of luggage so the crafts need to be condensable. I currently have a couple of specialty bags that travel with me for different purposes. The one for my embroidery/cross stitch has two large side pockets and a three ring style plastic organizer for floss bobbins in the center. It lays quite flat and I definitely have plenty of room for a couple of projects at once. I sometimes have to carry more so I’ve been looking for another to buy or make and in my searches have found the following…

This first one on Craftsy is everything you could wish for and more. It is quite a large tote with all kinds of pockets for pretty much anything you need to bring along and it seems pretty straight forward. I really like the optional shoulder strap and the variety of pocket and zipper options the pattern mentions so that you can completely personalize it to your needs.

   

This second one from the Embroidery Library looks like it may lie flatter, more like my current project bag and could be a great option if I want to use these for a different project a piece.

This last one from Handmadiya was just too cute for me to pass up and it is also incredibly small so it may be great to organize smaller items within one of the larger ones.

 

I’m honestly tempted to make the last one just because it is so adorable. In any case, next week we will have a look at some totes that may be better for yarn type projects on the go.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Hook Havens

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Happy Sunday, all!

This week we are taking a look at the crochet side of organization with some very lovely hook cases. Like the double pointed knitting needles, crochet hooks often need a barrier so that they do not fall out of the case. The nice thing about crochet hooks is that unlike their pointy cousins, you are less likely to stab yourself while rummaging in a hook case. I personally started out using just a zippered pencil case and some of the hook cases out there still follow that design. Like this first one from Mama Sews Best that also has a very crafty pun:

Unlike most pencil cases, however, we find different slots of many sizes for your various hooks. Many of the cases do follow the same style we saw last week in various sizes and shapes. I especially like this one from Sew Crochet Love because of the many pockets with one zippered for your stitch markers and yarn needles:

Some have even taken it a step further and actually crocheted the hook case (who’d have thunk?) like Needle Me That Crochet did here:

Finally, though, if you find yourself with that one treasured perfect hook, you may want to give it a place of honor like this wooden hook vault from Unraveled Ewe:

Just like needles, a safe hook is a happy hook. Since Gen Con is right around the corner, next week we are going to take a look at traveling with projects. See you then!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Pockets Full of Needles

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Happy Sunday, all!

We are still in needle protection mode this week! This time, however, I want to take a look at some knitting implements. I am not yet a knitter – I can crochet and someday aspire to learn to knit but I have friends that are all into the knits. I’ve learned that there are not only the different sizes of needles (like the hooks in crochet) but also different types like circular needles and double ended needles (those are really just skewers, right?). Some knitting needles, depending on the material they are made from, can be crazy expensive so they need appropriate protection. When I first began looking for good examples of needle organizers, I was thinking those similar to the crochet hook cases. Something like this from Finger Pricking Good (isn’t that the best name? I love it!) in the UK:

 

Simple, little pockets for the needles that rolls up and ties with a ribbon. But, as I found, not all needles are created equal. Apparently most people don’t want to get poked by their double ended needles or have them fall out of the case. So most double needles require some sort of flap to stop them from doing so, as See Jane Sew demonstrates with her beautiful Tardis needle organizer:

I’m sure it’s bigger on the inside, too.

But then the quandary of how to handle circular needles (needles connected by little bits of plastic) comes into play. They may have very long connectors and need to be close to one another in the pouch. The long ones would ruin the connector, so what’s a crafter to do? Find a better organizer. I have found a couple of really neat ones for circular needles, the first of which is this cool accordion style one from Atelier de Soyun in South Korea:

 

It gives plenty of room to each set and prevents tangles! The other is this really innovative circular design for circular needles from Luna Stitch:

 

Again, plenty of space and individual attention to each set while keeping those pesky connectors from tangling. So you may be saying to yourself at this point, these are all really cute in their own way but isn’t there a more condensed version where I could take some of each type of needle with me? Why yes, there is! Many of the crafters have created multi-purpose needle cases for those that aren’t certain on what they may need. This gorgeous skull one from Knit One Bead Two is just the ticket:

 

Pockets, pockets everywhere! I hope you can find the right kind of pockets to suite your tastes and keep those needles safe. I’ll be back next week with something for my fellow crocheters.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


A Cozy Needle is a Happy Needle

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Happy Sunday, all!

Today we are ensuring that we continue to take excellent care of the tool that arguably works the hardest for anyone that does any kind of sewing. Last time we covered needle cases which are great for trips and transporting odd sized or duller needles. This time we are going to give our needles a bit more care and store them in soft felted cloth, more specifically in a needle book. Most needle books are fairly simplistic: take several squares of felt and sew them together in the middle to form a spine, then fold in half. Some crafters and artisans have taken this to a whole new level. This first one from Mouse Garden uses the traditional and adds their own flair:

Simple, pretty, and ready to carry your needles!

Using all felt makes it easy to add simple embroidery or other designs. Like this second rather whimsical one from Crafty Cat Lady UK:

I love it’s cute whiskers!

Many of us that mix our different sewing projects can also relate to this third one  from Angelic Emporium that may help to clear up some of our quilting scraps to make something useful for hand sewing components:

Plus a skull and roses needle book is super cool!

Finally, if you want to be super fancy, I suggest treating yourself to one of these beautiful vegan leather needle books from Naeh St Design:

All the way from Germany, no less!

Keep your needles happy and they will always treat you right! The felt pages of needle books not only serve to prevent accidental stabbings while rummaging around in a project bag but also help absorb leftover oil from your skin! Next week we will look at a different type of needle case.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Needle Transports

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some needle cases and this week, here they are! When I think of sewing needle cases, I remember my Grandmother’s simple turned wood one or (dating myself here) my Mom using old camera film containers. I had no idea that needle cases could also be decorative and beautiful. The first set are very reminiscent of my Grandmother’s turned wood but in much fancier wood types. This purple heart wood case from Rainchabod Designs is just lovely:

So pretty and purple!

But then I went farther down the rabbit hole and found some turned acrylic cases, which can be super shiny. These needle case and seam ripper combos from Sewn Into the Fabric make me happy just looking at them:

Some of them are really sparkly!

Some artisans have decided to take the simple wooden ones and cover them in various mediums, like clay. In this instance, Happy Bear Creations NC has added some great texture and design to something so simple:

Pretty and subtle.

Finally, I give all credit to this last artist because they not only bumped up the wow factor on a little needle case, I would assume they also use it as they are a bead artist themselves. This gorgeous peyote stitched beaded case from Elewmompittseh is so amazing:

Just look at that itty bitty design!

Needle cases also put me in mind of more needle transporting mechanisms so I think next week we will also look at some neat needle books. See you then!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Mark Your Stitches

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Happy Sunday, all!

This week we are continuing our journey through useful but fun tools in the crafty world by offering up some examples of stitch markers! Stitch markers are generally used by those that knit or crochet to keep track of rows or stitches/types of stitches on larger projects. The idea is to insert a stitch marker where you need to remember to take that action (new row, switch stitches, etc.) or keep track of where you are. The first ones I found from Yarnistry Shop are very practical and help as visual aides for when you need to keep track of numbers of rows/stitches:

They are very reasonably priced and look quite durable.

I like how colorful they also are so that they are easy to spot! The second ones I found go right back to one of my favorite shops, which I have mentioned before, A Needle Runs Through It:

These can go along with the sheep needle minders!

They also have a line of NSFW stitch markers that you can view here. They are so amazing for the sweary crafter in all of us! The third stop should appeal to all those out there that appreciate a little bit of cute fake food. These sweet markers from Chapel View Crafts really take the cake:

I would not recommend using them if you are hungry.

My final offering should not be a surprise as I always love a bit of geekery. So these Harry Potter themed stitch markers from Mandas Knotty Crochet should help put some magic in all of your yarn projects:

Accio stich markers!

Hope you find something fun to help you keep count in any case. Next week we will explore some cool needle cases!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Bowl Me Over

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Happy Sunday, all!

I promised some yarn bowls this week and I plan on delivering in a big way! I mean, if you read any of our posts you know we are big group of craft nerds, right? I can proudly say that I would gladly accept any and all of these amazing yarn bowls as a gift. Some are just purely gorgeous art like this hyper realistic octopus yarn bowl from Earth Wool Fire:

      

Isn’t it amazing?! Just look at all the detail and beautiful shading. More arms to help with all your yarn! I also very much enjoy this quotable yarn bowl from Lenny Mud:

Where’s the lie???

The next yarn bowls, I have admired for a very long time and not necessarily because they are beautiful but more so because they aren’t. These very goblin-esque bowls by Something Lucky 13 just crack me up in all the right ways:

And these are only 3 possible designs, there are many more!

And finally, one for the Doctor fan in all of us, I give you the Extermin-knit yarn bowl by Earnest Land:

Also available in a wide array of colors.

I am just blown away by the creativity and artistry in these but they are only a small handful of the awesome yarn bowls I’ve found. I assure you that more will make their way into a Sunday post in the future. Next week we will make our way to the wonderful world of stitch markers!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Finger Armor

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Happy Sunday, all!

Continuing our trend of decorative and useful tools, this week we are focusing on a small but essential bit of sewing paraphernalia: the humble thimble. I don’t often have sewing projects that call for extra finger protection but when I do, it’s because the fabric is super thick or stubborn. I have a traditional old-fashioned metal thimble that was my grandmother’s but I think my idea of thimbles has been thoroughly expanded by those available online! First and foremost, I adore the simple and tasteful design on this leather thimble by Holly Hawk Designs:

Very elvish looking with the pretty little tree!

I also appreciate the ability to customize designs on wooden thimbles available for purchase from Becky’s Craft Shack:

I mean, asking for a sloth thimble would be just perfect!

If you want something soothing and elegant, this Nephrite Jade thimble from Jade Mine Canada is just gorgeous:

Jade is also said to enhance creativity.

By far one of the coolest and most unique thimbles I found, though, was this blown glass one by Eighth Planet Glass:

Though this one makes me want to bust out my blacklight like it’s the 90s again.

I may give one of these a whirl someday when my Grandma’s gets a well deserved retirement. Next week, I think I will give my crochet tools some love, starting with some amazing yarn bowls!

Stay crafty!

~Laura