GenCon Classes

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GenCon Classes go live on Sunday for sign ups!  GenCon is the original longest running gaming convention in the world and it happens in Indianapolis August 17-20.  They are unique by allowing you to pick and choose your classes and events ahead of time by securing tickets.  No waiting in lines!

Nicole, Toni, and Marc will be at GenCon again this year and Toni and Nicole will be teaching classes again!

Toni will be teaching two English Paper Piecing classes.

 

English Paper Piecing Quilt Technique

Description: Learn to English Paper Piece, or get help with an existing project you are working on. In this class we will start with the basic hexagon flower using scraps of colorful and character fabrics (like Dr Who or Comic Books).

Class Length: 2 hours

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Thursday, August 17th/ 10:00am /SPA17103527
  2. Friday, August 18th/ 10:00am /SPA17103528
  3. Saturday, August 19th/ 9:00am /SPA17103529

Cost: $18

English Paper Piece a Catan Board Quilt

Description: Learn to English Paper Piece by creating a small version of the Catan board, 9″ wide to be exact. In this class we will start with the basic hexagon shape and add on triangles (for sand) around the edges.  Options for finishing your miniature quilt will be discussed.

Class Length: 2 hours

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Friday, August 18th/ 7:00pm /SPA17103534
  2. Sunday, August 20th/ 12:00pm /SPA17103535

Cost: $34

Nicole will be teaching Crochet classes again.

Crochet a Hogwarts Infinity Scarf

Description: Learn the basic crochet techniques in scarf making along with custom techniques for making an almost seamless infinity scarf. Materials will be provided, but if you have different colors/hooks you’d prefer to use feel free to bring them. Novice and first time crocheters will most likely not finish during class hours, but tools will include a pattern to take home so that everyone can finish on their own time.

Class Length: 2 hours

Date/ Time /Game ID:

  1. Thursday, August 17th/ 12:00pm /SPA17103530
  2. Friday, August 18th/ 11:00am /SPA17103531
  3. Saturday, August 19th/ 2:00pm /SPA17103532

Cost: $28

So head over to GenCon and sign up for some classes!


DIY Laundry Supplies

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I don’t normally post “life hacks” types of crafts, but I’ve been looking into more of this stuff to suit my family allergy needs and I figure I shouldn’t just hoard it all to myself. 😉 So today I’m gonna give you the info you need in order to make your own laundry detergent and an anti-static wool ball.

 

Washing Detergent

  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
  • 5.5oz Fels-Naptha Soap (you can also just about any bar soap really, but this one is made specifically for laundry)
  • water
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Hand Grater (Yes, like the one for cheese)
  • Essential Oils (Optional; only used to add a scent to the clothes)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket (for liquid detergent only)

Once you have you ingredients gathered you have 2 options. Powdered or Liquid. The first step for both requires you to grate the Fels-Naptha Soap bar. A normal house hold grater will do just fine. Then for powered detergent simply multiply this out depending on how much you want to make:

1 cup Washing Soda

1 cup Borax

½ cup – 1 cup grated bar soap

That’s it! Use maybe a ¼ cup per full load. You’ll likely adjust to suit your needs after a few experiment loads.

If you prefer liquid soap, you’ll need to perform a few extra steps. First, take your grated soap and add it to a pot with 4 cups of hot water.  Put it on the stove on medium-high, and stir until completely melted – about 10 minutes. Take that 5 gallon bucket and fill it half way with water, then pour in your liquid soap. Stir in 1 cup of borax & 1 cup of washing soda into the bucket. If you want to make it scented, now is the time to add your essential oil. You’ll need ½ – 1 oz total depending on how strong you want the scent to be. Stir that in as well to combine. Now, fill up the bucket with warm water all the way to the top – and stir again.  If you don’t have a utensil long enough to reach the bottom, just put on a pair of rubber dish gloves beforehand. SNap the lid on the bucket and let it sit for at least 24 hours so it can gel up.

Once it’s done, you’ll likely notice it’s got clumps, or if you made it while it’s humid out it may still be pretty thin. This is normal/fine and you should still use it like normal. If you really want it to have that store bought consistency instead of being lumpy though, you can take an immersion blender to it to smooth everything out. Disperse it into other containers (empty detergent or milk gallons for example) and voila. You’re no longer beholden to the detergent industry.

Anti-Static Ball

I know we’ve all heard the aluminum foil ball thing, but this one will leave your laundry smell nice instead.

  • 100% Wool yarn would into a ball
  • Essential Oil

Make sure your ball of wool is tightly wound and wash it until it becomes felted. Then add a few drops of essential oil to the ball, letting it set before using. It will not need to be rewashed (bar anything happening to it), just add more essential oil again if the smell fades. Simply it toss it in when you are drying your clothes and bam. No more static. 🙂 If you really need that dryer sheet feel you can soak the wool ball in fabric softener instead, but the wool is key to help get rid of static.


DIY Mermaid Crown

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My sister is expecting her second child within the next few weeks (aka not soon enough if you ask her) and has been nesting. She’s constantly fiddling with the baby’s room and fussing over it being “not ready” with her latest obsession (since the room actually is ready and has been for some time) being the decorations in the room. Since she lives by the beach doing a beach/mermaid theme appealed to her and she’s been bombarding me with every mermaid print/decoration she’s fallen in love with for the last 2 weeks.

Basically you have her to thank for today’s topic, lol.

Now this wouldn’t work well with a new born outside of a photo shoot of course, but she loves the idea  of using found shells from the beach near her home to make one. Personally I’d like a more tiara styled one, but that’s the beauty with this type of thing, once you know the basics, you can easily adjust it to suit your needs. 🙂


No One Steals Alone Cookie Jar

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So we’ve all done it. Swiped a few fresh baked cookies from the jar when your friend/family walked away. Rookie mistake of course on their part as they could lose all their baked treats this way. It happened to me so I suppose that’s Karma for ya. Well this one artist has designed a cookie lock bx that will require an assistant for you to get in to.

Crafted by Thijs Sondag and his friend Gustav, this cookie box requires at least 2 sets of hands to open. Now if it were me, this is where I’d use my many younger siblings to swipe cookies for me so I could truthfully admit I’d not touched the box all day. You could of course use this for hiding things from those without built in teams of scapegoats  assistants, but if you make it out of wood it probably wouldn’t keep a determined thief from simply breaking it open. Still, if you’d like to make your own, the creative duo has kindly shared the plans online. You can also watch the full video of the box here if the lovely gif loop just doesn’t do it for ya. 😉


Crafty Bathroom Hacks

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Making your bathroom space more personal and interesting can be difficult. Incorporating home-made items into your room will not only give it a unique twist, but will also prove as handy home helps. We look at 10 things you can make at home to improve your bathroom.


DIY Unique Yarn Storage

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Hey there, Hackers! Tis your intrepid ScribeSarah, back with some tips on how to keep your crafting space clear and organized. Now, even little ol’ anal-retentive me gets her home a little messy with all her little projects but there are ways you can get that chaos organized, even if it doesn’t always look like it. While I tend to be a bit of a jack of all trades in the craft arena, for today’s exercise, I thought we would focus on ways to keep your yarn both accessible and stowed so that it’s not taking over your home.

There are quick and easy ways to store your yarns and threads, most of which you can find at your local Container Store (a place I am not allowed to go unsupervised because I will buy all the things). However, if you’re looking for something a little less ordinary (and costly), there are a bunch of things out there that you can use or re-purpose for these needs.

For yarn that isn’t being used currently (or for that yarn you found you just couldn’t leave the craft store without despite not having a specific project you bought it for), you could use old wicker/weaved baskets. My grandmother had a ton of these just hiding in her cupboards and when she passed away, rather than donate them to the Goodwill, I kept and re-purposed them. Some I use for small balls of yarn (leftovers from projects past) and some I use to keep finished projects. These can be decorative and left out by a chair or sofa or can be standard square that fits in a closet or on a shelf easily.

Another thing that gives your not-being-used yarn a happy and somewhatImage result for vintage suitcase retro home is to put those old suitcases to work. Vintage suitcases are a beautiful way to store these items that still look neat and classy. They fit in closets, under beds or sofas, but still show off a little glamor when pulled out for use. They can also be stacked decoratively in a corner or on a shelf (e.g. hat boxes, etc). You can line old suitcases with any fabric you like too, so the inside as well as the outside has a special sort of flare.

If you like assembling items, this next item is for you. Simple pegboard and hooks are a fabulous way to store your yarn while still keeping it readily accessible and easy to use. You can customize size, shape, even color quite easily and load as many or as few skeins onto a board as you see fit. You can also create many small boards to mount along the wall of your craft room in a funky design or pattern. The sky’s the limit with this option and it works best if you have a dedicated craft area or room.  For an easy-to-follow tutorial, check out Dwell Beautiful’s step-by-step instructions here.

Coffee cans are a fun, decorative way to store yarn you are currently using on projects. They come in various sizes and, depending on how much coffee you consume, you may have a restoring supply. You can paint or decoupage the outside of each can, simply slice a small hole in the lid of the can, then place the ball or skein in the can and thread the end through the lid. Glue guns, glitter, rhinestones, shelf lining paper and yarn itself are also fun ways to decorate the outsides of the cans. Not only does this give you storage, it is also an inexpensive yarn holder. But if you don’t want tons of coffee cans just sitting around your space, you can also mount them on the wall (without the lids).

Image result for coffee can yarn

And finally, we come to milk crates. These may be a little harder to come by but they give you a great way to create your own yarn shelves. They are stackable, come in different colors and can be used in small and large spaces equally as well. Got a lot of yarn? Just keep stacking on the crates until you have a place for it all. For this idea, I recommend using an anchor of sorts when stacking against a wall; the higher you stack the crates, the more likely it is that the whole thing could topple over. You will also want to lash the crates together as well to make your yarn storage sturdier.

Image result for milk crate yarn storage

These are just a few ways to take items you may have either laying around the house or are easy and inexpensive to acquire and use them to organize your space. But don’t stop there. Look around you. You never know when inspiration will strike. That random item that’s just collecting dust in the corner may be the next great organizational tool in your crafting adventures.

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DIY Spa Style Mother’s Day Gifts

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Gift giving can sometimes put a strain on a budget. Depending on the person and expectations one’s family has, it can cause load of extra stress and pressure. Well, if you have someone you’re celebrating this mother’s day that enjoys a bit of personal pampering, I’ve got some DIY suggestion to help you out in the remain crunch time days here.

From the lovely folks over a Lil’ Luna, here’s all the info you need to make a simple custom set of spy type items; namely bath salts, candles and a sugar scrub. All you need is a custom mix of relaxing music to go with it and you’ve got the perfect at home relaxation kit. 🙂 You will need several supplies to make all 3 items, so if you’re strapped for cash, it might be best to pick 1-2 items that would work best for the recipient. You’ll need a container for all the items, so I won’t list that as other then the candle needing to be glass, the type/style is really up to you. We’ll start with the easiest:

Bath Salts:

  • 1 Cup Epson Salts
  • 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
  • 3 Drops of Essential Oils
  • Zest of one citrus (optional) Citrus types include Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruits, etc.

Simply mix all the ingredients together and place them in your jar/container and seal it up. Doesn’t get easier then that. 🙂

Sugar Scrub:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Drops of Essential Oils

Heat up the coconut oil a bit in the microwave to get it nice and runny so everything will be easier to mix. Then, simply add all the ingredients together and pour in jar.

This last one is the hardest/most expensive so if you think it’s beyond your skill then buying a candle may be the better choice

Candle:

  • Soy Wax, enough to fill your container twice
  • Container
  • A Wick
  • Skewer
  • Essential Oils
  • Pan

First, wrap the top of the wick around skewer and set in container. Then, melt the wax in a double boiler, stirring constantly. When the temperature reaches 170 F remove from heat, addind about 8 drops of essential oils and wait til it drops to 150 F before pouring the wax into the jars. Leave for a few hours to set, and then snip off the top of wick, leaving about 1/2″ above the candle for lighting.

You can get fancy and add various colors using food grade dye for the body products or colored wax for the candles, or even mix and match essential oils to get a custom fragrance you know they’ll love. 😀


Happy Free Comic Book Day!

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Tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays (next to Halloween and April Fools Day), Free Comic Book Day!  Wait, what is this and why haven’t you participated?

So you participate in Free Comic Book Day and you read your comics, but now you want to do something cool and crafty with them.  I am here to help!  Here are some cool tutorials you can use for those Comic Books.

Comic Panel Alphabet

Comic Book Sneakers

Comic Book Canvas

Comic Book Clock

So get out there tomorrow and visit some Comic Book Stores!

-Toni



A Hoppy Occassion

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Happy Sunday and happy Easter to everyone that celebrates!

When I was a child, we spent much of Easter with family (and we have a rather large one) and that meant that us kids had to keep ourselves entertained. There was plenty of excitement over the goodies in our baskets but eventually that would wane and we’d find some other mischief to get into. Two of my aunts were very artsy-craftsy, so once that point hit, the kids craft supplies would make their way out! There are some great tutorials out there for some cute crafts for your own swarm of littles if need be and I’ve (of course) pulled a list of my favorites, starting with these adorable chicks made out of the egg cartons from all those yummy deviled eggs:

A super cheap cheap way to keep them busy!

Or maybe use some time to make salt dough eggs that the kiddos can paint/glitter/mark-up:

An egg-cellent chance to show their creativity.

If the younglings are a bit older and craft inclined, they could try their hands at these stinkin’ cute Shaun the Sheep figures:

Maybe while watching some Wallace and Gromit episodes!

And I do hope you wouldn’t think I could get through a DIY Easter list without bunnies, did you? Of course not! These sock bunnies are just the thing:

And…this could include some recycling.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and next week we’ll be at C2E2 here in Chicago! More adventures to come!

Stay crafty!

~Laura