Paint Chip Crafting

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This week I am in that mad rush to get so many things done and too little time to do it in.  Yes, that includes taking care of the holiday presents for the majority of my family (that is what this weekend’s project will end up being).  With that in mind, I began to think of ways how I can knock out a few more things on my list while I did a project for this week’s post.   And one thing that came to mind as I played with ideas as I looked online, was how my friend who offered some supplies she has stashed in her spare room.   And in the photos she sent, there were many color books from the paint supplier she and her husband used to work for.  Here are many projects you can use them for- holiday cards, ornaments, garland, holiday banners, and decorations.

So I snagged what I could at the local hardware store in order to get me started and when I babysit her daughter this weekend, I will have her help me make some cards for her parents before I take the rest home to add more checkmarks on my to do list.   For most of these projects I am suggesting you use these cards for, the supplies are very similar so I am going to create one list and you can work your magic from there.   These are also fun and easy projects for kids to help with and get created with.
Supplies:
Paint color chips in the same color families
Glue (glue sticks, double-sided tape, or stapler/staples depending on project and age group)
Hole punch
string/twine/yarn
Scissors
Optional supplies:
glitter/glitter glue
Sequins
Buttons
Markers
Stencils/Cookie cutters

For ornaments and holiday cards, you can free hand some shapes and use the color variations bring a new dimension to it.  I am not that hot at it so I tend to print out a stencil on cardstock paper to use or use a cookie cutter.  You can do whatever shapes you’d like on your tree.   I’d theme it with the colors you use on your tree.  For instance, if you are doing whites, blues, and silvers, then you’d pick paint chips in those color families.


If you are doing all trees and stars, then you’d do those shapes.  In my case, I actually made a few for my desk at work in the shapes of menorahs with the menorahs being orange, the candles being blue, and the flames yellow. If you are using the shapes to hang on the tree, then use the hole punch to punch a hole to string the ornament.  If you are making holiday cards, you can paste or tape them onto the cardstock.  The only variation for garland- you put it on one long string.  I thought the idea of a garland shaped like lights would be great for places that don’t have easy access for real lights to be plugged in or if you are trying to be more energy efficient for the holiday season.


The last part of the projects that would be holiday themed and paint chip cards are trees for centerpieces or accent pieces or even a wreath.   Now how can you do that?  You will need poster board or cardboard.   So if you child’s science project has passed it’s prime or you have some boxes not already being used for wrapping holiday presents, I’d recommend those.  If you have a gift box that is missing one half, this would be a good way to reuse it without tossing it to the recycling bin or throwing it out.   It won’t even matter if there’s a pattern or a store logo.
So if you are creating a standing tree, I’d make a cone shape.  You’ll likely just want to use primarily green paint chips for this but other colors will come in handy.   What you want to do is create little loops and layer them to create the body of a tree.   Here is where I add to the other colors.   You can make a tree topper out of yellows.   Another use for the hole punch especially if you have one that cuts shapes, you can hole punch different color paint cards to create the ornaments.  The wreath will mostly use greens but it you want holly berries, be sure to use some reds.  For this you will just cut a large donut shape and tape or glue loops of paint cards to resemble the greenery.  Then you can cut berries or use hole punch for whatever size you have the materials.


 

Have fun and just create!


DIY Holiday Decorations

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Keeping on with the Holiday theme, I have three small  projects that can give your decorations a personal touch.   This week, I am going to tell you how to make three different items that can be use anywhere but mostly on trees, garland, and wreaths during this season.  I like to surf the internet to get some ideas started and then I let my imagination fly while I stare into the area of my home with all of my craft supplies.  Then I hope I can make whatever crafts I have planned with as little as interference from my cats and bird as I can.   As you can imagine, that may be the most difficult part of crafting projects.

The first item I made this week was button garland for a tree.   It is so easy as long as you have the correct supplies.  First, you will need buttons.  This is a great way to temporarily or permanently reuse buttons that have fallen off clothes over the years and never sewn back on.  I collect mine because I rarely know which garment they go to until I put the garment on and realize I’m missing one.  However, if you don’t have enough around the home for the size project you are doing, I did find packages in my dollar store and then I found cheap larger packages at my fabric store.   In my case, I wanted to get certain colors as my tree is made out of bright green tinsel type material so certain colors would work because of clashing.  If you going with a certain color theme, this may require going to fabric stores that have more variety in colors and packaging.

Button Garland requires:

Lots of buttons
Thread or twine
Pair of scissors

One thing I am going to point out with this project- make sure your thread or twine is small enough to get through your button holes.   I had to get a bit creative for that.  Measure out the twine or thread ahead of time or use the spool to hold buttons on as you continue to thread the buttons. Then when you are ready, thread your buttons onto thread or twine until you have enough of the buttons to space how you’d like.  If you are using a pattern be sure to keep size or color of buttons piled in the order you are planning to thread them. Cut and tie it off with a knot large enough on both ends so buttons won’t slide off.  Then hang on the item you are decorating.

 The second craft for today is salt dough ornaments.   These are great to add personal and homemade touches for any celebration regardless if it is Christmas.   In my case, I wanted to create the best personal touch I could to my Chanukah and Christmas decorations for home and office.

 I, also, have thought about how I can make more for each of the holidays using fun shaped cutters. I stared at my Easter and kid’s toys themed cutters and got a bit excited about using them throughout the coming year to make decorations to hang.  One year, my parents left the tree up all year and decorated it for the year with the right colored lights and other random decorations.

 The Salt Dough Recipe

4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of table salt
1-½ cups hot water

Mix flour and salt until it is well mixed.  I would recommend putting them in the sifter and sift at the same time then mix around a few times.   Once you have it well mixed, slowly add the hot water and mix extremely well.  Then hand knead the dough and add flour or water until it works for you consistency wise.

Then flour a working station and rolling pin.  Tonight, I had to use a cutting board on top of my room temperature stove top because of space issues in my kitchen.  If you have a small kitchen that may work best. Once you have rolled your dough to ⅛ to ¼ inch thickness, go ahead and cut out the ornaments or decorations with cutters and/or knife.  I wanted to utilize the help of my “assistants” and standard biscuit shaped cutter in my home which is a measuring cup.   Keep in mind, you can use anything you have around as a guide for a shape.   What I did for the personal touch was a paw or foot/beak print of each of my animals.   My bird decided it wasn’t just his foot that was going to be imprinted.    Now, I’d preheat the oven to no warmer than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  You can do longer at a cooler temp but I recommend nothing lower than 250 degrees.

Once you have the shapes cut out, you can either use coloring to paint the cut outs then.  I didn’t do this first but rather cooked them first then will paint afterwards.  Be sure to add a hole big enough to add a piece of string or ribbon thread in it.  Once they are cooked which is about an hour (or longer if done at a lower temperature), you can also paint and varnish.   String them and hang once they have dried after the paint/varnish process.  However, I looked around and found that I can super glue a piece of ribbon to the back to be able to hang it.   Sometimes, you have to be creative about mishaps like this.


The last project for this week is animal themed ornaments.  In my example, I made a polar bear look but using a matte silver ornament bulb using white pom poms.  I have an issue with my hands today so I had to use more of the self- adhesive tape.  If you have another favorite animal, you can use your imagination.

 What you need for animal ornaments:
Solid color ornaments
Pom poms (of different sizes)
Super Glue and/or double-sided tape (if you are working with less time or small hands, use pre-cut squares of double-sided tape)
Self adhesive eyes

 
I was hoping to find white bulbs in three sizes so I can make snowmen with just using self sticking felt sheets cut out for the hat, buttons and carrot.  I know I have the least well rounded dollar stores where I live currently.  I used to live in an area with three chains of dollar stores and were well stocked with everything.   However, all the items as I made them were available at the local dollar store.  I even found super glue there if I needed it. Just glue pom poms in a way that takes shape of the animal then apply other details.  Just be sure to put it so it hangs from behind the animal’s head.

 
Now, as a friendly reminder, reuse or use leftover supplies around the home.  In my case I used scrap pieces of paper to make the face and some old bulbs until I saw that glitter bulbs will not work with double sided tape as I tried.  Another mishap I had was I thought I put a bag of eyes in my basket.  Apparently I saw them, and didn’t pick one up.  That is why I used scrap paper. You may see those silly posts about Pinterest failures.   I take what some would deem failures and get a bit creative to work around it.  If you really can’t salvage it, don’t get down and just try again. Don’t get discouraged and remember these projects are supposed to be fun!


Drinking your way through the Holidays

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Happy Monday, friendly crafty folks!

Whether you live in the frigid Midwest or the sunny LA coast, the Christmas season is one of the best seasons for tasty (and sometimes alcoholic!) beverages! From classic eggnog to German gluhwein worthy of Christkindlmarket, there are tons of options to imbibe throughout your December. Here are a few recipes I have either always wanted to try and make on my own (gluhwein) or are some of my holiday favorites.

Classic Gluhwein Recipe

Ingredients:

1 bottle of robust red wine

1 cup water

1 lemon peel

3 cinnamon sticks

10 cloves

Juice of 2 oranges

1 star anise

Dash of allspice

Directions: Combine all your ingredients in a large pot on the stove top. You can also do this in a crock pot on low/med heat (depending on your crock pot’s cooking temps). Heat all ingredients without boiling. Once warmed, simply strain and serve. If you’re feeling extra festive, you can add a dash of rum!

 

Homemade Healthy Eggnog (serves 4)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups almond milk

1/3 cup raw organic honey

3 egg whites

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger and/or cloves (optional)

Directions: Blend together all ingredients. Pour into a large pot and simmer (without boiling!) for 15 minutes. Serve in mugs with a cinnamon garnish.

Peppermint Cocoa

Ingredients:

Your hot cocoa of choice

Peppermint schnapps

Directions: This one’s super easy. Make your favorite hot cocoa. Add peppermint schnapps (to taste). Enjoy!

 

I hope that these yummy drink recipes keep you warm and happy throughout this holiday and winter season!

~Scribe Sarah~


Delicious Gifting

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week we started a journey into DIY edible gifts and this week I am continuing it. These ideas involve quite a bit of one of my favorite things: SCIENCE. I love the fact that baking/cooking is essentially chemistry in the guise of a fine art. You take all of these seemingly unrelated ingredients, add them together in the correct proportion, do something to change their composition (chopping/mixing/heating/cooling), and then add your own flourish to make it look good. It’s simply amazing to me and always has been. I assure you that none of these are very complicated and most do not involve any specialty items. First up is a tasty, tangy, citrus based treat that is fantastic when also dipped in chocolate: candied citrus peel.

Without the chocolate dip, they are simply like your favorite citrus gummies.

It’s as simple as boiling the peel to remove the bitterness from the pith and then simmering in a simple syrup to get these beautiful and tasty treats. Packaged in cutely decorated canning jars or even in holiday themed cellophane would make a great little stocking stuffer. Next up, let’s continue in the fruit flavored realm and whip up some homemade curd!

Though the tutorial specifies limes, this can be made in practically any flavor.

If you’ve never had some sort of fruit curd (most often sold as lemon or lime), I would highly recommend buying or making some. This delicious tart/sweet fruit butter-like confection is perfect on toast or as a component in other cookies and cakes. Once again, the simple ingredients are cooked together to get a silky smooth topping. Packaging it to look festive in cute little jars to go with our peel? Brilliant. Ok, so now that we’ve seen something akin to a fruit butter, how about a walk on the wild side? My father loves hot peppers and one year he decided to use some leftover jalapeños from the garden to make hot pepper jelly. Yes, you read that right, HOT PEPPER JELLY.

Spicy and satisfying.

What, you may ask, can hot pepper jelly be used for? Any number of things, foremost for us, though was spreading a thin layer of cream cheese in a shallow dish and slathering pepper jelly over it just to scoop it up on crackers. Soooooooooooo good! It’s already so festively colored, too. You can always dial up the color with a couple drops of food coloring for effect, too. The one ingredient you may need to seek out is pectin but most grocery stores carry it in the baking aisle. Alright, moving on to some of the sweeter side items, with that cocoa mix we put together in last week’s list how about some homemade marshmallows?

Light, fluffy, and oh so yummy!

These amazing little lumps of chewy flavor are just so neat to me. I never knew how easy it could be to make them from scratch in any flavor you want. It just takes  some gelatin and corn syrup to start the process (with a lot of powdered sugar added in, of course). It think some more of those cello bags or even in stacking jars with that cocoa mix would be perfect. Finally, last but certainly not least, is my current homemade obsession: caramel. In this case, creamy, chewy fleur de sel caramels:

Just so we are clear, the fleur de sel is really just a specialty salt.

I’ve been making lots of whiskey flavored caramel sauce to put in and on things and these little beauties feel like the next big step. Burning sugar is the height of coolness for me in terms of kitchen science. They are gorgeous and would be so cute just packaged in little twists of waxed paper, then strewn over the bottom of a big gift basket containing our other homemade goodies. I don’t know about you but I’m going to have to “test” a little bit of everything before it goes to it’s eventual owners just to make sure it’s good.

Well now that I’ve gone and made us all hungry, it’s time to say farewell until next week when we will start our annual romp through some holiday decorating ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Scraps Into Finished Product

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It is that time of year where we get ready for the holidays.   Today, I have two simple things I use scrapbook paper scraps for.   You may not have all the time you want to finish a huge scrapbook page.  That’s okay for today because this gives you a few other uses for that scrapbook paper you have lying around or collecting dust in some closet.  Or let’s say you are one of those people that wrap presents as you buy them and have scraps or the end of the wrapping paper roll with very little left and you don’t think there’s even enough to wrap one last present.   I have some use for that as well.  Holiday cards!

I am one of those people that ends up celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas.   That is why I find things that I can do for both holidays this time of year.   For my first craft, it could be used for any holiday and any time of year.   Cards are a fantastic way to use any scraps of paper, stickers, wrapping paper, ribbon, etc.

I’m sure you will get an idea with the pictures and let your creativity flow.

For cards, you will need the following:

  • Card stock (I usually get the cheap packages at a craft store when they’re on sale)
  • Glue (sticks or scrapbooking style) or double sided tap
  • Pens (I live the gold and silver for the holiday cards)
  • Scrapbook paper (scraps if you have them)
  • Wrapping paper (scraps if you have some)
  • Ribbon (themed or complementary to cards’ design)

Now onto what to do, it is really simple- create a card.   There are a few samples of what I use and a sample finished product.  As you can see, my cats like to get involved.  My parrot will too enjoy trying to snag paper out of my hand or off the table.   I just use it as an excuse to list them in the handwritten holiday greeting.  I also have quite a few friends that also celebrate Hanukkah so I do cards for them as well using blues and silver tones.

For the second craft I have for this week, the holiday colored paper will work well for most of it.   You may just want to snag a few scraps of different shades of orange.  I did this project for the holidays for the gym I used to work at.   I had the fortunate position to play or watch kids while the parents worked out.   We had a huge space to decorate that worked well with idea.    If you don’t have a real fireplace or want to do something for a decorating contest, this is always an intriguing way to get people to look a few times.   I make a fireplace out of scrapbook paper.  I made most of what was necessary while home on bed rest for a week due to medical reasons.  When I suggested that we do the same in my office this year so we can do decorating contests and decorating stockings, the whole office got excited about the concept.

What you will need:

  • A space that works (at office, home, etc.)
  • Scrapbook/construction paper that works for the colors of brick, mortar, logs, fire, and stockings
  • Glue or double sided tape
  • Cotton balls
  • Markers

Directions
Take measurements for the space you’d like to use.  I then make sure I have enough of the paper to use as a background/mortar.  I use that background color to tape or glue the pieces of “brick”.  It makes it easier to prep ahead of time and then when it comes to “installing” the fireplace.  Then cut out bricks.  This works well if you get those random scrap paper packs that have odd sizes too.   One time, I got one that had a lot of red and brown pieces in random sizes that made it difficult to use them.  In this case, I found yet another awesome way to use them.   I create different colors to make it pop out some and look somewhat realistic too.   You can make them any size or pattern you’d like or how supplies permit.

I began with creating the actual fireplace section.   Then I cut out and tape to the black fireplace section the logs and fire. I recommend this first just to make sure you are centered a lot easier before you install the bricks.   Then you can start taping or gluing the bricks to the background/mortar.    If you want you can even create a mantle above the fireplace.  This time, I didn’t do that.   Once you have that all done, you can install on the wall, cubicles, or even a door.   It will likely take some help with installation if you don’t have a small one.

If you aren’t using real stockings, you will want to cut out stockings.  I had some glitter ones for making holiday cards so I used one to use for tracing out some for the fireplace to have my co-workers to decorate for a contest.   Whatever works for you go for it.   When I worked at the gym, I used the glitter ones to give it an added flare for the kids to enjoy.   Cotton balls work well for the white fuzzy part of a stocking.  Once you have for the stockings, hang them on your fireplace.

-Heather


Winter Warmer Gifts

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Happy Sunday, all!

I know I promised a bit more on the host/hostess gift front but found myself under the weather last week so it shall happen today. This is all rather timely since one of the best cures I know for a nasty sore throat is the first item on the gift list: homemade syrups, specifically ginger syrup. Ginger is a fantastic natural throat and stomach soother. When turned into a syrup, it can be added to soda water for ginger ale or tea for those singers/cold sufferers or even into your morning bowl of oatmeal. This lovely tutorial from The Herbal Academy has a great recipe as well as more info on the health benefits of using ginger syrup.

Spicy and effective.

Bottling it up and giving as a gift with instructions seems like a great start to a homemade holiday season. Now what if you’d like to branch out from just ginger? Well then this syrup recipe tutorial from How Sweet Eats is just the thing.

Let’s be honest here, that last one is too pretty NOT to make.

Between vanilla bean, blackberry, brown sugar cinnamon, and almond flavoring syrups I’d be well set with my morning drink additions because coffee isn’t the only thing you could add it to. Again, add some pretty packaging and you have a set of syrups tailored to your host’s tastes. What about something geared toward the baker or even a way to make that last tutorial even more from scratch by making your own vanilla extract? I’ve always wanted to do this and Akshayapaatram has not just a recipe for vanilla but citrus ones as well.

There also seems to be ideas for making your own version of lemon or raspberry liqueur as well.

Using some of that vanilla extract to make the vanilla syrup? Brilliant. Add a little carrier, some instructions for refreshing the liquor base every once in a while and another great gift ready to go. Finally, how about something to add our syrups to? As I am lactose intolerant, I often have to search out non-dairy cocoa mixes around this time. Lo and behold, they make soy milk powder! Who knew? Therefore, this year we can turn that into a delicious gift by making hot chocolate mixes in different variations from this tutorial by My Darling Vegan.

Definitely find out if your giftee has any kind of soy sensitivity, too, of course.

If your host/hostess has no known allergies, feel free to use regular powdered milk instead. You could definitely package up some of the cocoa with some of the flavored syrups for a grand tasty gift basket. Next week, lets take a look at some cooked and baked gift ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Creative Thanksgiving Centerpieces

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Greetings!

First, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and what I love.   My name is Heather.  I live in Maryland and love anything related to crafts and baking.    A few years back, I wanted to do cards for Hanukkah and Christmas for family and friends.  I could have taken the easy way out since I was on bed rest for medical reasons.  However, I did it the long or harder way as it gave me something to do.  I made them on my own.   That was where my renewed enthusiasm began for arts and crafts began.  Over the last few years, I began to bake for my gifts and celebrations as well as doing more and more crafts.   It was so bad that I began to make decorations for the kids area of the gym I used to work at to give into the need to do more with the kids.

A lot of my arts and crafts I want to introduce everyone to, at least in the beginning, will have to do with recycling things you already have.   What would you do if you had leftover crayon pieces? What would you do with a jar?   By using your imagination and some materials that may seem useless now, can turn out to be fun little things for a special place in the home or just for the holiday dinner.   There are endless possibilities.   I will do one each week, but they are meant just to help you get the juices flowing and look around to see how to throw away less and reuse more.

Another I like to do is find things that don’t take tons of fine motor skills.   For one, this allows kids to participate.  Secondly, I sometimes have issues with my fine motor skills due to a medical condition and when it flares the fine motor skills do too.   My goal is to still find things that can be done on my worst days because that also means anyone just about can do these projects.   So without further ado, here is my first craft here…

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought something to celebrate fall and the holiday would be a bit of fun.   I know some people are already working there way up for the winter season but I find it is nice to slow down and enjoy this season as much as possible.   Then again, I love pumpkin and the changing of the leaves.  In keeping with the idea of recycling materials, I got my thinking cap on and thought of two ways we can recycle materials and make a centerpiece for the Thanksgiving meal.

What you will need:

Mason jars or glass vases (I’d recommend clear glass for visibility but use what you have)

Bean and corn kernels (dried)

Battery operated tea light candles

Raffia ribbon/Twine (or any fall or natural looking ribbon you have on hand)

Cinnamon sticks (optional

Whole Nutmeg (optional)

Keep in mind that you can play with materials and if you see something around the house that works, use it!  This is an easy project and brings that original Thanksgiving to mind in a subtle way.  You can do as many as you feel will work for your table.   In my family we have a few regular sized tables we use for dinner just because of space.   When I was younger, we would fill a basement with long folding tables and create a space for over 20 people to sit at once.  If you have multiple tables or a large long table, you may want to consider making a couple of groupings of vases to fill the space.

Grab your ribbon and vase/jar. Wrap it with your ribbon or raffia. You can do simple bows or layer multiple materials.  Do what you’d like.  Stretch your creativity but don’t stress about it.  I’m sure you already are worried about food, space, and everything else on the holiday.   This isn’t a stressful thing.  I find it relaxes me.  When all of the wrapping of ribbon is done, be sure to secure it with either hot glue, clear sticky dots, or a simple bow.

Once you finished wrapping how you’d like, you will fill the bottom of your vase/jar with your beans and/or corn kernels.  I’d recommend about a half inch but not too much either so don’t fill it to the top.

Now this is why I recommend the creativity and the cinnamon and nutmeg.   You may have already all the food preparation on.   However, I like to add a bit of flare with my spices.   I shave some of the cinnamon and nutmeg on the kernels to give them some scent.   It isn’t overpowering and won’t last more than a few days, but it does give a nice added scent for the weekend.   I will also tie some of the cinnamon stick is the raffia or twine I used for the vase.  Again, another added natural touch.

  

When it is close to the time everyone sits down, you can turn on the tea lights.  You may try real candles with this.  I’ve never done it and not sure how stable the heat from the candle will be when you have real candles sitting on top of the beans and corn.   Be careful if you try it.

Now, go and enjoy the holiday and the festivities!


Galaxy Teas

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers.

I have a small business to introduce you to. If you love tea, and I know many of you will, then this is an interesting business for you! I work a couple conventions with this gentleman, and he is the first person I have met who can make you your own custom tea blend. May I introduce the very steampunk Galaxy Teas.

Galaxy Teas sells loose leaf tea off the rack at conventions – with super cool names and flavours – and does offer to make a custom flavour for you if you’re looking for a special blend.

Whether you’re looking for a unique flavour blend for a gift for a friend, or whether you’re looking for favours for a wedding or a shower, these teas are beautifully packaged in metallic, colourful little packages with awesome labels for the awesome tea names. We have flavours like Robyn Hood’s Black Forrest and Emma Frost Vanilla Chai.  There might seem to be limited flavours available online, but don’t let that deter you. Send a message to Galaxy teas, as they have many more available that you can buy at conventions or request via email.

You can keep up to date on the shows that Galaxy Teas will be at by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


Halloween Celebration!

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Happy Halloween everyone! I know it’s on a boring old Tuesday this year, but make sure to have some fun with it in a small way. Be it taking kids trick or treating, enjoying a scary movie, or ya know, decorating your house elaborately for the Holiday.

No, it’s not that other guy, this is a light display done by Tracy, a California music school teacher set to one of the best Halloween songs ever: “This is Halloween”. A fun watch though, I think I’d go crazy if I lived near anyone that does these big light displays. Definitely invest in some black out curtains at the every least, lol.


Fall & Halloween-Themed Knits

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Happy Eve of All Hallow’s Eve, Hackers!

With this being my favorite season and tomorrow being my favorite holiday of the year, I decided to focus on some cute, themed knitting patterns for today’s post. (I am focusing my post on knit patterns since we have some other, more experienced posters to focus on crochet patterns.)

I may not have human children of my own (and my cat, Helo, isn’t thrilled about wearing things I knit for him) but I just love some of the adorable ideas that people come up with for babies and toddlers. For example, this pattern for a little fox hat and baby mitts is not only one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, it also is a fairly easy pattern. Both beginners and experts would have little to no difficulty following this pattern and this would be a fantastic shower gift for a baby due in the fall. You will need to have knowledge of your basic knit and purl stitches but you shouldn’t need to go in to the detail of increasing/decreasing stitches. The pattern is currently marked down in price but even at it’s regular price, it is pretty affordable.

This next pattern does have at least a little crocheting, however, you can adapt it with a knitted strand instead. This too-cute pumpkin hat for babies is simple and wouldn’t require a ton of your time. And with a little change here and there, you can make it for toddlers or even adults as well.

One of the things I am most obsessed with in the fall is that it’s the perfect time of year to wear shrugs and ponchos. And for those of you who are big-time Outlander fans, this pattern from Ravelry for a Claire-inspired shrug will give you that Sassenach look with little effort and time. Find the free pattern here. (This may be the next thing on my “to knit” list since I think it’s simple and elegant and because my office building is usually set to sub-arctic temperatures.) Depending on the type of yarn you choose and the pattern, shrugs and ponchos can be worn year-round as well.

Because the fall weather can be crisp, I wanted to share one more pattern to help keep you warm from head to toe: leg warmers. While this may bring some of you flashbacks to the days of Flashdance, these simple items are a great way to keep toasty in the brisk weather, whether going out on a blustery day or just bumming around you home with a mug of tea or cocoa. A lovely pattern for chunky yarn leg warmers can be found here.

The best part of fall is the crisp, clean weather, in my opinion. Knitting and crocheting provide stylish ways to keep warm and it’s a great skill to have and hone. And as usual with my posts, these items all make for great gift ideas too!

Keep warm, Hackers! And stay stylin’.

~Scribe Sarah~

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