Sunday, November 15, 2020

Autumn Dragon Wing Shawl

 I have been trying to stash-bust during the pandemic, and in going through my yarn I came across 2 skeins of Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Polo. It's incredibly soft, and includes beautiful autumnal shades of orange, burgundy, and olive.  I decided to revisit the Dragon Wing pattern I made a few years ago, and submit it for the Cozy Autumn Challenge I'm running on Lettuce Craft.

I ended up buying one more skein to finish the project, but managed to use up nearly every inch.  I had just about 3' of yarn leftover, after doing 2 rounds of single crochet for the border.




Sunday, November 1, 2020

Illuminated Broom Machine Embroideries

 When I saw this pattern from Urban Threads I knew I had to stitch it, but had no idea for whom.  A week or so later a few friends and I decided in the spirit of the season, to hold our own mini Witchy Swap between us. After digging around online to make sure suitable hoops to display the work existed, I downloaded it and set to work.  I gave the recipients the choice of a finished hoop, or an unfinished piece of fabric, that they could work into a project of their own.  Two chose hoops, and one chose unfinished.

A lightly Hufflepuff inspired version, with a bright yellow swirl, and silver broom.

A subtle Gryffindor inspired rendition, with a deep red swirl and golden brown broom.

And one in the suggested colors of metallic gold swirl and white broom.  The recipient requested hers as a flat piece of embroidery, rather than a hoop, so she could incorporate it into another project in the future.

Witchy Candles

A few friends and I decided to do a witchy craft swap just among ourselves as a bit of fun during the pandemic.  As soon as the idea was put out there, I knew I wanted to make a batch of candles in various witchy themes.  Of course, I could only order wax in 1 lb, 10 lbs, or 50 lbs amounts.  Since I wanted to make more than 2-3 candles, I ordered 10 lbs.  The wax itself is GW 444 soy wax flakes from The Flaming Candle Company, and all of the fragrances came from there as well.  


The purple are Witches Brew fragrance oil (cinnamon, patchouli, vetiver, amber, balsam & cedarwood), embedded with amethyst stones, rose quartz stones, quartz crystals points, and rose petals.  Some were made in purple pint Ball jars, a recycled candle jar, and one in a yogurt jar.

The green are Good Witches Garden, scented with basil, sage & mint, and containing lavender buds, rose petals, and calendula petals. I used up more Oui yogurt jars and another jar from a previous candle.

The grey are Cauldron Fire, scented with campfire fragrance oil, and embedded with lavender, quartz crystal points, and rose quartz.

The creamy yellow ones are Nightshade, scented with tomato leaf, and embedded with quartz crystal points, carnelian stones, sprinkled with calendula, rose petals, and dried lemon peel. 


After all that, I had about 2 lbs of wax left, and the vendor had sent me a sample of White Tea & Ginger fragrance oil, so I decided to use the last of it up on one giant candle.  Many went to my swap friends, and the rest are in my stash for Christmas gifts.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Crocheted Granny Circle Harry Potter Ornaments

 I have had this idea in mind for a few years now.  I saw the pattern in the book Boho Crochet, and they just seemed like something Molly Weasley would make out of her leftover scraps of yarn.  So this year I finally hooked some up, but instead of the scrappy multi-color motif of the books, I went with Hogwarts House colors.  They were all crocheted from acrylic yarn in my stash; mostly Caron Simply Soft, and some Lion Brand Heartland (the gold & silver).  If you don't have the book, here is a free pattern for the same design.

Gryffindor

Hufflepuff
Slytherin

Ravenclaw
A side view, of the stitching.
Hogwarts United
On one side the center is red, on the other side the center is blue.




I'm so pleased with how they came out!

Machine Embroidered Patches

I've been experimenting with my new-to-me embroidery machine.  Mostly thanks to PrincessP over on Lettuce Craft, who created an awesome digital file for a Lettuce Craft patch.  I started out with the tutorial from Urban Threads, and one of their designs for Crafty Merit Badges, specifically their Runs With Scissors patch.  I used tear away stabilizer under the felt, then finished them on water soluble stabilizer, so they are completely freestanding.

After a little practice, I even managed to give them backing layers of felt, so you don't see the embroidery.  

Once I had a feel for patch making, I felt confident enough to try the LC patch.  Since I only had dark felt when I started, I tried a few of what I'm calling my "Dark Mode" patches.

After I was able to pick up some more light felt, I did a few in white, as she designed them.

Then finally I tried out the world's most adorable patch pattern, for a potion bottle.  It might be the cutest thing I've made so far on my embroidery machine.

After finishing making some more patches, I tried my hand at coasters.  This blue moon coaster is for my bedside table, to compliment the moon & constellation artwork in there.



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hygge Throw

My very lovely friend PerfectlyBohemian on Lettuce Craft, sent me 10 skeins of beautiful Sugar Bush Canoe yarn in this pretty lilac purple color.   She had rescued the yarn from a tent sale, but didn't know what to make with it, so sent it to me.  10 skeins was a lot, more than I needed to make a sweater or hat, but not quite enough to make an afghan.  After doing some digging around online I found an awesome throw pattern for free, called the [Hygge Holiday Throw](https://makeanddocrew.com/hygge-free-beginner-crochet-blanket-pattern/) that was just about perfect for the amount of purple I had.  I found few more balls in a contrasting mulberry color on Zulily, and set to work.

It's about 36" wide with the added border, and about 50" long.  (I'm guessing.  My dining table that it's laying on is 3'x5'). 

When I got to the end of the pattern, it called for a single border of mulberry, but I had 1.5 skeins of purple, and 1.75 of mulberry left, so I decided to add to the border in an effort to use up as much of the yarn as possible.  After the initial border, I did a second round of single crochet in mulberry, then a round of double crochet in purple, and finally 2 more rows of single crochet in mulberry.  I had *just* enough mulberry for the tassels, but not the ties on the tassels, so I did those with some of the leftover purple for contrast, and love how they look.



Kahlua Brownies

I've been on a crusade to clean out my pantry and use up things that have lingered there for a while.  One of those lingering items was part of a bottle of Kahlua that I bought for a recipe, and never finished.  Since neither my husband nor I have been drinking alcohol lately, it was just going to keep sitting there.  So I decided to bake brownies with it.  Go pull out the bottle of Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur) in the back of your cupboard and make these.  Trust me. The added instant coffee ups the depth of dark chocolate flavor, and helps the Kahlua shine through.  



Kahlua Brownies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp (or 2 packets) instant coffee granules (regular or decaf)
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 or 9×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.

Beat together the brown sugar and softened butter. Next, add the eggs one at a time fully incorporating before adding the next egg. Add in the instant coffee granules, and the Kahlua and mix to combine. 

Mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips.  Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes till done.