Monthly Archives: June 2010

Handmade-chunky-bead-teething-necklace-part-2

In my previous post, LINK, I shared my mis-adventure when I sliced the top of my knuckle off with the edge of the belt sander. Ouch.

So, that posting was more of a ‘how NOT to’ than a ‘how to’…..

Luckily, my finger is growing back 🙂 and I have finished the chunky 3 bead necklace….

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I left the beads to soak in a bowl of vegetable oil for a few days. Because grandbaby is going to be chewing them, I don’t want to use anything that could be dangerous to him on the beads.

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And, that is why I am using organic cotton to spool knit the cords that hold the beads together.  (Lion Brand Organic cotton).

I spool knitted 2 short cords and stitched them into the spaces between 2 of the beads, and one long one for the neck cord.

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NOTE: The neck cord NEVER goes around the baby’s neck!!!

It goes around the neck of his grown ups, or is looped through the tie of the sling , so he can retrieve it when he drops it.

He only has access to it when he is being held and supervised, and not when he’s sitting in the car seat.

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The big holes are great for chubby little fingers to hold onto…..

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And those big beads are just so satisfying for a little guy to gum away on! (Well… to bite with his TWO new teeth!!!)

He absolutely loves the necklaces, and so do we.

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Handmade chunky bead teething necklace part 1

Our gorgeous grandbaby is teething and is chomping everything in sight as he tries to ease the pain of those pesky teeth pushing on his gums.

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My daughter asked me to make her a necklace with large wooden beads so our wee fella could play with it and use it for teething.

I made her one necklace that was a great success: Minoan Goddess of the Bees necklace

So, I decided to make her another one- this time with several big chunky beads to keep him interested.

I cut a length of my favorite wood: Arbutus (also known as Madrona) that my sister in law had trimmed from a tree in her yard. (She saves me all their arbutus twigs and branches, bless her heart!)

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Then, I split my mini log into 2 sections on the bandsaw, and did some preliminary shaping with the saw.

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Over to the drillpress to drill holes for the beads.

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And, back to the bandsaw for more shaping…..

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Then, over to the belt sander for more shaping…..

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and then to the bathroom to staunch the flow of blood, when I sanded the first knuckle off, and  sliced the top off  the second one.

Well… that was a surprise!  I have never done that before!  And not something I would like to repeat!  erg….

it’s been 3 weeks, and my knuckle is finally healing… wowsa that hurt!

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Upcycled tunic new life for old clothes

Last summer, I bought a really frumpy skirt and a too small dress at the thrift shop.

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Why on earth would anyone in their right mind do that?

Because I intended to ‘harvest’ the fabric

from both the garments and

upcycle them into something new and oh so much fun for myself.

The skirt was long enough,

and full enough

to be able to provide the body for this fun tunic.

And, the skimpy dress provided the pockets,

lower bands, and upper neck band-

and I just love it!

I wear it with leggings, and a t shirt

underneath, because my days of wearing

shortish dresses with bare legs are long gone.

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As I was taking the pic of the tunic,

I remembered another upcycling

project that I did recently:

I took a favorite old dress and cut it up

and turned it into a fun and floatie

overshirt…..

it just hit me that they would work well together!!!

Hurrah!

So, think twice before you toss old clothes,

and don’t let the frumpiness or too smallish-ness

of a garment put you off…

cut them up and re-configure them into something

that you will enjoy!

Hurrah for re-purposing, reclaiming, recycling, re-fashioning, re-using, re-creating, restoring, renewing and upcycling!

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My mother’s pincushion

My mother has unwillingly had to let go of her lifelong passion for needlework.

Because of health challenges, she is not able to handle independent living anymore. Reluctantly, she has moved out of her condo and into a different living situation where she gets the support and assistance that she now needs.

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Most of her possessions are now being lovingly shared out among her kids and grandkids and nieces and other kith and kin.

There were a couple of things that I really really wanted to have…..

She was a spectacularly gifted embroiderer, and so I really wanted to have some of her threads.

The other thing that I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelly wanted was a pincushion doll that I had given her when I was a child.

When I was a little girl, I saw the most beautiful thing I could have ever imagined…. it was a pincushion of an Elizabethan Lady….

I would go into the shop, and visit the Lady, and stroke the velvet skirt, and be filled with longing.

I decided that I HAD to buy it for my mother to show her how much I loved her.

So, I asked the lady in the store if I could pay for the Lady in stages, and she agreed to that. I don’t know if she had ever had a child make such a request, but she was so kind about it!

Every week, for weeks, and weeks, I would take my allowance in, and give it to the shopkeeper. She would then bring ‘The Lady’ out, and I would cradle her in my hands… and then sigh, and hand her back….

Eventually… the little bits of allowance added up and up, and – ‘The Lady’ was mine!!!

She was swathed in tissue, and placed carefully in a box, and I secreted her away until Mother’s Day.

I don’t know if my mother knew how much effort went into buying her ‘The Lady’, but I think she felt the love and excitement that I had in presenting her with my treasure.

And now, ‘The Lady’ has come home to me…. and some day, she will be gifted to my daughter…. with love…. always with love….

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Video tutorial on how to make tarn or t shirt yarn

I absolutely love working with tarn, which is yarn made by cutting t shirts into a continuous length of  fabric strips. You then use the fabric strips as stretchie, wonderful yarn.

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Tarn is a terrific way to upcycle, recycle, re-fashion, re-purpose, re-use and reclaim old t shirts that are no longer wearable. Perhaps they are stained or have little holes in them, or the neck has gone all wonky, or they have a logo on them that you just don’t want to wear anymore.

In that case, turning the t shirt into tarn is a fabulous option.

I showed how to make a ‘buttonhole join’ in tarn here:

How to do the buttonhole join link

and in this video, I showed how to weave it on the potholder loom:

Potholder loom weaving with tarn

Normally, I use a swift to hold the t shirt when I cut my tarn. I decided that that wouldn’t be the best choice for making a video, as most people don’t have swifts, so I used a little stepladder to stretch the t shirt.

It’s kind of clunky, so you have to forgive me for the fumbly bits.

Here’s the video on how to cut tarn: LINK

 

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