I'll be back.

Hello old and new friends. My blog has been inactive but I am still around. I loom-knit (and weave now, too!) but I seem to take more photos of my toddler than my crafts these days. She has that cute factor going for her. Because of this, I have started a tumblr called Tiny Taughts of our home lessons, crafts and projects. Please visit me there and I promise to come back here soon!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Graphic designin' and knittin' for "Little People"

I've been bookin' it on a very special design project.

Loom Knitting for Little People cover

Author (and loom-knit designer extraordinaire) Bethany Dailey has dedicated loads of time and passion to make her self-published debut. More than 30 fun patterns for kids of all ages fill the pages. With adorable photos by Christina Flores and Bethany's playful prose — designing this book can hardly be considered work. And Jenny Stark also has been a proof-reading grammar goddess ...

Just today she enlightened me that the rule for commas in a series is different for Standard English (her method) than for AP style (my method). I've been trying to do it her way for fun throughout the day — but it's so hard! I am giddy, conflicted, and itching to take out that comma before "and"! ;-)

OK, back to the book! After "working" on it for a few weeks, I could no longer resist trying out one of the projects. I chose the simple, chic So Cool Cap in the 6-month-old size. What a coincidence that our own lil' one-to-come should be just the right age to wear it later in the winter!

So Cool Cap

Knitting the hat was a breeze and could be done in a day. I thought I had knit the bill wrong (twice!) when it came off the loom. But after following the clever instructions to sew it on, it all made sense and it looks perfect!

So Cool Cap

The pattern details a crocheted circle for the top — or to go with your own flavor of embellishment like a pom pom or button. I went back to the loom. Using the 8-peg side of the pink Knifty Knitter spool, I used a gathered cast-on on all pegs. I knit about 8 rows and then did a basic bind-off. Then I cinched my cast-on to close up the top, using the extra yarn to fill the bubble before seaming. I'm sure crochet is probably faster so if you know it, use it!

The cap was complete and my hat forms were just not worthy. So my friend, Erin, allowed me to borrow her almost 6-month daughter, Kaitlyn, for a photo shoot. This gave me a new respect for Christina's photo skills. I had a hard time focusing on the bubbly, roll-y little girl! But the both the hat and happy model turned out adorable!



For your own chance to make this cap and more, check out Bethany's Kickstarter endeavor for pre-orders. If you pledge now, then she will know she has enough to fund the book's release. Watch the video to learn more about her and how the book is also going to help children in need. Bethany has two crafty hands and a heart of gold!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stampin' up coasters

I took my stamps to stone — instead of paper — for a recent craft project. Here is how I made some gift coasters for our immediate family. 

Hand-stamped coasters

These stone tiles went from dishwasher to my craft room to the stove (where they stunk up our kitchen a lil bit.) I went through some trial-and-error with the project but my process in the end worked for me. Your experience might vary but nonetheless I will share what I did.

Handmade coasters

Supplies:
StazOn solvent ink pad
4" x 4" Tumbled marble tiles with a smooth surface (but not glossy!)
Rubber stamp
3/8" light duty felt pads
Optional: Spray sealer

StazOn ink pads are a few bucks more expensive but they are worth it ($7-$8 at Michaels). For my first trial (below), I used a simple pigment-based rubberstamp ink. But even after sealing it, the ink smears or rubs off when the coaster is wet. StazOn says it works on more surfaces right on the box.

Handmade coasters
Coaster fail!

I found 9-packs of 4x4 marble tiles at Home Depot for about $8. Try to pick a type with a smooth surface. My white ones were almost perfect. But I won't be able to use half of the slate ones because the surface was too chipped. And those glossy glazed ones won't absorb the ink.

Steps:

1. WASH — Your coasters will be dusty so toss them in the dishwasher or sink for a good scrub down. If you handle them quite a bit after washing, wipe them with alcohol as well to remove oils. Allow them to dry for a few hours.

2. STAMP — Pick out your desired rubberstamp, sink it into some ink and press down with a gentle pressure (just enough to make contact with the stone). The StazOn ink bled a bit into the stone after setting. If you press down too hard, it will be a blurry mess.

3. BAKE — Heat your oven to 250 degrees and set them inside for about 20 minutes. It might get a little smelly but it's nothing a fan won't air out. Remove and let them cool.

4. SEAL(Optional) For that first trial, I sprayed a Krylon sealer onto the coaster to keep the ink from blurring. But as you can see above, it didn't work very well. I don't know if that's the fault of the pigment ink or sealer. But I realized if you seal the stone, it could lose its absorbant properties. That doesn't make for a very useful coaster when you have a sweaty glass. So with my final batch, I did not seal them. My second coaster did not bleed in the few days I tested it.

5. PAD — Place the furry little dots onto the bottoms so they sit nice on your table.

Hand-stamped coasters

This was a rather inexpensive craft project that I believe anyone can do. You could even borrow stamps from a friend to save a few more bucks. Personalized gifts are the best kinds. ;-) So stamp away!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beaded Scarf on the loom

If you're looking for something new to do with your looms, try knitting with beads! Beading guru Deanna K. Van Assche designed this flippy fun scarf for Interlacements Yarns. With her permission, I have translated it to the knitting loom.

Beaded Scarf translation

I know it looks complicated but it's as easy as sliding beads up when you need them while knitting the garter stitch. First the pattern teaches you how to transfer the pre-strung beads to your yarn.

Beaded Scarf translation

But if you want even more visuals, you can check out this tutorial by my talented Interlacements co-worker, Emily Bielinski.


Next, you will learn how to do the long-tail cast-on with beads to create that fantastic fringe look. More about that cast-on and others can be found in this PDF tutorial from Isela Phelps. My pattern does detail the long-tail cast-on specifically.

Beaded Scarf translation

Then you're off and loom-knitting this quick scarf! I am knitting mine with Interlacements New York 200, which is 200 yards of a DK-like ribbon yarn. Other knitters choose Interlacements Tiny Toes, a sock yarn but you'll probably want to go down to a fine-gauge loom for that yarn weight. This loom is an original Decor Accents extra small gauge (ESG) hat loom, with at least 25 pegs. The purple round hat loom by Knifty Knitter might also work if you prefer an even looser gauge with ribbon yarn.

Beaded Scarf on the loom

If you want to try this pattern, here are two ways to buy! It includes the beaded scarf pattern plus a loom-knitting basics page. You can buy it through my Ravelry shopping cart and you'll get a PDF delivered straight to your e-mail.

Beaded Scarf (loom knit) - $6

Or you can head over to Interlacements Yarns. For $6 plus a little shipping, Tracey will mail you a nice color printout plus any yarn you are tempted to buy, too!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's in stock

You may say hello and goodbye to my last two crafty custom orders ...

Custom t-pillows
T-pillow 1 of 2 for Toshie — Happy Chaos

Custom t-pillows
T-pillow 2 of 2 for Toshie — Biblical Disaster

Spring Meadow Scarflet
Spring Meadow Scarflet for Kristy of KLM Photography

You're looking at the last of my custom orders for 2011. As August rolls around, I'll be taking maternity leave from my craft business. I might be back sometime this fall but I'm not making any promises! New baby and hubby will get first dibs on my time.

This also means you should make the acquaintance of my current shop stock! First up for the locals: Head over to D.I.Y. Studio and Gifts on Broadway in Green Bay, Wis.

D.I.Y. studio & gifts
T-pillows on the top shelf at D.I.Y.

The remaining stock of t-pillows are now $20 or less. These soft jersey pillows are fun to cuddle and safe to throw at your fellow couch-mate.

Next, we head over to Etsy, where pillows also have been reduced. Plus you can use the coupon code "OHBABY" to get another 20% off any item. This could cover your shipping!

Slinky T-Pillow  Orange Dino hat (newborn)  Sedum Bee Thank You Card

On Facebook, I have an oldie-but-goodie exclusive.

Crazy/chic pillow t-pillow
Crazy/Chic t-pillow

This is one of my favorite creations and I'm not sure why she's still hanging around. I'd keep her but she just doesn't go with our decor — and might scare the new baby a bit. ;-) The t-pillow shows off Jan Avendano's crazy design on the front but keeps it sweet with a pink-checkered back (for when Grandma visits). This is the only t-pillow with a hidden-zipper closure on the bottom to keep that pillow form in. I hope someone gives this wacky gal a home soon! Comment on the Facebook photo to lock it in and we'll work out a payment method.

You have a few more weeks until I close my shop doors. When I reopen, I might have some new goodies to share — and a new shop site. The Made by Telaine staff of myself and Willow bunny are considering a hop over to Artfire. The end of 2011 will be all about starting anew.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Front-yard fireworks

Happy Fourth of July!

Front-yard fireworks

Our neighbors always put on a good show so we don't have to travel to celebrate. This year, Mr. Plate's parents and grandma joined us. We chased Willow the bunny around the yard, grilled some yummy steak kabobs and played a washer toss game. Then we pulled our chairs to the front yard to watch the sky light up.

Front-yard fireworks

Front-yard fireworks

Front-yard fireworks

Front-yard fireworks

Front-yard fireworks

Front-yard fireworks

An addendum of three things I learned:
1. Willow needs a longer leash for those backyard sprints.
2. Morning Glory "sparklers" are NOT more awesome than good ol' regular sparklers.
3. Mosquitos really like pregnant gals. ;-)