Tag Archives: stitch markers

From Trash to Treasure

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I love boxes.  I collect boxes of all sorts.  Some of them are pretty vintage trinket boxes, some are carved wood, bone, shell, glass, paper etc.  I love them!  I also like to save and reuse boxes or containers from food, medicine, and packaging from anything.  I have always reused stuff but never really knew how to dress it up and make it look nice.  I have tried a few things in the past but it didn’t really hold up because I didn’t have the right materials so it would stay.  I’ve been learning though.  I recently joined a group on facebook called The Craft Hole  and they have some very talented members!   After seeing some of the stuff they make in that group I was a bit intimidated!  I joined a challenge they had called “Trash to Treasure” and had a great idea for something I wanted to do.  I like all the things I make to be practical and useful.  I had a great idea but I just didn’t know how to get started.  I finally shared my idea with them and some members nudged me in the right direction.  All I really needed was the proper terms to look up on youtube and I found a wealth of great videos and tutorials.  I watched a bunch of videos and got lots of ideas.  I didn’t have the same materials they were using but I got the idea of what they were doing.

Here’s my box.  Both of my teen-aged sons got wallets for Christmas and two of these awesome boxes were going into the trash.  They are covered in some sort of faux leather or something with stitching around the edging.

Dockers wallet box

I really liked how one side was sloped.  I realized it would be perfect for keeping my stitch markers in for crochet/knitting.  I have terrible nails so I keep them cut short and then I have the hardest time picking up the stitch markers.  I could just slide one up the side of this box!  I also have this travel Pepto Bismol To-Go tablet container that I’ve been using to keep my darning needles in.  That was especially handy because it has a child proof cap so if any children are around they can’t get to the needles.  I peeled the label off of that pink plastic tube and just wrapped some pink patterned washi tape around it to make it look nicer.  That container slips perfectly into that little cubbie hole in the box.  It is just snug enough to keep it from falling out.

I wanted to paint the bottom part of the box a light cream color so I had to over up all that orange.  Did I get the job done?  I gesso. har har

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It took a lot of it to hide all of that orange.  Then I mixed up some acrylic paint to paint it a nice vintage shade of cream.  It was kind of funny because it’s been a while since I’ve mixed paint, especially thicker paint like acrylic.  I kinda struggle sometimes with knowing what colors to mix to get what I want but I just glopped out some paint and mixed it all up and it exactly matched the ribbon I bought to put on this box.  I didn’t even have to add a little move of this color…. and that color…. no, a little more yellow….. a little more red….. etc.  It was just perfect, right out of the gate (or tube).

Here you can see some of the goodies I bought to decorate the box.

Supplies

So then I printed up some graphics from a blog I found.

 
If you subscribe to their newsletter they always attach a freebie!  This is the last one and I fell in love with it right away.  I just love these colors.  When I printed the sheet I didn’t have the page orientation set right so it printed small but that was perfect because the images worked great on my box.

Docker box reborn

Here’s where I got stuck and really didn’t know what to do.  I knew I wanted a vintage looking box and some members of the group mentioned above suggested I look on youtube.com for distressing tutorials.  I watched a ton.  Some of them weren’t even in English but I still got the idea.  I don’t really have any one video that helped the most.  I didn’t have the same stuff they used in any of those videos so I just pulled out what I had.  I mixed up some more colors of acrylic paint and did a little dry brushing.  Sometimes I’d take a damp paper towel wipe it off (pretty much like what they were doing with stain in the videos).  I pretty much just played and had fun making my box look old.  I used some scapbooking stickers of coins and stamps and some other paper elements.  I had fun altering the images, which is another thing I learned.  I sanded the edges, tore, wrinkled up and added a little colored chalk.  I even used a little paint on a q-tip to add some shading to the coins.  For some reason, I never thought about making these adjustments to things before.

Finished inside

The little piece of ribbon at the bottom there is for pulling the box open.  The top fits over the bottom section pretty snug.  It was hard to open before I painted.  I used some good quality glue so hopefully it will never come off.

The bottom

I even added my name and the date.  It is a piece of art after all.

I really had fun when I started working on the top.  I had all of these different elements that I wanted to use but didn’t really have a clear idea in mind.  I started fumbling around with the ribbon and finally realized it was just too nice.  I bullied it around a bit until it looked like what I wanted.  I wanted it to have some frayed areas and pulled and distorted the weave of the fabric.  Finally I wrinkled it up and then started shaping it into a base for my centerpiece.  I brushed some decoupage medium over an image to seal it and then added a wooden, laser-cut frame and some butterflies.  I even took one of the images, some the awesome freebie set mentioned above, and layered it over the large butterfly and then just tore the paper along the edge of the butterfly.  I added some decoupage glue and slide the paper to get some wrinkles and I wanted a little bit of the light color of the wooden butterfly to show at the edge.  I really like the way it turned out!

The top

Oh, and I found that shell on the beach at St. George Island in Florida this past summer and I found that button in my mom’s things.  I will always be reminded of some good times whenever I used my *new* box.

My awesome box in use

I’m still alive

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Hampton Twists Peaches & Creme

Hampton Twists Peaches & Creme

 

I’ve been sick for an insanely long time.  And now it is March, the time when the sun starts to come out and blind everyone that isn’t used to it – Migraine Season.  I have always loved this time of year because of the sunshine but the last several years I’ve been getting a lot of migraines during March.  It took a long time before one of my doctors figured out that it was the sun (bright light) triggering it.  I have my movie star sunglasses with polarized lenses that I always wear when I go out but somehow I still get migraines.  So, while the weather is warming up and it is a beautiful sun-shiny day, I am sitting inside with the drapes all drawn like a vampire.  I vant to suck yer blood ah ah ah ah!  Okay, not really.  I like things more well done than rare.

Anyway, I think I’ve been sick for a good two whole months at least.  That really sucks but the one thing that keeps me going is crafts.  I always knit or crochet something though I usually drop the more complicated projects and start something more simple.  For some reason I like something that requires me to count stitches when I don’t feel well or when I have a migraine.  If not I end up counting anyway.  It must be a distraction tactic.

Right now I’m making a reusable grocery bag I found FREE on this blog and on Ravelry.  I’m using the new “Twists” yarn by Peaches & Creme.  The color is called Hampton Twists and has burgundy, white, and neutral strands twisted together.   The effect is very cool but a bit difficult on the eyes when working on it.  I’m working the bottom of this bag which is done in a spiral of single crochet and my eyes just can’t seem to keep track of the stitches with all the stripes.  I think it will be cool though.

The pattern says to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round but because of this crazy stripped yarn I’m using 4 stitch markers.  This would also be a great way for beginners to do this pattern.  The bottom is an oval spiral – so basically a rectangle with a half circle at each end.  The rectangle is 39 single crochets long and after rounding the corner you go back down and work 39 single crochet in the back side of the chain stitches.  So I marked the first and last stitch of the 39 stitches on both sides.  3 of my stitch markers are one color and the one that also marks the beginning of the next round is a different color.  This makes it easier to know when you get to those stitches that require increases.  You know exactly where they are because they are between the two markers on the short sides.  If you don’t mark them it can be difficult to know where those stitches actually begin and end.  The first time around I noticed my piece wasn’t looking quite right and I knew I had gotten mixed up somewhere.  So this is my 2nd attempt.

I found a sneaky little trick to crochet in my stitch markers since I find it a little fiddly getting mine to slip into these tight single crochet stitches.  They just aren’t stiff enough and they are rubbery so they want to stick to the cotton and refuse to go through.  They are the Boye ones that come in the cute little box.  I normally love them so it must be the cotton.  Anyway, when you get to the spot where you want to add the marker – just before that stitch – close the marker and then slide it on the back end of the crochet hook.  Then push it down and over the loop of yarn and then off the hook end (keeping the yarn on the hook).  That puts the marker around the part of the stitch that will end up being the top.  Then you just work the stitch like normal and it will already be in place.

I’m still working on the bottom but you can see my progress by clicking here.  I’ll take a picture once I get the bottom finished.