Last-Minute Gift: Aspen Candles

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Do you still have an unfinished gift list? Are you running short on cash? Think you have no time to make anything in time for Christmas? This project or multiples of this project can be completed in less than an hour.

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I used scraps of aspen branches I have been toting around since we moved to Kansas in 2000. Seriously, what took me so long to do this? The length can be anything you want. The ones I used ranged between 4″-6″. Don’t have aspen? No problem. You can use any branches you have available or fence post scraps. Really. As long as it is a block of wood…you are golden.

You need a 1 1/2″ paddle drill bit. If you don’t have one, ask friends or neighbors before heading to the store. No sense paying for a bit you may only use one time.

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Center the bit on one cut end of your “block” and drill to a 3/4″ depth. Spoiler Alert: To be honest, the bottoms of my drilled holes were a bit uneven. I chose not to worry about it. You shouldn’t either, because they won’t be noticeable.

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Center, wrap and hot glue whatever ribbon you desire around the block. Wrap jute over the top of the ribbon about four times. Knot and fasten off. Alternatives to ribbon could be strips of ripped fabric, a strip of wrapping paper, scrap book paper or a cut strip from an old pair of jeans. Alternatives to jute could be yarn, string, wire, a shoelace or a thin ripped strip of fabric or thin ribbon.

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The things used in this project, thus far, are things you probably already have or can borrow. The next item is the only thing I actually had to buy. The battery operated tea lights. They come two to a package at the Dollar Tree, so your total expense for a set of two candle holders could potentially be only $1. Insert them in the drilled holes and you are done.

I love the way they turned out. These were made for gifts, but after Christmas I am making a set for me.

Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!!

Yay! Another gift done and it didn’t break the bank.

Little Girl’s Fancy Crochet Bitty Bag

dscf3809Yes, I know…time is running out to get this done by Christmas, but trust me…it’s quick and easy. You could have it completed in the time it takes to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie…or two. 😉

Things You Will Need:
Red Heart Super Saver: 1 skein each 706 Pretty n’ Pink and 313 Aran
Crochet hook : 4mm (US G-6)
Yarn needle
(5) 1/2-inch flat white buttons

GAUGE:
15 sts = 4”
20 sc rows = 4”

Gauge is not important for this pattern. As long as tension is consistent throughout, a slight altering in size will not hinder a successful completion of this pattern.

Pouch (purse body):

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Using Pretty n’ Pink, form a magic ring. Work in continuous rounds.

Round 1: 6 sc in the ring. Do not Join. (6 sts)

Round 2: 2 sc in each st. (12 sc)

Round 3: *Sc in first st, 2 sc in next.* Repeat between ** around. (18 sc)

Round 4: *Sc in two stitches, 2 sc in next.* Repeat between ** around. (24 sc)

Round 5: *Sc in three stitches, 2 sc in next.* Repeat between ** around. (30 sc)

Round 6: *Sc in four stitches, 2 sc in next.* Repeat between ** around. (36 sc)

Rounds 7-20: Sc around.

Finish off and weave in the ends.

Doily Flap:

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Using Aran, form a magic ring. Flap is a half-doily and is worked in rows.

Row 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 9 dc in the ring. Do not join. Turn. (10 sts)

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as first dc, ch 1). *Dc, ch 1* to the last st of the row. Dc in the last st. Turn.

Row 3: Sl st in the first ch 1 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc, ch 2, 2 dc. In the remaining ch 1 spaces 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. Turn.

Row 4: Ch 1, sc in first st, 7 dc (cluster) in ch 2 space. *sc in the space between the next two dc pairs. Cluster in the next ch 2 space.* Repeat between ** to the end of the row. Sc in top of last dc.

Do not turn. Working across the row ends, evenly space 18 sc. Turn. Line up the edge just stitched with the edge of the pouch. Sl st 18 sts on the edge of the doily flap to 18 sts on the pouch edge.

Handle:

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Using Aran, ch 40, turn.

Round 1: Sc in the second ch from the hook and in each of the next 37 chs, 3 sc in the last ch (the end). Working up the other side of the ch, sc in 38 chs and 3 sc in the end. Sl st to first sc of the round.

Round 2: *Ch 2, sk one st, sl st in the next.* Repeat between ** around. Sl st to the base of the first ch 2 of the round.

Fasten off and weave in the ends.

Flower:dscf3797

Using Pretty n’Pink, form a magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 1, work 9 sc in ring, join with sl st to beg ch 1.

Round 2: Ch 3, work 2 dc in the base of ch 3, sl st in next st, *work 3 dc in next st, sl st in next,* repeat between ** around. (5 petals)

Round 3: Sc, hdc in the next st, work 3 dc in next st, hdc,sc in the next st, sl st in sl st from previous row,* repeat between ** around. (5 petals)

Fasten off and weave in the ends.

Assembly:dscf3801

Place 1 inch on one end of the handle over the pouch edge on one side of the flap. Using the Aran yarn and a yarn needle, stitch the end to the pouch. Repeat on the other side of the flap with the remaining end of the handle. Using the Pretty n’ Pink yarn, stitch a 1/2-inch flat white button over the handle ends.

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Fold the flap to the front of the purse. Position the flower to the right of the flap’s center. Place a 1/2-inch flat white button in the center of the flower. Use Pretty n’ Pink yarn and a yarn needle to stitch the button and flower to the flap.dscf3807

Open the flap. With the front of the purse facing front, center and stitch a 1/2-inch flat white button to the sixth row from the top edge of the pouch using Pretty n’ Pink. Fold the flap to the front and insert the button through the hole of the center cluster on the last row of the doily flap to close the purse.

Enjoy!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Shell Crafts

Shell CraftsShell Crafts
Check out LoveToKnow for my tutorial article on crafts to make with shells.

Read on for the story behind this article.

DSCF8579A lot of times when I have a new assignment I don’t have all the items I need. I have to decide on whether it is more economical to purchase things I need or pass on the assignment. Usually I send out requests to local Facebook friends, but most of those things are borrowed for photos and measurements and can be returned in the same condition. The shells for these projects were a different story. You know what they say, as soon as you get rid of something you will need it. That was the issue here so…off I went to Walmart to see if a bag of shells would cause me to pass on the article.

DSCF8519There was a lady in the same aisle as I was looking at the shells and trying to make my decision. Out of the blue she said she had a bag of shells at home I could have if I wanted them. She didn’t know me and had no idea what I was going to do with them, but she made my day with her random act of kindness. We exchanged phone numbers and she gave me her address. I know, right? She gave me (a stranger) her address without knowing a thing about me. We arranged a time later that day for me to pick them up. Meanwhile, when she got home she took pics of the shells and sent them to me to make sure they were what I wanted. This lady was so sweet on so many levels. They were fabulous! Of course I picked them up and used them. Since that day I have been on the look out for a pay-it-forward of my own. I haven’t come across the perfect opportunity yet, but I will.

DSCF8573After all the horrible stories I am constantly seeing on the news, the complete randomness of this kind act has renewed my faith in humanity. Thank you again, Dawn!

Click on any highlighted text in this article to take you to Crafts to Make With Shells.

Enjoy!

Crochet Reindeer Gift Card Holder-Free Pattern

DSCF6057-001Crochet Reindeer Gift Card Holder

I just finished this tutorial for Love To Know last week. It works up very quickly, making it ideal for packaging those last-minute Christmas gift cards.

You can find the free tutorial here.

Enjoy!

Old Stencil Ornaments

DSCF6121Old Stencil Ornaments

There’s always something that needs a transformation and when I went through my stencil suitcase I realized I just didn’t use these old brown stencil templates anymore. I still like the vintage look of them, but I have newer stencils that work for actual stenciling. Not one to get rid of anything, I decided to try a little restyle.

It took me a few tries to get the look I was going for, but I think I nailed it.

DSCF5672The fronts were dry brushed with white paint. While the paint was still wet, they got a dusting of crystal glitter.

I “painted” the backs with glue and pressed them onto burlap scraps. When the glue dried I cut the burlap around the edges of the stencils.

DSCF5683A line of craft glue was added around the edges, then the glue was sprinkled with silver glitter. I left them alone for a bit to dry. Well, that’s what I told myself, but really it was because I didn’t know where to go from there.

DSCF6126And then it hit me by accident. A happy accident. I was working on another project and bits and pieces happened to fall on the stencils. I liked the way they looked, so I kinda went with it.

DSCF6124A punched hole with a ribbon hanger…

DSCF6128…and a bow completed the look.

Enjoy!