Projects for good: Project Mittens (@Mittens4Detroit)

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From Mittens for Detroit's Twitter

I actually didn’t have anything for you today, but over on Fiber Flux she posted about doing this project, “Mittens for Detroit“. It seems this particular mitten drive will be over February 14th, but if you can get them to them before then you can be entered into their Lion Brand sponsored drawing. Or if you’re feeling really inspired and connected to other crafters, you can have your own drive! (Email them for specifics.)

I know I’m a little late to the game on this one, but I just found out about it but I had to share.

Or hey if you just want to crochet some mittens here are a few patterns to try (Free Ravelry login required). (Also this one looks really easy.)

*Are you doing a fundraiser or handmade goods drive that you’d like me to share? Email it to me and we can talk about setting up a Project for Good post for you.*

Crochet-a-long with @sugarbeecrafts and @733blog, you in?

UntitledI’m trying hard to use the materials I have on hand for a few reasons. The first being that I have so much and it’s become a little intimidating. The second and equally if not more important, the more I use the less I have to move when the time comes.  I found this Crochet-A-Long and decided that this would be a good push to get through some materials.

Project Crochet, a crochet-a-long hosted by Kim of 733 Blog, Heather of Twin Dragonfly Designs, and Mandy of Sugar Bee Crafts, is on like Donkey Kong. I don’t have big projects to do, but I have enough small ones to keep me busy for the month and beyond. It’s a good month for it. Sure the Olympics are on, but that doesn’t take any real focus from me. And we’re going on a road trip.

I like a challenge and I’ll try to stick this one out. Saturday, I posted one of the projects as part of Saturday Morning Command Center  which I ended up finishing over the weekend. Now to decide which of my little friends turning 6 it will go to!

The pink yarn? Got wrapped back up into a ball for now. It’ll speak to me and tell me what it wants to be.

Sunday Showcase – The Dreamy Giraffe

On Sundays I’ll be sharing someone else’s work or shop that I find to be excellent, interesting, or super inspiring. I’m in no way compensated for these posts and just want to share my finds with you.

Today I’d like to share Kathy Jeffords from The Dreamy Giraffe. She’s creative, talented, and there are about a dozen pieces I’d love for my own in her shop. It’s “happy, colorful art for everyone!” (Her words, with which I concur.)

It’s difficult to select just a representative sample of her work, so I’m sharing the ones I’m lusting after.

Like this one for my desk:

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I will not stress out. The Dreamy Giraffe

And this one for my craft room:

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Crafty girl print.

And this one for my kitchen:

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Some days require cookies

(She’d need blonde hair and blue eyes though.)

And this one for a baby’s room:

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Hot air balloon print

Check out The Dreamy Giraffe Etsy Shop. You might find something you just love and have to have! If nothing else, you’ll have a smile.

Friday Five – Products that I puffy pink heart – Crochet

wristersHey there, I’ve had some crafting friends ask me what products I like to use for different projects. I thought I’d take a few minutes and tell you that. I’ll break it down into different areas and today is CROCHET day.

First things first. I’m naming particular brands because I personally like them. I’ve spent my own money or received them as gifts from friends and am being in no way compensated by the company to write anything about them. The links below marked with a * are affiliate links.

Second things second, but not less important. This is what I like to use, if you don’t like it, oh well! We all have our personal preferences.

  1. Susan Bates Silvalume Crochet Hooks* Specifically, lately, the J-Hook. For most of my crochet work, the J-Hook is an invaluable tool. Don’t get me wrong, the H, the I, and N are good too. I basically never work in less than an H-Hook. I just don’t have the patience.
  2. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Yarn. I really do like this yarn a lot for many types of projects. The colors are awesome and plentiful, the yarn is soft but durable and it’s not wool. This girl can’t use wool yarn. It’s also heavy enough to be warm, but not ridiculous to work with for bigger projects.
  3. For home I’m a huge fan of the Fiskars 5-Inch Micro-tip Scissors * Mine are similar to those but have a different handle. They’re super sharp and excellent for any fabric or yarn trimming. For the road I’m a big fan of Fiskars Softgrip Kids Scissors.* They’re handy and I’m less likely to hurt myself with them in the car. They’re also excellent for paper projects while traveling.
  4. Gallon sized freezer bags. I’m not even kidding here crafters! This is a trick I learned from my G-d mother. If you have more than one project going on or you’re traveling about with your project, put it in a gallon sized freezer bag with the directions, the hook you’re using, and your yarn. It will help keep your project and yarn clean and you’re not left wondering which hook you might have been using. Not every J Hook is created equally! Actually, the H-Hook from my grandmother is slightly smaller than the ones made currently and in some projects you can see where you changed. Keep the hook with your project.
  5. Pinterest and Ravelry. I can’t tell you how much I love these two resources. I’m sure you’ve heard of them, but on the off chance you haven’t? Well, now you have. There are an endless list of places to get patterns for projects but these two are my go to for inspiration and patterns.

Those are some of mine, what are some of yours?

A dedicated yarn store? I’m down to take a look

Kel emailed me last week. This isn’t anything new, yet it delights me each time I see her name in my inbox. What can I say? I like hearing from friends.

She was wondering if I wanted to check out Lion Brand’s new store in Colonie that grand opens TODAY.

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Picture from store link

While the timing sort of sucks since I’m currently trying to work down supplies and not buy more, I’m down for checking it out. Also, Kel is an excellent partner in crime.

I’ll report back. I’ll do my best not to buy any yarn…

I’m checking this out at my own cost. I use all different types of yarn, Lion Brand just happens to have something going in today.

And the Pantone color of the year for 2014 is?

Gallery-Image-0Are you familiar with Pantone? Before I got more into computer design, I thought it was just ink colors at the printer’s office. Granted they are beautiful collections of colored strips on a ring, but just colors none the less. One day I was flipping through it and noted the numbers on it. I asked what they were for and a new world opened in front of my eyes.

It would be a few more years before my abilities and resources caught up to my dreams, and I’m still working on them, but knowing that all those numbers have meaning and how they’re used? Pivotal.

So if you’re not familiar with Pantone, it’s a company that defines and standardizes colors (summary version). Each year they also carefully watch trends, analyze markets and finally name a color of the year.  (You can see previous colors of the year here, scroll about half way down the page.)

This year? It’s Radiant Orchard. I think it’s just lovely, don’t you?

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.” Pandone press release annoucing Radient Orchard as the color of 2014

I think it’ll be part of the Court is Crafty Color scheme. There will be some other updates, posts of projects I’ve worked on lately and how tos coming soon so come back and visit often or add us to your favorite reader.