Crafting ain’t for sissies. You have to have patience, perseverance and persistence. You will also need to keep an open mind and have a willingness to learn new things. Yes, most crafts are steeped in tradition. As in, a traditional way of creating some things. These are great but sometimes there may be other techniques that can be used to create something new and exciting. As with any artistic endeavors most of the crafts we create reflect our inner visions. That is when you can truly be called an artist. Once, you learn a technique there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to use these and expand on them.
So, if you started out being a traditional crafter and learned how to do things from one of your older family members but then tweaked those techniques to create new and different items we hope you will share them with us. My mom is always willing to learn new things and likes to figure out how to create items that us kids and grandchildren like and hope she will create. Once she sees a picture of something she has me look for a pattern and/or video on how to make it. Then she puts her own twist on it once she figures out how to create them by using her own style in colors and adding tweaks to the pattern. Below are some pictures that my youngest son sent over for his grandma to try out. We haven’t started on these yet as we are still getting ready for the big Florida Fall Festival at the end of May in White Springs, Florida.
He was also the one who sent us the picture of the dragon scale gloves that we now offer for sale. We made them before Christmas and sold out. Of course, my son got his pair first and we gave away some for Christmas presents last year. The pattern we purchased and the video we watched had the scales going all the way around the fingers. We had a custom request to make the inside palm side smooth to make it easier to grab hold of steering wheels and typing. So mom worked at it and after a couple of tries figured out how to do that. They turned out really well and this coming Christmas season we will only be making the ones with the smooth inside palms.
Keep on crafting and get in touch if you want to share your own versions of traditional patterns with our readers.
Stabilizing crocheted tote bags of any size can be a challenge. After researching online we found a couple of solutions including creating and sewing in a liner into the bag, crocheting actual crochet thread with the yarn when creating the strap and crocheting around a double length of cotton clothes line. Granted, creating a square pocket out of cotton fabric and sewing it into the inside of the bag will stabilize the inside of the bag and keep things from falling out but the crocheted handle will still stretch as you use it. Our inventory has over 100 different sized totes already so we had to come up with a way to improve the bags that we had without having to take them apart again.
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Several months ago my grand-daughter was watching some movies on my computer and came across a beaded dragonfly tutorial I had downloaded from You-Tube. She created a couple and insisted that I do it with her. Well, ever since I have been making them into earrings, put them inside bottlecaps, broach/pins, barrettes and I even may make them into key chain charms. Once, you get the basics down you can experiment with different size and types of beads. I think the basic thing to remember is that the top wings are longer than the bottom wings so keep count as you go. In real life dragonflies do not have curling antenna but it looks pretty cool when you have them.
I prefer 26-gauge wire and seed beads for those that I am making into earrings and larger beads and 24-gauge wire for things like broaches and barrettes. I also like to mix up the colors for the top and bottom wings. Sometimes the same colors for everything but the middle tips. The lighter colors on the bottom and darker colors on the top makes for a dramatic effect and using bicone crystals for the bottom of the tail and head beads are nice as well.
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During our stays at various Florida State Parks and National Forests as volunteers I have been collecting bottlecaps to recycle or as the new saying goes “Upcycle” items I find into jewelry and accessories. So far, I have made lots of earrings and keychain charms. You can get more ideas on how to use recycled materials with your future crafting projects by looking on Pinterest, YouTube and just your regular old internet search engine. Personally, I use Google search, type in my search terms and then click on the Images button. Then I can scroll through all the photos associated with the term I entered. Sometimes the photo will even link to a tutorial on how to create various different things using the recycled material.
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Fall is here, what are you making? With the new season the weather is cooler, the colors in nature are brilliant and you can get a jump on Christmas. My mom has gotten into a crocheting mood and is making some hooded scarves. They fit nicely on the head, covers the ears and wrap around the neck. When you make things for yourself or family and friends you get to make them as long, as wide and in whatever color combinations you or they like the most. Last year, we handmade all of our presents for our friends and family members. We hope they enjoyed them and got plenty of use out of them.
Making your gifts by hand, we believe, shows them that you cared enough to take the time and energy to be creative in your gift giving. Granted, younger children may want things they have seen on TV or that their friends have but if you start making gifts now and involve the kids in the making they will appreciate their own gifts more and feel great about themselves as they made their items all on their own (with a little help from their parents). They learn new skills, get quality time with their parents and have a great time doing it. Hand-made gifts are more treasured than store bought. Whether you make them something that is funny, ridiculous or warm and fuzzy we all appreciate the time they took and their creativity.
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