Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free Dining at Disney?

I have been reading rumors about the free dining promotion being offered again this Fall--I hope it is true, this is my favorite discount!
Read more here:
Free dining in Disney?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 1!

Theme of the day:
How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time?

I started crocheting as a child--my Grandma taught me. Everyone in my family holds the hook the same funny way--the same way Grandma did!  I grew up watching her and the other crafty folks in my family making things to give and share, and can't imagine living without handcrafted items.

My first design job was for a knitting manufacturer--designing sweaters. I didn't know how to handknit at all, my work was purely color and computer oriented. I taught myself to handknit from a book, but preferred crocheting for the longest time.

In 2004 I started knitting again, and re-learned from a book (I wish blogs and online videos had been around then, it would have been easier to learn. Being a little, (insert your favorite term for obsessed here), I had to start with a sock. We were driving to Disney World for vacation, so a pair of socks seemed to be a good take along project for the drive.

I found them today, and scanned one so you could see how well my "book learning" went. Hint: there is nothing wrong with your computer, the stitches are all skewed one way. I spent almost a year knitting every stitch through the back loop, as I did with these--hence the twisted stitches!

I finished one sock on the trip, and fell victim to Second Sock syndrome. I went on to several other projects, including on that had directions for "knit through the back loop", and figured out that I had been doing it wrong the whole time!

I did complete the second sock a year later, and knitted deliberately through the back loop so they would match. The socks are not technically perfect, but fit well, have worn like iron, and are very comfy. I have made many pairs of socks since these, but they remain my favorite, as they represent when I fell in love with knitting again...and how far I have come--from messing up the most basic stitch to designing my own patterns.

Disney Autograph Books

I made these cute autograph books for my older girls two years ago--I love that they are spiral bound, so I just pull out the old pages and add new ones for each trip. I need to make one for Charlotte this trip--at 2, she wants to do everything the "big kids" do...so to spare their books the damage, I will make her one of her own. So far, her favorites are Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear. Time to break out the Disney scrapbook stuff!

Want to make your own Disney World autograph book? 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week!

Participating in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week -- there's still time to sign up on Ravelry, if you are interested!

Upcycled Chair

Don't throw it out--upcycle it!

I picked up my chair at a thrift shop for $2.00, because it was sturdy but ugly--and hey! 2 dollar chair!
Here it is in all of its thrifted glory!

 Old Chair (cost at thrift shop: 2.00)
 I combined it with an old chenille bedspread (from an auction), and the good half of an embroidered tablerunner (also thrifted).
Raspberry pink and just a few small holes--this was a great buy for $10,
and I will get a ton of fabric from this!

Want to make your own? Here's how I did it!

    • 1 12”x 36” embroidered table runner
    • 1 large raspberry chenille scrap, at least 24”x 24“
    • Acrylic craft paint in  Black and Ivory
    • 1 white or ivory votive candle
    • 1” foam paintbrush
    • 1” old scruffy paintbrush
    • medium sandpaper
    • rotary cutter, ruler, and mat, or ruler, fabric marker, and scissors
    • pencil
    • 18“x 18“ pre-made pillow form
    • sewing machine and accessories (this project can be done by hand, but it will be more time consuming)
    • iron and pressing surface
    • heavy duty staple gun and staples
    • hot glue gun and glue sticks or fabric glue
    • an old button

    Paint the chair

    1. Use the foam brush to paint the legs and back of the chair black. Let dry. (This is a distressed finish, so there is no need to sand or seal the chair before beginning.)
    2.  Rub the flat side of the candle all over the chair, focusing on the areas that would get the most natural wear. Rubbing the candle will leave a light coat of wax on the painted wood surface. The wax will create a resist for the top coat of paint. 
    3.  Use the scruffy brush to apply two coats of ivory, letting the chair dry between coats. Let the chair dry overnight, to give the paint a chance to “cure” completely before proceeding. 
    4.  Rub all surfaces of the chair with the medium grit sandpaper. The paint will come off easily where the wax resist was applied, allowing the base coat to show through.

    Make the cover:

    1. Put the pillow form on top of the chair.
    2. Cut a piece of chenille that is big enough to cover the chair seat with the pillow on top.
    3. Cut the table runner in half. Stitch one half to the raspberry chenille, lining up the cut edges, and centering the table runner on the chenille, like this:

    4. Press the chenille cover piece, to remove any wrinkles. Place the chenille cover on top of the pillow form. Starting at the back pull the chenille over the edge of the seat, and staple in place on the bottom of the chair. Starting from the center, work your way to each corner, pulling the fabric tight as you work. Repeat for the front, pulling the chenille firmly as you work, so the fabric will lay flat on top of the pillow form.

    Pull the chenille over one side of the chair, and staple in place on the bottom. Repeat for the other side.  If your chair has side supports, pull the chenille fabric around them, and staple in place on the bottom of the chair.

    Glue a gold and white button to the point of the table runner. Glue a round white button to each side of the table runner. Let cool before using.

    Note: This project uses a recycled chair with a 17”x17” seat. If your chair seat is a different size, you will need to use different amounts of chenille fabric, and a different sized pillow form. To custom fit your chair, measure the seat. Choose a pillow for that is the same size as, or slightly larger than your seat. Cut the chenille fabric large enough to wrap easily around the chair seat, and proceed as directed.

    Happy Crafting!

    Saturday, April 24, 2010


    disney2004, originally uploaded by rainymonday1.
    I totally miss the IBM thing at Innoventions! You could get a free photo each time, it printed out onto a calendar. This one is from 2004--the little princesses shown here are now 6 and 7 years old!

    Fun with Leftover Socks

    I made these adorable sock creatures out of some fancy socks from our local Gold Toe outlet...you can really spend some serious cash there once you start collecting sock animal hides!

    Here are the creatures I came up with:

    These guys almost all have new homes--The grey kitty on the left was sold on etsy, and the buyer blogged about him here (I hope he is enjoying his new home and all of his new friends!).

    The middle tow were given as gifts to my niece and nephew, and I couldn't part with the little brown pup. The last one on the right isn't a sock at all--he is made from a mini glove, and somehow wandered into the picture.

    The book Stray Sock Sewing has some really cute ideas, I was inspired to make these after leafing through the book at Barnes and Noble :)

    If you have any random socks lying around, you can combine them with a bit of fiberfil and some whimsical additions and make sock cuties of your own!

    Friday, April 23, 2010

    tarn rug

    tarn rug, originally uploaded by rainymonday1.

    This started as a trivet....and grew to a doormat...and is growing into a full sized rug! It can't be stopped--it is eating tshirts at an alarming rate (35 so far and counting).

    Want to make your own tshirt yarn? There is a great tutorial here, and a second one here:

    T-Shirt yarn rug

    This started as a trivet....and grew to a doormat...and is growing into a full sized rug! It can't be stopped--it is eating tshirts at an alarming rate (35 so far and counting).