Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easter Wrap-Up

After dying the Easter eggs it seemed a waste to throw out the dye, so I searched pinterest for some ideas.  Dying yarn looked intriguing, but there were too many steps and I had no white wool yarn, so that was out.  Paper towels, on the other hand, I had.  I dipped them in the dye and squeezed out the excess, and hung them to dry.  The pretty stack:
I cut each towel into four pieces, and folded each piece three times:
I then strung them onto Fireline thread (strong and flexible), using my patented random-lookalike technique:
Next year I'm thinking of having the kids dye blown eggs, because Mr. Beadgirl is the only one who likes hardboiled eggs and there are only so many he can eat.  If we do that successfully, maybe I'll restring the dyed paper, interspersing eggs.

I also finished the cross stitch bunnies from a couple of years ago by backing them with some sweet calico and gluing them onto a ribbon:
Unfortunately, top-stitching around the ovals stretched the bias, making the edges a little ruffly.

Finally, for Easter Sunday I made the New York Time's Clementine Cake, and it was delicious, especially with the chocolate glaze. I'd show you, but apparently I forgot to take a picture.  The candied clementines, on the other hand, were not delicious -- they came out brown and burnt-tasting.  I hate it when a recipe defeats me*, so the next time I try this I will not top them with the second baking sheet and/or lower the temperature to 200 degrees and/or watch them like a hawk.

*This is apparently an Easter tradition.  Two Easters ago this lemon cake was a major fail, and last Easter (-ish, humor me) a pink lemonade cake I tried -- twice -- came out both burnt and under-cooked.**

**Actually, I now suspect that recipe was based on the evil lemon cake recipe from two years ago, which would explain the fail.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Carrot, Just Because

I made it using peyote stitch and seed beads, size 15 orange and size 11 green.

Body of carrot:

Rounds 1 and 2: String 12 beads onto a length of nymo thread, and pass through the first bead again to form a circle, leaving a fifteen inch tail.

Rounds 3-12: Peyote stitch, adding 6 beads total for each round.

Round 13: Peyote stitch around, but decrease once by passing through two beads of the previous round without adding a new bead; add a total of 5 beads.

Rounds 14-16: Peyote stitch, adding 5 beads total for each round.

Round 17: Peyote stitch around, decreasing by one bead for a total of 4 beads added this round; try to place decrease on opposite side of carrot as previous decrease.

Round 18-20: Peyote stitch, adding 4 beads total for each round.

Round 21: Peyote stitch around, decreasing by one bead for a total of 3 beads added this round; try to place decrease on opposite side of carrot as previous decrease.

Round 22-24: Peyote stitch, adding 3 beads total for each round.

Round 25:  Peyote stitch around, decreasing by one bead for a total of 2 beads added this round; try to place decrease on opposite side of carrot as previous decrease.

Round 26: Peyote stitch around, adding two beads total.  Pull stitching tight to close, and weave and end thread.

Top of carrot:

Thread needle with tail and peyote stitch around, decreasing by one bead for a total of 5 beads added. 

Repeat, decreasing once for a total of 4 beads added.  Pull tight, and weave thread through a few beads to secure, before exiting through one of the last four beads added.  Do not cut thread.

Leafy top (branched fringe):

String 9-13 beads; skipping last bead added, go back through 4-5 beads and pull snug. 

Add 8-12 beads, and skipping last bead added, go back through 3-4 beads and pull snug. 

Add 4 beads, and skipping last bead added, go back through three beads. Go back through the rest of the beads that are on the "vertical" line (i.e. not part of the two little branches you made).  Exit the very first green bead you added, and pass through the next orange bead in the last round. 

Repeat three more times, for a total of four fringes.  To finish, weave thread back through the carrot and clip.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Egg Hunt

I did NeedleKnowledge's Easter egg SAL:

Hooped up, the egg shape was near perfect, and I was careful to sew just along the outside edge of the chain stitch, yet the stuffed egg is all lumpy and weird.  Sigh.

It's not a major holiday if I don't do a Martha Stewart craft:
I didn't actually have styrofoam eggs, so I took styrofoam balls and hacked at them until they were vaguely ovoid.  I love the roving; I used the teal one to make one of my favorite pairs of earrings.

Tiny beaded eggs, based on a pattern from Fusion Beads:
I didn't have size 8 seed beads in Eastery colors, so I made them with size 11 beads.  And originally intended to make earrings, but I couldn't decide on a favorite color way (also, I really have a lot of earrings).  Perhaps a charm bracelet or necklace?  Or some sort of ornament?

Finally, traditional Easter eggs, dyed by the Beadboys:
Yes, that's two swords on the red egg.  It's kind of Eastery, I guess.  I had lots of dye left, so I tried a couple more projects with it, which I'll write about later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Overheard on the Street

Mom: You want ice cream?  You think that's a good idea before your dentist appointment?

Child: ... yes?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Earrings Redone

A few years ago, inspired by some beautiful flowers at the Phipps Conservatory, I made some beaded flowers from The Beaded Garden-- dark magenta and vermilion tulips, yellow daffodils, and dark purple pansies.  I strung them on some headpins with green seed beads and made earrings that way, but I was never thrilled with the way they moved, or that the tulips were upside down, or that the pansies kept falling off.

Today was a warm, spring day, and I really wanted to wear the flowers, but also fix the earrings.  So in the hour before we left for our lunch, walk, and errands, I removed the flowers and sewed them onto green felt, backed them with more felt, and sandwiched in a jump ring:
This worked better.  But it is not perfect.  For one, the pansies don't match; I didn't have time to make a new one to match the lost one, so I grabbed an extra made with different beads.  Also, I have several earrings now backed with felt.  I think when I have some time I'll bead a background for these.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Egg Cookies

I thought I'd try the new Martha Stewart recipe for Painted Egg Cookies; less for the cookie recipe itself and more for the unusual glaze -- tempera, or egg yolk mixed with a bit of color.  I find decorating cut-out cookies tedious, but this seemed like a good shortcut, because one simply brushes on the dyed egg yolk before baking.

And it was a good shortcut!
Mine, of course, aren't anywhere near magazine-quality, but they were good nonetheless.  I did learn that it is wise to let the yolk rest after mixing in the dye, to reduce baked-in air bubbles.  And next time I think I will try adding a pinch of sugar to the yolk.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

More Chain Stitch

I couldn't resist a second, mini-sampler of detached chain stitches:
The stitches, from the center out:

Russian chain stitch
Tulip stitch
Oyster stitch
Rosette stitch
Berry stitch/double lazy daisy stitch
Lazy daisy stitch with bullion knot and detached wheat ear stitch
Lazy daisy stitch and twisted detached chain stitch

The two samplers together:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Beadboy3's Stocking

I don't want to be scrambling to finish this come December, so I've set goals -- I have to complete a motif before I can start a new project.

The first motif (and the biggest):