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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holly's 5th Birthday Theme "Frozen"

I have been busily researching designs on Google and making plans for my daughter Holly's 5th birthday party. Our family has seen the recently released Disney movie "Frozen" more than a dozen times. I have discovered some amazing party ideas, one of which being patterns to cut beautiful six pointed snowflakes. Check out "Little Eme's" blog post, there's a whole tutorial that shows you step by step how to fold and cut these beauties.

Little Eme: My Very First Tutorial!! SIX pointed Snowflakes: **I'm giving away one of my Koala Bear Hats!!  Click here to enter!** I have seen TONS of snowflake "stuff" on blogs late...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Whats your caption for this?

     This showed up in my email the other day from! My caption for this would read: "The Thneed!" 
What's your caption?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm so excited to finally have completed my new patter book called, "Charming Knits" which includes 20 of my original knitting patterns. Here I have pictured is one of the patterns featured in the book, "Cable Butterfly Gloves". I hope you like them. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Angry Birds Cake (from scratch) - John's 6th Birthday

So, my son had his 6th birthday this Saturday which we celebrated at our local pizza joint here in Carmichael CA. He had decided in December that he wanted to go with the Angry Birds theme. I thought, no problem! I'll just order some decorations, (plates, napkins, tablecloth, balloons, ect) from an internet store that specializes in birthday parties. Then I found some lovely Angry Birds fondant handmade pieces on Etsy that were well crafted although a little pricey. I decided to go ahead and order them. I ordered everything well in advance, at least two weeks ahead of the event date. 
Unfortunately, when I called to check on the orders and make sure everything was shipping in time, I was told my orders weren't going to make it by his birthday. Devastated, I rushed to local party stores only to find out that everything in the angry birds theme was sold out. 
Luckily, I was able to get the balloons in the characters and decided on solid colors for the rest of the decor. Then I researched on google a number of web sites with tutorials on how to make the angry birds characters from people who boasted that they had never done anything like this before. They had wonderful results. So, at the last minute, (took me all day) I went to work molding the birds, eyes, beaks, top notches, tails, pigs, nest, eggs, clouds, boards, bricks, and slingshot. It turned out to be so much fun and given more time I could have done even better. I have included a list of great tutorial sites at the end of this post. Here are my results:

And here's my boy with his cake. All turned out well. :)

Here are some helpful links that saved the day for us! Simply click on them to check them out. Have fun, too!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Faux Birch Bark Box with Moss Covered Lid "Tutorial"

Hi, and thanks for checking out my tutorial. This project is a lot of fun and can be completed within about 48 hours (due to paint drying time). This is my first tutorial and I am so excited to share it with you. I've attempted to include all of the necessary instructions and tips to help you create your own Faux Birch Box Terrarium. As always please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
The idea for making this box stemmed from the crochet coasters I made. I had completed making 6 matching crochet coasters and wanted a really special box to keep them in. A box that would make a great conversation piece when guests were visiting. I enjoy working with paint because it is a relaxing, peaceful activity. So I came up with this Faux Birch Bark painting technique, then added the moss to the lid, and finally fashioned the little gnome, mushrooms, and rocks out of polymer clay. You can find the pattern for the crochet coasters Here.

Materials needed:
* A 4" round paper mache box.
* White craft glue. (not shown)
* Acrylic craft paint in 4 colors:
  1. Dark chocolate brown,
  2. Dark forest green,
  3. White,
  4. A color of your choice for the inside of the box.
* A few paint brushes, approximately 1/2".
* A package of sheet moss found at your local craft store.
* A few paper bowls or plates, to use for paint and glue.
* Some pretty ribbon.
* A fabric flower or any items you would like to decorate the top of your box.
* A little bit of water standing by is useful to help thin the glue if needed.

Now lets get started!  :)

First step: Apply the paint.
With a 1/2" paint brush and the dark chocolate brown paint, apply a generous coat to the box (not the lid), but not so much that it drips. Brush on the paint in the direction shown in the picture. The brush strokes should be parallel with the top and bottom of the box. The grooves and lines in the paint from the brush strokes help in creating texture which will help create the birch bark look in the end result. One coat is enough. Paint the bottom as well and let the box dry overnight.

Second Step: Apply glue.
Once the paint is completely dry you are ready for the next step, applying the white craft glue. If your glue is too thick to work with comfortably you can add a little water to loosen it up, but not too much. 
Apply a generous amount of glue with your 1/2" paint brush, but not so much that it drips. Apply the brush strokes in the same direction as before. (Horizontally)
If you find your glue is dripping, then either the glue is too thin or there was too much glue applied. Simply catch the drips with your paint brush with a horizontal stroke. The more lines and grooves in the glue, the better.

Note: When you apply the glue to the bottom of the box, work the brush strokes in a circle following the natural roundness of the boxes shape.                                                  Let the glue dry only until it is just tacky. It will still be a little white in some spaces. This takes about 20-45 minutes depending on the temperature of the environment. For example, if the weather is warm like in the summer, then it will only take about 20 minutes to become tacky.

Step Three: Apply the outer coat of paint.
Now, it is time to paint the last layer in this "Faux Birch Bark" process. Apply a liberal coat of white acrylic paint in the same manner as the previous layers. Use horizontal strokes for the sides of the box and work in circles for the bottom of the box. Make sure there are no drips. Let the box dry completely, over night. You will start to see the cracks beginning to form soon after you've finished painting this last coat. The cracks will widen as the paint  dries. The cracks form because the paint dries quickly and the glue shrinks as it dries. Pretty cool!

This picture shows the thin cracks forming only 10 minutes after painting.

This picture shows the cracks looking wider and darker, as they begin to reveal the dark chocolate brown paint underneath. This was approximately 25 minutes after painting.
Fourth Step: Paint the lid and inside of the box.
Once the outside has dried overnight, you are ready to paint the inside of the box and the outside of the lid.  For the interior of the boxes and lids I used a pastel minty color. You can choose any color you like.

I used a dark forest green color for the outside of the lid, since they will be covered in moss. So, if any part of the box happens to peak through, the moss it will blend in. Let these dry a couple of hours.                                                                         

Fifth Step: Glue the moss to the lid.
Now it's time to glue the moss to the lid. The moss is messy to work with but very easy to use. You are going to make a moss circle which will then be glued and wrapped onto the lid. 
Place the lid on the moss. Eyeball about a one inch circumference allowance of moss so you have one piece of moss large enough to cover the top and sides. You can use scissors to cut your moss circle or simply pull the moss apart with your fingers to separate the scraps.
My first attempt gluing the moss to the lid worked well with white craft glue, however, I recommend using a hot glue gun because it is much faster and user friendly when you get to covering the sides of the lid.

Here I used my hot glue gun to attach the moss to the sides of the lid. It worked much nicer than white craft glue would have, mainly due to drying time.

Just work gradually all the way around the lid applying the glue, then bending the moss up  onto the side of the lid. The glue didn't burn my fingers because the moss is so thick.

At this point you may choose to trim your moss or leave it shaggy. Both looks are nice. I simply used scissors and carefully trimmed the moss around the lid. You can see the differences in the pics below.

Final step: Decorate the top of your box!

by Kara Mayfield Copyright 2011 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rosette Pin Brooch Numbered Series

I've been knitting for over 30 years now. I've always had a special fondness and appreciation for the beautiful look of a hand knit piece, especially the edging. I designed this brooch to showcase just that, the edge.
This is the first Rosette Brooch Pin in a series of twelve. Made entirely by hand, this sweet little rosette brooch is adorned with colorful Swarovski crystals and Miyuki glass beads. The hand knit spiral shaped rose in fuchsia tones, paired with its scrolled leaf, make this brooch an original, one of a kind, collectible. It is the perfect finishing touch to any sweater, hat, lapel, scarf, shawl or handbag.

Wool yarn
Wool felt backing with pin
Swarovski Crystals
Miyuki Glass Beads
Measures approximately 3" long and 1 3/4 " high

I hope you like it...

This one is available at my Etsy shop: Click Here

This one is available at my Etsy shop: Click Here

This one is available at my Etsy shop: Click Here

Thank you so much for reading my humble little blog. I really love knitting and sharing with all of you.


Kara xoxo

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yarn Weight Chart

I created a chart to use as a reference guide when trying to determine gauge for a particular yarn or pattern. I compiled the information from various yarn labels. Please click HERE to check out the chart! Thanks for reading and happy knitting!!!!!