Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Debate Night Special: Fried Baloney or American Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Just for fun (or purely for the irony), if you're having a debate watch party tonight, you might think about treating your friends to iconic sandwiches full of the smoky flavor of fried baloney or the gooey goodness of melted American cheese.

There are a lot of regional varieties on both of these sandwiches. Check out these Pinterest boards for baloney sandwiches and american grilled cheese sandwiches.

Be sure to have some BBQ potato chips on hand, and for sides, try some deviled eggs and some Mean Beans:

And here is a recipe for a good Sucker Punch.

Enjoy. It's almost over.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Convertible Necklace

This hand-knotted necklace is fun, because it can be worn in lots of different ways.

View it in the shop

If you are into making jewelry, you could make something similar.

Basically, you want to make a two-strand necklace in which one strand is only slightly shorter than the other. Use a lobster clasp for the closure. Then make two dangles. One has its own lobster clasp, and you can attach it wherever you want. The other one is on a closed ring, so you would connect it to the lobster clasp of the necklace itself.

Here are some styling ideas:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Duttons for Buttons

If you are a button lover, and you live in the UK, you are probably already aware of Duttons for Buttons. If you are a button-lover planning a trip to the UK, you must plan to search them out.  They have three locations: Harrogate, York, and Ilkley.

 Mr ChaCha and I happened upon the shop in York.  Actually, he walked straight on by with his camera in hand, but I stopped dead in my tracks. Then I stepped inside and knew I would have to come back the next day to spend some serious time exploring their inventory.

Imagine a wall full of button bins stocked with every kind of button imaginable. Whether you are looking for glass buttons, metal ones, plastic, bone, rhinestone, pearl, mother of pearl, shell, leather or whatever--you are bound to find something of interest here.

My shopping spree yielded me 55 pounds worth.
(£s not lbs)

Here are some of the new additions to my stash:

The intention is for these pretty glass buttons to become part of button-and-loop closures on some bead-knotted or bead-crocheted necklaces.

Here are some from the more glitzy group:

I am looking forward to using them all!

This is only part of the haul that I carried home. Deciding which buttons to choose from all of Duttons's offerings took me a while, but it was a lot of fun. Check out their wall of buttons here.

If anyone out there has another good source for buttons, it would be great if you would share with us all in the comments.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mine on Mondays

Having a regular blogging schedule and plan is recommended by social media experts. I've mostly flown by the seat of my pants, so after my long absence from this blog perhaps a little organization would be a good idea.

Here's the plan for now:
  • Perfect on the weekend: a post will feature a perfect one-of-a-kind or limited edition accessory or article of women's clothing. It may be one of my own or it may be by another designer/maker. Limited discussion, because it is after all, the weekend.
  • Mine on Mondays: the post will feature one of my creations. You may find out something secret about the making of it. Or not.
  • Whatever Wednesdays: these posts could be tutorials, cover fashion history, show something interesting that I recently discovered, or just be some musings in general.
  • Featured on Friday: one or more of my finds from around the Internet, primarily from Etsy artists.

Today's item that I have to share with you is a shawl that I hand knit earlier this year. It's in my shop for now, but it's so tempting to keep it for myself.

This shawl starts and ends with a lacy border; in between, it has alternating bands of seed stitch and garter stitch. It is lightweight but warm.

For you knitters, the two fibers used are Meadow in cornflower blue, and Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn in color 1 (mysteriously named "Soft Natural Brown"). The fiber combination of the two yarns together, based on the weight of each fiber used for the shawl, is 22% Silk, 20% Merino wool, 20% generic wool, 13% baby llama, 12% Polyamide, 8% linen, and 5% mohair.

It is as soft as can be!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Back in Town and on to Polyvore

On September 21, it was exactly two years since my mother's passing. No one can explain the depth of emotions that linger during that period of mourning.

The next day, Mr ChaCha and I flew to England for a two-week vacation, during which time not one knitting needle, crochet hook, yarn or bead was handled. (Although I did buy some cool buttons, which I'll show you in a later post.)

It was a true break, and now I am returned with new energy. Some of that energy during the past two days has been spent learning how to use Polyvore. Over at Etsy, use of curation templates collectively called the treasury was discontinued during my absence from the country. A whole lot of us Etsians have migrated our curating of items to Polyvore. It's a pretty cool site. This is the first "set" I made, inspired by fashion that I saw on our trip:
This set was built around the lace skirt, which is an emerging style on young women in London. A maxi or midi-length, sheer-lace skirt is worn over a knee-length or mini-length opaque skirt. The style looked best on women who were tall and slender. The blanket-style big scarf was still a popular item, and most women wore comfortable shoes on the street and not tall heels.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Minimalist Bead Crochet Necklaces

The most popular post on this blog so far has been the 2010 tutorial post for the Understatement Necklace, which was a very delicate clustered-bead, crocheted necklace. That tutorial is still a great place to learn how to make a beaded crochet necklace of your own. I'll add a link at the end of this post, so you can go check it out, and after the holidays, I'll try to get around to finally doing some more tutorials on the blog here.

Meanwhile, here are some of my latest bead crochet necklaces. All of these, except for the last one, are great wrap bracelets, too.

Green Beaded Crochet Necklace with Removable Christmas Tree Charm

Cobalt Caprice Beaded Crochet Necklace with Removable Dangle Bead

Stone Feather Beaded Crochet Necklace or Wrap Bracelet

And finally, this little beauty, in a clustered-bead style:

Flower Vine on Pagoda, Red Beaded Crochet Necklace

When worn, these necklaces are lighter and more minimalist than the knotted bead necklaces from the last post.

Here is that link for the Understatement Necklace tutorial that I promised you, in case you want to make a necklace of your own.