Necklace Makeover

Sometimes a favorite piece of jewelry needs an update. That was the case with this necklace. I still liked the stones, but, the gold-plated links were beginning to tarnish.

I took the necklace apart to save the stones and after some searching found these metal pieces that I thought would make a nice combination.

Using a basic stringing technique with white natural silk thread (size 8) and gold-tone findings I was able to get to work on a “new” necklace.

And here’s the final product. I actually like it more than the original necklace and already have worn it a few times.

Earring Class Redo

This past weekend I went to a jewelry making class with some friends. Initially we thought the class was going to be for a pair of earrings and a necklace so we were a tad bit disappointed when we learned it was just earrings and not the earrings that we saw when we signed up for the class but something completely different. I had some difficulty trying to figure what I wanted to do since I wasn’t too keen on the design we were being taught and with the stones provided to us. So, I came up with this while I was there, figuring I would go home and change them up afterwards.
So today I decided to take them apart and brainstorm with the other beads and stones I got from the class.
After a few attempts I finally came up with these by using a basic wire wrapping technique. I wasn’t all that sure about them at first, but after putting them on they grew on me.

Quick and Simple Fingerless Mittens

Not too long ago I came across a pattern to make fingerless mittens in a Martha Stewart magazine. I made myself a pair using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn and size 13 knitting needles. I was very happy with the result and recently made another pair as a gift.
I decided not to use such a thick yarn the second time around and opted to use Patons Shetland Chunky Yarn and size 10 knitting needles.
I knitted two of these rectangles by casting on 36 stitches and working in garter stitch (knitting every row) for 8 inches (59 rows for this specific yarn).
Once the rectangles were done it was time to sew them up – create a seam – so these blocks of knitted yarn could actually become mittens. I folded them vertically so you would still be able to see the garter stich pattern running horizontally along the mittens and started sewing from the wrist part towards the fingers, making sure that I left a space for the thumb. One thing to note, when you sew make sure you are sewing on the side that would be considered the inside (wrong side), if not, you will end up with a finished product with a visible seam. But, if you do like the look of a visible seam try something different and create the seam using a contrasting yarn color to the one you chose for the mittens for a different look.
And they’re done!
Overall I was happy with how they came out. One thing though, since I did use a thinner yarn they were a tad bit bigger than the ones I originally made for myself. But, since the person I gave them to has a larger hand than me they were perfect fit for them. If I were to make myself a pair using this type of yarn I would definitely cast on less than 36 stitches to start the rectangles. I would probably go with something like 30 stiches to get a more snug fit.
You can find the specific pattern on the Martha Stewart website – while the title does stipulate Child’s Knit Hand Warmer, the description has the modifications for the adult size.

Elmo Cake

It’s been a while since I have properly decorated a cake and I have never done a character cake. But, for my friend’s daughters’ second birthday I decided to make her an Elmo cake; it’s one of her favorite characters and was the theme of her birthday party. After going to three different Michael’s craft stores I was finally able to find the Elmo cake pan that I would need.
 
I used a basic yellow cake mix to make the cake. I have never been so apprehensive about making a cake. I was fearful that when I flipped the pan over Elmo would somehow be stuck to the pan or worse break in half. Thankfully I prepped the pan well and Elmo popped right out!
After cooling overnight Elmo was ready to come to life. First I needed to make the icing and color it. While I did use a box mix for the cake (my favorite is Betty Crocker) I decided to make the buttercream icing from scratch. Coloring icing is not always fun, especially when you have to make dark colors like red and black. I ended up using the entire 1 oz. jar of Wilton no-taste red to get Elmo’s fur the proper shade of red. Thankfully orange wasn’t as daunting to make.
Now that my icing colors were the right shade it was time to decorate. I started off with filling in Elmo’s mouth and icing his nose.
After an hour or so of meticulous work Elmo was done and I must say I was quite pleased with how he came out. His eyes took me a while to get right but it was well worth the time. He was a hit at the party and brought a great big smile to the birthday girl’s face.
Buttercream Icing (From Wilton)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups (1 lb.) sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Cream butter and shortening with an electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Hey Everyone…

Thanks for visiting! About two months ago while I was baking up a few batches of cookies I thought it would be fun to start a blog chronicling all the different things I make. In the past couple of years I have learned how to knit, crochet, bead weave, and decorate cakes among other things. I have always enjoyed creating things and challenging myself with new techniques, patterns and recipes. So welcome to my new blog. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy making all the items.