Staying Home and Crafting

How have you been spending all this extra time at home? Cleaning crevices of your home you never thought of cleaning? Finally clearing out your closets to discover items you had long forgotten? Constantly searching the internet for recipes to use up obscure items found in your pantry? Or simply catching up on television shows or discovering new ones? And of course, there are those things on your to do list that you know you should get to, but, just don’t seem to have the motivation to do so. One of those things for me is raking the leaves in my backyard. A task I am never fond of doing, but, once done I am so happy to have done. Sometimes too we put so many things on our to-do lists that we become overwhelmed with what to do first. I know that happens with me often. Especially on my list of crafts I want to do.

For quite some time I had a small pile of beadweaving projects that I wanted to get to. I even organized the beads I wanted to use for the projects so all I had to was actually sit down and make them. Well, I finally started working on some of those projects and soon discovered that I didn’t like how a few of them were turning out or I just didn’t have the patience so I gave up and moved on to the next one. I did find one project that I liked and I ended up making two pairs of earrings.

I’m in the middle of making this bracelet. So far so good, I just need to figure out how to put a knot in the end of the bracelet without destroying the braid or making it look wonky.

I also attempted to make a new Easter wreath. I picked up the supplies in late February after coming across the directions and they sounded simple enough. Decoupage plastic Easter eggs with small pieces of paper napkins and then glue them to a straw wreath adorned with Spanish moss. I’ve made quite a few wreaths so I thought I would have no problem with this one. I started, well, I should say I tried to decoupage the eggs and it was a mess. The paper wasn’t flat on the eggs regardless of how small I cut the napkin and I couldn’t stand the smell of the decoupage glue. Oh well. Thankfully the supplies weren’t that expensive and they are all things I can use for other projects so it wasn’t a total loss.

Before things got really bad with the virus and places were still open I was taking crocheting/knitting classes at my local library. I had just finished a series of three classes where we made crocheted tote bags and was starting another series of three classes to make a knitted keyhole scarf. I actually made a crocheted version last year. We got through one class before the library decided to cancel all classes and then ultimately closed. Thankfully in that one class I got the gist of how to make the scarf – it involved splitting stitches and using double-pointed needles, neither of which I had done nor used before in knitting – so, I was able to complete it on my own.

And then I started another scarf (my neck is ready for next winter). Initially, using Lion Brand’s Homespun yarn, I was knitting a scarf in garter stitch (knitting every stitch in each row) and once completed I was going to weave ribbon through the scarf in a basketweave pattern. I got to a certain point and tested out weaving the ribbon through and just didn’t like how it was looking so I decided to go with a pattern (Flights of Fancy) I had in a folder and I am liking this much better. I’ve thought about going through my yarn stash and putting all my remnant yarns together to make a blanket. For now though, I’ll just add that to my to-do list.

So, I’ve definitely been trying to keep myself busy at home as you can see. And yes, I have cleaned corners of my house I never thought of cleaning all while avoiding those leaves. As for television, I don’t subscribe to any streaming services so I split my time between watching actual television and listening to music. I am always amazed how there are so many channels and still nothing to watch at times. As for cooking and baking, I haven’t gotten too creative yet. I did make this Banana Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting last week as a means to use up some bananas and mascarpone cheese. I do have a pasta dish that I have yet to hit publish on that I give quite a few ideas to customize with what you have in your pantry. The main thing right now though is to stay home, stay safe and stay healthy!

 

 

 

Etsy Shop Update

My Etsy Shop has been open for just about a month and so far so good. I’ve made three sales, added some bead, crystal & pearl snowflake ornaments and had to adjust how I do my listings. I still haven’t fine-tuned the latter, but I am sure I’ll get it eventually. This is the issue… the necklace from my first sale came in different colors, I thought by listing each of the colors when one was purchased that color would be eliminated from my inventory, unfortunately I had listed my quantity as 1 so the necklace was then sold out, so I had to readjust the listing and the others that I had set- up similarly. I had a similar issue with my following sale of 2 snowflake ornaments… I had to manually remove them from my inventory. So, I have some research to do on listings.

I also ran my first sale over Black Friday weekend and promoted Small Business Saturday. And that’s pretty much where I am.

Here are the Snowflake Ornaments:

If you’re interested in one of the ornaments or are looking for a piece of jewelry for yourself or someone else on your list check out my shop: CraftedByFran

Etsy Shop – CraftedByFran

After making jewelry for a few years and creating pieces to give as gifts, sell to friends and at a few local craft fairs, I finally decided to open an Etsy shop. Truthfully, I’ve been thinking about it for a while but held back because I thought it would be difficult.

So, what did I think it would be difficult? Figuring out shipping costs for one. I did a little research and discovered that this stumps many would-be Etsy sellers. There were a few other things as well: the whole creating a listing, taking good pictures, do I have to give my pieces “names?” And a few other silly little things. In the end, I am opting to offer free shipping and decided not to give most of my pieces a name since they are one-of-a-kind. And after creating my first listing and learning how to navigate the process it became a lot easier and not as daunting. Let’s be honest, trying anything new is a learning process. Soon enough I’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. There is one thing that always gets me… Tagging. Which ones work best and which ones don’t. I have that same issue with my blog posts sometimes.

Below is the link to my shop. Feel free to like a piece, like my shop or maybe you’ll find something perfect for you.

CraftedByFran

Here are some of the pieces available now…

 

Christmas Wrap-Up

How was your Christmas? Mine was good… Filled with great times, great food and great cookies! As I’ve done in years past I had a Christmas baking marathon and baked various cookies to give as gifts. I took my last sheet of cookies out of the oven early in the day Christmas Eve. This year along with the usual rugelach and malted chocolate chip cookies, I made another batch of these vanilla spritz cookies along with peanut butter cookies and oatmeal cookies. YUM! And, there was also a batch of Gingerbread Men, one of who was a bit angry after losing part of his leg.

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And luckily this year I got my handmade Christmas gifts done in plenty of time, okay, with about a week to spare. This for me is good, since it gave me enough time to wrap them with pretty ribbon bows. I made two Afghans and an earring and bracelet set.

The first afghan was made with Lion Brand’s Thick & Quick Yarn following their Cromwell Court Afghan Pattern. Here’s a pic of the start…

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And the finish product…

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The second afghan was made with Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice Yarn following their 5 1/2 Hour Throw Pattern… Truthfully it took me longer than the 5 1/2 hours and since it involved crocheting three colors together I opted to wind the three colors into a ball to make crocheting a lot simpler.

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And the finish product…

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And finally the earring and bracelet set that I made using tila beads, superduo beads, seed beads and crystals just using basic beadweaving techniques.

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I also squeezed in some time to make my Christmas cards once again this year.

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I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and that you all have a wonderful New Year!