Friday, May 29, 2009

How to make a bath puff

Hey Crafters!!!

I was searching online yesterday for a basic how to for making a bath puff. You know the kind. They're usually fluffy and made out of plastic. You can find them in the dollar store and basically any other place that sells bath stuff. I'm tired of paying $1 a piece for them... because I'm cheap and knew for a fact that there had to be a crafty alternative.
So my search only produced one helpful page. Of course I was in shock. So I tried out the directions and what I came up with did not in the least result in a bath puff! So I did what I should have done in the first place. I took my old bath puff apart.
That is how I deduced the following.

Materials needed:
Tulle or netting (12 inches by 38 inches)
Nylon cord, yarn or ribbon (24 inches)

*Soft tulles and nettings are perfect for this project. I've used the rougher ones and they work nice to exfoliate. I'm also not picky :-) After Halloween you can find nice, soft netting fabric on sale, such as the black netting with red skulls in the picture above.

Step 1:
Cut your tulle or netting about 12 inches wide by 38 inches long. (Give or take a few inches if you want. These are very forgiving.)

Step 2:
Fold your fabric in half down the length of the piece. This will create a tube that will be 6 inches wide by 38 inches long.

Step 3:
Sew your tube.

Step 4:
Turn your tube inside out.

Step 5:
Scrunch your tube and tie in the center with ribbon. For a stronger hold repeat the knot. You should have a nice loop now to hang it from.

Step 6:
"Puff" your bath puff up and it should be ready to use.

These make excellent gifts, especially when paired with your own handmade soaps and body washes. Do an online search and you should be able to find a few nice homemade recipes for these projects.

*This pattern is solely for your own personal use. You're welcome to make these for charities, non-profits or gifts.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Super Easy and Fluffy Baby Blanket

After making this blanket countless times for friends and family I've decided to share the pattern with others, because it's so easy that even someone who has just learned to knit can do it!


4 skeins of Red Heart Baby Clouds yarn in color of your choice. (Each skein should be 140 yards. If using a variegated color of Baby Clouds you will need to get about 5-6 skeins because those only have 105 yards.)
Size 10 circular knitting needles or size needed to obtain gauge.

My blanket measured at 36 inches by 44 inches when I was done.
There is no right or wrong with this pattern so don't worry if yours comes out different.

Gauge: 3 stitches = 1 inch

CO 85 Sts

Knit every row until you have gone through most of your yarn. Make sure to leave enough to bind off with.

This will knit up very quickly and you will be left with a very nice, fluffy blanket that is just right for those cold winter nights of cuddling with your baby. It's also nice as a play mat for when you don't want your baby playing on a hard floor.
Every time I've given one of these as a gift, the mother always wants to keep it for herself instead of giving it to the baby.
Also this yarn is very forgiving, so if you accidentally knit some of the fibers from other stitches together don't freak out! No one will notice because of the bulkiness of the yarn.

If you've made a variation to this pattern feel free to contact me so I can post it!!

Happy knitting :-)

Living simply

Now that I'm pregnant and thinking about what my son will turn out like, I often wonder... Will he appreciate the little things? When I was younger my family didn't have much. New clothes were like a phenomenon that I heard about from time to time but never really saw. Hand me downs were very common. Sadly there usually stained or had holes in them. As a result I learned how to mend my own clothes and cover up a stain with a patch of some sort.
Things are different now. I can afford to buy nicer things and no one gives me stained or "holey" hand me downs anymore. Yet because of the way I was raised I still mend holes that are mendable and cover up stains with patches or simpley re-use the fabric for something like a rag quilt.
With the economy taking a nose dive many people are now turning back to those types of quick fixes for things as opposed to running to the mall for something new.
I wonder if my son will appreciate the simple things, like growing his own veggies in the spring and summer or the true value of a hard earned dollar.
I always noticed that my cousins who didn't have an after school job didn't fully appreciate a $20 Old Navy fleece pullover. If it got lost in school, they wouldn't go after it until their mom would ask "Where is that sweater I bought you?" After a huff and puff of aggravation they would hunt it down.
I got a job when I was 14 because my dad wanted me to get out there and learn how to deal in the real world. So I got a job as a cashier at a clothing store. It taught me to appreciate the things that I bought with my own money. My parents would still buy me things if I really needed them. Anything that wasn't a necessity was up to me to buy. So if I wanted a nice dress to wear to a formal dance, I bought it myself. I really wanted to go to a Catholic High School so I also paid for that myself. My partial scholarship helped a lot also. Looking back, I would've been fine going to the public high school, but I had gone to Catholic School all my life so I wasn't really up for a big huge school when all I had ever known was a little school.
Then came college, which I am still paying for. While in college I met people who had never worked a day in their life. Yet these people had their own car, gas for the car and very nice clothes. Then somthing else dawned on me. They may have those things but their parents dictate everything in their lives. From what they wear to where they go in their car. Since I bought everything with my own money my parents never told me how to dress or where I could and couldn't go.
During college I learned how to knit, after seeing one of my friends making a really pretty scarf for herself. I bought a book and taught myself the basics. After a lot of practice and frustration I got it down to a science. I learned just how cool it was to make presents for others and see how much they appreciated it because it was handmade. Anyone that didn't appreciate it, just didn't get anything else from me that was handmade.
More and more I see many people turning away from the luxuries that we once all enjoyed and turning to a simpler way of living. Some people are gardening more. Some enjoy knitting things for charity or as gifts for others. Others are sewing quilts or just doing simple alterations themselves.
It's nice to see the resurgence. I wonder though if when the economy gets better, if we'll all go back to our wastefulness or if we'll continue along the simple path and teach the younger generations that are growing up now the true value of a hard earned dollar, before it's too late. I've already decided to show my some how to knit and sew. That way he can sew his buttons back onto his own shirts and pants. If he ever needs a super warm blanket for himself or someone else he can make that himself also. I'm not going to turn him into a complete pansy. I still want him to get dirty and play in the mud. I just want him to know the basics. After that if he wants to learn how to do lacework in knitting or some fancy sewing technique then he can ask me to teach him.
I just want him to know how to live simply and be economical. We'll play in the mud together in the warmer months. The winter months and rainy days I'll set aside for the crafty stuff. Oh yeah and by the way... Men actually invented knitting. With that interesting fact I'll leave you all to ponder how we can all live a little more simply.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I wonder sometimes if recycling is really helping the environment when many of those things that are put in the recycling bin actually end up in a landfill. Lately I've been trying to cut back on some stuff and just try to make some things homemade. My husband bought me a really cool book from Reader's Digest called Homemade. It's not the easiest book to find. Usually your local library should have a copy. Upon reading it I ws instantly fascinated by all the things you could make in your own home. One of the things that has saved me a lot of money is home made laundry detergent. There are quite a few recipes online for this also, but I like the one in the book the best.
When my dryer sheets run out I plan to sew some sachets of my own and fill them with some lavender potpourri and put a few drops of lavender oil on it every once in a while to refresh it. I heard that this won't wreck my dryer like the dryer sheets do and it's better for the environment, since it will be less waste.
While I certainly do not advocate the waste created by plastic bags, I'm certainly open to creative solutions for how to make something useful out of something that normally gives me a headache. We have all experienced the cashier/bagger at a supermarket, who has no idea how to bag groceries correctly and therefore places only 1 (one) item in each bag. Now I understand if you have to keep chemical stuff such as hair care products separate from fruit; but when it comes to 3 different snacks that could easily fit in one bag, getting placed in separate bags for some weird unforseen reason, I have a tendency to get a little pissed off. That is seriously an unnecesary waste. Finally I have caved. I am going to gather every single last tote bag in my house, and take them all with me the next time I go grocery shopping. That way if the inexperienced cashier would like to use 20 bags, at least they'll be the reusable and durable bags that I brought in. Since I now have a surplus of plastic bags I will also attempt to make a tote bag out of the plastic bags. When I'm done I'll post a picture. The pattern that I'll be using isn't originally mine. So when I'm done I'll make sure to tell everyone where I got my pattern from. By doing some research on Youtube I found out how to make plarn (plastic yarn) from plastic bags. I'm curious to see if this works and what the end results will be. Either way I'm declaring war against plastic grocery bags.
Like I said above I'm not advocating the use of the plastic grocery bag, I just want to find something to do with all the plastic grocery bags that I already have in my house.
If anyone out there has tried a pattern for a grocery bag that they absolutely adore, then I'd love to know about it.
I'll probably be sewing some tote bags as well seeing as I already have a lot of reclaimed fabrics and sewing is faster than knitting.