Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lights Are On

I love the lights of the holiday season!  When I lived in Manhattan, there was a street near where I lived on the upper east side where all of the trees were covered with warm white lights.  I used to make sure I took that route home after work.

To bring the holiday warmth into my own home, I decided get these lights that come in mesh form.  I found them at Target.  My terrace is about 16 feet long, so I got two 4' X 8' sheets of multicolored lights.  There are so many choices these days.  Bulb size, color, led, etc.  I had the faux evergreen wreath with white lights which I had used that last year, twisting it around the top of the terrace rail.  This year, I even got a timer!  You know what I used to attach the lights to the terrace?  Arts and Crafts pipe cleaners!  A bag for basically one dollar.  I was looking for a roll of twist tie wire, but couldn't find one.  The pipe cleaners worked like a charm.  You can see them in the following picture.  I thought it was a genius idea, until I told my sister I couldn't find the twist ties and asked her what she thought I used and she guessed it right away... oh well.

The last two years I put up my pre-lit 7.5 foot high faux tree without any other adornment.  I figured since it didn't have any ornaments, nobody could rightly call it a Christmas tree, which it's not.  But I decided I don't care anymore what anyone thinks.  The darn thing is for me to enjoy!  After I grabbed the lights for the terrace, I was wandering around in the holiday decoration section and I happened to spy these crystal clear acrylic gem looking "ornaments".  That did it!  I held out for two years and then I caved.  Another chance to put bling up, are you kidding me?!  Okay, you don't have to twist my arm.  Then I happened to be in Rite Aid looking through every aisle because I was enjoying looking at everything and then I saw them.  The perfect complement to the clear crystal drops, clear acrylic snowflakes!  I LOVE SNOWFLAKES!  I kind of walked out of Target saying to myself, maybe I'll return the ornaments.  But after seeing the snowflakes, the deal was pretty much sealed.  I will say that I still kept is simple.  I could have gone crazy with the ornaments.

See how they pick up the lights from the tree!  Pretty!  They glow and when the tree isn't lit, they shine in the daylight.  I was debating on whether or not to put up a tree topper.  My ceilings are 8 feet and the tree is 7.5 feet.  I couldn't find anything I liked in the size I needed.  Surprise, surprise, I am going to make my own.  I am going to glue three of the clear snowflakes together so that it is 3D and then slip that over a branch at the top. The snowflakes pick up the lights up there and glow.

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Blue, The Bold and The Beautiful

Dramatic, just like a good soap opera, is the bold beautiful blue seed bead ring I recently added to my growing collection.  I can't help it! I love jewelry and I love making things.  It's either a recipe for disaster or success.  I got my first order for a replica of the tanzanite crystal ring posted earlier, despite the fact that I wasn't intending on starting a business.  Either way, it remains to be seen. Though, I can tell you for certain, that more rings will be forthcoming.  I'm already in the planning stages.  Besides, I have to keep you entertained!  Bold blue seed beads, surrounding a large oval cz stone mounted in the east to west orientation.  I was going for a domed effect with this one.  What do you think?

Another statement ring!  It says, look at me, I'm very sparkly!

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Knitting Becomes Obsession

Not only do I like knitting, once I get started, I actually crave it and go through withdrawal when I'm not able to do it.  Can anyone relate?  I have been knitting on the train to and from and I think it really annoys some people, while others are curious.  It's kind of amusing.  I try to be considerate when someone sits right next to me on the train and I am knitting, but I have to do it!  I only knit on circular needles which cuts down tremendously on the movement.  But frankly, it's better than sitting next to someone reading the newspaper.  Oh well, people will get over it or go sit somewhere else.

I finished my "so cozy warmer."  I was having size issues and also with a cast on row that was cast on a little too tight.  The trick was taking out my Joy Mangano's trusty handheld small steamer and blocking the warmer.  For those of you not familiar with knitting, a cast on row is the first row of a knitting piece and blocking is a process for shaping or smoothing a piece into the final product.  I like to use steam for my blocking but others wet their knitting pieces.  To explain in more detail: when I knit a scarf, the edges often curl and I block it  to make the edges flat.  This is done by pinning down the scarf and especially the curled edges on cardboard or something similar. The next step is steaming the straightened out scarf and then letting it air dry.  The other good thing about blocking is that it can help with accidents or mistakes.  What I mean by that is:  knitted pieces usually have a little stretch that can be played with to make a piece bigger or even smaller depending on what you need it to do.  Blocking can help, but it can't fix a glaring mistake.  The process of blocking helped make my warmer a little bigger when it was a little small.  I wouldn't recommend relying on blocking though.  Measure, measure, measure!

I am almost done with my circular/eternity scarf and I am almost done making a neck warmer.  The neck warmer is really just a 14 inch long tube that fits over your head.  You can fold it in different ways or just scrunch it down your neck.  The neck warmer is black with a shimmer to it.  Here's a photo, though it doesn't really show well.  

The next knitting project I want to try to tackle, if I succeed, will be the most difficult project I've done yet.  I found a really cool pattern for a sweater vest.  I'm only at the fact finding stage for that one, but hope to have something to show you soon.

Thanks for stopping by and Stay tuned for more creativity!