Archive for the ‘#TSNEM’ Category

Well the creators of Try Something New Every Month have decided to take a hiatus this year. I can understand that.  It is quite the undertaking to organize a blog challenge.  But I am disappointed there will not be a set challenge this year. So, I decided to challenge myself.

I did most of the challenges last year. I had plans for some of the last 4 but was unable to complete them.  The last 4 were

  • September – Machine Sewing
  • October- Needlework; embroidery, cross-stitch, crewel, needlepoint
  • November- Papercraft; origami, scrapbook, calligraphy
  • December- Choose your own!

I made a pair of pants for September. But never blogged about them as part of the challenge. Needlework is not my thing. I need to do more research. For paper crafts, I have a band box kit, purchased at a guild UFO aution. And I never decided what to do for December.

This year, I will intersperse the last 4 months categories from 2016 with some ideas of my own. Instead of categories, I researched some of the ideas I had saved from last year. This is what I came up with.

  • Rocket Stove
  • Ink to Wood Transfer
  • Skeleton Leaves
  • Photo Letter Collage
  • Luminary’s Out of Cans (metal punch)
  • Scrabble Letter Art
  • Up Cycle Hard Cover Books

That leaves me 2 months unaccounted for. For those I will try some quilt related craft.

Last years goal was to not spend much money and use what I had. For the most part I was able to. The exception being the socks. I needed to purchase everything but the book I borrowed from a friend. I have some of the items needed for most of this year.

I will give you the links to the sites I use for ideas or instructions.

Did you try something new last year?  Let me know. I might add it to my list.


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August– Printmaking; fabric or paper

I want to make a quilt for a fund raiser for the Baker River Valley Snowmobile Club. My idea is to use the signs along the trails as blocks. But how do I make those signs into quilt blocks.  I don’t applique well. I don’t really want to embroider it. I thought about using crayons.

But then I saw an episode of Quilting Arts TV demonstrating screen printing.  I knew that would work for this project.  I knew I had some iron-on vinyl used in this process. All I would need is organza and ink.  I have been trying to complete the new craft challenge without spending a lot of money. So this was perfect!

This is the result.  I wrote out my whole process. It’s available here as a free PDF, if you are so inclined. Also, check out the Quilting Arts TV (season 16, episode 5), if you can. The episode shows how to add color to your screen print. The dvd is available on amazon. SilkScreen11

Through this process I learned what not to do.

  • If you have a large design, don’t scribble the whole design with permanent marker. This is done so the design is visible after you cut it out.  My design was large enough that the smell of the marker was potent. It also took a bit to dry. Next time, I’m going to just trace around the design.
  • SilkScreen12Don’t screen print in good clothes. Hopefully the black ink will come out of my tan jeans. I put some dish detergent on it to pretreat it.
  • Make sure you have a large enough area to work. I didn’t realize where I had put my card/squeegee. When I  moved my fabric over, ink got on the back of my fabric.
  • Make sure your water pan is large enough for your finished screen.  I used a pyrex dish I had. It was long enough but not wide enough. I’ll get some of those aluminum roasting pans next time.
  • Make sure you put the vinyl sticky side up.  When I put the little dot on for the center of the P, I notice the dot was still on the parchment paper. Oops. I put the sticky side up and pressed it again.  No problem.SilkScreen9
  • Make sure the screen is taped down and taut.  Once the screen sifted on me and made a mess. Good thing I was still in test mode and it didn’t happen on my fabric.

The following are products I used and links to amazon, if you can’t find them locally.

Once I finish hiking the 4k’s in NH, I’m going to start on the rest of the signs to make the quilt.

Have you ever tried screen printing? Did you enjoy it?

I did. But I’m still learning.



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For the month of July, I picked up knitting again.  I have knit before.  It has been a while.  So why is it new?  I tried socks on circular needles. I have never knit sock or used a circular needle.

A friend of mine is a wonderful knitter. She loaned me a book on “Socks From The Toe Up.”Scks from the toe up

I went to a local yarn store and purchased some yummy blue washable wool yarn and two circular needles.  Me being me thought I would be able to take that hank of yarn and easily turn it into ball. Boy was I wrong.  If you have never done this, please ask for assistance.  I spent 4 – 5 hours unraveling the mess I made of that yarn.

Following the instruction for Judy’s Magic Cast-On, it took me 4 -5 tries to get the appropriate number of stitches cast on the needles.  Then it took another 4 -5 tries to knit the first row.  I was able to knit up to the heal turn. But not without issues. I kept dropping stitches. Somehow added a stitch.  But now I need help figuring out the instructions.

I reached out to my friend Katie again. She guided me through the instructions on how to complete the heel turn and the heel flap. It is a little tricky. The pattern I am following calls for a slip stitch heel.  I have never worked a slip stitch pattern.  I like the way it looks.  The reasoning behind using the slip stitch is to give more strength and thickness to the back of the heel for better wear.

With help from the internet and YouTube videos, I finished off with a Russian Bind Off. I was hoping this would not be too tight as I have large calves, but it is a bit tight. I’m glad I didn’t make the sock too tall.  Does anyone know how to loosen the bind off?

Now to start the other sock.


Update: I took out most of the bind off.  I proceeded with binding off again. This time I used a larger needle. Now it’s much better.



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TSNEM – June 2016

Yeah, I know. It’s July. But I finished my June project a little late. June was a heavy craft. This is not something I generally do. I work mostly in fabric. But I did have an idea.

This past winter, I kept picking up coats and jackets. My husband and I have gotten into the habit of throwing our coats on the sofa or treadmill, even tough we have a perfectly good closet. We needed a coat rack of some sort.

I didn’t want one that stood in the corner. I wanted it somewhat hidden.  The stairs to the basement is just to the side of the back door. So I decided to have something on the wall as you go down stairs.  I wanted also to use items I had in the house.

I found a nice piece of oak that my husband was using as a shelf in the basement. He said I could use it. Sanded it down, stained it, finished it with two coats of poly. Ain’t it pretty!


A few years ago, I purchased these fleur de lis curtain tie backs.  I thought these would make great hooks. My husband drilled 4 holes for the hooks and counter sunk the back for the screws.  He also pre-drilled the holes for the hanging screws. I used a little nail polish for thread lock so they won’t come loose.



It took use a few tries to find the wall studs. But we did. It’s nice and secure.

I love way it came out. I can’t wait to use it this winter. It will be nice not having the coats and jackets lying around everywhere.


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April’s category is edible crafts.  When I think of an edible craft, I think of sweets.  I really did not want something sweet in my house.  It is only myself and my husband. We both work from home. The opportunity to give any sweets away is slim.  I already make chicken jerky for my pups, so I looked for a recipe to make a different treat for them.

A couple of year ago there was a scare with some of the imported dog treats.  There is less regulations when it comes to pet food than is for people food.  So I started making my own chicken jerky for my pups. So for April, I decided to make a different treat. I got so into making the treats I forgot to take pictures.

20160428_085000First came the research. There are tons of recipes available. Choosing one was difficult. If your pet has allergies, you can alter recipes according to the specific allergy.  This is the recipe I settled on  I did add dried parsley flakes.  Parsley is good for bad breath.

I didn’t make them any special shape. The pups don’t care.  They love them.  I brought the new treats on a hike. Maggie ate through the bag to get at them.  So I would say they are a hit.

The chicken jerky is easy to make.  The hardest part is slicing the chicken up.  These are good for hiking as the pups need protein while hiking.

Chicken jerky for pups

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  • 1 chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • Dried parsley

Set the oven on warm – 200°

Oil a sheet of aluminum foil. I just pour a bit of oil on the foil then spread it around with a paper towel.  You don’t need a lot of oil. Just enough to grease the foil so the chicken won’t stick. It still sticks a little, but it helps.

Slice the chicken into ¼ thick pieces and place them on the foil in a single layer. They don’t need a lot of space between the pieces but they should not touch.  Sprinkle with the parsley.  I sprinkle generously.

Place is the oven. This is the tricky part. It may be helpful to use a cookie sheet to transfer the chicken laden foil to the oven.  Bake for 6 – 8 hours, or until dry and crispy. Turning once half way through.

I store them in a zip bag in the refrigerator.  I don’t know how long they will keep. Because they don’t last long in my house.

Follow me on Instagram to see pictures of my pups hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Let me know if you try a treat recipe and how your pup liked it.


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