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Handmade Holiday Gift Guide: For the Home


For the home. Part 1
Top (l-r): A yarn bowl from Kyle Smith Pottery? Yes, please! Blogging and Crafting buddy, Jordan had a fun story about Kyle, “My friend Caroline built a “registry” with him for her wedding last spring and he designed a special set of everyday wear just for her. It was amazing and made for a great way to support a local artist while purchasing a gift the bride and groom actually wanted and could use.” This painting from Dylandashcomma is perfect for any Star Wars lover. Use this basket from weaver Clay Burnette to store your odds and ends, fruit, yarn, etc. Leslie of Off the Map  uses original maps in her prints.

Middle (l-r): This linoleum print from Sunny Mullarkey makes me want to keep practicing yoga.This glass orb with an air plant from Oriskany Glass Studio? Want. All of http://braddparton.comBradd Parton’s drawings are created using all 26 letters of the alphabet. Fun! If the birds are coming into your yard, they might as well have the coolest house on the block. Check out Mike Merritt.

Bottom (l-r): PotentQuotes prints can be instantly download. Pay once and use as many times as you please. They are running a few specials for the holiday. Friday- 50% off BLKFRIDAY, Saturday- 30%  SBSAT, Monday- 20% CYBRMON. Artbasgo creates gorgeous pieces by using gourds. This pepper mill by No 1 Alike is a work of art and also functional. Fill yourcouches with these art pillows from Jellykoe.

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Handmade Holiday Gift Guide: For Her


This year I decided to create my own Holiday Gift Guides. The catch: the items must be local and handmade. Huge thanks to those I reached out to for suggestions. I discovered some new talent!

handmade holiday gift guide for her


First Row (l-r): Hippy Do Da Creations creates Free Spirit & Bohemian Inspired Handmade Jewelry (I have several of her pieces!). Nana by Sally uses the highest quality of leather to create gorgeous bags such as the bucket bag above! Sebastian Harper creates one of kind clothing and accessories using sustainable techniques such as natural dyeing. I’m always amazed by what is created working with glass beads. Fanny Beads is no exception.

Bottom Row (l-r): Love this apron from By Farr Design CHI Design studied Shibori in Japan and now makes gorgeous silk scarves that are dyed with indigo and other natural dyes; Loving this ring (And the double barrel detail!) by January Jewerly. Each Uniquely MC product is individually designed and hand-made to make a one-of-a-kind creation.


Stay tuned as I will be sharing gift suggestions for the fellas, children, pets, and the home.

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New Knitting Bag! Butterick 4900 – Vintage Pattern

butterick 4900 knitting bag

This is one of the patterns I picked up while doing some thrifting. I thought I would make the drawstring tote first but I have been wanting a cute bag to carry around my knitting and crochet projects while in public (Vain, I know.)

Butterick 4900 Pattern

The pattern was completely untouched and even had the iron-on alphabet letters that came with it. I was pretty estactic for this discovery. I wasn’t expecting them to still be in there.

Butterick 4900 iron on alphabet

Since I decided I was going to use the letters for the outside of the bag, I kept the fabric for the main exterior plain. I believe it is a linen blend.

First, I ironed on the letters . They didn’t go on too well but I didn’t have high expectations given this pattern is about 40 years old (and untouched). Plus, I like the vintage look it gives the bag.

Butterick 4900 knit bag

The pattern suggests you use webbing for the straps but I had enough heavy weight fabric to make my own. I did have to reposition the straps on the bag to accommodate for the letters.

Butterick 4900 strap2

Butterick 4900 strap

For the interior, I got a bit more colorful.

Butterick 4900 Interior Butterick 4900 Interior 2

The final size of the bag is approx 18″ wide and 15″ long. Perfect size for holding a project or two.

This was a very quick made. I believe it took me around an hour to make. Definitely a project for a beginner.

If I make another bag I’ll probably add an interior pocket.

I might do a little reconstructing on this one and add a snap closure. But I’m not sure it’s necessary.

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Natural Dyeing with Black Walnuts Husks

black walnuts natural dyeing

Natural Dyeing can be quite an adventure.


One of the main rules with dyeing is to always wear gloves. To be honest, it is a rule I never followed. For one, I’m stubborn. Also, I never really worked with any dyes (such as indigo) that would dye my hands for a long period of time. I knew black walnuts would easily stain my hands so I decided to push my stubborn ways to the side and use gloves during this dyeing process. So happy I did. As I started to take the husk off I discovered this:

black walnuts maggots

They are Walnut Husk Flies and their maggots. Long story short: they like to breed into almost mature walnuts and proceed to freak me the F*CK out! They aren’t able to penetrate the nut and meat due to the hardness of the shell. I wasn’t plan on eating these nuts so that wasn’t an issue to me. The first few walnuts didn’t have any so when I did see this, ugh, I still get goosebumps. Some had none, others had a few, and some had a whole damn lot. If it was too disgusting (for my taste), I just threw them out. On the other ones I brushed them off.

This task turned into a one woman show with me screaming and flailing my arms around. I had to catch myself mid-scream just in case one flew into my mouth.

Once I was finished with that step I placed all the walnuts in a large bin filled with water and a little cleaning solution (just in case there was any little maggots hanging around).

My original plan was to crack open the walnuts and use the meat inside to make the dye but once I saw how dark the water was turning from just a short soak I decided to change it up and use the hull of the walnuts.

Besides, this was getting old very quickly.

opening black walnuts for dyeing with hammer


I emptied out the old water and washed off the walnuts.

I placed them in a pot and added some water. Once the water started to boil I lowered the temperature to allow for it to simmer. I wanted to do a test run so I added a piece of unbleached cotton I had.


unbleached cotton dyed with black walnuts hull


Stretch knit cotton. Mordanted with vinegar and copper mix.

stretch knit cotton dyed with black walnut hull


Cotton scarf. Originally dyed with a madder root/acorn mix. I dipped the ends in the black walnuts dye.


naturally dyed scarf


It was quickly snatched up by this happy customer this weekend at Soda City!

happy customer


Since I had so many walnuts I froze half of them. The other half if soaking in a jar filled with water.

I do plan to eventually use the walnut and the meat. I will share that process in another post.

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Mixing Natural Dyes

Lately I’ve been playing around with mixing the dyes I already have to produce different colors.

I added the last of my log wood mix to the turmeric mixture and it produced a great dark mustard color (as seen on the vest on the left), and the bottom portion was dipped into an acorn mixture. The sweater in the middle and the tank on the right were originally dyed with madder root. I re-dyed them with acorn.

natural dyed cotton yarn sweater vest tank

Love these scarves. Left: dyed with turmeric/logwood mix. Middle:dyed with acorns. Right: dyed with madder root/log wood mix.

natural dye cotton scarf

The vest was originally dyed with madder root then re-dyed with acorn. The sweater was re-dyed with turmeric/log wood.natural dye cotton yarn vest sweater

Another fun part with natural dyeing is seeing how the different fibers take the colors. Above the items were made with cotton yarn. On the items below, I used 100% Virgin Wool. A lot of tutorials I read recommend you use animal fibers but as you can see above, cotton works just as great.


natural dye wool yarn

I used different mixes for mordants (to help hold the color). For some I mixed the fibers in pure vinegar, vinegar/copper/rust mix, and for others I didn’t use a mordant.


You can see these creations (as well as others) on my Facebook Page.

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