Saturday, July 23, 2011

For the Love of Cupcakes

My partner in the "For the Love of Cupcakes" swap on received her package and so did I, woohoo!
I went with a steampunk/vintage cupcake theme for my partner, sailorgirlbonk, based on her Wist.
My first cast resin piece ever! I used a miniature cookie cutter and packing tape to form a makeshift mold. Included in the resin is a silver metallic-finish piece of scrapbook paper, a brass stamping blank, and two brass cogs/gears. I used sandpaper to distress the pendant so some parts appear worn.

It is hard to read but this is my first stamped metal piece. The pendant says "C is for Cupcakes" and "Cogs" and "Captain" are stamped around one edge. It is joined by a cog and a polymer cupcake charm I bought on Etsy.

These are two domino and resin pendants I made. They both have the same phrasing but with different vintage images. My partner had one similar on her Wist.

I'm not sure what to call this. I thought that, if she dressed up, she could wear it on a vest or button-up shirt like one does a pocket watch on a chain or a sweater protector. It is brass gear wheels and a resin/Scrabble tile charm. 

I made two more decorated Scrabble tiles, but without backings this time so she could use as she wants to.

This is another Scrabble piece, this time on an adjustable ring.
Extras in the box included cupcake fabric and several cupcake-themed embellishments like ribbon and buttons.

Below are the goodies she sent me. My absolute favorite is the Dr. Who cupcake hoop and a close runner-up is the Scrabble and cupcake pillow!
Because fezzes and bow ties are cool.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

There is a lot on the crafty front just waiting to be written about, as soon as I have the time between working my day job and taking care of two small children and a not-so-small husband.

I didn't enjoy working with the shawl pattern I was using (see my previous post). I've been crocheting long enough to compensate for the poor directions but it sucked the fun and relaxation factor right out. So, I'm going to frog what I have completed so far and start on an entirely different pattern.

My "For the Love of Cupcakes" swap partner received so I can safely post what I crafter for her. Also, I received from her and can post those goodies as well.

I'm also working on more Web articles and a new crafty endeavor that may lead to an Etsy store in my near future!

More details to come...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In the Works

I am anxiously awaiting my For the Love of Cupcakes swap partner to receive. This is a bit nerve-wracking as I just mailed this morning. As soon as she has received I will post pictures and descriptions. I made some similar items for my sister-in-law and will post those once they have been received as well.

I am starting on a crocheted shawl for another swap, this time a round robin. The pattern is called Evening Shawl and I found it first on but have since found it again on using a different weight of yarn and called Elegant Shawl. I'm using I Love This Yarn Sportweight, available at Hobby Lobby, in black and an F/3.75mm hook. The yarn 100% acrylic, so it is washable, but this brand is very soft.
The instructions are not the best or easiest to follow, even though I've been crocheting a long time, but I think I have the pattern down and have high hopes it will turn out well. Thankfully, the swap has a really long crafting time, so I can try something else if it doesn't work out the way I would like.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Retro/Rockabilly Accessories

I recently scored a lot of resin jewelry supplies in a couple of craft swaps on I had a few retro/rockabilly images that made me think of a college friend of mine, so some of my first creations are for her. I made a bobby-pin and pendant each with a Scrabble-tile base and a pendant with a Rummikub-tile base. The images are just printed out on thicker, good-quality paper and were glued to the tiles with Modge Podge. I put two coats of Modge Podge on the top of each image/tile and let them dry completely before topping with a coating resin (Envirotex Lite in this case). They cured for several days before I glued the findings onto the backs with E6000.

The photo isn't the best but I've been resin-crafting like a mad woman and couldn't wait to start posting projects.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth of July Cookies

My father-in-law and his wife hosted an Independence Day cook-out and fireworks viewing at their house. I contributed an appetizer and a dessert. The appetizer was tasty and popular - Lil' Smokes wrapped in bacon, covered in brown sugar and baked in the oven. The dessert however is the subject of this post - patriotic-themed sugar cookies.

They are sugar cookies made with an old midwestern recipe that uses A LOT of butter and makes five dozen average-sized (about 3 in) cookies. They are thick and crumbly and really, really good. The picture is of the two dozen I took to my in-laws'.
Usually I decorate sugar cookies with cookie icing but I didn't have the time to make my own, couldn't find any blue in the store, and your hand gets really tired after squeezing a piping bag after five dozen cookies. So, this time, I decided to try something different and use fondant.
Sunday I did my actual baking and let the cookies cool before putting them in air-tight containers until Monday morning. I bought premade Wilton's brand fondant in white and primary colors. 
First, I rolled out all of the white since it would be the base color and what I had the most of. I used the same cookie cutters I used for the cookies on the fondant - for the flags I only cut out the "fabric" portion and not the pole, I used the entire cutter for the national silhouettes and the bald eagles.
Second, I very lightly brushed some light Karo syrup on each cookie as an adhesive, you don't need much at all, and laid down the white fondant.
Third, I followed these steps with the yellow fondant for the poles of the flags and for the feathers along the neck of the eagles. When layering fondant on top of other fondant, as opposed to cookie, you don't need the Karo syrup, just apply a little pressure.
Fourth, I followed these steps again withe the red and blue fondant.
It took a while because I had so many cookies to cover and I took a break to heat up some lunch for my family. However, my hands didn't hurt and each cookie looked as good as the one before it. The fondant has a very mild sweetness but I prefer that and used to go very lightly with the cookie icing. If you have a major sweet tooth, you can use a very thin layer of buttercream/whipped frosting instead of Karo syrup.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Hello, my name is NotKnit and I am a craftaholic.

I should not be allowed to enter a Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or Joann's without a responsible party to keep me on time, on budget, and on task. I can spend hours on the Internet perusing sites such as and When standing in line, riding in the passenger seat of the car, or otherwise waiting, I may be found getting my craft fix via iPhone apps like Craft Gawker.

If you are a craftaholic, know you are not alone, and yes you may need that [insert item here] some day, no matter what your significant other may say.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I have several crafting projects in the works but most are for a swap at and I don't want to post them, just in case. I am also in the process of completing the decor in baby girl's room. It's painted and furnished but I'm still working on the finishing touches like tie-backs for the drapes and setting up the wall art. My sister-in-law's birthday is fast approaching but I haven't decided what to make her yet. I did crochet her an afghan - two years ago actually - that I never gave her. I feel a bit silly giving a blanket in July during triple-digit heat though.
Stay tuned for these projects, as well as Independence Day fun, including cookie decorating.
What are you working on this week?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Introduction to Fused Glass

I went to a one-hour fused glass workshop at the same place I took the crash glass workshop. In the workshop you are given several options of what you can make - pendants, a coaster, a nightlight, et cetera. I chose pendants because I would be able to make two different items, and thus play around more. They are fairly large but surprisingly lightweight.

This pendant consists of a black base rectangle, shards arranged on the base (two shades of blue and one piece of dichroic) to form the middle layer, and a clear rectangle to form the top layer and encase everything. The two little bubbles are trapped in the center layer.

This pendant is a novice homage to Dr. Who, specifically the TARDIS. It is a base layer of clear, with a small yellow triangle and a large blue rectangle next, topped with a small white rectangle and blue stringer.
Both pendants have bails attached with E6000.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cupcakes in Disguise

Inspired by a picture in "What's New, Cupcake?" and the cover of Woman's Day magazine, I made cupcakes for our family Father's Day get-together. One dozen were red velvet cupcakes disguised as coals; one dozen were lemon cupcakes disguised as corn on the cob. I threw in crispy treats made to look like hamburger patties and some creative plating to complete the cook-out theme.

The "patties" are cocoa crispy treats formed with a circular cookie cutter. The marshmallow was dyed a dark pink for an authentic look.

The coals are red velvet cupcakes topped with vanilla icing, marshmallows cut to different heights, crushed chocolate wafers (Oreos without the cream), and red sugar sprinkles. They were displayed in cake tins and covered with small cooling racks and the faux burgers.

The corn cobs are lemon cupcakes topped with vanilla icing, lemon and toasted marshmallow jelly beans, and partially melted yellow Starburst candies. They were plated three in a row with corn-cob skewers poked into the ones on either end.

They were all three a big hit, but I must say I was surprised to discover that the cocoa crispy treats were the most popular. They are much sweeter than the plain variety of rice cereal treats and, I think, were a nice change for some of the adults that hadn't had this more child-friendly treat in a while.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A New Way to Scrapbook

Using a discount, I took a "Crash Glass" class at a stained glass store in a nearby suburb. It is essentially a scrapbook layout enhanced with glass. Images, papers, et cetera (items must be flat) are epoxied to the top of the glass in a picture frame. Larger pieces of glass are epoxied over focal images and the rest of the area is filled in with broken tempered glass. Grout to fill in the gaps and hold everything together and you are done. I had some areas with too much epoxy that kept the grout from being as clean as I'd like. Overall, though, I think it looks good for my first attempt.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pretty Petunia Cloche

I bought the crochet pattern for the Pretty Petunia Cloche from CharmingCrochet on when I discovered I was expecting a little girl. It worked up pretty easily and uses so little yarn you could make multiple hats or coordinating accessories. I used Caron Simply Soft yarn, which I love using in children's items because it really is soft with a lot of drape but 100% machine-washable acrylic.
The hat is absolutely adorable, but my daughter is on the petite side shall we say and won't be able to wear it any time soon.

Now that I've pulled out the hooks and yarn, I couldn't resist picking up some ridiculously sweet patterns from Crochet My Love on and can't wait to get started on them. There is a seriously ruffled diaper cover and Vanna's Choice yarn calling my daughter's name.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Baby Girl NotKnit!

I've been absent from the blogosphere for a while but it was for a good cause - the arrival of Baby Girl NotKnit! She arrived earlier than expected, sending mommy and daddy scrambling a bit but we are absolutely in love, as is her big brother.

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Recycled Crayons

I recently tried my hand at so-called recycled crayons. The basic premise is to take the broken, free, and/or over-abundant crayons in your home, melt them down, and reform them into "new" crayons, like the ones below.
I looked up several tutorials online and came up with what was the best method for me.

1. Gather the crayons you want to use. If you don't have a kid around the house to supply you with broken or excess crayons you can cheat and buy inexpensive ones from your local dollar store, grocery store, or big box retailer.

2. Sort the crayons into small groups. My method uses a household microwave and I found that half a dozen crayons per group melted the easiest. I sorted mine by color, then shade - i.e., I sorted by the rainbow first, then divided pastels from brights.

3. Remove the paper wrappers. Sometimes this is hard, sometimes it isn't, but it can be the most time consuming and tedious part of the process - at least it was for me.

4. Break up the crayons into the smallest pieces you can into a microwave-safe (in my case, glass) container by group. The smaller and more uniform the pieces, the smoother the melting process.

5. Select your molds and lay out flat on a surface close to your microwave. I used plastic molds intended for chocolate; they can be found for $1-2 at craft and hobby stores. You could also use plastic ice trays for bulkier crayons but you will need to melt larger groups of color at one time.

6. Place four of the containers, with crayon pieces inside of course, in the microwave at equal distances apart and cover with a paper towel. Heat on high for about three to five minutes, or however long it takes for your microwave to melt the crayon pieces. My old microwave was very weak and my mother-in-laws is very strong, so times can vary wildly.

7. Using an oven mitt or other hand protector (the containers and wax will be HOT!), remove the containers and CAREFULLY pour the melted wax into the molds. You can stir around any unmelted bits with a wooden skewer, before pouring, to remove lumps. The less you stir, the more you are likely to see visible swirls and variations in color, the more you stir, the more uniform the color blending.

8. Leave the molds alone until the crayons thoroughly harden or they will crack. I am impatient so I stuck mine in the freezer and the process only took a few minutes instead of the roughly 5-10 it took on my counter (depending on the size of the new crayon shape). They should pop out of the molds easily if they have hardened and cooled completely.

Alternatively, you can place larger chunks of crayons into muffin tins and melt at 350 in a conventional oven (don't reuse the tin for anything other than crayons though). You could also melt your crayon chunks in empty canning jars or aluminum cans in a modified double-boiler method on the stove top. I even saw a tutorial where chunks of crayon were put into molds that were left in the sun to melt naturally but I imagine that would take a long time in most parts of the country, far longer than I have patience for anyway.

You can use this method to make themed crayons to use as party favors or non-edible holiday treats (especially at Easter and Halloween), or just to save money on having to buy new crayons when the old ones get broken.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Awesome Indie Fabric

I just discovered today and am in love! You can find the most awesome, unique indie fabric - I especially love the geek-themed selection - and even design your own. I think the site is amazing and had to share. I can't wait to design my own fabric, and maybe pick up some of the fantastic Dr. Who ones while I'm doing it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Baby (and Toddler) Afghans

I made two mini-afghans in the past month - one for my 3-year-old son and one for my daughter on the way.

My son's afghan is made with Baby Bee acrylic "Sweet Delight" baby/sport/3 in Blue Baby Camo. I bought it at Hobby Lobby and it is really soft and has a lot of stretch and drape to it. It would probably be great yarn for a pullover sweater but I live in the South so my son doesn't really need a sweater. I just improvised one big square, crocheted in rounds. The finished size is approximately 33"x33".
Above is a close-up of the stitch pattern. I chained 4, then joined to form a ring for the center. I chained 3 and made 15 dc in the ring and joined with a slip stitch. Round 1: Ch 3 and 4 dc in the same stitch, then dc in the next three dc and make 5 dc in the next dc three more times, joining with a slip stitch to the chain three. After that I just kept making rounds of double crochet with five stitches in the center dc of each corner. I had three skeins and stopped when I was out of yarn.

My daughter's is made with Loops & Threads acrylic "Snuggly Wuggly" baby/sport/3 in Paisley Prints and Soft Lilac. I bought it at Michael's. I followed a pattern from a Leisure Arts booklet "Lullaby Layettes" by Alice Hyche (I've had it for a good decade or so), but with a much smaller border. The finished size is approximately 28"x28". Below is a close-up of the stitch pattern.

Baby afghans are quick projects that are great for practicing new stitches, particularly if you stick to only one or two colors so you don't have to make color changes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Welcome to NotKnit's Crafts and Creations

I plan to use this blog as a place to share my crafts and other creative pursuits. That includes pictures, tutorials and the occasional commentary. For example, I crocheted two baby afghans recently and made Easter/spring-themed recycled crayons. I will include details and photos of each of these projects soon. In the meantime, I suggest you peruse the sites included in the "Web Sites I Frequent" list in the right-hand menu.