Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reading Wednesday

It's Reading Wednesday! Which means it's time to share a book with you.

You Are Special by Max Lucado
This is an awesome children’s book. This book is about a society of puppets where each puppet shows if they like or dislike another puppet using a gray dot/gold star sticker system. One sad puppet is upset by his large amount of gray dots until he meets a puppet with no stickers at all – by her advice he goes to visit his creator. I used this book to teach my first grade class that “God Made You”. This is a great book for sparking discussion amongst younger children about what a creator is in general, and then who the creator is in real life. It’s also great to emphasize that everyone is special. For older kids, you can emphasize that you should never let anyone put you down and you should never let labels stick, nor should you label other people. At my age (college/ young adult) this is a analogy to God, and how we should have faith in him above all.

I was read this book as a child and then discovered it in Bookman’s and had to buy it. =) I hope you enjoy it as well!


Here’s a link to the book on amazon.com.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sippin' Saturday

Starbucks Iced French Vanilla Latte (or Vanilla Latte with Hazelnut)

I first had a similar drink at McDonalds – their iced hazelnut latte brings back memories of road trips. This drink is the closest Starbucks equivalent I could find to it. Perfectly sweet, perfectly refreshing, great flavoring. While ordering this at Starbucks I discovered that vanilla+hazelnut=French vanilla, which is something I definitely didn’t know before. Anyways, this drink is a great mix of sweet vanilla and rich hazelnut.

Banana Colada Fuze

I’m not usually a fan of Fuze drinks, but I really like this one. It has a pina-colada flavor and a banana flavor combined. It’s a great tropical drink, with a little bit of a pineapple afterbite.

Snapple Tea Will Be Loved (Pomegranate Berry Tea)

This drink is the “Maroon 5” picked drink. While refreshing, it doesn’t have an extra-special flavor that would make me buy it again. It tastes like a slightly sweetened lemon tea.

Pic from bevreview.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crochet Flower Earwarmer

So a couple of days ago it was really cold outside, and my ears were not too happy. And, everyone else has these super cute earwarmers – so I found a pattern to make one on the internet. Actually, I had wanted to make one of these for a while, but I wasn’t really motivated to until the weather suddenly changed. You can find the pattern here. Here are a couple of things I did different from the pattern.


1. I didn’t notice the “Use size H hook” thing on the side, so I used a size J hook instead. It may have made the earwarmer a little bit bigger, but it seems fine to me.
2. It never clarifies if you should chain three before turning - I did, and counted it as my first stitch in that row. For most of the pattern, you need 9 stitches per row.
3. I made the flower in my school colors, because I’m a big fan of school spirit.
4. Also, the flower directions are hard to understand. When it says “sc around the first spoke”, it means the first spoke of the original flower – your original 4 chain loop. For some reason, I felt it would be a good idea to single crochet around each spoke in the bigger flower – it didn’t work out so well the first time.
5. Instead of sizing it and then single crocheting the two ends together, I just sewed a large button on one side, so that it would be easily adjustable.

Here are some pictures. I love this project! I think I might make another one, only in black/gray and with the right hook size next time.


What it looks like all spread out

Flower close-up!

Me, sporting my new, awesome, earwarmer!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Personal Pizookies!

Happy All-Saints Day! This week's "Tasty Tuesday" share isn't a recipe, but rather, a really cool idea that my friend shared with me.

What you basically do is put a ball of cookie dough on the top of each indent in an upside-down cupcake tin. Cook these (we used a low temperature, but I think it would work out fine if you used a higher temperature and a lower cooking time). And voila! Little cookie bowls.

Taking the cookie-bowls off the cupcake-tin


Perfect size for a scoop of ice cream!

My friend Donovan showing off our creations

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope you had a fantastic Halloween! For Miscellaneous Monday, I just wanted to share with you my candy corn nails. I got the idea from one of my friends, and I think it's super cute. And a great way to show your Halloween spirit. Just paint a layer of yellow, a 2/3 layer of orange, and then the tips white. All it takes is a bit of patience.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

NAU Newman Center

So it's not the prettiest church, but what it lacks for in looks, it makes up for in community. This is where I go to mass every week - it's sort of like a re-fashioned house that's situated on the edge of Northern Arizona University's campus. There are three masses (at college kid times - 10:30 am, 5:30 pm and 9:00 pm). There are also plenty of other ways to get involved here - leading or attending retreats, praying the rosary, Exalt! (praise/worship and adoration), Newman Night (free food and guest speakers) and more. So while it's not the prettiest or biggest church I've been to, it's definitely special.

Here's a picture of it from their website www.naunewman.org.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sippin' Saturday

Mmm. Lot’s of wonderful new sips this week.

Earlier on this month, I decided to try Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte. It was okay, but I will probably not buy it again. It was a nice, slightly sweetened and spiced coffee, but the pumpkin aftertaste was just a bit weird to me.

Here’s one of my favorites, which I caved in a bought again this week: Snapple’s Peach Mangosteen. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and fruity and refreshing. It always makes me feel happy when I’m a little bit down. This peachy drink was my first Snapple ever. Yum.

So this week, my friend went to get a soda from the vending machine, and along with her soda came a Cool Blue Gatorade. I never would have gone out and bought this for myself, but it is probably the best Gatorade I’ve had yet. It is a very sweet drink, but still has that refreshing “I’m drinking Gatorade” aftertaste. It was very flavorful.

Picture from Google Images

Friday, October 28, 2011

Funky Friday! Halloween Style

Since I’ve missed a lot of blogging this month, here are three crochet projects I’d like to share with you! They are all from lionbrand.com.

The first one is Amigurimi Spider from lionbrand.com. I made this one last year, and it’s a great decoration because I can hang it anywhere, and it’s super cute. It’s also pretty simple to pick up crocheting in a round pattern in order to make this. And now I can make tons of cute animals! Also, I’m not sure what “amigurimi” means, but I’m fairly sure it’s code for “cute and adorable”. If you’re not sure what you want to do for a crocheting project, just type in amigurimi, and you’ll find plenty of cute things.

Here’s a picture of my spider: he used to have eight legs, but some of them flew off when my friend started batting him like a cat toy. =P

You can find the pattern here.

The second project is this adorable ghost that I made this year. It is another easy project. Since I didn’t have safety eyes, I just tied knots instead, and I think he still looks pretty cute.

You can find this pattern here

Last but not least is this amigurimi candy corn. I messed up a little in my counting when making this, so it’s not perfect, but it’s still a nice little thing to sit next to your TV and remind you that it’s almost Halloween. Also, I love candy corn. A lot.


You can find this pattern here.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Camp Geronimo Chapel

Since it’s Sunday, I think it would be a great idea to share with you a different church with you each week. I definitely saw/visited plenty while I was in Europe! And there are definitely some cool ones in the United States as well.

I’m going to start with the one I went to over the summer. It’s not a real church, but it’s where I celebrated mass while I worked at the Girl Scout camp. Located in Camp Geronimo is a Catholic chapel. The altar is rustic and there is a little wooden ramada protecting the altar. On a tree behind the altar is a sign that says “When you don’t have time to pray, ask God to help you along the way”. The rest of the “church” is just wooden benches secured in the dirt. Attending mass (church service) here is awesome – you are basically in the middle of the woods praising God! Which is pretty awesome. There’s nothing like going to church while surrounded by His creations.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sippin' Saturday

Welcome to the second Sippin’ Saturday!


Today I would like to share with you a couple of new drinks.

1. Mocha with Vanilla from Starbucks

This is a great drink if you like coffee. Normally I get a white mocha, since I’m a big fan of the sugar, but this was a great way to get the coffee/mocha taste in a sweet way. It almost reminded me of hot chocolate in a way. It was so nice to sit outside on a lovely autumn day and drink this.

2. Sobe Lifewater Macintosh Apple Cherry

This just tasted really fake to me. It had a flavor just as expected – perfectly apple and perfectly cherry, but I would probably never buy it again. It was really sweet and really not-sweet at the same time. Sweet flavor, but with a very diet aftertaste.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday, where I share with you a new, delicious recipe!

This week’s recipe is a simple, college food, since I haven’t really had time to do any cooking.

Tortilla Roll-ups

Ingredients:
Tortillas
Cream Cheese
Olives
Deli Meat (I use ham)
Cheese (shredded or not, doesn’t matter)
Toothpicks

Directions:
1. Spread a tortilla flat. Spread cream cheese on top.
2. Add bits and piece of the black olives onto the cream cheese.
3. Add ham (about three pieces) and cheese.
4. Roll-up carefully.
5. Stick toothpicks in rolled-up tortilla about an inch apart. Cut between the toothpicks
6. Voila! Tortilla roll-ups.

I'm sorry there have been no pictures lately! With food related posts I usually eat first, and then remember to take a picture later. Oops.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday

Welcome to Miscellaneous Monday!


Today I would like to share with you a wonderfully addicting game I discovered (thanks to Facebook). In this game you basically just sneeze and watch how many people you can get the sneeze to affect. Which I think it hilarious, considering it’s cold season and I have been witnessing this first hand. It’s also great to play when you have a cold, I’m sure. =P

Here’s the link: http://gamefalcon.com/game.php?id=24

Friday, September 23, 2011

Funky Friday

Welcome to Funky Friday! This day is specifically set aside to share crafts!


Today’s craft: School Colors Scarf

I love crocheting this scarf. It is super simple and definitely practical. It’s a great way to practice your double crochet as well – it was my first real crochet project. The pattern is available online at lionbrand.com.

Here’s an awesome picture from the winter of 2010- I made the green/blue scarf myself with this pattern!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sippin' Saturday

I have a slight obsession with trying new, fun drinks. So every Saturday, I’m going to review new drinks that I’ve tried that week – or share with you old favorites.

This morning I had to wake up “early” to go buy tickets for NAU’s Choral Union Holiday Dinner. And I still have a slightly sore throat from the cold I caught this week. So I figured it would be a perfect time to try a new tea from Starbucks. After conversing with the barista, I decided to try a Chai Tea Latte.
This is a warm, sweet, milky drink with the perfect balance of spices. It was cinnamon-y and nutmeg-y and it tasted like Christmas in a cup (without the peppermint perhaps). I wish it were Christmas already! Not only did I have a chai tea, but it’s getting chilly outside, I’ve already gotten sick, and we are already practicing Christmas music in handbells.

I made another great discovery earlier this week when class got out early and I asked for a recommendation from a friend. The Cinnamon Dolce Latte is the perfect balance of coffee and cinnamon. It definitely has a coffee flavor (some people don’t like this), and it is a moderately sweet drink (enough that I like it, but not as strong as say, a white mocha). The cinnamon taste just makes it a perfect fall drink.

On a side note, I finally got that reusable Starbucks cup that I've wanted forever (now I can have my coffee and be nice to the environment too!) thanks to a giftcard from my aunt and uncle and family. =)

My awesome Starbucks cup =)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Europe!

I'm going to Europe on a pilgrimage to Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain. If you want to follow the journey, here's the link to the blog: http://naunewmanwyd.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hawaiian Walkaway

This week at camp was Hawaiian week, and I got to make this delicious snack/dessert twice.

Ingredients
2 packages vanilla pudding
4 cups milk (about ¼ of a gallon)
1 can of crushed pineapple
2 packages of cream cheese, softened
½ a package of shredded coconut (about 2 cups)
Graham crackers
Maraschino cherries (optional)
2 gallon Ziploc bags

Directions
1. Mix pudding and milk in one bag. This is a guesstimation recipe, so exact amounts don’t matter as much. Shake/mush bag until pudding is a bit thicker (it will never reach pudding consistency).
2. Mix softened cream cheese, pineapple (drained), and coconut in another bag. Smush until thoroughly mixed.
3. Add pudding to the cream cheese bag, and smush until mixed.
4. Cut a corner off of the Ziploc bag and squeeze out and serve on graham crackers. If desired, add extra coconut and a maraschino cherry on top.

This recipe is easy and delicious! It looks a bit gross, but the taste will soon convince you otherwise. =)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interweave Crochet

So my friend bought a magazine called "Interweave Crochet", and I've spent a lot of time looking though it. This magazine is super awesome! It features tons of cool crochet projects, as well as articles on different types of crochet and crochet designers and reviews on products and crochet books. Although I haven't actually tried a pattern from the magazine yet, there are definitely plenty of patterns I want to try that go with my "I'm not going to make useless things" rule. I'm so smitten with the magazine I saw (the Summer issue) that I'm considering getting a subscription... or at the very least picking up a couple copies at my local bookstore. =)

Interweave Crochet Summer 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Never Been Kissed

I just finished reading a novel called "Never Been Kissed" by Melody Carlson. Although Melody Carlson is my favorite author, this book was targeted towards a younger age group. I enjoyed reading it, and although I thought the plot would be predictable, it actually took an unsurprising turn. This book is directed at high school students, and the main "issue" is sexting. I think it is an important message, and I love how Melody Carlson can get you into the mind of any character - she does the same thing with her "True Colors" series.

This book is about a girl named Elise who tries to carry on a secret relationship with a guy she likes and a sort-of relationship with a guy she sort-of likes in order to get kissed before her sixteenth birthday. This book explores the concept of cyber-bullying and touches on the importance of having God in your life.

Here's a link to it on amazon.com.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yarn Octopus

Materials Needed:
Stuffing
Yarn
Googly eyes or other craft eyes (optional)

Directions:
1. Take a handful of stuffing (about the size of your two hands put together) and “form” it into a ball.
2. Start wrapping yarn around the stuffing, in every direction, rotating the ball as you go. Continue until the whole thing is covered in yarn. Your ball will decrease in size during this step. This is the octopus’ head. Leave a six inch or so “tail” of yarn when you are done.
3. Cut 32 strings of yarn, about 6 inches long. I made my octopus with three different colors – 8 of each color.
4. Braid the yarns together to create eight “legs”.
5. Tie the “legs” onto the tail of the octopus, and slide the knots down until you are satisfied they are in the right place. Tuck the tail onto the head of the octopus
6. Add eyes if you desire.

Pictures coming this weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mini S’More Craft

In Girl Scouts, they have something called swaps (short for Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere) that are basically little homemade pins that you trade with other troops. The other day, I got the cutest one, and I wanted to share it with you.

Materials Needed
Tan or brown foam board
Brown felt
Cotton balls
Hot glue or tacky glue
Safety pin

Directions
1. Cut foam board into squares about an inch wide.
2. Cut felt into squares about an inch wide.
3. Use glue to assemble a ‘s’more’, stacking foam board, felt, cotton ball and foam board.
4. Stick a safety pin through it all, so you can stick it somewhere cute.

Pictures coming this weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Peruvian Friendship Bracelet

This is an awesome bracelet – it is easier that some of the other ones, and it looks like something you would buy in a store. For this bracelet you need thicker string (5 mm?) such as the string you would use to make candles, as well as your friendship floss. You also need glue to finish off the ends.

For the typical bracelet, you need five lengths of friendship string as long as your ‘wingspan’. Three of the same color (Color A), and one each of other colors (Color B and Color C). You also need the thicker string – long enough to go four times around your wrist (actually you only need two, but I prefer to measure four – better too much than too little). Fold all lengths of string in half. Lay the loop at the end of the friendship strings over the loop of the thicker string. Pull the ends of the friendship string around the thicker string and pull them through the friendship loop, creating a slip-knot. Lay the entire thing so that the floss is on the left, and the thicker string on the left.

In normal ‘4’ formation, like you would with a diagonal friendship bracelet, use one length of Color C to make two knots on each of the thicker strings. Do the same thing with one length of Color B, and then with all of Color A, and the last length of Color B. With the last length of Color C, make two knots on the first thick string, and then one knot on the last. Then, using backwards knots (backwards ‘L’, such as the one you would use for a V-Pattern Bracelet), make one knot on the rightmost thick string, and then two on the leftmost string. Now, work backwards, making two knots on each of the strings in the opposite order you did last time. The last Color C string will do two backwards knots, one backwards knot, one forwards knot, two forwards knot. Continue working back and forth like this until you finish.

When you are done, cut the floss as short as you can to the thicker strings, and glue the tips to the bracelet. Some people recommend melting the ends of the thicker strings, but I’ve never done that, and it usually works out fine. Tie on however you would like.

A finished one
At the beginning
What it looks like when you're making it

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Banana S'More

Time for another recipe! Well, sort of. This is another delicious dessert that our wonderful camp cooks introduced me to. I’ve never made it myself, but I’m fairly sure this is how it goes. Split open a banana, peel included. Stick pieces of chocolate inside the banana, and stick marshmallows on top of that. Stick prepared banana(s) onto a tray, and heat up in the oven, just until the chocolate and marshmallows are melted. Then, eat! You can use a fork (my preferred method), or you can just peel-as-you-go and eat that way. I love love love this snack. Also, after talking with my friends, you can apparently make this at a campfire too – just wrap the banana up in tinfoil and cook that way. Although don’t make a fire in Arizona right now – there’s a fire ban!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Big Lanyards!

I started with small lanyards and worked my way up. My favorite is the 2x1 lanyard, because it looks like two separate lanyards weaving around each other. I do every lanyard I do swirly now – the concept is the same. Just make sure that your two colors are always parallel and you should be fine. To get “funky” swirls, try a lopsided large lanyard, like a 3x1 or a 5x2 or something like that. To get just a fatty lanyard, make a not-so-lopsided one, like a 2x2 or a 3x3. I still don’t understand how they swirl, but they do, and that’s awesome!


This is a 3x3, I believe

The weave on a fat one

This is a 5x2

My personal favorite, the 2x1

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Double Take

This is another Christian chick-lit, this time by my favorite author, Melody Carlson. This book is about two girls with very different lives. Madison is a rich New York girl who is tired of the stresses of her life. Anna is an amish girl who wants to know what "modern" life is about. So when they meet at a coffee shop and discover that they look almost identical, they switch places for a week.

I loved reading this book. It is one of those relaxing reads that you know will have a happy ending, but is still super interesting the whole time. I read this one in a weekend, which is pretty impressive considering I work 22 hours a day. I would recommend reading this if you are looking for a great (young adult) summer read.


Here it is on amazon.com.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Swirly Lanyard

Although this is super easy, it took me a while to figure out. But as soon as I figured it out, I had a lot of fun with it! Okay, so picture making the normal lanyard. Now, instead of putting the lanyard string where it normally goes, imagine putting it on the opposing lanyard string. Now imagine pulling it just past that. That’s where it goes “diagonally”. The opposing string does the same, and so do the over/under strings. Strings of the same color will always remain parallel – there should be no criss-crossing. Then, just keep going! The lanyards will swirl on their own.


 
Coming soon: Big lanyards!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Square Lanyard

This is the basic, standard lanyard. To do this, you basically are going to be weaving the lanyard strings. Take your up/down lanyard strings, and loop them over the start of your lanyard to make bunny ears. Then, weave the left/right lanyard strings in an over/under pattern. Pull tight. Continue until you have a full lanyard! Also, it doesn’t matter which color you make the bunny ears with. I promise.


Lanyard made by one of my campers

Coming soon: Swirly lanyard

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fourth of July Cake

I know it’s a bit late, but every year for the Fourth of July, my family makes this awesome gelatin cake.

Ingredients
1 box yellow or white cake mix (and stuff to make it)
1 box instant vanilla pudding (and stuff to make it)
1 4-serving box of red gelatin mix
1 4-serving box of blue gelatin mix
1 tub of whipped topping

Directions
1. Bake cake as directed in a rectangle pan.
2. While cake is baking, mix each gelatin packet separately with ¾ cup boiling water and ½ cup cold water. Put them in the fridge to cool, but do not allow them to gelatinize. Pull them out of the fridge if necessary.
3. When cake is done and cooled, and the gelatins are cool as well, poke holes in the cake, about 2 inches apart, with the end of a wooden spoon.
4. Pour the gelatins in the holes – alternate red and blue, or whatever you feel like. You can also use all red gelatin if you can’t find blue gelatin.
5. Make pudding with the “for pie” directions.
6. Mix pudding with whipped topping.
7. Frost cake with pudding/whipped topping mix.
8. Cool until ready to eat.
9. Enjoy! I love this cake – easy to make and delicious.

Pokin' holes and pourin' gelatin


Om nom nom

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Granny Squares!

I have decided to crochet an afghan - it gets chilly in Flagstaff. Plus, if I don't have room for it, I can always donate it. There are blanket drives all the time at my school since it is so cold in the winter. If I know how to make it, I can make it over and over and over again. Anyways, I found an awesome, colorful, easy but fun pattern at lionbrand.com. This website is awesome, since it has tons and tons of free patterns - you just have to sign up, which isn't much. Here's the link to the pattern I'm using: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0345B.html. In the end, I hope it will look like this, except with different colors (because I'm using the colors I have, maroon, pumpkin, mustard, sage green, navy, black, gray and white). And shh... I'm using a different brand of yarn. It doesn't matter as long as the yarn is the right weight - in this case, worsted weight.


This pattern calls for the use of... Granny Squares! I didn't know how to make them before, but now I do, thanks to this pattern. They're a lot of fun, and can be used to make lots of different things. Many patterns call for a bunch of granny squares sewn together. Here's a picture of my granny square:


Making a granny square requires these stitches - a slip stitch, a double crochet stitch, and a single crochet stitch. All of them are basic and easy to learn. The double crochet is my personal favorite, just because it's "complex", but not really - it's easy, and it creates a bigger stitch, which is satisfying. Crocheting overall is really easy - you don't need much to get started!

My granny squares - I haven't trimmed them yet.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet

Another book review! While starting up crocheting for the first time this summer, I remembered an awesome book with awesome patterns in it. This book, by Nancy Queen and Mary Ellen O'Connell, is how I learned to crochet. (Well, sorta. My grandma taught me first when I was younger, but I had since forgot). This book is great - it has easy-to-understand pictures, and I use it as my stitch reference. My motto for crocheting is "don't make anything you won't use". This book is really great for that, because it doesn't have very many useless patterns - things too ugly or impractical for normal life. I would totally recommend getting it. Here it is on amazon.com.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Love Starts with Elle

Another finished book! This book, "Love Starts with Elle", is by the same author that wrote "Dining with Joy", Rachel Hauck. This book is a great summer/Christian romance for the young adult. I would recommend reading it before "Dining with Joy", since that book 'spoils' who she ends up with, but I read them out of order and still enjoyed both.

This book is about a woman named Elle who owns her own art gallery and is suddenly proposed to by her boyfriend Jerehmiah. Throughout this books she has to deal with finding confidence in her passion for art, her sisters, new neighbors and praying with Miss Anne. And this book is much better than I just made it sound...


The picture is from amazon.com.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lanyards!

Since I’m at a summer camp, I spend a lot of time making lanyards. Along the way, I’ve learned how to make some pretty cool ones. So today, I’m going to teach you how to start a lanyard. Also, if you need lanyard string, supposedly you can buy some at Wal-Mart.


I like to start a lanyard over my thumb, since it’s easier for me. If you can do without, go ahead. To start with, lay out your strings as you want, making a big “X”. A normal lanyard has one string lying the other way, and another lying another. You can make lanyards with as many strings as you want/can manage. Lay the “X” on your index finger, and pinch with your thumb. Make sure the bottom string is going up/down, and the other is going left/right. Take the up/down string(s), and loop it over, to make “bunny ears”. Now, for the lanyard, you want to go over/under, or if it’s bigger, over/under/over/under/etc. The key to getting your lanyard started is this pattern – I remember the word “overhang”. When you are choosing which side of the left/right string goes where, make sure the string is going over the hanging up/down bunny-ear on that side. If not, you need to switch where it is, or when you pull it tight, it’s not going to work. This is also true for larger lanyards. Then, pull it tight in an “x” formation, until you get your little lanyard checker-board. Voila! You’ve got a started lanyard.

Coming soon: The Basic Lanyard

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to fancify a big t-shirt

Since I was tie-dying with a camper group, I ended up with the last pick of t-shirts, and therefore I got an extra-large t-shirt. Since the shirt is so big on me, I decided to have fun altering it to make it cute-sy. I’m sure people do this all the time, but I never have, so here’s what I did.

I cut the shirt up the sides, all the way up to the arm pits. Then I took one side of the t-shirt, with the two pieces still on top of each other, and cut strips all the way up, about one inch apart. I did the same thing on the other side. Then, I tied all of the strips together, so it looks like little bows or whatever all the way up the sides. I plan on tying back the sleeves as well, since they are so big. I’ll probably end up using hair ties to do this, but I wish I had ribbon. I’ll get to show off my farmer’s tan. =P Add a cami underneath, and I’ll be all good to go!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tie-Dye!

So over the weekend, I tie-dyed with a bunch of high schoolers. They really seemed to enjoy it, and I always love tie-dye. My favorite part is taking off the rubber bands and finding out what your design looks like!

Here’s what you need to do tie-dye:
- Water
- Dye
- Bottles
- Gloves
- Rubber Bands
- Something to tie-dye

Other helpful but optional items:
- Buckets
- Plastic Grocery Bags
- Plastic table covering
- Preservative (Like vinegar)

Here’s what you do:

1. Take your t-shirt (or whatever you’re tie-dying) and rubber band it according to which pattern you want. See below for the three I know how to do.

2. Soak your t-shirt in preservative (like vinegar). If you don’t have any, just soak it in water.

3. Use the bottled tie-dye (follow package instructions to prepare) to dye your shirt. You will need a lot of dye for your shirt to turn out well – even if every part of the shirt you can see is dyed, the rest of the shirt may not be. This is especially true for the swirl pattern. Any white showing means a lot of white showing when it’s unraveled later. So basically, the more dye the better. You might want to do this over a bucket to prevent spills, and even so, a disposable plastic table covering might help as well. Make sure you have gloves so your hands don’t end up looking like Easter eggs.

4. Place your shirt in a plastic bag to dry, or just leave it out somewhere (perhaps in a bucket) to dry.

5. Wash your shirt. If you have a washing machine available, wash the shirt by itself in cold water. I wouldn’t advise washing whites in the next load. If you don’t have a washing machine available, wash the shirt in a sink until the water runs clear. Don’t take the rubber bands out for this, as it will cause the dye to run to the white parts of your shirt. Leave shirt to dry again.

6. You’re done! You have a happy tie-dyed shirt.

Types of tie-dye:

- Swirl - This one is my personal favorite. It is the classic tie-dye look. To get this effect, lay the t-shirt (or other item) flat. Choose where you want the middle of the swirl to be, and pinch the fabric there. Twist your hand around so the fabric follows in a swirl pattern – don’t lift your hand as you go, and don’t force a pattern. The fabric should do it on its own. You may have to guide the sleeves into place though. Once you have a cinnamon-roll looking t-shirt, rubber band around it, as many times as you want, however you want. Picture below!

- Stripes – Accordion fold your t-shirt, and rubber band where you want each stripe to begin and end.

- Bulls-eyes – Pinch parts of the shirt up and rubber band them, so you have a bunch of rubber-glove-finger-looking-things all around the t-shirt. Wherever you do this, you will get a cool bulls-eye effect. You can also combine this with the swirl effect by swirling the middle and doing this on the outside.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friendship Bracelets with Words!

I taught a bunch of high schoolers how to do this today - it's a bit hard to pick up, but if you are good at other friendship bracelets, you should be fine. =)

For this bracelet, you need eight strings of your letter color. These strings don’t need to be as long as normal friendship bracelet strings, but they can be if you want “just-in-case” room. You also need a suuuper long string for your background color. (I'd suggest one the length of your wingspan to start with, and then tie a new string on as needed). You may just have to tie a new one on – this string is used for most of the bracelet.

For this bracelet, instead of working in rows, you are going to use your long, background string to work back and forth. The first row, you work forward with forward knots as usual, and for the second row, you work backwards with backwards knots as usual. You work back and forth with this. You need a pattern for the words – here’s the one I like to use, from friendship-bracelets.net.


I’m going to use the letter ‘A’ as an example for this. Assume you are working forward when you reach the letter ‘A’ – You are making these side-ways, by the way. Assume your letter strings are labeled 1-8, and I am going to call the background string, ‘b’. Make one forward knot (by knot, I mean your normal two-knot thing) with b on string 1. Then, make a backwards knot with string 2 on b. Make a backwards knot with string 3 on b. Continue making backwards knots in this fashion until you reach string 7. Make a normal forward knot with string b on strings 7 and 8. Now, working backwards, make a backwards knot on string 8, with b. Make a forwards not on b with 7, make a backwards knot on 6 and 5 with b, make a forward knot with 4 on b, and make backwards knots on 3-1 with b. Now working forwards again, make forward knots on 1-3 with b, a backwards knot on b with 4, make forwards knots on 5 and 6 with b, make a backwards knot on b with 7, and make a forward knot on 8 with b. etc.

To sum it up, if you are moving forwards, to make a background color, make a forwards knot, and to make a letter color, make a backwards knot. Reverse this if you are moving backwards.


It says "MOUSE" because that's my camp name.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Braid-Pattern Friendship Bracelet

This is the most complicated friendship bracelet. You must do this one with four colors/eight strings. For this one, you definitely want to measure longer strings – for medium-tightness or loose knots, use your “wingspan” as the measuring point for this. You can go a bit shorter than that for tight knots.

Order your colors in order – for example, red/red/blue/blue/green/green/yellow/yellow. Make five forward knots with the first string (red number 1). Make four forward knots below that with the second string (red number 2). Make three knots below that with the third string (blue number 1) Make two knots below that (blue number two). The string order should now be green/green/blue/blue/red/red/yellow/yellow. Now, do the same thing backwards (with backwards knots). You should use yellow 1, yellow 2, red 1 and red 2. Your new order should be green/green/yellow/yellow/red/red/blue/blue. Continue working back and forth with the 5-4-3-2 pattern until you are done.


Up next: Friendship bracelets with words

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

V-Pattern Friendship Bracelet

For this bracelet you probably want at least three colors. I prefer three colors/six strings, but it would probably look cool with four colors/eight strings as well. You must have two strings of each colors, or else your bracelet’s going to look awfully weird. If you are using more than six strings, you may want to make your strings a little bit longer to make a full bracelet.

Set up your strings like this:
Take the first string (orange) and do normal knots as you would for the diagonal bracelet. Do this on the first green and blue strings. Leave the bracelet like this. Now you are going to take the far orange string (the one you haven’t used yet), and make a backwards knot – make a backwards “L” this time. Do the same two-knot thing on each string until you reach the middle, working backwards. Then, do two knots on the original orange string. You have now completed the first “V” of the bracelet. Repeat this whole process with the next color, etc, until you finish the bracelet.


Note: It is especially important that the middle knot (where the same colors are used, example orange/orange) is tight.

Up next: Braid-pattern friendship bracelet

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Diagonal Friendship Bracelet

I’ve known how to make these for a while, and my friend (who also works at a Girl Scout camp) taught me the more complex patterns. I just recently figured out how to make ones with words (which are super cool!), but that’s for another post.

To make the diagonal bracelet you can choose as many colors as you like – the more strings you have, the fatter it is. If you want a two colored bracelet, I recommend two or three strings of either color. If you want three colors, you should use two strings of each color. For four colors and up, you probably only want to use one string of each color, but it’s up to you. Each length of string should be about as long as from the palm of your hand to your armpit – it’s usually a good indication of what will fit your wrist. How accurate this is will depend on the tightness of your knots though. Tie all of these strings together at the top – it is helpful to make a loop at the top, but not necessary. Just remember to leave enough room that you can tie the bracelet on when you’re done.

For the example, I’m using four strings. If you have multiples of the same color, splaying them out with the colors next to each other (red/red/blue/blue) will create thicker stripes. Alternating the colors (red/blue/red/blue for example) will give you the normal thinner stripes. Take the first string (blue in the example) and make an “L” with it over the next string (red in the example). Tie a knot as shown. Do this twice (total of two knots) on the second string (the red one). Then, do this two times on the next string (the yellow) and two times on the last string (the green). Now, the blue string is the last string. Don’t worry if your first row looks weird – it always does. Just keep going. Now, repeat the whole process with the now-first string (red). Repeat, repeat, repeat, until you are done with your bracelet!


Note: Make sure you hold the string being tied on (the red, yellow, green in the first example) tightly – the color of the knot should be of the one you are working with (blue in the example). If it isn’t, pull the string you are working on (red/yellow/green in the example). To make it easier to work with, you probably want to secure the end of the bracelet to something. Popular ways of doing this are: taping it somewhere, attaching it to a water bottle and placing that between your legs, safety-clipping it to your pants, tying it to your toe, and clipping in your cell phone.


Coming soon: V-pattern bracelet, braid-pattern bracelet, bracelets with words!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Easiest Friendship Bracelet

This is the best friendship bracelet to introduce to elementary-school kids, because it’s easier to pick up. It also uses the same knot as every other friendship bracelet, so it’s a good introduction to making them.

Gather as many strings as you want for this one – I would recommend at least three. Tie them together at the top, leaving a loop if you so desire. Then, make an “L” with the first string, as shown below.
Then, pull the string under all of the other strings, and tie a knot, as shown below. If you see a color other than theone you are working with (blue in the picture), hold the bracelet down, and pull hard on the colors you are not working with. Repeat this as many times as you want (maybe around 10 times or so), and then switch colors, and continue to do the same thing.

A fun thing to do with this type of bracelet is to take six strings, two each of three colors, and tie them all together at the top, but then create two separate three-color strands. You can “tie” these together in the middle, and then continue to make separate strands. It looks cool, and is easy and fun.


Next up: Diagonal Friendship Bracelet
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