Thursday, December 18, 2014


With conflicting schedules, my husband had to drop me off for my class over 2 hours early.
Darling that he is, he bought me some of the new yarns at Michael's to keep me busy while I wait.
These are the new Swizl yarns from Loops & Threads. Super bulky, 78 yds / 71 m, 100% acrylic.
This colourway is Royal Blue.  Can you tell?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

When headlines and photos don't mix

I have a news app on my phone that allows me to select categories.  The app then searches out sites, including blogs,  based on keywords.
One of these categories is Hobbies, where I have included a sub category of Crochet.  Not knit, though, because I don't knit.
Every now and then, something like this happens.
Sent by mobile.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My new toy

A 25.00 mm hook,  and some yarn to try it with.
The edge of the hook feels a bit rough, though.  I think a bit of fine sandpaper, first, would be a good idea.
Sent by mobile.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

News and Updates

Posts have been few and far between lately - and you can be assured that means real life has gotten in the way of blogging!  Unfortunately, what's been going on in real life has not been pleasant, but we manage.  Hopefully, I will be able to resume posting more frequently soon.

The first bit of news is in regards to my Squidoo articles, where I had published a number of how-to's and printable instructions.

Squidoo has now been shifted over to Hubpages, and my articles are now there.  As I understand it, the old links will still work, but will just be diverted to the new site.

I have yet to go over my articles to see how they translated in the shift, to see if I need to do any modifications.  Please feel free to visit my new Hubpages profile, check out the articles, and let me know if you have seen any problems. 

The other news is in regards to my classes.  I am still teaching one day a week.  There are old classes dropped and new classes added.  Unfortunately, with what's been doing on at our home, certain people have taken things beyond that level and I have found myself and my family stalked in public.  For my safety and theirs, I am not going to post my class schedule on the blog anymore, nor will I post about any vendor sales I might be involved in.  Thank you for understanding.

Meanwhile, I have been working on my inventory and do have photos ready to share; just need to find the time to write posts about them!

For those who have kept up visiting my blog while I've been on hiatus, thank you.  It's nice to see the hits still coming, even when I haven't been able to post often.  Much appreciated!

Until I get a chance to post more, here are some photos to follow up on my last post, a Tunisian stitch tablet cover that is one of the new class projects.

The above photo is the tablet cover after the seams have been sewn, but the ends have not yet been finished.

As you can see, it looks pretty floppy and loose.

 What the side seem looks like from the outside; I just whip stitched it.

 A closer look at the side seam, with a bit of a view of how the inside looks.

This is how the project itself ends.  Once the yarn ends are sewn in, it would be considered finished.

I modified the length of the project to fit my own tablet.  As you can see, even with the tablet inside, it looks loose and floppy.

Because it is very loose and floppy. 

So I added a couple of rounds of single crochet to tighten up the top edge, then slip stitched into the bottoms of those rows to add some stability.

No more rolling, no more flopping, and the single crochet and slip stitches tighten up the opening, making it a bit more snug.

The additional rows made it fit more snugly to the tablet itself as it was put in.

It also added a bit of length, giving the tablet a bit more protection.

My daughter pointed out that the colour changes made a pattern that looks a bit like the Batman logo! *L*

I have photos somewhere, though not in my computer, of another modification I made.  I crocheted a strip in Tunisian simple stitch, bordered with single crochet, and with a button hole at one end.  I sewed it in the middle of what is now the back of the tablet cover.  On the front, I sewed on a button (my daughter pickets a yellow button with a smiley face on it!).  This way, there's no chance of the tablet accidentally sliding out.

The body of the tablet cover is still a lot looser than I would have preferred, despite the fabric panel being exactly the same width of the tablet before the side seams were closed up.

If I were to make another one for my tablet, I would probably make it about an inch narrower than the actual size of the table.  The Tunisian stitched fabric seems to have a lot more give to it than I expected.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

In Progress

Working on a sample for one of my new classes;  the Tunisian crochet tablet cover, modified slightly for gauge. 

I love how the colours aligned themselves.

Sent by mobile.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Clay Oil Lamps, printable how-to

I've got a step-by-step for two versions of the clay oil lamp I'd posted about earlier, for different skill levels, available now.  The instructions can be printed out, together with the material and tool lists.

If you make some of these with your kids, do come back and let me know how they turned out! :-)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More food!

Yes, another recipe to share!

This one is for something I like to make as a quick snack.  It's so easy to make, and very satisfying.

Chickpea Salad with Black Olives and Feta.

Includes printable recipe.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Here's another recipe I wanted to share; Baked Le Pleine Lune with Mushrooms and Walnuts.  Click on the link for both a printable recipe and a printable step-by-step.

Though the recipe is Baked Le Pleine Lune with Mushroom and Walnuts, it includes suggestions for substitute cheeses if you can't find Le Pleine Lune.

Also includes suggestions for wine or beer pairings. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

They work!

While waiting for my first clay oil lamp to dry, I made a second one.

I wasn't happy with it. 

The goal is for even very small children to be able to make one, with as little muss and fuss as possible.  With that in mind, I took the clay from the second lamp and, using only half of the amount, made an even simpler and smaller version than the first.

That one, I'm very happy with.

Today, I tested them both out.

They work just fine!

The fuel is olive oil, which is what these lamps would have burned as fuel thousands of years ago.  For a wick, I used a strand of cotton yarn.

I'm not sure how much oil either of them holds; at most, a quarter cup between the two of them, possibly less.

The lamp on the right (the first one I made) has a much shallower usable reservoir; the opening to hold the wick is rather low, so any more would leak through there.  The one on the left has more of an incline for the wick, so more oil can be added.

The shallow lamp burned for about 2 hours before using up the oil.  The deeper one lasted perhaps half an hour longer.

When I have the time to spend on the computer, I will post a how-to on my Squidoo pages.  I'll post a link to there when that's done.

I think these will work rather well for VBS!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In the works: clay oil lamp

I've volunteered to work the crafting station of our church's Vacation Bible School this summer.  We're in the early planning stages.

One of the things we've decided to do is *not* buy the craft kits from the US.  Instead, we'll be coming up with themed crafts of our own.

The challenge?  Registration is just started, and the age range for registrants is 5-12.  That's a HUGE difference in abilities and interest!

So I've been trying to brainstorm various craft ideas that can be as simple or as complex as the abilities of the crafter, that is also thematic.  Time is limited, as groups will be coming through the stations on a rotation (I've never done one of these before, so I have no idea what it's really like; just how it's planned).  Things have to be quick, relatively easy, not very messy, and if they require drying time, won't take up much space.

Also, the themes are related to water and the sea (Jesus walking on water, calming the storm, instructing the fishermen to throw their nets one more time, etc.).

I've decided to test out an idea.  Air dry clay oil lamps, shaped like fish.  I've picked up some terra cotta modeling clay and some light vinyl - the sheet can be cut into sections for each individual quite easily.  I found using the small sheet also made it easier to move my clay shape around as needed.

I deliberately kept things simple, without attempting to go into too much detail, nor to attempt any sort of "perfection."  I wanted to see if this was something a 5 yr old could do.

This is what I've got so far, after drying over night.  The clay needs 24 hours to dry, which could be an issue, but after about a third of the time, it was dry enough that I could remove it from the sheet without breaking anything, yet still soft enough that I could smooth out a few rough spots I couldn't reach while it was still fully damp.

The tail is meant to double as a handle.  The body will hold olive oil.  The wick holder was shaped using a pencil, which was also used to mark designs on the sides and tail.

Including time to knead the clay (which would be done in advance, I think, so wouldn't be part of the crafting time), it took me less than half an hour to make this.  Now that I have an idea of what I'm doing and no longer have to pause to get things I didn't think of ahead of time, I think I could probably make one in about 10 minutes.

After it's completely dry, I will test light it.  I need to make sure the wick is held properly.

Or, someone could "cheat" and just put a tea light inside the bowl, instead.

I will likely make at least one more before our first planning meeting on Friday.

What do you think?  Older kids would easily go all out with this, if they wanted.  I think the shape is basic enough that younger children can manage it, but it's been a long time since I've done crafts with children so young.  I don't even know if we'll get kids that young!

Is there anyone who has done camp crafts that can give me some feedback and suggestions?

DIY Charcuterie

Okay, so it's not exactly a craft, but I wanted to share some of the recipes that I've been posting on my Squidoo pages.

This one is for a "Choose Your Own" Charcuterie.  If you're not familiar with charcuterie, check it out to learn more!  I think it would make a great Father's Day treat!

Visit the link for a printable how-to.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

DIY for Balcony or Patio Gardeners

Post may be few and far between, but I've been doing stuff!  Honest!

Here is one of them; DIY Pallet Planter Platform.  It's one of my Squidoo pages, which allows me to create how-to instructions that can be printed out.

It's an easy project perfect for balcony or patio gardens, that makes rotating pots a breeze.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In time for Mother's Day

I've been looking at some Mother's Day gift ideas in the last while.  Among the things that caught my attention were all the recipes for body scrubs.  One thing I noticed is that they were all basically the same foundation; everything else was mix and match, and easily customizable.

So I have put together a "choose your own" how-to at my Squidoo site, in a printable format, to make body sugars.  I hope you enjoy it! 

This photo is of a mixture of golden sugar (what I usually have in my kitchen for any recipe that calls for brown sugar), a chai tea spice blend and blend of almond and extra virgin olive oil. 

I hadn't intended to use a blend of oils, but I had less almond oil than I thought and ran out!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blowing in the wind

A bunch of eggs hung in a small park and along Jasper Ave., overlooking Muttart Conservatory.

The wind made it rather hard to take photos!  A very blustery days.

The snow is almost all gone, though! :-D

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's Spring, I tell you!

When it started to snow heavily, just before Easter, my daughter made a point of hanging a few eggs outside our front door.  We needed at least some sign that spring was technically here!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Just laying about...

A couple more eggs in our raised bed garden.

Edited with #aviary. Get the app >

Sent from Anna's phone

2014 Class Schedule

Here's a post for the Edmontonians.  With my lack of posting these days, I haven't had a chance to write out my 2014 class schedule.

I'm doing it rather differently this year.  It takes a bit to explain, but it does make things a lot easier!

First, I am still teaching at the Clareview Michael's.  I am only teaching up to 4 Thursdays a month, and I have two class times available; an afternoon class from 3-5:30 and an evening class from 6-8:30.

On the Micheal's calendar, they are all listed as the open "Time for Crochet" class, however anyone interested in a particular class can sign up a day/time slot for whatever class they wish to take, on a first-come-first-serve basis.  The staff member registering the class for you will check if a class is already scheduled, mark your choice down in my calendar and pass on a print-out of the class syllabus, so you know what materials you need for the class.  If someone else is interested in the same time slot, they can sign up for the same class, but if they want to take a different class, they will have to choose a different date and/or time slot.

There are the dates I have available.

April 10, 17, 24
May 8, 15, 22, 29
June 5, 12, 19, 26
July 10, 17, 24, 31
August 7, 14, 21, 28
September 4, 11, 18, 25
October 9, 16, 23, 30
November 6, 13, 20, 27
December 4, 11, 18

All of those dates have the two time slots of 3-5:30 and 6-8:30.

The classes themselves have been changed up.  Here are the descriptions:

Crochet Beginner 1 - Skinny Scarf or Phone Cover
     Formerly: Single Crochet
     This class is great for the absolute beginner, or someone who hasn't touched a hook in many years.

Crochet Beginner 2 - Pillow or Scarf
     Formerly: Tall Stitches
     A beginner's class for people who already know the basics and how to work in Single Crochet and want to start working on half-doubles, doubles and treble (triple) stitches.,

Crochet Advanced Beginner - Cloche or Scarf
     Formerly: Textured Stitches
     A good class for those who already know the basic stitches, but want to start picking up shells and puff stitches, working in the round (the cloche hat) or more complicated patterns (the rippled shells of the scarf).  Pattern reading becomes far more important in this class.

Crochet Advanced Beginner - Granny Square Scarf or Market Bag
     Formerly: Granny Squares
     Good for those who know the basic stitches but want to work on changing colours and working in the round.

Crochet Advanced Beginner - Hooded Baby Blanket
     Formerly: Hooded Baby Blanket
     Using basic stitches, create a textured baby blanket with a triangular hood insert.

Crochet Advanced Beginner - Granny Throw
     Formerly: Granny Throw
     Take the granny square and kick it up a notch by working a rectangular blanket.

Crochet Intermediate - Lace Wrap
     Formerly: Lace Wrap
     Using basic stitches to create an open and airy wrap, worked in two halves from a centre seam.  This class includes reading from a pattern diagram.

Crochet Intermediate - Tote Bag
     Formerly: Tote Bag
     Learn how to use the half-double stitch to make a larger and sturdy bag, with matching handles.

Crochet Spring Bunny
     Make a stuffed toy using single crochet and working in the round. 

Crochet Coasters
     Just a few rows worked in the round, a person with basic crochet knowledge should be able to finish at least on of these, if not more, in class.

Crochet Flower Beanie
     A baby hat in two colours, with ear flaps and a flower.

Crochet Flower Scarf
     This scarf is worked in very long rounds, finished with a flower to sew on later.  Covers shells and working front/back loops.

Of course, the Time for Crochet class is still available; this is the class to book if you need help with something specific.  When signing up for this class, make sure the person helping you writes down what it is you want to work on, so that I can prepare for it in advance. 

The classes are all 2 1/2 hours (2 hours in class, 1/2 hour yarn tour) and cost $25, though there are often discounts during Open House events.

There currently are no $5 Yarn Nights.  I will start them up again if there is any interest.

Egg Bomb

I finally got a chance to lay a few eggs.  ;-) 

A little splash of colour in the middle of a raised bed garden near our home.

Edited with #aviary. Get the app >

Sent from Anna's phone

Monday, March 24, 2014

My First Ever Get Crafting Challenge!

One thing about living in a Northern climate is that spring can be pretty darn ugly.  Everywhere, there are great piles of snow that, as they melt, become increasingly black with street grit.  The melting snow reveals all sorts of garbage and oddities in the process.  Even the trees are dull from dirt and dust. 

We need some cheer.  We need some colour.

So I've decided on an experiment.

I have just put up another free pattern on my squidoo pages.  It's another photo how-to with a basic pattern for making crochet Easter Eggs.

My challenge is this.

Make lots and lots of these eggs.  Then, take them with you as you go out and about during your day.  Strew them here and there for others to find.  Hang them from trees or tuck them into planters.  Leave them on benches or at your favourite coffee shop.  If you wish, add a little tag to them, inviting whoever finds them to take part in the Get Crafting! Easter Egg Challenge.

After finding a place for your egg, feel free to take a photo.  If you wish, email photos to me at gottagetcrafting @ (minus the spaces), along with the name I should credit it to and general location, I and will post them here.  Or, post them on my facebook page.  If you have a bunch of photos online, send me a link and I'll post that.  Or leave a link in the comments.

Not a crocheter?  No problem!  Make eggs with whatever materials or methods you wish (just make sure it's nothing that will harm anyone or anything when left outdoors).  Send me an email or leave a comment telling me about your crafting method.

I hope you have fun with this challenge!  Share this post, leave comments and otherwise let me know how it's going.  If you have any ideas for my next challenge, please let me know!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

That was weird

I finally got around to doing a post, then checked my own page to make sure it showed all right.  It's been a while.

Imagine my surprise to find 3 posts I didn't make.  Google made them.  Apparently, some activities of mine got translated into posts automatically, basically adversiting stuff on their behalf.

I have removed them.

I am not impressed, Google.  I am not impressed.


My blog may be quiet, but that's just a reflection of how not-quiet my offline life has been.
Crochet therapy is a wonderful thing.
Here is the result of trying a new cotton yarn I found, together with seeing how far I can take the perfect circle with it.
Rather pleased with the result.
Sent from Anna's phone

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Check it out!

A simple hat made with the new Reflective yarn, first with no flash and regular incandescent lighting, then in a dark room and a flash.
This stuff is pretty dramatic! 
It was also decent to work with, though some care needs to be taken not to catch the reflective strand.  We shall see how it handles wear and washing.

Sent from Anna's phone


Just picked up a couple of balls of Red Heart's new Reflective yarn.  Will be making a quick hat to start with.  Looking forward to testing it out.

Sent from Anna's phone

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The eyes...

... are a little wonky.
Sent from Anna's phon