First Felted Project Success

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing , on April 15, 2009
My first felted project

My first felted project

WARNING: This blog is the reason the weather got cold and we had… wait for it… SNOW yesterday. My apologies, Calgary, for jinxing the spring-like weather we had late last week by mentioning its glorious arrival here. I apparently spoke too soon. Here’s hoping the warmth returns in the near future, as knitting indoors downtown on my lunch break isn’t nearly as satisfying.

Though I haven’t updated in about a week, plenty of fiber-licious things have been going on behind the scenes around here. First, (and so important to note!) is that I have completed my first felted project!
The felted crochet purse that I designed myself
Lucas modeling the bag

Lucas modeling the bag

actually turned out FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. Like, exactly-what-I-was-dreaming-of fantastic.  And more.  However, in my excitement to finish and try felting I didn’t really take good notes of the pattern specifics as I went like I had planned; I basically single crocheted a flat round piece until it was about the size I wanted the bottom of my purse to be and then double crocheted up the sides until I reached the desired height. I was careful to add a few extra increase rows to the bottom and a few extra rows up the sides to take felting shrinkage into consideration. I also did two rows of slight decreases to finish off the sides and give it the shape I had in mind.



I was going to attempt doing the bag all in one piece, but I ended up doing the handle separately because it meant I could carry a smaller project around… because let me tell you, the bag before felting looked to be the size of a giant bucket that was less than ideal for toting around town.  I did the handle in double crochet as well, around 15 stitches wide and worked it like a scarf until it was (you guessed it) about the ideal length and then (you guessed it again) I added a few extra rows to be safe. I ran the entire bag through the washing machine once and it still seemed a tiny bit too big so I ran it through one more time and … BLAMMO! It was incredible. Perfect. My ideal size, and so sturdy! I am SO happy that my first felted project can go down in the books as a success! I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Speaking of successes, I’ve been practicing with DPNs every chance I get. Not so much the knitting a long tube part, but more of the starting and getting used to the first round of joins when creating something in the round on DPNs, as it seems so fiddly and uncoordinated in the very beginning. Once I get going and get at least the first row around complete it’s no sweat and I can relax, though I do need some more practice on making the joins a bit tighter to avoid ladders.  I am hungrily awaiting the arrival of my KnitPicks sock-sized DPN set so that something useful can come of all of this repetitive practice.

Crafty Crochet Weekend

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing , on March 22, 2009

It was a busy weekend, and yet somehow I managed to sneak in three whole crochet projects. Crazy, I know. It’s the official start of spring break for me, and my mom and grandma are coming to visit later in the week. Between getting organized, cleaning and getting some things around the house done we’ve been meaning to complete, I am amazed that I was able to get so many extracurricular crafting done this weekend, too. Woohoo!

First on the list is a crochet sackboy from Little Big Planet. I stumbled upon this pattern and felt up to the challenge. I have a friend who loves the game and so I decided to whip one up to send his way. It’s off to the Netherlands tomorrow! He turned out okay — I added the little yellow ribbon for flair — but I felt the zipper part was a bit messy. It was my first go at jointing limbs on a crochet stuffie, too. All in all I think he turned out pretty cute and I’m sure he’ll be well received when he arrives.

Second this weekend was another gift for a friend; this time a colleague of mine at work. I crocheted a 12 ft tall purple bird. Well, not exactly 12 whole feet tall (try 17 inches), but there’s a bit of an inside joke with this bird. Each morning on the bus run for our school, this other teacher friend of mine puts on kids music for the kiddos. The kids really love this one tape (yes, tape) of songs and refuse to listen to anything else. Let’s just say that after three months, the tape is starting to get a bit annoying. But the songs are cute and it makes the students happy, so who cares, right? My teacher friend shared with me that she really hates this one song on the tape, and it’s a song about a “12ft tall purple bird.” I of course told the students that she looooooooves the song and that it’s her favorite, and so now whenever the song comes on the kids will say, “Oh, isn’t this your favorite song?” to her, and she has to just agree with them. It’s good for a laugh, even though I get the evil eye, haha. So I imagined what the “12ft tall purple bird” from the song would look like, and voila.  I cannot wait to gift this to her after spring break.

The last thing I made this weekend was a little tiny Cthulhu! Oh my gosh, isn’t he cute?! I could just eat him up. I made him for Lucas, who found the pattern online awhile back. I of course then found it in the Ravelry database and queued it up. Today I was browsing my queue to find something to make and was reminded of this little guy. He was a quick crochet, and I just loved the way he turned out. I opted for no arms because I’m weird like that, but he does have wings and those oh-so-cute tentacles. If he had a nose, I’d want to rub noses with him. He now sits on top of a stack of blank CDs and DVDs on Lucas’ desk. I think I need to make a pink one for my own desk. TOO cute! It makes me want to make more… and more… and more…

My side-by-side cowl neck sweater is still sitting where it was 2 posts ago. It’s such a time consuming project that I’ve found I really have to be in the mood to do something incredibly repetitious for long periods of time to get anywhere with it. I’ll have plenty of time for that whenever we make the move back home to the states. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here on my craft blog yet, but Lucas and I made an announcement over on our personal blog that we’ve decided to move back to Indiana to be near family. Mostly because we’re ready to start a family of our own, and we don’t want to be so far away from them when we do. You can read all about it over on our blog. We go in tomorrow morning to start paperwork, and are crossing our fingers we can be ready to move by the end of the summer. That means 4 days in a UHAUL with my boys and lots of crochet projects to keep me busy ;) Here’s hoping! Take care and have a wonderful week :)

Easter & Another Feature!

Posted in Freebies, Scrapbooking, Sewing , on March 15, 2009

Yes I know St. Patrick’s Day comes first, but today I was in the mood to create a bunny, and so I drew up the image I had in my head and made a quickie pattern. It was kinda nice dragging the sewing machine out of the basement and rooting through a large box of my fabric to find just the right stuff. This bunny is made from fuzzy felt and regular craft felt. I used the machine to assemble the body and ears, and then hand sewed the facial features on. Nothing majorly special, but I did love how the face turned out :)

So that’s my crafty donation for the weekend. And what a busy weekend it was! I spent most of my weekend in a two 8-hour day first aid course for work. I am thankful that my instructors had a great sense of humor because it actually helped make the day not seem to drag on. But I did feel like my weekend flew by way too fast, with very little extra time to craft. This next week will be the same… a short four day week at work for kids, but five days of home visits to families of my students for me. The best part is that after I get through next week, it’ll officially be spring break and I’ll be done with home visits. Plus my mom and grandma will be here to visit, yay! So I’m hangin’ in there and am looking forward to more relaxing times ahead soon.



Oh, and it’s definitely worth mentioning that I was recently featured in the March 2009 edition of the My Memories Suite email newsletter! A layout I designed with the software (using elements I designed myself as well) was chosen as the March winner of a $20 gift certificate for products in the My Memories Suite store. The text from the newsletter reads, “This month’s gallery winner is Lesley Karpuik.  Lesley is an amazing scrapbooker and a dedicated blogger!  You can visit her blog at Lesley wins a $20 certificate to the Design Shop.  To enter, post your layouts under “Fan Photos” on our Facebook page.”

How awesome is that? And wow did such nice comments make me blush. And which design did I use? My “Autumn Romance” quick page that I created and gave away for free here on my site back in November. Did you miss this freebie? Well go and grab it HERE so you’re not missing out! :) Don’t forget if you’re on Facebook to join the My Memories Suite fan group and enter to win!

Hope everyone had a great weekend <3

Celebrate Valentine's Day With Crafts!

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing , on February 14, 2009

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Lucas and I went out to breakfast at the Pfanntastic Pannekoek Haus, a dutch pancake house here in town that we love, despite the nasty cold I have. We spent the day lounging and I even completed a last minute craft for him. (See below.) … this evening I baked him my “famous” lasagna and we watched the hockey game. Go Flames, go!

So… now that I’ve given my Valentine’s Day present to Lucas, I can reveal all of my crafty goodness here to you!  First on the list is the big one… a completely handpainted, custom Mahjong game/tile set!

A little backstory: a few months back, some friends of ours, Caley and Kali, (the Ckalieys) had us over for dinner and game night. They had recently been taught how to play Mahjong, and they were eager to share it with us. It was somewhat of a learning process for all of us because they were a bit rusty and hadn’t had much practice, and it was fun! They had bought a Mahjong set and taught us to play that night. We enjoyed Mahjong a lot and look forward to playing more with them. Lucas has even been playing Mahjong online lately. That’s when the idea for this present hit me.

It took a lot of searching … I was unable to find blank actual Mahjong-type tiles or anything quite the same. However, I did find that there were people out there selling blank domino tiles with holes drilled into them lengthwise to be used as “beads” for designing jewellery and such. So I bought a large lot set of 350 of these blank wooden domino beads from a seller on eBay.

Once they arrived, I sorted through and picked out 145 tiles. The version of Mahjong we play is a 144 tile set with 1 extra tile to be used as the Prevailing Wind Marker. Then I set to work handpainting all 145 tiles myself, with Wikipedia’s page on Mahjong with little images of the tiles as my guide. I know my characters aren’t perfect, but I am really proud of the turnout. Once the faces of the dominoes were dry, I turned each tile over and then painted the backside of each orange… Lucas’s favourite colour. If this was to be Lucas’ custom handmade Mahjong set, I wanted it to be tailored to his likes.

Anyway, once I was done with the painting part, then I had to spend a few days using spray sealant/clear coat to give each tile a bit of extra durability and shine. The fronts and the backs, of course. Then we found this great paper-mache box at Michaels craft store (Lucas didn’t know what it was for) and I painted it black on the outside and brown on the inside to be used as the storage container for all 145 completed tiles.

I still need to print off the custom instructions I put together based on Wikipedia’s info, but the gift was very well liked, and I can’t wait to use it the next time we play Mahjong.

There are a TON of photos — I took lots along the way as I worked on this. To see them all, check out the photobucket album here… there you’ll be able to see close up photos of the different suit sets and all of the tiles, as well as “in-progress” photos. I posted this one to Craftster and my deviantART account as well.

Today while trying to get some rest and get over this cold, I worked on a little crochet Valentine’s project… a penguin stuffie. I chose to make him as Tux the (Valentine’s) Linux Penguin in honour of Lucas and I both completely making the switch to Ubuntu (Linux) on all of our machines… even mine! Here is a picture of my Tux sitting with my Ubuntu netbook.  It’s hard to tell due to the flash, but Tux is holding a little light pink heart in his left wing there. This gift was well received, and he was a quick and cute project. :)

So that’s it for now! Check back with me later in the week, as I have some Huugs to finish up and share :) It’s Family Day on Monday, so that means a long weekend for us — yay! It’s a good thing, too, as I think I’ll need the extra day to get over what’s ailing me. :( Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Thanks for stopping by.

Just Married! And a Few Changes Around Here

Posted in Scrapbooking, Sewing , on June 27, 2008


We’re back from our fabulous wedding weekend in Las Vegas, and it’s time to update my blogs and show off all of the crafty things that were part of the celebrations. I am most proud of the wedding gift I made for Lucas — a scrapbook. And if you’ve read any of my more recent posts, you know I mean a digital scrapbook made with My Memories Suite software. I showed off a Christmas album I made and an album I made of our two dogs… but for the wedding gift album I took it one step further and had Polaroid, the company that makes My Memories Suite, do the professional printing and binding of the digital scrapbook pages and ship it to me as a physical scrapbook. The result was amazing! I was worried that the print quality or the book quality wouldn’t be as good as I was hoping for, but it was just as good if not better than I was expecting, and I will definitely be turning future digital scrapbooks into real life book creations this way. Kudos to Polaroid! I did my best to take some photos of the actual book once it arrived (see right), but you just gotta see it in person to do the quality justice. You can see the full digital version in my wedding gift album. If that link doesn’t get you there, head over to my profile and navigate to my gallery and then to the Wedding Gift Album.

Our favours were a lot of fun. We didn’t do anything too terribly crafty, but we did order photo coaster sets and personalized shot glasses. The photo coasters came in sets of two, and we put a 2″x2″ photo of us (seen here) in one of the coasters, and printed text with our names and the wedding date for the second coaster. They turned out really well. We put them in little pink paper bags and stamped the little bride and groom design that we used for our invites on the front of the bags. We used some cute brown and pink polka dotted ribbon to close up the bags, and I made little personalized tags to string up with the ribbon. The tags sported little pink poker chips with our name and the date on them plus the words “thank you” scrolled around the outside of the chip. While it wasn’t much, seeing all of the finished favours together made us proud of our efforts.

There was one other little thing I made for Lucas to go along with his album: a little stuffed ball and chain! As a joke I sewed a little stuffed ball and added a keychain chain to it to finish it off. He really liked the gesture and we got a good laugh out of it. Now my crafty efforts are focused on building an actual wedding scrapbook album now, showcasing photos from our wonderful wedding weekend and all of the fun we had with friends and family. I’m also trying to figure out what I want to do for a summer job since I’m done teaching this school year, so stay tuned for that wedding scrapbook as I have time to devote to working on it. If you want to see all of our wedding photos, we’ve got them posted HERE. I can’t wait to creatively collect those into a digital album! All of the photos really turned out well.

You may have noticed that my posting name has changed slightly, the actual name of the blog is a bit different, and that my profile isn’t quite the same — due to my name change I needed to change my email address that was linked to my blogger account. I managed to shift this blog over to my new gmail account, so the profile is still me, just on my new email. It’s all mostly the same, though! I also decided to give the blog a bit of a face lift since I was starting “fresh” with my new profile, and now more than ever, this blog’s subject matter spand across many various types of craftd instead of just knitting or sewing… especially with my latest obsession with digital scrapbooking. Hope you like the changes, and thanks for reading!

New Album and a Purse!?

Posted in Scrapbooking, Sewing , on May 15, 2008

So in my last blog post I maybe seemed just a little obsessed (lol, understatement) with my new digital scrapbooking software, My Memories Suite by Polaroid. My obsession only grows stronger and more passionate the more I use it!

Last week I finished an 18 page scrapbook of our dogs, Oliver and Winston, and I uploaded the pages to and to my Flickr account. Compared to the first album that I made with the software back when I got it at Christmas, it’s obvious that I’ve learned a lot by using it more. Once I got the hang of how to use all of the creative options the software has to offer, it only made my final result with my most recent album that much more professional looking. My first album, the Christmas one you can see on, was mostly me just using the premade layouts that came with the software with very little added input or creativity from my end (mostly because I was just getting the hang of using it.) I am proud to say that I personally designed from scratch each and every page of the Oliver & Winston album. As in, I started with a completely blank page and built every detail of every page from the ground up. It of course took a little longer than my first drag and drop album, but it was SO incredibly rewarding! I LOVED the experience and I can’t wait to work on our wedding album now.

Speaking of the wedding album, I picked up two really awesome sets from in preparation for next month’s celebrations. I plan to design the pages with a combination of The Vegas Collection and the Nuptials Collection to create a memorable album of our wedding weekend in Vegas. Look for it sometime at the end of next month after we get back and I’ve had time to go through all of the digital photography. Only 35 days to go!

And be excited because I finally pulled out the sewing machine over the weekend. It was collecting dust in the basement (we still have yet to set up a good crafting area for me down there) but I was in desperate need of a new, summery purse — thank goodness the beautiful weather lately inspired me — so I tried something new. The design is new for me and a first for pleating AND using plastic handles that I bought at Michaels instead of making my own from fabric. I was even brave enough to make a little matching zippered makeup bag with the pleat design and mini handle. I think it turned out alright. I’ll be sporting this one in Vegas next month and have plans to make a smaller pouch to carry around on the big day from the scraps of my wedding dress that is being hemmed in time for my next fitting appointment.

So that’s my latest crafty update! It will most likely be a bit too busy between now and June 20 for me to update much, but stay tuned for new albums after we get back! Enjoy the long weekend and hopefully fantastic weather! :)

Happy Easter!

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing , on March 21, 2008

Just in time for Easter, I whipped up a new little design: meet my tiny knitted “gribbly bunny!” This little guy is made from satin-y acrylic yarn, which makes it really smooth and easy to work with. The pattern is one I developed myself, and I have plans to make various creatures based on the same design in the future. The series will be called “gribblies”

“In gaming, an enemy/monster that is small and/or insignificant, and usually serves no purpose other than to irritate the gamer/opponent.”


“In tabletop gaming, a small annoying monster that does little more than irritate.”

So these are just tiny little insignificant creatures hiding in nooks and crannies that will do little more than just irritate you if they cross your path. They like to pester and annoy whomever they come in contact with, and I like to believe that gribblies are to blame for all of those little irritating setbacks in your typical day. Having a bad day? Blame it on the gribblies! Stay tuned for more in the series down the road when I get time to create all of the ideas in my head for other little gribblies :) There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Huug the Hug Monster©

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing, Tutorials , on March 2, 2008

On my way to work the other morning I got an idea in my head for a new knitted plushie pattern I wanted to create. I wanted to name him Huug, and he would be the Hug Monster… so Huug the Hug Monster©! I made a few sketches and started guesstimating stitch counts and then went home and began testing. My final result turned out pretty much how I wanted it; the face is something I want to work more on. The original idea was that Huug has two small beady little eyes and two fairly big buck front teeth sticking out. I’m not so good with embroidery on knitting, so I hope that my future versions of Huug’s face turn out a little better with some tweaking. Anyway, he was originally released here as a fairly popular free pattern, however due to a retail venture I’ve decided to remove it. Sorry :( Huug the character and his knit/crochet pattern was officially and legally copyrighted recently for said venture. I will share more Huugs I make in the future and more backstory about this wonderful creature in the future instead.

Huug the Hug Monster© can / will come in many different colours — I just used orange because this Huug is for my fiance, Lucas. I envision Huugs of every colour of the rainbow and even made from fuzzy and furry yarns to make hairier cousins.

Sew Buttons!

Posted in Sewing , on December 1, 2007

Today I decided to set the needles aside and do a little much-needed sewing. I pulled the sewing machine from the depths of the cold, dark basement and dusted it off. I had forgotten how much I love my sewing machine… it had been too long! Not only did I have an order to complete, but I also had been wanting to make myself a new winter-appropriate purse.

The purse is a new design that came to me a few weeks ago — I’d wanted something more roundish, but I really like my hobo-style Brooks bag, so I combined what I liked about those two ideas and came up with a great stripey bag and matching pouch. Lucas and I went into Fabricland yesterday and rummaged through the “Buy 1 Get 3 Free” bin and came out with some winners — namely the yummy striped fabric I used for the outside, and the luscious brown corduroy I used for the liner. They paired together really well, and I dug around in my button stash to find a few that matched to spice up the front. I really love it.

The new purse is just in time to accompany me to the Calgary Festival of Crafts, which is in town this weekend. The girls and I are going out tomorrow and plan to spend the day there. It’s only $5 to get in, and there’s over 200 booths to browse… plus I’ll be there with Michelle, Claire, Kerstin and Megan… what’s better than friends and crafts? I hope to get some good ideas for next year’s Christmas gifts and perhaps pick up a thing or to for my grandparents while I’m there tomorrow. Should be fun!

Also completed today is an order for Susie — some pouches and bags to carry domino holders. They’re colorful and fun to make! I got into a groove and got them all done this afternoon along with the purse. I feel really productive today! I should probably switch gears to work on handmade Christmas cards, but I kinda want to knit a few more of the tiny toque Christmas ornaments I’m making, too. My list is slowly dwindling down — there is a light at the end of the crafting tunnel! I shouldn’t have any troubles getting all of the gift items done before our trip to Indy in a few weeks, but cross your fingers!

Quacking Up Over Knitting

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Sewing , on November 3, 2007

I finally put the finishing touches on the knitted plush duck I attempted a few days ago. It’s based on the pattern by Lion Brand with a few Toque-ish adjustments. The basic idea is that you knit a square — I believe the pattern calls for garter stitch — and then you fold it in half to form a triangle and sew up one side. You then have a cone that you need to stuff with polyfill, sew closed, and add your ducky details. The beak, feet, and eyes are all cut from felt just like in the pattern, (I wish I were savvy enough to have been able to knit them all together as part of the pattern instead), and sewn on. I was really unhappy when I was finished at first; I enlarged the pattern to begin with, didn’t use fun fur like the pattern called for, decided to use a stockinette stitch instead, and somehow it just didn’t look as “cute” and “duck shaped” as the Lion Brand pattern when I was done. Lucas suggested adding a few stitches to form more of a line/definition between the head and neck, and I did. I also decided to embellish on that by adding a ribbon. See what you think! I’ve decided to keep this one as a tester and perhaps use some more “fuzzy” yellow yarn that I found in my assorted box in the basement next time. I’d love to make one for Somer for Christmas. Oliver thought it was pretty fantastic, but he’s a little biased. I think he thought that the duck was for him, lol.

Yesterday I posted my back-and-forth thoughts on whether or not to use circular needles to knit the blanket I was wanting to make for Lucas’ mom for Christmas. I decided to take the plunge, risky I know, but it’s going really well! I will admit I probably should’ve chosen a smaller project to serve as my intro into using circular needles, but it was only awkward for the first row. I’m only on the 6th row, but already by the 2nd row I was feeling more comfortable with the setup. I’m really looking forward to this blanket now! I can already see how much better the finished product will be. I’m not doing anything fancy; I nabbed a pair of size 10, 36 inch Takumi bamboo needles for the project and some jumbo skeins of yarn that fades between various shades of blues, which is Lucas’ mom’s favourite colour. On the needles I casted on 130 stitches and plan to go back and forth between knitting a row and purling a row, or stockinette stitch, because I like the way it looks when it’s done. And that’s it. I’m really excited about the final product already, and I’ve got loads of work yet to go. I’ll keep you updated ;)