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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.


Score!

Posted in Knit & Crochet , on September 29, 2008 ,
My new knitting tote

My new knitting tote

Last week I received an email from Michaels with a make-your-own-50%-off-sale coupon (as did everyone else on their mailing list) and Lucas treated me to a shopping spree on Saturday.  Wow am I a lucky girl!  I used the 50% off coupon on something I’ve needed for a long time … a knitting bag.  I’ve been pining for one of the Ravelry totes but it’s on my Christmas list.  The fact that I needed something useful for carrying my WIPs around became very apparent this past Thursday when the first official meeting of the SE Calgary Knit & Crochet group took place.  We organized on Ravelry.  It started with me looking on the Calgary discussion board for any groups that were already meeting way down in the SE.  It turned out that there weren’t any, so once it became apparent that there were several showing real interest in the idea, we just decided to make our own.  We met at a local Starbucks and it was really great!  There were four of us total with one other confirmed to be there next month along with a possible sixth member, too.  It was a great way to meet and get to know

luscious yarn!

luscious yarn!

each other. As I was getting ready for my first knit-and-crochet-in-public social event, I realized I was carrying my current WIP (a baby blanket for the Ckalieys) around in a Safeway bag.  Sad.  I managed to scrounge up something for Thursday but I was elated to pick up a real knitting travel bag at Michaels with my coupon and it’s so handy!  Just look how pretty!

And that’s not all I got at Michaels.  I’ve been carrying around a tattered yarn wish (read: need) list in my purse for all the yarn required to make the Christmas gift items on my to do list this season.  Most of it was on sale and so I picked up more yarn in that one trip than I’ve bought over the last several months combined. Needless to say, it was an exciting day :)  Just look at all of that luscious yarn!

screenie of My Memories Suite in action

screenie of My Memories Suite in action

I’ve got several digital scrapping freebies ready to give away (I’m glad everyone liked the CU paper edgers from yesterday!) but also on the horizon are some tutorials for working with the My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software I use.  I’ve gotten a few emails lately from users asking about its features after they read my review, and now that I’ve had the software for nearly a year and have been using it extensively, I think some tutorials would be a great idea.  Inspired by an email I got today, I’m already working on a basic features intro and a tips and tricks for layering paper tutorial.  I know it won’t be of much use to those of you who don’t use My Memories Suite, but perhaps the free videos will inspire you and get you excited enough about the software that you’ll want to pick it up for yourself! :)  I really can’t rave enough about it.

So that’s what’s new on the crafting front.  See you back here soon for more freebies later in the week and some software tutorials.  And with all of that great yarn I just got, you can be sure there will be some more WIPs to share in the very near future :)  Have a great week! :heart: