Showing posts from November, 2008

Christmas Soaps

Fancy, scented soaps make a great hostest gift, co-worker gift, party favor, or stocking stuffer. Sew some "amazing three seam bags" to go with them and you have a quick and elegant Christmas gift.
When you use melt and pour soap, this becomes one of the simplest crafts ever: it would be a great one to do with an older child who can be trusted with hot things.
It is so simple, in fact, that I almost hesitate to create a tutorial, but I will focus on tips and money saving ideas.

* 2 lb block of melt-and-pour soap.
You can get this a Jo-Ann's or Michael's. Regular price is about $10, but both of these fine stores release 40% coupons about twice a month, and since the product is nearly never on sale this is a great use for your discount.
My favorite variety is the Avacado glycerine from "Life of the Party," and I've also enjoyed the Olive Oil glycerine.
Tip: If you plan to put anything in your soap other than scent, stear clear of the 10 lb brick of &qu…

Vintage Granny-Square Christmas Stocking

Ah, the Granny Square: most loved, and most reviled, of all the common crochet patterns. In the 60's and 70's you could find them in projects as diverse as placemats, vests, and afghans. Overuse in some truly regrettable designs has cast a pall over this workhorse of the crochet world, but there is still a place for them in my heart at least!
My mother's mother, "Grammy" to us kids, was rarely to be found without a crochet hook in her hand, even in the hottest of Fresno summers, and granny squares were her stock and trade. When I was a wee lass of 7 or so I begged her to teach me. I got as far as a decent chain, but by the next time she came to visit I'd forgotten the technique. A few attempts, and a few years, later, the lessons finally stuck and I had mastered the venerable square plus a few more common stitches. Over my teenage years I actually turned out a couple of good sized afghans, but then I put away my hook and didn't even think about croc…

The Amazing 3-Seam Gift Bag

I admitted to myself recently that I Really dislike wrapping presents. However, at the moment I quite enjoy sewing. So I had the brilliant idea to sew gift bags for my little treasures rather than wrapping them in irritating and ultimately disposable paper. After a few attempts, here is the pattern I came up with.

What you will need:
* Cotton fabric in a pretty print. I love to use fat quarters from Jo Ann's, which go on sale for $1.
* About 10 to 12 inches of narrow ribbon
* Thread
* Sewing machine
* Iron
* Scissors or rotary cutter and matStep 1: Iron your fabric. Sorry, I hate it too, but it's necessary. I won't make you press your seams, though!Step 2: Measure what you want to wrap. You will need a piece of fabric about 2x as wide and about 2-3 inches taller than your item depending on how "fat" the item is. In my case, I was wrapping small home-made soaps, so my fabric piece ended up about 7 inches by 9. (Incidentally, you can make 6 gift bags…

Welcome to Tarkheena Crafts

What, another crafting blog? Aren't there already at least 43 gazillion of those?
Yes, probably so. Who cares? Every crafter, and therefore every craft is unique. I don't expect to ever gather a huge "angry chicken" level following, but I'll amuse myself and maybe a few friends posting the crafts that I've "perfected," complete with tutorials.
A bit about my crafting style. The word "perfected' is in quotes above for a good reason. While I am a perfectionist in many ways, I am also all about "good enough" in most of my crafting, cooking, and (let's be fair) cleaning endeavors. I love shortcuts. I hate ironing. I prefer to measure once and cute twice (or three, or four) times. So you're not going to find things here that demand absolute precision and accuracy in all steps. In other words, no quilts!
Right now I am in a sewing mode. I pulled out Mom's ancient but very functional sewing machine a few months ba…