Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here is my very first knit amigurumi!! I'm not actually sure what the definition of amigurumi is, so I'm not sure if this is one or just a knit toy, but whatever it is, I'm so proud of it! I didn't think I'd be able to knit something like this because I'm a novice knitter and have always stuck to hats and scarves, but I did it! It is a bit rough around the edges, as you can see, but not bad for a first try.

It is a bit bigger than I thought it would be, which is good. I took a pic of my youngest son holding it to demonstrate the size.
I'm so proud of this cute owl that I have named him... his name is Jorje - ha!
Here is the original pattern by Amy Gaines:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tea Cup Candles

For Mother's Day gifts, I decided I'd use a great "green" idea I saw in a Martha Stewart "

Green Crafts" link. The idea was to use old tea cups and fill them with candles. I started by sifting through old teacups at Goodwill and other thrift stores and ended up with these cups and one adorable teapot.

Then I melted old wax from unused or partially used candles lying around the house, and I also used some new votives that I bought and took the wick out of before melting. I melted the wax within a smaller pan that was submerged in hot water. The directions said to use a wax or candy thermometer but I did not to this, and we will consider that decision in a bit. So, I melted the wax completely and, meanwhile, I set up my teacups. I cut wicking and put them through the small metal wick stabilizers.... all available at any craft store. I used plyers to close the metal hole of the stabilizers onto the wicks. Then I used bamboo skewers to tie the wick onto so that the wick would stay centered within the cup.

Then, just pour the wax in! You'll want to leave a little space at the top so you'll have a wick. Don't fill it all the way to the top. I made sure the wick was centered before leaving it to dry. Most of the candles dried very well, but the ones in the white teacups dried strangely, very bumpy, and I'm wondering if this is because I did not have the wax at the correct temperature. I just figured melted wax is melted wax, ya know?

Here is a finished pic of some of them, for some reason I can't find the pics of the other ones completed. These green ones dried great, but the other ones dried bumpy and I think you can catch a glimpse of that on the above pics.

Needless to say, Grandma, Mom, and Mother-in-Law loved their Mother's Day gifts!

Look at our beautiful azaleas! The pictures don't do them justice. They are simply stunning this year.