Friday, May 30, 2014

F o o d i e : A v o c a d o P u d d i n g

If you've never made avocado pudding before, you have to give it a try! I'll admit I was skeptical that this would be good - I'm pretty picky when it comes to pudding - but this stuff was great! Definitely something I will be making again. I followed this recipe. The only change I made was to use regular sugar and sweetened cocoa powder.

Friday, May 16, 2014

W e a v i n g : B e g i n n e r T e c h n i q u e s

Let's weave! For details on how to make the loom, check out this post. Once you have the warp in place, choose your first color and begin as shown below. Leave a bit of a tail when you start so you can secure the yarn later. Continue weaving back and forth until you get the desired amount of rows making sure to push down the yarn as you go and don't pull too tight! I like to use a large blunt needle to guide my yarn through the warp. 

Use different styles and weights of yarn to add visual interest.

To add additional texture you can also add Rya. Cut yarn into pieces a few inches long and wrap around the warp as shown below. 

When you start your second row of rya start with the second string of warp so your rya will alternate position. Continue this pattern of alternation until you have reached the desired amount and continue weaving as usual.

You can also add texture by weaving in strips of leather (as above) or add beads (as below).

When you've reached the end, weave in all of the ends into the piece. 

Flip over the loom and cut the warp strings.

Tie the warp strings into simple knots and add beads if you'd like.

Leave longer strings at the top to hang your piece.

And you're done!

I really enjoyed making this first piece and it's got me thinking of new techniques to try next time! 
(inspiration came from this lovely post)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

F o o d i e : F r e s h H e r b a l T e a

This spring I've been working hard at keeping a mini herb garden alive on my windowsill (basil, you're so frustrating!). Despite the struggle, it's really nice to have a few fresh herb options sitting around and this mint & lemon balm tea is one of my favorite uses for my herbs (they are also much easier to take care of than my basil plant). To make: tear up a handful of mint leaves and lemon balm leaves (about 10-ish leaves each depending on size) and pour over 32oz of boiling water. I let my tea steep for about an hour (or longer, if I forget) and then place it in the fridge once it has cooled down.  This tea is so refreshing and is a great way to get in some extra water. I also find the mint and lemon balm combo to be quite soothing on the stomach. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

W e a v i n g : C a r d b o a r d L o o m

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I've recently become obsessed with weaving! I will soon be making some wooden looms, but I got antsy and decided to make a simple cardboard loom to practice with. All you need to make this loom is a sturdy piece of cardboard, packing tape and scissors. I cut down the lid of a cardboard box (approximately 5x7") that I had sitting around and then wrapped a piece of packing tape over the shorter ends - this helps to reinforce the cardboard once it is cut. Using scissors (or an X-acto knife) make half inch deep cuts in the shorter ends of the cardboard. I made 10 cuts total on one end and then lined up my cuts with the other end. And that's it! You have a loom! To add the warp, I used cotton yarn and wrapped it around the loom from one end to the other just making sure to keep it taught and secure the ends. It's best to use a tougher fiber for the warp, so cotton yarn and bakers twine are a good choice. Stay tuned for a post showing how to use this little loom! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

W e a v i n g : I n s p i r a t i o n

My newest crafting obsession is weaving! I just love how simple it is to combine various yarn textures and colors and turn it into a piece of art. I'm crushing hard on the work of Maryanne Moody, as well as on the other lovely woven textile pieces floating around the Pinterest world.  As an added bonus - weaving is a great way to use up leftover yarn from my crochet stash. Stay tuned for some posts on how to DIY a few simple looms and learn some beginner weaving techniques. I'm super excited to learn more about this beautiful craft! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

L i t t l e B i t s O f G r a d u a t i o n

I had such a great weekend celebrating my Graduate school graduation with my amazing parents. 
It still hasn't hit me that I'm completely done with school, but I'm already enjoying the perks of not having any homework.  On to the next step!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

B a c k T o B l o g g i n g !

It's time for me to get back to blogging! I've managed to survive my final semester of grad school (yay for graduating this weekend!) and I can't wait to have a bit more free time to devote to my hobbies. I mean, I've spent an entire year researching how arts participation is good for health, so I better get back to practicing what I preach!