Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Glass Half Full

Christmas is in 8 days. Here's a project you can do in 2 hours--1 if you're quick.

Find a picture or words that you like. If you're doing words, be sure to leave some space between the letters and choose a really blocky font. Trace the image on contact paper.

Cut out using scissors or a box cutter. I find the box cutter to be easier. Tip: Don't lift the blade. Rotate the contact paper to change directions instead of picking up the knife. Be sure to cut this on a couple layers of cardboard so you don't scratch your table.

Buy a glass. Target had these for $1. It has to be glass, not plastic.

Wash the glass, then rub the area you're going to use with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Stick the contact paper to the glass. Do not freak out if it's not perfectly level. This is handmade, people.


Using a small foam brush, cover the cut-out area with a fairly heavy layer of Armour Etch. Tip: Watch the glass to make sure the Armour Etch isn't being thwarted by gravity and running off the contact paper. If it is, lay the glass down and prop it with something so it doesn't roll.

This isn't Half Full. It's a glass a friend did of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.

Let the Armour Etch sit for 10 minutes, then rinse off under running water, blotting gently with a paper towel.

Be excited that you just etched glass. Do not be concerned that it is imperfect. That's part of the charm. Like all projects, it's important to focus on glass half full.* (I made this myself since the etsy seller didn't have it in stock when I wanted to buy it. I refuse to be thwarted.)

Spend the next half hour daydreaming about other things you can etch, looking at everything glass in your house and wondering if it can be improved. This will freak out your partner a bit, but it cannot be helped. Think about that aunt who's difficult to shop for. Wouldn't she love a casserole dish with her name etched on it to take to church dinners? Sure, she would. (My mom did, anyway.) The friend with the perfect Christmas decorations would love a glass ornament with her initial on it. Your beer-drinking buddy might like an etched beer glass. The possibilities are mind-boggling, and you've got a lot more Armour Etch to use. Etch on, my friends.

The tutorial I used is here.

*See what I did there?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's December, and everyone knows that means there's tons getting done and nothing that can be made public. 

I did, however, embroider another pillowcase.

I have no interest in being perfect at embroidery. Imperfection is a-okay. I like to do it, and that's enough. I'm not averse to learning though. From this pillowcase, I learned that I really need to wash the fabric first. I didn't, and it puckered on the far left.

I found the lotus online as part of a coloring page, I think. I used carbon transfers from Sublime Stitching to put the design on the case. The swirls I sort of freehanded, which taught me that I need to be better about covering the carbon lines with floss. I had trouble getting them to come out in the wash.

I have another pillowcase planned, and I expect to keep doing little projects like this until it isn't fun anymore.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hanukah Miracle

Andrew has a shelf in the yarn storage dedicated to yarn he's picked out for himself. I grabbed a skein of Fleece Artists's Hand Maiden Casbah Sock in Phoenix (Andrew has excellent taste) to make him socks.
That yarn is delightful. Squishy, pretty, and very soft. I believe I will need to buy a skein for myself.
It has 325 meters, which is 355 yards. More than once I've run out of yarn making socks. I like the legs to be fairly tall, and I've screwed up a pair for me and a pair for Andrew.* I was determined not to make that mistake again.
I don't particularly like toe-up, but that's because I think increasing is fiddlier (technical term) than decreasing. There was no way around it. Toe-up would be the smartest way to utilize the yardage and make sure I didn't up with a toe of a different color.**
Time Traveler Socks (mine raveled here),
Not only did I have plenty of yarn to make these socks the height I wanted, but I had enough leftover to make a surprise Christmas something.
Four of them.
I couldn't understand it. How could I have plenty of this yarn when I ran out of similar yardages? The Silkies socks I made for Andrew had the same yardage in the skein as these. The stitch pattern was similar. The needle size was smaller for the Silkies socks than for the Time Traveler Socks. It just didn't make any sense.
Then I looked at the calendar. It's Hanukah. My friends, I believe I've experienced my own Hanukah miracle. I am thankful to the spirit of the Maccabees. Knit on.
*It's a painful story.
**I'm looking at you, Lycaena virgaureae socks.