Monday, June 23, 2014

The Skinny (and Smudge!)

It's been a very busy two weeks! I say 2 weeks because that's how long it's been since I've posted... Sorry... A few big things happened though and I'd love to fill you in.

First, on Friday the 6th I went to an Etsy craft party at Due South Coffee hosted by Jessica of TinOiseux  and Brooke of Juxtaposition. These two lovely ladies know how to throw a craft party! I had so much fun meeting other crafty people and making a personalized Sharpie mug.

Next, I randomly picked the USA out of a bag as my World Cup team in the office contest. And we beat Ghana! I have never cared so much as about any sport as much as this World Cup. That last second goal by Portugal on Sunday almost gave me an aneurysm.

After that, we headed to Atlanta for the National Conference of Volunteering and Service. Y'all. It was inspiring, exhilarating, educational, and most definitely exhausting. It was WAY bigger than anticipated. My favorite session was a "fireside" chat with women with several women with highly successful careers discussing the lessons they've learned and mistakes they've made. It was incredible. I fangirled shamelessly.

Lastly, and most excitingly, I GOT A KITTEN. Her name is Smudge and she's 2.4 pounds of sweetness. A bit skittish, more than a little silly, but definitely the sweetest. Her favorite place to cuddle is on face. It's cool. I've already gone a little crazy with toy buying but the next step is obviously toy-making. I'll be the first to admit I haven't historically been a cat person but Smudge really picked me, and who am I to argue with that face? When I was at the Humane Society for another event I just happened to look in on the animals available. All the other kittens were going nuts from the excitement of the dogs and people outside. All except a little puff butt in the corner cage facing away. She looked over her kitten shoulder at me, got up, and walked over to lay down as close to me as possible. My heart melted and I knew if she was still there after I got back from the conference in Atlanta that it was meant to be.

What I didn't expect to happen is that I was actually really worried she wasn't going to be there when I got back. I called the Humane Society multiple times to check. I didn't even go home first when I got back into town, I went right there and picked her up. Now we've had a nice long weekend of quality time to play and bond. #BFFL

That's it! Lots of new things but all good. Now we're up to speed and ready for the next round of fun, creative posts. Who are you routing for in the World Cup? Any advice for this first time kitten mom? I'd love to know!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Hanging Herb Garden (The Unexpectedly Challenging One)

Last week we talked about 2 different pretty simple hanging planters. Now it's time to up the anti and bring on the macrame. Are you ready for this? *stretches arms in preparation*

When I worked with children back in the day, one little girl came in with a handful of twisted cord determined to make a bracelet like the ones the big kids made in art class at school. All she remembered from the older kid who was trying to teach her were the terms "snake" "lizard" and "tunnel." Filling in the gaps, I figured she must be talking about macrame. Soon all the kids wanted to learn how. The idea of teaching a bunch of boys and girls how to play with yarn was essentially a dream come true. The snake/lizard method was by far the easiest to understand.

That's the primary idea. The lizard will always go under the tunnel and over the snake and the snake will always be opposite of that. If you alternate which reptile goes under and over, then the knots will begin to twist. It's actually pretty cool if you're doing a long project but with just a few knots it looks messy. Just a tip, it's easier to tighten the snake and lizard if you hold the tunnel tightly. Once you've got the basic knot down, you're ready to move on to the planter.

6 Strand Hanging Planter

You will Need:

Small Pot filled with the sun-craving plants of your choice
6 pieces Nylon rope, 72" each
1" Steel welded O-ring (can be bought individually in store for 80 cents)
Lighter (optional)

I chose these pots from Lowe's for a few reasons: cheap, adorable, colorful, self-watering, light weight, annnnd immediately available.

The O-ring should be centered on the strands and secured with a pretzel knot.  Separate the strands into 3 groups of 4 strands. 8" down from the O-ring, you'll add 4 macrame knots into each group. 2" or 3" down from the macrame knots, tie a pretzel knot between the macrame groups using just the outside strands (the center picture). Gather all your strands together. You'll notice that the strands that were the "tunnels" in the macrame knots are a bit longer than all the others. A few inches  below your pretzel knots, grab one strand from each of the tunnel groups and pull them to the side. Those pieces are now your snakes and lizards to make a large set of macrame knots at the bottom of the holder. Knot to your desired length (mine is about 10 knots long) and then tie it off by wrapping all the strands in a pretzel knot. Pull each strand tightly, trim edges to desired length, and finish off with a quick pass of your lighter to keep the ends from fraying.

As mentioned in the previous posts, I wanted my hanging planters short so they wouldn't take up too much space on the patio. If you need longer ones, start with rope pieces longer than 72".

This one might take a little practice, but I think it might be my favorite. What do you think? Have you made one yet? I'd love to know!


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