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Comparison | Painting Mason Jars

Painting-Mason-JarsMason jars are very trendy lately, and painting them has been catching on as well. But they aren’t the easiest surface to work with…how do you know what to use? I decided to buy a box of pint mason jars, experiment with various paint mediums, and share the results with Craft Critique’s readers to find out!

After experimenting over the course of doing this project, I learned a few tips that help to improve the results when painting mason jars.

The first thing I learned was that priming the jars can help with both the application and the final appearance of the paint if you are using an opaque paint (obviously for a transparent color, the priming would show). I used Krylon ColorMaster Primer in White to prime most of the jars that I painted below, placing them upside down on a scrap piece of 1×2 and standing outside to spray them. Then I propped the 1×2 against the side of my desk while the jar dried. One coat of primer was sufficient to provide a base for painting over. Continue Reading →

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Project | Wall Canvas with Hazel & Ruby

My studio has a whole ton of stuff in it, but until now, very little that could be called decór. The room was all function, function, function. I’ve been wanting to change that for awhile, and I decided to start with a canvas for the wall!

Live Work Create CanvasHazel + Ruby has a new product line that looked like it makes creating a decoupage canvas idiot proof. Since I had only made a canvas once before in a class, I really put it to the test! Continue Reading →

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Review | Lion Brand BonBons Yarn

bonbonspackI usually choose bulky, nubby yarns to crochet with, but every so often I’ll go through a phase where all I want to do is crochet with “fine” or “sport weight” yarns (which are very thin in diameter and not very plush). The Bonbons yarns from Lion Brand are perfect for this. They come in a package of eight color coordinated mini-skeins, and are priced at $7.99 MSRP for a pack of eight skeins. While the skeins are quite small, the entire package is more than enough yarn to make a variety of projects. No, you won’t be able to crochet a large afghan with one package, but you will be able to make quite a variety of accessories and home decor projects. Continue Reading →

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Fat Quarter Project | Earbud Pouch

Since digging out my sewing machine and finding my local quilt store, I’ve become a bit obsessed lately with pinning projects that can be made with “fat quarters” (for non-quilters, quarter yards of fabric that are cut in a rectangle so they are about 18″ x 22″ in size). These projects are a great way to justify collecting all those pretty fabrics! My “Fun with Fabric” board is growing rapidly!

The first fat quarter project that I decided to try is something that I desperately needed: a zip pouch for carrying my earbuds. This earbud pouch tutorial is from a website called Dog Under My Desk, and the project is beautifully illustrated with photos and well-written instructions. The tutorial also includes a printable pattern file. All of this made the project really easy to complete!

Headphone Case with HeadphonesThe pouch has a very sturdy design, with a lining and a zip closure, and a loop for attaching it to a keyring for portability.

Headphone Case OpenedThere are no exposed seams in the design to wear or fray over time. To give the pouch some bulk and protect the ear buds, the case is lined with interfacing. I used Sew-In Warm Fleece by The Warm Company. It’s made in the USA of 100% polyester. Even though it is polyester, it feels like cotton in the hand, and has a body and density like felt. It cuts beautifully and it was easy to pin the pattern pieces to and cut precisely.

Warm Company FleeceA few last thoughts about this project…it is wonderful to always know where my headphones are now because I know they are with my keys in the pouch. I never find myself out and about wanting them because if I have my keys, I have them as well. I did have a moment of rude awakening the other day when I was out shopping, though. It was pouring down rain – one of our typical Florida afternoon storms that happen almost daily this time of year – and I was running through the parking lot to my car through water that was two inches or more deep in places because it was raining so hard it overwhelmed the storm drains. As I glanced down at my keys in my hand, I had a moment of panic when I realized – if I drop my keys in this flood my headphones are dead! So I will have to be a bit more careful than I am used to with my keys now that my headphones are attached to them.

Supplies – Fabric (unknown fat quarters), The Warm Company Sew-In Warm Fleece, Coats Dual Duty XP Thread, Coats All Purpose Zipper (7″ Black).

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Books | The Crocheter’s Companion by Nancy Brown

I do not knit. That’s not to say that I’ve never knitted, but I currently do not knit because I was not good at it. It was frustrating because I so wanted to be good at it. I have a co-worker who is an exceptional knitter, and she makes the most wonderful things for her kids and family. Being the crafter that I am of course I wanted to try it and so a knitting soiree was had. I tried -  I really did – and I had moments of proficiency and then it vanished. Just like that! I’d do so well for a few rows then ruin! And I never picked it up again. I sadly thought my time playing with yarn was done.

Then I received this book, The Crocheter’s Companion, written by Nancy Brown and published by Interweave Press.

Crocheters Companion cover Continue Reading →

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