Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shrinky Dinkies

About 2 weeks ago I bought a Shrinky Dink oven from the thrift store.

It uses a light bulb as the heat source, so it's really just an Easy Bake Oven with a narrower slot. When I bought it I wasn't sure it would be a worthwhile investment, but it turns out that this thing is awesome!

Luke calls Shrinky Dinks Shrinky Dinkies. That cracks me up. I made these two...

They were supposed to be knitting stitch markers, but the hole is only big enough to fit up to a size 5 needle comfortably. Maybe if I find a larger ring I can use them for larger needles. Until then they're just charms. For these I used real Shrinky Dink plastic, but did you know you can use any number 6 plastic for Shrinky Dinks? Yep. Pretty cool. I'm on the lookout for number 6 plastic now because Shrinky Dinks are fun!

EDIT: Here's a link to a tutorial using #6's here on Thrifty Fun. I tried it and it worked great with my Shrinky Dink oven.

Here are Luke's Shrinky Dinks. I wrote the colorful one, of course. He didn't do as good a job spelling his name as he usually does. It's summer, so he hasn't had much practice lately!!

In other news, we aren't leaving for Greece until the 13th now. We were going to leave on the 4th, but my husband is swamped with work. With the economy the way it is, we think it's best to delay our trip. I'm not upset at all since I've got a ton of stuff to, sew, knit and finish some quilts. I should say "clean, do laundry, and change the oil on my car", but eh... priorities, shmriorities.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dyeing Yarn (and More Hats, Of Course!)

I think I'm done knitting hats for a little while! Here are the last two of the bunch I am sending to the Pine Ridge Reservation:

That makes 4 baby hats, one baby hat & blanket combo, 2 toddler hats and 4 child sized hats. Not bad! We are leaving for vacation next week, so I'll have time to knit then. Now its time to finish some quilts! But first....

My foray into dyeing yarn with Kool Aid was not very successful! This was harder than it seemed. For me it was, anyway! I was going to wait to try Kool Aid yarn dyeing until I had destashed more, but then I remembered that last year I had bought 2 Irish wool sweaters from the thrift store for $2.50 each. I always intended to frog them and reuse the yarn, but never got around to it. Until last night.

I cut the seams of this sweater (luckily it was seamed with mattress stitch...easy to unseam!)...

Wound it and tied it so it looked like this:

Looks like a bad perm, doesn't it? I wound two skeins like this and...

...then I used Kool Aid to dye it in the crock pot. I used Orange, Strawberry, and Lemonade.

Here's the finished product:

It's not bad, but I think I'll leave dyeing to the experts. I don't think I have a knack for it! If you'd like to try it, here are two excellent tutorials on how to dye yarn using Kool Aid and a crock pot: this tutorial on Knit Purl Gurl, is excellent, as is this one on Nermal, Not Normal. There is also a tutorial on Knitty, but it doesn't use a crock pot. If you try this I'd love to see your results. Leave a comment if you dye your own and I'll check it out!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More Knitting For Charity

This blanket & hat combo will also go to the Children of the Pine Ridge Reservation. If you want to donate hats, blankets, mittens, or whatever you'd like, there's a group on Ravelry that lists addresses and the needs of the Native Americans who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation. They need items for all ages. One particular need is for mittens for kindergartners this fall/winter.

My kids aren't babies anymore, so I don't have a baby model to show these off. The teddy bear will have to do!

The pattern for the blanket (it's actually a hoodie blanket) is here at The Thrifty Knitter and the hat pattern is published in Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I used Caron Simply Soft washes well and is nice and soft.

Now I'm off to watch the second half of Soylent Green with the husband (while I knit, of course!!). It's funny that I was only 3 yrs old when this movie was made! It's a great movie and I recommend it. Especially in this day and age where food is becoming more and more engineered.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I'm baking again today. We had no snacks in the house and the kids kept chanting "blueberry muffins! blueberry muffins!" so I baked muffins. Luckily I had all the ingredients handy! The recipe was from Martha's book:

Luke helped me, so it took a little longer than expected, but it was a lot of fun! He is my official Mixing Technician.

Cook! Darn it! Cook!

Ahhh! Muffins!

"You are mine, all mine! And I shall devour you!

Confession time: These plates...

I stole 4 of them from Greek Islands restaurant. I don't know why except that it's my most favorite restaurant ever and I just had to have them!

Bake On!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Charming Girls Quilt Club

With so many UFO's in my sewing room, I think joining a quilt club will be the only way I'll get them all finished! So, I joined a fun group of women at Charming Chatter:

I'm leaving for vacation in 2 weeks, but I have 2 quilts I would like to finish before then (actually, I have 3 I'd like to finish, but I'm trying to be realistic!!).

The first quilt I'd like to finish is my pinwheel quilt. I have all the pinwheel blocks finished; all I need to do is sew them together and then make a flying geese sashing and another sashing and, and, and.... you can tell I have this one well thought out, can't you? Here's a photo of some of the blocks:
Double Pinwheel Blocks

The second quilt I'd like to finish is my "Beach Quilt". Its a quilt made of super bright orange and yellow obnoxious polka dots and an equally obnoxious vintage sheet backing. I've been wanting to make a quilt to take to the beach to sit on, but could never decide on fabrics since I don't want to use really nice fabrics; this quilt will be soaked and rubbed in the sand! I couldn't bare to use expensive fabrics. I don't have an "in-progress" photo because I just started cutting it yesterday, but I swear I'll be embarrassed to show a photo of it when I'm done. I'm almost certain it will be the most obnoxious quilt I've made thus far. But at least my kids will always know which blanket is ours.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How To Make Gluten Free Cupcakes That Taste Good

Use a good mix. lol! These cupcakes were made using Pamela's gluten free chocolate cake mix and they were really good! The frosting was also a Pamela's gluten free mix. Both were very easy to make.

Nothing like a cupcake and a cup of tea. I love my new mug. It's cute, isn't it? It was on sale at Joann's for $3.95, so I couldn't resist. I also got one that says, "I love quilting". Totally dorky, I know.

The cupcakes got a thumb's up from Luke....

What a great way to start the week!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

EQ6 Haiku!

The Electric Quilt Company hosted an EQ6 Haiku contest and I was a winner! I'm so excited because I won a quilting design software package that is stand-alone, but also compatible with EQ6. It is called Quiltmaker and I won Volume 6. Now I can explore quilting designs other than straight lines and free-motion stippling! As soon as I get a chance to install it on my computer and use it I'll post a review. I'm excited to try it out! Here's what it looks like:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Serious Destashing Going On!

I've been knitting hats like crazy lately (aka...serious destashing!). My yarn stash is insane, so I thought I'd knit up a ton of baby/toddler/kid hats to donate to charities. Its a great way to destash, especially if you have a lot of acrylic yarn you want to destash.

So, why the destashing? I want to try the Kool-Aide dye method and dye my own yarn!! How exciting is that? Sure, I could just go dye some yarn now, but my yarn stash is seriously out of control, so I can't buy more yarn and remain mentally stable. I'll end up on CNN...A woman had a mental breakdown at Joann's today...police officers said she was mumbling something about her stash being out of control and she had a hoarding problem.... So, I told myself if I destash a bit I could venture into dyeing with a happy heart and clear mind.

I'll have links for you if you want to try it yourself, but my kids are going nuts today, so I don't have the time to add links to this post.

Have a great day and remember to take some time to enjoy The Stash (tivist). lol....

Some Free Quilt Patterns & Site Links

I was recently listed on the site Free Quilt Patterns and thought I'd share the link. When you go to the site, at the top is a list of categories for the free patterns that are linked to. But, and this is the greatest part, if you scroll down you'll see a huge list of quilting blogs (including my blog!). I spent almost an hour looking at all the sites listed and only got through the blogs that begin with the letter "A". It kind of makes me think I should have named my blog something that begins with the letter "A"... How about A Stashtivist instead of The Stashtivist?? lol!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Winner!

Thank you to all who entered this giveaway! It was a lot of fun and I love how many new people I've met here and over at Twitter!

I drew a number using the random number generator at and the winner is:

Number 14 is: Mandaleighta!! Congratulations!!

I'll be contacting you tonight (I have to run off to karate with my son right now!). If you want to beat me to the punch, email or DM your address to me.

Thanks again to all of you! I'll be having more giveaways in the near future; this was fun!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hey, Hey! Its A Giveaway!

Time's Up! Winner will be announced shortly! Thank you to all who entered!

To celebrate having more than 20 followers of this blog (Yay! Big Smile!), I thought I'd host a giveaway!

Tuesday afternoon, July 14, I'll draw a name from the comments and that lucky winner will receive a brand-spankin' new copy of Heather Ross' book, Weekend Sewing! I have a copy of this book and love it.

It has over 40 projects and wonderful accompanying photographs. If it doesn't inspire you, nothing will!

To win, leave a comment to this post. PLEASE make sure I have a way to contact you should you win. There is one entry per person. However, to get an extra entry, tweet this giveaway on Twitter and then come back and leave a comment telling me you did so. Easy as that. And if you'd like me to follow you on Twitter, leave your Twitter ID in the comment, too. I'm always looking for fun people to follow on Twitter!

Good luck and thank you all for reading my blog! It's a fun way to share projects, information, and inspiration!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Giveaways Are GREAT!

I won two giveaways! Both giveaways were on Twitter, which is yet another reason to use Twitter! The first giveaway was from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. A fabric roll!

I've never used batiks in a quilt, so I'm really happy to have won this fabric roll. It will allow me to explore quilting with batiks (and there are a lot of impressive batik quilts out there!).
Then a few days after the Robert Kaufmann giveaway, I won 2 Amy Butler fat quarters from Flair for Fabric!

Aren't they great? I love fabric!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Elle's Quilt...Flower Girl

For the longest time I couldn't think of a quilt to make for Elle. Last year I had started a butterfly block quilt, but it just didn't say, "Elle". Know what I mean? When I went on my road trip (all by my lonesome!) I had purchased some fabrics I knew Elle would like, but I really didn't want to just cut squares and rectangles and sew them up. I wanted to do something different, so I made these:

They are HUGE. 16" square. I suppose 16" isn't really that huge, but they are a lot bigger than the other blocks I've been making lately.

The background fabric is a light yellow with white polka dots. I don't think you can see that in the photos. These last 2 are not yet appliqued onto the background fabric.

Since the blocks are 16" square, I'm only making 4 blocks. With 4 inches of sashing between them and around the outside edges, I'll have about a 43X43 inch square quilt. Perfect for a 2 yr. old.

On Sunday we went for a day-camping trip to try out our newly fixed RV, so I started another knitting project. And didn't get as far as I would have liked. It's a hat for my SIL's baby who will be born in early December. She doesn't yet know the gender of either baby (twins!), so if they both turn out to be boys, I'll donate this hat to either Knit One, Save One, or a similar organization. (it's purple..I don't know if the color is obvious in the photo!)

It looks like a cuff, doesn't it? Its so tiny! I remember my girls being that small, but it seems like a lifetime ago.

Time moves quickly!


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