Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cupcake Ornaments

This weekend I had a bit of a sweet tooth so I made some delicious little cupcake ornaments for my Christmas tree.

I love how whimsical they look, almost Dr Suess-ish,  and they were very easy to make. All you need are the following :

Glass or plastic Christmas balls (I used some mini glass ones with mini cupcake liners for mine)
Appropriate sized cupcake liners - foil lined ones hold their shape best
Snow-tex or other thick fake snow paste
Plastic Christmas berries
Hot glue gun
Plastic lunch bags (without zip lock closure)

Place a drop of hot glue into cupcake liner and set in Christmas ball on a slight angle. Fill plastic lunch bag with Snow-tex and squeeze to bottom. Cut a small hole in tip and pipe Snow-tex onto ball like icing. Sprinkle sparkles onto Snow-tex and place a Christmas berry on top. Allow Snow-tex to dry at least 24 hours then attach a ribbon or wire hanger and hang on your tree or give away as gifts!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Run, run for your life.....

The crochet zombies have arrived.....on etsy and ravelry that is! My crochet zombie pattern is finally available for sale at offthehookdesigns.etsy.ca and also on ravelry (just search for zombie amigurumi pdf pattern). Get them before they get you.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Just a quick post to let you all know that I have now listed all my Etsy patterns on Ravelry! It's been a long time coming but I finally took the plunge yesterday and got them all listed. Now you don't have to have an Etsy account if you want to buy one of my crochet patterns, just go to Ravelry and search under offthehookdesigns. Also I have been working on a fantastic new pattern which I am working on writing up right now. I hope to have it up on both Etsy and Ravelry very soon. Here he is :

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Scale Earrings

It would seem that I am on a kick with these scales! I am in love with them and there just seems to be endless possibilities to what you can make. I had a handful of red and black scales left over from making my other projects so I decided to make a pair of black dangle earrings for myself and of course, a pair of red ones for my mom :-). Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos while making them but they are very easy so I am going to do my best to describe the process for you.

What you need :

9/32 inch or 1/4 inch 18G jump rings - 18 per pair of earrings
small scales - 36 per pair of earrings
earring wires - 2 per pair of earrings
pliers preferably with no teeth so as not to mar your work

Open the first jump ring and place 2 scales on with the concave sides in.
Close the jump ring
Open the second jump ring and thread through the first jump ring and place one scale on either side of the opening concave side facing in.
Close the jump ring.
Open a third jump ring and thread onto the second jump ring making sure you are between the two scales, place one scale on each side of the opening, concave side in.
Close the jump ring.
Proceed until you have nine jump rings and 18 scales on.
Before closing the last jump ring, place on one of the earring wire.
Repeat for the second earring.

You can make your earrings longer or shorter by using more or less jump rings and scales. The great thing about these earrings is because the scales are aluminium, they aren't heavy at all!

Have some fun....mix up the colours of scales you use for a multicolour effect.

Scale Necklaces

After making the scale bracelets the other week I was inspired to make a necklace. I ended up making two different versions. The black necklaces has three strands of scales each one longer then the next, hung so they drape just over one another. The silver necklace (which is made out of nickel silver rings and I think I will re-do with shiny aluminium rings) is made up of individual dangles of scales. Each of these dangles varies in length depending on where is sits in the necklace and they are made exactly the same as I made the scale earrings which will be described in my next post. I like both necklaces although I am partial to the black scales. I do think the silver necklace will look better when I make it with a nicer looking scale....either in black or shiny aluminium.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Ruffle Scarf

Two posts in one day! It has been a busy weekend, lol. This is a really quick one though. I am not normally a fan of those quick make ruffle scarfs that you see everywhere but I couldn't resist picking up some Berrocco Lacey yarn when I found it on sale when I was in Washington in August. The colour was great, a lovely mossy green (unfortunately the photos don't represent it well at all), and the yarn itself is very light and airy. When crocheted up according to the instructions though, it is just too floofy for my tastes so I altered the pattern a bit to get a more relaxed look. Instead of gathering 4 loops together then doing a lock stitch as directed I only gathered 2 loops together and then did the lock stitch. This gives the scarf a much better look in my opinion and it drapes much better too. I think I will wear it to Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house today.

Boho Chic - Wire Wrapped Pendant

I had a bunch of copper wire lying around in my craft room (who knows what I originally bought it for!) and decided to make something with it this weekend. I merged my love of beading with some basic wire work and voila....a boho chic pendant was born! Now, this is my first attempt at this so it isn't perfect but it is nice enough to wear and I did learn a few things that I can use to make my next pendant even better.

To make this pendant you will need :

Copper wire in 2 gauges - 20 gauge for wrapping and 18 gauge for base of pendant

Beads - any size, I used some size 8 black beads for around the pendant and 2 larger beads for the     hanging small pendant bit

Chain - I used some silver colored chain I had left over from another project

Jump rings - 2

Small ball Pean hammer -  for hammering pendant flat, not absolutely necessary

Anvil - for hammering pendant flat, not absolutely necessary

Jewellery pliers - preferably the kind with the nylon tips so as not to scratch your wire

Wire cutters


Step 1 - with 18 gauge wire, form a horseshoe shape (you can bend the wire over a form such as a glue bottle to make this easier) then bend the two ends into small loops using the Jewellery pliers.

Step 2 - using the hammer and anvil, carefully hammer the pendant flat, avoiding the loops. This will give your pendant a nice shape but also will increase the stability of the pendant and prevent it from losing its shape.

Step 3 - using the 20 gauge wire, estimate the number of beads you want around the pendant then add at least 10 more and string them on the spool of wire.

Step 4 - begin by wrapping about 4-5 wraps at one end of your pendant (right at the base of one of the loops), then bring up a bead and place it so it is sitting on the outer edge of the pendant. Squeeze the wire tightly to hold the bead in place (you may need to use the pliers for this but. E careful not to break your bead). Continue to wrap 3-4 more wraps as desired then place a bead, then wrap, then place a bead etc. continue until you are about 4-5 wraps space from the final loop of the pendant.
Wrap your final 4-5 wraps and snip the wire.

Step 5 - use the pliers to tightly push down any loose ends and tuck the in. Use a file if necessary to
get rid of any sharp edges.

Step 6 - use a piece of 20 gauge wire and make a fold at one end with your pliers. Thread on three beads from largest to smallest then form a loop at the top leaving a long tail. Wrap this tail around the base of the loop then snip and tuck in and file if necessary.

Step 7 - cut a length of chain that allows you small beaded pendant to hand in the middle of your large pendant . Thread the beaded pendant on and attach the chain at each end to the loops of your large pendant with the jump rings .

Step 8 - cut the rest of the chain to the length you want the necklace to be then attach the ends to the same jump rings that are on the pendant loops. If the necklace is long enough you won't even need a clasp. If you do then attach one.

Voila! One wire wrapped pendant!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Red and Silver Bling

On the weekend I went to the Ancaster Gem, Bead and Jewellery Show where I picked up a couple of super cute bracelet kits from Hyperlynks (hyperlynks.ca). The bracelets were quick and easy to work up, taking only about 15-20 min each, but the results were quite fabulous. They look like shiny metal leaves on your wrists and they lightly jingle as you move. These would make great gifts since they work up so easily. The "scales" come in a variety of different colours so you could make a different one for every outfit. The red one is for my mom and the silver one is for me.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Emerald Cuff

Here is a cuff bracelet I created from a picture I saw in a beading magazine. There was no pattern for the bracelet so I just winged it and hoped for the best. The body of the bracelet was actually quite easy, just a 2 drop peyote stitch (using size 11 delica beads) but the little clasps used to hold on the large crystal were a little harder to figure out. After several attempts, I ended up decreasing the width of the bracelet to 8 beads (4 stitches in the 2 drop peyote stitch) and then used a brick stitch to create a square opening just a little larger than my flower buttons (see close up picture of clasp for details). The buttons are just little copper coloured flowers with pearl beads in the centre topped with a size 11 delica bead (same as used in the body of the bracelet). I am really happy with how the bracelet turned out and it is the perfect colour for with my fall wardrobe. I think I will get a lot of wear out of it. If you want to make a similar bracelet and need a few more details about what I did feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them. Happy beading!

Monday, 3 September 2012

January Cowl

As promised, here is my first posted project, the January Cowl (even though it is only August). It is a super easy, free! knit scarf pattern I found on knittingpatterncentral.com by a Canadian designer named Annie. Here is a direct link to Annie's blog and the pattern jumpercablesknitting.com/2010/12/13/january-cowl/.
At first by looking at the picture of the finished scarf, I thought it was going to be really difficult to make, but it is really very simple and the result is fabulous! I encourage you to give this pattern a try, even if you are a beginner knitter, it is really worth it. You will end up with a lovely, unique winter accessory that others are sure to admire! Thanks Annie for the wonderful pattern and thanks Peter (my lovely husband) for taking the stellar photos of my finished scarf.

My finished January Cowl :

Sunday, 2 September 2012

First Official Post!

Welcome! My friend Gill (gillymakes.blogspot.ca) convinced me that I should start a blog about my crafty adventures so here I am. I hope to have some pictures of my current project up very soon for you to see. It a very cool scarf made with a free pattern I found on crochet pattern central. In the meantime feel free to check out all the cool sites listed under my favorite sites and of course my Etsy store, offthehookdesigns.etsy.com (shameless plug, I know). See you all soon!