Saturday, December 31, 2016

Yarn Balls Ring in the New Year

These wonderful specialty fibers showed up from my Secret Santa:



Are not they adorable? I cannot wait to ply all these specialty ribbons and novelty yarns into some art yarn! The girls in my spinning group are going to be jealous when they see these sweet bundles!

Now, you do not have to be a spinner to use these 2-yard lengths of fiber magic. You could use them to put fringe on a scarf, you could use them to decorate your gift boxes, or you could tie one in your hair.

Are you like me and find yourself drooling over such fiber goodness? Want some for yourself? Head over to FishBayElements and check out the great selections there.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Noel Night

A little tribute to the magic of the season can be found in this catalog of delights, available on Etsy.com. Click on the image to explore further information about the individual items in the collection.

http://www.polyvore.com/noel_night/set?id=213699217

Happy Holidays to all!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tropical Holiday

Sometimes a tropical holiday, with no snow, sounds like a good plan.

http://www.polyvore.com/tropical_holiday/set?id=212929316

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Gifts for a Dancer

http://www.polyvore.com/automagically_violin_began_to_play/set?id=212642759

This is a composite of six beautiful items that you can buy from artists on Etsy. They would be great gifts for dancers. If you click on the image, you will go to my Polyvore page for this set. Under the image you'll find a link to each individual artwork on Etsy.com where it is for sale.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Out of Yesterday's Bead Workspace

Here's the finished bangle from yesterday's post:


As soon as I'm done playing Santa, I'll get this listed in my Etsy shop. It's so pretty!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Today's Bead Workspace

I'm getting in the mood for New Year's Eve by making some flashy jewelry. Here's today's project:


A rose-gold sparkly bangle is in the works.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Gift for the Senses: Hagroot

A little bit of the Druid forest showed up at my door in a small box. It came from my Secret Santa on one of my Etsy teams:


In it are some samples of magical fragrances that I’ve been coveting for a while. Since the packing box, full of fragrant leaves, already had me dreaming that I was about to dance a reel with Jamie Fraser, I sampled the one called “Druid Forest” immediately. Oh yes, surely my name now is Claire.





This fragrance was magic! I can imagine the scenarios that accompany each of the other three fragrances in the box:

I am going to pretend that I am a goddess while wearing “Circe.” “Bone Queen” is going to get me ready for some meditation, and “Snake Oil” will have me shedding my skin for some mysterious travel between the realms.

The box came with the perfume-maker’s card. Hagroot is her name, and you much be prepared for the magic of these potions if you try them.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Blue Hippo Performs

This little gift arrived as a prize in an Etsy team drawing: an adorable blue hippo in a pink tutu. These hippos were handmade and sold to bring money to Azul Wasi, an orphanage for boys outside Cuzco in Peru.



This hippo is very talented. It was easy to train it to balance on one of the balls of my hand-spun yarn. It is also a very curious creature as you can see in the next photo.


Here it is examining a little shenanigift from a generous teammate. I haven't decided what to name it. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Today's Perfect Necklace


Fullmoon Over the Mountains - Amethyst Slice and Moonstone Necklace in Sterling Silver
by MirielDesign on Etsy.

The backdrop is a landscape oil painting, "Seaday," by Kuroarts on Etsy.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hand Spun Harmony

Remember that hand-spun yarn that I showed you a while back? Well, here's how it ended up:


I combined my hand spun yarn with some single-ply commercial yarn in a large shawl.


The design has rows of garter stitch alternating with lacy sections of knit faggoting.


The dimensions of this shawl, which also can be worn as an oversized scarf, are 80 inches (203 cm) long by 17 inches (43 cm) wide. This one-of-a-kind piece is one of the more expensive items in my shop, because of the labor necessary to both spin the yarn and knit the shawl. It's in my shop waiting for someone to fall in love with it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Getting in the Gravy Boat

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. You are probably ready for a good holiday break. I sure am. It's been a harrowing year in the US with the election from hell.

The upcoming family time at Thanksgiving can bring its own stresses. Wouldn't it be great to just put on your leisure wear, get in the gravy boat, and float away?

Mid-Century Gravy Boat by Janastuff


If you can't do that, just put on your turkey hat and forget about everything except holiday parades, football, and cooking that Thanksgiving dinner:

Crochet Turkey Hat by Amyshandmades17


 Now, put up a big sign so everyone else gets in the right mood, too.

Holiday Banner by Thepaperdollshop


Then you can all eat your way into oblivion:
Holiday Tee by Nallashop


Give thanks because campaigning is over for a while, start thinking about whatever is best in your life, and count your blessings.

Have a spectacular day!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Not Your Grandmother's Pearls

My hand-knotted long necklace, "Impassioned Pearls," has creamy champagne freshwater pearls with pale pink and lilac overtones, elegant cut-glass lavender aurora borealis lozenge beads, crystals, and round glass beads with an antique-gold luster.

The necklace is hand knotted continuously without a clasp. Because it is 38 inches (96.5 cm) long, you can wear it long or wrapped twice around your neck.

Impassioned Pearls by KnotChaCha

You can wear these perky pearls with a ballgown, with a career power suit, or with a pretty everyday dress. You can also make a cheeky statement by pairing them with blue jeans and a T-shirt. Just for fun, I even wear pretty necklaces like this while lounging around the house.

Need a coordinating bracelet? This one pairs nicely:

Spiral Bangle in Lavender, Copper, Champagne and Blush by KnotChaCha

Both of these items would be great gifts for yourself or a special someone in your life.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

In the Mood for Fall and Winter Colors

Passionate colors play well at this time of year. Click on the image below to go to my Polyvore page. From there, you can hover over any image to see its source and whether the item is still for sale.

http://www.polyvore.com/passion_palette/set?id=211674197

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Today's Perfect Necklace

http://www.polyvore.com/todays_perfect_necklace/set?id=211459183

A perfect necklace for times of mourning or sadness. Click on the photo to go to the Polyvore page for source information on the necklace and the bokeh photograph.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Handspun Yarn for a New Scarf

Well, the afghan is still progressing, but I had to order more yarn for it. It felt like time to break for a different project anyway. (There are usually 3-4 going on at once around here.)

Here is some of my own hand-spun yarn that I made a couple years ago. This is a worsted weight yarn that I spun a few years ago. The smaller ball was made with some beehive coils.

It's going to be combined with some commercial yarn to make a mega-scarf. I've already cast on. Perhaps next week I'll have a photo for you.

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Knitting Obsession

Got a knitting or knitwear obsession? Me too.
http://www.polyvore.com/knitting_obsession/set?id=210839711

All items are from Etsy shops. Click the photo to get more information on them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Growing the Granny Squares

It's coming along. The squares are multiplying and growing:


There are now two dozen each of three out of four motifs. Each square still needs an additional color round and a final round of the creamy white yarn.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ghost Brides and Orphans

The best costume I ever saw was a ghost bride on six-foot stilts. She appeared one evening at an outdoor art event here in Portland on Halloween. A skilled stilt walker, she moved quickly in a tattered white gown with 15-20-ft long tattered trails of frayed gauzy fabric that flowed after her and blew in the wind. She took such long strides and was gone so quickly that I couldn't get my iPhone out fast enough to take a picture of her. I'll never forget the image of her gliding down the street. It was the coolest costume I have ever seen!

In the spirit of All Hallows Eve and the Day of the Dead, and in case you  might want to costume yourself as a ghost bride this year, here is a collage of lovely ghost brides and also some orphan dolls that are adorable.

Most of these items are from Etsy shops. Click on the image to go to the Polyvore page to read the description of shop and image credits.

http://www.polyvore.com/ghost_brides_orphans/set?id=210674591

Friday, October 28, 2016

Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts

In this stressful campaign season, we deserve some rewards. This "Friday Finds" post is a Polyvore photoset that I created from some wonderful finds from Etsy:

http://www.polyvore.com/stressed_spelled_backwards_is_desserts/set?id=210300547

If you don't have the time or inclination to stay home and bake cookies, you can order some from the artisan bakers you can find on Etsy! If you are short on time for holiday baking, these bakers can help you with your entertaining needs.

If you click on the photo above, you'll go to the my actual Polyvore set. From there you can click on any element in the photo to follow a link to the seller's Etsy shop. You can buy all four of those yummy cookies in the spread above, the great "Sweet Thing" engraved dessert fork, the pretty fabric bunting, and even the antique white slip or the rockabilly macaroon dress.

Enjoy exploring these featured finds!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In the Works

I'm working on some pretty hand-knotted necklaces for the shop.


Here's a peak at one called Gavotte in D Major.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Granny Square Seeds

Chez ChaCha needs a new TV-room afghan for this winter. I've been playing around with colors choices and think it's going to be these:


Hope it's done by winter. Check back for progress reports.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Debate Night Special: Fried Baloney or American Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Just for fun (or purely for the irony), if you're having a debate watch party tonight, you might think about treating your friends to iconic sandwiches full of the smoky flavor of fried baloney or the gooey goodness of melted American cheese.

There are a lot of regional varieties on both of these sandwiches. Check out these Pinterest boards for baloney sandwiches and american grilled cheese sandwiches.

Be sure to have some BBQ potato chips on hand, and for sides, try some deviled eggs and some Mean Beans:

And here is a recipe for a good Sucker Punch.

Enjoy. It's almost over.



Monday, October 17, 2016

A Convertible Necklace

This hand-knotted necklace is fun, because it can be worn in lots of different ways.

View it in the shop



If you are into making jewelry, you could make something similar.


Basically, you want to make a two-strand necklace in which one strand is only slightly shorter than the other. Use a lobster clasp for the closure. Then make two dangles. One has its own lobster clasp, and you can attach it wherever you want. The other one is on a closed ring, so you would connect it to the lobster clasp of the necklace itself.

Here are some styling ideas: