Showing posts with label Crafts & DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crafts & DIY. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Reviewing Renovating Old Pine Furniture Project

 

Two Pine chairs one sanded, one painted grey

This review covers an easy DIY project to renovate old unremarkable furniture into something to grace our homes and fit with existing decor. 

In our case we wanted a new dining table and chairs but the only ones we could find to fit our space and circular were very expensive. We did however find a lovely circular table and four chairs that were perfect for our needs and very comfortable at a very good price, but the issue was that they were a quite horrible orange pine colour.

I am not usually an advocate of painting wood. If it is beautiful oak, mahogony, rosewood or reclaimed wood I will not paint it. 

However orange pine with a shiny finish is just not to us all that beautiful and did not fit in with the rest of our decor ideas for the dining room. 

I am not deterred by a minor issue like this and we really liked the style and comfort of this dining set. So we bought the dining set and went about cleaning, sanding and painting. 

Here I will tell you what we did with the chairs. 


Step One Sanding Down Pine Chair

First it was important to sand down the wood. It had a shiny surface to it and I did not think even the best paint would go on well over such a shiny surface. 

With some furniture paints they declare that you do not need to sand down first so it is always best to  check the instructions and perhaps do a patch test to make sure if you need to sand or not. 

So we sanded it with a fine sandpaper until all the shiny orange paint was no more! 

It is important to do this step carefully and take your time as skimping on this preparation will affect the whole project.

I don't have a workshop or anywhere to do this kind of work so for me it was a case of clearing a room and laying down dust sheets and working on the floor. Of course a work table or ideally a workshop would be wonderful but this project is perfectly possible with none of this.  


Pine chair sanded and masked ready to paint


Step Two Cleaning The Chair

Next I cleaned the whole chair including the seat cushion and back.

The wood was cleaned with sugar soap and the chair with an upholstery cleaner. There is no real skill to this, all this took was time and following the cleaning instructions.

Then we left it all to dry.

Close up of design on chair sanded


Step Three Masking Tape 

With a project like this it is important to use masking tape to mask off all the areas that you do not want to paint. I do find this step rather boring but it is necessary. 

It is worth spending a little time over this as it is a lot more difficult to remove paint from where you do not want it than to simply mask it off beforehand and does make the painting process easier. 


Step Four Painting The Wood

After laying down sheets I set about painting the whole chair. 

It needed to be done in two steps so that I could reach the whole wooden parts of the chair. So involved the chair standing up and laying down to reach it all. 

As I had two chairs on the go at the same time this was possible to do without wasting time. 

We chose a light grey colour. It did take two coats to cover the wood. I would always recommend two coats. A darker colour may have covered the wood more thoroughly with one coat but I always think two coats gives better coverage and longevity.


Two pine chairs one sanded and one painted grey


Furniture Paint. 

We used Rust Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint. It says on the tin it is a superior satin silky finish in slate grey.

I found that this paint went on very well and smoothly. I found it a really good paint to use.  It did not have an overpowering smell and did not give me a headache as many paints do. It went on well although was a little drippy, so it was essential to have sheets down. It is necessary to stir it well before starting to paint. 

The clean up is so easy as it is water based so it is just a case of wiping off most of the excess paint then washing in water. 

If I had a workspace I might have used a Rustoleum furniture spray paint which may have speeded things up. However I was doing this project in winter in our dining room so a spray paint would not have been a good idea in these circumstances. 

Any good furniture paint can be used, just choose the finish, application method and colour you like. I tend to go for water based and low odour for ease of use in the home and clean up afterwards. 


Tin of furniture paint


Due to the space and how intricate some of the work was I used a small paintbrush and I think this was a good idea so that there was more precision.

After the first coat the finish did not look all that good but I always expect this. 

I left it to dry thoroughly then applied a second coat and this is where the magic happens as the pine disappeared and the beautiful slate grey colour saturated the wood. I an no expert but I think the finish, even in the more difficult intricate parts is pretty good. 


Close up of painted chair



Finished Pine chair painted grey project


The four chairs took me two days to do at a fairly relaxed pace with lots of coffee breaks! It is a straightforward project that anyone could do really. All it takes is time and patience and a few basic painting skills. 


The Supplies You Need For This Furniture Project

Furniture Paint or Rustoleum paint 

Sandpaper 

A small paintbrush

Masking Tape

Old sheets, dust sheets or anything you have to protect the floor


We think it was a worthwhile project and we now have a lovely dining set at a fraction of the price. 

If we ever get fed up of the colour  or go for a different scheme, it will be very easy to change with a light sanding and a coat of new paint.


More Reviews


Reviewing Restoring A Metal Garden Swing Seat


More Reviews By Raintree Annie


Crafts & DIY Reviews By Contributors On Review This Reviews


Product Reviews By Contributors On Review This Reviews






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, April 15, 2024

Reviewing Jeans Yarn by Lion Brand 5 Years Later

In 2019, I reviewed Jeans yarn by Lion Brand. I loved it then and I love it now. During that time, I was focused on crocheting chemo hats and baby/child hats. Jeans is a beautiful yarn that creates soft and comfortable wearables and afghans. 

Photo of blue Jeans yarn


Over the Fall/Winter holidays, I impulsively picked up a skein of yarn and began crocheting again. Life had been busy and I just hadn't made time for one of my favorite hobbies. I started with a huge skein of Mandala yarn and a new stitch to me called the Brick Stitch.  I then learned a beautiful Cross Back Stitch (tutorial by JaydaInStitches) and started a baby afghan using Caron Simply Soft yarn.

That baby afghan project put me in the mood for something soft and comforting, beautiful but not frilly. I had such a craving to use Jeans yarn by Lion Brand. I remembered how wonderful it was to work with, even all of these years later. 

Jeans Yarn by Lion Brand

  • 3.5 oz/100g skein weight
  • 246 yd/225m length
  • 100% acrylic
  • machine washable and dryable
  • medium weight #4 yarn
While this is a worsted weight (#4) it feels much lighter to me. Afghans are far more supple with this yarn than with regular #4 weight yarn. Of course, both thick and light afghans have their uses but I am in the mood to make something lighter.

It comes in 5 shades of blue, very similar to the color of jeans, one black, and one shade of light brown. 

Here is a brief video (56 seconds) from Lion Brand that shows the yarn and shows it being worn. I think you can see how soft and perfect it is for garments.



In my current project, I'm using the Jeans yarn and the Cross Back stitch for 10 rows (however, it looks like 5 rows since every-other-row is a single stitch) and two rows of Double Stitch in the darker blue. This stitch looks like it requires more advanced crochet skills but it is very easy (if you know the Double Stitch and the Single Stitch). And it works up quickly. 

cross back stitch

I learned the Cross Back stitch on the tutorial by JaydaInStitches. You can find the tutorial for this beautiful and easy stitch here. 

Related Yarn Review Links:

Wednesday Elf, a prolific creator of plushy friends, wrote about I Love This Yarn by Hobby Lobby. At the time of her review, that yarn came in acrylic, metallic, and cotton versions. 

Sylvestermouse reviews the Bernat Loop Yarn, a yarn that is created so that blankets can be made with your fingers alone. No crochet hook skills required. 

My recent review of the Mandala Bonus Bundle and the brick stitch pattern.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Methods to Remove Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be used to change the look of any room or create a beautiful accent wall. Sometimes people use wallpaper to cover blemishes on a wall. Either way, you may have some wallpaper in your home and want to remove it. Today I will be reviewing, three different methods of removing wallpaper. 

Methods to Remove Wallpaper

I am not an expert or professional by any means. As the saying goes; I'm a jack of all trades but a master of none. Over the years I have used every one of these methods at one time or another.

Method 1: Steam Removal

  • You can rent or buy a wallpaper steamer.
  • Fill the steamer reservoir with water to the fill line.
  • Attach the handle and hose to the steamer plate.
  • Plug in the machine and turn it on. Wait 5 or 10 minutes for it to build up steam.
  • Place the steamer plate on the wall, and hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the plate and scrap the wet wallpaper with a putty knife.
  • You will want to score the section of wall you are steaming with a scoring tool or razor knife before placing the steamer plate. Do not press hard while scoring the wallpaper as you may damage the wall.

Method 2: Water and Vinegar

  • Mix equal parts of hot water and vinegar in a spray bottle or a bucket.
  • Spray to sponge the solution on a four-foot section of the wall.
  • Wait about five minutes to allow the solution to work.
  • Scrap the wet section with a putty knife to remove the wallpaper.
  • Again, score the wall section first with a scoring tool or razor knife.
Method 3: Chemical Liquid Stripper
  • There are different brands of liquid strippers available. I have always used DIF by Zinsser. It's pre-mixed and ready to use.
  • Score the wallpaper with a razor knife or scoring tool.
  • Spray it onto the wallpaper, and wait a few minutes before scraping it with a putty knife.
With any of these three methods, you will want to tape off the baseboard and about 12 inches onto the floor with plastic. This will make clean up easier.

You may have to repeat the method, sometimes on the first try the wallpaper will come off leaving the backer.

Tip: If you're removing wallpaper from Drywall be careful not to use too much water and oversoak the walls. Too much water may damage the drywall.

There is more work to be done after the wallpaper is off:

After the wallpaper is off, remove any remaining glue residue from the walls. For this, use hot water and a sponge and wipe the walls clean. 

Before painting, I always use fine-grained sandpaper and lightly sand the walls. Now, patch any cracks or small holes in the walls before painting with a good primer. Then, paint your finish coat in your desired color. Happy wallpaper removal!

Find more DIY Projects and Decor here:




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, January 15, 2024

Reviewing Mandala Yarn and a Brick Stitch Crochet Pattern

During a recent shopping trip I spotted a beautifully colored yarn cake. It was the Mandala Bonus Bundle in the colorway called Sasquatch. I had not planned on picking up any yarn but with the holidays coming up, as well as possible snow days, I thought I might have time to relax with project. Besides, the yarn color was too pretty to pass up. 

brightly colored yarn by Lion Brand
Mandala Bonus Bundle Yarn Cake 


Lion Brand Mandala Bonus Bundle Yarn

I have used a variety of Lion Brand yarns over the years and I have liked the quality of yarn. So when I saw this beautifully colored yarn cake, I had no problem with choosing it for a project. 

What is a yarn cake? Historically, there are skeins, hanks, and balls of yarn. Most people are familiar with skeins of yarn. Yarn cakes are different because they are flat on the top and bottom, The starting end of the yarn comes from the center of the cake. I find that yarn cakes are becoming my preferred yarns. I don't find that they tangle or snag as easily as they do with a skein. If it is a multi-colored yarn I am able to see all of the colors when it is in a cake. And best of all, yarn cakes don't roll away like a ball of yarn does. Maybe I'm the only one who has dropped a ball of yarn and watched it unwind as it rolls across the room. Let me tell you that it is quite annoying when it happens. 

The Mandala Bonus Bundle I chose is the Sasquatch colorway. At first glance, I thought that it looked like natural, outdoor colors. Greens and blues, the colors of earth and sky, followed by yellow, orange, and a magenta, the colors of a sunset. Then I decided that it reminded me of the colors of rainbow sherbert; green, orange, and raspberry!  I still haven't decided what colors I think this self-striping yarn is but I haven't changed my mind that it is beautiful.

Mandala Bonus Bundle cake is a size 3 yarn. This is a lighter weight than worsted weight. But in my opinion it is thicker than a baby yarn. The Bonus Bundle is 1,181 yards in length and it seems that just these 2 cakes are making a decent sized afghan.  The yarn is acrylic which makes it machine washable and dryable. 

crochet

I love to crochet. Especially in the wintertime. I consider myself an intermediate level crocheter. I need patterns that do not require intense concentration, counting, or intricate patterns. However, I want something pretty. Yes. I want the best of both worlds! I want super easy/fast and an interesting pattern. 

The Brick Crochet Pattern - Jayda Institches Tutorial

I can read written crochet patterns but these days I prefer to watch a good video tutorial. I have my favorite crochet channels and usually go directly to them. Fortunately, I stumbled across a wonderful Brick Stitch Baby Blanket tutorial using Mandala yarn (Sasquatch) by Jayda Institches.

She gives very clear directions, crochets slowly so I could follow along, and uses close-up shots that show exactly where she is placing her crochet hook. It was very easy for me to create an adult-sized afghan following her directions.

If you are looking for an easy and pretty crochet blanket pattern I recommend that you check out Lion Brand's Mandala yarn cake and this Brick Stitch pattern.






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Sunday, December 10, 2023

10 Ways to Decorate for Christmas That Won't Cost a Fortune

10 Ways to Decorate for Christmas that Won't Cost a Fortune

Tis the season to turn our homes into a festive haven, and below are ten suggestions on how to do it without burning a hole in your wallet. You don't need a fat bank account to make your space feel like a winter wonderland.

Ten Affordable Ways to Decorate for Christmas:

1. Use Mother Nature:

Grab some pinecones, twigs, and evergreen branches from your backyard or a local park. Arrange them in vases or create a rustic centerpiece for your dining table. It's like bringing some of the outdoors inside, and it won't cost you a dime.

2. Paper Snowflake Throwback:

I remember making paper snowflakes as a kid. Well, it's time to revive that tradition. All you need is some plain white paper and a bit of folding and cutting. Hang these delicate creations around your place for an instant touch of winter charm. All you have to do is google "how to make a paper snowflake," and you'll see instructional videos come up - or go straight to YouTube with that search.

3. Crafty Ornaments:

Get your DIY on by making your own Christmas ornaments. Raid your stash for old fabric, buttons, or whatever you've got. Personalized and budget-friendly – that's the way to go. Again, a YouTube search for "how to make crafty Christmas ornaments" will return some creative ideas.

4. Twinkle Lights Galore:

Who can resist the cozy glow of string lights? Drape them around your windows, toss them in glass jars or vases (I do this), or get artsy and wrap them around lamps. You'll find many choices on Amazon when you search for "string lights." Notice that many are battery operated - you can always use small LED Christmas lights if where you place them is near a plug outlet. I have a collection of both battery and plug-in lights to put anywhere. 

5. Upcycled Decor Delight:

Give your existing decor a festive facelift by getting creative. Add ribbons, bows, or small ornaments to everyday items like candles or vases. It's amazing what a little repurposing can do. Easy peasy!

6. DIY Wreath Extravaganza:

Greet your guests with a homemade wreath on the front door. Collect branches and pinecones, or even repurpose some old fabric to create a wreath without breaking the bank. I've never been into making a wreath, but I know many who love to do this. Collect what you can from outside and use extra bows and ribbons to deck it out further - you can even add small holiday decorations to the wreath.

7. Candlelit Magic:

Candles are your budget-friendly besties. Group them on a tray, add a touch of greenery, and boom – you've got a centerpiece for your table or mantle. The flickering flames set the perfect festive mood. Look at these real wax flameless candles that my friend Margaret uses and highly recommends.

8. Edible Elegance:

Why not combine decor with treats? Fill glass jars with colorful candies, hang candy canes on the tree, or create a gingerbread house centerpiece. It's a feast for the eyes and a treat for the taste buds. If you can find budget Christmas candy, this is a lovely way to bring the season into a room.

9. Personalized Stocking Fun:

Forget expensive stockings – make your own! Grab some old fabric or felt, or repurpose those worn-out sweaters. Add a personal touch with some embroidery, and you have stockings that tell your family's unique story.

10. Printable Cheer:

Spruce up your walls with downloadable festive art. Print and frame holiday quotes or whimsical illustrations. It's an affordable way to bring the holiday spirit to every corner of your home. You'll find many places to print free art for personal use online. Simply do a Google search for it, and many options will pop up.

In a nutshell, transforming your home into a holiday haven doesn't have to break the bank. With a dash of imagination and a sprinkle of holiday magic, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere that captures the true spirit of Christmas. 

Merry Christmas!






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, October 10, 2023

How to Clean and Season a Cast Iron Skillet

 I love cooking with my cast iron skillets. Lodge cast iron skillets are the only brand I buy. I have three cast iron skillets, 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch. When you buy a Lodge cast iron skillet, it is already seasoned and ready to use. But over time and use, you must re-season your cast iron skillet.

Last week I was making some hash brown potatoes in my 10-inch skillet, and they stuck to the bottom of the skillet. I knew it was time to re-season my skillet.

How to Clean and Season a Cast Iron Skillet
My 8, and 10-inch skillets are seasoned and ready to cook again

You can search YouTube, and you will find many videos on how to season a cast iron skillet. Today, I'm reviewing the method that I use and that has worked well for me over the years.

Cleaning a Cast Iron Skillet


The first thing that I do is clean my skillets. I use mild dish soap, warm water, and this copper scrub pad.

 I want to make sure that I get any food particles left behind. 

Next, I dry them with a soft towel. Then, I put them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. 

This ensures my skillets are completely dry.

Season cast iron skillet


Now that my pans are dried, I added a thin layer of olive oil. Then, I pre-heated my oven to 400 degrees. 

Olive oil has a smoke point of about 350 degrees, so you want to be at least 20 degrees higher than the smoke point.

When the oil hits the smoke point and above a chemical reaction occurs called polymerization. 

This chemical reaction bonds the oil to the pan, creating a layer of natural seasoning.

Cooking with cast iron frequently using oils also helps build up a layer of seasoning in your pan.


I set the pans in the 400-degree oven upside down and baked them for 1 hour. You can add a cookie sheet or tin foil under the pans to catch any oil that may drip. Then, I turned the oven off and let them cool while still in the oven. After 1 hour if you need to use your oven remove the pans with an oven mitt and set them on a cooling rack.

You can repeat this process as many times as needed to develop a layer of natural seasoning. With proper care, your cast iron skillets will give you years of cooking delicious food. 

These are three Lodge cast iron skillets I own and use:

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 3 Skillet Bundle. 12 inches and 10.25 inches with 8 inch Set of 3 Cast Iron Frying PansLodge Seasoned Cast Iron 3 Skillet Bundle. 12 inches and 10.25 inches with 8 inch Set of 3 Cast Iron Frying PansLodge Seasoned Cast Iron 3 Skillet Bundle. 12 inches and 10.25 inches with 8 inch Set of 3 Cast Iron Frying Pans


 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, September 23, 2023

Review of the Zoomigurumi Crochet Craft Books Series

 As we crochet crafters know, Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. Zoomigurumi takes it one step further and concentrates on animals found in the wild or domesticated ones we have as pets. 


A collage of the 12 craft books in the Zoomigurumi book series

This series of twelve craft books features patterns for a wide variety of very cute and clever animals to crochet as huggable soft handmade toys. Each book in the series features from 12 to 15 animal patterns, each one by a different designer. The patterns range from beginner to advanced, so every crochet crafter can find one or more to fit their abilities. The series was produced by AmigurumiPatterns.net, a popular handicraft website. 


The List of the Zoomigurumi Craft Books


Zoomigurumi Craft Book #1 book cover
Book 1 of 12. Zoomigurumi. 12 designers have teamed up in this first Zoomigurumi craft book to give you patterns for a Baby Bear, a Pig, a Toucan, a Tiger and a Pony, a Monkey and Lil Quack the Duck, a Lemur, a Fox, Dakota the Dog and Eduardo the Donkey, a Moose, a cute Mouse and a Bunny. 




Zoomigurumi 2 book cover
Book 2 of 12. Zoomigurumi 2. This volume has 15 cute and cuddly amigurumi animal patterns for a Turtle, a Cow, a Raccoon, a Beaver, a Kitten and a Dog, a Fox, an Elephant, a Bunny, a cute Skunk, two lovable Lambs, a Lion and a Tiger, Manfred the Mouse and Penny the Piglet. 


Book #3 in the Book 3 in the Zoomigurumi Craft Book Series - book cover
Book 3 of 12. Zoomigurumi 3.  This volume has 15 new Amigurumi animal patterns from 12 top designers. The patterns include Henry the Hippo, a darling Fawn, a Penguin, a Husky dog, a Duckling, a  Giant Panda, a Cow, a Hedgehog, a Fox, a cuddly Lamb, a Turtle, a pair of Kangaroos, a Red Panda, a Bird and a Reindeer.


Zoomigurumi 4 book cover
Book 4 of 12. Zoomigurumi 4. This book has 15 new animal patterns created by 13 talented designers from all over the world. Create your very own kitten, dolphin. elephant, giraffe, orangutan, deer, seahorse, and an adorable bumblebee wearing sunglasses. The craft book also contains seven more animal patterns.


Zoomigurumi 5 Book Cover
Book 5 of 12. Zoomigurumi 5.  Here we have 15 more cute Amigurumi animal patterns. My favorite is the Walrus. And the beautiful peacock on the cover is a darling pattern. There is also a camel to crochet, a flamingo, a rhino, a trout, and a teddy wearing a hoodie.



Zoomigurumi 6 Book Cover
Book 6 of 12. Zoomigurumi 6. From the red panda on the cover to the owl in a sweater, to a sweet shark, a sloth and a swan, this book of 15 patterns will keep your crochet hook busy! Don't forget to check out the hummingbird, a panda, two dachshunds and Mortimer the Mammoth. 


Zoomigurumi 7 Book Cover
Book 7 of 12. Zoomigurumi 7.  The mallard duck and babies on the cover will entice you to their patterns, plus some unusual ones such as a seagull, a Llama, a moose, a zebra, a stork, a pony and a chicken on a nest. 



Zoomigurumi 8 Book Cover
Book 8 of 12. Zoomigurumi 8.  Come and crochet a parrot, a baby seal, a goat, a giraffe and a caterpiller. Don't forget the meerkat, the beaver and the raccoon. Such darling patterns from so many talented designers. 



Zoomigurumi 9 Book Cover
Book 9 of 12. Zoomigurumi 9. Fifteen more adorable patterns from the friendly horse on the cover to an anglerfish, an otter with his seashell, a sheep, and even a Gecko. From patterns that are beginner-friendly to some suitable for advanced crocheters, they are all accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions and clear illustrations. 


Zoomigurumi 10 Book Cover
Book 10 of 12. Zoomigurumi 10. The kangaroo and  her 'joey' on the cover will keep you from resting that crochet hook. The 'zoomies' in book 10 include a feisty crab, a bouncy kangaroo, a lively squirrel, and a dainty bunny, along with a gorilla, a badger, a koala and Andy Ant! 


Zoomigurumi Endangered Animals Book Cover
Book 11 of 12. Zoomigurumi Endangered Animals. This is a special edition of the Zoomigurumi series featuring 15 of the wild animals on our planet that are threatened. Crochet a collection of these special animals, including a lovable giant panda, a precious monk seal, a gorgeous blue whale and a darling pangolin! There is also a mountain gorilla and her baby, a polar bear, and Cleo the Yellow-Crested Cockatoo


Zoomigurumi Favorites Book Cover
Book 12 of 12.  Zoomigurumi Favorites. This crochet pattern book completes the Zoomigurumi series with 30 of the best-loved patterns from the other books. With Zoomigurumi Favorites. your house may transform into an entire amigurumi zoo! 



The Zoomigurumi series of crochet craft pattern books are all available on Amazon


My Zoomis!


My handmade crocheted 'Zoomies' from the craft patterns in the Zoomigurumi Craft Book Series
A few of my crocheted 'Zoomies'

Here are a few of the cute zoomigurumi animals I have crocheted from this Zoomigurumi series of crochet pattern books.  My favorites, to date, are the wonderful walrus and the Giant Panda Bear. They are currently available in my Etsy Store Coastal Crochet Crafts. I DO so love to crochet and finding these darling patterns was a true delight. 


Happy Crocheting! 


Links to more reviews of crochet craft books:


For More Book Reviews, check out ReviewThisBooks.com

For More Craft Reviews, check out ReviewThisCrafts.com 


*Review of the Zoomigurumi Series of crochet pattern books written by Wednesday Elf





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, August 14, 2023

Setting up a Backyard Birdhouse

 Our grandson Bobby made this birdhouse in his school woodshop. This birdhouse was a Christmas gift for his mother. We finally set the birdhouse up in their backyard. Here is a review of how we did it.

Setting up a Backyard Birdhouse
Photo Credit Sam Monaco

Bobby had a good idea of how he wanted to set the birdhouse up. His thought was to cement a threaded pipe in the ground then, attach a flange to the bottom of the birdhouse and screw it together.

We looked up how high the birdhouse should be, and found the recommended height to be five feet off the ground. The problem was the hardware store did not have a pipe long enough to be able to cement at least 2 feet in the ground and give us five feet above the ground. Thus we would have needed a seven-foot pipe.

We finally decided on using a 4x4 treated lumber post and a 4x4 post anchor. So, we bought a six-foot 4x4 post and the post anchor along with four L-Brackets to attach the birdhouse to the post.

4x4 post anchor

This is the post anchor, the one we purchased goes into the ground two feet. These post anchors are also great for setting up mailboxes

How we set up our Birdhouse:

First, we cut 12 inches off of the six-foot 4x4 post making it five feet the recommended height we needed.

Next, we used the 12 inches we cutoff to drive the post anchor into the ground with a sledgehammer. Bobby did the sledgehammering.

We inserted the post into the post anchor, and Bobby tightened the bolts at the bottom to secure the post.

We centered the birdhouse on top of the post. Tyler, our other grandson was in charge of the L-Brackets.

Tyler handed the brackets and screws to Bobby, while I held the birdhouse in place. Bobby screwed in all four brackets, and we were finished.

Backyard birdhouse

Here is the happy crew with a job well done. We set the birdhouse up in less than an hour. Now, we just need to wait for some birds to make their happy homes. 

COLEBA Bird Houses for Outside,Outdoor 5 Hole Bird House Room for 5 Bird Families Bluebird Finch Cardinals Hanging Birdhouse for Garden (Brown - Set of 1)COLEBA Bird Houses for Outside, Outdoor 5 Hole Bird House Room for 5 Bird Families Bluebird Finch Cardinals Hanging Birdhouse for Garden (Brown - Set of 1)COLEBA Bird Houses for Outside,Outdoor 5 Hole Bird House Room for 5 Bird Families Bluebird Finch Cardinals Hanging Birdhouse for Garden (Brown - Set of 1)Ashman Fence Post Anchor 30 Inches Tall, 3.25 x 3.25 Inches Wide, Ideal for securing Mailbox Posts, Deck Posts, Gazebo Posts, Street Lamps and More, 1 PackAshman Fence Post Anchor 30 Inches Tall, 3.25 x 3.25 Inches Wide, Ideal for securing Mailbox Posts, Deck Posts, Gazebo Posts, Street Lamps, and More, 1 PackAshman Fence Post Anchor 30 Inches Tall, 3.25 x 3.25 Inches Wide, Ideal for securing Mailbox Posts, Deck Posts, Gazebo Posts, Street Lamps and More, 1 Pack

 

Find more DIY projects on Review This here:



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, August 12, 2023

Funny Amigurumi – A Crochet Craft Pattern Book Review


16 Creatures & Their Accessories to Crochet by Emilie Penou


Amigurumi is the Japanese craft of crocheting small stuffed animals and toys.


Images of stuffed animal crochet patterns


Funny Amigurumi Craft Book


Funny Amigurumi Craft Book Cover

This crochet craft book has 16 quirky creatures to create.  Each one has a cute accessory.


These characters are portable, collectible and very giftable.  They average about 4.5 inches tall, depending upon the yarn and the size crochet hook you choose to use. The author recommends a cotton yarn that is a sock/super fine weight 1 yarn used with a D hook  I prefer to work in a worsted weight 4 acrylic yarn and almost always use an F hook.

Therefore, my version of the hedgehog, for instance, turned out to be 8 inches tall, about twice what the pattern in the book states. Crochet crafters will understand what I mean by preference. :)


The List of Characters in Funny Amigurumi include:


  1. Mini Bunny and Carrot
  2. Mini Bug and Aphid
  3. Mini Tiger and Bow tie
  4. Mini Fox and Mask
  5. Mini Chicken and Cape
  6. Dragon and Surfboard
  7. Unicorn and Cloud
  8. Owl and Witch Hat
  9. Reindeer and Scarf
  10. Frog and Crown
  11. Hedgehog and Hairbrush
  12. Donkey and Hat
  13. Wolf and Broccoli
  14. Penguin and Floatie
  15. Sheep and Fox Blankie
  16. Squid and Book


These patterns are fairly quick to crochet and most are good for beginners with easy-to-follow instructions. Most can be made in a day or a weekend. They are small enough to be portable for creating on the go! 


Several of the characters/animals in this book are done in a similar style, with the body being sort of pear-shaped, such as the wolf and the unicorn. 


There are several pages of crochet lessons at the beginning of the book. I found the lessons well worth reading and very helpful. In fact, I learned something I'd never known, even after crocheting for over 40 years.


I also really liked the fact that the individual patterns each give you specific instructions on exactly where to place the arms, legs, ears and features. Having followed many a pattern over the years, I have to tell you that having the pattern author tell you to, for instance, insert the eyes between row 18 and 19, with 15 stitches in between is invaluable. Many times I have had to look at a picture and try and figure out how many rows down the eyes or ears are placed, which naturally can be time-consuming and frustrating. 


My Recent Creations from Funny Amigurumi


Plush crocheted Hedgehog looking at the pattern in the craft book
I loved the Hedgehog, one of my favorite animals to crochet.  I got a big kick out of the Hedgehog accessory. He comes with a hairbrush, which makes sense as he will need one to comb out his 'quills'.  


The quills are easy to make, but are a bit time-consuming as you cut strands of yarn, then insert the hook under a stitch, grab the middle of the yarn with the hook and pull it through the stitch. Then you grab the two tail strands of yarn and pull them through the loop on the hook. In my version, it took over 100 strands to create the quill look I wanted across the head and all the way down the back. Turned out really cute, though. :)


Plush toy wolf and pattern book
The Wolf was fun to make and turned out so nice. The picture in the pattern book looks like he is done in tan, but the pattern calls for gray yarn, which is what I used, since wolves are normally gray in color. The nose on the pattern appears to be embroidered in black yarn, but I have always had problems getting the embroidery to come out neatly when working on a yarn piece. Therefore, this time I came up with another idea. I simply crocheted a 6 stitch circle and sewed it onto the tip of the nose. Came out very neat, instead of the sloppy look my embroidery always gives me. LOL. 


Plush white rabbit with carrot. Crochet pattern in Funny Amigurimi craft book.
The Bunny was such a delightful plush toy to create. He reminds me of the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland


And I love the crochet carrot they included in the bunny rabbit pattern.


Such a cute accessory for a plush bunny! 




Summary


Funny Amigurumi Craft Book Front & Back

So, if you are looking for a cute collection of 'funny' and fun creatures to crochet, Funny Amigurumi is a good book to have in your craft library. 


Quick Links to More Craft Book Reviews:



Note:

Crocheted Bunny, hedgehog, wolf in a photo collage

If you liked the crafty critters I have featured here, but do not crochet, the Hedgehog, the Wolf, and the Bunny & his carrot shown in this review are currently available for purchase in my Etsy Store, Coastal Crochet Crafts. More will be along soon as I am busy with my crochet hook! 


*Review of the Crochet Craft Book Funny Amigurumi was written by

~Wednesday Elf


For More Reviews in the world of crafts, check out
ReviewThisCrafts.com 
 






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Most Recent Reviews on Review This Reviews






Search for Reviews by Subject, Author or Title

The Review This Reviews Contributors



SylvestermouseSylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMbgPhotoMbgPhotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasWednesday ElfWednesday ElfOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaThe Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieLou16Lou16Sam MonacoSam MonacoTracey BoyerTracey BoyerRenaissance WomanRenaissance WomanBarbRadBarbRadBev OwensBev OwensBuckHawkBuckHawkDecorating for EventsDecorating for EventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 


Review This Reviews is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten





“As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and or Etsy (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X