Wednesday’s Wow Moment: Wrapping Paper

So I know I’ve been pretty negligent with the Wednesday Wow, but here I am, back again posting some random home crafty thingies. Today: Make some wrapping paper!

With birthday season for my family wrapping paper was never used more than these past three weeks. Having always felt that wrapping paper is rather wasteful and quite unnecessary, I have decided to refrain from purchasing any wrapping paper other than Christmas themed wrapping paper. Due to the plastic bag ban in Seattle (not against it one bit!) I have plenty of paper bags from those shopping trips when I bring no or too few bags with me. So what did I decide to do?

Yup, create my own. I cut the paper bag so I had the maximum amount of flat surface on it. Then I used a rubber stamp to do some decorating. I think watercolor will also work really well, if that’s what you’d want to do.

Too bad I was silly enough not to take pictures of the finished object. But I love the way this recycles it, allows me not to buy anything, and looks really awesome!

 

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Wednesday’s Wow Moment: Wrapping Paper

Wednesday’s Wow Moment

So I’ve decided I need some sort of tradition on this blog to keep me going, as I’ll get some rhythm going and abruptly stop posting for months at a time. Therefore, one of the weekly posts I’ll put up is Wednesday’s Wow. It’s a broad statement, I know, but that’s what I intend it to be.

Today? This random tip I saw in PNW Magazine (that comes with my Sunday edition of the Seattle Times; yes, I do subscribe to the newspaper, at least weekly and might be one of the few people on earth to still do that) to freeze herbs. Hailing from Southern California, I’m rather spoiled with the variety of freshness that’s available. Moreover, having been a city girl my whole life, I tend to take having anything I wish (at least in terms of fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs) at my fingertips at any given moment. However, being on my own for some time now, I’ve encountered a problem time and time again: throwing out herbs.

 

This tip tells us to freeze herbs in an ice cube tray to have that availability at hand all the time! I’ve done this with thyme so far, and it’s absolutely lovely! I simply snipped them with kitchen shears to fit the cubes, poured some water, and froze it. Keeping it in a plastic baggie separate from other herbs so as to maintain its flavorful integrity. I did notice that as I poured water, the leaves did float to other cubes, so I’d advise you to do only one type of herb per tray at a time. Try it!

Wednesday’s Wow Moment

Toys and Trees

As mentioned in the last post, I’ve recently acquired (added?) to my “toy”collection! Well, this is toys in the hobby accessory category, but nevertheless I’m super excited to add them to my clutter. I guess I don’t really consider this clutter as it is extremely helpful to one of my favorite things in the world (yarn/fiber) but nevertheless, I present to you my new wheel and swift!

During my final quarter (ever) of college, I decided to top out my units with a craft class which allowed me to work in the model shop. Having had experience with the tools, I decided to go for a yarn swift, as I had been pining for one for quite some time now. A spinning wheel seemed too daunting a task, but a yarn swift was perfect! Funny enough my teacher had never heard of one, nor anyone in the class, so I also exposed everyone to how awesome knitting culture is! These finished pictures show what it turned out to be, but surprisingly enough it started out with a block of wood, American Walnut. I loved how rich the color became after coating it with both a linseed oil and a polyurethane varnish.

Last summer, as some of you may remember, a desire was born to learn how to spin. I figured out how to use a drop spindle, but chose to wait on a spinning wheel til I graduated (YAY!). Well, now is the time I learn! I was so incredibly fortunate enough (thanks to the help of many ravelers-yay ravelry and awesome knitters!) to find one through craigslist at a STEAL of a price, with some minor maintenance required. I haven’t been able to try it out, as I’m waiting for my maintenance kit to come, but it is an Ashford Traditional, and according to the site’s timeline, I believe it’s from the 70s! I doubt it’s been used in at least 20 years, so some parts need replacing, oiling, etc. But the flyer and wheel are in great condition and I’m so stoked to begin to self-teach spinning on a wheel!

And last, but not least, hiking is in season! Well, in Southern California, I guess it’s always in season, but it’s not always in my season. Well it wasn’t, now it can be, thanks to the gift of TIME. I went to lower Arroyo Seco a couple of days ago, and it was absolutely splendid (though slightly hot for my taste).

I also have a pretty severe case of start-itis. Unfortunately, no WIP pictures quite yet. But not to fear, they too will come!

Happy knitting/spinning/living!

Toys and Trees

Project Sheep to Sweater: Washing Wool

So after the joy of watching a sheep lose its coat, I had to begin the process of cleaning it. First off, the wool was pretty not well taken care of. There still is quite a bit of grass and organic bits in the wool; however it’s MUCH better now than before.

It took me four washes to get it to be somewhat clean and not barnyard smelling at all. But I’ll just have to comb out the rest of the bits with a metal dog hair comb, then either card or comb it from there to get it ready to spin. The staple length of the fibers is relatively short (approx. 3 inches) so I think I’ll just dye the yarn from there. I think it’ll be easier for me that way. I’ll (hopefully) spin a two ply sport weight-ish to create a sweater.

I also acquired a spinning wheel! And I made a yarn swift this past quarter. Pictures to be posted later on…but yay for new toys! After some maintenance, the wheel will be ready to go! Project sheep to sweater is really underway!

From top to bottom: Raw Fleece, First Wash & Water, Second Wash & Water,
Third Wash, Fourth Wash, Original Fleece, Clean Fleece, and Drying Fleece!

Project Sheep to Sweater: Washing Wool