Karla Krafts

This is where I log craft projects, ideas, products, materials and sources including links. I'll also document sources of inspiration. I love crafts, including knitting, quilting, scrapbooking, stained glass crafting and others. My specialties were knitted baby caps and glycerin soaps I call "Gemsoaps." Now, I'm into embroidery and beading.

My Photo
Location: Millers Creek, North Carolina, United States

I am a retired science teacher who loves creative endeavors. I love to learn. I love to laugh and make people laugh. I am married to a wonderful man and have one beautiful, brilliant daughter. My first grandson was born 2/17/2010!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


It worked! The sweater shaver fixed the white baby cap! Here it is with it's lady bug and daisy embellishment:

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Light Saber!

I think I've posted this before, but the very best tip I ever got from watching Tipical Mary Ellen was this:

Save the tube from inside a roll of wrapping paper. Cut a slit in each end. As you take lights off a tree, slip one end of the string in the top slit, then wrap the lights around the tube. Slip the plug in the bottom slit. They'll be tready to unroll without tangles the next year.

So, I took the autumn leaves and the string of orange lights off my door-side tree. It looks like a Christmas tree, again, and the string of lights made a great light saber!

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Another Swap

My front door went from this:

to this:

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Let it Pour!

I've been in the basement off and on all day pouring some soaps for Christmas:

I don't consider myself to be a soap maker. I don't render lard and add lye like Granny Clampett (though I do sound a bit like her and will probably look like her in 20 years or so, my granny did.) I guess I am a soap molder and mold maker? I make melt-and-pour glycerin soaps and love it!

It reminds me of dyeing Easter eggs, except it smells GOOD! And, if you spill it, well wash it up, it's soap for crying out loud!

The gold bars are my favorites for Christmas giving. I add just a couple of drops of "gold" liquid color to melted, clear, melt-and-pour soap, followed by 1/4-1/2 tsp. gold mica powder. I love how it looks in the measuring cup as you swirl it around to distribute the powder!

I add "Frankensence and Myrrh" fragrance oil from Bramble Berry, about 1 ml per bar. I pour my melted soap in my gemstone molds and spritz them with rubbing alcohol. That makes all the bubbles come to the top. If I have any left over, I fill the little blue molds (another story) and make little soap beads!

Because I pour in the basement where it's cool, I don't have to refrigerate my soaps to harden them. (They sweat when you do that, and you have to wait for them to dry before you polish and package them.) After a few hours, they're ready to pop out of the mold and be prepared for giving!

Between the fragrance oil and the gold mica, you have all the gifts for the Baby Jesus, wrapped up in one bar!

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Just Look at that Face!

I didn't make Jack the Scarecrow. I bought him at the Apple Festival, many, many moons ago. Before I put him away, I need to get some tracing paper and trace that face. I just might make PJ a scarecrow doll next year (with yarn for hair instead of Spanish moss!) and I don't think I've ever seen a sweeter face on a scarecrow, anywhere!

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Time to Swap!

'Time to put Jack the Scarecrow back in his box, and give his seat to Cubby the Bear

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'Keeping My Fingers Crossed!

My daughter's friend, Cindy, is expecting a baby girl anyday now. Because she is using ladybugs in the nursery, I knit her a white cap (embellishments to be revealed later.) I always launder my caps before giving them, so I just threw this in with PJ's wash since I'm still using "baby soap" in his wash. Well, wouldn't you know, the cap stuck to an exposed piece of velcro on one of his bibs. To get it off, I had to really pull, and it made this fuzzy place:

I am using my sweater shaver to try and salvage the cap. It's hard to do and keep your fingers crossed!
By the way, that's Petula, my baby doll model, not PJ, wearing the cap!

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Friday, November 26, 2010

If You Love Thanksgiving, Clap Your Hands!

Here's my grandson, Peter James, who thoroughly loved using his new tooth to eat little niblets from the Thanksgiving table! (Grandpa's canes are always fun to play with, too!)

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I'm Still Stuffed!

My beautiful daughter and her handsome husband hosted this feast yesterday. It was incredible! I don't like stuffing, except for my daughter's! Here's a link to the recipe she uses from Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sausage-Cranberry-and-Pecan-Stuffing-104261

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh Boy! Thanksgiving Sale at Michael's

Christmas ribbon is on sale at 60% off on Thursday. (They're open from 5 pm-9pm!) I like to look through it and choose colors and patterns that don't neccessarily look like Christmas. This is a stack of ribbons I bought for $1.00 a roll during the Veteran's Day sale.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Now that's More Like It!

My red and gold project, after "Victorian" patching:

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Silkies!

I printed up these 4 new silkies over the weekend. The photo in the upper right corner is my grandmother's 1927 college yearbook portrait. She taught me to embroider and crochet so I think a crazy quilt pillow adorned with those two artforms and her portrait are in order.

The red and gold ones are from a book I picked up for $4.00 at the Ooops store in Myrtle Beach this summer. The little blue butterfly is a freebie from Dover Publications.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life is like a Crazy Quilt!

Once upon a time, I had a student named David. Like myself, he had the gift of gab! What a talker! He also had a gift that I wish I had, a beautiful singing voice. Sometimes in the middle of class, he would just blurt out, "Mrs. Hartzog, why don't we all just sing!" and break into song!

Today, I'm home, sick, and turned on the TV for some "church." Charles Stanley was on, but I decided to check the local cable channel. Sure enough, there was my boy, David, in the pulpit, introducing his song, "Great is Thy Faithfulness!" It was beautiful!

David's gifts have come together in his life like velvet and silk, and I'm so proud of him!

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It's official!

I am a registered member of the Cross-stitcher's Club. That entitles me to the free pattern of the day for the last 5 days. Well, today's pattern is beautiful so that works for me. However, if I want to become a premium member and use their photo software, that'll cost me! 'Guess it's back to window screen photography for me!

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Bead weaving and stitching

Speaking of medallions, I think bead medallions would make pretty adornaments in crazy quilting. My search for bead weaving led me to this wonderful list at Glitter Glow Beading.

One of the best links on the list was the Interweave store at Interweave Press. They have oodles of reasonably priced downloadable patterns, not only in beading, but in knitting, quilting, fibre arts, you name it! They also carry craft merchandise and instructional DVD's, in addition to books and magazines!

Emma's blog also led me to ArtFire! Thank you, Emma!

I also like to stitch beads to fabric using charted designs and waste canvas. That led me here:

I'll most likely join; I spent hours looking through the downloadable graphs. As a matter-of-fact, I believe I'll take care of that right now! (What else have I got to do besides sweat and shiver?)

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Angelina Fibers

I did a search for Angelina fibers and found sources and tutorials! I hope http://www.embellishmentvillage.com/ won't mind if I borrow a photo since I plan to order from them very soon! They also have sequin medallions, which I had not seen before. Wouldn't they be great for embellishing and adding to a cray quilt project?

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Internet Goodies!

Well here I am again, night #2 of a hateful virus that has me feverish, then freezing (malaria?--no, that's a sporozoan!) Except for steping out on the porch to snap a couple of photos, I have spent my day (and now my night) surfing the net in search of all things needle worthy.

I recently joined the Yahoo group of Crazy Quilting International. It's actually 4 groups and you need to join all 4 to access all it's features:

Click to join crazyquiltinginternational

Click to join crazyquiltinginternational

The eye candy alone is worth the trouble. It's so rich, you can feel your teeth rot when you look at it!

I visited fellow members' blogs:

http://pinyoncreek.blogspot.com/ (Be sure and click on the photo on her July 24, 2010 post so you can get a better look at this gloriosity!)

http://www.shawkl.com/ (Ummm,umm,ummm, what beautiful work and generous giveaways!)

http://olderrose.blogspot.com/ (Check out her tutorials.)

http://dianem.wordpress.com/ (She knits preemie caps!)

http://www.pintangle.com/ (I recently joined her "Stitchin Fingers" group.)

http://karensouth.blogspot.com/ (I was inspired by her vintage ladies!)

http://kerrykatiecakes2.blogspot.com/ (Did I mention eye candy?)

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cross stitch? Beadwork? Intarsia?

I know there are all kinds of programs that can turn photos into charted designs, but how about just taking the photo through window screening?

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Finally Fall!

Nov. 13 and we finally have some color around here!

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

'Not a Happy Patcher!

I started my red & gold project using "flip and sew" piecing. I am not happy with it. It's too angular and, apparently, I can't sew a straight seam anymore. Look how it puckered, despite my efforts to iron it into submission! I've taken two patches off and may disassemble the whole thing and start over.
I am dragging out my copy of J. Marsha Michler's, Crazy Quilting, the Complete Guide, and consulting her, "Ten Ways to Patch a Crazy Quilt." I think, since I have a foundation, I'm going to try the antique method. I'm back to Charlotte to babysit tomorrow, and I won't have to lug my sewing machine. We'll see what happens with that!

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Add-a-Can Soup

Yesterday, my mom added a can of tomatoes and chilies to a can of plain tomato soup. "Too hot for me," she said. "I'm bringing it to you for the husband." I thought it was too hot for either of us, so I decided to add a few other cans to dilute it's awesome power. I added a can of black beans, a can of plain diced tomatoes, a can of corn, a cup and a half of diced cooked chicken and a pinch of dried cilantro. 'Not bad at all and still plenty hot. Of course, that didn't stop me from adding a few crumbles of habanero cheddar from the Ashe County Cheese Factory! Yum!

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A Soap Tutorial from Anne-Marie!

Another craft supplier that I adore is Anne-Marie at Bramble Berry Soap Making Supplies: www.brambleberry.com Here's her tutorial on what to do with those shaped rubber bands. 'Love it! http://soap-queen.blogspot.com/2010/09/its-soaping-cats-and-dogs.html

Hurray for Carolyn Cybik!

I just opened my order from Evening Star Designs! I am planning a project for a friend who requested "earth tones," specifically burgundy, browns and blues. I ordered a "Customer's Choice" Fancy Fabric Pack from Carolyn, and this is what she put together for me! Rich, rich, rich! I may have to have a glass of milk it's so rich! She even included a square of that velveteen I love so much!

The cost: $9.99! Imagine what it would cost me in time, money and gasoline to run around hunting 10 fabrics in these colors. Carolyn, honey, I love you!

Here's a link to her shop, again: http://www.eveningstardesigns.citymax.com/

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Color Search

The trees and mountains have been slow to color this year, so I went on a search for color around the house. This is what I found:

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I'm particularly pleased with this photograph of the mums, brick and pumpkin. I think it's a good study in textures.

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This is our "pet" Virginia Creeper we let climb the side of the house every summer. You can see why!

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I love the colors of the hydrangeas this time of year. There is a potter in Boone who uses glazes in these colors. Someday, I'm going to buy a lamp base from him and decorate a bedroom in these colors. I'll make a quilt, too. Someday, I'm going to be smart and harvest these before the frost gets them and hang them up to dry. Ahh, someday....

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