Doily Redux: Modern Thread Crochet for your Home

I’ve taken a short break from frantic slipper-making to indulge a creative whim: designing thread crochet candle holders. Well, they’re actually Mason jar covers, and I hope to use them as pendant lamps. Equally gorgeous as tea light holders, these covers are basically cylindrical doilies. I’m fascinated by the interplay of light and shadow created when it’s lit from within by a candle.

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Light up your home this holiday…also, DIY wedding alert!

This is my latest design: the Foxgloves Lace mason jar cover. The base of the cover is a floral design, making it perfect for a hanging pendant lamp.

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Without a candle, it’s still a lovely piece. Filled with peppermint candies, it would make a nice quick gift. It only took a couple of hours to make this one, so a determined crafter could make several in one day. (Unless you suffer from hand pain like I do – then I recommend taking frequent breaks.)

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Because of my hand pain problem, I need to alternate between larger yarn and smaller thread. (Just another excuse for having several projects on the go at once!)

Anyway, if you’re planning a DIY wedding, get started on these now! You can make a bunch for centrepieces or favours.

The pattern is available for sale in my Etsy shop and also on Ravelry and Craftsy.

Since I first wrote this, I’ve written two other mason jar patterns. You can purchase them individually or as a collection (save 25% off individual prices by purchasing the collection). The collection is available in my Etsy, Craftsy, and Ravelry stores. On Ravelry, add all three patterns to your cart and the discount will be calculated automatically. Etsy and Craftsy have a separate listing for the pattern collection.

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Five Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Christmas 2013

Looking for memorable holiday gifts? Here are five unique ideas at a range of price points. Bonus – you’ll be supporting ethical sourcing, recycling/upcycling, and local artisans. Each one is Canadian or has a Canadian connection.

Light and Movement

Need some sparkle this holiday? Brilliant Earth’s gorgeous nature-inspired Wisteria collection is truly covetable. The Wisteria earrings (on left) and ring (far right) are on my wish list! Although Brilliant Earth is based in California, these fine pieces are made with ethically-sourced, conflict-free Canadian diamonds. You can also order custom-made engagement rings and wedding rings.

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Toys with Character

Something Sweet Creative Studio makes adorable owls from upcycled fabric. You’ll find them at craft fairs around the Kootenays and online on Facebook.

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Luxury hand-made knits and bath products

Ju Tri Luxury Soap and Hand Knitted Items makes soaps, lotions, lip balms, toques, and mittens. This Etsy shop, based in Alberta, Canada, has a Kootenay connection – the owner was born in the West Kootenays.

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Clever Paper Crafts

Wintergreen Designs,  on Etsy, sells fabulous Scandinavian-style quilled paper ornaments. Who knew quilling could be so cute? Not to be missed!

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Original, Locally-Made Artwork

The Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar, BC is hosting an exhibition and sale for Christmas, featuring artwork by over 100 local artists and craftspeople. One way to make the holidays memorable is to make memories! Visit the gallery for a magical experience this holiday. You’ll find many gift ideas once you’re there. Highly recommended!

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Holiday Gifts for Geeks

“Black Friday” is nearly upon us, again, followed by the so-called “Cyber Monday”. It’s the height of the holiday shopping season.  Why bother with run-of-the-mill gifts this year when there are so many fabulous gifts for geeks out there?  Get something memorable! Here are a few ideas to get you started. Plus, you can avoid the malls by shopping online.
The Geekery Category on Etsy.com is chock-full of, well, geeky gifts, such as:
Chemistry-Themed Crayon Labels
Art meets science in these labels. For your children, or for yourself.
Chemistry Crayon CLEAR Labels - set of 96
Caffeine-Molecule Upcycled Coffee Mugs
Face it, most of us rely on the ubiquitous caffeine molecule every day.  Let people know just how much their lives are impacted by chemistry by showcasing this mug at the office.
Nerdy Baby ABC’s and 123’s Flash Cards
Give your baby (or a friend’s baby) a head start in life with these flash cards, designed by a chemical engineer for her kids. I bought some for my children and for some friends.
Nerdy Baby ABCs and 123s... wooooo GET BOTH
Snorg Tees Geek-Nerd Section
There’s a tee for every nerd at the Snorg Tees shop. Some feature inside jokes that only the initiated will understand. You dig?
My personal favourite, pi versus the imaginary numbers: http://www.snorgtees.com/t-shirts/pi-be-rational
Pi Be Rational
The Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine
Specially-formatted paper is designed so you can photograph the pages and convert them directly to pages in your Evernote notebooks. Fabulous!
Happy shopping!