Category Archives: DIY-I Made

Pretty Glazed Balls

Hi!  OK, my 2014 New Years Resolution has started!  My goal is to get back into blogging again!  I spend so much time on my facebook pages that I have neglected blogging and I’m sorry about that!  I’m going to try to keep you posted with my current projects, experiences, and thoughts 🙂

Right before Christmas I suddenly got this idea to decorate hanging glass balls.  I’ve actually wanted to do this for the last two summers for the tourists, cutting and painting “Alaskana stuff” on them.  They’re so pretty and can be hung all year round.  What nice little gifts they make!  A long time ago, my sister gave me a friendship ball (painted glass) which hangs in my living room and I think of her every time I look at it 🙂

GlazedBalls-Facebook Photo

I’ve been having soooo much fun making them and selling them at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center (where I work).  I either use clear glass or plastic ornament balls.  I got mine at Michael’s Arts & Crafts store (use your coupon!).  I cut small pieces of paper or fabric and paste them on using a small sponge paint brush and Mod Podge.  WOW!  I’d forgotten how much that glue stunk!!  But I kept on and after three days of horrible headaches, I took a break, and when I went back and got headaches again, and I realized it was the Mod Podge.  What a huge bummer!!!  I switched over to “Golden Gel Medium”, which is a lot more expensive but I don’t get headaches and so it’s worth spending more 🙂

Before-Glaze Balls-cropped

On the drying rack and three more coats to go!

Let them dry between coats.  I used “Golden thick Gel (Matt)” on the ones in the photos but found that it was just too thick.  I really love and recommend the “Golden Regular Gel (Gloss) Medium” because it’s a thinner and shinier coat!  I think it’s the best!

After-Side View Glazed Balls-sm

Finished glazed balls and in the store! The hanging balls are made with fabric and the balls in the bowl are Alaskan paper.

Interesting…I found that when I put them on a green Christmas tree that the lighter ones stood out so I need to make more of those.

GlazedBall-one-name

One of my favorites!

Wishing you much love for 2014 and lots of fun projects!

Donna

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Crocheted Dream Catchers

Hi!  Oh my gosh!!  I’ve been having Soooo MUCH FUN making crocheted beaded dream catchers and learning all about the history!  I love crocheting and I love dream catchers!  I thought I’d see if they sell at my Etsy Shop, Alaska HomeCrafters Emporium, or maybe a tourist at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center might find them as fascinating as I do.  When I moved up to Alaska someone gave me a dream catcher to keep the good dreams coming and the bad dreams trapped in the web.  I still have it!  I think everyone should have one 🙂

Dream catchers are arts and crafts of the Native American people.  Traditionally dream catchers were made from willow branches bent into rings  or oval shapes and sinew for the web.  Feathers decorate infants and children’s dream catchers, but all dream catchers are embellished with totem animals, beads, and small stones.  (I love to embellish!)  The ring is believed to represent wisdom, strength, and unity.

One legend tells of an elderly spiritual leader who had a vision of Iktomi, the great trickster and searcher of wisdom.  He appeared in the form of a spider and spoke to him.  As he spoke, the spider picked up the elder’s willow ring and began to spin a web.  He spoke about the cycle of life and and many lessons.  The ring represents the cycle of life, for as we come into life as infants and grow into adults, as elderly adults we must be taken care of as infants, thus completing the cycle of life.

When the spider finished, he had spun a web inside the ring and told him that when the dream catcher is hung above ones bed, good dreams will float through the web’s holes and down the strings of beads and feathers,  placing good dreams into your head while one sleeps.  Bad dreams are caught in the web and tangle up in the web & beads and stones and with the first rays of daylight, they evaporate and disappear.  Pretty awesome don’t you think!

Wishing you good dreams and peaceful sleep.

Donna

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Alaskan Landscape Series

Hi!  I’ve started a series of wall hangings, canvas, and etc. (which means the possibilities are endless!) featuring, “Alaskan themed landscapes”.   I can’t paint like Kurt Jacobson (Jake, my talented husband), but I love working with fabrics, yarns, beads, and mixed media.  When I first moved to Alaska, I was told that I’d “better get a hobby” because the long winters will drive you CrAzY!  All my life I’ve been into arts & crafts but to finally have an excuse to “get serious” about it, well it was just perfect!  PERFECT!  So…….. I took a quilting class and got a new start in my art, new marriage, new happiness in Alaska!  Back then I really enjoyed making small wall hangings and selling them, until I got totally  lost in my locker hooking with fabric…………and well, the rest is history!

I will be taking a “Painting on Silk Class” this Saturday and I hope to incorporate this into my Alaskan Landscapes.  I tried my hand at painting a silk sun catcher at Francine Dufour Jones demo and I loved it, and so all these ideas have been running in my head and I can’t stop running!  I’m pretty excited!!

This is my first official quilted wall hanging in my “Alaskan Landscape Series”.  It begins with water and fish, land with flowers and trees, to the Northern Lights sky.

Alaskan Landscape Wall Hanging

I entered this one in the Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center’s First Friday last month.

Donna

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Warm in his Cocoon

Hi!  It is sooooo cold in Alaska!!  I love Alaska but I’ve always wondered why so many people take off every winter and I swore I would never leave.  I came up from Seattle where it rained all winter long and we ignored it and just went on our way.  No big deal.  So when I moved to Alaska, I adopted this attitude and I pretend it isn’t cold and there is no snow out there.  Of course I’m always prepared in case!

But this winter is different and I’ve had it!  I’ve tried to live with it, but this year there is NO pretending that it is TOO cold and there’s TOO much snow!  I’m caving in!  I really wouldn’t mind leaving Alaska and coming back when it’s warm!  I certainly don’t want to be around when break-up happens!  We are going to have a lot of MUD!!

This winter has been really hard on everyone!  I have friends that have literally escaped to their cabins and I haven’t heard from them at all.  Some friends who are up-beat people have admitted this winter is the first that they’ve experienced cabin fever.  Some have broken bones.  I walk through stores and I’ve NEVER seen so many SADD lights.  Yup, I bought a Happy Light!  Some swear by them.  I’ve been using mine and haven’t noticed anything significantly different.  But I haven’t had to increase my prozac again………..yet 🙂

But if you have to live and stay in Alaska, this is the time to bundle up, like Joseph!  I crocheted this warm cocoon for him when he was little and now his brother is at the right age to use it.  I bet it’s cozy and warm to sleep in!  I would LOVE to have one for myself!  I’d go into my cocoon the first sign of snow and not come out until it’s gone.

Joseph's Cocoon

Joseph's Cocoon

It is still snowing and this week we have MORE coming and even a blizzard warning for tomorrow!  One good thing is that it gives me an excuse to craft more!  I wonder how others “cope” with hard weather??

Donna

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Alaskan Crocheted Rocks

Bring a piece of “Alaska” indoors!

As you know I’ve been crocheting glass covers this summer and I got to thinking about picnics and my daughter’s outdoor wedding coming up.  How do you keep the paper napkins from blowing away?  So……….I’ve been having fun crocheting rocks that I’ve found on the beaches in Alaska!  I soak them, scrub them, and then crochet the rock using 100% cotton thread and sign them.  They are natural Alaskan rocks!  A long time ago I crocheted two rocks for bookends to use in my store (for my Laurel Burch journals) and they are just as pretty now as then.  But this time I’m getting more creative and adding beads, buttons, ribbon, crocheted flowers, and more and having an absolute blast doing it!

Collection of "Alaskan Crocheted Rocks"

One of my collections of Alaskan Crocheted Rocks

Jake and I go to the Alaskan beaches and hand-pick each beautiful naturally flat and smooth rock, which we lug home.  We have a favorite beach but you have to go down and back up a very, very steep cliff to get back to the car.  Of course it is so much easier to do in the fall when it’s cooler outside.  Put them in the back of the car and they help with traction in the Alaskan winters!  My husband is such a good sport!  At first he thought I was crazy, but now he actually thinks it’s really cool and he even uses them at work!

I make my Alaskan Crocheted Rocks to use as napkin and paper weights, book ends, door stops, decorative and conversational pieces like in bowls and windowsills.  Great for picnics and barbeques!  Or decorate your garden!

And they make perfect unique little gifts!  This is the crocheted rock I gave to my dear friend, Rene.

Rene's Rock

Rene's Rock

Donna

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Beaded Glass Covers and Doilies

Hi!  I’m back to crocheting glass covers!  I’ve been making these for a long time and thought I would share them with you.  Because I live in Alaska, when summer comes everyone gets out of their homes and stays outside until the snow comes again.  Well, we have a picnic bench under some trees and the leaves, dirt, bugs, not to mention the pesky mosquitos fall into our glasses!  So I came up with these colorful glass covers to protect water or wine, or whatever you may have in your glass.  They work well for coffee mugs too!  I also make larger sizes to cover food bowls.  If you don’t want to use them on top of your glass, just slide them under your glass and you have classy glass doilies.  And when they aren’t on your table, they look really pretty under potted plants, etc.

We have been saving all sorts of glass jars and that is what we use for our ‘everyday ware’.  They look really cool on your table!  In fact, we have so many now that our cupboards are literally over flowing!  The glass covers also look quite elegant on wine glasses too!  For red wines I use dark color thread and for white wine, it doesn’t matter.

I love to choose different colors and add the beads on the ends.  The beads look pretty and are functional by weighting the cover down.  I’ve used charms and buttons too.  I’ve tried using plastic beads because they can go in the wash (inside a delicates bag), but they don’t hold enough weight, at least for outside.  I’ve even gotten fancier and made lacy glass covers (like doilies) but I have to keep the stitches tight so little bugs don’t sneak in.

Do you prefer a set of the same color or a mix of different colors glass covers?  Each one is unique even if they are the same color because they are handmade!  You can find the “Crochet Pattern” for it  on my website.

Crochet Glass Covers

Crochet Glass Covers

Wine Glass Covers

Wine Glass Covers

Glass Doilies By Donna

Glass Doilies

Have a GREAT summer everyone and protect your glasses!

♥Donna

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Ruffle Hats

Hi!  Hope everyone had a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend!  We stayed home this year and so I took advantage of cuddling with my Jake, kitties, and dog (yes, all on the same couch).  I had soooo much fun experimenting with Lions Brand’s Ruffle.  I wanted to make a hat that was functional but stylish.  I crocheted the purple one first and thought it was kind of cute and funky, but not what I was looking for.  So I tried another one and came up with the blue/black hat.  It came out better than I expected, very simple, easy, and yet pretty.  I got all excited and wanted to share it with everyone and so I started working on a pattern! I have three self-published crochet patterns, but NO HATS!  This is my first one!

I need to come up with a front and back pattern cover so I’ll have to load up my copier with lots of ink because it takes me LOTS of mistakes before I get just the right design.  Then I’ll need to start crocheting a scarflette to match and come up with another pattern.  I think it will be a beautiful “Crochet Ruffle Hat Set”! I will put the patterns on my Etsy shop and ravelry. com (I just joined-my shop is Alaska Locker Hooking Etc. or you can type my name in under “designers”) and of course on my website.

Let me know what you think!

Love, Donna

My new hats!

My new Crochet Ruffle Hat Pattern

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Christmas In August

Hi!  Did you know Alaskans celebrate Christmas in July?  JoAnn Fabrics always has a big fabric sale on their Christmas fabric in July and a furniture store gives great prices at their “Christmas in July” sale.  I get flyers through the mail and I see advertisements on the TV.  I never have really understood why?  But the craft stores now have Halloween and Christmas items on their shelves (already!).  When I was in retail business I remember I’d have to start thinking about what I’m going to buy for the store for next Christmas, like right after THAT Christmas (or earlier).  Company reps would come up that winter or early spring to take Christmas orders and if you didn’t have orders in by summer, you were sunk.  I’m glad to be out of that life!

So……….I’m celebrating Christmas in August because  I recently posted some of my “Big Holiday Stockings” on my Etsy shop.  It felt weird taking photos outside and no snow yet, but it was so much FUN! I put a few tree branches in the tops of the stockings and hung them from a tree (a great suggestion from a friend & locker hooker).   I will be making more big stockings and I’ll get some photos in the snow.  We get snow in October and sometimes in September.

It all started when I drew one of my daughter’s names for a Christmas gift.  She had recently moved into a new apartment and I wanted to make her something special.  So I crocheted her own stocking with lots of colors and pretty yarns.  I even crocheted beads into the toe.  I had so much fun making it and used up some of my yarn remnants!  Jake was thrilled saying, “don’t stop now, what a great way to get rid of ALL your yarn!!”  OK, I do have way too much yarn, way too much!

Here are some of my Big Holiday Stockings!  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!  Thanks!

Donna

One of my "holiday stockings"

Fun with fun fur

Christmas stocking

Had fun with some novelty yarn

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