Elemental Yarns!

Hi there!
I thought I would introduce you to my favorite yarn shop, Elemental Yarns.

Elemental Yarns is located in downtown Plainfield, IL. It has been open since 2012 with its first 3 years located in Shorewood. My own experience has been nothing but positive. Whenever I have a question I know that I can go in and someone there will have the answer. Everyone is not only very knowledgeable but friendly and helpful. on their website, elementalyarns.com, their about page states:

“We offer a fun, friendly environment where knitters and crocheters of all skill levels can gather to share, mingle and learn with others who share their passion for needlework and fibrearts. For those who need a little extra help, our class schedule offers something for everyone, from beginners to more advanced needleartists.”

Here are a few pictures of the interior.:

The “front porch” has quite an assortment of books full of instructions and patterns.

The shop offers yarns of various fiber content and price range. Something for everyone!

Also….if you are looking for that special button for your project they have tons of buttons. Just love the buttons!

I should add that also on the porch is where the classes are held. Also KALs (Knit Alongs) which are fun as well as informative.

Elemental Yarns
24123 W. Lockport St.
Plainfield, IL 60544
815-729-7410

Have a great week, my friends!
Doris

Advertisements

Red, White, and Blue Shortbread Cookies

Anyone from the Chicagoland area remember the Ray Raynor Show? It was a delightful show for children way back when, And it had valuable lessons.

My favorite memories are of his cooking a Thanksgiving turkey and when he showed craft projects for the kids. What made it so special? And hilarious? He always managed to mess up in some way. He would start off with a golden brown turkey or a pretty Mother’s Day craft. And whether it was trying to stuff the turkey upside down or adding too much glue to the craft project and ending up with a gooey mess, he entertained and gave good messages.

One might think at first glance “what is the lesson in that?”

He allowed children to be children. To let them know that it’s okay if something doesn’t come out just “perfect”. He got down to their level. It seemed to me to be a show for adults as well as the children.

What does that have to do with Red, White, and Blue Shortbread Cookies? Well, I thought of the Ray Raynor show several times while making the cookies. I just kept running into snags. They were delicious but the recipe didn’t exactly cooperate. Partly my fault.

It called for an 8×8 square glass pan. I didn’t have one so I increased the recipe by half again and put it in an 8×11 glass pan. The only real problem with that actually is the rounded corners. The cookies weren’t exactly squared off.

I was short 1/4C sugar so I added some Equal. That was no big deal.

They baked well. It took a little longer, of course, because of the change in pans and quantity of the dough, but that was okay too.

Then it came to the dipping the cookies in the chocolate and adding the sprinkles. It’s possible I bought the wrong chocolate, although none of the chocolate was listed as dipping chocolate. At any rate, I had a mess, I had chocolate dripping everywhere and so when I needed to add the sprinkles before the chocolate hardened, I ended up with sprinkles everywhere as well.

I had to chuckle and thought of Ray Raynor. Thank you Ray.

I have added a link to the original cookie recipe that I found on Pinterest. I do hope you will give them a try and learn from my mistakes. And if they don’t end up “perfect” give a smile and a nod to the Ray Raynor Show.

Have a great week!
Doris

Knitting Update

Just a quick update on where I’m at with knitting these days.

The sweater that I was working on out of the textured yarn is completed. The pattern itself was relativity easy to follow. The yarn was great to work with. Size wise it feels a little big, but I can’t honestly say I would want it any smaller. This is what it looks like on:

I am finishing up a sweater I started some time ago. It kind of makes me chuckle actually. When I picked up my knitting needles a few years ago, realizing that I could read and easily understand a pattern, I started browsing through the myriad of patterns for free and for sale online. It didn’t take me long to decide I wanted to make a sweater. And that is with only having a scarf under my belt!. I started it and actually was making some progress when I ran into a rough spot. I felt a little overwhelmed by it so I set the whole thing aside. A couple of weeks ago I picked it up again and am chipping away at it. It’s not all that difficult but there is a lot to it so it takes awhile. This is where I’m at with it:

I have decided though that on June 1st I will put this project aside. (well I might pick it up now and again). I need to do this because I have items to work on in order to be ready for fall shows. I look forward to that!

Oh, yes, I have also started a pair of socks. I am doing them with what is called Magic Loop. I love the concept now if I have the patience for something on a smaller scale. I did attempt this in the beginning. I completed one only to not be able to match up the second one. I have since learned a solution to that. I’ll post on that when they are complete.

Have a good day!
Doris

How To Hire A Painter

I have had my business of Decorative Artwork since 1992. Over the course of those years I have worked with many painters from different areas. The majority of the time things went well for the client. And for myself as well. But, I have run across some disasters too. Here are some tips for hiring the right painter for your project.

#1…..Get References! Don’t expect a quote over the phone. And for big projects, hopefully you could actually see some of their work. Here’s an example of what could go wrong. –
I had a client a few years back that needed their 2 story family room painted. It needed some patching and in some areas on the ceiling there needed to be drywall tape replaced. My client got the name of a painter from someone she didn’t know but she told me the guy was excited about the job and didn’t mind working on scaffolding. I finished my decorative painting before the painter and his buddy were done. But I had to go back the next day to be paid. When I went back my client was almost in tears. The painters had “finished” and they had been paid. Well, she brings me in to show me what they had done to her family room ceiling. They had used blue painters tape instead of drywall tape to fix the areas that needed it! And the tape was starting to peel off. She had called the painter to discuss it with him only to find out he had left town.
That is the worst I have seen. Most painters are reputable and trustworthy. But…..
Get References!

#2…..When you do find a painter you can trust, if they say they need a deposit, give it to them. After the economic downturn I’ve known contractors that just don’t want to run a tab at the paint store anymore. Probably holds true for many trades.

#3…..I think this may be as important as #1. Let them do their job. Don’t be underfoot and try to keep children busy with other things.

#4…..Pay promptly. Times are different now.

As I said I have worked with many different painters over the years. And now I only recommend one painter. If it doesn’t work for the client then they are on their own finding one. The painter I recommend is
Rick Wehrman….I have known him for maybe 20 years. I not only recommend him because he is a great painter, ( his son right along with him, and sometimes his daughter as well), but they are great with customers. They go in and do their job and do it well. For me, it is important to have a good rapport with the painter on the job. It makes my life a lot easier.

I finished up a portion of a large project with Rick and crew. Here is an example of how he makes my life easier.
The client wanted their foyer tray ceiling done. If I did it it would mean bringing in scaffolding, hiring someone to put it up and then take it down again. Rick has done bits of faux finishing for me before so I asked him if he would take it on and he said he would. The faux that was to be done in the tray in the foyer was the same one that I had done in the dining room tray ceiling.

Besides having good work done, the foyer tray ceiling was less costly because Rick uses an extension ladder to do them. Saves a great deal of time as well. The photos in this post show the tray ceiling in progress and then finished. Doesn’t it look great?!

I hope you consider this the next time you are looking for a painter. It could save you heartache and money.

Have a great week!
Doris

“The Chair” Reveal

Remember this chair? This is my Goodwill find. I paid $7.00 for it. Here is what is printed under the seat –

I mentioned in an earlier post about how I was put off by the “gazillion” staples in the blue velvet chair I had come across. I finally caved and decided to tackle it. I loved the process. I love the chair. Of course, there are things I wish I knew before I started. One thing I recommend …….do not try to rush it.

My original plan was to recover it and paint the wood. But seeing as it was going to involve more work anyway, I decided to strip the wood and do a finish on it that I have been wanting to try.The finish is done in layers. This is something I have always found with paint – the wonderful effects you get when you layer paint and glaze and top coats. The first detail photo is one of the wood details. I added a little Warm Silver metallic paint to accent the design.

The arms of the chair have detail too. The design works well with the type of finish I applied.

And……finally…….”the chair” completed –

What do you think? The fabric choice surprised me. I don’t ordinarily lean in this direction, design and color wise. But when I saw this one it just seemed to belong to the chair.

Would I do it again? Right now I say no. But with time passing and if I came across the right piece, who knows? It definitely gave me a new respect for upholsterers.

On another note, I went to the Kane County Flea Market yesterday. Best around in my book. This year I am looking for 2 old screen doors to turn into displays. I will be checking at the Morris Markets as well which run from May to October.

Have a good day everyone!
Doris

A Cute Mother’s Day Craft

I saw this somewhere and I think it would be such a great craft for kids to give their mom for Mother’s Day. I think I originally saw it on Pinterest but have seen it twice more since then.

The supplies you need are few. The sticks you can get at Walmart or a craft store. Also the paint brushes. For the paint I used one color that is actually a wall color, but very fashionable. Or, as shown, the craft paints.

You will also need a couple of drinking glasses or cups.

While you are preparing your work space bring a pan of water to a boil. The pan should be big enough for the sticks to lay in with a little room to spare.

Once the water is boiling put your sticks in it and boil for 15 minutes. Put in a few extra sticks in case some break, although I did’t have a problem.

After 15 minutes take them out one at a time, immediately starting to bend them easily into a “C” shape. Fit them in to the sides of a glass. They cool quickly, so once you take one out of the pan using tongs, you’ll be able to start shaping it right away.

The sticks need to dry overnight. Once dry, they can be painted and personalized.

Voila!
Have a great week!
Doris

Update: the chair is coming along nicely. I have the fabric and this week will be finding the right trim. I heard about a huge fabric and trim warehouse in Chicago that will hopefully have what I need because I haven’t found the right one out here. Field Trip! I may even take pictures and post on it if it’s as good as I was told.

#1 Choice of 3 Wood Strippers

Refinishing furniture is messy and odorous, no two ways about it. But the rewards can be many. The look of wood coming into a new life, maybe taking on a totally different look even.

The chair I had mentioned previously is one that in some ways has gone very smoothly and in others has been challenging. The biggest challenge has been dealing with all the staples in it. It is an Ethan Allen chair I came across at Goodwill for $7.00, therefor the quality is high.

The products used are shown here along with other items you will be using. I also picked up some cheap toothbrushes which really come in handy for crevices. The container you use to pour the product into should be nonporous, a tin can works well.

Two of the products I tried, whereas they worked okay, they were slower at the actual removing of the finish (which I believe to be 2-3 coats of varnish). Only one of them, the Jasco Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover, actually made the finish bubble up, which in the past was the sign of a great wood stripper. The other one, the 2 Minute Remover, worked about the same without the bubbling. They both had strong odors.

Here is a peak at how the wood looked once stripped. I hope to have the chair completed this week and Reveal it in next week’s post.

Maybe here would be a good place to insert the setup of such a project. Number one is have plenty of ventilation. Make sure the flooring of wherever you are working is covered well with some very protective tarps or papers.
Ideally you will have your own space set up for this task. Unfortunately with my physical condition being what it is I wasn’t able to carry the chair to my workroom.

My #1 product choice is ……….Klean Strip Klean Kutter Refinisher!
.

It surprised me really. It is more runny whereas the others were more gel like. The others you brush on, let sit a few minutes, then remove. My choice to remove the finish is steel wool and then old tshirts.

The Klean Strip, however, you apply with the steel wool and start rubbing. It didn’t need a lot of pressure either. I dipped the end of a steel wool pad in the solution being careful of the dripping, I wiped the wood once with the grain, and when I went to wipe again the finish came right off. I was thrilled! So the one I thought I would like the least, actually turned out to be my favorite.

With this project I got a reminder of how much I always enjoyed stripping furniture. Not because of the process by any means, but because of the results. Makes me think of 2 pieces that have been sitting around maybe needing to be refreshed.

It looks to be another good week here in Illinois. Maybe some rain but more badly needed sunshine as well.

Enjoy the day!
Doris

Simply Scroll for more posts!