Handmade Notecards With Recycled, Repurposed Paper Products

Lotus Flower Notecard Made Using All Recycled Materials

Lotus Flower Notecard Made Using All Recycled Materials

Handmade Recycled Paper Bead Necklace

Handmade Recycled Paper Bead Necklace

It’s been my mission for several years to find a purpose for all the catalogs, junk mail and other paper products I’m constantly throwing away or tossing in the recycle bin.  I’m a creative person, I thought, there must be a way to reuse and repurpose these raw materials. I’ve tried numerous notecard ideas, handmade paper, paper beads and more.  The problem has always been that, though the finished product may be beautiful, it simply took too long to assemble and therefore, wasn’t saleable. 

Monogram Letter A Notecards Made From Recycled Materials

Monogram Letter A Notecards Made From Recycled Materials

The lotus blossom notecards pictured at the beginning of this post are my latest attempt.  They’re made almost entirely from recycled materials.  The card stock came from cereal boxes, the white background paper was put together from junk mail or other scrap, the colored paper was taken from mail order catalogs and the brown paper on the back was once packing material.  Although it’s not recycled, the cards are fastened with sustainable hemp cord and the envelopes are made (elsewhere)from 100% recycled paper.

Lotus Flower notecards are all stamped on the back "Made Using Recycled Materials"

Lotus Flower notecards are all stamped on the back “Made Using Recycled Materials”

The lotus flower notecards, so far, have come the closest to being worth my while and I admit, they are fun to make.  I’ve listed several of these recycled cards in my Etsy shop, Catalina Inspired and I plan to offer them at the Catalina Festival of Art in two weeks along with my tile necklaces and crochet headbands.  Whether anyone else finds them as fun as I do, remains to be seen.

Summer Time, and the Livin’ is…

Lover's Cove on Catalina Island

Lover’s Cove on Catalina Island

It’s really difficult to stay focused on anything when you live in a hotel on Catalina Island in the summer.  The smell of suntan lotion and the sight of my hotel guests parading by my door wearing bathing suits and sundresses really makes me want to drop what I’m doing and head outside. 

I’ve been crocheting quite a bit recently because it’s portable and takes very little concentration.  I think I cranked out about ten headbands this week.  I’m making mostly wool headbands now in anticipation of fall and the Catalina Festival of Art on September 21, 22 & 23. 

Here are some of the wool hairbands I just listed in my shop.  Don’t forget, if you want to create one of these great headbands yourself, check out my three-part post, starting with DIY – How to Make a Crochet Headband for step-by-step instructions.

Crochet Headband Wool & Acrylic Mix Yarn in Magenta, Purple and Rust Orange Boho Chick Hairband

Crochet Headband Wool & Acrylic Mix Yarn in Magenta, Purple and Rust Orange Boho Chic Hairband

Crochet Headband, Wool, in Lavender & Gray Mix, Boho Chic Knit Hairband

Crochet Headband, Wool, in Lavender & Gray Mix, Boho Chic Knit Hairband

Crochet Headband, Wool in Soft Gray, Rust & Teal, Boho Chic Hairband

Crochet Headband, Wool in Soft Gray, Rust & Teal, Boho Chic Hairband

Crochet Headband, Wool in Soft Gray, Lavender & Teal, Boho Chic Hairband

Crochet Headband, Wool in Soft Gray, Lavender & Teal, Boho Chic Hairband

Summer on Catalina Island

Sunrise View of Avalon Harbor From My Window

Sunrise View of Avalon Harbor From My Window

I love living on Catalina Island but I must admit it can be rather distracting in the Summer.  I’m so lucky to have an amazing view of  Avalon Harbor and the Pacific Ocean right out my living room window.  It provides endless inspiration and beauty and I never tire of seeing it.  However, frequently in the Summer, those waving palm trees beckon me to come out and play.  The coconuty smell of suntan lotion wafts up to my window and it’s all over.  It’s all I can do to keep my mind on whatever I should be doing such as hotel business or projects for my Esty Shop. 

 

My Daughter & I at Lover's Cove on Catalina Island

My Daughter & I at Lover’s Cove on Catalina Island

Yesterday my daughter and I dropped what we were doing and went out to enjoy the Southern California sun.  It’s a slow time of year in the shop which makes for a great excuse when you’re looking for one.  The only problem is that it only fuels the fire.  That warm, clear, sea water sure did feel great!

Easy Crochet Flower Pattern

Easy Crochet Flower Pattern

Easy Crochet Flower Pattern

 This is a simple crochet flower pattern with a twist.  The flower is crocheted around a silver 9mm jump ring.  For this particular flower, I used all six strands of standard, bright pink, embroidery floss.   Jump rings can be found in jewelry supply stores or websites.  I suggest using soldered rings rather than split rings so the thread doesn’t slip through.  The ring I used for this pattern is 9mm in diameter and made with 20 gauge wire.  I’m using a size 4 stainless steel crochet hook.

This crochet flower pattern was designed by me, is copy-righted and free of charge. Please feel free to use this pattern for personal use only. I do sell my crochet items in my Etsy Shop, Catalina Inspired, so I’d appreciate credit for the design and that it not be used for re-sale.

Silver Ring and Pink Embroidery Floss

Silver Ring and Pink Embroidery Floss

The crochet stitch abbreviations I’m using are standard but you can refer to the post – DIY – How to Make a Crochet Headband for abbreviations.

One Single Crochet in the Silver Ring

One Single Crochet in the Silver Ring

To begin, yarn over the crochet hook and do one sc in the ring. Ch 6, sc in ring and repeat around the ring so that you end up with 5 sc in the ring and 5 flower petals. It should look like this:

Round 1 - 5 Flower Petals Made with Ch 6 Spaces

Round 1 – 5 Flower Petals Made with Ch 6 Spaces

   Now, do 9 sc in each ch 6 space. You may need to push the stitches over in order to fit 9. Sl st in the first sc.  It should look something like this: 

  

Round 2 - 9 sc in each ch 6 space.

Round 2 – 9 sc in each ch 6 space.

Round 3 – sl st in next sc. * Hdc in next sc.  Dc in next 2 sc, ch 1, dc in next st, ch 1.  Dc in next 2 sc, hdc in next sc, sl st in next 2 sc.  Repeat from * around the flower.  At the end sl st with first sc and tie off.  It should look like this when finished.  

Finished Bright Pink Crochet Flower

Finished Bright Pink Crochet Flower

 

The final product can be used in jewelry (see the necklace below), or as an applique on headbands, scarves, handbags, sweaters or anything else you can think of. 

Yellow, Gold & Orange Crochet Flower Necklace

Yellow, Gold & Orange Crochet Flower Necklace (click on the picture to see the listing in my Etsy shop)

 

Crochet Headband Pattern – Part 3

Crochet Headband Pattern - In Pale Yellow Bamboo Blend Yarn

Crochet Headband Pattern – In Pale Yellow Bamboo Blend Yarn

 This is the third and final post in a series on how to make the crochet headband pictured.  Here are the two earlier posts:

DYI – How to Make a Crochet Headband – Free Pattern

Crochet Headband Pattern – Part 2  

Please refer to the first post for stitch abbreviations, which are standard.   Also, as I’ve previously written, if you don’t want to make the headband yourself, visit my Etsy Shop, Catalina Inspired where I have many different colors available.

Ok – on to the pattern.  Now that you’ve joined all five squares, the next step is to crochet all the way around twice.   

With the front side facing up, YO and insert the hook into the top right ch3 space and sc 3 times.  Then sc in each sc across the end of the headband till you come to the next ch3 space but skip over the center sc.  There should be 6 sc across the end, not 7.  It should look like this:

Crochet Headband in Salmon Bamboo Blend Yarn - Finish Step 1

Crochet Headband in Salmon Bamboo Blend Yarn – Finish Step 1

 Sc 5 times in the corner ch3 space.  Sc in each sc to the next ch3 space.  If you followed the pattern exactly there should be 7 sc along each square side.  2 sc in ch3 space.  Insert the hook into one of the stitches made to sew the squares together (two layers of yarn), pull up a loop and sc.  2 sc in next ch 3 space.  Here’s what it should look like so far:

Crochet Headband in Salmon Pink Bamboo Blend Yarn - Finish Step 2

Crochet Headband in Salmon Pink Bamboo Blend Yarn – Finish Step 2

Continue with 7 sc, 2 sc in ch 3 space, sc in between squares and 2sc in ch3 space until you get to the next corner.  5 sc in the corner ch 3 space and 6 sc across headband end, skipping over the center stitch which prevents the end from puckering.  5 sc in next corner and continue crocheting the second side, the same as the first.  When you get to the end, sc 2 in the first ch3 space and sl st in first sc.  It should look like this:

Crochet Headband in Salmon Pink Bamboo Blend Yarn - Finish Step 3

Crochet Headband in Salmon Pink Bamboo Blend Yarn – Finish Step 3

 For the next round, sc in each sc all the way around except for at the corners.  See picture for instructions on the corners.

Crochet Headband - Corner Detail Instructions

Crochet Headband – Corner Detail Instructions

 Each corner should look like this when finished:

Crochet Headband - Corner Detail Finished

Crochet Headband – Corner Detail Finished

 Continue all the way around, slip stitch with the first sc and tie off.  It should now look like this:

Crochet Headband - Finish Step 4

Crochet Headband – Finish Step 4

After tying off, yarn over and insert the hook into center sc at right corner.  Ch1.  Sc in each sc across until you reach the center corner sc on the left side.  Ch1, skip 1st sc and sc across to the 1st sc on previous row.  Ch1, skip 1st sc and sc in each sc across to the 1st sc in the previous row.  Continue to decrease stitches until there are 6 sc across.  Now it should look like this:

Crochet Headband - Finish Step 5

Now, after you’ve decreased to 6 stitches, ch 2 then dc across all 6 sc.  Continue making rows of 6 dc until the tie is long enough.  To measure, place the center square of the headband on the top of your head and pull the tie down until it’s long enough to tie a square knot with.  When you think it’s long enough, tie off and repeat the same instructions on the opposite side.  If it turns out that the tie isn’t long enough when you finish,  just add a few more rows until it’s the perfect length.  Then weave in any loose ands and trim.  Here’s the finished product. Crochet Headband in Salmon Pink Bamboo Blend Yarn - Finished!

 I hope these crazy instructions, though a bit unorthodox, were understandable.  If not, please comment on anything you don’t understand and I’ll try to clear up any confusion.  I used a lot of pictures for this pattern, but as I wrote in the first post, I’ve never actually written one of my patterns down.  I found it a bid difficult to communicate something that I’ve done intuitively for so long.  So, again, I apologize if it didn’t make sense.  Happy hooking !

Crochet Headband Pattern – Part Two

Crochet Headband in Salmon Pink (click on the picture to see this item in my Etsy Shop)

Crochet Headband in Salmon Pink (click on the picture to see this item in my Etsy Shop)

While reading over my last post (DIY – How to Make a Crochet Headband – Part One) I realized I’d forgotten a couple of important points.

(before I begin, I’ll just mention again, that if you don’t have the time or desire to make this headband yourself, I have many different styles available in my Etsy Shop – Catalina Inspired if you want to check them out.)

First, when you complete each square and tie it off, you should leave a 7″ – 8″ tail of yarn remaining before you cut.  This reduces the number of  ends you have to weave in.  If you’ve already woven the ends in, however, all is not lost.  I’ll explain more on that when I get back to the pattern.

The second point I forgot to mention concerns everyone’s personal style of crochet and resulting gauge.  The gauge (stitches per inch) can be pretty flexible in this pattern since the headband doesn’t need to be a specific width.  For reference purposes, my squares, using the bamboo blend yarn, end up being just a little more than 2″ square.  However, some people crochet tighter or looser stitches.  The squares are often a little tight around the edges (represented by a slight curl or pucker) but this is ok since we will be stitching around the outside of the squares which will stretch them a bit.  If you think your squares are really misshapen though, you can alter the pattern slightly to accommodate your own style.

For example, in round 3 of the motif, you can try doing 4 single crochets in each ch3 space instead of 5.  Of course, you will then need to subtract these stitches from the 4th round.

If any of this is confusing,  you’re having trouble with the pattern or something doesn’t make sense (an error on my part), please feel free to leave a comment with the details of your issue and I’ll be happy to help.

Ok, to pick up from where we left off in the last post…

You should now have 5 squares completed.  If you did leave a 7″ – 8″ tail of yarn off each square, here’s how to proceed.  You’ll need a large, plastic, blunt ended needle.  Line up 2 of the squares so that both tails are facing down off the bottom of each square and thread the needle like this (make sure the correct side of the square is facing up)…

Crochet Headband - Joining Two Squares - Step One

Crochet Headband – Joining Two Squares – Step One

Next, pass the needle through the center ch of the top, right ch3 space on the bottom square, like this:

Crochet Headband - Joining Two Squares - Step Two

Crochet Headband – Joining Two Squares – Step Two

Pull the thread through but leave enough slack so that the squares are still lined up.  Then pass the needle over and through the center ch on the bottom, right, ch3 space on the top square like this…

Crochet Headband - Joining Two Squares - Step Three

Crochet Headband – Joining Two Squares – Step Three

Now pass the needle under and back through the same center ch of the top right ch3 space on the bottom square.  Adjust the yarn at this point so that it’s not too tight or too loose going from the tie-off point to where it enters the first stitch.  As you sew the two squares together, make sure you catch the slack part of the yarn (from the beginning) in each stitch so that it cannot be seen.  Also, when sewing the two squares together, pass the needle only through the back loop (the two loops closest to each other) of the sc like this…

Crochet Headband - Joining Two Squares - Step Four

Crochet Headband – Joining Two Squares – Step Four

Continue joining the squares by sewing through the back loop all the way to the center ch of the ch 3 spaces on the left.  Weave the end back through and cut.  It should look something like this…

Crochet Headband - Joining Two Squares - Step Five

Crochet Headband – Joining Two Squares – Step Five

Continue joining the other three squares in the same manner.  If you didn’t leave a 7″ – 8″ tail of yarn on each square, all you have to do is cut a piece of yarn about 9″ long and sew the squares together in the same manner, only leaving about 2″ before the first stitch.   Sew over it as you go across the edges of the square. Here’s what the 5 squares should look like when they’re joined together…

Crochet Headband - All Five Squares Joined Together

Crochet Headband – All Five Squares Joined Together

Again, please feel free to comment with any issues or clarification of my instructions.  I realize I’ve been leaning heavily on pictures here, but I’ve never actually written one of my patterns down and I’m a visual person, so I think it comes across more clearly this way.  If not – let me know! Click here for part three of the crochet headband pattern

Happy hooking!!

DIY – How to Make a Crochet Headband – Free Pattern

DIY - How to Make a Crochet Headband

DIY – Crochet Headband in “Soft Sunshine” With Bamboo Blend Yarn

I’ve had several people ask about the pattern for crochet headbands I sell in my Etsy shop, Catalina Inspired.  So, by popular demand, the next few posts will provide step by step instructions on how to do just that.   The instructions are for the headband pictured above which is made using Caron Spa Yarn,  a blend of acrylic and sustainable bamboo in “soft sunshine”.  Michael’s craft stores usually carry this yarn.

The instructions for this headband assume a basic knowledge of crochet.   If DIY projects aren’t for you, please feel free to check out my shop where I have many types of crochet headbands available.

Through much experimentation, I’ve found some yarns that work well for making this headband.  The photo below shows my three favorites.

Different Types of Yarn You Can Use to Make a Crochet Headband

Different Types of Yarn You Can Use to Make a Crochet Headband. From L-R, wool mixed color, bamboo blend & cotton.

Crochet Headband in Wool - Creamy White and Teal/Sienna Mix

Crochet Headband in Wool – Creamy White and Teal/Sienna Mix. The yarn is fingering weight and is shown as an example of a headband made using very light weight yarn but is not recommended for this pattern.

From left to right, the yarns pictured are, Patons Kroy Wool Sock yarn in a purple/blue/gray mix, Caron’s bamboo yarn, mentioned above,  in a salmon pink and Patons Grace cotton yarn in sage green.  Each type of yarn requires a different hook size and sometimes, a slight change in the pattern.

I like the cotton and bamboo yarns for Spring and Summer headbands and the wools for winter.  I wear the headbands I make all the time, they tie for a custom fit and stay put on your head.  I like that they don’t slide back like so many headbands do.

The bamboo yarn is the largest size yarn I’ve used successfully.  Anything larger tends to be bulky in my opinion, but you may find you like that look.  I’ve used very light fingering yarn (pictured above) but I don’t recommend it for this particular pattern.

The yarn I’ll be using for this pattern is the Caron bamboo blend in a salmon pink, as pictured above.

This crochet headband pattern was designed by me, is copy-righted and free of charge.  Please feel free to use this pattern for personal use only.  I do sell these headbands in my Etsy Shop, Catalina Inspired,  so I’d appreciate credit for the design and that it not be used for re-sale.

I usually use a smaller hook than is called for on the yarn package.  The headband tends to hold its shape better and the tighter stitches also give the headband a good amount of stretch.

cl st = cluster stitch = yo, insert hook into correct stitch, draw up a loop. Yo and pull hook through 2 loops on hook. Yo, insert hook into same stitch and draw up a loop. Yo, pull hook through 2 loops on hook. Yo and pull through 3 remaining loops on hook.

sc = single crochet

sl st = slip stitch

ch = chain

yo = yarn over

For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll be using crochet hook size F/4, although I usually use F/3 on the headbands I sell in my shop.  Since it’s harder to see what you’re doing when the stitches are so tight, I recommend using the larger size hook for the first one you make.

Using crochet hook size F/4 and the Caron Bamboo blend yarn previously mentioned, chain 4 and join with the first ch st using a sl st, or use a sliding loop.

Round 1 – ch1, 8 sc in loop, sl st in first sc.  You should have 8 single crochets going around the loop like so:

Beginning Round For Floral Motif Used in the Crochet Headband

Beginning Round For Floral Motif Used in the Crochet Headband

Round 2 – Ch 1, * sc in next sc.  Ch 3, cl st in next sc (instructions above).  Ch 3.  Repeat from * all around the loop.  Sl st to first single crochet.  When finished, there should be 8, ch 3 spaces and it should look like this:

Round 2 of Floral Motif for Crochet Headband

Round 2 of Floral Motif for Crochet Headband

Round 3 – ch 1, 5 sc in next ch 3 space.  5 sc in each ch 3 space on round and sl st to 2nd sc at the beginning of the round .  At the end of this round there should be 8 spaces with 5 sc in each and it should look like this:

Round 3 of Flower Motif for Chrochet Headband

Round 4 of the Floral Motif for the Crochet Headband

Round 4 of the Floral Motif for the Crochet Headband

Round 4 – Ch 1 , sc in next 3 sc.  Skip 1 sc, * ch 3.  Skip next sc.  Sc in next 4 sc.  Skip next sc, sc in the next 4 sc.  Repeat from *, 3 times.  Sl st to 1st sc at the beginning of the round and tie off.  Make 5 squares that look like this:

Connecting the 5 pieces, the next step in making the headband, will be covered in my next post.

Click here for part two of the Crochet Headband pattern.

Happy hooking!!

Spanish Tile Jewelry

My most recent jewelry supply order included some great stone chips.  I really like the look of the stone alternating with silver tube beads.  In the past I used mostly glass seed beads to string the pendants on.  Here are some of my newest experiments. 

Spanish Tile With Red Coral and Silver

Spanish Tile With Red Coral and Silver

The first one is a Barcelona Tile design on glass with shiny resin, red coral chips and silver tube beads.  Click on the picture to see the listing in my shop. 

Spanish Tile With Red Coral and Rectangular, Cream Colored, Stone Beads

Spanish Tile With Red Coral and Rectangular, Cream Colored, Stone Beads

The second necklace pictured is also a ceramic tile design from Barcelona, Spain.  I used coral in this piece as well but the chips are branch shaped and the color is more orange-red than the chips used in the first necklace.  Instead of silver tube beads, I used rectangular tube, cream-colored, translucent stone beads.  

Tile Pendant With Oval Green Stones and Silver

Tile Pendant With Oval Green Stones and Silver

The third pendant is my own tile design on brown translucent glass and also coated with a thick layer of crystal-clear, shiny resin.  Oval shaped green stone beads alternate with silver tubes.

The fourth pendant is a Barcelona tile design in pale blue and white.  The stones are clear quartz.

Spanish Tile Necklace in Pale Blue and White Wtih Clear Quartz and Silver

Spanish Tile Necklace in Pale Blue and White With Clear Quartz and Silver

New Catalina Jewelry Finally Finished!

I received the shipment of jewelry-making supplies I’d ordered and regardless of my other priorities, I just had to dig right in.  It’s like Christmas morning. 

Casino Building, Avalon, Catalina Island by Kristy Throndson

Casino Building, Avalon, Catalina Island by Kristy Throndson

I’ve been making Catalina themed jewelry based on my artwork for some time.  I’ve made pendants using miniature reproductions of a watercolor painting mounted on shell but I’ve been longing to create something new.

Catalina Island, Casino Building, Avalon, by Kristy Throndson

Catalina Island, Casino Building, Avalon, by Kristy Throndson

The new pendants I just finished use the same watercolor painting but mounted on silver this time. 

This is mounted using the same method as the original pendants.  The painting is printed on photo paper, cut to size, then encased in a thick layer of crystal-clear, shiny resin. 

The newer version is quite a bit smaller than the shell-mounted pendant at only 3/4″ x 5/8″ but I’ve had people ask for a smaller pendant.  It’s a bit small for my personal taste but I decided to give it a go.  I may try hanging the pendant on silver chain (the pendant in the picture is hanging on cotton cord).  I only wish precious metals weren’t so expensive right now.

Spring Cleaning

I just ordered a ton of new jewelry making supplies in anticipation of summer here on Catalina Island and our Catalina Festival of Art in September.  As a result I figured I should mark down some items in my shop to make way for the new.

Hand Made Crochet Choker Necklace in Ivory with Teal Beads

Hand Made Crochet Choker Necklace in Ivory with Teal Beads

Spring Cleaning Sale at Catalina Inspired on Etsy

I’ll be adding more sale items in the upcoming days and after that, some of the new stuff I’m working on including some Catalina themed jewelry in gold and silver.