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Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend and had a chance to make something even if it was just making memories with all the fathers in your life. Now let’s get right to the point and announce the winner of the Darice 16 inch USA Barn Star! Congratulations to… Rhiannon!

This Darice Patriotic USA Barn Star is a metal, dimensional star with a crackle finish that gives it a weathered look. Stripes are painted red and cream, blue field is navy with white stars. Includes jute cord loop for hanging. Measures approximately 16 3/4 x 16 inch.

The winning answer to “If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate?” is…

“Music. Everyone could just sit around and listen to their favorite music and find peace within themselves.”

Every Friday we’ll post a giveaway on Think Crafts and all you have to do is comment on the blog post answering the question of the week.  Check back on Friday for your chance to win!!

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Happy Friday, and Happy Flag Day! In honor, I thought I would help one lucky reader so their patriotic spirit with this Darice 16 inch USA Barn Star!

This Darice Patriotic USA Barn Star is a metal, dimensional star with a crackle finish that gives it a weathered look. Stripes are painted red and cream, blue field is navy with white stars. Includes jute cord loop for hanging. Measures approximately 16 3/4 x 16 inch.

Question of the week: If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate?

If the comment box is not below, scroll to the top and click “replies”.

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By Crochet Contributor Sara. Follow Sara on her blog, Sunflower Crochet Cottage.

My latest design is a crochet can and glass bottle cozy that can be made up in any color combination or just solids! Enjoy this pattern just in time for the 4th of July celebrations here in America! I plan on making several of these for friends and family to use when they come over.

I also want to make several in other fun summertime colors such as a citrus theme, or a lemonade theme like this one my good friend Helen made:

In fact, she did both photos! You’re awesome, Helen!

I bet you’re ready for that pattern! Let’s dive in!

DESIGNER NOTES

For this pattern, you I worked this in patriotic American colors of red, white, and blue, so you will need 3 colors. I have written the pattern to be worked with three colors but you could simply work it in 1 or 2.

MATERIALS: GAUGE

7 rows and 14 DC’s across= 4”x4” square

SIZING

Finished piece measures approx. 4.5” tall and about 4” diameter, flattened.

PATTERN NOTES

Chain 3 at the beginning of each round does count as a dc. Mark your colors as CA, CB, and CC (color a, color b, color c) unless you are working with just one color. For this pattern, CA is blue, CB is white, and CC is red.

The pattern is worked in the round and slip stitched to the chain 3 at the end of each round. When changing colors, it is easiest to just carry the yarn up the inside of your work rather than cutting off each time. This makes for a lot less ends to weave in.

To change colors: when you are going to work the slip stitch into the top of the chain 3 to end each round, instead of finishing the slip stitch with the current color, do this instead: first, insert hook into top of ch3, next, drop current color, finally, pick up next color and pull thru a loop to complete the slip stitch. Pull tight, and continue the pattern.

ABBREVIATIONS

Ch—Chain
St(s)—Stitch(es)
Dc—Double crochet
XS—Cross Stitch
Sp(s)—Space(s)
Rep—Repeat
to–Repeat the instructions written between the two *
HDC—Half-double crochet
YO—yarn over
CS— Crab Stitch, also called reverse single crochet
MR—Magic Ring/Magic Circle
BLO—Back Loop Only

SPECIAL STITCHES

Cross Stitch—Skip next stitch, work a DC in next, work another DC in the skipped stitch going behind the DC just made. Video here.

Crab Stitch/reverse sc—instead of working to your left like normal, you will start your work in the stitch to the right of your hook. Work a SC in the stitch to the right of your hook. Simple as that. It creates a “rope” edging because it twists the loops together.
Magic Ring—Wrap yarn around 2 fingers, twice. Overlapping the first loop on the underside of your fingers, place your hook under the front loop and grab the back loop, pulling it under the front loop and out. Turn the large loop still on your fingers so that it twists the loop on your hook, chain 1, turn it back the other way. This is also just an enlarged slip stitch. A good video can be found here.

PATTERN

With CA:
MR—ch3, work 10 more dc’s into the ring, pull tight to close and ss to the top of the ch3. (11 dc)

Rnd 2—ch3, dc in same as ch3, 2dc in ea st around, ss to the top of ch3 and change to CB see pattern notes about changing colors (22 dc)

Rnd 3—ch3, dc in same st and in BLO in next st and each across (23 dc), ss to top of ch3, change to CC.

This creates a “ridge”, making it a clear separation of the bottom and of the sides. The visible part of the ridge (the unworked loop) is the right side of your work.

Rnd 4—ch3, XS around (11 XS’s total plus a ch3), ss to top of ch3, changing to CB.

Rnd 5—ch3, XS around (11 XS’s total plus a ch3), ss to top of ch3, changing to CC.

Rnd 6—ch3, XS around (11 XS’s total plus a ch3), ss to top of ch3, changing to CA.

Rnds 7-9—ch3, XS around, ss to top of ch3.

Rnd 10—ch1, CS in ea st around (starting to the right of your hook), ss to beginning of round. FO, weave in ends.

ALL FINISHED!

Now go make a ton of these to have at your next backyard party!

I hope you enjoy this crochet can and glass bottle cozy pattern as much as I do!

Happy Hooking and have a fun 4th of July and great summer!

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By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

Geodes and crystals are trendy, but the prices for such beauties can be astounding.  Astound your friends instead with these amazing homemade geodes, created almost entirely out of a common crafting item.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

To begin, we’re going make the base for our geode.  Cut a circle of parchment paper a bit larger than you want your final geode to be.  Wad it up in a ball, and get it nice and wrinkly.  Open it up, and smooth it out a bit, and place it in your cup, or bowl to form a bit of a cupped shape.

Using your hot glue gun, pipe a bead of glue around the inside of your cupped paper to establish the top edge of your geode.  Fill in the rest of the paper with a layer of hot glue.  Let cool, and then add more layers, until your geode is about 1/4-inch thick.  Try to keep your cupped shape an even thickness.

Let the glue cool completely before you remove it from the cup.  Then carefully peel off the paper, and use your scissors to trim the edge more smooth, and even.  Set aside.

Next, we’re going to carve the largest crystals from hot glue sticks.  Using your utility knife, and carving away from yourself, carve long strips off of the length of the glue stick.  Go slow, and don’t carve too deep–you just want to carve away the rounded edge of the glue stick, and make it look faceted.  Go around the entire stick, so you have long, smooth faces.  Save your scraps!!

Cut your stick into smaller lengths to make more than one crystal from a stick.  Then, use your knife to chop the ends of each crystal into a multi-faceted point.  I suggest looking at pictures of real crystals online to give yourself a better idea of what you want your crystals to look like.

Next, use a little bit of alcohol ink on a tiny paint brush to add some color on the bottoms of the glue crystals.  It doesn’t take much, and the color reflects up the crystal a bit to give it some subtle color.

Now take the scraps that you reserved from your carving, and using your knife, and or scissors, chop them into various sized small pieces.  These will be the smaller crystals in your geode.

The next step is assembling your geode.  Use your hot glue to attach the large crystals you made into a group in the center of your geode.

Next, apply a bit of hot glue around the big crystals, and carefully position some of the larger scrap chunks around.  I suggest working in small areas at a time, rather than putting down a whole bunch of glue at once, and trying to cover it all neatly before it cools.

Continue covering the interior of your geode with your glue crystals, placing the biggest ones toward the center, getting smaller as you move out.  When you’re happy with your crystal placement, give them a thin coat of clear nail polish–it really makes them look more transparent, and real!  Let dry.

Finally apply a layer of hot glue around the outer edge of your geode, and while hot, sprinkle with Diamond Dust.  Tap off extra.

When you’re happy with your geode, paint the back black.  I like to leave a little bit of the center unpainted, because it lets the light shine through the biggest crystals.  Let dry.

Lastly, take a small brush, and paint the rim of the geode with gold paint.

While it’s wet, sprinkle it with gold glitter.  Let dry.

These geodes look amazingly real, and look super pretty on display.  Try making different sized geodes,  try making big crystals using the regular sized glue sticks, or add even more color by glazing the geodes with more alcohol ink.

Happy crafting!

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By Card Making and Paper Crafts Contributor Heidi. Follow Heidi on her blog Blue Scallop Creations and on Instagram @bluescallopcreations.

With the upcoming summer season, I foresee a lot of cotton candy being eaten.  Fairs, amusement parks, the zoo….There’s something so iconic about the paper cone with swirled pink, blue or yellow cottony goodness piled on top.  I was so excited to see that Avery Elle had a cute stamp set called Cotton Candy with lots of fun greetings—perfect for a summertime birthday!

For my card, I decided to do some good old fashioned paper piecing.  I love the 6×6 paper pads Avery Elle offers and I thought Sorbet would be perfect to go with cotton candy.  Using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, I stamped the cotton candy part of the stamp onto the patterned paper using my Precision Press Advanced.

I stamped the cone separately onto some white cardstock and colored it with Tombow markers—Process Yellow, Purple Sage, and Process Blue.  I then trimmed both pieces out with my scissors.

Since the cotton candy fills up most of the front of an A2 sized notecard, I wanted to add a little something as a background to contrast.  This Burlap stencil from Tim Holtz is perfect because it gives just a little texture, but doesn’t take away from the focal point.  I used some gorgeous Shaded Lilac along with my jumbo sponge dauber to blend ink over the stencil at an angle.  I used plain white card stock as my card base.

I stamped the sentiments (also from the stamp set) on to some vellum using Versamark ink and heat embossed them with black embossing powder.  I chose vellum because it has a translucence that reminded me of cotton candy.

I trimmed out the sentiments in strips and added them on top of the cotton candy at different angles.  Tombow tape runner is great for vellum because it barely shows through if at all.

I love how the cotton candy is so big.  It makes for easy card making when you have a large focal point like this.  Changing up your techniques such as using heat embossing with pink powder or even felt or flocking would be some great options.  Thanks so much for joining me today!

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It’s Monday again, so that means it’s time to announce last week’s Free Stuff Friday winner. Congratulations to… Sue W! Enjoy your new K & Company Album.

K & Company Rainbow & Unicorn Scrapbook Album is a post-bound scrapbook album with 10 top loading page protectors. This album has a vinyl shaker cover with large sequins and glitter over the images of: rainbows, stars, unicorns, and hearts. Caption is “it’s a rainbow and unicorn type of day”. Album measures approximately 13 3/4 x 12 5/8 x 1 1/2 inch.

The winning answer to “What Is One Thing You Are Always Losing?” is…

“My credit card. I usually give it to my husband for groceries but then he forgets to give it back or puts it on the counter where it gets buried by papers and mail.”

Every Friday we’ll post a giveaway on Think Crafts and all you have to do is comment on the blog post answering the question of the week.  Check back on Friday for your chance to win!!

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By Card Making and Paper Crafts Contributor Heidi. Follow Heidi on her blog Blue Scallop Creations and on Instagram @bluescallopcreations.

Certain occasions sometimes call for a more formal style thank you card.  For today’s project, I’m stepping a little bit out of my clean and simple comfort zone using lots of shimmery layers and flourishes.

To start, I created a top folding card using some light blue card stock.  I adhered a panel of vellum that I embossed using the Xcut Butterfly Meadow embossing folder over the top.

To create a frame around the vellum, I cut some ½” strips of metallic shimmer cardstock and adhered them with Scor-Tape.

To camouflage the seams of the frame strips, I added some die cuts from the Sizzix Envelope Corners  set.  I love the way they look with the shimmer card stock.

To create a “floating” sentiment over the embossed vellum, I used the Sizzix Thank You die and cut tiny pieces of foam squares to fit on the back.  Nonstick scissors like these Cutter Bee’s are great for this.

Lots of texture and shimmer make this a perfect card for a special thank you.  Thanks so much for joining me today!

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Another Happy Friday to you! We hope you have some wonderful plans for the weekend, but first, lets get to the free stuff! This week I am sticking with the unicorn theme and giving away this super cute K & Company Rainbow & Unicorn Album!

K & Company Rainbow & Unicorn Scrapbook Album is a post-bound scrapbook album with 10 top loading page protectors. This album has a vinyl shaker cover with large sequins and glitter over the images of: rainbows, stars, unicorns, and hearts. Caption is “it’s a rainbow and unicorn type of day”. Album measures approximately 13 3/4 x 12 5/8 x 1 1/2 inch.

Every Friday we’ll post a giveaway on Think Crafts and all you have to do is comment on the blog post answering the question of the week. We’ll pick the winners and contact them via email. Deadline is midnight tonight and the winner will be announced Monday. One entry per person please.

Question of the week: What Is One Thing You Are Always Losing?

If the comment box is not below, scroll to the top and click “replies”.

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By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

Make a small drawstring pack to carry on all your summer adventures.  Perfect for carrying a snack and drink on a bike ride, or carrying your collected rock and stick treasures picked up at the park–not too big, but perfect for taking on all your adventures!

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

Cut two, 15-inch squares from your fabric.

With your first square of fabric laying right-side down, use your iron to press a 1/4-inch hem along both sides of your square.  Sew in place.  Repeat with the second square.

Once again, with your square of fabric laying right side down, press a 1/4-inch hem across both the top, and bottom of your square.  Sew along hem to hold.   Repeat with second square.

Still right side down, fold the top edge of your square down about 1-inch to form the casing.  Press in place, and sew in place, using the 1/4-inch seam line as a guide.  I ran a zig-zag stitch down the middle of the 1/4-inch seam, to add a little extra detail to my pack, but you can just use a straight stitch, if you desire.  Repeat with the second square.

Lay both squares, right-sides together, lining up the casing seams, bottom and side edges–pin as needed to hold everything in place.  Now we’re going to sew the sides together.  Starting just below the top edge, at the casing seam (as noted by the tip of the scissors in the photo),

sew a 3\8-inch seam down the side, stopping 1-inch from the bottom.  Tie off.  Repeat on the other side.

Now sew a 3/8-inch seam across the bottom edge.  Turn the back right-side out.  Cut two pieces of parachute cord that are each 1-yard long.  **NOTE: The lengths of these straps are made to fit an elementary school aged child.  If you want the pack to fit a larger child, teenager, or adult, you need to cut your pieces of cord longer–like a yard and a half, to 2 yards in length.  Err on the side of being too long, because it’s easy to cut the straps down after you’ve tried on the bag, and figured out the perfect length for you.  Melt the ends with your lighter to stop them from fraying.

Stick a large safety pin through one end of your first piece of cord to act as a needle.  Beginning on the left side of the bag, Insert the safety pin into the casing on the front of the bag, thread the cord clear through the front casing, then around through the casing on the back piece, and back out to the left side of the bag.  Both ends of the first piece of cord should now be hanging out the casing holes on the left side of the bag–one end coming out the front casing, and the other end out the back casing.

Remove the safety pin from the first piece of cord, and place it onto the end of the second piece.  Now working on the right side of the bag, thread the second piece of cord through the front casing, around through the back casing, and back out again to the right side–one end coming out the front casing, and the other end out the back.

Now pull the tail ends so they are even, and insert them into the openings you left in the bottom of each side seam.  Push them in about 1/2-inch, and stitch shut.  I went over the seam a couple of times to make sure they were well held in place, since the straps will get pulled on a bit as the pack is worn.

Now put on your pack and go have an adventure!

Happy crafting!

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By Card Making and Paper Crafts Contributor Heidi. Follow Heidi on her blog Blue Scallop Creations and on Instagram @bluescallopcreations.

Happy rainbows and whimsical unicorns are perfect for a little girl’s birthday card.  For today’s project, I used a the Mama Elephant Over the Rainbow set that is chock full of whimsical icons perfect for the birthday girl!

I started off with a panel of white cardstock and blended Distress Oxide Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean all over to create a sky scene.

I stamped and colored in the cute little rainbow and castle using some Versafine Onyx black ink along with my Zig Clean Color Brush pens and trimmed them out with scissors.  Later, I added one of the little unicorns which I colored using alcohol markers.

I trimmed down my ink blended panel and added that to a white note card using foam tape before adding my stamped pieces.

I love this little cluster of the castle and rainbow.  If you notice, the card is very clean and simple, but the design works because the cluster creates a visual triangle with the sentiment strip.  The unicorn also creates a “triangle” with the cluster and the sentiment.

Thanks so much for joining me today!

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