Think Spring: Crafting and Celebrations!

This week, we celebrated the Spring Equinox, also known as the official start to spring. Even if it might not feel that way just yet, now is the perfect time to start thinking about fun spring activities and Easter crafts. Did you know that we have a Pinterest board full of spring and Easter ideas?

Eggcellent Art

No celebration would be complete without some colourful Easter eggs! If you want to up your decorating game, check out How to Make Natural Easter Egg Dyes from Ingredients in Your Kitchen. If you don’t want to mess with dyes, check out this great Sharpie Easter Egg Decorating Idea. And if you’re up for something completely different, how cute are these Unicorn DIY Eggs?

EucalanEasterEggs

Sweet Treats

Whether you’re craving cute sweets or springy treats, we’ve got some great recipes for you to try. Add some flower power to your spring with these salty and sweet Spring Flower Pretzel Bites. Or try these adorably sweet Sparkly Surprise Carrot Cupcakes – ice cream cones give the carrots their shape and hold a cupcake within. And nothing says spring like fresh citrus – this Lemon Ricotta Cake with Almond Glaze makes our mouth water!

EucalanEastertreats

Hop to it!

The animal of the season is definitely the bunny! We found these adorable bunny crafts that would be fun for you (and the kids!).

With some scrapbook paper and spare yarn, you can create this springy Pom Pom Bunny Tail Easter Garland in a Few Steps! Nothing says spring like fresh plants and flowers. With just a few crafty materials you can make these adorable Tin Can Bunny Planters and add some fresh flowers to brighten up any room. And if you’ve got some single socks without mates, check out these cute No Sew Sock Bunnies!

EucalanHopToIt

Spring Ahead

Bring a breath of spring indoors with a touch of flowers! We love this this DIY Spring Planter Box, but if your flowers aren’t blooming yet, try these Pretty Peonies Made of Cupcake Wrappers. Or, add the smell of spring to your home with these 7 Amazing DIY Scents!

EucalanThinkSpring

We hope you enjoy your spring! Like this post? Pin it!

EucalanThinkSpringPintGraphic

Crafting and Caring for Baby Wraps with Eucalan

Although the practice has been around for ages, we have seen a resurgence of babywearing in recent years. Babywearing is the practice of carrying your infant or toddler on your body using a carrier or wrap.

From Babywearing International: [Babywearing] is a traditional practice in many cultures that is not widely used by modern industrialized societies, but it nonetheless has many benefits for both children and caregivers. Babywearing promotes bonding, supports breastfeeding, can help combat postpartum depression, makes caregiving easier, and can be a lifesaver for parents of high-needs children. Carried babies sleep, feed, and grow better. One study found that carried 6-week-olds cried 43% less than other children.

Recently we have seen an interest in hand-making woven or dyed wraps. Whether you purchase or craft your own wrap, keeping it clean and fresh is where Eucalan can help!

Caring for Baby Wraps

Eucalan is gentle enough to use on baby items, and it’s especially great for washing nursing bras, diaper covers, and other baby items, including baby wraps. When considering scents, Eucalan Natural (unscented) and Lavender are great choices for baby things. Not only are both gentle on their delicate skin, but the fragrance of lavender oil promotes relaxation and is very gentle in the Eucalan formula.

To wash your baby wrap we suggest the following steps:

Step 1: Fill your sink or a bowl with cool water and add one capful or one pod of Eucalan in the scent of your choice.

Step 2: Add your baby wrap to the sink or bowl, and let sit for about ten minutes, lightly agitating the water.

Step 3: Drain the water (no need to rinse with our no-rinse formula!) and gently squeeze out extra moisture. Roll the wrap in a towel, and then lay flat to dry away from heat or direct sunlight (which could cause shrinking or discolouration).

Crafting Your Own Baby Wraps

If you are a crafter who’s been contemplating making your own baby wrap, we’ve got some great ideas for you on our Oh Baby! Pinterest board.

For handweavers, there are tons of projects that would make beautiful woven baby wraps. We particularly like How to Weave a Baby Wrap. This comprehensive post covers everything you’ll need to get started as well as some tips and tricks the author uses when weaving. If you’re a weaver and looking for more project ideas Interweave Knits has an ebook: Handwoven Presents: Baby Wrap Ebook.

If you’re itching making your own baby wraps, but don’t have a weaving loom, there are many other crafty ideas for creating baby wraps. We love this post from Mommy and Love, Sew & Hand-dye Your Own Woven Baby Wrap for Cheap. She covers how to select fabric, sew it into a wrap, and then how to dye that fabric to create wonderful colours you’ll love. The No Sew DIY Moby Wrap Carrier over at Rookiemoms is a bit of a misnomer, but only requires a machine for hemming edges!


We hope you enjoy these tips on how to create and care for baby wraps!

Like this post? Pin it.

3 Crafty Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is next week and if you’re still scrambling for sweet ways to celebrate the day, we’ve got a Pinterest board full of great ideas! If you’re short on time, here are a few of our favourites to inspire you:

Paper Crafts

Are you scrambling at the last minute to make cards for your child’s class, or perhaps need a card with just the right sentiment for someone special in your life?

These adorable Penguins by Housing a Forest are perfect for kids, just grab some construction paper and clear your afternoon to assemble! For party invites or a special card for your sweetie, we love these Hand Hold Heart Pop Up Valentine’s from The House that Lars Built. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out these crazy cool cards with clip-art and pop up templates (via Martha Stewart).

EucalanCards

Don’t forget the decorations! We adore this Valentine’s Day Heart Cards Garland by Happiness is Homemade.

Valentine+Banner+Card+Garland+Mantle

Say it with Sweets

Nothing says love better than making delicious sweets for your sweetie! These Valentine’s Marshmallow Pops from Glorious Treats look mouthwatering. If you’re baking with little ones, try these Heart Shaped Peanut Butter Cookies from The Semisweet Sisters – no rolling pin or cookie cutters required! Short on time? Check out these Conversation Heart Pretzel Bites by Two Sisters – a quick zap in the microwave and you’re ready to roll. Add a cute touch to prepackaged candy with these adorable Hershey’s Kisses Mice by Practically Functional.

Eucalan Sweets

Yarn Love

It’s not too late to whip up something crafty for yourself or someone special, even if you don’t knit or crochet! Here’s a simple idea virtually anyone can do: pick up a few letters at your local craft store and cover them in yarn (use a hot glue gun to secure the ends!). If you crochet, grab your hook and get going on this Valentine’s Day Mug Cozy by Rebecca Langford, warming your sweetie’s heart and his or her mug. If you have time and knitting needles, whip up a few Valentine’s Pouches from Lion Brand to hold sweets, treats and lovely cards. And if your love transcends the zombie apocalypse, try your hand at Voodoo You Love Me? By Susan Claudino.

EucalanYarnLOve(1)

We hope you feel inspired to craft a few sweet treats for Valentine’s Day. From all of us at Eucalan to all of you, we wish you a day of love and fun!

Like this post? Pin it!

Copy of EucalanSpoilYourself

Spoil Yourself January: Top Tips for Self Care

The holiday rush is over, the New Year has started and winter is here to stay. This month we’re taking a look at self-care and how to spoil ourselves with a few moments of peace, quiet and comfort. Get inspired to find a few wonderful moments for yourself this January with the ideas below!

Making Time for You

Even if you’ve got a million things to do, making time to refresh and revitalize is important. We have a Pinterest board full of great ideas for self-care that will fit into virtually any schedule. From making bath bombs in K cups (or purchasing and using them), to doing a short digital detox, to just drinking more water, we’ve got tons of ideas on how you can relax and refresh this month.

Meditation and Craft

Many people find knitting or crocheting soothing and meditative, a time to rhythmically make stitches and forget about the stresses of the day. There are plenty of beginner-friendly projects to make and use to pamper yourself (if you’re brand-new to crafting, check out VeryPink’s videos on basic knitting techniques, if you’re itching to crochet we love this post on Craftsy/Bluprint).

We love handknit (or crocheted) washcloths paired with yummy artisanal soaps for a luxurious end of the day routine – try Water Lily by Sybil R, Bodhi Leaf Washcloth by Julia Farwell-Clay, or the Jazz Age Washcloth by Jenny Catchings to get you started!


Getting Hygge With It

Hygge is a Danish concept that generally means a comfortableness or coziness with feelings of contentment and well being. Practically speaking, the Danes add things like candlelight, plush pillows and throws, and good books to their cozy home life in the winter months when days are short and nights are long. Add a scented candle wherever you linger in the house, or take time in the evening to cozy up with a blanket, a mug of your favorite steaming beverage, and a good book. Treat yourself to some quiet moments where you can feel warm and secure. Add some hygge to your life!

Don’t be afraid to spoil yourself this month – you deserve it!

Like this post? Pin it!

7 Activities to Celebrate Autumn

Crisp fall days are almost here and we want to make the most of them before we get snowed in for the winter! Whether you call it fall or autumn, today we’re sharing a list autumn activities that we look forward to each year. We hope some of them will help you celebrate the changing of the seasons!

  1. Have an apple picking party! Take a picnic lunch full of tasty nibbles and a few of your best friends and head to a local apple orchard to enjoy the crisp autumn weather, and fresh apples. When you get home, start thinking about apple pie, apple butter and caramel apples, or any of your favourite treats. If you want some more ideas check out An Apple Picking Party from My Name is Yeh.

  1. If you’re in an area where the seasons change, make the most of the beauty around you and take a drive to watch the leaves change into brilliant colors. Collect some of those fallen leaves to bring home with you and create any number of crafty projects like this Fall Leaf Wreath from The Cards We Drew.

  1. Stay indoors and make hearty fall soups! When the weather outside is rainy and cool, warm up indoors and make the house smell amazing by putting together a fall soup. Whether you prefer a squash bisque or a hearty stew we’re sure you’ll find something to try in House Beautiful’s 50 Most Delicious Fall Soups.

  1. Have a bonfire party with s’mores! There’s no better way to enjoy those chilly fall nights than outdoors with friends and a roaring fire. Make sure guests young and old have something sweet to toast over the fire with the perfect DIY S’mores station.

  1. Head to the local pumpkin patch. Pick pumpkins to carve, wander through a corn maze, do activities with the little ones, and take some fabulous family photos. When you get home, roast pumpkin seeds for a tasty autumn snack!

  1. Craft for autumn! Make Cinnamon Scented Pine Cones, Fall Luminaries, a Fall Leaf Canvas, or an Autumn Handprint Tree. Knit an autumn scarf or hat, or a blanket to cozy up with by the fire using inspiration from our Pinterest Knits and Knitting board.

  1. Try a new pumpkin spice recipe! Savor these Pumpkin Donuts, make your own Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte, serve up a delicious breakfast with Pumpkin Spice Waffles, or get fancy with these Pumpkin Spice Macarons. The only limit is your imagination!


We hope we’ve given you some inspiration to plan some autumn activities to enjoy with family and friends. If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate the season, we have a Pinterest board full of crafty ideas, recipes and fun ways to enjoy the crisp autumn air.

Like this post? Pin it!

Wet Blocking Knits: Tips and Tricks

There are lots of different ways to block knitted and crocheted items, but they all share many similarities. Here are some fantastic ways to block your knits- and you’ll definitely pick up some new tips. We’ve been fortunate to have some great reviews and love from all sorts of crafty bloggers, and we thought it would be great to share the tips and tricks for blocking your knits that have featured Eucalan!

How to Spray Block Your Knit and Crocheted Items. The Spray technique is a great way to cut down on drying time dramatically. Read all about it here.

Top Tips for Blocking Your Knits, from the famous London Loop yarn shop. Especially great tips for blocking lace, and swatches.

3 Different Ways to Block Your Knits – knits that need to be seamed, items made in the round, and the speedy steam blocking method- all great techniques.

How to Wet Block a Sweater, from Flax & Twine. Wet blocking larger items like a sweater takes a bit of effort, and this is a great step-by-step.

Knitting Expat has a great tutorial on how she wet blocks her knits, and her towel method for removing excess water after wet blocking is a must-do.

How to wet block a hat- hats can be tricky, but this is a great tutorial. With a little bit of guidance, you can do it!

Speaking of wet blocking hats,  knitted tams have their own challenges – here’s a great tutorial on wet blocking a tam (you need a plate!)

Are there any blocking tutorials you would like to see that we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments!

Like this post? Pin it!

 

Making Rag Rugs – Tutorials and Tips

Have you ever tried making a rag rug? They are perfect for recycling old clothes and fabrics, and are easy to make. Fall is a great time to cozy up with a new crafting project like this! Here are some of our favourite tutorials and ideas to make your own rag rug this fall:

This is a great no-sew version, and reuses old t-shirts:

If you want to try a crochet version, you can make a beautiful doily floor mat rag rug:

Here’s a colourful idea that uses up lots of bright t-shirts:

Looking for a simple woven rug? This one is probably perfect:

Want a fluffier rag rug? This is a cute version for a kid’s room:

If you have a lot of old denim, you can make some amazing rag rug crafts, like this runner:

Rag rugs can also be done in a limited colour palette, and by wrapping fabric around rope, like in this great tutorial for the rug below:

And who says these techniques can only be used for rugs? Check out this great tutorial on making storage baskets, using the same process:

Looking for more rag rug ideas? We have a Pinterest board full of them! Find it here.

Caring for Your Rag Rug

When you spend time crafting a rug, it is worth taking some extra care when washing it, even with Using Eucalan in your washing machine with a rag rug, set your washing machine to the delicate cycle  and run as usual. You may need to add an extra spin cycle if the rag rug is dripping wet when you take it out. Smaller rugs can be hung to dry, but larger rugs should be laid flat to dry, turning them over regularly to ensure even drying.

Like this post? Pin it!

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Best of Eucalan: Our Top Spring Posts

Ah, spring! A time when everything feels fresh and new, or at least you want it to feel that way! Spring is indeed a great time to freshen up your home and wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean it has to be all work. Here’s a round-up of our top spring posts to get you in the mood to freshen up your wardrobe, your home, and your routine!

Click here for great Tips for spring cleaning your wardrobe.

Click here for the best tips for spring cleaning your home to get it feeling airy and fresh.

With Earth Day upon us, here are 4 ways to celebrate Earth Day all year round.

But it’s not all cleaning – you have to make time for a bit of fun! Click the links below for crafts, recipes and fun decor ideas.

Washi tape tutorial to upcycle old Eucalan bottles

Think Spring – Time for a bit of fun!

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without our most recent spring post, all about the best way to shift your wardrobe from winter clothes to spring.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Meet the Shibaguyz

The-Shibaguyz-Together-2--July-2015_with_watermarkWe are proud to sponsor Shibaguyz Designz, a company that integrates fashion design, crochet, knitting, photography, and graphic design all under one roof. The design studio is comprised of  Shannon and Jason, who live in Seattle, Washington with their three Shiba Inu. Today, we interviewed Shannon to learn more about this duo’s many creative endeavors.

How did you learn to knit? Crochet?
All the members of my family were makers, from knitting and crochet, to woodworking and quilting, it was expected that we all learn some kind of art. Although all of the women in my family crocheted and knitted, my grandmother was the strongest influence in getting me started. The first actual memory I have is of sitting next to her on the couch and her teaching me to make bookmarks and circles that turned into hats. Pretty much anything I could do to hang out with her made it okay with me. The first projects she taught me to make were those little spiral bookmarks and “draft dodgers” that you put at the base of doors and windows. Then there was the year that everyone got a pair of slippers from me because I had learned to crochet, knit, AND sew.

You know how it goes… first it’s an innocent bookmark, and then, suddenly, you’re the only guy in your class who can make thread lace doll dresses. Wait… was that just me?

I have to point out here that I’m an only half of the Shibaguyz. Jason is also very creative and, besides being the talented photography and graphic design genius behind four of our books, he is also a FAB spinner, he sews, cooks and has just started weaving. He is one of only two people who do the finishing on all of our designs… me being the other person. We make a great team… if I do say so myself…

Jason at Work

Jason at Work


What is the process like for creating a new design or collection of new designs?
I start my process one of two ways: I’ll either sketch the design, something that’s been wandering around in the corners of my brain waiting to be born, then I’ll start looking for the fiber and stitch pattern that will create the fabric I have in mind. The other way happens when I’m swatching for a new design and create a fabric that I LOVE but might not be right for that particular design. I’ll file that fabric swatch away (or keep in on my desk to remind me that I like it) then think about a garment that this fabric will work perfectly for.

It all comes down to the fabric for me… the fabric created by the yarn and stitch pattern must match the vision of the final garment in my head… crochet or knit… it’s all down to the fabric.

Cables and Lace Tunic

Cables and Lace Tunic

What is the best part about being a multicraftual team?
The best part?  Nothing is out of reach… whatever pops into my head I can do. Crochet a dress, knit a pullover, piece together a throw quilt, or sew a shirt.  There are no limits… and with Jason being able to spin, weave, and cook like a four-star chef we pretty much have it all covered!

What is your all-time favorite Shibaguyz design?
That’s a bit like asking Carol Brady which of her children she loves the most… I just can’t answer it. I love something special about every design I make. I love to look at the texture of the crochet stitches in the T-Top from Crochet Geometry as much as the delicate thread motifs from the Motif Maxi Skirt from Designer Crochet or the simplicity of my knit “Cowl Neck Poncho.” Each is completely different (like Cindy, Jan, and Marcia…) but for different reasons and I derive little pleasures from seeing each detail and each nuance of the designs.

That said… I will admit that the designs from my last two books, Crochet Geometry, and Designer Crochet, are designs that I’d saved for my own publication instead of selling the rights for. Some of the patterns are designs I’d been thinking of making for years but just couldn’t bear to part with them. So I kept them until we met the right publisher and we had a chance to put them into our own books the way we wanted them to me presented.

Crochet Geometry and Designer Crochet, both by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby

Crochet Geometry and Designer Crochet, both by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby

For our readers who might not know, tell us a little bit more about the Shibaguyz Designz Studio.
Shibguyz Designz is comprised of myself and Jason, my husband. I’m a fashion designer specializing in crochet and hand knit fabrics. Jason is a photographer and graphic designer. Together we fill in the areas to make one cohesive whole…

Jason’s studio is on the 2nd floor of our townhouse. He has a plethora of camera equipment, and graphic design tools strewn about… you’ll also find Atlas, one of our Shiba Inus, sitting on a chair close by as Jason is rarely allowed out of his visual range.

My studio is on the 3rd floor (what once was a spare bedroom). Right now my studio looks like… like a department store the day after a clearance sale. I just finished up with our previous book so everything I needed to have on hand to finish it is close by. I have sketches hanging on the wall pinned with swatches, bins of rejected swatches sitting on my rocking chair (I LOVE rocking chairs!) and couch (where the other two Shibas, Apollo and Dallas, keep me company), inspiration yarn on the shelves next to me along with test yarn, test patterns, my empty coffee mug (that reminds me, I need to make more coffee), and a couple of chocolate bar wrappers that I think are empty now (that reminds me to tell Jason I’m out of chocolate). On my desk you can find paper with calculations, reference books, more swatches (I swatch a LOT) and somewhere in there I have a computer… surrounding me there are dress forms with muslin mock-ups draped on them, stitched projects pinned to blocking mats. All in all, not bad.

There was a joke going around for the longest time about our ‘Yarn Tub.” We have a guest bath outside my studio door that acts as storage for yarn once my inventory gets a tad bit much. Jason occasionally teases that I need to crawl in the tub and take a yarn bath. I’ve considered it more than once (don’t judge me).

The Shiba Pupz

The Shiba Pupz

Why do you prefer Eucalan to care for your finished designs? Have you discovered any other uses for Eucalan outside of the yarn world?
There are so many reasons I use Eucalan… First, when creating fabric from yarn, which is what we as stitchers do, I have to know what the final product will be like once it is washed. Remember that many fibers can’t take a lot of abuse and the fact that Eucalan, being a gentle wash that does not have to be rinsed and can be left in, is perfect for everything I do from blocking swatches to washing completed garments. The no-rinse factor also makes it perfect because it cuts down on processing time when we have a LOT of swatches to block or garments to finish. Bottom line, the product works… it cleans with a minimum amount of stress on the fibers.

Second, I am scent sensitive and have some contact sensitivity “issues” with my skin. Most commercial fabric washes have artificial fragrances added which cause me to break out or have problems breathing… not a good thing for someone who likes to breathe. When we spoke to the folks at Eucalan about this and found out y’all use natural fragrances derived from essential oils, we were hopeful. When we actually used the products and they didn’t affect my breathing or my skin, we were downright doing a happy dance. The fragrances are mild and leave everything just smelling fresh and clean.

Shannon Teaching Knit Fit 2014

Shannon Teaching Knit Fit 2014

And funny you ask about other uses. We travel around the country a lot teaching at events and fiber festivals. Sometimes packing enough clothes for both of us along with teaching supplies, camera equipment, shoes… gotta have our shoes… can be an issue. On a recent teaching trip to STITCHES West, I had a mishap with a tall flat white and one of his shirts needed washed out. Jason had packed one of the Eucalan Getaway Gang travel kits in my bag so I gave it a try. LOVE LOVE LOVE how easy it was to just rinse out my shirt while I got ready for dinner that night and the shirt was ready to go the next day without a stain. THEN we were on an airplane to Pittsburgh and you know those little half and half containers they give you with your coffee? This particular one was under pressure and spewed half and half all over us in tiny little droplets. Those nifty little Eucalan Wipes took care of the droplets and didn’t stain my favorite traveling jacket (dark blue linen blend… yeah… shoes and suit jackets… it’s a thing with me). We’ve used the wipes on stains on the couch and even just used some on a damp cloth for larger spills on a chair when we didn’t want to get out the big cleaner with that weird hose. No rinse… no stain. Yes… we’re big fans. We travel a lot and we live with three very active Shiba Inu so we have plenty of chances to put Eucalan to the test. Eucalan fits perfectly into our studio and our life.

FIligree Lace Tunic by Shibaguyz Designz

FIligree Lace Tunic by Shibaguyz Designz

Washi Tape Craft Ideas to Upcycle Your Empty Eucalan Bottles

How to upcycle empty Eucalan bottles with Washi TapeWith Earth Day just around the corner, we found ourselves thinking about creative ways to repurpose the everyday objects around us – and, as you can imagine, there are quite a few empty Eucalan bottles in our recycling bin. Recycling is great, but why not upcycle them into something fun & useful instead? Here are some ideas for creative ways to reuse empty Eucalan bottles in both our small 100mL and large 500mL sizes:

  • Pencil holder (works best with the large bottle)
  • Small flower vase
  • Organizing office supplies such as paper clips, push pins, and binder clips
  • Great containers for craft supplies, too – buttons, safety eyes, notions and other small items commonly used by crafters
  • Starter for seedlings for your garden
  • Flameless candle holder

…the possibilities are endless!

Follow these simple steps for making your washi tape containers with your empty Eucalan bottles:

How to upcycle empty Eucalan bottles with Washi Tape

First, assemble your supplies. You’ll need some empty Eucalan bottles, plenty of washi tape, and some strong scissors.

How to upcycle empty Eucalan bottles with Washi Tape

Next, decide how tall you want your finished container to be, and make a score mark so that you know where to cut off the top of the bottle.

How to upcycle empty Eucalan bottles with Washi Tape

Next, carefully cut off the top of the bottle.

How to upcycle empty Eucalan bottles with Washi Tape

Now for the fun part! Begin to wrap your  container in washi tape in concentric layers or bands, starting at the bottom. You could even alternate washi designs to create stripes!

How to upcycle empty Eucalan bottles with Washi Tape

When you reach the top, add one final layer of washi tape with the top half above the edge of the container. Cut the tape at intervals so that you can fold it over the top edge to create a neat finish.

http://eucalan.com/

Ta-da! Now you have  lovely containers to use however you like!