Hippie Modernism: Cranbrook Art Museum

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Friday nights are always better when there’s an art exhibit opening to enjoy. Shelli and I headed to Cranbrook Art Museum this past Friday to check out their latest exhibit, “Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia.” As members we were treated to a first look at the exhibit before its official opening.

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Growing up with parents who were teenagers in the late 1960s, I felt a strange nostalgia for my parents’ stories while looking at the pieces throughout the exhibit – I loved it. “Hippie Modernism” is a fantastic blend of prints, installations, experiences, and 3D objects. And lots of delicious crochet…

“Hippie Modernism” is on display at the museum now through October 9.

Washi Tape-Decorated Beer Bottle Holder

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For our beer-loving friends, Nick and I love to put together a custom selected offering of favorite beers for the lucky recipient. However, it’s always a challenge trying to wrap these tasty gift; we recycle all of our cardboard carriers and they’re always branded to a specific brand or brewery. While selecting a collection of beers to present to a pal of ours recently I realized it was time to invest in a stash of plain kraft bottle holders to use for situations just like this.

You can find many cardboard carrier options online, but I really like these 4-pack holders available on Amazon.

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I love the kraft paper because it’s just waiting to be decorated in washi tape! (At least that’s what I like to think…) The plain cardboard can be stamped, painted, taped… you name it. I added lines of diagonal washi tape on this particular gift. Try decorating the sides, adding matching gift tags, etc. It’s all up to you and what you think the thirsty recipient will love most.

A Zombie Terrarium for Dad

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What do you get your Halloween-loving dad for Father’s Day? A DIY zombie terrarium, of course. For this year’s big day I presented my dad with a terrarium I made for that was all about zombies.

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What I love about building terrariums is that the basics don’t really change from project to project, but the design does. I used a shallow bowl I found at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts as the vessel for this terrarium. It’s size was ideal for letting the taller plants stand out against all the zombies. I used a small fairy garden fence accessory, also from Jo-Ann, in the terrarium. It was a bit too bright to be hanging out with zombies, so I gave it a quick rub of dirt to make it a bit more “appropriate.”

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The plants for this terrarium came from my local English Gardens nursery and they fit in perfectly. I used two different types of moss to spill over the sides of the terrarium. And the zombies? Those came courtesy of an Amazaon Prime delivery.

Once all the finishing touches were in place, it was time to present to my dad. Needless to say, it was a hit.

Baby Blankets Galore

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This spring I decided it was time to finally, once and for all, learn how to knit. I used to knit with my grandmother when I was little and had, unfortunately, forgotten the basics as an adult. I’ve dropped into workshops and beginner classes over the years, but it wasn’t until I combined a Purl Soho how-to kit and a Woolly & Co. weekly workshop that I finally got it – I feel like a knitter.

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I started at Woolly & Co. in the Tuesday workshop early this spring. When I first stepped into the Birmingham shop I was in love – so much beautiful yarn, lots of places for groups of fellow newbie knitters to gather, and a great team willing to help me on my knitting journey.

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I wanted to start out really, really slow at workshop, but the awesome team encouraged me to try a two-color baby blanket from Spud & Chloe. Their Bundle Me Blankie is made with their Outer line and is deliciously chunky, on a perfect baby scale. I felt overwhelmed, but I was ready to try.

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As I was working on my first project during workshop, I kept small projects with me to practice at any time of the day. Whether it was breakfast en route to work or a Sunday afternoon outside in our backyard, I found time to keep practicing.

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Slowly but surely, my very first project came together. I learned knew stitches and figured out how to identify mistakes. I tried hard to keep pushing on to keep the project moving.

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And then… my very first project was done. I couldn’t believe – an actual knitted item!

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Since then I’ve made more blankets and tackled new projects. I’m proud to say this – I’m a knitter.

Pattern Tested: Purl Soho’s Railroad Tote

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During my trip to New York this month I made sure to pick up the supplies needed to make one of Purl Soho’s railroad totes in Robert Kaufman’s Denim in Colored Motes. The fabric is heavenly, especially after you wash it.

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With so many Purl Soho projects, this was a delight to create. The pattern was easy to follow; my only hiccup was not getting a better grasp on the small bias tape, but that’s an ongoing (YEARS ongoing) of working with the medium.

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The tote is a really convenient size for toting around your work goods or a craft project or two. It’s easy to care for as you can put in the wash and simply press it flat once it’s dry.

Keep an eye on Purl Soho’s Create section of their website; sign up for their newsletter to have new projects sent directly to your inbox.