Knit Knack


Image ID : 69123108
Copyright : sebboy12


There was something about knitting that always appealed to me as a child.  I was enchanted by women who were in the midst of knitting something, and would watch them as they wielded their handiwork on a skein of yarn.   By the time I was eight years old, I was dead set on learning the art of knitting, and since my mother did not know how to knit, I ended up going to the library and borrowing a book on knitting.  I then asked my mom to take me to the local hobby shop, where I purchased three skeins of acrylic yarn: one pale yellow, one ivory, and one navy blue.
I remember studying the illustrations which accompanied the instructions for casting on stitches, knitting, and purling, and I caught on quickly.  And since I was reading a book with right-handed instructions, I learned to knit right-handed even though I am left-hand dominant with crocheting, writing, drawing, painting and eating.  To this day, I knit right-handed.
When I was in my teens and 20’s, I knitted scarves, afghans and a sweater which I proudly wore until the oppressively hot 100% acrylic yarn made wearing it next to impossible.  I didn’t pick up knitting needles again until February of this year.  For whatever reason, I suddenly missed the meditative, repetitive motion of knitting, and decided to tackle a project.  I purchased yarn and circular knitting needles, downloaded a knitting pattern for a cardigan sweater, and started knitting.
I had my heart set on a long sweater duster, so I extended the lower body pattern to accommodate the longer length.  I used the exact brand and weight of yarn which was used in the pattern, but because the extra length was so heavy, the panel stretched out so much that it looked warped.  My hopes dashed for a long sweater coat, I stared at the panel, trying to figure out how I was going to salvage it.  Was I going to use it as a throw blanket?  No, it was slightly too small for that.  I draped the panel over my shoulders and toyed with the idea of a poncho, when I came up with an idea.  What if I fashioned the corners into sleeves?  I began pinning and measuring, and once I figured out a design, I sewed up the panel, creating sort of a kimono sleeve coat.
What do you guys think?

Oatmeal…For Your Houseplants?

I love this recommendation which Tess Panzer makes on her article, “3 Easy DIY Ways to Rescue Your Dying Houseplants” on Yahoo! Makers! She suggests giving houseplants a dose of dry oats every month to provide nutrients. Fantastic!

Original post:

You know how a big bowl of oatmeal in the morning makes you feel like you could tackle anything? It makes you stand up taller, think harder, and focus more clearly. Well, your plant feels the same. Adding oatmeal to your plant’s soil gives it a burst of nutrients, including iron and phosphorous, that will help plants flourish.


2-3 tablespoons Oatmeal

1. Add 2-3 tablespoons of oatmeal to the soil of your plant and water.
2. Repeat every month.

Creativity Through Redecorating


I have always been a creative type, but as I have gotten older, the pragmatist in me has had a tendency to overshadow my creative side. As a result, I very rarely embark on creative projects these days, despite the fact that I always feel a pull towards anything creative, whether it be drawing, suit design, writing, or DIY home projects.

I am currently involved in a complete apartment reorganization and redecoration project which has enabled me to use my creative energy. It has been a challenge coming up with themes and color stories for the various rooms. Though the place is tiny, the to-do list is daunting because I need to maximize the use of limited space on a very small budget. These limitations make it impossible to buy new items of furniture, so I must instead repair and redecorate existing pieces which lack character. Paint, decals, stencils and fabric will be utilized in clever ways in order to add color and character to the space.


It has been a blast figuring out what my client loves in terms of color and design elements, and though her tastes are different from mine, I know that I will create a living space which she will be thrilled to come home to. Stay tuned for the transformation photos once everything is completed!

How To Bling Out Your Own Suit

Originally published on RxGirl on Saturday, 25 August 2012. The original post was published with white text on white background, so the only way to read it on the site is to highlight the text. To make things easier for everyone, I have copied and pasted the article here for you to read.

How to Bling Out Your Own Suit

Most of us ladies love the dazzle of crystals and sequins when seen on competition suits, but such embellishments can be pretty expensive, especially when suits are custom made and crystallized by a professional suitmaker. However, it is possible to bling out your own suit at home as long as you have a somewhat creative hand and a lot of patience. I have endured the laborious process of applying crystals by hand on three suits. Despite the fact that this was very time-consuming, it was well worth it considering the fact that I saved hundreds of dollars by crystallizing the suits myself.

You may be wondering where to purchase a plain competition suit. Good sources are eBay, Jagware, Suits You Swimwear and Chynna Dolls, or you can have a suit made by a professional suit designer (examples are Passion Fruit, CJ’s Elite, TameeMarie) and then apply the crystals yourself. Once you have your suit, you can determine what design you would like to apply on the fabric. You can get ideas from looking at competition images of ladies in suits you like, or you can go to a site like and select a clip art image. After this is done you need to make a copy of the design so that it is the appropriate size for your suit, and also make copies of the mirror image so that your suit design is symmetrical. These prints will serve as templates when you are ready to start mapping out the design. If you are very artistic, you can sketch a freehand design.

The next step in the process is determining the colors, sizes and quantities of the crystals, beads or sequins you want to purchase for your suit design. Rhinestone Depot is an excellent wholesale online site for crystals. I also like Artbeads but the prices are higher. Make sure when you place your order that you order extra materials just in case some of the crystals pop off. Generally speaking, you should only purchase flat-backed stones as they are much easier to glue onto fabric and much less likely to pop off.

There are two options available to you with Swarovski crystals when you are trying to decide how to affix the stones to your suit. Swarovski crystals come in a “Hotfix” variety which already has adhesive on the back, but you will need to purchase the application tool (which looks like a soldering iron) in order to apply the stones. The other option is to get the regular flat-backed crystals and use a fabric glue such as E6000 or Aleene’s Flexible Stretchable Fabric Glue. If you are using very small stones, you should have a pair of small angled tweezers on hand to pick up the crystals. Other supplies to have on hand are toothpicks (for setting a crystal in the exact spot where you want it and for cleaning off excess glue) and a piece of sturdy cardboard large enough to stretch out the fabric in your suit while you are working on it.

To begin the process, line up the crystals on the design which you have printed out. This will give you a familiarity with the design and also ensure that you have enough crystals to create the design. You can also place marks on the fabric with a washable marker so you have some guidelines. Put your suit on the cardboard in such a way that the fabric is completely stretched out. KEEP FABRIC STRETCHED WHILE YOU GLUE RHINESTONES AND ALLOW GLUE TO DRY! If not, the crystals will pop off.

Start at one end of the design, placing a small amount of glue on the back of the crystal and then pressing into place. For smaller crystals, you can use angled tweezers and toothpicks to move the crystals into their exact spots. It is a good idea to switch back and forth from one side to another to ensure your pattern remains symmetrical.

Peacock Suit I Blinged Out!

Most importantly, TAKE YOUR TIME! This will take HOURS and HOURS to do. Trust me, it really takes a while. When I crystallized the peacock feathers on the suit I wore in 2011 (pictured above at the IFBB North American, where I took a First Place finish in Open and Second Place in Masters), it took me a total of 38 hours to complete the work. I had no choice but to keep returning to the project over a number of sessions until it was completed. Then again, there were over 3,000 crystals, so I created quite a challenge for myself.

Once you are finished, you can celebrate your creativity and rest in the knowledge that you have a one-of-a-kind suit!

DIY Vitamin C Face Serum

vitamin-cI am a huge believer in the antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C and encourage its use systemically and topically. Vitamin C (also known as l-ascorbic acid), is fantastic for lightening up brown spots of all kinds, and also enhances the integrity of the skin, making it firmer by boosting collagen production. Vitamin C is also a great exfoliator and leaves skin with a healthy glow.

There are a myriad of cleansers, toners, serums and moisturizers available these days, but many of these products can be quite expensive. One example is Obagi-C Cleansing Gel which is fantastic but which costs about $34 for 6 ounces, so I use Earth Science Clarifying Facial Wash which is about $7 for 8 ounces. I have been using the Eaarth Science brand for years and I absolutely love it!

The vitamin C serums tend to be the priciest of the vitamin C skincare products, so many people will omit this product when I honestly think it is the most important type of product for aging skin. In an effort to help people achieve great skin while on a budget, here is a do-it-yourself vitamin C serum formula you can mix up at home. Some people use glycerin when mixing up vitamin C serum at home, but I find this substance to be troublesome for oily skin, and I am not a big fan of essential oils because they can often cause irritation on sensitive skin. I personally like the formulation below because it is good for oilier and reactive skin types. If you have severely reactive skin, you can use distilled water instead of rose water.

Make sure to purchase a dark glass (either dark amber or cobalt blue) container, perhaps one with a dropper tip or a spray nozzle, to store your serum. The dark glass container is essential for preventing breakdown of the unstable vitamin C molecule. I also advise storing this in the fridge to maximize potency.

DIY vitamin C serum

Dr. Naito’s DIY Vitamin C Serum:

1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C (aka l-ascorbic acid) powder or crystals (you can find this at most health food stores)
1 teaspoon hyaluronic acid
1 tablespoon rose water

If you use crystals instead of powder, make sure to pulverize the crystals well with a mortar and pestle before adding the other ingredients. Mix all ingredients well. This yields about a 6% strength serum. Apply to cleansed skin at night. This supply should last about ten to fourteen days.

If you want a stronger concentration, you can mix the following ratio of ingredients for a 10% concentration of vitamin C. If you experience stinging or burning, return to the lower potency.

Dr. Naito’s DIY High Potency Vitamin C Serum:

1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C powder or crystals
1 teaspoon hyaluronic acid
1-1/4 teaspoon rose water ***note that the amount of rose water used is smaller than in above formulation.