This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Lady with Unicorn Embroidery: Almost at Half-Way Point

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 8, 2017


I’m still working on the never-ending “Lady and Unicorn: Sense of Hearing” embroidery. I’ve just finished the second row of charts, which means I’m just a few rows above the halfway point! (The last row of charts isn’t a full page.)

This piece is 318 x 410 stitches (total: 130,380 stitches), with 133 colours (mostly blends of two strands). It uses about 20 different shades of red. Good thing I don’t mind looking at the colour.

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing


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Hutzot Hayotzer 2014: Flamenco Natural

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 14, 2014


Flamenco Natural, led by Sharon Saguy, appeared on the small stage of Hutzot Hayotzer (Jerusalem International Arts & Crafts Festival), May 11, 2014. Flamenco is quite popular in Israel. If I were tall, skinny, and blessed with excellent coordination, I’d sign up for classes immediately. <sigh!> Flamenco is beautiful to watch and tricky to photograph without a tripod.






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I’m still around…

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 26, 2014

Selfie at Binyamin 10k race

My blog has been on hold because life got a bit busy. I ran in the Binyamin 10K race last month, during a heat wave, at Maale Michmash–no shade, lots of hills. I didn’t run as well as I’d hoped because I didn’t drink enough, but I got a 2nd place trophy. I actually placed third out of four in my category, but the first place winner was one of the overall women’s winners, so the rest of us got bumped up by one position; it’s too bad that the 4th place runner didn’t hang around. She would have gotten a 3rd place trophy by default! I took this selfie with my iPod.

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing

I finished the first row of the endless “Lady and Unicorn: Sense of Hearing” cross-stitch piece. Only a few thousand more stitches to go! 🙂

A couple days ago we returned from our annual vacation, which we spent in Wales and London. Photos to follow. Before too long, I promise…..

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“More is More” Shawl

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 24, 2013

More is More Shawl
After I got back from Prague, I caught a cold. One day when I happened to be at home during daylight hours and felt well enough to crawl out of bed, I photographed a shawl that I finished a couple months ago. Its name, “More is More” shawl, is tongue-in-cheek, because it started out as a Less is More shawl. However, I quickly grew bored with counting to four (four rows stockinette, four rows seed stitch, rinse and repeat) and started improvising. The shawl is knit with Aade Lõng Artistic 8/2 in “lamb.” The yarn is actually a bit darker than these photos appear. I should have shortened the exposure a bit (when I have time, I’ll fix them and replace these photos). It was much softer than the “rainbow” colourway. The shawl starts at one corner, increasing along the top edge, and worked to the opposite corner. Below: a row of eyelets, some random welts, an embossed heart pattern, couple bands of seed stitch, and directional eyelets.

More is More Shawl

More eyelets, an Orenburg-inspired diagonal peas pattern, more welts, and a picot cast-off.

More is More Shawl

More is More Shawl

<More is More Shawl

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Sun-Printed Fern Fabric: A Taste of Summer in the Fall

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 22, 2013

Sun-printed fabric with ferns

I had to share this stunning piece of fabric made by Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes. Pam’s blog is a delicious compendium of crafts, recipes, and gorgeous photography. A few months ago, she created sun-printed fabrics with ferns from her front garden. I have plenty of sun but no ferns or sun-printing supplies. Pam has ferns and Pebeo Setacolor Transparent paints. Eventually the sun made an appearance in her part of the world (yes, even in Oregon) and she created this beautiful fabric. I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to do with it but I love the jewel tones and graceful ferny design. Thanks so much, Pam!

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Tutorial: Diamond Chip Bag Decoration

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 24, 2013


This decoration is an oldie but goodie. You can find tutorials for it all over the Web. It’s an adaptation of the well-known 3D paper snowflake. After this I’ll probably give the recycling crafts a rest because I’m too old to be a Mommy Blogger….

Diamond Chip Bag Decoration


  • Clean chip bag
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive tape

1. Cut the coloured area of the bag into a square. My packet of chips yielded a 7″ square.


2. Fold the square diagonally in half  and then in quarters. You have a little isosceles triangle.


3. Cut from one folded edge of your triangle to the other folded edge, stopping 1/4″ from the edge. This is easier to do with scissors than a rotary cutter. (I turned the folded square inside out so that you could see the cuts more easily.)


4. Gently unfold the square. You should see pairs of angled cuts.


5. Bend the two central points into a cylinder and tape.


6. Flip the piece over and tape the next set of points.


7. Flip the piece over and tape the next set of points, repeating until you’re finished.

8. Tape a piece of string to the top and you’re done!

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Tutorial: Tear-Drop Chip Bag Ornament and Scrap Garland

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 23, 2013


The last two decorations were a bit fiddly even for me, so I came up with a couple easy ones. Fortunately, I have a small stash of clean chip bags, so no calories were consumed in the making of these ornaments. At least not this year.

Remember how I said that you could flatten the creases in the bags with hot water? It’s even easier with an iron, set on “silk.” If you’re nervous about doing this, by all means try lower settings, use a press cloth, etc. Your iron may be hotter than mine and I do not want to be responsible for damaging it.


Tear-Drop Decoration

(photo above)

I think I used a family-size chip bag for this one.

1. Cut a clean chip bag into strips half an inch wide.

2. Cut the strips into the following lengths: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 inches (if your bags aren’t long enough, do what you can).


3, Align the ends and lay them on top of the other, with the largest on the bottom and the smallest on the top.

4. Staple the aligned ends (if they’re a bit too slippery, use a bulldog or binder clip to hold them).


5. Fold the strips in half. with the shortest strip on the inside and the longest strip on the outside, and staple the ends together.


6. Tie a string through the top and hang.

Scrap Tinsel Garland

What else could I do with all those scraps?


1. Cut a bunch of chip bags into 2 x 1/4 inch strips.

2. Thread a large-eyed sewing needle with a long, doubled piece of perle 8 cotton. Let it dangle for a while so that it untwists. Perle 8 can be quite twisty and it’s frustrating if it keeps tangling.

3. Tie a knot to join the two ends. Tie another knot about 2 inches from the first knot, to create a “stopper.”

4. Pierce a piece of chip bag with the needle and push the strip to the knot. Repeat with remaining strips, spacing the strips about 1/4″ apart. While you can thread several strips onto the needle at once, you don’t save much time doing it that way because it’s more difficult to separate them so that they have enough space to twirl and dangle.

5. When you’ve reached the end of your thread (or supply of strips or patience), tie a knot. Tie a second knot 2 inches after the first knot and cut the doubled crochet thread.


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Tutorial: Cascading Chip Bag Decoration

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 23, 2013


This decoration was inspired by a cheap Chinese-made ornament hanging in our sukkah. No, we don’t eat this much junk food–I had to dip into my stash of chip bags left over from a brief fling with gum-wrapper folding (don’t ask). If you live outside Israel, I don’t know whether this will work with your local chip bags. Our chip bags are made of plastic with silver on the inside and printing on the outside.

This project works best with bags that haven’t been creased or folded for a long time. If you only have bags that have been folded (for example, your family never ever consumes junk food, so you had to beg for bags from your unenlightened neighbours and they sat on them first), you can get the worst creases out by dipping them into a bowl of very hot water.

Cascading Chip Bag Decoration


  • 3 or more clean chip bags (wash them with soapy water to get rid of crumbs and oil)
  • Cellotape
  • Sheet of paper (for core)
  • Sharp scissors (and a lot of patience) or rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat


1. Cut chip bags into strips at least 5″ high and as long as the bag allows. This is important because if the fringes are less than 4 1/2 inches long, they won’t hang nicely. They’ll stick straight up like a turkey leg decoration.

2. Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut strips starting about 1/4 inch from the top and extending to the bottom of the strip. If you’re using a rotary cutter, it’s a good idea to move each strip out of the way after you’ve cut it. This enables you to see your next cutting line clearly and to ensure that the strips are cut cleanly. If they’re stuck together, they won’t hang properly.


3. Tape a piece of paper into a tube about 1″ in diameter. I used printer paper because that’s what I had but construction paper would look nicer than white.

4. Tape a strip of fringed chip bag so that it extends over the top of the tube. In the photo below, I taped the fringe with the silver side out, so that the coloured side would be on top when the decoration was hanging.


5. Tape a few more layers of fringe, spacing each layer just below the one above it. I decided that I wanted the bottom layer to be silver, so I taped it to the paper core with the coloured side outwards. (If your secret ambition is to be a cheerleader, you can stop here and shake your brand new pom pom.)


6. When you’ve run out of bags or patience, cut the remainder of core off, just below the last chip bag.

7. Tape or glue a loop to the top of the core and hang in your sukkah.

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Dried Etrog Collection

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 20, 2013


My husband took the furniture out of the sukkah and washed the floor, so I was able to take this photo of the dried etrogs (and other stuff) hanging from the schach (ceiling). I had to lie on my back on the floor and use a wide-angle lens, so it’s better to do this when the sukkah is clean and empty.

Closer view of the etrogs, taken from one end of the sukkah. I stood on a chair.


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Tutorial: Chip Bag Folding Garland

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 20, 2013


This is so obvious that I can’t believe I’m the first to have thought of it. If your family is like mine, you go through a lot of food over the holidays, including munchies like potato chips and corn chips. I was looking at the tinsel sukkah decorations and thinking, “There’s got to be a way to keep all those wrappings out of the landfill.” I dreamed this up a couple minutes ago and did it on my kitchen table, so this tutorial isn’t very polished.

First you need to clean the bags. I cut off the tops and bottoms and cut along the side seam. Then I lay the bag flat on the counter, wash with a soapy dish sponge, rinse, and let dry.

You’ll need at least two bags , opened and cleaned. You’ll also need a pair of sharp scissors and a stapler or tape. (Stapler works best but my staples are missing…..)

1. Fold a potato chip bag (30 gram size) in half and cut off the white section with the (non)nutritional info.

2. Fold the bag again to get a square shape (approximately) and staple the two open edges. Staples are easier and more secure than tape for this stage.

3. Cut alternating circular cuts, almost to the fold. (This will be a bit fiddly, so I don’t recommend this project for very young children because it’s difficult to repair accidental cuts and tears in a chip bag.)


4. Carefully unfold the bag so that it is flat and looks like the one below. Note: I put the tabs on because commercial tinsel garlands have them but later I cut them off because they were unnecessary.



5. Carefully staple or tape the largest rings together and open out the cut bags. You now have a tinsel garland every bit as splendid as the Christmas decorations mass-produced in China. 🙂

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