Cuoghi hosted the May Ladies Craft Beer Society meeting, the last at her Ohio City house before she moves to Chicago 😦
This month’s project incorporated one of Cuoghi’s favorite crafts — felt flowers!
April showers bring may flowers
Cuoghi was kind enough to do some prep work the day before so that the meeting could focus on hot gluing felt flowers into existence (and drinking beer.)
Boards cut to size
Sanding (hello, little tomato plants!)
Stenciling a watering can
Speaking of beer, the theme for this month was “Something floral, fruity, or citrusy”
Craft time! Provided the full instructions here:
Buy wood, I used a 1″x8″x4′ and a 1″x6″x5′ pine and used a saw to cut them into equal portions. Most hardware stores will cut them for you as well.
Sand down the rough ends and stain (per instructions on the can, I used Espresso from Minwax) if you want, you could also paint them here too. These need to dry for ~8 hours
I made a stencil out of a piece of poster board for the watering can and filled it in with spray paint using some white Krylon Primer I had around the house
Felt! You need whatever colors you are interested in. You will be amazed at how many different, more natural looking, colors felt comes in! Your local fabric store is a great place to start but Etsy has plenty of sources for this too
Gather you hot glue gun and glue sticks and scissors as well as any extra paint or paint brushes
For flower patterns, I purchased these and then used other pictures online for inspiration.
Assemble each flower with hot glue and then glue to the board. Recommend some ice water for your fingers in case they come in contact with the hot glue.
Once done, attach frame hook to back of wood. Could also drill holes and string with ribbon or twine to hang.
Thread the strings as a bunch through your copper coupling.
Use your clear hair elastic to secure the threads at the base of the copper coupling, then wrap more crochet thread around the elastic to hide it. Tie in a good strong knot and trim the ends. Then trim the ends of the thread bunch to even them out.
Next, we strung the copper coupling onto the hemp cord and checked it out in the mirror to decide on a necklace length. Style Bee recommended 19″ but most of us went a bit longer than that after seeing the example.
Cut the hemp cord to your preferred length, then add tape to each end (we used black cord and black electrical tape – nice because it was stretchy!) to keep it from fraying.
Then, get to work on the jewelry hardware. We had to thread the split rings onto our crimp beads and lobster clasps, and then use the needle-nose pliers to scrunch them onto the ends of the cord. I didn’t get any good pictures of this, but you get the idea!
So cute, so easy, and only $4 a pop for supplies.
Now, onto the beers.
Not pictured, but definitely enjoyed: Rhinegeist Cougar.
This weekend, LCBS will be convening for our April meeting (and hoping dearly that spring actually starts to take a foothold here in Northeast Ohio.)
Betsy is hosting this month’s meeting and has chosen a fun hardware-store jewelry craft: Tassel necklaces (directions via Style Bee).
While we’re assembling these chic accessories, we’ll be enjoying our favorite “wheat/whit/white/blonde ales,” per Betsy’s theme this month. (Fun fact: Did you know the tops of wheat stalks are called tassels? Very apropos.)
Here are a few editor’s picks for beers:
April 2018 Ladies Craft Beer Society: Hardware Store Tassel Necklaces
Last week we presented you with a highlight reel from 2015, including a meeting where we made a whole lotta pickles (and pickling spice mix to take home). Our host from pickles month, Cuoghi, was kind enough to send me the details I couldn’t quite dig up, which she adapted from a number of sources.
Sure, it’s not really cucumber season right now, but as Cuoghi reminded me: You can pickle anything!
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 dried bay leaves
2 whole cloves
2 T mustard seeds
2 T whole coriander seeds
2 T black peppercorns
2 t whole allspice
2 t dill seeds
2 t caraway seeds
2 t chili flakes
Take cinnamon stick and either crush with a knife, jar, or rolling pin. Same with cloves. Tear bay leaves into very small pieces. Put all ingredients into jar and keep sealed.
Now, to put these to use, here’s a few cucumber pickles recipes. Both make about 1 quart jar of pickles.
6-7 kirby or pickling cucumbers
1 c white vinegar
3/4 c water
2 T kosher salt
1 T pickling spices
3-4 fresh dill springs or 2 tsp dried
optional: 2-3 chopped garlic cloves, chile flakes, sliced jalapeno, you can add another teaspoon of dill seeds if you like them really dilly
Cut up cucumbers and put in clean jar and add optional items.
In a medium sauce pot, put everything else stir, bring to boil so that salt is dissolved, pour over cucumbers, seal jar. Let sit out for about an hour, then refrigerate.
Bread and butter pickled cucumbers:
About 6-7 kirby or pickling cucumbers
1/2 small yellow sweet onion, thinly sliced or chopped
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar (could go 3/4 if you like them sweeter)
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
Slice cucumbers about 1/4 inch thick. Add to clean jar along with onion. In medium sauce pot, put in everything else, bring to boil so that salt and sugar are dissolved and pour over cucumbers. Place lid on jar and let sit for an hour or so, then place in fridge.
Both of these are good for a month in the fridge. Although the lids on these jars may seal and “pop” when you open them, they are not technically canned and have to be refrigerated.
It’s been a long winter, and after the shower we all realized how important our monthly gatherings do to help us reconnect. The crafts are always fun (if not always a smashing success), the beers are cold and delicious (if not always universally enjoyed, because one or the other of us seems to always be pregnant), but the one running constant is the friendships we’ve built along the way.
If you’re looking for a good excuse to make new friends or grow the bonds of your existing friend group, may we recommend starting a craft club? It’s really easy.
Here’s our very first tutorial —
How to Craft a Craft Club
Your club should consist of friends and acquaintances you admire and/or would like to get to know better. Obviously, we’re a ladies craft beer society, but you don’t have to stick to that formula, if you know some men (or non-gender conforming individuals) who would have fun wielding a glue gun and a can of beer.
Feel free to reassure any dubious invitees that they don’t have to be particularly crafty or creative. It’s just fun to play around, get a little messy and experiment with different projects.
Our members also periodically invite guests to meetings, which is always fun.
Meetings and dues
Each month, members take turns hosting. The host selects the craft (usually based on a seasonal theme, though not always. Pinterest is, of course, our go-to source material for craft ideas.) Pro tip: We have found over the years that short, easy crafts (or at least ones that you can start at the meeting and take home to finish) work best, because we’re often busy talking and eating for so much of the meeting.
The host is also responsible for acquiring supplies and setting dues for that meeting (just to cover supplies.) We try to keep most of our crafts to $10 or less per person.
You could set up some sort of supplies account and have everyone pay an annual dues to cover all crafts, but we’ve found the à la carte approach to be the fairest and easiest way for everyone to just pay for what they can actually attend. We also periodically end up with “stash buster” type crafts where we use up supplies previously purchased and left over from other crafts.
Sometimes we’ll ask attendees to bring their own scissors, or glue gun, or item to upcycle for the craft. Speaking of bring your own…
We also pick a beer theme each month. This could be a beer style (such as “farmhouse ales” or “sour beers”) or a theme like “brewery you’ve never heard of.” And while “craft beer” is in our name, sometimes the weather is just too nice not to make sangria. Of course, if your friends are more into wine, or tea, or kombucha, you can adjust your club as appropriate.
Everyone usually brings a six-pack and/or a snack to share. Usually the host ends up with a fridge full of leftover beer and at least two types of hummus to sustain her for the next week. It makes up for all the paint stains and glitter mess.
That’s it! We told you it was easy.
Stay tuned, because our first meeting since launching this site is coming up soon. We can’t wait to let you in on one of our meetings!
Going forward, we’ll be posting meeting updates that highlight our monthly crafts and beer features. In the meantime, here’s a highlight reel from the first four years — starting from 2014. Special thanks to Melissa, Nicole, Emily, Cuoghi and Cari for their Instagram foresight (and willingness to share.)