Monday, December 27, 2010
We each made one stocking that night, and I made a couple more before Christmas for the boy and the baby. Because we don't have a fireplace, here they are hanging on the stairway with care:
Sunday, December 26, 2010
The pattern is called Bitty Booties and I bought it on Ravelry.com. They weren't necessarily difficult to knit, but I think they just got confusing when I left them for too long and then came back to them and would then have no idea where I had left off.
The pattern for the hat is from the blog Lost the Thread. I used Malabrigo yarn, which I love. The hat doesn't fit the little one yet, but hopefully it will soon!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
My dad made an amazing rocking stand for the basket and then I cut a bassinet mattress to fit the basket, and started to make the bedding. I found a tutorial that was somewhat helpful, but I had a lot of trouble making the fitted sheet. I'm sure it doesn't help that I am not great at sewing and I'm even worse at measuring. Finding instructions for making an envelope-style pillow cover and many emails between the knitting triangle gave me the breakthrough I needed (including one that gently reminded me that I needed to make more than one sheet...apparently babies can be messy).
Even with a few frustrating moments and a bunch of trips to the fabric store, I'm happy with the way it came out!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Let's get one thing out of the way: I have always wanted to have an excuse to etch glass.
Etched pint glasses seemed the obvious direction to move in. A trip to the Dollar Tree yielded twelve shapely pint glasses for $12. No complaints there. A trip to Joanns did not have such success. I was led down a bad path by a sales associate who tried to convince me that frosting spray paint is the same as etching cream (it isn't) and that plastic sheets would work fine on the rounded surface of a glass (it didn't).
Two botched glasses later I was back to the Dollar Tree and then hit up Michaels, the craft store of the gods, where I was rewarded with the proper supplies, although they cost a pretty penny - etching cream ($12), flexible plastic stencil sheet ($7).
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
From the time they are very small, babies love the feel of wooden blocks in their hands (and mouths!), to stack, knock over, push around, etc. Imaginative kids will use blocks as food, as game pieces, as buildings, as virtually anything their little minds can create! That's why I think wooden blocks are one of the absolute best gifts for young children. And handmade wooden blocks? Even better.
I set out to spend $0 on this project. Sure I love my nephew but gift giving is expensive (and of course I bought him clothes, stuffed animals, books, etc etc it never ends!) So I wanted something that was both cheap and handmade.
I started with scrap wood from my dad's workshop, and had him cut it into perfectly square blocks. Then I sanded the blocks which probably took the bulk of my time. But it's really important that they are nice and smooth for little hands. A couple of coats of acrylic paint were thrown on top, and I hand painted the letters of the alphabet. This wasn't a project I did alone either - my boyfriend and I enjoyed working on it together in the evenings.
Finally we coated the blocks with Non-toxic shellac. This was really important considering my nephew is only one and these blocks will spend most of their time in his mouth. In the future I would have made a bag to store them, but I simply ran out of time.
Total actual cost: $5 for the shellac. Not too bad for a toy that should last years to come!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
We're going to her baby shower this weekend, and I just finished making a baby quilt for them from Cynthia Treen's Last Minute Fabric Gifts. One of my other favorite sewing projects (cotton knit animals) also came from this book.
I really like the book--it's organized in sections--less than one hour gifts, one-to-two hour gifts, two-to-three hour gifts, and more than three hour gifts. There are also a lot of sewing hints and tips in the front and back of the book that would probably be very helpful if I would take the time to read them!
For the quilt, I tried to pick colors that would be good for a baby, but also wouldn't seem too babyish. I wandered the crowded aisles of Sewfisticated until I found fabrics that seemed like they would work well together. Here's the quilt:
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The girls were easy as pie to cut - in fact I was able to do it while playing with the kids, which is no small feat. The kids were really excited to be involved too, taking each piece that I cut and matching the fronts and backs together. They stitched up in no time, and the stuffing was made easy by using a chopstick (I'm sure there's some tool for this, but the chopstick worked just fine!).
The next morning the kids came down to three new dolls who quickly earned a special spot in the "stuffed animal" army and were seen running around the house, having a spot of t, and riding dumptrucks.
Now I just think they need some cute clothes, don't you think?
Monday, July 26, 2010
All that being said, the wedding's in a week and the quilt still isn't done. The top is patched together, now I just need to get to the quilting. Maybe sometime this week, or maybe it will be ready by September, just in time for the cooler weather.
The quilt is Denise Schmidt's (who I have ALWAYS loved) Single Girl quilt - a new take on the traditional Wedding quilt. I love that the rings touch but do not intersect each other. I chose the colors based on items on their registry. The quilt involved cutting and then sewing 36 x 16 + 8 x 16 which, if you're not good at math is 704 pieces. Crazy. But fun.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Knitting socks, for those of you who have never tried it, follows a typical pattern, and the pattern is this:
"cuff - leg - heel - foot - toe"
or translated (and here I quote Stephanie) as:
"interesting - boring - interesting - boring - interesting"
It never fails that by the second sock, when I reach the first segment of "boring" I am just that, completely bored. And even if the yarn is some kind of super expensive super exciting self-striping magical adventure, by this point I'm over it. I'm ready for something new. I'm ready to not be knitting socks anymore.
And from this frustration, the greatest idea of all time was born: why not knit socks in pairs?
I don't mean pairs like one sock, two sock.
I mean pairs like two people.
Each knitting one sock. Cutting the "interesting-boring" cycle in half, and therefore the completion time.
Now for some of you (Emma) who pride themselves on precision, this may not be for you. But for those of us who don't mind a pair of slightly-different length and gauge socks, I highly suggest trying it!
You'll need two balls of matching sock yarn (the downside, as most of the time you can create a pair from one skein) and a willing partner. After some disgruntled text messaging arguing over needle size, you can get started! In a few short weeks, an unsuspecting friend can be the recipient of a cool pair of new socks. And you, my friend? You can move on to your next project...
Thursday, April 8, 2010
So really what I'm trying to say here is to try to go to these little yarn stores because you never know what you may find. I visited my local yarn store a few weeks ago only to find a buy one, get one free sale. And this goes for more than just yarn stores, websites to help you find independent craft stores are popping over all over the place (like here). Em also wrote a great post awhile back about shopping locally too.
I've also sworn off Dunkin Donuts but that's another post for another time...
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I dug up an old fat quarter from Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market Collection. I found some wooden balls rolling around in the bottom of one of my art room drawers, and recalled a free pattern Amy Butler had put out a few years back for a fabric necklace. And voila, a necklace was born in about an hour.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
From the very beginning, I pictured a spring theme--with birds and tulips and greens, yellows and whites for colors. It ended up just as I had pictured it.
I had wanted to make stuffed birds as favors using this perfect (and super easy) pattern. In the end, a friend's very crafty mom came through and made ALL of the birds! They were beautiful...
Whenever I have people over, I try to come up with a menu that can be prepped/made ahead of time so I can hang out with guests without having to be dealing with food. I also secretly am not very good at having help in the kitchen, so it's good for me if everything can be done before people arrive!
I went with a chilled pea & buttermilk soup, beef tenderloin with arugula salad, raspberry chicken with baby spinach salad, snap pea and avocado pasta, and a white bean salad (courtesy of pictures & pancakes). H's mom brought a couscous salad with chicken, dried cranberries, pine nuts, chickpeas and other yummy things. Everything was either cooked or cut up and prepped on Saturday, so it all just had to be put together on Sunday before the shower. Besides for making enough food to feed at least 4 times the number of guests we actually had, everything went smoothly! K's mom brought the fixings for delicious bellinis...I had no idea I even liked bellinis!
At the first meeting of the knitting line last week, Stephanie mentioned Baby Shower Bingo. As soon as she mentioned it, I knew I had to have it--I always think the present-opening part is so awkward, and this would give people something to do. I then spent more hours than I care to admit creating the cards...but it was all well worth it--people got very competitive and into it!
I had fun planning and hosting the shower and really enjoyed honoring the mom and baby-to-be!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
That is until I was inspired by an awesome crochet pattern Steph shared with me, along with a begging note to make her the featured earrings. Crocheted earrings? Sounds awful, but take a look before jumping to judgment:
The pattern called for worsted weight yarn, but of course my complete disdain for being told what to do led me to use bulky yarn. They were huge (that's what she said?) and so I made a second pair in worsted weight yarn. They still looked big so I moved onto something that perhaps was Fingerling weight (I say that as if I know what that means) and those were by far my favorite. Tonight I might try some sock yarn and see what I come up with - needless to say these take me about five minutes a pop because I am a master crocheter. If you have some yarn scraps send them my way and I'll whip you up a pair.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
I poured over the beads today at my local bead store looking for something that would go with these lovely clip-on earrings. I left with two strands of purple pearls and a few purple crystals. I ran straight to my art desk upon entering my apartment and instantly got to work. I kept laying out all these options but nothing seemed right. It then dawned on me to take apart the other earring and use those beads in the necklace. And then it just all came together.
To get the necklace started I removed the clip on the back and bent down the attachment. I strung the wire through the holes in the back and used a crimp bead to keep everything together.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
The pattern is a rectangle, with strategic folds and holes punched at the top. I cut out hearts and stamped the initials of my coworkers onto them, and stamped a little message wishing them a Happy Valentines Day. Some ribbon and red fasteners and voila, little valentine boxes to fill with chocolate!
What I love the most about these is the versatility of the pattern - I could imagine them as favors for anything from a baby shower to a wedding, depending on the fanciness of the supplies. Lucky for me I was able to construct these purely from things I already had around the house!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Now that you've made your special someone something heart shaped and homemade it's time to wrap it up. The gift I bought for my boyfriend will not be making it in time... so I figured I should wrap up the consolation gift in something pretty in hopes he forgets about my gift giving faux pas.
I had some white craft paper and these great new letter stamps (which luckily included a heart stamp) so I went to town. Just be sure to center your designs... I also glued some heart shapes made from cardstock on and a cute bow. The only snag was that the paper is a little see through. I just wrapped the gift in some red tissue and it solved the problem.
(I know technically this should be one of the last posts but all my other crafts are in the drying phase)
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
So I am leaving you today with some inspiration. My mom bought this great (and incredibly unique) yo yo wall hanging from a craft fair. And yes, my mother shares my great love of hearts. I'm pretty sure it's hereditary actually.
I will be taking an emergency trip to the craft store tomorrow and will be back with plenty of projects... I have some good ideas!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Also some very crafty women that I work for make and sell their crafts. They just started to add burp clothes and bibs to their inventory so I added those into the gift basket. Everything was a success. Except for the fact that me and a 75 year old woman were the only ones who handmade something. I wonder if that makes me on the cutting edge or really old fashioned...