Monthly Archives: July 2011

Calling All Crafters

How many times have you been in store, picked up something that costs twice as much as it should, and said to yourself, “I could make this”?

Yet that weekend do you go to Joann or Michaels and buy what you need to make it? No way! (If you do, kuddos. Stop reading now.)

Since life is busy and stressful and sometimes it’s nice to do mindless things, how about a craft tutorial day at the house? Invite your friends, learn how to make some cute projects, take them home, and socialize!

Here are some ideas I have so far…

Mason Jar Lantern

 

Paper & Felt Flowers

 

Fabric Mirror

 

Bottle-Cap Magnets

 

Braided Headband

 

Glass Tile Pendants

Toot toot for grown-up craft days…because we never outgrow projects, they just get prettier.


Bag-a-holic

Now friends. I don’t buy many things for myself because I’m, well, stingy. I walk by things at the store and say, “Oh I love that!” only to keep on going because I don’t need it. But the one thing I have such a hard time resisting is a good purse. Fossils are my favorite but I also love Lucky Brand.

The first projects I wanted to attempt for sewing were purses. I found a tutorial for a knot tote here, which claimed it took under a half an hour, (“yeah right,” I said to myself) and I was so glad it took a mere 3 hours – that’s like a record for a newbie such as myself!

Super easy, no mistakes, love it, but I wish it was bigger. I might have cut it too small since the pattern piece was kind of wonky, but that’s an easy fix.

And judge all you like, but I edited all of these photos like there was no tomorrow because it makes my stuff look not so…homemade.

I love the book Bend the Rules Sewing, and I’ve been eye-balling the purse in there for a couple of months now. Here’s my attempt.

Question to you all…when it says “press 1/4″ and sew,” how do you press it so that it’s a perfectly straight line? For the straps (thank you photo blur), they’re all uneven because I couldn’t get it straight when I ironed it. Yes, I even used a ruler. Does this just take practice or is there a trick?

Thanks for your patience and support as you suffer through my beginning projects, and thank goodness for picnik.com


Baby Blocks

I’m hoping if I post this, it will inspire me to finish the few sets I have sitting on my craft table waiting for me.  We’ve had some house guests the last couple of weeks and I’m out of my rhythm so I’m looking for some motivation!

This is my favorite gift to give to friends who are having babies.  Unless they’re naming them something like Jeremiah, Alexandra or Stephanie.  

I came across this idea from a pattern at a quilt store and thought this was too easy.  I use 6 inch squares that I sew together.  I fill them with polyfil and occasionally a cat toy for a jingle or some plastic for a crinkle.  These are just a few samplings of many sets I’ve made now.

They really are super easy and make such a unique baby gift.  I also try to match the colors I use with the colors/theme of each kids nursery.  And the best part is, kids love them. I’ve seen many babes enjoying these blocks.

So, if you’re one of my many pregnant friends, think of names like Bo, JR or Ann when naming your kids please!


Forces United

At long last, Mama Snod and I were together again for a cake decorating extravaganza. It was epic. It was stressful. It was inspiring. It was exhausting.

My son turned one and she flew out to do the cake with me, because that’s how this whole friendship started: cake experiments. The party was on a Sunday and we got right to work on Friday, which was a good thing too.

Enjoy the progression of a two-tier cake that included strawberry cheesecake filling, homemade fondant, German chocolate gooeyness, and cake spackle.

My son’s smash cake on the left, the white cake bottom tier, and the German chocolate cake in the back. All done Friday and put in the freezer.

Fillings, frostings, and spackle. Thanks to my sister-in-law, pastry chef extraordinaire, for all of the cake tips.

The midst of the Saturday madness…lunch eaten on the go, as you can see.

Getting closer…all red and blue pieces made of marshmallow fondant.

The finished products! E’s smash cake on the left and the main cake. I saw the cake toppers online for $35 made out of clay so I decided to try my hand at them. For a fraction of the price I made a pretty good replica.

It was a great weekend and I’m so blessed she came out to essentially be put to work. Blogs are great ways to stay connected and feel apart of a greater community, but it’s so nice to do things together with an actual person. So thank you, Mama Snod, for being such an inspiring friend and helping make E’s day so special. Toot TOOT!


Big Machine…Little Projects

I just celebrated a birthday and as a wonderful gift from my husband, I got my first brand new machine! It’s the Sewist 500 by Janome, and even though I had a little sticker shock, I’m happy to have gotten a quality machine that will last for a while.I got to work right away, excited to try one of the many tutorials from all of our favorite websites. “This will be easy, right? There are step by step photos and I’ll bust out a cute purse by tonight…easy.”

HA.

My high hopes, unrealistic, results-oriented self learned a sobering lesson yesterday afternoon: I am the definition of novice.

I made a headband from Craft Buds as something to do during my son’s afternoon nap. Around 10pm that night (don’t worry I took breaks to feed him and actually be a mom) I got my headband!

But I felt unaccomplished so I googled sewing tutorials for beginners and found this pin cushion pattern.

Lets just say I’m not quite sure yet of how the mechanics of putting something together works…as you can tell.


After cry/laughing, I soldiered on to finish this.

I know, I know, impressive…I’ll be opening my Etsy account soon so you can find more great products like balls of scrap thread, finished strips of bias tape, and square pieces of fabric.

As my sister-in-law reminded me today, however, I just got the machine yesterday and maybe I should have a little patience. How many years, after all, did I knit scarves and ONLY scarves?

So here’s to learning something new – that’s the whole joy, frustration, delight, and craziness of crafting, right? I hope my small attempts grow into bigger and better projects, but until then, I’ll be taking orders for pincushions and other small pieces of square fabric.


Bugs!

What little boy doesn’t love to play with bugs?  I know mine do!  I thought Little E-bug would also enjoy some bugs.

I didn’t have any patterns to go from, but used this fabric as my inspiration.

I really struggled with the eyes. I thought that a french knot would do the trick but they weren’t big enough.  So this is what I ended up with.

Complete with a bug bag!  I used the same pattern as here with a few adaptations.  



Curtain Call

We’re having an influx of visitors this summer.  We love having visitors but have had them sleep in some interesting places in our house.  After inheriting an extra bed this spring we decided to convert our toy room to the guest room for the summer.  Our first must was curtains to cover all five windows in our round room!

It was actually my sweet husband that suggested that I simply sew the curtains, even after this post and surprising the project didn’t take as long as I had thought.  All I needed was my iron and my sewing machine.  I didn’t use any fancy hems, so they were easy to pump out before our first second guest arrived.  We bought our fabric from Ikea on sale and the total cost was about $30.  Not too bad for five curtains!  And a much welcome break from the 4:30 am wake up call from the Pacific NW sun.