Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If only I had a craft space of my very own!

Stephen is always talking about how he wishes we had a guest house of some sort in the back yard so he could have his own recording studio in it - I guess he thinks I'm too loud to keep it in the house.  However, I saw this today, so now if we ever end up with a little backyard house he's going to have to fight me for it.  Until then I guess I'll just stick with my corner of the guest room.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bag em and tag em

I mentioned in my previous post that I'd used the pretty embroidered brown fabric for another project, so I thought I'd go ahead and share that with you too.  Now presenting, the baggie caddy!


I know we all have millions of grocery bags from the store, unless you are super green and remember to bring all of those tote bags you made with you to the store. No matter how cute Tommy bag is, I never remember it with me, so I made myself a little holder to keep all of my plastic grocery bags in one place.  It's not actually that little, it's kind of big, and right now it is jam packed full of bags.  This is a really simple project, and I put it together looking at photos of others that I saw on etsy and other craft sites.  It's basically just a tube of fabric with an elastic casing at the bottom, a strap at the top, and a little embelishment.  I probably could have done a neater job with it, but I was going for instant gratification on this one.  Total success!

With the extra fabric I made this lovely pillow,

which as it turns out is great for creating temporary tattoos!

What I made for Christmas Gifts

I wanted to make a lot of my Christmas presents this year.  I love thinking about what to get people, and deciding on just the right gift way before the big day comes, so I'm usually pretty good about getting all my Christmas shopping done relatively early. This year I totally blew it!  I don't really know where the time went.  I had so many ideas of things to make and things to sew, but I only ended up with enough time to do 3 of them, and then ended up shopping for the rest a few days before Christmas.  Bummer dude...  Anyways, here are some pictures of the things I did manage to get done:

For my mother-in-law, Suanne:

These things just do not model well!

I'm pretty happy with my tote bag pattern, and I knew that my lovely mother-in-law always has use for tote bags (so do I!) so this seemed like a good fit!  Stephen even helped pick out the fabric! Ok so he didn't actually go to the store with me, but I'd used the brown fabric for a previous project, and Stephen has a love for all textiles involving embroidery, so he suggested I get some more for the bag. It really is a pretty fabric, so I was happy to oblige. I really liked how it turned out, and I hear it's getting a lot of use :)   

For my brother, Mike:

No books were harmed in the making of this project... except this one
I started this project waaaaaaay early.  Like Mega-early.  Maybe as far back as early October.  It was definitely before my birthday.  I had seen a tutorial for a secret hollowed out book (who really needs a tutorial for this, anyways?  It's pretty simple - in theory at least), so soon I was just itching to make one.  So I went to the giveaway book shelf at the library and found the biggest, most boring looking book I could for the project.  Big mistake.  I took it home, whipped out my handy box-cutter, and got to work.  It wasn't long before I realized that my handy box cutter wasn't so handy after all.  In fact, it was broken, dull and pretty much all around lousy.  I closed up the book about a 10th of the way in (if that) put it on my bookshelf, and left it there.  For weeks. I thought this hollowed out book idea was pretty much bust.  Oh well.  It would make a nice 800 page paper weight.
Then I caught a lucky break!  For my birthday I got a very pretty new box cutter (see photo) from my friend Pam.  What a difference!  I whipped through the rest of those 700 pages in no time.  I could hardly believe it.  I made more progress in 30 minutes than I'd made the entire time trying to do it with that lousy old box cutter.  I sliced and diced, glued and let dry, filled with candy and wrapped, and gave that thing away! That's it. I can't give you more details on this book.  Then it wouldn't be a secret anymore.

My niece, Josie:

  The final present I made was this little kitty purse.  My niece, Josie, has a thing for kitties, or so I'm told.  Currently, I think she might be more interested in little houses, pancakes, and car rides, but I may be wrong...
For this project, I was inspired by a felted wool kitty purse pattern I found on lionbrand.com, but soon realized I had nowhere near enough time to crochet a purse before Christmas.  I decided to sew something similar instead.  I sewed on the face with white thread and a thin zigzag stitch.  Then I just improvised the rest of the pattern to make it look like the felted one.  I ended up finishing it in only one night (because I was incredibly stressed out about getting done in time for Christmas).  I hope she likes it!  If not she can always stuff it in the seat of her new trike...

She likes it!

Fashionable Miss Josie, out on the town with her Key-Cat purse - "No Pictures, please"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

I know it's not Christmas anymore.  The decorations are packed away, and the sense of holiday cheer is gone.  It's not a winter wonderland outside anymore, it's just cold. What better time to share some of the great projects I made for Christmas this year?? Other than before Christmas that is...

PROJECT 1:  Quilted Ornament

I came across this project one day when I was really excited about making Christmas ornaments.  I think it would be such a cool thing to have a tree FULL UP with hand made ornaments.  This project takes a little time but it really is simple.  All you need is a styrofoam ball, some 3x3 squares of fabric, pins, ribbon and a glue gun.  Also you have to be able to fold things.  I hope that isn't a problem for you.  I wish I could remember the exact tutorial I used to make this ornament, but I can't.  There are plenty of great ones out there on the internet though, so if you want to make your own go ahead and google "quilted ornament" or something of the like.  I know my star in the middle is a little jacked up and very uneven, but let's go ahead and call it "abstract".

PROJECT 2:  Ribbon tree

This project came off of the Michael's website.  Which happens to be where I bought all of my supplies!  Oh wait - not the glittery red star.  This project is basically the same concept as the quilted ornament, except even easier!!  It's just a bunch of 3" pieces of ribbon, folded in half, and pinned to a Styrofoam cone!  So easy and soooo cute! Here's a picture of all your supplies* (again except for the glittery red star):

*Daiquiri not required 

I was super lucky to come across the red glittery star at Joanns.  I had no idea what to stick in the top of that darn tree, until I found a whole bin of glittery things on wires, perfect for sticking in to the top of a Styrofoam cone!  Hooray for me.  I guess I really wasn't that lucky, just super clever!

PROJECT 3:  Not really hand made ornament


This is not really a hand made craft.  I ordered it using free money I had on Kodakgallery.com.  I did create it myself though...

PROJECT 4:  Tree Stamp
I carved this really neat Christmas tree rubber stamp.  It took FOREVER to carve out all the little spaces on it, but I'm glad I did because I used it for another great project (of which I don't have any pictures uploaded to the computer yet).  More on this later!

That is all for now.  I know I've got some more pictures stashed away somewhere, so I'll put those up a little later.  I hope you enjoy my Christmas projects, maybe next year I'll start earlier though...

Cross stitch update!

Stephen is outside having some "man time" so I thought it would be a good time to try and get a little more posted out here on the old blog!

 A cigar, some scotch, and a book about secret codes - what more could a man need?

I have been quite the busy little bee lately, just not with crafting. Don't worry though! I do have some projects from before Christmas that still haven't been posted.  Remember that cross stitch I started working on at Thanksgiving?  Are you dying for an update?  Well it is your lucky day!  Prepare to be marveled at the amount of progress I've made:

That's it?  Yes I know, it's not much.  Plus this picture was taken on December 6th.  It may as well have been taken yesterday though, because it looks exactly the same.  Oops...  But look at those palm trees!

I guess it will be a while before we're seeing any sunny beaches...