Wednesday, December 26, 2007


We are back! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. Ours was wonderful - spent with lots of family, filled with tons of food. I'm still trying to unpack, clean, set up my new computer, etc.... This time of year really makes me feel like "spring cleaning" for some reason. So hopefully there will be lots of changes in our house, our diet, this site, etc. in the next weeks. A big job all around, but I feel ready.

As promised, here is one of the gifts you haven't seen, though you have seen something similar. After I made the "house bag" for a cousin Sydney was obsessed with houses and had to have her own version. I was happy to oblige.

Alright, back to cleaning!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Wrapping it up...

We are taking off this afternoon for a very long weekend of Christmas, splitting our time between our 2 families. So, I guess time's up! I got pretty close to finishing all the things on my list. I stretched my brain and did a little math this morning...over 70% of my gifts were at least partially handmade! I'm pretty proud of this fact and honestly I can't wait to gloat to my husband about it. All that money I saved surely has paid for my new laptop by now, right? Anyway, it sure doesn't seem like I could have possibly shown you all of those gifts, so I think I will be doing a little gift roundup after Christmas. Maybe we can all get some ideas for next year and start early - right? :)

Before we take off I thought I would show you my wrapping theme for the year. It's simple, but I like it. I found the brown craft paper at my grocery store on sale for a quarter a roll!! Someone must have screwed up when they placed the order or something. Regardless, I stocked up. I paired it with a minimal amount of colorful grosgrain ribbon and tons of string (which I got at the thrift store). The ribbon goes a lot further this way, and I used enough string that the recipient could actually use it for something else (hopefully). So, its eco-friendly and frugal! Most of the tags were made with a stamp from the dollar section at Michael's. And that's it! As much as I love the presentation of a gift, that is what I get sick of the fastest. I think my goal for next year is to start wrapping much earlier.

I wish each of you a very merry Christmas filled with love and peace. I am so thankful for each one of you. I'll be taking a little blog break until next Wednesday. Can't wait to catch up with you all then!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Procrastination Productivity

I seem to be scrambling a bit this week to get things done. I can procrastinate with the best of them, but I usually kick it into high gear when the pressure hits and it all works out okay. Well, this week it backfired a little. I've been feeling like crap since last Thursday, and my brand new spankin' laptop came today. So, I'm kind of ready to be done with the whole "to do list"! It will all get done though, it always does.

Here's what I wasted time on last week! I adore this winter scene fabric and have been trying to come up with a good use for it. It's new home is in our downstairs family room. All from the stash of course, and the bottom row is leftovers from a quilt my sister made me that lives on the same couch! I like that this fabric isn't too Christmasy so it can stay out all winter.
All right back to work.

Aahh, I keep forgetting to tell must check out Mary Ann's latest project "Indie-pendence." It is a very cool new blog where she features indiependent artists. Feminine Addictions was featured on Monday, so scroll back a little if you want to read about little old me. Nice work Mary Ann!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mini Books

Wow Tuesday already...where did the weekend go? I really did get a ton done this weekend, just not a ton finished. Soon, hopefully soon. I did get this little gift done though. My niece K is 10 and absolutely loves to write stories, so when I saw the cute little handmade books making the rounds out there I knew they would be perfect for her. (Basically you sew down the center of the paper to make the booklet - don't try too many sheets at once! My sewing machine complained a little after about 6 or 8.)

They really only took minutes and it was a great excuse to pull out my scrapbook paper and play! I also included some plain labels to decorate for the covers.

And its wrapped up in the good Ikea paper, because K knows things like that are important. I'm a good influence wouldn't you say? :) I got her several other gifts, but I think this one might provide some immediate entertainment on Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Long Glove Tutorial

I received a comment today from a new reader that needed a little clarification on the long glove idea. Can't blame the poor girl really. I went back to read the description and it is lacking a little in the detail department. However, in my own defense, I had no idea so many people would be reading it! And so, I would now like to add a few details.

First, choose your gloves. I say, the cheaper the better!

Second, choose a coordinating sweater.

Decide how long you would like your gloves to be and cut the sleeve off the sweater accordingly.

Put the sleeve on inside-out. (I like the cuff on the end so you have a nice finished look and they stay up better.) Pin the sleeve so it fits snug on your arm. Careful, don't poke yourself!

Follow the pins and sew a new seam along the sleeve.

Try it on and make sure it works, then trim away the excess fabric.

Next, put the glove inside the sleeve so the right sides are together and the edge of the cuff and the raw edge of the sleeve match up.

Pin all the way around, stretching the glove a little as needed.

Now things get a little tricky. First set your sewing machine to a large straight stitch (on my machine I use a 3.0 whatever that means!) Since the glove won't fit around the arm of your machine, fold the edge of the sleeve/glove towards you as shown.

Decided where you want your seam to be. I think if you sew above the "cuff" of the glove it looks more like they go together, in the middle of the cuff gives the pieces more separation. Either way is great, its totally up to you. Once you've decided this, stick the sleeve/glove under your foot and lower the presser foot. Now make sure you only have one layer of sleeve/glove under the foot. Slowly sew around the circle, stopping occasionally to shift everything and continue to make sure you aren't sewing through too many layers.

Turn right side out and try it on. You'll notice quickly why you need to do the next step! Fold the sleeve portion up to expose the raw edges. Hand sew the edge of the cuff of the glove to the raw edge of the sleeve. I use a quick and simple whip stitch. Be sure to keep your hand inside the sleeve while you are doing this so you can make sure you are only catching one layer with your needle.

And ta-da! They are finished. If you want them to be! I think it would be fun to embroider on the glove or the sleeve to help coordinate the combo. This brown-orange pair especially could use a little something I think!

So, there you have it. If you still can't get this to work (and who can blame you with these instructions!) you could try this alternative.

On this set, I sewed up the side seam in the sleeve as I did above, only this time the sleeves are a bit longer to cover your hands. Then I just cut out the spot my thumb was trying to stick out of and they were done. I added a little stitching around the edges to make them look a little more finished.
These work great over gloves or on their own.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

sweaters for the table

I made this table runner for my friend Wendy for her birthday, which was several weeks ago. Typical me I'm afraid. [Surprise Wendy! You should receive it in a day or two!] Anyway, I really like it, I hope she does! It is just 6" wide sweater pieces sewn together. To try and prevent the wonkiness I used some spray adhesive to sandwich the back to the sweater front and that helped a bit. I did some quick stitches in the seams and bound it in some brown wool fabric. I like winter decorations that last through Christmas and I think this will work well for that.

P.S. New pendants have been added to my shop! This is it for 2007, hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sweet Little Sweater Slippers

These sweet little slippers were made using Joanna's pattern at Stardust Shoes. I made them quite a bit smaller with the hopes they would still fit this little guy this winter. They are made from felted sweater (of course) and some leftover plaid from the stash. They are so sweet and easy to make, these are definitely going to be my go-to gift for babies.

I'm hoping Becki has received them already, otherwise - surprise Becki & congratulations!!

P.S. Because of the thickness of the wool and because I intended for these to be slippers for a very small baby, I skipped a lot of the extra layers that were called for in the pattern. These are made with just the wool and the plaid fabric - no interfacing and no fancy fabric for the soles.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The stockings were hung...

Well, for now anyway. Sydney likes to take them off the hooks and try to wear them. But, they are done at least! We haven't all had matching stockings since Sydney was born, and I figured it was about time. So, I hit the sweater stash again. Are you guys getting sick of felted sweaters? I hope not, because I could seriously post every single day this week about them. If fact, I just might do that, unless you all revolt and scream "no more wool!"
Mine is the cabled cream one in the middle. I love that one! Some day I will embroider our names on them. Maybe in July, or maybe just in time for Christmas next year. Ya, that seems more likely.
Hope you all had a good weekend. We were on the road for an early Christmas with some extended family. All the gifts I made were a hit (book bags and scarves, of course) and somehow we all survived 12 hours in the car!! I'm ready for a cozy week at home.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Winners!

Thank you all so much for coming to my party!! It was great to have so many of you drop by - both new and old visitors! Thanks for all your kind words. And now, the winners are....

The winner of the Christmas bag of goodies is Sarah N.

And the winner of the bamboo pendant is futuregirl. I'll be e-mailing you both today for your addresses.

Thanks for playing!
Oh, but wait! Did you think the giveaways were over? Oh, no, I've got a little bit more fun up my sleeve, but you're going to have to work a little harder for this one!!

I was scoping out a favorite closeout shop of mine that is going out of business last weekend. I finally splurged on these old embroidered appliques that I've been eyeing for a while. There are bags and bags of these. Pictured are just a few examples.
They were 1/2 price and I just couldn't resist. The problem now of course is that I have no idea how to use them. Do you have to sew around them? Do you have to cut away the fabric after that? There isn't any adhesive on the back or anything. Anyway, if you've got any insight, leave me a comment. Or if you have a clever idea on how to put them to use, leave me a comment. One commenter will win a big pile of appliques!!
As the applique says....

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's A Celebration!

Welcome to my 1 year Blog Anniversary Party!! So glad you could make it. First of all, I can't believe its been a year. It really has been a great year though. Honestly, I think I've created more in the past year than in my entire life, and I really think that is all thanks to my blog. It is a great motivator! "Meeting" and getting to know each and every one of you has been a thrill! And I look forward to meeting even more of you in the coming year. I hope you all know how much you mean to me, so lets just get to the fun!

Of course, this party would be nothing without some prizes right? Make sure you leave a comment! Your name will be in the hat for one of these...

A festive holiday bag chock full of Christmas fun! If this bag doesn't get you in the mood for Christmas shopping, nothing will!
(The scale of the bag looks odd here - it is hanging on a child's chair.)

A reversible bamboo pendant make with Indian paper!

Both items handmade with love by me to say thanks! Thanks for reading, and commenting and making me feel like I am part of the best community in the world. You guys are the best!
So all you lurkers and feed readers, hop on over an leave a comment!! Send your friends, the more the merrier! Comments made through midnight on Wednesday, December 5 will be in the drawing.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Today, a couple variations on the book, t-shirt, bag idea from Friday. These are all gifts for cousins, so a little smaller gift was okay.

First up, a girl version:

The tote is made from a very dark-washed denim. The straps are from a recycled belt. The patch on the front is a pocket this time.

Second, a fabric applique version:

The book I chose for this gift is amazing, but the illustrations are a little abstract and didn't translate well to the project. So I decided to try to make a replica of the house in the story out of fabric and felted wool. I am in love with this bag! I need to wrap it soon so I don't try to keep it for myself! (These would be great for those of you without access to a scanner!)

Third, a wee one version:

This is for a very little one that might not appreciate a book bag just yet! The bib is from Ikea and comes in a package of 5, I always buy a set when I make it there. They wash up (and bleach) really nicely and work great for quick gifts.

So, there you have it! I really love it when one idea inspires more and more ideas.

A couple other things...welcome to those of you that are coming over from the CRAFT blog! And a special thanks to Sarah for point them my way! Also be sure to stop by tomorrow as it is a very special day and I guarantee there will be lots of fun going on here!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Boy Oh Boy

In the midst of all my gift making, I wanted to share this one with you. I have a couple nephews on my list (ages 3 & 4) and find them not only hard to shop for but hard to make for as well. I am trying really hard to make as many presents as I possibly can this year so I really didn't want to give up and get the latest noisy scary gadget that's out there for boys. So I came up with the idea for this project - books with coordinating t-shirts and book bags. Books are one thing I never feel bad spending money on. I created a sort of play-by-play for you in case you're interested.
First, pick out a fun book (I headed to the bargain section at B&N)

Scan in a clear picture of the character. Crop it and make the background transparent. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it takes a lot of time with you, your mouse, and the eraser tool in your photo program. I think its worth it to have a clear background though.
Print the picture on this stuff (in mirror format).
I try to put as much stuff on each page as I can as they are a little pricey.

Choose the fabric you want it on. I chose to iron it onto white fabric and then add that to the shirts and bags as a sort of patch. Iron any wrinkles out of the fabric and remove any lint, string, etc. before ironing on the picture. Follow the instructions on the package for the iron-on paper.
After this I trimmed the fabric and sewed around it a couple times. I decided I wanted to have the edges fray. You could always turn under the edges if you want.

Then its just a matter of sewing it on! I stocked up on these t-shirts this fall on clearance at Target (96 cents!!!). I would have rather used heat-n-bond to attach this, but I didn't think it would be a good idea to iron over the picture.
The book bags are simple, unlined, with serged seams on the inside.

And there you have it. Hope this gives you some ideas for gifts for the kids on your list. I've already got plans to make a couple more for some little girls!
P.S. It's possible I may have some copyright infringement going on here. So, don't try to sell anything like this. I'm hoping this gets the kids really excited about the books, so hopefully the author wouldn't mind too much.