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.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

warm from my fingers to my elbows

So, it's finally winter here. Snow is blowing around and its colder than...well, let's just say its cold. Partially because of that and partially because they were just really darn cute, I was inspired by these gloves from Anthropologie. They look like plain old gloves, but are extra long to accommodate the uber cute but so impractical 3/4 length sleeve coat. So, I headed out and bought myself some of those "magic gloves" (2 pairs for $1.42!!). Then I dug out my felted sweaters. I've been packing them away all summer just waiting for stuff like this! Here is my first attempt.

Obviously the steps to do this are pretty self explanatory. I sewed the sleeve to the glove on my machine, but then had to hand stitch the bottom of the glove to the inside of the sleeve so it didn't get caught when I put them on. I was hoping the sleeves would magically be the right size and I could just cut them off, but I did end up sewing a new seam up the side (which means they didn't really even need to be sleeves, any part of the sweater would work). I gave them a test run today and they worked fabulously! I have long arms or broad shoulders or something and its really hard to find coats that fit me. The one I have does fit, but when I drive or really extent my arms my wrist get a little chilly! Not any more!! Really these are the perfect combination of gloves and Vallen's wrist warmers from Winter 2006! This post could also be titled, The Return of the Felted Sweater, because now that I dug them out, there will be many more projects!

If you decide to give these a try, and I definitely think you should, please let me know so I can take a look! :)
EDIT: Please take a look at this post for a complete tutorial!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One of the most wonderful, fabulous, amazings gifts...

My wonderful friend Wendy stopped by the other day and brought me the most fabulous gift! I literally jumped up and down screaming. Seriously one of the most thoughtful gifts I think I've ever received. I love it! Right up there with my engagement ring, which come to think of it I think she picked out as well! Anyway, check it out!

Wendy is a consultant for a company called Uppercase Living. If you haven't heard of it you should check it out. They sell words or phrases, etc. that can be put on your wall. They end up looking like they are hand painted, but without all the work. They have a ton of different designs, or you can have them custom done, which is what she did with my logo. She put mine on a mirror, which I think was genius, but does make picture taking a little difficult.

She also gave me a really cool welcome sign and Sydney's name in pink to put in her room. Now I just have to get up enough nerve to hang those up!

In other news, I obviously got my little Christmas tree up and decorated as you can see! And the pendants are slowly filtering into the shop. I hope to continue adding them all week. Here is another sneak peak at them all!

P.S. If you are interested in any of the products from Uppercase Living, please let me know and I will be more than happy to put you in touch with Wendy. Online orders are available as are in-home shows for you local folks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Crafting

Besides going full speed ahead on way too many Christmas gifts, I've been working on a couple little decorations for the house as well. I have a little silver tree for my craft room - just a little something to keep me in the Christmas Spirit. I decided it would be awful to have store bought ornaments on a Craft Room Christmas Tree, so I assembled these. * Please let me apologize for the glare right away. It seems its a bit impossible to take good pictures of glass ornaments. *

Granted they are store bought, but its all my own stuff shoved inside. I believe I saw Mary Ann make a much cuter version of this a while back. So definitely not a new idea, just one that I like and has stuck with me for a while. I tried to use up all the odds and ends of yarn that I have laying around. I'll be sure to show these little guys in action as soon as possible (i.e. as soon as I find the tree and clean up a space for it.)
I sincerely hope you all had a very lovely Thanksgiving. I've got so many things to be thankful for, and you all have sure made my list a whole lot longer since I started this blogging thing (all most a whole year!) I hope your list has grown this year as well, and that our thankfulness can last us through the entire holiday season.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Skirt-Wearing Cutie

Sydney has been in the mood for skirts lately, and I am kind of enjoying it. I'm a sucker for a cute pair of little girl tights and skirts are an easy way to show them off. (Strangely, big girl tights don't seem to have the same appeal for me!) I whipped up this knit number in about 1/2 an hour, if even that. Another great excuse to use my serger! So, I chose the tights, but Sydney chose the shoes!
A note about the title...someone seems to be telling Sydney she is a cutie too much. Lately when she is being silly her dad tells her she is nuts, and Sydney says "No Daddy, I'm a cutie." Oops! Guess we better start telling her she's a smarty!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I just couldn't resist!

After reading this post over at Soule Mama, I followed the link immediately and placed an order. It got here in record time and I am just thrilled with what I got. In fact, I wish I would have ordered more. I ordered all the people, some snowmen, angels, men with caps, Christmas trees, angels, eggs, and of course acorns. Pictured below is most of my order which will be a Christmas gift for Sydney and some other lucky folks.

I'm still debating whether or not I am going to paint any of them. My love for raw wood goes way back, so it will kind of kill me a little to cover it up. But I do have 5 family sets (man, woman, boy, girl, tot) so I will probably end up painting a set and giving away a couple sets for gifts. I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a clever (easy) small doll house for them to live in. I have big plans to make Sydney a large doll house, but in the meantime I want to have something small for these little guys to live in. (I'm open to suggestions here!)

I was drooling over this site yesterday and came across this nativity set. Wouldn't it be perfect? I wouldn't have any animals, but I think I could still make it work. Hmmm....

Edit: The wood shop is called Casey's Wood Products. Here's their site.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Knitting the night away...

When the weather turns a little cold something inside me just has to knit. I am a really impatient knitter though. My favorite needles are 35's. I can make a scarf a night on 35's. And - here's the real shocker - I have a lot of yarn in my stash to use up. You never would have guessed it, right? Ha!

Anyway, I've made these three so far and there will be a lot more to come. All for Christmas gifts. I love giving scarves for gifts. You can never have to many I think.

These were all knitted with two strands of fancy decorative one that doesn't go very far and one strand of Lion Brand Jiffy yarn. I like the Jiffy stuff a lot. They have some good colors, its pretty inexpensive and its the perfect weight to combine with other things. (And I have a ton of it because I stocked up when our Hancocks went out of business!)

Hope you all had a great weekend. Ours was relaxing. I worked on a lot of presents, some of which I hope to show you this week. I also received the most amazing gift from my friend Wendy which I can't wait to show off. See you soon!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

So far so good...

I decided to jump in the deep end of quilting and join Amanda Jean's quilt-along. Here is my first week's block.
It's not too late! Head on over and try it out. Trust me, if I can do it so can you. Plus, its a great use what you have project - another quarter in the jar!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crafting with friends

On Monday my friend Sara and her little girl came over for a play date...for both the big and little girls. Sara and I crafted while the girls played. It was so much fun! We definitely need to do it more often. Sara worked on beaded bookmarks, which were gorgeous but of course I forgot to take pictures of them to show you. I worked on burp cloths for Rachel. (Surprise Rach, they're in the mail!)

And, Sara got my new best friend up and running for me! I bought a serger!! Sara decided to upgrade so I bought her old one from her. It runs like a breeze (I haven't tried to change anything yet) and I am excited to put it to use. Best of all is the free tech support from the previous owner, right Sara? Ha, ha!!
To prepare for our fun crafting day I actually cleaned my craft room. Much to my surprise, it's still clean!! It really is more fun to work on a whole clean table instead of the 6 square inches I'm usually left with. We'll see how long it lasts!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Reggie's Blanket

Last Friday I went to a baby shower for my friend Rachel and baby Reggie. It was so fun to see how much he had grown! What a little cutie!! I have loved watching Rachel transform into this amazing mother. From holding her hand at her 10 week ultrasound and seeing this tiny little being jumping around to now seeing her feeding, burping, and changing like an old pro, I just can't tell you what an honor it is to be a part of her life. I love ya Rach!!
So, here is the blanket I made for Reggie. This lucky little boy has been born into a long line of sports fanatics, so this one just seemed fitting. If you choose to zoom in, you will probably notice this was made from a panel, but I did machine quilt it myself and added the R, made from a vintage chenille bedspread I got at a garage sale this summer (do you hear my quarter clinking in the jar?). Hopefully it will be loved for a long time, just like Reggie.
Tuesday Rachel heads back to the office. I can't imagine what that must be like, because I chickened out before it came to that and ran as fast as I could from my office never to look back! She is very successful at everything she does though, and I'm sure she will be able to find a balance.
Take care my friend, I hope you have as good a day as possible. I'll be thinking about you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Organizing Tips From a Lazy Crafter

Anybody else have this problem?

I was getting really sick of it but 1. I didn't want to buy any new gadgets to fix the problem and 2. I didn't want to work very hard to fix the problem.
So, I worked with what I had, which was this...

And put it together like this...

And made this!

Uh, yeah, ignore the mess okay! It's headed for a corner in my laundry room that I do all my packaging in so it won't get knocked around too much. If you were worried about its sturdiness you could use styrofoam instead of floral foam and put some wood glue down the hole the dowel makes.

So, there you have it. A ribbon organizer that, while not the most beautiful, took me less than 5 minutes.

Oh, and don't forget my running tally - I'm adding 75 cents to my jar for the dowel, foam, and small crock.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pendant Mania

I've been having a blast working on these...
They aren't quite done yet, but soon I hope. I plan to restock the shop with them gradually. They would make great stocking stuffers! :)

Alright, I'm off to get cozy with some poly.

P.S. Yes, it did take me a really long time to get them to all stand up like that. They kept falling like dominos, but I figured that was a good way to show you the backs hence the second picture!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Over the weekend...

I broke out my new glue, my new favorite I think...

And made these...

Fall themed notecards
And thought about this idea Teresa had. She decided to start putting money in a jar everytime she uses something from her stash instead of buying new. Very good idea! I've got 25 cents already! How was your weekend?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Etsy Rocks!

I'm sure you all love etsy just as much as I do. I've had a really good time selling some stuff out there, and I'm currently trying to get some new stuff in the shop before Christmas projects get too crazy around here.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you a shop I found last month. I met Kelly when she purchased the lumberjack bag - remember that one? Well, I actually called it a funky fall bag on etsy since the whole lumberjack thing is an inside joke. The really cool part is that Kelly is a fellow North Dakota girl and is an amazing artist. Please take a minute and check out her shop, her paintings are adorable! I wanted to show you my favorite but I honestly couldn't choose - here's a sneak peak at her shop, which you can find here. Also check out her Sold listings - there are more great pieces there that we already missed out on. She's already added some really cute winter paintings that would surely beat those winter blues. Now how to choose... :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Recap

Hope you all had a fun Halloween! Minnie Mouse (aka Sydney) had a blast. She was very excited to get her costume on and go trick or treating, but of course cried at the first house. She got better as soon as she realized she was getting candy. That's my girl!

The costume was pretty easy...I found the dress at a garage sale this summer, the purse at a thrift store and then made the hat by copying an old navy hat Sydney had from last winter. I'm afraid she might be wearing that hat all winter.

Hope you all aren't too sick of kid pictures today! I had to share :)