Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall is welcome here!

A few weeks ago summer came here in Washington. It did not last very long. Fall is here now. It has been raining and the temperature has dropped. 

I was looking forward to this season, I think summer was long enough. 
I wanted to make a wreath to hang by the door (I can't hang it on the door) that felt like fall.

I am loving all the yarn wreaths I have been seeing so that is what I made. 

Wreath form

Super easy to make. All you do is wrap the yarn around the wreath. I did it very smooth and even but you can do it any way. I think messy looks good too. Wrapping this wreath took me a LONG time. I used hot glue to hold the start and the finish. 
Once it was wrapped I cut out a bunch of squares of felt. Diamonds would have been better but I was not about to measure anything. (This wreath has been in progress for two plus weeks, just needed it done) I alternated the colors and used a dot of glue to hold them in place until I wrapped it.

I wrapped the yarn in both directions, that is what gives the argyle look.
I like the way it turned out. If it was a bigger wreath form I would add something to it like this owl wreath. I am super glad I pinned it when I did because it is not there anymore:(

There are so many awesome wreaths out there. Be sure and check out my wreath board.

And now, just for fun...

Love having chickens!

You can usually find me linked up to some or all of the parties on my side bar and here

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In case you don't know what to do at the table

I finally finished my signage for the kitchen! It has been a work in progress for a while. I have seen other bloggers tell people what they need to do at the table and now I did it too.

I bought cardboard letters at JoAnns and found some nifty scrap book paper that matches the curtains I made (perhaps will show them in another post).

I don't think directions are needed but just in case, I painted the outer part of letters black and traced the letters on paper.
I modpodged the paper to the letters and after letting them dry for about 2 weeks.
I used an exacto knife to clean up the edges and sanded them.
 They are not perfect. I tore some of the paper on the 'A'. But I like how rustic they turned out.

I found the utensils on Craigslist more then a month ago and had plans to paint and distress them a bit. After sitting in my bedroom for too long one of them broke. I opted to glue them and leave as is just so I could finish it. They are kind of distressed already anyway.
I am glad to have this finished. There are so many other things I want to make and now I can move on to them.

Here is the finished product:
 I need to find something to put in the little area below the letters. 
What do you think?

You can usually find me linked up at the parties on my sidebar.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A belated birthday

So, last month was my bestie's birthday. Being the slacker that I am she did not get a gift from me on said birthday. Not for my lack of wanting though, I wanted to make her something and it needed to be something that she NEEDED and would use. Alas, I was stumped.
This is us on Mother's day

 Sure, I have made her things. When I was making all those coin purses she got one. I made her a purse for Mother's day. She does not use said purse. Just sayin. I really wanted this gift to be meaningful. I bought fabric that she was eyeballing with the intent to make her another purse. But then I thought about the first one and did not want to make her something she would not use.

She has been interested in my sewing projects and wanted to try but she was afraid she would be no good. Last week she found a machine she really liked on Craigslist. She talked to the owner and he traded her straight across for an old dressmaker she had. So..she started to sew. She went straight to the patterns and made her son a pair of boxers and a pencil pouch. The pouch was without a pattern. The other day when we were at our other house Joann's she found a pajama pattern and some material to make for her daughter. 

I know, it seems as though I have no point but I do. I had been listening to her tell me about her notions and how she is cutting her patterns and everything else while still trying to come up with a gift idea. 

Well, today was the day. I was checking my email this morning and popped in my blog reader. The Little birdie baby blog had a cool post about making a pin cushion. That was it! My bff did not own a pin cushion! So, I printed off the pattern and got to work. This is what I ended up with:

I don't think it is as pretty as Rachael's but it will work. It did not take me long to sew and now I have a pattern that I like for a pin cushion.

Thank you Rachael, for a great tutorial and the inspiration to finally finish my bestie's birthday gift. I am sure she thanks you too.

Linking to some or all of the parties on my sidebar.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Clay flower cobochons: A tutorial

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I know what you are thinking. This is gonna be good. A tutorial. From me. And this will not disappoint.

We have all seen these cute little flower 'cabochons' all over blogland. I really wanted some. But I did not want to buy them ready made. No, that would have been too easy. And then I would have felt like what I was making with them was not really handmade. No offense to those of you who buy these type of supplies. I am strange in that way.  

After some looking around I found out that there are molds to make these things. Etsy has tons of shops that sell these. This is the shop that I used. They had a pretty good selection and it is a husband/wife team that hand-make the molds. I think that is really cool. The mold I bought was $6.50 which I think is pretty good. And it came really fast.

I really wanted to make earrings, rings, and hairpins for my Etsy shop. I found some hair pin blanks on Ebay. I am blessed to have a mother-in-law who used to own a bead shop so that is where I got my earring posts. I have yet to buy any ring blanks:( Baby steps.

So, enough background and on with the tutorial. Here is what you need:
  • Earring, ring, or hairpin blanks
  • Sculpey or Fimo oven bake clay
  • Flower mold
  • E6000 or similar glue
  • Cookie sheet to bake on
  • Oven

The end result is so super pretty. I love how they look.
Here are the earrings.

The hair pins are just as pretty

This was such an easy craft to do and the results were great. I did let the glue dry all day before I touched them too much.

One little pointer though, make sure that you flatten out the bottom before you pop it out of the mold or you will end up with this:

 Not a very good earring. I will be wearing this one. I would not want to sell something that was not closer to perfect.

I will be linking up at the parties on my sidebar and Here at I'm Crafty Party

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friendship bracelets

A while back I signed up to do a friendship bracelet swap on The Modern Marigold. This is a cute blog so I suggest checking it out when you have some time. I found out about this swap from one of the many other blogs that I read.

We were each assigned 3 different partners with the hopes that we would get to know each other and get some cool bracelets in the mail.

'S' was the first lady I talked to. She is from England and has one little boy. We have exchanged several emails. She was not picky about color so I picked out yellow and grey in a traditional pattern.

For 'E' I went shopping for new floss. She told me she was a nature lover and would like anything with green. I spent way too much time trying to find the perfect shades of this color to make her bracelet. I ended up using shades of green and brown.
Finally there was 'C'. I found out her favorite colors were green and yellow. While I was shopping for 'E' I also hemmed and hawed over shades of these colors. I ended up making her a chevron bracelet.
I have yet to receive any of my bracelets in the mail:( What a bummer. I did here from 'S' in England and she admitted to being uber busy and had not gotten them done yet but I have not heard from 'C' or 'E'. This was my very first swap and it ended up being a big disappointment. 
It was not all sad though, I found some really great tutorials from Beyond Bracelets on Youtube. She has fantastic instructions. Also, my kids are interested in making bracelets..especially my daughter.
To close I just want to say one thing. Do NOT sign up for a swap if you are not 100% positive you can follow through.
Now, go make some bracelets.

Linking here:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Two new messenger bags

I promised my two youngest that I would make them each a bag for school this year. All summer long they asked me when I was going to make their bags. Every day. Finally, the week before school started (the night before for Emma) I got to making their bags.

Jakob was not too picky. He wanted black or blue or some combination of the two. I was able to score some black denim from Joann’s with my half off coupon. After looking online for the perfect bag for him I realized he would need a contrasting fabric for the lining. Lucky for him me I had some cool skull flannel that I was hoarding saving for him.

I used this tutorial for his bag. I really like how it turned out. The zipper opening is super cool. I had to refresh myself on zipper pockets but she posts a link to a great tutorial so that was no problem.

Jakob is totally loving his new bag. The skull fabric really makes the bag. Jakob even brought it to the 'Meet and Greet' at his school because he wanted to tell his teacher that his mom MADE it for him.
I recommend this tutorial, it was easy to follow and had plenty of pictures. It did not make for a very big bag though. A binder barely fits. That is ok for us, Jakob is in 3rd grade and they use folders. I just want to point that out though in case you decide to make one.

The second bag was for Emma. I took her fabric shopping several weeks ago. She is on a plaid kick right now so she went right up to the suiting fabric and picked out a great pink plaid. I like it because it is pretty thick and I think it will be durable.
For the lining Emma picked out a black and white plaid. There was no telling her that would be too busy. This is a girl who knows what she wants. 

I bought a pattern for her bag and we bought some buttons to go on it, based on what the pattern required. Now, if you know me you will also know that I have not yet successfully used a pattern to sew anything. Mind you, I am still a beginner, but I tend to look online for tutorials full of pictures in loo of a tissue pattern.
I waited and waited to make this bag. I am not sure what I was thinking. I knew how long it took me to make Jakob's bag so there was no illusions there. But still I waited. Poor Emma.  I kept changing my mind about which bag to make her.Finally, last night, the night before school starts, I found the bag I wanted to make her. You can find it here.
I liked this bag immediately. It is quite a bit larger then the one I made for Jakob. That is good, Emma is in 5th grade and needs room for a binder and all the other stuff she (willingly) carries. 

I added a zipper pocket to the inside (at Emma's request). I also made a pocket in the front and sewed a few rows to hold pencils. I kind of checked the length of the strap on Emma but not good enough. As you can see the bag hangs pretty low on her. Easy fix though, I will get some type of buckle thingy (technical name) and make it adjustable. 

Emma loves her bag. She also said that many of her friends liked it and asked where she got it. I am a lucky enough mom that she still thinks it is cool to say "My mom made it for me"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Swap time

I recently had the opportunity to participate in my very first blog swap. Bonnie over at Pink Stitches set this one up. I was so excited to get my partners email so I could chat. 

I was paired up with two different ladies. Rebecca from Searching out simple was the lucky one assigned to sew me something. I browsed through her blog for a bit and looked at her Pinterest and saw that we have similar tastes in a lot of things. I emailed her a link to my Pinterest even though I had barely started pinning. I also shared with her my favorite colors and things like that. I did not want to hint too strongly for something because I wanted to be completely surprised.

My other swap partner was Jaime over at The busy bee quilt shop. We exchanged a few emails and she told me her favorite colors and patterns. She told me that she did not own anything that was sewn so whatever I made would be something new. By the way, I checked out her blog and she is uber talented. 

Shopping for fabric was super fun. Any excuse to shop at JoAnns is good for me. I found some great fabric in teal and grey, one of her colors, and bought a bunch of it. I sewed her a purse, loosely based off of the Debut purse pattern I found here and received when I signed up for their newsletter. It is worth it let me tell you.

I love the colors. I might even make a purse for myself with some of this.

I thought a purse wasn't quite enough so I made a change purse too. I am liking this whole color scheme.
Since Jaime is a quilter I added a package of pins. One can never have too many pins. 
 I am very pleased with how everything turned out. I was just keeping my fingers crossed that Jaime would like everything. 

 I got an email last night from Jaime and she loves what I made her. She especially like the houndstooth fabric that I used. 

I don't have a picture yet of the fabulous gifts I got in the mail from Rebecca. She is so thoughtful! I recently bought a DSLR camera and very much needed a cute strap for it. I had a couple pinned that I was planning on making. Rebecca made me one and I LOVE it. The colors, the ruffles, the pocket for my lens cap..everything is perfect! She also made me some of these. She made them in some of my favorite colors! And she made me a cute little key chain with a "T" on it. I will add a couple pics when I get some. 

I had so much fun with this swap. I hope that it is only the first of many. It is exciting to get a package in the mail and I can hopefully make some new bloggy friends.

Thank you to Bonnie from Pink Stitches for hosting such a fun swap:)

Partying here:
Not Just A Housewife 
Vintage Wanna Bee 
Homemaker in Heels 
Thirty Handmade Days 
Sweet Little Gals 
Tatertots and Jello