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Archive for February 2011

On Friday, my friend from Saving the World… One Craft at a Time sent me  a link to this blog post: Scrappy Stuffed Heart. Since it was Friday, after all, we said, let’s get together after work and make one for our friend in the hospital.

After I got home, the Lizard Hunter dropped her off and we started digging through my fabric stash. We were able to pull together some suitable partners, I mean it is a scrappy stuffed heart. We decided to make the heart to try to match the decor of our friends’ home. I had some hunter green fabric, and great iridescent ribbon to work with. Scrappy Heart Pillow Closeup Button HeartWe decided to create a button heart stitched to a piece of fleece and with lace edging. We also cut out a heart from some fleece fabric for another project and make a pocketScrappy Heart Pillow Pocket out of that. I used some scrap paper from a recycled safety envelope and made a tag that says “The Beat Goes On” and stuck that in our pocket.

We of course had to take a break for sushi. What good crafting night doesn’t include sushi?  After sushi, since the fabric store was just a few doors down we had to go raid the remnant bin and we both found some fantastic scraps for future scrappy hearts or other fun projects. Once we were home and settled in, the guys watching hockey and playing the PS2, we got back to work and finished up the last touches on the scrappy heart. The heart turned out great, and I can’t think Belle and Burger enough for the great tutorial! I can’t wait to have our friend home enjoying his new pillow!

Scrappy Heart Pillow

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I have an announcement.

I suck at sewing.

There, I said it.

Thankfully I had the whole day off to complete my sewing project. Which was not the plan. The plan was to sew the passport wallet, sew the joker hat, start working on the seahorse and ultra-terrestrial and then finally, find my hot glue gun and start working on the tea holder. Maybe I was a little ambitious. I did think it would take all weekend, and I only spent one of the three days crafting, so there is that. But till. It took me the following shows to get through the project, The Mentalist, The Cape, Cupcake Wars, Off the Map,  Being Human (BBC), Vampire Diaries, and then two episodes of Being Human (SciFi). Thank goodness for recorded television! and for being all caught up!

Passport Wallet Fabric

Now, for the project: last weekend I  found this pattern for the Passport Wallet on Google and then I went through my stash and found this fabric. I had just the right blends to pull this off for a fashionable accessory for my mother-in-law who is traveling to Guam and Japan this Spring. I was able to get the fabric cut out, then had to run out to get interfacing. Once I got the interfacing I cut those out as well, and then I didn’t get to touch it again until today.

So this morning I set up a mini-sewing station in our living room in front of the tv so I could watch all the shows I mentioned earlier while I whipped this out. I got plenty of exercise going back and forth between the sewing station and the ironing station (oh, and the kitchen too!) so even though I feel like I didn’t do a darn thing today, I know I walked a few hundred steps and finished this beast!

The pattern wasn’t difficult, I’m just impatient and tend to rush into sewing, then I realize my tension is wrong and so the back side is lots of great loops, except I wasn’t making a lion’s mane. Or, I put the pieces together and start basting without realizing that I didn’t have the right sides together. So I spent a lot of time fixing my mistakes. In the end though, I think it looks good. Not as professional as Maia’s but, hey, I’m a novice here so I think I did okay. I know my mother-in-law  will appreciate it, and I can’t wait to give it to her! Here are the final shots. One closed and one opened up where you can see the inside and the storage for credit cards, ID, passport, pen, change and more…

Oh, one of the cool things about this, is that I re-used an iced coffee cup to serve as the vinyl for the ID cover. After a week under a stack of heavy books it flattened out enough to sew it in, and once it was stitched down did the job perfectly! Click for bigger pictures so you can see the detail on the inside.

Passport Wallet ClosedPassport Wallet Open

Since I started writing this blog I’ve been wanting to go through all my craft supplies and make it easier for me to have craft supplies at my finger tips when inspiration strikes. Craft Organize AfterThere was one problem with that…a few years back we decided to put our house up for sale, and in staging our house to sell it, we had to pack away all our fun things like craft supplies. With the market as it is, we never sold the house, but we got used to living in a decluttered home so we kept the storage unit and left a lot of our items in the facility. So I decided to go brave the boxes and dig out at least some of my craft supplies.  Once I did, I brought them all back and unpacked everything in our living room. Wow, I had forgotten how years of crafting can lead to such a stash!

Craft Organize MiddleFor Christmas my dear friend got me a bunch of these great storage bins to help me organize, so I finally pulled them all out and started trying to make all those supplies fit in these great bins! That was easier said than done. It turns out I don’t have a lot of supplies, I have A LOT of supplies. I grouped everything together and did my best to fit them all in here. Fortunately I had a few extra plastic bins lying around and somehow I was able to make it work.

Craft Organize After When all was said and done, I rearranged items on the bookshelves in our office and was able to free up one book shelf for crafting. When I got it all in place this is what it looked like. A huge change, and now my craft supplies are in the next room, instead of being in the boxes, in the storage facility down the street. It makes it so much easier to stay actively crafting and creating great projects from all the fantastic blogs I’ve found!

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Back in January I gave you a sneak preview of a project I was working on for my dear friend and her first child. I’m happy to say that Monday night I finally finished the project! The Hooded Baby Blanket pattern was from Lion Brand off the label for the Pound of Love in turquoise. I just love, love, love the color and wish I was brave enough to make a wrap for myself in it. Alas, I tend to stick to the neutral colors to be safe.  Hooded Baby  Blanket - FinalBut, for the baby it’s perfect, and I can’t wait to see pictures with him! For now, I had to stuff it with a sleeping bag (my hubby has a super tiny sleeping bag, the whole thing fits in the hood) to give it some feeling and give you and idea of what it looks like.  Since he just started rolling over this will be a great soft surface for him to roll around on. Oh, speaking of, did I mention how soft and wonderful the yarn is when you wash and dry it? No, it is, lovely, makes me want to shrink and take a nap. I’ve had to put it up high to keep it away from the cats, they are drawn to soft blankets like well, like me! I still love this pattern and will definitely use it again. I am thinking of making a narrow scarf with the remnants of the yarn. It won’t be a whole wrap but it’ll be a splash of color that I love!

Door Hanger Bouncy Cat Toy I finished the hooded baby blanket last night and had some of the yarn left over and was still in the mood to crochet so I did a quick search on the Lion Brand site and I found this quick and easy pattern for a Door Hanger Bouncy Cat Toy. Having spent the day home monitoring our sick kitty, it was only natural that I look for a cat related project. This pattern worked up so fast, I literally think this is the fastest project I’ve ever made. I’m not great at keeping my gauge on target, so this pattern was a good one since that is not important. I do wonder, in the ball if I’d done a little better if it would look more like a ball and less like a, uhm, deflated balloon? But that could have as much to do with my stuffing as it did the crochet. I love the spiral, I’ve never made a spiral before, but working that it made me want to crochet a flower pin, so now I’ll have to find a pattern for that. This project was probably an hour and a half tops, from start to finish. If you’ve got extra yarn and some stuffing lying around, whip this up, it’d be great for kids too I suspect… I think I’ll put this pattern in my repertoire and pull it out at Christmas to use as “ribbon” for the cat lover friends we have.Door Hanger Bouncy Cat Toy - Action Shot

Mad Money UpcyclesFor Valentine’s Day I wanted to make cookies for our run group friends, and if you’re going to have cookies you must have something to store them in. I’ve been saving up Pringle’s cans just knowing I could use them for something great like this. While I was scouring the internet looking for inspiration I stumbled across the blog What Allie’s Making Now and found her post Honey Drops. The cookies sounded fantastic, and I loved the recycled Pringle’s cans so I knew I’d found my craft!

I opted to make the tins even more reusable and fashioned them into Mad Money Tins so they could use them as a bank to save money for a special occasion once they finished all their yummy cookies. You can imagine my surprise when there wasn’t any honey in the honey cookies! Nonetheless they turned out delicious, if not a little time-consuming, I couldn’t get the dough to stick together right so rolling the balls was a challenge. It was a humid night in the kitchen (dishwasher was running) so I blame it on that! My husband has already requested that they be added to my list for the holiday season next year so they must have been a hit!

I love shrinky dinks, so I had to play with those too, each tin got two little shrinky dink ornaments added to enhance the theme! I picked a theme for each of our friends and decorated the tins accordingly. It was a lot of fun putting together the Mad Money Tins, and it’s great to encourage friends to put money aside for a fun time for them. Sometimes we all get so caught up in the day-to-day life events, or triathlon training events, that we forget to stop and smell the roses. (or cookies!) So here’s my little way to help out with that…

Costa Rica Tin~~Puppy Tin~~France Tin

Costa Rica Mad Money Costa Rica Shrinky Dinks

Puppy Mad Money

Puppy Shrinky Dinks
France Mad MoneyFrance Shrinky Dinks

Next step is to make one for our family!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all our friends, we love you guys!

Last August my buddy at work took a new job and moved to Idaho. As so often happens when people move, they clear out things and you inherit things. I was fortunate to inherit another plant for my office from her. It’s called a purple shamrock. She had gotten it at St. Patrick’s Day last year and had nurtured it to keep it alive all that time. My office apparently wasn’t as nurturing as hers was so I decided to bring the plant home and nurse it back to health. My green thumb must be purple because through the winter it completely died off, I was so sad. You can imagine my surprise and great joy when after some great rains and a few sunny days it started coming back. It got even better though! The flowers blossomed and bloomed and this hand me down plant turned into a beautiful flowering plant! This one’s for you JW! Purple Shamrock version 1


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