Christmas Pajamas

This year I decided that instead of spending $20 plus per outfit for my children for a Christmas outfit that would maybe be worn a couple of times and for pictures was a complete waste. I thought Christmas pajamas would be cute and practical, (they do wear pajamas daily). I used Simplicity pattern #9853 view c to make these one piece jammies. I was looking for fleece fabric in blue with some snowflakes, but when I saw this candy cane striped fabric I knew that it was perfect! I made them a size to big, so they could wear them for a couple of years. I like how they turned out and the pattern was fairly easy to sew. I did not like the instructions for installing the zipper and I will do that differently when I make this pattern again.

Every year I make Christmas picture ornaments for the grandparents. I like to find a different kind each year and this year they will be heart shaped (if you want to make your own I found my ornament frames here). I normally have these made up and give them for Christmas gifts, but this year I am behind and so everyone will be getting a post Christmas gift ornament.


Knitted Swiffer Cover

I know that everyone is doing it, so here's my version of the reusable swiffer cover. It is knit in garter stitch and whip stitched together.

I used acrylic yarn for this one, I need something durable and abrasive for those random splats. I think that I will also make a cotton one that is more for dusting. This knitted up quickly while I watched TV and the kids napped and I'm excited that I won't have to buy and throw away all those swiffer cloths!

Oh, I did finish those pajamas, but more about those later...


Chair Pile

I thought I would share what happened when I was busy for about 10 minutes and my children were "quiet".

Yes, that is almost every stuffed animal, pillow, and baby doll they could find.

My daughter was buried and had to be pulled from the pile and my son wanted to build it higher and slide down it.

Happy Holidays everyone, and yes I still need to finish those pajamas.


Poison Tree

I recently purchased some glass pearls from someone online to make more of my tree of life ornaments. The ones that I specifically needed were grey, but while I was ordering I decided to order some black ones. They arrived and the black pearls were not what I expected, I expected a "pearl" finish and these were just glass beads painted black, but I am going to use them!!! I present my Poison Tree Ornament.
Inspired by the poem A Poison Tree by William Blake

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
I also made a lovely breast cancer awareness tree of life ornament for my mother for Christmas. I think that she will really like it, she has been hinting that she wanted one of the icy tree of life ornaments and when I saw these rose quartz chips in the store I decided they would be perfect for her.

I guess Christmas is getting pretty close, I should probably make those pajamas next...


Finished Cowl

I finished knitting the cowl for my father in law yesterday. I like how it turned out and he will hopefully like it too! It's knit in 4 X 4 rib (120 stitches) on size US 9 needles, using Louisa Harding Mulberry 100% silk yarn. (Ahhhh, nothing showcases a finished knitting project better than blurry photo taken in the bathroom mirror!)
And since I was in the mood to take unflattering pictures of myself in the bathroom mirror, here's a shot of me modeling the town and country capelet. I really like where the bottom hits, it's at my thinnest spot, and once I put on a coordinating shirt underneath it will look great.Yesterday I ordered some new e-patterns on etsy (one for felt play food and one for a pillowcase apron) and I am excited to get sewing on those, but first I have to finish some Christmas presents and maybe do some wrapping.


Candy Cane Cozy

While wondering around the internet I found this adorable pattern for a candy cane cozy on zakka life blog, (it is a great blog and there are a lot of inspiring projects, check it out). I am also anti-candy cane and right now, as I type, two little children are begging for candy canes that I bought to fill up my own cozies.
I love the idea of keeping track of the candy canes on the tree and this is a very quick project. I used some leftover cotton and crocheted a chain for it to hang on instead of a ribbon. Mine still needs some sort of embellishment on the end (maybe a pom pom), but they will look great on my packages this year!


I'm Back!

...and mid November turned into mid December. We got moved in and the task of making everything fit has been a challenge. Half of our stuff is in storage and it seems like everything that I want to do involves a trip to the storage unit. I also managed to lose my pasta machine that I use to make all of my mokume gane ornaments. I have looked everywhere for that thing!!! I finally just broke down and bought another one, thank you hobby lobby for 40% off coupons, so I'm sure it will turn up soon :). I am using our kitchen table as my crafting area and it is quite messy, but I'm creating, I can't be neat too!My tree of life ornaments have been doing well on etsy and that has been keeping my busy with trips to the post office and for more supplies and it has been great!
I have been in the knitting mood and have been knitting my days away. I just finished this cute town and country capelet.
I used Epais yarn instead of homespun, partly because I loved the orange and green color combo and partly because it was a huge skein and there would be less weaving in. I also went up to size 13(US) needles to even get close to gauge. I did try the fringe, but I felt that it was too bulky (I thought that super fluffy fringe just below my ample bosom was extremely unflattering) and decided to leave it plain.

I had so much fun knitting that I decided to knit a cowl for my father in law for Christmas. I got the most luxurious 100% silk yarn and am progressing nicely. We had no idea what to get for him this year, so I am hoping that this will be perfect. It's done in 4 X 4 ribbing and, as you can see, knit in the round.

I am also making several other gifts (salt dough ornaments, holiday pajamas, a special tree of life ornament, and possibly some aprons) and I'll be sharing those soon!


Neglected Blog

It seems as if I have totally abandoned my blog and I miss it. It has been very hectic at my house, we are in the process of moving. We have lived in our current house for almost two years and packing up all the acquired stuff has been a bit overwhelming especially since the entire second floor is my crafty lair. It seems that I may have enough fabric to make clothing for a small army or cozies for everything we own.
I also was a vendor at a local craft show last weekend and the prep involved in that took me about a month. I feel that I did very well for my first show and I expect to return next year.
Once we get settled in our new apartment I have oodles of new things to list in my etsy store and a stack of new projects to share here. I expect to return to blogging more consistently mid November, so please keep checking back!


Featured in a Youtube Video: das Kinder Geister (the children ghosts)

A customer who purchased an instant cemetery from my etsy store used it as a background in this short, how cool is that?! There are a lot of great shots of the cemetery and the moss that she used makes it look super creepy.


Beaded Tree of Life Ornament

I have long admired the tree of life pendants that I've seen on etsy and I thought that they would make good Christmas ornaments. This is my first attempt at any sort of wire wrapping and I can see how it would be addicting.
I really like how it turned out, the two different colors of glass pearls really give it more interest and depth. I will definitely be making more of these, maybe I could use up some of my gigantic bead stash or maybe I could buy some new pretties to play with.



I know that I have been missing in action for about a month, the Halloween instant cemetery rush has been insane!!!, but in a good way :). I have been making a few other things, but it's stuff I have already shared on this blog, like recycled crayons and polymer clay ornaments.
I have been working on some new things for my etsy store that I will share soon, but today for a little "me" crafty time I have been making stamps from corks. I saw TracyU's journals on flickr and was inspired to make some personal stamps to use for a visual journal of my own.

The restaurant where I work is closing its doors next week and there is this huge box of corks behind the bar, so I took a few (think 95). These are all synthetic corks, they're kind of like spongy rubber and give a crisper image than regular corks. I was hoping to use my linoleum cutter for the carving, but it did not work well, I got better results just using an exacto knife. The best part is if you mess up just cut it off and start over.So far I have made a cupcake, a candle, two different hearts, two different clouds, a sun, and a moon. I used both ends so I have only used four corks! It took me about an hour to carve eight. I'm hoping to make at least one alphabet. I think that using acrylic paint will work well with these stamps and give me more color options, currently I only have a black stamp pad. I will also embellish some the images with gel pens or glitter for more detail.

I have made stamps using erasers, styrofoam meat trays, those pink easy cut blocks, and fun foam stuck to wood or acrylic blocks. I love making my own stamps!


I'm in the Etsy Halloween Gift Guide

My instant cemetery has made the etsy Halloween gift guide, yay!!! There it is on the top left. This is the first time I have been in a gift guide, I'm so excited! I am currently frantically cutting these tombstones out, so far I have sold nine and have two reserved.



My parents had a garage sale this weekend and when I stopped by to say hi I saw my old Spirograph and just had to have it.

Ah, the memories, I think this is where my love of colored pens comes from. Just thing of the color options of gel pens!!! This toy is well used, with some of the gears permanently ink stained from frequent use. It was fun to try out those well worn holes and remember sitting at the kitchen table for hours making tons of these things in red,blue, green and black.

I'm thinking a bracelet with shrinky dink Spirograph charms would be the perfect project or maybe just some simple note cards. If you have any good ideas, let me know, I'm not going to be satisfied until it wear the teeth off the gears.


Featured in a Treasury

LANCERIKA has featured my Balinese Filigree Ornament in a treasury on Etsy called "Are you afraid of spirals or just hurricanes." The treasury will be viewable until 7am Saturday the 6th., so please check it out here.


Polymer Clay Pendants Galore!

I have a serious back log of pendants to sand! I have been trying to get 6 to 12 sanded a day to catch up. Here's what I've done so far.

These are all mokume gane all nicely sanded and buffed, just waiting to be drilled. I am saving these for the fall craft shows I will be attending.

These are made from slices of automatically wrapped canes (bullseye canes). I really like the "retro" feel of these.

Here are the backs, I just used the leftover clay to make marbled sheets for the backs to make the pendants double sided.

And this is my masterpiece, a Balinese filigree ornament. I really enjoy this technique, although it is very time consuming. My crafting ADD kicks in and I just have to fill every gap! I have already started another ornament and I have several more pendants waiting to be baked.

I love polymer clay.


Aviator Hat

August is almost over and exactly where have I been? I have been furiously cutting out instant cemeteries, knitting cupcakes, playing-I mean using my new camera, working, insert more excuses here...Anyway I saw this post on Craftster and decided to give the Amelia Earhart Aviator Cap pattern a second look. I had seen this pattern before and just wasn't interested, but add some i-cord and tassels and I'm in! I use some vintage '70's acrylic variegated yarn and followed the instruction exactly, just adding the i-cord and tassels.
Here's a side view, and yes this is my bathroom/photo studio. This pattern was easy to follow and knitting it flat made it super easy and it came out the perfect size.
The back seam even came out good and I like how the hat has an inverted V, it leaves a perfect spot for my ponytail.
I recommend this as a quick and satisfying project that uses less than a skein of yarn.


I've been Tagged

I have officially been tagged by Lisa from Chimera Crochet!!!

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you

2. Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)

3. Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)

4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (This is only a game)

5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Six Random Things About Me:

1. I like to go out into the middle of nowhere at night and watch for falling stars.

2. I am a hard core pack rat, my favorite things to hoard are crafting supplies (of course) and paper, like notes, lists, cards, and doodles.

3. Ultimately I would like to own a large, multi storied building and have the entire top floor as my studio, ooh and maybe a garden on the roof.

4. I like to take pictures of old abandon houses and cemeteries.

5. I like monkeys, squirrels, stars, and anything Halloween.

6. I would love to be covered in tattoos.

People I'm tagging:

1. Julie of http://www.julie-bird.com/

2. Christy of http://craftyconservative.blogspot.com/

3. Pam of http://passitonplatesblog.blogspot.com/

4. Kim of http://monacodesigns.blogspot.com/

I changed the rule a bit and only tagged four people, it seem as if everyone I wanted to tag seemed super busy with their own things and after all it is only a game!


Etsy Favorites

Here's some of my new favorite things on etsy. I've been feeling halloweenie!
I could just spend all day browsing, there are just so many unique things available.


New Banners, Avatars, and Mature Graphic

I just purchased a set of shop banners and avatar set from studio71designs.
There are three banners: this one, an on vacation, and a is having a sale banner.

There are five avatars: this one, a plain one, one with a C, an away one, and a sale avatar. My old banner and avatar were a bit pixilated and fuzzy around the edges.

Also included with the package was a custom listing/reserved graphic, but I was able to get a "mature" graphic instead.
Jen(studio71designs) did a fabulous job and made everything exactly like I wanted with my choice of font and graphics to match my business cards. I will definately be using her services again!


Yay, Another Etsy Sale!!!

My instant cemetery, which was just listed a week ago, has sold, yay!!! It has been the most popular item in my shop and I knew it would go fast. I also have orders for two more. I am working on making a couple extras so I can list them in my shop.
Tomorrow I am going to my first LnkHandmade Team meeting, I'm very excited because they have chosen to critique my shop. I know that I need to fill in the "store policy" section, I am thinking about removing my store announcement, and I need to work on my profile page. I am really looking forward to meeting everybody in the group and brainstorming on ways to promote.


A New Gear Head Bag

I was inspired by this contest at CraftStylish.com to create another fused plastic bag. I really liked the original, but for this bag I wanted it more tote-y. I was inspired by the LaRue bag in the Devil Wears Prada Movie, but I wanted something bigger and without that weird strap thingy.I have to admit that these are not the best pictures I have ever taken, but it was one of those "OMG the cut off time is in 45 minutes" kind of photo shoots. This bag measures roughly 16" x 22".As you can see, it is pretty good sized, I think that it will hold my sketchbook and pencil case, plus all the other miscellaneous crap that I like to take with me.Look, it's the fabric I stenciled yesterday! There is also a cell phone pocket and another small pocket on the bottom. On the top side there is a large zippered pocket. I used black thread to sew everything, I hate when I open a bag and everything is the same color and I can't find the pockets, maybe it's just me. This is my prototype, so I'll be carrying this one around for a while to see how it works and if passes you may be seeing a similar one in my etsy shop in a few weeks.

***Update: More Pictures in better light***


Stenciled Gears

I have be working on a new fused plastic bag design and today I stenciled gears on to the lining using a freezer paper stencil.

Freezer paper is so awesome!!! It is easy to cut and just irons right on to the fabric, this gives the stencil nice crisp edges. I also iron freezer paper on the back so the paint doesn't seep through. I used regular acrylic paint mixed with textile medium to make a permanent design. I dabbed (straight up and down) the paint on with a make-up sponge. The paint needs to set for 24 hours and then it needs to be heat set with an iron.

While I waited for the paint to dry I cut coordinating appliques out of fused plastic dollar store bags.

Here's the finished design after peeling the paper off, I really like how it turned out.

Next I'll need to sew the pockets and zipper onto the lining and then I'll start constructing the bag. I also have a resin project curing that will also be used for this bag, but more about that later.


Wordle - I Made a Word Cloud

I heard about Wordle through Kimberly Monaco Designs blog. Wordle, what's wordle you ask? it's this great site that helps you make word clouds.
The really great news about this is that you can do whatever you want with these word clouds, print them on shirts, make them into posters, make scrapbook pages, the list is endless. They are also just fun to make, there are several different fonts and the colors are customizable. You can type in your own words or enter a web address and they do it for you! I see a fog of word clouds in my future.


Instant Cemetery - Finished

I finished my first instant cemetery set, complete with four new tombstones. It seemed like it took forever to get everything cut out, but everything else went pretty fast.

This is one of the new drawings and my favorite, I am really excited how this one turned out, super creepy.

Photographing the cemetery was a little difficult because I wanted to show it lit by candles. I think they turned out good.

I always make a matching tin to store everything in. I just shrink everything down and decoupage it on to the tin and then finish it with a satin finish sealer. I tried something new this time, decoupaging is supposed to be done with laser copies because ink jet copies run when you put the modge podge on. Here in the sticks where I live there really isn't anywhere to get a laser copy, so I used the satin sealer to seal the copies, it worked great there wasn't any smudging!!!

I think I'm going to keep working on new drawings for these, maybe I can make enough to have several different sets.


Instant Cemeteries

Halloween is my favorite holiday and so there is a lot of Halloween crafting at my house. I have quite a large collection of Halloween books and magazines, a few years ago I purchased this book, Halloween: A Grown-Up's Guide to Creative Costumes, Devilish Decor & Fabulous Festivities by Joanne O'Sullivan.There are a lot of really great projects in this book, but my favorite was the instant cemeteries. I loved it the moment I saw it, but the instructions said to find clip art on the internet or in books and I just could not find anything I liked, so I decided to draw my own.

Here's the cemetery I sent irasema for the Halloween '07 swap (BTW thank you for taking such an awesome picture irasema!!!) These drawings were inspired by cemeteries that I've been to and pictures that I've seen. This is a set of eleven. I've decide to add a few more tombstones to the collection this year and so I have been looking at pictures online and from my collection.
Here are two that I completed last night, I still need to modify the sizes, but I think they will go well with the rest of the tombstones. Once I get all the drawing finished I mount them and put fold able stands on the backs and then I customize a recycle tin to store them in.