Finished Turkish Vest

I finished up the remaining front panel and crocheted around that and the back piece today. I am so excited to have finished this. I still want to add some embellishments around the bottom, but I will have to shop for the perfect thing. Tiffany (The art of can tabistry) did send some little bells along with the pattern for the vest, but I think I need some chain or other dangly bits.
This shows the finished pieces, it would be hard to guess what they were if you didn't already know.
Here's the front, I still need to make one of Tiffany's ornamental flowers for the front. It really frames the girls, doesn't it?
The way the sides are shaped really gives a contoured fit.
And finally, the back. It is really amazing to me how comfortable this is to wear. The fabric is stretchy, so it adjusts itself. I bought this dress specifically to wear with this vest, I am so excited to wear this out, maybe I'll wear it to our etsy team meeting.


Everyone Needs a Mask

I like to doodle in my sketchbook, mostly line drawings, that's how the instant cemetery started. I was thinking that Crafterella sounds like a superhero name, so now I need a mask.

I doodled this up, this is a "rough" version. I think I need to make some more. Any mask is going to need sequins or rhinestones or glitter. I think one with fabulous eye make up would be nice, that way I don't have to really wear any. I think I'll need a cape too, like in that car commercial (the fine print says the cape isn't included with the car purchase, if it was I would so buy that car). Yes, this is really how my mind works.


And The Winner Is...

...Pam from Pass it on Plates, congratulations!!! I would like to thank everyone for letting me know their favorite items in my shop, here's the list:

1. Red and Gold Mokume Gane Donut Pendant (4)

2. Super Mod Square Pendant (3)

3. My Mechanical Star Catching Pendant (2)

4. Royal Blue and Silver Mokume Gane Pendants (2)

5. Silver Tree of Life Ornament (2)

6. Black and Silver Mokume Gane Amulet Pendant (2)

7. Instant Cemetery (1)

8. Balinese Filigree Ornament (1)

9. Turquoise and Gold Mokume Gane Ornament (1)

10. Purple and Gold Square Pendant (1)

11. Gold Tree of Life Ornament (1)

Thank you everyone who came to visit and the Lincoln Handmade Team, its been a really fun week.


Crafty Kids

I like to do art projects with my kids at least once a week, but having an abundance of finger paintings and crayon drawings causes a lot of storage problems. I love all the things that my children make, but we can't save everything.
I've been trying to come up with ideas for different things to try and when I found unfinished boxes in the Dollar Tree I just had to get them. We have worked on our treasure boxes a few times and they are almost finished.I love how kids use color, they don't worry about matching or just using one color, why else would all those colors be in one box if they weren't meant to all be used at once.We spent about 30 - 40 minutes painting the outsides and about 10 minutes on the insides. My two year old had a little trouble getting the inside covered, but she had a great time working on the outside.
To finish them I will seal them with modge podge to make them shinny and more durable and they we will glue craft foam on the bottom, so they won't scratch the furniture. I looked for more of these little boxes, but they were all gone :( I'm thinking that we should do more stuff like this, maybe we can make signs for their rooms next, I might even try stamping on shirt, we'll see how adventurous I'm feeling.


The Lisa Project - Phase 2

I have been working on a summerlin dress and matching shrug for Lisa's daughter. The yarn I'm using in Caron Simply Soft in Dark Country Blue, I love the softness and sheen of this yarn.I have finished knitting the summerlin top and have started the shrug. I am using the GG Shrug pattern with a few modifications. I added a row of eyelets around the bottom for a crocheted tie to make the fit more adjustable and so I could leave the I-cord off and now I am ready to work on the sleeves, I just need to know what length to make them, I'm thinking short or elbow length, but I will have to ask Lisa to see what she wants. The shrug is a nice fast knit and I like that there will be no seaming, I'll have to make another one for Little Miss to go with her summerlin dresses. Once I finish the sleeves I'll throw everything in the wash and attach the skirt and then it will be time for the tulle (more on that later).
Don't forget, I'm taking entries for my giveaway until tomorrow, don't miss the chance to win!!!


Another Bottlecap Pincushion

I made another bottle cap pincushion. This time I used a larger cap from a 1 liter soda bottle, its about 1 1/2 inches across.

I was going for a lotus flower look with a stuffed 3-D ladybug in the center.

Those spots are french knots. When I had finished to ladybug it occurred to me that I should have stuffed it with steel wool to make it a needle sharpener, there's always next time.

These pincushions are addicting, I could make one every day. I have a larger container that I'm saving for a special pincushion, it is the frosting container from a roll of refrigerator cinnamon rolls. I think I might make that one into a rose, but I want to practice a bit more first.


Me vs. the Smock Apron, Part 3

I decided to go with the armpit darts to fix my fabric problem and I am satisfied with how it turned out.

I will definitely be able to use this around the house and even out to run errands. I like the style of the apron a lot, but I think I will really have to overhaul the pattern to get the fit that I am looking for. I think that I can use the current pattern piece for the back of the pattern and I will just need to draft a new front. The amount of fabric needed to cover my ample bosom means that a simple waist dart isn't going to give me a good fit, yes, I know it's a smock, but I want a little shape. I'm thinking a princess seam. I think I will also be making the pockets a bit deeper too.

Now that the battle is over I can get back to my knitting :)

Don't Miss Out on the Giveaways

Today is the final day of the Lincoln Handmade team giveaway, Lynette is giving away some of her super cute magnets. Read her bio here and check her blog out here.
The week seems to have flown by, remember I'll be taking comments until the 26th., so there is still time to enter. Good luck everyone.


Me vs. The Smock Apron, Part 2

I altered that pattern according to the plan and cut my expensive fabric (not that expensive, but I usually scavenge fabric from the goodwill or the dollar table). I sewed the ties and put them into the darts, added the pocket with rick rack, pressed up the hem for the back and sewed the sides up using french seams. Then I started the flat felled seams for the shoulders, I just stitched the seam and before I "felled" them (???) I decided to try on the apron and that is where things got interesting. There is an abundance of fabric above the bust that makes the armhole gap and I don't like it!!!

So now I need to decide what to do next, I won't take out my nice french side seams to add a dart, so I have a few options. I can make a dart from the armhole, I can make a dart from the shoulder (but this will make the shoulder strap more narrow), I can re-cut the arm hole, add some gathers to the arm hole, or I can just leave it.

I am leaning towards making a dart from the shoulder, but contemplating just ignoring it. Does anyone else have a good idea to fix this?

It's My Turn

Today is my giveaway day!!! Visit the Lincoln handmade team blog to read a little more about me and then come back here to enter to win. I am offering a $15.00 gift certificate to my store. What that means is you could choose a $15 pendant, a tree of life ornament, or apply a $15.00 discount to you purchase of a more expensive item (I will cover the shipping costs).
Entering is easy, leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite item is in my etsy store. Make sure I know how to get in touch with you if you win. The contest will be open until Thursday the 26th. and a winner will be drawn on the 27th. Good luck everyone!


This is Why I Make a Test Garment

First let me say that I love to sew, however I have a lot of difficulty with patterns. It seems that most patterns are not meant for people who are six feet tall and voluptuous. I have learned that making a test garment is essential and today I will share exactly why.

I found this wonderful pattern for a vintage styled smock apron on sewmamasew, there is even a video tutorial showing how to put the pattern together and alter it plus sewing instructions. I put the pattern together and altered it by adding 1 inch to the front and 4 inches above the darts. I decided to use a Holly Hobby sheet that I got for a dollar as my test apron, hoping that everything would be perfect and I would have a cute apron and could then move on to the "real" fabric.
Lesson one - fabric is not always printed exactly on grain, if it is really off the design looks weird and you look crooked when wearing it.
Lesson two - when using a fabric with a large pictorial pattern make sure to center it properly, I did not and it makes the whole thing look wonky.It looks relatively okay on the hanger, if you look closely you can see that the pattern is slightly off center.Here you can see what I mean about the pattern being printed off grain. The top is straight and the bottom is straight, but the design seems to be sloping down to the right.
Lesson 3 - Adding an inch to the center front can make the neckline a bit to big.

I know that this is just an apron, but I don't want the neckline to be this wide. As you can also see it is a little snug in the armpit area, that can easily be reshaped, but I can't add fabric to the neckline.

I will now redraw the pattern, I will make the armholes bigger and the neckline narrower and maybe more scooped. Once I am finished with that I will cut into my expensive fabric and make my super smock apron. This version will not be finished and will be tossed into the scrap fabric pile and will not be spoken of again.

I do really like the style of this apron. I am planning to wear it out of the house to run errands and such. I have worked as a waitress for so long that it is easier to wear an apron that to carry a purse and will two little ones to keep up with I need both of my hands free. I hope to work on this more tonight, I have extra large rick rack for embellishing and a mile of bias tape just waiting to be applied, now I just need some really big paper.

It's Refibered's Turn

Today's giveaway is from Kelly of Refibered. Read about her here and then go to her blog and enter to win a cute child's apron with monkeys! These giveaways have been super exciting and a great way to get a sampling of items from our group members. Good luck, I'm off to work on an apron of my own, more about that later :).


Gooooooooo Lisa, the Giveaways Continue

Today's giveaway is from Lisa of Chimera Crochet, go to our team blog to read more about her and then check out Lisa's blog to enter for a chance to win an item of your choice from her etsy shops!!!My favorite is Bunton of The Woolingtons from chimeracrochet, check out her shop for other adorable stuffies.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

If you're feeling the luck of the Irish go to the Lincoln Handmade Team Blog to read Julie's bio and then head over to kundhicreative to enter to win a four leaf clover coffee sleeve.
On the crafty side I have completed phase one of The Lisa Project, the wrap is finished.

It is loosely based on the Justify pattern from knitty. I really like how it turned out and am anxious to see it on Lisa. I did have some technical difficulties binding off, it just seemed too tight, so I ended up redoing it on larger needles and I'm still worried that it will be a little tight. The dress pictured is what she will be wearing with it and it will also be getting some extra embellishments in phase two (more to come on this project later).

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Welcome to the Week of Freebies

Today is the first day of the Lincoln Handmade Team week of giveaways!!! Today is Christy of ChristyNelson.net, read her bio here and enter her giveaway here, good luck everyone.

I also wanted to share how well our bottle garden is doing. All the seeds sprouted within five days of planting, even the ones that said to allow 14 - 21 days for growth. I have thinned out the larger ones and taken the tops off so they could get a little more sunlight. My kids are still really interested in this project and we look at how much they have grown every morning. I must also mention that the petunia seedlings are tiny, I had no idea they started out so small.


New Tree of Life Ornaments

I've been in the mood to make some more tree of life ornaments, maybe it is the approach of spring or probably just crafting ADD.I love the asymmetrical square ones, but I am almost out of square bases(I don't think I will be able to find more of this clearance item).This one is truly one of a kind, the deep aqua beads are from my gigantic stash of beads and I have no idea where they came from, so I can't buy more.

Being a craft supply hoarder can be difficult, finding just what you need in your stash is awesome until you realize you've had it for at least five years and you can't buy more, but it does make some definite one of a kind items. I guess there will aways be new discoveries and hopefully it helps my work evolve, so the lesson is: if you like it make sure to get it now, supplies are limited!


A Week of Giveaways - Who likes Free Stuff???

The Etsy Lincoln Handmade Team will be hosting a week of give aways March 16th. - 21st., so here's the chance for you to get some handmade goodies. Check out our Team Blog for info about our members and quick links to all their blogs(to see what they're giving away and to enter their contests).
The featured team members are (just click to see our stores):

and Me :)

Good luck everyone!



I have finished weaving the back piece together, it's just missing its lacing tabs and the crocheted edging.
The crocheted edging really ties the whole piece together and makes it looked more finished.
I have also been working on some strips for a different style of pop tab purse. I'm going to make a lot of these strips and then sew them together to make a clutch purse. I have also been experimenting with a "flower" for the front of the vest.
Yesterday I met my friend Lisa (Chimera Crochet) to shop for supplies for knitting and sewing projects. We wore ourselves out at Joann's, going from one end of the store to the other several times trying to match up fabrics and yarn and didn't buy a thing! We then finished up at Hobby Lobby where we found exactly what we needed!
One of the things we got was this yarn, I love the color of this yarn!!! (I love this yarn, old leaf, if you'd like some for yourself). Right now it's just a strip of stocking knit stitch, when it gets more interesting I'll be sure to share some photos.



I often see things that I would love to have on etsy, here are a few of them - please feel free to buy any of the for me :).
Row 1 (from left to right)
Snag free stitch markers -from jeanettejed, whose store features lots of different knitting accessories
Custom yarn embedded knitting needles - from OnTheNeedle, whose store features resin knitting needles and hair sticks
Ceramic dolls face ring - from MIXKO whose shop features felt and ceramic rings, necklaces, lampshades and handbags

Row 2
Long tray of pots - from JMNPOTTERY whose shop features wall decor, pots, bowls, jewelry, teapots, mugs, and lots of unique pieces
Healing blue - from stonesofhealing whose shop features nursing pendants, necklaces, earring, bracelets, jewelry for the whole family and child safe toys and jewelry.
Sleep mask Breakfast at Tiffany's - from lovelyart whose shop features a variety of sleep masks and jewelry

Row 3
Unfinished wood matchbox niche with viking wings - from TerraMaya whose shop features blank shrines, art shrines, jewelry, bags, and decor
Angel statue acrylic painting - from ebm126 whose shop features paintings, mixed media, and collage
Lucky at cards - from craftyhag whose shop features prints, ACEOs, drawings, paintings, and stained glass


I Forgot

I got so busy with my latest project that I forgot to blog yesterday! I started working on the Turkish vest pattern that Tiffany sent me in our personal swap.
I made the first piece using fleece(the one on the left), it made a very sturdy fabric with good stretch, but I wanted to showcase the tabs more, so I decided to try using knit fabric. I liked the look of the knit fabric better, but the fabric is weaker.
I crocheted an edging around the whole piece to give it a more finished look. Today I will be making the other two pieces, now that I've got the technique down it should go pretty fast.
I'm not sure where I will be wearing this,(so if you see me at the grocery store in this you know why,) but I just had to have one. I could probably use it for a Halloween costume.


Classy Pleated Clutch

I made this clutch purse using this tutorial on craftster using a vintage pillowcase and some rust colored cotton lining.
The instructions were easy to follow and there were pictures(aways helpful for a visual learner, like me). I ended up changing how the top band was attached and using a magnetic snap for the closure. I think it's a cute going out purse, but I'm not sure if your stuff will fall out, I like a more secure closure on clutch purses.
I have another one of these pillow cases that I've been saving because I don't know what to use it for, anyone have any ideas?


Happy Ending

Last week we(the whole family) prepared to go on a shopping outing, it was the normal chaos. Everyone had been dressed, coats had been put on and we had made it out the door to the car and into the car seats when disaster struck...I sat down into the drivers seat and completely tore the butt out of one of my favorite pair of capri pants. It was a big production, but I changed my pants and we went about our day.
Later that evening as I contemplated throwing out the pants, they were worn to thin to patch and we have so little space, my husband said, "why don't you keep them, you'll use them for something", I had a brainstorm! I could use the bottom of the pants for another Summerlin dress for little miss.
I used I love this cotton yarn, it seems to fuzz a little bit, but it is super soft, we'll see how it wears.
I also made the top a little longer this time and knitted in button holes so the back opening would overlap.I positioned the drawstrings off center and I think the effect turned out really cute. The length is adjustable which I also like. You know what would be really cute it some matching bloomers made out of bandanna fabric.
And so there was a happy ending after all!


Tie Dye Washcloth

I recently bought a tie dyed t-shirt at the goodwill for $.99. I took it home and cut it into strips that were roughly 1 inch wide.I used size 19 knitting needles and simple garter stitch to make this rainbow washcloth. I had originally used size 15 needles and it was just to tight/dense. It still seemed a little stiff, so I threw it in with the laundry and boy did it shrink (it must have been a new shirt). I was able to stretch it back into shape. The garter stitch has given it a lot of texture, it will make a good dishcloth or swiffer cover.
I have read that using well worn t shirts makes super soft washcloths, new ones not so much. I think maybe I cut the strips to wide, I'll try 1/2 inch wide next time. I already have a nice worn shirt ready to be sacrificed.


My Personal Swap Package

I got my package from the personal swap with Tiffany(mieljolie). I made her some slither arm warmers and she sent me a pattern for a Turkish vest made of pop tabs and this paper mache witch's boot.
It is double sided, so I can switch it up a bit.
It is my new favorite Halloween decoration! I can't believe how cool it is, I've never made anything like this with paper mache. I think I might have to try it again, a matching witch's hat would be great. Tiffany also included some vintage patterns and some vintage embroidery stitching guides.
I also finished Pandora's Summerlin dress.

Here's little miss being shy for the camera. I really like how this turned out and I already have another one on the needles, I think that I'll make the knitted part a little longer on this one. This pattern really has a lot of possibilities, by the time summer is here she may have half a dozen of these.

I am also proud to report that some of the seeds we planted in our 2-liter bottle garden are already growing, the catnip, marigolds, and chives are up, yay!