A few of you may have noticed some small changes here on my blog, mostly adjustment to the background “theme” of the blog, but the real change has been in the address of my blog: crafterella.blogspot.com is now crafterella.com.  Update your bookmarks now, in the next year there will be some redesigning and rearranging done and the blogspot address might become obsolete.

Have a happy New Year everyone, I will be taking the next few days to review the past year and to plan what new and exciting things I will be working on in 2010.

kiki in tiny basket

Oh, and since I think every post should have a picture, here’s a shot of my cat Kiki crammed into a tiny laundry basket just for fun.


Available Patterns

Most of these patterns have been in my collection for a while, any that have been bought recently will be labeled and all are uncut except for the last picture. I know that the majority of these patterns were purchased on sale, so I don’t have a lot invested in them, if you are interested in any of these patterns comment here or email me (contact address is available in my profile) and we will work something out, I am actually more concerned about shipping costs for anyone who’s not local. Descriptions are from left to right, top to bottom. If you need more information on a particular pattern just ask.

patterns 1

McCalls 2754 – caftan, shirt, tank top, and pants, size F (16-18-20)

Simplicity 8422 – Jumper, vest, skirt, and pants, size U (16-20)

Simplicity 9503 – Top and jumper in three lengths, size U (16-20)

Simplicity 4050 –taken

McCalls 9371 – Unlined jacket, top, pants, and skort, size E (14-18)

Butterick 6354 –taken

patterns 2 Butterick 5903 – taken

Butterick 5843 – Cape, jacket and cover up, size 14-18

New Look 6087 – Six top variation in one pattern, size A (6-16)

Simplicity 9223 – taken

McCalls 9012 – Lined jacket, lined pant, and lined skirt, size E (14-18)

McCalls 9281 – one top, eight different looks, size E (14-18)

patterns 3 McCalls 8360 – taken

McCalls 8351 – Jumper in two lengths, size E (14-18)

McCalls 8233 – Sarong dress in two lengths, size E (14-18)

McCalls 2834 (purchased recently) – scrubs, size A (S-L)

McCalls 6843 –taken

McCalls 6891 – dress with neckline and sleeve variations, size E (14-18)

McCalls 5186 (purchased recently)- lined vests, size EE (14-20)

McCalls 2132(purchased recently)- low rise pants and shorts, size E (14-18)

patterns 4Simplicity 4636 – baby accessories, I have had this pattern for a few years and view A the basket liner is cut, but all the pieces are included and still useable.

I also have several cut patterns if you are looking for pattern tissue to decoupage or other altered art type projects, just ask.

I guess I should get back to my cleaning, I really am getting anxious to start sewing.


Let it Snow, I’ll Stay Inside and Sew!

I haven’t left the house for a week, the weather here has been a bit snowy and blowy.  I haven’t really needed to go anywhere and when it’s cold I would rather just stay nice and warm at home.  However, I did venture out today.  It’s still a little slick in spots and it seems like people are driving a little crazy, but I had two good reasons to get out!

Reason number one, I was out of Diet Pepsi.  Caffeine is really the only vice I have left and I think it’s going to take a major intervention to ever get me to let it go.

Reason number two, Joann Fabrics called and the fabric I had ordered during Coupon Commotion (I love that sale name) was here.  I am super excited to get sewing, here’s a sneak peek of everything I got today.

Little Miss curtain fabricAnd yes, that pink pile on the right is gigantic rick rack!!!  I have everything I need for this project I just need to get everything prewashed.

I am still not starting any new projects until I get things a bit more tidy in the sewing room, but I am making a lot of progress. 

In the next couple of days I will have a list of patterns that I am eliminating from my collection, if anyone is interested in buying them or trading for them, I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out, I really just want to find them good homes.   Most of them are not cut and from the late 90’s around a size 18. 

Well, I’m off to do some more cleaning and organizing, so I can get to sewing.  It was snowing again earlier today and more is expected, maybe I can put a dent in my fabric collection, let it snow, let it snow.


Awesome Cupcakes of Doom!

I have finished my felt cupcakes for Little Miss, you will notice that only half of them have bead sprinkles.  After beading them for two nights and only getting three done, I just couldn’t make myself do all six.felt cupcakes 3The sprinkles are super sparkly and I hope she likes them.  I guess if it is really a big issue with her I can always go back and bead the three plain ones.felt cupcakes 4Happy Holidays everyone, I’ll see you guys next week!


Very Last Minute Knitting

I have been working on a few final gifts, knitted scarves.  I really enjoy knitting, but it is not something that I would consider quick, however the “Mile-a-Minute” scarf from Turvid is!  I finished the purple one up last night while watching TV and started the thinner red one today while watching Christmas shows with my kids.

mile a minute scarves

These scarves really work up fast and they are open, lightweight and squishy warm.  An added plus is that they also appear fancy and complicated.  I imagine you could even add in some novelty yarn, like eyelash, and make them furry.  There’s still time to make one for someone you know, pop over and get the pattern now!


Simplicity 2699 Pattern Review

This pattern really appealed to me because all of the aprons were full and vintage styled with more details and cuteness that just a plain apron.  All of the designs feature pockets and bias binding.  View A could be worn as a summer top.  I chose to make view C.

cupcake apron patternI decided to use two different fabrics for the design to highlight the ruffles and ties.  The directions are easy to follow and all of the seams are enclosed or finished with bias binding, which I really like.  If I made the pattern again I would make the waist ties differently, probably doubling the width of the pattern and sewing a tube and turning rather that trying to double fold the fabric into a narrow hem around the edge.cupcake apron 2 I was disappointed that a pattern that uses so much bias binding has no hints or suggestions for working with it.  “Apply binding to pocket edge” is not the easiest to accomplish when the pockets are heart shaped and there are no suggestions for getting the binding into that shape.  I did try to pre-shape it with my iron and I very carefully sewed it on, but in the end was unhappy with how it looked.  You’ll notice that my finished apron has no pockets.  I would also like to mention that I ironed all the creases out of my binding before I began applying it.

I do plan on making at least one more of the views of this pattern and since this was purchased to $.99 (Hobby Lobby sale) I feel it has been a real value.  This pattern is for you if you are looking for a more elaborate apron for a special little girl and enjoy applying bias binding.

cupcake apron bagThis apron goes with the felt cupcakes for my daughter for Christmas.  I also used the leftover fabric and binding to make a drawstring bag to wrap the present with.


NOOOOOOO, Everything Was Going So Smoothly, WHYYYYYYY!

So I’m having a great day sewing.  I am almost finished making this adorable apron for Little Miss when I realize I am almost out of thread, NOOOOOOOOO.  There are a lot of decorative stitches on this apron and it has used a ton of thread, plus I have used this same thread to sew the set of felt cupcakes (which still aren’t finished).cupcake apron crisisI have to finish the binding on the apron and finish/add the pockets and I also need to finish beading the felt cupcakes.  In order to leave the house I would need to shower, get dressed, dress the children, gas up the car and drive over to Hobby Lobby for a spool of thread.  I’m feeling a bit lazy and I don’t really want to leave the house, wishing I had another color of thread that I could use…maybe purple, would that be weird? an apron stitched in half pink and half purple, it is just a play apron, are the sewing police going to knock on my door and force me to rip it out and re-do it if I use two different colors of thread?  I think not, purple it is and I’ll save the rest of this pink for the cupcakes.

cupcake apron 1It really is turning out nicely besides the thread mishap.  I have enough of the cupcake fabric left to make a drawstring bag to wrap up this apron and the cupcakes.  BTW this apron is from Simplicity 2699 (expect a pattern review later this week).  I guess I’ll go and load up a bobbin with purple and get back to sewing and maybe some more cleaning, I still have eight loads of laundry to fold, it’s clean, just not folded.


The Official Update

I have grounded myself from doing any more crafting that is not Christmas gift related until I have cleaned up some of this mess.  I have never been an extremely tidy person and I tend to overtake any flat surface with all of the various projects that I am currently working on.  Let me be clear, my house is not filthy it’s cluttered, I do maintain basic cleaning, like washing dishes, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, etc., I just don’t do a great job of picking up after myself.  I have made a lot of progress this week, the kitchen is looking great and all the countertops are visible and the living room is coming along nicely, I just have to find a new home for some gigantic totes.  I am even getting a handle on all of my fabric in the craft room.

craft room, messyThis photo was taken at the end of November and I am happy to say that a lot more of the floor is visible and the furniture has been rearranged, but I am still struggling to find homes for all of my carefully hoarded supplies.

I am also still working on those darn cupcakes, their frosting has been applied and now all they need is some beaded sprinkles (I did decide to go with orange, thanks Kelly), but I refuse to post another picture of them until they are finished. 

I have not wrapped any gifts yet, since I am still waiting for most of them to arrive, traditionally I spend Christmas eve in a package wrapping frenzy and it seems it will be that way again.  I hope to be ungrounded and back to crafting soon, I have a gigantic back log of projects to complete and now that my fabric is getting organized I have a ton of sewing projects that I am dying to work on.  Have a great weekend!


Bone Crusher Quilts

I grew up in a drafty farm house and every winter the quilts would come out and be stacked on the beds.  The heaviest of the quilts were called bone crushers because of how heavy they were.  The best bone crushers were made from denim, old, soft, worn denim from our old jeans and overalls.  I still love denim quilts, although now I prefer the lighter “rag” quilts as opposed to the traditional quilt top with batting, binding, and backing.

My Mother made an awesome denim quilt for my son with stars and even the pockets from the jeans.  I love it, he has been using it for a couple of years and it just get softer and softer and it is super warm.

denim 1I also made some matching curtains, they are a little short for the windows in our new house, but I’ll just add another strip at the bottom.  I’m also going to add a lining to make it a little more insulating, his room is on the North side of our house.

denim 2These curtains were so easy to make, I just tore the legs of jeans to get a straight edge and sewed them together the wider strips are from the back of the pants and the narrow ones are the front.  I put the seams on the right side and snipped them about ever 1/4” and put them into to washing machine to fray them.

I love denim, it is such a versatile, long wearing fabric.  I just wanted to share some of the great projects I have made with it.  I have started a shag style rug, the strips are cut and I just need to decide what kind of backing to use and how big to make it.  I’m lucky, I seem to have a never ending supply of denim, everyone in our family saves it, and if I do need more I can always pick up a few pairs of jeans at the Goodwill on dollar days!  What kind of great projects have you made using denim?


Frugal Friday: Star Wars?

My son, who is five, loves Star Wars and let me tell you it is NOT frugal to shell out money for all of these toys!  He has quite a collection, but is always wanting more, this year I spent the budgeted amount on him and he is getting one item.  I need a bit of really inexpensive stuff for him to unwrap, we don’t want a present counting contest to start between him and his sister.  Today I hit the jack pot!  StarWars.com has free coloring pages (and games for the older kids).  If you want a few more pages check out the Galactic Colorbot, just print without coloring!

coloring pages

I printed out a large selection, two of each design.  I’m going to put these into a folder and get a box of markers or colored pencils from the Dollar Tree and call it good.  The best part is he’ll love it and I’m only out a buck or two.  I’m counting the coloring pages as free, I already had ink and paper and I don’t budget it that tight.

Now I just need one more little thing and I’ll be finished with him, I’m thinking a stenciled shirt with a clone trooper helmet or something, stay tuned for that.

I almost forgot, almost any of your child's favorite characters can be found, just search for “your character free coloring pages” and you’ll get tons of results, it’s a great last minute frugal gift.


Large Crafty Storage Jars

I am always searching for free or no cost ways to store and organize my giant craft stash and my husband has found a great solution: extra large spice containers from his job (intuitional food service).  He brings home at least one of these a week, I remove the labels and wash them out and fill them up with all my crafty goodness.

large crafty spice rack They are perfect, rectangular with a built in handle, there is no wasted space!  I was using pickle jars, on the left, but they are round and hard to grab and they take up more space while holding the same amount.  Really the only draw back is that removing the smell from the container is impossible.  Most of them are garlic powder, but I do have a cinnamon and a pepper, I just need to make sure not to store anything in them that will absorb the smell.  I wonder if I made a little bag to hold baking soda or coffee beans if that would absorb the smell.  I’m still working on that idea, I would love to hear your suggestions for removing the smell.


The Cutest Crochet Pattern Ever!

The Pattern is Little Button Loafers from Sylver Designs on etsy.  I don’t know what it is about this pattern that makes it so cute, maybe it’s the tiny size or the color possibilities, but it is just adorable.

little button loafers 1 I still need some little red buttons, but we have be hit by a large snow storm and I’m not leaving the house until the roads get a little better (hopefully tomorrow).  They work up pretty fast, I had some trouble working the pattern, but it was all my fault.  I am not a crochet expert and I was trying to keep my kids entertained and count stitches at the same time, it just didn’t work. 

The pattern is well written and there are several pictures to help you along.  There are four different sizes to make from newborn to 9 months and I’m sure you could make them even bigger by adjusting gauge.  I like that the heel of the bootie is contoured, I think that they will stay on better.  The pattern is for personal use, but there is a cottage license available from the seller if you would like to make booties to sell, which I am considering.

little button loafers 2 They are even adorable without their button on tab, wouldn’t a little red bow or ladybug button just finish these off.  I will be making a ton of these for gifts, now I just need to find the perfect hat pattern to match.


Craft Show Display

Last Saturday was the perfect day for a craft show, it was cold, but the sun was shining and there was no snow or ice to make driving difficult.  I had a lovely spot near the door and the sun streamed in from a window above and behind my table, which was really nice, however it made my pictures come out awful!

craft show table 1 On the left I had my wristlets and record bowls holding bottle cap pendants and recycled notebooks, in the center my pendants and tree of life ornaments and next to that hats and scarves.  The box on the right contains recycled crayons and knitted washcloths.

craft show table 3 I have my frame propped up with a brick to make the pendants easier to view and it leaves space behind and under the frame to store my cash box and bags.

craft show table 2Here are my home made hat stands, they really work well for displaying hats and then I just lay the extra hats along the sides and scarves around the bases.

This was my last show of the season and it was not really my day for sales, but it is a show hosted by my family and I really enjoy spending the day with them.  Next year will be the 20th anniversary of this show and I will be in attendance again, it was a great day full of family and fun and the only show that my kids get to go with me.

I will be using my pendant frame and head displays again, I think they worked out really well and really the only investment was the time it took to make them.  The record bowls are also really handy for displaying smaller groups of items and they are also available for sale.  I had a really fun season and next year I am hoping to attend more events.


Striped Knits

I have been knitting away making some arm warmers and an earflap hat out of this great colored yarn from Red Heart, the color is 0964 Primary and it has all of my favorite colors and stripes really well.

stripey hat and armwarmersI used a combination of patterns blended together for the hat.  The arm warmers are a modified version of Slither from Knitty, I knitted them in the round and left off the stripes and buttons.  I am really excited to wear these this weekend, it’s finally getting cold enough for winter knits.


How Long Does it Take to Make Cupcakes?

Apparently quite a while.  I was expecting to show you the first set of six cupcakes today, however, they aren’t quite finished.  I’m blaming Facebook, an old friend from art school found me and we spent the afternoon catching up.

I have finished the cupcakes and wrappers.

felt cupcakes 1I did not flute the wrappers and instead used tie-dyed felt (who knew there was such a thing?).  I might even add some hot pink rick rack around the middle to make them fancier! 

I have started on the frosting, the pieces are cut out and sewn together, but the hand sewing and stuffing has just begun.

felt cupcakes 2It reminds me of hot pink poo.  They’re really going to be bright and fun.  I just need to decide what color of bead sprinkles I’m going to add, silver, pink, orange?  Help me decide.  I’m hoping to accomplish more on these later, I would like to get the other batch of six finished this weekend, so I can check this off my list.


Trying Not to Traumatize the New Neighbors

Since moving in to our new house I have been slowly adding window treatments to every room based on privacy.  These are not all permanent solutions, but they do keep people from seeing straight through our house.  The curtains upstairs are stapled up!   The only bare windows still left are in the kitchen.

Our kitchen is at the back of our house and really the only people who could see in would be our neighbors or the random peeping tom.  However, occasionally I find myself naked in the kitchen and folded fabric morewondering if maybe my neighbors may have noticed.  They just moved in a couple of weeks ago and I really don’t want to traumatize them before we get the chance to properly meet them, so we definitely need some sort of curtains!

Yesterday while folding more fabric (I finished off another tote, yay!)  I found my stash of vintage aprons and thought that they would look really cute as kitchen curtains. 

I made a special trip to Hobby Lobby and bought some mini cloths pins and strung them onto twine.  I used clear push pins to tie the twine up.  I starched and ironed the aprons and hung them up.  Apron curtains I think I can almost hear the neighbors sigh of relief, “Look honey, we don’t have to see our neighbors naked anymore, they got curtains!” 

I can easily switch out the aprons if I get tired of these or get new ones for my collection.  I could also add another line to the top of the windows, but I like the sun shining in.  BTW I have a lot more aprons, these were just the most brightly colored ones and the ones with the most details, I love the cross stitched gingham ones!  Does anyone else have a good idea on how to display aprons, I have a lot of full aprons that I would love to have out.