The Sock Pig

I fell in love with this sock pig on Craftster.  I reeeeeaaaallllly wanted one, but the book is checked out from the library until mid March and I just couldn’t wait!  I decided I would try to make one from just looking and guessing.sock pig 1It went pretty well, but I don’t think I got the ears quite right, it’s more of a pig/bunny (I think a bunny in this style would be really cute too, some big floppy ears and a puffy tail).sock pig 2I also decided it need more something, so I got out the embroidery floss and just started stitching. sock pig 3Some eyelashes and snout embellishment did the trick.  For a first try, not bad.  I need to get the book (I’m on the waiting list) and see what the deal is with the ears.

It’s $.99 weekend at the Goodwill, so you know where I’ll be, have a crafty weekend!



I know how much babies like to be swaddled and it seems like there are a ton of specialty blankets to make it easier.  They do make it easier, but they are kind of pricey and they fall into the category of not being used long enough to justify the price, for me anyway.  I also know that I can use a regular blanket, gasp, I know!  But now I don’t have to use a plain old receiving blanket, I can use my custom made swaddling blankets.  I found this wonderful tutorial on PrudentBaby for making a stylish and inexpensive swaddling blankets.  I was also excited to find out that Joann Fabrics has flannel on sale right now for $1.49 a yard!  swaddling blankets 2I made up four, two for me to try out and two to put away for gifts, it seems like I always need a last minute baby gift.  They went together really fast, I did all of them in a day, the first one took the longest and since they are all very different I felt like I spent a lot of time winding bobbins with different colors of thread and rethreading my machine, I did use up the ends of three odd colors I had laying around, bonus.  swaddling blankets 1I don’t have a serger (I don’t have the space to keep one) and I didn’t want to turn and stitch down the edges of the large triangle piece, so I used my over-lock stitch, it makes three straight stitches and then a zigzag, it’s probably the stitch I use the most next to the straight stitch.  It finished the edges nicely and gives them a scalloped look.

I really like how they came out and I love that I don’t have to have pastel blankets, now I need some matching hats!  I definitely need some orange yarn, I guess I need to make a craft store run, again.


Carnivorous Plant Update

Back in September I started a carnivorous plant kit, part of the seeds were planted right away and the rest had to be put into the refrigerator for six weeks.  Everything got planted on schedule and the jar sat on my kitchen counter, every once in a while I would peek into it and check the moisture level, but nothing grew.  I was thinking that eventually I would just get a few established Venus fly traps and call it good, but last week I noticed something, something small and green.carnivouous plant updateIt’s still really hard to see, but it’s there to the left of the black marble.  I’m not sure what it is, but it may actually be a carnivorous plant!  I have to say that this kit has been a little disappointing, I’m guessing that the seeds are old and I think that growing these sort of plants may be difficult anyway, so I guess I would not recommend this kit and now I’m hesitant to try any of their other products which is sad, they had a lot of unusual kits.  Has anyone else had good luck or even tried any of the plant kits from Dune Craft?


Stranding or Look, I Made a Zigzag

I still think of myself as a beginning knitter even though I have been knitting a few years now.  I guess it’s because I knit little things like hats, booties, purses and scarves.  I have been anxious to try stranding (some also call it fair isle), but a bit intimidated too.  Using two colors in one row could get confusing!  I watched the stranding video on knittinghelp.com (scroll down about half the page for the video) and just went for it.zig zag baby hatIt was easy and now I have this cute little zigzag hat to go with my rock and roll baby gowns.  I think I’m going to try an argyle band next or maybe skulls or storm trooper heads, this takes my hats to a whole new level, LOL!


We Have Curtains

I finished up Little Miss’s curtains last night, finally.  It’s not that they were difficult, it’s just that everything took longer than I thought it would.  I think they turned out great and I can’t wait to make some more of these.Little Miss curtains2 This is what they look like unrolled, I am planning on pinning up the hanging tail from the tie.  I loooooovvve that giant pink rick rack!

Little Miss curtains1 They are really easy to roll up and they tie on the back side.  Sorry for the glare, the sun is actually out today and the snow covered ground really reflects the light.  

I used McCalls 5858 to make these “eco” shades.  They are lined and insulated with flannel.   I like making curtains, they are usually pretty easy and they can really make a room.  These were actually a little expensive to make, but I used high quality quilting fabric because I want them to last.  I would guess that I spent about $40.00 a shade, which includes the hardware to hang them.  I do expect them to be used for 5 – 10 years and I’m hoping that since they are insulated that they will help with energy conservation.  Little Miss’s room is on the Northwest corner of our house, so she gets cold winter winds and glaring summer sun, these should help keep her room more temperate.

I learned a lot making these that will come in handy for the next batch I’ll be making.  I need to make sure that I get the fabric in the right order so that the insulating layer ends up on the inside, make the shades extend past the window ledge so that they can be rolled and tied without exposing the window, and sew and measure as straight as possible. 

I have to lengthen the curtains I made for Little Sir and add a lining and ties.  I won’t be insulating his since they are made from denim.  I also want to make a set for the craft room, so I can take down the brown paper.


An Update: Not Nearly as Exciting as it Sounds

So, I’ve had a minor setback on the curtains, I sewed one of the panels together wrong.  It is not the end of the world and it can (and will) get fixed, however the curtains did not get finished today!  I lost a bit of my momentum when I screwed that panel up.

I did get the paint touched up and the mounting boards bought and cut to size.

Before with the patches from having our home insulated:

Little Miss's room - beforeAfter, I sanded (lightly, they had already done that when they patched the holes), primed and painted the spots and I think the spots are now invisible:

Little Miss's room - after 1I also cleaned up and organized her toys and returned all her brothers toys to his room, she takes them and hides them away while he’s at school.

I will be finishing up her new curtains this weekend, as you can see the paper shades that we currently have are a little worse for wear and one window is completely bare since an incident earlier this week.

Have a super crafty weekend! 


Girly Storage

I know I haven’t posted on the great clean up recently, I have kind of slacked off, maintaining has been going well, but I need to start working on new projects again.  This week I have been working on several things to finish my daughters room.  Her room is the only room that has actually been painted, although I have to go back and touch up all the holes from when we had the house insulated last fall.

Today I made two crate covers, I have used this pattern before with cheap fabric, this fabric is much nicer and the results are wonderful!  I have started with two and once we start putting toys away I will decide if I need to make a few more.  Once again I have to say that this pattern is very easy and I used the directions to make these custom to the crates I had on hand.  If you need pretty storage this pattern is definitely the one, I imagine that I will have a house full of these by the time I am finished putting everything away.

undercover crate collageThis is the Undercover Crate Pattern from Laura Gunn at Paint in my Hair.

My goal is to get all the toys put away and then I should be able to touch up the paint.  Once the painting is done I can hang the new curtains (more on that later) and then I can start looking for some furniture, I need a big girl bed and an armoire since there is no closet in this room, but there is really no rush on the furniture for now. 

Once I’m finished with Little Miss’s room I can start working on Little Sir’s room, he’s been asking when I’ll paint his room, he’s hoping for orange, I’m thinking tan to coordinate with his bedding.


Practicality or Photo Prop?

Baby cocoons are all over etsy and other handmade venues, but what I really want to know is are they for everyday use or just a cute photo prop?  I know that babies like to be swaddled, but am I going to be able to get a squirmy little baby into a knitted tube? cocoon 4I found a free pattern (ravelry link) to make my own cocoon and whipped one up using Homespun yarn (the color is autumn).  It only took one skein of yarn.  I continued the bottom point into I-cord for a few inches for a stem effect.  It reminds me of something a little elf baby would be in and the various tones of rust and green coordinate with the hat and booties that I have already made.  I will be adding a toggle button to hold the top closed, but I’m not sure that I’ll really use that.  I guess I will see how useful one of these is, anyway it will make some adorable photos.  Has anyone else used one of these for a new baby?


Pop Tab Purse – The Insanity Continues

I have been really obsessed with this project.  It was a challenge to figure out how to make the motifs and then to get all of the pieces to fit together from just looking at a picture and guessing.  This was what kept me up at night and once I did go to bed it’s what I dreamed about and now I have finally fitted all the pieces together!  I still need to put a lining in and figure out the type of closure I want to use, but I think I’m going to have to put this down for a little while and work on something beside pop tabs before that happens.pop tab sample finished Yeah, I need to finish weaving in the ends too. 

I learned a lot from this project:  The original bag, that I have copied, sells for $120-$130 and that is a steal for the amount of work involved in making one of these (even if you have done it a hundred times), size 18 nylon is really to big a smaller yarn would look better, weaving in ends sucks, and sometimes you have to walk away from a project for a while to be able to finish it without loosing your mind.

Would anyone like to volunteer to put a lining in this bag for me?, I think it may be a pain because of the shape.  I guess I’ll figure that out later!  Have a crafty weekend everyone.


Work In Progress – More Pop Tab Insanity

I’m briefly checking to say that this is what I have been working on this all day, finishing up the last five motifs and making the handle. pop tab sample 4I just need to finish putting everything together and then figure out how to make a lining and what sort of closure I want to use.  I’m soooooo excited at how this is coming together, look for the finished purse tomorrow, I’m going to have some dinner and finish crocheting this together!


Little Man Shirt

I noticed that the Sienna Dress pattern (from Lilblueboo) was pretty unisex and I decided to make Little Sir a shirt with it. I had the perfect polo shirts to use, orange with stripes, we love orange! I used the tapered sleeve and made the body of the shirt slightly boxier and shorter. Little Man ShirtSuccess, I love this pattern! The neck looks a little wonky, but I’m hoping that washing it will fix that. I used the collar from the polo shirt and one side had fusible interfacing firmly attached, so the neck line didn’t stretch as well. I have enough of the strip fabric left over to make some sleeves for another baby gown, now I just need a navy blue shirt to cut up, I think I will be making a lot more reconned clothing for my family. No knit shirt is safe!



Yesterday I followed a twitter link from craftster and found this super easy tutorial for making little cork ninjas on LucyRavenscar (check the other pages for other cork creations and other creatures).

cork ninjasThey are just too fun and they are quick to make. I also really like the aliens, they remind me of brain slugs (from Futurama). I may have to give one of those a try so I can wear it on a clip in my hair.


Rock And Roll Baby

Maybe it’s just me, but shopping for baby clothes can be a bit overwhelming on the pastel cuteness.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a cutely dressed baby as much as anyone else, but I do get sick of all the pastel blues and greens and I really get sick of all those cute-sy teddy bears!

I was really exited to find this tutorial for making newborn gowns from old t-shirts on This Mama Makes Stuff.  I have to say that the pattern and tutorial are surprisingly simple, but I have been working with a lot of knit fabric lately.  I spent a few hours making two gowns and I love the results!

newborn gown transformers I had a similar gown like this for Little Miss and I loved the ease of diaper changing.  Hers was Winnie the Pooh, Transformers is much more us.newborn gown tye dyeI think I might have to add a stencil to this one to make it a bit more special, but it’s still way better than pastels and bears!

I have a bit of knit left over and I think I will be making some matching hats and maybe a few fancy rags.  Now I just need to get a few more t-shirts, I would love some classic concert tees to work with.  If anyone has any cool shirts to trade, let me know.


Friday Favorites and Stuff

Once again it’s time for Friday Favorites, as always featured sellers are listed from left to right, top to bottom.

friday favorites 2-5-2010

wtf Contemplation Collection – banished

Bird Bath, stained glass and copper – GloriousGlass

Live Moss Terrarium Kit – MissMossy

Tiny Gnome Village – MoontsyAndFloontsy

Green Glass Alligator Eye Wire Wrapped Ring – kimsjewels

Mealy Monster Land Ben – mealymonster

I have a full weekend of crafting planned and several projects already half done.  A new Sienna Dress, with a monkey, for Little Miss and some manly projects for Little Sir and Little Bun (Check out all these little boy tutorials on luvinthemommyhood).  What crafty stuff will you be working on this weekend?, see you guys next week!


Meat Bag

I finished making the plarn for my project yesterday afternoon. I pulled all of the bags out from under the sink and sorted them out by type/color and I hit the jackpot with some large red bags, woohoo, red plarn!plarn with meat

So as I’m cutting my plarn I’m thinking about how nice it is to not have all those bags under the sink, how I need to make a cute bag holder, and that I really need to make some reusable shopping bags for myself (I’ve made a dozen and given them all away). Then suddenly I remember how every time I buy meat they put it in a plastic bag so the meat juices don’t get on anything else and how I always throw my meat bags away, because who wants to have a bag of meat juice under their sink, ewww? Throwing those bags away annoys me and I decide that I need to make something that can be reused.

Light bulb moment! I’ll fuse some plastic bags together and make a reusable bag just for meat! Fused plastic is pretty sturdy and I can just wash the juices off and use it over and over, yay (I think that I might even try and put it in the washing machine if it got really dirty). I even had the perfect plastic bags, they were super thin and clear.

Using my iron I fused 3 bags together (I cut off the handles and the bottom and fused them double layered). If you haven’t fused plastic before here are some instructions. The clear bags look kind of like waxed paper when fused, because they are super thin there are a few holey areas, no problem, I’ll just patch them with the scraps. I also fused the left over handles from the red bags to make my meat appliqué. I cut the edges even and zigzagged them together and now I have fancy, reusable meat bags.

meat bag

I fused the letters to the bag, on one I zigzagged the edges and on the other I left it plain, I want to see if it will hold up to regular wear or if the letters will fall off. I like the patchy look, kind of creepy and Frankenstein-ish, funny for a meat bag. I have some left over letters and I might make a couple more of these or maybe I’ll use them for something else, now back to my plarn.


Mini Mushrooms and Plarn

Lately it seems like every time I go to Etsy I see another jar of moss with some tiny mushrooms arranged on top. I like them, but I’m not going to actually buy a jar of moss.mini mushrooms and moss I think what I really like are the mushrooms, so I found a tutorial for making mushrooms using wooden drawer pulls on AlphaMom. It was really simple, the kids can help too, and now I have an entire family of mushrooms to live in my plant pots. I really like the tiny white flowers on the Scottish moss they used (I would buy that if I could find it locally).mini mushrooms 2This is just their temporary home, I have a giant teacup and saucer planter (similar to this one) that I’m going to fill with herbs for my kitchen and they will all live in there once the plants are established. Now I just need some miniature garden gnomes.

Speaking of my kitchen, did you know that at night when you turn your kitchen light off that the plastic bags under you sink multiply like rabbits? Well they do and the other day I woke up to this: plarn beforeNow I definitely can’t throw these out so I decided to make some plarn.plarn after There are some easy instructions for making plarn here. I have cut up 20 bags and I still haven’t made a dent in my collection. I will be packing up some of these bags and taking them back to the grocery store today, they have a bag recycling bin there, but I’m going to get a good stash of plarn built up too, I have big plans and I need to make sure I have enough. Have you ever worked with plarn?, is it hard on the hands? I’m going to crochet with it, I think it might be difficult to knit with.


Eco-Friendly Fancy Rags

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to use up my knit t-shirt scraps from the Sienna dress for another project and today I’m sharing what I made, fancy rags. Using old clothing for rags is nothing new, when I was growing up we had a drawer full of rags cut from old stained shirts, but these are a little nicer.

I cut up my dress leftovers and two old white shirts from my scrap pile (I really can’t throw anything out and it’s really more of a mountain) into 5” x 7” pieces. Using my colorful thread from old projects I zigzagged around the edges of two rectangles layered together. This was a great way to use up leftover colors of bobbin thread, I cleaned off two whole bobbins, yay!

fancy ragsFor the white ones I tried to sew right along the edge and I rounded the corners when I came to them. I got smarter on the colored ones and just sewed near the edge, making the corners square, and trimming the edges closer to the stitching when finished, they look much neater, lay flatter, and it’s a lot easier. On the top left you can see I even used the printed part of the shirts, just remember to turn it to the inside. I will be throwing these in with my regular wash, I expect them to last quite a while and if I ever use them for a particularly nasty job I won’t feel too bad throwing one or two out along the way.

I will be keeping these on my kitchen counter in a basket and they will be used as a substitute for napkins, paper towels, Kleenex, sponges, and dish cloths. I have 24 and I will slowly be making more as I use more of my knit stash. I am excited to switch over to these and am hoping to create even less trash and save a little money as well. Slowly I am trying to make my household more eco friendly and this is just one more small step.


Lilblueboo Pattern Review

Last weekend was $.99 clothing at the Goodwill, my favorite time of the month, and this month I was on a mission for some super cute knit fabrics to make my new pattern. The Goodwill I go to is smaller, but really nicely organized, all the women’s clothing is sorted by color. All I had to do was find a few cute patterned knits and go to the coordinating color section to find matching extra knits, super easy. It was also fun because it didn’t matter what size the shirts were(smalls seem to have the best designs). I came home with this:

sienna dress fabrics before

Using the Sienna Dress Pattern from Lilblueboo I made this awesome dress for Little Miss:

sienna dress finished 1I was so excited when I got this pattern and have been waiting to try it, I had to find the perfect knits. It has lots of step by step photos and a lot of tips for working with knits, which I thought was going to be difficult (it wasn’t!). I also really like the different sleeve and skirt options for this pattern (I used a tapered sleeve and ruffle for this version), I will be using it over and over and the dresses will have different looks. Don’t forget the opportunity to embellish the fabric is endless. I also have to mention how impressed I was that the pattern pieces matched up so well, a lot of times the commercial patterns are difficult to match (all those notches and dots), not this pattern everything went together smoothly. I highly recommend this pattern, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, finding/reclaiming old knit fabric is so fun, and the dress is super soft and comfortable! Don’t forget to stop by her blog for more tips and tutorials.

I also brought a few more knits home to work with, you know I spent more that $2.00 on $.99 day, right?

sienna dress fabrics before 2

sienna dress fabrics before 3 And some cute tops for me and an almost brand new baby coat for next year, the bargain saving high is great and I can’t wait to make a couple more dresses. I also have a plan for the left over knit from making these dresses, more on that later this week. If you want to see what other people are making from her patterns check out her flickr group.