Three Months Old

I can’t believe it, Little Man is three months old today.  Let the embarrassing photos begin!100_3386 I’ll be squeezing chubby cheeks and watching the little wheels in his head turn as he watches Little Miss and Little Sir, forever trying to catch up.

Probably not the most crafty post, but hey technically I did make him.  Have a super crafty weekend!


So Many Projects and Not One Done

As you know I am usually working on five to fifty projects at a time, but normally I decide what I will be finishing each week to post here and concentrate on those two or three projects.  Unfortunately this week things came up that disrupted my crafty time and I don’t have a finished project for today, so I thought I’d share some of the things I’m working on.mushroom canisters taped This is one of the treasures that we rescued on our Forth of July junk shopping trip.  I’m trying to make it go with my kitchen vision.  So far plan A and plan B were a total failure, but I’m hopeful plan C will work (I also have a plan D, but hopefully it won’t come to that).  I am waiting to get supplies for plan C, I’m hoping for a 40% coupon from Hobby Lobby next week.poppet legs and arms This was what I thought I would have finished today, but now it is just a pile of legs and arms.  It’s a doll from the famous Craftster Poppet pattern.  I’m thinking I may have this done next week, unless I get distracted (oooooh shiny, yes that really happens to me) or need some special supply that I don’t have.critter parts Here is another pile of parts, knitted parts, waiting to be blocked and sewn into many fun little creatures.  I have finally restocked my yarn and am back knitting again.  Working on number three of four, but thinking I may improvise an extra to make it a family of five.

That’s the main focus of my craftiness this week, I am also working on other things and trying to keep on the cleaning/organizing binge I’ve been on.  Now I have to go clean the kitchen, someone knocked over an entire can of soda and there is sticky everywhere, I’d really rather be knitting!


Spa Bag

So, I was on Ravelry and I found the pattern for The Zakka Pouch (non-ravelry link) from Black Dog Designs and thought it would be perfect to keep my current knitting projects in.  I envisioned having several with one project per pouch.  I started knitting using some Peaches and Cream cotton and the bag got bigger and bigger, wow, this was going to hold a mega project, like a sweater and all the yarn, not just the skein I was working with and I wasn’t liking the rounded bottom, so I frogged it.spa pouch 2Now that I knew what I wanted I started by crocheting a large coaster for the bottom and then picked up stitches around the edge and knitted the sides.  I made sure to do a purl row at the top so I would have a line to stitch on when I added my fabric.  I also madespa pouch 1 some I-cord for the drawstring, I really hate making I-cord, and really a crocheted chain would have worked just as good, so I’m not sure why I felt the need to make the I-cord.  I guess I just wanted to be sure that I hated making it.

When I got all done I thought that the bag looked like something you would get a gift set in, like a washcloth, and some lotion or something.  I may make some for that for Christmas, or maybe I’ll just keep a knitting project in there, like I planned, it would be perfect for a hat.

There’s the added bonus, I used three different crafty techniques to make the bag, maybe I’ll stencil the fabric on the next one and make it four or hand dye the yarn for five, this could be some kind of new challenge…


But It Was On Sale

Last weekend I found a Sizzix Sidekick die cutting machine on clearance for $9.00 and although I don’t really need a die cutting machine the deal was too good to pass up. (BTW mine is red, image from sizzix.com).


I also got some flower dies (?) to cut with and decided to really put this little machine to the test. For my first project I cut aluminum can into cute little flowers. Soda cans are easy to cut with regular scissors and I just cut them into small squares and ran them through the Sidekick!die cut soda cans 1It cut them beautifully and even bevels the edges so they aren’t razor sharp anymore. I snipped the petals a little and bent them forward to make these more dimensional. I think I might try embossing the next one.die cut soda cans 2The dies seem fine, I cut paper and card stock after and they still worked great, now I just need some more shapes I have so many ideas. We’re going to have to start drinking more colorful soda!

Have a super crafty weekend!


Wishful Wednesday

It seems like I have a giant backlog of projects to try, here are some of my current favorites. I wish there was time to do them all.7-21-10 collage

From left to right and top to bottom:

Peek a Boo Toy Sack from Make it Perfect

Cake Pops from Little Miss Momma

Granny Square Lantern from Leethal, do stuff! blog

Perpetual Tin Calendar from Kristine Mckay Designs

Tiered Terracotta Planter from Positively Splendid

Floor Cushion from Living with Punks

‘Shroom from Crochet Me

Mirrored Garden Streamers from Dolce Cape Cod

The Caroline Hat from Popknits


The Bath Puff

The bath puff has been on my must crochet list for quite a while and I finally had time to whip one up. I used some scrap balls of cotton yarn and some of my vintage cotton terry cloth yarn for added scrubbing power. The pattern is easy, the most challenging part is fitting all the stitches in where they go. I ended up skipping the last round, my puff was already really puffy and I was running out of scrap yarn.

cotton crochet puff When I got about half way finished with this it occurred to me that I wasn’t going to like using it. I absolutely hate that musty smell that washcloths and dishcloths get after you use them once and this was going to be the same way. It sure is pretty though, it might look nice setting around and maybe once in a while I’ll use it and then toss it directly in the wash so it doesn’t get gross, I bet it would take forever to dry. It would look nice as a gift with some body wash, but is it weird to give something this impractical? Who’s going to wash their bath puff after every use? Hmmm, would it make a good duster? Anyone have an idea on what to do with this?


Kitschy Fun Magnet Tutorial

You know that extra special fabric you bought, the one that you hoarded for a year and a half before making it into anything and when you finally did cut into it you saved every last scrap, yeah, well I have a project for those scraps, Fabric and Felt magnets!!!

You will need:

  • fabric scraps
  • fusible interfacing, any weight that you have on hand
  • felt
  • promotional magnets, think insurance promos, calendars, etc.
  • an iron
  • a hot glue gun
  • mesh press cloth or paper

Start by roughly cutting out your fabric motifs, you can also start with squares or rectangles if you’re planning to make shapes, letters, or numbers.magnets 2 Lay out you mesh press cloth or paper, this will protect your ironing board from the fusible interfacing. Lay you rough cut shapes, right side down on top of the press cloth. Now would be a good time to press your scraps and get all the wrinkles out. Roughly cut a square of interfacing large enough to cover the shapes and fuse according to interfacing directions.magnets 3 Peel fabric and interfacing off of press cloth or paper. At this point I cut off all of the exposed interfacing because I like to press everything again to make sure it is fused really well. The interfacing helps stop fraying, if you want your edges to fray skip this step. Trim fabric into desired shapes, for motifs leave a narrow border around the edge of the design. Match up the pieces with scraps of felt.magnets 5 Sew along the inside edge of the fabric, trim threads, and cut felt to shape. If you are using thin magnet sheets they can easily be cut to shape with regular scissors. I like to cut the fairly large, they are not super strong and I don’t want magnets sliding off the fridge when the door shuts.magnets 6Hot glue magnets to the felt and you’re finished! The tattoo fabric still frayed, even with the interfacing, oh well. I need to finish up all the other shapes I cut out and fused, but I ran out of time.magnets 7 These are a great stash buster for those super special scraps. I might have to go back and add some glitter, dimensional paint, or rhinestones, they need a little “bling”. I think I need to make some sets of three or five to keep handy for little gift, it would be a great hostess gift or just for fun.


Post Holiday T-Shirt Yarn Part 2

So, I was sad that my t-shirt yarn curled the design to the inside, but I decided to use it anyway.  It turned out really well, the red and the blue can still be seen, but they are muted and it looks really shabby chic.  I decided to make a halter top for Little Miss, I knew this fabric would look cute with jeans.  What that means is I basically knitted a triangle.  I added some braided straps and picked up stitches along the side to make a strap to go across her back.flag yarn knitted

I was planning on using the leftover stars and stripes fabric to make some sort of ruffled bottom, but when I randomly set the top down on ugly shirt number two it just clicked.  The softer colors on this flag shirt complimented the new yarn better and it would look less Forth of July.flag yarn finishedI think it’s pretty cute, I love working with t-shirts, especially since the edges don’t fray.  I still need to sew the buttons on the strap and check the length of the “skirt” part of the top, but this has been a great success!

I think the next thing I would like to make with t-shirt yarn is a rug for the bathroom, now I need to pick some colors that would look good in there and start stocking up on t-shirts.


Holiday Shirts, Post Holiday T-Shirt Yarn

It seems like every Holiday has it’s own festive brand of tacky shirt and now that the forth of July has passed there is an abundance of flag themed shirts in the local thrift stores. flag ewwwwMy Mother rescued these two, thinking they were both tie dyed, only one was and it was really more splatter dyed, oh and covered in stiff glitter paint fireworks (don’t worry, I have plans for this one).flag shirt before This flag themed shirt was made into yarn. I really enjoy turning a not so great shirt into some fun yarn and there is a quick and easy way to do it: Start by cutting off the bottom hem of the shirt. Then cut across the shirt from armpit to armpit. You’ll be left with a tube from the center of the shirt.flag shirt foldedHere, you can see, I’ve folded the tube so one folded edge is about an inch and a half past the other fold. Using a rotary cutter and straight edge cut strips one half inch wide without cutting through the top fold.flag shirt strips When you open up your fabric it will look like this, BTW putting it on your cutting mat, like this, is a pain in the arse, I don’t recommend it!flag shirt cutting To make the yarn cut from the first strip, diagonally to the second strip and continue cutting diagonally like this until you reach the end. Cut the first strip (on the right in this picture) to a point.flag yarn stretching To finish your new yarn, stretch it so the edges curl and roll into a ball. BTW if you mound your freshly cut yarn up like this it will end up getting knotted and will take forever to untangle, ask me how I know. I was disappointed that this fabric curled with the printed side of the shirt in, but it turned out to be for the best.

A few tips/hints:

This technique only works on knit shirts without side seams, the seams will pull apart when you cut your strips.

Use a very large crochet hook or knitting needles when working with this yarn. It will make a heavy fabric if knitted on smaller needles.

Wash your shirt before cutting if it is dirty or you’ll end up with dirty yarn.

Knit fabric doesn’t fray, but it does shed little lint balls, it can be messy.

The top and sleeves can also be cut into yarn, but you will have to do it by hand with scissors, cutting in a spiral on the front piece and the back piece minimizes the knots needed to connect the yarn.

Check back later this week and see what I made from these two shirts, and let me know if you have any questions about making T-shirt yarn.


Book Review: Steampunkery by Christi Friesen


I was really excited to get Steampunkey by Christi Friesen, the images on the cover had me really excited and I was not disappointed!  Even if I had not read the book, the pictures alone were worth the investment.  I found her work inspiring and I couldn’t wait to get out my clay.  I did find the writing style with the “notes” a little annoying and being referred to the back of the book for suppliers and tips was a little repetitive, but that is all very minor in the end.  I learned a lot of interesting new techniques and I found all of the projects inspiring even if they weren’t quite my style.

For my first project I used her steampunk bug tutorial (it’s on here website for free).  I had all the supplies on hand and thought it would make a cute new accessory for me.steampunk bug 1I am really pleased with my first attempt and I am dying to make a heart pendant or pin.

This book has clear instructions, loads of pictures, and a list of suppliers to help you recreate all of the projects inside.  It also showcases some other designers. I have been really inspired by this book and can’t wait to apply it to my own projects.  If you would like to see some more of Christi’s work or try out some of her tutorials there are several free ones on her website.

Now I think I need a mini top hat, with some lace and feathers that I can wear my new pin on, I know just the perfect pattern…


Traditions and Vintage Patterns

Every 4th. of July there is a big flea market in the little town I’m from and it is my yearly tradition to go. This year we made the drive (about 1 1/2 hours), but it had rained all night and continued to rain all day and most of the vendors were already gone or packed up. We were so disappointed, luckily we were able to shop at the local antique mall (Nebraska translation – junk store). There were a lot of wonderful treasures and I hit the mother load of vintage patterns, the whole stack was bound together with a paper that said $1.00 for all.80's misc fuglyHere are the token ugly patterns from the 1980’s, maybe they’ll be stylish again in 10 or 20 years.80's free patterns I think these are from the 80’s as well, the one on the left is postmarked 1980. I can’t read the other one, but it is cute, I like the neckline detail.70's dresses and pants suits Some fun dresses and pant suits from the 1970’s, these are all really similar in design. The two simplicity patterns are Look Slimmer patterns, whatever that means.70's dresses and skorts More fun 70’s dresses and culottes (is that really how you spell that?, it looks weird). 50's patternsIn the very center of the stack DRESS PATTERNS FROM THE 1950’S!!!!! I about wet my pants when I saw these. The most exciting thing about all these patterns is they are my size (or darn close), can you believe it? I see vintage patterns fairly often and they are normally tiny, but these aren’t, they’re all around a size 20 or 22 AND THEY ONLY COST ME A DOLLAR!!!! can you tell I’m excited? Some of them are cut, but they are single sized patterns, not multi, like the modern ones and all of the instruction sheets seem to be intact. I am going to have to give some of these a try.

I found a lot of other great treasures that I’ll share in the future, they are waiting to be fixed, altered, and painted. Even Mr. Crafterella found something exciting for his collections (a vintage gas mask). It was a great day for shopping, even though the traditional 4th. of July flea market rained out. What are your 4th. of July traditions?


Quick, Hide Your Hooters

I never wanted one of these things with Little Miss, we had such a hard time breast feeding (nipple confusion, long story) the last thing I wanted to do was wrestle with another piece of equipment.  However this time around it seems like a really good idea, especially this tutorial from  Southern Institute for Domestic Arts and Crafts (found via luvinthemommyhood).  I have never noticed, so maybe all hooter hiders work this way, but the pocket for the nursing pad and the boning at the top so I can see what I’m doing under there are pure genius!hooter hider This was super easy to do.  I used the fabric I have been using for all of Little Mans stuff and not a heavy upholstery fabric like the tutorial recommended.  Do yourself a favor and use the heavier fabric or the boning at the top won’t hold the floppy fabric out as well (it is still workable and it matches everything else).  I used a scrap of flannel for the corner instead of terry cloth, I was more interested in a pocket than a towel for milky mouths (although I think the flannel will work for that too).  I’m really excited to use this, I know it will be easier than trying to hold a blanket and a squirming, hungry baby and trying to get everything out and in position without flashing the whole world.

Have a happy Forth of July and have a super crafty weekend!