I May Have Broken the Baby

I do crafty stuff almost everyday, some days I get to do more than others, but here lately life has gotten in the way.  Having two different sicknesses hit our house this month has really drained everyone, especially me.  To make things more complicated I may have broken the baby.  Little Man has been the best baby ever, he’s happy all the time, likes everyone, stops crying the minute you pick him up, is curious and active and usually goes to sleep whenever he is put into his crib, but here lately he has completely given up sleeping at night.  Every night he kicks and screams and cries to fight sleeping, it’s crazy.  He’s not hungry, diaper’s nice and fresh, all his favorite blankies are there, nothing has changed.  He still takes his naps just fine, but no, he doesn’t want to sleep at night and if he can’t sleep, I can’t sleep.  Last night on the fifth time I went to feed him and re-tuck him in I notice this, look down by his hands:bite marks Those are teeth marks, he’s been gnawing on his crib like a beaver.  That can’t be good.   I checked to see if he was teething and I’m not seeing any swelling or new teeth, but maybe the ones he has are giving him fits.  I normally keep a blanket over the side of the crib, but he has been pulling it off, I’m going to have to find a way to keep the blanket up there.  I also need to get him back into his routine, but so far, it’s not going well.  Maybe I’ll get him fixed this weekend.

My point is that I haven’t gotten a lot of my current projects wrapped up enough to share.  I’ll admit that sometimes the paint is still wet or I might need to go back and snip a few thread or put a few more finishing touches on things before they’re completely done, but usually they are done enough to share.  I ran out of time this week.  I’m working on my normal half a dozen projects with plans to start more, but nothing is even close to finished although I am having a great time working on them all.

If you have any suggestions to get Little Man sleeping again at night DO let me know and Have a super crafty weekend!!!


Knitted Flat Bottom Pouch

It seems like I don’t craft a lot for my husband and earlier this week I noticed that his collection of dice, that he uses for playing Magic the Gathering, was being stored in a large, ripped, Ziploc bag.  I picked up the nearest ball of yarn (caron simply soft in black) and started knitting him a flat bottomed dice pouch.dice pouch

I started by casting on 20 stitches using US size 5 needles and then I continued in stockinette stitch (knit the right side, and purl the wrong side) for 22 rows.  I didn’t cast off at this point and started picking up stitches along the sides.  Using double pointed needles, I picked up 20 stitches on each of the three remaining sides, which gave me a total of 80 stitches on my needles.  I began knitting in the round, after about 10 rounds I was able to get the stitches onto a 12” circular needle, which is easier for me to knit with.  Continue knitting in the round until the bag measures 4” from the bottom edge, where we picked up the stitches.  The next row, *knit 6, knit 2 together, and yarn over* repeat from * 9 more times to the end of the row.  Knit 4 more rows and bind off.  I made a twisted cord for my lace and laced it through the holes made by the knit 2 together, yarn over row.dice pouch 2The reason I chose to make a flat bottomed pouch is so that he could leave it open while he was playing and easily get the dice he needs.

This project was a success, he really likes it and I’m sure he’ll get a lot of use out of it.  Let me know if I need to clarify the pattern instructions, it’s hard for me to write out what I did in my head.


Spool Stamp Tutorial

Here’s another idea to use up some of those empty spools, it’s also a great project to do with kids.


empty spools

sticky back foam sheets

Exacto knife and/or scissors

This is a great project for the spools with the stubborn labels that are hard to take off because you won’t need to peel them off for this project.  spool stamps 1 Trace around the bottom of your spool on to the back (paper part) of the sticky backed foam sheet and cut out these circles.  You’ll need two circles of foam for each stamp, I like to use both ends of my spools.spool stamps 2 Peel off backing and stick one circle to the end of the spool this makes a good base for you design to go on and prevents the end of the spool from damaging your design.  I like to trim the excess foam from the edge of the spool with my exacto knife, but it’s not necessary.spools stamps 3Draw your design on the back of the foam.  The great part about this is if you choose to make letters or numbers they will be facing the correct way when they are stamped.spool stamps 4Cut out your design and stick it on top of the other piece of foam on the end of the spool.  I used my exacto knife to cut out the center and regular scissors to cut the edges.  If you are careful and save the foam pieces that you cut from your design you can make a stamp from those too and have a negative version of you design.  That can be a lot of fun for stamping with different colored inks.spool stamps 5Stamp away!  I like to accent these stamps with pen details.  These stamps aren’t as sharp as eraser stamps, but are much easier to make and only require basic supplies.   As you can see, I’m still making more button stamps.  Kids really love to make these and it’s an inexpensive way to make a lot of stamps.

I love to see you results if you give this project a try.


Plastic Spool Toy Beads

I have an abundance of plastic spools and while doing some rearranging I found a huge container of them (head over to the Facebook page to see a photo) and decided that I needed to come up with some ways to use them or *gasp* get rid of them.  So here is the first project of what I hope will be many using plastic spools: 
You will need:

empty spools

scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or fabric

Mod Podge (I used glossy, oooh shiny)

crochet yarn chain, shoe string, or cording

brushes, scissors/paper cutter, pencil, and ruler

Start by cleaning the labels off of the ends of the spools, most of my labels peeled right off, but you may need to soak them and use some goo gone to get rid of the sticky.spool beads 1 Measure the height of the spool, just the flat area where the thread was, in this example 1 1/2” is the height.  Spool sizing is not standard, mine ended up being three different heights (this is the point where I sorted all my spools out by type).  Cut your paper into strips the proper height for your spools.spool beads 2 I wrapped my papers around my spools and marked where they met.  Some of my spools were 4 1/8” around, I made all my strips 4” long so I could get three covers from a strip of 12” scrapbook paper.
After cutting all my papers I used the Mod Podge to glue them onto the spools.  Don’t be stingy, you want to put a nice coat of Mod Podge on the spools and then carefully smooth the paper down, pay special attention to the ends and make sure they are stuck down good.  Once all the bubbles are out coat the top of the paper with Mod Podge too, I went over the edges onto the spools to really seal it in.
I made a crochet chain for the string part, dip the ends of the yarn in Mod Podge while you have it out, it will seal them and keep them from fraying.spool beads 3 Little Miss loves these beads, she wears them as a necklace, makes them into a snake, stacks them up and knocks them down, uses them as little dolly stools, and has a lot of great fun with them!
Obviously the string could be a choking hazard, if it were wrapped around the neck by itself.  If you are concerned about this the spools could be permanently attached to the string instead of leaving it loose for stringing.
I used black spools, but you could also paint them any color you want with the new plastic paint (I want to make some lime green ones next) before Mod Podging the paper on.
You can use fabric instead of paper.
A shoelace would also work great for stringing the beads.
Since is used leftover paper from my Holiday Photo Ornaments, I’m thinking about making this into some sort of garland to hang them on.  I know that sounds kind of lame, but really, it’s cool in my head (I’ll keep you posted if I decide to give it a try).
Have a super crafty weekend!


Button Button

Every day I have been checking Traci Bunkers blog following her 30 day of carving (stamps), it has been very inspiring.  On day 24 her stamp looked like a button and suddenly all I ever wanted was a hand carved button stamp.  Now, I did not want to copy hers, I wanted to be inspired/influenced, but not a copy cat.eraser stamps, buttonsSo here I am trying not to copy her stamp, that blue one is pushing it.   I even got out my box of buttons to find some authentic designs. eraser stamps, actual buttonsI find the less stylized ones more interesting, the octagon one (second from the left) is my favorite.  BTW, button holes and thread are really hard to carve!  I also randomly felt the need to make a citrus slice stamp.
I am really obsessed with this shape/idea.  I am going to explore this motif more, maybe a larger stamp, smaller stamp or a different stamping material.


How Does Your Garden Grow?

A few weeks ago I told you about finding a partially finished quiet book.  I have been working on it here and there trying to get the pages wrapped up.  This is a garden matching page page.quiet book garden 1 The vegetables and flowers snap onto the rows and can be stored in the picket fence pockets.  I want to make a watering can and some garden tools to keep in the pockets too.quiet book garden 2I had all of the pieces cut out and embroidered all I needed to do was to sew everything down.  I use clear nylon thread so I don’t have to worry about changing thread constantly to get everything sewn down.quiet book garden 3I sewed the vegetable and flower shapes to the circles, embellished them with dimensional fabric paint and then I hand stitched the circles together.

Little Miss and Little Sir have given this page a test run and they had a lot of fun playing with it.  I’m motivated to finish more of it now.


Organized: Sewing Machine

On Monday when I looked at the before photo of my sewing area I knew there was a serious problem: there is a bucket of thread clippings and the whole time I was sewing the only scissors I could find to clip my threads with were pinking shears (those orange handled ones were gone, used to cut out the fabric). Do you know how hard it is to snip little thread ends with pinking shears?!?
sewing machine before detailWhat I needed was a way to keep things like thread clippers, seam gauges, marking pens, and thread clippings under control. I needed a sewing machine caddy.sewing machine mat after detail
It turned out exactly how I wanted it to, and look how nice all my tools look. The thread catcher, on the left, is removable for easy emptying and I lined it with a plastic back when I was sewing it together to make it easy to get all those little snips of fabric and thread out. I also made my own bias tape.sewing machine mat after
I even managed to get the floor and surrounding area cleaned up. The reason that the cabinet was off center under the shelf was that I had to slide the cabinet over so I could get a chair in there to sew. All of my rolls of things are stored neatly on the side in a magazine holder and all the piles of magazines (that you couldn’t see in the picture, but were preventing the chair from fitting in front of the cabinet) have been put onto the shelves.
It’s so nice to have everything at my fingertips and not to need climb over stuff and rearrange furniture to do some sewing, now I need to work on the other half of the room!
Let me know if you’re interested in a tutorial for the caddy and I’ll put one up. Have a super crafty weekend!



What’s cuter than an Oompa Loompa (you know from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)?  The Minions in Despicable Me.  We borrowed it from Netflix and boy have I seen it about a dozen times, but those minions really make the movie.  How awesome would it be to have some crafting minions? and it looks like they’re great with kids!

Using this free pattern from WolfDreamer I made my own.  It is a great pattern and the results are fabulous.  I really like how she has captured the details.  The most difficult part is the gloves/hands, the black yarn makes it hard to see your stitches and it’s so small, but I managed.minionHe doesn’t have his insignia yet, I’m trying to decide if I want to add it at all.  I am also trying to decide if his mouth needs some teeth.  I used wiggly eyes instead of crocheting my own, but otherwise I followed the pattern exactly.  Little Sir and Little Miss have both been asking to play with him. 

I have to confess that I have already started another one who is shorter, fatter, and is only going to have one eye, these little guys are addicting.

There is a link to make official minions from the official movie site, it’s great for researching all the different looks they have.  Little Miss thinks it’s a game and keeps asking to play it and really, it’s the perfect game for her, she always wins.


Long Overdue Cozy

I have had the directions for this project printed out for so long that they are no longer available on the original website (which is why I have to print everything out).  I have had this awesome Project Runway fabric since 2009 and now I have finally made my sewing machine a cozy!sewing machine after detailThe cover fits perfectly, that little bump in the back is the spool holders sticking up, I did just finish sewing!  If it was properly stored they would be down and the cover would be nice and rectangular (I’m doing good with the cover, we’ll work up to proper storage).  There is piping along the side seams and a lovely aqua binding on the bottom of the cozy.  That’s vintage seam binding, occasionally my hoarding pays off! sewing machine beforeHere’s what my little sewing corner has looked like and yes, I am still able to sew I just knock a lot of stuff over when I do.  I would like to point out that I am still using all the giant spice jars and they are working great for keeping all my bottle caps, pop tabs and other little bits and bobs sorted and stored.sewing machine afterAh, isn’t that nice?, now I just need to tackle the floor in that corner, so I can center the cabinet on that wall and it will be perfect. 

If you would like to make a sewing machine cover like mine this customizable cover looks very similar to the one I made.  I have another project that I’m working on for this area, now that the flu has moved on to Little Miss and Little Man I’m hoping that we can all be healthy by Wednesday and everything can go back to normal.


Friday Favorites and Junk

This has been a long week, Little Sir started the week sick (turns out it was influenza B), there were 2 snow days, and now I’m watching the sickness spread through the house (Little Miss is getting sick too). We’ve had lots of fun: movies, hot chocolate, cupcakes, popsicles, and lots of cuddling, but my craft routine is off. Hopefully I’ll get back in the swing next week.

If you haven’t already noticed I have a Facebook page now too (the widget is over there –> somewhere), I’ll be updating it often with what I’m working on or planning for the moment and you can see newly listed items in my stores and new blog posts in your Facebook news feed if you “like” it. It will also be a great way for us to talk directly and if you have any questions, requests, or just want to stop by and say hi.

I have also started working on my Artfire Studio (FYI, it’s like Etsy, but smaller) so today I’ll be sharing favorites from there. As you know this is one of my favorite color combos Red and Turquoise, you'll need to click on view this collection to view all 12 of my picks.

Have a super crafty weekend!