Spring Time Delays

The weather yesterday was beautiful here, I took the baby for a long walk in the stroller, walked to pick the kids up from school and spent the evening working in the yard.  I was a wonderful day, really, except I didn’t finish the project I was working on for today.scarf patternAhem, as you can see, it’s a scarf.  I know that you are just dying for the pattern, but you will just have to wait.  I have been working on it this morning, but the kids are out of school for Arbor Day (only in Nebraska) and it is another lovely day…a little windy, but perfect for kite flying.  I’m sure I’ll have time to finish this up this weekend.

Have a super crafty weekend!


Vintage Patterns and Books

While my husband was on vacation we drove to the little town I grew up in to go to the antique mall/junk store and the city wide garage sale.  We usually have good luck there and this trip was no exception.  We came home with a ton of awesome vintage finds and today I’m going to share a few of them.
I am always on the look out for vintage patterns, the illustrations on the envelopes are eye candy for me.  I love to see the differences in hair and clothing styles.  I also like them to be cheap, chances are I’m not going to be sewing any of these so size and condition are not a huge issue, I like really vintage though, 1970’s or earlier.3-2011 patterns 1I love the pockets and yoke details on the three skirts on the left of that McCalls 5113, the three pattern pieces of the super jiffy Simplicity 9032 are great and who doesn’t need a terry cloth tube dress?, full and half slips on Simplicity 9115 (can you even buy slips anymore?), and the last two Simpliciy 7345 and 6653 are 70’s chic and such high and modest necklines!3-2011 patterns barbieI was super excited when I saw this Barbie pattern, those little dolls outfits are amazing and all of the pieces seem to be intact, although they are all cut out, I bet someone’s Barbie had an awesome wardrobe!  There are even instructions on some embroidered embellishment for one of the skirts.  There are 10 full outfits, the other five are pictured on the back of the patten or you can see the back views of them in this picture.3-2011 patterns 2This little man pattern was too precious and when I peeked inside the envelope I found another treasure, there was a letter, some clippings with appliqué examples, and some colorful corduroy fabric swatches.3-2011 booksSome lovely sewing and embroidery books also found their way home with me.  That center one has the most delightful, kitschy projects!  horseshoe nail wizardryI HAD to have this one, I have never seen anything like it and surprisingly some of the projects look really modern, not the windmill sculpture or the owl plaques, but the pendants are nice.horseshoe nailsThese pendants are definitely unique!  I’m wondering where exactly you find horseshoe nails these days? and are they comparable to nails of 1974?  The introduction says this is the perfect hobby for a man <snort>.  Another fun fact, this little pamphlet was published right here in Nebraska!
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my new treasures, don’t worry I’ll share some more soon, I have a whole collection of crochet pamphlets and some very interesting German magazines.


Rainbow Twirl Dress

Rainbows have recently started showing up in Little Miss’s drawings and she often tells me she likes all the colors, except black and so making her a rainbow dress just seemed like a good idea.  I saw this dress on craftster years ago (okay, I just went and looked, 2007!) and have been wanting to make it ever since.
Vegbee (craftster name) has a free tutorial on her blog indietutes for the rainbow twirl dress. She also a ton of other tutorials that are on my must sew list (check the full list on the left hand sidebar).  She also offers a more detailed version in her etsy store SweetShop with the bodice pattern piece and exact number of patches to complete a finished dress.  I opted to purchase the pattern, cut and sew without math was completely worth $4.00!  The pattern is very detailed and easy to follow and the results are fabulous.
I really want to make one using scraps, but this time I wanted the rainbow and sorting through my extensive stash to find a rainbow was NOT going to happen!  I bought a batik jellyroll from W-mart and supplemented it with a few extra 1/4 yard batik cuts.  I needed a lot extra of purple and yellow batik is hard to find.rainbow patchworkI sewed the strips together and made alternating patchwork in the designated lengths.  I wish I had a serger, it would have made the process much faster.  I used my handy cording foot to zigzag over dental floss to gather the layers up.  I honestly would not recommend trying to gather this up in the traditional way, with two rows of stitching, pulling the bobbin threads.  She suggests using elastic and I’m sure that would give you a nice, even gather.  I like using denatal floss because it’s cheap and it slides easily through the zigzags to make gathers and it is impossible to break, once each layer was sewn together I removed the floss and then finished all the edges.rainbow twirl dressHere’s the finished dress all laid out in a circle.  That purple tier took forever, it was over 12 feet long.  This is great beginner pattern, really, it’s almost entirely straight sewing, except for the curves on the bodice.  Seriously, I LOVE this dress and now I want one in my size.  I’m not kidding, I’m going to be sorting through my massive stash and cutting squares as I go, but first I need to do some math (ugh) and figure out how many squares and tiers I’m going to need.rainbow twirl action Here are the action shots from yesterday’s egg hunt.  There was a lot of spinning.  I really need to make her some matching bloomers to wear under this, she is not very lady like ;)


That New Shelf Smell

I did not know that new shelves had a smell, but these definitely do, and it’s not good smell(it must be the wood shelf inserts).  Thursday in the middle of making my rainbow patchwork I had a brilliant idea, I needed some giant, heavy duty shelves for the craft room.  One of the most annoying things about cleaning up is that I lug several totes of supplies to the basement only to want them back up here in the next week and then the totes sit here in my dining room looking junky and back down stairs they go, it’s endless.  If I had big shelves they could just stay up here in the craft room on the shelves right?  Did I mention that when we cleaned the rest of the house that the craft room got skipped and so stuff (craft stuff) is just stacked up in there? and I don’t want to start hauling it out here where it is clean.
Sometimes when I’m cleaning it feels like I just shift things around, like a slow motion hurricane, so I thought I would document the process of putting a shelf in with some before, during, and after shots (well, not really after, more of a right now, but I’m not done yet).craft room progression shelves right
As you can see, it went from messy, to cleaned spot, to shelves up, to starting to fill the shelves.  I would like to add that I am not responsible for the stickers, stencils and splotchy paint, they were here when we moved in.  The wire shelves are still up there in the last shot, they are just hidden by the pattern boxes and boobzilla.  I have a lot of my stuff sorted already and some of the excess supplies will be stored in the basement (we have even bigger and heavy-dutier (<- yeah I made that up) shelves down there).
I also have new shelves for the upstairs.  There is a room up there with a skylight where I take all of my product photos and those shelves will hold all of my finished projects that are listed in my online shops.  I’ll also be keeping craft show displays, mailing/packaging supplies and random stuff from my day job up there.  It is a weird room that is too small to be good for much, but it’s great for photography and storage.
I think I have some sort of shelf obsession, I have plans to build some for the living room too!
Have a super crafty weekend!


Rainbow Hello Kitty Hair Accessory Organizer

Wow, what a mouth full.  I have just finished making this awesome hair accessory organizer for Little Miss, it has rainbows AND Hello Kitty!  I was so excited when I saw these organizers from Crochet Garden (on ravelry I was able to buy just one, instead of the set).  I had an organizer when I was little, it was an embroidery hoop “head” with yarn braids and I loved rearranging my barrettes on that thing, this is the super deluxe version.rainbow hello kitty organizer 1 This was a nice easy crochet pattern.  The most difficult part was making the double treble stitches, and they weren’t THAT hard.  I did make a few tiny changes, I only did two rows for the ribbons, instead of three, I was a little sleep deprived and didn’t realize I missed an entire repeat until I was almost finished with the edging and there was no way I was ripping that all the way back!  I have decided to not add the pockets for now, I want to display all of her cute accessories, the hair elastics are not cute and they can stay in the drawer.  I would also note that the braids take quite a bit of yarn, so beware if you’re using leftover yarn.rainbow hello kitty organizer 2 Finding the perfectly sized Hello Kitty ribbon was a bonus, look closely she has rainbow butterfly wings!  Little Miss has just recently starting like rainbows, I have a lot of rainbow projects in the works for her, now I just need to get her hooked on unicorns and we’re set!


Sunburst Utensil Kitchen Clock Tutorial

I am so excited to share my latest project for my kitchen.  This is a really quick and easy project.sunburst clock 2You will need:
Battery powered clock
a package of plastic silverware (24 pieces) in your desired color
a pack of plastic picnic plates to match (you’ll only need 1)
hot glue gun
scissors/exacto knife
Start by cutting a hole in your plastic plate that will allow you to easily change the battery of you clock.  I used my exacto knife to start the hole and then finished cutting it out with scissors.  Now is also the time to punch a hole to hang the clock or you can use velcro fasteners and avoid damaging you wall.
sunburst clock 1Random tip: do not try to photograph a red plate on a lime green cutting mat using the automatic setting on your camera, it really freaks the saturation out (sorry). 
I did a practice run to decide how I wanted my silverware to look and ended up using a mirrored pattern: knife, fork, spoon, knife, spoon, fork.  Then fire up you glue gun and get to work.  I did not measure, just eyeballed, started by placing the knives, first four at the top, bottom, left and right.  Then four more knives equally spaced between those.  I filled in with the spoons and forks, using the whole package.  Finally I hot glued the clock to the center of the plate.sunburst clock 3I hung it above my shelves and stepped back to enjoy the view.  I LOVE how it turned out.  I really need to get going on my other projects, this turned out so cute I’m super motivated to finish up another.
If you decide to give it a try I’d love to see your results, leave me a link.
Have a super crafty weekend!


Easter String Egg Tutorial

My Mother would make these delicate string eggs for decorations when I was little.  She used powdered laundry starch.  I hunted high and low for powdered starch and there was none to be found however I did find an inexpensive substitutestring eggs 4Start by mixing 1 1/2c. cornstarch with 1 c. cold water in a saucepan and heat, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Really, keep stirring it will only take a few minutes and it goes from liquid to solid almost instantly.  Using a whisk will keep the mixture from getting lumpy.  Once the mixture thickens and becomes shiny you will want to whisk in some more water to thin it to the consistency of white glue.  I had to add quite a bit a water at this point, if it is too thick your project will be one big, sticky mess and all the spaces between you string will be filled with starch.  Allow to cool slightly, I used cold water to thin my mixture and that cooled it down quickly.
While it cools collect the other supplies you’ll need:
yarn, string, and/or thread
a variety of embellishments
filler (Easter grass, eggs, chocolate bunnies, etc.)
Blow the balloons up to the size you would like your finished basket to be.  I made mine large so I could fit some plastic eggs in them.  Smaller, water balloons also make really cute decorations, they look great grouped in a basket together.
I used crochet thread for my eggs.  I liked to use various weights and complimentary colors.  Most of the eggs I made have a plain color, a fancy metallic, and a variegated color thread.  Since I am using thrifted thread there are different weight, brands and textures.  The easiest way to saturate you thread with the cornstarch mixture is to wrap it into balls or onto spools.  I also left some on their original cardboard rolls, but that made the wrapping process really messy, the paste flies everywhere as the thread unwinds.  If you just add loose thread to the mixture it gets all knotted up (ask me how I know).
I added my thread to the saucepan full of cooked cornstarch and started wrapping it around my balloons.  Your hand removes the excess paste while you wrap, make sure to wipe it back into the pan often.  It’s kind of tricky at first, take you time and try to cover all areas of the balloons.  This is a messy project, I had paste everywhere by the time it was all done.  You’ll need to use a lot of string to wrap your balloons.  If it’s too lacy the finished egg won’t hole its shape.  The purple one in the picture below does not have enough string, after popping the balloon it was really obvious.  Sometimes you can inflate a new balloon inside and wrap it with more thread, I was able to save this one :).string eggs 1Once your balloons are wrapped they will need to dry overnight.  I hung mine from my pot rack (a shower rod works good too).  They are ready when they are dry to the touch and feel stiff.  string eggs 2 Pop the balloon and cut a hole it the side of the egg.  You can also just leave them as is and display them or cut them into a basket shape.  It’s hard to see in the photo, but the opening has already been cut.  I traced around a lid to get a perfect circle.  The thread cuts easily with regular scissors.string eggs 3I made stands for my eggs using a strip of cardstock taped into a ring shape.  Decorate and embellish you eggs and stands using hot glue.  I always like to add some sort of embellishment or trim around the cut edge.  I used gathered fabric on these two.  I also like to use rick rack, ribbon, or eyelet or lace gathered trim.  I have three more to decorate and that yellow one needs a little more decoration, I’m thinking a crocheted flower.
If you make any, let me know, I’d love to see how they come out!
This tutorial is included in the Fave Crafts Blog hop.


Spring Time

Finally spring seems to be here!  All I want to do is spend time outside, we’re been decorating our sidewalk with chalk, cleaning up our yarn, going on walks, and raking leaves, lots and lots of leaves.  My husband is on vacation this week and we have a lot of cleaning and organizing projects on the to do list.  I have several crafty projects going as well.

crochet thread I working on a project using my tote of crochet thread.  I have used up eight spools so far.  I’m really excited to share this one, (check back on Wednesday).

I have built my new giant cardboard wall organizer and I will start doing the paper mache sometime this week.  I can’t wait to finish it and get my command center under control. 

I also have a few new patterns to work on, one is going to be an Easter Dress for Little Miss.  She needs a whole new summer wardrobe she has filled out so much none of her summer cloths from last year fit.  Little Sir has grown up and not out, so a lot of his shorts will still work and, of course, all of his pants have holes in the knees and will be made into cut offs soon.  I will need some stuff for Little Man too, onesies (<-I have no idea how to spell that) and rompers, I’m thinking tie dye and appliqué.

I have been collecting some great projects to do with the kids this summer and the Children’s Zoo reopens on Friday.  We have tons of stuff going on this week.  I am also hoping to do some painting in Little Sir's room, I have promised him an orange wall.  Now that the weather is nice there is tons of fun stuff to do.


Granny Triangle Crochet Bunting

I am sooooooo addicted to Pinterest, I could spend hours and hours just looking at everything.  I happened across this granny triangle bunting and fell in love, how great would that be on my porch?!?  I found these instructions for making the granny triangle and started crocheting on Wednesday.  I didn’t do the final row of picot stitches.

I used acrylic yarn because it’s going to be outside in the elements and acrylic yarn is almost indestructible.  My triangles needed to be blocked, acrylic yarn is blocked with steam, um the steam doesn’t work on my iron.  I know I’ll just spray a press cloth and put it on top of the yarn and iron, sending steam through the triangles.  FYI, to get steam your iron is going to be hot enough to melt the yarn.granny triangle bunting blockingGood news, they only melted a little and they look a lot better.  Really the only way to tell they’re melted is to look closely.  I chained all my triangles together and was kind of meh about the bunting.  I’ve been working on tassels this afternoon.  They really aren’t as time consuming as they sound, I was doing other things too, like entertaining a fussy baby.granny triangle bunting finished Sewing the tassels on really made a big difference for me.  I am really loving how this bunting came out, I might have to make some more.  It looks nice over the window, really dresses up the blinds and adds some fun color to a blah room (no, we still haven’t painted).  I want to make rainbow ones next.

Have a super crafty weekend!


Personal Swap Package Received!!!

I got a very special package in the mail yesterday from my friend Tiffany (mieljolie)We have swapped before and honestly I will always swap with her for the awesome witches boots she makes.  I am hoping to have a whole collection someday.  We anyway, enough chit chat on to the package!
Personal swap bootHere is my brand new witch’s boot, isn’t it stunning!  I had requested black cats or skeletons and she did both.  I can’t begin to describe how beautiful this is, the pictures aren’t doing the boot justice at all, I had to use the flash (ugh) and a lot of the little details are lost. personal swap binder cover I had also asked for a Teesha Moore styled binder cover.  There are so many rich and textured fabrics, it feels really nice and she embroidered my name on the back, isn’t that great?!?  It has a tab that buttons on to keep it closed, I really like that I can take it all the way off if I want to, now I just need to decide what to use it for.  I originally wanted it for a journal, but I want to display it and I know I couldn’t stand anyone casually flipping through my journal.  I’m sure I’ll figure something out.personal swap ladybird house Here is a beautiful ornament that she calls a ladybird house.  Doesn’t it look like metal or maybe polymer clay?  She made it out of card stock, cereal boxes to be exact.  I think she needs to be selling tutorials for this technique in her etsy store.  It’s really funny that she made one of these for me, I had seen one she made for a different swap and was disappointed that I hadn’t seen it in time to ask for one.
personal swap the rest And here are the final pieces.  An adorable jack-o-lantern wearing a witch’s hat polymer clay sculpture.  It looks old and very delicate in person, the leaves look real, I thought they were until I touched them.  The box that the Ladybird ornie came in that her daughter decorated for me, aren’t those birds sweet?  And finally a polymer clay embellished pen.  I love it so much I’m kind of scared to use it (afraid I’ll break it).
I love everything so much, it’s all just perfect, thank you Tiffany!!!
As you can see, this was a pretty big swap and you know I made some fun stuff for her too, but she hasn’t gotten her package yet, so no peeks.  I’m definitely getting anxious for her to receive, hopefully she’ll get it today (the tracking says it en-route to be delivered).  I’ll share what I sent her once she has a chance to open her package.


Organized: Ribbon Storage

I have noticed in the background of a few blogs recently an wonderful way to store ribbon that I have never seen before.   All you need is a swing arm skirt hanger.ribbon organizer 1Swing those arms open and take the skirt clips off (I bet we can find something else to do with them) and slide your ribbon on. ribbon organizer 2 My husband just informed me that his Mother used to do this.  Um yeah, thanks for telling me, I could have been storing my ribbon this way for years!!!  His response was, “I’ve never seen you really work with ribbon.”  My reply was, “I have at least one of every craft supply known to man, you should have known I had ribbon.”  So if you have already heard this tip, sorry :)  Seriously, organized ribbon makes me happy.  Now I’m wondering if there is anything else I could store on another one of these!


Featuring Fabulous on Friday

I have a HUGE back log of projects that I really want to do and today I’m going to share some of my favorite tutorials from some of my favorite blogs.  Oh, and if you get to any of these projects before I do I’d love to see how they turned out.
hula hoop dome tent Hula Hoop Dome Tent from Obsessively Stitching  FYI she did a whole week of tent tutorials.
hand sanitizer holder Hand Sanitizer Holder from A Lemon Squeezy Home.  Make sure to check out all of the purse week posts.
embellished tee Embellished Tee with Multi-layer Flowers from Make It and Love It.  I love her decorate my home series too.
the Warhol dress The Warhol Dress from MADE.  I can not get enough of her all about the boy series, good boy DIYs are hard to find.
Every time I visit any of these blogs I leave inspired, what are your favorite inspirational blogs?
Have a super crafty weekend!