Friday, April 24, 2009

quiz time...

Here is a little thrifted gem – can anyone guess what it is for?? You know this one, right?

I just couldn’t help jumping on this bandwagon. These terrariums look so adorable on Etsy so when I saw this dusty little number on the shelf at the thrift store I had to pick it up. I know mine will never be as perfect as this one or this one or this one but I am going to see what I can come up with.

As promised I am going to go a little link crazy here and share some wish list tutorials. You all needed a weekend project anyway, right? Well if you do you will certainly find something here. So much inspiration:

I also have a copy of Weekend Sewing here from the library with plenty of temptations calling to me. Those beautiful crafting books usually are due back at the library before I get a chance to start on anything though. Maybe I’ll actually spring for my own copy one of these days. Then the pressure would really be on to make something.

Here's the plain truth though: weather forcast for the weekend - awesome. I probably won't do a lick of crafting but will hopefully get a little color and lots of vitamin D.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

this that and the other

I would have posted sooner but I have been so busy checking things off my 'to-do' list. Just kidding, I wish that was true though. Last week was just sort of a blur. I know there was some serious teething action going on (molars - agh!), some desperately needed yard work that finally got done, err, I mean 'started', and a wee bit of crafting but other than that I'm not sure how I filled the time.

One thing I did do was put together a little tutorial for favecraftsblog. They invited me to contribute something which I thought was so kind. So, after my first project failed miserably and I spent a day or so cursing and moping, I came up with this one. I thought is was a cute idea for a little Mother's Day gift and it seemed easy enough for anyone to try.

It's the tried and true fabric button magnets (again, Corinne?? YES, again!) but I used inkjet image transfer paper on the fabric. I also added a bit of embroidered embellishing just for fun but I think it would still be a fun project even without that. I would love to play around with some photo editing and different fabric choices just to see how they turn out but haven't had a chance just yet. It's on the 'to-do' list.

I also whipped up some pj's for Peter using one of my all time favorite patterns. I think this is set number 5 that I have made for Peter and by now I don't even need the instructions. This pattern is so easy and quick. I have only made the regular pajamas although the pattern includes instructions for some zip-up footie pj's and a robe. I always use snuggle flannel from JoAnns because it comes in so many cute patterns and it's on sale for less than $3 a yard just about once a season it seems.

And finally I want to just add a little note about my elephant pattern. Check this out! Sarah over at My Spare Time made this adorable birth record - didn't she do a great job?? I was so thrilled to see that little elephant out there in blogland, what fun!

In my next post I just have to share some things on my "I want to make this!" list. I have seen so many awesome tutorials out there lately and I just can't keep them to myself. Off to compile my list - check back soon!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

making clothes pt. 1

Recently my friend Melissa mentioned wanting to take on the challenge of sewing clothes again and I agreed with her that it sounded like so much fun. Afterall, it has been quite some time since I have tried making any clothes for myself. And then...I remembered why it has been 'quite some time.' Don't get me wrong, it really is fun and I enjoy the challenge but I just have not had a whole lot of success yet.

But, I tried it again last weekend anyway and picked up this pattern. Doesn't look too tough, right? And it's cute, right? Here's what I came up with:
First of all I made it too big - way too big. (It doesn't look like it in the photo but trust me, it's quite tent-y) Also, I should have read some online reviews first to get some tips for working with this pattern. It wasn't too bad putting it all together but I ended up with a few kinks and puckers that I'm not too happy about.
I'm going to try it again though because I think I can correct some of my mistakes on a second try. I was also very inspired when I came upon this website. Check out all the great variations she made using this pattern. When I saw her linen version I just knew I would be fabric shopping again very soon. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, April 10, 2009

spring (break) fever

TGIF! The last day of Spring Break. whew! It's been a wee bit crazy here here this week with Peter home from school. I have really tried to make it a fun week for him but I think being out of the regular routine has been hard on him so we are a little frazzled at this point. We kicked off the week with a sleepover with three cousins. So we had five boys between the ages of 18 months and 9 yrs. here for 24 hours or so. It was actually really fun though and I was reminded constantly of how much easier it's getting now that my nephews and my own boys are growing older. My 9 year old nephew is so helpful and such a great leader that I fear he may have done a better job keeping things under control than I did.

There was, however, an unbelievable amount of what we like to call 'pottytalk' overheard. Okay parents of older kids - I gotta know - when exactly do they grow tired of this? because I know for sure I have already. After the nephews left I found a funny little calling card on my fridge:

Can't you just hear the giggles?

I also have a little bit of book love to share. I happened upon Wave by Suzy Lee at the library as I was chasing Adam and fell in love with the illustrations:

The whole book is just this water blue color with pencil and it is so beautiful. There are no words but the pictures are so expressive that it is a delight to look through over and over again. The images and the main character are absolutely irresistible.
Sorry there is not a shred of crafting news in this post - I'll save that for the next one. Needless to say this week has been slightly less crafty than most but I should be able to round up something to share.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

reversible flowerpot wrap tutorial

Well, I pulled together my photos and some instructions to share for the reversible flowerpot wrap. The pattern is for a 4 inch terracotta pot. These instructions just show how to make it using two fabrics without any extra embellishing but they would be lovely with a little something extra like some embroidery or beadwork for example. Just be sure to do that part before you cut out your pattern pieces - it will just be easier that way. You can trace your pattern piece onto your fabric first so that you can place your embellishing exactly where you want it to be on your wrap.

Before I start with the 'how-tos' let me just add that this is an easy project that would be great for beginner sewers. The trickiest part is sewing around the curves but as long as you take it slowly they shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully you will find it to be a FUN project too - I know I do!

You will need: two different fabrics (you only need about an 11x5 inch piece of each so this is a great way to use up scraps!), two lengths of ribbon about 6 inches each. I like this thin grosgrain because it's a little grippier and comes in lots of great colors, a small piece of lightweight interfacing, and a printout of the wrap pattern.


Cut out the pattern piece along the black outer line, pin it to one of your fabrics and cut out your fabric piece. Turn the pattern piece over and repeat this step for the other fabric.
Cut out your interfacing using the inner line as a guide (you can either cut the pattern piece out and pin it to the interfacing as a guide or trace it and cut it if you like).
tip: If you are tracing the pattern onto your interfacing you can also transfer your stitching endpoint indicators and ribbon placement indicators - this is really helpful in the next steps.

Follow the instructions that came with your interfacing -you saved those, right? and iron the interfacing to the wrong side of one of your fabrics.

Place your two fabrics right sides together and pin. Place the ribbon pieces on each end of the wrap where indicated.
Stitch all the way around the wrap - except between the two dots - you will need that open space for turning the wrap right side out again.Trim your seam allowances (except between the two dots) and turn right side out. Use a small tool (like the end of a capped pen or something similar) to gently push out the seams along the curves.
Notice in this picture how the curve on the left side has been gently pushed out and the one on the right side has not - see what a difference it makes?

Press your wrap tucking in the seam allowance for the segment between the two dots. Pin this segment.

Topstitch around the wrap catching the seam allowance between the two dots. Try to stitch about 1/8 - 1/4 inch or so from the edge. Take it slow on the curves for best results.
Guess what? You're done!
Tying the wrap on can be a little bit awkward and it really helps if you have a little helper to lend a finger for holding your knot down.

Enjoy! If you have any questions about this pattern or have trouble with any part of the process please let me know!

Please stop over at my new flickr group and share photos of your reversible flowerpot wrap. Or check out what others have made with this or other So September patterns and tutorials.
It's a great place to find inspiration or inspire other crafters!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

more gratitude and a teaser too

First of all I want to say 'thanks' for all the sweet comments about my elephant pattern. When I posted it I was pretty uncertain as to how it would be received. I am delighted that even ONE person liked it - and happily, a few more did too. So, now I am thinking about my next free pattern to post. I'm going to have fun with this, I can tell already.

I just finished up a new flowerpot wrap that has a slightly different design than the ones I sell in my shop.It has ties instead of a button and, get this, it's reversible! I always wanted to make the button ones reversible too but having buttons on both sides just made it way too bulky. I am going to TRY to compose a tutorial for this - notice the bold capitalized 'try'. As you may have picked up by now, writing is not my strong suit so I am a little apprehensive about trying to explain directions in words. I'll take lots of photos, how does that sound? Hopefully I will have that 'wrapped up' (cheesy, I know) next week.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

feeling like...

yep, that's me hiking with the boys on Sunday. Those woods look a little scary, don't they?
Anyway, back to how very lucky I am. Last night Vince (dear husband) and I were thinking about sitting down to watch FRONTLINE but I was hesitating a bit. I knew it was going to be about Healthcare in America and I just had a feeling it would be full of information I really didn't want to know. The kind of stuff that would make me fret and grit my teeth and so forth. We did it anyway and my suspicions were confirmed. Besides just dwelling on thoughts of the unthinkable though, I have also been thinking about how unbelievably lucky I am to have even this little bit of craftyness in my life at all. It suddenly feels like the biggest luxury ever. At the same time it also feels so precarious. We watched awful stories about people who will never ever be able to pay their medical bills, are completely uninsurable, and are still sick! And here I am a woman who has health insurance through her husband's union job, gets to stay home with her children, AND has the time and resources to pursue creative projects here and there.

How lucky am I? oh so lucky.

So I am going to try to stop complaining about not having enough time or money to make all the stuff I dream of making and just shut my mouth and be grateful for awhile!

Next week, however, I think I will embroider instead of watching FRONTLINE.

What are you grateful for today?