Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tic Tac Tote

I'm still kind of getting used to the world of crochet but I recently made this fun little project (the free pattern was from the Lion Brand Yarn website). There was a lot of weaving in yarn tails and stitching pieces together (two of my least favorite parts of yarn crafting) so I'm not sure how many more of these I'll be making but I'm glad this one worked and I'm happy with how it came out.

I May Have "Accidentally" Adopted A New Craft

I've walked past the needle punch kits at craft stores countless times, telling myself that I should use up all of the yarn and fabric I've been hoarding before I try my hand at anything else but here I am, a few used up 40% off craft store coupons later, totally into this super fun, super easy form of embroidery. It's kind of like doing cross-stitch but without all the counting. I will admit that at first I was a little put off by the seemingly "willy nilly" nature of this craft. There was definitely a learning curve for me. But by the end of my second project (the coffee cup) I felt like I had really hit my stride and now I "get it." So, in order to justify this new craft craze, I plan on coming up with some of my own designs to needle punch (or asking my husband nicely to help me with some drawings) and figuring out how to use them as appliqu├ęs for my other crafting obsessions. We'll see how that goes. In the mean time, the store bought kits are a nice mindless, satisfying stress reliever. Here is what I have done so far. (I showed what the backs of the projects look like too just because I think it's kind of interesting.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dishcloths Galore!

In between nursing my newly discovered sewing obsession and trying to keep my sanity in tact, I have managed to maintain a fairly healthy relationship with knitting. My project of choice these days is a simple dishcloth pattern. I'm pretty sure I got it from the Lion Brand Yarn website originally but it's something any experienced knitter could probably figure out on their own and I've let it evolve somewhat into something I'm very pleased with. I love that these are portable and easy to work on while there are other things going on around me. Once the stitches are cast on there is almost no counting involved and the pattern is simple enough for me to be able to talk/listen while I do it but interesting enough to keep me from getting bored when I'm knitting alone in silence. Just in case you're interested, these are actually available for purchase in my etsy store.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My First All-Nighter in Years

Two weeks ago, for the first time in at least five years, I stayed up all night working on a project. I admit it wasn't exactly a true all-nighter because I didn't actually stay up and see the sun rise, I went to bed around five in the morning and slept until ten. (Ah, the luxuries of an unemployed husband who is able to get up and feed breakfast to our child who slept until about nine in the morning anyway.) I can't explain exactly why I did this to myself but I think I was just having a really good time. I wanted so badly to get this sewing project done and see how it turned out that I didn't want to stop. My sewing time is a bit limited since it's impossible to have everything out while Sofie is awake (hot iron + rotary cutting tool + pins + sewing machine balanced precariously on a TV tray = DANGER for a rambunctious, very curious twenty-two month old). I also knew that I had the day off the next day and would be able to mostly catch up on whatever sleep I was depriving myself of.

So, here it is, the fruits of my madness. I learned a lot and have some ideas for changes I'm going to make next time- heavier interfacing for the body of the bag and I don't think I'm going to bother with the plastic clip thing. Also, the bag needs to be just a little bigger to hold all of my stuff that I think I have to carry around. Overall, I'm very pleased with this end result though.

There's No Time Like the Last Minute

So this creation was concocted as a last-minute, night before, second birthday gift for my step niece. It wasn't so much that I had put off buying or making something on purpose- I had been thinking about it for a couple weeks- it's just that I couldn't decide on what to buy or make. This is what I came up with the night before. It's a combination Play-Doh Mat/Bag, complete with easy-to-clean vinyl coating on one side for mess-free Play-Doh fun and velcro strips on the other side that make it possible to fold into a tote bag to conveniently carry Play-Doh and Play-Doh accessories. As far as I know, this is a completely original idea. I'm hoping to refine it just a bit and put it up for sale in my etsy store. I was also thinking I could include a lump of homemade play-doh (secret family recipe) with every purchase.

Finally Some Owls!

Another zippered pouch! I picked up this fabric at Tall Mouse just because I loved it so much (I know, I have to stop doing that) but it had a purpose as soon as I decided to attempt another zippered pouch. I am super happy with how this came out. I especially love the surprise pop of color you get when you open it. I'm planning on making a matching messenger bag out of the same fabric because I love it so much.

Finally Something Plaid!

This is another little ditty out of The New Handmade- my new most "favoritist" book ever! I was a little nervous about making anything with a zipper. It's always just seemed too scary but the instructions in this book were just what I needed to conquer my zipper phobias. Now I just feel silly for being such a chicken about the whole thing because it really wasn't that complicated. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities and I'm pretty excited about it.

Sharp Dressed Composition Book

Recently I bought a book that has given me the push I needed to use my sewing machine and the pile of fabric that has been growing steadily for far too long now. The book is called The New Handmade and it's by Cassie Barden. The projects are pretty simple but very practical and the step-by-step instructions are clear and easy to follow- which is perfect for a sewing novice like me.

Since it was this project that convinced me I needed this book, I decided to tackle it first. I'm pretty happy with how it came out. It's not perfect but I'm learning to be okay with that (at least on first attempts). I've realized that sewing is something that takes practice (duh). I definitely plan on making more of these- I have lots of naked journals and composition books in need of some spiffy clothing.