Friday, January 30, 2015

Cutting Felt

I have 800 ideas of things to make for Z's third birthday and I probably have time for one project, so I just randomly picked one that has been staring at me from the floor of the craft room.  I just did a little cutting for it and I have to really think hard on the construction.  Until I know more, here's a little behind the scenes:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Our house can be so drafty.  It turns 100 this year, so it's to be expected, I guess.  Until we are able to get new storms on our old windows, we'll just have to suffer through it.  To help with the cold air that seeps in near the front door, I whipped up a quick draft buster.  It seriously took ten minutes, if that.  I made that nice one for my friend last year, but I don't need something fancy.  I used the remnants from some hemmed curtains and I barely needed to remove any fabric. 
Don't pay any attention to the ugly green mat.  That came with the house and I have yet to find a replacement.  The draft buster has definitely helped a little bit, but we really need those storms.  We replaced ten old storms with some fancy ones in the sun room and that place is now the warmest room on the first floor.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Christmas Tree Garland

Well, it's supposed to be a Christmas tree garland, but, as my husband pointed out, there are no tree trunks, so it's more like a triangle garland.  You don't think the stars at the top elevate it to tree status?

I have been working on this all month.  I don't know why I started doing it, but I got it into my head to embellish some paisley felt with sequins.  
I only have small silver stars and they'll do just fine, but I'm going to hold out for some larger ones before I call this garland finished.  
As for the recipient, I'm not quite sure.  It started out with my sister-in-law in mind, because she's keen on blue, but I don't know that this is her style.  I'm considering giving it to a friend in California, because she likes the sparklies.  I guess, it's all flawed without those trunks, so maybe I should just keep it for myself.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Neighborhood Snowmen

The snow was just perfect this past weekend for making a snowman.  It was Z's first one, which was kind of exciting.  We let her watch Frozen around Thanksgiving and she's been pretty obsessed with the Frozen Girls, as she likes to call them.  I mean, not obsessed like she wants to dress up in Elsa's gown, but just obsessed in that she likes to sing the songs and talk about the girls.  When we came in from making the snowman, she called out to Elsa and Anna to tell them about it.

The hat didn't fit, so I just grabbed some dead plants that I never got around to cutting back and we gave her some hair.

She's very regal.
After we finished, we walked around the block to see if anyone else had any snowmen.  We only found two before we had to head back in.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just a Little Thing

I made a quick little bookmark for my sister-in-law.  I sent her a book that I thought was pretty funny.  I happened upon it in the library's new book section at the start of December and read a few chapters, which I thought were pretty good, and I thought about getting it for her for Christmas, but I wasn't done with it and had no idea whether the rest of it would be any good.
It got even better, actually!  I loved Chapter 17, which was just two pages long.  I had to stifle my laughter, because I was in the same room as a sleeping baby, but it was really good.  

Anyway, it's called How Not To Calm A Child on a Plane by Johanna Stein. That's not a link to Amazon, but the author's website.  She's got a video of her reciting her title story and she also has a brief video highlighting a bit of Chapter 17.  So good!  I can't wait for that part of motherhood!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Zipper Pouches

After the three-zip pouch debacle and the broken sewing machine hiccup, I thought these things would never get done.  I'm glad to report, however, that three of them are finished.
I used a tutorial from Flossie Tea Cakes.  It was really easy to follow and not at all like that three-zip thing.
I just realized that I forgot to take pictures of the linings, but you can kind of see the fabric at the zipper ends.  That correlates with the lining of each.

Ewww.  My ironing board cover is stained.  Sorry.
There's just one thing that you should know about these little pouches.  The ends look like a dog's anus.  Yes, I said anus.  I mean, LOOK:
Do they or do they not look like a dog's anus?  If you need a point of reference, just watch the opening credits of Downton Abbey.

Friday, January 16, 2015


I finally finished that batch of constellations for my sister's kids' bedroom.  She is doing a space theme for the room and asked for curtains.  I suck at curtains and I advised her that she should just do a nice navy curtain and have fun with the decorations.  So the constellations are my contribution instead.

I used a zodiac pattern set from this etsy shop.  I opted out of using a black denim fabric and went with a soft gray.  (Also, I apologize for the crap photography -- we were having a streak of cloudy weather when I took these and nothing came out right.)  
Sometimes I went a little bonkers with the extra stars:
The backs are a mess, but I didn't want to glue a backing on them in case she wants them turned into a pillow at a later date.
I'm not convinced that the pattern for this constellation put the little lines in the right place:
Of course, it could just be user error, because I totally messed this one up and didn't notice until I was just about to seal up the box:
And then I put them all in one of those wonderful boxes that I recovered with the vintage foil wrapping paper.
I know that my sister will reuse that box.  She's good like that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


A number of years ago I scooped up this vintage wooden puzzle map circa 1978.  My original intention was to make jewelry out of the pieces, because, you know, I don't have enough crafts to do already.  But then I started putting it together and I kind of loved it.  I realized that it should stay as a map puzzle and live on.  And then this happened:
Whaaa?  Where's the final piece?  As it turns out, I bought a busted puzzle to begin with.  I never put it together after I bought it, so maybe I lost the piece somewhere between California and Minnesota, thought it kind of looks like Ohio/Michigan is the piece that jumped ship.
Now what do I do?  The jewelry idea is still viable, I guess, or maybe magnets?  Balls.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Covered Boxes

My mom gave me a roll of vintage foil wrapping paper.  I didn't want to use it for just wrapping any old present, so I've been hanging on to it for a bit.  I don't know why it finally hit me to use it to cover some old gift boxes, but that's what I did and I love them so!
Sorry for the quality of some of these photos, I was doing this at night.  I had trouble getting some of the inside flaps to stick:
I used some tape, which isn't ideal, but it just wouldn't stick down.  The end result, though, is beauteous:
I was so inspired that I dug out two more gift boxes and covered them, as well. 
The outer layers of the wrapping paper had some holes, but I was able to squeeze a lid out of some anyway:
This one stuck just fine on those inner flaps.  I don't know what I was doing wrong that first time.  Maybe I slathered on too much ModPodge?
My sister-in-law sent some fun paper for Christmas, so I wanted to try using some of that on one of these lids.  I'm pretty convinced that she sent vintage wallpaper, but that has yet to be confirmed.  I had a little trouble on the corners with that paper:
And here they are...So much fun!

Friday, January 9, 2015


Mid-stitch.  I was mid-stitch on a redemption pouch when it happened.  I had the day off from kids and work, so I was making real progress in trying to make zipper pouches.  I was only doing one zip pouches, because the three zip had turned out to be crap.  I made one and it was glorious!  So, after lunch out with my husband, I came back and did a little assembly line cutting and stitching, like so:
And then I was on my third zipper, when the entire piece that holds the needle onto the uppy-downy  (technical term) part of the sewing machine fell right off.  WTF?  These are the parts and I could not get them back on:
It was dropped off for repairs and they said I had a screw loose.  Oh, I mean, the sewing machine had a screw loose.  The guy said he'd drop it off for pick up when it warms up, which I'm assuming means he'll be there in July.  I said as much and then asked him if he was suggesting I find a new hobby.  Anyway, he also said that there was a lot of lint in my machine.  It was only serviced less than a year ago, so what is up with that.  I should check my belly button and see if all my friends have abandoned ship for safe haven in my sewing machine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

More Boring Bibs

Well, I actually think the prints are kind of fun with his batch, but it's not a very exciting post.  The three fabrics on the right all came from a thrift purchase.  I love that swirly one and it looks so cute on.   The one next to it seems to be a pre-printed fabric for making doll clothes.  Nuts.  And I still have way too much of that eggplant fabric.  Sometimes I could kick myself for buying novelty prints.   It takes forever to get rid of them.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Quilt for Trix!

Yay!  This came in our Christmas box from Rin.  It's Trixie's quilt!  She made a dancing stars quilt for Zelda when she was born, too.  

I love how the colors transition from one to the next.
This star is my favorite:
Cat toes for scale:
And here's the back:
So much fun!  Z sleeps with hers every night and Miss Trix will do the same.  Yay!  Thank you!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Kiddo Apron

I made my sister-in-law an apron back in 2012 and she requested a matching apron for her daughter (almost three years old!).
Well, as mentioned earlier, I had a bit of a fabric dilemma.  There was not enough blue fabric to make a blue apron.  Ack!   So I had to rethink the apron.

I had a ton of green.  Of course, after deciding upon the green, I realized that the green fabric had already been used to back my niece's I Spy quilt.

I went ahead with it anyway.  I can always make a set of better matching aprons sometime in the future (if they desire).  I have this pattern, which is kind of weird with those bloom pockets, but I've always liked it.

Anyhow, I used a child-size pattern from The Perfect Apron pattern book.  It looked way too small, but I tried it on my girl and it was a perfect fit.  Phew.

I used the blue as the ruffle and as a micro pocket.  I had to piece the ruffle strip together, because I did not have enough length for one straight cut. 

I guess I could have used yellow bias binding to match her mom's but I was smitten with this check binding.  It wasn't the right size for the bias binding straps, so I just used it to accent the apron at the top and along the yellow pocket.
I put a surprise strawberry in the micro pocket.
So...side by side comparison: