30 September 2010

Giveaway! Yarn!

For all you knitters/crocheters out there - this is a lovely bright pink chenille yarn. Here's the blurb from the label:
Cotton Chenille
Crystal Palace Yarns
100% cotton
98 yards - approx. 50 grs
3.5-4 sts/inch on US size 6

Spun in Belgium www.straw.com
Handwash warm, shape, dry flat. OK to dry clean

To enter, please leave a comment telling me what you might make. If you are not already a follower of this blog, please consider becoming one.  Giveaway will close one week from today, October 6, at midnight. Thanks!

29 September 2010

Halloween Costumes on Etsy

Looking for a fun Halloween Costume - something nobody else will have? Here are a few I found on Etsy.

 Jesse the Cowgirl by Hollie K's 

Superhero Accessories by SuperMolly Capes 

Crown and Shield by Felted Kitten
Fancy Nancy by Tinkerella Creations

Candy Corn Fairy by Sew Cute

26 September 2010

The 1960's

Continuing with Sewing through the Decades - this week was 1960-1969. I have been working on this little shirt dress on and off all summer, and this was the perfect week to finish it. It has been finished for a couple of days, but then the battery was dead on my camera. Then my husband took my camera to my son's swim meet. But finally I got the pictures taken. The pattern is the Jump Rope Dress from Oliver + S. I loved sewing with it and I love the dress. It's a little 1960's right?

 the model is pretty darn cute too.

The reason the last picture is sooooo big is because I am soooo proud of it. My first placket! The instructions were so well written that it was almost easy.

Weekend Book Review -Beauty

This has been one of my favorite books since I was about 11 years old. It is a  charming re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, told from the point of view of Beauty. I hope you will give it a try!

25 September 2010

Modkid Pattern Giveaway - Winner!

and the winner is.....

This looks lovely - I like the flower fabric very much!! I have a small niece who would love this and I'm expecting a baby, so if it's a girl (we'll find out next Tuesday I hope!) then I'll make it for us instead, lol! 


23 September 2010

Tutorial - Silly Snowmen

As it turns out, I have spent most of September de-stashing, but not crafting. However, I did get one fun project finished (almost). I have a set of 5 2x4 snowmen that I made at a Saturday craft day years ago. For several years my mom has been asking me for a set. This is for you Mom. Wait, no, don't look! It's your Christmas present!


2x4 cuts, 1 each at 12", 10", 8", 6", 4"
sand paper (and a sander too if you're lucky)
newspaper or drop cloth, especially if, like me, you're a menace with a paint can
Primer (spray paint primer is nice)
Acrylic paint in white, black and orange (orange for the noses, if you wish)
foam paint brushes
Black Sharpie
Fabric scraps, some at least 12" square and some long and thin, or felted sweaters, or yarn if you want to knit or crochet accessories

Cut, or have someone else cut your lengths of wood. Sand all the sides and ends. I want mine to be fairly primitive, so I didn't worry too much about damaged wood or perfect sanding. I just don't want people to get splinters picking up the snowmen.

 Now, you don't have to prime the blocks, but pine just absorbs paint like crazy. So, if you don't want to use up a ton of paint, prime your blocks, let them dry for an hour or so, then paint them.

While you're waiting for your painted blocks to dry, you can make the hats and scarves,  In the photos, I am using felted sweaters from my stash. You could use any kind of fabric as long as it has some stretch to it. Old t-shirts, socks, anything. To make hats, you will need to end up with an opening of just slightly less than 10 inches so that you need to stretch it slightly going on.

Cut a rectangle the length you want. Allow at least 1-1/2 to 2 inches for the brim that will go over the top of your wood block. Then, go up as high as you want. Socks and knit fabric are fun, you can make a floppy long tailed hat and sew a bell on the end or something.

Once you have your rectangle, sew up the sides. Decide if you want the top to have a poof or not. If you want the poof on the outside, then turn the rectangle right side out before you gather. If you want the poof hidden, gather, knot, then turn. Sew a gather stitch (by machine or by hand) around the top. Gather the top in tightly and tie it off. 

If you, like me, are using felted sweaters, this is a perfect use for the sleeves.

I guess I didn't take a photo of my gathering process - all I did here was gather the top together and tie a long piece of yarn tightly around the gathered section.

For the brown scarf, I just cut along the waist band of the felted sweater, making it nice and long, about 24 inches, then tied it around and cut the length where I liked it. Since the sweater was felted, it won't fray or unravel.

Now that the hats and scarves are done, it is time to paint the faces. I may have mentioned before -  painting is not one of my skills. I am more awkward and messy than a 3 year old. The first set of snowmen I made have a cute carrot nose. I do not feel confident about reproducing that. If I can't get my husband to do it, then these snowmen will be nose-less. 

Leaving the hats on for a guide, dip the non-brush end of a paintbrush, or the eraser tip of a pencil into your black paint. Dab it on where you want the eyes. Draw in the mouth with the Sharpie. Ta-Da!

I hope you enjoy - I hope this makes sense. I will post photos of my finished crew as soon as they are all done.

22 September 2010

Halloween Treasury - Etsy

Check out this cool Halloween treasury! My Scaredy Cat onesie is in it! Look at it here, or look at it on Etsy and give it some love!

21 September 2010

Happy Monday!

I survived day-care week. It was fun, but not my usual gig. I'm not sure who was more exhausted, me or my almost 4-year-old. So many friends, so much fun, so much to manage!

Just a quick reminder about the giveaway! Remember to think bright turquoise that matches here - I tried a new photo and it turned out the same, so just know, I would never give you fabric that didn't' match.

To win this cute brand new pattern and fabric, go to this post, leave a comment, and please become a follower of my blog if you aren't already. Best luck!

I am working hard on a tutorial for this week - it's nearly done. I've got the sawdust out of my eye, now imagine me and a nearly 4-year-old armed with paint and paint brushes! Those of you who know me are falling off your chairs laughing, but it's OK. You'll see. I've got lots of newspaper and I promise not to use a roller.

19 September 2010

Sewing Through the Decades is Back!

You may remember I was participating in sew through the decades with a lemon squeezy home.
You can see pictures from previous projects here on the flickr group. We took a little break over the summer, and now we're back with the 1950's. I made a poodle skirt. My daughter wanted one, and so I made it just like she asked. Only too big. Oops. I'll figure that out before Halloween, by which time she will have changed her mind about her costume anyway.

Weekend Book Review - Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising takes place during the Depression and is the story of a young girl (Esperanza) who lives on a prosperous ranch in Mexico. A series of tragedies occur and she immigrates (legally) with her mother to America. Their former servants help them to find work and a place to live. Esperanza grows so much throughout the story. What I also liked about her was that she did not accept her situation. She occasionally shows anger at the unfair practices of the growers and local government and refuses to accept being thought of as less than she is. While the story does not ignore some of the challenges they face; strikes, illness and prejudice, it focuses on hope.

17 September 2010

Pattern and Fabric Giveaway!

This is for all you sewists out there! I found a really cute pattern by  modkid. It has never even been opened. Unfortunately, it has been buried so long that my daughter has outgrown it. I want one of you to enjoy! I am including enough coordinating fabric for the skirt. There is one yard of each.  You need 1 yard to create the size 7, so this should provide lining as well as allow you to have two fabrics on your skirt.  The pattern for the cute little purse is included as well.

The colors are coming out a little funky in the photo. I promise, they match. The polka dot is actually a bright turquoise, and the lighter blue in the flowers matches it exactly.

If you were making a smaller version, you might even have enough for a skirt and top!

To enter, become a follower of this blog if you aren't already and leave a comment on this post. Don't forget to leave me an e-mail address so I can contact you!

Giveaway will close a week from today - September 23 - at midnight.

14 September 2010

It's going to be quiet around here

Just a quick note to say hello and to let you know that I won't be posting much this week. I have somehow become a day-care center (which is fine, just not normal) this week on top of starting a new exercise program. More about that MUCH later.

I will, however, be working on a fun stash-busting tutorial to share with you very soon. Hopefully next week! It has something to do with all those 2x4 cuts we did last week.

I also promise you another giveaway in a couple of days. Please don't stop stopping by!

See you soon!

11 September 2010

Weekend Book Review - The Bad Beginning

For those of you who have somehow missed reading The Bad Beginning, it is worth your time. Chapter One begins with a warning. "If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book." It's true, it is fairly morbid, and if that does not amuse you, this is not the book for you. Full of irony and mayhem it is definitely a creepy departure from the traditional story of hard working orphans. We just listened to the audio, read by Tim Curry. It was fantastic.

10 September 2010

Stampin' UP! Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to:

Yvonne said... I love the Flourish set.

I'm just getting into vintage cards at the moment, and I can see this set making really elegant, vintage cards. Heat embossing would really set off the elements in this set beautifully too.

Yvonne: please leave a comment here with an e-mail address so I can contact you! Thanks! 


helen_ono said... I would like the lifetime of happiness set. I would make some thank you cards, invitations, "just because" cards. Lovely!

Thank you so much for entering, and for visiting my blog!

Hold My Knitting?

The Knitting/Crochet Geeks - you know who you are. You are the ones who think this photo over at Yarn Harlot makes perfect sense. In fact, the question "she was knitting at a rock concert?" may not occur to you until someone else mentions it. But I was thinking that if I were to have backstage passes at a concert (I'd probably choose The Cars or Sting or U2) and I were to get my picture taken with the star(s) of the show, I would want them to hold my knitting for sure.

Anyway, have you read about or seen any of this? 

Well... On my way to a baseball game a couple of weeks ago, I saw this in my very own town! My proto-teenager, seeing my excitement, and knowing that there was no other way to get me to sit back down and stop attracting attention on the train, kindly took a photo for me (Little does he know that I only get more embarrassing from here on out). I should mention that I couldn't take the photo myself because I was knitting...


09 September 2010

Last Day to Enter! and Preview of Stashbuster One

Today is the last day to enter to win the stamp sets - otherwise it will be super easy to pick a winner! Go here to leave a comment and enter to win.

Can you guess what is happening here?

First, I busted the hubby's stash

Then I put him to work.

Coming soon: what are we making, and how much stash will I bust?

08 September 2010

Cabled Purse - All Done!

Last month I indulged in a little rant about my current Elizabeth Zimmerman knitting project. I showed you the start of a couple of new projects. 

Never fear, the EZ surprise blanket (as in Surprise! it's going to take forever!) is nearly done. I am picking up the stitches on the edge and knitting the border...

What is making me really happy right now, though, is that I finished the cabled purse that I started last week. It was super easy, and it went really fast because the yarn is big and chunky.
 I am going to line it with a combination of the white and green butterfly fabric. Whoo-hoo!

07 September 2010

Stashbusting September!

I think this challenge goes very well with my goal of cleaning out my space. 
I have some fun up-cycling projects in mind and some serious stash to bust. If this appeals to you too, go to The T-Shirt Diaries and sign up!

05 September 2010

Weekend Book Review - Stones Into Schools

This is the continuing story of the Central Asia Institute and their efforts to build schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They have made a lot of progress and have expanded into women's literacy and vocational centers as well. In my opinion, one of the things that makes them so successful is their ability to work within the community, with respect to the needs of the community, and truly allow the school to belong to the community.

Memorable quotes:

The Pashtuns say that when Allah was finished creating the world, he cobbled together all the leftover bits and pieces, and it was from this pile of rubble that he fashioned Afghanistan.

If you teach a boy, you educate an individual; but if you teach a girl, you educate a community.

04 September 2010

Giveaway - Stampin' UP! **CLOSED**

If you are a stamper, this is the giveaway for you. Not one, but two stamp sets from Stampin' UP. Both are in great condition and have barely been used. There are two stamp sets, so two winners!


 A Lifetime of Happiness

To enter, leave a comment telling me (just because I'm curious) which set you want to win and what you will do with it.  Winners will be drawn at random by a small child. Giveaway closes Wednesday, September 8 at midnight. Open to everyone!

03 September 2010

Ever Had a Morning Like This?

This was one of those mornings where you have to carry the 1st grader out to the car because she only has one sock on and it feels funny and the ride is waiting so there's not time to fix it but she's freaking out and there's a lump somewhere but you're not qualified to fix it and the ride is still waiting and she's cold and you have to run upstairs and get her sweater which she can manage to put on even though her sock is weird and so you just pick her up and put her in the car and they leave but they come back two minutes later because the sixth grader somehow got in the car with just only one sock. 

I just wanted you to know.

Giveaway Winner

 Congratulations to:

elisa said... I love taking walks after sunset during fall. The crisp air and crinkle of the leaves at my feet are so nice.

I will pop this in the mail very soon! Thanks for visiting my blog!

02 September 2010

Gift Ideas to Buy and Make

NOTE: This is the last day to enter the giveaway for Blogging for Bliss! Cllick on the link to the post, become a follower if you're not already, and leave me a comment telling me your favorite thing about fall.

I've got gift giving on the brain. Between now and Christmas, there are 3 birthdays in my immediate family. I also do not like trying to figure out teacher gifts, etc. the week school gets out for the holidays.  Here are some things I am thinking of:

1. Gift tins filled with hot cocoa supplies. I got the idea from this tutorial. I have been saving peanut cans and cocoa tins (smallish ones) and we are going to cover them with cute paper and fill them with a hot cocoa mix, marshmallows, etc. Then we are going to tie on a felted heart or star. I might make them using the pattern in my new book, Gifted, or I might buy them here. Either way, I think it will be fun for me and my kids.

2.  There are some really great ideas for teacher gifts at giverslog (my most favorite place to look for gift ideas).

3. I just bought this pattern from Wiener Dog Tricks. I have some very cool thrifted suit coats I am going to cut up and make into bags for people I love.

4. Snowmen - photos and tutorial to come. My mom has been asking for this little family of snowmen for several years. I'm finally going to do it.They are made from 2x4's and painted, then hats and scarves are made with re-purposed t shirts and sweaters.

5. Knitted socks, hats and so forth - requested by nearly everyone. We'll see how many actually happen.

What are you planning?