Beth’s Diaper Bag

My lovely friend Beth is having a baby in a few short weeks and her friends were sweet enough to invite me to her baby shower last weekend.  I’ve had an aversion to registries for as long as I can remember, so I decided to make something for mom and baby instead of buying off the registry.  Enter the crazy what-was-I-thinking moment that brought me much dread and anxiety: I bought a sewing pattern.

You know me.  I can’t follow recipes and I hate to follow sewing patterns.  They confound me and frustrate me, and yet, I bought this one.  This pattern is Butterick 4560 (and despite all of my whining, it was actually fairly easy to follow).  I bought the pattern and the fabric and sat and stared at it for about two weeks, dreading the task.  I finally decided to suck it up and start cutting. And several (many) hours later, I had this!

Cute, right?  The fabric on the inside is “Baby Story” from Heidi Grace.  It has little doodles and words all over and says “A tall bird came and brought me a gift… of all the gifts I have ever received, this was my favorite — the gift was you.”  I’m not sure who to credit for the outer fabric but it was from Jo-Ann, Etc.

I made some changes to the pattern (shocker, I know) like this antique button closure on the side pocket.  It was supposed to be Velcro, as was the closure on the main flap.  I have a weird tactile issue with Velcro and decided instead to use this cute button on the side and a small magnetic snap on the main flap.  I also didn’t make the weird strap pad you see in the pattern pictures, it seemed unnecessary.  And I didn’t make the tab on the inside that would have had a clip for your keys.  That also seemed fussy.  I did add in all of the elastic pockets and pouches and, despite the I spent about 28 hours making it, I’m pretty darn proud of myself for making this bag and for (mostly) following the pattern.  I may even attempt another one for another pregnant friend of mine.  We’ll see.

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Embroidered iPod Cozy

What can you possibly get an 18-year old boy for Christmas?  Heck if I know, but the 18-year old boy in our family got what he gets every year: an iTunes gift card.  Since his sisters were getting little handmade goodies to go with their Borders gift cards, I decided to make him a little fleece case for his iPod, and since he loves The Nightmare Before Christmas, I decided to try embroidering a Jack Skellington head onto it.

It’s not perfect, but it’ll do.  I embroidered Jack’s face onto the white fleece first and then cut out the shape of his head and stitched that to the case.  I made it just the right size for his iPod Touch and even added a little button closure onto the bottom.  Cute, no?

Tomorrow’s Christmas Craft: Andrea’s cowl and the skull and crossbones hats

Silhouette Ornaments

I had seen some beautiful silhouette ornaments in early December on someone’s website who linked to someone else’s website…  I really should keep better track.  Either way, those ornaments and the beautiful silhouettes on Nie Nie Dialogues tempted me to finally try making my own.  Only I cheated.  There will be no fussy paper cutting for me.  I’m a trace and paint kind of girl.

I either set up shots like this one (nice hair) to capture everyone’s profiles, or I went through my Flickr stash and tried to find profiles of everyone in the family.  I sized them appropriately to fit on the wooden discs I bought, traced the profile outline from the photos, transferred the outlines to the painted discs, and painted in the shape.  Voila!

I am truly amazed at how each person’s (or dog’s) profile really looks like them and also how incredibly different my sister’s profile is from mine.  Although I think we look alike, we could be strangers based on our profiles.  So interesting!  Can you tell who’s who?

After the paint was dry, I glued that fancy black and white paper to the back side of the discs and hung each ornament from black and white ribbon.  These were a gift for my mom, whose profile shot I didn’t have so I’ll have to add her to next year’s set.  I’m really pleased with how these turned out and I’m thinking of making another set for my Christmas tree.

Tomorrow’s Christmas craft: embroidered iPod cozy

A Constant State of Catching Up

So many great ideas…  It’s a good thing I didn’t resolve to get things done on time this year.  I wanted to tell you about the Christmas presents I made.  I started a “year in pictures” for 2009.  I have a hilariously embarrassing video of me attempting to play a dance game on the Wii to edit.  So many fun things to share!  Is it too late to catch up?  I hope not.  But in the interest of not boring you to death or overwhelming me, let’s start off slow.  How about I show off one or two Christmas crafts a day and then maybe I’ll have the slideshow and the dork video finished this weekend.  Sound good?

Today’s Christmas craft was one of my favorites and also one of the most irritating projects: the knitted disguise.

Have you ever tried to knit something that just didn’t want to be knit?  Seriously, I started this project about five times, knitting it halfway, then tearing it apart before finally finishing this one.  Do you get it?  It’s a neck warmer, and a disguise.

You couldn’t tell it was me, could you?  I saw the idea on Knitty and loved it.  Of course I didn’t follow their pattern or directions (hence the knitting, tearing out, knitting, etc.) and I made up my own mustache pattern that I knit into the neck warmer instead of sewing it to the outside of the finished project (as in the Knitty directions), but I love it.

Tomorrow’s Christmas craft: silhouette ornaments.

In Celebration of Shopping

In celebration of Cyber Monday and all that is wonderful about shopping for great items on sale, today there are an amazing bunch of bargains to be had in my Etsy shop.

All inventory in my shop that was more than a month old has now been bundled into gift sets that will save you up to half off the original prices.  Necklaces, purses, earrings, snowkids, pincushions… it’s all on sale.  Don’t miss your chance to grab one of these great bargains.  Shop NOW!

Placemat Pillowcases

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My sister recently got new living room furniture and I had this idea that I wanted to give her the perfect patterned pillows as the best new couch-warming present ever.

I wanted a good quality fabric with a fun pattern and I know she likes circles and dots, but none of the fabrics I came across were just right.  Disappointed, I left the fabric store and went to Pier 1 for a completely unrelated reason (to buy myself something shiny) and a spotlight shone down, angels sang and these placemats fell off the shelf and onto my feet.  They were, and are, perfect.  Also on sale.

Why did I not think of this before?  Placemats are essentially pillowcases sewn shut.  All I did was cut off the stitching around the edges, trimmed them to size, sewed them back together, and voila!  The most perfect pillows for my sister’s new living room.  Just don’t tell her — I’m giving them to her tonight.

Handwritten

My cousin emailed me to ask for instructions on making the little Snowkids I make every winter, and as I was writing out the steps for her, I was reminded of She Likes Purple and her handwritten post last week.  I loved that idea so much, I decided, since I’m in such a good mood today, to give you two fun things all rolled in to one.  Not only do you get instructions for making your own adorable Snowkids (or baby sock snowmen, if you prefer), but you also get them handwritten and illustrated by me.  Sorry, my penmanship used to be MUCH better, but this will have to do.  Enjoy!

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If you’d like to print the instructions for later, click here for the PDF instructions.