I managed to get the bulk of my Christmas shopping finished in October and November, leaving me some free time this month to finally tackle some projects that have been on my Make board for quite a while. One of them was an idea I had for a chandelier-type, mobile-like paper thing to hang over the dining room table. I loved these colorful versions, but I wanted translucent white and I wanted it to be round. Kind of like this one.
I had a giant stack of translucent vellum left from my days as a paper hoarder, so I got to work cutting out many, many circles. I used two different sizes of circles, one I traced from a 1-ounce plastic container and the other I traced the lid to a sugar bowl. Fancy! Then, with opalescent white thread, I ran the circles through the sewing machine in random patterns of five large and three small (to keep the length of the strings consistent). I tied all of the finished those strings onto a brass hoop from Jo-Ann’s that I painted silver, and…voila!
I love it, and I can’t believe I finally made it after thinking about it for so long. Next up, I’m brainstorming ways to hang a solar light inside it so I can get it to glow without stringing lights in it.
It’s been a million years since I had a shop update. You know what took me so long? I couldn’t find the right thing to model the necklaces on when I took the pictures. I tried bottles and glass hands and everything else I could think of and nothing looked right to me. I heaved a big sigh and finally broke down and bought one of those generic, black velvet neck forms.
There was another problem, though: it was a generic, black velvet neck form and I hated it. So, what did I do with it? I made a paper maiche facade for it and painted it white. Of course, duh! Seriously, a little tissue paper, a little wheat paste, and a little white acrylic paint and now I love it. Luke thinks it looks like a creepy, old lady neck, but I think it’s neutral and lovely with an interesting texture.
So finally, FINALLY, there are some new products in the shop. I hope you love them. There are a few extra long, Mandi necklaces, some fun summer-colored three-strand Andrea necklaces, and more necklaces and earrings to come over the next few days. Go check it out!
Valentine’s Day seems to be about a hundred years ago, but since I’ve been MIA for so long, I have a lot of catching up to do. I’d like to introduce you to Rex and Steggie, (or Kissasaurus and Huggasaurus Rex, as I called them when I delivered them), two felt dinos I made for Cameron and Alex for Valentine’s Day. Back around Christmastime, Cameron saw me knitting and asked me to knit him a dinosaur. I said “maybe” which he took to mean “absolutely, right this minute!” and from that day on, each time I saw him he asked if I’d gotten a chance to make him that dinosaur “like I promised”.
Valentine’s day seemed like a good excuse to fulfill my promise, but I decided that I had no hope of knitting them so I’d make the dinos out of felt. I played around with some paper pattens and came up with Rex first. He came out perfectly and I nearly sprained my arm from patting myself on the back. I just sewed a toy! Very exciting. After Rex, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make two of the same dinos to avoid the “I wanted that one” fights, but that seemed boring so I challenged myself to make a pattern for Steggie. He was supposed to come out smaller than Rex but, sadly, things didn’t work out that way. That left me with a dilemma.
Big brother, Cameron is on a kick now where he has to be the biggest, best, fastest, the one with the most guns, the most powers, etc. etc. So… would he want the biggest felt dino, or the smaller T-Rex dino, since T-Rex was the king of the dinosaurs? I couldn’t decide so I consulted my sister who said he’d want the biggest one. I think I would have lost either way, but unfortunately when I delivered them on V-Day, Cameron complained that he didn’t get Rex until I told him that he was hurting my feelings. The next night I watched the boys so my sister and her husband could go on their belated anniversary/Valentine’s Day date and both boys tucked their dinos into bed with them when they climbed under the covers so I think that everyone was happy in the end.
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.
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.
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!
If you’d like to print the instructions for later, click here for the PDF instructions.
Thank you all for your anniversary wishes. I’ll have you know I spent my ninth anniversary at the dentist and didn’t see Luke at all. But still, romantic anniversary or not, nine years is nothing to sniff at!
I am busy, busy, busy at the moment and have no time to really update, but I didn’t want another week to go by without dropping in to say hello. Here are a few peeks at what I’m working on and what’s going on around my house lately.
knitting Christmas gifts
someone is pouty and covered in dirt
some awesome salsa I canned the other night
a skirt in progress
Have a great long weekend everyone!