Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween


My mom is visiting us right now. Last night we carved pumpkins. The kids loved taking the seeds out. My mom carved 3 pumpkins and I carved 2. The front small pumpkin is a puffle from Club Penguin. Today we baked the seeds. I made 2 types, a plain one and one with cinnamon sugar. Yummy. I have also been hand quilting a block a night like I said I would. In the morning we are going to Salem, MA. during the day, and then trick or treating with one of my son's friends that night. I added a thick pipe cleaner head band to the ghost costume, on the inside of it. This was to help the costume stay in place. It was shifting a lot before. While at Michael's today, I saw a book called "The Knitted Odd-Bod Bunch: 35 Unique and Knitted Creatures." I want it! It is $20. Since that is my entire craft budget for a paycheck, I am waiting until I have a good coupon or asking for it for Christmas.


Now I need to upload 3 new videos on to You Tube. The how to make a juice pouch purse episode of my tv show just aired this week. That means it is time to make show notes and post the show. The bag that I made on the show will be the door prize to audience members who come to the November 13th taping of my next show. It should be fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween & Quilting


The other day I was at the fabric store. I couldn't help but look at the fabric remnants. Lately there have been some wonderful Halloween fabric in there. I love holiday fabric. Well I lucked out. There was a tone on tone black spider web fabric. The kind where the webs are velvet. It was a 1 yard remnant, marked down, and then it was on sale! Normally it is about $10 a yard, and I got this 1 yard for about $2. I folded it in half, right sides together, and then sewed 2 sides together. Then I turned it right side out, and sewed all 4 sides (after folding the raw side in). Now it is the perfect table runner for Halloween. I love it.


I also took out my Halloween decorations and placed some in the yard and others on the fire place. Other than my wreaths, that have been out all month, I was lazy about decorating. No one decorates in my neighborhood, so I didn't feel inspired to until today. It's because my mom is coming to visit tomorrow.


I have also been hand quilting a quilt for my grandma. I pieced it in January out of my stash fabric. The pattern is from a quilt a day calendar that I got for Christmas last year. I am trying to quilt a block a day. That way it will be done by Christmas. I haven't touched it since June, so I am really trying to finish it now.

Wordless Wednesday... Fall in New England


Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Costumes & Knitting


I've been knitting the fun fur Kitschmas tree lately. I've just added a 2nd skein of fun fur to it. I'm looking forward to finishing it and displaying it.



Here is my 2 year old punk. The outfit cost me $7 in supplies plus the cost of hair products. I made the shirt from 2 shirts. I also made his soda tab bracelet. Ever since my oldest son's 1st Halloween, we have taken Halloween pictures of the kids to send out to friends and family. We did this yesterday. Afterwards we went to the pumpkin patch with my toddler still dressed like this. It was fun.


Here is my 10 year old ghost. I bought a cheap white sheet. Then I folded the sheet in half and sewed the sides from the bottom leaving arm holes. While he was wearing it, I carefully cut out the eyes and mouth. We need to figure out how to make it not shift around so much. His friend and him thought it would be funny to be sheet ghosts this year (they are going trick or treating together).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quilt block & catnip sachet


I made the quilt block for the box exchange. A Valentine's Day log cabin block. Originally I tried to hand sew it in February. However I pieced it wrong. I took the hand sewn blocks and made a catnip sachet for my cat.

. video

3 Strikes


My camera broke on Thursday evening. First the tv, then my sewing machine, and now my camera. We replaced the camera tonight. Please no more credit card charges! Anyway... Thats why I've been posting about what my uncle makes (no camera to show my work).

Tonight I am working on the quilt block for the box exchange for my quilt guild. I've been in the guild for 3 years now. The 1st year I participated in the round robin. I still haven't quilted mine. Last year they started the box exchange instead. You write down instructions on how to make the block that you want. This includes colors and size. You make one or two example blocks. You can include one fabric in the box as well that others can use. Then they get placed in a numbered box and given to someone different each month. That person makes one or two blocks from the instructions. They don't know whose box they are working on and you don't know what number box is yours. Last year I asked people to make a crazy quilt block, or if that was to much then make a wonky log cabin block. I included a batik fabric that they had to use. I also included sample fabrics for them to see what colors I wanted them to use. I asked for 1 to 2 blocks from each person. I made 2 blocks, one crazy quilt and one wonky log cabin, and included them in the box. Last April I got my box back. It had 12 beautiful blocks in it. I am looking forward to turning them into a quilt. I also included precut muslin squares for making the crazy quilt block on.

This year my block is a Valentine's Day log cabin. I am including precut heart blocks for the center square. I'm asking people to use red or pink with white or cream fabric to make the block. When I get them back, I am going to arrange the blocks to form a heart.

Small Roadrunner


Here is the small roadrunner that my uncle made using long screws or nails for my grandma. Sorry about the mess. It's not my house ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Roadrunners


Today I am taking a break from showing you my stuff. It's been a rough morning, and my camera broke yesterday. This is a picture that I took at my family reunion this past summer. My uncle makes these roadrunners out of railroad spikes that have come loose. He paints them the colors of tractors. The green and yellow one is a John Deer. He makes the railroad spike ones in 2 different sizes. He also made a small one for inside the house out of long screws. I asked him to make me 2 for next year. Both different sizes. One will be a John Deer one (green & yellow). The other will be green and black (I think its an Oliver tractor). I think that they would really cute in my front yard, like a mother and child. My parents have the 2 different sizes in their yard as well. However my dad repainted them so that they are black. My uncle does sell them. In my opinion he sells them way to cheap. They are both under $100. He has never shipped any though. Its more like you go up and ask him for one and then he sells it to you. These two were my grandma's.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Knitted Mittens

Last night I finished knitting my 2 year old mittens to match his hat. The pattern was free from the Lion Brand website. It took me 2 to 3 days to make them, but it could have taken me only one day if I tried. They were very easy to make. The only change that I would make for the next time is making the cuff longer. I do need to make a larger pair for him. This one will only last for this winter before he'll out grow them. They were knit flat and seamed together, just like the hat.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Making a soda tab purse


Wordless Wednesday

Soda tabs & Winter knits

If any of you are parents then you might know what a pain in the butt it is to put gloves with fingers on a toddler. It becomes more of a pain when that child likes to take off and put stuff back on over and over again. My solution? Mittens. I am making my 1st pair of mittens. I finished the 1st of a pair last night. It just fits my 2 year old. I might make a 2nd pair slightly bigger at a later date. I used the same blue that I used in making his hat. The pattern was free from Lion Brand's website. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It is knit flat and then seamed together.


I then made a bracelet out of soda tabs and some silver ribbon for my 2 year old's punk Halloween costume. I wove the ribbon in and out of the soda tabs. I placed the tabs so that only the front sides touched his skin and faced the outside (wrong sides together). I want to make one with clasps for my medical alert bracelet.

I then altered the layout of the soda tabs and started making a purse out of the soda tabs. I am making it in the round. I'll play around with different fabrics to see what will look good for the lining, because it will show through the soda tab holes. The way that I am making this and how I made the bracelet came from seeing someone's soda tab prom dress. She made it so that the back side of the soda tabs faced each other so that the tabs wouldn't hurt her while wearing them.


I made some more matchbook notebooks from a green tea cardboard case (when you buy the cans in a 12 pack). I really love the colors. These will make great stocking stuffers for Christmas.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cheerful Baby Hat


I finished knitting the cheerful baby hat for my 2 year old son. This pattern was free on lionbrand.com. It's a very easy pattern to knit. It is knit flat in garter stitch. I used Lion Brand's Pound of Love yarn in brown and turquoise. Next I am going to make him matching mittens. I'm think of using this free pattern on lionbrand.com.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Toddler hat

I started knitting a hat for my 2 year old. There was some mild snow on Friday morning here. Thank goodness it did not stick. However it is making me want to make hats, scarves, and gloves for my family. The hat is made with Lion Brand's Pound of Love yarn in turquoise and brown, stripes. I cast on 75 stitches, and am knitting it in garter stitch on size US 8 needles. It's a free pattern on Lion Brand's website.

I haven't touched my sewing machine since my last post. I want to make a witch's hat out of orange Kool Aid juice pouches. I have a pattern in my head. Now I just need to make it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crayon Keeper (or needles & hooks), tree, & challenge


I bought the recent 2009 issue of "Better Homes and Gardens Creative Collection: More Fast & Fabulous Quilting Ideas" recently. On page 108 is a pattern for making your own "Crayon Keeper" by Linda Lum Debono. As I said in my last post, I used the left over fabric from the quilt that I made for my toddler to make this. I used the backing and the binding fabric. He loves it. Now I just need to make sure that the crayons always find it back in the pockets.


This pattern looked like so many knitting needle holders that I have seen. I just had to adjust the size a bit so that the needles would not stick out of the top. I made myself a pirate one to hold my double pointed needles. I might make 2 more for my circular needles and my crochet hooks. I have a large holder for my knitting needles already. I also made a red floral holder for my husband's grandmother who crochets. I actually meant to make her a crochet hook holder in 2007, but I never got around to it. All of the fabric is stash fabric.


Here is a picture of the Christmas tree that I am knitting. The link to the pattern is in the previous blog post. It looks a little funny right now, because I just transferred it onto circular needles. It is really easy. If you make this, my tip is to place one color stitch marker on the 1st stitch and a different color stitch marker on all the other increase stitches. This way you don't need to keep counting to see when you need to increase again. This might even be cute on a small scale as an ornament.


Today I am starting the craft challenge again. However this time I am allowing myself $20 a pay check (twice a month). The reason for this is 2 part. Christmas and birthdays are coming up and I might need to spend a little more on supplies to make gifts. The second part is that I need to real in my spending. Without a set budget, I spend way to much money on craft supplies. Yes I have kept my spending to items that I use right away, but I still spend to much in my opinion. I have also joined a different challenge on ravelry.com. It's called "cold sheeping." Meaning that I have said that I would not buy any more yarn for a certain period of time. For some it is one year. My yarn stash is small compared to others. My fabric stash is not small, lol. Anyway, I signed up to go "cold sheep" until April. There is an exception to this though. I am allowed to buy yarn to make a gift (but I will try to use my stash instead), and also to finish a project. A friend of mine said that I could shop in her stash if I wanted to. My biggest goal is to use my entire Lily's Sugar'n Cream yarn stash. I've already used up 6 skeins by making dishcloths for Christmas gifts. Of course I will keep a few for myself, but only after picking out the gift ones.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Finishing those UFOs


I finished knitting my mom's scarf last night. Yeah!!!! I have it logged into ravelry, and yes I did in fact start it last December. I still have some of the yarn left over. Maybe matching mittens? A friend of mine is going to give me a simple pattern for fingerless garter stitch gloves.


I also finished machine quilting my oldest son's Christmas quilt. Now to make and attach the binding. I am so happy that both of my kids will be receiving quilts for Christmas this year.

I started a knit-a-long (KAL) today. It is making a 3-D Christmas tree on size US 10 double pointed needles. I am using left over Olive Lionbrand Homespun yarn and Lionbrand Fun Fur in lime. The homespun was used to make my mom a scarf 2 years ago. The pattern for the tree is here.


I also made my 2 year old a crayon holder today. It is very similar to knitting needle holders. There are pockets for each crayon, and then it rolls up and gets tied in place. I did take pictures, but it looks like I did not have my SD card in the camera at the time. I used left over fabric from the quilt that I made for him (and finished yesterday). I then adjusted the size and made a crochet hook holder for my husband's grandma and a double pointed knitting needle holder for myself. The pattern for this was in a quilting magazine. I'll post which magazine tomorrow. At least I have a picture of the unfinished larger ones. I made the binding for both, and now I just need to attach it.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1 Year!


I had not realized that 3 days ago was the 1 year anniversary of me starting this blog. One year! I wasn't sure how I was going to like blogging. I love it. I love to show off the things that I make. I'm like a kid in that way. "Look what I made!" I also wanted to share my crafts with others, and inspire others like I have been inspired by other crafters. Its a never ending circle of inspiration in the art and craft world. I love it! I started with some friends and my husband as my only followers, and now there are people that I have never met before following my blog. Thank you!

I also started this blog with a simple general rule for myself. This blog is about my creative life and not my personal life. It's a craft journal, not a diary. Yes I do share some things about my family in here, but only as it relates to my craft projects. However over the course of this year I have started a tv show, and I have gotten more environmentally active. So this is still mainly a craft blog, but I will post about environmental things that are not craft related. One of which is the zero waste challenge. Speaking of which, I am on week 3 and have just filled up my trash can. One trash can equals 3 weeks of trash, not including the diaper genie! 95% of that trash is non-recyclable plastic. It makes you think. And yes, I did throw out a garbage bag during this time, but it barely had anything in it. It did have some fruit flies, which is why it was taken out.

Anyway... Heres to another wonderful year of crafting and blogging :) I wonder where this next year will take us.

UFO October


I finished sewing the binding on my 2 year old's comfort quilt. I got to try out 2 decorative stitches on my new sewing machine. I love it. Now to get my hands on the crazy quilt blocks from last season's box exchange (from my quilt guild).

In the spirit of working on ufos, I took out this fleece baby blanket that I started in 2007. I stopped working on it after I had sewn on one side of the satin binding. I was trying to be something that I am not, a perfectionist. So tonight I quickly sewed the binding in place. It is sloppy, but it is soft and cuddly. My 2 year old's reaction was the best. He loved it and made the noises to show it.


I also took out a knitting ufo this week. My mom's scarf. It was ment to go along with the hat that I made her for either Christmas last year or her birthday (I don't remember which). So now I am trying to finish knitting it for her for Christmas. Its funny how knitting garter stitch dishcloths is fun for me, but knitting a garter stitch scarf is boring. Go figure. I guess that I might be more of a product crafter than a process one.


I am also working on sewing the edging on the cloth napkins.

With all of the UFOs that I've been working on, this might just be UFO October.

Since Friday....


I was locked out of the internet for almost 2 whole days this weekend. I was more productive as a result. My sewing machine broke on Friday. It was my 2nd sewing machine, and it lasted for 7 years. My first sewing machine was the one that my mom bought when she was pregnant with me. I bought my 2nd one from Sears. It was a Kenmore. I wanted to buy one from a sewing machine store for my 3rd time around. I also wanted a Bernina. I got one. I opened it up yesterday and made a few things. So far I love it. Whats nice about where I bought it from is that I get 2 free classes on how to use my machine. I signed up for the classes in November. Also if I am not happy with this machine with in a year's time, I can trade it in a full price for another machine.


I was in my craft room on Friday and saw 2 ufo quilts. I pulled them out and began to work on them. Both quilts had already had some machine quilting done on them. One is a Christmas quilt for my now 10 year old. I started it in 2007. Each year I think that I'll finish it for Christmas. I'm sure I will this year. It has a fleece backing and high loft batting. My son loves thick quilts. The other quilt is a comfort quilt for my 2 year old. I also started this one in 2007. It is just 2 panels f fabric with batting in between. The front is a map of the world. I'm stitching along the longitude and latitude lines. The back it a fin animal print. I finished quilting it yesterday, and not I'm ready to sew on the binding. Hopefully both of my kids will be getting a quilt for Christmas this year. My oldest thinks that I've been knitting him a penguin. I haven't, but it is on my list.


Beach Chicken, from Etsy, sent me some matchbook style notebooks with my order. I thought that it was such a clever idea. She had used food boxes for the cover. Last night I was inspired to make some larger ones. My 2 year old loved coloring in one of them. I might add those as little extras with my Christmas gifts.


I also made my oldest son a black bag to hold his lunch money in. He wanted it to be solid black. I already had the zipper and the fabric, so this project did not cost my anything to make. Well, almost anything. I did break a needle on my sewing machine.


I also added another patch to my jeans. The bottom of the jeans were looking a little raggid, so I sewed on some ribbon to them. The ribbon only cost $1.


I added some skulls and skeleton hands to the other wreath that I had. The total cost for the decorations, including the ribbon, was $4. I don't remember how much the wreath cost. I bought it on sale after Halloween last year.


I also used up 2 large skeins of Lily's Sugar'n Cream yarn. I made 6 matching dishcloths. The left over yarn I knitted on my spool knitter. I am sewing it together to make a hot pad. These items will be a Christmas gift for a family member.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Halloween costumes & more dishcloths


Well I finished knitting another dishcloth and started a new one today. This will be part of one person's gift. A matching yellow and natural set of dishcloths. I might be able to make a set of 4, and all from stash yarn.

I also made my 2 year old's Halloween shirt. He is going to be a punk. I bought a black and a red shirt from the dollar store. The large safety pins are from the dollar store as well. I pinned the 2 shirts together, and then I drew on the black shirt with a black sharpie. That gave me the guide lines that I needed to sew the 2 shirts together. I made an anarchy symbol of the front and just rips in the back. After sewing the 2 shirts together, I cut the black shirt in certain areas. Since the shirt was a little long and large on him, I cut up the sides. Then I cut horizontal strips and ties them together. It fits him much better. I also cut the sleeve off of the red shirt and attached it to one side with safety pins. I might do the same for the other side, but I'm not sure.


I also bought a white sheet on sale (there is no place around me that has a used one). My oldest son and his friend are going to be sheet ghosts. I put the sheet on him and figured out where his arms should be. I then sewed the sides of the sheet closed, leaving arm holes for him. This way you can't see under the sheet when he walks or raises his arms. I then just cut out holes for his eyes and mouth while he wore it. Simple.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Zero Waste


In crafting news: I knit one and a half dishcloths today. The rest has to do with the zero waste challenge.

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of my trash (if you really wanted to see it). This is my 2nd week of trying for zero waste. My compost bin is getting pretty full these days. Amazingly enough I have cut back on my non-paper recycling. I filled 1 bin instead of the normal 2 (they collect recycling every 2 weeks here). My trash barrel for today (trash day) had 1 garbage bag which was only 1/3 filled and a diaper genie bag. The garbage bag must have gotten something in it other than plastic, because we were starting to get fruit flies. Thus it had to be taken out. I have been using the washable pull ups on my son when we go out. He wears underwear in the house, and diapers to bed. I switched to a more environmentally friendly diaper, if that is possible. I'm currently using the Diva Cup for the 1st time. I like it. I only use paper napkins if they are given to me via take out. I also only use paper towels when making microwaved baked potatoes, and to soak up the oil when I occasionally use my deep fryer. A cold came and is finally leaving my home without us buying any tissues. The hankies came in handy. Flannel really does get softer when washed.

In eco-crafting news: I am trying to pass on the "green" love for Christmas this year. My main handmade gifts are all about using reusable items vs disposable. I'm making knitted dishcloths, reusable shopping bags, and cloth napkins. I thought about making hankies, but I need to bulk up on my supply first.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dishcloths, reusable bags, & craft time


Yesterday I finished knitting 3 dishcloths. One was a UFO (unfinished object), one was started a few days ago, and the other was made in 1 day. Today I finished one that I started last night. I also went through my Lily's Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn stash. I still have a good amount left. I also discovered my stash of finished knitted dishcloths. Well, the ends aren't woven in, but thats a small detail. There are now 15 dishcloths that I can give as Christmas presents this year. I might keep a couple for myself though. People may laugh at the thought of giving or receiving knitted dishcloths, but you will love them once you use them. I know at least 4 family members who like them. I guess its like hand knit socks. I don't have any yet (its on my list of things to make), but I heard that they are really awesome to wear.

Yesterday I cut and began sewing 14 reusable shopping bags. I had a 40% off coupon for the fabric store, and I bought 6 yards of some solid green fabric. What a deal! I cut the fabric in 15" sections length wise. That is the width of the bags. I folded the bags in half and cut 2 1/2" off of the ends for the handles. Next time I'll make it 3". I am not making a lining. I'll have step by step instructions with pictures when I am done sewing them. I sewed the sides of the bags already. I'm working on sewing the handles. Fourteen bags is a lot to make, so it will take me a day or 2 more. I didn't work on them at all today. If I give them in sets of 4, I'll have 3 gifts and 2 bags left over for me.


A reoccurring conversation that I keep hearing is how people don't have time to craft. I have a 2 year old that I have to chase around all day and a 10 year old who I have to drive around. I also have some what of a social life. Lets not forget running errands and cleaning. I am busy. However I make time for crafting. The key to this, for me, is having a portable craft project and a nice little bag to carry it in. Sometimes I'll put my knitting in my purse instead of the craft bag. Portable projects are great. All I need is myself and a few supplies. I don't need to plug into an outlet or use a table. Some portable crafts are knitting & crocheting, drop spindle spinning, embroidery, hand sewing, hand piecing quilts, drawing, etc. Places where I can work on my portable project: soccer practice, waiting to pick up my son from school, doctor's office (or any kind of waiting room situation), at the park, in the yard (while the kids are playing), in the car (as a passenger), visiting someone, at a meeting or a lecture, and while watching tv. Oh, I have been known to spin or knit in the kitchen while cooking. Whenever you are sitting or standing for a nice length of time with nothing to do with your hands.