Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Etsy is my favorite!

I just made my first Etsy purchase the other day!  I'm so excited!  I bought some fun felt food for little Josie.  I can't believe she's about to turn two!
I love all the handcrafted goodies at Etsy! I am so impressed at all the high quality goods people out there are making.  Maybe one day I'll work up the courage to make my own little shop, but I really don't feel like my stuff will be able to compete with all the cool things already available, plus I don't really have the time to put a lot of effort into it.  Oh well! Until then I guess I need to start making an etsy wish list so you all can shower me with wonderful goodies! 
In other news, I have a new nephew (nephew-in-law??), Kain.  I didn't have time to make him a gift, but I know he will enjoy his SUPER cute, SUPER soft, store-bought blankie.  Just what I needed - more babies to make things for!  I don't really know what to do with boys, though...
For now I'm still crafting and still taking pictures of everything I'm doing.  I'll need to make a post soon about all the Christmas crafts I've made, but I've got places to go and people to see so it might just have to be a post-Christmas recap!

The holidays sure tire me out!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm still here!

Just wanted to let everyone know I haven't given up on this blog!  I've just been extremely busy, and Stephen has been extremely busier, and his business involves the computer that I have all my pictures on, so blogging has been put on hold.  See you all after the activity dies down a little!

Blogging is soooooo hard!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Tommy Bag: Oops I did it again!

This is a story about my second attempt at making a grocery bag. Let's begin...

I love stuffed animals. I have always loved stuffed animals, and I probably will always love stuffed animals.  Right now I have one stuffed animal sitting in the chair with me, there are 3 on the coffee table (granted, they are mice and tiny) and 2 sitting on the TV. And those are just the ones I can see right now.  Anyways, my newest stuffed animal is Tommy the sea turtle.

Tommy comes from Barbados.  He likes swimming and going on cruises and taking naps in the bed.  His favorite singer is Rihanna, but he also like Bob Marley.  Here is a picture of Tommy and me swimming together in his home waters.
(Tommy is the one on the right)

Anyways, I love everything about Tommy.  I love his floppy arms and legs, and his fuzzy snuggly shell.  That is why when I saw this great Tommy belting at Joann's I just knew I had to have it.

It was calling to me, like a beacon in the night. 

I knew I wanted to make a Tommy tote bag/grocery bag with that Tommy belting, but it took me a good couple of weeks to go back to Joann's and buy it (I think I was waiting for a good coupon).  When I did I also bought some blue denim and some cute green lining. I was all set for success!
"This reminds me of the beautiful blue waters of my homeland"

I worked out a pretty simple pattern.  I made a bag similar to this a few years (5 or 6) back, although it was much much larger, but I did have a plan for the whole thing before I started, which we know is a very good idea!  So here I am, sewing along and BAM!  There goes another pin into the depths of my sewing machine!  I can't believe I lost another one in there!  What is it with grocery bags and pins getting stuck inside that darn machine??  (At this point Stephen is telling me "Ummm, don't you think maybe you should start doing it that other way you talked about on your blog?" I still haven't changed a thing)
So like last time, I kept sewing along, hoping for the best but about an inch or two later everything jammed up.  Uh-oh.  I pulled my fabric off of the machine and lucky me!!
That pin worked its way out of my machine all on it's own.  Hooray!!  The rest of the project went off without a hitch, and turned out GREAT!

I love my new house!!
And I LOVE Tommy!!!!

Becky's Birthday Stamps: Don't you wish your sister was hot like me?

Back at the end of October my little sister Becky had a birthday.  I didn't know what to get her, but I knew I wanted to make her something.  Becky like a lot of really weird quirky things, so I thought it might be fun to carve her some unique stamps of her favorite things that no one will ever find in a store. 
I'm really really happy with how they turned out!  I don't recall if I said this before, but in my opinion the only thing that is hard about carving stamps is the drawing part - the rest is just tracing.  Lucky for me I'm semi-decent at drawing cute little pictures.  At least I think so!  So let's get this show on the road:

First off, we have the Kardinal stamp (left) and the Walugi stamp.  Kardinal is Becky's alter-ego (I think!) She has red hair and wears a cape and can fly (maybe not...).  Waluigi is one of the newer characters from the Mario games.  I think he first showed up in the N64 game Mario Tennis and he is a bad guy.  I don't understand why her favorite characters are all bad guys, but hey, it wasn't my birthday present!

Next we have the symbol from Kardinal's forehead (right) and the RTF symbol.  This symbol is from Becky's original fiction she is writing, but I haven't read it, so I don't really know what it stands for.  All I know that it is something she really likes, with a fairly simple design, so I definitely had to include it.

This one is my favorite of the birthday stamps!  It's the interlocking BD!  If it is not instantly obvious to you, it is a play off of the interlocking BU of Baylor University (please don't sue me Baylor!).  Becky has had to live with the nickname BD for a long time now.  Becky progressed into BD like this: Becky => Bookie (Boo-Key) => Book Dog => BD.  Makes perfect sense right?  I guess it does if you're my brother at least.  Note that is Boo like a ghost, not like a book.  Also, although I wish I could take full credit for this awesome idea, Stephen actually thought of the interlocking BD.

Last but not least is the Piggo stamp.  I had a few small pieces of speedy carve left  and Piggo was quick and easy.  FYI Piggo is a plastic pig that came out of a quarter machine.  You can find out more about him here.
After I finished carving the stamps I sewed little fabric "cases" for them out of scrap fabric and stamped them for easy identification.  Then they were loaded up in a cute little wooden box from Michael's (FYI - never ever buy anything full price from a big chain craft store.  There are ALWAYS coupons available somewhere, especially if you can wait a few days!)

I may be getting a little cocky here, but I'm pretty sure this was the best birthday present ever!  Plus it was super fun to make!  Happy Birthday little sister!!

Hooray for quirkiness!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Beach House Cross-Stitch: This one will be going on forever

I haven't done a cross-stitch project for a while so I decided it was about time to try another.  I started this one on Thanksgiving and will try to post progress reports from time to time.  I think it sounds interesting, but maybe everyone else is thinking "Boooooooring!" Regardless, I picked up this cross stitch kit over a year ago and I'm excited to start working on it!  I bought this to go in my beach-themed bathroom at my old apartment, but since that room no longer exists (well, technically it does, but I doubt it's a beach bathroom anymore and it certainly isn't mine) who knows what this project will become!  I hope you enjoy seeing my project, and here's what you have to look forward to in the end:

Life's a beach!

Big B: My very first stamp

I think stamp carving is so cool.  I love it!  I learned about it from my old boss, Sha, because he carves stamps for letterboxing (a fun hobby!  Look it up!).  A long long time ago, back in my Plano days, I bought Stephen a Speedball stamp carving kit since he was getting interested in letterboxing.  Well that darn kit sat around in his room for months and months and months.  I guess he just wasn't interested in the crafty side of letterboxing.   I haven't bought him a surprise since*.

As you may know, I married this non-crafty guy this past July.  We decided to print the programs ourselves to save some cash.  We didn't want to just hand everyone a folded piece of paper, so we decided to do a card stock cover sewn to a piece of pretty computer paper with the order of service printed on it.  We wanted to put something on the cover of the program but couldn't put the card stock through the printer so a nice stamp seemed like a good idea, and we wanted a big B (for bunnies, butane, and broccoli).  We searched around and couldn't find any big enough or good looking enough. Lucky for me that stamp carving kit was still sitting around!  We found a font we liked on the computer, sized it just right and transferred the image onto the pink stamp carving material! FYI, stamp carving is really pretty easy, especially for basic shapes.  It's just tracing!

Anyways, the stamp came out great, and I love how our programs turned out! I will just pretend that everyone oooh-ed and aahhh-ed over them at the wedding.  Check out a few photos of our program assembly.

Hammering nail holes into the program pieces.
I learned this technique sewing scores when I was a student worker at the library.
Who knew I'd use my mad skilz again!

Stephen is a happy helper!

And the finished product!  B-utiful!

*Not true

Marble Magnets: Simple and fun!

Here's a little project I did quite a while ago, but I still think they are super cute so here they are!  It all started years ago.  I may have been a freshman at Baylor, but it might have been after that. All I know is I was still living with my room mate Holly (pre-Stephen time), and that my sister made me some really cute magnets.  They were some of those glass marbles glued to letters cut out from magazines to say "Holly and Jenny".  I still have those darn magnets even though it's been years since I've talked to Holly.
I always looked at those magnets and thought, "I could make these.  It looks like fun too!"
Fast forward to 2009 and voila!

Marble magnets and a tasty recipe for chicken and rice!

I just glued some little circles of cute scrapbook paper to the back of a glass marble (I can't remember what kind of glue it is, but it's very strong and also messy - it was in the floral section and had pictures of glass marbles glued to a vase on it...).  Then once it was dry I hot glued it to a magnet - just one of those round black ones, I think I used half inch ones, maybe three-quarter.  If I ever make any more I'll glue the marble/paper piece to the magnet with the floral glue because I ripped a couple of the hot glued magnets apart trying to take them off of the fridge.  I'm pretty sure I just wasn't patient enough to let my glue gun heat up all the way though, so the glue wasn't gluey enough.

Here are some neat ones I made using leftover paper scraps from our wedding programs, and some real flowers that I pressed myself! (I have a whole box of pressed flowers with no purpose. So sad!!)

"We look better in person!"

After making a few magnets, I still had a whole bag of glass marbles, and I was so excited to be using my scrapbook paper that I went a little overboard...

Anyone have any spare magnets???

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grocery Bags Number 1: When things go wrong

I've been wanting to make some fabric grocery bags for a while.  I want to be green but I can't bring myself to carry those unfashionable HEB green bags... Total YUCK! (Just kidding! - We actually have a few of those kinds of totes that we use)
Anyways, I picked up some khaki denim and cute fruity (as in apples and lemons) fabric. I didn't want to use a pattern for this because I figured I'd just cut up a plastic bag and base it off that.  I tried that and my project ended up sitting on the floor unfinished, like this for weeks.

 "I feel so unloved!"

This is what happens when I don't think my project all the way through before I start on it.  Once I got this far I realized that this was not going to come together the way I wanted it to.  The handles weren't going to be right, the lining was all weird and it just wasn't inspiring me to work on it anymore.  Poor grocery bag!  I did finally get back to it.  I told Stephen I'd have it ready for our next share of farm fresh veggies - and I did!  It was totally completed but we forgot to bring it...  Oops!

Anyways, there were several mishaps along the way making this darn bag.  For example, some people take the pins out of their fabric before they pass a pinned section through their sewing machine so the needle doesn't hit the pin, but my mom never taught me to do that, so I never do.  It was never a problem with my old machine, but I've hit a lot of pins with my new one and have a lot that end up "N" shaped from the impact.  However, what happened to me making this bag was something I didn't even know was possible.

Left: good,  Right: BAD!

The "pin" on the right started out just like the pin on the left, but after I sewed over it the metal part had mysteriously disappeared...  I assume it's lost inside my sewing machine somewhere, and since it hasn't caused any problems yet, I'm hoping it's not in a damaging spot.  I still don't take my pins out before I sew over them by the way.

That is really the most interesting thing that happened during this project.  I ended up finishing it off with a few visible seams (I hate that!) because I was just so sick of it sitting around unfinished.  All in all it ended up a useful bag and I've carried delicious groceries in it a couple of times.  Not my favorite project, but I guess it was a success in the end.  Maybe I should stick to baby stuff after all!!!




What did you do this weekend?

I cut up a purple garbage bag...

It seems weird right?  I have come across a few patterns lately for crocheting things out of recycled plastic bags that I wanted to try.  I was kind of bummed out that every store in Waco has white bags with red printing so everything I made would come out the same boring colors.  Lucky for me I had a beautiful garbage bag sized sack from one of my birthday presents. So I sliced it up and ended with this lovely pile!

You said we were going to sleep in a REAL PILE!

Anyways, all in all I ended up with about 70 yards of plastic "yarn" for a future project!  Hooray!  It wrapped up into a ball a little bigger than a softball.  Of course when I finished cutting it up I dropped the end into my pile and couldn't find it and had to sift through the whole darn thing to find an end to work from.  Hopefully we'll see some results from this soon - if not, at least the destruction was fun and satisfying!  I'm so totally GREEN!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crayon Roll Up (Like a fruit roll up that only babies like to eat)

FYI:  I only make projects for ages 2 and under.   Just kidding!  It just happens that this is another project I made for a special little girl in my life.  I like to call it a crayon roll up, but you can call it whatever you like.  The point is that it is a totally cute and pretty easy project.  I didn't use a pattern for this one, but I had seen pictures of similar projects on and other craft sites.  My little niece Josie is quite the little artist so I figured this was something she definitely needed.  I created myself a rough pattern of various sized fabric rectangles, batting and some rick-rack and ribbon for accents - blue and orange for my favorite Gators fans. It holds 24 fat crayolas (washable and non-toxic, she isn't even 2 after all) and wraps up and ties shut. If you'd like any more details about my "pattern" just let me know and I'll try to explain a little better. Judging from the picture below, it was a big big hit!

All Right!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

You're going down...

Maybe you found your way here from my husband's blog, The CSA Experiment.  Maybe you saw that we're having a little competition about who can keep up with a blog longer.  We've both failed at this in the past, but I'm hoping we can keep each other motivated :)  So far the opinion seems to be that I'm going to cream Stephen.  We shall see!!

Little Ladybug

I think it is appropriate that I start off this blog with the project that got me started crafting again!
Back in August we celebrated the second birthday of one of my favorite little girls, and I made this little ladybug wristlet for her.  I used a free crochet pattern I found at Erin Olivia Designs.  I love crocheting but I hadn't done anything for quite a while.  This pattern worked up so quick and easy!  I think I did it in two nights.  As far as I know the gift was a big hit!  I wish I had a need for some more crocheted afghans or scarves, so I could start on another project.  Unfortunately I already have 2 or 3 of each that aren't getting used, so with limited space in the house I'll have to put crochet on hold for a while!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm so bad at blogging!

I don't have anything to post for real yet, but here is a picture of little Josie enjoying her swinging!