Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lila's Christmas Stocking

I guess third time is the charm, since that is how many times I had to make this stocking before I got it to hang the right direction.

But it is done and just in time to hang it with care...

...because St. Nicholas soon will be here!

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope your Christmas crafting was successful and you are ready to enjoy a relaxing holiday.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas week to go...yikes.

What is it about crafters of any kind, sewers, knitters, crocheters, etc., that we consistently underestimate how long it will take us to make something? Every year, at about this time, I find myself scrambling frantically from pile to pile of unfinished fabric, yarn, and ribbons. Today I realized that one week really only has 7 days in it, and since most of these things are meant to be wrapped and under the tree or tucked into stockings, that is really only 6 days and I had better kick it into high gear. (And maybe be more realistic about what I can actually accomplish between now and then without permanent back or nerve damage...)

item 1: For Jake, a vest and tie. Since I make Christmas dresses for the girls, I thought it would be nice to do something for the boy too. Cut out, except for the tie lining which I need to go rummaging through the stash to see if I already have some so I don't have to make yet another trip to Jo Ann's.

item 2: The aforementioned Christmas dresses. Well, the idea of them anyhow. The fabric is washed, the pattern pieces are cut out, but I am sort of designing and drafting as I go so we'll see how close the finished project is to what I am envisioning. But don't you love the fabric? It's called Cookie Angels and I love it so much I went back for more...

item 3: Okay, this looks like much more craziness then it actually is. I am not making Jake 8 pair of pajama pants, only 3... maybe 4. This is just the fabric selection laid out while I try to choose which ones.

item 4: this is only a maybe, if I finish everything else (hey... it could happen...) I'm thinking of a cute top and skirt for Evie. Of course everything else also includes items 5 and 6: two knitted hats, and item 7: Lila's stocking, which is now correctly pieced and about 75% embroidered. Oh yes, and a doll blanket for Evie that has a crocheted edging, that's almost finished too.

This is my first felted knit project. I love this pattern! And no, these aren't for Christmas. I took time out to make these because I live in a constant state of denial when it comes to crafting. They turned out cute though. Once they are dry I need to sew on the straps and pick out some cute buttons, I'm thinking some black ones will really pop against the red.

And just to end on a positive note, an actual finished and completely completed project! Yay. Jake and Evie's Christmas eve jammies. Evie picked out the snowman fabric for the pants and I found the shirts at Walmart. Love it. Love it. Love it! Can't wait to see them on. Alright, off to get something else done.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ready for Turkey Day!

I've had the idea for these shirts floating around my brain for a couple of weeks now, ever since I saw this post on Ucreate.

I really loved the three-dimensional look the ribbon gives the shirt. I am still trying to decided what kind of skirt I want to make to go with them. I am thinking a shorter skirt in orange or yellow (or both), with brown leggings underneath...

Keep an eye out for pictures of the whole outfits, complete with my models!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall knitting

Just because it's Halloween, I wanted to knit something orange.

Just kidding. I am making a top for Lila like this one I made for Evie. I am thinking in terms of a birthday outfit for my fall baby. It blows my mind that she will be one year old next month.

And these are my fall wristers. (Basically, they are fingerless gloves.) I finished them last night. Just in time for trick-or-treating!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My new ribbon rack!

I am really lucky to have my Dad. He is able to build just about anything I can dream up. It isn't unusual that I start a conversation with him with, "I was thinking..." or "I was wondering..." or "Do you think it would be possible..." A month or so ago I went to him with the idea for this ribbon rack.

As you can see I have a LOT of ribbon. Mostly collected over the past couple of years as I got into making hair bows for my girls. My cousin came down one day to make them with me and she had all her ribbon on a cafe rod that she hung in the window of her craft room. I loved the idea, but the only window in my craft room is too small and high to make that a workable solution for me. So then I thought about my mom's wrapping center and thought that would be perfect scaled down for my ribbons!

I love it, it is exactly what I was envisioning. Now I can see exactly which shade of pink will match the best, or whether zebra or cheetah print will work better. Before it was all jumbled together in a laundry basket and it was a lot of effort to pull it all out to make a hair bow. Now I will have a hair bow station under it with the hot glue gun and every thing setting out and ready to go, so it will be the work of a moment to make just one or two. Like tonight when I realized that I didn't really have anything to match the girl's church dresses for tomorrow.

Ta Da! Two hair bows in 5 minutes. And I didn't have to lug everything upstairs to the kitchen... perfect!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A busy knitting week...

Because of sick kids, I have spent most of this week watching cartoons and knitting with one or more child draped across my lap. Not the ideal way to knit, but I still got some things done.

This cute top for Evie. I really love how this turned out. I needed to add a couple of inches on the length, which will allow her to get a lot of use out of it.

I also finished a ear flap hat for Jake. (My first hat ever!) This still needs ties on it, but I do love how it turned out. I had to use the adult pattern to fit his huge cranium, but that works out nicely because now I can make one for Brian too.

I figured out how to size the pattern down to make one for Lila too. Couldn't be cuter. (I might be biased because of the model though.) I am working on one to match for big sister...

I absolutely love this hat pattern, they work up so quickly too. So fair warning, if you are on my Christmas list and you have a head, you will probably be getting one of these.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lila's Watermelon Ensemble

It looks even cuter with a baby in it, but I was in Mommy burn-out mode today and didn't even think to snap a picture when she had it on earlier. I found the dress pattern on Knitting Pattern Central under the girl's clothing section. (I have spent many happy hours browsing the free patterns they have collected in one convenient spot, and there is a sister site Crochet Pattern Central if knitting isn't your thing.) The shoes are a basic bootie pattern out of one of my growing library of knitting pattern books, and the hair bow is because I found that adorable watermelon button when I was picking out the little black buttons for the dress and shoes. And it's not like you can have too many hair bows, right?

I hope to have some more finished projects to share soon because I am going on a quilting retreat this next weekend. I am so excited. Three days of no kids and friends who share my addictions to fabrics and fiber. I think it is fun to have to take into account how to fit 10 sewing machines while packing the cars... And I don't want to get any one's hopes up, but considering that this is a quilt retreat, someone who has been waiting for over two years for a purple and butterflied quilt just might be pleasantly surprised. No promises though.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is it any wonder I can't get things done?

This is what happened yesterday as I was trying to knit on some socks...

Isn't she so helpful? The problem is, she is so cute I have to stop what I am doing to hug and kiss her!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I know I've lost my momentum...

Last Friday would have been my mother's 51st birthday. It was also 6 months since her funeral. Dealing with that has just sucked up all my emotions and energy. I have been knitting some because that is something I can do while sitting upstairs with my kids. Anything else has required too much thought, and my brain just isn't working very well right now. (On the positive side, my dad came over and fixed my sewing machine so it is working again. Yea!)

I did make these Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog Wristers. I found the pattern on Ravelry and thought they were fun and funky. Plus it was a quick project, always a bonus.

The brown yarn was a worsted wool left over from Jacob's sweater and the buttons are made out of coconut shells.

Bring on the fall weather. I am ready!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 29: sort of...

So I figured out why I haven't posted anything for a few days. I don't want to end my challenge! I seriously have a sickness when it comes to not finishing things... how sad. I have been crafting, and starting some new projects but the finishing drive is gone. I am going to try for something amazing to finish off my challenge and hope it carries over into the rest of my life, I need finishing power there too. Putting the laundry away after it's been folded. That sort of thing....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 28: Something I haven't done in forever...

Thread crochet bookmarks. Why? They are quick and fun, and I haven't crocheted for awhile. I did get a replacement light bulb for my sewing machine tonight so hopefully tomorrow I can get back to it. 24 hours in a day just isn't enough time to get all the crafting done that I want to.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 27: Jacob's Sweater and an explanation...

This weekend has been very busy for me, I've been gone more than I've been home. And on Friday I was gone from 9 am until 5 pm running errands. By the time I got the groceries unloaded and put away, the kids fed and bathed and in bed it was closer to 9 and I was exhausted. I took my machine back downstairs (I had lugged it up to my cousin's the day before) and was setting my sewing table back to rights. When I plugged it in there was a blue flash and loud pop! The light bulb gave up the ghost after more than 35 years of faithful service. Not the end of the world perhaps, but it's made my life hard to not have my machine. I kind of feel like my right hand has gone missing. Fortunately my machine was built by my dad many years ago when he was a sewing machine mechanic, so I don't have to go far for help. Tomorrow it shouldn't be too hard to find a replacement bulb and be off and sewing again.

In the meantime I have focused on finishing this sweater for Jacob that has been sitting in my knitting basket waiting for one sleeve for the last four or five months...

But it wasn't as easy as just knitting that second sleeve. I tried it on him and the body fit fine but the sleeve was skin tight and about an inch too short. Yikes! I had to rip the first sleeve back and start them over. But it was worth the effort as he looks very handsome in it and I think we should be able to get two years wear out of it, barring an unforeseen growth spurt. (I'll have to get a shot of him modeling it tomorrow since I finished it at 2 am and he was, of course, sound asleep.)

*edited to add: No I didn't wake him up to model the sweater, this is his GQ, "I am too cool for words" pose. The thumbs up is his ringing endorsement for my knitting abilities. I know he liked the sweater because he gave me a quarter. Nice.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 26: Sandwiches fixin's

I went to my cousin's house today (kind of on a whim...) and we made this fun play food out of felt. Those are the fixings for either a meat and cheese sandwich or a peanut butter and jelly, not purple meat like everyone in my knitting group thought. And please ignore the fact that my banana is naked, the peel has ended up being a little more error than trial...
It was a lot of fun though, the kids got to play with the cousins and it's always fun to have some else there to bounce ideas off of.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 25: Brian's socks

Each one of these socks are almost 2 ft. long from toe to cuff. That is a lot of stockinette (i.e. boring) knitting. But I love my hubby so it was worth it. He is happy with them. In fact, when he tried them on he said, "I'll take 12 more pairs." Yikes!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 24: felt food

Have you seen these online anywhere? There are some seriously yummy looking play foods out there. It inspired my own sad first attempt above. (They are supposed to be sweet rolls if you can't tell...) I am hooked though. I want to make much, much more of this fun felt food for my kiddos. Tea party anyone?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 23: A new tradition...

I made this sash out of a scrap of satin and painted the lettering with a stencil. I wanted to start a tradition of having my girls wear this each birthday. Evie thought it was awesome and made her look like a princess...

I can't wait until she is 12 or 13 and is rolling her eyes at me as I pull out the "birthday sash" and make her put it on for a picture.

Day 22: Baby shower gift

Have I mentioned lately that I love the combo of pink and brown? I was excited when I was asked to make this rag quilt for a baby shower on Brian's side of the family, and I found out they are expecting a little girl and her nursery is done in pink and brown! So much fun for me. I had enough fabric left over to make some raggy burp cloths and a taggy toy.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 21: A birthday dress

I found these fabrics in the clearance section during a sale for an extra 50% off, and I decided to make a beautiful birthday dress for Evie. (Plus the blue is a nice palate cleanser for me after a surfeit of pink.)

I love it when I can make fancy dresses for my girls for less than $10. I ended up only using half of what I thought I would, so this dress probably cost me about $7 or $8 when you figure in the cost of the thread, zipper, and pattern. I stock up on patterns when they are on sale for $0.99, it has saved me hundreds of dollars and I have an extensive library of patterns for everything from baby clothes to costumes. (Oh, that is a good tip. Buy the expensive costume patterns when they are on sale earlier in the year, instead of in October.)

I can't wait to see my two princesses dressed for the ball.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 20: The last doll clothes... that I will ever make! (possibly.)

I am really, really sick of sewing little, teenie, tiny seams. I am done. I refuse to sew anything for a doll. ever. again! (Or at least for six months.) Of course it all depends on how Evie likes them when she opens up her birthday presents. I spent hours making my son an alphabet quilt for his first birthday and he wouldn't even look at it when he opened it. I no longer quilt, if that tells you anything about me...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 19: My kind of magic...

One of my all time favorite Cinderella movies is The Slipper and the Rose. If you haven't seen it (and if you are a romantic at heart) you really should. I think that this is where my love of costumes and period clothing stems from. I remember watching it over and over with my mother, from the time I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. One of my favorite scenes is when the wicked step-mother tells Cinderella that they have been invited to the royal ball and she must take some of their old dress and "make three splendid new dresses" out of them. Poor Cinderella has no dress making skills and is feeling despair over her task when her Fairy Godmother shows up; and with some magic, and a keen fashion sense, saves the day. I don't know why, but that scene has been playing over and over in my head for the last two days as I transformed this pile of scraps...

... into a dress fit for my princess.

The green satin is literally the scraps I had left over from sewing a vest for my cousin Tiffany's husband, for their wedding last year. And the floral patterned fabric I found in my quest to organize my stash, a 1/2 yard can go quite far. Simple and pretty, I can't wait for church this week.

Day 18: Still in miniature...

But how sweet is this? This is the preemie sweater I mentioned yesterday, it's for a family friend who just had a 4 lb. baby girl...

One nice thing about knitting something this small, I started this sweater on Saturday night. Kind of instant gratification.

I feel like I have been sewing all day long with nothing to show for it. I got all my squares layered and sewn for the rag quilt, I spent almost an hour on a doll romper suit that ended up not working because of sleeves, and I am halfway through a dress for Lila that I can't wait to post about, but I've run out of the color of thread that I need and I also need to get a zipper for it. I keep ending up with all these half finished projects and thinking that one of these days I will be able to post 27 finished items. Ah well, the kids think they need to eat three times a day. It cuts into the crafting time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 17: more doll clothes...

I am going to be dreaming in miniature if I don't finish these soon. They are pretty cute though, aren't they?

Of course it doesn't help that my knitting project is a preemie sized sweater. I am surrounded by tiny crafts! I may have to switch it up an make a dress or something tomorrow... just for a change of pace.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 16: More birthday presents...

I was very sick on Friday. Crawl from couch-to-bed-to-bathtub-to-couch-again kind of sick. So I am going to consider the challenge paused for Friday and pick right up today. I cut out a bunch of doll clothes to make for Evie last Christmas, but they didn't fit the Cabbage Patch doll I was making them for. And they didn't fit any of her other dolls either. So they have set tucked away for the last seven months. A couple of weeks ago I found this doll at Dollar Tree and they actually fit her! Hooray! (Plus she even has a cute face, which usually the dolls at the dollar stores don't.)

So now I have a week in which to hurry up and sew! There will be a lot of girly projects for the next little while.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 15: Monster Pants

Pretty self explanatory. You can't really tell from his expression, but he was quite happy with them. And Evie kept trying to try them on to prove that she is as big as Jake...

I also got most of the red and black skirt sewn up. I am loving my sewing room being all organized... I feel so productive!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 14: Too Sweet!

*Warning* This post is so sweet it may cause a toothache!

My little girl will be turning 3 in a couple of weeks. She has asked for a pink birthday. She wants to go to Build-a-Bear and make a pink bear and then go to a pink movie. (I am still trying to figure that one out.) Pink is obviously her favorite color, and she also loves to play with her baby dolls. So I found this basket at the DI for $1.50 and with some pink flannels from the remnant bin...

The perfect birthday present for a pink-loving, almost three year old!

The best part for me is that I probably spent less than $5 on materials and this ended up way cuter than anything I could have bought in the store. Plus it is one of a kind!