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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hooks and Scarves

A funny thing happened when I started a sewing blog.  I started crocheting again. 

I learned how to crochet when hubs and I were RVing with the old folks.  (an interesting story for another time)  I learned all sorts of little old lady crafts and it was so much fun.  I think they enjoyed teaching me almost as much as I enjoyed learning.  I love those gals!  Hang out with old folks, they have a lot to teach.

Anyway, with homeschooling I've found it difficult to sew the same way I did before.  Shocking I know!  Sewing something makes me feel like I've "got to get it done".  But with crochet, it's easy to pick up and put down.  Which is perfect.  So expect some more crochet projects.  And I hope to learn how to knit too.

Ever hear of Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'N Bitch book series?  The Knitter's Handbook and Stitch 'N Bitch Nation AND The Happy Hooker (awesome name) for those of us that crochet.  It's funny and informative and fantastic.  I recommend it.

Anyway, (again) I've been admiring those great cowl scarves.  Well, I got the urge to make one.  The Happy Hooker has section on "fancy stitches".  I picked the "V" stitch and went to town. 

Loving this yarn too!  It's a decent wool yarn from Hobby Lobby.

Here it is mostly finished!  Just need to weave in the ends.

Aaand DONE!

I completely love it.  It's warm without being too warm and super pretty! 

I'm trying something new today and linking up to the yarn along at Small Things.  And I promise next time to take a picture of what I'm reading for fun too.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Deckin' and Trimmin'

Today's post is also on The Fipper Show.

We have had tons of fun this last month deckin' and trimmin' our little house. Some of these projects are from years past but we love them so much we keep bringing them out, and some are new.

Like this one... 

I made a yarn wreath for our front door. I'm totally loving this color combo for Christmas. (I think I'll make some pillows in these colors too.) I added a couple of beeswax ornaments to the middle.

We made quite a few of those too. Beeswax ornaments I mean. They smell so delicious and warm when the sun hits them. I have a string hanging in the kitchen window.

We've made paper chains, and placemats, and gum drop trees. (I'll try and get pictures up of those - awesome)

And a few strings of lights. These were really cute. We used glittery craft foam, binder clips (from the office supply store), and some yarn. I think I saw it in Family Fun magazine.

And here is a Christmas quilt I made a few years ago.

We made cookies at Aunt Carly's house. If Fisher looks guilty here it's because he was just busted eating a handful of sprinkles.

And these stockings were made the year Fisher was born.

Piper's was made just before she was born. Mine was made by my Mom when I was little.

One of my favorite ornaments from my childhood.

Last year we made these dried orange slices with clove and cinnamon. I LOVE these. They still smell yummy even a year later.

Fisher has taken up finger knitting. He knitted this cord for our tree. It's my favorite new decoration this year!

The (relatively) finished product. We've continued to add little bits here and there as creativity strikes. Notice the popcorn string! This is our first year with that too. There are all these gaps where little hands have picked off popcorn. I'm looking at you Pipey. (and we couldn't go any lower or the dog would pull it off)

Another lovely. She makes me happy.

The kids and I made all these great paper snowflakes that we taped in the windows. It's so beautiful when the sun is setting and lights up the window. The shadows cast on the curtains are just magical.

We hope you have a happy and peaceful Christmas.


JKFP and Bob

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Warm Hands

Or hand warmers.  These are all over the place but I just made some a few weeks ago and thought I'd show you.  Now you should know, I'm at beginner level when it comes to crochet.  I've made one thing from a pattern.  Ever.  One.  I mostly just make stuff up and wing it.  I've made hats, scarves, kitchen sponges, and these hand warmers.  I love them.  I'm typing with them on right now. Sure, one thumb hole is a little bigger than the other.  And one is slightly looser than the other.  But you know what?  I totally don't care.  They are functional and pretty and purple. 

(in case you're wondering about the yarn I got it in Germany.  Which means I have no idea what's in it, how to wash it, or what it's called.  No clue.)

Loosey goosey instruction:

Step one: Chain stitch to whatever length you want to with whatever size hook you want.  I just kept holding it up to my arm til I got it where I wanted.  Mine are approximately 11.5 inches.

Step two: Double crochet, or single, or triple, whatever until you have a large enough rectangle to go around your arm on the elbow end.  Mine was about 8 inches.  Yep, this is just a tube folks.  


Step three: Fold that rectangle in half and slip stitch the long sides together.  If you don't want the seam you see on mine you can use a giant needle and whip stitch instead.  You'll slip stitch down about an inch and a half (a little more, a little less depending on how far up your hand you want.  Mine covers my knuckles) then you're just going to slip stitch on one side only leaving the thumb hole.  Keep putting it on to see how big the thumb hole needs to be (mine is 2 inches) then pick up both sides again in your slip stitch.  Slip stitch all the way down and weave in your ends.

*Let me know if you are trying to make 'em and these are crappy instructions.  It's the blind leading the blind here but I'll try to answer your questions.

My favorite photo from the shoot...cause you can see my photographers toes.

Speaking of my photographer, he had another fantastic suggestion for these.  He requested one in white they could use as a cast with their doctor kit.  Creative huh?  He's awesome.

Friday, November 11, 2011

How's the Weather?

You'll come to find sometimes our sewing is a little bit crafting and a little bit homeschooling.  This is one of those times.

I love the Wee Folk Art blog.  Like, love it.  They have fantastic ideas and free patterns.  Well, one of their applique patterns is a sunburst.  It got me thinking... weather flags.  I thought this would be a good way for the kids to consciously observe the weather.

They did a fantastic job with applique block tutorial so I'll just tell you about my changes.  I made these an inch bigger on one side than the suggested 6" square. (to allow for the pocket.)  So 6"x7".  You'll fold that top inch down and stitch across making the pocket.  You'll be back to the 6" square now.

Look around online (or freehand) for cartoon style clouds, rain, snowflakes, etc. Wee Folk didn't have these but they have tons of others.

Print the design off, cut them out of wool felt, and hand stitch.  Cut a dowel rod (I think I used 1/4") down to size  (7" or 8") and thread it through.  Make the hanger with yarn.

We look out each morning (sometimes more, sometimes less) and match what we observe outside to our flags inside.  The only thing I think I'm missing is wind.  So I may add that one later.  The kids love them and more importantly they use them.  I love it when blogland is a springboard for your brain.

It's Friday so that means it's Peek of the Week over at Happily Home Sewn.  You guessed it, I'm linking.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Memory: Repost

This was originally posted on The Fipper Show on March 13, 2011 but I thought it was appropriate to repost it here.   

Okay, I thought I'd try my hand at posting about crafts every once in a while. I've got quite a few completed projects laying around I thought might interest you. So if you are here for cute pictures of my kids...this is not the post for you.

I was looking around for something to make the kids for Valentine's Day that they could play with together. I had all these little wooden circles left over from another project and they were just screaming at me. I had also seen similar wooden versions of the memory game. AND, I was wanting to try woodburning. (I happened to already have all the woodburning stuff from several years ago.) So, I put them all together and made this....

These are my favorite ones.
Up close

And everyone can play.

Not to mention it's perfect for travel. That little bag up there is made from my favorite pair of outgrown Pipey pants. (Cut off the leg, sew the raw edge, snip a tiny hole in the hem and string a ribbon to close.) I had all this stuff on hand and made this game up in a little over an hour (woodburning, painting and all) I did seal it with a homemade beeswax and olive oil polish the next day. It's pretty awesome...if I do say so myself.

I'm linking this to the Peek of the Week over at Happily Home Sewn!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I've got you covered.

A couple months ago my sewing machine got sick.  I know, super sad.  She needed a little love and some replacement parts.  Now, I don't know about you, but when I can't sew I get a little cranky.  I just need that creative outlet.  Well, my sweet mother in law came to the rescue!  She loaned me her machine while mine was at the doctor.  So to thank her, I made her (and her machine) a little present.  A machine cover or, as I like to think of it, an outfit.  (and I apologize for the not so great basement lighting.)

See, all nice and comfy in there.

Now, this is really just a rectangle with batting (A very small quilt, if you will) and some ribbon sewn into the sides to tie it closed.  I wanted to break up the flowered fabric just a bit so I pieced a little strip for the front but that's not necessary I did quilt around the larger flowers just to help hold everything together. That's not necessary either but really pretty.  You could easily tie it like a quilt if you wanted instead.

This was really simple and quick to work up.  That said, if anyone would like instructions just let me know.  It would make a nice Christmas gift for your favorite sewing enthusiast.

I'm linking up again with Happily Home Sewn and her Peek of the Week so head on over!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Keeping Time With Gnomes

Wait for it....

This is the current centerpiece for our table.  Kinda cute right?  Tiny pumpkins, a tree block, beeswax candle, a sea shell (from our honeymoon a million years ago), and the sweetest little perpetual calendar I ever did make.  Well, the only one anyway.  

A few weeks ago I was browsing around Rhythm of the Home Magazine (an online magazine found here ) and their Fall 2011 edition and loving it all.  I came across Mama Roots and her story tables which have inspired quite a lot of my current crafting.  Her blog is wonderful but I really loved this.  Her little calendars are so cute. 

Now, I inherited a healthy dose of "I can probably make that" from both my parents.  Naturally that's what I thought.  I can make it - but different.  So I rounded up some scrap wood, a peg person, a couple wooden cubes, and some wool felt.  Oh and I grabbed the wood burner.  I think she turned out pretty cute. 

I made 4 different hats, one for each season.  Orange for fall, an icy blue for winter, a leafy green for spring, and a bright blue for summer. 

Then I wood burned the little leaf pattern, months, and days.  I finished it off with a homemade olive oil beeswax polish to protect her.  I love her!  Really. 

I'm linking this to Happily Home Sewn and her Peek of the Week.  Her "peeks" are always adorable so go check it out!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Just Do It.

That's what I decided.  To just do it.  Just start this little crafty blog.  I have so many completed projects to share with you all and I didn't want them to overwhelm The Fipper Show.  And so...another blog is born. 

I imagine we'll be fairly sporadic for a while.  I do have some seriously cute stuff going on.  Mostly sewing but there will be the occasional kid craft or chicken house remodel or cardboard Halloween costume or what have you in the mix.  (Maybe even a recipe or two.)  Let's get started, shall we?  I give you....

Snack Mats

A while back I was apparently falling down crafty blog rabbit holes and I came across these adorable toadstool snack mats.  I can not, for the life of me, remember where I saw these.  If anyone knows, (or they are yours) please leave it in the comments.  I decided to change it up a bit and we did four different ones. 

Now these are perfect for smallish pieces of wool felt and plain ol' muslin.  Mine are approximately 9" X 7".  Give or take.  I used scraps of batting leftover from other projects and even hand quilted them.  (but you sure could use the machine for the whole thing) This project didn't cost me a dime.

I specifically remember the instructions I read saying to go around the wool "patch" twice to give it a really nice homespun sort of look on the back side too.  Those I did with the sewing machine.

They were a pretty big hit.  I LOVE them.  And they have all kinds of useful applications.  Place mats for play kitchens, candle mats, one of my sons friends was even using them as play kitchen pot holders.  (which you could totally make by squaring the design up and adding a little bias tape around the edge and a loop) 

It's the perfect size for a cup of coffee and a muffin.  Or a bowl of soup.  Or a handful of crackers.

These were really very simple to do but if anyone would like a tutorial for it just let me know.  Snack away my friends, snack away.