Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

Yarn, Yarn, Yarn

Recently I won a yarn giveaway over at Poppies and Milk. I just received the box, and look at all of the beautiful yarn. Those tweedy purples made my heart skip a beat. My girls were in love with all these gorgeous pinks. The babe had a particular fondness for that extra soft and fluffy ball of white. You can see her moving in again. Here are some more bright, fun colours. I have a few ideas for a few of the different colours, but I am going to have some real fun deciding what to do with it all. Good thing I’ll be stuck in the car for quite a while here in a couple of weeks, it’ll be perfect for having some time to crochet.

crochet, gifts • Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 • 5 Comments »

Flower Brooches

First I made a fabric covered button, from one of the sets I found at the thrift store. Then I made some backs. Added some crocheted flowers from this pattern (which is brilliant, and my favourite flower to crochet)…. and turned them into fun flower brooches. I am loving these and with changing up your yarn and buttons, they can be made to be springy, wintry, for your clothing… or to gussy up a string bag. These flowers are gorgeous, the pattern is flawless, they are fairly quick to whip up and brilliant every time. They would make perfect gifts, and are fantastic for embellishing lots of things. Have a go, you won’t regret it.

crochet, gifts, sewing, thrift store finds • Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 • 18 Comments »

String Bag #3

I made this string bag a while ago, but promptly forgot about it in shuffle of everybody being so ill. I used this pattern, which was a breeze to crochet. I did add some extra rows in the middle as I wanted the bag to be a bit bigger, but otherwise it is the same pattern. I had lots and lots of natural cotton, but I am thinking of dyeing it a brighter colour now that it is done and my stash is almost gone. This is the biggest bag (though it’s not huge) I’ve done and I really like it. I have intentions of getting one more bag done before the month is out, and I hope I’ll be able to get to it. I love making my own bags, and this has been such a fun challenge as it is not something I’ve done before. Even though I have not had luck in finding a pattern to match what I need for big shops, these smaller bags will definitely have their place. For one, they’ll be easier for the kiddos to manage. They will be perfect for produce bags and also little gift bags. Several different little handmade string bags would also be perfect tied up with pretty ribbons for a gift. Well, it’s supposed to snow again today and tomorrow, I am thankful that we are having days of springyness in between the cold, grey weather, but I will definitely be glad when it is more consistently warm. No real sign of spring here in the form of buds or anything green, but I am keeping a keen eye out. What are your favourite signs of spring?

crochet, gifts, green, home • Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 • 9 Comments »

String Bag #2

Here is my second string bag, and in a much more cheerful colour as well. I used this pattern, and though I followed the directions precisely, I don’t really see the resemblance to the picture. I do like it, and though it is a pretty small bag, I think it will be very useful. So this is my dilemma, see this bag? My mom brought it home for me from Marks & Sparks last summer after her trip to England. I absolutely love this bag, it is the perfect size, it holds tons of stuff, and the opening is really big. I love the dual handles as it is perfect to throw over my shoulder, or carry in my hands, and using the short handles, the kids can handle it really well as well. I am having a very difficult time finding a pattern to match this type of bag. Each bag I have made has a fairly narrow opening and I think it wouldn’t be such a problem if I hadn’t been spoiled with my green bag. The big issue is that for the same style and size, I can buy one cheaper than I could make one, assuming that I could even figure out a pattern that was similar. I’m all for making my own, but it is slightly frustrating to know that I am paying more to make one that doesn’t match the ease of use as the one I really love. I think what I might do is make more smallish bags like this red one as they would come in handy for produce, or the kids carrying them etc. and then just buy some of the bigger ones which I really do love for bigger shops, or plants etc. that need more space and a much bigger opening. On a side note, Hubby and I had a good giggle while watching Did You Hear About the Morgans? It is about a New York City couple who are sent to Wyoming while in the witness protection program. There were some really funny parts, and though we don’t have bears in our back yard, they absolutely nailed it when they said the sky out here is like nowhere else. I’m feeling much better after the receptionist episode yesterday, but we’ll see how it goes today. After 2 1/2 years of having these braces on, and the fact that they were supposed to come off last September, I’ll believe it when I see it. Wish me luck! Oh, and the kiddos are doing much better now, there are a few slightly runny noses, but the awful coughing is over and the ear infections are gone. It has been so nice here these last two days, with the temp in the 60’s, that we have spent most of our days outside, which has really helped with the cabin fever. Well, I’ve rambled on long enough. Once I get a little more energy back I’ve got lots of projects on my to do list, can’t wait to show you.

crochet, gifts, green • Thursday, March 18th, 2010 • 12 Comments »

Thrifted Beauty

Isn’t this piece beautiful? It was a gift from my mom after we found it on one of our Saturday morning thrift store runs a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea what it was originally intended for….. but now it is sitting beside my couch, holding lots of scrumptious wool.

gifts, home, thrift store finds • Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

Look What I Won

Recently I won a little giveaway over at jennyflower, and it arrived yesterday. Look at all those goodies. I knew about the book and the card, isn’t it gorgeous? I will have lots of fun going through the book and trying my hand at ribbon embroidery, and look at the extras. My two girls love the hair pretties. The babe grabbed them all in her chubby little hands and started patting her head (what she does when she wants something in her hair). They are all hand crocheted or stitched and they are gorgeous, what a lovely little surprise. Also the fact that the book was wrapped in fabric was so exciting to me. Now I have some pretty new fabrics to work with and I think I know just what they will end up as. Thanks Jennyflower, it was such a treat. If you aren’t familiar with Jennyflower,you should definitely pop on over, she is such a sweet gal and does beautiful work. On a side note, my brother leaves today, we had a really nice time with him, and will miss him. The rest of our week should be fairly normal and back to our routine, though I’m hoping for some better weather as it would be really nice to have the kids play outside some. The problem with winter here is that it gets really windy. The cold wouldn’t be so bad by itself, but the wind can be brutal. Most of the time it is too much for the kids to go out, or dry clothes on the line, they just get whipped off, so I am really looking forward to warmer, less windy days. I am making good progress on my crochet project and hope to have it finished next week. Also, I am trying to decide on what our one small change for March will be. Oh, and we have to take our eldest to the dentist again as he needs another repair on his braces (second one in one week), which is a bit of a pain as it is so far away. So maybe it won’t be such a normal week after all.

books, gifts, sewing • Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 • 6 Comments »

Wedding Flowers

Much of this past weekend was enjoying a wedding and all that it involved. My brother flew into town and we are very much enjoying his company as well. I was thrilled to be asked to do the flowers for the wedding so I thought I would share some pictures of them with you all. All four of my kiddos were in the wedding, and the girls each carried one of these. The brides bouquet above went perfectly with her gorgeous bronze dress. It’s been a while since I’ve done flowers for any type of event, but it was a lot of fun. All of the flowers were faux, as they were done in advance, but nowadays there are such pretty, convincing faux flowers that it was near impossible to tell. We had a great weekend, hope you all did too.

family, gifts • Monday, February 22nd, 2010 • 15 Comments »

Valentine’s Bookmarks

I must admit, we aren’t huge Valentine’s Day celebrators around here, and I have been feeling very uninspired by all things red and hearty lately. Until this morning that is. I couldn’t sleep this morning and it was pretty early, and it hit me. Who doesn’t use bookmarks? I wanted to do some sort of project that wouldn’t be tied to one day in February, but could be enjoyed all year round. I think I may have found my crafty calling. This was the first time I ever did any machine embroidery and I just adore it. A couple of weeks ago, I had an amazon gift card burning a hold in my pocket, and I finally decided to get Free and Easy Stitch Style. I really love the look of machine embroidered items and thought I would jump in with both feet. I’m so glad I did. Here is an excellent tutorial by my friend Marmalade Rose to help you learn the basics. These were such fun, and after I got the hang of the embroidering, they were very quick. One of the best things about machine embroidery is that it doesn’t matter if your lines are a bit wobbly, they look perfect however they turn out. I made some heart bookmarks, but I also made some flowers. I am more of a flower gal than a heart one, which kind are you? Oh, and here is a tutorial for the bookmarks, I’d love to see any if you make some up.

books, gifts, green, sewing • Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 • 10 Comments »

Recycled Sweater Vases

A couple of weeks ago, Hubby and I went on a date sans kids (thanks mom!) Though it may not sound extremely romantic, we went to Barnes and Noble and just read quietly for an hour. It was so nice to flip through magazines without having to keep one eye on the kids. I was flipping through the US Country Living and saw an article about using sweaters to cover items in your home. I loved the vases, but their instructions were vague at best and involved a lot of cutting and hot glue. Sounded kind of messy to me. I wasn’t really keen on the idea of them being glued together as cleaning the cover and vase if necessary, wouldn’t be very easy. I also wanted to be able to swap out covers to coordinate with whatever was in them, or wherever they were in the house.I knew I could figure out a better way, so I gathered some thrifted sweaters and some empty bottles, and away I went. I am really pleased with how they turned out. I think it’s a really nice way to add some colour and texture to an arrangement. They are so easy to make, and very quick as well. It’s fun to use different textured and patterned sweaters to create some different looks. Here is a tutorial in case you want to make some of your own. Hope you guys have a great weekend.

gifts, green, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Saturday, February 6th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

Cheesecloth Produce Bag

This month I made a renewed commitment to using cloth bags for shopping. The only problem is that in the grocery store, there are those awful little produce bags. I think I must be the only person who stands there trying to open them, they just never want to work like they should. Then there’s the whole thing with throwing a bunch more little plastic bags in the trash as soon as we get home. Even when we use cloth bags to bag up all of the groceries, these produce bags have been a problem. Since I am not using any plastic bags anymore, I needed to come up with a solution, and quick. Now, I do not live near a fabric store, and my choices are very limited. I wasn’t coming across anything at the thrift store that would work, and it finally dawned on me that I could use cheesecloth. It’s sturdy, and yet somewhat sheer. Something about the lighting in this pictures makes it seem as though you can’t really see what’s in the bag, but you can in person. I made these simple drawstring produce bags and I am thrilled with how they turned out. They were extremely easy to sew together, and they are going to be a huge help when it comes to lugging produce back from the store. If you can sew a straight line, you can make these bags, and here’s my tutorial to help you out. Hope you guys enjoy!

gifts, green, sewing • Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 • 17 Comments »