Archive for the ‘green’ Category

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 »

Thrifty Sewing Bits

I have been looking for some sewing bits and bobs and trims to work on some clothes for the girls this spring/summer and I hit the jackpot at the thrift store. Here are several yards of very girly knit trim. A stash of red buttons, 27 yards of red crochet trim, and some really pretty red floral fabric. Several more yards of an ivory crochet trim, and several sets of buttons to cover with fabric. I paid 50 cents for the fabric (almost two yards) and 50 cents for the 27 yards of red crochet trim. Each button set was 12 cents and everything else was 25 cents a piece, so all in all I came out with some fantastic deals. I do believe I am ready to make some cute things for the girls as the weather gets warmer, and don’t you love it when all of your purchases happen to be in the same colour palette unintentionally? I know, kind of weird, but I do.

crochet, green, sewing, thrift store finds • Friday, March 19th, 2010 • 7 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 »

String Bag #1

I am so excited to be involved in Emily and Dawn’s String-a-Long Challenge. I finally got my first bag finished last night and here it is. I used the Econo-Shopper Mesh Bag pattern over on Ravelry. I must admit, that I used the pattern for the main mesh part and then tweaked the handles as I preferred them flipped on the other sides. It wasn’t too hard, I just kind of figured it out as I went. I just recently found this pattern for the brooch, and can I just say I absolutely adore it (but more on that later). Once I got the hang of it, it was really easy to whip out. I’m not sure which pattern I’ll use next, but I’m going to have fun figuring it out. If anybody knows of any crochet string bag patterns, I would love to check them out. Sorry these recent posts are kind of short and to the point, still nursing my family back to health. Knock on wood, but I think the end is in sight.

crochet, green, home • Friday, March 12th, 2010 • 9 Comments »

New Uses for a Torn Knit Sheet

A couple of weeks ago, a small hole turned into a giant tear in my daughter’s sheet. Instead of mending it, I decided to save it to use for other projects. I figured I would use some of it to make summer pj’s for the girls. These past two weeks have been filled with runny noses, and the three boxes of kleenex in the closet ( they were given to us this past summer) had finally run out. Normally we use hankies, but I just don’t have enough to deal with this kind of onslaught. So what do you do when you have four little noses that have decided they are running a marathon and you need a massive amount of hankies fast? You take your trusty rotary cutter and cut the torn sheet into strips, then squares. Then you toss them all in a 25 cent thrift store basket and call it a day. I made each hankie 5" square so it’s perfect for one big nose blow. I only used about half of the sheet and got 160 hankies out of it, so let’s just hope that lasts the day. On a side note, we took the babe in yesterday as her cough had gotten worse. The doctor said that for lack of a better term he was diagnosing her with bronchitis. She is now on antibiotics, and holding steady.

green, home • Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 • 14 Comments »

String-a-Long and One Small Change

Just popping in to let you know about my March projects. So far my time away from the blog has accomplished me absolutely nothing. We have all been struck by a nasty cold and apart from my head feeling like it’s going to explode for the last several days, I’ve got four snotty children, two of whom now have lovely coughs to go along with the nose running. Ugh, anyway, I have higher plans for the rest of the week provided that recovery is speedy. At least we all came down with it at the same time, way better than it dragging on for a month because everyone gets sick one at a time. So, first off, Mousy Brown and Rattling On have set up a String-a-Long 2010 challenge. I was so excited as I have been making fabric shopping bags forever, and always loved string bags, but had never made one myself. I’ve got my yarn and hook ready and as soon as I can think straight without all the pressure in my sinuses, then I’ll be off. I’m using the Econo-Shopper Mesh Bag pattern for my first one, but I have plans to try out several different patterns over the course of the month. As you can see from my yarn choice, I have opted for a more outlandish colour, just kidding. I can’t seem to get out of my kick of coordinating colours at the moment. I’m trying to have several in the same shades to look nice on a hook by the door, but I do intend to make some more fun coloured bags to have in the car. Next, my March change for One Small Change. I’ve struggled to come up with what change we should work on, so I think this month it will be a combination of a few small things. We’ve gone to shopping less often, yay, so making some more string bags will help as I need more to hold the larger amount of groceries. I also want to bring in some air cleansing plants into the house. Ever since I ditched the peace lily I haven’t had any plants that are good at purifying the air, so I want to get a few in the house. Lastly, the winter wind is starting to die down, so I am hopeful that by the end of the month we should be able to go back to line drying our laundry. Our house is too small for me to hang it inside during the winter months, there is literally no room to accommodate all that much laundry so I can’t wait to be able to get it back outside. As far as February’s change went, it went really well. I did have to get rid of two onions as they were bad, but I am pretty sure that they were already bad when I got them as they were in the middle of a huge bag of onions that I bought and every other onion was fine. We were very careful about eating every last bite of everything that came into the house and had very little waste. Well, I’m off again for the week. I’m hoping to be back towards the end of the week, but that will depend on how everybody is feeling. I’ll pop in for sure on Friday and let you know what’s going on. I hope everyone is having a great week, I’ll catch up with you guys later.

crochet, gardening, green, home, nature • Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 • 13 Comments »

Thrifty Shoes

I wear my shoes until they have no more umph left in them, which is typically for years. This past fall is when my fall/spring shoes finally expired. Over the winter I’ve just worn my boots so haven’t really needed to find new ones, though somewhere in the distance I can see spring popping up. I’m not a huge fan of shoe shopping, I can never seem to find exactly what I want/need for the kind of price I’m looking for. I need practical shoes, but let’s face it, I want them to look cute too. My mom and I went to the thrift store on Saturday and I was pretty happy to see these. They were all in my size, practically brand new, and the perfect price. So for a mere $13 bucks, I am 3 pairs of shoes richer. These are my favourites. I just love them. On a side note, do you remember my granny square laptop cover? I love the cover, but I just haven’t grown to love the colours, so I have decided to sell it. It holds a 13" MacBook perfectly (not really sure about PC laptop sizing, sorry) and I’m selling it for $35 plus actual shipping. If anyone is interested, please e-mail me at jennifer@thegirlbythesea.com. Hope everybody had a great weekend. We’ve got a busy week here, and my brother is coming into town at the end of the week, yeah!

green, thrift store finds • Monday, February 15th, 2010 • 19 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 »

No Sew Rag Bags

We use washcloths and dishrags instead of paper towels. We use them all the time, and have quite a few. We need them for the dishes, spills, washing up the babe after every meal. For months now, they have been a big pain. They have been juggled from one place to the other not really having a proper home. When we were visiting Hubby’s grandparents in December, his grandmother had a massive box of magazines ready for recycling. She let me go through them and keep whatever I wanted. I saw this idea in a Good Housekeeping, though they intended it for keeping lingerie in the closet. I had completely forgotten about this until I ran by the torn out picture the other day. This, I thought, would be perfect to house all of our towels. It needed to be somewhere in reach of the kids (so that they can grab a washcloth), but still not a huge eyesore. In a perfect world, all of the towels would be neatly stacked somewhere, but let’s face it, that isn’t ideal. I spend all the time to fold them up, and then they just end up in a messy pile anyhow. So now, as soon as they are clean, they go into their new bag and just stay there until needed. No folding necessary. All you do is find a pretty vintage pillowcase and a wooden embroidery hoop. I already had these in my stash, two vintage pillowcases at 25 cents each, and two wooden embroidery hoops at 25 cents each from my thrift store. I used a 10″ and 12″ hoop. Now, technically this is no sew, unless of course you’re me. Then, because you haven’t loosened the hoop quite enough, when you try and scootch the fabric around, you simultaneously tear two rips into your pillowcase. Then you spend the next 20 minutes hand mending the tears. Normally though, this involves no sewing at all. If I really wanted to take a lot of time, I could have trimmed the top of the bag to make it even instead of just letting it fold down into the bag, but I kind of like this way better. Then if I ever decide to swap the pillowcase out for another colour or pattern, I haven’t ruined these. Anyway, you need to put the inner hoop down inside the pillowcase and fold the top down into it. In order for it to lay straight, you need to put more of the front side of the pillowcase down in , than the back. I hope that’s not too confusing. Really, just play around with it and get it to lie like you want it to. Then cut an approx. 6″ length of ribbon (I used twill tape) and fold it in half. You are going to lay the raw edges down on top of the fabric that is folded over the inner ring. Make sure that the raw edges are pointing away from you and that the fold is hanging towards you. Carefully put the outer hoop on top, catching the hanging ribbon, and tighten. If you are using vintage fabric, especially, be careful not to pull the fabric around too much, otherwise you might indeed end up sewing. On a completely side note, the other day I really felt like some kind of hot chocolate with a twist. I opened the cupboard that holds all of our tea, coffee, etc. and saw a tub of Nutella staring at me. I wonder… Yes indeed it was delicious. I heated up some milk on the stove, stirred a spoonful of Nutella in, and yum. Yum, Yum, Yum. The girls both have colds, and I think I’m coming down with one too. I’ve got a nice scratchy throat. I’m hoping it doesn’t last too long.

food, green, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 • 21 Comments »