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.
Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category
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.
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.
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.
I really want to thank everyone who stops by my little space and especially those who leave such encouraging comments. I have been wanting to do a giveaway for a while now, but I wanted a little chance for things to calm down after Christmas. Today I want to send a little thank you to one of my readers, I wish I could send something to you all. This month I have been really good about using my cloth bags as part of One Small Change. I thought what a perfect opportunity to combine a giveaway with something I am passionate about. So today, I am giving away two cloth bags. One is a regular shopping bag, and one is one of my new Cheesecloth Produce Bags, both made by moi. All you have to do is leave a comment between now and 10:00pm MST on Sunday. I will announce a winner on Monday morning. On a side note, my eldest has to get a tooth pulled today. It’s a stubborn baby tooth not wanting to give up it’s place to a more permanent one. It has been long enough and shows no signs of going, so today is the day. Wish us luck.
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!
Normally when I start working on a project, I know where it is going. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I started embroidering this fabric. It sat around for a while while I tried to figure out what it was going to be. Then I decided that hey, a girl can never have too many zippered pouches, right? I use them for lots of things. They are perfect for throwing a chapstick and a couple of dollars in. I used to use one with the babe, for carrying a couple of pacifiers. They’re good to hold coupons, or use for a makeup bag. I even have a bigger one that contains an entire clean outfit for the babe in the diaper bag. They are so versatile, you can make them in any size and I find myself using them all of the time. Our thrift store sells bags of 3-5 vintage and new zippers for a quarter, so between that and the scraps of fabric to make the bags, they cost pennies. They make fantastic gifts, especially if you make two or three in graduated sizes. Do you use zippered pouches? What do you put in them?
Here is my latest 20 Minutes project. I needed a mat to put under my dish drainer, so I grabbed some muslin and some french terry cloth and made this simple mat. Anybody with just about any sewing experience could whip one of these out in no time. When I was teaching myself to sew, I needed to know the very basics and I loved when I could find tutorials and pictures to explain the directions I was reading. I am a very visual learner, so in that vein, I have made a tutorial here. I am hoping that this will help a new sewer to learn a little bit more about how things go together. You could use this method to make many things. Placemats, coasters, little baby doll blankets. The possibilities are endless. I hope it is a help to somebody.
This is my new iPod case, that I have been working on with my 20 minutes of crafting a day. I seem to have gone a bit mad about granny squares, they are so easy and so addictive. The lining is some fleece that belonged to some of the babe’s jammies that she no longer fits in. I am always a big fan of practical and pretty and I’m pleased with how this turned out. My next project to work on is a little something for two of my kiddos that are restless sleepers. Yesterday was full to the brim of baking and cooking with lots of help from my little ones. I’m excited about sharing the recipes with you soon. Even though it is not planned, it seems as though Monday ends up being our big baking/cooking day as we seem to run out of things over the weekend. Do you guys have planned baking days, or do you just bake throughout the week?
I have a hard time sitting and doing nothing with my hands, so when hubby and I watch a movie together or just settle in after the kids have gone to bed, it’s nice for me to work on something. I have been doing a lot of embroidery lately, I find it strangely soothing, the tiny repetitive stitches forming different shapes. I really enjoy working with linen and muslin, but I opted for a change with this fabric. I really love the colours, but thought that a little bit of embroidery could enhance the fabric. I really don’t know what I’m going to do with it when it’s done, but for now I really like how it is turning out. I have another project that I will be finishing up this weekend and will be able to show you all on Monday. What are your plans for the weekend? I hope they are good ones. We are hopefully going to figure out if the transmission in our van is completely gone, or if there is some hope.