Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crafting Blogs

I’m quickly coming obsessed.

It all started sometime last year when I stumbled on a handful of blogs I enjoyed reading. Once it got to be more than five or six, it was hard remembering to check each of them most days to see if there was anything new, and I sometimes fell behind on one or the other because I would forget about it for a while. It was frustrating, and eventually, somehow, I found out about the Blogger Dashboard to keep everything organized.

At the time, I only knew that I could see there were new posts & a snippet of each, but still had to click through to each blog to read the posts. This was better than my old method, but still sometimes cumbersome as my blog list was growing. What I really, really wanted was for blogger to show the full post for each & let me read them all from one page. It didn’t seem like too much to ask.

Then one day, I stumbled on Google Reader. Oh, how I love Google Reader! I don’t remember when, how, or why I found it, but my life has never been the same. I could read & keep track of everything from one page! No more clicking through to multiple blogs unless I really wanted to. Everything at my fingertips. It was wonderful. I quickly became an addict, even just for my little handful of blogs.

Until recently, the blogs I followed were your basic humor blogs and a handful of friends/family personal blogs. Over the last couple of weeks, suddenly my Google Reader has absolutely exploded. I’m finding so many crafting, sewing, crocheting, etc blogs that I hardly know what to do! I’m loving all the great ideas I’m finding & can hardly believe what I’ve been missing out on. I have this secret little wish that someday my little blog will be one of the “cool kids” everybody is following. I know I have a long way to go before I get to that point, but hey, a girl can dream, right? :)

So over the next few weeks I think I’m going to try to talk about all these great new places I’m finding. I know most will more than likely be ones everybody who’s anybody already knows about except me (I’m a little behind the times on things like these), but hopefully some will be new & might surprise you. And because it’s me, and it’s not unusual for me to get a little off course, I’m going to include my non-craft favorites as well. I hope you enjoy!

Until next time…

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The “not really origami, but I’m calling it that anyway” bag

We’ll just call it the Origami Imposter Bag for short, shall we? :)

I wouldn’t exactly call this my inspiration, since the inspiration was in my head somewhere a few weeks ago. To be honest, I don’t even remember what made me think about making a bag this way, but it’s been floating around, waiting to come out for a while now. So I guess we’ll call this the blueprint.

I felt like I was doing origami yesterday while playing around with this. Granted, it’s not just one piece of paper, but it’s about as close to origami I get.

My original plan was to make a very small purse to start, basically the same size as the paper one (2 half sheets of paper). I figured I would give it to my friend’s little girl & it would be a cute, quick, & easy thing to whip up for gifts. Boy was I wrong (what have I said about famous last words before?)! Turns out it’s helpful to make something big enough to be able to get open enough to get in & sew. I went back & forth about hand-stitching it just to see if the overall design will work. I ended up not, but may go back & finish it up that way.

(I was thinking this morning if I had one of those little hand-held hem sewers they show on TV, I might be able to get the little one to work. I also got to thinking that I’m pretty sure I’d like to find a serger to play around with. Anybody got one sitting around they aren’t using? :])

Frustrated, I decided to get ready for bed, and just work more on the project later this week. As I was brushing my teeth, I remembered that I had picked up some of the “reusable bag” fabric at Jo-Ann. It was cheap & I had two yards of it, so I figured I could stand to lose some of it if the bag didn’t turn out right. So back to the sewing machine I went, while Nick headed to bed.

I don’t think any of my cuts were straight, but it seemed pretty forgiving when I started putting it together. I made the pieces about double to triple the size of what I used before - it was late & I wasn’t worrying about exact measurements at all! The fabric is really stiff, so a little difficult to fold, pin, and maneuver around the sewing machine, but I made it work. I wasn’t able to make it exactly like I had originally envisioned, but it’s close, and with a little tweaking, will be better.

I had seen a tutorial early last week about making flat bottoms on totes & decided I wanted to try it out. I didn’t know exactly how big to make it, but decided since it’s a small bag, it didn’t need a huge flat bottom. I think I decided on about an inch, and am really happy with how well it worked out.

I didn’t measure when I did the strap either, and it ended up being about twice as long as I originally wanted. Of course I didn’t realize that until I had sewn all around it (even switching bobbins in the middle of the strap because the first one ran out of thread), so I went ahead & put it on anyways.

Finally, about 11:15, it was finished, and even though it’s not exactly the same as my original plan, I was pretty happy with it. I knew with a few adjustments here & there, different fabric, and a bigger size, I’d have exactly what I was going for.

This morning when I was getting ready to come to work, I knew I wanted to bring it in to show a few people, and I needed to bring my new netbook. I have a neoprene sleeve I use for my netbook, but am not using a big enough purse to hold it right now, so usually just carry it. Imagine my surprise when I realized this new little bag is the EXACT perfect size for my computer! And, with the longer strap, it carries perfectly! The shorter strap I had planned originally wouldn’t have worked this way, so I guess it was truly meant to be like this. :) Now I have a perfect little carrying bag when I want to grab my computer & can throw a few small essentials in the side pockets if needed. Not sure yet if the power cord will fit in them, but it actually might if I split it into the two separate cords.

I need to figure out what I'm going to do to have the whole inside lined. Not so pretty in there right now.

The space where the two sides overlap is sewn on each side, creating a pocket.

All in all, I’m extremely happy with this, especially considering it’s my very first original pattern. I’m not saying someone out there hasn’t made the same thing before, but it’s not copied off anything I’ve personally seen. Definite satisfaction.

Until next time…

Monday, June 28, 2010


I decided today that I should carry a few scraps of fabric around with me at all times. Nothing huge, just a couple small-ish squares & rectangles. They’d be easy to fold up & throw in my purse to have handy when an good idea strikes.

I’ve had this semi-idea in my head for a week or so now for a purse design. Having it all planned out in my head & getting it out on fabric are two very different things though, so today while I was trying to recreate a pocket I saw Dana at Made make, I decided I needed something concrete to look at because I was sick of only seeing the purse in my head. Unfortunately, over my lunch I was lacking any fabric to play with (although I almost resorted to try to fold with my skirt…eek!), so I resorted to using scrap paper & post-it notes. I kind of felt like I was doing origami, but it worked! Now I can’t wait to see how it’ll turn out full-size and with fabric. Actually, I think I’ll still start small-scale with some scrap fabric before I go too crazy. If it works out, it’ll be a cute little purse for one of the little girls I know. Plus, if it’s as easy to make as I’m envisioning (famous last words, AGAIN!), it shouldn’t be a big deal to make a small version first.

Now I’m itching to get my hands on some fabric & my sewing machine. :)

Until next time…

Domesticated Skirt

I mentioned last week that I wanted to make this skirt for a wedding we went to Friday night. Unfortunately, even after staying up until WAY past my bedtime, I wasn’t able to get it finished up. I’m kind of glad I didn’t quick finish it the way it was, because I ended up making a few changes & am much happier with it now.

In the tutorial, Sabra (from Sew A Straight Line) mentions adding half your waist measurement to the bottom of the skirt to give a flared look. I made it like that the first time, but it laid really funny & the inner fabric was barely visible so I redid the side seams, only adding about an inch at the bottom. It still flares nicely, and I like the amount of reveal of the inner fabric.

I’m still working out what to use to hold the top opening closed at the waist measurement (since the opening has to be big enough to fit over the hips), but have a few ideas to try out. The first thing I tried as little snaps, but unfortunately they weren’t strong enough to hold & kept unsnapping every time I stood up or sat down in church yesterday. It wasn’t an issue of the skirt falling down, but it just sat funny when it wasn’t tight at the waist, and probably could have eventually worked itself loose enough to slip down. Personally, I prefer my skirts to stay up where they belong. :)

Sabra mentioned the issue of having the inner fabric “peep” out at the side seams, which it did indeed do as you can tell in the pictures. It’s not a big issue, the seams just don’t want to stay closed, for lack of a better term. I fixed this by using a 3-point zig-zag stitch down the outside of the seam, and now it lays nicely (need a few more pictures, I know!).

I also ended up just hemming the bottom (also not shown in these pictures). I went back & forth about hemming, using the bias tape, and leaving it fringy (yes, totally a word, according to my spell checker!) with just a decorate stitch to keep it from coming undone too much. I finally decided on a regular hem (sewn again with the 3-point zig-zag to match the other seam) since I wanted it to be a little nicer looking so I can wear it to work.

I’m really, really happy with how this turned out & plan to make a few more since I’m totally obsessed with skirts lately. I have a few changes in mind to try out for the next one I make for myself & am looking forward to picking out the fabric for them. I did have a lady at work ask me today if I’ll make one for her, so I need to get the waist issue sorted out so I can get one done for her.

I will try to get Nick to take a couple more pictures of it tonight now that I’ve got the hem & side seams sewn up.

Until next time…

Friday, June 25, 2010

You can’t win if you don’t play the game

After my win over at Notes From a Very Red Kitchen, I feel a renewed sense of…well, just plain good luck, to be honest. Seriously, I never win anything, so I’m hoping my luck holds out & I'm entering another contest over at The Pioneer Woman. Check out Pioneer Woman’s giveaway for a new Nikon camera & Photoshop, enter to win, and good luck!

Maybe I should buy a Powerball ticket for tomorrow. :)

Until next time…

TWT – I’m a slacker

I guess I should say TWF(riday), since I dropped the ball yesterday for the first time since I started this. Unless of course I’ve forgotten that I forgot it another week, which is possible, but I’m too lazy (I mean busy, really, I do!) to check.

Yesterday just sort of got away from me.

I spent my lunch at work finding new crafting/sewing blogs to get lost in & found some fantastic new patterns to try out. This is quickly turning into an obsession.

I found this skirt pattern & decided I wished I’d found it a couple days earlier to I could make one for the wedding we’re attending tonight. I’ve been having a hard time deciding what to wear, so I thought if I could just make something for it, that would solve everything. Or something like that.

On the way home from work, since Nick & I didn’t carpool today, I decided I could just run by Jo-Ann quick (more or less, kind of sort of, not really, but could be) on my way to pick up groceries. Of course it took longer than I expected & I had to roam a bit, and ended up spending WAY too much money on other stuff I “needed,” but I did find some perfect fabric. I didn’t kill too much time, so I figured if the skirt was really as easy as it sounded (famous last words!), I should be able to whip it up in no time when I got home to be able to wear today.

Had to stop at Target to pick up a gift card for said wedding tonight, since we didn’t remember until Wednesday night that we should probably get a gift for them. Thank Heaven for gift cards! Of course I had to make a quick swing through the purses, fell in love with a purple one, but convinced myself that I didn’t need it since I just finally bought the yellow one I wanted so badly.

Next was grocery shopping. Grocery shopping always takes me a lot longer than it should, and it’s always dangerous when I have to do it alone. Even though I always have a list & always try to stick to it & nothing else, I’m a browser when I’m on my own. When Nick is along, I don’t like to drag him around with me, so I don’t browse, and I don’t get myself in trouble. Thankfully, I think I somehow made it out without buying anything not on my list. But it of course still took forever & then traffic was bad getting home.

By the time I got home, got the dog out, got groceries put away, made dinner, helped Nick unload stuff from the truck, discussed more of the basement issues (all the time thinking, “I don’t have time for this, I have sewing to do! :]), and ate dinner, it was almost 9:00 before I got started on my skirt.

You have to understand something quick here, by 9:00 most nights, I’m ready to check out for the night. Nick is usually asleep on the couch, and if I’m not already in bed, I’m heading there. Lately it’s been more like 10:00, which has just been killing me, especially since I often lay awake until at least 11:00 watching TV. I’m thinking about banning the TV at bed time.


Of course my sewing machine had to act up. And since I was tired, I kept making stupid mistakes & having to tear stuff out. And then the machine would act up again. Argh… By 11:30 all I had left to do was the hem, but I wasn’t happy with the sides, so I decided to call it quits & will finish it this weekend. I think I’m going to tear out the side seams & recut the fabric so it lays better, then all I should have to do is either hem or sew on the bias tape (side note - thank goodness I decided to play it safe & buy the bias tape instead of making my own!). I’m thinking about using the bias tape to make more of a contrast at the bottom, but if I do that, I may shorten the overall length just a bit first. So, basically I feel like I have the entire thing to still do. :( But, my goal is to have it done so I can wear it to church Sunday & work next week.

I’ll put up pictures of it when it’s all finished, but so far even with the wonky shape & no hem, I think it’s pretty darn cute. Even Nick said he thought it was cute, and I expected him to just hate my fabric/pattern/color choice.

So now I leave you with the picture for this week. Earlier this week Nick laid down on the couch & said he was going to snuggle with Moose instead of putting him on the floor like I said. Of course he fell asleep, and just looked so cute holding Moose.

Until next time…

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Seriously, I’ve never really understood the saying, but for some reason I still like it.

Anyways…that little contest I entered a few days ago? The one for the Ruby Lou doll? I was pretty bummed when I saw I didn’t win, but got over it & had honestly kind of forgotten about it already. I hadn’t gotten around to buying the pattern yet either, I’ve had just a couple other things on my plate lately, but kept on my list of things I wanted to try.

Imagine my surprise today when Katie from Notes From a Very Red Kitchen posted that she was announcing winners, again. I was confused at first, because I was pretty certain I remembered reading that she had already picked a winner. Well, it turns out the first winner didn’t provide contact info, and her loss turned out to be my gain! When I read my name as a winner, I almost didn’t believe it! But sure enough, I had an e-mail from Katie waiting for me, and I could barely respond fast enough! I certainly didn’t want to take a chance on missing out because I didn’t respond!

I’m so-o-o-o excited to get the pattern for this little doll & can’t wait to try making her. Pictures to come when I get her done!

Until next time…

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Etsy Update

So I'm kind of sort of moving along on this Etsy thing. Kind of sort of as in I'm actually signed up to be a seller but don't actually have any sort of a storefront set up & obviously don't have anything listed yet. Part of my problem is that I'm at the point where I need to actually set up the storefront & have absolutely no idea what I want to do with it. I know I don't want it to be plain-jane boring and I don't need it to be super fancy, but don't have any good creative juices going for a banner or what to write about it. I think what I really need to do is spend some time looking around similar stores & see what catches my eye then go from there. Like I said before this whole thing is a process & I'm taking it all in baby steps. Maybe I'll have something up & running by august. If I'm lucky :)

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


(Warning – I’m apparently in a rambling mood. While I do have a point to all this (I promise!) somehow I got off on a pretty much completely different topic, but eventually end up where I wanted to start. In between? No apologies, I’m just being me. Oh, but apparently I’m having a hard time following any train of thought or making much sense today, so I will apologize for that. :] )


Sometimes my “crafts” (crappy or not :] ) aren’t always crafts in the general sense.

For the sake of my sanity (and the fact that I want to share as much as possible!) I’ve obviously been considering my photography stuff as part of my “craft.” I don’t have nearly enough photos or time to set up a separate place for that. I know not all the pictures I’ve been sharing on TWT posts have been really high quality (termites, anybody?) but most of the time they are just as (or more) important than the others, usually for more personal reasons.

I would love to do the photography thing full time, but have found that I’m not a huge fan of shooting people. I’ve been asked by a few friends to take family pictures or general “portrait” type pictures, and while I’m happy to do it, I don’t have quite the right sense for posing people. I would prefer to hang out with a family doing something fun (playing at the park, etc) and take candid shots of the activity instead of trying to go into the day knowing that I absolutely need to get some perfect family shots. For this reason, I will probably never be a professional “people photographer.” I will never shoot weddings (no matter how much I would love it!), or senior portraits, or babies, or anything like that. But really, I’m okay with it, because I know I’m not good enough to do it. Maybe in time it’s something I’ll get better at, but right now, I’m just fine with it.

What I do like - no LOVE - to shoot is anything & everything in nature. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m perfect at this by any means, but thankfully I have a decent eye for it, and I don’t need to “pose” a landscape or flower, I can just go with it, however it is. Granted, framing the shot is perfect, and takes a certain eye, but I don’t have to try to tell someone how to stand or pose or smile to look the way it does in my head. I just move & fiddle with the camera until it looks just right, and if I can’t, I move on & get on with my day.

The reason I’m even bringing all this up (believe me, none of this was my original intention of writing today, but obviously it was on my mind!) is that Nick & I got talking about my photography stuff again this weekend. We’ve talked about it before, and how awesome it would be if we could afford to travel so I could take pictures, then eventually, I could sell enough to pay for the trips. To travel & photograph for a living would probably be my dream job. We were at an art/craft fair in Mpls this weekend & kept finding amazing farm scenes we loved & Nick said I could probably take similar photos around his parents’ farm. I told him that’s part of the reason I need to get a DSLR, I can’t afford to play trial & error when I shoot in 35mm!

So, my point to all this? I’m not certain I have one, except that I need to add to my summer “crafty to do” list – take more pictures.

And my original plan for this particular blog post? The fact that not all things are necessarily crafty, because I’m working on designing a brand for us. Like, a cattle brand. Yes, really. Nick wants to have something to mark our woodwork stuff we make, which got me thinking. If the design is simple enough, I’ll be able to stitch it into my crochet stuff (small & simple, not gawdy & overpowering) and can use it as a watermark/trademark on my photos. Now you see how I got into the photo rambling. :)

Over lunch I did a little research on branding & found this. How awesome is that?! And really, for twenty-five bucks, it’s not outrageous. I’m seriously thinking about ordering one when we decide on something.

I’m not certain yet if we’ll go the “official” route with registering the brand. I’m not even sure the state of Missouri has an official branding registry. I suppose it’s something I’ll at least look into.

And what have I come up with so far? Well, it needs a little more work before I share it. But I’m pretty happy with what I came up with today.

Oh, and yes, I realize it doesn’t have anything with the “My Crafty Crap” name I came up with, and no, I don’t plan to change the Etsy name when I do finally open the shop. I just don’t care. And for now, you’ll just have to trust me since I’m not sharing the brand until we decide on one. :)

Until next time…

Bug Winner

Well, I'll admit it, I got my hopes up just a teensy bit about the bug photo contest, but certainly can't argue with the winner. Looking at all the other pictures, I can definitely see why I wasn't even chosen in one of the groups, but I had hoped my picture was just unique enough to be chosen. Oh well!

Until next time...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TWT - Bee

This picture is probably, by far, my favorite picture of all the ones I've taken. It was a total fluke thing, I was taking pictures of these flowers at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs when we were out there in 2008. I knew the bee was buzzing around while I was taking the pictures, but had no idea it had gotten into the shot. I've had this picture blown up for a few people, gotten a purse made with it for myself, and gotten a few of the cosmetic bags from ArtsCow (check it out if you've never heard of them!). I'm just absolutely in love with this picture.

Today I found the photography assignments on Pioneer Woman, and this week it just happens to be BUGS! Of course I decided I just had to add my picture to the mix & see what happens. I'm always hearing (mostly from my mom & dad, so I'm not sure if it counts!) that I should enter the shot into some sort of contest, so here goes. I actually also submitted it to a photo contest at work & had it published in a quarterly news letter, so that was definitely a nice sense of accomplishment. I'm hoping for the best with this contest, but after looking at the other shots, I'm not too hopeful. We'll just see what happens.

Until next time...

***edit 08/30/10 - I'm linking up to this picture in this week's Sailor & Company Raw(e) yellow challenge. Be sure to check out the rest of the entries over there, and if you're new here at My Crafty Crap, please take a look around & leave me a note! :)***

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Enter to Win @ Notes From a Very Red Kitchen

Check this out! I'm so excited to enter to win this adorable little Ruby Lou doll & may just have to buy the pattern even if I don't win. Quick, go enter to see if you can win, but if you're taking it from me... ;) Good luck!

Until next time...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Etsy Shop

I’ve decided on a name! It was pretty obvious after I switched over to the new blog & came up with this name. I was so worried the name would be already taken on Etsy, but I guess it was meant to be, because it’s available! Don’t get all crazy trying to find my shop or anything though, I haven’t gotten that far yet. Baby steps! :) I have gotten a couple more comments on the shop thing recently, so I’m going to look into it more in the coming weeks. I’ll be sure to update when I actually have something up & running.

Part of my problem with the Etsy thing is I just don’t feel like my stuff is good enough for it yet. I see all these amazing things on there, and it makes anything I can come up with seem so…amateur. I suppose the worst I can do it list a few things & see how it goes. If I get a few sales & get my name out there, at least it’s a start. I’m fairly confident in my crochet items, but people on FB have commented about putting the pillowcover bags on Etsy, and those definitely don’t feel “finished” enough yet. I’m still working out the kinks (and still don’t seem capable to sew a straight line!), but am getting a little better with each one I make. Thankfully they are fairly quick & easy to make, so they would be a good choice for listing. The smaller crochet items are also quick & would be good, but I worry about putting up blankets & other bigger items. They take so long to complete, and I prefer to make them customized for specific people. I know I could put up pictures of ones I’ve made before & offer to custom make them, but I never can tell how long they will take to make since it all depends on what else I have going on. Plus, I’m definitely not doing blankets this time of year!

I need to branch out a bit to have a variety of items available, but am not certain of what else to make. I’m creative enough to make the stuff, but not always creative enough to come up with new ideas.

All things to consider, and at least I’m taking a step in the right direction.

Until next time…

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jeannette's Bag

Here's the bag I just finished this evening. I had fun playing around with a few of the fun stitches on the new sewing machine, and of course made things more difficult than they needed to be.

Jeannette does a lot of traveling to visit family & asked for a pocket on the outside of her bag so that she could keep her boarding pass handy. But, she also wanted it secure, so she wanted a button or some other closure on the outside pocket. Originally I was going to do a button, but didn't want to tackle the button hole just yet (hindsight - it might have been easier than my alternate!) so picked up some magnetic snaps when I was out this morning. Because I was also doing some decorative stitching across the top of the pockets, I had to do my stitching, then figure out how to get the top of the pocket rolled over to cover the back of the snap. I could have just folded over & sewn the top of the pocket & then added the snap, but I wanted the back of the snap hidden (and therefore more secure, and, you know, not visible on the front of the pocket!), so I had to put it on before doing the final fold over & sew. So I figured out where it was all going to go, then did my decorative stitching without making the final fold (I wish I had been smart enough to take pictures as I went along). Then I put on the snap, and figured I would just put the snap high enough that I would be able to do a straight stitch below it to hold the fold down. Unfortunately, I didn't think it would look good to have the decorative stitch, then another straight stitch below it, especially since none of the other pockets had it that way. My solution? Why, teach myself a blind hem, of course! It took me a bit to figure it out, even with the instructions in my machine manual, especially because I was skipping the basting step. Probably not too smart for my first time, and it shows since it's not perfect, but it's not too shabby. I think if I had been using red thread instead of white, it wouldn't be very visible at all. I'm happy with the over-all effect of the snap, but not entirely happy with the execution. I think the next time I use a snap (another woman at work wants one with the same outer pocket), I'll just skip the decorative stitching & use a straight stitch below the snap. You can choose a snap or fancy stitching, but you can't have it all!

All in all, I love the way this one came out. I had originally been saving the red/orange floral for my own bag, but Jeannette really loved it, and I decided I wanted a blue floral with orange polka dot lining, so it all works out.

Here's my not-so-pretty blind hem & the decorative trim. Not perfect, but not too shabby for my first time.


Here's the snap on the outside pocket & my beautiful blind hem.


(I'm having some major issues with Blogger tonight [Google Chrome issue?], so I can't get the pictures to move around into a decent order....kinda discombobulated because of that. Sorry!)

Until next time...

Using Patterns

I picked up a skirt pattern at Wal-Mart this week, then made a run to JoAnn's for fabric this morning. I got a couple really pretty linens & can't wait to try it out. I'm a little nervous to start the project because I've never done a pattern project on my own before. I did help my mom with a few (prom dress!) a long time ago, but she did most of the hard work. I'm going to wait until after our little get-away next weekend, and then hopefully get started. This weekend/week I have to finish at least one more pillow cover bag for a woman at work who I promised I would have one for before Wednesday, so that's my big goal today. I'll be sure to share how the skirts come out when all is said & done, and I sure hope they're something I'm proud to wear!

Until next time...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

TWT - Ypsilon Lake

Hiking in Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park in Estes Park, CO, July 2008.

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Baby Set

Here's the most recent baby set I did. She asked about a cowboy boot button, or at least something "western." I wasn't able to find a cowboy boot, but I thought this horse was just adorable, so hopefully it'll work.

Until next time...

Happy Cones

Since I’m in the middle of a couple projects (unfortunately nothing too new & exciting, sorry), I figure it’s a good time to catch up on some old projects I’ve been wanting to post. It’s just so hard to write about the old stuff though when I’m so excited about the new stuff! Now seems to be a perfect time.

I made these little guys (18 of them, if I remember correctly) as a Christmas/New Year gift for my coworkers a couple years ago. We work in a construction department, so safety/construction cones seemed like a perfect idea. I put a note with each one on their desk that said “Have a safe & happy New Year,” because they’re happy safety cones. :) Yes, it’s corny, but they are just so darn cute!

I haven’t the faintest idea now of where I got the pattern for them, but found it online somewhere. They were surprisingly easy to make, although it did struggle with the first few since it was my very first non-flat, non-blanket project. Working “in the round” was a totally new concept to me & took some getting used to, but after the first couple were finished, I had gotten the hand of it.

The flat bottom on this one is a little bigger than most of them were. I didn’t like the size of the square in the pattern (too small, if I remember correctly), so I just kind of winged them after a bit. The pattern called for using stuffing to fill the cone, but I found that it would poke out between the stitches when I sewed the bottom on, and just generally didn’t like the way it filled the cone. Instead, I used (new!) knee highs to stuff before sewing on the bottom. I made the cone much more firm & sturdy, and didn’t have the problem of poking out between the stitches. Plus, since they’re not white, they couldn’t be seen between the stitches like the white stuffing sometimes could. Win-win!

I found another pattern recently that uses the same shape as an ice cream cone, so I may try making those sometime too. What I really want to try is making a mini version (not that these aren’t already small) to use for a keychain.

I almost forgot to mention what happened to my little happy cone. :( I kept it in my car on my instrument panel. There was a perfect little spot where it didn’t block the view of any of my gauges, but was right where I could see it anytime. One day I came out to my car, which hadn’t been driven in about a week, to find Kleenex torn up & strewn across the floorboards in the back seat. We had apparently gotten mice in the garage & they had decided the best nesting material was in my car. Unfortunately, they also decided my little safety cone was also good nesting material, and ate/torn up most of the bottom. I still can’t figure out how they found it up on my dash, but hate the thought that they were crawling around up there. Needless to say, I haven’t put a new cone in my car, even though I know for a fact we got rid of those mice.

Side note – yes, I realize I need to find a better place to take photos. My kitchen counter, pantry door, and bedspread aren’t the best backgrounds, but for now I can’t find anyplace better. I’ve thought about doing them outside, but I don’t have a great place there either, & I don’t want to risk stuff getting dirty. I’ll come up with something.

Until next time…

Sunday, June 6, 2010

As Promised...

Here are the pillow cover purses!

This is the first one I made, pretty much following the pattern to the letter.  I think the only thing I did change from the original pattern was that I got rid of the zipper on the liner.  It was just too bulky with them both in there, and only took about 5 minutes to rip out (I didn't just cut it), so it's not a big deal, and definitely a good step to take, as far as I'm concerned.

Keep in mind this is the first time I've sewn in years so my lines aren't exactly straight, and it's all-around not perfect, but definitely not bad at all.  The polka dots are the outside, flowers on the inside.  Unfortunately, it isn't reversible.  I didn't put any pockets on the outside of this one, just the inside. 

This is the second bag.  No major changes for this one, but I did put a pocket on the outside, as well as on the inside.  Also, instead of just automatically cutting the third cover into 5" strips, I cut one side apart from the rest, then cut it in thirds for the strap (on both of these, I only used three strips for the strap instead of four because I don't like a super long strap).  That made the strips just over 5", so the finished strap was just a bit wider than the first one, which made it a lot easier to turn right-side-out, and I like the wider strap a bit better too.  That left me with the full other half of the cover to use for pockets, so I was able to make the pockets bigger, instead of being confined to only using 5" pieces for the pockets.  A little more versatility doing it this way.

The flowers are the outside, stripes on the inside.  I think my favorite part of this is the outside pocket.  And that the colors just scream SUMMER and BEACH to me.  :)

Until next time...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Today is a very happy day...

…for many reasons!

First, but not necessarily foremost (because I can’t decide what’s the most exciting), it’s Friday!  TGIF!  Someone mentioned on FB this week about how short weeks sometimes seem the longest, and thankfully this wasn’t one of those weeks, but I’m still ready for the weekend.  Unfortunately, this weekend probably won’t produce much “free time” since we’re busy at work around the house, but hopefully I can find at least a little bit of time for myself to work on a few things.

Last night I was able to finish up my second pillow cover to purse makeover (pictures to come, I promise!) so I could give it to Jenny today.  I told her yesterday that I should be able to finish it up over the weekend & get it to her next week, so I was really happy to be able to finish it up last night.  When I gave it to her this morning she was practically jumping up and down she was so excited.  I love that something I made brought such happiness to someone.  First thing this morning, it totally made my day to make hers.

Yesterday another friend mentioned something to me about wanting to find a bigger purse to take with her on a trip in a couple weeks, so I told her I’d show her the bags I had just made.  When she saw them she said they are perfect for the size she is looking for & has asked me to custom make one for her too.  And when another coworker saw it & they were talking about them, she decided she needed to order one too, so now I have two more to make for other people!  Nick will be happy I’m not making them all for myself, and I’m happy to have a reason to make them & make a couple bucks.  Win-win!

This afternoon, I got to see the first couple pictures from McKenzie with the diaper covers.  I about squealed out loud, they are so-o-o-o adorable.  I need to check with her before I share them here, but will hopefully have some to share soon.  It was a little girl, so she had on the hot pink ruffles & it was just about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.  I feel so much better about them now that I’ve seen them on a baby.  The ruffle placement & sizing looked about perfect, so I can’t wait to hear back from her if any changes need to be made.

I got a message from another old friend on FB about wanting a baby set (diaper cover, booties, hat) for her cousin’s baby, so I’d like to get some work done at that this weekend too.  It shouldn’t take too long, assuming I don’t have an epic fight with the booties again.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Unfortunately, with all this work for other people, I’m not having much time to work on stuff for myself or MCK.  Sewing has been a nice change of pace & break for my hands, but at the same time I’m ready to crochet again.  I’ve also been taking a little of my free time to read a book I picked up at the library this week.  It seems like it’s been forever since I picked up a book, so it’s a nice break from everything as well.  Should be done with it tonight or tomorrow, so after that it’ll be back to the “crafty crap.”  :)

Until next time...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

TWT - pop art roses

I had some fun with FotoFlexer back when I first found the website, but haven’t had much time to play around on it since then.  The pink rose is the original, but I love them all together.  Very pop art-ish. I put them together in a fun black frame for a silent auction a couple years ago & really liked how it came out.  I should probably make a copy of it for myself, but don’t have a good place to put it.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Blog

I've moved all the crafty stuff here to keep things a little separated from the personal/home life stuff.  As I'm doing  more & more of the "craft crap," as I sometimes so fondly refer to it, it's starting to take over the blog, so I thought it should have it's own home.  Not that it's a bad thing, I didn't know exactly where things would go when I started the other one anyway, so this is a good direction. 

I'm still working on some of the formatting and layout stuff, so it's a bit of a work in progress & will probably continue to be for quite some time. 

Now the fun part will be trying to keep everything straight. :)

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I got the first pillow case to purse transformation finished up this weekend & it turned out super cute! Of course I forgot to take a picture of it, so I’ll have to get back to posting that. It didn’t take me too terribly long to make, and the next ones should be quicker now that I know what I’m doing & am more comfortable with the sewing machine. The strap isn’t perfect since it’s the first part I made & was still working on getting used to the sewing machine. It’s been so long since I’ve sewn anything, but it all came back pretty quick. Just like riding a bike!

I brought it in to work with me today, loaded up with magazines to donate to the troops, and it worked perfectly. I was a little worried about the seams on the strap, but nothing pulled apart at all, and I think it’s going to be pretty sturdy. Of course I had to show it off, and a woman here at work loved it so much she was dragging it around showing everybody. She also wants one from the pillow cases I already have, so I’ve got one sold! Not charging more than the price of the pillow cases, right now I just enjoy making them so it works for me, especially after Nick’s comment yesterday. When I showed him the completed bag, he said, “you’re making those for other people, right? Because you already have too many bags for yourself.” Ha! :) I told him that yes, I would give/sell some of them, but I was keeping at least one for myself. He didn’t seem to argue with that too much.

I’ll try to remember to take pictures of the first one tonight, and hopefully I can get started on Jenny’s as well. I love having crafty stuff to work on! And my hands are enjoying the break from crochet. :)

Until next time…