We Didn’t Blow Away!

Isaac didn’t turn into much, and so here I am for Handmade Monday!  I actually made this project on Friday because I had been working getting everything ready all week for Isaac and I wanted to make something easy.  So, I came up with this very simple project that I could wrap up quickly and have something to post.

Things here in South Florida have mostly just been wet and windy, and we only lost electricity at our house for long enough to make the clock have to be reset.  Otherwise, it has not been much of an event.  I have not even gotten any exciting photos.  Of course, it is still raining and blowing while I am typing this, so I suppose it might yet get worse, but I don’t think so.

Please do keep New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast in your thoughts and prayers, however, as it is likely that he is going to get stronger as he heads that direction through the week.

Anyway, please go check out my Puffy Heart.  It’s just a simple little thing.  And then of course, go check out Handmade Monday.  I suspect I will be spending a lot of tomorrow there, as it will probably be raining most of the day, and I will be able to enjoy seeing all of the wonderful things everyone is making and forget the weather here!

Metamorphosis

Anyone who follows my blog surely knows that my very favorite thing is to make something new from something old. I hate to throw away anything that still has life in it and I don’t like to waste things. We live in a throw away society, and I think that’s sad.

The first dog bed was made from a remnant I bought to make a dog bed. I was a little irritated when I started sewing, because there was a hole in the fabric that I had not noticed earlier and I ended up having to make a small bed instead of a larger one, as I had intended. Fortunately one of my sons has a little pekingese that will love it, so it ended up being fine (although I learned my lesson, check out remnants carefully!). That bed was a simple rectangle with several thicknesses of quilt type batting. I simply sewed a top and bottom piece together (inside out) leaving an opening large enough to stuff the batting in, then turn right side, put in the batting and flatten it out, and sew up the opening. I had enough extra fabric to make a little bone shaped toy made basically the same way but stuffed with the type of batting I use for stuffed animals. I put a red box around the toy so you could see it in the picture as it tended to fade into all of those doggie foot prints!

I also got 2 other toys out of it, for my oldest son’s 2 dogs, a simple triangle (not too hard) and a disk (much more difficult –there must be a secret to sewing in a circle–it’s a good thing dogs don’t care that much about perfection!).

Of course, I still needed a bed for my much larger golden retriever, Pauli and I didn’t have another piece of fabric that size. I didn’t want to head to the fabric store (which is quite a hike for me–our local Walmart does not carry fabric anymore, very sad!). BUT I did remember that I had some sheets that I had put away to get rid of but had not gotten around to it. They were flannel but the nap was worn. I pulled out the flat sheet and it was in good condition (no holes) and I thought the red and navy plaid would look pretty ritzy.

I made this one in the same manner as the other. It’s really more of a dog mat. Pauli is not a big fan of the big plush beds, she has never been one to use them, but if there is a towel or a bath mat she WILL lay on that, so I thought she would like one of her own. It took almost no time to whip up (an hour or less) and would have taken less if I had known I could set my machine to sew faster! I figured that out, so big projects like this can now really zip by! 🙂

I also made her a little “plaid man” out of some of the sheet fabric. He’s stuffed with the loose batting like I use on regular stuffed animals, but I put a clean and dried out water bottle inside for a little “crinkle” noise. She is in love with that new toy. 🙂

Then my oldest son and his wife decided that they did indeed need 2 new dog beds for their dogs Angus and Bart. There was still quite a bit of fabric left over from that sheet. You can easily get 2 dog beds (approximately 26×36 inches) from one queen size sheet if you use it for both top and bottom. But I needed more fabric to make both of them, so I started looking through my stash. I found some navy corduroy which was actually an old bedspread I had made for my boys when they were small. I had saved it all these years because the fabric seemed like something I could reuse. And I was right!

I made these both the same way I made the others except that I used the stuffing from 2 large square sham pillows I had but had never used. I’m not sure why I had them, but they have been hanging around in the way for quite some time. I’m glad I found a use for them. Don’t you hate things that are big enough to be in the way but too good to just get rid of? The navy corduroy was a perfect match for the blue in the plaid (complete serendipity). It turns out also that both fabrics are dog hair magnets, but I think that’s probably not such a bad thing. I would rather have my dog bed collecting dog hair than my floor and my rug and…well you get the idea.

These should all be completely washable.

So, there you have it. Inexpensive to free (depending on where you get your batting, if you have to buy that it could get a little more expensive –you might also consider buying inexpensive pillows and use the stuffing from those). Washable. Quick. Easy. They even would make wonderful gifts. And these are good beginner projects for people learning to sew.

And it’s also Handmade Monday, which has moved locations. It’s now at Handmade Harbour.  But if you will click on this Handmade Monday link, you will still get there.  And it’s still full of all of the wonderful people with their wonderful crafts and ideas and beautiful things.  Nothing has really changed except the location.  So, please do yourself a favor and head on over.  🙂

Chalk Up Another Handmade Monday!


Running very late this Handmade Monday!  I actually did spend the weekend relaxing but also made a little something for a special little boy.  It’s an upcycle/recycle project.  I have been wanting to try using that chalkboard paint everyone else has already done a million things with, and I have had a jar of it on my shelf for, well, I don’t know how long.

I had a little clipboard that I used to use for school (for something, I don’t even remember what) that was too cute to get rid of, but I haven’t used it in forever.  I got the idea to paint one side with chalkboard paint and personalize it and give it to my grandson (my son’s stepson who is 8 and I think just the right age to love writing on things with chalk –plus he’s very into sports, I think he could keep score or something with it, but mostly, I just remember thinking writing with chalk was very cool when I was a kid).

It turned out to be really easy to work with.  The hardest part?  Finding chalk!  But I found a nice box that included white and some colors too at Target, after checking the office supply place first.

You can see what I did, with photos at Paint a Chalkboard.  Then you can go and check out Handmade Monday, which I understand is also going to be moving very soon.  But don’t worry, I will be sure to give you a good link when that happens, I wouldn’t leave you high and dry!

Raining and Cats and Dogs

First I’m tired of rain.  I know it has a job to do, but it also brings headaches and too much time indoors.  However, I have managed to make a couple of things, so maybe being confined inside has an upside.

The tutorial is about a sweater cat but I also made her a little friend because there was so much fabric left over.  I seem to be obsessed with these little creatures.  The funny thing is, I get an idea in my head and I just have to get it out, and the only way to do it is to make it.

I’m a little late getting this posted.  I actually have a good excuse, as we went down to get dinner out and the car battery was dead when we were ready to leave.  So, we went and had a coffee while we waited for AAA and by the time we got home it was too late to get started.  The truth is, it was fun sitting outside (under cover of course) watching the rain, playing on our IPads, drinking coffee.  We don’t do that very often, and it felt very, oh, I don’t know, vacationish or something.  But, that’s my excuse.

Anyway, also don’t forget it’s Handmade Monday and you know good and well they have very cool and interesting things to check out, so please go there and see what’s going on.  But before you do that, click on the Sweater Cat and Template and see how you can make one of your own.  And if you do, send me a photo.  I’ll even post it if you give me permission.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have a whole page of them?  🙂

A Horse of a Different Fabric

Another stuffed critter.  I made this little horse for my oldest friend.  We met the first day of 7th grade and have been friends since.  She always was better at any sort of artistic stuff than I, and in fact I made her this horse because I remembered one she made when we were probably in Junior High School.  It also had a yarn tail.  I also made it for her because we used to go ride my horse together, so she can look at this silly little creation and it will remind her of all of those wonderful times we had together.  🙂

Anyway, it’s Handmade Monday and I’ve really been remiss (sick is more like it) but I’m back!  So, after you check out the little Sweater Pony, go on over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone else is doing.  I know they are doing wonderful things!

 

Can You Stand Another Sock Bunny?

I was not on a fun break, but I had a little stomach bug, the kind that goes around and just didn’t feel like doing all the things it takes to get something posted.  I did make a couple of things, and I will post one today and then get the other one up in a day or so.  I can’t believe I was sick on Easter Sunday, the day after my birthday.  No fun at all.

But, I’d rather talk about more fun things so, I want to share another sock bunny I just finished.  I seem to be really intrigued with these little creatures, they are so easy to make and cute and they fit all my favorite criteria.  They reuse something you would otherwise throw away and they don’t require any sort of real skill or pattern.

This time I used a pair of patterned Christmas socks that were in good shape but I don’t wear now that we live in the land of flip flops.  I wasn’t sure how it would come out, but I think he looks like he’s wearing a little Christmas sweater!

I also modified the arms and legs and was really pleased with the new look.  Well, I’m going to stop talking and you can go see what you think of my new and improved Standing Sock Bunny.

Quick Like a Bunny Rabbit

 

Well, maybe not exactly quick.  But I made them in a few hours.  If you still want to make something to put into an Easter Basket, or just want to make something for someone special, you can whip one or more of these up.  And I don’t think they are just for Easter.  Everyone likes bunnies all the time.

I actually made some of these for Easter at least 30 years ago because I have a picture of my youngest as an infant and there is one in the photo.  And, here is one that survived all those years, although it’s not one of the Easter Basket Bunnies (those were white).  This one was stuffed with Kleenex, of all things.  I guess I didn’t have any batting and just wanted to make one that day.  I don’t really remember making it.  His arms need to be mended but you have to admit, he’s sturdy!

I actually changed things a little bit on the updated version, but the idea is the same.  I have no idea where the original pattern/idea came from, and I know there are versions all over the place, so this is not very original.  But, it’s good fun, easy to adapt to your own creative notions and you can probably make it with things you have right there in your own house.

So, if you need a quick basket goodie, give the Sock Bunnies a try.  And have a Happy Easter!

It Takes Guts

When I got all the old stuffed animals from the attic last fall one that I put aside to do something with was a patchwork fabric giraffe. He had several small holes along the seams and one very large rip at the neck that looked like a dog had tried to take his head off. In addition he was filled with chopped foam, and after at least 30 years I didn’t feel good about that at all. I don’t know about you, but sometimes if I’m afraid something will turn out badly I put it aside to think about it later. You know, like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about it tomorrow. Well, finally, tomorrow had come.

Amazingly, other than the actual washing and drying, the project didn’t take much more than an hour. Why did I put it off? Let me think. Worst case scenarios. I started taking out the chopped foam and horrible creatures crawled out? REALLY? Hey, if that happened I would grab my camera and start taking photos, that wouldn’t exactly be a BAD thing. Worst case scenario really would have been he didn’t survive washing. But that was going to happen if it was going to happen. Waiting didn’t make that any less likely. And the sooner I found out, the sooner I would know.

I opened the neck seam with the already big hole a bit larger and dumped all of the very old dried out foam into the trash, turning him inside out as I went. I had to scrape him out as the foam tends to stick to the inside. Then, into the washer on delicate cycle and I held my breath. But, he came through with flying colors. I went ahead and put him into the dryer on low to get a head start on drying, and finished drying overnight hanging over the shower door. When I turned him right side he looked fine. He seemed none the worse for wear, and I wish I had thought to take a photo, but I didn’t.

I did find a little puncture in his nose, which supports my dog at the throat theory and so my first order of business was to patch that. It was big enough to get your pinkie finger in and I knew it would do nothing but get bigger. I simply put a patch with white muslin on the inside, and then stitched it to reinforce. It doesn’t really show unless you look hard because the fabric is patchwork looking anyway.

I could have repaired the small places where the seams had come unstitched by machine but I decided not to bother and just hand stitched them (from the inside).
The hard part was his neck. There was clearly some fabric missing. It was like surgery and I had nothing to do a graft with. So, his neck will forever be a little skinnier at the top. It’s like he got a little jowl lift!

Then I stuffed him with nice fresh hypoallergenic batting, not too full so he would be soft and huggable, finished hand stitching his neck closed, and I have to say, he looks fresh and dare I say, happy! I’m starting to love giving old stuffed animals a new lease on life. 🙂

BTW it’s Handmade Monday again! Let’s all run over and check it out. Well, actually, it’s so much easier than running, we can just click on the link above and don’t even have to get out of our chair! Let’s go!

It’s a Wrap

I love little boxes. And that means there are always some around, so I have to think of things to do with them. I needed something to put the little Valentine necklace in because I think presentation of a gift is almost as important as the gift. I had thought of making a bag, but I’m still in the middle of reorganizing my craft room (let’s just leave it there) and so it was easier not to try to get my sewing machine out.

But, I did have this cute little box some bit of jewelry or other came in, so…

I simply painted it with an acrylic paint called Metallic Bright Red, but it looked for all the world like red fingernail polish to me. Perfect! It took a couple of coats to cover the box, which was black. Then I glued on a wooden heart which I got at a craft store ages ago –one of those things I saw and thought, “This would be cute on something.” I have a metal tin with various hearts, buttons and wooden, just for this sort of thing. Don’t you? I just glued it with regular white glue.

I waited until the next morning so everything would be nice and dry, put the necklace in with the filling that was already in there (I always save that too, but you could use tissue paper or batting or whatever) and then tied it up with a thin little ribbon and voilà! Now it’s sort of a dual gift, since I think the little box could be used to keep something in too. Oh, and if you don’t have a little stash of hearts to glue on top, just cut one out of cardboard, I think that would look just as cute –paint it a slightly different red so it will stand out. 🙂 OK. Now, go make something pretty, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us!

Snips and Snails and New Tools

 

I did a few small things this week, no big projects.  But it’s Handmade Monday again and there is only one more before Valentine’s Day! Plus it’s the 52nd one, which means we’ve been doing this for an entire year. I got in almost at the beginning of it, so I’ve been doing this for just short of a year too. I’m sure everyone has made all sorts of cute things with hearts and things, and I can’t wait to go see what they’re doing.  Click the link and check it out after you’re done here.  🙂

I posted a candle in a cup I did using Penny’s method, so if that interests you, please check it out here.  It turned out so well, as you can see from the photo here (I did finally light it!) I’ll share it again!

I get so many good ideas from other bloggers.  Penny, at Planet Penny has such a fun blog, and in addition to good ideas and beautiful things to look at, it’s always fun to read.

I have also been working on a little jar for a young boy for Valentine’s Day.  It’s a little difficult to make things for boys for this particular holiday.  Girls are easy, jewelry and well, everything just fits.  I ended up making something not all that Valentine-like but it came out cute enough to share anyway.  I didn’t take photos as I went, but it wasn’t rocket science so, I’m really just going to share a photo of the best part.  The jar is a plastic jar that shaving cream comes in, then Mod Podged with green tissue paper.  I put the boys name on one side and “Stuff” on the other –both cut with the Cricut of course because I could never cut letters out by hand.

I then made a little snail with Sculpy and made him some antennae with copper wire I had in my jewelry making box.  I used 2 little beads for eyes.  I made the shell and body separate so I could paint them different colors easily, using acrylic paint.

I attached him to the lid with hot glue, but he came off once, so I cleaned the hot glue off of everything and reattached him using hot glue and then put white glue around the edges.  Hopefully he will stay put.

He is so cute, I’m thinking of making some more and maybe painting a little smile on his face!

I also made a Valentine’s Day card.  I’m not going to mention who it’s for in case they see this (and this person does sometimes read my blog!).  I’m not quite done with it, but I wanted to share what I have done so far because I thought it turned out not too bad.  I really didn’t have much in mind when I started except that I had a bag full of red hearts of various sizes I had cut with my Cricut and I had a new tool (which I will tell you about in a minute) and some red ribbon.

I started with a precut white cardstock (the kind that comes in sheets with 2 cards per sheet and you feed them through a printer–I have a package of them for making cards on the printer).  I used my cool new tool and cut out a heart “window” toward the bottom.  I had a piece of red woven something that is, well, I don’t really know what it is.  It feels like something between paper and fabric.  I can’t remember where I got it, but it’s been in my “stash” for a long time.  I glued it behind the heart “window” and then decided to try cutting a heart out of it with my new tool.  That worked, altho it left the edges fuzzy and I had to trim it a little.

Then I just added hearts until I liked the way it looked.  I put the heart from the “window” inside one of the bigger red hearts, and let everything dry.  Then I made a bow with some organdy ribbon and sewed it on.  I hope I can mail this without crushing the bow too badly.

Oh, my new toy, er, tool is a Fiskar’s Squeeze Punch.  They are a little pricey, but they were on sale so I bought a couple of different ones.  I love them because you can cut “windows” OR you can cut shapes.  Just one more fun thing, and very, very easy to use.

Only one more week until Valentine’s Day, so I had better get these things in the mail!