It’s a New Year

I’m not a resolution maker because they hang over your head and I tend to either forget them or resent them. However I have resolved to do better on my blog this year than I did last year. It would be hard to do worse. Last year was just an anomaly.

I was on the reunion committee for our class reunion which was in April (and out of town of course). Then I stayed to spend time with my kids and grandkids and spent most of the summer out of town. By the time I came home I had appointments to catch up on and and suddenly it was Thanksgiving and then BOOM Christmas. BTW if you think Christmas came fast it did. There was a week less than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So. Those are my excuses.

I did craft, I just didn’t take photos of everything and I didn’t blog about it. I already have a few craft ideas lined up and ready to start on and some things started that I need to finish, but today I’m just going to post a few photos of things I did last year and didn’t blog about. You can click on the photo and see a very short description along with a larger image.


And so that’s it for today. If you see something that interests you, please comment. If you have done something similar or the same and have a better idea, tell me! Here’s to happy crafting and cooking.

Sock Babies

It’s embarrassing how long it’s been since I’ve blogged.  I’ve thought about.  I’ve started posts.  I’ve crafted.  But I’ve not actually put anything on this blog since…  well let’s just say it’s been too long.  So, here is something I’ve been working on for some time now and someone got me off high center by asking how to make them.  The easiest way to tell them is to blog about it.

These are pretty easy.  I think they’re easier to make than it was for me to get this blog committed to paper.  Well, to digital paper, whatever the term for that is.  I started working on it (not counting taking the photos, but counting getting them ready to post) Sunday afternoon and am just now done and ready to publish if that lets you know. And I really did work on it most of today.  Maybe I’m just slow and out of practice.
Fortunately I have some ideas for things and things I have made since I have been off.  I haven’t exactly been lollygagging.  Not entirely.   Anyway, here is a tutorial on how to make my sock babies.  They grew from the sock bunnies I posted last year. And they have evolved into something entirely different.  Enjoy.

Making New Treasures

I often think of ideas when I’m trying to fall asleep.  When I have an idea stuck in my head I usually have to make it in order to really get it out of there.  This bunny is one such notion.  He started out with the simple idea of sewing a piece of blanket to a piece of blue jean fabric (both leftovers that were haunting my dining room table) and grew from there.  I admit, I love creating the ideas more than I actually enjoy the process of making them because it’s a little easier.  Often when I actually start the making I discover that my idea doesn’t quite work out as planned.  However, this bunny didn’t give me too much trouble.

He’s not the most beautiful, and I would have to say he’s got character more than elegance.  But I think he’s going to be sturdy and snuggly with no parts to pull off easily for a small child.  And I very much like the idea of making stuffed animals by recycling things that belonged to family members.  Hopefully they will be friends for many years.

Click on over to see my Bunny in Bluejeans.

Denim Cat

 

This whole project just fell together by itself without any planning, really.  I was actually just trying to see if my ink stamps would stamp onto denim scraps for something else, but I loved the way the cat looked in that blue ink on the blue denim and I wanted to do something with her.

I thought for awhile and decided to go ahead and cut the piece smaller (and yes, it’s cut not really square on purpose) and sew it to a piece of muslin (or it might be linen, I can’t recall) that I had in my scrap box.  I still wasn’t sure what I was going to make.  Sometimes it’s fun to surprise yourself.  I stitched all the way around using a little zig zag stitch –really fun!  I have to say I’m enjoying how confident I’m getting when using the sewing machine.  I am pretty good at making bobbins and changing thread, both things that used to sometimes put me into tears.  I can also change the feet (altho sometimes I still struggle with that, surely the machine moves on it’s own!)

Anyway, the fabric set her off nicely, but the denim was a little frayed (I forgot to mention I washed the scrap after I the stamping had dried because part of my experiment was to see if the stamp dye was really colorfast.  It was, it faded just slightly, and to a pleasing effect).  But the fabric did fray slightly, so I pulled them a little more until I liked the result.   I also gave her a golden eye with some gold metallic thread I have, using a french knot or a close approximation.

It was then that I decided she would look charming in a frame!

And I have frames.  I don’t know why, but I just have a collection of frames that I plan to use.  I can never get rid of a frame or turn one down if offered.  I looked through them and found one I thought was perfect.  I cut the muslin (or linen) to fit, put it in place with double sticky tape, put the frame back on (it was one of those with those little devilish spikes so my husband had to help me so I didn’t poke holes in my fingers).

And the result, I think, really is charming.  Blue on blue.  She will be off in the mail in a day or two. As the project emerged I also realized who the perfect recipient was.  I know she’s going to a wonderful home.  :)

Now, time to head to Handmade Monday.  A little late, but I have to see what everyone else has done.  Come on, there are always amazing things!

Throws Boys Will Like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I promised a couple of weeks ago to share the Moose Throw I made. I’ve been having a little trouble with my back, which hurts most when I sit and that makes computering (which doesn’t seem to be a word) one of the more difficult things to do. However, I shouldn’t neglect my blog, and so I’m going to share the Moose Throw (which was a BIG hit) and another one I made for another boy this week.

I was going to make one of those tied throws (I’ve seen them called knotted or no-sew throws as well) for my nephew for Christmas. It’s gotten harder to get him something for Christmas as he’s gotten into the teen years and while a gift certificate is always welcome it also seems impersonal. I also wanted to make him something since boys are always a little more difficult to make for and I wanted him to have something from me that he could enjoy. I don’t get to see him very often and I thought it would be nice.

When I went to the fabric store I focused in on some really wonderfully soft fleece, in fact it was called Ultra Cuddle and I can’t disagree with that name at all! It was a little difficult to find a pattern that was appropriate for a teenaged boy, however I fell in love with the moose fabric, especially since my brother and his family recently returned from Alaska! It was even better that they were funny, since the recipient loves humor. I chose a dark fabric for the back that matched. Unfortunately when I went to have it cut the saleswoman asked me if I were planning to make a tied throw. When I said yes she said it would be unsuitable as it would fray and shed badly. But I was so in love with the fabric by now that I decided to sew it instead.

It was a little difficult to deal with (hard to cut straight, hard to sew straight and big and bulky to manage). However, I was still happy with the final result. I simply sewed it with wrong sides together, like you would a pillow, left a small opening, turned it and hand stitched the last little bit. Not only was I happy with the result, my nephew loved it. PLUS my sister in law apparently is thinking of stealing it. I think I know what I’m going to make HER for some future gift giving occasion! This was seriously easy and I have to say, really turned out great.

As for the knotted throw, I made it from a kit I bought. I got a soccer ball pattern because my grandson is an avid soccer player. This was equally easy to make (although I found it tedious to do the cutting). I don’t think the fabric quality was as nice as what I bought for the throw, but by the time it was cut and knotted it seemed just fine. I think you could easily buy fabric and make these up for gifts and raffles and things like that. When you are cutting the fabric the first thing you do is cut the corners of the fabric out (5 inches by 5 inches). I didn’t want to waste those 8 pieces so I pieced mine together and made a pillow with 4 pieces on each side. I didn’t take a photo unfortunately, but I think my grandson will like it.

One other thing I did that I almost forgot to mention.  When I made the Moose Throw I wanted to add something to identify the maker since it was a gift and so often I make things (especially stuffed animals) and give them away and no one will know in the future that they were made by Grandma or Auntie etc.  I am not that good at embroidery and I didn’t think I could hand sign fleece.  However I had bought a stamp that was on sale (YES!  on SALE!) and it allowed one to put whatever message you wanted in the center and then a circle of design (holly I think, it is a Christmas stamp) around it.  I had the bright idea to put a “label” on that.  I tried doing one and then “washing” it under running water and soap.  It seemed to hold up.  So, I stamped a label on a wide piece of white ribbon I had in my stash and sewed it in.  Not a bad idea, altho I think it’s time for me to have some labels made up.  I have some dolls that were made years ago by either my Mom or my Grandmother.  Sadly I knew who made them when I was given them, but at this point I can’t recall who made which one for sure.  I wish they had signed them.

Well, this is really long, thank you if you have hung in there!  Time for Handmade Monday!  I will be popping in there off and on for the next few days as my back allows me to sit at the computer.  :)

 

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!

Foxy Idea

These seem to be really popular but I really wanted to make one musical.  A music box was too heavy, but a music button was just the right thing.  I had plenty of that plaid fabric left over from the fox I made for my grandson, and I like the idea that both of his fox friends will match anyway.  Maybe it’s a trend for him!

Anyway, this was very simple to make, I hope my long winded explanation doesn’t scare you away.  The hardest part was getting the music button in (and it didn’t take long).  I think I made this entire blanket in a couple of hours and I did some other things in between.  It’s now sitting here, waiting to go to the post office so my grandson can enjoy it.  Go check Musical Fox Security Blanket and see how to make one for the child in your life!

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.  :)

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!