Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nice Surprise

I went to visit my mom yesterday and she surprised me with some amazing new sewing books (Clare Youngs' "The Perfect Handmade Bag" and "The Perfect Pajama" by Kristina Nilsson and Jennifer Pirtle). Can't wait to get sewing on some of the bags. I love, love, love to make bags. I think I love bags more than shoes! I think I went a little crazy today buying fabric. I got some beautiful fat quarters. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with them. I also ordered some amazing Amy Butler and Naomi Ito oilcloth.

Now all I need is my sewing machine back. In the meantime, I've been brushing up on my embroidery skills. I should have something to share soon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Clothesline Bag

I made this clothesline bag for my sister. You cover clothesline with fabric strips and sew together with a zigzag stitch. It's really easy and lots of fun to see it take shape. Alas, the timing is off on my sewing machine now (not from this project). I tried fixing it myself, but I think I made it worse. Good thing it's still under warranty. I feel so lost without it! I should have it back within a week so I'll have to keep busy with non-sewing projects. Any ideas???

Friday, January 22, 2010

Snake Scarf

I just finished this scarf for my son. It's his first scarf. What better scarf is there than one shaped like a snake for a 4-year-old? He loves it! He actually took it for show-and-tell today. I got the pattern out of the book "Knitting Pretty" by Kris Percival. If you haven't checked out this book, you should take a look.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mailbox Fun

Yesterday my son came home from school with an announcement about a Valentine's Day party they would be having. He needs a decorated box with a slot for mailing Valentines and an opening to open the box so that he can retrieve his Valentines and his name has to be on it. I think I went a bit overboard, but I sure had fun. I thought you might like to see what I did.

Need: 2 cereal boxes, glue gun, good scissors, scrapbook paper, mod podge, x-acto knife.

Cut two rectangular pieces from the cereal boxes. It can be any size depending on how big you want your mailbox. I used 10 3/4" x 14" (top) and 6 3/4" x 10 3/4" (bottom). For the top piece, I had to glue two pieces of cardboard together.

Using a glue gun, glue pieces together creating the mailbox basic shape. Don't worry if it's not perfect, you can trim it later and your scrapbook paper will hide some of the imperfections.

Place on end and trace a pattern for end of the mailbox and cut out.

Repeat for the other end of the mailbox but add 1 - 1.5" to the straight edge. Score a fold line 1.5" up from the bottom of this piece.

Glue the section below the scored line to the inside of the mailbox and then glue the other end in (around all sides) sealing the box.

Cut out a piece of cardboard approx. 1" x 13" (enough to go around the opening piece). Glue on the opening piece and trim any extra cardboard.

Draw a flag on cardboard and cut out. Don't attach it to the mailbox yet.

Once you've completed your mailbox, you can decorate it with your scrapbook paper. I used some really cute robot/rocket paper, with complimenting green gears paper and starry paper. I thought it would be great for a four year old boy.

To attach your paper, start with the back of the mailbox. Brush the back with mod podge and lay on paper. Once slightly dried, cut around the edge with an x-acto knife to remove excess. Brush mod podge on top of this piece. Allow to dry. Repeat for bottom, then outside of door. Next do the top of the mailbox and finally add any accents you'd like. Cover the flag as well. Once everything is dry, attach flag however you like. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vanilla Extract

I made some vanilla extract in early November. It has such a beautiful color now. I opened one up yesterday and made some yummy pudding. It was amazing! If you haven't made vanilla before you should try it. It's very simple and makes for a great gift for your favorite chef.

2 vanilla beans (split lengthwise) + 1 cup of good quality unflavored vodka + 2 months in a cool dark place (like your pantry) = vanilla extract

Make your vanilla in a jar you can seal tightly like a mason jar or like some of these fun jars I found at Sur la Table.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Conversation Heart Play Cookies

Here's a quick pattern for some fun Valentine's day cookies that you'll be able to whip up in no time. I saw some real cookies just like this at my favorite cooking store and I just had to make some for my kids to play with.

You'll need some dark brown felt, low-loft batting, a bit of pink, cream, yellow and lavender felt, red dimensional fabric paint, the pattern, and matching colored thread. (Two 8" x 10" pieces of felt will make 4 cookies.)

Place 2 layers of dark brown felt on top of a layer of low-loft batting. Trace cookie pattern onto felt and sew around line leaving an opening for turning. Trim excess felt and batting and turn right side out. Sew opening closed.

Cut out icing in various colors (pink, cream, lavender, yellow). Using red dimensional fabric paint, decorate icing felt with expressions "HUG ME", "KISS ME", "BE MINE", and "LOVE". (You may need to do this more than once to get a good dimensional look. The felt has a tendency to absorb some of the paint.) Once paint is dry, hand stitch icing onto your cookie.

Let me know what you think. And . . . . Happy Valentine's Day!

New Life for Old Chairs

I went in to a fabric store yesterday to purchase a button to fix my husband's pants and I came out with lots of fabric (of course) including this great striped fabric. I used it to recover some folding chairs that we use in our office. They turned out great. My husband loves them.


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