Saturday, November 27, 2010
I've fallen a bit behind this week with the sew-a-long. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner got me kind of side tracked, but it's been a wonderful long weekend so far! Hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend as well! Another fun distraction was a lovely shipment of felt balls, in which I made some new garland for our tree. Love the color that it adds. I ordered the felt from here, and was surprised how quickly it showed up in my mailbox! I've completed four more ornaments, little stockings personalized for each of my kiddos...baby A is due to arrive in 8 weeks! Can't believe how fast the time has gone! Only 12 more ornaments to go before the first! I hope I can make it.
Several of you have asked about templates for the ornaments I've made, although extremely flattered creating templates suitable for other people's use is just not realistic for me right now. I'd love to be able to do more of that in the future, time will tell. Thank you so much for your interest and kind words! It's been so fun to see the calendars that other people are working on. Hopefully I'll have the rest of my ornaments to show you this coming week!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Alright so maybe a wreath isn't all that exciting for some, but I've been wanting one hanging from our front door for a few years now, but just couldn't bring myself to spend $50 0n one. My mom went through all the stuff leftover from mine and my sister's weddings a few months ago and she had some grapevine garland leftover from my wedding 6.5 years ago! When I saw it I snatched it up with plans of having a holiday wreath hanging from my door this Christmas. Since it was so old I soaked it in the tub while I made my fabric flowers. When it was nice and limber again I uncoiled it and reshaped it into my wreath...yes it was a bit of a mess, which I'd have to admit isn't quite cleaned up yet in my kid's bathroom. I secured it with floral wire and hid the wire under the ribbon, then I hot glued my fabric and felt flowers into place. After all the intricate ornament sewing for the advent calendar it was kind of nice to do something fast and free-form. I really like how it turned out. I suppose it doesn't scream Christmas but I guess that just means I'll be able to get more use out of it. I could leave it up until after Valentine's day without it looking out of place. Besides I love that I made it out of stuff I already had, nothing like pretty decor that is free :). It's a slight detour from the tiny ornaments I'm supposed to be making, but I'm going to get back on that this evening. I have 8 to get done by Wednesday in order to stay on track with the sew-a-long!
Friday, November 19, 2010
I've joined in Homemade by Jill's advent calendar sew-a-long, and I just finished my first set of 8 ornaments! These have been such fun to make in spite of the mess of felt scraps and thread and floss bits everywhere, all part of the charm right? :) My daughter has been my little craft partner in the mornings, drawing and cutting Christmas decorations for our windows. I think a little bragging is in order for her great little drawings. She's quite the little artist for a not quite five year old. There will be a post on that here soon. Part of what I love about felt and these ornaments is the opportunity for illustration and incorporating my fine art roots, drawing was my first love which translated into a fine arts degree with a concentration in graphic design. These kind of projects combine that background with my new found love of sewing, and I have a blast. I've designed all of these on my own as I go, rather than using templates. I've machine stitched in most of the details, since I kind of have an aversion to hand sewing. I guess I just really enjoy the process and neatness of the machine; the instant gratification is definitely a part of the appeal I'll admit. It's been fun seeing how each ornament fits on the tree and placing them in the little pockets. Now only 16 more to finish before December 1st!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I've jumped in on the advent calendar project over at Homemade by Jill. My steps are a little out of order but I've had a lot of fun working on this and am loving how it's turning out, love the color combination going on. Wool felt is so beautiful to work with. I made a lot of progress this weekend. I've got everything finished up except for all the little ornaments. I saved the fun part for last :). Homemade by Jill has some ornament templates available and a weekly list of steps. She updates every Wednesday so be on the look out tomorrow. There's two more weeks of the sew-along if you want to jump in! I'm going to be designing my own ornaments and have already made a list and some sketches. I'm excited to get started on those and actually have this finished before December 1st! Projects like this are so special because of the memories that will come from pulling this out every year and counting down the days until Christmas. I think the kiddos are really going to have a lot of fun with this and I love the idea of keepsake handmade decorations. I hope to add to our collection as the years go by.
*I made my calendar a bit smaller than the dimensions given for the sew-along. My background is 18" by about 29.5". My tree is also smaller, but my numbered pockets are still 2.5" square.
Monday, November 8, 2010
I scored big at our local thrift store a couple of weeks ago. Especially since everything was half off the already low price! A lot of these were at least 3 yard cuts of fabric. Found some fun vintage prints—one a single-knit poly, one a double-knit poly, and one a heavy weight cotton. The double-knit tulips are being used in a project already. I love the little retro nautical kids in their bell bottoms! The green plaid is a soft heavier weight cotton, at least 3.5 yards, and the fun orange plaid feels like it could be a wool-blend. I could be wrong, not really sure how to tell. I also have been on the look out for vintage sheets to make into crib sheets for our little one on the way. I think I did pretty good. I should be able to make 6 sheets out the the $7 I spent! Oh and I couldn't pass up the embroidery hoops. And since my purchase I've had an idea for Christmas ornaments and need to find some more of the tiny ones. I love finding a good deal and all of these fabrics were in excellent shape. Everything is washed up and ready to be transformed into something fun :).
Friday, November 5, 2010
Both of my boys just had their birthdays, which are only 2 weeks apart. Since they are so close we had a combined party, just with family. Boy #1 turned three and boy #2 turned one! I made their birthday gifts this year and had a lot of fun doing so (I'm excited to start on the kid's Christmas gifts!).
For the big boy I made a tote bag to carry around his books and cars and other treasures. He was constantly borrowing his sister's purses and would shove as many cars possible into them :). I really like how his bag turned out, love the lining fabric...so fun with the car embroidery on the front. It will be great for the library as well. I filled it with a couple new books. He's been really into the Busy Town books illustrated by Richard Scarry since I found a series at the thrift store. I also made him his own super cape (which you may have noticed with the key element in his Halloween costume)! He also was always borrowing his sister's cape and I thought he needed something a little more manly than bright pink. I used the cape tutorial from the Long Thread, but designed my own applique emblem.
For the little guy I made a fabric ball from this great pattern here, which I've used on several occasions. It's a fun and quick gift to make and everyone I've gifted one to has loved it. I referenced these fabric tools to make the "hammer" and "wrench". These were a bit of a failed first attempt. The shapes are not quite right. I would definitely do some adjusting the next time I try these out. The "hammer" has become an axe like Astrid's (my daughter is a big How To Train Your Dragon fan) and the "wrench" is held at the wrong end and has become a sword for my three-year-old. I'm thinking I need to make him a proper fabric sword for Christmas...perhaps a couple so that there can be a duel :). Oh and this board book! LOVE the illustrations by Richard Scarry (a bit of a fan of his work). So beautiful, such a lovely book. I think, for as long as I can find it, it will be my go to companion gift with my handmade baby gifts for friends.
Happy Birthday to my sweet boys! I love you very much and hope you very much enjoy your gifts!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Whew, October was a busy month! It's been silent over here, but I've been one productive momma :). I finished a re-brand of my friend's hair salon, designed my sister's album cover/interior (2nd album due to release this month), made birthday presents for my boys, and got the Halloween costumes done on time! I've got some catching up to do, so I'll start with the costumes. We had a great weekend—good food, time with family, fun costumes, and of course candy. My kids had a lot of fun walking around the neighborhood this year.
On to the costumes:
Olivia was a horse, of course. She has a deep love for horses and if she's not drawing one, she's pretending to be one. Her costume was super simple but I think it turned out great. I just embellished a brown hoodie with yarn hair and felt ears. We added her horse tail, which I made for her birthday last year, and completed the look with a painted blaze and an oat sack for her tirck-o-treating bag.
Jackson was a super hero. I had made him a cape for his birthday (which we celebrated the weekend before), so that played as the main costume element. I added some felt accessories. The cuffs were inspired by these and I used a mask template found here. I lined the felt with scrap jersey so that it would be soft next to the skin. His t-shirt I appliqued with $1 solid shirts I found on clearance. My husband sketched out the emblem for me. The applique isn't perfect, it was a first attempt with appliqueing jersey on jersey. Next time I would add the step of ironing on my design before stitching it, then the knit wouldn't stretch and move around so much. But Jack was happy, so I was happy.
Henry was a little lion. This costume has gotten a lot of mileage. We bought it for Olivia for her second Halloween from Old Navy. Both of the boys have now worn it on their first Halloween. She was nearly two when she wore it, and they were barely one :).
That's this year's costume line up. Next year we'll have four little cuties running/crawling around in costumes :). Hope you had as much fun this weekend as we did!