Hair kerchief

With Spring and Summer weather not to far away (hope, hope) I thought I'd try and make some of these kerchiefs for Adeline's. I don't want to cut her any bangs, so this is a great way to keep hair out of her eyes which really bugs her already! They're super easy to make (only about 15 min.) and I use elastic in the back which makes it a bit easier to put on.


A little something for casual Friday

So, here is a silly little project. I finished this (when else?) late the night before Easter, but forgot to take a picture. So we did a little photo shoot this afternoon. I think this is pretty funny in this size, but it would be even better in toddler lengths. It ties like a real tie, is knit out of Patons grace yarn, is seamed up the back until the decreases, where it just rolls into almost an i-cord. I love this, because it was something manly to craft for a baby boy - and because it is just plain groovy. Titus loves it because the cotton absorbs all the drool he puts on it, and because he makes people laugh when he wears it!


I'm really not a copy-cat

All I can say is...great minds think alike...right? I laughed when I saw Rachel's vintage tablecloth dress, thinking "Oh, that's just like what I was planning for Sissy." So I made that up and enjoyed doing so. Then I thought I better not post it for awhile so no one thinks I'm just copying Rachel again ( after I did with the "bag bag") and lo and behold I look upon this site and what do I see, but an artist's smock not unlike the one I was making for Adeline's birthday. I'm really not copying you Rachel...let's just say you beat me to the punch, or rather, the seam!:) So here they are, and they did indeed make splendid gifts.


Little Artist Smock

Easter is all cleaned up now, and the house is recovered, so we are back on the crafting train! I've been thinking of something like this apron for a while. Initially the pocket for each colored pencil seemed a little too fiddly, but then I watched my daughter using something like the art roll-up Bethany made, and realized that taking things out of the pocket and putting them back in was practically more fun than coloring. Anyways I decide to try it, and I really like the results. I think that we should do something like this for the craft fair because it could be a great Christmas gift along with a little easel, or just art supplies. What do you think?


Rosette Barrette

Sarah Mortimore bought one of these barrettes for Grace and let me be nosy about it. So we had to try it.
It's very easy - just a stack of felt (or felted wool - the red flower is felted wool, the yellow just felt) all sewn together and stitched to a clip.

Here's the front:

And the back:


Tablecloth dress

Rayia said something a while back about using vintage tablecloths, and I thought oh yeah, I did that once. And, since I am working on a few projects that are not yet to the "that's so cute I should take a picture" phase, I thought I'd share something old.


art roll-up

Here is a sample of something I thought would be cool to have at the craft fair. It is an art roll-up, and can hold anything from crayons, markers, colored pencils, to paint brushes. I even thought it would be nice to sell them with a set of dollar store colored pencils in them. They are fairly easy to whip-up, and I may (no guarantees!) have a pattern with instructions to make these available at the next ladies meet-up.

Let me know what you guys think!
Would you buy one?
Would you make one if you had a pattern?
Bring on the feedback! :)

Dolly clothes

One thing I really hope to see at the crafty fair are some haute couture doll clothes. From silk gowns to school jumpers and everything in between.

This is not haute couture, but everybody needs summer jammies.

The best thing about doll clothes is that they're quick and take very little fabric. And it's a great opportunity to let the doll's owner do the picking of fabric and patterns.

By the way, this doll is a "My friend Jenny" from the early 80's late 70's. I like her a lot because she's very sweet, sturdy, and easy to sew for. She's about 16 inches tall.

Jewelry and More...

I, too, had a great time at Beading 101. It is so fun to see what each person creates. I think Abby and I have passed on some easy techniques to making earrings and other jewelry. We will have to have another workshop!

I read on another post about Fire Mountain Gems, a wholesale bead supply company, that Abby had earlier told me about. Here is the link http://www.firemountaingems.com/. There are fun tutorial videos that will make a beading addict out of you!

If you are interested in ordering, I will be placing a group order around the 1st of April. Just email.


Horsing around

My daughter loves horses. I have to admit, though, that I would have never of my own accord chosen to sew with horse fabric. But I found some fabric from Heather Ross and we made ourselves a horse dress.

My sewing has changed as my daughter has gotten bigger. When I first started sewing for her it was really just for me; I had fun and she was too small to know or care. Now she's getting more into it. She picks fabrics or rejects patterns for reasons I never would have thought of ("I love short sleeves." or "This doesn't twirl big."). And since I really am sewing for her now what I sew is not always what I would have picked. And actually, I'm enjoying it even more.

So is she.

Easter Tree

I am frankly a little smug about this bunny. I have not sewed a stuffed animal since ages ago when
I attended Mertie Kohl's sewing group for little girls. Even then, I was in the felt hand sewing and rarely used the machine. I didn't have a pattern and it took me quite a while to make it look like a bunny and not a double chinned brainy squirrel. The body is not really what I was wanting, but I know when to stop trying and just settle! Hopefully, if all goes well I can crank out another one before Easter for Daphne. If not, this will just be a group bunny! We know how to share, right?


Knitted Baby Toys

I've been working on several large projects (quilts, knitted blankets, etc...) so it was very nice that I was able to start and complete this project in a short amount of time. My friend had given me this pattern a few years ago, but I never had a chance to make these knitted baby toys.

I think they're quite cute! And they were super easy.

Not necessarily applicable to the craft fair . . .

So here is a wild little craft. I decided to get all organized and make a chore sheet for the kids where they could check off the jobs as they did them . . . but it started to take on a life of it's own and ended up a little more extreme than what I had first started off to make! I designed this on the computer, and then printed it off. (In two pieces since it's bigger than 8.5 X 11 - I just made the break point at the bottom of the red area so you don't see the seam.) Then I laminated the front of it - I figured that since this would be in the kitchen it would have a fair amount of things splashed on it, and a computer printout bleeds if it gets wet. Next (follow me closely here!) I painted the back side of a cookie sheet with a sky blue enamel paint. After it had dried, I Modge-Podged the chore sheet onto it, leaving a snappy blue enamel border around the edges. Note the subtle cunning: It is now not only spill proof, un-crumpleable and hard to lose, it is also magnetic!
So the next step was obviously to make some snazzy little magnets. I had a pack of those little round ones, so I made a star on the computer the same size as the magnet and printed out 20. They all got the same treatment as the chore sheet with the laminate and Modge-Podge routine.

I popped a few of the plain magnets on the back of the cookie sheet and stuck it to the fridge - and now when the kids have done one of their chores they give it a star . . . they love it, and it makes it easy for me to check who's done their jobs!


Taking pity on the bag bag

After reading Rachel's post "projects no one loved" I felt like I should give the bag bag a chance. So I whipped one up that night and found it is easy and you can really have fun with the design, adding ribbon, rick rack, and using vintage tablecloths. They are also quite handy to have around and a great way to keep plastic bags out of the little ones reach.


Bambino Bandito!

I said I needed to make a bib for my drooling boy, and I did it. Mackenzie said to re-purpose something and I did. To be honest, I'm really just cracking myself up here. The fun thing about this is that one bandana easily makes four bibs, and your little bambino can look like he's holding up coaches while doing nothing but relaxing and drooling.

Repurposed: the story of a dress

Once there was a linen dress that was too big. So it sat in my closet, alone.Then one day I chopped it up and added some silk ribbon embroidery:

And some vintage buttons and pretty cotton lining:
And the old dress became a new dress:

And together we made someone happy.

The end.

(Repurposing is a great way to make things without spending money. Check your closets. There's sure to be a wool sweater with a hole that can be shrunk and made into mittens. Or a out-of-date style in cute fabric that can become a bib, bag, or baby toy. Tablecloths are also great sources of fabric for repurposing projects. Come on, I challenge you to be creative with something you already have!)

Rookie Jeweler

Earring making 101 with Abby Stevenson and Sandy Hoeft was a blast. I only bought one strand of big green beads from Michael's since this was my first go at jewelry making. The fact that Saint Patrick's day is coming up is sheer coincidence, however, you would be very appropriate wearing the middle set of earrings to any St. Patty's day event. Clearly, I need to expand with my color choices. But as Abby said in a comment below, I am now a bit of an addict.

The evening was so fun with Paula and Chelsea Jones to my left, Susanna Rench to my right, Cindy Roberts and Laurie Ditton sitting across from me and Hope and Beth Littlejohn at one end of the table with Christine Cohen at the other end. Christine even made snickerdoodles and they were really good.

Aaron sent me with the best needle nose pliers he rummaged around for in his toolbox. Fine point needle nose pliers with spring hinged handles provide constant tension when squeezing or releasing the plier handles. This is really helpful when you are dealing with small loops and little pieces. Also, round nose pliers are helpful in easily creating the loops you need to make earrings. So, buy some beads and come to the next party. It really was a lot of fun.



Bibs are pretty quick and easy to whip up, but they also be a canvas for all sorts of creativity. To get a quick bib pattern, grab any baby bib you like and trace it. You can then add a bit for a seam allowance and you're done.
I made a few this summer out of linen and some vintage repro fabric and then embroidered on the linen part. It makes them more fun (if not more practical).
Embroidery is great because it's very portable. It's a perfect summer vacation project and if you can't draw (I can't) you can trace something and then draw it on the fabric and embroider it. For a few of these bibs I used something in the cotton print fabric that I liked and traced it to embroider on the linen half. Here's a very handy 'video dictionary' of embroidery stitches so you can watch and learn how to make any particular stitch you fancy.
Just choose two fabrics (or three or more if you patchwork the front). You can sew the two halves together inside out (leaving a small gap), then turn out and top stitch in a fun color. For extra absorbency use flannel and/or sandwich a piece of terrycloth inside.
Here's the finished product. Paula Gibbs took this photo.

my work-in-progress

This is a baby-babette blanket that I am making for a friend, but thought I would post it to give you crocheters ideas for baby blankets for your friends as well as the craft fair. The pattern for the original Babette Blanket can be found here. However, I am just improvising this one, making granny squares (you can use any square you like!) and using my tetris skills to piece it all together. I like the idea of this blanket, because it keeps your interest and it's small, meaning you only make one square at a time and can easily work on it in the car or on-the-go. Check prettier blankets out here and here.

Projects no one loved

As a member of the craft fair committee I have taken it upon myself to champion a few of the projects that no one signed up for. We did not have samples of these projects, so it is really not surprising that no one was moved to action simply by the name "bag stuffers". I made one last night, and let me assure you that if you decide to make some for the craft fair you will not have donated much more than fifteen minutes!

And, further crusading for the projects no one wanted to do, I made a sample pincushion/threadcatcher. I think I would change a few things next time, but on the whole I am pretty happy with it. Do you want to make any yet?


Making Jewelry

For those of you who already signed up, don't forget there is a learn-how-to-make-earrings party tonight (wed. 3/12) at the Ditton's. For those who didn't sign up, but still want to learn, I am trying to have another party to accommodate you. (In fact, leave a comment here if you want to sign up for another one.)

It's such a gratifying and simple skill. Although I'm a major klutz, I've been able to make most of my jewelry since I learned how a couple years ago. Additionally, it's a very inexpensive craft. These are a few of the earrings that I've made in the last few months. They might not be to your taste, but if you learn how, every pair you make can be completely your style. Imagine making earrings to coordinate with your outfit before you walk out the door to church. It brings new meaning to the word "custom."



What? Lots of tasty jams. From left to right meet a small jar of apricot, a medium jar of sweet spiced plum, and a large jar of pear butter.

Why? Because your family will love you. Because you can taste summer in January. Because it's beautiful. And because if you make a batch it's so easy to set aside a few jars for the upcoming fall bazaar...

I use Pomona's pectin, because you can put in as little sugar as you want. We like our jam 'low sugar' because it tastes so fruity and fresh, but you can really put in as much or as little as you like to suit your family's fancy. Farmer's market has great fruit and the beauty of jamming is that it's okay if the fruit is a little past its prime (so you can grab a box of overripe apricots for super cheap).

If you can boil liquid and peel and chop food you can jam. Seriously. So let's jam this summer, ladies!


pincushion shortage

I've been meaning to make some pincushions for a while (that is how I justified having some ridiculously small fabric pieces around), but never did it. Finally I was inspired to fill the void on the craft fair sign ups, and look what happened! But this has got me thinking about the pincushion concept..
Back in the eighties my Mom made thread catcher/pincushion combos for gifts for all the female relatives. We had one around for years - in a nice dusty rose with lace. I am thinking that not only do I need one, but so does the craft fair! Here is a link to one cute one I found.
Who wants to make some of these? Or, a better question - who doesn't?



FREE ninety-nine!

Just thought I would post a couple links to some sites that have free crafty-fun patterns. Keep your eye out for copyright issues though. Some patterns indicate you cannot sell items made from them, and so we wouldn't want them for the craft fair. The Internet really is a great crafting resource. So you're not sure what that knitting abbreviation means? No problem, just Google it! :)Enjoy!
A fun purse tutorial
Printable Paper Dolls! (These specify not to be sold, but they are way cute!)
Felted Knit Oven Mitt
Handmade Napkins (Sewing)
The Purl Bee is a great website for crochet and knit tutorials, and have some super-cute project journals as well. You should really just explore the entire site!
Knit Baby Booties (The pattern is a pdf...click on the side-bar picture of booties to download)
The Daily Knitter has TONS of free patterns!
Lion Brand Yarn Company has both knit and crochet patterns available for free, although you may have to enter your e-mail address to access all of them (for the record, my inbox hasn't been overtaken by e-mails from them... in fact, I don't think I have received anything from them!) At the ladies brunch we had some samples and patterns of the crocheted penguin and turtle which are found on their site.
Don't forget our old buddy, Martha Stewart, whose website has more craft projects (with patterns!) than you can shake a stick at! I really like the strawberry pincushions, and we had a low number of sign-ups for pincushion making... a perfect first craft project!
If anyone has some links that they would like to add please feel free, just make a comment.


Primitive Potholders

These could also be called "reclaimed children's tights" since they are made out of do it yourself craft loops. I had some tights that were no longer needed (one had a communion stain on the knee), so I tried this. Simply cut strips across the legs (of cotton tights) about 1/2" wide, link them up and roll into a ball. I used size 13 knitting needles, cast on 15 stitches and worked in a basic garter stitch until the size seemed right. While they are definitely primitive, I like them. They also work very effectively, and the texture is nice.

p.s. T-shirts, knit pants, knit pillowcases, or anything that can be cut into loops works fine for this. Experiment!

The craftiness will be unlimited!

Hi there ladies-
This is the place to come for all things related to the craft fair coming in October. We will be posting the patterns for projects here, as well as photos of completed things. You are welcome, nay, invited to join in and post yourself! If you have something to get rid of, do it here! If you want help with something - need some craft brainstorming, or whatever, do it here! Leave a comment on this post to receive an invitation to be an author on this blog. Let the networkiness begin!