Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas is almost here!

I love Christmas! The presents under the tree, the smells, the cookies, the music! It is all wonderful! I am so excited about our Christmas tree and it is the funniest joke ever! Stove, thinks it is real. And I can't wait until we get back from NY to find out how he watered it!

I did so well this year too, as far as making sure everyone was accounted for with gifts and the majority of the presents are handmade. Maybe I was being cheap, but I have to say I like well made, thought out gifts the best!
Now for Pie, Dash and Dylan they all got matching hunting socks. Different sizes but the same yarn. (Yes, I just took those pictures out side and yes there is no snow!)

And because everyone got individual presents, I also made some soft blocks for Dylan. I am sooooo happy with how these turned out and true to Beauty they are made of recycled jeans. Completely machine washable and in 3 different sizes...3 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches. Super easy!! Hopefully super fun!!

But I don't want to ruin all of the presents!! There a few more handcrafted things but we'll wait until after christmas for those posts!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Catch up when you Fall Back!

November 1st!?! Being from upstate NY this has to be one of the weirdest things about being a little south. We still have leaves on the trees!! (and green leaves too!) The first picture is our pink dogwood in our front yard, and this tree is beautiful all year! But it is a bit cooler today (50F) but really November 1st? It should be cold and desolate and we should be begging dad to turn the heat on!!

So it is Daylight Savings, and a bad idea for a night shifter is to work the actual night that the clocks go back, but it did give me one whole night to think about everything I should do or could be doing. My momo said you need to update your blog. So now I am super updating. I put a couple of projects that have been done for a long time on tonight and I also have a special picture for my family that I know they are waiting to see...
YEA!! I'm engaged!! Don't you just love it?! I totally forgot I could put that picture here and everyone would see it with ease!

Also, I have a whole slew of socks that I am meaning to post as well as my kitchen decorations, but it is almost dinner time here so I will promise to get more blogging done later!

Baby presents!

My close friend at Hopkins is going to have a little boy!!!! Since I love her so dearly and I am sure that I will love her little one so dearly, I made her a baby present. I had the time and the total cost was $26.00. The pattern for the cardigan is from but I changed a lot of it. Mainly the collar, but it came out really well. I already had made a sweater for my sweetie nephew 4 months ago with a snake on it (check out which I really liked and I didn't want to get bored with this project so modifications came in to keep me interested.

Oh but the $26.00 was not on yarn or buttons, here are the cutie onesies and burp cloths I made her too!

The fabric was too cute I couldn't resist!!! I just varied the placement of the fusible web patches I made (that little one is on the bottom!) and button hole stitched around them by hand to give them a finished look. The little ducky only has a few stars that hold him on, but the fusible web is pretty strong after ironing and how long will these actually last? (one spit-up per wearing) haha

The burp cloths were done the same way with a button hole stitch along the edges of the fused panels. I also left some space at the end to fold the fabric over to leave a clean edge. They are so cute!!!!!!! (and soo easy!)
Don't you just love babies?!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Recycle this!

Something new from something old. A tutorial of what to do with all of those old jeans if you are sick of making handbags with back pockets on them. This is a different take on a braided basket but it is a little more sturdy and recycles!

Step One: Cut off the legs from a pair of dearly loved jeans making sure not to use the pockets or intricate top seams. Cut off the bottom hems, but don't worry about the thick side seams, they braid in well.

Step Two: Cut/Rip leg open so you have a flat pieces of material and cut/rip 1-2" strips. The ripping is easy to do because jeans are usually sewn on grain and the noise that it makes is fun!

Step Three: This is unnecessary if you love jean strip spaghetti, but it took 5 pairs of jeans to make this basket so I wound them into a ball. I did have about 1 leg of strips left over when I was done so I find the ball is easy to store in my yarn basket.

Step Four: Take three strips and whip stitch them together to hold and start braiding. If you find that you are braiding a little too loosely, stretch the braid and it will tighten it up. I added strips as I needed them but you could just make one super long braid and then coil your basket. I simply grabbed another strip and braided it in when I ran out, but you could whip stitch the ends together if you wanted. It held really well and it wasn't a lot of trouble not sewing each strip together.

Step Five: THE COILING. I started with a super tight coil in the bottom of the basket and then kept coiling around until my base was as big as I wanted it. At the start of the coil, I sewed through all of the layers with a strong needle, a thimble and a gripper. This was pretty grueling, but as I worked in the circle I simply went through one strip of the braid with thread and it was sturdy and much easier than actually poking through the layers.

Step Six: Building up the sides was easy! I was actually surprised how the curve happened itself with positioning and sewing as I went. Keep working up the sides until you are happy with how tall the basket is. You can very easily stop when you are done, but I put handles on mine...

Step 7: To make my handles I kept sewing the braid to the basket, but then left a gap about as big as my grip and sewed through all of the layers so that the handle would be really reinforced, Make each handle about the same size and about half way around the circle from each other. You know what I mean, don't put two handles right next to each other. (How would you carry that?) Anyways, I then took one more row around the top to make the grip of the handle a little bit wider and to just finish off the top.

Step 8: Finishing. I hated it but again I sewed through all of the layers of the braid to the last row with my thimble, gripper and strong needle, but spread out the strips of the braid so that it would be a tiny bit easier, but now my basket is all done!

I have to be completely honest when I say I wasn't planning on having a different color for the handles or top part but I love how the shades of the jeans did that! Stuff your basket and enjoy!!!