Friday, June 22, 2012

Evidence of My Crafting Attention Span

In the midst of all the sewing I've done lately, I did have to branch out a  little and create two new sock animals. These cute dogs actually have a purpose. They're going to be a birthday present for a 4 year old relative. I hope she likes them.

I think these are my best sock/glove animals to date (evidence here).

Awwww...they're holding hands.

I like the eyelashes on the girl (my husband's suggestion).

Can someone please explain why this happens? The orientation is correct everywhere I look at this picture, but when I post it, BAM! landscape. Very frustrating!

The pattern for these dogs came from a book Sock and Glove: Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-Off Socks and Gloves by  Miyako Kanamori. 

Not So Sure About This Little Guy

I have ventured out of sewing bags and into sewing stuffed animals (which I've learned are called softies). I can't quite decide whether I like this little guy or not.

He's a cute little bear, but his stomach is weird and he has no butt. They eyes are lopsided, but that's my fault. Anyway, the pattern is here. I had to wing it on the instructions. What was written didn't really make sense. 

Not sure if I'll give this one away or just let my daughter play with it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm Sewing.... And I Can't Stop!

So here's the thing about me .... I seriously have crafting ADHD. I get hooked on something and get materials for LOTS of projects. Then, I dabble in some new craft, find I like it, and abandon what I was working on for the new craft. That's why there's a 1/2 completed knitting project on top of my printer, a half completed bracelet in front of the computer, and fabric all over the house.

Right now, I'm sewing. I seem to be sewing almost exclusively bags of one sort or another. They have turned out fairly nicely, and my mom has requested that one be made specifically for her. But I can feel the itch of a new craft coming on .... I don't know what it will be yet, but it's coming. 

For the sake of my cluttered house, I'm going to make a valiant attempt to FINISH all the crafts that are laying around in various stages of completion BEFORE I take up a new craft. Ha! We'll see if that actually happens.

Here are the bags I've been making...

Cute! Maybe functional?

The patterns for all the bags are courtesy of The bag on the left is Project: Grab Bags, the one in the middle is a larger version of Project: Small Treat Bag, and the one on the right is another large version of the Small Treat Bag. I attempted to make it a flat bottomed bag like the pattern calls for, but it didn't quite work out. (I made the small treat totes a few days ago.) You have to be a member to access the patterns, but membership is easy. I guess I'll use these as gift bags? My mom wants a bigger version of the bag on the left ... not sure what she's going to use it for.

Making drawstrings is really fun!

The general pattern for these drawstring bags came from Pink Penguin . A while back, I bought a bag of old fabric and crafting supplies at a yard sale. There was lots of cool stuff in the bag. The previous owner was a quilter (among other things). She had a hundred or more fabric squares cut, many of them were sewn together in rows .... by hand. That's the fabric I used for these bags. (The flowered fabric above also came from that same yard sale find.) I think they turned out pretty cute. The smaller one became a gift bag. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the larger one yet.

I'm trying to get organized so I can use all my crafting energy for good. I'd like to make all the rest of this year's birthday gifts and most of the Christmas gifts. The plan is coming together in my head ... I just hope I can pull it off.

Oh, and I don't do tutorials because I feel like such a novice at all of this, but if you ever have questions, feel free to leave them as a comment (or email me).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm Sewing ... I'm Really Sewing!

This is going to be a super quick update. My poor daughter is feeling neglected (and probably a little hungry). Hopefully she can wait a few more minutes for me to tell you that I'M USING MY SEWING MACHINE! I'm so excited!!!!

I've made more pillow coverings that turned out fairly acceptable, but what I wanted to talk about today is the little treat bags I made. They turned out SOOOOO CUTE!!! Now I've got to figure out what to do with them.

Aren't they ADORABLE?

Hard to see, but the insides of the bags match the bottom stripe on the outside.

I played around with the length of the handles. I think I like the long handles better.

Okay .... so the pattern came from (Project: Small Treat Totes) and the finished bags are approximately 4x4x2 (you were supposed to make the bottoms flat, but I couldn't figure out the instructions for that). You have to be a member of the site to see the pattern, but it's just a matter of setting up a user ID and password. There seems to be quite a few tempting patterns available there and I only looked at simple bags.

That's all for now! I may need to find a Crafters ADHD support group soon...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Can't Believe I'm Sewing (sort of...)

Although I own a sewing machine -- have for years -- I cannot sew. My Grandmother sewed. When I was little, she would make clothes for me (wish we had kept some of those). She was the one who hemmed all our pants and did other minor alterations to our clothes. I got the sewing machine so I could learn to make quilts, clothes, whatever my imagination could dream up. Unfortunately, the little Singer sat in it's box, in a closet for way too long. Yes, it was pulled out occasionally ... I've played with it a little and my husband has used it, but it's never been allowed to live up to its full potential.

I've been psyching myself up to dig out the sewing machine and actually learn to use it. I thought I'd start simple. These pillow covers looked simple enough, but the more I thought about it, the more intimidated I became.  So,  I caved and bought a little hand held Stitch Sew Quick.
Good thing this was an impulse buy at Hancock Fabrics. It got horrible reviews and Amazon. I probably wouldn't have bought it if I'd done any pre-purchase research. Oh well, it seems to work just fine. Anyway, I don't view my buying the Stitch Sew quick as a stumble on my quest to learn to sew. It's a baby step ... and baby steps are good since I need early successes in order to continue learning a new skill.

With my handy Stitch Sew Quick and some fabric, I dove into pillow cover making. Turns out, it wasn't bad at all. I had 2 pillow inserts and I made covers for both of them. They're not perfect, but I thought they turned out nicely! Roll Tide!

What I didn't show you in the pictures is that I got BRAVE and changed the instructions a little for the smaller pillow. The front is Alabama, but the back is houndstooth. I'm pretty proud of that little deviation. 

With this success under my belt, the sewing machine emerged from the closet. I put thread in that baby and have been experimenting. My skills are definitely basic, but I managed to make more pillow covers and 3 placemats (I didn't have enough fabric for four). Pictures of those will come in a later post.

So, thanks to Pinterest for constantly showing me cute sewing projects, to Rae Gun Ramblings for  posting the pillow cover tutorial and making it sound so simple, and to my little Stitch Sew Quick for giving me the confidence to begin learning to sew!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Not One, But TWO Pinterest Ideas Put to the Test

Pinterest  Idea #1 -- Lavender Fabric Spray

The idea for Lavender Fabric Spray came from this pin. It seemed straight forward and I'm always looking for ways to freshen up rooms, so I gave it a try!

It was super simple to make -- 2 cups of distilled water, 4 oz. of vodka, and 40 drops of the essential oil of your choice (I chose lavender). Mix the oil and vodka, then mix that with the water. You're ready to spray!

The scent is light, but pleasing. I'll definitely be making more of this and experimenting with different oils.

Pinterest Idea #2 -- Essential Oils in Toilet Paper Rolls

This pin says that if you put a few drops of essential oil inside your current roll of toilet paper, a bit of the scent will be released every time you use the paper.

I tried this last night with Lemongrass essential oil. So far, it seems to work well. My bathroom has a faint hint of lemongrass scent. There is a little more scent noticeable when you retrieve your toilet paper. 

I'll be interested to see which lasts longer ... the scent or the roll?

Thanks to Brown Paper Packages for the Scented Spray idea and to ekwetzel on food thrift and family for the toilet paper roll idea!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Early this spring, we removed 3 trees from our backyard. Two were heavily diseased and the other was removed to make room for new trees (overall, we planted more trees than we removed). Anyway, the places where the trees used to be looked ugly so we decided to spread some wildflower seeds there as camouflage. It took a while, but the flowers are starting to bloom and they're quite pretty. Here's a little bouquet I made from them (plus a little bamboo and eucalyptus ... also from our yard).

The "vase" is a wide mouth quart Mason jar with jute wrapped around it. I attached the jute with glue dots (I LOVE glue dots). The bow is just tied on there.

Here are a few photos from the wildflower areas. I tried taking pictures of the entire area, but they all ended up looking like a mess of weeds. They are a mess of weeds, but they're pretty in person.

Here's me getting close to a bee. I'm doing MUCH better with bees. Wasps are a different story, but there's still improvement.

This is the same sunflower after the bee flew off.

And finally, here's the little guy that keeps watch over things for me.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Flavored Water -- Pinterest Inspired Idea

I saw this pin the other day and thought it looked interesting. I'm always trying to drink more water and a little variety helps keep me away from the Diet Pepsi! 

The idea is quite simple... take whatever fruits and herbs you have on hand, put them in a jar with some ice water and let it sit for a while (or overnight). The resulting flavor is mild and refreshing. Last night, I made cranberry mint and cranberry rosemary flavored water.

The cranberries were frozen when I put them in. I'll probably mash them just a little with a pestle to release more flavor before I drink the water. 

The other day, I made the combination above as well as blueberries with rosemary and mint. All four were good. 

So if you're looking to spice up your water a little, give it a try! Here's the website -- The Yummy Life -- that was pinned. I can't wait to try the citrus combinations and the watermelon!