Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wow, I cannot believe we are about to begin 2013 already! 2012 just flew by, and what a whirlwind it was. I got my first "real" sewing machine last Christmas and I was able to spend some quality time getting acquainted with it. It's been good to me so far, I can't wait to see what the new year brings.

Some of my favorite bags of the year:

Bubble bag using the it's a cinch tutorial by Sweet Verbena. Not only is it a fabulous bag (I have two others and I ♥ them!),  the tutorial is fantastic and even takes the scary out of adding a zippered lining!

Tulip Tote (pattern by Kay Whitt as in Sew Serendipity Bags) Love this bag! I even made one in orange that I carry all the time!

 Then I had a slight infatuation with Chevrons:

Modified from Simplicity 2396

Chevron Fold Over Tote, my own design

Chevron Tote #2 Another Simplicity 2396

Spring Bag Simplicity 1905

Flame Tote From Butterick 5622

Diaper Bag from Sew Serendipity Bags by Kay Whitt. First off I want to say that this was easily the most challenging bag I have ever done (zippers GALORE, but the pattern by Kay Whitt was fantastic and the bag is such an awesome design. However, although I loved the way the construction came together, I LOATHED this fabric from the get go. It was a bag for a friend, who picked it out for her sister and  I had little input there. Besides looking like Vera Bradley vomited this out, it made the list.

Some Crochet Projects:

An aqua cowl with some fabric buttons...I discovered that fabric covered buttons are pure MAGIC

Chunky Peacock infinity scarf

Fan stitched Coral Scarflette

 And I tried my hand at embroidery and discovered I really enjoyed it!

 Looking forward to 2013!!!!

Linking up to Craft Junkie too T.G.I.F. linky party 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas gifts

Now that Christmas is over, I can post about the gifts. Easily my favorites were the etched jars I posted about earlier, but now I can share a few more pics.

The Mr.'s aunt requested some embroidered Christmas towels for her daughters in law.

Lastly a bag for my cousin as an upgrade. I absent mindedly forgot to get pics!

Special Delivery

My first of several fabric packages arrived today and I'm so excited! All these after Christmas sales are soo tempting. Too bad I placed my first order before all the sales started ( as in less than 24 hours). Oh well, even without the sales Stash fabrics on Etsy has great prices and you cannot beat free shipping! I can't wait for the rest of my packages to get here.

Isn't it yummy? I can't wait to cut into it.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Down to the wire

Why is it no matter how early I start, how much I plan, I'm always rushing at the last minute to get things done before Christmas?

Thankfully I took some extra time off this week to help get those last minute things done ( you know, like ALL of my Christmas shopping!). After a 24 hours filled with nothing but shopping like a mad woman, I finally settled in tonight to work on a project I had in mind for some Christmas gifts.

My inspiration were these lovelies and I hoped to make some personalized canisters. I found some great tips here, gathered my supplies and set to work.

It was harder than expected to find the etching cream, I guess everyone is etching glass for Christmas gifts! Finally I found some at Micheal's, Martha Stewart of course has her own brand (at 24.99)...sorry Martha. Armor Etch was 12.99 for 3 oz and with a handy 50% off coupon it was less than 7 bucks. I found the canisters at Hobby Lobby for 50% off and grabbed some basic scrap book stickers.

The most painstaking part of the process was of course placing the stickers. I was really careful to not touch the glass with my hands after I had cleaned it, so my stickers were mostly placed with my x-acto knife.

Once it was all stickered and taped, it was time to slather on the etching cream. I followed the advice given and kind of pushed it around a bit every couple of minutes and let it sit for a total of five minutes.

 Once the five minutes is up, just wash off with soap and water and the stickers and tape easily come off under the water.

I have to say, I'm really pleased with the results. I can't wait to etch some more things! It was much easier than I expected and I made four canisters in less than an hour!

A glass of wine helps the process a bit of course.

Now, time for last minute sewing! Eek! Only Three days left!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Procrastination at its finest

About all those WIPs that I need to get done? Um, yeah. As I was ironing the fabric for the towels before I started sewing, I decided that I needed a new ironing board cover. I mean, I needed
one in the sense that I could not bear to look at the one on my ironing board for one more second.

This ironing board moved with me when I moved out of my parents house in 2004, who knows how old it was when I, um, acquired it. Of course it's the same cover that has been on it forever. In my defense, before I started sewing, ironing was something I only HAD to do a few times a year... It's amazing the wrinkles that you can get out with a wet rag and a few minutes in the dryer.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've washed the cover but over the years it just wouldn't come clean. Lots of scorch marks, water stains, etc and it has seen better days.
Please don't judge ha!

There are a billion tutorials all over the web about how to do this, some involving elastic, others sewing on bias tape as a casing and so on. I really didn't want to get all that complicated with this, as I really SHOULD be doing any of a dozen other things, so I settled on my own hodge Podge of techniques from various tutorials and it worked! Yay! And really in less than an hour from start to finish. I think the longest part of it was pulling the drawstring out from the old cover... It really didn't want to give it up. After about ten minutes of seam ripping, cursing and hacking away at the cover, I freed the drawstring and was done!

Yay! Much nicer! Now to maybe knock off some things that actually NEED to be done.

Works in progress

Lots of last minute projects to finish up around here. Some custom orders as well as a couple gifts. I finally got the embroidery done on the Christmas towels for Joe's aunt as well as all the cutting done for the three bags I need to make.

All the backing fabric is cut, now just need to sew these cuties up.

 This one is a gift for my cousin, I gave her a messenger bag last Christmas that she litterally used until it absolutely fell apart. This year I decided to go with some home decor weight fabric and heavier interfacing so it will be durable enough for her every day lugging of books and papers.

This one is a custom order for my Etsy shop, it will be a fold over tote and is next up on my to-do list.

This one will be a custom order for a Tulip Tote from the book Sew Serendipity Bags By
Kay Whitt. If you like to make bags, I highly recommend this book. The patterns
are gorgeous and the dierctions are so well written and easy to follow!
I made this same exact bag, wth the same fabrics for myself and I love it!

Check out Skip to My Lou's Made by you Monday :)
Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Embroidery fun

So I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to learn embroidery; get a hoop, some floss and some fabric right? Well, thankfully I found some great info on Wild Olive before I went to Hobby Lobby.  After some quick and well written tutorials on basic stitches I ended up with these:

I was fairly happy with my first attempts and moreover realized that I had really enjoyed this project and wanted to do more. I had purchased some iron on transfers from Hobby Lobby for these but then I discovered the wonders of water soluable ink pens and heat transfer pencils, eek! There are so many options! Christmas towels were a must, being queen of Google that I am, I happened upon the site Urban threads, and an awesome FREE pattern! I did the embroidery and backed the towel with some flannel and I'm happy how they turned out:

Photo: First Christmas presents of the season!

This weekend we had our niece and nephew over for the night and what better way to keep an 9 year old busy than to do crafts?! So we made these pillows:

I'm looking forward to learning more about embroidery and adding it to my projects, we'll see how it goes :)

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Handmade Christmas and other projects

Last year I came up with the brilliant insane idea to do handmade gifts for all of the adults on our Christmas list. Not just handmade and bought from other artisans, handmade by yours truly. Although I did make this happen, I was sewing, painting and crocheting right up until Christmas day. This hardly left time for all of the other things that I wanted to do for the holidays (bake, make new decorations or just enjoy the season).

This year, I do want handmade to be a part of the season, I don't wish for it to encompass every aspect of our holiday. I do have a couple of bag orders I need to get out and a few gifts I need to whip up but I feel so much less stress not thinking of what I need to *make* for our loved ones. It takes a lot of what makes handmade special out, when instead of enjoying the process, you are stressing about what else you need to do. I feel like the gifts that I am making are that much more meaningful this year, because I'm not obligated to think of *something* to create. Now my stress will just be "normal" person Holiday stress!

However this year I REALLY want to get around to making some new decorations, and I do hope to have some fun (although I know they will be brief) crafting session with my 3 year old. Maybe I will get around to some of those pins I've had up on my Holiday Craft board on Pinterest for the past 2 years! At the TOP of my list is this tree skirt and tutorial by SewCrafty Jess:

Isn't is amazing? I would love to do this is blues and reds, I've been hoarding this fabric:

A Walk in the woods Dash stripe in blue by Aneela Hoey

I think I finally found it's calling as Christmas Decor! Now, if I can just stay off Pinterest! I keep looking for new ideas without starting any of the old ones I already have!

Happy Decorating!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A blog? Eh why not?

Well, a blog huh? What now? Quite frankly I haven't a clue. I'm just hoping to have my own little piece of the universe right here. Somewhere I can share what I'm thinking, planning, doing, loving and hoping. It just seems appropriate, to carve out my little square. I am envisioning myself climbing that mountain and sticking in that little flag to mark that I am here and I dub this new found spot as my own. Ok, maybe that was a bit much.

Perhaps someone will come across this and take interest in the ramblings of my mind, or perhaps this spot will stay my little corner with the little flag waving. Either way is ok right now, lets just see where this goes from here. I do hope to share what I am creating, planning, coveting and learning.

Until next time,

Cyndi :)

P.S. The Nosy Pepper you ask? Read the joke and tell me you didn't at least smile to yourself:

What does a nosy pepper do?
--Gets jalepeno business!