Thursday, December 30, 2010

Diaper Bag

I'm back to blogging after a little break over Christmas.  Hope everyone had a great holiday and here's to a Happy New Year!
You'll not find a more serious little mommy anywhere than my daughter is -- in fact some recent company we had commented on the fact that she treats her baby dolls like real babies! She changes their clothes for church, after church, bed time, and of course a few times in between.  More than once her dolls have been mistaken for real children when we are out shopping --- so much so one lady was ready to scold me for taking my baby out without a heavier jacket on until she realized that it was only a baby doll!
She's been asking me to make her a diaper bag "with lots of pockets" for some time, never guessing I had already finished it and hid it away before she could see it!  It was one of her very favorite Christmas gifts --- filled to the brim with baby supplies!
Though this one is for play --- it's big enough that a real mommy could use it!
There are two outside pockets -- the blue, lacy looking square at the bottom of both sides.
Here's a look at the inside pockets:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

Taking a break from blogging -- Merry Christmas fellow crafters --- I'll be back in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stylish Blogger Award

Carol from Naturally Carol awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award --- so sweet of her.
There are 4 duties to perform to accept this award:
1.  thank and link back to the prson who awarded you this award
2. share 7 things about yourself
3. award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Seven things about me:
  • I like my coffee sweet - creamer and sugar please
  • I'm a night owl - not a morning person
  • I get bored with the same old thing very quickly
  • I enjoy crafts of all kinds
  • I love cooking and experimenting with recipes
  • I change the furniture in my house around about once a month (told you I get bored easily!)
  • My favorite job is being a mommy!

Now to forward it --- Here are my 15  recently started or discovered blogs I'm enjoying!
  1. Naturally Carol (the blogger who awarded me - just recently discovered her blog and am enjoying it) -- craft blog - sewing, crochet, etc.
  2. To Sew With Love  - craft blog
  3. Our Sheltering Tree - inspirations blog about sheltering the people in our lives
  4. Vanilla Joy - craft blog
  5. Dollar Store Crafts -- frugal craft blog using stuff from Dollar Tree
  6. Sugar Bee Craft blog
  7. Crafty Begonia - Craft Blog
  8. Eye Spy DIY - Craft blog
  9. Sparta Savings - Craft Blog
  10.  Sew Chatty - craft blog
  11. Noodle Head - sewing blog
These last ones are not new to me blogs, but blogs I have read for a while and enjoy a lot!
  1. Baby Gator University- homeschool blog
  2. The Amazing Mess - homeschool/crafts for kids blog  - love her ideas!
  3. The Clemens Clan - crafts, gift giving, decorating, family
  4. Frugal Ideas From the Parsonage - all kinds of things - shopping, coupons, thrift stores, cards, sewing, misc. crafts
Now to let these great bloggers know.....

Chain Stitch Flowers

Last post I showed you how to make a flower out of a simple chain stitch.  This post I'll show you a few ways to use your flower once you make it.
The above flower is used as a "clip" of sorts to hold a scarf together....below you'll see how you can wear it by itself as a "corsage" of sorts.
Use the flower on a headband (or two)
Use it as a big button on  a homemade bag
Other ideas for using them would be:
  • to embellish a gift
  • glue one on a hair clip or barrette
  • embellish a homemade greeting card with
  • etc. etc. - possibilities are endless!
For a picture tutorial on making these simple flowers see the previous post.
This post is linked to Take a Look Tuesday
and Made with Love Monday

Monday, December 20, 2010

Free Homespun Patterns

I'm interjecting this post between my Chain Stitch tutorial and gallery of  how to use Chains Stitch flowers to tell you that all the patterns over at Homespun Threads are free right now.  You'll want to check them out --- lots of great ideas! Simply Click here to go to Aimee's blog.

Chain Stitch Flower Tutorial

I wanted to get my daughter this crochet kit this year for Christmas.  Unfortunately, when I was ready to order, there were none left in stock anywhere (except for A.C. Moore and they wanted $27 plus shipping for it -- no thanks!).  So I decided to make up my own little crochet kit (pictured above).
Then last week, my daughter started asking me to teach her to crochet (probably because I was  working on a project), and I decided to give her this one gift early.  (We also plan to be away for Christmas, so I thought it better to "teach" her early so she can take it with her and wile away some of her in-the-car time.)
She was so delighted with her own little crochet bag full of everything she needed to get started:
  • Beginners Crochet Book for Kids -- Get Hooked (highly recommend it -- color picture tutorial on getting started/stitches)
  • Crochet hooks (I originally bought a medium sized, but went to the biggest size after discovering it was easier to learn with)
  • 7 balls of yarn
  • Finishing needles
  • And a pretty pink bag to keep it all in!
I wasn't totally sure 8 years old was "old enough" to learn - but I gave it a shot since my daughter has always been pretty good with her hands.  Guess what --- my daughter had the hang of the simple chain stitch in no more than 15 minutes.  By 'had the hang of it" I mean -- she was turning out beautiful chains in no time at all.
Now what to do with a long chain of crochet???   Actually, she solved the problem for me --- she wound her 1st chain up and made a flower out of it before I hardly had time to contemplate a use for it.  Before I knew it she'd turned out a nice sized chain in each color! We decided they would look nice as pins, hairclips, embellishments on purses, flowers on a package, and really their use was pretty versitile.
Today I'll share a picture tutorial on how the pin flowers went together.
Start with a chain of desired length....the bigger you want your flower - the longer you make your chain
Wind the chain up -- either from the inside out...
...OR from the outside in
Cut a piece of felt slightly smaller than your flower
Turn flower to back-side and squirt on some hot glue
Place felt over flower and press for a few seconds
Squeeze out a thin strip of hot glue
Adhere the top part of the pin (not the part that opens)
 Wa-La - you have a pretty little flower (or in this case flowers!)
Next post I'll show you some ways to use your flower!
I think we're ready to move on to the next step now!
BTW -- check out this sweater I just got --- see that pretty little flower on the left shoulder --- looks like someone else had the same idea as my daughter!

Christmas Door

Mrs. M from church absolutely LOVED my bulletin board decoration for the month of when her husband stopped by and ask me to make him a card for his wife, I didn't have to think twice about what it would be....a Christmas door with a BIG wreath on it!
Since she is also a cat-lover, I couldn't resist adding four little kitties on the doorstep...the supplies used were:
  • Red/White/Green Cardstock
  • Candy Cane Stripe embossing folder (Provo Craft)
  • Red ink -- inked edges of door panels with
  • MS Branch punch
  • Circle Nestabilites (to cut the circle for gluing the branches on)
  • Gold Rhinestones
  • Red Bow
  • Four little kittens from off a calendar
For a tutorial on how to make the wreath - click "MS Branch Punch Wreath" under the tutorial section on my sidebar. 
    This post is linked to Take a Look Tuesday 
    and Made with Love Monday

      Friday, December 17, 2010

      Simple Money Holder

      With shipping as expensive as it is now, I decided to send a few $$ to some of my  nephews instead of a gift.  (It never ceases to amaze me how I can spend far more on shipping than I do on the presents!)  The above money holder is what I whipped up at the last minute to "dress up" the money I sent.
       I afforded me the opportunity to use stickers on my project -- something I don't seem to do very often! (The stamps were Inkakindadoo - the stickers I got for 10 cents a sheet at Dollar General after Christmas last year.)
      I didn't want to waste paper - so I made the money holder just big enough to hold the money (I got two out of one sheet this way).  By doing that I could not glue the right flap down inside or the money would not have fit.  Problem solved with a matching paper clip.....
      This project was so simple that even a non-paper-crafter could easily whip this up in no time (especially if you just used stickers and no stamps!).

      This post linked to Made with Love Monday

      Thursday, December 16, 2010

      Jean Pocket Purse and matching hair clips

      I made another Jean Pocket Purse (tutorial link on side bar) - this time using blues for the  accents.  The back is covered in the same brown/blue polka dot material as the straps. Used blue embossing powder for the butterfly -- I like it that it turned out darker than the pink one did.
      Decided to try making a few matching hair clips this time:
      I followed the great tutorial from Eye Spy DIY
      While I was at it I made two clips to match the pink/jean purse from the other day...
      Hopefully the little girls I made these for will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them!

      Wednesday, December 15, 2010

      Rag Purse Variation

      Another rag purse - this time in reds/browns.  I made a few changes to this one (just for fun).
      •  The strap -- it's one long strap this time (instead of two small ones)
        • Gave it the "rag treatment" by snipping it
        • Attached it on each end instead of the purse instead of on the front/back
      • The button is extra big (my daughter picked it)
      • The clasp that attaches to the button is extra long (she wanted that too!)
      • Inserted pockets inside instead of making it reversible
       I also made a matching checkbook cover for my daughter's pretend checkbook.....'s one I made to match my other rag purse:
      This post linked to Made with Love Monday

      Tuesday, December 14, 2010

      Clean and Simple Christmas

      Here's a CAS Christmas card I made recently...
      • Stamp - Inkadinkadoo
      • Blue/White Cardstock
      • Snowflakes embossing folder (Provo Craft)
      • Blue Ribbon

      Monday, December 13, 2010

      Jean Pocket Purse

      Been wanting to experiment with jeans and jean pockets, but I didn't want to buy the jeans (even at a thrift store) to do it.  Last week my husband decided 3 pairs of his jeans were junk (too many holes) and decided to pitch them.  I rescued them and went to cutting on them.  The above purse was made out of one of the back's how it went together...
      1. Cut the pocket out of the pair of jeans leaving a strip of cloth around the pocket:
       2. Stamped the butterfly on the pocket with Versa Mark
      3. Embossed the image with pink embossing powder (You didn't actually think my husband wore pink butterflies on his jeans did you?)
      4. Cut two pink pieces of flannel  using the pocket as a pattern and one piece of cotton batting slightly smaller
      5. Layered flannel, batting, flannel - right sides facing out ---
      6. Sewed a star pattern through all the layers to hold the batting in place
      7. Turned the top down and hemmed
      8. Chose lace/ribbon -- sewed this to the top of the jean pocket --- CAREFUL - don't stitch the layers together or there will be NO POCKET!
      9. Placing right sides together - sew the flannel backing to the jean pocket
      10. Before sewing across the top - insert ribbon for a handle
      You're Finished!
      Here's a view of the back of the purse --- soft pink flannel....
      Very easy and fast to whip up with endless possibilities for decorating!
      This post is linked to Take a Look Tuesday

      Friday, December 10, 2010

      Reversible Rag Purse

      This is my very first rag purse. I've made lots and lots of rag quilts (I worked for a lady in Indiana who sold them at flee markets and such), but never a rag purse.
      This purse is actually reversible, if you're not feeling like a country girl today, you can reverse it for a "classier" look!
      I used the star pattern on this purse, rather than the traditional "x".....stars are what I used to sew on the rag quilts and I like their look just a bit better.  They're not hard to catch onto --- it's a continuous sew --- once you do one or two it's pretty easy from there.
      On the long panels I stitched simple wavy lines - not the most creative I guess, but it worked!
      The back uses the same material only in a different order:
      • Brown with blue polka dots on the top
      • Two brown panels on the sides, the light blue in the middle
      • Blue with brown polka dots on the bottom

      The sides and bottom are the same material as the straps - brown with blue stripes.
      If you follow my blog for very long, you'll discover that I'm one of those people who doesn't like to follow anything (pattern, recipe, etc.) to a "T," but I like to change it and make it uniquely mine! I did that with this purse --- Originally I got the idea from purse patterns website (scroll down and click on # 131 - "Reversible Rag Bag Tote Pattern"), but as you can see I changed the dimensions and style quite a bit. 
      This was a lot of fun to design and make, and yet very easy.  It went together in one evening, so there's still time for you seamstresses to whip some up for Christmas gifts!
      BTW - the measurements on the finished bag are 11 inches wide x 9 inches tall.

      Just had to post my great deal on material! I saw a local thrift store had a whole stack of material folded neatly in the back.  No prices, just a nicely folded stack.  Well after I made the above purse, and saw that the ragged effect would work (to a satisfactory degree) with material other than flannel (that's the only thing my employer made her rag quilts out of), I decided to go back and check the material stack out.
      I got this whole stack of material for $5.18!!!! There are 13 different fabrics there -- most pieces were 29 cents - two were 99 cents and one was 40 cents and one was 19 cents!
      One of the main reasons I went is I remembered some pink in the pile.  My daughter wants me to make her a rag diaper bag -- I'm thinking of making it for Christmas and putting some fun baby supplies inside for a gift. She likes to play with "life size" baby dolls, so we're always shopping thrift store clearance for clothes/shoes/sock/hats/headbands/tights for them to wear.  Thought to make her up a fun bag with some of those baby colors in the stack....that is if I can find time to sew without her present!

      Also stopped by a local five and dime store and stocked up on thread @ 25 cents a piece.
      This post is linked to Take a Look Tuesday

      Thursday, December 9, 2010

      Placemat Purse

       Several months back I was looking through a previous Country Woman magazine (March 2009) and  an article called "In the Bag."  It caught my eye as it was the directions for making purses and totes out of place-mats and napkins.  I laid the article aside fully intending to try it sometime, but only recently have I made any progress in that direction.  I decided not to invest too much in the first one just in case it didn't turn out as anticipated.  I found a gingham place-mat at a thrift store for 25 cents - no great loss if it didn't turn out.
      Since it didn't come with a matching napkin, I used some gingham material I had purchased for bows on my Christmas presents! I also added some vintage lace that I had on hand (picked up from a thrift store), and a few buttons from my button stash.
       It really went together rather quickly and was a lot of fun to make. My daughter (who was sitting beside me watching the process) kept saying, "I love that mom.  You have to make me one for Christmas!"  Knowing she loved it so much I gave it to her - which thrilled her.
      I added a pocket (actually two in one) inside:
       The purse fastener actually uses velcro - the button is just for looks -- it's hot glued on
      I even made a cardboard insert for the bottom of the purse: (recycled cereal box)
      Here's a photo of the handle where it attaches to the purse --- used the "X" pattern on it...

      One last photo of the purse all filled up with my daughters "treasures:"
      One of the best tutorials I found (with pictures!!) is at this link. I didn't follow it exactly, but it's a good tutorial to base your purse on. This tutorial doesn't use the matching napkin -- Country Woman used it for the pocket inside, the straps, and closure.
      I'm going to keep my eyes open for pretty place-mats (that would look good as purses and have matching napkins) -- maybe after the season clearance would be a good time to stock up on them!

      Just for fun I'm linking to
      1. Free Bag Patterns
      2. Free Sewing Patterns for Bags, Purses and Totes 
      3. Some interesting purses from the Tip Junkie 
      This post is linked to Made with Love Monday