Tuesday, 13 December 2011

More Rustic Gift Wrapping

After running out of baked dough snowflakes to decorate presents, I switched over to making bows out of jute burlap and adding greenery, red berries, and pine cones.  I like the burst of colour it gives amidst the monochromatic look of the other gifts that were wrapped with the snowflakes.

Friday, 9 December 2011

I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree.

I put together Charlie Brown's Christmas tree yesterday.

I've been wanting to make one for years.  I found the perfect 'tree' at a dollar store and made the base from two paint sticks glued together.  The tree was tipping too easily (I have cats, they are bad.) so I had to glue on a 1/2 inch wood block which I drilled a hole into the center of.  The ball is glass, so I wired it on, see earlier explanation of bad cats.

I may wrap a blue cloth around the base the way Linus did, but I haven't decided yet.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Rustic Christmas Gift Wrapping

I had planned to make a snowflake wreath from homemade modelling clay and a cookie cutter and they failed after baking.  They came out puffy and uneven which was the opposite of what I was going for.  I put them aside figuring I would think of something to do with them later.

When I decided I wanted my gifts wrapped very simply this year, I realized these were the (im)perfect things to decorate with. 

After wrapping the gifts with brown postal paper, I cut strips out of very loosely woven burlap - the kind used to wrap small evergreens for the winter.  I glued the strips around the boxes and then tied jute twine over them, then glued on the snowflakes.

Here's the recipe for basic modelling clay:

1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups salt
3/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Knead the dough and mold into shapes, baking in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned for up to an hour. Store unused dough in an airtight container and knead again before using, adding a bit of oil if needed.

Hanging Snowman

I made this guy out of a pillowcase that had seen better days, some felt, a scrap of plaid cotton, and a bunch of small black buttons.  He's got bells on the ends of his legs that jingle every time the door is opened.


Mouse in an Anchovy Tin Bed

What else would mice find that's more comfortable than an anchovy tin to sleep in while visions of Swiss cheese dance in their heads?

I just drew a pattern out on paper for the head, cut it out of felt, then hand stitched and stuffed it. I sewed french knots for the eyes and used heavy gauge waxed thread for the whiskers.  The bedding is flannelette.  Everything is glue gunned in.

Keep out of reach of cats, they find these guys irresistible.  Ask me how I know.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Reversible Lace Scarf

I am loving this scarf to death.  I don't love it so much when scarves flip and the wrong side shows, so I chose a reversible lace pattern for this project.  

The yarn is soft and drapes well. I am going to be getting a lot of wear out of this scarf for years to come.

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Boysenberry
Needle: 4mm
Pattern: Free Ravelry download found here.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Celery Twisted Rib Slouch Hat

I knit this incredibly soft slouchy hat as a Christmas gift for my step-daughter yesterday, she requested this style.

I can't say enough good things about the yarn, Jo-Ann's Angel Hair, which was gifted to me by my good friend in Georgia.  It's like wearing a kitten on your head, honestly. This is a good choice for people with sensitive skin who can't wear pure wool.

Pattern: Nuage, By Marie Sauvagnac Free on Ravelry
Needle: 6mm Circular & 5mm DPNS

See modifications and more information on my Ravelry Page.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Autmn Leaves Shawlette

Here are some not so great photos of a lace shawlette I knit to wear with my Peacoat which has a deep V-neck and needs a rather full scarf to look right, unless I wear a turtleneck.

The wool is by Nashua Knits, a wool and alpaca blend. I knit this within twelve days, I get a little gung-ho when I'm knitting lace.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Felt Sewing Needle Case

I have been sewing since I was a child and yet I have never had a case to hold needles, until today.

Winter Snowflake Pillows

I sewed these pillow covers over the weekend, stitching the snowflakes on by hand while watching TV and wow, hand stitching takes forever.

I'm putting a bit of a how-to after the cut.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Dealing with Damaged Walls the Easy Way

For every one thing I can do passably well, there are ten I can't.  A good example is plastering walls and I have that in common with whoever plastered the walls in the foyer before I moved here.

I can't tell you what a horror show this entryway was about three weeks ago and I truly don't know how I lived with it as long as I did.  


I peeled off the hideous wallpaper that was hiding the really bad plaster job and knew I would have to camouflage rather than repair, and I am here to pimp a wall covering which I am sure has been out for a decade, but I only found out about it when I was googling 'How to camouflage seriously messed up walls.'

 If you too have seriously messed up walls and you can't plaster worth a damn, and you like the look of beadboard, Wall Doctor is probably the way to go.

It hides extensive damage and you can paint it, but I left mine the way it came on the roll.  I can't say enough good things about this stuff.

Here is the finished entryway:

From a bit of a distance, it looks like the real thing which I couldn't install because that is yet another example of something I can't do.  

A closer look:

Friday, 28 October 2011

Boxed Bag

I made this fully lined boxed bag today, using this tutorial.

I use it to store my small knitting projects which are in progress. It is large enough to fit DPNS, or circular needles.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Climbing Leaves Fingerless Gloves

I knit these just in time for the cooler weather.

 They were knit with Nashua Knits, merino and alpaca blend, in brick.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Fall Napkin Rings

I made these napkin rings for Thanksgiving using leaves from a dollar store, natural pine cones and acorns found during a walk in the woods, and tied them up with raffia.

Friday, 7 October 2011

In Vogue Lap Blanket

I finished knitting this lap blanket yesterday.

I used the Boxed Cable design from the Vogue Stitchionary Volume 2: Cables, found on Page 141.

I Cast on 214 stitches, using the first four and last four stitches to knit a right leaning cable and a left leaning cable on either side to create an edging.
I repeated the 28 row pattern until I ran out of yarn.

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted
7 Skeins = 1400 Yards
5mm 40 Inch Circular Needle

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Travel Bags

I sewed this set of travel bags using some vintage sheets that my boyfriend's mother gave me.  She had held on to them since the '70s. Love. Them. The top sheet was pristine but the fitted sheet was threadbare in areas.

There is a duffle bag that holds tall items, a cosmetic bag, a bag that I use to hold jewelry, and a tissue holder.

I machine quilted all around the flowers to give the fabric some structure and lined all the bags.  I drafted my own patterns. 

I'm planning to make a zippered bag at some point, large enough to hold adequate clothing for a weekend getaway, I travel light.

Friday, 23 September 2011

50s Housewife Style Apron

I sewed this cute apron today using a pattern I drafted, tracing around a small bowl to achieve the tulip edging.  I chose three fabrics that look similar to April Cornell designs after seeing one of her too expensive for me aprons at a shop.

It really makes me feel like whipping up a batch cookies, but not so much like scrubbing the kitchen sink.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Chinese Lanterns

These made me happy today for a few reasons.  They had been growing against a fence for decades, and then two years in a row, bugs got to them and ate the leaves in early summer, not allowing them to bloom.  I dug them out of the garden and this year, they surprised me by creeping over to the garden swing and setting up shop there, much to my delight.

They served to cheer me today, and remind me that sometimes the sick and downtrodden are stronger than we give them credit for.  It made me realize that there are times we just shouldn't give up hope.  That there are times that things can work out well in the end, when we least expect them to.

Fall Wreath

I made up this fall wreath using leaves from a Dollar Store, acorns I collected during a walk in a tree lined path, and a vine wreath that had been decorated previously, and which I dismantled.

The cost to make this was $3.00, yay for cheapness.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tinkerbell Knitting Tote

I sewed this Tinkerbell tote last night, this is what I do with insomnia.  It's just what I needed for carrying larger projects like sweaters.  I lined it using the same fabric used for the handles and upper edge trim.  This was leftover fabric from a chemise I made a few weeks ago.

I found this image of Tinkerbell and printed it onto 100% pure cotton and then stitched it onto the tote fabric, outlining her wings.

I love her. I guess I never grew up.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Pet Bed From Repurposed Blankets

I made a pet bed today using a queen sized vellux blanket (as the insert) I didn't have need for anymore, and a fluffy throw (for the cover) that is being replaced by a hand knit cabled blanket I have in the works.

A few photos showing how I did it are after the jump.

Monday, 29 August 2011

A Little Birdie Told Me

I created this little thing today with materials I had on hand.

The base was the leftover part of a piece of oak that was used to transition the hardwood floor to the kitchen tiled floor.  The birds were made with a heavy coarse weave cotton and then were dry brush painted with acrylic. The branches fell out of our trees during yesterday's storm.

Oh the Thinks You Can Think!

I might be late to the party but did you know that you can transfer images onto fabric directly from your printer?  Yes we can. 

I just finished this project doing just that:

I used broadcloth fabric which is a poly/cotton blend lightweight fabric and ironed it,  then cut it out to fit on a sheet of cardstock.

I taped the fabric at the edges on all sides, chose some images, then hit print.

I cut out the images, then used spray adhesive and smoothed them down over the covered board that sits in the frame.


I can see a lot more of this type of printing in my future.  Think of the possibilities! Endless!  <3

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Necklace Organizer

I put together a necklace holder similar to the earring holder I posted last week.  I'm putting a few tips and a close-up behind the cut.

Me And My Shadow

I cast a shadow of Justin and traced it, then painted it on a wall.  I'm going to be painting a few of the beginning notes of St. Louis Blues cascading out of the trumpet. It's sentimental to me because that's the first song he performed as a duet accompanied by piano in public.  He was 16 at the time.


My Sweet Rufus

Friday, 26 August 2011

Glass Vase Grouping

I gathered clear glass vases that have accumulated over the years and poured about 1/4 cup of white acrylic paint inside each one, and rolled them around until the paint completely covered the glass.  I then inverted them onto a paint tray and let the excess paint run off for a few hours.  The last step is to remove the paint that's left on the rim and then you're done.

You can still use these vases for fresh flowers by putting a small glass inside. 

This project cost me nothing which is my favourite amount to spend.  Little things like this ramp up my happiness more than I can say. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Earring Organizer

I put this together today using a frame that I painted then distressed, a leftover scrap of fabric that I used to make some accent pillows for my bedroom, and regular window screen.

Simple Pleasures Brought To You By China

I just can't tell you how many shades of happy I am when I relax with a cup of blooming tea.  It's 3:00 am and I haven't slept yet with this on-again off-again insomnia, and I'm not going to drift off any time soon, but I have all the windows open and I can hear the wind blowing hard through the leaves outside. The fresh air has just a touch of coolness to it. It won't be long before fall takes root and bursts with colour and I can go to the mountains and pretend I'm a tourist.

It's so very peaceful, there is no traffic on the street, there are cats sprawled about and napping, Jazz is beside me purring his face off, and I have soft jazz playing on a vintage cathedral radio and you know?  Life is simply just good at this moment in time.

 I had my mother over this week, and I served her a cup of the Jasmine tea - she'd never heard of it and she couldn't believe her eyes. She thought it was so pretty that she took the flower home in a glass that I covered with plastic so that it wouldn't spill in the car.

She called me yesterday, I guess it would be three days now, and she says that the flower is still holding up.  I had thrown my first flower away, but I'm going to keep this one in water like she did because I like pretty things in my life that make me smile.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Faked Out Philodendron

I love houseplants but I just can't seem to keep them alive unless they are cacti. I decided to try to find something that could pass for a real leafy one and put together this today.

I found a styrofoam ball, Spanish moss, and Philodrendon clusters at the dollar store and got busy with a glue gun.  There had been a live plant in the clay pot but I sort of killed it slowly, like every plant I try to make friends with.  

I'm not sure if I should thin out the leaves though. It seems to me that when I lived in a sunnier house, the Philodrendon I had was bushy like this. 

This project cost four dollars.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

I recovered this lamp shade with sisal cord and spray painted the stand black today.

Here's the before:

I needed 100 feet of sisal cord and applied it with a glue gun.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Seashell shadow box wall art.

I put together this seashell shadow box for my beachy bathroom recently.

I purchased four shadow boxes from a dollar store and a bag of various shells.

I glued the shadow boxes together and then painted them with acrylic paint in a creamy colour.

I mixed up some sand I snagged from a playground, and mixed it with invisible school glue and more of the cream acrylic paint.

I carefully applied the sand mixture using a small paint brush to the backs of each shadow box and after it dried, glued the shells to the sandy paint using a glue gun.

I finished off two little projects today.

This vintage clover botanical came from the wonderful Graphics Fairy

The frame was previously gold (ew, I really hate gold these days) so I painted it off-white.  I covered a board with a fabric that is a textured woven cotton blend, then transferred the image onto pure unbleached cotton.  I covered a smaller board with the image and then glued crocheted cotton lace around the boarder.

Love how it turned out!  It hangs in my
insanely girly guest room which I used to read in last night when I couldn't sleep and my God, it's so peaceful and cosy and wonderful in there and I feel so grateful that I was able to refinish that whole room for fifty dollars.

This is a grocery store plastic bag and vegetable bag holder.  My other half calls it a bag-bag.  The vintage balsamic vinegar ad comes once more from The Graphic Fairy.  We don't use many of these type of environmentally unfriendly bags anymore but they fit perfectly in my kitchen garbage can and they're free and we'd be buying plastic liners anyway so whatever.

Since I am ridiculously organized, I stuff the vegetable bags at the top, and the grocery store bags at the bottom so there's no putzing around to find the kind I need.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Bedroom Furniture Makeover

I wish I had before photos of this room to show just how awful it was, but try to picture St. Patrick's Day green screaming at you every day.  A teenager previously called this room her lair, but now it's a guest room and a place to read with a cat or two by my feet.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Refinished Windsor Backed Chairs

Here are after shots of a chair I recently refinished.

I put these Windsor backed chairs in a garage sale last year but they didn't sell.  I stored them away, thinking I'd sell them on Craigslist but then decided I really loved them, just not done in honey maple finish.  Here is the before shot of one of them.