Sunday, December 12, 2010

Toddler Slippers

Its winter and its finally turned really cold here in KC and since my little sweetpea (AJ) doesn't like to wear socks around the house I made her slippers. I used a pattern from the blog From an Igloo and it turned out perfectly!  I made the size two and used a polyester microsuede type fabric on the outside and some pink fleece on the inside.  I added suede leather to the bottom to make them non-slip. 

AJ loves them and insists on wearing them during her naps and to sleep at bedtime.  She even wore them to a Christmas party recently.  This makes a momma very happy and I don't have to worry about how cold her little feet will be in this 17 degree weather.   I would highly recommend this pattern and also all the other cute stuff on the From an Igloo blog.  Well happy winter and may your toes stay as toasty as my little girl's!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Toddler Crown Tutorial

My first tutorial...what a nail biter, what is its not clear, thousands of people may be dissapointed, the pictures aren't of professional quality...oh wait I only have two followers...hmmm no worries! 

My toddler loves to wear hats and I love to rope my husband into creating at least one thing for her for Christmas. You know it just makes it that much more special if you can say "Daddy and Mommy made this for you" and my husband does like a little creativity every now and then.  Hence the toddler crown that Mommie sews and Daddy embellishes. 

To begin I purchased precut felt that was sold at Joann's around Halloween probably for costume embellishment.  In case you want to make your own, it is three inches tall from the base to each point and three inches from the valley of each point to the next.  So each little point is three inches by three inches.
I wrapped this around my toddler's head to get an idea of how long to make it mine was 23 inches long.    Make sure to overlap it about four extra inches.  The overlap is where you will add the velcro.  Next lay the "crown" embellishment felt (yellow in my pictures) on top of a contrasting color felt (red in my pictures) and where they line up at the top is the height of your crown.  Also cut the contrasting felt to the length of your "crown" felt.  (Ignore my lovely vintage placemats.)

 Hopefully you can understand what I mean by the pictures.  Next pin the two pieces of felt together and stitch along the "crown" felt attaching it to the contrasting felt.  I used green thread to add more colors and interest to the crown.
After stitching around the curved edges of the "crown" felt I also stitched along the bottom edges of the crown where the yellow and red felt line up.  Next attach velcro to the ends of your crown where you would like them to overlap.  I attached two rows of "female" velcro in order to make the crown sizeable and one row of "male" velcro to move up and down the opposite row.  I'm lazy so in attaching my velcro I don't measure it I just sew it on from the long piece and cut it afterward.  But if you want measurements they are 1 inch wide by 3 inches long. 

This is the female velcro and I will add another row to the right of this row.  After it is sewn I trim off the rest of the length. 

Next I sew on the male velcro and I only use one row of it as I said earlier to move up and down the female side to adjust for sizing and as the toddler's head grows it can be adjusted. 
After you have sewn on your velcro your crown is almost finished.

Now your crown is waiting to be embellished by your husband, at least that's what mine is waiting for.  I will be sure to post a picture of the finished toddler crown after my husband has added the symbols.  He is thinking of adding an "A" for our sweetpea's name, a number 2 for her age and various other appropriate symbols.

I hope this tutorial inspires you to make your little dictator...I mean sweetpea a crown that helps her rule with leniency and grace.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What you can get at the thrift store...

I have had some lucky finds at the local thrift stores this summer and I promised my sister that I would post some of my finds.  So Holly, this is for you!  Drum roll please....
For two dollars I purchased all of this embroidery out Joanns.

I love the vibrant colors.

Another recent find was a 2 1/2 yard length of vintage fabric for one dollar...we'll see when I get the courage up to cut into it.  As I try to muster up enough courage to cut it I wonder if that was how the original owner of this fabric felt and maybe that is why it is still one long piece of fabric.  That seems tragic to me, I will repeat my Mother's mantra..."just cut the fabric, just cut the fabric."

For me shopping at a thrift store is not only economical but its a small act of defiance against our misuse of resources on this earth.  I am always overwhelmed by the sheer volume of clothes (and a lot of them are gently worn) that overflow the thrift stores.  I can't help but wonder why then do we (myself included) feel the drive to purchase something brand new and support the pointless overuse of all the world's resources?  Haven't figured it (or myself) out yet but I am trying to think about it with more and more of the purchases that I make.  Anyway...Happy Thrifting in the meantime.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Craft Expo this weekend.

This weekend will be the second craft fair I have done this fall.  A friend of mine and I combine our forces to make a booth of handmade, hand sewn objects that are a labor of love.  I am trying to figure out what makes my hand sewn objects unique and what exactly I love to sew.  I have loved using this preparation time for the fair as a time to experiment.  Its a great chance for me to try out something and think, "whats the risk?  I can try to sell it or maybe someone gets it for Christmas."  Selling my crafts is so new to me that I feel free to dabble but here are some things I've figured out for sure about creating items for sale.
1.) I love, love, love to sew with vintage textiles (although I'm not sure if people love, love, love to buy them?)
2.) I have to change it up a bit every now and then or I get bored (change from sewing to hand embroidery, change from sewing bags to sewing aprons, change from one fabric to a new one). I usually have three, maybe four projects going at once.
3.) It is definitely a labor of love and you will probably not be able to charge someone a price that is equivalent to the love you put into the item.  You have to love (and enjoy) what you are doing or it won't be worth it.
4.) The devil is in the details, I loathe some of the little details, its something my sister seems to excel at, however for me it takes a force of nature and caffeine to finish the details.

So far these are the things I am learning about making handmade objects to sell.  I know there is more to add to this list so it will probably grow later.  For now here are some of the make-up bags that I will be selling this weekend.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My camera is in Kenya.

Its the tenth day since my husband has been on a trip to Kenya.  He took the camera and of course since he took the camera I can think of about ten things I'd like to post but can't since he is currently taking numerous picture of animals in their natural state.  So I'll use this post as a teaser. 

Here are the things I will take pictures of and post about in the near future (as in the next two weeks).  I found some really cool vintage sheets this past week.  One has big pink and black daisies and another was still in the original packaging.  It had bright pinky red flowers on it.  I am always so psyched when the sheets are still in their original packaging.

 I've also been working on some holiday napkins for an upcoming craft show.  Two of the fabrics are Alexander Henry designs and are so rich to look at.  As I was getting them cut at the Joann's counter two women were staring weirdly at them telling me with fabric hoarder envy that I had beautiful fabrics.  This struck me as strange and the thought popped in my head, "you could have pretty fabric too just tell the nice lady to cut you a yard."  (A short digression, my mom and I were fabric shopping last week and she kept exclaiming loudly how gorgeous different fabrics were just to make the lady near us jerk her head over to look in envy...hi-larious.) 

One last thing I'd like to post a picture of is a piece of what I guess you'd call wall art that I found while thrifting.  Its this vintagy, circa 1970's tree with flowers and animals perched on its limbs.  I really liked the animals and I like looking over at it during the day just to admire its cuteness. 

When my camera returns from its safari I will post pictures of these teasers and maybe throw in a picture of Kenya to boot.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My little girl turns two tomorrow.

Our little sweet pea will be two tomorrow, however today she was definitely ringing her birthday in early with the assertiveness and willfulness that come with being two.  I know its no revelation, but she has changed so much in the two years we've had with her and it amazes me how many phases she's already been through in such a short time. 

We are excited that her Nana and Pop Pop will be in town to help her celebrate and are giving Micah and I a night away for our present...three cheers for Nana and Pop Pop.  Hoorah! Hoorah! Hoorah!  

For her birthday I made her two dolls from The Black Apple instructions given on Martha Stewart.  She has already been playing with them and likes to tie the scarf so tight on one doll that its face squishes inward.  The tea set is something that I've been eye-balling for a while.  She likes to play with cups and pretends to drink coffee from them...obviously my daughter!  I had hoped to make her some cloth napkins to go with the set but alas they are unfinished (meaning I haven't even cut them out) and probably will be a Christmas addition.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My "new" favorite piece of furniture.

My thrift store karma was really good the day that I lucked up on this cabinet.  Its an old china cabinet that I'm using to store my fabric, craft books and various sewing odd and ends.  I like the look of the wood and hope this picture captures how beautiful it is and how it was well loved by its previous owners (as evidenced by the worn places).  I guess I've always thought of china cabinets as a piece of furniture that displays items but is never used.  This one was definitely used and served a purpose that kept its owners going back to it over and over.  I like to think it has a second life of usefulness in our home.  I also love the way it lets me stare at my fabrics and appreciate their beauty.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why I Create.

I create for a ton of good reasons...
a.) my mom created and I feel inspired by how she enriched our lives with her handmade ceramic, Halloween costumes, Easter dresses, tooth fairy pillows, dolls and the list truly goes on and on. 
b.) I create because as a mom to a toddler I have days full of tasks that seem to be endlessly cyclical and crafting gives me a task that has a definite beginning and a definite ending (in other words it keeps me from going postal). 
c.) I create because I believe there is an innate desire to create fulfills something deep within me that wants to make the world a better place and this brings me great joy.
d.) I create because I love to see my daughter in handmade clothes and surrounded with the infused love of handmade things. 
e.) I create because many times it is economical...using a pattern over and over, using vintage or repurposed materials, making gifts for others, all of these things help our budget.
f.) and finally I create because I have real concerns about how much we consume in our home and how easy it is to consume so much...I believe in being a good steward of all the things the earth gifts us with (this is also one of the biggest reasons why I thrift). 

There are more reasons why I create but these are the ones that float to the top for me.  Maybe some of them resonate with you too.