Thursday, August 18, 2011

Excitement in the air

After the birth of my son I returned to work full-time and have largely ignored my Etsy shop and crafting and this blog. Shame shame!
I have thought a lot about it though and have an exciting new product launch coming up. I'm aiming for early September but I may need to wait for some packaging first.

Having been away for so long I started to poke around for resources and what's new in the handmade world and blogisphere. Wow I can't beleive I just found now! How amazing is this site and the women who run it? It's going to take weeks just to comb through much to read and learn. They also have a handmade conference coming up. I soooo wish I could go but I don't think the funds are there to travel plus pay the fees...I checked and it's a 16 hr drive from Toronto to St. Paul :(
I'll have to just read about it in all the great blogs from the attendees and live vicariously.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Been away too long

Well it's been way too long since I've posted, I see my last post was March 31st. On April 4th my beautiful baby boy was born so I got a little tied up. Number two is definitely harder than #1 but just as rewarding of course. I've been so tired I barely stay up after the two kids are in bed. Just starting to feel like the fog is lifting.

So...this is my commitment to myself to get back at it. I have tons of boy things to make, one day he'll be able to read my blog like we go read microfiche at the library now and say "hey what's the deal mom, you make all these kewl things for sis and nothing for me?!"

Here's where I've been spending my time or rather who.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I've seen similar holders on the net and thought they were a great idea. Here is one that I made for our new baby boy. This version requires some sewing but is super simple. Having said that if anyone doesn't sew I'm always up for custom orders of these. They are so fun to make and you can do so many different embellisments, just email me at for more info.

Depending on your fabric and bracket choice this should cost you no more than about $20. If you’re looking for great fabric you can also try your local FabricLand but there are also great resources online. One of my favourite new shops is Pink Panda the bonus is that they are a Canadian site and they offer FREE shipping within Canada.

Tools you will need:
Iron and ironing board
Measuring tape
Double rod bracket (Lowes, Sears or other hardward stores)
Wood dowel, one ½” one ¼ “ ( Lowes, HomeDepot or another hardware store. * note, that double bracket you choose may call for a different size of dowel so purchase your bracket first)
1 metre or less of a fabric of your choice

The holder I made here is fairly small it only holds one layer of books and only two at that. You can however make this longer and wider to hold more depending on your bracket choices. Once you have your brackets and dowels use some pins to figure out just how big you want it to be and test out with a light book or two.

For this holder I cut two peices of fabric 25" x 18". With right sides together I sewed together with a 1/4" seam allowance and left a 1" opening to turn it inside out. Trim seams and clip corners then turn and iron. I topstiched all around which also closed in my 1" opening for the turning.

Using two peices ensures there is only nice fabric showing even on the inside. If you don't care about the inside of the holder you could just sew a hem all around one peice of fabric to hide your edges.

Next you need to make the loop for the dowel. I would insert your dowel first to ensure it will fit then a simple straight stitch to finish it off.

That's it! This hold is so functional and cute I can't beleive it. Adding great embelishments is fun too with appliques of animals or letters and ribbons or other items such as buttons.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Upcycle ~ jeans to girls fashion jacket

So when you're 8 months pregnant and can't sleep at 3am, why not tackle one of those random projects you've had on the to do list for a while? Yup I started this project at 3am and worked on it until about 7am. It was the first time I'd tried it so I'm sure subsequent ones will take less time.

For this I used a used pair of men's size 34 jeans from Value Village, as well as a 1/2 yard of Amy Butler yellow full moon polka dot. Thread and 2 button snaps. What came out of it? A size 3/4T bolero jacket for a little fashionista. * Note that the sizing is fairly forgiving too as this fits my 26 months old.

The pattern for this jacket is from Leila and Ben who have fabulous patterns if you've never checked them out before.

Starting with a pair of used and washed jeans I laid out the pattern trying to use the existing seams. The pattern pieces are 2 x sleeves on the fold, back panel on the fold, two front panels in a mirror image and the collar in a mirror image. The first thing I wanted to show was the well worn cuffs and used these for the sleeve cuffs.

The collar was cut from the side seam, the back panel from the area just below the back pocket. There may be more ways to play with using the existing jeans seams in the back panel but this was the first attempt at it. Front panels were cut from front and back of upper leg.

For the lining I used a scrap piece of Amy Butler lotus fabric in a nice yellow and grey that I think goes great with the denim. I did not make a lining sleeve for this as I didn't want to mess with the existing cuff on the sleeve. Instead I serged around the armholes and left the arms with no lining when I attached the two together.

The sewing was taken straight from the Leila and Ben instructions, omitting the lining sleeve. Before sewing the lining to the outer fabric I also reused the small change pocket from the jeans. Using a stitch ripper I removed it and sewed it onto the front panel. I tried playing with using the back jean pocket but it was just too large.

I used two silver snap to finish it off and it's done!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More room accessories

We're now at the last two items I made for my daughters 'big girl' room. These are total accessories and for fun. Again I think I could have done a dozen different things with the items but this is what I chose; birdy brush holder and a butterfly arrangement.

Tools: Bird or other wooden base unit, craft paint, Modgepodge or other craft glue, sheet of scrapbook paper

First the birdy holder. I bought a wooden bird box (would you call it a box? ...anyhow) it was purchased from Michael's for less than $5 and then I dressed it up.
First I painted it. I used the craft paint also available at Michael's for cheap and it seems to cover it just fine.
After it dried I got out my trusty bottle of ModgePodge and covered the front of the bird liberally but not too thick.
I then took my sheet of scrapbook paper and pressed it against the flat front of the bird.
Wait for it to dry then take an exacto knife or similarly sharp edge and trim off the excess scrapbook paper to be left with a beautiful printed bird.

I'm using this right now to keep her hairbrush in. I think I might find some more holders that can be used for hair ties or other little things and give the little bird some friends :)

Next project is the butterfly arrangement

My original plan was to make a butterfly mobile but I changed my mind at the last minute. I still think it would make a great mobile.
I purchased these beautiful butterflies from an Etsy store BeachCottageStudio they cost under $10 and are so cute. If anyone has a scrapbook cutter these would also be easy to make at home with a butterfly template. However, since I am without one I simply purchased.

Tools: paper butterflies, florist wire, floral oasis, container, faux flowers, glue gun.

First I took florist wire and painted them an off-white with craft paint. I just thought this would look nicer than the bare metal.
Once dry I took out my trusty glue gun and started glueing the little insects to the wire. I put one on each side to make it look more full from all angles.
The container was an old one I had hanging around the house but anything could be used really. I stuffed it with dry oasis and some faux flowers then added the wires with butterflies.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Curtains and pillows

The next two projects for the 'big girl' room include the curtains to keep out the light for naps...and for when the morning sun actually starts coming up early again (oh how I wish that was now) as well as the decorative pillows. Both were super easy and fun.


The curtains started as an inexpensive Ikea set, I think I paid about $9.99 for the set. They were in a dark brown and were very long but ready to trim. I actually didn't choose these curtains specifically for my daughters room, they were what we had hanging in there as the spare bedroom. In an effort to save some money and not buy new I simply revamped them a little.

Tools: scissors, sewing machine, tape measure, 2 yards of fabric and the original curtains of course.

I measured down from the top of the curtain to where I wanted the new fabric band to be and marked and cut it for both curtains.

Then cut the two fabric bands in the height I wanted (about 25 inches) plus followed the width of the curtains leaving about an inch extra on either side to finish the edges. Putting right sides together I sewed the band to the bottom of the pre-made curtain where I had cut it. After both sides were done I took the bottom of the Ikea curtains and sewed them to the bottom of my band, right sides together. I wrapped the band around the back and sewed the seam then measured where to hem them. That was it curtains were hung after that.
Now I didn't serge or hide my raw edges in the back. I figured I wouldn't be washing these too often, something I may regret later not sure.

Two Decorative Pillows

These are great little additions to the bedroom and I'll likely make more and change up the look once in a while. Making an applique that your little one really adores is great, my daughter was obsessed with owls for a while, she also loves Dora but I'm not going there :)

Tools: 14 x 14 pillow form, 1/2 yard of fabric (you can use the same for front and back or switch it up), HeatBond or another double layer adhesive for the applique. Any other embellishments you may want.

First step was cutting two squares one that's 14 x 14 and one that's 14 x 16 and I serged the edges. You can also zigzag the edges. Why 14 x 16? Well I didn't want to do any zipper enclosures so a simple overlap on the back side did just fine.

Then the fun part, figuring out the applique pattern. Lots of ways to do this. Once you adhere the HeatBond to the back of a nice coordinating fabric or two you'll have a nice paper backing on your fabric. Then you can draw or trace any outline you like and cut it out.
I'm not a great artist so I usually do a Google search for an image I want and print that out as my guideline. This is where you really get to have fun. You can also sew on ribbons, piping or just plain shapes or squares if you prefer. I have some more examples for a customer I recently made more pillows for below.

Once you have all the decorations down you can sew the two sides together right sides facing. The two hemmed edges will need to overlap a little to hide the pillow inside. Then turn inside out and you're done.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beauty and function

Continuation with 7 things that I made for my daughter's toddler room...
My little one still has very little hair, guess that's par for the course when it's light and fine. I'm still waiting for the baby hair to grow in underneath so I'm keeping the rest of it trimmed short as I'm not a fan of the mullet look.

This project is some homemade artwork that also acts as a hair clip holder. If you wanted to make something similar for your room here's what you would need.

- canvas picture (stretched canvas over wooden frame) just a few bucks at Michael's
- scrapbook paper of your choice
- craft paint or whatever else you may have handy
- embellishments
- ModgePodge or similar glue
- 5" or so of nice ribbon
- staple gun and staples

I took the canvas and painted a light blue as the background colour. I then cut out shapes from the scrapbook paper, I decided to go with simple shapes as I'm not a very creative scrapbook. If anyone has a fancy scrapbook cutter you could make some really wonderful scenes! I used the ModgePodge to stick the cutouts on the canvas and added my stickers(embellishments). Finally I turned the canvas over and stapled the ribbon to the wood frame to hang down.

That's it. I'm sure people can think of so many creative ways to make even nicer pictures than I did. I may change up the scene once in a while when I'm feeling creative, and have time ( right..). If you have that you've made and would like to share please post it here!