The Confidence Building Needle Book

I've really been struggling lately with every sewing endeavor I've attempted. I'm lacking in practice and patience right now and it's resulted in a garbage can full of failed projects. I'm trying to go back to basics and rebuild my confidence and I was hoping this needle book would be a step in the right direction.

I made this for a friend who started cross-stitching about a year ago and has been asking for a book to store her needles in ever since.

It didn't end up in the garbage but I had to use my seam ripper WAY more than I should have for such a simple project. Nevertheless, it's finished and it's a step in the right direction for me!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

Baby Shower Cravings Bar

I hosted a little Boy Oh Boy! baby shower with the help of a few friends recently.

The shower started at 3pm so we wanted to have snacks but not a full lunch menu. I spotted a craving bar on Pinterest and knew that would be perfect for the shower!

We came up with a list of snacks that would meet any craving that mama could possibly be having (see below for a complete list)! I made the little signs using the computer, cardstock and bamboo skewers.

Here are the cravings and associated snacks we went with.

Fresh: veggie tray with dip, watermelon slices and berries
Sour: sour gummy worms, baby dill pickles
Sweet: mini cupcakes, cookies
Salty: popcorn, chips & salsa
Chewy: saltwater taffy, chocolate dipped marshmallows

It was a fun and easy menu to put together and just the right amount of food for late afternoon snacking. 

Mama is due any minute now so send good thoughts!! I can't wait to meet her baby boy!

Craftster Challenge: Random Acts of Crafty Kindness

The lovely and giving Leslie, from Leslie's Art and Sew, recently organized a group of caring and talented ladies to surprise a fellow Craftster member with a collection of beautiful sewn hearts at a time when she needed a bit of sunshine in her life.

My fellow Mod sister, Aislynn, and I were so touched by this act of kindness that we decided to organize a Random Acts of Crafty Kindness challenge around it! I encourage you to drop by, check out the challenge and maybe even consider joining in! It's a great excuse to use your crafty skills to bring some extra smiles to the world. We're also offering a brand new copy of the book Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause to the challenge winner!

In other Craftster news, the Best of Craftster 2011 was announced today and I am totally floored to report that 4 of my projects and 2 of the swaps I organized were selected as 'bests'!! I am honored to be included in this group of amazing crafts and crafters!

Booties and Balls

My apologies if you did a search on "booties and balls" and landed on this post expecting to see something other than craft projects. Feel free to leave now if you'd like :).

These are a couple projects that I made for a friend that is expecting her first baby in a couple months.

First, a set of rattle balls. These were made with various yarn scraps I had around the house and some bells I used for Christmas decorations. The pattern is called Oh Balls! and is available for free on Ravelry. They were quick and easy to knit up.

I also made a pair of booties to go with the sweater vest I made a while back. I used a Malabrigo yarn and this quick pattern.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kids Knit Giveaway - WINNER!!

Congratulations to the winner of the Kids Knit Giveaway, suburban prep!!

suburban prep, I hope that you and your niece have fun with this package! I'll be contacting you for a mailing address soon.

Follow Your Heart Valentine

I'm doing a Valentine's Day swap with some of the other moderators over on Craftster. We're exchanging cards and an optional extra goodie. I decided to combine the card and the extra!

I stamped linen with the words "follow your..." then sewed it to a natural colored card with my sewing machine. I stitched up a small felt heart ornament and tied it to the front in a way that it can be removed and hung elsewhere! Together, the card reads, "follow your heart." A nice Valentine message if you ask me. 

Here are a few in-process shots. 

Happy heart day to you and your loved ones!

And don't forget, you still have a couple days to enter my Kids Knit Giveaway. I'll be picking a winner on Saturday.

To Humiliate the Dog

It's a miracle that our dogs haven't bit my hand off with all of the humiliation I subject them to.

This is the latest project designed to torture them, knit headbands/ear warmers made to look like a baby tiger and a frog. I really want to do a whole series of these with different animals.

I was inspired by a pattern on Ravelry called "To Humiliate the Dog". Genius.

Not amused...

I've also been playing around with a couple of new Picassa features. I hit these pictures with "1960s" and "Polaroid" options. It's a fun and easy way to spice us shots!

Special thanks to my unwilling models, in order of appearance; Opie, Beatrice and Quigley.

Milo Baby Sweater

I made this little sweater vest for a friend that's having a baby girl soon. It was such a fun and simple pattern. Interesting enough to hold your attention but easy enough to finish in a weekend. And the best part, no seams!!

I found the pattern, called Milo, on Ravelry.  The pattern calls for a DK weight yarn but I used Malabrigo worsted. I went up a needle size and cast on for the 3 - 6 month size. The finished sweater measured to the 9 - 12 month size.

This pattern will be staying in my library for other friends with babies on the way!

Thanks for stopping by! While you're here, be sure to check out my kid knits giveaway. You still have a week to enter.

Kid Knits Giveaway!

I started knitting in college and immediately fell in love with the hobby. It provided me with a way to relax and meditate at a time in my life that was very hectic. It also gave me confidence and the feeling of success when I finished a project I was proud of.

We don't have kids, at least not any with opposable thumbs, but it struck me that the benefits I've seen from knitting, could be seen by kiddos of all ages! My little cousin, Ella, also showed me this Christmas season that even tiny fingers can make great knits.

I was inspired to put together a little giveaway to share my love of this hobby! It's geared toward kids but would also be fun for grown-ups that are new to knitting.

Here are the details!

This giveaway is open to one and all and includes the following goodies;
  • A brand new copy of the book, Kids Knitting (filled with cute projects for all ages)
  • A set of Lion Brand kids knitting needles (these are short and light for small hands)
  • A Boyce knit accessory kit (all the doo-dads you could possibly need)
  • A skein of Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn (great yarn for beginners)
Enter by commenting on this post with a story about your favorite hobby or a hobby you learned as a kid that you still enjoy. Followers can enter 2 comments! I'll select a winner on Saturday, January 21st.

Don't have kids? Already an expert knitter? Don't have any interest in knitting? You can still enter! Consider donating your prize to a local charity.

Personalized Pet Collar Cozies with Tutorial!

TheMistressT, over on Craftster, recently threw an adorable birthday party for her dog. She made dog collar cozies for the party-goers that I had to recreate for our pups!

I personalized my version a bit and took pics throughout the process so I can share how I made this simple project with you all.

Start by measuring the your pet's collar. Measure the length between the tag ring and the clasp, 8.25" in this example. For the width, measure at the widest point of the clasp.

Personalize your cozie by stamping your pet's name on a light colored fabric. I use StazOn ink for stamping on fabric because it's permanent and can be washed. Always stamp first and sew later in case you goof up.

Add 1" to length of the collar you measured earlier and about 3/4" to the width and cut your fabrics. Opie's collar measured 8.25" x 1" so I used the following measurements for my pieces.

Back Piece: 9.25" long by 1.75" wide

Front Pieces: Since I did a patchwork front, I cut front pieces 1.75" wide and long enough that, once sewn together, it would equal >9.25". Don't worry about being exact because you can trim it to the right length later.

If you're doing a patchwork front, sew the pieces together with right sides facing.

Trim your front piece to the appropriate measurement, 9.25" in my case. Now, fold over the end 1/4", press, fold over another 1/4" and press again. Top stitch to hide the raw edges and repeat the process on all 4 ends.

Pin the right sides together and sew down the length of both sides of your collar cozie.

You'll now have a nice long tube ready to be turned right side out. To do the turning, tie a piece of string or ribbon to a safety pin. Feed the pin through the tube and clip it to one of the short sides. Now, pull the piece of string until the cozie is completely turned.

Give the finished cozie a press, feed your pet's collar through the tube and you're done!!

I plan to make these for all of our pups plus some holiday "xoxo" versions for Valentine's day.

50 Projects in 2012

I recently joined the 50 Projects in 2012 Craftalong over on Craftster. The idea is to create a list of the projects you'd like to accomplish and keep track of all the things you make throughout the year. You don't have to commit to 50 but it seems doable to me so that's what I'll be targeting!

I've got a long list of projects to try but fortunately the thread is already jam packed with talented crafters to help motivate and inspire!

This is the second completed project of the year (I'm counting my bracelets as #1 since I made those on January 1st). A washcloth and soap bag set! More functional than fancy but a project nonetheless!

Here are some of the stretch goals I added to my 50 project list. We'll see if I can accomplish all of them by my birthday (12/31) this year!

- Sew a pair of pajama pants
- Complete a crochet granny square
- Finally try resin jewelry
- Attempt crewel embroidery

If you need to get your crafty mo-jo going this year, definitely visit the craftalong! You're guaranteed to be motivated by the amazing group of crafters participating. They got my bootie in gear already!

New Year, New Bracelets!!

Happy 2012! I hope everyone had a great holiday season. We had a wonderful Christmas in Disneyland followed by a few lazy days at home. We celebrated my birthday/New Year's Eve with friends last night and had a great time.

Since I had a few too many adult beverages, I was looking for an easy project to feed my crafty needs and these bracelets hit the spot!

They are SO quick and simple. Each one took me about 10 minutes from start to finish.

You can find a tutorial here! I think I'll have approximately 53 of these by the end of the day :).