Birds on a Wire

I made these goofy little bird clips for a recent swap and kind of fell in love with their frayed imperfections. They have personality!

Once I started putting them together, I had a hard time stopping. They were fun and quick so I could have easily ended up with a whole flock of these in my craft room.

Each bird has a small clothespin glued to the back so they can serve a purpose in addition to looking cute. I sent them all attached to a piece of twine thinking it could be hung and used for displaying notes or children's art or perhaps Christmas cards this time of year!

I didn't take in-progress pictures as I was making these little guys but I've written out materials and instructions below in case anyone is in need of some feathered friends.


- Small fabric scraps
- Small scraps of batting
- Craft felt
- Craft wire
- Embroidery floss + needle
- Clothespin
- Glue
- Sewing machine + thread

  1. Draw a simple birdie shaped pattern onto a piece of paper and use it to cut your fabric scraps and batting. Reverse the pattern and use it to cut the fabric for the back sides of the birds. 
  2. Layer your cut fabric so it's back side + batting + front side. 
  3. If making a profile of a bird, cut your felt into a small triangle and place it in between your layers. 
  4. Use your sewing machine to sew around the outside of your bird a couple of times. You can tell from mine that perfection is not important at this step. 
  5. Cut out a wing or two and sew them to the bird. If you're making a front-facing bird, cut and sew your felt beak on now too. 
  6. Use your embroidery floss to make french knot eyes for your bird. You could also use seed beads! 
  7. Shape your craft wire into bird legs. I gave my birds 3 little toes but I can't comment on whether or not that is anatomically correct :). 
  8. Glue your wire legs on the back side of your bird and place a small piece of matching fabric over the top. 
  9. Glue your clothespin to the back and enjoy your new friend (or flock of friends)!

And now I must retreat back to my craft room/holiday workshop!! Just a few weeks until Christmas and SO much left to do!! Hope everyone is enjoying the season and wrapping up your holiday WIPs!

Floppy Sloppy Grocery Bag Journal

I've always been interested in trying book binding and I finally took the leap with this project! It turned out floppy and sloppy but I kind of love that about it.

I used a great tutorial for putting this together that can be found on Judy Wise's blog, here. I also watched about 1,800 coptic stitch videos on YouTube.

This required a whole stack of grocery bags which I've been hoarding under the kitchen sink for months. To get the folds out of the paper and to achieve the messy crinkled look, I soaked the bags in water, squeezed them into balls then flattened and hung them to dry outside. Once dry, I ironed them flat before folding them into signatures.

There are a lot of plain pages that can be used for art journaling but I'm partial to the pages that have little tattoos of where they originated from.

Coptic stitch was new to me. My execution was a bit (a lot) messy but it ended up fitting with the sloppy look so let's just say that I meant it to be that way, shall we?

I embellished the cover with stitching, buttons and a piece of linen that I stamped with my simple house stamps.

I want to make 100 more of these! Unfortunately, I'll need to wait until I can replenish my grocery bag hoard. Seattle charges $0.05 per bag so they are a hot commodity around these parts!

Kiss. Love. Laugh. Craft.

It was a crazy summer. Some good crazy, some bad crazy but either way, I am welcoming the dark rainy days of autumn in Seattle with open arms. Hello fireplace, sweat pants, hot toddies and guilt-free afternoons hiding in my craft room. Oh how I missed you.

I thought this adorable cross-stitch pattern by SatsumaStreet was the perfect way to kick-off a season full of crafting... and hopefully plenty of kissing, loving and laughing too!

When I've been in a crafty slump, I find that projects with somewhat prescriptive patterns can help break my creative block. That was the case with this design - it was just what I needed to get my mojo back.

I turned the completed piece into a project tote bag. Ordinarily I'd pair a bright design like this with a simple linen fabric but I I decided to turn up the volume and go with something bold instead! It will be a great splash of color on dreary winter days.

I sent this to a friend but if I had more patience for cross-stitch, I'd love to make one for myself too. As it was, I only had the crafty fortitude to finish these 4 words!

I'm raising my glass (of hot toddy) to toast to a season full of creative inspiration and productive hands! Cheers and happy crafting!!

Like A Hole In My Head

I've always admired mosaic and glass work but felt like it was a craft that was out of reach because of all the fancy supplies and skills it required. Fortunately, I found a great place in our neighborhood, Seattle Mosaic Arts, that offers classes for newbies like me!

I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head but I can't help but be hooked on this craft!

I made a trivet but the studio also offers garden stones and wall hangings. There were endless jars of glass in every color you can imagine and we didn't have to do any of the messy work! We created the design on contact paper and the studio did the cement and grout work (in the color of our choice). Putting all of the pieces together felt like doing a real-life Tetris puzzle!

It's, by no means, perfect but I had such a great time making it. I'm excited to go back to apply what I learned to another project! I may even try the messy stuff next time!

Anyone else recently discovered a new craft obsession??

Good Grief - It's Peanuts Peanuts

Between starting a new job, finishing construction on our home addition and a fun (but busy) social calendar, I haven't had much time for crafting lately.  I did manage to carve out a few hours to participate in the annual Craftster April Fool's Day prank though! Every year, on April 1st, Craftster is transformed into a new site to prank members. Catster, failed project features and craft compound plans have all taken over the home page in past years.

This year, Craftster went NUTS, highlighting nut and squirrel themed projects, changing moderator names and giving every member a new legume-themed avatar. This silly project was my contribution to the fun. 

These are peanuts painted in the likeness of Charles Shulz Peanuts cartoons!

I painted them with skin tones and the colors of their usual outfits. Once that had dried, I used a micron pen to add the details. 

I hot glued them to buttons so that they could stand up on their own. 

To help make the characters feel at home, I painted a background scene on watercolor paper - complete with Snoopy's dog house!

I'm glad I was able to join in the Fool's day fun this year. Who knows, maybe I'll continue adding to my Peanuts Peanuts... great pumpkins, sad Christmas trees or even a psychiatric booth for Lucy! 

Spring Shawl and Sunny Socks

My knitting mojo kicked in late this year. Usually I'm busy with projects in the winter months but get tired of stitching once Spring rolls around.

This year, I didn't do much knitting until March. When I did pull out the yarn and needles, I was inspired by the changing seasons and was drawn to bright yarns and a leafy pattern. This shawl and pair of socks are the result!

I used Malabrigo worsted weight yarn in the lettuce colorway. I adore the subtle color variation of Malabrigo yarns and it doesn't hurt that it's soft and squishy and wonderful to work with.

The pattern is called Saroyan and it's available for free on Ravelry.

I organized a Box of Sunshine swap on Craftster recently. I made these sunny inspired mismatched stripey socks for my partner. The yarn is Cascade 220 and the pattern is just a simple worsted weight bootie.

I'm not ready to put the needles away yet so I'm on the hunt for some good spring and summer knit patterns now! Know of any good ones? 

Nesting Mat for Spoiled Doxies with Tutorial

We have a couple of spoiled wiener dogs who love burrowing and scratching, biting, chewing and rolling around in blankets. They seem to enjoy this process so much that I decided they needed to have their very own nest making bed. This is the result!

It's really just an envelope pillow case with blankets attached on each side. This allows them to dig and pull and scratch and bury until their little hearts are content! They seem to be enjoying it so far so I thought I'd share the instructions for other owners of spoiled beasties.

- 2"x15"x17" piece of foam (you could use any size or even just an old pillow)
- 1/2 yard heavy duty fabric such as upholstery or canvas
- 1 yard of fleece or other cozy fabric
- Scissors
- Sewing machine
- Thread
- Iron

Step 1 - Cut your fabrics
Cut your fabrics to the specs below. If you're using a different size piece of foam or pillow, adjust the other measurements, as needed.

From your heavy weight fabric cut:
Cushion top - 1 17" x 19" piece
Cushion bottoms - 2 17" x 13" pieces

From your fleece cut:
Top/bottom - 2 18" x 17" pieces
Sides - 2 15" x 18" pieces

Step 2 - Top stitch cushion bottom seams
Fold over one 17" side of both cushion bottom pieces and press. Fold over and press one more time and then top stitch along the right side fold.

Do this on both of your cushion bottom pieces and then set them aside.

Step 3 - Finish fleece edges
Stitch around three sides of your top/bottom fleece pieces - the 18" side, then the 17" width and back down the next 18" side leaving the last 17" side edge raw. Do this on both of these fleece pieces and then set them aside.

Stitch around three sides of your side fleece pieces - the 18" side, then the 15" and back down the next 18" side leaving the last 15" side edge raw. Do this on both of these fleece pieces and then set them aside.

I tried both a zig-zag stitch and also a blanket stitch on my sewing machine. The blanket stitch ended up looking cleaner and causing less stretching and curling of the fabric. Of course, if you had a serger you could use that. You could even leave all of the edges raw if you wanted - your dog probably won't care :).

blanket stitch on the grey, zig-zag on the green

Step 4 - Make a pillow sandwich
In this step, you'll be putting all of your fabrics together into a big layered sandwich!

Layer 1 - Cushion top piece, right side up

Layer 2 - Top/bottom fleece pieces
For this layer, align the raw 17" sides of each top/bottom fleece piece with the top and bottom edges of your cushion top piece, respectively. Fold over the top of each fleece piece so the bulk is in the middle of your sandwich and out of the way of later stitching.

Layer 3 - Side fleece pieces
Do the same thing for the side fleece pieces aligning the raw 15" edges with the 15" side edges of your cushion top piece. Fold the bulk into the middle so that it's out of the way.

Layer 4 - Cushion bottom pieces
Put the cushion bottom pieces, right side down and finished edges towards the middle, on top of all of the fleece layers.

It's important to be precise with this layering so that you avoid stitching the wrong fleece edge or getting tangled up in the bulk once you're back at the sewing machine.

Once you have everything aligned, pin like mad!!

As you're pinning, double-check that you're not grabbing extraneous fleece pieces in your seam. Each edge should be made up of a layer of your cushion top fabric, one layer of fleece only and your layer of cushion bottom fabrics.

Step 5 - Sew it up
Stitch around the outside of the entire sandwich with a ~1/2 seam. It isn't necessary to leave a gap in the stitching for turning as you'll be able to turn the cushion inside-out through the envelope you made with the cushion bottom fabrics.

Step 6 - Turn it inside out and stuff it
Turn the entire mat inside out through the opening in the cushion bottom. Gently push out the corners with a chopstick and cram your foam in! This might require some folding and squishing and maneuvering but just keep at it until everything fits properly.


Beatrice photo-bombed the final pictures I was attempting to take. I think that's a sign that she likes it! .

In classic doxie style, her ear needs turning right side out :).

The doxies immediately got the idea of this nesting mat and are now taking turns digging, tugging and rooting around in it. I think I'll need to make another one!

If you have questions about this project, or anything else, just holler!! 

Mid-Century Modern Holiday Pillow

First and foremost, HAPPY 2014!! I hope you had a marvelous holiday season and I truly wish you only good things for the year to come.

I have to admit, on the morning of the 26th, our Christmas ornaments were packed up, our Santa decorations went back in their boxes, the wreath was crammed into the yard waste bin and the pine scented candles were retired for another year. I love celebrating the season but once it's over, I'm done.

For those that feel the same way that I do about the holiday hoopla, let me apologize for sharing an Xmas'ish project in January. I promise to delay any further Christmas posting until December 2014.

This is a pillow I made for a swap partner who shares an appreciation with mid-century modern designs.

The design was inspired by an art print I found on Pinterest. I painted the white trees and rocks onto a piece of linen and then stitched on the pine trees using felt and embroidery floss.

I framed the linen piece with black fabric and then added the red circle fabric to make it a little more Christmas'ey feeling :).

This was a fun project to work on and I like the way it turned out. It was a little hard to send off because it happened to match our living room chairs quite well! It eventually made it to it's new home and was well received and that's what Christmas is all about!