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Christmas Crafts

November 5, 2010

Our two readers may have noticed we haven’t posted much lately. In my defense I have been busy with Fionn, a dissertation, two conference presentations, laundry, house guests, and the myriad other daily tasks that steal time.  I have been planning some new projects, copying patterns, etc. but I have very little to share of my own work.  However, I do have something to share of someone else’s work.  I am so excited to share it too – I never am up to date on anything, and this is only old news by a couple of days!

Early this morning I was playing on the computer and went to my favorite blogger’s site written by Monica at The Happy Zombie.  She has no idea that I exist but I love everything she does.  She even inspired me to start this blog.  And I love zombies, so…. Monica informed me that little ol’ me could access the latest and greatest and FREE publication on the web called Inspired Ideas, the Christmas edition. Yay!

I immediately went there, and after thirty minutes of updating my Java and Flash or whatever (you need it to see the magazine online) I was able to get my fill of the most inspiring pictures and crafts. Even the ads are inspiring! And I think I saw mention of an earlier Autumn edition as well. You must check out the blog – Amy Powers is so talented and giving. Plus, she has the BEST name.

~Amy

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Dish Cloths and Hand Towel

October 14, 2010

My mother-in-law’s birthday was in August. She always says not to get her anything. Well, she didn’t say I couldn’t make her anything. So I scavenged the local craft stores for cotton yarn in colors that would compliment her kitchen. I had trouble finding cotton yarn in fall or “grape themed” colors at the end of the summer. So I just chose colors that were close and I knew she would like.

I used Sugar & Cream yarn.  I made the bluish-purple dish cloth in a fan and feather pattern that I found online. I think I found both dish cloth patterns on the Sugar & Cream website. The multi-color dish cloth was done in a garter stitch, knit from one corner out using increases and knit back in to the opposite corner using decreases.

For the towel, I did not use a pattern. I did a seed stitch for the solid color portion. Using the decrease skills I learned on the dish cloth, I made the hanging end. By doing a yarn over in the middle of a row near the end of the tab, I was able to create a button hole. I used a decorative button on the right side and a clear button on the wrong side. This helped to stabilize the button on the knitted fabric. As you can see, the towel rolls around the edges. I will definitely have to work another towel and see what I can do to give the next one a better shape with no rolling.

Despite the rolling, my mother-in-law loved her gifts!

 

~ Erin

The Search for the Perfect Margarita: A Towel

October 13, 2010

Our parents are on an existential-ish search for the “perfect” margarita. While their search may be for the liquid variety, I found the best art version on Flickr by an amazing artist named Jacque Davis. Go ahead, click the link, see her work, then come back here!

 

Only tequila would make it more perfect!

The Friendly Margarita Towel

 

Since I had neither the talent nor the patience/time to embroider this perfect design, I used fabric markers made by Marvy on a floursack towel to create this beauty as a gift for our mother.

 

Isn't she sassy?

This picture was taken after light usage so you can see how well the ink is holding up so far (great). Now I am getting requests from neighbors to make a towel for them. Sigh, I have too many projects!

 

~ Amy

Tree Painting

October 12, 2010
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In the area in which we live, there are several places where you can go to paint. These are great places because you can learn new things about painting while sipping on a beverage of your choice! It is BYOB and awesome! This is the one painting I have done at such a place. And, sadly, I don’t think I could have done much better even if I hadn’t had a couple glasses of wine!

 

 

Fall wind

 

~ E

Bridal Bouquet

October 12, 2010
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Okay. So, I, Erin, am finally posting a blog. I can hear Amy cheering me on from here. I got married a little over two years ago. My wonderful friend and our “middle sister” got married a year and a half ago. We helped each other make our bouquets. I don’t have a picture ready of the one from my wedding. But, this is the bouquet we made for hers. It is gorgeous even though it is fake! (Mine was also fake, and gorgeous!)

~Erin

Roll Tide Tshirt Remake

October 7, 2010

Football is like religion here, maybe even bigger. Especially SEC football. Poor Fionn has been the only child at preschool not sporting team colors every Friday. Well, no more! My father gave us a shirt he found for Fionn, ensuring he would sport the proper team colors. The only problem – he needed ten years to grow into it.

So, I pulled out my Ottobre magazine from 2009 (summer- 3/2009) and using pattern #24, the Bama shirt, and an old black shirt of Fionn’s, I made this:

Some of my topstitching is a little messy/ squibbly (is that a word?) but this was my first sewing experience with jersey. It took me two attempts to do the collar but I learned an important lesson: mark where the collar ends and the “quarters” of the pieces. My first attempt had the collar continuing down the shoulder! I guess when you stretch you don’t need to stretch THAT much.

I made the shirt in a size 104cm, and I think it is a little too big. But at the rate Fionn is growing….

What do you think?

 

~Amy

Making Old New Again: Recovering a Cushion

October 2, 2010

Our father celebrated his 60th birthday this past month and all he wanted was a trip to Ireland – and for me to recover his old cushion. The cushion had seen better days, in fact the material on it was ripped and rotting. It was pretty nasty. I wish I had taken a picture of the remains left on the floor after I ripped it all off – there was a pile of unidentifiable debris (and it smelled bad). Here is what I grabbed to document what was left:

The cushion itself was still in pretty good shape, and that was the part my dear ol’ Dad was so fond of. Besides, why throw out the old cushion for a new when you can up-cycle it?

I found this scrap of pin-striped fabric that I thought would look great in his car (where he uses the cushion the most – he drives a lot). I used some Gutermann heavy duty thread to sew it all together, partly by machine and by hand.

I had some trouble with tacking it in the middle. I think it looks good, but I am skeptical about how well it will hold up under use.

If only we could make our old selves new again so easily, eh?

I have a couple other sewing projects in the works which I will share soon. I am also taking some time to learn how to use my camera better. I went to the public library for some books to get me started. I love the library! Now for the rest of my day – I am spending the afternoon with my sister while Fionn spends time with my parents! Yay! Then family dinner, cake, and presents this evening. Double-Yay!!! Happy belated birthday to me!!!

~ Amy