make: knit cap

Last winter I rotated between two hats that both would slip down over my eyes and cover my whole face. So when hat weather rolled around again this year I was looking for something new. I have a rather big head so I didn’t want to buy something without trying it on and then I thought about my big stash of yarn and my knitting skills I hadn’t used in awhile and decided to make my new hat.

I tend to use free patterns and began my search where I always do at Lion Brand Yarn. I found a cabled knit pattern to try that fit with the yarn and needles I had on hand. I don’t have a lot of cabling experience, but once I pulled out a notebook and pen to track which stitch I was on, the hat went together pretty quickly. I finished it over one weekend.

So I’m not one to test my gauge. I know! I just figure things usually turn out right, so I must have the perfect stitch (insert sarcasm). I think it came out correctly, I just think my big head is getting in the way. It tends to slip up a little and expose my ears a bit once I’ve had it on for awhile.

Overall I think it came out great. I asked Brian if he liked my hat so many times he wouldn’t talk about it anymore. Best of all is it matches my favorite scarf that I bought in Amsterdam.

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make: customize your drink bottles

I washed the labels off these wine bottles months ago. I’ve been wanting to try glass etching and thought these would be good to practice on. Well I haven’t got around to that, but hopefully you’ll see a post about etching in the future!

In the mean time I hosted a Galentine’s Day party and wanted to create a cute beverage area and we all know plastic juice bottles are not cute. I reached for some masking tape and pink marker to make cute labels when Brian suggested I use the chalk markers. They easily write on glass, but also can be easily washed off. After a few hours and lots of prepared drinks there was a little smudge on one of the bottles, but in general they held up well.

I was also overthinking pouring the juice in to the bottles. I figured I’d need a funnel, but decided to wing it and barely wasted a drip.

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make: love banner

I fell into a blog hole last Friday. I was clicking link after link after link looking at tons of fun crafty blogs. Somewhere along the way I saw some banners and decided I needed to make one of my own. Then on Saturday I went the the Crafty Bastards Cabin Fever craft show and saw a tote bag printed with the middle of the letters solid and was inspired. Next I just needed a phrase. With Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day coming up I was focused on love. I thought of one of my favorite movies Love Actually and the phrase, Love actually is all around. Well that was just a little too long and I like the sound of Love is all around better. I made a quick paper pattern for the banner part just to make sure the triangle bottom was even. I planned the letters out a little more by creating a grid on a piece of paper the size of the banner and planning out the letters so they would be evenly sized. I cut a strip of 1.5 inch white felt and then just freehanded cutting out the letters. The white felt is stiffened, which made it easier to cut out. Also leaving the middle of the o’s, a’s, r, and d really simplified the process.

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I thought folding up the bottom edge and gluing it would make a more finished look. It was a mistake. I didn’t allow enough felt to fold over and it wouldn’t stick. As you can see below I tried many types of glue, unsuccessfully.  Finally I used the Elmer’s craft bond and binder clips. After drying overnight the felt stuck, but the binder clips left some little marks. If I did the project again I probably wouldn’t bother with folding over the bottom edge. The top hem over the dowel rod worked much better. I folded over about an inch and a half and used the craft bond, it was stuck after 10 minutes.

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I sprayed each letter with the craft bond and they stuck easily and have stayed on great. In the image below you can see a little white along the bottom, that was a glue mistake, but has since dried clear.

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I used pink yarn to tie on each side of the rod to hang up my banner. Now its hanging in our apartment. We could all use a little reminder…

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make: screenprint shirts

In my rush to finish up gifts for Christmas I didn’t take pictures of a few shirts I made for my sisters. So I asked them to take a picture for me and this is what I got. Wrinkly on the bed and on the floor.

Any who I think they still are presentable. One of my sister’s owns Old Drum Coffeehouse and Bakery, so I made her the But first, coffee shirt. The Crafty Runner received the Missouri design that I also used on the dish towels.

 

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make: felt jewelry bags

To make my oven bake clay necklaces more finished for gifts I decided to make pouches for them. I got the idea to use the felt with a folded top from a similar pouch I got from Madewell a few years ago with the purchase of some earrings. I put my own spin on them by making them smaller and in all different sizes and by adding a ribbon tag on the side.

The felt I had on hand. I bought it a year ago to make a shave kit for my boyfriend and still had plenty left over. The ribbon I had bought on a whim.  I liked the design and knew I would find a use for it, I just didn’t know I would find a use so soon.

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The best part about these is they each can be a slightly different size, so no need to worry too much about measuring. Just make sure to cut a rectangle not some wacky quadrilateral. The right angles are important. Then it just takes two seams on either side. I put a few pins in them to keep the flap down and the ribbon piece in place. To speed up the sewing process don’t worry about cutting the thread between each pouch and sew all of one side before cutting threads and going back to sew the opposite side.

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They worked great for gifting and made my necklaces feel more professional.

make: oven bake clay necklaces

Last September at the H Street festival amid the booths of crap made in China I found a lady selling hand crafted necklaces that I liked. I bought one for myself and my friend Catherine bought one too. Soon after Catherine found a tutorial on pinterest on how to make similar necklaces with oven baked clay.

I had some grey Sculpey clay on hand from when I took a shoe making class way back when. So that is what I started with, only later on a trip to Michaels and JoAnns did I discover the wide world of oven back clay. The other popular brand is Fimo. They both come in a variety of colors including a few that are speckled. I bought some that were granite like and sparkley, which cuts out some of the painting later on.IMG_1780

The process is pretty easy, but took a few tries to get a consistent size and figure out what looked best.  It was a lot like playing with play dough. I rolled a long noodle and then cut it in sections with a box cutter. Then using a skewer I poked holes through the middle of them. Bake according to the package, which was not very long.

When they come out they will be hard, but still with a little give. You can sand them a little after baking if needed. I taped them off with painters tape and used craft paint to jazz them up.

To finish I threaded the beads on to a chain. I bought chain and clasps at Michaels as well and assembled the necklaces. Needle nose pliers help a lot in this process. Also a little patience.

To gift the necklaces I made small felt bags. I’ll show you how to make them soon!

make: geometric napkins

I found a pack of 12 white cotton napkins at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $10. I thought it was a good deal and might be another good surface for some fabric paint. I decided to try out the paint markers on them. The paint markers came in lots of pretty colors but I went with the teal. I did the grid napkin first and thought about doing four gird napkins, but in different colors. Then I thought about doing them all the same, but I finally decided on doing something different on each napkin but in the same color. I think they turned out ok. I see lots of imperfections, but each imperfection just adds to their uniqueness right?

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Now the table is set and ready for the next dinner party.

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make: Wild Things pillow

IMG_2796My beloved embroidered pillow got a little too much love and developed a few little holes. So I moved it to museum status, which meant we needed a new pillow for the couch. Since I’ve been messing around with paint lately I decided I would print a design on a piece of fabric and sew a pillow. I had the idea for a quote and started browsing Pinterest for quotes about home. I tell Brian I’m looking for a quote for a pillow and he immediately suggests “I’ll eat you up I love you so” from the book Where the Wild Things Are. I’ve always been a fan of the book and even had a stuffed animal Wild Thing, so I decided to go for it. There are a lot of prints out there using this quote and a few others from the book, mostly in reference to a nursery (why do babies get all the fun?). I liked the ones with the crown, but also some with the silhouette of a wild thing which is what I ultimately went with.

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I created a pattern for the background with the freezer paper technique. For the lettering I used a fabric paint marker. I purchased the fabric paint markers from Target. They have pretty good color and apply easily, but look less finished and professional, than the stencils. I free handed the lettering after one practice round on a scrap piece of paper. I had to go over the letters an additional time as the gold paint was a bit harder to write on than straight fabric.

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After heat setting the paint I picked out a star fabric for the back and sewed them right sides together. I sewed a pillow insert using some other solid fabric and stuffed it from another pillow i was getting rid of. After I inserted the pillow form inside I hand stitched the bottom.

make: DC screen print

Inspired by the KC heart shirts so many fans wear to the Royals games (go Royals!) I decided to try a DC heart for my next shirt print project. I am going to a baby shower for a coworker friend who is expecting twin boys. I figured they needed DC heart shirts too.

Following the same process as the make shirt I printed out a heart and the letters D C, traced the design on freezer paper, ironed the design on the shirts, and used a foam pouncers to apply the paint. The red went on a little spotty so I did two layers.

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I couldn’t let the babies have all the fun, so I made one for me too. The grey shirt took a bit more paint and the shirt is stretchier than the other one I did, but I think it turned out great just the same.

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