Friday, December 18, 2009

I swear I'm not trying to monopolize the blog

but I have one more last-minute idea. I made these for my eleven-year-old niece but they would be a good hostess gift too.I bought a pack of moleskin notebooks at Barnes & Noble and used the zig zag stitch on my machine. And by my machine I mean the decades-old machine I borrowed from the office of our apartment complex. I didn't use a special needle I just stitched slowly. I can't remember which book I got the idea from but it is genius. Super easy and adaptable to almost anyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Christmas Gift

I made this for Tyson's sister

using this tutorial. The only difference was that I added a pocket inside.

It cost about 10 dollars for the materials. I used a home decor fabric for the exterior and a coordinating quilter's cotton for the lining.

Quick, cheap and relatively simple.

Kathleen's Krazy Krafts: Military Kids Edition

Hands down the best "craft" I have ever made to gussy up my house for Christmas!  
1. Posterboard
2. Permanent Marker that you do not let kids touch ever because they could get it on the kitchen floor of your rental..
3. Crayons (the kid friendly kind)
4.  2 kids
5. One soldier who you love a whole heck of a lot and can't wait to see!!!

Now we just have to wait!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stocking stuffer idea

I know I'm a few years late to this trend but how did I live without baby leggings? Oh wait, I lived in Texas. How did I make it last winter? These cost 4 dollars a pair and I bought an average priced set of adult knee socks. Target leggings start around 10 dollars. (Some might call these "leg warmers" but I'm not old enough to know that phrase...)

Ana picked these out last week when I was browsing the tights at TJMaxx. They are adult sized knee socks from Betsey Johnson. Very good quality, nice and thick.

I cut them up like this
This is the part that covers the arch of your foot.
Make a cuff
Slide the cuff over the top and sew
This is the top view
Here is the finished product

This is my lovely model with her finished leggings pulled all the way up

This is my lovely model posing with the slouchy look. Totally her idea. "Mommy take a picture of me! I'm posing!" I can't wait until dance class starts again and she can wear them.

They took less than 15 minutes from start to finish. I'm going to make another pair for Ellie tomorrow, I will definitely make them shorter.
ETA: I take that back. These look pretty darn perfect to me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm obsessed

with this skirt.
If I wanted to scrap all previous ideas for Christmas dresses for my girls and make this, what color would you suggest I use?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kathleen's Krazy Krafts: Advent Edition

We always had a manger growing up that we filled with straw all through advent. Every time the child thinks they have done a kind, loving or helpful act they can put a straw in the manger to soften Jesus' bed for Christmas. Making the manger and straw was a very kid friendly craft, but I have to admit that during the process of making this crib one of my kids (who will remain nameless) might have given the other a massive facial bruise with the Rubber cement can.  That, for example, would not constitute a straw worthy action. Baby steps.. Sigh.

You just need an old box, some glue, scissors, construction paper, and a chubby baby Jesus which you can hide until Christmas eve or keep in the manger as an attempt to motivate your children to not wrestle like brawling cowboys on your kitchen floor. You never know what might work.
The Materials:

Good times before the rubber cement smack down.

Baby Jesus waiting and waiting and waiting for some straw.  (Isn't he cute?)

Hope you all have a great Advent.  Looking forward to see some of your ideas for gussy-ing up your home for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Little Miss Mary Poppins

I made this one with that string Alissa was talking about....
We are on a serious budget so I was looking for the absolute cheapest (and quickest) way to make this little ditty - I used scraps, felt and solid colored t-shirts because they were cheaper than buying fabric and I could keep some of the already made seams and hems - which made my life a lot easier! All in all I'm happy with how it turned out even though it's definitely not the best made costume - but that was my plan - quick and cheap and UNIQUE!

And here is the little cheekiness herself showing off her duds!
She went for more of a modern Poppins with the cell phone accessory.

I was also inspired my Alissa's homemade decorations from last year and created these silhouettes... representations of our family using altered frame & silhouette designs from the web. The frames are made from stiff black felt and the rest from paper.

Belle and Crazy Old Maurice

When I first started doing Halloween with Evelyn, I envisioned many years of clever, funny costumes held together by shoestring and tenacity. This year, however, Evelyn staged a coup and overthrew me as ultimate decision maker. Apparently, over the last year she has developed opinions and very strong ones at that. So she informed me in no uncertain terms that this Halloween she was to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Belle with the yellow dress. Mind you, Evelyn has never seen this movie, so where she got this brain wave is beyond me.

Dan had to convince me that we should probably let Evelyn make her own decision on this non-moral issue so I gave in. In spite of the fact that I was to be the shoestring and tenacity provider.


I started with an old pair of pants, courtesy of Goodwill, and a modish yellow dress, courtesy of my maternal grandmother. (I only sacrificed this dress because it was not salvageable for adult consumption. Otherwise, I would have worn it about the house for no good reason. Except that it was awesome. The picture does not do it justice.)

So I took in the pants about 5 sizes and converted them into shorts. With the remaining material, I made a vest and Josephine's costume was about done.

Then I just added some tucks in several places and VOILA! A Belle dress. Not hard, but time consuming as can be. I stayed up Friday night finishing it only to find that I had done too good a job and it was now about 3 inches too short. So I took out about 10 tucks and did them over. But luckily, it turned out great and Evelyn was so happy. It might as well have been straight out of the movie for as much as she loved it.

I didn't reckon on Josephine having any opinions but apparently she is chock full of them too. She did not appreciate her vest at all (she kept ripping it off) and she was a little floored by the mustache. But all in all, it was a pretty awesome Halloween. I hope everyone else's was too!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gussied up: Desk Edition..

One of our friends writes for Apartment Therapy, a home design website. They always feature such lovely workspaces and nice organizing tips. If I had used half the time I spent admiring other people's clean spaces on the organization of my own work area, I don't think my desk would have gotten so utterly out of control.

Pretty sad, right? Well that space is supposed to be where I organize the family finances, plan menus and shopping lists, keep kid crafts, homeschooling and sewing supplies, not to mention all those camera and cell phone type gadgets that can drive you crazy! I was going to do the cool vintage hunt for fun bins but I needed to get this under control fast. So with a 20% coupon, I made my first ever trip to the Container Store. Lawdy, that place is beautiful! Things to rein in chaos of every kind! I'm not sure, but I think I teared up when I saw their sample display desk. They can be a bit pricey, but with coupon I found their prices comparable to Target or TJ max. All I needed were a few boxes to help motivate me to get organized and boy what a help!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Try to destroy this one, Lyla

Okay, who am I kidding.

When Lyla succeeded in bypassing her crib bumper and getting her arm stuck in the slats of her crib, I went on a quest to find a sturdier bumper. Never found one I liked, so I decided to make one. Of course, I bought foam, cut it up, THEN read the package where it said it is "toxic when burned, DO NOT USE FOR BABY CRIBS."

So I ended up using NuFoam. Not quite as studly as I was originally going for, but it should take Lyla a few days at least to break through to the slats again!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Has anyone here

made an advent calendar? I want to make a very simple one and I could use some pointers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kathleen's Krazy Krafts: Safety Tip #1

When using an improper tool such as a steak knife to dislodge a staple from an old wooden frame, don't put your finger in the path of the thrusting knife. You may get injured. I'm just saying.

Christmas prep

I am making this quilt for my mother-in-law. We are on a very tight budget so I am soliciting sugestions for a nice fabric and where to buy it. I think it looks nicer than your average quilting cotton but I don't have a very good eye. Where do you ladies buy fabric?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Small Victories

And it came out like this:

I guess I just don't know my own talent.

Oh wait...this blog is about real creativity. My bad.

A nw wallet for under 10 dollars.

So after looking at all Molly has accomplished I went into hiding for a few days. When I came out I resolved to do something for myself so I made this:

I used this tutorial and it was surpringly easy. I did it in 3 hours yeterday including cutting the fabric which always takes me much longer than it should.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

1/2 Assed

So, we are finally settled in our Detroit home. We've been here 2 weeks and have had 2 sets of family visitors so I've pushed myself to complete *most* of the unpacking. But now that there's been a tiny baby lull, the crafting bug has hit again (inspired by Mary's bacon and eggs and Adele's love of garage-sale-ing). The only problem is... I have a billion little half finished projects I've been meaning to get out of the way... so here they are in all their mediocre glory. I have to say I feel quite unsettled about presenting my unfinished products, but I want to get them on here and out of the way. Please forgive all the wrinkles, blurry photos and generally disheveled goods.

1.) My very first sewing maching venture... dress for Chloe that turned out only to be able to fit a doll...damn free patterns online. If any of you out there have a naked baby doll that needs a dress I'll send it your way.
2.) A sweet little vintage number for the kitchen...if only I could tie it around my waist.

After Chloe was born I was determined to make a little something just for myself...
3.) A Yo Yo quilt --- easiest craft on the block, but time consuming. I hope to finish it by Chloe's 2nd birthday.
4.) Here's a bib...all it lacks is a clasp.

5.) I've been promising Britton a seaside themed guest room since before Chloe was in the womb. I got this vintage bird book at a garage sale and stripped it of all it's seaside birds. So far, I've just mashed them all onto a wall....both the bookcase and wall need a lot more work, but you get the idea.
6.) Chloe's room has been a dream in the making for a long time. It's a teeny tiny room, not big enough for a bed but has a great wall of built-ins. The theme is going to be vintage childrens books. I keep finding amazing things at garage sales... it's just a start....
and here is the light above her not-so-formal pack n'play.

The end....or, rather.... the middle.