Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christmas Ornament Tradition

 have always loved the idea of traditions. I think it gives people a sense of belonging and security.  Of course, not all traditions are fabulous. I had an uncle who always greeted me with the dreaded "pull my finger".  Good grief!!! I think we can all agree with getting rid of that tradition! Oh, brother!!!

Of course, my vision of traditions is more on the lovely side of things... For instance, while we were dating, my husband and I picked up a personalized Christmas ornament. We weren't even engaged but I thought it was kinda cool and his tree needed some serious help. Little did I know that very same Christmas, he would ask me to be his wife.  Since that Christmas, we've purchased an ornament every year to put on our tree. As time progressed, we started picking an ornament which reflected something that happend during the year. Maybe an ornament from our summer vacation or a house ornament to signify the purchase of our home. As our family grew, I then started collecting a hubby and wife ornament, a family ornament, and an ornament for each child. The ornaments now had a story behind them and to save those stories I decided to create a scrapbook of my Christmas ornaments. It's a very quick and easy project. Who doesn't like that? Here's what I do... I take a photo of each ornament, add it to my Ornament Album, and then journal the story behind the ornament (the reason why I bought or made it). That's it! Task completed. Yippee!

My Ornament Album contains only photos and stories of our family ornaments. Here's what mine looks like:
The album is an 8x10 Creative Memories album which is no longer available. The size suits me just fine and I've got enough pages and page protectors to last me for another 60 years! I can usually fit each year's ornaments on one page with enough room for journaling.

Here's the cover page. I did this page many, MANY, MANY years ago. It's interesting to see how my scrapbooking style has evolved over the years. In scrapbooking, I'm a firm believer in once it's done, it's DONE! I would never redo a page because there are so many pages yet to be completed for the 1st time.

Here's a sample of what some of my pages look like. The pages were never meant to be fancy but to focus in on the story behind each oranment.

I've also decided that when each child finally marries, I will hand over all their ornaments so that they can grace their own tree. My hope is that they will carry on this tradition with their family too.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cricut Cake

I attended the Craft and Hobby Association's Craft SuperShow at the Anaheim Convention Center yesterday. This is the 1st time I've ever attended and I was just thrilled with the number of vendors, product being offered, the Make N Takes, and the quality of the show. There were well known sponsors with some great Free Make N Takes such as Cricut, Jo-Ann, and Michaels. Hobby Lobby even had a large both and the closest store is in Redlands which is at least 50 miles away!

Seems like the big buzz of the show was Cricut with the introduction of their NEWEST product, the Cricut Cake. All bakers are going to love this new product. The Cricut Cake appears to work and look like their signature Cricut but this model cuts fondant or frosting sheets or gum paste, etc. Imagine the precise and intricate designs your can create quickly with the Cricut Cake. Of course, the Cricut Cake mechanical parts are food and dishwasher safe and all Cricut cartridges are suppose to work with the Cricut Cake. The possibilities for cakes, cookies, cupcakes, etc. are so very exciting!

At the Cricut booth, the Make N Take with the Cricut Cake was a cute cupcake. We were given material to create a box to hold our cupcake which was cut by a Cricut. Then we were given a cupcake and our choice of cut frosting. I choose the scalloped chocolate circle. On top of the scalloped circle, I placed a smaller and thin scalloped white circle and then decorated with confetti shapes cut from the Cricut Cake. It was a very darling ensemble. For more information, check out the Cricut website here.

Sadly, my little Cricut Cake ensemble did get a bit mashed in my bag. Sorry! Here's the cupcake in the box I made.

Here's the complete package.

The Cricut booth also had another free Make N Take which focused on using their dies with the art of quilling. The emphasis was on making the 3 flowers centered on the plaque below. The plaque was already painted with the filigree work. Using precut vinyl letters we added "Always & Forever" and then glued the leaves and flowers to create this plaque. This Make N Take was quite time consuming but fun.

Close up of the flowers. And I seriously need to learn how to take better pictures!

The cost of the show was $15 and a $3 coupon was available. The show ran for 2 days, Friday and Saturday. To learn more about CHA, check out their website.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Catherdal Window Handbag

The primary technique I wanted to learn when making this handbag was the Cathedral Window. Based solely on how the Catherdal Windows looked, I always thought this technique was difficult. I was lucky enough to attend a Martha Pullen event and this handbag was one of the projects taught. Deb Yedziniak taught this class. Of course, she is a licensed Martha Pullen Heirloom instruction and also a Husqvarna Viking Educational Consultant. Her website displays lots of her projects and patterns. With Deb's instructions, the Cathderal Windows were very easy to create. I was very happy with my 1st attempt and will use this technique again.

If you are not familiar with Catherdral Windows, it is the center section of this handbag that forms open slots so that the background lace can peak through.

If I remember correctly, this bag only took approximately 4 hours to make. This time does not include cutting out all the fabric pieces. The catherdral window and decorative stitiching were done on black linen fabric. The checkered fabric is silk dupioni. The base of the bag and handle is the black linen. The closure is silk ribbon loop which goes around a black decorative button.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

If you have wondered what you can do to help out the Haitian people during this difficult time, please visit Craft Hope's Etsy shop which was created solely for helping Haiti get through the devastating earthquake and after shocks. Not only will you be able to donate money to this effort you will get a very cool handmade article of your choosing. Please visit Craft Hope Etsy shop, Craft Hope for Haiti.

Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Toddler's Apron

My 2 yr old got a kitchen for Christmas and loves to pretend cook. No surprise that I felt she must have an apron. Let me tell you it was tough just to stop at one apron. Using this pattern, I could of easily of made her a dozen very quickly. The apron requires a minimal amount of fabric, it's lined and I like that she can put it on with no assistance from me. The directions state that the apron is best suited for 3 - 6 year olds but my 2 yr old has had no problems putting it on and taking it off herself. I also did NOT adjust the pattern to make it smaller. My daughter is a bit on the petite side but it still fits her well enough and there is room for growth.

The fabric is brown with pink polka dots.

This is the back of the apron. I was a little worried that the neck strap would not fit my daughter properly or that it would not stretch enough but it was perfect. Meg McElwee from did a great job with her pattern. Thanks for sharing Meg!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mr. Potato Head

I loved Mr. Potato Head when I was a kid. When I saw this post, I knew I my 2 yr. old had to have one! I ended up making a few of these for Christmas gifts. This is the 1st one I made, the prototype. I worked on the eyes (because the 1st set came out a little too goofy looking), ladies hat (because my daughter kept calling it a boat as she held it upside down), and mustache a bit more for the other potato heads. The prototype I made out of all felt but all the other potato bodies I made out of fleece (body parts were still out of felt).  Since I put the scratchy velcro on the body parts, this allows my 2 yr old to put the body parts ANYWHERE on the potato body because the scratchy part will stick to the felt body. Since she's only 2, I thought this would give her more enjoyment putting the body parts anywhere and she's not restricted to just attaching it to the velcro sections. The downside is that the felt is getting pretty beat up with pulls and snags. I had a feeling this might happen and that's why I made all the rest of the potato bodies out of fleece. I could of put the scratchy part of the velcro on the potato body but I had visions of my 2yr old trying to tuck Mr. Potato under her arm and getting scratched by the velcro. 

Mrs. Potato Head, the prototype...

 Placement of the soft side of the velcro (the front of the potato head)..

 Mr. Potato Head

The body parts:

As suggested, I did make the back pocket with a pleat to hold the body parts easily. If you decide to switch over to fleece for the body, I cut my pocket flap a little shorter because the fleece gives a lot more than the felt. For the prototype, I added about 4 extra inches to make my pleats for the pocket. My felt pocket flap was 3" tall and 5.25" wide and my fleece pocket flaps were only 2.5" tall.

And this is the way my daughter likes to see her Potato Head!

Here's a variation on Ashley's Potato Head by Jessica at Running With Scissors.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The unManly Birthday Scarf

For my husband's birthday, I wanted to make him something. As usual, time was short and I needed a quick project (I mean VERY quick). I thought I could whip up some pajama bottoms using some flannel fabric I had already washed. I had an idea floating in my head to dress up a plain black t-shirt that matched the flannel fabric. The only problem is I can NOT find the flannel!!! I know it's somewhere but where??? While I was procastinating  trying to figure out where that fabric was hiding, I checked out Make It and Love It blog and saw this great gathered flannel scarf. I thought... "Quick and Easy". I can do that!!! Plus the directions from Ashley at  Make It and Love It were very easy to follow! If you have never gone over to Ashley's site, you've been missing out! Well.... I quickly went to my stash looking for black flannel which, of course, I had but it was too short. I needed at least 2 yards. The manliest color I could find was dark brown. I also had this paisley fabric which matched the brown. I thought "what a perfect way to make this scarf more manly.... let's add the paisley!" With excitement, I quickly whipped up the scarf. From start to finish, it was 1 hour and 15 minutes. I quickly wrapped it and had our baby girl give her daddy the gift. When he opened it and put it around his neck, we both agreed that it was the most UNmanly scarf ever! Good grief!!! Sorry, honey. I promise to make you a solid black one with no paisley!  It was the thought that counted, right?

The unmanly paisley...

The scarf

BTW, we both liked the scarf but thought it was better suited for me. Looks like I made myself a new scarf with out even knowing it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Twirl, girl! from A is for Apron - 25 Fresh and Flirty Designs

Down below is a photo of the apron I made for my sister-in-law for Christmas. It wasn't the one I wanted to make her but I ran out time. I will eventually make the one originally intended for her because I do like it. This apron, Twirl, girl!, is a pattern from a book, A is for Apron. I absolutely love the aprons is this book. If you even remotely like aprons, you should check out this book by Nathalie Mornu. There are vintage aprons, as well as updated aprons. All gorgeous, in my opinion.

On to the construction of Twirl, girl!... All the patterns in this book need to be blown up and that may be a bit of an inconvenience for some. I just photocopied the patterns on my home copier. I tried to fit as many pattern pieces onto one 8.5x11 sheet. My thinking was that I might be able to save a little on the copy/enlargement cost at the copy store, if I had more pattern pieces on one sheet. I'm not sure if that helped on the cost or not but I headed over to Staples and had them enlarge the pattern for me. For every 8.5x11 sheet, they printed me a jumbo size sheet. I think I paid about $2 for every jumbo sheet. Here are some of the issues I had when following the directions for this apron. Step 1 - Cutting out the pattern pieces. Be careful NOT to fold your fabric in half to cut out the front or hem pieces to save time. Because these pattern pieces are angled, they all must go in the same direction and if you fold your fabric to cut out 2 pieces at the same time, you will get 2 pieces going in opposite directions. Not what you want! Cut out one piece at a time or you can cut squares which are larger than your pattern pieces and stack them so that each layer is facing the same way up (meaning... all right sides up) and then you can cut mulitple pieces at once. To sew my front and hem pieces, I serged them. I think it looks more finished since the back (and stitching) is exposed in this apron. The apron does go together quite quickly and that's good if you are in a hurry (like I was!). The next issue I had was with the waistband instructions. From the diagram (Figure 3, page 103), it looks like the waistband is sitting on top of the apron front. This would leave the top of the apron exposed to the back side. Seems like the apron top edge should of been sandwiched in between the waistband to hide the seam. After I finished the apron (and got some much needed sleep!),  I went back and reread the instructions. They still do not seem clear but I think I know understand Figure 3. It looks like you are just using the width of the apron to determine the width of your waistband and where you should sew on your ties. You're not actually sewing anything to the apron front on Step 10. However, Step 11 (attaching the waistband to the apron) still is not crystal clear to me. I ended up sewing the ties and the waistband to the apron in a different manner. If you understand the directions, PLEASE enlighten me! If you've already made this apron, I loved to hear how you attached the waistband/ties to the apron front. I completely forgot to take a photo of it before I wrapped it and my SIL was kind enough to photograph it for me.

SIL in apron

and now the apron front...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blog Background

Like the new background for my blog??? I think it's great and it was FREEEeeee! I got it from Karen over at Background Fairy.  Thanks, Karen!