New Crafting Content – Finally!!!

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I recently changed my blog layout (regular readers may notice I do that often in my search for the perfect blog layout!) and the new layout included the little archive calendar in the sidebar. Oh, how sad that little calendar looked! I must admit that it spurred me to make this post so there was at least a few more numbers highlighted on it!

I have been crafting and I do have several finished objects, although I find myself feeling like I haven’t actually gotten much done. I think I get used to the cooler months when I am churning out project after project, so when I slow down, I feel less than productive. But really, I have stayed busy!

So, how about some recently completed stuff?

I made the kids more PJs. These are so easy and I like to make them for winter with long sleeve t-shirts and flannel bottoms. However, during the summer months, they need something, too. And we usually have the air conditioning on, so even nights can be a bit cool, so long pants and short sleeve shirts are perfect. I actually made each kid 2 pair of PJs, but when I took the pics, the other pairs were in the laundry, after being worn.

The girl had kitty cat print fabric for her bottoms and a purple shirt, along with a kitty appliqued on.IMG_2622

The boy is in love with dogs and chose his own fabric. He even specified that the dog on his shirt be one that had a bone!

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My kitchen is tiny. It is a galley kitchen with limited storage space. I have managed to find places for most of my stuff, but one appliance always aludes a storage solution – my Kitchenaid stand mixer. I got it from my mom and I LOVE it, but it is heavy, huge and impossible to get it out of the way. So it sits on my kitchen counter. And unfortunately, although I do use it, it goes weeks sometimes without use. The bowl and the mixer get dusty and stuff like flour and other things fly into the bowl. And honestly, it just isn’t all that gorgeous. Then I remembered some fabric I bought a while back. I found it in the remnants at JoAnn’s and picked it up, planning to make some shopping bags out of it. I made one, but never got around to make the other. But the fabric matched my kitchen PERFECTLY! So, a mixer cover was created! This was simple and easy and took me longer to measure and cut than the sew!

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Not to be outdone, my hard working sewing machine demanded a cover also! I got fancy on this one, though. I used my patchwork skills to create a cover that I love. I had purchased some fat quarters in coordinating colors, then threw in a few more pieces of fabric I already owned, rearranged them nicely and gave my machine a cover. It could have been longer, but it works well and looks nice. Now, just ignore the mess around my sewing area! It is still “under construction” and I am trying to get the husband to install a shelf to help get some of the extra stuff off the desk.

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And I have been knitting! Well, some, anyway. Both kids need mittens for winter. The girl outgrew her mommy-made mittens and the boy never had any. So, I picked up some sock yarn in their favorite colors (she loves pink, he loves orange!) So far, he has a full pair, but she only has one. I will be returning to the second one very soon! Heck, with how cool it has been here lately, she will need them by the end of the September!

IMG_2696I am still working on knitting myself a scarf out of my hand-dyed hand-spun yarn. It is about half way done. It is moving slowly because I don’t work on it regularly. I also unraveled a mitten I had made for myself and plan to redo it for this winter. It didn’t fit correctly but I have since found a different pattern and plan to use that instead.

I am also working on sewing. I finally purchased the doll pattern I mentioned in the last post and I am working on those. Not sure how long it will take me to finish everything in the pattern (each doll has a sleeping bag, backpack, snowsuit, overalls, knitwear and a sweater made of a felted wool sweater.)

But, that hasn’t stopped me from finding another craft! LOL! I was inspired by another blogger who works in felt. When I first read Checkout Girl’s blog, I was stunned and left feeling rather inadequate, artistically and creatively! Melissa’s creations are absolutely divine! Thankfully, the stunned feeling and the feeling of inadequacy disappeared in a huge flash of inspiration! Now, this is just my first try and I know I have work to do. I even started researching embroidery to help improve future creations. But this is my first try – my house. This is all done in craft felt with embroidery thread.

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This is just my first try. It was all hand-stitched, which I find to be very satisfying. I am really pleased with how this turned out. Too bad I don’t have a picture of my house to share with you so you can compare, but my sister and my husband both knew it was our home immediately when they saw it. I have another project of a similar nature in mind, but that is probably going to take a while to come into being. But stay tuned!

Well, I think that is it, for now! There is always something being created around here! I would love to go craft now, but I actually think I need to pick up some toys (OK – a ton of toys!) in the living room right now! My sister is visiting tomorrow and it would be nice if she could walk in the house and find a place to sit! 🙂 After all, I have been busy creating! Who has time to clean?

Christmas Crafting

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All year long, I have been making little items here and there to decorate our home for Christmas. I have wanted to redo our mantel at Christmas and this year, I plan to finally do it! It will be done in green, ivory and gold with some handmade items front and center. I am also tentatively planning to make some sort of Advent calendar for us to enjoy this year, but that is still in the early planning stages. I haven’t even decided on the craft I will use to make it!

Aside from decorating my home, I am finally getting down to planning my crafting for Christmas gifts. In years past, I have knitted and sewn for many of my family members. I usually start planning early on in the year and have my yarn or other supplies purchased as far out as June. But I am getting a slow start this year. I am having a hard time even deciding what to make for whom.

So far, my Christmas crafting list is pretty limited. The kids will each get a handmade doll from the Olive & Archie pattern from WeeWonderfuls. I just downloaded it and purchased some of the fabrics needed today and many of the fabrics will actually come from my stash. Both kids will get the traditional PJs from me – probably something Cars for the little guy and Princesses for the girl. I am also thinking of trying my hand at quilts for the kids, too.  My husband will be getting a pair of sleep pants. I also hope to finally tackle his sweater vest! I purchased the yarn for it two years ago! I am guessing he has given up all hopes of having that vest! LOL! We normally only give portraits to my grandparents, but I think this year I will be gifting them with some items. I am thinking Grandma will get some new knitted dishcloths (so she can have a set here and a set in Florida) and possibly even a quilted can cozy. Grandpa is getting one of my favorite items – a knit armadillo! (When they were in FL last, they visted a farm with lots of animals. They sat down to eat lunch at a picnic table and an armadillo walked up and rubbed it’s nose on his shoe!)  Now, my mom is a difficult one. I have made her hats, scarves, a wrap and mittens. She is pretty well decked out in hand knits. She did see a sweater she liked at our state fair and mentioned me making one (it is similar to this one) but I am not sure if that is the direction I will go our not. I have another idea floating around in my head that would be a gift to her and her husband. I am not quite ready to reveal that project to anyone just yet, simply because I have no clue if I can make it work.

So, planning is coming along. I just printed out the pattern for the dolls for the kids, so I am looking forward to getting moving on that. I want to make all of the accessories (sleepings bags, backpacks, snowsuits, overalls, knit items, etc) and place them in a nice shoebox (probably wrapped in fabric) to present them to the kids.

Do you have Christmas items planned out already?

Quietly Crafting

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During the summer, I hit a lull in the crafting. The office where I sew is hot. It is too warm to have my hands in fiber or yarn for knitting and spinning. We stay busy during the day and I am exhausted by the evening when I normally do my crafting.

I don’t have pictures to share just yet – they will be coming, I promise. But I have been quietly crafting and things are starting to kick into gear as the weather is taking a premature turn into fall. With cooling temperatures, I find myself wanting to craft and create much more.

Tonight I finally finished up some sewing and mending that has been clogging up my sewing table. I bought fabric for PJ pants for the kids and t-shirts to applique to match and finally got them completed. Both kids are wearing a set tonight and I will snap a picture of them tomorrow morning, if I can wrangle them together long enough! I completed two pairs for each. My daughter got Disney Princesses and kitty cats and my son got Thomas The Train and dogs. Both are very happy kids! I made them out of lightweight cotton prints from JoAnn’s and used short sleeved shirts to wear in the air conditioned house in the summer and into fall.

I also did some mending. I am considering setting up a mending basket, actually, although we don’t have mending often. I do like mending clothing, though. Sewing a button on my husband’s dress shirt makes me feel good to have done something for him. And closing up a hole in the underarm of his favorite t-shirt also feels good because it saves the shirt from being thrown away. I am not yet ready to consider mending store-bought socks, but if we ever have holes in hand-knitted, I wouldn’t be too upset to mend those too!

I have been completing some knitting. I finished a pair of socks for me, a pair for my son and mittens for him, also. I have completed one mitten for my daughter, but I am not taking a bit of a break from knitting with the sock yarn on size 1 needles since my hands and elbow are starting to bother me. So, I moved to the opposite end of the spectrum and picked up some chunky yarn I handspun and dyed and I am knitting a “My So-Called Scarf”. I am hoping I have enough yarn for it to be long enough, but I love it so far!

I have some things I still need to work on sitting around the house. I have promised the kids I would make them aprons and I need to get them finished. I have an old shirt of mine I want to play around with to make into an art smock for my daughter. She starts kindergarten on the 27th! But beyond that, I am planning for fall and Christmas finally. I have plans for a sweater for my mom and handmade dolls for the kids for Christmas. And I still need to get yarn to make their fall sweaters. My daughter wants pink and my son wants orange – both choices were rather predictable!

So stay tuned! I promise to get some pictures soon. I am still kicking myself for not taking ANY pictures of the items I made for my cousin’s baby shower. I stenciled several onesies with animals, hand stitched a stuffed giraffe and made her two bibs from flannel and denim. I will see if she can snap pictures for me, perhaps, to share with the blog.

I shall return!