Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's cold here.

With Autumn descending like a lead brick this week, we found the need to have our heads covered. Earlier this month, I collected a few easy patterns for fleece hats that the kids could make as Christmas gifts. There was one that I fell in love with. I made a few changes, pulled out the purple fleece a friend gave me (that I didn't know what to do with) and came up with this:

I made matching mittens, too.

I'm so happy with how they came out.

I think Miss Lulu is happy too.

Purple hat and mittens with green blanket stitch edging and felt applique

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More t-shirt pillows!

It's been a crazy week around here. If you're new to the blog, you may not know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy this past March. I decided to go ahead with reconstructive surgery, but had no idea how painful the process is and how long it would be until it was over due to insurance problems. The bad news: I'm in a lot of pain and we just try to get through the week around here, so I'm not doing anything crafty of fun lately. The good news: my surgery date was just set for October 1st, a week before my 37th birthday!

There were some other reasons why my spirits were lifted this week. My best friend from college had her first baby, a boy born at home and everyone is happy and cozy. Another best friend sent me a surprise care package with my favorite fudge. A day that ends with a sampling plate of different kinds of gourmet fudge just can't be bad.

This same friend also sent me the following picture. Remember that sad little pillow I made from my son's old PJ top? Why didn't I think to leave the arms on and just stitch it up?! Look at this great pillow her son, one of my favorite 10 year olds, made with his Mimi. So cute, right?

So, it was a good week. Thanks everyone for cheering me up with your gifts, crafts,
and best of all, friendship.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Milkweed Project

I just had to drop in and share the great project the kids and I will be taking part in. Through the Lovely List, I found out about The Milkweed Project. Here is the write up from the website:

The Milkweed Project is a collaborative artwork currently in progress. Hundreds of fiber artists and crafters are knitting, crocheting, felting and spinning white and off-white creations that will be assembled into a giant milkweed pod. The final, assembled piece is intended to capture the essence of a milkweed pod; its soft, ethereal beauty and its importance to the natural world.

The Milkweed Project is about our connection to each other, to nature, to the past, present and future.

Shan Bryan-Hanson, the project architect, is an artist and teacher.

How exciting is that! I just had to be a part of it. On the Milkweed website you can view the entries that have already arrived. They are all so amazing and beautiful. We especially love the jellyfish. Incredible!

KT used the last bit of off white yarn to make this:

There has been talk of additions; buttons, ribbon, textured fibers...
Until more white yarn shows up, the boys have been busy making these:

I found the free pattern here. And there are pics of them here and here. They are very cute, quite simple and look fabulous perch upon our branch. The most difficult part is the pinning, which I did for them. KT wants to make them as Christmas gifts for a few precious toddlers we know (shhhh, don't tell Ari!)

I love this time of year!


Since Ari finally agreed to put his helmet on (after weeks of letting him play with it in his room), he got to go on his first bike ride with daddy!

This is great news for me because time spent with Daddy on the bike means crafting time alone for me. For now, the rides are just around the block, so all I had time to do is check out these great bike-themed finds on Etsy (just click on the picture to follow the link):

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Turn a shirt into a Pillow

My little boy loves this sleeping shirt--"Pirate Puppy" we call him.When he wears it to bed, he constantly looks down to see the puppy and bird and is just delighted with the whole thing every time. The problem is, the stitching on the arms is fraying and he loves to pull any tiny thread he can find and unravel it even more. It's time to let Pirate Puppy PJs go. I decided to turn the shirt into a pillow for him to play with with his two dolls, Captain Jack and Raj.

Unlike my mom, I don't let not having enough time, the proper materials, or a good plan stop me from diving into a project. I threw the shirt down on my cutting mat the second Ari fell asleep for his nap and ran the rotary cutter right across the top. Never mind that the bottom of the arm holes (which I had to cut above to avoid cutting the puppy's head)left a challenging shape. Then, I turned the shirt inside out and stitched across the bottom seam, cutting off any excess left. I then sewed across the top, leaving a space to stuff the pillow:
When you're a mediocre seamstress like I am, you can make up for lack of skills by using only the best materials. The end result might not be any better, but you'll feel like a professional while you're doing it--and isn't that what's important? That's why I use Bamboo Stuffing rather than Poly-Fill. It's more expensive, but I buy it when it's on sale. The key is to stuff your pillow way more than you think you should. If you think it's time to stop, keep stuffing! When my pillow looked ready to explode, I faced the dreaded final task...
Hand stitching it closed! I can't believe I'm showing you this picture, but here is how bad I am at hand sewing. OK, OK, I could have used red thread to help hide my bad work (as my helpful husband pointed out), but really, would it make that big of a difference? Can you see how bad this is?! I have a great idea for hiding it, but Grammy's going to have to do it when she's here. I'm thinking of a felt flag or row of ribbons right there across the top. How fun would that be?
Like all of my projects, this one didn't turn our picture-perfect, but look at how much fun Ari and Captain Jack are having with their new pillow!