Monday, January 28, 2013

A Birthday Boo

My little brother's girlfriend celebrated her birthday over the weekend. Being on a budget, I had to think of something I could make in the short amount of time that I had.

I know she loves Mario Bros video games and has told me she thinks Boo is the cutest thing under the sun.

I came across this pattern from WolfDreamer OffTheHook when I was looking for a pattern for a Link hat for my brother. This was the first thing that came to mind when I realized I needed a gift.
The patter is for King Boo, and I ended up tweaking it a little. I opted to skip the crown and the wagging tongue. I stitched the white teeth to the red mouth and then to the crocheted Boo. The eyes and eyebrow are embroidered with black yarn.

The pattern was clear and easy to follow and there is a long list of really cute toys - a lot of Pokemon and Mario Bros characters. This is a great resource for crocheters with little ones!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sweet Baby Gifts (pt 2)

 To go along with the receiving blanket from yesterday's post, I made this super-duper simple and girly quilt. Again, being short on time, I opted for a really easy, basic quilt design.

The new mommy is a Hello Kitty fanatic! So when I saw this pink, cutesy fabric, I knew I had to get it. I got a yard and a half of the Hello Kitty print, one yard each of pink and white, and matching binding. Naturally, there was plenty of the pink and white left over because it's always nice to have some solid colors around.

I used all the Hello Kitty print though - three strips on the front and then the rest as the back of the quilt. The HK strips were about 5" finished, the pink about 4" and the white stripes are all 2" finished by the width of the fabric. The finished quilt size was about 35"x 43".

The only thing I didn't get a picture of was the back - which is just the HK fabric bordered by the solid pink. In total this quilt took me about three days to finish given the limited time I had. You can see that I used simple straight line quilting. Really, if I had a good day to work on a quilt and needed to have one finished, this is the design I would use.

This is also a great beginner quilt. It is simple and can easy be made in to a more striking design by using more vibrant or contrasting patterns than the ones I've used.

In the end, the new mommy loved the quilt, and I had the honor of giving the new baby her very first Hello Kitty blanket!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sweet Baby Gifts (pt 1)

 I love being crafty  when it comes to baby gifts. There are so many things that can be made for little ones that are not that difficult or expensive to make, but still loved by the new mommy and baby alike.

One of our cousins is expecting their first baby girl any day now. Her actual due date isn't until February 9th, but the mommy is so petite that there is no way she will make it that long. She is really fun and girly so I knew I would be able to make a super fun gift to give her.

Because I was limited on time, I was only able to really do a receiving blanket and quilt, but both were still very much appreciated.

Here is the receiving blanket. I love making these because they literally take an hour from start to finish. I chose a cute strawberry print to match the quilt and the flower/ladybug print to match the rest of the nursery. Both flannels were on clearance so this was a nice cheap project.

I got one yard of each, trimmed them to equal size, and pinned with right sides together. I sewed around the material, leaving an opening just large enough to pull the blanket right side out) after snipping the corners to reduce on bulk). Once flipped right side out, I sewed another hem all the way around which closed the opening and gave it a nice finished look.

Just imagine how easy it would be to turn out a bunch of these just to have on hand for last minute gifts. It makes me think that when my budget allows, I'm going to stock up on cute flannels and do just that!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What a week...

After being sick, getting called for jury duty and working hard to get a baby shower gift completed, I've had a pretty rough week. Not trying to complain, just tired. Sometimes all those little things just start adding up and wear a person down that much faster.

Anyway, I should have the baby gift ready to share next week. After that I am going to start working on some Valentine's ideas that I've had floating around. Hope everyone else is having a happy and productive January!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Trivet Matter

Family dinner at the table is one of those simple joys in my life. It's maybe a half hour for everyone to stop and spend time together once a day.

To keep it simple (and reduce dishes) I usually just put the food on the table in whatever it was cooked in. Naturally, I need trivets or pot holders to protect the table. I decided it was time to make a couple specifically for my table in colors I liked.

The ceramic tile cost me a whole $0.50 at a local hardware store. It is just a basic 6"x6" white tile. I used a stencil and a sharpie to get the design on the tile. Granted you can see the directional lines from the way I colored it in, but I don't mind it. If you don't want to see those lines, you can always use acrylic paint and a sponge brush to get it on there right.

Finish the whole thing with a couple of coats of a clear enamel top coat, let dry completely and it is ready for the table.

Another idea for decoration, if you want something faster than a stencil and sharpie, you can always use stickers. I helped my granddaughters do this for Christmas presents for family members last year. As long as the stickers are flat, nothing dimensional and nothing with rhinestones, you can get the same effect with less effort.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Having a (decorative) Ball

I like to have some sort of simple centerpiece I can keep on my dining room table that accents and contrasts with the rest of the decor. I've never been a big fan of those decoratively covered balls that people will just put in a dish, but I think I slowly started to change my mind on them.

Over the holidays, my centerpiece was a covered cake plate filled with painted glass ornaments that I made several years ago. I really liked how it turned out. So now I need something a little less holiday and a little more every day.

I found printed tissue paper at my local Michael's and thought it would be the perfect accent to the colors I have in my house. We have a pretty blue wall that runs from the living room through the dining room and richly colored hardwood floors. I think these tan and black balls will accent the table perfectly.

The best part: super simple and cheap to make. Made of tissue paper, styrofoam balls and diluted white glue, I think I may have spent a total of $6 for the whole project.

The process was just to tear the tissue paper in to small, manageable pieces, water down some Elmer's glue and use a foam brush to get it all put together. Think paper mache process. Let them dry for a few hours, rotating occasionally to evenly dry them, and then stick them in a pretty bowl or basket. I can probably clear coat them with something, but haven't yet. I don't intend for them to be played with any time soon so I may do that a bit later.

This is just another example of high style from low cost supplies!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year's Resolution

So I might be a bit late with this but I'm still going to post it. This is the time of year that everyone seems to be making commitments to themselves with the best intentions of keeping them. Not many of us actually keep them though - I mean, how many have vowed to lose weight? :) But it is the intention, motivation and persistence that make a resolution successful.

This year I have two resolutions for my craftiness. The first is all about organization. I like to think of my office/studio/zen crafty relaxation space as organized chaos. My goal for the year will be to lose some of the chaos and gain a little more organization. The only thing that can hinder me is the number of different crafts I do. I have to figure out the best way to get thing organized and put away and then stick to getting things put away after each use.

The second is fewer UFOs for the year. We all have them - those UnFinished Objects that get set aside due to either to frustration or lack of time. The time one is usually my issue. I may be right in the middle of working on something and then get a custom order or a birthday that I have to focus on. As I type this, I can see several UFOs that need to be taken care of so that my to-do list can be made a little shorter.

There you have it - my resolutions. Hopefully I will be able to accomplish both, and think putting it out there publicly may help me. I mean, if I have to be accountable for them, they are more likely to happen, right?

Also up this year - several big projects, lots of small projects, working on a new look for the blog and adding oodles of goodies to the etsy store. Let's see what happens this year - should be exciting!