Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Last Minute Knitted Gifts

Thank you Joelle (and Mr. Sycamore, and Mom and Dad. I may have mentioned once or twice how much this book was on my list, because I got two copies!)

And within one day I had popped out this! I think I'd use smaller needles to make it a bit more petite. But it couldn't be more cute. Or easier to knit up and decorate.

What did you knit up for the holidays?!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays!

From all the snow falling on the northeast to you and yours - happy holidays and take care! May you have a lovely New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Handmade Scarves with Recycled Wrapping

From Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted Gifts (the first one) - the lacy scarf. A great way to use up a ball or less of lace weight or mohair, very fast with just one row of y/o lace and the rest in stockinette stitch. Each scarf took about an evening.

The little pinky on the right is to match this little hat for a special birthday girl. Toddler scarves totally rock - they need to be narrow and they don't need to be long. Which is good because they can get lost somewhat easily!

For the last several years I have had very good intentions to make some reusable, recycled gift bags. In the interest of time - I know, I know, gift bags only take 10 min or so - I came up with this idea - recycled canning jars with pretty lids and my home-made labels.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 17, 2010

Handmade Fleece Neck Warmers

For the ladies at J's school. These were super easy - I always look in the remnant bin for fleece because it can be a real bargain, and it is almost as nice as wool to work with - no hemming. Or hawing. Of course, I have to be ruthless in only selecting colors I would actually wear, since there are so many of those crazy prints. I'm sure there must be people who enjoy the "no sew throw" but I kind of wonder for a sewing store ... really?

Anyway, I had a bunch of fleece and some embroidery floss so here they are. I've tried them and they are toasty warm, you can fold them over for a turtleneck effect or let them floop or scrunch up. As your style dictates. These are 9" tall by 23" long, I pressed open the seam and sewed the two sides down to just keep the whole thing tidy, then blanket stitch around the top. I found I needed 7x the width in order to make it around in one go, for these that meant about 77" of floss.

If you are searching for last minute projects these took about 30 minutes each. If I were making a manly one, I'd probably use black floss on black or grey fleece, and decrease the height to 6" or so. I might even attempt a skull and cross bones or some other manly emblem. With a matching watch cap it could work, depending on the guy. The fleece definitely avoids the homemade = scratchy curse that men complain about.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Deck the Halls

Our crochet garland of lights for the banister. So easy. Such a good way to stash bust some truly noxious acrylics that became quite luminous as "lights." Can you believe all that snow last year!?

What holiday craft could be easier with kids than paper chains for the tree? This allowed for cutting, taping, and running around with the cats chasing the end of the chain. I started out with red, white and green only - but realized it looked like we were decorating for the tour d'Italie, so we went back to the construction paper and colored it up.

Happy crafting! The Purl Bee has some great holiday decorations and ideas, go check them out. You're probably a little late for Etsy but if you hit the "shop local" button your gifts might make it. I'd say I'm about 80% of the way, with a long car ride still to go (that was when I made the mini sweater ornaments last year). Still lots of baking on the list.

This time of year it is easy to get carried away and overscheduled. Take deep breaths near your tree (mmmm. pine) and take frequent breaks for peppermint hot chocolate! Savor savor savor the season and stay well.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thrifty Monday - Chair and (ahem) Bookshelf

So this chair seemed like a total steal - $5 and look at those legs! I figured, with a coat of white paint and a new cushion color, something mod and fun ... easy update. But then I remembered.

This post from one year ago. This shelf has not somehow painted itself a non-dirty-barbie color. In fact, it seems to be gathering stuff in an attempt to hide from paint.. but look at those legs! Do we have a match?!

With only half my hand-made items actually made for the holidays and the clock running down, I am not allowed to paint these before January. Please send me positive thoughts that I will not be blogging a year from now about how much I really really need to get painting them.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fix-it Friday - Pine Cone Wreath

See the bald spot on the right hand side? Just need to find the right pine cone. And a big big bow...

Thank you thrift store! And thank you for the decorative hunting horns which my kids are currently using like kazoos. I think I need to go restore order.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Calendar Up

Thanks, Maya, for the idea! J and Sweet P helped with the stapling, hole punching, and stickers. A little snowman finds his way into the appropriate numbered pouch overnight.

I'm not organized enough to have a stack of little winter-themed doodles for each pouch - but on reflection realized that the open pouches and toddlers meant that one present is enough to help count down days. Nothing would stay in these pouches very long - we hung them at toddler height in the dining room for easy access. Which gives the kitty cats perfect access too... J is working on numbers and very proud of his abilities in this arena, so this is a great exercise for him. And after we finished the stickers, they still wanted more, so I printed out another sheet for them to stick on themselves, and for us grownups I printed out "Merry Christmas" and some snowflakes which I stuck on the backs of the pouches - as we turn them around day by day the secret message becomes clearer and clearer. And since it is on a string we can easily take it with us to Grammy and Gramp's house for the final countdown.

Of course, now I have found another number game Advent on Etsy. I'll have to remember that for next year!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 6, 2010

Procrastinating. And Another Advent Calendar

All right, I do know that it is the 6th. That just seems to be how my organizing skills are functioning this year. And this fabric-pocket advent hanging - and the sweet grandchildren cards within - is a fantastic idea. Thanks Florence!

And remember my plans to make at least one tree skirt before we needed one this year? I'll let you guess.

But really, nothing can dampen my spirits about this time of year. I love it. We headed out to the hills yesterday in the howling wind to choose our tree, and sat by the fire and visited with the bunnies on the farm to warm up. When we got home my big big 3 1/2 year old put ALL the glass balls on the tree by himself almost before I had turned around. He found all the hooks he needed, then, full of concentration, walked them each over to the tree, up the step stool, and onto branches. When I asked why he had them all clustered together and suggested he spread them out he explained as if I were completely hopeless:

"Mommy. They're a family."

Hoping you and your family have a wonderful, joyful, and peaceful holiday season!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thrifty Monday

Doesn't it look like a princess and a knight live here? This is clearly handmade, there is no tag, but someone got rid of it after all that work. I'm fascinated by it - both because it is something I would never think to make, but also because.. well, just it is so intriguing. Who quilts a door? Was it a present someone didn't like? Was it just too much? I think I may have to quilt on our two kitties sleeping on the step to really make it ours.

At least it covers up our ugly stove pipe hole for fall.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Its all about the leftovers. My dad used to push back from the Thanksgiving table and ask jokingly "who's ready for turkey sandwiches?" but only half kidding. What other time during the year do you have all the fixin's for the best turkey sandwiches ever?

I love all leftovers - what else is thrifting? Someone used this Roman-looking silver plate gravy boat and mis-matched ladle, then it was left over, and now we're using it for our fancy dinners. Well, fancy, but not schmancy.

I hope you and yours had a lovely holiday with your families, and are now enjoying leftovers too. If you have extra time for a craft with kids, here is a cool and easy tutorial for a recycling inspired home-made advent calendar from Maya. Happy weekend!!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great-Grammy and Grammy Crafts - Braided Wool Rug

Maybe the best kind of crafts. The rags were cut up by my grandmother, a truly amazing lady who could do anything artistic she took a mind to, and who helped teach me to sew. My mother braided and coiled it, and I worked a bit on the last loop, decided it looked done, and have finally steamed the folds out and put it down at the foot of our bed. With the sun streaming in ... ahhh. I must have taken this photo on the only kitty-free day this week, the sunbeams are usually where they like to sprawl.

What are you thankful for this week? For hints on interviewing your loved ones on the National Day of Listening (Friday) check out the Story Corps site:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thrifting Monday

We have a new thriftstore in town - and on my first foray, a wonderfully simple plant stand for the corner behind that dresser. Now all I need is a decent pot for it, poor thing.

The plant stand is the two shelves, notched on the corners. Four lengths of 2 x 1s, nailed in. Somewhat rickety. I love finding old woodwork stuff and thinking someone totally made this.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bags and Tartan Dress

You know how sometimes you get sidetracked? Like when you are supposed to be sewing up a squillion scavenger hunt bags for a school event

But you end up designing, cutting, and sewing a sweet tartan dress instead? Does that ever happen to you? Sweet P picked out the fabric several trips to the store ago, and when she saw it the other morning she exclaimed "my dress!" - it seemed churlish not to make it so.

And clearly, the bags became a reality too, later that night.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tool Belt for Toddlers

Out of an old maternity belt of mine (now luckily WAY too big, I'm happy to say) and some denim scraps. I used Clutterpunk's scribble sewing tutorial again, I love just quickly sewing images like that wonky hammer. Toddler sized!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 15, 2010

Homemade Playdough

Or "clay-dough" as J prefers to refer to it. Excuse me for a minute... I just adore those chubby hands. I mean, really really love them.

"B" is for my babies.

When a friend of mine mentioned they had declared a playdough-free house a few years ago, I was really amazed. I mean, I just hadn't considered the possibility - but I really liked the idea of no playdough ground into the floor, rugs, hair. What I remember about playdough was wanting the pump-type toys and that the playdough itself always seemed dried out when you got it back out of the can. And the mud color you get when you mix them all together.

Well, J wanted to do baking and we were out of butter, so I cast around for something else we could "bake." I have to say that I'm glad we waited, J and Sweet P are old enough to thoroughly enjoy molding and "baking," and I think they loved making it with me.

There are tons of recipes out there, this is the one we used:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar (I added this the next day after I went to the store)
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup salt
few drops of food coloring. In the future I might divide the dough and add different colors last but for this batch, minty green.

Mix all ingredients and stir over medium heat until smooth and warm. Remove from pan and knead (you may have to add more flour to get the right consistency, ours was sticky but became a lovely soft dough as we kneaded. I got lots of help at this point) Store in a plastic bag or airtight container when cool and between play sessions. Assemble lots of "cooking" utensils and small objects to stamp into the dough. Express a desire for a homemade birthday cake with cookies on the side. Step back.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fix-It Friday - Bathroom Door

Look closely. See it? Right.... there. Fixed. Bugging me for so long. You remember how small this bathroom is, right? Well, try it. You should notice right away ... how ... spacious. Don't you feel thinner? Less confined? The bathroom isn't bigger. It isn't newly painted a fancy color (yet). Ahhh, you got it. The door opens out instead of in.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Little Blue Mammoth Hat

Because that is supposed to be a mammoth, not because of the size of the head, although we are a family of big-headed toddlers. Heads like lolipops on their teeny little bodies, oh yes.

Two - TWO - more skeins of this yummy yummy llama wool. Not quite enough for a warm shawl (unless it was lacy and on tremendously large needles). Not enough for a sweater - maybe a warm vest? With stripes? This wool is clearly too warm for my hot-blooded babies, it was meant for me! But what?!?
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monster Sleeves

I'm sensing a pattern here. Cookies, anyone? Nom. Must have cookies.

But really, what 9 year old doesn't need funny blue fuzzy wrist warmers?
Posted by Picasa
Related Posts with Thumbnails