Archive for the ‘Crafty’ Category

Thankful Day 14: Crafty Inspiration

Monday, November 14th, 2011

I saw these adorable felt trees in my Garnet Hill catalog and decided I wanted them:

But $20 seemed pretty steep for felt and glue, so I set out to make my own (Also, they’re out of stock).


It was a LOT harder than I thought to a) get the cones the right shape b) get the felt tiers even and c) not burn the crap out of myself with hot glue. But after a couple of hours I came up with my own version which I think is just as cute as the original AND won’t make you throw your scissors across the room in frustration:

You could make them in any color combination to match your Christmas decorations (what, you don’t pick a new color scheme for your holiday each year?). Felt comes in TONS of colors and costs about 30 cents a sheet. I bought 11 sheets total but used only 8 of them for both sets of trees – plus lots and lots of mistakes. The only other cost was two 99 cent sheets of poster board, so DIY was DEFINITELY cheaper than store-bought. (I already owned a glue gun. Duh.)

If you want to do it the easy way, just buy a few foam/florist foam cones from the craft store. They run between $3-$8 each but there are always coupons and sales. Find the best art and crafts supplies like epoxy resin and more on this website.

If you want to make it the cheap way, you’ll need a couple pieces of poster board. Trace something large and round (I used my egg plate) and cut out the circle. Then fold your circle in half, then in half again so you have lines showing 4 quarters.

Cut out one of the quarters and roll the board into a cone. The more it overlaps the pointier the cone will be. Use various size circles to make different sized cones for a staggered look or the same size a bunch of times for a more uniform look. I used a line of hot glue to secure the cone, but tape would probably hold just fine.

For the felt leaves, fold a square of felt in fourths (just like how you started your cone). Cut the outside into a scalloped edge (or points, or use pinking sheers, or fancy patterned scissors) then cut the center out so it’s a ring. Cut through the ring in one spot so it becomes a strip. Glue one end to your cone and wrap the felt around so it overlaps up the cone.

Repeat with more felt, varying your colors and lengths. Try to line up the ends so you can have a “back” that is less pretty and can face the fall.

To make them fancier, paint on a little clear glue with a paintbrush an dust with glitter, add beads as ornaments, or add construction paper stars to the top. So cute, so easy. At least now that I know what I’m doing.

Today, I am thankful for my creativity, perseverance and that cold water soothes hot glue burns.

Knitting Up A Storm

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

I am a knitting machine! Well, no, not an actual knitting machine – which is a thing – but someone who has been doing a lot of knitting. I am BETTER than a machine, because all my stuff is made with love. And baby slobber. And dog hair. But mostly love.

Here’s what’s been on my needles:

I saw a pair of knit leggings on Pinterest a few weeks ago (which of course I didn’t repin, so I can’t link to the picture now) and thought “hey, I could totally do that”. So I did. Patternless, off the top of my head. Unfortunately, although he was EXTREMELY happy to model them for these photos, yellow leggings don’t really go with the rest of Little Evan’s wardrobe – so these have been shipped off to someone who I know will look even cuter in them.

Pumpkin hat. Caroline’s got one too. Pattern half made up in my head, half from this site.

My first try at this adorable knit necklace my friend Megan made based on the pattern here. It’s two strips knit separately and woven together. You can wear it this way or reverse it for a different braid pattern. I’m going to make a dozen more.

I was afraid I had waited too long to finish this dress I started in the spring, and Caroline would have grown out of the small size before I was done, but with a onesie and leggings it’s still perfect for fall. I’ve never knitted pleats before and was worried they were above my skill level but it turns out they’re totally manageable – even for the kind of disjointed, interrupted, stop and start knitting I do most of the time. (The pattern is called Fiona Baby Sundress and is available for free on Ravelry as a download.)

Classic nautical pea coat buttons in fun colors

Love the pointed hood

If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember me knitting Phoebe Mouse and Phoebe’s sweater. The book also included a toddler sized version of the doll sweater – unfortunately, it was for a 2 year old and my baby is a peanut. So I used the pattern for the mouse-sized coat and did a little math and made it Caroline sized. I’m SO EXCITED that it fits and that she has a beautiful fall coat now. It makes me feel like Caroline Ingalls (who is honest to God one of my actual heroes) that something I made is so FUNCTIONAL. It’s more than a hobby! I make CLOTHES.

I wanted to finish this cowl before I wrote a post about what I was knitting, so I sped through the last 2 inches during every spare minute yesterday. My husband literally took this picture for me at 9:30 last night. It’s the most basic cowl you can possibly make (cast on an odd number of stitches, knit 1 purl 1 until it’s long enough, bind off) but I help the multi-toned yarn double so it’s super warm and comfy.

And finally, one more quick bunny I’ve had 50% finished on a stitch holder since BlogHer in August. It took less than 10 minutes to finish and it feels SO GOOD to now having it staring at me every time I open my knitting bag. FACELESS BUNNY WAS JUDGING ME.

Now all I have to do is finish the sweater I started for E a full year ago – and the one I started for myself even longer ago than that. WHY can’t person-sized sweaters be as fast and fun and easy as baby stuff?! But I will get them done. It’s what Ma Ingalls would want.

Insert Pun About Burning Up Here

Monday, October 10th, 2011

I asked Little Evan what he wanted to be for Halloween and he said “DINOSAUR! RAWR!!!” Of course, that’s also what he said when I asked what he wanted for breakfast, what he wanted to do today, and why he kept trying to lick his sister. He’s a little bit obsessed with dinosaurs right now, thanks to that horrible Dino Dan kid (just shut UP already, NO ONE CAN SEE THE DINOSAURS. YOU MIGHT BE INSANE). Luckily, dinosaur costumes are cheap and readily available from every single costume store on the internet so I didn’t have to kill myself trying to sew one.

Instead, I pinned all my adorable handmade costume hopes and dreams on Caroline. And what’s more adorable than a baby in a tutu?

Can you tell what she is yet?

How about now?

Don't say "a yellow statue of liberty" because that doesn't make any sense

It would help if she was smiling

The headband is just felt cut and hot glued around a piece of elastic. The tutu I made with my own tutu tutorial on a piece of elastic instead of a ribbon (which was a mistake, because it’s a little too big and if I had used a ribbon I could just tie it tighter). The onesie was on clearance at H&M. BOOM. Sunshine baby.

I’ve been trying to take pictures of her in the costume for three days now, but she’s been a crying, snotty mess every time she was awake. I forced her into this photo shoot yesterday and couldn’t figure out why she was STILL such a crying, snotty mess until an hour later when I finally tracked down a thermometer (hereby officially labeled with a big giant black “R” for…well, you know how to take a baby’s temperature, right?) and discovered she had a fever of 103.6.

I’m expecting my Mother of the Year award to come in the mail any day now.

So we’re stuck at home today, not having photo shoots, hoping Caroline feels better soon and I don’t end up at the pediatrician and/or the hospital with a dehydrated baby. Little Evan is thrilled he’s not being forced to interact with humans and can watch all the Nick Jr he wants while I cuddly the sick-o and try to (literally) nurse her back to health. Thank God Dino Dan is only on once a day.

Leaf Lanterns & I’ve Officially Become A Crazy Craft Blogger

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Over the summer, there were a zillion of those 1,000,001 Fun Things To Do lists floating around. Go to the beach! Build a sand castle! Pick strawberries! Can your own jam! Discover cold fusion! Let the good times roll! But the truth is summer is hot and sweaty and putting sunscreen on two squirmy children is exhausting and I hate getting sand in my lady parts so I’d just be setting myself up for failure. Who wants to look at their Super! Fun! Awesometimes! list on September 1st and realize they only thing you managed to check off is “eat ice cream”?

But fall? Fall I can handle. Fall is easy and breezy and lets you wear stretchy jeans so you can eat apple cider donuts and hot cocoa after a summer of stressing about the size of your thighs in shorts. And instead of a bazillion and one things, let’s stick with a nice reasonable number so there’s still lots of time for naps with the windows open. But I still need a list because checking things off is MY FAVORITE.

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And just in case you might also want to check things off (CHECK!), you can download my list as a PDF and print it out. That’s right, I’ve popped my printable cherry, which is the first step to becoming a full-blown craft blogger. Or maybe that happened like a zillion years ago and I’ve just been in denial.

 Since now that there’s A List Of Things I Must Do, I crossed off “make a fall craft” today with a super cute, super quick leaf lantern project.

After his success in collecting pine cones, I had high hopes that Little Evan would be really into helping me find pretty colored leaves for this project, but unfortunately he thinks ALL the leaves are pretty. He’s like the Jesus of leaf collecting – every one is special and beautiful and precious in his eyes! So I threw all his in the yard (lovingly, of course) and wandered down the street to pick up a few colorful ones.

 You probably already have everything you need for this project (besides the leaves, which are out in your yard)(unless you live somewhere without autumn, in which case this would also work with flowers, ferns or other growing things). Here’s the entire supply list: wax paper, scissors, and iron and some clear tape.

 Tear off a piece of wax paper. Now you have two options – cut it in half or fold it in half. Either way, the idea is to have a wax side facing up. Arrange your leaves on the wax side.

 Then fold/lay the other part of the paper over it wax side down and press lightly with a medium-hot iron.

 If you’re lazy and have messy edges like mine, trim them up once the paper cools off a little. Then bend it into a circle and use a piece of clear tape to make it stay – I found that cutting the tape longer than the lantern and then folding the ends over made it stick really well.

 They don’t look like much now…

 …but with a little candle light, you’ve got fall magic.

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BOOM. Now take a hike. Because it’s on the list, not because I don’t like you.

7 Things To Do With Pinecones

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Thing #1 – Leave them on the ground and let them turn into pine trees like God intended. Because unless you have a herd of toddlers to put to work, why the hell would you waste perfectly good time picking up pine cones?*

First, bake them in the oven at 250 for 20 minutes to kill the spiders/bugs/nasty fungus stuff that might be living in them. Because nothing ruins the charming fall decor at your dinner party like poisonous spider bites as parting gifts for your guests.

Thing #2 – Roll them in acrylic paint and put them in a rustic basket as a centerpiece.

Thing #3 – Spray paint them and put them in a glass vase.


Thing #4 -Wrap the stem ends in yarn and make a garland.

Thing #5 – Cover them with spray adhesive and glitter and hang them up.

Thing #6 – Spread them with peanut butter and bird seed to make a bird feeder.

Thing #7 -Make scented potpourri: Put them in a ziplock bag & spray with adhesive, add cinnamon/cloves/lemon zest/pumpkin pie spice. Close & shake, open and sniff.

TA-DA! You just wasted your entire stay-at-home-lazy-day making pointless pinecone crafts!

*No toddler labor was exploited in the making of these crafts. Ok, maybe just a LITTLE toddler labor. But they liked it.

Thirty Hand Made Days