Sunday, November 29, 2009

Goodness in the Mail

Have I ever told y'all how much I adore the mailman? Besides the fact that he will often bring my mail to my front door if there is a parcel to deliver as well, he...well, he's the guy with the presents! What's not to love?!

The other day, he brought by these beauties - 9 handmade napkins, custom, from my sweet sister Myrnie. They're a Good Job present, for meeting my weight loss goal before the end of the year. (She made her goal a few days later, and her package is ready...I just have to make it out to the post office!) I requested a size appropriate for a 3 year old. (Too large, and they'd be dragging through her dinner!) Myrnie picked out this luscious brown and white print and went to town on her handy-dandy serger.

The verdict? The three year old approves!! I keep these in the fruitbowl, in the middle of the table, and she loves to grab one to wipe off her little fingers.

Thanks, Myrnie!!
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Friday, November 27, 2009


Just wanted to send a quick shout out to Little Bird. You won my apron at Be Different...Act Normal! Be sure to get in contact soon so I can send your apron before the holidays.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

GIVEAWAY: A button for you

My dear friends, first of all - have you entered the giveaway at Be Different...Act Normal, yet? Time is running out for you to win your very own handmade LoLo Craft apron!

Second, and on a related note - I have mastered the ancient ninja art of creating a grabbable button. (Yes, that's a word. "Grabbable" = to possess the quality of being easily grabbed. Go look it up.)

Lorie, from Be Different...Act Normal, contacted me a few nights ago and asked if I had such a thing as a button about me, such as would connect a blog reader to my etsy shop?

Well, my friends, I do have such a button...but I quickly realized tt the buton showed off my lovely burpcloths...which are no longer stocked in my etsy shop.


You do see, don't you, how that simply would not do?

With my trusty hubs by my side, a full hour of So You Think You Can Dance on my DVR, and my laptop in, lap, I set forth to create such a button as would serve my purpose.

Not only did I create a button, but I made it grabbable so that you, too, can grab my button...should you wish to lead readers to my etsy shop.

(As I wrote that, I realized how slim a possibility there is that my readers would like their readers to shop. Never mind that. Just rejoice with me that I figured out how to do it, m'kay? Thanks!)

Now, should you wish to grab this lovely button, look over on my sidebar. Do you see over there, a little button that says "LoLo Craft"? Yes? Good. Now, just below it is a little text box full of gibberish. If you would like to add my button to your blog, go to your blog, and under the Layout tab, choose to Add a Gadget. Select the "HTML" gadget, and copy and paste my gibberish into that HTML gadget. Hit "Save" and voila! My button is on your sidebar.

NOW, if you've stuck with me this long...I have a special present for you, dear readers. As an early Christmas present to you, I will make a grabbable button for 10 readers. The button can link to your shop, to your blog...whatever. Whatever you would like to advertise...or let your friends advertise for you. Just leave a comment, and find a photograph you would like me to use. Preferrably something that represents your shop/blog/site, with a nice solid color somewhere on it for me to fit in the name of your shop/blog/site.

If there are significantly MORE than 10 comments on this post, I'll draw names. :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Apron for a Princess

BBJ attended a birthday party for a friend, with a Princess theme. The girls were invited to wear their best "princess dresses" and come enjoy a lovely Tea Party. Oh, you'd better believe BBJ was excited! She picked out her dress herself ("I want my Easter Bunny dress, Mommy!" Funny that the Easter dress from 2008 still fits...)
We found some girly-girly fabric in the stash, cut out a basic pattern, and got to work! (Of course, when I say "we", you know I mean "I sewed while the big girl entertained her baby brother", right? 'cause that's a team effort, in my book.)
This is a new design for me, and I have to say...I think it turned out Princess-erific!

(If anyone is interested, some aprons similar to this one will be prepared for the shop soon. Shoot me a line if you'd like more info.)
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Monday, November 16, 2009

A Mod Apron

Materials: Home dec. weight canvas cotton
Source: IKEA
For: Adults
Details: Two pleats, giving the skirt an A-Line shape.
I think I may have finally come up with a flattering apron! Do I get my Nobel Peace Prize now?

This one will be up in the shop soon...but she needs a name. I'm thinking "Heidi". Thoughts?
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A new LoLo Craft Giveaway!

You might have noticed a little blurp up at the top of the blog? My sweet friend Lorie, over at Be Different...Act Normal is hosting a giveaway for me. She's getting ready to move, and life is crazy right now...but she's always got time to scour the net and post all of her favorite home dec projects. I love all the great ideas she finds...and (after reading the comments on the giveaway) I'm developing a crush on her readers, too. Such sweeties!

Also, because she's so very creative, she's come up with about 2 million ways for you to earn extra entries. The drawing will be for one of the aprons pictured below, your choice.

Hurry - the comments will close on 11/22 at midnight!
(Pictured, L-R: Child's full apron, Adult half apron and toddler full apron, with a pocket.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big Red Ornaments!

Hrm. I'm not entirely thrilled with that picture up there, but...when has that ever stopped me?

I found a great tutorial over at Zakka Life for these little (?? 6" diameter) felt Christmas ornaments, and I knew it was destiny. A few months ago, I scored about a yard and a half of red felt on Freecycle. The ribbon was from a rummage sale a few weeks ago. (One of my major Thrifting Fails. A used spool of 1/4" black ribbon for $2. Original price? $.99. DOH! Oh well, it was for a good cause, and we also purchased $100 worth of books for about $5, so I guess I can justify that one little dollar...) Total cost per ornament? About $.15. Not bad!

These come together really fast, and make a great Couch Project. (You know the ones...the projects that fit in your lap and don't require you to move from the couch!) If you have some felt laying about, I highly recommend this little project!

I've made up five of these guys now. In the absence of a Christmas Tree, they are currently lazing about on my light fixtures. Heh. Festive.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Support Handmade

My you see that little button up there? (And over there on the sidebar? You do? Good. Just checking.)

The dear, dear ladies over at Wee Folk Art are compiling a list of small shops that specialize in the handmade and the homemade and the wonderful. LoLo Craft is now a member of this directory, and I'm just delighted!.

If you have a moment, might I invite you to peruse the list? You might find something lovely that you never knew you needed, or something marvelous that Great Aunt Betsy will love, or something fabulous that your favorite sister has been looking for all year. You never know!

Support Handmade...'cause it's swell.

(If you would like to be included in the directory, follow the directions on Wee Folk Art and e-mail your information to Michelle. Happy Crafting!)

PS - One you're over at Wee Folk Art, take your time! The generous lovely ladies over there have a lot of gorgeous patterns and tutorials, all free! Everything from crafts to appliques and embroidery patterns to tiny'll find it all there. Share the wealth.

Monday, November 9, 2009

NBPM: Day 9 - Snoods

(Zara Cowl Neck Collar. $29.50)
(Photo from

Yes, you heard me. Snoods. Word has come to me that they are the next Hot Thing, and that designers across the board are counting on them to carry their Christmas accessories sales.

Ever heard of a Snood?

Think of the biggest cowl neck you ever saw. Now take it off of the sweater, and set it on your head.


Half scarf, half babushka. WSJ reading father thinks etsians everywhere should jump on this bandwagon. What do y'all think?

To snood...or not to snood?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NBPM: Day 7 - Cheap Materials

Today is Saturday and, as such, isn't really a great day for crafting. However, it is a great day for shopping.

Target, to be exact.

Just a quick heads up - Target dollar aisle has grosgrain Hello, Kitty ribbon right now. For a dollar.

Just so's you know.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Tee Story

I showed you this little tidbit the other day...and now I'm ready for the Big Reveal. (The recipient should have already opened her birthday present. Happy Birthday, Bert!)

I took a note from all the re-fashions floating around, and some great tops I found at the mall. I bought two: one in the size Bert wears (don't worry - Bert's a girl) and another in the largest size they had (XL) to use as, ahem, "garnish." From the larger shirt, I cut a few 1.5" strips from the bottom.

(Sorry about the pic - I tend to craft after the kids go to bed!)

I cut them open, into strips, and then sewed three of them together, end to end. I set my machine for the longest straight stitch I could, and sewed a long stripe from one end of my strip to the other. Then, I pulled on the top thread to ruffle up my jersey.

I ruffled it pretty tightly, and then basted it into a big spiral. Then I sewed it securely onto the top left chest, just below the shoulder.

I was really happy with how this top turned out!

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

I love the postman

Woohoo!! Monday afternoon was a Banner Day at the mailbox. My daughter helped me get the mail, and when she saw the inside, she said, "Ooh, mommy! Presents!"

Inside the box was one piece of junkmail, and three packages. All for me!

The two books pictured came from the lovely Ms. Hoppo Bumpo, Liesl. I won one on her blog, and was thrilled to discover she'd thrown in the second book! That package came all the way from Australia.

The second package in the pile came all the way from Canada, from Su at Vively Online. I won a gorgeous black leather brooch on her blog. (She made it from black leather salvaged from a broken handbag. Genius!) Just because she's sweet, she threw in the adorable pink flower clippie for BBJ, and a sweet little bow tie for Siu Jeun!

Finally, the last package came from California, from Lo Gung's cousin. She's part of a weight loss group that I started this year. There are 9 of us, and we all set a goal in January. The deal is: report in weekly, do your best to lose the weight (adjusting your goal as necessary!) and meet your goal by 12/31. If you do, the other ladies in the group promise to send you a present! Snazzy, right? Anywho, Miss Awesome Cali Cousin made me that totally rockin' potholder up there, and threw in a bamboo/silicone scraper and a set of measuring scoops (in orange!) just because she's neat like that.

Such a wonderful day!
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Handmade Gift: Shabby Chic!

Here's Handmade Gift number one. I'm going to call it Shabby Chic...with a LoLo twist. I have the worst time following the rules. Who said Mod and Shabby can't coincide? We'll call it a hapa.
And no, I won't tell you what it is. You'll have to wait until it's done!
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Handmade Holidays

Have you seen this button around?

Sew Mama Sew is hosting this fun little shindig..and it's just the kick in the pants I need. (Click on the button above, or in my sidebar, if you'd like to check it out or participate!) As I've grown more confident in my crafting this year, I've discovered that I can make beautiful things for people I love...and save a bit in the giving department, as well.

Stay tuned...and if you're in my family, pretend you can't guess which one is yours. Or at least act surprised when you open it on Christmas.

Or, since I won't actually be there for the gift opening, just call me and tell me you were surprised.

I promise to believe you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

NBPM: Day 2

The thing about holidays can never really talk about the projects you're working on!

So, I'll leave you with this: Ruffles Rock.

I'll share more soon.
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo: Day 1

Kids, this is going to be a real stretch for me. I really, really really try to do something creative each day. Now, I want to take it one step further - I want to put some love into my crafty blog! If you'd like to hear more about my daily LoLo life, head on over to my kid/Eurasian/ME blog.

Today is Sunday, and I don't usually have time to craft on Sundays. I think the sum total of my creative energy will be spent on French Toast for dinner tonight.

Yup. That's about it.

Happy NaBloPoMo!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ties for Guys

...or gals.
The other day, a friend and I headed out on a Grand Adventure (or a GA as my grandmother would call it) to pick up a bag of ties from a generous Freecycler. Imagine our surprise when we finally found the bags...only to discover that they had 8 fab knit ties (straight from 1983!) along with 8 gorgeous (tags still on: $127!) "standard" ties. Squee!

If I get my act together, the knit ties will become ties for Little Men, as nobody cares if a Little Man chews on a cotton knit tie! The silky ones...we're not sure yet. Except for the one in the picture - BBJ has claimed it as her own.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

WIP: Cozy Pozy Clips

(WIP = Works in Progress)

As the weather turns cooler, I've had the chance to make a few cozier items for my little princess. Starting with these.

She still adores the silk-flower clips I made her a few months ago, but they were just seeming so out of place. What kind of a winter fairy wears spring flowers, dear readers? I ask you.

Not many.

These little clips are made of red felt (which appears to have some lovely shimmer woven in.) Being ever-frugal, this felt was received as a gift on our local ReUseIt network. (I (heart) free!)

The center was carefully snipped with sharp little clippers, and then pierced with a teeny-tiny star-shaped "brad".

You can't really see it, but the clip was covered in a little piece of tan and cocoa ribbon from my bucket of "ribbon bits." I covered all four sides (top, bottom-top, top-bottom, and bottom) with ribbon. Next time, I think I will only cover the top and top-bottom, as the extra ribbon on the clip makes it awfully hard to slide into my daughter's hair.

What do you think? (They met with my daughter's hearty approval - she has worn the clip daily since its birth last Wednesday. That's a lot of cozy posy-ing.)

(These should be listed in the shop, shortly. As in...when the kids let me get around to taking better photos, etc. If they look like something you'd like to see on your own little fairy princess, drop me a line!)
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Something Wicker This Way Comes

That's my mantle right now. Do you like it? Oh, wait - you've got to see this.

It's my niece, Bookie. The picture was a gift from her parents...and just seemed to scream to be added to my Halloween decor. Heh.

The other day, I found a smallish wicker wreath at Christmas Tree Shop for only $1. A dollar, y'all! I knew that, for a dollar, I could definitely try my hand at wreath making again.

I'm kind of in love with the idea of decor that will last through several seasons, with "changable suits of apparel", if you will.
So far, I've made this little guy a ghost, a jack o' lantern, a candy corn, a black cat (what? you couldn't tell?) and a pink-eyed bat. I cut them all out of eco-friendly craft felt (the ones made from post-consumer plastic) and glued everything together. Then I glued 15" pieces of ribbon onto the backs so I could tie them onto the wreath. The whole project took about 20 minutes.
Easy peasy! Now, I need to make a cornucopia...a turkey...maybe a pumpkin pie?
*The bow is from a stash of bows I made up last year. They're great for decorating, and can be used on packages over and over. I might use a few to tie our stockings to the banister this year, out of the way of grasping toddler hands! They're easy to make, or I still have a few available in my shop.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Tute: Baby Leg Warmers

This has got to be the quickest tutorial known to man. However, it's been a while since I've seen these little gems making the rounds. Perhaps it is time to resurrect the leg-warmer?

These little leg warmers are awesome for babies and toddlers. They protect little knees when infants are learning to crawl, and stretch out the "wearability" of the summer wardrobe just a leeetle further, by adding long sleeves or long "pants" to those cute summer jumpsuits and skirts.

First, gather your supplies.

You'll need:
1 pair ladies knee-high socks (Use children's knee-highs if you are making these for a bitty baby.)
Rotary cutter
Cutting mat
Straight edge ruler
Sewing machine or serger

Here's my pile, all ready to be sewn! Remember, when you're sewing to not stretch the fabric out. If you do, you'll get a weird ridge around the ankle (or wrist, depending on how you wear them).

Also, please note: If you would like the ankle (or wrist) to be a bit more snug, you can cut your "foot tube" open (top to bottom) to make it into a long, fat strip. Then, trim a bit off the short end, and sew it back together. Proceed as outlined above. If you're not serging these, you can "finish" the raw edges with a zig zag stitch.

Or just leave them. Whatever floats your boat.

And what would a tute be without some action shots? (Sassy legs provided courtesy of my eldest child, circa January 2008.)

*Note: I got the above-pictured 4-pack of ladies knee-highs at my local warehouse store for around $10. Around holidays, you can often find themed knee-highs at bargain stores for a few dollars. If you ever see knee-highs that would work for a boy, stock up - they're a rare breed, as men tend to not wear colorful knee-high socks. *ahem* Also, fluffy socks are a bear to work with. I recommend you stick to the thin-knit kind.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

My First Free-Motion Quilt

(Sorry for the quality of the picture - it was the middle of the night, and I could only risk One Shot. I'll have a photoshoot with The Quilt later and post it here, m'kay?)

It's done, y'all. I would love to claim that this is my first quilt...but it's not. That honor goes to a sort of rainbow and flannel Big Old Quilt I made when I was in high school. I had no idea what I was doing, but I wanted to make a quilt for my twin sister, Myrnie. I will never know how I managed to pull this off, but I cut out the entire quilt on my bedroom floor, and sewed the entire thing on my mom's sewing machine, on my desk. All while Myrnie slept on the other side of a shared bathroom. Oh, it took a few weeks, but she never knew I was in there sewing until midnight? Really??! (Just to keep the fun of the surprise going, I found the smallest box I could smash it into, and wrapped it up for her Christmas present. When the tape came off the box, the queen-sized quilt LEAPED out of the box. She was quite surprised.)

I digress. This quilt is from a tutorial on Oh! Fransson - her Clothesline quilt. I loved that quilt on first sight, but knew I would need to make some modifications. Namely - it was a lap quilt. I needed a twin sized quilt.

After a lot of talking with a good friend (Thanks, Lynnae!) and some friendly Come On! from a friend who wanted to make the quilt as well, I got started. My friend and I looked for vintage sheets from here to Ohio, and finally gathered up 9 different prints that we were happy with. I need to write another post with all of my changes, for posterity. It wasn't hard to make the lap-sized quilt into a queen sized quilt, but there were many, many trips from the sewing machine to the cutting room upstairs...and those could have been avoided if I'd known how many pieces of everything I would need beforehand!

The quilt blocks are a 9-patch within a 9-patch design. The prints you see are all vintage sheets, and the sashing is unbleached cotton from IKEA. The binding is another vintage pillowcase - folded and handstitched on the back. I did all the quilting using a free-motion quilting foot, and I did it on my student-grade Brother machine with a Janome foot. The backing is a fitted (vintage) sheet that was opened up and cut to size.

I am so proud of myself for finishing this project! The quilt isn't perfect...but it's mine. I love it, and I loved BBJ's reaction when she woke up this morning, all snuggled in under the "present" she's been waiting several months for!
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Going GREEN (and a deal alert)

In this week's Christmas Tree Shop circular, I noticed that they had Martha Stewart craft paper punches (regularly $9.99) in stock, for $3.99 a piece! So, I packed the kids up and included Christmas Tree Shop in our whirlwind errand outing. They had two designs in stock - an aster, and an edging punch. I chose the aster.
The next day, while BBJ slept, Siu Jeun and I went upstairs to have a little fun. I've decided that card making could be a really good hobby for me - if I know what I want, I can go from cupboard to done in about 10 minutes. Since that is approximately the same length of time as Siu Jeun's ability to play by himself without investigating what I'm's a perfect fit!
This card, obviously, is super simple. Three asters punched out of the right side, and glued onto the left. A piece of scrapbook paper on the front, and a matching one glued inside. Easy peasy! Then, because I had used black paper for the card itself, I glued a piece of white (printer) paper inside for writing on. Snazzy, yes?

I also carved out a few minute to cut out the binding for BBJ's quilt. It was only when I put them together that I realized...I might be feeling a little green right now. Is it the flu season, or just a perverse desire to keep summer around a little longer?

(The quilt is almost done! The binding is sewn onto one side - I just need to hand stitch it down on the backside, and I'm DONE. I finished about half of the hand sewing last night, during So You Think You Can Dance. What's on tonight??)
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Monday, October 5, 2009

A Birthday Banner

For the past year or so, I have been admiring various banners that I've seen online. They looked like they could be so easy. But, there was always other projects to take precedence.

Until September.

Daddy was at work, the little girl's birthday was fast approaching, and I knew I would blow a gasket if I didn't sit down and make something that couldn't be eaten, ripped or otherwise maimed.

Enter - the birthday banner!
I made this quick and dirty - literally. I sat down on the floor and, with children crawling all over me, quickly cut 13 triangles out of a long strip of magenta felt. ( I found it in my came from a freecycler. I had visions of a poodle skirt for BBJ, but...really? Where would she wear a poodle skirt? I had to be practical, dahling.)

And that was all I was able to do without snipping off some toes in the process.
I waited until the kids had gone to bed, and convinced Lo Gung to help me finish - he has words if my projects aren't neat and I told him to draw the letters out himself. After he had drawn them out onto sheets of acrylic felt, it was a simple matter of cutting them out and gluing them on!

The next morning, I used a straight stitch to sew the little pennants onto a long strip of binding that I had made from an old pillowcase and then sewn shut, for a previous project. (It made great ties for kitty kapes!)

Easy peasy!

Do you think I need another banner for the boy? Or is he Man enough to handle pink Birthday Wishes...
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