Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Taking Creative to a WHOLE New Level

It has been a while, my friends...A. While. However, never fear- the Creative Crafty has not left the LoLo House. Oh no.

Behold, what I have been Creatively Crafting for BBJ:

She asked for earrings, and I GAVE her earrings.

Creative: Check
Crafty: Check (Look! A knot! And a little bangle, re purposed from a baby shower favor! Oooh!)

Mission: Accomplished

PS - She wore those to church on Sunday, per her own request. Should I be more embarrassed than I am? (Which is to say...not at all?)

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Shop Update!

Well, the big wait is over!

Could you guess what I've been working on?

A small army of hair clips, fit for a fairy...or a princess...or a fairy princess!

These are all up in the shop now.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Ultimate Reversible Apron

Last week, a friend approached me and asked me to make an apron for her sweet little girl, who is turning 2 in a few days. I was so excited! She's a beautiful little girl, with bright blue eyes and a smile that melts your heart.

Since her mom knows her best, she went and picked out the fabric - two identical prints in pink and purple. When I saw them together, I knew it was time for me to make the Ultimate Reversible apron.

She wanted a chef-style, to keep as much gook off of her little baking helper as possible, with a large pocket to hold all her Friends and Stuff.

I wanted it to be completely reversible, with a large pocket on both sides, so she could be purple if she wanted, or pink.

I am so proud of how this apron turned out. It seems impossible for me to make them perfect in just one pass. With this apron, I finished it Monday night, held it up for Lo Gung's inspection, and he looked at it...and said, "The pocket's crooked!"

Sure enough, the way I tried to put pockets on both sides had Failed.

Thank goodness for a tutorial I ran across a few months ago - how to rip out seams. I never thought there was an art to it, but there is!! I took out all the seams I needed to in just a few minutes, pinned it all up straight, and had another go at it...and I'm in love. (Of course, I can't find the tutorial now. If you'd like to know how to rip out seams QUICKLY, let me know and I'll put up my own tutorial. Or maybe it's just me that seems to rip out 1/3 of all the seams I sew!)

I'll have to make some more of these to put up in the shop. (By the by, that etsy update I promised a few days ago is coming. Check back here later to find out what they are!!)

What do you think? BBJ is already a big fan!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rainy Day Fun

If any of you live anywhere along the East Coast...you'll know that it has been rather wet lately. Damp. Soggy. Somebody forgot to tell Mother Nature that the first day of Summer is just days away!
When my husband reminded me that Father's Day is even closer than summer, and we had yet to get any sort of cards in order, I was tasked with taking the kids out to find cards.
Excuse me? It's not that I mind being given the task - I usually adore shopping for cards! However, heading out in the driving rain with a two year old and a six month old to shop for cards just didn't sound like a good idea to me. So, what's a crafty mama to do?
Foist the job off on someone else!
Out came the construction paper, a new set of brushes I picked up at IKEA, and some non-toxic paints I found at a local bargain store.
Usually, paints and paper will keep my toddler occupied for about 15 minutes...or about three sheets of paper, whichever comes first. However, I underestimated the power of the Brush. Painting has been of the Finger variety up until this point, but I don't think we'll ever go back!
17 sheets of paper later, she announced herself Done.
(Grandpas, this is the point where you stop reading, m'kay? Thanks a bunch.)
Most of these are going to be carefully stowed away for later use. I chose out four of them, folded them in thirds, wrote a Father's Day note on the back, and sent them out in the post to all the papas.

A card, and original artwork, all in one!
I might take a few of these and cut them up to be pasted onto blank pre-folded notecards as well.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Something New This Way Comes

I've been working on something new this week, for a (long overdue) shop update!

Let's play a little game - What do you think Aunt LoLo is making???

The answer is coming...soon!

A Wee Bunny Blanket

Another day, another baby blanket set. I love making these!

This one went with my husband to a co-worker's baby shower. (That's one thing I LOVE about Lo Gung's company - they throw a baby shower for every baby, whether it's an employee or a spouse that's pregnant.)

The gender of the baby is, as of yet, unknown.

This will pass for Gender Neutral...right? (You can't see it very clearly, but one side is pale green with bunnies and chicks, and the other side is white with some cartoonish safari animals.)

Black Friday can't come too soon! Of course, there is flannel available year round at JoAnn's but...they get in a HUGE shipment just before Black Friday every year, and the selection is AWESOME. *sigh* Guess I'll just have to get even more next year!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sewing Machine Meme

Sew Mama Sew put out this Meme, and asked us (the readers) to give reviews of our sewing machine. So...here goes! If you'd like to play along, head on over to Sew Mama Sew and link up.

What brand and model do you have?
I have a Brother EX 660

How long have you had it?
Two years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
About $120

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
A hodge podge. Clothes for my daughter, flannel baby blankets and burp cloths, aprons...

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew approximately two hours a week, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I love my machine - it's perfect for a beginner. She doesn't have a name...yet.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
I love how easy it is to thread, and the clear cover over the bobbin so I can keep tabs on my thread level. I love the "backstitch button" and that the needle always ends in the Down position when I take my foot off the pedal.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Not really! Oh, except...it used to have a needle threader, but it got caught on an extremely fluffy pair of socks I was working on (I thought they'd make great baby leg warmers!) and bent so far out of shape, it hasn't threaded a needle in nearly a year and a half. *sob*

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
The machine was a gift from my parents...just like all my other major crafting supplies! (What can I say - Dad likes to promote his kids' passions and hobbies!) I was so excited when I got it, but didn't really get into sewing until a year and a half later, when I was 7 months pregnant with my second child. Suddenly, the Nesting Urge hit and all I wanted to do was sew scraps of cloth together to make things. (That's the same time I opened up my Etsy shop as well!)

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I definitely would, especially to a beginner. The machine is light-weight, very portable and on the lower-end of the price spectrum. (I actually did recommend this machine to a friend, and she bought it for her daughter's birthday last week!)

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
You need to look at what you're going to be doing to the machine. My Brother machine is not meant, for example, to sew circus tents or work with leather. However, if you're a home crafter, a machine like mine is perfect.

Do you have a dream machine?
I don't know enough about machines to really dream about other ones yet...but someday, if my crafting keeps up this pace, and I actually start all the projects that are swimming around in my head, I'd like to step up to a slightly more powerful machine.

We Wilsons WIN!

I recently participated in Sew Mama Sew's May Giveaway Day. I couldn't host a giveaway...but I did enter a few. And..I won! Well, one of them anyhow.

Laura over at We Wilsons contacted me last week to let me know that I'd won her drawing, and could pick out any two fat quarters I liked from her line of fabric in her etsy shop. (She designed her own fabric! Isn't that cool?!) I chose her red jade fabric, and yellow window fabric.

Aren't they fabulous??! What would you do with two fat quarters? Any projects you've been meaning to try?

If you have a second, pop over to her shop - it's ADORABLE. She's got great fabric, and really fabulous patterns for softie toys, handmade cards, journals...it's all great. My favorite is her little turtle...he looks just like a turtle I used to play with at my grandmother's house when I was a little girl. Hmm..I wonder if two fat quarters is enough to make the turtle!

I'm off to check on that. Thanks again, Laura!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A New Apron

I've been working on a few projects lately...

One of them has been a new apron. It started as a request from my sister. She wanted an apron to wear while she was crafting, to catch all the bits of thread that seemed to end up stuck to her lap. It had to be a half apron, with generous ties, and fabric that was thick enough to stand up to rigorous use.

This is what I came up with. (I'm really sorry the pictures aren't better - the only one here during daylight that knows how to use a camera is me, and the full length mirror is the only way I can get a picture of me in an apron! I need to find a spot where I can set the camera with a timer and get a good full-body shot. Hmm...)

It's a really simple apron, but a lot of ruffles and frills would probably just get in the way while detracting.

This fabric is from IKEA. It's a really thick cotton, almost like canvas. I found it, and other prints from the same line, on sale for $.99 a yard and snatched up...well, over 3 dozen yards of it. Whee!

This apron, and its twin sister, are currently winging their ways to their recipients. Girls, you're my guinea pigs - let me know what you think of the aprons!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Pioneerish Apron

This is kind of a surprise, but...since the recipient of this apron probably doesn't read this blog...I'm probably safe. (Besides, I couldn't figure out how to photograph the apron so you could see it properly, so I'm sure she'll still be surprised when it arrives in the mail!)

My little sister is participating in Trek in a few weeks. Trek is a youth activity at church that, over the span of three days, marches youth ages 14-18 across a large piece of land, reenacting circumstances from the pioneers' trek across America. This includes, but is not limited to, dressing in appropriate period clothing, eating appropriate period food, washing your hair with lye soap, packing only 17 pounds of gear per person, and carting it all in a handcart.

My job was to make an apron. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Swappy Goodness from India!!

Oh, my friends...do you remember the swap I participated in at the 6 o'clock stitch? I was lucky enough to be partnered with a lovely blogger from India, PhiPhi from ~Chez Vies~...and my package arrived a few days ago. Want to come along and see what was inside?

First, the outer envelope, carefully wrapped up in packing tape. (It is monsoon season in India, after all. So thoughtful!)

And inside that envelope...another envelope!

And inside that one, a plastic bag. (She takes her rain very seriously.)
Three layers of protection, y'all!

Ahhh...now the lovely stuff. This black fabric is GORGEOUS. It has small eyelet holes in it, and it's embroidered with gold thread.

And suddenly....an explosion of loveliness. Inside the black fabric wrapping was some lovely sheer yellow fabric, a length of lace trim, some beautiful ribbon, and two mystery envelopes.

Inside the white envelope...just about the cutest handmade card I've ever seen. Don't those googly eyes on the traditional papercraft just about kill you?

In the foreground, you can see what was inside my other mystery envelope - a handful of little notions! There are tiny round mirrors, and silk-covered washers to stick them down with, plus little lacey flowers, and...I think it's a sombrero. (Someone help me out here? What's the sombrero bead in the back?)

Here's a close-up of the lovely ribbon...can't you just picture that trimming the bodice of...something?

Ah, but inside the yellow fabric...the swap item. (I have to tell you, receiving my swap packages during this swap was humbling. Ladies, I'm sorry I didn't understand the etiquette of the swap. Packages in the future will be more...creatively stuffed! You were both so lovely to send such fabulous packages!)

Isn't that lovely? I love how she mixed the traditional Indian craft (embroidering mirrors onto fabric) with such a very modern twist.

The whole package. Thank you, PhiPhi. I loved my swap package!