Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birthday Tie Quilt

While my mom was hear she helped me tie a quilt for my son's birthday.
Tying a quilt with yarn is one of the easiest ways to quilt, but I'd never done it without quilting frames.  I usually machine quilt, but with the stretchy minky, I wasn't even going to try that.

My favorite part of the quilt is the corner where I "signed" it sewing the patch with my free motion presser foot, then zig-zagging it on.
Lately, my son refers to himself as "RJ Boy", that is what my dad calls him.
I don't have quilting frames, so we just quilted this on my dining table.
One side is 2 yards of lime dot minky fabric (it's 60" wide) I bought at JoAnns when it was 50% off.  Then the layer of batting, and the top of the quilt is actually a striped twin flat sheet I bought on clearance 2 years ago after "back to school" ended.

We just laid the 3 layers together on the floor, and used large safety pins to connect all three layers.  Then we moved it to the table and marked every 4" and tied the quilt with lime yarn.  To be honest, I bet my mom quilted 80% of this quilt.  I kept getting interrupted with the kids, and she's a lot faster than I am.  So I should have probably put "love, Grandma and mom" on the patch.

I bound it with the left over striped sheet.

We'll see if he likes it.  Usually a quilt isn't that exciting for kids, but he's loved his sister's blue minky quilt, so I hope he will like it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tea Cup Planter Makeover

Blogger was being weird, so sorry if you saw this post earlier and the photos weren't there, for some reason just the text posted the first time.
Also, remember to vote for the final 3 projects at One Month To Win It!  Season 1 is wrapping up!
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When my first baby was born, my mom got this huge tea cup planter.  We took some photos of him squished in it.  Here's my boy in the cup when he was one week old.

It has kind of become a little tradition I guess, and I had kept the huge teacup planter.  But for a girl, I thought I'd paint it to look more feminine rather than the bold stripes.
So here's the whole basic painting process.
The colorful before shot, then rather than having to paint the inside, I filled the cup with plastic sacks, then taped the edge.
Next I used gray spray paint primer to cover all the stripes.
Next, I used white glossy spray paint to get the teacup white.  It took 4 coats I think.
Once, white, I thought it would look better if I added the metal ring around the cup, saucer, and sides of the handles to try to make it look more like real china. 
I was able to tape the top rim of the cup to get a nice sharp line, but for the handle and saucer, I just free handed the edge the best I could.
I used metallic silver craft paint.
Then it was done and ready for a few shots of Ellaria.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Upholstered Footstool {Ballard Design Knock Off}

Ballard Design Knock Off:
Classic Footstool

I like getting the Ballard Design catalog.  It's nice because, unlike Pottery Barn, they keep sending you their catalog even if you never buy anything...at least so far.
I noticed in the last few catalogs, these tiny footstool/ ottomans in lots of different shots.  They were cute, but not worth $129 bucks.
They had them in the bedroom next to the bed, in the living room, under the desk in the office. 
But this shot reminded of me of the chairs I reupholstered in my living room.
Then I remembered this little stool I'd bought at the thrift store a few weeks ago for $3.00 that I didn't have a plan for.

So in less than an hour, I had an upholstered little footstool.  All the foam, batting, and fabric were scraps I already had, so the entire project only cost me $3.00, which makes me like it even more.  Luckily I had a scrap large enough from upholstering my State Legislature chairs, so I decided to make the footstool for them.

What's nice is the fact these are so small, they can tuck right under the chair when not in use so they are out of the way so you won't trip over them.

So here's the quick steps to make your own upholstered baby footstool.

SUPPLIES:
-stool base
-paint for legs if desired
-2 or 3" thick foam
-batting
-fabric
-staple gun

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Awesome Reader Projects!

Susan made a little dino tail for her little girl, using fun prints, rounded "spikes" with the rick-rack edges!
Such a cute dino tail and she says she's new to sewing, and this looks just awesome!

Paula from Qreative Quail made a whole family of shark washcloth puppets as a baby shower gift.  They turned out so cute and I love the idea of having button eyes and different sizes to make the whole family.

SOME PROJECTS FROM OUR FLICKR GROUP

from Ashlyn911
Cute owl tote with her own owl applique

{left from CaitlinBaker}        {right from rebeccutie}
Baby sleep sacks!  I thought the ribbon closure on the left was a cute alternative to elastic, and can close all the way so little feet can't get out.
The soft knit flower embellishment on the left was a cute addition, and she upcycled her fabrics from a sheet and hand-me-down flannel.


Onesie to summer dress by cacimay.  Cute custom embroidery, and she designed the headband herself!

Thanks everyone for uploading your projects in the flickr group, or emailing your projects.  I love to see the tutorials I made are getting used, and to see your alterations and improvements!
So if you have a blog, make sure you add your blog link in your flickr post so I can link back to your project on your blog too!
Thanks!

Where's This Blog Going Anyway

**I wrote this post way last week, but the baby came early so it's context is before the baby is born, and she's here now, so just to indugle myself--here's another picture of chubba cheeks and her brother (who is adjusting to the new baby amazingly well and exceeding all my expectations I had for him).***

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As I get closer to having my baby, and thinking of the many ways my life will change, I've also been thinking about this blog and how it might change.

I've been posting my projects on here for 4 years now.  It started with just showing my mom what I've been working on, and in many ways is still has the same purpose.

This last year it has grown a lot, and it's been so rewarding interacting with other crafty people who share my interests and hobbies, and hopefully giving others an idea they'd like to try themselves.  Having the blog has also improved my skills a lot.  I've been sewing since I was a kid, but these last few years I feel like I've not only improved, but gained a lot of confidence in myself.  I am so impressed with people that start sewing on their own, just figuring it out all by themselves.
I definitely needed my sewing mentors of my mom and little sister before I've tried to branch out.  Just having access to their suggestions/ help/ encouragement really pushed me try new things.  For example, I would never have dreamt of making myself a swimming suit, but my little sister let me use her pattern and told me I could totally do it.  So I gave it a try, it wasn't perfect, but I really liked it.
Then to have motivation to share the stuff I make has helped, and overall, I think sewing is like anything else, it takes a lot of practice to get comfortable and confident.  So if you look back, you'll probably notice how crappy my sewing and projects were, and many still are.  There's always new things to learn and you get better the more you sew/ create.

It's been interesting to see the craft blog world completely explode in the last 18 months or so.  It's great to have so much creativity, ideas, and sharing going on, the vast majority all for free with one another.
It's also interesting to see how many crafty bloggers make it financially profitable.
I don't think my blog is big enough to warrant any sponsorship or financial reimbursement, but I've thought a lot about the direction I'd like to go with it, or what this blog is really about, especially as I approach a pretty major life change with having a baby.

I've been reading and thought about how people make blogs profitable.
But in the end, I think this would end up feeling like a job for me.   I hate required work.  It seems like I'd feel pressure to post every day, to have projects done just to have something to blog about.  Or a lot of financially successful bloggers don't necessarily create, but just run the blog showcasing lots of awesome ideas.  But my passion is the creating, not blogging.  This is probably why my actual blogging isn't that great. I love to drool over bloggers who have incredible photoshoots at cool locations, and the total presentation is just amazing. But I have too many things I want to make and not enough time, so I just plop the dress on my back fence, snap some photos and move on to the next project.

Plus, I see myself as someone who could try really hard, but in the end doesn't have the talent and entrepreneur skills to really make a blog profitable.

So far, everything I've made is because I want/ need it.  I've felt like whether I had a blog or not, I'd still be making all this crap, and it's just fun to be able to share it with people and in return, get tons of ideas from other bloggers out there. 

So in the end, I think it will stay as it began.  Just my little corner of the blogosphere to share what projects I'm making for my own personal documentation, my mom, and anyone else who would like to look at it.
I have really enjoyed it, and I don't want it to become an advertisement or a job.  For me, that would defeat the purpose for having it and smother my creativity.
If I have a busy week or go out of town, I don't worry about having posts ready for my break, I just live my life so there are some weeks where there's nothing new.  I guess that's my whole point that's taken me forever here to explain.

My life is what's important, and this blog is just an aspect of my hobby I get to share with other people.  I don't think I could really ever make much money from my little ideas to make it worth living my life around a blog I guess, or that I would want to do that...even though I am cheap and money can be a big motivator for me.  I'd hate to look back and regret missing moments in my kids life (because I'm a stay at home mom and should be blessed to be there for a large portion) and realize I spent too much time blogging.   So the personal fulfillment I now enjoy from the blog gives me balance.  I think I could easily allow a drive to be a better, bigger blog take away the freedom I now enjoy with it, and I see mainly my family being the ones to suffer the consequences.

Anyway, you'll probably see a lapse in projects as this baby is going to require a lot of time I used to spend creating projects.  Hopefully if you follow this blog you'll feel that's where I should be too and hopefully you'll keep checking in as I'm sure I'll still still feel the need to make something here and there to have some sanity and balance.  Some women jog, shop, get a massage, I make things for "me time".  So I'll still be here, just wanted to explain where I stood on this blog and what I see its purpose to be...and maybe no one really cares and this was all unnecessary, so at the very least, just so you know mom.

Thanks for all the comments, encouragement, and motivation all you readers have given me to create.   I don't thank the people who take the time to look at my projects often enough.  I appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baby Prints

I used to paint signs all the time and tried to sell them a few years ago.  With everyone having vinyl cutters of their own, I rarely paint signs.  But I made this one when our first son was born, and plan to add each kid's foot and hand prints to have them all together.
Each kid will be a different color, so with my son green, and Ellaria red, it looks like Christmas, but we plan to have future kids that will mix it up.

I just use water-soluble craft paint to stamp their prints.  The hands are the hardest, but Ellaria did pretty great on this sign.

It was interesting to compare her tiny hand to her brother's huge mitt side by side.

I also make them a little block for their room, with the hands and feet.  Ellaria's weren't very good prints, her hands were just smears, but that's what you get I guess.
I just paint the name, birth date, weight and length on there.

I wish I had a Silhouette to make it easier, but for now the text is painted and is pretty much free and so that's what I use.
Her block goes on the shelf in her corner.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baby Roundup

Thank you so much for all the nice comments on the birth of our baby girl.  I read every one, and appreciate it so much.  She's almost a week old and we've been enjoying her chubby cheeks.  I'm feeling pretty great, and recovering much faster than I did with my son.  It's been one week, and I feel about where I was at 3 weeks with my first, so we're all doing well and are just enjoying this little girl.  My mom is here to help, and so we've actually been doing a few little projects in between trading snuggle time with Ellaria.
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Since we've just had a baby girl, here's all the baby projects I've made these last few months, I thought I'd put them all together in case you need a baby gift, or are expecting yourself.

TUTORIALS FROM ME:



TUTORIALS FROM OTHERS:

Diaper Covers,           Baby Knit Hats,       Itty Bitty Dress


PROJECTS WITHOUT TUTORIALS:
Minky Quilt,             Butterfly Easter Dress,         Spring Scrunched Baby Dress

Christening Dress,             Giraffe Softie,          Painting: Mouse, Red Ripe Strawberry

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