Wednesday, December 26, 2007

teapot cozy

Now that the cozy has been received, I can blog about it! I scoured the internet looking for a nice teapot cozy that a person would not be embarrassed to display in their home. I found very few patterns that met this simple criteria. Knit or crochet, it did not matter to me! I first found this pattern which I figured I could modify to me more post-millennium-dweller friendly. No poodle, or rad flowers? The hook size was European but I found a conversion chart to US size and immediately began crocheting away. About 3 rows in, I decided that the color combo would not work and that the thing was coming out WAY too big. I frogged it. I'm not using a different hook, I'm going to find a better pattern, written in the last 20 years.

My search brought me to this beauty over at Lullabies and Lace. The instructions were great, I had no trouble getting through the pattern.
The cozy is completely awesome.

I cannot neglect to mention the help that was extended by the "boy in the house" over there. With a simple email, the dimensions of the teapot needing a cozy were relayed along with a nice description. This was a world of help since I have no teapot and am not familiar with the sizes and whatnot. I mean, I just started drinking tea like 2-3 weeks ago!! Geez!

Since I have no teapot to model the cozy, I'll leave it to Ms. Floatytoes to edit this post and add a photo as soon as humanly possible. I forgot to photograph it while I was there, staring at it. I am so proud and elated that my good friends actually like it! =]

Saturday, December 22, 2007

No gnomes

My dream induced gnome quilt was not approved, having a boy in the house. I understand. I do. But I must quilt. I am still going to plan this quilt so that I can work on it all year. I have decided after much deliberation that the best quilt for my skill level AND for the amount of fabric patterns I want to use, Denyse Schmidt's Flock of Triangles quilt is PERFECT. I found this site here, where it shows a picture. Of course, the instructions are for a crib sized quilt, and I am going to make a king sized quilt. My love of oranges and yellows and warm patterns are probably overwhelming sometimes, so I am going to try really hard not to make it orange. Even though I really want to. But perhaps I could compromise with greens, say from Joel Dewberry's Aviary collection?

yikes! double points!

I decided to be ambitious last night. I opened my 5-pack of bamboo double pointed knitting needles. I am attempting to start and finish a Christmas gift by Sunday! Yikes! Anyway, using the double points to knit in the round is easier than I had expected because you only work 2 of the needles at a time, the other three just hang out until you get to them. I used this helpful article on to learn the proper technique. The picture is of what I have made so far. It's going to take some diligent work today and tonight to get this baby done!! The finished product will come in another post. =]

cookies and coffee

Eight years ago, when I first started working for Starbucks, I found I could take coffee gift packs as my free pound for the week. So, I took the little 2.5 oz Christmas Blend bags (I could take 6, even though that was one ounce short of a pound) and stock piled them in my moms kitchen cabinet for a month or however long they were available for. I didn't really know what to do with them but then decided to bake chocolate chip cookies to go with the coffee. I packed up the goods in little plastic tin-like containers and my mom shipped them off to whoever they were going to, I think mostly my dad's family. I got a report back from my mom that my grandma opened her package and immediately brewed a pot of the coffee and then sat there and ate all of the cookies and drank the whole pot of coffee in one sitting (they are BIG coffee drinkers). I thought that was so awesome. My mostly homemade gift was a success! So this year I decided to do the same thing but on a smaller scale, just for the men in my immediate family because I had no idea what else to make for them. And minus the Starbucks (it gets expensive when you don't work there! geez). So, the pictures are of my cookie dough and the finished cookies. Yum!! I'll edit to add the coffees and tins later.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

CD Pocket

Burning CD's for someone for Christmas isn't nearly as fun without making them a CD holder to put them all in! I found this great tutorial and decided to give it a try. It was a great way to use up smaller pieces of fabric that I didn't know what to do with. The whole project took maybe an hour from start to finish. Mostly ironing and measuring, and a little sewing. Now it's a proper gift to give!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I made this little owl yesterday for my nephew's Christmas present. The pattern is from Crochet Today Magazine, Sept/Oct 07 issue. It is the "cutest little owl" pattern on page 75. It came together in about 3 hours with little fuss. I used some rice in a tied baggie to weigh down the bottom. I don't know if that was a good idea or not, but I didn't really have anything else to put in there! I think he came out a little larger than the pattern intended, but he looks fine and the stuffing isn't coming through the stitches or anything, so I'm happy with it. Next time, I'll just use a smaller hook!!

Last night, he sat up and watched "The In-Laws" with me. He's a pretty chill dude... I think I might make one of my own to keep me company when the boys are asleep.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Okay, it's not the real Butterstick, but it's almost as cute. This little purse was inspired by Molly Chicken. I am delighted that a good idea can turn one dollar's worth of fabric and two hours into something so wonderful.
I used cream and black felt, cream and black embroidery thread, a small piece of fabric for the lining, and one small snap. That's it! I did a blanket stitch around the arms and legs and ears (they are all two layers of felt). I sewed the three sides together inside out on the sewing machine (make sure your arms and legs and ears facing inside when you do this!). Then I turned it right side out, and manually blanket stitched the felt to the lining on the open side, getting the arm in there. Then I added a tiny snap and I was done! I love love love this project. Thank you Molly Chicken!

Mouse in the House

I had no pattern, I just guessed and trimmed and guessed and trimmed until it looked the way I wanted. This felt cat toy is basically three pieces, the two sides and the bottom. Plus the tail. I just did a simple whip stitch on all seams, french knots for eyes (I love french knots! I don't know why!), and I stuffed it full of polyfill and catnip. I also crudely whip stitched the ears on. This little guy is being sent off for Christmas, but I let my cat have a sniff to make sure it was cat-approved. From start to finish, even without a pattern, it took maybe a half hour to do.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another corduroy bag

Until it's actually Christmas, I can't seem to stop making presents for people! Here is a bag in black herringbone corduroy with a satin interior. I thought it was going to be complicated, but it turned out to be quite easy! This one is going to my sister. I know she likes to carry her school books in her purse, so I made the handles really strong. I love contrasting stitching!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pink presents

I finally finished my pig inspired by Wee Wonderfuls. This one is going to my mom, and I think I will make a brown one for my own tree.

And here is a new fabric silhouette painting series that I am really in love with. This idea comes from Anna Maria (see my previous post about these paintings). I had a lot of fun with these! I knew the paint would bleed a little around the tape, which gave me the imperfect circle shape I was looking for. Before and after pictures:

Getting closer!

Here is the back of the red quilt, circles sewn but not yet washed of the chalk (so you could see the pattern). Came out great!

Home made Christmas pillows in snuggly flannel.

Stockings hung on the mantle.

And tree! See my new pickle ornament? Got that in Leavenworth.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Second scalloped quilt - almost done!

The early bird gets the worm, if the early bird is me and the worm is finished topstitching! This morning I ran my contrasting top stitch round my ironed quilt. I have to say, against all odds, this one came out better than the last one. It is far from perfect, but some of the valleys in the scallops came out darn right nice! Perhaps the third time will be the charm. Tonight I am going to do the quilting part, in the form of large circles of varying size in a lavender thread color.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I was busy all weekend making earrings for my Etsy shop. Here are a few of my creations!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

New Etsy Shop

My Etsy shop is finally open for business. Please, come take a look!

do the dishes!

These sweet dishtowels are knitted with Lily Sugar'n Cream 100% cotton yarn. I used the Dishcloth pattern from the Knit Knack Kit by Kris Percival. These will go with the Market Totes to my familial gals. They come together pretty quickly and are a pretty and functional handmade gift!!

I went to a craft night tonight with a bunch of folks from our old neighborhood. The function was hosted by the good people at the Happen N Place on SE Gladstone and 42nd here in Portland, OR. I had a great time and everyone in attendance was super happy to be there. I encourage everyone reading this to start up or participate in a fun craft night with the people you enjoy surrounding yourself with.

Happy December!! It's cold!

Friday, December 7, 2007

totes, totes and more totes!!!!

Again, with the totes!! I made two more using the Market Tote pattern in Amy Butler's Sew-It Kit. I love these things!!!

Christmas Cards

This year I finally decided to make the Christmas cards that I have been wanting to make for so long, design inspired by Martha Stewart. I like mine better, actually :)
I sewed the satin and grossgrain ribbon onto the paper with a metallic red thread. Then I got a slightly larger piece of watercolor paper and painted red around both sides. When it was dry I glued the tree on on side. On the other side I used my Vintage Alphabet Stamps to write " XOXO, C AND J"(as in Chloe and John). It says it all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Inspired to quilt!

After reading Anna Maria's post today about the Uncommon Quilter book, I was inspired to do the quilt I want to do, mostly because I was reminded that you can take baby steps to eventually create something grand.

I told my friend Marissa about a dream I had, where I created a huge quilt (big enough for my California King sized bed) that was covered with gnomes and forests and gnome homes (I like that - gnome homes).

Of course, the quilt I envisioned looked like it would take a lifetime.


If I did one panel per week, 4 per month, that would be 48 panels in a year, which would be a 8x6 quilt. I have to figure out how big each panel will be, but you get the idea. By the end of the year I should have my gnome fantasy quilt!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fabric silhouette paintings

This is one of the funnest projects ever, although it took a lot of sitting and thinking about what would be cool in silhouette form and not cheesy (like old timey face silhouettes) and not trendy (like something you might see at Urban Outfitters). I finally settled on three different ducks. I guess it's a little cheesy, but I love how they came out.

The idea comes from Anna Maria Horner, and you can see a video tutorial of her making them on the Martha Stewart Show HERE.

She uses canvas that is stretched over wood, and her tutorial requires a staple gun. I went an easier route. I got a three pack of flat canvas boards from Aaron Bros (so cheap!!!!), and I Mod Podged the entire front (like Anna Maria), AND used the same Mod Podge to glue the fabric around to the back of the canvas board. No staple gun necessary! Mod Podge is awesome and great for so many things. I used a glossy finish, but you could just as easily use a matte finish, which I would also like to try. I let that dry on the back for about a half hour and the front for another half hour. This project requires almost no patience :)

Then I printed out the silhouettes I found, cut them out, laid them on the fabric coated canvases, and drew around them with a pencil. Then I either painted in the lines, or on the outside of the lines. Voila! Done!

A few hours later I went back and did a second coat of paint, but the first coat looked pretty good by itself. I would also suggest going back and sealing the whole thing. Mod Podge is perfect for that too!

This is a great way to use a piece of fabric that is too small for any other project. I am excited to try several more themed sets of these!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Totes, revisited

I was so in love with the totes that Marissa made that I had to make some of my own. I am incredibly happy about how they came out, I was giddy while finishing them. The only change I made to the pattern was to do alternating straps (to match the lining). I didn't get a picture of the insides but the bags are lined with the same fabric as the handles. I love the fabrics and now I have started to venture into the 'home decor' section of fabric shops....I never had a need before! Getting that stuff on sale is a big plus, it can be dreadfully expensive. The one tip I would give to anyone is to match up the handles on the bottom of the bag (see picture) so when they are sewed together it looks like one continuous line. If the handles are the same fabric, you won't really notice, but you surely will if it is an alternating pattern. Did I mention I was in love with these totes?