Monday, January 19, 2009

Completed Projects

Although I have been extremely busy with my 2 kids, I am still going to try and post every month, and so far so good. And I am surprised by how many things I have to post.

I have been looking for a winter hat for a long time now. I didn't want the standard ski cap and most of what I was finding just didn't look right on my head. So I happen to be at Dillards on New Years Day exchanging a Christmas present for my son when I stumble on the cutest hat ever! After I bought it I decided that I needed a scarf, mittens and purse to match. The first thing I attempted was a scarf. This pattern was in the January Martha Stewart Living issue. It was really an easy pattern that took me only a day to knit.

I liked it so well that I made one for my friend Emily for her birthday, which happens to be today (happy b-day Em). The funny thing was that she commented on my scarf when I showed up for her birthday dinner so I had an internal chuckle because that was what she got later for her present. And, of course, I had to also make her card... because you can't give a handmade gift with a store bought card. Everything used, with an exception of the stamp is Paper Source. So here is how that turned out: I also knitted a purse. I usually strive for perfection when I make anything and this purse I purposely made imperfect. I wanted it to look handmade and a little funky and I think I achieved that look. It is pretty much just a rectangle with straps and a flap to close. I used Amy Butler fabric for the lining (that I bought at Urban A+C). I initially reinforced the knitting with plastic canvas to give it some structure, but it was a little too much structure so I ended up using regular canvas on the inside to give it the amount of structure that I was looking for. I didn't line the handles or the strap just to see how much give they had, and I think I am going to go back and line each with the same lining fabric so that it doesn't stretch quite so much. But none-the-less, here is the result. Sooo I have decided that my motto is, "I can make that." Anytime I see something that is handmade or something that is within my repertoire of crafting I always say, "I can make that." Of course there are very few things that I actually follow through and make... but here is a good example of one that I did make. I started reading Jayme McGowan's blog after seeing her shop on Etsy. I love her cut paper designs and I thought that it would be a really nice thing to have of my toddler... like a 3-d picture of him when he was little. So I used a picture that I took of him when he was having fun at the park and I used some of Jayme's techniques to put it together in a semi-3-D design. I used mostly various types of card stock, ink pen for the details and the frame is one of Martha's specimen boxes that I bought at Michale's a year or two ago. The size of the final piece is 6"x6" and the only complaint that I have is about the details that I did on the face. Jayme has a very stylized face that she uses on hers and I wanted to make mine more realistic. But without shading and more fine line work, it looks a little funny. Oh and her craftsman ship is a LOT better than mine:

The original picture:

When I was making this project it reminded me a lot of something I made my senior year of high school a little over 10 years ago. It is the same concept of a semi-3-D picture made with cut paper suspended at different levels. The big differences between the 2 are size, the one from high school is more like 2.5' wide and I "hand made" (by pulping different papers and recycling them into paper) most of the paper used in the one from high school. My parents still have it hanging in their formal living room and because I used a lot of news print to pulp for the paper, it has yellowed quite a bit so I am fortunate to have a picture in its original condition (although not a great picture):
Since we are on the "I can make that" subject, here are some coasters that I made last year. They are corduroy that I stitched a wood-like pattern on and sandwiched around a piece of batting. I saw these on Etsy and I had to have them... but since "I can make that," I actually did. I wanted to insert a link here to the Etsy shop that I got the coaster idea from but it seems as though they aren't on there any more. But I will say that they are virtually identical.

This summer when I was in the Dr's office, I was thumbing through a magazine and I saw an ad for this from
I immediately thought that it was a very clever twist on the whole "ceramic handprint" plaque that I think we all made in preschool for our parents. But since the kit is close to $40, not only did I say, "I can make that" but I said"I can make that a lot cheaper." So I went to the craft store, I gave a few dollars for the small canvas and at most $1.00 for each bottle of craft paint. For under $5.00 I made one of these of my 3year old's print and I also picked up an additional canvas in the same size for my newborn's print. The best part about the whole thing was that I let my 3 year old pick out the colors he wanted and it became as much of his project as it was mine. The picture turned out a little blurry, but I can assure you it looks great! I added his name at the bottom because he wanted it on there and I put the date on the back of the canvas.
So far that has been about it. I have a few other, "I can make that" ideas from Etsy that I still want to try here are some pics (click on the pics to link to the Etsy shops):

I like this idea for plaques of my kids names. I would probably copy some font from my computer and paint them on canvas.
Since I have had my 2nd son, I have been wanting a "mom" necklace, but I don't want the typical silver kids with the triangle/gemstone bodies. So I thought a pea pod with 2 peas would be perfect. I like the idea of green peas, but since my sons' names are Jasper and JETson, I thought about getting a jasper bead and a jet bead for the peas.

I like this too... a needle felted pea pod, which would make for a funky/bohemian necklace. I would have to put this on a piece of leather?

About a year ago I saw these felt purse/houses on an imported toy website. And since, "I can make that," I started to create my own version. I knitted each side seperately out of wool yarn and when I was done, I threw them in the washer to felt them. That is about as far as I got. I was thinking about finishing it for my niece's birthday in March. However, since she is only going to be a year old I think I might get her something a little more age appropriate. But I still want to finish making the house just for my benefit. I did try needle felting the details onto the felt and it just didn't look right. So I bought some felt from the store in assorted colors and I will sew those on by hand. I am going to line it with a cute floral material in coordinating colors and I am contemplating sewing little stuffed dolls to go on the inside. I am really excited to get this done, but I still have no time to really work on it. So it might go back into the drawer for who knows how long.

So that is what I have been up to and even though I say I have no time and that I will probably not be working on anything, inevitably I will find the time to make something. Martha had a pattern for seamless mittens. I might try to make a pair of those to match my scarf...... :-)