Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Here I am Baby....

Signed, Sealed and Delivered!!!  They are all cut, glued, tied, signed, stuffed, sealed, stamped, addressed, mailed and most are delivered!  I didn't think that I was going to have time to make my Christmas Cards this year, but after lots of peer pressure, I was forced decided to make them despite the time crunch and I can't believe that I got them done in time!!!!

For those of you that aren't familiar with my neuroses, I develop what I like to refer to as "Holiday Anxiety" if I receive a Christmas/Holiday card in the mail before mine are sent out.  I'm serious, it ruins my whole holiday season!!!   Since Thanksgiving is kind of the "kick-off" of the Christmas season, I have decided (for everyone) that Holiday Cards sent/delivered and received before Thanksgiving are just wrong and hereby off limits and any that are received before Thanksgiving are disqualified from my self proclaimed "Holiday Card race".  I am pretty sure that I am the only one competing but if it provides me with a touch of amusement, then so be it.

This year, I won the race!!!  WOOHOOOOOO   and since everyone (pretty much) has theirs, I am going to share them.  Also, for those of you that don't know me, I make 120 Christmas Cards every year and the list keeps growing (although I kinda trimmed my list this year, sorry if you didn't get one).  Last year I went pretty crazy with them and they took me FOREVER to make, this year they are a bit simpler, but I still love how they turned out.

The complete card:
There is a hang tag/Christmas ornament hanging on the front of the card with the annual Christmas kiddo picture, backgrounds are cut pieces of scrapbook paper:
This year, the ornament has a bonus picture on the back:

The holiday greetings on the inside were the center cut-out portions from the ornament that were stamped and glued onto the inside:
The ornaments are hung on lace weight yarn and attached with a sticker on the inside.  They are made to be removed and hung on the receiver's Christmas tree:
These took up all of my time for 2 weeks, and now I have a bunch of extra time to get some of my Christmas presents made!!!  WOOOHOOO!!!!  Hope you liked them this year!!  Not sure what next years will look like, I imagine I won't know until the last possible moment.  I have a few more things to post soon!  Happy Holidays All!!!!  

Friday, November 18, 2011

'New' Bag!

It is pretty rare that I do a project for myself, especially this time of the year.  But this guy was begging for my attention.

Let me start from the beginning, I need a pair of knee high brown boots.  I am super cheap so I don't really want to spend the money for a new pair, in addition...  I need them in their prime season so it is unlikely that I will find them on SUPER sale.  So one day when I was in the post office, I decided to venture into the trendy second hand store a few shops down in hopes that someone with huge feet like me just happened to get rid of a pair of barely-used-chocolate-brown-pleather-high-heel boots.  No such luck but I did find the cutest bag ever!  Unfortunately it was a fake Dolce&Gabbana bag (and yes I am totally American and pronounce Gabbana like Cabana, and no matter what anyone says, I am going to keep pronouncing it like that).  #1 problem with the bag = I don't do logos...  I don't wear name brands and if I happen to have a name brand item of clothing, there must be no exterior indication of said brand or I won't wear it.  Not sure why I am like this but I am, and have been for a long time.....  I remember my aunt giving me a small Coach bag for my birthday when I was in high school and she almost had a heart attack when I ripped of the logo.  #2 problem with the bag = it is fake (and not even a good fake)...  I am not in the habit of supporting China's "copycat" industry and I am also a firm supporter of free trade.  However, I really loved this bag and I feel that by buying it used, I am not technically supporting the industry, some may disagree.... but the bag was in my signature color.... what else was I supposed to do :-)  ???    Here is the bag.
Cute right?  Well, the exterior is in really good condition but upon further inspection, the inside is well used and kinda gross.  I tend to be a bit of a germ-a-phobe at times and the evidence of someone else's germs and more obviously, the oil from their hands was all over the cheap lining.  I was more than grossed out.

So what did I do?  I replaced the interior lining, the lining in the 3 exterior pockets and almost as importantly, the logo.  I picked a Tula Pink fabric (that I LOVE), I rearranged the interior pockets and I hand sewed them into the bag.  Attaching the linings went pretty slow considering I was hand sewing it them...  but I wanted to use the original holes made from the original stitching so that 1. you couldn't tell that it wasn't the original lining of the bag and 2. I didn't want to perforate the pleather anymore.  I originally planning on getting a brooch to match and pin it where the logo had once been, but I couldn't find one that I liked.  I did however just happen to have an iridescent button in my button collection that picked up all the colors in the bag.  I just tacked the button on in case I ever do find a few brooches to match.  I LOVE the bag and it was totally worth the effort.  What do you think?
Check out the stitching....  there are 2 parallel seams at the top of the bag, the very top one is the one that I sewed in by hand and the one just underneath it is original.
The stitching around the exterior pockets is mine too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hunting Season

With the holidays right around the corner, I am working on tons of things...  simultaneously.  I have one down and many to go so I am going to try and share as I go.

I have lived in the Midwest for 15 years and although I have acclimated to the Midwest lifestyle, I still don't embrace the "hunting" culture.  I don't like guns, I don't like the idea of slaying animals for any purpose and I couldn't imagine hanging a dead animal on my wall.  I don't eat much meat but I do eat meat and I know that is slightly hypocritical and a definite contradiction, but I guess the only way I can justify it is because I am not staring in the eyes of the food I just ate.  Luckily, my husband isn't a hunter like his dad, brother and most of his extended family but I think he still experiences a bit of nostalgia and comfort associated with hunting and alike.  So, when I showed him what I wanted to hang on the wall in our living room, he was psyched!!!  Here is the original item that I saw on Etsy and HAD TO HAVE IT....
The Etsy Store name is Banana Tree Studios and her stuff is amazing!!!  I love her innovative designs and I highly recommend everyone checking out the store.  I wanted to buy this guy on the spot but when I saw the price, I figured I might be able to make my own even cheaper.

When I showed my father in law what I wanted to do, he went straight to work looking for a plastic mounted deer head just like the above for less money and whaaaalaaaa, he found on ebay for a fraction of the price!  So I bought it, bought some spray paint and now I have a guy just like the one above hanging on the wall in my living room... and I LOVE IT!!!!!  I think it is safe to say that I have officially embraced the hunting culture that is so popular here in the Midwest without harming any animals!!  :-)  Here is my process:

This is what it looked like when it arrived, it is heavy plastic with lots of detail, painted with natural colors. (excuse the box, I know it is distracting)

1st coat, primer.  I recommend it when painting anything that you don't think would accept the paint.  It looks awesome white too!!!  But I like color too much to leave it this way.

 Here is the final product!!!   To explain where it is mounted a little better; I have a vaulted ceiling in my living room as you can see at the top of the picture.  The ceiling in my kitchen is not vaulted so this is the section of wall that drops down to meet the kitchen ceiling.

The colors are bad in this next photo, but I gave you enough to see the ceiling in my kitchen to get a better idea of where it is in the house. (the wall color in my living room is a light green apple green, so it is a bit less 'electric' than in the above pictures and it is much more colorful than in the below picture...  I think I need a better camera!)

I was peer pressured into making my Christmas cards this year :-)  even though I tried so hard to talk myself out of it!  So I am back to work on those...   :-)  hopefully I will have a post on those within the week!  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It's been a while, I know....   I have been making a bunch of stuff lately, but the rest of life has been so busy that I haven't had time to post about all that stuff :-)  I actually haven't had time to remember to take pictures of all that stuff either...

I recently crocheted several sets of baby booties and a matching hat as a gift for a new mom and dad.  This was one of the "I forgot to get a picture projects".  I made these from a pattern out of a book and luckily the booties were on the front cover so this is what they looked like....  but I made them in pink and off-white:

My youngest recently turned 3 and he decided that he wanted to have a "monster" themed birthday party, which pretty much just means that we eat off of paper plates with monsters on them :-)  We had 4 kids that were invited to the birthday party so I put together some party favors for them (and my 2 as well).  Have you seen those Ugly Dolls?

They were perfect for the theme of the party and a great little give aways for the kiddos (considering 3 of the 6 kids were under 2 years old) but even the smallest Ugly Doll is $10.99, which is a little much for a party favor.  So what did I do?  I made my own.  I have tons of micro fleece leftover from Halloween costumes in years past so I drew some up, made sure the size was going to fit into the monster favor bags that we got and I whipped them out. The most time consuming part was the embroidery, but even with the embroidery, these came together rather quickly and the best part, they didn't cost me anything to make since I had the materials already.   I neglected to get a picture of them all together, because they were all different, but here are the 2 that I made for my boys:

I have started a small collection of vintage Pyrex.  I am attracted mostly to the ones that are blue/blue green with fun designs.  The first set that I bought was the Amish print: 

A few months ago I got an e-mail from my BFF in Chicago, Jessica, saying that I should be expecting a package in the mail soon.  So, as expected UPS showed up and delivered a box at my door step and the minute I picked it up and heard some jingling and I thought, "MAN, I hope that isn't glass".  It sure was, Jessica bought me 2 Pyrex bowls off of eBay that had an AMAZING pattern printed on them, one that I had not previously seen before.  

Unfortunately the big bowl was shattered in the package.  Since the package was shipped directly from the seller, I told Jessica so that she should get some of her money back and she did, but I couldn't let those broken pieces to waste.  So I picked out the broken piece with the best pattern on it and made this as a thank you gift for Jessica:

I soldered around the piece and made a pendant out of it.  Anyone that has ever soldered before knows how difficult it can be to get it right...  I had a few trial and errors and this took me a while to accomplish but I am super happy with the result.  I use lead-free solder, that replaces the lead content with sterling silver, I added a sterling jump ring to the top and put it on a sterling 18" chain.  I need to wait until the Spring (I solder outside) when it warms up to solder myself one!!  :-)

I have a few other projects in the works right now and hopefully I will remember to take pictures of them all.

On a side note....  The kids decided on store-bought Halloween costumes this year, so I didn't make them.  I'm not sure if it that or the fact that life is just crazy busy right now, but I am also running out of time to make my Christmas cards this year, so I might have to settle on store-bought cards.  I know!!!  Nutty!!!  But I will try to start earlier next year so that we will have home made cards once again.