Saturday, March 29, 2008

10 Minute Family Book

I debated if this was even worth posting since not much "craftiness" went into it--but I liked the idea when I saw my friend, Ruth's, book so I thought maybe it would interest someone else as well. We live far from all our family. The closest family is in Washington D.C. about a 7 hour drive on a typical day. We miss them all. We want Kate to know her family members so this seems like a great idea to make sure she stays familiar with their faces. It's also great for keeping her occupied for long periods of time when she needs to sit still (church, airplanes, etc.) She seems to look at it a lot longer than most of her books.

It's easy and cheap. You could get all fancy, scrapbooky with it, but I'm not too into scrapbooking anymore. Just glue pictures, add captions, laminate and hang on a ring. It's really cute to watch her as she studies everyone's face!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Purl Bunny

These purl bunnies look a little more like purl aliens, but they were fun to make. It's one bunny that flips over to show a face on each side. I got the free pattern over at The Purl Bee. They have lots of great, free patterns and tutorials on their website. I want to make the fabric ABC magnets next and my knitting skills could use some refining. My almost-complete first knitting project is collecting dust in the closet! Kate had fun playing with her new bunny friend today, even if it does look like an alien!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Belt

I was flipping through the j.crew catalog last week and thought this belt was so cute. Probably not the most practical and probably not something I’d wear over and over again, but I still love it. The price though is hard to justify for one of those “wear a handful of times” accessories. Also, it basically consists of ribbon, a silk flower and some crystals.
A few days later I was in the craft store and noticed the silk flowers on sale. I remembered this belt and thought I’d try to recreate it myself. It was very simple and didn’t take much time at all. I can’t say it’s quite as cute as the j.crew version, but for 1/16th of the price, it will do for those occasions where I want to wear something “different”.

Friday, March 21, 2008


A set of playsilks have been on my wish list for Kate for some time. {Never heard of playsilks? Click here} I’ve been meaning to buy them for her but keep putting it off because they aren’t cheap! I saw this idea to buy plain white silk squares and dye them your self using kool-aid for half the price and knew I could pull that off.
It really was very simple. Here is the basic idea: Step 1: Soak the silk in a bowl of cool water and a glug of vinegar. Step 2: Use a wide mouthed jar and mix together your packets of kool-aid (I used 3 of each color) with 1 and ½ cups of warm water and 1 Tbsp of vinegar. Step 3: Put the jars in a pan of water about 1-2 inches high and bring to a simmer. Step 4: Once simmering, put 1 playsilk in each jar. Step 5: This is the only tricky part. You let the silk “simmer” and absorb all the kool-aid. Stir occasionally to even out the color. Once the silk is done the water will look clear and diluted. Step 6: Remove the playsilks from the jars and rinse in a bowl of cold water. Step 7: Hang to dry.
A few notes: I bought the 30x30 inch squares. The flavors of kool-aid I used were grape, cherry, lemon and lemon-lime. I’m still looking for an orange or blue kool-aid to dye one more silk. The trickiest ones were the grape and cherry flavors and I read a few places that most red dyes can be tricky. For some reason the kool-aid takes a long time to absorb and it seemed that the color kept rinsing out when I rinsed it. I ended up running the red silk through the washer (by itself) on the rinse cycle to get out any extra color and it still looks pretty vibrant. They are for Kate’s Easter basket and hopefully they will be used for all her imaginative ideas once the creative play thing kicks in. For now I think she will enjoy playing peek-a-boo and dragging them around the house. Oh and taking them “in” and “out” of whatever toy box they may be in. Thanks to her new “in” and “out” game, all of my shoes are now “out” of the closet and “in” the laundry hamper.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


This was the first time I have ever sewn an apron and it was fun! Now I can see why there are clubs whose entire purpose is to sew aprons. There are endless possibilities. I used a tutorial I found here and it was so easy. No pattern needed, just some rough estimates and embellish as you like. I suppose if you were making a full apron you might want a pattern, but you could probably wing it as well. This apron is lined and could be reversible. I made them as birthday gifts. Very, very simple.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Clothespin Dolls

These clothespin dolls were so simple. No sewing involved. I found the old-school wooden clothespins at a craft store and cut scraps of fabric and ribbon and hot glued them on. Then I drew on the faces with a sharpie marker. You could get more creative and use rick rack or hot glue sequins or buttons, but I had limited materials, so I just went with it. I made the pouch with felt, just cut and sew up the sides and use ribbon to tie it all up. These are for Kate’s Easter basket, but these would also be great to top a birthday gift with or a good craft to do with older kids.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I’m lucky to be staying with my parents this week. My mom doesn’t have a sewing machine, but I wanted a few projects to keep myself busy. I came up with this tutu, which requires no sewing at all. It’s very simple and quick. I saw this description here and figured the rest out on my own. I used 2 yards of tulle which was fine, I maybe could have used a little more. Now Kate waddles around like a little fairy talking on “her phone”.