Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweater Vases.

I consider the day after Thanksgiving to be the official start of winter. I expect snow. Therefore, everyone and everything deserves a big chunky cable knit to keep cozy. First, I needed a cable knit. Enter Goodwill. I didn't find anything for myself, but I found some fabulous knits that my candles and vases would love. 'Tis the season of giving!

Here's my inspiration, found via pinterest, but originally from here.

Don't the candles just look so much more comfy and cozy in their sweaters? Once I saw these, I was a little more than half convinced that I wouldn't need to turn on my heat all winter because just looking at these made me feel warmer.

So I gathered my Goodwill sweater finds, my vases (some of which were empty candle jars), scissors and a glue gun. Two of my sweater sleeves were perfect just to slip over the vase. I first hot glued the  sweater to the top of the vase. I then flipped it over and glued the sweater to the bottom with the least amount of overlap as possible. I cut slits and triangles out of the fabric to ensure that it could sit upright on its own.

One sweater had an awesome cable, but it was a zip-up, and the cables weren't on the sleeves, so some cutting was required first. I cut out the zipper, and then cut a piece long and wide enough to wrap around and into the vase.

I then hot-glued the hem of the sweater that once sat against the zipper along the bottom edge of the vase. I hot-glued up the sides at the seam then glued inside the vase to fold the sweater down in the vase and keep the seam from being noticeable.

It's as easy as that. Thanks to the Black Friday sales, I was able to pick up some sticks and eucalyptus for $2, tops. So now they're sparkly and smelling good. The small guy doesn't have anything yet, so I undershot that purchase, but he'll be filled soon.

And how cozy is that? There's about to be sweaters all up in here. Or at least, in my mum's house, because I couldn't fit these in my suitcase before I left. It's all cozy like a fire without the danger of the flame. Yay!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sparkling Pinecones.

I can't take any credit for this. As my mum doesn't have a blog though, and doesn't really know how to check my blog, I'll take it. Besides, it's pretty awesome and everyone should take note of this easy and delicious-smelling project.

My mum found some cinnamon-scented pinecones at JoAnn's to the tune of $5. She then found some holiday-themed fabric in the remnant pile. Finally, she picked up a basket and some Christmas lights. She first cut a little hole in the bottom of the basket to pop the lights through. She then hemmed the fabric and lined the basket. Finally, the basket was filled with the pinecones and the lights were weaved through the pinecones to give them a little glow.

The result is so pretty and smells so good. The pinecones let off that cinnamon scent by themselves, but when the lights are plugged in, it's like warm cinnamon and even better. It's the perfect dual-purpose holiday decoration.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Presents, of the cross-stitch variety.

I'm definitely becoming my mother in the cross-stitch category. She's a fiend. I still do cross-stitch with a purpose (ie you're probably having a birthday or a baby). I fear the fiend-ish-ness is not far off though.

Anyway, the first is the cross-stitch I made for my best friend's baby, Chandler James. She loved it, Chandler was indifferent. But he's a boy so I expected that.

Apologies at my inability to get a straight picture. And I will now admit that Stephie was right - the jungle theme was best for his jungle room. And it's just way cute. The late nights cross-stitching (I'm really 60 years old) was worth it.

Here's the baby boy and me staring lovingly at each other. This isn't posed. I'm serious. We're in love. Rather, I'm in love, and he liked my scarf.

Stephie also got a cross-stitch for her birthday (you get a cross-stitch! and you get a cross-stitch! and you!) - the cross-stitch fever was going on like an epidemic. For Steph's, I actually finished a cross-stitch that she started maybe ten years ago, and probably more. But when I say finished, know that I had to take out all five of her stitches that she started in the wrong place - so really, I just did the kit she intended. I did personalize it though by making the dog into a very good rendition of our blue-tick coonhound sister, Tasha. And Tash was really good about sitting still and being my muse when she would visit me. The grey cat didn't need to be changed because it already looks like our cat Fluffy. Well, her and my sister's cat. Fluffy doesn't like me much.

And for comparison, here are the muses: 

Fluffy looks innocent, but that is only because she is in a box.
Tashers! She's such a cutie.
And now I am officially 60 years old.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

State Stitch.

I'm obsessed with maps right now. The only obstacle is that I don't really know what to do with them. I can't just inundate my current place with maps - that would be weird. And with my life still in that transient phase, I feel like a lot of maps would be even weirder. I associate maps with family, and I don't know why, but as a single girl, I think a place full of maps may scream 'cray-cray.' (The cray-cray doesn't translate as well when typed - see Project Runway or this definition).

Anyway, pinterest stumblings led to a map present! Tis the season, right?!

Originally from here.
I think the PA state caught my eye, and it was love.

Now for a ramble: my dad's moving to Darby, England, for two years, starting mid-January. I can't really wrap my head around it. I know it's going to be most weird for him and mum, who have been together forever. Not that they're old, but they dated in high school, through college, and have been married for 27 years. Mum's not moving over, because there are animals and her job and the like. My sister is moving over though next summer, which I'm totally jealous about, but that's something different. The whole situation got me to thinking about all my parents have been through, and how close they are, and how much I admire their relationship. And when thinking of that, you can't miss the fact that they are the only ones (apart from my dad's brother) that do not still live in or very near their hometown of Columbiaville, MI. These are big families, and I know it's hard for them when my sisters and I identify and love our hometown of Pittsburgh, while my parents are nostalgic for the cousin time and giant get-togethers in Michigan. So then we have some maps.

I printed the maps off of this site on the full page option.

That turned out to perfectly fit the size of a 5x7 picture. I then used a 5x7 to trace a box around the state. Side-note - the size of the state when you don't go into the 'print version' and are printing off of the site is perfect for a 4x6.

I then cut some fabric bigger than the 5x7, because I'll want to stretch it around the board to make it tight in the frame, and ironed the fabric (as it had been sitting in a pile for who knows how long). I used a bright day and a window to trace the state shape onto the fabric with a regular pencil.

I then stitched the state. You can see the circle I made on Idaho in the right corner - that's the approximation of Pocatello, where my parents once lived. I drew a heart there to stitch in later. I used embroidery thread leftover from some cross-stitching projects to outline the states in dark grey, and red for the heart of where they've lived.

I'll post again when they're framed - which will be after I stop working every day of the week and until the morning hours. I can't wait to give them to Mum!

Update: here's these babies in their $2.99 Target frames. Even better! Though it turns out that the lighting in Steph's apartment could rival mine for its poor quality.

Update part two: I thought about the horrible lighting and gross carpet background for months. To remedy, I took a picture on Mum's living room carpet, in natural light. 

Better, but I also got this one of them on a shelf. 

For good measure, here's a detail shot of Michigan. In the end, none of these pictures are very satisfying; I think these look much better in real life. Alas, I have to stop, and probably get a better camera. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pinterest Challenge: Felt Ruffle Pillow.

It took the Pinterest Challenge issued by Sherry of Young House Love and Katie of Bower Power (with Ana and Erin as guest hosts) to light a fire under my bum and get me to finish the other throw pillow for my bed.

So without further ado, here is my inspiration:

From here and via pinterest.
It started out easily enough. I used two scrap pieces of tan fabric to make rectangles to cover the last of my two loner pillows, and made a cover with a zipper (!!!). I'm still on a high from my new-found ability to sew zippers. But I digress.

And then it was circle cutting time. I made a loooooot of felt circles with a 2.75-inch diameter, with is the diameter of the bottom of a glass I used as my pattern. I traced and traced and cut out circles and got all caught up on Project Runway. And then I ironed all of the circles in half and got all caught up on my NBC shows. There was creative inspiration all around me! And then the circle cutting and ironing got old I was inspired to try some new shapes. I think it was Tim Gunn telling me to wow the judges. So I called in my roommate and we though a curvey line might look good. I started sewing a line down the crease of the circles in haphazard ways all around the front of the pillow. I tried to keep changing directions so it would never look like a taco stuck on a pillow. I would go back into areas that were all circled filled periodically and fill in gaps and fluff up circles. And I got to this point:

Eh. Not so much. Though the pillow isn't done in this picture, so two sides are not sewn shut and it's not tight and fitted, the curve just wasn't there. And to fix the curve was going to be difficult and still make it look intentional, and not like I had run out of felt circles. The felt color is Sandstone, and I got one yard (and it was 72 inches wide) from JoAnn's for $3, by the way. Victory!

Anyhoo. The shape wasn't translating as beautifully as it was in our heads. So a full pillow cover was in order. Back to the sewing machine with my tacos stacked around me.

I worked on most of the pillow with two sides already sewn - the top and the zipper on the side. It was easier to work that way around, all while leaving about an inch and a half on the unsewn sides. I got to a point where my middle was all filled in, so I pinned the third side and closed off the bottom. I then went back and filled in the gaps. Then I flipped it inside out again (after opening the zipper) and sewed the fourth side shut. 

After flipping it back right-side out, I filled any gaps by hand sewing on the tacos. This only happened to be four tacos, thankfully.

And doesn't it look maaaahvelous, darling?

I am absolutely in love. And I don't have too many circles left, so the yard worked perfectly. I'm so happy this Pinterest Challenge worked as a kick in the bum - thank you!

Check out my Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume, too!

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...