Is it really Monday night already?! I guess so. Well, I randomly picked a winner for the stocking kit way back on Friday afternoon — #2, Jessica D.! Her pick is also a major go-to for me: “My favorite craft supply is honestly double-sided tape! I scrapbook & it is the best (and easiest to use) adhesive I’ve found. I just finished scrapbooking our honeymoon to Vegas that we had in August.” I was just using some this morning for a project as a matter of fact, organizing my wild beast of a bead collection…
So now that it is right on top of Christmas (we have been in a nine-days-and-counting snowy time warp and the days have kind of run together), I wanted to link over to my quick and super-easy ornament makeover posts on CraftStylish (scroll down) — here are all three ways I came up with to sparkle up a plain ornament using all stash materials. And for this last one, the secret craft ingredient is you guessed it, double-stick tape! I think the random integer generator knew exactly what it was doing this week.
One last Portland thing… I heard about a super cool event at Olio United Tuesday night, the 23rd: Beer and Cheer! There’s a 10% off sale, personal shopping help, beer(s), card-making and gift-wrapping, and best of all, an opportunity to leave your own house for handmade browsing. What more could you ask for? It’s from 5-9 pm at the shop, 1028 SE Water St. in Portland.
Anyway, I just wanted to wish everyone very happy and crafty holidays. Here is a last snapshot of the stockings in action, over the plug-in Berrylog fire (I love that thing) with Pearl dancing along to A Very Mancini Christmas for good measure. See you soon!
This is day 5 of relentless snowiness around here, and I’ve left the house exactly three times (a walk with Pearl and then a few buses to Crafty Wonderland on Sunday, and a walk to get coffee somewhere besides my own house during a sunbreak on Tuesday). So I’ve gotten a lot done around here… finished some freelance work, organized some craziness, baked twice in one week (which is more than I have in months, to tell you the truth), made soup from scratch instead of a can, and mended my baby quilt which is going up in Pearl’s room.
But what I’m most excited about is that I finally finished our Christmas stockings!
I cut them out last December and then between moving to the new house, my pregnancy, and work I didn’t get any further than that. And then when we set up our silver Christmas tree this month, there they were folded up in the ornament box. So I stitched them up, dragged out my giant box of felt, discovered I didn’t have any tan, re-figured my plans for Andrew’s, and embellished all three of them with vintage ribbon and baby rick-rack, our initials, and some little appliques of our favorite things. I’m hoping to embroider our names at the top, too, but that will likely have to wait for Christmas 2009.
Andrew’s has Mt. Hood looming over evergreens, the Zig Zag River, and a little field of trilliums. Pearl’s stayed a little simpler, with two lovely flowers Cathy of California made as cupcake toppers and a vintage button.
And mine has some of my favorite crafty things, along with a Cathy flower for good measure so it matches Pearl’s a bit.
This was a really simple and fun project. I used a freehand-drawn paper pattern roughly like this one from a Martha project in shape (no top fold though, and I did not turn mine seam-in) and cut two layers of felt for each big one, and re-jiggered the paper pattern to about half-size for the small one. Then I let them sit for a year (this step is optional), sewed them together about 1/2 inch in from the edge with a small folded piece of velvet ribbon poking out for a loop to hang them, trimmed the edges with pinking shears, and used Fabric Fusion glue to add the ribbon, rick-rack, and freehand-cut felt shapes right on. The nice thing with felt is that you can cut whatever you want out, put it down on your plain surface, move it around to your liking, and make it permanent or start right over. Felt is hands down my favorite craft supply, now and forever.
Speaking of felt, I’ve had some nice surprises this week: after I mentioned I was looking for Martha felt appliques, Jessica sent me two sheets of big pretty blue ones with edge-stitching I hadn’t seen at our store, and Michelle found me four more sheets of the little ones I had — hooray! I am so excited to have more cute things to decorate with and some of the whales and elephants are already up. And to say thank you, I would like to offer up a little giveaway to someone this week: a kit to make your own felt stocking. It will include cut-out stocking pieces, ribbon, rick-rack, and some extra felt to use to make your own decorations — I’ll try to tailor the package to include some favorite colors, and I’ll put it in the mail as fast as possible, and hopefully it will arrive before Christmas.
So, to enter, please leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite craft supply is and something fun you’ve made with it. I will randomly pick one commenter on Friday, December 19, at 11 am Pacific time (just about 24 hours from now). I’ll email the winner asking for mailing address and some favorite colors, and get it out the door to you as quickly as I can (US addresses only, please) so you can work on your own stocking project. Good luck!
p.s. If someone in Portland happens to win, and has snowshoes, superpowers, or 4-wheel drive, he or she is welcome to pick it up in person, too.
Well, this has officially been the strangest December I’ve seen in twelve years in Portland and there’s still half the month to go. It was weirdly warm and pleasant (and dry – ???) for the first few weeks, and then yesterday morning, it switched up with a vengeance:
It snowed like crazy for the whole morning with some blustery diagonal winds for good measure. We stayed cozy inside and I made Christmas decorations and sweet potato biscuits, looking out the window every few minutes to make sure that yes, it really was snowing. It was so pretty! I was so hoping to get to Crafty Wonderland but not about to drive in this slippery stuff, and there was no way I could bring Pearl along in this cold either. So I headed out with my fearless neighborhood companions Caitlin and Erin, and we slowly but surely got there on the bus, with the baby safely at home and our treasures waiting for us in the Convention Center!
I’m going to write up a full review for CraftStylish tomorrow, but here’s a peek at what I found! I put notes all over the flickr picture to mention who made each piece, if you’d like to see. Tomorrow’s post will have all the details and links for each person’s work. Anyway, it was a great event, the crafters were troopers, and thanks to Tri-Met I made it over — hooray! I got to hold new babies, say hi to old friends, and admire some really lovely things, many of which came home with me.
Speaking of CraftStylish, I wanted to mention that I have a super easy project up this week: a freezer paper stenciled pillowcase project that’s suitable for a nephew or other superhero in your life. You can adapt this to any taste or style and it’s a very fun afternoon of cutting, painting, and button-sewing.
In a final bit of excitement, I’m happy to pass on the news that Ork Posters has released her brand-new Portland map print! Yeah! I have been waiting for this day for so long. We snapped up the green one, but it was a tough choice, I kind of wanted to get all four colorways… I’ll post a photo once it’s here and triumphantly up on the wall.
I hope I’ll see you tomorrow at the Super Colossal Crafty Wonderland sale — it should be amazing! I stopped by today and got a sneak peek at the goodie bags being filled up with fantastical craft treats. If you’re one of the first 200 shoppers, you’ll get one on your way in!
There will be over a hundred vendors, free craft activities, and tons and tons of space for easy browsing and shopping, plus it’s right on the MAX line and street parking is free on Sundays. Pearl and I will be heading over with Diane, Caitlin, and Sarah, and I can’t wait to see all the amazing things for sale!
I had planned to be part of the event myself, and sell my jewelry kits and sign copies of Bead Simple, and I’m still listed in the program. But unfortunately I had to change my plans at the last minute this week when some personal things took over my Sunday and I couldn’t spend ten hours away from my little Pearl after all. So I passed my spot along to the first crafter on the waiting list, Mode Noir Flowers and her lovely brooches. And Torie generously offered to sell my kits and signed copies of my book along with her gorgeous accessories at her Totinette booth (#50), so you can find them there if you’re so inclined. I’ll be writing up a post all about the sale next week at CraftStylish and I’ll be sure to share my finds and my favorites then!
Hope to see you there!
Thank you so much for the comments with all your holiday craft ideas — it has been really fun to read them and I really appreciate people sharing their projects and links! So a bit after noon yesterday, I ran the random.org number-picker and it gave me these folks:
So the Softies Kit will go to Anne, who said: “I am having so much fun making felt food for some little ones and can’t wait to give it to them on Christmas! This is where I got the patterns. I’d love to win the Softies Kit!”
Little Stitches for Little Ones will go to Heather, who said: “That Amy Butler book looks lovely! You’ve inspired me to attempt sewing post-baby. I hope the recipient isn’t reading this, but I got all excited about the [censored just in case, see her original comment #35 if you are not the recipient and want to find out what it is] and make one. It was really easy and cute and now I keep thinking who else I make it for. I think that’s a mark of a good project, when you want to make more!”
And Fuzzy Felted Friends will go to Judi, who said: “I am crocheting fingerless gloves and matching scarfletts for my co-workers, and I have a couple of bead projects to finish still too, but it’s not Christmas yet!”
Thank you all for posting! That was super fun! I will email the folks who won and get addresses and etc.
I’ll add one last round of holiday crafting suggestions to the ones mentioned: CraftStylish is hosting a Gifts for the Bill Murray in Your Life craft-a-thon this week, spotlighting gifts for boys and men. My contribution (a secret something I made for my nephew Julian) is coming up this Sunday, but there are already plenty of great things posted there, and you might get some ideas for the most elusive of crafty gift recipients: the dude(s) on your handmade A-list.
I stopped by Michaels last week to take advantage of that 30% off Martha Stewart Crafts sale and picked up a few things — a pinking-edged paper cutter, some cupcake liners in cute prints, and a sheet of little tiny felt animal stickers. I can’t find them on the site but man, they are so cute! There is a whale, a bunny, a bird and an elephant. I fancied up Pearl’s room with the menagerie…
Pearl’s room is definitely my favorite part of the house and I love all the things our friends have made and found for her! If you are curious about any of the other stuff in the pictures, I put flickr notes all over them, especially that last one. Whenever I finally hang my baby quilt on the wall for her, I want to take a bunch more pictures, too.
Now my only regret is that I really wish I had bought about five more sheets of those stickers to keep adding them to things for her as she gets older. If anyone swings by a Michaels and spots a bunch, I’d love it if you could grab them for me… since they’re not on the site I’m wondering if they’re on the way out.
And don’t forget, you have until noon tomorrow to enter to win the books in my last post — good luck!
Okay, I’m back, after a crazy couple of days and (thankfully) some good news after a long wait, and I’m so excited to give away some cool crafty things! I’m going to cram mini-reviews of three lovely craft books plus a Portland-only bonus into this one little post so forgive the single photo of each book… rest assured that they are fantastic through and through!
First up is a surprise to go with the other two — I decided to add one more of my personal favorites, the Softies Kit, to the up-for-grabs mix. This is such a nice one. You get 15 patterns plus all the materials for making one softie on the spot. I think my favorite in this collection (which is edited down from the equally lovely book Softies) is the Lucky Elephant — just look at her peeking out on the left! Aw.
There’s also the Fuzzy Felted Friends book from the Kyuuto! series, an instant favorite. This thing is adorable from cover to cover, and the projects are divided into two worlds: Items for Everyday Life and Cute Animals. Really, what else do you need in this world? My favorite project here is the charming family of Mouse Pincushions — as a bonus, the wool helps keep your needles from rusting due to its natural oils.
Last is Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones. She’s designed 20 keepsake sewing projects for a new family and beyond: clothes, comforts, decor, playthings, and more, all with her trademark attention to detail and signature fabrics and style. There are some gorgeous baby things to make to choose from, but the one that really caught my eye was the Patchwork Crib/Playtime Quilt — beautiful, versatile, and goes right in the washing machine.
Please leave a comment on this post between now and noon (Pacific time) Wednesday, December 10 for a chance to win one of the three, letting me know something you’re planning to make for holidays — a gift, decoration, recipe, anything you’re excited about. If you’re not a holidays type, something else crafty you’re up to will do nicely. I’ll randomly pick three people on Wednesday and mail them out after that! I am very sorry to restrict things, but US addresses only, please, due to the cost of shipping these heavy things. When I do a kit giveaway I promise I’ll make it international since they are nice and light.
I did say four, so there’s one more in-person giveaway, for Portland folks: I will be signing my book, Bead Simple, and showing how to make earrings at the Oregon Historical Society’s Holiday Cheer authors event on Sunday, from 1-4. I would love it if you could stop by and say hi! If anyone who reads my blog mentions that you found out about the event here, I will be happy to give you one of my new earring kits as a thank-you for visiting.
It should be a really cool afternoon, with dozens of Oregon authors who write in different genres there — I am super excited about meeting Chelsea Cain, seeing Caren and Carl of Velveteria, and getting my copies of The Portland Bridge Book, Portland: People, Politics and Power, and An Architectural Guidebook to Portland signed. For those not as obsessed with our city, there will be lots of cookbook, fiction, children’s and nature authors there too; I am just a Portland nerd so my faves list is embarrassingly specific. I’m sure I’ll find lots more good books, too — all the sales benefit the Oregon Historical Society, which is a nice bonus. Anyway, I’d love to see some crafty folks there! Thank you to OHS for having me, and especially to Lucy for suggesting me as a participant.
Last thing (can you tell I meant to post yesterday?!): Diane has written the newest edition of her awesome Christmas zine with Katin and copies are for sale for just $5 apiece in her shop! I adore this publication. It is filled with cool stuff and projects (here are some peeks) and more than anything else this year it is making me so excited for Christmas. Hooray! Don’t miss the chance to snap one up too.
So just leave me a comment with a favorite holiday project by Wednesday for your chance to win a craft book, and good luck everyone! Have a lovely weekend.
Well, with an unexpected doctor’s appointment on the horizon and some general crazy-busy-ness swallowing up the rest of my day I have to hold off on my craft books giveaway til tomorrow. But to tide you over, if you are interested, here’s what is up for grabs: a copy of Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones (a really beautiful collection) and a copy of Kyuuto! Fuzzy Felted Friends (which is adorable).
I’ll post the reviews Thursday and Friday and randomly choose two someones to send them to next week. I would also like to give away a copy of Bead Simple and some of my kits very soon, but to be honest, I’m hoping that someone buys the ones in the Hope for Jasenn shop first and then I can pass another round along just after, so a free giveaway is not competing with the fundraiser.
And in the meantime, you can find a whole sea of cool stuff to win via the many fantastic contests in the Sew, Mama, Sew-organized Giveaway Day! As usual, I am well behind the Day and looking at it from more of a Week perspective… ahem.
Anyway, one of the marvelous prizes is offered up by PaperDollyGirl — this handmade felted clutch and flower adorning it. So sweet! Be sure and check out her post, and the list of all the participating blogs is here — best of luck! See you tomorrow.
Kayte Terry is a good friend of mine from way back in the pink-and-brown getcrafty days, and I have always loved her work. Her new book, Complete Embellishing, is outstanding and lovely! I had a chance to write a review at CraftStylish, focusing more on the jewelry and beading-centric ideas (since that is my angle over there). But there is so much more to try in her collection of projects! Potato printing, bias tape-making, yo-yo-ing, pleats, embroidery, felting, applique, image transfer… she includes a fantastic array of methods to charm plain or boring things into instant favorites.
I love this clever trompe l’oeil lampshade project — I’m planning to fancy up our guest room lamp soon! I think it would look fantastic with a beaded embellishment and an applique or two.
Some of my other instant-want-tos are the patchwork pocket tote, the woodland creatures etched glasses, the romance skirt, and the pearl button purse (love, love, love that one). I have a stash of regular stuff all ready to embellish… so after holidays, I think a crafty get-together is definitely in order to chip away at my list of Kayte’s projects to try!
But with all that goodness to choose from, I do have one absolute favorite. Kayte made a lovely bunny for Pearl when she was born, and it’s such a sweet cuddly thing. Julian took this picture of her with it… he arranged the animals all around her just so, and Bunny was definitely the star of the afternoon.
…and now, Kayte has shared the how-to to make your own woolen bunny from sweaters on page 168, the cutest cousin of Pearl’s!
You can find Complete Embellishing on Amazon, in your local bookstores, and if you’d like a signed copy, she has generously donated one to Linda’s Hope for Jasenn shop, too. Kayte also writes regularly for lots of places, including CraftStylish, and her own blog, Love Forever.
I’m thinking about holiday presents and wanted to post this reminder about the Chronicle Friends + Family sale that’s ending Friday… such a deal with the free shipping, too!
I am going to post some craft book reviews this week, I’ve gotten some recently that I just adore so I’m excited to spotlight some of my favorite things, and I have a couple to give away, too. It seems like I have so little time to actually make anything for fun these days, but when I do find that precious hour I have some projects bookmarked — with real, paper bookmarks, not internet browser ones. Those are good too, but there’s something really nice about a real, actual book.