Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Confession

I've got a confession to make. I don't think I've ever mentioned this before, but I actually started this blog for a class. It was a "writing for the web" course and we could start any kind of blog we wanted to, so I chose a craft blog. The class is obviously over now that the semester is over, but I'm going to continue blogging because I love it! I just think that the way I've been doing this might change a little, especially since I won't be obligated to do it. I just thought I would put that out there! Also, without obligations, I feel this week will continue to see very few posts. Last minute Christmas stuff will be consuming my life - sorry, blog!

With that out of the way, here's another of my favorite Christmas songs. This version of White Christmas is so fun...and it makes me want to watch Home Alone! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Video

I hate technology. When it doesn't work, anyway. You see, I was trying to make a video on how to make one of these decoupaged candle holders.


But it didn't work...I think maybe there's something wrong with my videos. So I decided that since this crazy semester is over, it would be cool to make a slideshow of everything I've made throughout. There are a few things I sadly never got pictures of, but mostly everything else is there. And these decoupaged jars are appropriately at the end. :)

Enjoy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Things to Come...

First thing's first - I'm done with finals! Yay! I think I've been looking forward to Christmas break since the semester started! haha
I finally got around to making a magazine Christmas tree from the awesome DIY over at The Crafty Fox. It definitely takes patience but it's really fun and looks awesome! I want to make more now!


Right now, I'm finishing up a special project which I'll post later tonight or tomorrow! :)

For now, here's another one of my favorite Christmas songs. The Carpenters' "Christmas Portrait" is a staple at my house. We listen to it every year, and to me it feels like home. Here is one of my favorite songs from it...Karen Carpenter had one of the most beautiful voices ever.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hello Winter.

It's 18 degrees outside. With the wind chill earlier, they said it felt like -7. Ew. It's definitely winter! Haha.
Well, I'm glad I have 2 finals over with! Now I just have economics tomorrow (yuck), and a couple other projects to do which won't be as bad.

I thought I'd continue my favorite Christmas songs with this amazing collaboration of Bowie and Bing. This is definitely up there for my all time favorite Christmas song...so good. Especially since I'm a Bowie fan. :) Enjoy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thrifting Finds

I try to stop at Goodwill from time to time to see if anything catches my eye. Sometimes you come across really good stuff! I stopped there the other day on my way home and found a few things. First of all, I found some skirts. I've been really craving more skirts lately. These aren't necessarily the kind of skirts I wanted, but I liked them anyway. And I always feel guilty buying skirts and dresses because I could easily make them, but for some reason the other day I was just in the mood to buy some stuff. These skirts are all really simple, and I got them figuring I can maybe revamp them in some way to make them more exciting.

 This one's super comfy...

 And twirly! Wee!

I think I like this one the best.

 This one's fun, but I think it fits a little funny...hmm...there may be some adjustments to be made.


I also took a look at the Christmas decorations...and I found this Santa bed!


Okay, so there's a story behind the Santa bed. In my family, we have one just like this that my mom made way back in the 70s in a ceramics class. Every Christmas, we get it out and it promptly holds our peanut M&Ms. When I saw this one on the shelf in Goodwill it was so weird! I'd never seen another Santa bed, so I knew I had to get it. It has the name and date carved in the bottom, and I think it was made around the same time my mom made hers. I'm thinking I might clean it up, repaint it, and give it to my sister for Christmas so she can have her own Santa bed at her house. : )
 I also found this deer...isn't he cute?


I think I'm going to clean him up and repaint him as well since his current paint job isn't the best.

Retro crafting

I picked up these old craft magazines at the flea market during my local church's Labor Day Picnic. It was the end of the day when they always start just giving things away for free. I grabbed a few things, including these magazines. I only managed to get a couple. I could see there were more, but they were packing up so the rest were in boxes already.

These are from September and October of 1972.

I love the folk art patterns.

That guy with the mustache really loves his bottle cutting kit. Hehe.

I've decided I kind of like 70s decor...or just that chair.

 Apparently "foiled" projects were really popular then.

I love this table!

I also grabbed this "Creative Ideas for Living" magazine, kind of accidentally.


It's mostly home decorating, but it's still got some fun stuff in it. It's not as old either. It's from June of 1990, coincidentally the month that I was born! :)
My dad also recently found some knitting booklets from the 40s and 50s which are really cool. I'll have to post some pictures of them sometime.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One more Christmas present down!

I finished this striped hat last night.


I like how the stripes turned out, but I still haven't quite gotten the switching colors thing down yet. It still looks kinda gross where I switched, I don't understand.


Any suggestions?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Favorites

Not much crafting going on here, yet again. This week had been kind of crazy. Really. You should have seen my room! But thankfully, today was my last day of classes, so now I just have one paper, one project, and three finals to go. Not too shabby. Even though I'm technically not done, it's such a relief!

I don't really have anything to update about, so I decided to share some of my most favorite Christmas songs. Originally, I was just going to do a list of them in this post, but there are way too many! I decided instead to post one or two at a time. This way, I'll continue spreading the cheer until Christmas!
And I'm sure all of these will be on my playlist for when I'm working on Christmas presents. :)

For the first installment, I give you John Lennon. This song is great, and yesterday was the 30th anniversary of his death...so sad.



And to go with John, I give you Paul. Isn't this song just like instant happy?



Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

To Make

I have this tab on my computer where I save projects I want to try at some point when I have time. I thought I would share just a few of those. Some are kind of older, but still super cute. And they all have tutorials!

Adorable Mary Jane slippers from goodknits

Awesome recycled art project from A Little Hut

Cute bag from Made By Rae
 Simple but pretty votive cups from One Pearl Button

Knotted necklace from Hello, Mint

Cowl pattern from The Crimson Owl
 Recycled magazine bows from How About Orange

Retro Christmas ornaments from The Crafty Fox

Aren't they all so cute? I have a feeling I'm going to try some of them out during Christmas break. Although, there are a couple I want to try before Christmas gets here, like the ornaments and the bows. : )

New York, New York

Shawn and I went on a bus trip to NYC yesterday. It was kind of exhausting, but awesome. We wanted to see a show, and ended up going to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.  Shawn really wanted to see it. It's kind of perfect for him, since he's a theater and a history major.  Plus, it closes January 2nd, so he probably wouldn't have seen it at all if we hadn't yesterday. So I bought the tickets as his Christmas present, and I must say it was a good choice! So funny, and unlike anything you'd see anywhere else. To give you a clue, the tagline is "History just got all sexypants," and Andrew Jackson is sort of like an emo rock star. Hehe...pure awesomeness. We also went to the Met and had a lot of fun just walking around New York.

The trip was a lot of fun, but now I've got more catching up to do with school projects and such. Ugh. Once again, I have done almost no crafting either. I tried knitting on the bus but it didn't work out too well. And now I have to head to my mom's Valley Voices concert so I won't be able to do any schoolwork until later tonight. Last minute as usual!

*UPDATE*
I realized I forgot to add a picture, so here's us in front of the Rockefeller Center tree!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

School is catching up with me

I haven't even touched any craft projects this week. Mostly because my classes are now entering the usual end of semester cram. I think my hands needed the break anyway. But now I need to go to it again! There are Christmas presents to be made!
Besides my lack of crafting, I thought I'd do a little roundup of what's been going on.

Good Buys:
Last week I went to AC Moore and found a wonderful thing. Did you know they have these factory mill ends of yarn?


Each bag is 1 lb of yarn for $5.99. Plus, I got 30% off, so they were a deal! I got four bags, one of which is nice plum-colored bulky yarn. They're "100% unknown fiber," but I don't really need to worry about fiber content for anything I make, so I'm set! Hooray for cheap yarn!

WIP:
Project-wise, there's nothing too exciting going on besides the Mix N' Match Craft Challenge. But I did change the blue and white ribbed scarf I had started before! I really didn't like how narrow it was turning out, so last weekend I just tore out all the stitches and started again. But this time, I made it wider and I'm doing it in a seed stitch. I haven't worked on it very much, as you can tell.


I like it much better now, though. And the seed stitch is fun, don't you think?  I also made a couple more hats over the weekend, but I don't have pictures of them. One was a purple slouchy hat I whipped up for my cousin, and the other was an orange hat for my dad.

Lovely Ideas:



I have this awesome idea for a Christmas gift for my sister. During college she studied abroad. A lot. Seriously, she's amazing. She went to Mexico, Sweden, Spain, and visited Morocco and a bunch of other places along the way. I came up with the idea of embroidering her travels. I thought I could embroider the outline of a world map, and then mark all the places she's been. It'll be tough, but I'm up for it. I'll probably mark home with a heart, and then maybe draw lines from there to dots for all the places she's been. I'm not sure if I want to only mark the places she went in college, or mark everywhere else too. That would be a lot of dots, though! I could continue updating it as she travels more, but that would be endless. So I think I'll just put her "study abroad" places. All I know is that I think she'd love it, so I'm going to run with the idea. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craft Challenge thus far

The Mix N' Match Craft Challenge over at The Perfect Pear has been going pretty well. Everyone's been creating amazing things, and I'm so excited I was runner up for round one and tied for the win in round two! You should go check out what everyone made!

Round One: The supplies we had to use were yarn, glitter, and paper clips. I crocheted some snowflake ornaments.



Round Two: Our items were fabric, ribbon, and buttons. I sewed this itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot...clutch purse!


I'm so happy that people actually voted for my things! What an awesome feeling. :)

Round three's creations aren't posted yet, but the items were paint, markers, and wire. This round was pretty hard and I kept changing my mind about what to do. Plus I left my wire at home when I came back to school monday so I improvised and used the wire from inside of twisty ties! This is what I made:


It's a CD ornament sort of thing. I'm not completely happy with it, but I do think it looks pretty cool. I hope Lauren posts everyone's creations soon!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On Growing Up


No matter what I'm doing, worries about the future are always in the back of my mind. I'm in my junior year in college so some very serious decisions need to be made soon. I mean, I have a major. I don't know how I picked one, but I did. It's "Letters, Arts, and Sciences" and you use it to sort of design your own major, mine being "Art & Entrepreneurship." So basically, I'll be taking a lot of art and business classes in hopes of starting my own art business of some kind. But that's pretty much the extent of my goals.

I was always one of those kids who was pretty good at every subject, but didn't have an interest in any one thing more than the others. It also doesn't help that I am probably one of the most indecisive people you'll ever meet. So I never could make decisions, and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But I know that I want to do something that makes me happy. I probably could do a lot of things if I applied myself, but I'd rather not do some mindless job I don't enjoy. I've never been all about winning or getting to the top, I just want to be happy. I've never been a fan of the whole "decide what you'll do with your life right out of high school" phenomenon either. Instead, why aren't we encouraged to explore the world a bit first? In the end, the only thing I can figure out that really makes me happy is making things. The hard part in that is figuring out how I can make a living...

So the question is, what can I do for a living that will support me while I still live happily? Would this art/craft business just be a side thing? Man, life is full of questions sometimes, isn't it? There are so many decisions laid on such a small person in the world. I'm not sure where my future will lead but I'm looking for the way to get there. But some days I just feel like my car's perpetually in neutral instead of driving forward. I know they say it's not about where you get to, it's about the journey. But sometimes it's hard to go on a journey with no destination. Hopefully I can figure things out and have at least some certainty in my major by the time I graduate next year...

Anyway, this brings me to another point. I've had a few people tell me I should start selling my stuff. I would absolutely love to! But I just always felt like I wasn't good enough to sell my stuff, and that no one would want to buy it. But I kind of think this blog has given me more confidence! I've been pondering the possibility of opening up my own Etsy shop sometime soon. It seems like everyone has one. I would have to keep on top of it and figure out what I would sell, but I think it would be a great experience for me. What do you think? It would be a small step towards the future, which I don't think could be a bad thing. I'm trying to find my niche in the world while finding my stitch in the craft world, and at this point I think I just need to keep taking new steps.

I'm thinking of maybe asking for a couple of books for Christmas. Maybe Craft, Inc. or The Handmade Marketplace. Has anyone read these or have any other suggestions? Please let me know! Also let me know if you have any suggestions about Etsy or just the life of us crafty types in general.

And so we end with The Weepies. They're amazing, as is this song. And the video's kind of silly. Enjoy! :)



"I can't really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else, but in the end the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself..."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy turkey day everyone! Err, well...yesterday. It's officially the holiday season because I saw Santa in the parade! Which means Christmas music, which makes me all kinds of happy. :)

I've been crafting off and on, but I've been pretty much overwhelmed with family stuff and amazing food. I'm definitely not complaining! I love Thanksgiving. I just wanted to do a quick post of one of the things I recently finished. I finally put an end to the scarf that I started way back in my second post ever. As it turned out, I didn't have enough of the yarn to make a full length scarf, and I had no idea where I had got the yarn. Hence, I improvised and decided to make it a neck wrap!


What do you think? I just crocheted buttonholes and added some buttons. But I think I need bigger buttons so I may change them later...
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and has an awesome weekend! Enjoy your leftovers. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Someone has a hat addiction.

Hats have seemingly become my obsession as of late. I actually finished a couple of hats last weekend which I realized I never posted. The first was this one which I had started back in this post.



I crocheted it using this Vickie Howell pattern, but I don't think it turned out quite right. I think it's a bit too slouchy - it's so heavy, it has the tendency to slide off. I followed the instructions and used the same kind of yarn and everything, so I don't understand...I think I'll try to make another one using this pattern but make it a little bit shorter.
Then I knitted this green striped hat, and now I'm knitting a scarf to match it.


Then last night I crocheted a hat with this bulky textured yarn. And then I made a pom pom for it. This one was so fast to make...and it's so warm too!


I also started knitting another hat last night. Oh yeah, I'm a MACHINE! I'm planning on most of these hats and scarves I've been making to be Christmas presents, but I won't say for who! I hope everyone likes them, though! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year

This whole year has been going so fast, I still can't even believe Halloween already happened! But Thanksgiving is this coming week and Christmas will be upon us before we know it. It's just a little over a month away! Which means I need to get crackin' since I plan on making a lot of my gifts this year. My spare time will be consumed by hats and scarves! Which I don't mind, really. :)  I have a few things started and others planned, so that's a start. But I also need to attempt to keep them all a secret, which could potentially be hard...

A big part of my Christmas wish list this year is also going to be craft supplies. How cool am I? Haha.

Dear Santa, 
Please bring me a rotary cutter, a cutting mat, fabric, and lots of yarn. I have been a good girl all year.
Sincerely,
Little Katie V.

Okay, so that's not all I want.  But I must say I am looking forward to Christmas and that homey feeling that comes with all of the decorations.  We always get a real tree, though so it'll be a while before we decorate. But this is what I'm looking forward to:


Ahh, I love Christmas lights. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Break

I took a break from all my yarn and did a quick embroidery project.



I haven't done a whole ton of embroidery so I just wanted to do something for practice. I did a quick sketch and this was the result! It was a nice break away from all the yarn and now I have more embroidery ideas to do soon.
Speaking of breaks...starting now I'm now off for Thanksgiving break! Woohoo! My mushy brain needed it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Sister...aka my Guinea Pig

I love having a sister who will wear things I make. She really is like my guinea pig sometimes, and I love getting her feedback about things. Especially when it's positive! Haha... In fact, I made her senior prom dress when I was in 9th grade, how's that for trust? Maybe I'll post that sometime...
Anyway, back to the point. I crocheted another hat on Saturday. I went for a random, uneven stripe-y look so I wasn't sure how it would turn out. But Ali apparently liked it since she wore it as soon as I finished it - I hadn't even weaved the ends of the yarn in yet! So that made me happy. I made her let me get some pictures before she went out since she just happened to be modeling it so nicely. :)



Her kitty came over to say hi while taking pictures...


So, thank you to my awesome see-star for always testing out my creations!

Mix N' Match Craft Challenge

I just signed up for The Perfect Pear's Mix N' Match Craft Challenge! It runs from November 22 to December 22 and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun! You should go check out the details on her blog. And then sign up. : )

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ribbon & Lace Bracelet DIY

I decided to try my first DIY tutorial!  Tell me what you think!
I made this simple but cute and dainty bracelet.


I used:
1" wide ribbon
3/4" wide lace hem tape
1/4" wide elastic
buttons
thread
and of course, a sewing machine

*You can, of course, use any other widths, colors, etc. and it's the same basic idea.


 Cut 12" of the ribbon, and 9" of the lace.


Measure your wrist and cut a piece of elastic about 1" shorter than this. Then pin the lace in the center of the ribbon (about 1 1/2" from each end)


Stitch the lace onto the ribbon about 1/4" from the end. Do this for both ends.


 
Flip the ribbon over, stitch the elastic to the ribbon along the stitching you just made, with about 1/8" overlapping. Do this for both sides.


Zig-zag stitch over each end for reinforcement.


It will look like this.


Stitch through all three layers by stretching the elastic so that the ribbon is flat.


Then wrap it around your wrist to see where you want to stitch it closed. (my wrists are pretty small so I had a bit of extra ribbon) Then stitch at the length you want it, cut 1/4" from stitching, and zig-zag stitch over the end.



Ta-da!

 
You can leave it the way it is or sew buttons on like I did. And that's it!

How easy was that? Simple & cute. Hope you enjoyed my DIY!