Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween weekend! I know I did. Unfortunately, though, I haven't gotten much crafting done since I spent the whole weekend visiting my boyfriend. It was fun, we went to two different parties and had to throw together some last-minute costumes. Friday night we went as Doug Funnie (as Quailman) and Patty Mayonnaise from the awesome cartoon Doug.


Is anyone else as nostalgic about these 90s cartoons as I am? I want to be a kid again! I actually don't have any pictures of us wearing these costumes. Shawn's looked great, but my Patty Mayonnaise needed a little work...especially the wig! But oh well, maybe I can revamp it and we can wear them again sometime. 
Saturday night, we decided to go as something different...Shawn ended up finding clothes he already had to go as Andy Kaufman. It looked awesome! I didn't have much so I painted the lightning bolt design from David Bowie's Aladdin Sane album on my face. I just wore black leggings and a blue shirt since the album cover is only his face. Not really a costume so much as makeup, but it was still fun to try.




Now I really want to watch Man on the Moon!

The only crafting I've gotten done is this:


It's not much yet, but it eventually will be a ribbed knit scarf. I plan to make it blue and white stripes, I'm just not sure yet how wide I'll make the stripes.
I also plan to try out this hat pattern soon. It's so cute, and looks pretty easy. Should be fun!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another One!

I crocheted another hat, this time a slouchy one. I just sort of used trial and error to get the shape by trying it on as I went, so I had to pull out a lot of stitches. It definitely took longer than it should have! I'm not completely happy with the shape either...at first it looked sort of like a beret, but then the opening was a bit too tight, but now when it's not on my head it's sort of shaped like a chef's hat...but way less poofy. Oh well, it looks pretty good on my head, and I'll make more hats to practice the shape.  I know I could easily look up a slouchy hat crochet pattern but I figured I would play around with it myself for practice.




I laced some blue yarn and tied it in a bow just to add some color. I crocheted some flowers that I thought about adding instead, but I didn't like how it looked. Maybe I'll put them on another hat!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Finally Finished the Skirt!

I finished this wrap skirt since I finally had the buttons. I really didn't expect this project to drag on for so long, it seems like I started it forever ago. I might have finished it the other day, but I actually didn't end up going supply shopping after all. I just found the missing button from the pair at home.  It's not really a traditional wrap skirt with a tie and everything...but it does wrap around and button. I ended up just cutting out the lining too. I'm not sure why I even put it in in the first place. It just pulled weird when I tried to wrap the skirt around my waist.  No matter, it's finished, even if it isn't what I originally had planned to do.




I guess it looks okay. I'm sure I'll wear it at some point...

It's a Hat! Or Two!


I finished knitting my hat! I used this video from KnitPicks.  Unfortunately, it turned out a lot bigger than anticipated, which I don't understand because I measured my head and knitted a swatch beforehand to figure out my gauge.  Maybe I measured wrong...I thought maybe since it was a bit big for me, it would fit my boyfriend, Shawn, but it's a bit too big for him as well. Plus he says it's a bit too girly...maybe because of the rolled brim?  Oh well, I think maybe I'll just wear it as a bulky comfy hat. 



I also made an attempt at crocheting a hat, which I had surprisingly never done.  I stumbled upon some "How to Crochet Beanies" videos from Expert Village.  However, I think they're not quite experts over there at expert village. The instructions in some places were a little hard to follow, and the girl doesn't do crochet stitches as I usually see them done. But I tried to follow it anyway...after the first row or so I just sort of made up my own pattern as I went anyway because the instructions weren't turning out right. The hat was pretty easy overall since it's just a spiral pattern.  I used some soft textured yarn I had, which may have made it a little harder though. It didn't turn out too terribly...



And even if he doesn't wear it, I of course made Shawn take a hat picture with me.


I am now trying to crochet another spiral pattern hat with just the brown worsted weight yarn.  I think I'll try to make it a bit of a slouchy hat. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Moving Right Along...

My first hat is really coming along now!



I'm so excited, the more I knit, the more it actually looks like something! It's more than just a circle now! Knitting in the round is way easier than I thought it would be, too. I don't know why I was intimidated by it. I'll need to start decreasing soon since it's almost long enough. Oh, and the stripes are actually blue...for some reason they look white in these pictures.
I haven't had a chance to go supply shopping yet. I will go later today before I go home, though!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Button, button, who's got the button?

I started this wrap skirt a week or so ago and tried to finish it up last night. But the way turned out was way too bulky and awkward, mostly because of how gathered the fabric is, and I was too groggy and tired to think about how to fix it. This morning I cut some of the width off and cut off the tie straps, instead putting buttonholes to hook it (although it will need a hook & eye at the edge of the waistband too). I guess it's better now, but I still think it might not wrap quite right because of the lining...suppose I could cut that out though. We'll see!

Don't mind the wrinkles, I didn't have time to iron!


As you can see, it still has no buttons. Failure on my part - I brought it over to school so I could add the buttons and be finished...alas, I have only one of the buttons I want to add:


Sigh...no finished skirt for me. I know the other button is somewhere in my masses of stuff, but I don't see it here. I don't have a hook & eye here to finish it either, though. So it'll have to wait. Once it's done I will post pictures of me wearing it.

Maybe I should just go buy another set of buttons and some hook & eye sets. They're always good to have, and I need some other things as well.  I've been really needing some new disappearing fabric markers for a long time now! Mine have been dried out, and they're wonderful things to have. I also wanted to pick up some fabric paint and perhaps browse the scrap fabrics, as usual. JoAnn Fabrics, expect me soon!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

This weekend has been pretty busy and I haven't had time to work on projects, really... My friend and I went to went to Philadelphia this weekend to an Ingrid Michaelson concert (awesome!) and to visit our other friend who is going to school there. It was a great trip! The only project I've done, though is the beginning of my first attempt at knitting a hat, which I started in the car on the way home (when I wasn't driving).


I know it really looks like nothing yet...just a circle. But hopefully it will eventually turn into a hat. We'll see how it goes!
Oh, and on Youtube I found the awesomeness that is Knit Picks.  If you ever want to learn how to knit, that is definitely the place to go. They have all kinds of videos from very basic concepts to harder projects like mittens, etc. They go over each step and they're really easy to follow, it's great.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sweater Purse!

I finished the purse I had started in this post.  I made it out of an old out-of-date sweater that we were getting rid of...I think this put it to pretty good use!
 
 
Since the last post, I used yarn to gather the bottom. I just sort of played around with it to see what looked good...I stitched it closed with the same pink yarn. I wanted it to kind of look...intentionally messy, I guess you could say.  I actually wish you could see all of the stitches though. Some of them disappeared in the grooves of the sweater knitting.  
 
I'm not always a fan of bags that just hang open, so I added this crocheted loop and button on the inside to keep it somewhat closed. As you can see, I also added the braided yarn straps.




I'd say it came together quite nicely. I love how the pink color of the lining and the straps matches the little pink flecks in the yarn of the sweater. I love re-purposing...or upcycling...or whatever you want to call it. : )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Give Freezer Paper a Chance.

Okay, so I've seen on so many blogs the wonderful things people have done with freezer paper stenciling.  I decided to finally try it out on Saturday since I saw we happened to have freezer paper at home.  Since it was John Lennon's would-be 70th birthday, I decided I would do a stencil for the occasion.  I followed this extremely helpful tutorial from "MADE" along with their accompanying tutorial for making a posterized image stencil.  This was probably not the best choice for my first freezer paper stenciling project since it's more complex than a basic outline, but hey, I like a good challenge sometimes.
This is the image I started with:


As the "MADE" tutorial suggests, I made a "posterized" version using Picnik to reduce it to basic highlights and shadows.  Here are photos of some of the steps along the process as I followed their tutorial...

Outlining the image (before it was scanned and flipped)
Tracing the image onto the freezer paper
Cutting out the image
Finished stencil
All the pieces ironed on
Painting in exposed areas
Peeling off freezer paper (after I let it dry)

Voila!
I used the negative of the cut pieces for my sister's shirt.
The finished products
 Yay for freezer paper stenciling! The only bad thing is that I didn't have any fabric paint on hand so I used acrylic.  I saw on several other blogs that it can be used as well, and saw here that it can be set with vinegar instead of using a textile medium, so that's what I did...we'll see how it holds up! Both shirts seemed to come out really well. The only thing that didn't is on my shirt, the yellow "imagine" has cracks now after it went through the dryer, but it doesn't look too bad.  I think maybe the paint went on too thick.  Also on my shirt, it's faint but a bit of the paint seems to have seeped under the paper by his ear, so it must not have been ironed down completely there.
Despite these couple of problems, it went pretty well for such a difficult first attempt! I can't wait to do more, and I'll try actual fabric paint.  Also the blue shirt wasn't the best choice for painting, since it's pretty tight and the image stretches. Now I know for next time!

Happy Birthday, John!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In the making...

Okay, I just have to say I love the fall...yesterday my mom and I went on a walk with the dogs to enjoy the day.  It wasn't quite as peaceful as our usual walks, though, because they're checking for natural gas around where I live and it's quite noisy. Bleh! Ah well, at least we got to see the leaves.  I think this picture sums it up quite well...


So today is my dad's birthday, and I've been working on projects off and on all day. The only thing I finished, though, is this - his birthday card which I made using a few leaves I picked up during our walk yesterday. Pretty simple, but I figured my dad would appreciate it.


Playing around with the colored leaves like this makes me think of the amazing work of Andy Goldsworthy. He's an environmentalist artist and if you've never seen his work, it's definitely worth looking at. Some of his work is so simple yet striking, and some of it is so massive, it's hard to believe that he created it. But nonetheless, its all impressive...It's like nature on steroids.

Anyway, one thing I worked on today was this purse I'm making out of an old sweater.



I wasn't too sure about what to do with it because I cut out the pieces for it a long time ago just on a whim, and they sat in the drawer for quite a while. I kind of forgot my original plans, but I thought of a new idea. It doesn't look like much yet, but hopefully it works. The main part of the purse is now sewn together, and I plan to make a strap for it and add yarn to bring the bottom together as well. I'll do that this week, and post pictures of the finished product then.  I also worked on a wrap skirt, but don't have any pictures of it yet.  I'll post pictures of it when it's finished too.

I get by with a little help from my friends.

I made some friendship bracelets! Surprisingly, I've never tried before. I've made many hemp bracelets before, but never the woven bracelets with craft thread. I'm not sure why, cause they're fun! And pretty easy...I guess that's why kids make them a lot. Haha...


I think I did the green and white one wrong...it's supposed to be the same as the blue and purple one, the "inverse chevron" pattern, but I did the center strings differently...not quite sure I've caught on yet. Any tips?


This one is my favorite. I like the colors together, and I just think it turned out really neat and even.
I will definitely be making more of these, and hopefully I'll get better at them. They're fun because they're pretty quick and you get to play around with color combinations. Now I just need to make some friends to give my bracelets to... Just kidding! I have friends, really!  : )

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Welcome, Celie!

Well, I haven't had time this week yet to work on anything new, so I'll do another flashback post since I've been planning on posting these anyway.  I just became an aunt a little over a month ago when my awesome sister, Missie, had her first baby girl Cecilia Ruth. I, of course, wanted to make some things for my new niece.  : )

One of the things I made were these adorable felt baby booties.  I found the pattern over at favecrafts.com and they're pretty simple but really cute. Now we just have to wait for her to grow enough to fit into them!


The turtle pattern wasn't on the site - I just made it up myself.

Another thing I made was this stuffed elephant. I used Simplicity pattern number 2613.

 
 
Isn't he cute? The fabric matches a giraffe I made from this same pattern for her cousin Sofia last year.  I hadn't really made any stuffed animals before that (besides a sock money I made when I was nine) but it's actually pretty fun and they're a lot easier than I thought they would be.
I also made her a quilt out of Missie's old baby blankets and sheets from when she was a kid, which turned out pretty well.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of that to post right now. Maybe another time!

Well, that's all I have for now. I will post some current projects soon since I will have more time this weekend to work on things. 

I Make Boring Shirts Fun.

Here are some of my earliest embroidery projects I did last year. I like to take plain old boring t-shirts and make them not boring! Yay! An inexpensive and easy way to wear something that you've created (err, well...decorated).
 


I believe the brown shirt was the very first one I did...and the design on the white one is something I would always doodle in the corners of my notes during class, so I decided to put it on a shirt!

Here's another shirt I did with an applique I sewed on by hand with a blanket stitch:



I really like this shirt and want to do more things like this. I don't know why but I really liked these fabrics together too. I made the mistake with this one, though, of using a shirt with really stretchy fabric...oops! It still looks pretty good though, but now I know for next time.