Tuesday, May 31, 2011

R.I.P. House Plants

Not even officially summer and I've already done it. The plants are dead.

R.I.P. lil pansies.

R.I.P. unidentified supposedly easy-to-care-for green plant.

R.I.P. wildflowers whose seeds I got from my niece's baby shower. I hope this doesn't put a curse on my niece. Just something really wrong about killing flowers that came from a baby shower.

Thankfully the herb garden is still up and running. I even used some of the chives in my breakfast egg whites on Sunday morning. Sigh. So at least there's that.

Should I try planting these again? I am a little discouraged.

Friday, May 27, 2011

First Quilting Project

Every month, lovely ladies Becky and Rachel from Singer sewing machines come to the Martha Stewart offices to teach sewing classes to Martha's employees.

I'm a regular in these classes, and it's not just because they bring wine. The projects take less than 2 hours, and it's handy to have Becky there guiding me through each step. My sewing has improved so much since I started taking the classes.

In this month's class, we made a quilted cosmetic bag. Here's mine:

I heard the word "quilted" and I freaked a little. What scares me most about quilting is the precision needed in cutting and sewing. I lack this precision in most of my work, which is why I've been staring at pieces of a wide-brim hat for a year. (The crown and brim are not matching up...eeesh.)

Thankfully the cosmetic bag was basic quilting. The only requirement was stitching in the ditch, a new term I learned that basically just means stitching along the seams.

Becky told us that a newbie sewer once said to her: "So, quilting is basically buying a bunch of fabric, cutting it up, and then piecing it all back together again?" Yep. But the finished product feels sooo good!

If you have quilting stories (good or bad), I'd love to hear them. I need motivation to try another quilting project!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway day! I loved reading all your comments, and I'm so happy to have a lot of new followers!

The winner of the flower bib necklace via the good old Random Number Generator is...

#13! Congrats to Grace Elizabeth!

Thank you, Grace! I will definitely be bringing a combination of sewing, crochet, and knit to you! (Although I you won't be seeing wool on my needles anytime soon. Way too hot and sticky for that!)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Giveaway Day: Flower Bib Necklace

Today is Giveaway Day, sponsored by the lovely gals at Sew, Mama, Sew!

Welcome to all my new readers. I hope you'll hang around after the giveaway is over!

I've been playing around with new product ideas for my Etsy store, and I'm using one of them for this giveaway. I'm giving away a flower bib necklace, handmade by yours truly and constructed using tee shirt remnants.

For a chance to win the necklace, all you gotta do is leave a comment below letting me know what you look for in a craft blog. I'll use your comments to plan my future blog content. For a bonus entry, just follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment here letting me know!

Since my blog is pretty new, I'd also appreciate some new followers! In the coming weeks, I'll be making pillows and underwear out of my old tee shirts, sewing some baby stuff for my niece, and finishing a wide-brim sunhat I've been working on for 2 years. (Explanation for the 2 years is also forthcoming.)

I will ship internationally, so out-of-U.S. commenters are welcome! The deadline to enter is midnight EST on May 25, when I'll be choosing a commenter at random.

If you don't win, you can still have one of these necklaces! I'll be posting a how-to for sewing the necklace. If you're not a sewer, you'll be able to buy similar necklaces in my Etsy store!

Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Singer Sewing Party on Martha Stewart Crafts

In the short history of my craft parties, I hosted what I believe to be the most awesome craft party. Ever.

Yeah, I said it.

With the help of Singer and House Party, I hosted 15 gal pals in my little Brooklyn apartment. Creativity ensued.

Head over to the Martha Stewart Crafts Department blog to see more photos from my Singer Sew Very Easy House Party.

While you're there, download the PDF how-to for your own roll-up accessory case and snag 10% off a Singer Confidence Stylist from participating Jo-Ann's Fabric and Craft stores!

Here are a few candids of my guests and their projects that didn't fit on the Martha blog.

I want to give a special thanks to my friend Jenn Whitney for helping me cut fabric, make pom-poms, and taking photos the day of the party!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Martha Moment: Wine Tote

For a few hours last month, I had the chance to see what it was like to be a star. Conclusion: being a star means sweating underneath lights all day and repeating the same lines over and over.


With the help of a new free video-editing app called Videolicious, each month Martha Stewart is asking readers to upload a how-to video. The questions will cover all the usual Martha stuff, like cooking, crafts, and home decor.

Someone had to show the people how it was done, and I was that lucky little lamb.

Watch my video how-to, and maybe you'll be inspired to upload your own video to Martha.

Oh, and try out the awesome wine tote that I demonstrate. It's pretty handy, and it will make you look extra cool at parties.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ruffle Tee Shirt Necklace

Pinterest has increased my crafty to-do list tenfold since I started pinning. So last night I started knocking out the projects that looked small.

Enter this necklace tutorial from Whipup made from tee shirt remnants.

I'm all about reconstruction projects like this one, especially when they involve tee shirts. So I pulled out my bag of tee shirt scraps and came up with this awesome necklace, based on the Whipup tutorial.

Instead of using the tee shirt neck as a base for decoration, I used it as the base of the entire necklace. I can slip the necklace right over my head just like a tee shirt, without tying annoying knots in the back or messing with closures.

The best part? Minimal sewing! I cut a strip of the tee shirt, loosened the tension on my machine, and did a straight stitch all the way down the strip of fabric. I pulled the thread to give the fabric a ruffle effect, and then sewed the ends of the fabric to the neckline of the tee shirt. The whole necklace took me less than 5 minutes to make.

Closeup of the ruffle!

I see headbands and crazy bib necklaces in my future using this same technique!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mason Jar Herb Garden

You probably saw (and laughed at) my insane herb garden a few weeks ago. It was out of control, and I finally got a solid piece of advice from a friend: Separate those herbs! They're crawling all over each other!

Fate stepped in when I saw a how-to on The CSI Project for spray painting Mason jars and using them as planters.

I have an overwhelming amount of Mason jars because my parents bring canned tomatoes from their Kentucky garden at the end of every summer. My hoarding instincts told me to save them.

Not the most beautiful colors for spring, but I work with what I've got. I had spray paint hanging around from the breakfast costumes I made for the TODAY show at Halloween, thus the bacon-red color. The copper spray paint was from a necklace how-to I did over on the Martha Stewart Crafts Department blog.

Separating the herbs was not fun. They crumbled, and I thought I lost a lot of them at first. But in the end, they all found happy homes. I even kept two of them together in the original pot so they could make chive-basil babies.

Let's hope that mine do not die now that they are separated...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Faux Prada Chunky Knit Headband

I never thought I would attempt to rip off a Prada look, but when I saw this photo over on BurdaStyle of a chunky knit headband that Prada used on the runway, I wanted it. Bad.

Here's how I did it.

What You'll Need:
Size 15 needles
2 strands of worsted-weight yarn, held together throughout (I used cotton because it's better for warmer weather, but you can use any type of yarn you'd like.)
Cable needle

CO 13 stitches.

Row 1: Knit all stitches.
Row 2 and all even rows: Purl all stitches.
Row 3: K2, slip 3 sts onto cable and hold in front, k3, k3 off the cable, k5.
Row 5: K all sts
Row 7: K5, slip 3 sts onto cable and hold in back, k3, k3 off the cable, k2.

Repeat this pattern until the headband fits snugly on your head. Seam the BO and CO ends together.