Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Growing Green Onions

Inspired by a post over on Handjobs for the Home, I went to work growing my own green onions. And when I say "went to work," I mean that I bought some in the store, cut off the tops, and then put them in a Mason jar. "Work." Pffft.

At first I was skeptical about this small miracle, but it worked! You know what kind of luck I have with plants. So I'm beyond thrilled to welcome some sort of growth into the kitchen!

I sneakily labeled this post "gardening." Heehee.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ruffle Tee Shirt Pillow

A few weeks go, I finished a Ruffle Flower Pillow using a kit from Etsy. I loved it, but the felt was scratchy and made my face sweat. In other words, it was not couch nap-worthy.

I have a lot of old tee shirts hanging around that I always mean to use for projects. I thought one of them would make the perfect pillow. I was right!

The fabric is from my Maker Faire NYC volunteer tee shirt. It's a size XXL, so I had plenty of fabric to work with! The white logo made for some interesting bits of color in the ruffle.

I modeled the pattern after the Ruffle Flower Pillow except that instead of sewing one long ruffle and winding it into a flower, I made little strips of ruffles. I was inspired by a pillow that Tricia from Oh So Crafty made out of an old tee shirt and a men's dress shirt.

It only took about 2 hours to make, and that's with me sewing the pillow together on the wrong side, ripping it out, and doing it over. (Oops.)

I must admit, it looks pretty good on the couch with my Ruffle Flower Pillow! Nap time!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To-Do: This Week's Projects

The last post about the projects I wanted to finish went pretty well, so I thought I'd hold myself to it again. Here are a few things I'd like to make this week:

1. Baby Watermelon Hat
It's obvious by now that I'm gearing up for a visit to see my niece. When I get there, I'd like to have a couple things to torture her with, like baby shoes and large hats. I will take her picture in them, she will give me an evil look, and then she'll take a bottle and forget all about it.

My mom found this watermelon hat online, but it was sold out. I think it'd be easy to make my own pattern for it:

2. Ruffle Pillow
I'm in love with the felt ruffle flower pillow I made a few weeks ago, but I want another one that's softer so I can lay around on it while I'm watching Monk marathons on Netflix Instant. I want to make one like this out of my ginormous red Maker Faire volunteer tee shirt from last fall.

3. It's a Secret... For Now
Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous is sponsoring a handmade gift exchange! I've already met my lovely exchange partner, Martha from Minnesota, and have something in mind to create for her. I don't wanna spoil it, so you'll just have to wait until after Martha receives the gift.

Let me know if you fancy anything above, or what you're working on this week!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Embroidered Greeting Card

When it comes time to send a greeting card, I hate buying plain drugstore cards. They're the same every year! I was absolutely thrilled when I found Sublime Stitching Stitchable Stationery in my local craft store.

I whipped this little baby up and sent it to a friend:

Jenny Hart's designs are lovely. All you do is poke holes in the card with a needle, then embroider using backstitches.

I love the blue floss and the way the stitches look on the card. I also have fun running my fingers over the stitches. Ya can't get that at Walgreen's!

The inside of the card looks a little scary after you finish embroidering...

so I glued a cardstock onto the back to cover up the craziness!

If you're looking for a more personal card to send, you should get some of these. They'd also be super easy to DIY with some cardstock, embroidery floss, and a needle.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Beer Brewing Sunday

Yesterday, I helped my friends bottle their third home brew.

All the hard work was done last week when they spent an entire day preparing the brew. I told them to break me into the process slowly, so this time I helped bottle. Next time I want to check out the beginning of the process.

Here's the brew. We siphoned this into a larger tub using a tube, that way the nasty stuff you see on the top and bottom (which we equated to sludge at the bottom of a lake) wouldn't go into the bottles.

Here's the equipment used for capping the bottles:

My friends have learned a lot of lessons since brewing their first batch of beer. Don't fill the bottles all the way to the top, for example, otherwise the beer will be flat.

Home brew! In a week, 42 beers will be ready. My friends are hosting a beer and ice cream party to celebrate their third successful brew.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Top

A big woo-hoo for finishing projects! A few weeks ago, I blogged about a few projects that I wanted to complete. This is one of them! And it's complete! My goodness.

This summer top was part of Sew, Mama, Sew's summer tutorials last year. I immediately fell in love with it. (You, too? Get the free how-to!)

Finding a fabric for this was easy. My great aunt, who still sews at age 91, has a bedroom full of plastic bins and they're overflowing with fabric. Heavenly! For this top, I chose this light cotton. It doesn't show sweat stains AND it has blue flowers. Win-win.

I did make a few adjustments to the pattern. I brought my side seams in a little after the initial cut because I looked like a hot-air balloon.

The boatneck was choking me, so I dipped it down a bit in the front and sewed the shoulder seams a little wider so I could wear this top to work and not look like I was trying to pick up dudes. (I AM in fact trying to pick up dudes, but not at work. Bad idea.)

Making this has inspired me to also try it as a dress with a shirred waist. There's definitely no shortage of fabric in my stash to make one!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Etsy Craft Party

It's that time of year again! On Friday, my friend Jenn and I went to Etsy's annual craft party at their offices in Brooklyn.

Jenn had a cold, but she still managed to put on her party face -- and a red wig.

The props in the photo booth were the best. We could've taken photos all night, but the gazillion people in line behind us probably would not have liked that.

The party had different projects to try, and I tried letterpress for the first time. I really like the way the ornaments feel on the card. I think I'll hang onto it and send it to someone as a thank you card.

There were a lot of crafters sweatin' all over each other. The food and drinks kept our spirits up in the long lines. I think I ate ten too many cheese cubes.

Want to see more pictures? Check out Etsy's Flickr pool! Can't wait til next year!

Did you go to a craft party?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Jewelry Storage Picture Frame

I saw this jewelry storage DIY project a few years ago in Bust magazine, but didn't actually make it until I randomly found a wooden frame on clearance at Target for $3.

All you need is a wooden frame, a drill, and a couple of knobs or hooks. I used knobs and a wall hook from Anthropologie's sale, but there are tons of different things you could use.

Drill some holes in the frame, screw the knobs into the holes, and ta-da! Easy peasy. It took less than half an hour to do.

In the Bust magazine project, they put a screen in the center of the frame and used it to hang earrings. I'm not much of an earring wearer even though I have pierced ears, but the screen is something I was thinking about adding.

Most people would have photos of family or cute animals, but I have chosen The Beatles. I'm especially smitten with the top photo of Paul in his suit getting ready to walk across Abbey Road. Meeeow!

Here's the frame with a bunch of my stuff hooked on it:

I think the knobs from Anthropologie are gorgeous.

So... ideas for other projects using knobs? Should I add the earring screen? I'd also love to hear how you store your jewelry, because there's a lot more where this came from!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Finished Project: Baby Janes

You may remember these little baby jane shoes from my earlier post about projects I wanted to make this week. Well, I've done it! I've actually completed a project!

Applause, applause.

These adorable knitted shoes came from Red Heart. You can download the free pattern on Red Heart's site. They were so easy and fast. I can easily see me making these in a gazillion different colors.

I didn't add the buttons yet because my mom has some butterfly buttons at home that I'm going to use. They will probably be a bit big on my niece right now, but if she has feet like I do, she'll grow into them in no time. Look for a picture of her wearing these later in the summer. I can't wait to see her!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Reconstructed Skirt

New York is possibly the worst city in the world in which to wear a long skirt. I picture myself tripping over it on the subway stairs, city rats clinging to it as I run from them. I could get caught in a subway door. A homeless man could throw up on it.

Lately I've had a lot of revelations concerning my wardrobe. Due to budget restrictions and general concern about consumer waste, I'm avoiding shopping. I also notice clothes in my closet that I still like, but one or two little things are keeping me from wearing it.

Take this lovely skirt, for example. I must say that I am particularly fond of this skirt because even though it came from Pittsburgh's H&M circa 2005, it took me months to save the money to afford it because I was working for AmeriCorps.

Cue the seam ripper!

I ripped off that bottom ruffle and just redid the hem. Because I didn't want to be a sewing hermit, I took it to the park. Check out my early summer pale leg under there.

Seam rippin' in the park! on Twitpic

Have you ever used one of these blind hem sewing machine feet? I didn't do a blind hem but this little baby came in very handy for keeping my hem edge straight!

Ta da! Skirt one of two:

So now I have this really long ruffle (folded over double here to fit the photo). I'm trying to decide whether to make another skirt out of it, or use it for something else. Ideas?

Monday, June 6, 2011

To-Do: Projects from Pinterest

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I'm constantly blabbing about Pinterest, the virtual bulletin board. Pinterest has made my craft links so much more organized, but it has also tripled the amount of stuff on my to-do list.

In order to motivate myself, I'm publicly announcing a few of the pins that I'd like to make this week. Hold me to it, readers. I'm a slacker.

Summer Boatneck Top 
Sew, Mama, Sew already started another round of sewing patterns, and I still have my eye on this one from last summer! (Told ya... I'm a slacker.) So I'd like to get this going before I start pinning all of this summer's how-tos.

Baby Janes 
Debbie Stoller, creator of all things crafty and awesome, shared this pattern over on Red Heart. I want to make a pink pair for my niece.

Anthropologie Knock-Off Flowers
Since I keep killing my real plants, I could use one of these Anthropologie knock-off blooms to fulfill my flower needs. One of these little babies could also make my work desk a little happier.

There. It's public. Now I have to do it. If you're a craft slacker, leave a comment below and let's share our misery together.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ruffle Flower Pillow

I feel like every project I've done in the past month either involves ruffles or flowers. Today I present: the ruffle flower pillow!

My friend Jenn bought me this awesome flower pillow kit from TaDaa Studio on Etsy. I love kits. The best part is that you don't have to go to a bazillion stores to find what you need for one project. And you know how much I despise cutting. Most of the time, the kits have already cut the pieces for me.

The kit comes with complete instructions, thank goodness. Here's how I did it.

I sewed a very loose zigzag stitch along the 7 yards of felt included in the kit, then pulled it tightly to form the ruffle. I started pinning the ruffle onto the large felt piece...

And just kept it moving around in a spiral:

Things I liked about this project:
The instructions were awesome. They were detailed and even gave different options for some steps.

The invisible zipper was already sewn onto one of the pillow pieces!

I can use this same technique for other projects, like more pillows made out of my old tee shirts. Or a bib necklace with these little flowers all over them.

Things I didn't like about this project:
Basting the ruffle was a pain because the felt was so thick. It made my fingers hurt to pull the thread to gather it. (Wah, wah.)

This pillow is pretty much for looks/decor. The felt is not good for napping. (That's why I'd like to create more of these from tee shirts. Nap town!)