Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays! I hope you take time to breathe if you've been crafting gifts. (Some of you are probably still crafting. The end is near!)

Stuff yourself full of fatty foods, and then make something for yourself. Or work on a project you haven't had time to do because you've been tangled up in yarn and fabric scraps.

Bake cookies. Eat cookies. Repeat.

I already got started with some peanut butter cookies.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wire-Wrapped Rings

Earlier this month, I got my weekend dose of craft by taking a wire-wrapped ring class at Brooklyn Bead Box.

This store is dangerously close to my apartment, so I avoided it for a long time when I was completely broke. Luckily, Groupon came to the rescue. I used my Groupon to take the ring class, plus buy a bag full of supplies.

The class was laid back and fun. Sharon, the instructor, taught us the basics and then chatted with us as we tried oddly-shaped stones and more complicated wraps.

Brooklyn Bead Box has some crazy amazing stones. This one was my favorite. I think it looks like something David Bowie would have worn in Labyrinth. It's tough navigating a crowded subway when you're wearing this, but I'm almost certain I could use it as a weapon.

I was thrilled by this blue ring mandrel. Usually ring mandrels are black, so I snatched this one up to make some rings for Christmas gifts!

I'm giving wire-wrapped rings to no less than six people this Christmas! What's your go-to DIY Christmas gift this year?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange

Today is the last day for my Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway! Hop over to the giveaway post to win vintage and modern sewing patterns!

It's Handmade Gift Exchange time again! Over the summer, I made a lovely Anthropologie-inspired bracelet for my new friend Martha. This time, I traded with Jenni at Kissed by a Frog. Here's what I sent Jenni.

Crocheted Cupcake
I thought Jenni could use this as an ornament or just a cute little touch to her kitchen. I got the pattern from blog Bitter Sweet.

Wire-Wrapped Ring
This is my newest obsession after taking a wire ring class. (More photos of the other rings to come!)

Many thanks to Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous for organizing the Handmade Gift Exchange again! And thanks to my new friend Jenni for being my trading partner!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gift Guide: Knitters

My Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway is still going on through the end of the week! Hop over to the giveaway post to win vintage and modern sewing patterns!

As a knitter, there's no way I could ever afford all the awesome knitting accessories out there. But when Christmas rolls around, you can bet it's all on my wishlist!

Here are some of my favorites this year that would make perfect gifts for the knitter in your life! (Or gifts from you, to you. Heh heh.)

Heart Memoric Markers
Any knitter would love to have these cute hearts hanging from knitting needles! These are so much more exciting than plain old circles.

Addi Click Lace Set
I already own the Addi Turbo Click set. This lace set is great for small projects like hats, gloves, and all the good stuff that requires 16" circulars!

Funky Tree Knitting Needle Case
The all-important organizing tool for the knitter! I love this one for its multiple pockets that can hold scissors, stitch holders, and other necessities in addition to needles.

Malabrigo Worsted Merino
This is my go-to yarn when I am itchy for a new project but have no idea what I want to make. It's soft, and all the colors are gorgeous.

Interweave Knits Subscription
Knitting magazines are more exciting to me than People magazine, and that's saying a lot. Interweave Knits is one of my favorites. Sample Snips Subscription
It's like joining a Bacon of the Month club, except your cholesterol won't go up! Your favorite knitter will receive yarn samples in the mail every Tuesday.

Double Pointed Knitting Needle Tubes
Genius! Do you know how many double-pointed needles I've lost? Or how ugly they look with rubber bands tied around them?

Knitters: what's on your wishlist?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sew, Mama, Sew! Pattern Giveaway

Welcome to my Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway!

Update: Congrats to Tia and Jordann, winners of the vintage and mod packages! Thanks to everyone for entering!

I have sewing patterns up for grabs this time. Because it's the holidays and I wanna feel like Santa, there will be two winners this time! Here's what the two winners will get:

Winner #1: Vintage Package
Simplicity 8051 Girls' Jiffy Pantdress (size 12 girl)
Simplicity 5854 Young Junior/Teens' and Misses' Unlined Shirt-Jacket and Pants (Size 12)
Two BurdaStyle Personal Measurement Chart Cards

Winner #2: Mod Package
Simplicity 2381 Bags
Simplicity 2286 Misses' Pull-On Skirt with Trim Variations (Size A
Two BurdaStyle Personal Measurement Chart Cards

To enter, just follow my blog and then leave a comment below telling me what gift you're dying to receive this holiday. Make sure you also specify which package you'd like: vintage or modern. For a bonus entry, follow me on Twitter and leave a comment saying you followed me!

Giveaway closes on December 16 at 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST).

Good luck!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Martha Stewart Cookie Swap and Holiday Party

My co-workers are all talented in some Martha-esque way, whether it's crafting, decorating, or cooking. I'm no professional baker, but when Martha Stewart hosted an employee cookie swap during the holiday party, I gave it a try!

For my cookie, I used Everyday Food's Black Forest Cookies recipe. They're chocolate cookies with even more chocolate folded into the batter at the end so that when you bite into them, you get dried cherries and large chunks of chocolate. My cookies were delicious, but they sort of resembled little piles of dog poo.

The company gave us Martha boxes for packaging. I love the polka dot paper and scalloped edges.

There were two long tables full of cookies. Some of the cookies at the swap looked so professional! I was intimidated when I brought my little piles of dog poo over.

Lots of delicious food floated around the party. Pierre Schaedelin always caters our parties, and he never lets me down! My favorite was a mini grilled cheese, but I couldn't get a photo because I was using my free hand to fight my co-workers for the last ones on the tray.

The meatballs were pretty good, too.

Martha Stewart chose to -- unlike me -- take some great photos instead of stuffing her face. Check out Martha's blog for photos of my coworkers and the party! (I'm definitely dancing in that next-to-last photo, but I'm barely recognizable in the dark. I may have also been singing "Holiday" by Madonna.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Yarn Tree

On Saturday, I was in a Christmas mood and decided to break out some of my holiday decorations.

Decorating a Brooklyn apartment is no easy task. In such a small apartment, one item can take up a lot of room and look like clutter. My solution? Tiny little Styrofoam cone Christmas trees!

I simply wrapped Lion Brand yarn around a Styrofoam cone, securing it at the beginning and throughout with drops of hot glue. I poked little beads from Michaels into the cone for decoration and added a circle of felt to the bottom so it wasn't scratchy.

It took only a few minutes to make, it was inexpensive, and it didn't make my brain explode. Now that's my kind of Christmas.

Have any ideas for decorating small spaces during the holidays? I'd love to try out some new decor!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dinosaur Knit Hat

Lots of baby hats have been hanging around my apartment lately, but all of them have been for girls. (See the Watermelon Hat and the Pumpkin Hat.)

My co-worker is having a baby boy, so I had to abandon fruits and find a more manly hat. Enter the dinosaur! Rawr!

What I used to make the hat:
1 skein Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Sprout
1 skein Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Lipstick

I created this pattern by knitting a basic baby hat with a rolled edge, k1p1 ribbing, and stockinette stitch. Then I crocheted three triangles. (I didn't stuff mine, but I saw a few other people online who did.) Then I sewed the triangles down the back seam of the hat.

Have any other manly baby ideas?