Monday, January 30, 2012

Quick Valentine Idea: Abstract Rose Prints

One of my favorite Valentine's Day crafts on Martha is this Abstract Rose-Print Valentine's Day Cards and Gift Wrap. This easy card is perfect -- even for my manliest valentine!

Dig through old boxes (or your neighbor's recycling!) to find the cardboard you need to create the rose stamp. If you're not a wine drinker, find a friend who has a spare cork. Grab two ink pads and you're ready to go!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sequin Headbands

At Christmas dinner, my cousin Keitha was wearing an awesome gold sequin headband. I immediately fell in love with it, so I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some stretchy sequins of my own.

I paid less than $1 for each quarter-yard strand of elasticized sequins. The gold looked amazing with Keitha's black hair, but not so great with my red hair. I went for black and silver instead.

The project was super quick. I measured the sequins against one of my other stretchy headbands, then checked the fit by pinning a safety pin to the band and trying it on.

The final step was sewing a simple seam. I folded the band over twice so that no loose sequins would get lost or tangled in my hair. I would suggest hand sewing because when I tried to run it through my machine, the needle kept puncturing all the sequins. Hand sewing guarantees you really catch hold of the elastic base instead of the sequins.

I'm not so crazy about the silver because it reminds me of my baton-twirling headband from 1st grade. I can't wear it with just anything like I can the black one.

What I liked about this project: It's cheap, fast, and easy -- just like your go-to prostitute.

What I listened to while I made this project: The Bust Magazine Best of 2011 playlist on Spotify (If you have Spotify, get the playlist!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Modified Stitch n Bitch Hat

There's nothing better than a fellow crafter to appreciate the time that goes into a handmade gift! Every Christmas, my crafty friend and I trade handmade gifts. I knew she needed a hat; she knew I needed a bag for my bike.

I made her this Devil and Kitty Hat from Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook. This is one of the most useful craft books on my shelf. I've owned the book for about 7 years and still find the patterns useful. The original pattern has the option of kitty ears or devil horns, but we decided those weren't her thing.

I love the garter stitch contrast on the ear flaps. I also highly recommend the yarn! It's super soft alpaca -- warm and soft to work with in winter.

In return, my friend made me a bike bag that velcros to my handlebars. It's made from purple vintage Marimekko fabric! Good thing it's oilcloth because I've been drooling on it.

What I used to make this:
Stitch 'N Bitch Devil and Kitty Hat pattern (minus the ears)
Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky in Sapphire Lace, from Purl Soho

What I listened to while I made this: A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio
What's the most useful craft book on your shelf?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Knit Mohawk Hat

Every time I make a hat for my niece, my nephew wears it more than she does. Be it pumpkin, watermelon, or cupcake, he loves hats.

For his 3rd birthday, his mom suggested a mohawk hat.

What I used to make the hat: I knitted a basic black hat with wool and knitted a strip of Lion Brand Fun Fur on top.

I wish the mohawk could've been all green (there was some pink in there!), but that's ok. If I made this again, I'd use a Fun Fur that was a little less Easter egg-y in color.

My mom emailed this photo of him wearing the hat at the town Christmas parade. (After the parade, he wore the hat to a petting zoo. Can you imagine what the sheep thought of the hat?)

What's your favorite toddler hat? I'm always looking for new kid hat ideas!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Top Projects from 2011

In case you missed 'em, here are the top 5 posts on my blog from last year!

1. Craft Supply Organizing
2. Faux Prada Chunky Knit Headband

3. Anthropologie-Inspired Bracelet
4. Ruffle Flower Pillow

5. Reusable Sandwich Wrap (I'm still toting this little baby to work! Highly recommend this project.)

What a pretty year in crafting! Here's to this year being even more crafty! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crafty New Year's Resolutions

It's the time of year that I and so many others look around and think, whoa boy. My life is a mess.

The holidays were awesome. I came back to Brooklyn with some fun new gifts like a slow-cooker, a ukulele, rain boots, and some craft books. I also hung out with my two favorite kiddos, my niece and nephew. (Our photo was even on Martha Stewart's blog of employee photos!)

Now that the good times are temporarily over, it's time to get down to business. Here are a few craft-related resolutions I've made.

1. Finish what I start.There's a Burda dress that's been crumpled up on my sewing table since last May. All that's left to do is put in the invisible zipper and hem it. But zippers suck! So I just let it sit there. This summer, I will wear this dress, provided I shed the giant cheeseball that's currently sitting beneath my ribs.

I don't even want to go into the plethora of unfinished knitting projects. Let's just say this will be a huge challenge for me.

2. Sew some of the patterns I bought last year.
The Burda dress isn't the only project suffering. I bought some lovely Colette patterns last year, and I did not start any of them. I have fabric. I have patterns. I have hands and scissors and a sewing machine and all the things required to make the dress.

3. Purge and organize the craft stash.
My craft closet is crazy. I have so much stuff crammed in there that I'm probably never going to use. I have jewelry supplies from a class I took at the Fashion Institute that I'm never going to use again. I have glitter, scraps, and maybe even some animals living in there. Who really knows at this point?

4. Take better photographs.
A brief heart-to-heart about blog images with Haley from The Zen of Making raised a red flag. Work-life balance is difficult, and I put minimal effort into styling and images. I'm often snapping photos right before I run out the door to go to work. I sporadically work on projects, never taking proper how-to images.

This year, I'd like to improve my images. My mom gave me a new camera for Christmas, so now I just have to crack the whip and force myself to take my time instead of throwing up something I'm not proud of. So what if I'm a few minutes late for work? Heh heh.

Do you have any crafty resolutions? I'd love to hear them (and possibly add them to my list)!