Friday, March 29, 2013

Kids' Easter Corsage and Boutonniere


When I was a kid, my mom made a bunny corsage for me to wear to church every Easter -- matching poufy dress included. Now she makes them for my niece and nephew.

They're quick and easy to make. Just grab an artificial carnation or rose, then hot glue eyes, nose, mouth, and whiskers on. Use pipe cleaners to make ears, and you can fasten the ribbon bow with wire, then wrap it around the flower stem.

These can be worn around the wrist using elastic as the base, or worn as a boutonniere fastened with a pin.

What Easter traditions did you have as a kid?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Remembering Aunt Maude

Aunt Maude was awesome. There's just no other way to describe her.

She was in her 90s. She was my great aunt and my neighbor. When I was a kid, she provided me with enough jewelry and gowns to play dress-up for hours. She watched Project Runway. She called Martha Stewart a "bitch with a bad haircut" and all the Housewives "bitches and whores."

She also crafted hardcore.

Random wooden and plastic beads from Aunt Maude's stash
 
When Maude passed away a few months ago, my mom and I went through bins and bins of her crafts. I had already gone through dozens of other bins when she was still alive (in fact, this lunchbag I put on the Martha Stewart Crafts Dept. blog was made with some of her polyester fabric), but there were more. They were stuffed in closets, in the attic, in empty bedrooms.

I have plans for this beaded collar that looks like it was removed from a formal gown.
 
As we looked through the bins, Mom and I could see the dreams of a crafter. Aunt Maude had cut legs off of pants, collars off of shirts -- planning to recycle all of it into something else and just never getting around to it.
 
We couldn't possibly keep all of it. If we kept it all, we'd end up much like her someday, in our 90s with bins and bins of fabric and patterns that we never had the time to make.
 

Random yarncraft needles

My mom thought it was sad that Maude never did anything with all these supplies, but I looked at it differently. It's so fun to go shopping and dream of what you can create out of the fabric and buttons you see. So what if you never get around to making it? I'm sure Aunt Maude's head was filled with a lot of creative ideas every time she picked up something new.
 
I'm putting some things, like the vintage patterns below, into my Feisty Redhead Etsy store in hopes that the patterns will make some vintage collector very happy.

Vintage patterns
Have you ever inherited a lifetime supply of crafts? What did you do with all of it?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Reversible Amy Butler Swing Bag

Many years ago, my friend Danara sent me a crafty gal's Christmas present dream: a package full of fabric and an Amy Butler swing bag pattern.

I'm ashamed to say that up until this week, I hadn't touched anything in the package. Now that I'm freelancing and no longer living in fall-into-bed-unconscious-because-I'm-so-exhausted NYC, I'm finding that I have time to do a lot more projects than before.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Patterned Fabric Coasters



Since moving to Asheville, I've acquired some nicer furniture than the IKEA setup I had in Brooklyn. One of those pieces is a dining room table I bought when I lived in Pittsburgh.

My mom refurbished it for me and it's quite beautiful. This means I can no longer use craft knives at the table, cut fabric, and leave drinks. No, that was crazy Brooklyn Ashley. Now that I'm sophisticated (teehee), I use coasters.

I took the materials for these straight outta my fabric stash. They're reversible, and I lined them with some quilt batting scraps I had. I think I see place mats in my future, too.

Have you ever sewn any functional home d├ęcor? There's a lot more fabric where this came from!