Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pinterest inspired crafting #1

Ive noticed of late that my Pinterest crafting is sorely lagging. Maybe its the impending holiday season, but I'm feeling the itch, and with all that lovely inspiration all organized and such, I think it's high time to start a series of posts. I'm calling all crafters to make some stuff inspired by something you've already pinned.
I pinned this to my Christmas board as inspiration for something fun and quick to make for Jack. Well, when he unintentionally pulled out my vintage Sunset copy of Quilting and Patchwork while fiddling with the book shelf I found myself flipping through and came upon the pattern for Japanese ojami bags.

What fun! They're a little tricky to put together at first so I might recommend sewing the first couple up with scrap that you aren't in love with but once you get the hang of it its actually a fun sew. They're supposed to be bean bags but I stuffed them with poly fill just in case they didn't hold up to Jack's wild man routine of late.

Jack was sufficiently entertained (I know, it was supposed to be for Christmas but I can't ever wait to see how he reacts to something I've made for him. I've got to get over that impulse). He invented a game right away called "smack the sacks around with a wooden fork". He actually played at it for 10 minutes or so, which for him is quite a long time. I'm declaring them a hit!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Technicolor Baby

Lets be clear. This is not my original idea. Though I'm not sure where I've seen it in the past, its popped up several times in several blogs over the last few years. Its one of those things I saw before Jack was born and filed into my "rainy-day with kids" memory bank. For those of you who live in and around Seattle, you'll know that today was a perfect day for such an activity.

It couldn't be much simpler, just 2 ingredients. Plain, vanilla, or in our case, honey flavored greek yogurt (it just has to be white and without fruit chunks) and the food coloring you undoubtedly already have in your cupboard.

I mixed up one of each of the colors I had, stripped Jack down to his diaper, and plopped a bit of each color onto the tray of his highchair. Instant, edible finger paint. Perfect for trying to get enough dairy into this slowly weaning baby and keeping him entertained for 15 minutes or so.

A nice rainy day mess and a fantastic excuse for a cosy afternoon bath.

Update: Squee! Jack and I got ourselves featured on Naptime Crafters!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Travel Sewing

It's almost time! This week we are traveling to sunny San Diego and the home of my dear dear college roommate Kelly to visit and to meet baby Eva. Kelly and I have always had that easy friendship that spans miles as well as years. Ive written all sappily about her here so I'll spare you for now (though I may get sappy again once were home and I'm missing her all over again). In addition to a little gift for Eva which I hope to snap a picture of in action, I did some travel sewing. A few things that I hope will make our trip a little easier.

First up were these finger puppets. I was inspired by my last little project and I thought these would be the perfect thing to tuck into my purse to pull out on the plane when things got a little boring. They're pretty simple, I just sketched out the basic features for each of the animals, made myself a little template for the body and did a little cutting, gluing, sewing and embroidering. They came out pretty cute, just right for an impromptu puppet show.

Next was this travel highchair from This Mama Makes Stuff. It's something I've been meaning to make since I happened on the tutorial and when it struck me yesterday that our suite would probably not come equipped with a highchair, I decided to whip one up. It came together very easily. The instructions are fantastic and Jack fits in it nicely. I used some blue corduroy that I scored from the thrift store (I think it was about 5 yards for a dollar) for the outer and a million year old duvet cover from Ikea for the inner. Not bad for a totally practical throw together.

Finally I made a couple extra binkie clips. Jack is still very much in love with the binkie and I love that it keeps him from putting things in his mouth. These little clips are a great way to keep the binkie off the floor when we are out, and we were down to only one. I'm still amazed at how often things just disappear around here.
Now that the sewing frenzy is over, I guess I'd better pack. Bletch! Perhaps I can think of one more thing that just HAS to be made so I can put it off a little longer...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review of Microcrafts from the people who brought you Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Right after Jack was born I "met" Eric from Quirk books. He had seen my skeleton from Creepy Cute Crochet and since then has generously offered me several books to review. The latest doesn't disappoint. Microcrafts arrived yesterday, and this morning Jack and I set to work, looking through every page to decide what we should make.

With Halloween approaching, the monster babies seemed like a no-brainer.

Our version ended up slightly less micro than the book's version mostly due to the fact that Jack is still prone to sticking things in his mouth and I didn't want a choking hazard on our hands. It also ended up a finger puppet, while although I didn't get a good shot of it in action I can assure you Jack thinks it is hilarious.

The whole thing came together so quickly we decided to make a little something for baby Eva who we will be visiting for the first time later this month! Eva has lots and lots of delicious dark hair so we knew that a ribbon bow would make a lovely little pressie.

Jack agreed to model. Man this kid is cute. I need to get knocked up with a girl ASAP so I have an excuse continue making stuff like this!

So here is my review. This book is fun! Both of these crafts came out looking great, we were able to complete them within an hour and with stuff we already had on hand. I think that a good craft book has projects that inspire and allow you to put your own spin on stuff. We found it easy to up size AND finger puppetize the monster baby which I think is fantastic because its already turned into something we will play with again and again. There are lots of neat things in this book that I'm sure will get any one's creative juices flowing. If you're interested, get it (at 36% off AND with prime shipping) on Amazon here. Happy micro-crafting to you!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I made a dolman sleeve top (that actually looks good)!

Man I wish I'd made a pattern. I love it! After about 15 failed projects in a row I can't tell you how good it feels to get 2 wins within 24 hours of each other! I've had a version of this top in my head ever since I scored this fabric at the Northshore Senior Center rummage sale in 2010. I knew what I wanted to make, but wasn't ready to cut into it at 8 months pregnant. I've thought about the fabric on and off for the last year and today, I finally decided to just go for it. I've known for a couple months I wanted to do a dolman sleeve because they are so trendy at the moment but also because it's so easy. Less actual sewing is always a good thing. Case in point, exhibit A below.

I took some measurements. I wrote down some numbers. I did some pinning, some folding, some re-measuring and had an inner dialogue that went something like "Hey self! Are you sure this is the right way to do this, remember what happened last time we tried to make grown up clothes without a pattern?" and finally some cutting. Its a pretty basic shape. I had enough scraps left over to make hems for the bottom and both sleeves but in the end I decided to leave the bottom be. I just folded over a quarter inch and sewed. I didn't even pin or measure it. Shhhhh. I added a super simple, 2 inch hem to each sleeve. I think it finishes the top off nicely and gives a simple but fun contrast with the stripes going different directions.

I'm super pleased with how it came out. I think the silhouette is flattering and best of all, I don't think it looks home sewn. I really need some comfortable tops that aren't old navy tank tops or tshirts that say things like "That's quacktastic". I've been spending a bit too much time in yoga pants of late. Momma needs to class it up a notch. Like, jeans... at least a couple days a week. Maybe 2. Yeah 2 days is a good start.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Son of a Von Druke it's finished!

I cannot believe its actually finished. I stitched the last corner down on Jack's quilt binding about 10 minutes ago and I feel AMAZING! Its been a life long goal to complete a quilt and I've done it! I started planning this quilt when I found out we were pregnant and its been in process throughout a large portion of my pregnancy, through my tendinitis and surgery and now, just a couple of days past Jack's first birthday (my updated deadline after the tendinitis diagnosis) I can put my baby to bed with his own momma-made quilt. I used scraps for the patchwork, some of which are old clothes of Bruce's. It will be really fun to tell Jack that "that used to be Daddy's shirt" when he's old enough to understand. The "batting" is a flannel sheet donated by a friend. I didn't want it to be too heavy so that it could be used in the summer on its own and in the winter with heavy pj's or perhaps another blanket if it gets really chilly. I backed and bound it with another sheet, one we were actually using on our bed while I was pregnant. I hand quilted the whole thing with embroidery floss which makes the back look awesome.

It came out way cooler than I could have ever imagined. But my favorite bit is this little bear.

My parents had a garage sale this summer and while going though piles of stuff, my mom came across my old blankie. It was hand made by my grandma, and is literally loved to tatters. I couldn't believe it hadn't been tossed out. This bear was sewn into the corner and it accompanies some of my earliest memories. I love love love that I was able to add this to the back of Jack's quilt. Every piece of this thing has a story or memory attached. So not only were there countless of hours spent thinking of and loving my baby while putting it together but all the materials are special in some way too.

I think he likes it.