Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thanks for a Great Year!

With 2008 coming to a close, I figured what better time to say "thanks" than today. Thanks for coming by my blog and playing spectator to my craftiness. I hope I've inspired a few of you along the way or at least caused a smile once in a while. Thanks again! And here's to more craftacularness in 2009!

I made this thank-you note for my sister-in-law using LollyChops papers, rick-rack, and a cool metal sticker.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Carrie Inspired Artwork

Remember the skull hat and vest I made for wee Ronan? Well, after Ronan's papa Justin received it, he was inspired to draw up this wonderful little picture. (He's an artist, if you couldn't already tell!) And he just recently got around to sharing it with me. I just love it and now think I need to knit up a set that looks like this. Hmm...

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Ornament/Decoration Swap

This year at work, I participated in my first holiday ornament/decoration swap. It was one where you open a present according to a number and then get to steal what other people opened. I never realized just how much strategy I would need to employ, but in the end I do believe I made out like a bandit!

First up, my ornament. I knit up this sweet little cabled sweater and scarf. (Here's the pattern if you want to make your own!) I made the hanger by twisting some wire together. And then I hung a little Popsicle stick off the bottom which reads "Baby, it's cold outside." (The stupid flash makes that impossible to read in the picture.)

My pal Jess, who you might remember from past Craft Swaps/Challenges, walked away with my ornament. Although she was clinging tight to a beautiful Antropologie ornament for a while. I hope this was a fair exchange (but who the heck can compete with anthro!).

And now for my stealing reward...a sweet, handmade snow bunny! Sigh...I love her.

She was made by my other pal, Stacey. And what is that I see...Amy Butler fabric on the toosh of this hopper? Why yes it is. It's like Stacey knew it was coming home with me!

Want to make your own bunny? The pattern can be found in the Softies book. Send me a pic if you decide to make one!

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hats for Trent and Hannah

I don't have kids, but I know that most don't like getting clothing for Christmas. Despite knowing this, I still went ahead and made hats for the niece and nephew. I thought the only way I could get away with it is if they were funny/silly hats. I think (hope) I achieved that! Hannah's hat is the owl. Isn't it a hoot? (OK, that was terrible). I came up with the pattern myself. Yay me! Trent's hat is the Brain-Eating Monster, and the pattern is here:

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Friday, December 26, 2008

A Gift for Hannah

Now that the holidays are done and the gifts have been given, it's time to share what I did with my December. First up, a little felt house for Hannah. I saw something similar to this on Anthropologie for an extreme amount of money ($7o something???) and thought, I can do this myself. Anthro's included bears inside, so I followed suit, but added a little Goldilocks, too. And then I gave Hannah a Goldilocks and the Three Bears book to go with it.

I fashioned each of the bears off of Hannah's family. Papa Bear is my brother--complete with goatee and Bears shirt (Chicagoans). Mama Bear is my sister-in-law Jenn, who is big into belly dancing. Baby Bear is my nephew Trent, who loves baseball and is a White Sox fan. While Hannah isn't blonde, I couldn't make Goldie a brunette. I just hope Hannah can pretend that it is her. =)

The house is sewn together felt and lines with pretty fabric inside. The outside is all decorated by needle felting.

Here's what the Anthro house looked like:

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to You!!!

I hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday. All the best to you and your family!

p.s. I found this picture on Flickr and couldn't pass it up! A reminder: don't eat yellow snow!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Lot of Hot Chocolate

First things first: Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Usually I bake little goodies to give as gifts for Christmas, but ever since I turned gluten-free, baking is no fun. I mean really, what's the point if you can't lick the bowl! But thanks to LollyChops, I was able to whip up some homemade hot chocolate (completely gluten-free!) AND put them in pretty packages designed by Lolly herself. Here are the ingredients (and salt, not pictured):

Lolly made great templates that worked as tiny packaging all on it's own, but I wanted to go a little bigger. I cut out the template into two pieces and glued them to the bag (directions going on the back of the bag).

I finished them all up with pretty bows and yarn. They'll be headed to the first group of people later this evening.

With that, I hope you have a wonderful day. No crying and pouting...SANTA'S COMING!!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Snow and More Birthday

The snow has stopped for now, but this weekend it was really coming down...again. Shane and I decided to take a walk on Saturday evening in the snow. It was really nice, and I loved getting to see all the houses get their holiday on (even the ones who I think must've been drunk with they strung their lights).

And although my birthday was on the 11th, the gifts just keep on coming. On Saturday I received the sweetest little "gift" from Anthropologie (drool!). The front of the case said "So..." and the inside looked like a little sewing case minus the needles.

In place of needles, I received 15% off my entire anthro purchase. The good thing about December birthdays is that you're almost always guaranteed a sale is going on at your favorite store.

Since I can't afford anything in anthro without a sale AND 15% off, I decided I best take advantage. I got this little jacket for a song! Thanks, anthro!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas Baby J

On my side of the family, we just do presents for the kids. Usually that means just my niece and nephew, but this year my step-sister will be in town with her husband and two-year-old son. I knit up this little snowman hat as a gift for him. The snowman is made of store-bought felt and needle-felting. You can't really tell from the pics, but his little carrot nose sticks off the hat.

I'll share more Christmas gifts in the coming days!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Weather Outside Was Frightful

Here's what Shane and I woke up to on Friday morning, which can only mean one thing: SNOW DAY!! And the bonus? I took Monday off, making it a four day weekend, and a one day week at work thanks to Christmas. And that one day is reserved for a Yahtzee match with coworkers. YAHTZEE!!! (I know. I've got it rough.)

There are 3-4 more inches are expected for today. Ah, winters in Wisconsin. I hope I can make it.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Let It Snow...I think?

I made this teeny tiny snowman out of beads one day but have been waiting to reveal at the perfect time. With 10 - 13 inches of snow predicted by noon, I'm pretty sure this is as good of time as any. (Oh and why the "I think?" Because I'm writing this on Thursday night when the snow hasn't actually started yet. If it does get bad and I still have to go to work, this snowman might be whipped into the snowy street to be run over by a plow!)

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tis the Month for Giveaways!

The wonderful Miss Lolly over at LollyChops is giving away fabric she designed and had printed through Spoonflower. I hesitated to even tell you about this giveaway since I would LOVE to win it all for myself, but I suppose there are three chances to win (three different fabrics) so I won't be stingy...especially since she sent so many people over to my giveaway and wouldn't even allowed to be entered in return. So selfless! Note to self for New Year's resolutions: be more like Lolly, be more like Lolly. =)

And here's how to enter (taken from Lolly's blog):

So how do you enter? All you have to do is leave [Lolly] a comment telling [her] a few ideas of what you might make.. and remember.. these are only fat quarters (18x22 inches) (we are not talking yards of fabric here). [She] needs your first and second fabric choice (for example.. tarts and gumbo)..with your project ideas... and then RonChops and [LollyChops] are going to pick the winners based on the projects that are submitted. You have until this Saturday night (12/21/08) 10CST to enter - so think on it some if you need to ok.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Gift for Rachel

Over a year ago, I made a scarflette for my friend Therese. Over Thanksgiving, Therese was visiting her first-grader niece, who asked to wear that scarflette to her big brother's birthday party. She was so proud to wear something of her aunt's, that Therese thought she deserved one of her own. I couldn't agree more. So here's the quick little scarflette I knit for Miss Rachel. The cool big buttons are from Therese's vintage stash. I love that most people I know keep their buttons in old tins. Hmm...that seems like a future post idea: people's button bins. But I digress. Here's the scarflette:

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Socks" the Snowman Project

My apartment is looking a little (OK, a lot!) sparse this holiday season since all of our holiday decorations are locked up in storage. I really thought I'd be alright with skipping a year of the tree, stockings, Santas and jazz, but I was wrong. I could tempt fate and venture forth into said storage space, but as my husband says, "the whole thing wreaks of effort." Still, I need a little holiday something something. Enter, "Socks" the Snowman Project.

I don't know where Socks originated...I think it came from some magazine my mom had back copies of such as Woman's Day, Better Homes and Gardens, or one of those. All I know, is I made the first version of socks about 10 years ago when Shane and I were living in our college apartment. It was 500 sq. feet, and our first year of living (in sin) together. We couldn't fit ourselves in there, let alone a tree, so I made Socks as our very first decoration. Now that our living situation has come full circle and we're back in an apartment (temporarily this time), I think Socks needs to come full circle, too.

You may have the luxury of garlands, wreaths and even gasp real snowmen, but that doesn't mean you couldn't still use Socks in your home, too. Or he makes a great gift...and is inexpensive to make! So let the tutorial roll:

First, the supplies. Above shows just about everything you need for your own Socks: rice, a measuring cup, a funnel (or really good aim), a clean white midcalf sock, a clean holiday sock, Polyfil stuffing, three rubberbands, two twigs, scissors, a strand of yarn, pinking shears, a glue gun and sticks, and embellishments (not pictured) such as buttons, puffy paint, needle felting materials, etc.

Pour 1.5 cups (give or take) into the bottom of the sock using the funnel (or impeccable aim).
Wrap a rubberband around the sock tying off the snowman's bum.
It should look like this (above).
Using the funnel, pour in about a 0.5 cup of rice. On top of the rice, use the Polyfil stuffing to create the snowman's belly. Tie off this section with another rubberband.

Pour a 0.25 cup of rice into the top section and then more Polyfil to make the head. Tie off the head with another rubberband and cut off the excess socks.

With the holiday sock, cut off the top 3 -4 inches, making sure to leave the elastic in tact (actually, your scissors shouldn't be anywhere near the elastic :)

Use a piece of yarn to tie off the top of the hat. To make it pretty, try cutting with pinking shears.

Now, the fun part...bring Socks to life. Put on his hat!

I put Socks' face on by needle felting (no, not voodoo), put you can use anything you want...puffy paint, glued on felt, buttons, sequins, blood...oh, wait. Skip that last one.

Snip itty bitty holes in the Polyfil part of the belly section to add twig arms. Your twigs should stick right in, but if they're saggy, put some hot glue on the ends and pinch them in (get ready to burn your fingers). Add buttons or other embellishments, and Socks is all yours!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Babalisme...COME ON DOWN!!!

You are the winner of the Happy Birthday Giveaway!!! Congratulations! Bablalisme's number was picked on and had a whopping 16 chances thanks to this comment:

Happy birthday!!!

Well my husband is having his birthday on the 13th, and I baked him a surprise cake today. I don't usually bake, and I'm a novice at baking stuff and you know what, I failed. So I went down to the nearest supermarket and grabbed a Haagen Dazs ice cream cake. That's a wonderful memory of a birthday cake turned into a disaster and a mental note to self that baking is for professional.

...AND this picture on Flickr:

...AND a post on the Babalisme blog.

Thank you so much to everyone who sent me birthday wishes and shared their birthday stories. If you haven't read through the comments already, I recommend you do. There are so many that were heart touching, sweet, and just down-right funny. Each and every one of those comments brought a smile to my face. And that's the best birthday present a girl can get! So thanks again!

AND (yes, this post is a lot of thank yous) thanks to all of those people who came over to my blog for the first time from the following blogs. Please come back again....and again!

(Sorry if I missed anyone! Blame it on a splitting headache!)

And to wrap this up right, follow this link to see another video entry I received from Jessica. This little girl (pictured below) is as cute as button. And the caption for that photo: "'But it's too much stinkin' fun, mom!' These were her exact words :)" Birthdays are the best!

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