Sunday, February 24, 2013


Time seems to be running away. I have been working on plenty of crafty things, however getting around to posting them doesn't seem to make it high on the priority list and then I blink and a week has already gone by.

Some friends of our had a birthday party for their recently turned 3 year old. Last year I made him a dino tale and a couple of books about tails. Luckily they are they type of friends who appreciate handmade gifts.
I had about a week to whip something up which sounds like a lot of time until you take into account the toddler running around the house. So I pulled up Pinterest and looked at my boards. I ran back across the Car Caddy Tutorial by homemade by jill and decided to take a look in the sewing closet. Low and behold I had basically everything for this project already which in my mind was a good sign. I didn't use a heavy fabric for the liner fabric (red in my case), it's just a cotton. I also ended up using flannel for the road (gray) and next time I would probably try to find felt to use for it. But the pockets and numbers came out great. I had never used freezer paper stencils before and they are totally as easy as everyone says that they are. You should do them if you have, like right now. I did use piping all the way around the project and I like how it gives it a nice finished look, but if you haven't used pipping before this might not but the project where you want to learn, it gets thick in some spots and Jill's directions aren't super clear about using it. Lastly, I used two straps to close it when it is folded up. I didn't like the idea of a strap going right across the car applique.

N loved playing with it before it got wrapped up which I think is a good sign. Plus, really can little kids ever have too many cars to play with?

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I like valentines day. Not because I like getting roses and stereotypical grand gestures but because of the sentiment of telling people you love and care about that you love and care about them.

I didn't do anything creative with cards this year but I did do a little sewing. I mostly used Soule Mama's Gratitude Wrap (scroll down the page until you get to the sew section of the tutorials). I sewed in snaps rather than doing a tie closure. I also used binding like a quilt rather than double fold bias tape and last but not least I added a pocket for a pen on some of them. Doing it again I probably wouldn't have measured the pockets so precisely, it took up more time than it was least in my opinion.

All in all I made five and sent off four of them. All of the insides were a little different and I sent them with some cards, a pen, a few stamps and a little notebook.
I have used mine already and think that at some point it will probably live in my car or purse for when N is older and I have free time to write while waiting for her at swim class or soccer or whatever she has an interest in doing.

I managed to use all scrap and/or stash fabric for these. Fat quarters work really well for the exterior and interior for that matter. I have been trying to buy less fabric and work with more of what I have. So far it seems to be working, I also realized just how much fabric I do have! Perhaps a little bit less now though.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Syracuse, NY use to be an industry town. All around town there are lovely old brick factory buildings, which now are mostly empty and just waiting for someone to come along and see their potential again. Now Syracuse mostly revolves around the University economy. There are a few in town but the most notable and largest is Syracuse University. We happen to live in the University neighborhood which aside from being close to our public library branch and co-op also allows for excellent sidewalk scores. Growing up in Alaska this type of thrifting was not something that I grew up doing. In Alaska there's no such thing as curbside recycling or trash pick up. You haul everything to a transfer station to be taken away. In the few short years we've lived in Syracuse we've managed to score some pretty awesome sidewalk loot. N's changing table/dresser, her train/play table, a foot rest, and most recently a chalk board.

C gets all the credit for this one, as he picked it up on his way home from work one day. Sidewalk shopping takes a certain DIY eye as most of the things need a little love, and the chalkboard was no exception. The wood frame was overall solid but needed a few new screws/nails and the slate needed some new chalkboard paint. Luckily chalkboard paint is all the fad right now and is easy to come by at your local Joanns. I ended up putting four coats of paint on this and still have probably half of this little bottle left. Then we popped it back into the frame and C tightened it up with some new hardware.
Now it's good as new and is already getting some toddler loving.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


N is blond. Quite blond. Both C and I have dark brown hair so it was a surprise that she was born with blond hair and that it has stayed as light as it has. I didn't realize until I finished her Christmas sweater last week and put it on her that the light yellow sweater was a pretty good match for her locks.

The pattern is the same that I used to make my nephews Christmas present and is avaliable here. I used old yarn from a sweater that made a couple years ago and ultimately didn't like. It's perfect for a baby/toddler/kid since it's soft and squishy and I'm pretty sure that it's machine washable. As with my nephews I love how it turned out. It's easy to get on and off, keeps her warm and fits while still has plenty of room for N to grow. All my notes are here on raverly.

As much fun as it is to knit for babies and toddlers the knitting is almost faster than trying to get a good picture of said knitting being worn. I did manage the two pictures above but most of them look like the three below, and there's at least 10 more of these that were not even worth posting.

Valentines is just around the corner, are you making any thing special?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wrap it up

One of my loveliest Christmas presents was from C. He got me a 7'' Google Nexus complete with a protective sleeve (you can't really see it in the photos, it mostly covers the back), but he knew better than to buy a case. So pretty quickly after Christmas I pulled out the fabric. I have been saving these butterflies since I scored a fat quarter of them at my local quilt shop. I do like butterflies but don't tend to like fabric with them on it, however these are such nice colors and their simple graphic look is so appealing.

I had a basic idea of what I wanted and probably should have just used my gut and drawn up my own pattern but I used this tutorial. It's actually for a Kindle and despite the Kindle and Nexus having basically the same dimensions it turned out a little small. The Nexus fits but it's snug and peeks out of the top just a little bit. I can see myself sewing up another one that fits it a little better in the future but honestly for now it works great since most of the day it isn't in the case anyways. It came together really quickly and I was able to use everything in my scraps for it, including the batting.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Yes, it's true, I'm just now getting around to posting the Christmas presents that I made. I don't have a good excuse, everything was sent out in time and opened on the big day so really I could have posted this two weeks ago. Better late than never eh?

For two of my best friends, who both happen to also have December birthday's, I made quick chunky cowls. Using this pattern exactly for the first one and altering it slightly for the second.  The one following the pattern is pictured on the left; it's nice and it did knit up quite quickly. Not quite the one night that the pattern indicates but then again I do have a toddler. The cowl on the left is the one that I made with closer to two skeins and cast on over double the stitches so that it would be a bit looser and loop over itself. Personally I like it better, so much so that I made one for myself too. My alterations are on Raverly here.

For my sister I also made a cowl. Turns out that cowls were totally my go-to gift this year. I have been swooning over the Honey Cowl for a while now and finally decided to do it for her. Turns out that it's super easy, despite the stitch looking a little complicated, and makes the Madelinetosh yarn even more beautiful (as if that's somehow possible).  The colorway is Earl Gray which is extra fitting since it's one of Brooke's favorite teas and is raveled here.

Last but not least was my nephew. I knew that I wanted to make him a sweater. I feel like an aunt only has a small window of time to make things that they think are cute for their nephews (and nieces) before they start to form opinions of their own about handmade goods. So I wanted to make him something simple and red. Luckily I found something that I loved and ultimately am making a second one for N in yellow. E.E's came out a good size although the neck is a little stiffer than I would have liked. I was hoping that it would be a bit more relaxed and not so turtlenecky. But N looks pretty darn cute modeling it, even if you can't really see the details in the sweater. It's also on raverly, here

So that's it. Well, kind of. I still have N's sweater to finish with a sleeve and half to go. I was also hoping to get a handknit hat into C's stocking which didn't happen but is still on the needles. There were some canned goodies and lots of baked goodies that we gave away to family and friends but I wasn't on top of my game to get photos of any of that so I won't bore you with a written account without photos.
Despite the lag in this post I do already have some things up my sleeve for 2013 with something already finished and waiting in the wings! I do have hopes to work down some of my stash; that's what we all say at the beginning of the year isn't is? But we also have some house plans that will probably take some time away from crafting throughout the year.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ringing in the new year in relaxation

While wasting time on Pinterest one day I came across this tutorial on making kids floor pillows and fell in love. I knew that N would love to climb and topple and carry it around. Once I finally focused enough to sit down and follow the instructions it came together very quickly (only two naps!). As the tutorial instructs the contrasting thread is really helpful for sewing with the pipping.
This was my first project with pipping and not only is it super easy to work with but also helps give it a really nice finished look. I did do a couple of things different. I sewed the side strip into a tube first rather than pinning and then trying to sew it up (it would make sense if you read the directions). Also when you pin the top and bottom to the side I started with pinning four in the top, bottom, side, side so that it would be even.

  N seems to be pretty happy with it and luckily she hasn't taken any headers off of it, yet.