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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Crafting for Christmas: More Clothes and a House

This post is probably a bit late, but so were the crafts.  The last of my Christmas crafts were finished the night before Christmas Eve, just in time.

First up…

Cute fabric house made with felt and trimmed with lace.

The Fabric House

I made a similar fabric house for Christmas several years ago, in fact I made several of them to give to some lucky kids (see Christmas Operation: Complete and Then Some).  I made them all based on this tutorial.  For this new one I wanted to go a different route.

Cute fabric house made with felt and trimmed with lace

I made it all using felt because it’s nice and thick and comes in great colors, plus I had a ton of it lying around.

The new owner of the house needed an easy way to close it, so this house was made with Velcro instead of elastic loops like the others.  Plus, it was made slightly wider to accommodate his favorite stuff toys.

Inside of a cute fabric house.

Notice the lace added to the roof and along the door and window.  I thought it would add a nice touch, plus the new owner actually likes lace and other interesting textures.

The next and final craft project involves the lovely poinsettia fabric I used for my dress (see Crafting for Christmas: Ornaments, Dresses, and a Printable?).

Simple casual poinsettia skirt.

The Poinsettia Skirt

A simple rectangle skirt with a comfortable elastic waistband.  It’s easy to make and wear, but still has impact thanks to the pretty poinsettia print.  It was made as a gift for a good friend, she absolutely loved it.

In case anyone wants to make one themselves, it’s just made of two pieces. 

The main part is a rectangle.  Length is about twice your hip measurement or a few inches less for a less full skirt.  The width is how long you want the skirt plus a couple of inches.The second piece is the waistband that is as long as your hip measurement plus about four inches and about 2-4 inches wide to fit your elastic through.

Here’s a tutorial I found for a rectangle skirt that should help.  Note that the length measurement in the tutorial is different because it’s a much fuller skirt.

Now that we’re finished with Christmas and the year, it’s time for a little break to catch our breath. 

See you all next year!

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Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #77

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #77

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:

  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

 
Read More »

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #76

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #76

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

As mentioned last week, this week’s blog hop has a theme.  As usual, it’s completely optional, so you can still share whatever you want.  It’s just fun to do something new once in a while.

Anyway, the theme is:

What did you get/do for Christmas last year?

Share posts from last year showing what you did to celebrate and what gifts you received or just leave a comment.

Now to the blog hop.

Here’s the deal:

  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

 
Read More »

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rhinestone and Pearl Pins, A Quick and Easy Tutorial

This post may contain affiliate links, please check out my disclosures page for more info.  Thanks!

Here’s another project I’ve been working on for Christmas, a few accessories.  Pins to be exact.  I love making pins and brooches and I guess it shows (see my lace applique brooch tutorial among many others).

Super easy pearl and rhinestone pins with a tutorial.  Great for a quick gift.

These are made from some scraps of felt with gems and flat back pearls.  Super quick and easy to make and they make great gifts.

So to keep the giving going, I made this quick video tutorial.  Yay!  Now everyone can enjoy these pretty accessories.

All you will need is:

Enjoy the video.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Crafting for Christmas: Ornaments, Dresses, and a Printable?

I may have gone a little quiet the last couple of weeks.  It’s because I’ve been frantically sewing for Christmas, and I have made excellent progress.  Here’s few things I made.

Danish woven heart baskets for Christmas ornaments?

Ornaments!

These are Danish woven heart baskets.  I found the tutorial for them here.  When I first saw them, I thought they would be perfect to make as ornaments to give as gifts.  Just fill them with chocolate and they are perfect.

To make them, I used sheets of craft felt and ribbon for the loops.  You can also use construction paper, for a fun kids project.  The problem is with my color choices.  I love the look of pink, but on these the pink looks more Valentine’s day then Christmas.  I guess that works too.

The next project at least screams Christmas.  It’s my new…

A beautiful handmade poinsettia dress for Christmas.

Poinsettia Dress!

I found the fabric at SAS on sale, $1.99/yard.  I bought several yards.  I thought it would be perfect for a dress, and a few other things that will come later.

The dress uses a Simplicity pattern for the bodice and I just made a full rectangle skirt for the bottom.

Poinsettia dress neckline.  Love the lace and ribbon details.

I trimmed the neckline with red ribbon, bows and some black lace I bought last year.  The lace was intended for a skirt I tried to make, but it didn’t match the fabric.  Finally got to use it.

Skirt ruffle trimmed with lace and ribbon.

I added lace and ribbon to the skirt too, right above the ruffle.  The ruffle was easier for me to make than usual.  My new sewing machine handles things like that a lot better than my old one (see A Sewing Machine Review Because...).

Angel pins!

This is a pair of angel pins that were gifts from two different people.  I wore them both with the dress to church last Sunday.  It was the day of the choir’s annual Christmas Cantata or concert. 

I did surprisingly well considering I woke up coughing and sneezing like crazy that morning.  Some medicine, herbal tea, and a few cough drops later and I could sing just fine.

The next project is a bit different.  Normally I am all about making all my gifts, but I do have some people who are super difficult to craft for.  I decided that they would be happier with a gift card, but you can’t just hand someone a gift card and call it a day.  You have to wrap it nicely too right?  There are tons of cute printable gift cards all over the internet, but I wanted to add a special touch to them.  I thought about mazes.

Many of you know that I draw mazes, I even have a maze blog.  So I thought, why not print out a gift card holder and draw a maze on it?  Then I thought, why not make the maze the holder?

Now presenting…

Printable maze gift card holder, just in time for Christmas.

The Maze Gift Card Holder

Now everyone who receives a gift card from me gets a fun maze to try out.  And I posted it to my maze blog, so anyone can download them and give mazes too.

I have more even projects to share in the next few days and some more surprises too.  I can’t wait to show them to you.  Look forward to it!

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #75

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #75

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.
 

But first, an announcement.

Because next Saturday is Christmas eve, next week’s blog hop will have a theme.  As usual, it’s completely optional, so you can still share what you want.  It’s just fun to do something new once in a while.

Anyway, the theme for next week is:

What did you get/do for Christmas last year?

Share posts from last year showing what you did to celebrate and what gifts you received or just leave a comment.

Now let’s get back to this week.

Here’s the deal:

  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

 
Read More »

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #74

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #74

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

 
Read More »

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #73

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #73

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #72

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #72

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Sewing Machine Review, Because…

The bad news is that my beloved sewing machine of eight years died on me during one of my projects.  :(

The good news is…

Bought a sewing machine from Overstock.com

I got a new one!

I bought it from Overstock.com, which is where I got the old one too.  The great thing is that it’s a model with more features and stuff, but a smaller price.  They were having a deal on it that made it about $10 less than my old sewing machine. 

And I got free shipping, shipping that took longer than normal though.  It took two weeks from when I ordered it to receive my package.  I think this was just bad luck because it normally only takes the usual 3-5 business days.

Unboxing a refurbished Brother sewing machine.

I bought a refurbished Brother JX2517 sewing machine, on sale for $49.99.  Brother is the same company that made my old machine, and my mother’s sewing machine, and my sister’s sewing machine, etc.  Yep, we have a lot of their machines running around here.

It’s been my experience that Brother sells a wide variety of sewing machines that are quite affordable (some more so than others), well built, easy to run and last a good long while.  Which is why I love them. :)

Just got a Brother JX2517 sewing machine.

Anyway, here is my new sewing machine!  Isn’t it pretty?

As you can see, it comes with an instruction book, a DVD, the foot peddle and plug…

Sewing machine accessories.

…and some accessories!

Sewing machine accessories.

Extra bobbins, extra needles, zipper foot, a buttonhole tool, etc.  Plenty to get you going.

The stitch settings on a Brother JX2517 sewing machine.

My old machine was a very basic model and didn’t have many built in stitches at all, but this one has several.  I’ve already tried out a few of them, with good results.  The instruction booklet has a list of all the stitches and their use, very helpful.

What I wasn’t expecting was the deal with the bobbin, it’s a top loader.  I had never used one before, but thankfully, I found it really simple.  The instuctions and markings on the machine made it easy. 

Both threading and running this sewing machine is a breeze.  It runs really smoothly and seems quieter than my old machine too which is a real plus.  I find I do my best sewing at night and a quieter machine is less likely to wake people up.

But, speaking of my old sewing machine…

My poor old sewing machine, lasted about nine years.

Here is the poor thing. :(

It’s a Brother LS-30.  As I’ve mentioned before, it’s an extremely basic machine.  Good for a beginner or for someone who does very minimal sewing.  Though it can work wonders in the right hands, I made this dress with it among many others.

It served me well for over eight years, but it’s time to go.  I will probably donate it or something.  Hopefully somebody else can still get some use from it if they can repair it or just use it for parts.

Saying goodbye to the old sewing machine and hello to the new one.

Goodbye old friend.  You were very useful to me until the very end.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

From Socks to Doll Sweaters

Well, two weeks later (argh!) I finished the next project on my craft list.  A recycling project too!

For this project, I had some old socks and tights to turn into something new and cute.

Doll sweaters made from socks.

Doll Clothes!

The socks became cute little sweaters using this tutorial, sort of.  The pattern for the tutorial was for 1/3 scale ball jointed dolls, mine are smaller than that.  They are 1/4 and 1/6 scale dolls.

So I had to make my own patterns.  If anyone is interested, I decided to post the patterns on my doll blog.

Tights and socks for dolls.

With the tights I made actual doll tights and socks.  Two pairs black tights, two pairs of white tights in two sizes, and three pairs of white sock in two sizes.  Whew!

But they are quick and pretty easy to make, even by hand.  Actually I made all these sweaters and legwear by hand sewing except the first sweater.  Machine sewing is not recommended at all.

Doll sweaters made from socks.

Anyway, this first sweater (for Hikaru) is made from a navy blue knee sock that didn’t fit right.  Knee socks are great for this because you get plenty of material to work with.

The sweater has lace along the neckline and a row of faux pearl bead “buttons” down the front.  It closes with sew-on snaps.

Tights and socks for dolls.

The tights, I think are pretty much fool proof to make.  The material is stretchy enough to fit well and hide any goofs you make while sewing.

Cute doll sweaters from socks.

Now doesn’t her outfit look so cute, and perfect for an Arizona “winter”?

Doll sweaters made from socks.

I made this sweater (for Usagi) with the other navy blue sock.  It has thin ribbon along the neckline and bottom hem and closes just at the top with a snap.  I added a “large” button at the top “to close” it.

Thigh high socks for dolls.

In addition to tights, I made this doll a pair of thigh high socks.  They are basically tights with the top cut across and hemmed, and no elastic needed.

Cute doll sweaters from socks.

Paired with a plaid skirt, it kind of looks like a school uniform.  She just needs more appropriate shoes.

Doll sweaters made from socks.

And finally, I made these two cute white sweaters using little bobby socks.  Smaller socks for smaller dolls.

They are both embellished with ribbon bows and more pearl “buttons”.

Tights and socks for dolls.

The tights came out just as well on this smaller doll as with the larger dolls.  It makes me wonder how easy it would be to make tights for fashion dolls, like Ever After High dolls.

Tights and socks for dolls.

The socks are knee length and are super quick to make.  I found they look cute both when worn to the knee and when scrunched down at the ankle.

Cute doll sweaters from socks.

They both are so adorable now all bundled up.  All the dolls look so cute, it makes me want to make more sweaters.  I guess it’s time to dig out more socks.

Here’s the updated list:

Four down, just two more to go.  And I will either have it done by the end of the week, or just postpone it until January.  Christmas is coming quickly after all, and I need to start working on those crafts.  Look forward to it.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #71

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #71

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

While We Wait, An Easy Fix for Fans

This post may contain affiliate links, please check out my disclosures page for more info.  Thanks!

It’s taking longer than expected to finish the next project on my list.  Much longer, sigh.  So I thought in the meantime I would share an idea I had.  One I meant to share ages ago.

Fixing up fans.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

These are a pair of pretty handheld fans.  The one on the right came from a craft store, and the other came from an Asian grocery store.  Fans like these are easy to find and usually sell for $1-2 each.  So pretty and useful, especially when Spring and Summer come again.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

Just one problem with them.  The little “handle” thing has a tendency to pop off after several uses.  And since that’s the only thing keeping the fan parts together on the pin thing, this is a big problem.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

My first attempt to fix this was to simply thread ribbon through the fan.  This looks nice and adds a useful strap, but it’s only a temporary fix.  It’s difficult to tie the ribbon snug enough to actually work well.

Using jewelry pins to fix fans.

Enter the jewelry pins.

I bought these at Joann.  They’re intended for making earrings and such, but I thought they would be great for this task.  I’m sure regular jewelry wire would work too.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

Just need to yank off that old pin thingy…

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

…Thread the jewelry pin through…

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

…and twist it at the end to secure.

I had to do it at both ends because the eye of the pin wasn’t big enough as is.  I should have measured first.  Oh well.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

I’m sure with more practice (or more skill at jewelry making) I can make these look better.

An easy way to fix a broken fan.

But for now I am happy with the results.  My fans work perfectly now.  Now just need to wait for the weather to warm up enough to need them.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #70

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #70

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #69

 

Saturday Shuffle Blog Hop #69

It’s Saturday!!  Time for another blog hop.

Here’s the deal:
  • Keep all links family friendly.
  • It helps to follow me or leave a nice happy comment, but only if you want.
  • Link whatever you want and as much as you want.
  • Older links are welcome, so are giveaways and blog hops, etc.  
  • <-- Please grab my button and stick it somewhere, at the very least it will make it easier for you to come back.
  • My favorite links will be pinned to the Official Saturday Shuffle Pinterest Board.

pin board

I have set up a blog hop directory to showcase blog hops that I personally recommend.  Feel free to check them out.

Now get to it and have fun! :)

Read More »

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pink and Sparkly, A Knit Dress and a Costume?

The good news, I finished two more projects on my crafts list perfectly on time.  The bad news, I actually forget to post them here.  Several other things came up over the holiday and that’s life.

Anyway, the first project I made was a really cute knit pink dress.

Making a pink circle skirt.

I started with this great knit fabric I found at SAS.  It’s so soft and super stretchy.

Making a pink circle skirt.

I started to make a circle skirt using this tutorial, only I skipped adding a seam allowance and a zipper because I am using knit fabric.  No need for zippers!

Making the top for a knit dress.

For the top, I used a knit tank top as a guide to cut the front and back pieces.  I also cut a rectangle of fabric to cover the middle of the front side.

Making the top for a knit dress.

This special rectangle was cut into strips after sewing to the front of the dress.

Cute "bows" down the front of a knit dress.

Each strip was then gathered in the center like a cute bow.  I added pink rhinestones to the center of each “bow” to make it extra pretty.

Cute pink knit dress with a circle skirt and rhinestones.

After sewing the top to the skirt and hemming everything, here’s the finished dress.  It came out wonderfully and it’s really comfortable to wear. 

The only problems I had with it was with my sewing machine.  I’m afraid my beloved sewing machine is on it’s deathbed.  I will soon be getting a new one.  You will hear more about that later.

Anyway, this new dress isn’t just pretty but very versatile.  It just needs the right accessories.

Making a tulle wrap skirt from a circle skirt tutorial.

I started by making another, larger circle skirt with this sparkly tulle.  It’s leftover from the tulle I used to make a Halloween costume years ago.  For this skirt, I cut it down to open the circle and curved the corners and little.

Making a tulle wrap skirt from a circle skirt tutorial.

Then I added a long ribbon along the waist area and left long ribbon tails to tie it.

Used a candle to seal the edges of tulle.

I made sure to carefully melt the cut edges so they wouldn’t unravel.  I used a lit candle for this, a scented candle.  It was tricky, but effective.

Sparkly tulle wrap skirt.

The result is a sparkly tulle wrap skirt.  It can be easily worn over dresses and such to add a little something extra.

And there’s more accessories…

Making a necklace out of rhinestones and tulle.

I cut strips of some plain tulle and carefully glued rhinestones to it in a straight line.

Tulle and rhinestone jewelry.

After trimming and adding a clasp, I had a rhinestone necklace.  I also did the same thing to make matching bracelets.

Tulle and rhinestone necklace, look cool right?

When worn the tulle isn’t very visible, so it looks like the rhinestone are glued on to me.

Glittery fairy wings from Joann Fabric and Crafts, added more rhinestones to customize them.

That’s not the only thing I added rhinestones to, I added some to these old wings to perk them up.  They are the same ones from that old Halloween costume.  I also added rhinestones to a headband to match the necklace and bracelets.

Add all these accessories to that simple cute dress and…

Sparkly pink crystal fairy costume.  Made up of pieces that can be worn separately.  Nice!

…It’s a Halloween costume!

I dressed as a pink crystal fairy this year.  It came out great right?

The best part is that all the pieces can be used for so many other costumes or for everyday outfits.  The tulle wrap skirt pink dress would be great for a dressy outfit for a Christmas party, maybe with the right accessories?

Here’s the updated list:

  • Pink dress
  • Accessories
  • Socks
  • Headbands
  • T-shirts
  • Tank Top

Three down, Three more to go.  The next one should be up by next week, but hopefully sooner.  Look forward to it. :)

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