Friday, April 30, 2010

Flower Pillow

Just finished this pillow for my friend Marcie.  (Obviously she didn't take the pictures...)  It's a simple envelope style pillow.  I used this tutorial for the flowers and then stitched on top of them like crazy in a big swirl pattern.  Hopefully that will make this pillow hold up well in the wash (and with Marcie's cute kids).  I haven't made very many fabric flowers (I know, I know, I'm a disgrace to the world of craft blogs), but it was way easier than I thought it would be.  Anyway, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  Hopefully Marcie will be too.  Or maybe she'll hate it and then I'll keep it for myself.  Umm... just kidding.  Maybe.  Hope you're all having a nice day!

Tomatoes In My Bathtub & some blog updates

It's snowing today.  Yes, snowing.  So the tomatoes have come to spend the day in the bathtub.  Oh, Utah, how I will not miss your winter weather when we move away someday.  Anyway...

I am in the process of fixing things up here on the ol' blog (again)!  And I am now happy to announce that when you click on the "Tutorials" tab up above (right under my header) you will now find a tidy little list of pictures/buttons to each tutorial, rather than an obnoxious bunch of posts that seem impossible to navigate through.  Hooray!  As such, I have now narrowed the tutorial buttons on the sidebar here to just the top five with the prettiest pictures that I think you all like the most.  Those tutorial buttons in the sidebar may go away all together at some point.  I still haven't decided.  The blog (like me) is a work in progress.  Speaking of which, I am also in the process of cleaning up my labels so I can put them back up in the sidebar (maybe) and have them be more useful and not such a weird, long list. 

And the one other thing I fixed up recently is the "Contact" tab up above (right under my header).  There you can now find:
-a bit about me
-my e-mail address
-info about advertising here on the ol' blog
-some stats about viewage
-and a list of sites where I've been featured*

*that I am aware of.  Some people tell me when they share the links to my tutorials, some people don't.  Let me just say that I appreciate all kinds of nice publicity, but that I think it's super first class when people actually ask permission or at least drop me a line saying they're going to link to something I've done. 

Anyway, so that's what's new around here.  The big O is taking a nap.  I'm off to eat some granola.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bottle Bird Feeder

Well, sad to say, this cold of mine is definitely getting worse before it gets better.  But one thing (you know, other than Bryan and the big O) that brightened my sickie day yesterday was watching the birds come visit our balcony.  It's so enchanting!  And, I dare say, a pretty great price for entertainment; in this case, the cost of wild bird food and some junk I had lying around my house.  I saw this great idea for a bird feeder over at One Pretty Thing a while ago and wanted to make one, but wasn't willing to give up perfectly good wooden spoons to the birds.  So I decided to make a simpler version.

Here's what you'll need to make one:
-some string
-a bottle
-a serrated knife
-a pair of scissors
-a permanant marker
-some bird seed (not pictured here)

Start by drawing some archways on your bottle.  I drew mine on the corners of my bottle to give the birdies some extra space inside.  Draw an X in the middle of each archway.

Using your knife, make a hole where your X is.

Then use scissors to finish cutting out your archway. 

If you come out with some rough edges, make sure to smooth them out.  Nobody wants a birdie snagged on some jagged plastic.  Do this for each archway.

Next, cut some string.

Tie the string around the top of your bottle with the string ends on opposite sides of the bottle (so your bird feeder will hang evenly).  Trim the ends of the string.

Fill the bottom up with some bird seed.

Now hang it up and watch the birdies come!

It took a few days before the birds started coming to our feeder, but now we have lots of hungry visitors.  So don't get too discouraged if it takes a few days for the birds to tell their friends about a new great (and so cheap!) restaurant in town.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rainy Day

It's rainy today.  I can feel the beginnings of a cold coming on.  My throat is getting scratchy.  I did unpack and put the suitcases away yesterday, but the table is a mess all over again.  And I had every intention of writing a little tutorial for you all, but, alas, it is time for a much-needed nap. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm back! ...sort of

Well, we're back from vacation!  And I am officially feeling a total post-vacation slump in regard to any motivation to make things.  Plus, the whole apartment is kind of a mess, so that isn't really helping at all.  And I just kind of feel all blah.  So today I am going to sit back, relax, play with the big O, and if I get as far as even thinking about unpacking I'll consider today a success.  But I promise I'll be back with more exciting posts and tutorials soon.  I've got some good ones to share.  And some projects I simply have to finish (you know, after I start them).  So the slump won't last forever.  But, for today, I plan to mostly sit on the couch and read my book.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just popping in to say

 Vacation is lovely. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And we're off!

Dear lovely readers,

I'm on vacation.  I might post while I'm gone, but I might not.  Please let's stay friends either way.  But I promise I have lots of things to share with you when I get back.  I'll miss you!  ...maybe.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crocheted Fabric Bracelets

For those of you who may have missed out my guest post yesterday, I thought I'd publish the tutorial here too.

Now I don't know about you, but I tend to save scraps.  Tiny scraps.  Scraps that are totally worthless.  But once in a while I find some little use for them.  Such as these super easy crocheted fabric bracelets.  Want to make one?

Here's what you'll need:
-Some long skinny strips of fabric (about a half inch wide or more is best)
-a crochet hook
-sewing machine (optional)

Step 1: Tying a slip knot
Grab your fabric strip.

Loosely tie a slip knot a couple of inches away from one end of your fabric strip.  Insert your crochet hook into the loop in your slip knot and pull tight.  (Not super tight, but tight enough so your crochet hook won't slip out.)

Step 2: Holding your fabric strip
Let your crochet hook (still inside the knot) rest on the table for a minute.  Reach a few inches down your strip away from your knot and let the fabric strip drape across your hand.

Curl your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger in toward your palm, gently holding your fabric strip in place.

Rest your thumb on your index finger with the fabric strip in between.

Now, extend your middle finger out and slide your thumb down to meet it, holding the fabric in between these fingers.

Step 3: Crocheting a chain
Cross your crochet hook in front of your fabric strip (the part showing in between your thumb and index finger).

Wrap the tip of your crochet hook around the fabric.

It should now look about like this.  (Sorry some of these pictures are mega blurry.  I must have been doing this really late at night.  Oops!)

Now, catch the fabric strip in your hook and pull it down through the loop that the handle of your crochet hook has been coming up through.

Continue wrapping your hook around and pulling it through the loop until you have a nice little chain.

You may run out of fabric before your bracelet is long enough.  I mean, we are working with scraps here, people, so there's no telling how long each little scrap may be.  You'll want to keep it to a minimum, but if this happens, keep your crochet hook in the loop you just finished.

Tie a new fabric strip on with a square knot and keep on going.  Just trim down the ends where you tied your strips together.

Step 4: Finishing your chain
Once your chain is as long as you'd like it to be, just use your hook to pull the end of your fabric strip through the last loop.  Crocheting a chain is basically just tying one long knot, so it'll stay put just like that.

Step 5: Securing your bracelet with a zigzag stitch (optional)
When I first made the bracelet pictured here in our little tutorial a few weeks ago I just stopped after Step 4, tied that puppy around my wrist, and went happily along my way.  But, after a while, that spot where I had tied two strips of fabric together began to come undone.  Sad, sad day.

You can remedy this (or prevent it from happening in the first place) by sewing a zigzag stitch down the length of your crocheted chain.

It'll hold everything in place just where you'd like it to be and still allow your bracelet to keep that little bit of natural crocheted stretch.  I've been wearing the same bracelet--now with a zigzag stitch--for weeks now and it holds up really great.

Step 6: Tie it on!
You're done!

Just tie that baby on your wrist!

Then go outside and bask in the sun or something.  Doesn't wearing a bracelet like this just make you want to play outside and go for walks and roast marshmallows over a campfire?  Hooray for spring and summer!