Do you have your Jack’o’Lantern yet?

Last week I decided I really wanted to make a cute Halloween bag and decided applique was the best method to accomplish it.  This is my first applique project ever.   I used a couple different methods for the applique.  First I used this method for the pumpkin and pumpkin stem hand stitching them down and using the machine for additional detail, then I used a two-sided paper backed fusible interfacing for the eyes and mouth, followed up with a zig-zag around each face element to hold it in place and hopefully prevent fraying.

And I'm proud to say that all the primary supplies for this project was stuff I had at home.  The striped fabric was literally scraps leftover from another project, as is the stem fabric, and the pumpkin, eyes and mouth fabric were bits of fat quarters I had.  Unfortunately I did need to go buy some thread and two-sided fusible interfacing to complete the project.  I just drew jack'o'lantern faces by hand until I had something that I liked both face and size-wise.  I taped it to my window during a sunny day in lieu of a light-box to trace some of the pieces (eyes and mouth).

halloween bag lininghalloween bag size comparisonPair of jack o'lantern trick or treat bags

But I still need to buy a pumpkin (or three) to carve before Wednesday.

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October 27, 2007. Tags: , , , . Thoughts. 4 comments.

Bulletin Board

Ever since I started reading Martha Stewart Living (somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago) I've wanted a huge fabric covered bulletin board.  In January Emira at Domicile reminded me of this when she posted about her fabric covered bulletin boards.  In January or early February I bought about 1 1/2 yards of a pretty Freshcut print to cover the yet-to-be board.

I went to my local huge home improvement store and looked, yet again for the fabled homosote.  I didn't find it, but I did find another brand of fiberboard meant for soundproofing.  Then I checked that other huge home improvement store.  Same thing.  I finally got the nerve to ask an employee to get one sheet of fiberboard (it was up on a very high shelf) and cut it for me.  He said he wouldn't cut the fiberboard with their saw because it would tear it up.  I didn't have a utility knife and straight edge with me and I wasn't about to buy another set.  Since I drive a sedan there was no way I could get a four feet by eight foot piece of sheet goods home.  On to plan b.

Plan B:  I found the ceiling tiles and picked out a single two foot by four foot ceiling tile (checking the corners to make sure they were not smooshed) and then went to the section where they have the sheet goods in two by four foot sheets and grabbed a piece of luan (it is 3/8" thick plywood, I'm not sure what makes it different from other 3/8" thick plywood).  I checked to see if they were a match size-wize (they weren't) then I went and found an employee to help me cut about 1/4" off each side of the luan.  Then I headed over to the paint section and picked up a small tube of liquid nails (the basic kind in the gold/tan tube) and a can of kilz spray paint (to cover the printing on the back of the ceiling tile).

Then all the stuff sat around at home waiting for me to clear a space to paint the ceiling tile and adhere the tile to the plywood.  Eventually I got around to it.  I used the entire tube of liquid nails!  At this point I realized that while I could stretch my pretty Freshcut fabric over the soon-to-be-bulletin board it might abrade against the edges of the plywood so I stretched and stapled a piece of white muslin first.  Then I stretched the fabric, stapling into the plywood. 

Finally I was able to put my bulletin board up in the office, it sat on my desk, I mean no one could see the messy back.  Eventually I covered the raw edges of the fabric on the back of the board with 1" wide grossgrain ribbon.  I glued this on using my longtime favorite Tacky Glue (which I noticed now has a generic equivilant, I haven't tried that yet), smoothing a few inches of ribbon down at a time, working my way around the board.  A few days later I screwed in two d-ring type picture hangers, strung picture wire between them and hammered two small Ook brand (I mention the brand because these things rock, though I recently saw similiar Target brand hooks) hooks in the wall, almost 2 feet apart with the aid of TheHusband and a handy dandy laser level.

Ta da:

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October 11, 2007. Tags: , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

Handmade Nation Preview

Someone just passed along this link to me last night.  (psst, it is almost a 9 minute video)

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April 11, 2007. Tags: , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

Happy Valentines Day

In the February issue of Martha Stewart Living, they have a section on homemade valentines.  Somehow this year I wasn't real big on the idea of making valentines, but the re-wrapped chocolate bar idea caught my attention.  I scaled back my aspirations to 4 nice chocolate bars (Dagoba, a different variety for each person) for my parents and siblings.  Please excuse the crappy attempt at hiding their names (I tried pixelation but felt the names were still visible and didn't have the patience for other tools tonight).

I went to the scrap booking section of a nearby craft store and looked for prints that suited each family member, I inwardly cursed each time I found a print I liked and it ended up being card stock, which is too thick to wrap around the chocolate bar nicely.  Then I wondered if it would actually have been cheaper to buy once of those paper collections (my paper sub-total was 5.54 for 4 pieces of 12 x 12 paper and 2 pieces of 8.5 x 11 vellum) and pick my selections from it.  I used a  felt tip calligraphy pen to write the name of each recipient on the vellum that topped the print.  I alternated between using a glue stick and a scrapbooking adhesive thingamajig.  I also wrapped the original labels under the pretty paper so they'd know what they were eating (this created a little bulk, but I felt it was important for them to know what they would be eating).  My beloved self-healing mat, corkbacked metal ruler, exacto knife (with a nice soft rubber cover over the handle), and bone folder were other tools I used.  I'm not sure how long this took me, and I have loads of paper leftover for other stuff (each bar needed about 4.5 x 6 piece of patterned paper).

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February 14, 2007. Tags: , , . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

Not finished yet but…

I finished row 95 on the baby blanket yesterday (I am estimating it will take 160 rows to complete the blanket).  More knitting tonight, maybe I'll make it to row 100!

I seamed three sides of the bedroom curtains I've been meaning to make since October.  I am using curtain clips at the moment, but might redo it and create a rod pocket.  I am also planning on going back to buy another panel of fabric so I had the recommended 2 times window width.

I cut out the top panel of a planned fabric baby blanket today and will cut the bottom panel and batting tonight as well.  Hopefully tomorrow I will baste the three together in preparation for hand quilting it.

I am at the point of decreasing in the first of S's mittens.  I plan on being done with mitten a by Wednesday so I can test fit the mitten on a friend's toddler before knitting the second mitten and sending them to S.

Pictures will probably be done after completing each of these projects (and for the baby blankets, after I send them to my SIL).

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January 23, 2007. Tags: , . Thoughts. 1 comment.

Month behind, is that all?

I'm nearly a month behind here.  Yikes.  Of course if I think about it too much I'm much more than a month behind on just too much in my life.

I'm in a list-making mood.  I've already made an exhuastive Saturday house cleaning type list.  And Kat with a K has initiated a UFO resurrection so I am making a list of all of my UFO's (knitting, crochet and sewing I hope she doesn't mind me twisting it a bit) while trying to decide if I should join the challenge.  For my purposes an UFO is something that I've purchased all the materials for and have the pattern in mind.  For yarn crafts this means I have to have all the yarn and the pattern.  For sewing it means I must have the fabric purchased and the pattern (errant notions will be excused).  This list will probably look a lot like one I posted in early fall.  I keep letting myself be distracted by other craft ideas.  This UFO challenge also goes with my [temporary] mandate that I curb craft supply spending.  I don't have any more room for yarn or fabric stash at the moment and the fall spending (move, expensive hobby, christmas travel) was painful on the savings account.


  • messenger bag
  • mini purse-like messenger bag
  • skirt
  • curtains (downstairs 3 pair)
  • curtains (bedroom 1 pair)
  • another skirt
  • needle rolls
  • baby blankets
  • tote bag (possibly for ski boots, made from flip-flop patterned canvas)


  • granny square crochet baby blanket (started in April 2005)
  • knit baby blanket (just started, the child is due in February)
  • knit tank top with yummy bamboo blend yarn
  • toddler socks (languishing since turning the heel and starting to pick up stitches, then I stole the needles for other projects)
  • mittens
  • hat for my brother (this was a christmas gift…the only yarn I will purchase since he wasn't crazy about my first attempt that also wasn't finished in time)
  • hat I was making for brother (Tychus, I've frogged the entire thing because if it is for him it was 6 stitches too long)
  • hat for me (I've been waiting to make this hat since last spring when I spied the yarn)
  • ribbon tank top (possibly for me, possibly for my sister)

And that is it for now.  I have some yarn that will either be a cute spring hat or a drapey tank top but haven't found the right pattern yet.  I think I managed to remember everything languishing in my yarn box.  Hopefully today I will make progress on the baby blanket due in February and getting my craft stuff back in working order.

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January 6, 2007. Tags: . Thoughts. Leave a comment.

Finished Object: Boucle Wrap

1) I am not feeling very creative with titles.
2) I clearly have a thing for these colors, this is the second object with these colors, and I am currently coveting a Manos del Uruguay yarn with similar colors.
3) I'm sorry this is the closest to a good picture as I could get for this wrap.
4) Despite sitting, I feel like I'm leaning they way you do when climbing up a steep hill (which might explain number 1 and 3).

Way back in 2003 ago my dear friend M (I have many dear friends named M_______ but if she is reading this she'll know) sent me a goody package including the Better Homes & Garden's Simply Creative Crochet premier issue.  This issue taught me how to make granny squares and overall just got me out of my single crochet rut. 

However this might be my first finished object from a pattern in it.  I started the pattern in either February 2005 or February 2006 (I suspect 2005), finished my first skein and realized that it was crocked, so I ripped the whole thing out and started over, at a much slower pace.  Then it got warm and I got distracted.  I finally picked it up again last month and buzzed through the second and third skein (made some mistakes that are mostly hidden by the border).

Yarn: Bernat Soft Boucle, 3 skeins (5 oz each; I had 1.8 oz left over)
Hook: K/10.5
Finished size: 17.5 inches by 62 inches
Pattern: Soft Boucle Shawl (apparently the pattern author also wasn't feeling very creative with her/his titles)

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October 30, 2006. Tags: , . Crochet, former Vox Blog. Leave a comment.

One less WIP, same amount of FOs

So that Knitty Xback tank I was knitting.  I almost finished.  And that is where it ends (it doesn't look half-bad from the front)I had to determine the proper strap length, connect the straps and weave in the ends. 

But it didn't seem worth it for a fit like this (there is a number of inchese of fabric between the strap on the back):

It does help a little to know that many people had a similar problem.  Last I remember (granted it has been a while) my gauge was correct, but apparently this yarn had more stretch than the yarn used by the pattern designer.  I will probably try the project again someday.  I don't know if I will use the same yarn.  And I will definitely check gauge more often AND try on the progress.  Other knitters recommended waist shaping, that also sounds like a good idea just as soon as I figure out how to do that.

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October 11, 2006. Tags: , , . former Vox Blog, Knitting. 2 comments.

Sewing to do list

I really wanted to include pictures of fabric with this post, but it is dark so they won't photograph very well.  I've had a strong urge to sew since I've moved, but I haven't actually pulled out my machine yet (ecru turning yellow old Singer).  I wonder if it is more the idea of sewing that I am lusting after.  I think I've stalled on a few projects because I'm worried I'll screw them up and loose my pretty fabric.  Must get over that.  This list isn't in any particular order.  I can't even decide what to do first.  Probably the stuff that I have fabric for.

What I want to sew (the asterisk means I already have the fabric, if not all the notions/accessories needed)

  • Crochet/Knitting needle rolls*
  • New purse (hopefully recreating my nearly perfect but sadly dead purse)
  • car stuff bag (jumper cables, etc.  to keep it corralled in the trunk)
  • Amy Butler Nappy Bag (not sure who for, but I wanna sew it)
  • Paisley Pincushion Scalloped apron
  • Curtains for the office
  • Curtains for the bedroom (I might have some fabric that will work, I'm mulling it over)
  • Pillows for the office futon
  • Dog crate cover
  • Dog bed
  • Shopping bags (the basic cloth bag, but in fun fabrics)
  • Messenger bag* (it will have polka-dots)
  • Stripey skirt
  • baby cord skirt
  • baby quilt
Needle roll fabricStripey skirt fabricMessenger bag fabric

And I don't have a pattern for a single thing in this list (I am not buying the patterns I mentioned until I get through some of my other items that have been patiently waiting since June).  I have an idea on how to construct each thing but no actual pattern.  That is probably part of my stumbling block (I can be a perfectionist who puts off doing stuff for fear it won't be perfect).

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October 6, 2006. Tags: , . Sewing. 1 comment.

Knitting WIP number 2,583

Okay I don’t have that many WIP…  I think there are 10:

    • crochet shawl
    • crochet baby blanket (intended recipient is now 1)
    • knit scarf
    • knit tank top (actually I haven’t started yet)
    • crochet water bottle holder
    • crochet purse (actually I just need to block, steam and find embellishments)
    • knit doll blanket (I wonder if the requestor is even still interested)
    • knit scarf (I might give up on this project)
    • knit one skein baby hat, haven’t started but the baby isn’t due until October and it is one skein
    • knit xback tank top

Knitting WIP number 2,583

Then there are all the projects in my head that I want to do.  Like some National Knit Crochet a Sweater Year (I can’t remember how they abbreviated it) sweater.  I haven’t even picked a pattern or yarn for that so I don’t think it will happen.  I know I know, two tanks tops would be one sweater…but I fell in love with this bamboo/cotton yarn blend (Katia bamboo and saw this pattern book with a tank top that looks a lot like my favorite tank top, Louisa Harding yarns Beachcomber Bay Design Collection) so that went on the list.  And I already had ribbon yarn for the X back tank (from Knitty) that I found for 50% off at Michael’s (I thought wow a knitted object for only $15 worth of yarn, cool).

So I started Xback back in April.  I got thru 2 1/2 skiens in about two weeks, then I thought, this doesn’t look right and discovered that it was like twice the width I needed it to be, so I ripped it (plus I had screwed upn the seed stitch pattern).  Then I had to rewind the balls (didn’t know that I should do this on spools at the time), then I started over.  It is now August and I’m on skein 4.  I’m at the part where I have to split it to make the v-neck and I’m a little scared.  But I should just jump in and finish.  It will probably go quickly and today is a good knitting day if I ignore everything else on that to do list.

August 20, 2006. Tags: , , . Crochet, former Vox Blog, Knitting. Leave a comment.