Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The amazing ladies over at Craft Envy have given me the great honor of featuring More Misadventures on their blog! Hop on over to check out my detailed fabric flower tutorial and then stay a while to peruse their fantastic collection of crafts and tutorials. A huge cyber hug and thank you to Nicholette and Vanessa for having me :)
P.S. Here's a sneak peek at what I'm working on this week!
Monday, March 29, 2010
It's time for a chick update! The babies are AT LEAST three times bigger than when we brought them home a week ago...and what personalities they have :) Not only are their personalities really coming out...so are their feathers! Their wings have grown all the way to the ends of their backs and their little tail feathers are about an inch long. Last week they didn't have any feathers at all.
They all started perching like crazy this week. They don't want to sit in the palm of our hands anymore...they want fingers...
or arms, or shoulders, or...
He's put off getting a hair cut just because the babies LOVE LOVE LOVE sleeping in his hair :)
Buff, a Buff Orpington chicken, is our relaxed one...you can pick her up and carry her anywhere and she's as happy as a clam...
Lela, our Silver Laced Wyandote chicken, is our little tease...she runs away from you furiously but as soon as you pick her up she settles right in. This is how she got her name...even on the first day I thought she was a tease and her feathers looked just like leather and lace to me so we took the LE from leather and LA from lace and came up with Lela...her new favorite thing is to jump back and forth from my shoulder to Chris' shoulder repeatedly. She's a pretty brave chicken considering it's a five foot fall if she misses!
This evening I went into the chicken room (which also holds my iron and ironing board) and when I started ironing they all decided that I would be better served as a jungle gym than a crafter :)
Then they wanted to know what I was doing...after I quickly removed the hot iron they thoroughly examined the ironing board.
Chicken, yes her name is actually Chicken, our Rhode Island Red chicken, is our feisty, adventurous one and is always the first to hop on your hand when you reach into their box. She's hilarious and is always sticking her neck out and stretching as TALL as possible :) I think she thinks she's about fifteen times bigger than she is!
I'm astonished at how three little chicks can add so much laughter, adventure and joy to our lives. I'm in love already.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Chris and I along with my parents, sister-in-law and in-laws are all going on our first ever trip together in May...a cruise to Alaska! It's been a long time coming as Chris and I have been together for almost a decade. The trip got me thinking about what other fun travel accessories I could make and as soon as I got this idea in my head I couldn't wait to make it a reality :)
So, without further ado, let me introduce the newest member of my newly found travel accessory obsession...the Spring Lingerie Bag.
I like to have the items in my suitcase easily accessible and corralled (for the most part) and I also have this severe dislike of having the TSA agents rifle through my delicates at the airport so this seemed like the perfect way to give my under things the opportunity to travel in style and to keep them safe from security searches. I actually bought a lingerie bag from GapBody a while back but I knew that I could make one that was even cuter and waaaaay less expensive.
I knew I wanted the Spring Lingerie Bag to have two separate pouches...one for "wash" and one for "wear" but I didn't have any specific measurements in mind so, as is the norm for me, I willy-nilly cut two contrasting fat quarters from my stash, and made two rectangular pouches out of the fabrics. I made the pouches by cutting each fat quarter in half length-wise and sewing two contrasting fabrics together up the middle. This resulted in two large, flat rectangles of fabric (each with half in one fabric and half in the other).
I then sewed an orange ribbon to the lining fabric straight up the middle, just for fun. This proved unnecessary as when I sewed the middle seam at the end it all but covered up the ribbon...but it was fun and it allowed me to make a cute little orange hanging loop later :)
Next, I pinned and sewed the velcro onto the pouch that would become the lining by eyeballing the four pieces of velcro to length (two pieces with the loop side and two pieces with the soft side) and attaching them approx 3/4" from the top and bottom of the lining fabric as shown below.
I then folded the two long pieces in half (right sides facing in) and sewed up the two sides with a straight stitch to form the inner lining and outer pouch (inner lining shown below).
Once I had the two rectangular pouches sewn I placed the outside fabric pouch inside the lining pouch so that the right sides of both fabrics were touching and I pinned the two pieces together around the top. I then stitched all but three inches around the top of the pouches making sure to leave room to turn the pouches right side out.
Once I turned the pouches right side out, I pinned the three inch opening closed and top stitched around the entire rectangle using a zig-zag stitch for interest.
Last, I sewed a zig-zag stitch right up the middle to turn the large pouch into a bag with two separate pouches.
Then it was time to get creative! On one side of the Spring Lingerie Bag I made a large yo-yo in fabrics that matched the bag and on the other I drew and cut out applique undies...I can't believe how cute they are!
It seems complicated but, in essence, just make a BIG rectangular pouch and then sew up the middle!
Happy Crating :)
Stay tuned for a baby chick update tomorrow...they are getting so big!!!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I'll always be a little bit of a cowgirl at heart. I can't help it. It's a feeling of connection to family for me and it just feels right.
I can't claim any direct rural or country roots but my parents, though we lived in Orange County, always tried to expose me to animals, nature, and a way of life vastly different than the suburban surroundings of the LA flat-lands.
I feel just as comfortable in my old cowboy boots that I've had since I was 12 as I do in my flip-flops and I think that flannel never truly goes out of style...you just have to find new and inventive ways to incorporate it into your wardrobe. My friend gave me some "oh-so-soft" flannel strips that she used to make her husband pajama bottoms and I've been eying them for a LONG time trying to determine just the right project for them. The strips aren't very big...only about 4 inches by 24 inches but I knew the right project was out there :)
I saw a ruffled tank picture on Flickr and I knew I'd found the perfect modern project for the flannel strips. If you have Flickr check out Made by Agah's ruffled tanks for more inspiration.
You've probably figured out that I like to cut corners! Not necessarily because I'm lazy but because I feel like sometimes things are made to be unnecessarily complicated and I like to figure out how to make it simpler...yet just as cute. So, here's how I made this Western Inspired Scrappy Tank in about five embarrassingly easy steps:
Step 1: Cut a fabric strip. I honestly didn't measure or use a ruler or cutting who-sy-whatsit, I just grabbed some scissors and cut a long strip. I figured any size would do :)
Step 2: Fold the fabric strip in half and sew roughly up the rough edges. I through it would be cute to have some of the frayed edges showing so I didn't bother with clean lines or ironing the rough edges under.
Step 3: I literally just lay the fabric on the tank and started pinning it...overlapping the bits as I felt like it...no measuring. (The only thing I did was pin the middle of the strip to the approximate middle of the tank so that I didn't get to the end and have three inches of tank I couldn't cover with the fabric!).
Step 4: I haphazardly sewed across the folded fabric and pins using a zig-zag stitch for some added interest.
Step 5: Wear your new, and very cute (if I do say so myself!) tank around the house proudly to show to your husband when he gets home from work :) Or, whenever you want to...preferably with worn cowboy boots and your favorite jeans! I even paired this with a cardigan and light gray slacks and wore it to work today...with adorable gold flats...ooooh the options!
This is my first foray into sewing with clothes and I think I'm a fan :) Next time I'll use a new tank top that actually fits right but I didn't want to sacrifice my favorite white tank to this experiment :)
P.S. Stay tuned for a step by step Adobe/Photoshop tutorial on how Chris took my raw boot pic...
and turned it into this...
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
You've met the three newest members of the family but I've neglected to formally introduce you to their older siblings, Shasta, the most beautiful yet intelligence-challenged German Shepherd on the planet, and the Boy Cat, who I think is rat colored but is much like Brain on the old Pinky and the Brain cartoon. The only difference between my cat and Brain is that my cat has a fair chance of ACTUALLY taking over the world!
I have enough stories on these two to fill the blogpsphere but I'll start with the Boy Cat in the here and now and fill you in as time goes on. For starters, yes, Boy Cat is his name...not his ONLY name...but the only name he responds to so it stuck. And no, I'm not exaggerating when I say he is possibly the smartest cat on the planet...ask anyone who's met him...I guarantee they'll agree. He can open doorknobs, he has sprung Shasta from the backyard numerous times, he has worried (not ripped...worried) the corner out of all of the screens in the house to make myriad cat doors, our entire house is child-proofed due to his antics with cupboards and most recently, he's discovered abstract thinking.
Don't let the cute face fool you...there's a hellion in there...and it's NOT buried very deeply!
So, the Boy found his very own stash of pre-wrapped mouse toys in the cupboard and has been "unwrapping" them ever so tidily in the bathroom and strewing them about the house...
Much to our initial amusement and subsequent irritation...
Then Shasta ate it...yeah, THAT HAPPENED.
Yep, I've really been using the crack in our kitchen table as a "pin cushion". For months. And yes, the cat likes to bat them around, and yes, Chris is a good sport about eating dinner with the pins. But, alas, we are both tired of yelling, "No one walk barefoot in the dining room!" (if you can place that tv show reference you are amazing and I will be beyond impressed!) and we are deathly afraid of the vet bill that will ensue if Shasta decides to revisit her habit of eating sharp objects (she has indeed chewed on a pin cushion before...WITH the pins...she's a genius).
So, I think it is time for a good old fashioned pin cushion. Or, rather, a unique, modern, colorful pin cushion! The problem is I can't decide what kind of pin cushion would be best...I like so many of them. Thus, I am seeking your wise and creative advice on what kind of pin cushion you find most helpful and, well, fun to use!
If you feel so inclined, send me a picture of a pin cushion you made or just of one you've seen online that you'd like to try and I'll give it a shot! The only pin cushions I have ever made are these modern tree pin cushions I created a few months ago. They actually work really well but I didn't make one for myself and I'm up for something new :)
I have some ideas up my sleeve that I may try to work on over the next few days and I can't wait to hear what you come up with!
Happy Pinning :)
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I did it! I finally made a bag.
I've been seriously intimidated by the idea of bag making since before I even started crafting. My friend, Sarah, and I have been eyeing these buttercup bags from Made by Rae (http://madebyrae.blogspot.com/2009/02/free-buttercup-bag-sewing-pattern.html) for a loooong time and a few weeks ago, when I found myself with a semi-free evening since Chris was at work, I buckled down to give it my best shot.
I used some fabrics that I purchased in Washington, in January, and I attempted to follow the directions step by step (kinda, almost, sort of...at least I referred to the directions between each step!). I think I did pretty well except for step nine which to this day I still haven't figured out how to do correctly! I even took pictures with my iPhone to send to my mom with a "help! help!" call but neither she or my dad could figure it out either...so if you figure out the spacial relation magic necessary for step nine the way it is described please let me know how you did it!
Anyway...it probably took me an hour and a half or so but in the end I had this bag..!
It turned out to be a bit more...youthful...that I had expected and I decided that it would be perfect for our 8 1/2 year old neighbor who already has the cutest thing for purses :) Naturally, I asked her mom before giving it to her and not only did her mom say, "YES!" she asked me if I could make her four more to give to her nieces for Easter! I said, yes, because that's what I do but inside I was kicking myself...four more bags?..oh dear!
Once again, I buckled down, cut out, pinned and sewed the pieces for four more bags in between school, work, chickens and everything else life throws at you. And, except for making the SAME MISTAKE on EVERY one of the four bags (I forgot to leave a hole for turning the bags right-side out after sewing them together...four times...really, Katie?!) I decided that it wasn't so bad.
In the name of creativity I didn't follow the directions exactly for the next four bags...I'm pretty proud that I followed them at all to be honest, it's not normally in my nature to do such a thing...and I decided to forgo the little strap with the buttons for more diverse accessories such as these adorable little buttons I made the other night after making a midnight run to Walmart (I know, I know...but where else are you going to buy thread at midnight!?).
I absolutely love these handmade buttons and must find someplace to buy the metal pieces in bulk. I almost think that the buttons deserve their own post they are so cute!
Anyway...five buttercup bags plus five unique accessories later and I think I can officially call this project done :) Here are the other four bags I made this week...oh, and the flowers come off of the bags and double as barrettes! I couldn't help myself...
Saturday, March 20, 2010
In celebration of Spring, my Mother-In-Law, Bunny, made this Spring wreath from moss, flowers, and a delicate little nest complete with eggs. I just love it!
According to Wikipedia:
An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and day are approximately equally long. It may be better understood to mean that latitudes +L and -L north and south of the equator experience nights of equal length.
At an equinox, the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator (i.e. declination 0) and ecliptic intersect. These points of intersection are called equinoctial points: the vernal point and the autumnal point. By extension, the term equinox may denote an equinoctial point.
An equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when there is a location on the Earth's Equator where the centre of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead, occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year.