Friday, January 27, 2012

Proof of Crafting

Last weekend was a bit of a crafting flop. I sewed several things that did not work, and I started the process of learning to make bath bombs, but I used the wrong recipe. I actually used a recipe for bath snowballs, which did not work as balls at all! But in the heart and fish silicone molds they came out ok. And I have a jar of bath salts from the failed shapes.

This weekend I used the RIGHT recipe for bath bombs! Here are the trial ones. I'm waiting for our wholesaler to track down round molds so we can sell them at the store. These are made from plastic egg ornaments and the heart silicone mold.
Both recipes are from Martha Stewart and I found them through Pinterest. Snowballs and Fizzies. I'm planning to teach the fizzies in a class at the store, so if you are interested be on the lookout for that class!

Most of my crafting lately has been in the kitchen. In fact, I've spent A LOT of time in the kitchen the last two weeks. So much so that I had to buy a new blender because I burned up my old one! What have I been blending? Green smoothies!
Don't get all grossed out! They aren't for everyone. But they actually do taste good! I try to hide them in travel mugs and stuff so people don't get grossed out when I drink them, but they taste fine. My favorite so far is a version I made up based on mango salsa. Mmmm. Then I have one that is basil and tomato that I eat like a warm soup. They really can be good!

Why am I drinking green smoothies you ask? Because I have gained sooo much weight I can't stand it. I'm tired all the time and can barely climb the stairs to my apartment without feeling like my heart will explode! Don't worry - it's not some crazy crash/fad diet. I'm just trying to get healthy.

In other news: Haven's hair is blonde again. I'm listening to "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" on audio book. Rob is at the Willow Creek conference here in Germany. And Ethan is growing like crazy. I guess that pretty well covers everything!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Work Clothes Continued

This is the second shirt with I've made with this pattern and I really like it. This particular version was quite the puzzle to cut out! The fabric was striped on the diagonal and was stretch. In order to get the stripes to go in opposite directions I had to cut out each piece individually and half were with the straight grain and half with the cross grain. I did do one piece on the diagonal to get the stripes to go vertical. Did I lose you? Well, just know that it was kind of hard, but totally worth it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Knit Lace Top

Fall 2011 seemed to have a lot of lace... Did you notice that? I saw a couple of lace tops in the spring offerings, so hopefully I'm not too late with this top. I was inspired by this top I pinned a while back. Here's how mine turned out.
It's not bad. It's wearable. I started with the Sorbetto pattern and completely changed it up. I took it in on the sides, raised the neckline in front and back, added the keyhole to the front, and drafted a peter pan collar. Oh, and I shortened the shoulders a lot. I had the knowledge to make a great collar, but forgot how important it is to make the underside of the collar piece a bit smaller than the outer side. See how it curls up on the sides? It's not supposed to do that.

BUT, since I intended it for a shell to wear under a blazer or cardigan, it's ok.
 And IF I get brave enough, I can flip the collar up and do a kind of Elizabethan ruffle thing!
The fabrics are cream pique knit and stretch lace

Sunday, January 15, 2012

When Boredom = Creativity

When a bored teenager gets ahold of a box of felt, a needle and thread:

Monster Backpack

 Monster Wallets

 (inside view)
 (Back view of left wallet)

Monster Snail

Loch Ness Monster?
Haven showed me this one just moments before she was about to cut up an old stuffed animal for the stuffing. I rescued the duck from its impending doom and gave Haven polyfil instead! I'm super proud of her because she figured out how to make it 3-D without any kind of pattern. This little guy really makes me smile!

The thing about Haven's sewing that really impresses me is that it's all hand sewn! I tried to get her to use the sewing machine but she sews to fill time, not for the finished product. For a teenager that really impresses me.

Weekend Update

I think this may be a record... I actually took down the Christmas tree BEFORE Valentine's Day! I love looking at the tree, so it always makes me sad to take it down. But since it's a live tree it needed to go back outside.

So I mentioned before that my New Year's goal was to FINISH projects. Well, I'm off to a good start! First off I did some mending for Rob and Ethan. Then I did some cleaning and organizing of the craft room. That led to pulling out these really old practice quilting pieces. I took Machine Quilting about 6 years ago and these were practice pieces. They were just squares in a box until I finished them yesterday and turned them into pillows.

These are faux trapunto. I looked for a website to link to to define trapunto, but I didn't really like what's out you'll just have to endure my explanation. Trapunto is a method of quilting where you have a raised puffy design that is surrounded by a compressed area created with tight stippling (curly quilting). In true trapunto after you do the quilting you would cut slits on the backside and add extra stuffing to the puffy sections. I didn't do that step, which is why I called it faux trapunto. 

I also hung a shelf that I had been putting off because it required climbing on the furniture. And I hung some wreaths that were stacked on top of the shelf, which aided in the cleaning and organizing. And I cut out the pieces for a striped shirt that ended up being a bit of a puzzle to cut out! Hoping to finish that today. It feels great to get things crossed off the list!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First sewing of 2012!

I don't make new year's resolutions, but I do usually enter a new year feeling fresh and hopeful. One of the things I really want to do this year is finish projects! I have a tendency to purchase fabric knowing exactly what it will become, but then take forever to get around to it.

I figured I better hurry up and finish this one before it was too late to wear snowflakes!
 Not that we've seen much snow around here... It's been a very mild winter.
 Did you notice my sparkly feet? I wish I had finished this outfit before New Year's, but oh well. There's always next year. When I put on the shirt I thought, some sparkly silver shoes would be perfect with this shirt... So I made some.
They were really simple so I posted a little picture tutorial over on the Shop blog. They do shed a bit... I look up some online tutorials and some of them recommend a clear acrylic spray over the top. I'll have to see if that's something I can get over here... They aren't something I would normally wear, but I have to admit they are fun!

UPDATE: I redid the shoes by mixing outdoor mod podge and glitter and painting it on in two coats, letting the first one dry before adding the second. MUCH BETTER. I did have some trouble in the rain, so I guess they aren't water proof... I think part of my problem is the type of shoe I started with, but I'm still happy with them. They'll just be dry weather shoes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy New Year!

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? It is still January... and my Christmas tree is still decorated... so it must still be ok to say Happy New Year!

We stayed in and had a Chuck Marathon! We got season 4 for Christmas and watched it until Midnight. This didn't really please our teenage daughter who reeeeaally wanted to go somewhere cool... 
 Fireworks in our village. 

On New Year's Day the church service started late in the afternoon and included a little finger food fellowship afterwards. I loved that we started the first day of 2012 with the Lord's Supper and a baptism.

We also all put candles in the baptismal water. It was all in German, but I think it was to represent that God's power makes it possible for us to keep our "flame" alive even through troubled waters. 
Pretty beautiful way to ring in the new year.