Bracelet making

I’ve been on a jewelry-making binge as of late. I think I’ve made close to forty pieces!

Collectibles Swap Packages

These are the packages I made for the Make My Collectible Swap over at Craftster. None of my partners really requested embroidery or needle art, but that’s what I felt like doing, so I embroidered things that had to do with the stuff they collected. It was my first serious attempt at embroidering, so I’m really quite proud of how they turned out. All of the designs were my own, and I’m thinking about re-doing them for myself when I get the chance.

The First Package

This water dragon embroidery is based on a picture I drew ages ago. I have a fire dragon as well, but I never finished the other elements. I think I’m going to have to go back and sketch earth and air and then make some to hang on my wall!

Baby water dragon embroidery

Baby water dragon embroidery

My partner had “thimbles” listed as something she collected, so I made her a Japanese thimble, called a yubinuki. The pattern I did here is sooooo simple compared to the crazy ones that other people do, but I was so inexperienced with this that the more complicated designs I tried ended up looking terrible! I hope to get better at this some day, though.

Yubinuki

The Second Package

This partner listed science-related art as one of her collectibles, so I did a design based on a picture of some plant cells in one of my old textbooks. It’s rather simple, but I like the way it turned out:

Plant cell embroidery

Plant cell embroidery

Plant cell embroidery

The Third Package

This package had Scandinavian and woodland creatures designs, and I think it’s my favorite. I’m definitely going to be re-making the embroidery again sometime:

Scandinavian Folk Art embroidery

Scandinavian Folk Art embroidery

And I also included some thumbtacks, which were based on some others that I made for myself a long time ago:

Woodland creatures thumbtacks

Gardening!

My potatoes finally sprouted!

I guess it’s been about four or five years since I started trying to garden, and every single year since then, I have completely and miserably failed. I do think one year, I managed to get some flowers (transplants–not from seed) to not die for a handful of months during the summer, but that’s about the most successful I’ve been aside from tending a few very easily maintained houseplant vines.

However, this year it looks like I may actually be able to harvest some vegetables by the time fall rolls around. It’s probably due to a lot of different factors (no dogs chewing and digging things up, got started in February, more time to spend on gardening), but whatever the exact cause, it’s very gratifying to finally see some success after all this time trying. Because we always get some very excessive droughts every summer around here, however, I’m not going to rejoice just yet. We’ll see what happens when my garden has to make it though a month or more without any rain.

For now, though, I get to watch my little garden grow! Most importantly, I noticed yesterday that the potato pieces I had almost given up on have finally sprouted!
More of my potatoes

Aaaaand more potatoes

I did not know that radishes would be so easy and quick to grow when I planted them. I was surprised to see this when I peeked inside the radish pot:

Young radish

I planted about 30 strawberry plants or so. I’m not actually that crazy about strawberries really–I just kind of went crazy and expected them all to die. It’s becoming somewhat obvious by now that they’re not going to, at least right now, and I’m not really sure what I’ll do if they all decide to produce fruit at the same time. Anyway, one of them decided to blossom, and I’m not really sure what it’s going to now.

Strawberry plant

Also, see those little green sprouts popping out of my mulch everywhere? They’re weeds–specifically, the ones that produce stickers during late summer and fall, and I HATE them. They’re trying to take over at a ridiculous rate and as of right now I really have no idea of what to do with them besides pulling them each up and mulching.

Works in progress

Well I have actually been working on a very large number of crafts lately, but I can’t post them yet because they’re all for swaps! So those will stay secret until later this month, after I’ve sent them off and they’ve been received. In the meantime, here are some older things that I’ve done (which still aren’t finished).

This will be a journal cover. It’s based on Craftylittlemonkey’s simplified Teesha Moore patch tutorial on Flickr, but I decided to make it monochromatic instead of using lots of different colors. I really love all the colorful Teesha Moore-inspired crafts out there, but it struck me that it would look very elegant if done in one color (or maybe two).

All-white lacey Teesha Moore inspired journal cover in progress

All-white lacey Teesha Moore inspired journal cover in progress

All-white lacey Teesha Moore inspired journal cover in progress

All-white lacey Teesha Moore inspired journal cover in progress

And here is the charm quilt I’ve been making for my son’s bed. I’ve been at this thing FOREVER, but now that I have my Singer I think it will be easier to finish. My Brother machine is rather small, and I didn’t think I would be able to quilt the whole thing on it (it will eventually be a full-sized blanket), but there’s more than enough room on the Singer, so I won’t have to worry about renting or borrowing a machine. Yay!

Patchwork charm quilt in progress

Patchwork charm quilt in progress

As you can see, I have a little helper. There is nothing more in this world that my cat loves to sleep on than the projects I haven’t finished yet–especially the sewing ones (though she doesn’t limit herself to just those. She’s also fond of sleeping on paper, jewlery supplies, books, you name it), which sucks when they’re swap crafts. I don’t want to have to send things off covered in cat hair. It’s odd–I’ve had several cats over the years and each of them seems to have a different type of thing that they like to sleep on. I had a black cat who loved to sleep on…wait for it…white things, a prissy cat who only liked to sleep on messy things, and the cat I have now makes a beeline for craft projects.

Strange.

Simple Patchwork Purse from Stash

Simple purse made from patchwork

Since one of my New Year’s resolutions was to get rid of my MASSIVE fabric stash as much as possible, and I figured I could use some more purses, I put together this thing a few weeks ago. It’s fairly simple, just some patchwork with a border around it, and one strap. I didn’t put any pockets or a zipper, since I’m only a novice at purse making and don’t always have much time to sew, so I left off the extras.

The brown border and handle is made from faux suede. I bought TONS of it ages ago for a vest project which fell through, and ever since I’ve been trying to get rid of it. I kind of hate it by now, but it does look really nice on purses. The green batik was a cheap bandana from Hobby Lobby, the orange fabric belonged to my great-grandmother (the same who owned the Singer–it was part of her stash), and the reddish-magenta fabric is some quilting cotton I must have gotten when I was about 10 or 12 (I keep things FOREVER).

The lining was an impulse buy from a few years back that I couldn’t resist because it was so adorable. I need to actually use it up, but I still love it and wish I could find more in the same line.

Here’s a closeup of my crappy hand stitching on the inside–I probably should have stitched the handles on before I attached the lining fabric, but I was hoping that this way it would be stronger. It doesn’t really bother me anyway.

Some more shots:

I ironed everything first! I promise!

All in all I’m really happy with it–it’s the perfect size for me!

New Family Member

Well I have a new addition to the family now:

My new (old) sewing machine

This sewing machine used to belong to my great-grandmother, and it has been out of town with someone else until recently. Since my grandparents said I’m just about the only one in the family who will really appreciate it, they brought it home to me, and it now sits proudly in my bedroom next to my Brother. It’s come in at a good time, since I’ve been contemplating how exactly I’m going to quilt my son’s charm blanket on my other sewing machine. The Brother is lovely, but it is a bit small, and doesn’t come with a table like the Singer does. I’m looking forward to playing with it!

Free Samples page is up!

Well I’ve had a Free Samples page under my freebies section for ages now, and while I did intend to put things there, life just got in the way and it wasn’t a priority, etc. etc. Well this week, I finally forced myself to sit down and put together some samples for you to download and use! So rest easy, that page will no longer taunt you will its emptiness.

Check out the free samples!

Hey look! New theme!

Honestly I thought the old one looked too old-fashioned, and I had put it together sort of in a hurry to match the one I had before I converted to WordPress. Also, I didn’t really have that much experience with WordPress when I made the last one, and it was pretty badly coded–this one is much more streamlined, and I know enough about the CMS to get rid of all that extra bulk. Now it’s pink! And easier for me to change in the future! Yay!

New Project

…Because I absolutely need more of them, right?

Anyway, here are some pictures:

It’s made out of foamcore, scrap paper from my collection, and wooden sticks from the craft store. It’s in pieces right now, because I have it on good authority that it’s much easier to do the interior decorating before assembling the entire thing. As a child I had this doll house by Playmobil, and spent many long hours with it. I, erm, got it a long time ago so I’m fairly certain my parent didn’t pay that much for it–I think it’s no longer being made. But the point is, I grew up with a fondness for doll houses, and like making miniatures every now and then. Plus, my son adores it. I had to wrestle it from him when I got it dry fitted together, because he stole it from me and ran, and put all of his little cars inside of it. Looks like I’m going to have to make it extra sturdy…

Oh, and if you’d like to see more handmade houses, there’s a Wee house craftalong over at Craftster, where I got the idea.

I’m Still Here

Well my life’s been getting in the way of things lately. The holidays make it a bit busy for me to make many blog posts or updates, and some other things have exploded which have kept me busy. But they’re not all bad–for instance, I bought my very first car over the holidays, and it feels wonderful not to have to drive something that belongs to someone else (which I’ve been doing for the past six years). Of course, owning a car means I have to pay to take care of it, but as any crafter will know, there is always a certain amount of pride that can be taken from doing things with your own two hands, for things that you own.

I have been making many things, too, and were I not stuck in bed with a horrible ear infection at the moment, I would be finishing up yet more projects (I’m in the process of making a patchwork quilt for the bed I’ll be getting my son soon. It will take a while, though!)

But I FINALLY managed to finish my curtains. It’s SO much more comfortable living in a house that doesn’t have five (albeit small) windows open for everyone to see into!
Homemade patchwork curtains from stash

Homemade patchwork curtains from stash

Homemade patchwork curtains from stash

And I found a way to display my inchies and ATCs by using up an old Chinese restaurant calendar/menu:

Inchies and ATC display

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