Monday, January 31, 2011

i heart art

for my best girl's 6th birthday (waaay back when it was warm and sunny) we had an art party at Collage Collage for a few of her friends. i made the bag, pencil roll, and pencil case. the apron and art supplies were bought at the local dollar store. it's a real sign of how unorganized i have let things get - i just found the extra goodie bag when i did the 'big craft closet clean out of 2011' the other week!

Monday, January 17, 2011

saturday sewing

one benefit of the rainy saturday was some making time. i made this bag for my sister's birthday present. the pattern is from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. i followed it almost exactly but added a zippered pocket and a magnetic snap closure. it was very straightforward and easier to sew leather than i expected - just need a special needle.
the entire project cost under $20 so i covered three of my 2011 sewing intentions:
  1. make birthday presents (and cards, too)
  2. sew a leather bag
  3. stick to a budget - be more thoughtful of how i spend my money
obviously, the intention to take better photos is a work in progress...                                    

Friday, January 14, 2011

tutorial: towel trimming

here's a quick and easy tutorial for trimming towels. just in case you want to designate your very own towels from all the other towels in the house. after all, who knows how well your toddler is washing his little paws?


 - towel (pre-shrunk) - i used an ikea hand towel 15" wide x 22" long

 - border fabric: cotton fabric (pre-shrunk) the width of your towel plus 1" and two times the depth of the border you would like plus 1/2". - my border strip was 3" deep x 23" long and the finished sized was 1 1/2" x 22".

- fabric loop: 3" x 5" cotton fabric (pre-shrunk)

- sewing machine, measuring tape or ruler, scissors, pins, handsewing needle, thread to match cotton trimming fabric, iron

1. fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press. press in each long side 1/4". fold in each short  end of fabric 1/2" and press - the strip should be only slightly longer than the towel edge.

 2. lay the towel edge over one side of the fabric strip. the strip should be just slightly longer than the towel.

3.  pin through all layers, keeping the edges of the fabric trim strip lined up.

4. carefully sew along the edge of the fabric trim strip making sure to catch all the layers of fabric and towel. backstich at the begining and end.

5. with a handsewing needle, slipstitch the ends of the fabric trim stitch closed.
ta da! there is your towel, just for you! if you want to add a loop, continue on...

6. for the fabric loop: fold the 3"x5" fabric piece in half lenthwise and press. press both long edges in to the centre fold and press again. sew along the long edge.

7. center the loop on the center of the towel edge with about 1 1/2" space between each end. pin and stitch along the towel hem line, backstitching at the beginning and end.

8) fold over the fabric loop and stitch along the edge of the towel, backstitching at the beginning and end.

9) fold it the way you want or hang it from a hook so high no toddler can reach it. make it really girly and chances are your husband or teenage son will not touch it either. just hoping...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

wool in a new way

from: crafted systems

from: crafted systems
amazing and made from wool felt. aurelie tu works with women in transition at a ywca in portland, oregon to create amazing products from textiles. i would love any of the pieces they make. beautiful and helping women find their way. i know how much 'making' helps me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

first you need the right tools

from: kata bags
 we bought our camera almost two years ago and i have yet to take a course or fully comprehend the manual. (why do they not provide you with a proper sturdy waterproof spiral bound manual???). the main reason i have not practised much is the too small and unwieldy camera bag we've had. carrying that and a purse/bag was just not conducive to taking pics. i just bought this camera bag today and it holds the camera, extra lens and batteries and cards, the manual, cords, video camera, my phone, sunglasses, wallet, a snack, and an extra diaper for my constant assistant/model. smidgebox - you inspire me! maybe next year i will try 365 too.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


here's the first sunset of 2011 from my front steps. what a day it's been - a great start for the new decade.
it was a fantastic new year's eve: sukiyaki and wii tournament. the cold and clear new year's day found us geocaching in the park. we left origami cranes for the next people to find the caches we found.