Inspiration on a Lazy Day

Many of my projects are started on lazy days. Two nights ago, my dad was watching the Falcon’s game and my mom was upstairs knitting, so I looked into my craft box to see what would inspire me.

If you don’t have a craft box, I highly suggest pulling one together. Though mine is rather small and incredibly messy, it’s a place where I keep majority of my supplies.

I also keep a folder on my computer’s desktop where I keep pictures that inspire me – things I find on blogs or even Etsy.

It was this picture that inspired me to stitch the dress. The rest just came together on it’s own.

It’s not perfect, but hey, I put it together while watching the Falcon’s game (plus it cost less than $3). It doesn’t have to be.

Knit yourself a scarf

Another project I made for a Christmas present this year was this scarf. I found the pattern from Debbie Bliss’s book The Knitter’s Year (as you can tell, I’m a big fan of that book!) And it was pretty cool project to undertake. I had purchased fisherman’s wool a couple weeks before, and jumped on the opportunity to use it, but the pattern suggests using two different color cotton yards.

I suggest looking up Debbie’s Bliss’ book for the entire pattern, but to achieve this curved stitch is super easy.

  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: Purl
  • Row 3: Knit 2 stitches together for 3 stitches – yarn over 6 stitches – knit 2 stitches together for 6 stitches – yarn over 6 stitches – knit 2 stitches together for 2 stitches
  • Row 4: Knit

The pattern creates this awesome lace detail and, of course, the curved look.

So if you have a boring afternoon, just pick up some size 3 knitting needles. It’s simple and you can most definitely do it!

A Fishing-Inspired Christmas

Christmas gifts for my fisherman dad – fisherman ornaments!

And if you’re like my family and leave your Christmas tree up until Epiphany, this is a simple craft that you can add to the tree before the Christmas season is over. The bobbers were super easy. I simply bought a pack of traditional bobbers for 50 cents, and I attached a thicker ribbon using the hook that attaches onto the fishing line.

The fishing lure was easy too. But to be better safe than sorry (especially after my dad got a hook stuck in his thumb), the points of the hooks need to be removed. Then I just added a ribbon – and I picked a lure that (was cheap) and had a loop at the top so it hung straight.

Merry Christmas!

My projects are about to be taken to a whole new level after today. After years of dreaming, I finally own a working sewing machine! I have been given old machines, and though I love the sentimental value, they just haven’t worked. So to get one that is brand new… well, I’m loving it!

And if that gift wasn’t good enough, the best present was the free tutorial given freely by my wonderful grandmother.

Oh, and can we talk about my first white Christmas EVER! The backyard is a blanket of snow, so basically, I probably won’t be getting any projects started tomorrow. I’m thinking snow day!

Knitting a Washcloth

Remember that knitting project I started on Sunday…

My washcloth has finally taken shape, and I was surprised how easy it was to create. The pattern is from Debbie Bliss’ book The Knitter’s Year. This is one of my favorite books from Debbie Bliss. It contains projects that could take less than a week and are just as cute and creative as a project (like a sweater or blanket) that would take months!

The pattern is basically a seed stitch center and a garter stitch edge. I had never done a seed stitch before, but it was super easy. To make it…

  • (Row 1): Knit 5 stitches –  then purl 1/knit 1 until the last 5 stitches – Knit the last 4 stitches
  • (Row 2): Knit 4 stitches – purl 1/knit 1 until the last 5 stitches – purl 1 then knit the last 4
  • (Row 3):Knit 4 stitches – purl 1/knit 1 until the last 5 stitches – purl 1 then knit the last 4
  • (Row 4): Knit 5 stitches –  then purl 1/knit 1 until the last 5 stitches – Knit the last 4 stitches

These 4 rows create the seed stitch. Repeat this pattern until you’ve reached your desired length. I suggest looking up Debbie Bliss’s book. I’ve made several projects from The Knitter’s Year, and they are all pretty simple to make.

I was never an architect.

But thanks to an old kit from Williams Sonoma, I am able to make gingerbread houses… from scratch! And with it’s planned out design, all I have to do is make, roll out and cut the dough. Let it bake and then decorate to my heart’s content!

My mom says they will be the centerpiece for Christmas dinner. I don’t know if they are worthy of a centerpiece, but Liz and I sure had a fun time making them!

And can we talk about these 3D tree cookies?!

Last minute gift ideas

Zipper Headbands –

The moment I saw a headband like this in a store, I instantly thought that I could make it at a fraction of the retail cost. And I did!

With a gold zipper, a skinning black headband, a square of black felt and a sewing kit, I was able to pull this off.

And it cost me less than $4.

I do warn that it is not the easiest of crafts. And I had to be very patient at times, but your work pays off. Give yourself about an hour to make it.

You’re going to be working with one side of the zipper. And basically, it’s a spiraling effect.

As you wrap the zipper around, sew in and out of the outer layer and the next layer in. To make it easier, you can cut some of the fabric attached to the zipper but make sure to leave at least an 1/4 inch.

When I was finished with the zipper, I used a hot glue gun to attach it to the headband, using a piece of black fabric as a backing. (I chose to use a thin, black headband.) And then as a finishing touch, I used black felt around the edges to cover everything but the zipper.

My zipper was a gift for Kathleen (pictured above). The small circles I maded looked good with her haircut, but for me (with longer hair), I would probably have made them larger.

Tis’ the Season

I am a big fan of block letters. I have made them multiple times as personalized birthday gifts, and for Christmas, I thought it would be a simple (yet wonderful) decoration. I bought the cardboard block letters from a craft store (I love JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby the best), and with a yard of fabric, it was easy to create this.

As you can see, I’m a big fan of plaid. And note, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to make each letter.

(1) Use the letter as a stencil when cutting out the fabric. Cut with a margin of 1/2 inch around each letter. (2) Use Modpodge to glue the fabric to the letter. Glue the margins down to the sides of the letter, creating a smooth, clean edge. (3) Do this on either side of the letter. (4) Cut a long strip of fabric, again with 1/2 margins on either side. (For instance, these letters had a width of 1 inch, so I cut strips with a 2-inch width). (4) Fold the margins in to create the exact width of the letter and glue down with Modpodee. (5) With Modpodge, glue the strip along the sides of each letter.

It’s that easy! As an extra touch, you could add quilt backing underneath the fabric. The backing adds an extra expense, because you have to buy it in a roll, but it’s a detail that makes it look like it came from Anthropology (always a winning situation.)

I brought the letters home and found the perfect spot for them in the living room downstairs.

And since I thought the room lacked on holiday decorations (compared to upstairs, at least), I added a simple paper garland.

It too was super easy to make. I simply used a 1-inch circle cutter and a 1/8 inch hole punch. I used double-sided paper, and once I punched out the circles and the holes, I strung them on basic white thread. Quick and easy!

Christmas Tradition: Cookies!

It’s a tradition in my family that I make Christmas cookies (aka gingerbread cookies) every year. I spend about 5 hours rolling, cutting, cooking and decorating these bad boys (usually by myself), but this year I was blessed with a mother who joined in to help!
And while wondering through William Sonoma, I came upon a can of crushed up peppermints that they had packaged and sold as “Peppermint Snow” (props for the cleaver title!). And of course, it was $24. So I took the idea and made my own, spending only 88 cents.
It was super easy and quick to make. I just took the candy canes (that I found at Walmart for 88 cents), but them in a zip lock bag and hit them until they are small, even pieces. Adding it on top of cookies made a perfect Christmas touch, plus it pairs perfectly with gingerbread. Mom and I probably made around 100 cookies today. So if you’re in the neighborhood, swing by and I’ll hook you up with some delicious cookies and a glass of milk!
PS – It’s a pet peeve of mine when Mr. Gingerbread is without a Mrs. They are always cut out together, and decorated to match. (Call me a romantic!)