Archive for the ‘craft’ Category

half done projects

fan ripple wip

It’s not all wine and finished projects in these parts. Trust me there are plenty of half done–half assedly done–things shoved in various corners of my studio. This afghan is not destined for one of those corners (I hope). It is actually coming along quite nicely.  I fell in love with this vintage afghan that Miss Rachel from Smile and Wave picked up at her local thrift. I had been looking around for crochet patterns I could use to make a blanket for my son, but nothing seemed right until that blue number popped up. A commenter on pinterest pointed me to a pattern on ravelry called the Vintage Fan Ripple Stitch Pattern, which turned out to be exactly the same as the original afghan. I went out and bought a bunch of yarn the next day.

vintage fan ripple afghan

I liked all the blues in Rachel’s blanket, so I stuck with that and threw some gray in for good measure. Ravelry came to the rescue again when I ran out of the light blue yarn I was using. The heathered light blue was by Berroco Vintage, which I had in my stash, and when I went back to my local yarn store for more they were all out. After a look on the interwebs, I discovered Berroco didn’t even make that colorway anymore. Luckily there was someone on ravelry who had two skeins of it for sale! I don’t know why the two rows of light blues look different in the photo–trust me they are not. Oh also there are more nerdy crochet details on ravelry

wiksten tank wip

The other half done project is not coming along as nicely. The first time I made the Wiksten Tank it was nice, but it was a smidge small.  So I cut a medium this time. Well turns out the first one wasn’t small, it was just that the material I used didn’t have any give to it. The medium is too big everywhere and if I try to take the sides in, the wide set straps make me look, umm, beefy.  I can’t shove it in the corner because this fabric was expensive as hell. So here’s my plan: I’m going to cut this tank apart, cut the small from it (a little lower down), and then add a band of color to the bottom. What do you think? I picked up some navy linen that I think will work. I’m hoping it won’t look hackneyed.


a wall of flowers

a wall of [fake] flowers

I took all the homemade, wonky, gluey hearts down from the wall in my kids’ room and it looked so sad and bare. The room needed some cheering up! First I was thinking I would let the kids go crazy with washi tape, then I thought maybe we could make some paper flowers and tape them up, but then I saw this amazing wall.

flower wall detail

My daughter and I headed to the craft store to buy some [faux] flowers. I’m usually not down with fake flowers–or even buying that much plastic at once–but I have to admit some of these flowers are very,very pretty. The weedy looking ones are my favorite. I do believe I’m the only woman in the world buying plastic weeds.

rose closed and open

Luckily all the fake flowers were half off, so we went a little crazy picking them out. My daughter fell hard for the bubblegum pink roses covered in fake water droplets. I was not so smitten, but she was so in love. When we got home I was messing with the flowers to see if I could get them to look a bit more natural and when I pulled back the petals on the rose, it turned into this absolutely gorgeous bloom. You can see how the rose looks closed and open above.

making the flower wall [gif]

To hang all the flowers on the wall, I cut the bunches apart with a wire cutter and trimmed most of the leaves off as well. Then marked five rows on the wall. Working from the top down I simply taped each flower up so it was in line with the one above it. My rows aren’t perfectly spaced or perfectly straight, but the it’s the contrast of orderliness and nature I was going for–that’s what drew me to the first photo of flowers on the wall. Also, it’s just plain awesome to have a field of flowers on your bedroom wall.

beroom wall of flowers

For 20 dollars and an hour of our time, we managed to get spring to come a bit earlier in Wisconsin. Not bad, not bad at all.


and she’s back

elsie marley 2011

Wow, sorry. I didn’t mean to be gone for two weeks. After the craziness of Christmas, the littlest got a horrible stomach bug. Then this past week I came down with a crappy case of strep throat. Remind me to be extra nice to my kids when they have a fever, because it is super sucky. I am finally on the mend and I know it’s a little late for a 2011 retrospective, but I was sick so indulge me. Here is my favorite project from each month of last year:

1. beach bracelet  2. sledding party  3.  balance board  4.  the awesome bag  5. crazy pants  6. may day crown  7. flock top  8. wiksten tank  9. toy boxes on wheels  10. giant glittery 6!  11. waxed leaves  12. cloud bed

It’s nice to look back and see what I made–see what I liked making. Every January my creative energy goes out the window. All through December when I’m making things for everyone else, part of me is dreaming of January when I can make whatever the hell I want. But then January comes and I’m overwhelmed with all the choices: I could make clothes for me, clothes for my kids, start that huge embroidery project, crochet an afghan, or a hat, or a sweater, tackle the mending pile, the list goes on and on. On top of everything, my studio is a disaster. I hate that feeling when I can’t get a project started. Do you know what I mean? What do you do?

Oh and Happy New Year!

waxed leaves

leaves hung with washi tape

This whole redoing the kids room thing is taking forever to finish. It might have something to do with the three kids living in it.  It doesn’t help when you paint the dresser, hate it and have to paint it again.  The After pictures are coming I promise (here is the before) it’s just taking a leeetle longer than I thought. edited to add: here is the after post

waxed leaves on the wall

So what are all these leaves doing on the wall? I couldn’t figure out what to put on the big wall between the two windows. I wanted to get this awesome ice cream print, but the big map was on the neighboring wall and it would have been too many big things in such a small room.

dipping leaves in wax

I decided to leave it blank and use it like a classroom bullitin board– putting up little crafts my kids make or things to celebrate the season.  First we had a pompom garland up (which you can see in this post) then some bats (behind me here) and now leaves. I had my kids run around the block collecting leaves, then I dipped them in wax, and we stuck them up with washi tape.  I had envisioned the leaves laid out in straight rows like a scientific collection, but the kids had other ideas.

leaves and washi tape

I first saw the wax dipping thing on Martha Stewart (of course) but she uses beeswax and ooof that stuff is pricey.  Then I stumbled on this post where the leaves are dipped into plain old paraffin wax (2.99 at the grocery store and apparently you can wax your snow shovels with it?).

leaves and clouds

After about a week up on the wall, the leaves are starting to curl a bit, which is a bummer.  If you have the patience, you should probably press them over night or even after you dip them. Maybe dipping them twice would make curling less likely? They are pretty nonetheless and I think they would make a beautiful thanksgiving garland.



golden birthday part two: pipe cleaners


Part one of my daughter’s 6th golden birthday is here.

pipe cleaner banner

When we went to the craft store for all things gold (for the golden birthday party) the gold pipe cleaners were kind of an impulse buy. It’s hard to resist sparkly, fuzzy gold wire. Turns out a bunch of pipe cleaners = room full of decorations in no time. I knew I wanted to do something like  Terri’s awesome wrapped pipe cleaner font project, but I skipped the yarn and spelled out Happy Birthday.  Writing with pipe cleaners is ridiculously easy (though knowing cursive comes in handy for once in your life).

pipe cleaner banner hanging

Hanging them on the other hand is more difficult than it seems. There is just a lot to balance. Nothing a spool of thread an lots of tape won’t fix. Taking a photo in front of three sunny windows is also difficult, so you get the child’s eye view of the banner. A golden merry christmas would be very pretty I think, or even better something like this in gold pipe cleaners!

pipe cleaner stars

There were a ton of left over pipe cleaners, so I wrapped them around a star cookie cutter and voile! Also, crazy easy. And also would look lovely hanging all over a christmas tree. Seriously, I’m 33 and in love with gold pipe cleaners. I am so rock and roll.

golden birthday party

Here is the banner and table on the evening of her party. The pipe cleaners and giant glittery 6 all sparkled in the light. I thought it was pretty magical, I’m pretty sure my big 6 year old did too. Oh, yes and a tiny gold bunting on the cake, because why not?