December 30, 2011

New favorite craft: gift card holder.

It's the gift that says, "I didn't know what to get you!" Unless the gift card is what they put on their wishlist, and if that's the case then you're welcome, mom.

I finally found a use for the piece of red and silver double-sided paper I've been saving for who knows how long. Ever since that time I went to the scrapbooking store because I had a coupon and ended up buying nine other things. That one time.

I cut the festive cardstock so that it would fit in a necklace box and I could wrap it like a real present. Then I punched holes in it for the ribbon and button closure. The inside ends of the ribbon and button thread are hidden by the white insert, the edges of which I brushed with a powder-blue ink using a sponge. Then I stamped a line of snowmen in the same blue ink and drew over parts of each one with a clear sparkle pen.

The card itself is held in by pocket made of the same double-sided paper. You can follow this template and just use your own dimensions and omit the top flap. Rounded top corners make it look nicely finished. The only potential trouble was in getting the margins around the white insert to remain even as the envelope is folded shut. Cutting the white paper *just* shorter than the red/silver helped.

File it under "Projects that are pretty quick, pretty cheap, and pretty cute."

December 28, 2011


Yes! I finished it! The day after Christmas on my shiny new Brother sewing machine that Hubs gave me. 

If you don't count the new sewing machine, which I don't, I literally spent $0 on this quilt. The only thing I didn't have was batting, but I decided to skip it because I doubt my machine (old or new) would be able to go through it. The myriad clothing patches on the front and sweatshirt knit on the back make a nice weight, and it's super soft.

Somehow - I really don't know how - it turned out beautifully. I ironed a total of two seems, did very little measuring, and was working mostly with stretchy fabrics that I don't know how to handle. Yet the blanket is quite square, the perfect size, and I had just the right amount of fabric lying around for the backing and contrast strips. It was meant to be.

December 16, 2011

Hung with care. Hanged with care?

I think I've just discovered that "Twas the Night Before Christmas" is grammatically inaccurate.

Well, crafting apocalypse or no, I had to finish A's stocking. It is nearly as large as he. Which, by the way, is huge. I was looking at his growth charts and he's almost seven inches longer than when he was born five months ago. SEVEN. INCHES.

Boom. Once again, I have a project that proves I might benefit from a little planning in my life. There's ... a lot going on. But I like the size and shape and I'd use the pattern again.

The largest of our stockings, A* will probably come to believe that means he should get more stuff in it. Sorry, dude.

I was going to put a red felt "A" on it, because they all have some sort of graphic element, but a baby just doesn't need a scarlet letter on his stocking. I probably should have gone without the big white stripe then, but by the time I decided to forgo the "A" it was already done. So the tree (conveniently shaped much like an "A") was made of felt and ribbon.

*Referring to August as "A" is going to get confusing, isn't it?

December 8, 2011

Crafting apocolypse?!

Not yet. But I fear the end is nigh.

Ok, that's probably not true. It's just the knitting thing isn't working out right now. I think - I'm not really sure.

See, my hands are in real rough shape right now due to allergies. In fact, my allergies and I just celebrated our one-year anniversary of getting to know each other. It's a roller coaster relationship. Every time they come back - swearing they'll be nicer and won't drink as much - I'm all "here we go again," and I try kicking them to the curb with tubes of hydrocortizone and other such topicals. But they just keep reappearing. I work with them, and they follow me to shopping malls, restaurants, friends' houses ... and they hide out in my own house, too. I need a restraining order.

Anyways: yarn. I know all the ingredients of my Seventh Generation products because it is a good company that isn't all wrapped up in crazy legal hoo-ha like claiming a list of ingredients is "proprietary." Well, Tide, your precious property was keeping me up at night itching the backs of my knees.

ANYWAYS ... yarn. I do not know the exact ingredients of any of the yarns I use. How do you even go about finding such information? Obviously the label says "wool" or "cotton" or "acrylic" and so forth, but what kinds of substances might be added in the processing and shipping of the yarn? I don't know, and the internet (I can't believe I'm saying this) has failed me. If the internet cannot solve this for me, my life and entire college education is meaningless.

Is the yarn of A's stocking irritating my digits? I can't just stop making it, so tonight I did something totally nerdy and very annoying - I knit with rubber gloves on.