Sewing Green

Betz White’s new book, Sewing Green, arrived today!!! Fun! She also wrote Warm Fuzzies, which I keep raving about and is making me a regular at Goodwill. (And see her blog for the free pattern for the cashmere bunny that I made last week.)

I’ve just started looking through it, but there’s a pattern for making a sandwich wrap! Fun! (We have two Wrap-n-Mats that I use religiously in the boys’ lunches, but some new patterns that I’ve made myself would be fun.) And some cool napkins, totes, aprons, and even a make your own auto sunshade using Capri Sun boxes. I’m going to pass on that one since I don’t buy juice boxes in any form, so I’m not sure how I’d ever accumulate all those Capri Sun boxes.

There is an absolutely adorable picnic blanket made from cast-off towels, a skirt for you made with a pillowcase(!) and a cute toddler pillowcase dress as well. Hey, find some matching vintage pillowcases, and you could match your skirt with your toddler’s dress. Cute? You decide. Probably depends on the pillowcase.

There is an apron made from an old men’s dress shirt. We have tons of those around here! I must try that one out! The hubby seems to go through dress shirts quite quickly for some reason. Oooh….I just found a pattern for making slippers from a felted wool sweater. Cool!

So far the book looks great. I’ll let you know more after I make some things. But, great photos, and nice text. And who doesn’t like the idea of re-purposing old stuff laying around your house into something useful and new?

Cashmere bunny

I made Betz White’s free pattern for a cashmere bunny last night. So-o-o-o cute! Betz wrote Warm Fuzzies which I got for Christmas and I absolutely love. Highly recommended!

I got the cashmere sweater at Goodwill for $4.99. The cashmere is a bit slippery to work with, but it turned out okay. Her pattern calls for sewing closed the opening after you turn it, and attaching a tail. Her suggestions for a tail include a yarn pompom or a wool felt ball. I decided to stuff the bunny with wool batting instead of polyfill, and then I let the batting hang out the end. Then I sewed the hole closed through the batting that was sticking out, and needle-felted the bit of wool hanging out the end into a tail. It turned out very cute! I had to go back to Goodwill today to try to find another color of a cashmere sweater so I could make another one in a different color! I might have been successful. I’m not sure if the sweater I bought is cashmere or not because the tag had been cut out. I guess we’ll see how it works out! It was pretty quick and easy to make. I’d say it took about 2 hours max. (We were having a crafty-girl night, so there was much chatter and not as much crafting!)

Flickr and cute sweetheart purse pattern

So, I was browsing Flickr this morning and came across a group called “Made from Recycled Sweaters.” I got Betz White’s book, Warm Fuzzies, for Christmas, and this was right along those same lines. I have all these great Goodwill wool sweaters upstairs in my cedar chest just waiting for a project!

I just love to browse Flickr. You just never know what you are going to find. So, while browsing through this new group, I came across the cutest little heart-shaped purses made from recycled sweaters, designed by Betz White! She was selling the pattern as a pdf in her Etsy shop. I just couldn’t resist. I’m not sure if I have any sweaters that are appropriate for this pattern, I’ll have to check out my stash. And I’m not sure who I would make a cute little heart-shaped purse for, but they were just too cute to resist. (I have a little, crafty-addiction, as you can probably tell.)

Felting wool sweaters

I got an awesome crafty book for Christmas, Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects by Betz White. It looks like a ton of fun. Lots of fun, easy projects made with reclaimed wool sweaters that you felt in your washing machine.

1) Love that you are using recycled materials for your projects.

2) Love wool.

3) Love the totally cute projects and the fun ways she puts things together.

Betz also has a great blog that you should check out! The weather was kind of nasty yesterday so I decided to stay home and play with all those new Christmas toys (Legos anyone?), but I think I’m going to head out today and check out Goodwill. I have some sweaters upstairs just waiting to be felted that I picked up at Goodwill a few months ago, but now that I’ve gotten this new book, I want to see what else I can find!

Crocheted mama octopus

Last week, I mentioned that I was crocheting a new project. My husband’s aunt taught me to crochet in June when we were visiting them out at the lake. It took all of about 10 minutes max. I was crocheting a dishcloth to practice, but practicing is so boring! So I bought Ana Paula Rimoli’s book, Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet, and set to making the penguin for my younger son who loves penguins.

Well, I had to put that on hold temporarily as I was crocheting while we were away for the weekend and I didn’t have any stuffing. So, I started an octopus for my older son. That one ended up being finished first, and now I’m back to making the penguin (with a slight detour to a very fun felting project that I will tell you about later!).

My legs are a bit lopsided (I think I miscounted on one or two of them), and they didn’t get spaced out exactly as they probably should, but it all adds to the charm, right? It is truly adorable. Unfortunately, my son’s only comment was, “no mama, I wanted the baby to be blue and the mama to be purple.” Uh thanks for the appreciation, kid. That’s okay, I will just have to keep it for myself!

K’s Birthday Crown

It’s my baby’s birthday today! I thankfully finished his birthday crown to his specifications last week. He wanted it to be red and white with blue stripes and a blue star. So, I made his crown pretty much exactly like I made J’s birthday crown, except I made the elastic in the back just a little bit longer for his older noggin, and added the requested stripes. It’s all made from wool felt that I got at Weir Dolls & Crafts or from my local quilting store. The letter K on the star was stitched free-hand using a split stitch with 3 threads of embroidery floss. The pattern for the crown was taken from Amanda Soule’s The Creative Family.

Here he is this morning, setting up our birthday ring.

And here are both completed birthday crowns.

And this one is just funny.


Learning to crochet

We were visiting family this weekend at the lake in NH and I was given the opportunity to ask my husband’s aunt to teach me how to crochet! Her grandma taught her about 58 years ago, and she is definitely an experienced crocheter. Although I have tried to learn from books in the past, I never quite grasped it. It took her about 10 minutes to show me how, and I was on my way. I can now single crochet, double crochet and triple crochet! She even taught me how to make a ring. Now I just need to practice and figure out how to read a pattern! I’m currently making a dishcloth, and I will see it through, but it’s sort of boring. So, I’m already on the lookout for something fun to make. I think I’m going to make a little Amigurumi, like this little octopus on Ana Paula’s blog. Her book, Amigurumi World, is now on my Wish List!

More posts later. I did some fun craft shopping while we were in NH, and since I now have my trusty camera back (pretty quick service from Canon repair), I can post a much better photo of J’s birthday crown!

Completed birthday crown

Okay, the picture is awful. But that’s the best that I can do with my camera off to the repair shop and my not too stellar camera phone. When I get my camera back, I will take a better one! But, in any case, I finished my son’s birthday crown this morning. His birthday is next week, so none too soon! I used the pattern in The Creative Family as the basis of the design. I really liked how it turned out. You can’t see it in the picture, but there is an elastic band in the back and I covered it with some cute star fabric. Her instructions in the book don’t talk about covering the band. So, the first time I did it, I just made a fabric tube as long as the elastic. Quickly realized (thankfully) that wasn’t going to work because what would happen when you needed the elastic to stretch in two years? So, made a new fabric tube that was about 1.5 times as long as the elastic and scrunched it up, and it worked great. Not too bad of a learning curve. At least I hadn’t sewn it into the crown yet!

I got the blue and cream wool felt from Weir Dolls. The star is Marcus Brothers hand-dyed wool felt that I got at my local quilting store. I embroidered the letter “J” on the star before I assembled the crown. I just free-handed it with a split stitch. And the ribbon is a jacquard ribbon that I picked up at my local Joanns.

Bird Songs

This book just came today, Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song. We bought it for my son’s Montessori class as his birthday gift to the class. We are celebrating his birthday at school on Monday and he is very excited to walk around the sun with his globe four times! He wants me to make strawberry and blueberry muffins as the special snack.

In any case, the book arrived today, and oh my. It’s amazing. It’s hard cover and has a built in digital player. You scroll through the numbers until you find the one that matches the number for the bird on the page. The sound quality is wonderful. The boys LOVE it. I also ordered the one that has the songs of birds from around the world, Bird Songs from Around the World, and we are going to keep that one at home. That one hasn’t arrived yet. In any case, I highly recommend the North American one. It really is amazing and a wonderful addition to our home library. There is also a new one out that is called The Backyard Birdsong Guide which we might have to get too. That is more of a handheld type version being a smaller format.

Doodle Stitching

Look what just came! My new book, Doodle Stitching. I’m so excited to see what this embroidery thing is all about (well, to move beyond blanket stitch at least!). My poor UPS man though. He normally comes around 5pm, and I knew my book was out for delivery and was surprised it had never arrived. Well, here he comes and knocks on the door at 8:30pm! At least he knocked instead of ringing the bell. He must have had a bad day to be three hours late. Poor guy. But, I now have my book to read tonight!!

The author, Aimee Ray, also has an Etsy site and she sells her book there, as well as her creations and patterns. The book is currently out of stock on her personal site, but they had it at Amazon.