December 27, 2011

Sparkly Cuffs

Ah, the Christmas season lingers and after the cookies have been eaten, the presents unwrapped and now sit there staring at you...patiently waiting for you to put them away, what is a girl to do? Surf the internet of course and find wonderful, sparkly handmade items that are so impressive that it puts my small handmade goods to shame. I'm a little obsessed with cuffs right now and so I stumbled upon Dolores Petunia on Etsy and these cuffs are simply gorgeous as well as being totally custom.  Artist Courtney Price builds elaborate jewelry, headpieces and sashes that make me wonder "how did she do that?". I can just imagine myself in a little black dress with one of these beautiful pieces sparkling on my arm! I've featured my favorites below!

#1 Custom Spiderweb Cuff 
I love the shape and how delicate it is even with all of the volume.

#2 Custom Cuff - Orchid
I especially enjoy this one because of the stunning orchid set into all the sparkle. Orchids are the only plants I can keep alive, and this one is no different!

#3 Custom Cuff - Ruby
I love the little pops of color here and there and that ruby red is a perfect winter shade with grey.
All photos courtesy of Dolores Petunia


December 19, 2011

Grey Chevron Baby Blanket

Grey zigzag

I know what you're thinking: "Finally, she makes something grey! Isn't that the point of this blog?"  (At least, I'm sure that's what my dad is thinking. He always says "But that's not grey." Thanks Dad.)  Anyway, I love this baby blanket that I knitted, and it couldn't be more grey.
Grey zigzagGrey zigzag

The pattern is the Chevron Baby Blanket from The Purl Bee.  Chevron, zigzag -- whatever you call it, it's lovely and so easy to knit.  The Purl Bee made it in "a delicate spectrum of natural colors."  I made it in alternating heather grey and variegated grey and white using my favorite yarn for baby blankets, Bernat Softee Baby.

Grey zigzag

I enjoyed making this blanket, especially how quickly it knitted up on size 11 needles. The finished size is approximately 26x36 inches (mine's a little longer than the pattern version). I like this blanket so much that I immediately started another one in a different color combo. After I took this photo, though, I'm not sure if the rose is the best pairing with the variegated yarn, and I'm debating tearing it out and using pale yellow instead. I'd love to hear your opinion -- Should I change the color and start over?
Grey zigzag and peach in progress

December 18, 2011

Owl Ornament (inspired by Crate & Barrel)

I like Crate & Barrel, and they returned that affection this year by sending me what seems like 50 holiday catalogs. I keep flipping through them, thinking that there might be something in this one or that one that I haven't admired yet (there isn't). After repeatedly stopping on these button owl ornaments, I came to the conclusion that I could make them myself.  So I did.  Well, one at least.

Scrappy owl ornament

This little guy is modeled on the one in the center of the C&B trio.  I used the snipping tool on my computer to clip that picture, and when I printed it the owls were enlarged, which worked for my purposes.  I made templates from the printout, traced them onto some plaid flannel and wool felt, and added a few buttons and some blanket stitching.  I think the resemblance is pretty decent.

I made this ornament for the IMQG handmade ornament exchange and was so happy when it went to my friend and colleague Lindsay, who blogs at ellesquare (and sells at -- you're welcome LL). The great thing about exchanging handmade ornaments with crafty people is that you know they appreciate the time spent on your creation!

December 17, 2011

Sending Christmas Cheer with Iris Folded Cards

Iris paper folding

A little while back my friend Susannah sent me info on an iris paper folding/card class at a branch of the library nearby and asked, "Do we want to try this?" We hadn't heard of this iris folding before, but the notice said we'd make 2 holiday cards and the fee was nominal, so we decided to give it a go.

Iris paper folding

Although we skewed the average age of class attendants considerably, it was fun to learn a new craft -- especially one that looks far more complicated and difficult than it really is. (Isn't that the best kind?) Instructor Susie Fintz guided us through the cardinal first, and it was a rousing success if I say so myself. Susannah and I had to leave early, so we took the kits for the angel cards home and I made this one on my own. (That's why it's lacking some of the fancy sticker bling that the cardinal has, but I think it still looks nice.)

Iris paper folding

The cardinal went to my parents and the angel to my co-blogger/sister Jen and her husband. I've heard rumors that the cardinal will be framed to be enjoyed every Christmas. (Glad you like it Mom!)

December 3, 2011

Sewing Project: Zipper Pouches with Pleats

First zipper pouch

A while back I found a tutorial for a simple, small zipper pouch with a few pleats for interest. I filed it away with all the other tutorials I stumble upon that make me think "Oh! I have to make that!" -- a thought that quickly leads to "And I can make a whole bunch of them and give them as gifts!"  I'm misguidedly eager and ambitious when it comes to crafts, and usually I end up just turning out one supposedly amazing item before I either a) lose interest, or b) realize this supposedly amazing item is way more trouble than it's worth due to difficulty or poor instructions.  So this is an exception worth mentioning.

peek inside

I made this rosy pouch to send to my sister for her birthday, along with some new crochet books to help her expand her menagerie.  It requires a small amount of fabric and a 7-inch zipper -- I have plenty of fabric, so the investment is only around $2 for the zipper and some time.  Aaaaand that's what led me to this:

Zipper pouches

One of these pouches will go to a holiday auction and the other may make its way into a Christmas gift.  The one on the left is lined in the grey dot, and the one on the right is lined in the turquoise dot.  I made these last night, and after struggling with the turquoise one, I finished it and whipped out the grey one in record time, so I guess practice makes perfect.
After making 3 pouches, I still have some issues with the design/tutorial, but it's unlikely anyone else would notice the flaws I see.  And so I may make more...or I may move on to the next greatest tutorial ever -- and make a bunch to give as gifts!


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