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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Stuffed Platypus on: June 03, 2009 05:30:14 AM
I actually made this guy last Christmas, but once I did, I knew I would be making another for my grandniece's birthday, and I didn't want her mom (littlebiskit) to see it on here. She got hers on Saturday, so now I can finally show him to you.
A friend was going to be dropping by with her baby grandson, and I wanted a little present for him. I found the pattern here http://www.craftbits.com/viewProject.do?projectID=1359 It called for fabrics I didn't have, but the fur, corduroy and flannel I found in my stash worked just fine.


The original called for pellets in the stuffing, but I used all fiberfill. The eyes are embroidered for safety, and except for a few finishing things he is all machine-stitched.
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Something to do with a swatch on: April 18, 2009 10:10:03 AM
Both my daughters are avid knitters and have been encouraging me to get more into knitting too. I just finished my first sweater (Sad story... turned out to be too big  Sad) and I started a baby sweater next. It called for a cable twist, which I had never done (I have been doing only the very basic stitches) and after I did the swatch, I fell in love with it and wanted to use it. Here's what it looked like:

See, pretty yarn, pretty pattern, ought to be something.
My daughters don't do much with their swatches, other than post them on a bulletin board, so they had no suggestions. But I decided to make a knitting project bag decorated with my swatch.
I raided my stash for bag fabric and lining that worked with the yarn color, put in some pockets, hand stitched the swatch to the outside pocket, and here's what I came up with:

And here's a picture of the inside. (How do people take such lovely photos of the insides of their bag? This was really hard to do!)

I also made a pouch for my knitting notions, using the only zipper I had, which just happened to be exactly the right color!  Shocked

I'm so happy that I have actually used my pretty little swatch. And now when the yarn comes for my throw pillow covers, I have a bag to keep that project in.
3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A Farewell Gift - Teatime quilt on: September 13, 2008 04:39:52 PM
One of my very best friends is moving about a thousand miles away in order to be nearer her family. I'm going to miss her so much, and decided to make her a little lap quilt in memory of our many mornings of tea and heart-to-heart. The embroidered blocks are done in "redwork", only this time it's blue.
Here is the quilt:

And here are a couple of the embroidered blocks:



It's about 48" x 52", and tied with white pearl cotton.
I gave it to her a couple of days ago and she liked it very much.
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Help! I can't see! on: September 11, 2008 09:16:15 AM
This particular problem might be completely alien to most of you young Craftsters, but I'm hoping someone will have a good idea to help me. I live in a very small apartment and have dedicated a section of my (not very big) bedroom to my crafts, which occupy a lot of my day. The frustration for me is that no matter what I do, I can't seem to get enough light into my sewing area to accomodate my aging eyes.

This is my sewing area. As you can see I have a 13 watt tabletop Ottlite that I use to supplement the sewing machine's highly inadequate bulb. The only other lighting in the room is a pole lamp with a 50-100-150 three way bulb that I, of course, set to 150.

This shot is to show you there is no extra floor space in my sewing corner to fit in another lamp. I can't hang anything from the (very high) ceiling, since they seem to have used some kind of metal or something else impenetrable, presumably for fireproofing.
I am quite at a loss as to what else I can do. And on cloudy days like today it is extremely hard for me to work in there. Do any of you brilliant Craftsters have anything to suggest?
5  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Gift Bag from the Sunday Comics on: June 22, 2008 12:39:34 PM
I like to do my part to make my carbon footprint small, but I also like to make the gifts I give look nice. So I buy gift bags at the Dollar Tree and reuse them over and over. But my son's birthday is coming up, and all the gift bags meant for the Y-chromosome gender are aimed at little boys or older guys, and he's just 25.
So I decided to make a reusable gift bag out of the Sunday comics. I had some large lunch sacks lying around (I use them to make microwave popcorn), so I used one of them for a pattern and as reinforcement, since newspaper is none too strong.
I carefully pulled the bag apart, glued it to a sheet of comics, cut around it and folded where the bags creases were, and glued. Then I folded the top down inside the bag and glued it for a nice top finish and further reinforcement. I took a single page of comics, cut it in half vertically, folded those strips over and over, until they were a good size for handles. Then I covered those with packaging tape and used the same tape to attach them inside. And here's what it looked like:

It seems to be pretty sturdy, so I think we'll pass this puppy around the family for a long time.
And what will I use instead of tissue paper to cover the gift?

Shredded comics, of course!
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Spiffed up craft area on: June 09, 2008 02:49:17 PM
I live in a small apartment, so my craft area is in my bedroom. (In fact, it keeps expanding and is currently nearly ALL of my bedroom  Cheesy) It was rather drab and a little less organized than I would like, so I decided to do a nice cheap overhaul. I used a couple of coupons to pick up a yard each of a couple of coordinating fabrics and here is what I did.
First of all, I wanted to fix up my sewing chair, a beat up old secretary chair I had gotten at a thrift store years ago. I don't have a before pic, but this is what the ripped up blue vinyl on the seat looked like.


I had to get myself a staple gun in order to turn it into this. (Yay, tools!)

I used the other fabric to make this little French bulletin board (which is made over half a $1 foam board. Smiley) I also painted that shelf I have had for some months but hadn't managed to paint before. And I bought myself that spool rack, which I really love.

The same fabric I used for the bulletin board went into this HUGE pincushion, which I weighted with my son's old marbles. He's 25 and doesn't use them anymore.

I got this coordinating project box at Walmart and the little tool basket at the Dollar Tree.

And here's what the whole area looks like. And you can see a peek of my messy fabric stash. I'm going to have a go at this next.

The whole thing ended up so cheerful, it's making me eager to get some new projects started.
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / A card box for my daughter's wedding on: May 07, 2008 03:09:33 PM
My daughter Pinfish is getting married in two and a half weeks, and I am done with the wedding dress (yay) so when she said she was not happy with the box they were going to use for cards, I volunteered to make one. They wanted something they could keep and use later, so I opted out of the "wrapped box with a slot in it" and decided to go for a fabric covered hinged box.
First I found materials that went with their colors, green and brown:

Then I found this box at Michael's. I had already removed the tacky off-white bow from the front flap when I took this photo:

And here is what I made:

The original box had a magnetic closure, but with the fabric and ribbon, the magnet wouldn't work. So I added a button-and-loop closure:

And here is the inside. I put in a piece of ribbon as a hinge-stop.

Though it has its flaws, Pinfish really likes it, so I'm happy.
8  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Not your grandma's baby quilt on: March 09, 2008 02:21:38 PM
A friend's daughter, someone I have known since she was born, just had a little boy and I wanted to make a baby quilt for him. I had bought a half yard of this fabric some time ago:

I thought it would be cute, but I could only get four fussy cut blocks from it, plus a partial group to applique onto a middle block with the baby's name. The rest I filled in with churn dash blocks in colors not usually associated with baby quilts:

Here is the name block in the center:

The baby's mom is rather unconventional, so I'm hoping she will like it.
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / First Sweater - a question on: February 21, 2008 07:24:04 PM
I am finally knitting myself a sweater and it has been going ok until now. I am knitting the front, doing the armhole shaping. I have just finished the decreases and now the instructions say "Cont even until armhole measures 6 ins", but I'm not sure what that means.

Does this mean to measure all along the armhole, like the red dash line? Or does it mean to measure from the beginning of the armhole shaping straight up to the level of my current knitting, like the blue dash line?
The only other sweater I ever made was for a baby who is graduating from college in a couple of months. And frankly, it was kind of a miracle I managed to do it. So consider me pretty much of a beginner and don't despise my ignorance, ok? (And please forgive the crumby paint illustration.)
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Wool Felt Ornaments on: November 29, 2007 05:51:56 AM
Lately I've seen several people's take on wool felt ornaments. I've never been a fan of acrylic felt, but the wool looks so homey I decided to give it a try. Here are the results -
A simple star

A mitten with a snowflake button

and a little owl.

They all will be Christmas presents. I had so much fun designing and making them that I can't wait to do more.
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