Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Shayne,

I was at my mom's house a couple of weeks ago and had the pleasure of enjoying these plastic canvas Thanksgiving creations that my grandmother made a few years back.

First up, Mr. Turkey:

(He's impressively large -- bigger than a football.)

And check out these cheerful, rosy cheeked pilgrims:

I love it that the boy pilgrim is really cheering about something. I mean, he is clearly excited. It makes me laugh.

Perhaps he's excited that the turkey is larger than he is?

Pilgrim: Yay! We'll be eating turkey for months!
Turkey: First you've got to catch me, tiny man.

Heh. I love these -- they're adorable.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Shayne. And thanks so much to all of our readers who make this blog so special -- enjoy the day!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Start 'em early

Dear Shayne,

Well, my beloved Cleveland Browns are having another terrible year. But I still remain a loyal fan and I'm attempting to pass my fandom on to the next generation. (Yes, I've evil.) Last time we saw our nephew, I had him cheerfully repeating "Go, Browns!" (Cutest thing ever -- toddlers are a blast that way.)

I was at Old Navy a couple of weeks ago and I saw a nephew-sized sweater in brown and orange -- Browns colors! The only drawback was the Old Navy logo on the front, but hey... I can fix that!

I didn't take a "Before" shot, but here's the sweater after I covered the logo with my patch:
Go Browns, toddler-style.

I cut the helmet from some Browns fabric I had, then I fused it to felt and fused the whole patch to the sweater. Then I machined a satin stitch in orange around the helmet piece to secure it. Would you like to see a closer up photo of it? Of course you would!
Browns patch...
(Hrm... that's a tad blurry. Oh, well. You get the idea.)

The sweater itself is adorable -- I love that the sleeves are brown and the body is orange.
Go Browns, toddler-style.

Alas, they don't make them in adult sizes. But I'm used to disappointment -- I'm a Browns fan, after all.

Having said that, I still gotta end this post with: Go, Browns!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Sweet garland

Dear Shayne,

This was a project I spotted at the Craft blog that made me sit straight up and say, "I need to make that!" It's just so damned cuuute! (Bonus: I had all of the materials on hand.)

It's a candy garland made from fabric scraps!
Candy garland

Garland is difficult to photograph -- if you try to get the whole thing, it's a very long skinny photo. So here it is, coiled into a spiral:
Candy garland

The tutorial to make these is from CraftBits. She made hers using retro Christmas colors and perhaps I should have done the same, but I could not resist these candy colors. Cuuuute! (Oh, did I say that already? Hrm. Well, it bears repeating.)

Here's all the candy in a little candy dish:
Bowl full o' candy... garland!

I used 1 inch styrofoam balls and cut my fabric rectangles to be 5 x 6 inches. I then used the pinking shears to cut off .5 inches from either end of the rectangle. (So I guess I ended up using 5x5 squares.)

I pinked the other side of those half inch scraps and used them for my "ties." CraftBits did a cute job of tying little bows, but mine didn't look good like that, so I just glued my little pinked scraps around each end (if you click through to the large version of the candy in a bowl, you'll see what I mean.)

CraftBits suggested either gluing or sewing the ends of the candy together to create the garland. I was going to sew, but then... I had the glue gun out, so why not try that? It worked like a charm, so I just glued the pieces together. I like the haphazard way it ended up.

I'm going to hang this on the mantle for Christmas. Or maybe I'll make more and use it for garland on the tree? The possibilities are endless -- I think we need candy garland everywhere!


An idea for your wedding

Dear Kelly,

Crafting has been non-existent lately over here on the East coast. But I have been reading some crafty blogs and came across a tutorial for this pomander:

by Betz White via Sew, Mama, Sew.

Aren't they lovely? I think it would look awesome if you made tons of these and filled up big bowls with them as centerpieces.


P.S. Photo from Betz White

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mmm... potato skins...

Dear Shayne,

For the most part, living in a place that basically poo-poos chain restaurants is a good thing. We have a lot more unique and wonderful places to eat here than many other areas and I do appreciate the independent choices that we have.

However, one thing that I really miss is potato skins. Even though we have plenty of bars nearby, they seem to all be missing this key [in my opinion] selection on the menu.

So Bill and I got to talking about this yesterday and we said, "Hey! Why not make our own?"

Shayne, this may have been a mistake.

They were SO flipping good... I got up this morning and said, "Hey -- want to have potato skins again today?" This photo is not great, but I assure you that they were wonderful:
Mmm... potato skins

We basically used this recipe for grilled potato skins, except we made little "boats" instead of wedges. Also, we just used olive oil in place of the butter combo and then threw some salt on 'em while they were on the grill. De-lish!

Mmm... now I want potato skins.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Handmade [by someone else!] bag

Dear Shayne,

As much as I love to make things by hand, I also love to buy handmade things. I've been thinking lately that I needed a larger tote bag to carry my kee-rap to work. My subsequent thought has been, "Oh, I should make myself one..." (of course)

But then I stumbled upon someone else making them in just the size I had in mind -- Etsy seller GreenBaggingIt.

So I bought a new tote bag:

(Photo taken from GreenBaggingIt's Etsy store. It's now too dark after work for me to take decent photos. Hating that.)

She's got a lot of different cute fabrics available -- if you like the one I bought, you can get your own right here. Or you can check out the rest of the options right here.

It's got a couple of small pockets both on the inside and the outside, which is handy. I really like the stitched detail on the bag handles -- it's a very nice touch [that I would not have done for myself] so yay for buying handmade!


Monday, November 03, 2008

Creepy Pumpkin Girl: Finished!

Dear Shayne,

After I posted my nearly finished Creepy Pumpkin Girl a few days ago, I finished her just in time for Hallowe'en:
Creepy Pumpkin Girl: Finished!

That satin stitch tutorial that I linked to from Needle 'n Thread (right here) helped me SO much in finishing off the bat on her dress. My mistake has been that I've been using too many strands -- when doing the rest of the embroidery, I use the full floss (all six strands), but for satin stitch, you've got to use just one strand. A-ha!

I ended up using a Sharpie to fill in her yellow glowing face-parts. This is probably pure sacrilege in the World of Embroidery, so don't tell anyone. Oh, wait. I guess I just did... oops. Oh, well. It worked and I'm not planning on washing this (it will come out for a few weeks every year and no one is wearing it. Spot cleaning = my friend.)

I'd like to make her into a pillow with some Hallowe'en fabric I have, but I have a feeling this will get put on the back burner until next October. Me? Procrastinate? Never!


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Low-key Hallowe'en

Dear Shayne,

As I mentioned last year, I like to wear my skates at work on Hallowe'en and dress in a costume that incorporates them (Rolling Stones, Hell on Wheels, Holy Roller, etc.) (I just re-read that Holy Roller post and I cracked myself up -- I'm lame.)

Bill came up with the idea for this year's costume: Rolling pin. After wrestling with how to make myself look like a sewing pin or a bowling pin, he also thought of the perfect solution: a Personal Identification Number. You know? At the bank machine? You use a PIN?

So I ironed on a PIN to my chest, slapped on my skates and went as a "Rolling pin."


There's the numbers. No photo of the full costume -- imagine a black shirt and a black skirt. And skates.

I used Avery Dark T-Shirt Transfers for the numbers. If you've never used them, they're pretty slick and definitely help out with costume makin'.