Thursday, December 31, 2009

K is for Calligraphy

Dear Shayne,

I recently bought some fantastic hand calligraphed stickers from K is for Calligraphy on Etsy:
K is for Caligraphy seals

In addition to the Air Mail stickers, I bought Thank You stickers and wow! What a package I got! First of all, she hand calligraphed my address on the envelope. A-maz-ing. It was like getting a gift in my mailbox! Heck yeah!

Upon opening it, I found my stickers wrapped like a present, plus an extra little bag of goodies inside. K is for Calligraphy FTW, I tell ya. I want to buy more stuff from her just to get awesome packages.

I wrote my Christmas thank you notes the other day and, although the cards are beautiful, they were lacking something. So I used the snowflake paper punch (previously featured on our Christmas cards) on some orange paper and the Thank You seals from K is for Calligraphy.

I love how they turned out:
Thank you notes

Sigh. I want to be able to write like that! Sadly, I think that ship has sailed for me and my chicken scratch. Good news for Katy -- I'll be back to buy more lovely stuff!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cute lil birthday cards

Dear Shayne,

In the dark days pre-Cricut, I had to use scissors to cut shapes out of paper. Oh, and I also had paper punches. Honestly, even with the Cricut, I'll probably still use paper punches -- I do love them so. (Punch! Punch! Punch! Satisfaction!)

I particularly love the ones from Martha Stewart. Check out this cute little card I made with the cupcake punch:
Birthday card

To deliver the cupcakes, I made envelopes out of this Happy Birthday paper:
Birthday envelope

I love these envelopes -- they're wishing the recipient a Happy Birthday before they're even opened. Yay!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wedding thank you notes

Dear Shayne,

As you know, I used vintage postcards for our wedding RSVPs. My plan was to then re-use them for thank you notes and send them back to the original invitee. Yay for recycling!

I used basic photo corners on craft paper cards and I think they turned out great:
Wedding thank you notes

I printed out a wrap-around address label I found on The Fussy Designer (she hasn't posted in awhile, but the labels are still available at that link.) Here's the back:
Back of the envelope

I also included a photo of me and Bill holding the Stanley Cup because, well, it's totally awesome!

Complete thank you package


Monday, December 28, 2009

Wedding centerpieces

Dear Shayne,

Hard to believe, but I am still talking about the crafts I made for my wedding in July. Sorry for dragging it out so long, but it's been one of those years -- I'm slow.

Sooo... I made our centerpieces for the reception out of votive candle holders glued to decorated hockey pucks:

(Photo taken by Kevin Lam Photography.)

This was a pull-it-all-together-at-the-last-minute craft because we didn't want to take the hockey pucks and votive holders with us from California to Toronto. So we bought them there the week before the wedding. Exciting!

I made the puck stickers at home before we left -- I used Marvy's scalloped circle 3 inch punch on red and white patterned papers and then I ran the cut circles through the Xyron sticker maker (love that thing!) So all I had to do was stick the stickers to the pucks once we bought them. Then I glued the candle holders on top!

One sad part of this story is that my Crafty Group at work (Hi, Crafty Group!) knit candle cozies for me but one of them caught on fire at the reception, so we had to pull them all from the tables. Such a bummer. I had tested most of the yarns to make sure they were not flammable, but I didn't test the one that went up in smoke. So there's a lesson to be learned: Test every yarn. You know, so you don't burn down the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The fabric toppers were super fun to make -- each one was different. I collected red and white fabrics throughout the year and then brought them all with me to Toronto. We rented sewing machines at The Workroom to make the toppers -- Jenny came to town on Thursday and we headed straight over there to sew.

What a fun place! Karyn, the owner, was so helpful. I was nervous about using a serger on the edges, but she encouraged me and they came out great.

If I lived in Toronto, I think I would spend a lot of time at The Workroom. Look how great it is:

And here's a view of the other side -- just gorgeous!

(These photos taken from The Workroom's Flickr photostream. I was too stressed out to take photos while I was there.)

Making those table toppers turned out to be a real highlight of the week -- time to sew with my best friend was such an awesome wedding gift. :) My plan is to make them into a quilt at some point -- add it to the list of 2010 projects! (Or, er, maybe 2011...)


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Dear Shayne,

Sorry for the double-post of these photos (also found on Kaesea's blog), but I could not resist. Gotta show off the cute little Santa hat I made for my boy:

Merry Christmas!
Kaesea says: Merry Christmas!

I made this little hat with felt and a disassembled cotton ball. I feel certain I have some other fluffy white stuff to use around here, but I just couldn't pull it together. So cotton ball it was!

After Kaesea's serious "portrait photo," I asked him to say cheese:
Merry Christmas! [say cheese!]
HA! This photo cracks me up!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Shayne. I got many crafty gifts that I'll show you in the next few days. In the meantime, I'm going to hang out with my family and a delicious glass of eggnog. Mmm!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas cards

Dear Shayne,

As you know, I have spent most of 2009 clinging to the face of the earth by my fingernails, holding on for dear life as the world spun crazily by. At least, that's how it's felt. The highs have been very high (Getting married! Yay!) and the lows have been very low (Sick kitty! Boo!) I'm hoping that 2010 evens out a bit for us.

Meanwhile, as the holiday season approached, I realized I needed a basic card if I was going to get them out at all. I'm pretty pleased with the final result:
Holiday cards 2009

I found the silver envelopes in the discount bin at Paper Source a few months ago, so that was the start (bonus: the early decision not to make our envelopes, which I have crazily done in the past.)

Back again to PS a few weeks ago and I found the lavender flat cards and the purple and silver paper -- I cut that into strips, used a snowflake punch to cut out the snowflakes (this was pre-Cricut, of course!)

The white snowflakes were kind of blah, so I used a silver stamp pad to add a little sparkle to the edges (not sure if you can see that in the photo, but it's there). Then I wrote our holiday messages on the cards and popped them in the mail. Done!

These were the least labor-intensive cards I have sent in a long time and I even liked them, which was a surprise. Not too elaborate, but I think they turned out pretty cute.

Hope you're having a fantastic holiday season!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I got a Cricut!!

Dear Shayne,

I got a Cricut for my birthday from Bill! YEAH! I've spent the last few days mesmerized by the 1.2 million YouTube videos that show you all the amazing things you can do with this beastie. Wow, what a world!

It's been a busy week, so I haven't done anything super snazzy yet, but I did take the opportunity to decorate Bill's gifts. Here's one of them:

(AKA: Best. Husband. Ever.)

Hope you're having a merry week!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Felt magic!

Dear Shayne,

The process of turning loosely knit wool fabric into wool felt is called fulling or, more commonly, felting. It's so cool, it's like magic.

A couple of Christmases back, I made my mother's husband (Hi, Jeff!) a pair of slippers using this process. After a couple of years of hard wear, he's worn a hole in them and he needs another pair. I'm happy to oblige -- I love it when something I've made is so well loved that it gets worn out.

First, I loosely knit a gigantic pair of the slippers:
Slippers, pre-felting

How gigantic, you ask?
Slippers, pre-felting

Jeff's feet are not, in fact, 15+ inches long, as the tape measure shows these are. Here is a photo showing the pre-felted slippers I have just knit, compared to his old slippers (in the correct Jeff-foot size):
Future slippers + slippers past

Next, I throw them in hot water in the washing machine with a pair of jeans to rough them up and a bit of dishwashing soap. In about 30-45 minutes, voila!
Slippers, done!

See? They've shrunk down to be the same size as his original pair:
New slippers + old slippers

Hopefully, he likes these as well as the originals. I like the new color, but am somewhat suspicious of that fuzziness.

Meanwhile, I took the hole-y pair home to see if I could repair them:
Why Jeff is getting new slippers.

Since felt is basically magic, I've got some ideas that might take care of it.

That, however, will be a post-Christmas activity. (Anyone else in a blind only-ten-days-til-Christmas full on panic right now, or is that just me?)


PS -- For anyone looking to make these slippers, I used this very popular pattern from Fiber Trends.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Socks and Cupcakes

Dear Kelly,

Did I mention that Jenny moved closer to me - our houses are now exactly 20 minutes apart, so there's been quite the increase in crafting.

Yesterday we sewed slipper socks out of this cute thermal fabric - I don't remember what I originally bought this fabric for, but they're super comfy!

After dinner we baked cupcakes - yellow cake with mini chocolate chips mixed in. I have eaten way too many.

This was all on top of cleaning my kitchen and starting to clean up/organize my dining room. There's even talk of painting the powder room soon.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mmm... cookies!

Dear Shayne,

Last weekend I went to Cleveland and spent some time baking Christmas cookies with my grandmother. Yum!
Mmm... shortbread!
My grandma has been making these cookies every December since I can remember and they are soooo good. The one above is a divine shortbread which is a pain to make, but WOW is it good. (The key: grandma sifts the flour three times! Holy sifting!)

And these others we always called "Meltaways" because they really melt in your mouth. They're a buttery cookie with walnuts, covered in powdered sugar (my mouth is watering as I write this):
Mmm... meltaways!

Meanwhile, I brought some home with me and have spent this week putting on my Winter Weight. I now have the Dangerous Knowledge to make them any time I want... this won't be good for the waistline.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Dish Towel Apron

Dear Kelly,

Jenny and I are slowly putting my craft room together, but last weekend we decided to actually craft instead of clean. I found a set of dish towels that I'd bought with the intention of magically turning them into an apron. Turns out they're larger than your average dish towel, so it only took one. For the ties, I didn't have quite enough of any one ribbon, binding, etc., so we made a quick trip to Wal-Mart and I got this super cute grosgrain ribbon.

The best part is I've already worn it - crafty and useful :)