Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mommy's Magaickal Tea Cozy!

My latest project I've completed was a spiffy tea cozy.  I've been meaning to make one for quite awhile, but just hadn't been able to find the right thing to embroider on it.  Then last week, Urban Threads had this silly gnome pattern as their freebie for the week:

It just made me giggle :)  Plus, I have a soft spot for gnomes.  It's rather long story that probably isn't appropriate for cyber space, but let's just say it involved a very entertaining evening in college and some margaritas.

& do you remember the pin I posted last Friday about crayon tinting for embroidery project?

<div style='padding-bottom: 2px; line-height: 0px'><a href='http://pinterest.com/pin/263460646923082935/' target='_blank'><img src='http://media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/550/c3/87/4f/c3874f0032dbd6858dbb392d36537e4e.jpg' border='0' width='300' height ='236'/></a></div><div style='float: left; padding-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px;'><p style='font-size: 10px; color: #76838b;'>Source: <a style='text-decoration: underline; font-size: 10px; color: #76838b;' href='http://www.urbanthreads.com/tutorials.aspx?t=Crayon+Tinting'>urbanthreads.com</a> via <a style='text-decoration: underline; font-size: 10px; color: #76838b;' href='http://pinterest.com/ljz3535/' target='_blank'>Lisa</a> on <a style='text-decoration: underline; color: #76838b;' href='http://pinterest.com' target='_blank'>Pinterest</a></p></div>

What a better time to try it!  So I got out a piece of white fabric and traced the happy gnome pattern on to it with a pencil.  Then took out the old Crayolas and colored it in.  I even tried to do a little shading!

Super fun :)  Then I set my iron really hot, wedged the fabric between two sheets of paper, and ironed the bejeezes out of it.  Supposedly not the wax is set into the fabric.  It definitely doesn't flake off anymore.  Does anyone know if it would be washable?  

Next step was to embroider around the outlines.  Then I traced a circle around it and cut with my pinking shears.  I did two more circles in coordinating felt with the pinking shears and picked out some pretty felt flowers I had left over from another project.  

The actual tea cozy I stitched up out of quilted fabric and finished the bottom edge with hot pink bias tape.  The really tricky part of the whole project was figuring out what size to make the cozy.  I found somewhere (& of course, I didn't save the link) to measure the height and the width of your tea pot and add 1.5" to each measurement.  Miraculously, it worked!  

With the cozy together, I stitched the circles on, then hand-stitched the flowers.  I'm seriously in love with the final project!

Now my tea will stay magickally warm and cozy all morning!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pintastic Friday!

Here's a few of my favorite pins from Pinterest this week!

I love to embroider, but here's an embroidery technique I have yet to try:

This one is a recipe that I tried this week. I'd only give it 3 stars. But perhaps I just need to try a different beer. The flavor just didn't quite do it for me.

This one just made me giggle :)

Source: etsy.com via Lisa on Pinterest

Share some of your favorite pins from the week! & don't forget that you can follow me on Pinterest here!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Tree of Many Seasons

Here's a project I've been working on since August.  It's a tree that changes with the seasons!

The above is my January version :)  There's a mirror ball for New Year's Eve and critters are ready to get their party on!

I got the idea out of the Cricut Magazine (I can't remember which issue.  It was old one I borrowed from my mom).  The original had it on a square canvas and it was all done with paper and glued down. I thought it was really cute and would fill in this space nicely. 

When I was planning it out, I started to think how fun it would be if I could change the color of the leaves and remove them as the seasons marched on.  But how would that work?  After some brainstorming, I decided magnets would work best.

For my first attempt, I painted the canvas with magnetic primer.  Just in case your interested in trying it out, don't bother!  Even after 4 heavy coats, it wasn't very magnetic.  By the time I put a sheet of scrapbook paper over it, my strong kitchen magnets wouldn't stick!  Walt, my husband suggested screwing a piece of sheet metal onto the canvas.  So he loving cut out the metal, filed the corners, and screwed it on for me.

Next I made the background that would permanently stay on there.  I used a piece of blue sky paper for the sky, and three different greens for the hills.  I not only glue them together, but I used my sewing machine to outline them for a little character.

The tree came from the Cricut cartridge Stretch Your Imagination.  I found a neat wood grain paper at my local scrapbook store, Scrappin' Attack.  I also used the leaves from this same cartridge, but more about that later.  

Now that the background was done, I used some sticky glue dots to stick it to the sheet metal on my canvas.  I like how the canvas gives some dimension.

Up next, the leaves.  I used the Stretch Your Imagination cartridge again and cut out a ton of the leaves using the Cricut Magnet Material.  Then I cut the same design out of various greens, reds, oranges, and brown and glued them on to the magnet pieces.  Here's what I didn't like:  1)  the magnet paper is white, so if the paper doesn't match up EXACTLY, there's white showing around the edges.  & 2)  that magnet paper is really weak.  The leaves were having trouble sticking through multiple layers of paper. to solve the problem, I just bought a bunch of tiny super strong magnets and super glued them to the back of each leaf.  The added bonus, the leaves became more 3D!  

So now I have a large collection of leaves to use for the various seasons.  As you can see, for January, there are no leaves!  Here's my Thansgiving/November scene with fall leaves.

All of the characters are taken from the Create a Critter cartridge.  I love the whimsy!  & I just received the Create a Critter 2 cartridge for Christmas, which has even more holiday themed animals in it, so I'm really excited to start playing with that.  For these, I didn't use the magnet material, I just used good old card stock to make them sturdy then super glued one or more of those little magnets on the back.  I've also tried to make all the accessories separate so I can mix and match their hats!  

The last problem I had to overcome was finding a way to store them.  Dumping them all in to an envelope was not exactly working.  I ended taking another, smaller piece of sheet metal and sticking them to both sides, then putting that sheet into a big manilla envelope.  Then the stay organized and don't get all stuck together!

I'm really pleased with how this has turned out and think my son will have fun helping me change it every month as he gets older.  As I make more scenes, I'll be sure to post them!  Meanwhile, below are a few other ones I've done.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Out with the old...

This post might be a hair off topic, but I just can't help it.  I'm soooo excited about this new thing I bought with a Christmas gift card.  Check out this nifty gadget:

It's the Drawer Deco Kitchen Organizer Kit, & quite possibly the best kitchen gadget I own.  It's a silicon mat with moveable silicon tabs to hold your utensils in place.

There's two things I found that it does:
1)  It makes you sort through all your utensils and get rid of any doubles or tools that you never use.
2)  It disables you from piling your junk in a drawer and having to dig through to find what you really want.

Everything is neatly displayed and easy to reach.  Even my husband can find things now!  I might need to get one more kit for my other drawer-of-random-kitchen items.  I highly recommend it!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rock Me Baby!

When I was a little kid, my grandparents bought me and my brother these cute little rockers.

Yep, that's me, playing Atari.

This summer, my parents in Kansas managed to get my chair to me in California.  Now, keep in mind, this chair is almost 30 years old.  It still had good bones, but the upholstery was pretty worn.  Not mention that the seat was all sunk in.

So being the crafty person that I am, I decided my surely my husband and I could reupholster this!  Walt took it all apart (I couldn't seem to get any of the staples out myself) then I made a trip to to Jo-Annes to find some fabric.  None of the upholstery fabric really caught my eye.  I really wanted something that would not only blend in with my living room, but would be fun for a kid.  & it needed to be sturdy!  Three trips to fabric stores later, I decided on a nice brown denim.  It's rugged enough to take some wear and tear and nice solid shade that shouldn't "date" in a few years.  But it was plain.

Enter Urban Threads!  This is one of my favorite companies.  They specialize in modern, edgy embroidery designs.  I've used them for all sorts of projects.  For this one, I used a pattern called Mr. Georgeaffe, since Rowan's lovey is a giraffe :)  Then I used my cricut to cut out his name (I'll do a blog sometime on how to use your cricut machine to cut out letters).  All the fabric had Wunder-Under on the back, so I ironed it onto the back piece of fabric.  I then sewed around the edges using a zig-zag stitch on my machine.  I'm just not convinced that Wunder-Under alone will withstand my rambunctious toddler!  Last, my loving husband reassembled the chair with his handy-dandy staple gun!

I really think if the whole nuclear engineering thing doesn't work out for my husband, we might have a future in furniture upholstery :)

This project turned out super cute and I'm so glad that I could pass my old chair down to my son.  He's already sat in it to watch "Mih-he" (Mickey Mouse) and turned it over to "fix" it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pintastic Friday!

I've decided that Fridays are going to be dedicated to Pinterest. I'm a Pinterest junkie. First step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?

I use Pinterest for all sorts of things, from organizing, to crafting, to food, to bellydance (yep, I bellydance too!). You can check my obsessiveness here: http://pinterest.com/ljz3535/. Wow. I just realized there are 51 boards on my profile.

So here's a few of my favorite finds for the week:

Super cute little ornament I might need to make for Christmas next year

Source: repinly.com via Lisa on Pinterest

A fabulous way to save your wedding bouquet (mine is in need of dire help)

Source: weheartit.com via Lisa on Pinterest

This one is perfect. I've always said I have ADOS: Attention Deficit Oh Shiny! 

What were some of your favorite pins this week?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mommy Wars: A New Hope

Hi here! My name is Lisa and I'm writing this entry as I watch my 20 month old son play on his swing set. That says a lot about my life. I live in Southern California with my husband, the nuclear engineer, and my toddler, the invincible wonder. Oh, and my cat who is scared of everything. I'm a stay-at-home, but I prefer the term "domestic engineer". My goal for the new year is to finally open an Etsy shop. Some of my random skills include sewing, embroidery, and scrapbooky type of things. I'm always making little things to fill needs my family has. So I figured, if I need it, maybe someone else does too! (My goal is In opening a store, I decided that a blog might be fun too. There's always a project in progress. Usually two or three for that matter... What a better way to share my craftiness than with a blog! Oh! Random side story about being crafty. You know those e-card things that are all over Pinterest and Facebook and have funny sayings on them? I have a saying for one: I'm so crafty my kid poops glitter. True story. I covered cardboard letters that spell JOY in green glitter for our family Christmas picture:
The day after the pictures were taken, there was green glitter in a diaper. Apparently someone had been tasting my craftiness. So while this blog will be in conjunction with my Etsy store (I'll post the link once it's officially up and running), I'll be posting other things too: projects that I'm working on, things that inspire me, random adventures in mommy-hood, and whatever else comes to mind. Speaking of projects, one of my current projects (and the inspiration for the title of this post) is a Star Wars quiet book for Rowan, my son. I bought pattern here. & here's a link to Julie Girl's original blog post about it. I love Star Wars. Mainly the original trilogy. So the opportunity to make a little kid accessible Star Wars book was just too good to pass up! I'm tweaking the pattern a little and plan on adding a few extra pages. But here's the pages that I've made so far: