Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lock and Key Necklace

This necklace was a custom order from a friend.   She was interested in my key bracelets and liked my other charm jewelry, but was looking for a necklace similar to one she already had.   She sent me a quick photo of the necklace that she already had, and I set to work.   A short time later I had this together... antiqued brass chain, lock, and key, with freshwater pearls, teardrop pearls, antique mother-of-pearl button, and vintage beads.    UPDATE*** Necklaces now up in the shop!

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Love Keys

It's been a busy summer so far!   After school got out, we went on a two week road trip to Saskatchewan and Alberta to visit family and friends, and then I went to volunteer in a camp kitchen for a week. 

I've been home since last Friday night, and since then I've been busy organizing/cleaning my craft room.   And I've taken a few breaks continuing to craft and make things of course.  :)

These are some lovely antiqued brass key bracelets that I have been working on.   Simple, but so pretty.   I should have them up in my Etsy shop within a couple of days. 

I got word of a "market fair" here coming up two days in the beginning of September.   That gives me a nice crafting goal to work towards.   I have quite a few earrings ready to go, but need some more bracelets and definitely necklaces to stock up for the show.   Have also been working on some cards, and have baby clothes planned as well.   Not sure what else I might do, but definitely have a few ideas on the go and in the back of my head, as well as on my Pinterest boards.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer Earrings

I've been busy the past few days making new jewellry for my Etsy shop, and thought I'd post a few of the earring  sets here on my blog.

 Pale Blue Beaded Teardrop Earrings.  I haven't used a lot of seed beads in my jewellry before, but I think these came out quite nice!
 Floral Pottery Earrings.   Pretty porcelain beads paired with a clear glass cobalt-coloured bead and antiqued bronze chain. 
 Cobalt Teardrop Earrings, made from some pretty clear cobalt blue glass beads and shell raindrops. 

 Meadowsweet Glass Floral Earrings.  I love the colour of the glass floral beads!

 Grecian Chain Earrings.   These earrings take quite a bit of time to put together, but are so neat when they're done!

Golden Cobalt Earrings, a bit of a different look!  I have had these beads for quite a few years but haven't ever made anything out of them until now.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 24, 2012


This is a dress I whipped up a couple of weeks ago for a baby whose gender wasn't going to be known until birth.   I figured I would make two different outfits just in case, one for a girl and one for a boy... and she ended up being a sweet little girl. 

A lot of times when I read blogs, I always wonder "Why don't people iron things before they take photos?!?!"   I was in a bit of a rush to get this in the mail and needed to be at the post office already when I realized I didn't have any photos taken yet.  
Here's a close-up of the hand crocheted trim I made for this dress.   Very simple, but really adds something extra special to the look of the dress.   I love the real mother of pearl buttons with the dark purple thread!   The buttons came from a bag of buttons my sister sent me that I believe she got at a garage sale.

I got this lovely eggplant purple polka dot fabric on sale at Fabricland when we were in Winnipeg at the beginning of May.   I ended up buying this shade, a lighter purple, and a pale grey.   As soon as I got home I wished I had purchased a few other colours as well!   It's a lovely lightweight cotton, great for baby clothes and all sorts of other projects.

I really love the way this dress turned out, I think it's one of my most favourite.   What do you think?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Field of Blossoms

 Another Abbey Dress with a Wal-Mart fat quarter.   I love this fabric; If it came in larger pieces I would buy enough to make myself a shirt!   I taught myself to crochet using YouTube videos earlier this year, and for this dress I crocheted a lovely cotton lace to trim the bottom edge.   

 A close-up of the back detail.   Regular old elastic, and a button from my inherited stash from my Gramma.

Here's a close-up of the interior.   I used a white lining fabric, some of it is trimmed in bias tape and the two sides of the skirt have princess seams.   The label was made with satin ribbon, rubber stamps, and a fabric marker for inking.  

The original designer states this should fit a newborn as a dress and up to a year old as a shirt.   I don't have any babies around to test it out, but I think it should be pretty versatile.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Quilt in Progress

A couple of weeks ago I started working on a new quilt.   I always think that projects like this will go much quickly than they actually end up going!

Autumn Dress

This is another dress I made recently for an expectant friend. I lengthened the original pattern, and added a hand-crocheted trim at the top front, along with some buttons I covered with the same fabric.

This fabric was some I had leftover from a shirt I made for myself.   There was just enough to make this cute little dress!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Green and Prim

I had been working on finishing up a few packages to mail for quite awhile, I think I finished this dress back in March but did not actually get it sent until yesterday!   This is another incarnation of the Abbey Dress that I had originally found on Pinterest.

I picked the green fabric up from my local Wal*Mart, which does have a very limited fabric selection.   This was a fat quarter, so there was just enough fabric for this pattern if I used a different colour of lining fabric. 

Close up of the back closure.   I am not a huge fan of this type of closure, but as I don't have a baby readily available to try one of these dresses on, I'm not sure I should mess with the closure and left as the pattern requests it to be.   The button is from a stash I got from my Gramma.   I like the neat topstitching detail. 

Here's a view of the interior.   The white fabric is from an old sheet, and the grey bias tape is from a garage sale or thrift store.  The pattern doesn't suggest bias tape, but I think it finishes the look and makes the inside of the dress pretty and neat.  I used princess seams for the sides of the skirt.  The lace trim is from a store in the middle of nowhere and was probably around 50 cents a metre.  The label I made with some regular old satin ribbon, a few letter rubber stamps, and a fabric marker.   Inking the stamps and them stamping them on, ironing afterwards.   I think  it turned out great and looks somewhat professional!

These dresses are a little bit finicky to make due to the style of the armholes.  I've been trying to think of an easy way to tweak the pattern to make it quicker to sew but am still working on my idea. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Abbey Dress

I have what seems like a million friends currently expecting, most with girls. I thought I'd get a head start on sewing gifts. Living quite far from any stores that sell patterns, I looked online for something free.

I found this dress pattern via Pinterest, it's free and is called The Abbey Dress. This purple one is the first one I made... some of the instructions and pattern pieces on the original post weren't quite so clear so I kind of plowed through it and attempted to do my best at figuring out what was what. The dress originally ended up looking quite short, so I added an underlayer with a white fabric trimmed in the ruffled purple fabric at the bottom.  I used piping like the original blogger, but found it quite finicky to work with. 

I wanted to make some sort of a label, and this morning recalled that somewhere I had a fabric marker.   I used some letter stamps and ribbon, and voila!   I think it turned out quite nice. 

A close-up of the back of the dress.   I'm not fantastically crazy about the closure on this dress pattern, and ended up muddling the piping a bit on the lower portion there (used a zigzag stitch to save it).

Once you figure out how to correctly draw and measure the bodice piece from the original  post, and sew through the pattern once, it's pretty easy to then again replicate.  I don't have a baby around to try this on, so I'm not sure how great a fit it is.   The original post says it should fit a newborn as a dress, through to a one-year old as a shirt.  The dress can be made with a fat quarter (18"x21") if you use another fabric as the bodice lining (I have done this several times with using a plain white or tan cotton lining).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wee Little Ones

I have about a million friends who are currently pregnant. So, because I like sewing, I'm of course sewing all kinds of cute stuff! Thought I'd take a stroll here down memory lane of some of my past sewing for babies projects.

There are a whole bunch of cute free patterns on the internet these days, which is awesome. A few years ago there weren't, so here are a few of the dresses I made back then using purchased patterns:

This one was made from a brown thrifted duvet cover that I actually ended up making quite a few things from. I wish I still had some of this fabric left, it was a lovely chocolate colour and worn to a nice softness. The trim was some vintage lace I got at a little out of the way store in the middle of nowhere. I have a bit of it left in my stash but not much.

This dress is from the same pattern as the brown one, but with the addition of sleeves. The main white fabric was from a thrifted sheet that my old landlord gave me. For the hem I just used the hemmed edge of the sheet. The duck embroidery is a piece of embroidered "clear" fabric trim (what is that stuff called?) that came from the same place I got the lace above from. I covered up the edges with some yellow rick rack I got from my Gramma and appliqued the little duck at the top. I think this is one of my favourite things that I have ever sewn. This dress went to a little girl named Sophia, whom I believe is now 4 years old.

I don't have a better photo of this dress, just this folded view... on top of my old bedspread! The blue fabric was a heavier cotton, and had the chocolate brown dotted flowers that I matched to plain sleeves and a collar. I think I gave this dress to my friend Cory's little daughter Mikaya.

This dress is from the same pattern as the one with brown sleeves, and has the same lace trim as the brown duvet dress. It was made from a pale blue fabric with little white dots. I think this went to little Eva in Oregon.

I love this orange print fabric! This was one of my first attempts at machine-applique. This went to a little girl named Juliet. The other day I just discovered I still have some of this fabric left in my stash.

Recognize the fabric? This one I made a little bit longer and added some pink piping to. Tessa also got the blue/brown/white quilt from this post (and hey, you might recognize some of those other fabrics!).

And finally, an actual baby! This is Reagan in another dress I made. You will recognize the familiar pattern. The orange floral fabric is some I got from my Mom, trimmed up with some rick rack and matching orange broadcloth. The back is fastened with some vintage green and orange buttons.

I'll post some of the dresses and things I've been making recently shortly. I like how baby clothes generally take a lot less time than a full-size garment!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Orange Bento Box Quilt

This is a quilt I made a few years ago for a friend for Christmas. The orange-y fabrics are actually two different coloured satin-y type fabrics. To turn it magically into four different fabrics, I simply reversed the two oranges which turned into two other shades. The pattern was a "bento box" one I improvised after finding some similar patterns online.

I ended up tying the quilt with chocolate brown embroidery floss. It seemed like the best way to quilt it. The batting inside is a fluffy polyester one.

To determine the layout, I used my "patented" Excel technique.

For the edging and backing, I used a plain cotton/polyester broadcloth. The finished size is a nice, cozy, curled-up-for-tv-watching size.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Bit of Sunshine

When I started this quilt, I went through about a million different possible designs. Chevrons, flying geese, squares, I wasn't quite sure what to do until I happened upon pinwheels. I thought, these are such happy, sunshine-y colours, that they should be a happy pattern.

The rainbow of fabrics I had bought at a local Fabricland in Ontario, based on the one multi-coloured fabric I found the green, red, orange, blue, and yellow fabrics to match. Later, I found a purple fabric too, and I regret not putting that in the mix. However, I still think it turned out quite lovely!

The white fabric is from a nice heavy cotton sheet that my old landlord gave me. The back of this quilt is plain white, with a multi-coloured border edge. I used a thin batting and machine quilted it in straight lines.

Here is the finished quilt in situ in the recipient's bedroom after Christmas. It's not a full-sized quilt but was made rather to be a nice, cozy, tv-watching size.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Turkey Veggie Chili Soup

I invented this lovely mild chili soup a couple of days ago and re-made it tonight. If you like chili-flavoured things, then you can add as much chili powder as you would like. My version is very light tasting.

400g ground turkey
1 can (796ml or 28oz) diced tomatoes (I use Unico brand "Italian Flavoured")
1 large carrot, chopped into half-coins
3/4 tsp chili powder
2 cups boiling water
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 cup frozen or fresh corn

- Brown ground turkey on medium heat, season with black ground pepper and a dash of salt, set aside.
- In soup pot, bring can of tomatoes to a boil. Add carrots, cooked turkey, chili powder, and water, stir well.
- Put lid on and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are almost cooked.
- Add peas and corn and cook until they are done (approximately 4 minutes).
- Eat. YUM!

This would also be good with other seasonal vegetables, such as green and yellow beans, potatoes, etc. Would be good with pasta or rice.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Final Frontier

For a long time, I've wanted to learn how to crochet. Not necessarily because I like crochet (I like to live by the crafting motto "Just because you can make it doesn't mean you should," and a lot of crochet isn't what I'd call pretty, nor useful, nor aesthetically pleasing in any way), but because it's pretty much one of the only crafts I have never tried. However, there are some pretty cool crocheted things out there, and it does open up a whole new realm of possibilities of new things to make.

Saturday I picked up a crochet hook at Wal*Mart (the only place around here to pick up craft supplies of such type), and I knew I had all kinds of yarn in my knitting stash that I could use.

I checked out a whole bunch of "How to Crochet" videos online, and if you're looking to learn, this is the best first lesson that I found:

I don't tend to like crocheted dishcloths, so I didn't make what the video lady suggested... but I did like how she demonstrated each step leaps and bounds better than a lot of other videos I watched.

Here's the first thing I made, it's sort of hat shaped. I thought maybe I would be able to figure out how to make it into a closed ball... but that was a little too advanced for my first try so I ripped this out and re-wound the yarn. My second try was more of a straight line, but didn't turn out quite so straight. After a couple of attempts, I ended up free-handing a hair band. Now, I'm not someone who ever wears hairbands (unless you count grade 9 and grade 10), nor am I someone who really ever wears a rusty colour. However, this item is both of those things:

I don't imagine I will ever wear this in public, however, I have been wearing it around the house since I finished making it this afternoon. Now that I have mastered single crochet, I'll be looking for some videos on next steps and other stitches.