Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Have you ever heard of the Rusty Pickle? They were a company who made scrapbook packets, and then give you instructions on how to make the pages. It's nice because you still get the joy of scrapbooking, without all the hemming and hawing of what paper you want to go with what for which event. (I think they went out of business, which is too bad. It really was a cool idea) So I have a few of these packets, but I don't have all the tools necessary for putting them together, so I mostly made up my own. So here's what they wanted me to make
 And these are the instructions that come with them.
Yeah right... 

So these are the pages I came up with

I think they turned out just darling! Now all I need is to print some pictures.... 

Time: 1 hour
Cost: ?? They went out of business :/

Autumn Pillows Tutorial

Okay! So I decided I wanted to try a tutorial, which means LOTS of pictures, and I hope it's easy enough that even non-sewers would feel comfortable giving it a try. 
A long time ago, at a birthday far far away, I was given leaf appliques. Wearing leaves on clothes isn't really "me" (or at least it wasn't, I've recently come up with a patch idea that might change all that) so they mostly just sat in my craft supplies for years and years and years. Finally, I got married and all that jazz, and suddenly I looked at those leaves with new light. I decided they would look perfect for an autumn addition to my couches! and so we being. 
We're going to start with the appliques and design already on the fabric. It was just an iron on, and it should come with instructions (Peal off, iron on, don't steam.. easy instructions like that) Then I just bought a little bit of fabric paint and free handed the design of branches. 
 When it comes to sewing, I'm a little unorthodox. I haven't used a pattern with the last half dozen things I've sewn, and the other things I do use a pattern for, I usually alter the pattern as I go. Pretty much I tend to just wing it. So, for this, I measured out how much edging I wanted around my design plus half an inch or so for seam allowance, and put my design square on the edging fabric to measure.
 Since my edge material was a plaid-esque design, I was able to just follow the line all the way up.
 There's my fabric all the way cut
And then there were two. My fabric ended up being the right length that it fit two sides, as you'll hopefully see.
 Now I just pinned down the edge design facing design
 Next, I sewed it. This isn't too scary. Just follow in a straight line, and make sure you take the pins out as you go (you can break the needle if you leave the pins in) When you first start, you want to back stitch (the sewing machine will have this option) to make a 'knot' and back stitch again when you've reached the end.
  Then I trimmed the excess, and saved it for later
 See? Now I have a nice seam.
 And the excess that I cut off will fit perfect for one of the longer sides.
 Now I repeated those steps with the second strip I sewed, so now I've got my two opposite sides sewn on.
Next I trimmed the seam (lots of extra fabric on the seam can make it hard to lie flat, and can make sewing through more difficult) 
 Now I pinned on the remaining two sides..
 And all sewn! Loots pretty good, eh?
 Now the next thing to do is iron. Being unorthodox, I don't always do this, but since I was making a pillow, this was really my only chance to get all the wrinkles out of my material. (you'll noticed I failed to do that before I added my fabric paint. Oops!)
 I just used my front face of my pillow to measure the material I would need for the back. I measured this exactly because the seam allowance on the front will be the same as on the back.
 Looks pretty good!
 Now I iron out all the creases in the back material
 Okay, this is going to seem a little tricky (for beginners) so stick with me. I pinned the front and back together, design facing in.
 It's important to leave a gap and DON'T SEW OVER IT! You'll see why.
 So here it is, all sewn together, with the gap still there.
 Now I trimmed the corners. This is where seams tend to have the most problem, so the less fabric there, the better.
 Next, I reached through the hole I left, and grabbed the corner on the inside...
 ... and pulled it through my hole. Pull all of the fabric until...
 ... it's right side out! Now that looks like a pillow!
 Next I stuffed it with batting (my mom just gave me her extras)
 All stuffed. Now I need to sew the hole. This is the tricky part.
 You don't want a raw edge, so you need to fold it in, like so.
 Both folded in, now you need to pin it.
 I use LOTS of pins here, because the fabric likes to unfold itself, and you really don't want the raw edge showing.
 Now carefully sew the hole shut, taking out the pins, like before.
 and voila! Pillow!

Here are two of them all finished! I didn't have enough batting for the third, so it's still sitting in my craft room. I think they will look splendidly on my couch come September!

(Remember how I didn't post for FOREVER?! Yeah, there is going to be a lot of guess work in this next part)
Time: a few hours. The fabric paint had to dry overnight.
Cost: if you're buying it all, I'd guess between $20 and $30.

Hanger Re-do!

So, like ten years ago, my mom gave me this hanger. She used to use it to hang all of her necklaces on. It was cool enough, but it was kind of this dark pink color... Not really my thing. So I decided to paint it! 
 See? Dark pink color... not happening. 

So I decided to go with a green base, and alternate between blue and yellow for the pegs. 

Here is what it looks like now hanging up in my room!

I quite like it! And it will match the colors I will eventually paint my little girl's room, and then I can pass it on to her! CUTE! 
Perfect, right?

Time: maybe an hour total painting, plus a few hours drying
Cost: few buck for paint (the stuff I used was given to me)


Because it's worth bragging about... 
I totally did a 3000 piece puzzle. Yes, there are THREE zeros behind that, making it a THOUSAND not hundred. I am a puzzler. I love doing puzzles, and as my close friends and family will tell you, I will shame just about anybody with the speed at which I do my puzzles. I usually pound out a thousand piece in a few hours. But, thousand, to 1500 is just about where the puzzles kind of plateu... it's hard to find much bigger in a regular store, so to have had and finished a 3000 is pretty great! Thus, my bragging :)
So here you go, proof! 

Time: FOREVER! No, but seriously, probably a good 30-40 hours, if not a few more. 
Cost: FREE! Yay for hand-me-downs!

Baby Mobile... Of Sorts

You may remember my baby girl 

Isn't she the cutest?! 

So, being poor (yes, it's a common theme right now) we didn't really have money for toys for our cute girl, so one day my husband comes to me and says "You should just whip together a mobile with some fabric toys from the scraps you have so she has something she can look at."
Well, okay... 
So, with that as background understanding, here is what I came up with:
Not the best, cutest, or most easy to deal with mobile ever, but it keeps her happy. 
So here's what I have to work with:
 My fabric

 My ribbon

 And a sewing machine. 
As you can see, I just stuffed raffia in the middle to give them dimension.
And sewed them up... 

All around the machine... I am a dork!
All sewn up

For the final part, I just wrapped the end ribbon pieces around a cane my husband used for our wedding. Not too bad for an on-the-spot project!

Time: less than an hour
Cost: free!