Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'll be Back......Promise

I know it has been over a week since the last post. And I just want to let people know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I got a wicked cold last week and am just now starting to feel like a person instead of a hacking bag of snot. (I paint the prettiest word pictures, I know.) So I spent last week sitting on my couch, letting Fynn watch far too many cartoons, knitting and sucking on cough drops.
I am on the mend and once I make up for the fact that I neither cooked nor cleaned anything in that last week, I will be back in full. I can't wait to show you the sock that I finished and the awesomeness I'm working on for an anniversary gift for Patrick for our dating anniversary on Friday.
So I will be back in a day or two. Until then....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Embroidered Felted Sweater Mittens

I have seen these great mittens everywhere these days that are made out of felted sweaters.  And they all look so cool, and I have all of these sweaters that I bought last summer at a church sale to make lots of felted goodness with. I decided I would make a pair for myself.

So to do this, I traced around my hand, with my fingers spread apart to make sure there is enough wiggle room after I add  a seam allowance, on a piece of computer paper.  You want to make sure the thumb has a wide margin as well or you will not be able to get your thumb in the thumb hole. (ask my how I figured that out)
 If you have not already felted your sweater, run it through the washing machine and dryer a few times until it is felted the way you want.  A sweater made of at least 50% animal fiber will work best.
After you have felted your sweater turn it inside out and lay it down on a table making sure the bottom edge of the sweater front and back match up. This will be the cuff of your mitten.
lay your pattern of the sweater just above the cuff and pin in place with a few straight pins.  Cut around your pattern.
Unpin your pattern from the mitten pieces you cut out and keep the mitten pieces together.  Flip your pattern over and place it on the sweater above the cuff to cut out the other mitten.
 Take 1 layer of each mitten half; using yarn and a yarn needle, embroider the design of your choice.Be careful to keep your stitches away from the edges so they don't get lost in the seam allowance.  I used lazy daisy stitches, backstiches and french knots to make floral designs on mine.

Once you are happy with the way your stitching looks match up your mitten halves with their mates so the right side of the embroidery is in the middle, or right sides together, and sew them together using a long and narrow zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.  Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching to lock the stitches.

Flip your mitten right side out and away you go. 

Thanks to the creative jewish mom for this awesome opportunity to join your roundup!  I hope I followed all of your directions, it is my first after all!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Valentines With Fynn

I decided this year that Fynn is old enough to help make Valentines for people.  Now obviously at 18 months I'm not expecting him to do everything himself or anything. But I want to instill a "Handmade is Best" kind of feeling in him and I figure to keep up with all of the commercialism out there I had better start fun.  That and, frankly, this is the reason I had kids, so we could do stuff like this; make messes that after a certain age just aren't cool anymore.  So we made cut and paste Valentines. 
First find some envelopes you want to use to mail them, all the other measurements are based on the size of these envelopes so they do sort of have to come first.  I had some lying around that are 5.5" by 7.5" so that is what we used.
After you know how big your envelopes are you can figure out from there the size of your card.  You want it to be a bit smaller so it will easily go into your envelope without too much fuss.  And because the cardstock I am using measure 12" by 12" to begin with I decided it would work out great.

 For the card you cut a piece of cardstock almost as tall as the envelope or 5" in my example and a little less then twice as wide as your envelope.  I went with 12", the whole width of the cardstock, because it would fit nicely in my envelope. 
 After you have cut as many 12" by 5" pieces as you want for cards let your little one color away.  Fynn is a great scribble artist.  While he was coloring I printed some pictures of him to send to everyone with the valentine and a 4" by 6" photo fits beautifully in a card this size, but you could make your photo any size using some editing software to suit any size card you want. 
After the cardstock has been colored, painted, glittered, or decorated however your little artist desires; write a message on one of the corners to your valentine.  We went with the very simple and sweet "Love You".  And I wrote this in crayon to stick with the theme. 
When you are ready to fold the cards, after any decorations to the inside have had time to dry, take the two short sides and fold them so they meet in the middle of the long side.  Now you can get all precise with this and measure and stuff, but I actually think it looks neat if it is a little off kilter, so I didn't bother.

Next, out of card stock scraps (we had a 2" by 12" piece left over after cutting out cards from the original 12" by 12" piece that worked perfectly for this) cut out some free hand heart shapes. 
You can even cut hearts out of contrasting papers and glue the one on top of another for a cool overlapping look. 

Then glue, using some paper glue, the heart to one of the flaps that meet in the middle; positioning the heart so that it is centered over the center of the card.  Be careful not to glue the heart to both flaps or you won't be able to open the card. Let this glue dry for a few minutes while you address your envelopes. 

After you slide your cards, with any accompanying photos, into your addressed envelopes; seal the envelope and glue another free hand heart to the outside.  And you will have a Valentine ready to mail to relatives near and far.
A note about the hearts, feel free to use a paper punch, I know that they make some especially for scrapbooking in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  I have never purchased one and I do love the imperfect look of a freehand heart.  Also while we stuck to coloring our valentines, I'm sure older kids would get a kick out of painting, using glitter glue or even using magazine pages to make a collage on the inside of the card. 

This is my first tutorial so I hope you like it.  I really hope it was easy to follow and you can understand all of my jibberish.  Please, if you have any questions or think something should be better clarified, shoot me a message in the comments or send me an e-mail.  I would love your suggestions. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dadderday Fun

On Saturday's Patrick is really awesome and gets up with Fynn to watch cartoons and play so I can get another hour of shut eye.  And last Saturday, also known in this house as Dadderday, Patrick and Fynn did a project!  They made a Geodesic dome out of newspaper; a giant one that they covered with a sheet to make the coolest tent ever. 
And believe it or not, this is still standing.  I think they rolled like 7 layers of newspaper together for each of the bars.   This has been the spring of much fun for the last few days.