A Little White Horsey (Ornament)

I started up this blog in order to keep track of all the things I create. I’ve been sewing since I was a little kid, though the first items I remember making weren’t actually “sewn.” (My mom taught me how to cut out ponchos for my dolls. My poor Ken dolls didn’t have anything to wear but red- and white-striped, sash-tied, square ponchos! Oh, the inequality of outfits!)

Anyway, though I’ve been getting better at remembering to take pictures of my crafts before I send them on their merry ways, there are still many, many handmade items that I don’t have pictures of. Maybe someday I’ll be able to post about the sweater I made for my mom, the layered skirt I sewed for my sister, the strange little nesting chicken I crocheted… But today I’m posting about an item I made just yesterday – a little horse ornament for a swap partner many miles away.

I had joined a swap for handmade ornaments, and my partner wanted either a white or gray horse, a deer, or a nativity scene. The first thing that came to mind was the little horse appliqué on the tractor afghan I made for my nephew. However, I decided to search for other, more three-dimensional characters. I found quite a few, but this little guy from Kristieskids won out (scroll to about the middle of the page for the horse pattern).

Mine turned out a bit longer and thinner, even though I was using a smaller crochet hook, but I think he’s pretty dang cute. I wasn’t sure about the colors, so I left the saddle and halter out, but I did give him some eyes made of blue seed beads. I added a silver ribbon for hanging, and sent him on his journey to the UK.This little amigurumi horse pattern could be used for several different things. He could probably be made into a deer if given some crocheted antlers. He sort of looks like a My Little Pony pony, as well – just stitch on a little emblem on his behind and give him a name!

Stocking Stuffers for Adults – A Helpful List

I have helped my parents with the stocking stuffers for my family since I was a kid. I enjoy it, whereas my mom doesn’t like shopping. I love finding fun and unique items (relatively inexpensive ones, that is) to stuff into my siblings’ stockings. But my family has changed over the years, and now most of us are adults. Gone are the simple days of dollarstore toys and tons of candy. So my stocking to-buy list has certainly changed, but it is just as possible and just as fun to fill up a good ol’ Christmas sock for an adult!

Here is a list of stocking stuffers I have used, plan on using, or think would be fun:

  • favorite snacks (from jerky to bulk chocolate-covered peanuts, to popcorn , everyone likes treats)
  • fruit (mandarin oranges are great this time of year)
  • keychains and key-toppers (adults tend to have keys – don’t let them be boring!)
  • Christmas ornaments
  • socks (dressy, work, cute, whatever!)
  • gloves, beanies, and scarves
  • ice-scrapers to keep in their cars (you can never have too many!)
  • hand-warmers
  • wallets for men
  • nail clippers
  • nail files, nail polish and other makeup items for women
  • small tools for men (screwdrivers, tape measures, Swiss Army gadgets, pocketknives, etc.)
  • duct tape (fixes darn near anything and comes in all sorts of colors now)
  • hair barrettes for women
  • small flashlights (great to keep in a car or purse/backpack/bag)
  • scented candles (mostly for women)
  • perfume or cologne
  • jewelry, cufflinks, tie tacks
  • contact or glasses cases
  • Tide pens
  • lint rollers (great for people with pets)
  • air fresheners and other small car accessories (gave my brother a dashboard hula girl once – it was a hit!)
  • good pens or pencils
  • fun notepads
  • $5 card to fast food joint
  • mugs with packs of cocoa
  • scissors (really!)
  • refrigerator magnets
  • lotion, handsoap, chapstick
  • paperback books and bookmarks
  • funny Tshirts
  • watches
  • small food containers (found some specifically for pizza this year)
  • underwear (generally best for a spouse!)
  • hobby-specific items (gloves and seed packets for gardeners; yarn and hook/needles for knitters/crocheters; thread, needles, measuring tapes for sewists; art supplies for the artsy; kitchen utensils for those who like to cook; safety goggles and nails/screws for woodworkers; fun things for gamers from ThinkGeek; sweatbands, tennis/golf/baseballs for athletes)
  • gum, mints, or breathspray (Perpetual Kid has some hilarious stuff!)
  • cards or other small games
  • shoe inserts (hey, feet can hurt after a long day!)
  • paperweights
  • laser pointers
  • USB flashdrives
  • CDs/DVDs
  • calculators
  • batteries
  • head-scratchers (sound funny, but are actually quite nice – and make a funny gift!)
  • cellphone and other device chargers
  • earphones/buds
  • fun USB-charged devices (I got my husband a USB missile launcher one year)
  • small packs of tissues (even cough drops for those with seasonal colds)
  • lap-sized fleece blankets (easy to make, too!)
  • stationary and stamps for someone to write to you (such as a college student)
  • items good for a laugh (fly-swatters, air freshener spray, feather-dusters, dryer sheets, kids’ toys)

Feel free to comment with other adult stocking stuffer ideas. I’m sure there are many, many more!

Hosting My First Swaps

I love Swap-Bot. I’ve been a member for over a year now, and I love to join crafty and ATC swaps. I’ve never hosted any swaps, however – until now.

Though I collect snowflake ornaments, and I was given an angel one every Christmas as a kid, I also love unique ornaments to hang on our tree. I make or buy an ornament for my husband every Christmas that has to do with something special or big that happened that year. We’ve got trains, tools, and even a palm tree to hang on our tree. Last year I got the hubby this ornament to remind us of our cruise to the Caribbean and swimming with the stingrays.

Thus, I’m pretty fond of unique and interesting Christmas ornaments. And I love making things specifically for a person – be it friend, family member, or swap partner. So I thought it would be fun to swap handmade, doesn’t-have-to-be-Christmas-related ornaments on Swap-Bot. I didn’t see any swaps like it (not surprised), so I decided to host one. Then it turned into two as I was asked to make an International version.

I have some watchers, though not many have signed up as of yet. I was hoping to get a lot of members to join, but it’s getting pretty close to Christmas already and people are busy. Wish I had thought of it sooner. If I host it again next year I will leave more time. No matter how many swappers join up, I know it will be a ton of fun!

Flashback Friday – Kindle/Ipad Case

Back in March I signed up for a Kindle Case swap on Swap-Bot. The point was to make a Kindle cover for your partner, or in my case, an Ipad case as that was what my partner had. I looked at many, many cute cases (both with tutorials and without) online, but I just wasn’t sure which one my partner would like. Since most of the swappers loved the one listed as an example on the swap’s page, I decided to go with that. The example case was a patchwork version from the Sometimes Crafter, found here.

Because my partner needed a case for her Ipad, which is a bit bigger than a Kindle, I had to make a few adjustments for it to fit. And because I never follow any craft instructions exactly, I also made some other changes. =0) I chose to use quilted fabric strips (by color) rather than squares, and I added Velcro closures – though I sewed on some matching buttons on top just for extra cuteness. I also lined the inside with a soft material to keep the Ipad extra safe from bumps and scratches.

I loved how it turned out. It can be hard to part with things you make, but since it was a swap I also got a similar Kindle case in return.

Strips of different material I used. I love my green mice fabric. <3

Front side.

Back side.

Marines Keep Me Up All Night

Yesterday I got this text from my brother:

Hey, are you up for any last-minute alterations?

 

Soon after:

Did I tell you that you’re my most favoritest older sister?

 

I’m his only older sister. =0)

Ah, brothers. This particular one, AW, is in the reserves, and it turns out their annual Marine Corps Ball is today. His dress blues coat was much too small, and he wanted me to alter it. I had worked on it last year, but wasn’t able to make it much bigger due to a need for more red trim to sew across the bottom. This time he came prepared; he brought an extra (also non-fitting) coat to use for “parts.” It was a funny way to go about it, but it did the trick. There’s a waiting list, and the uniforms are quite expensive, so at least he has me!

Finished Project – Embroidered Wedding Gown

It’s finished!

I posted about this beautiful embroidered gown last month as I was working on making and adding embellished pieces to the sleeves. Now they are done, and are sewn into the dress. The bride wanted to add sleeves and more coverage to her wedding gown. She chose to have pleats around the neckline (back and front) to match the rest of the dress and embellished tulip sleeves. She also wanted a bustle for during the reception, and she liked the French style, which always looks great with a pick-up skirt like hers.

It turned out gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see her expression when she comes to pick it up!

Flashback Friday – Cat in the Hat Afghan

I wanted to crochet a blanket for a friend and coworker who was having a baby. She and her husband decorated the baby’s room in Dr. Seuss characters, and the bedding was of the Cat in the Hat. My brain went wild with ideas of sewn-on or Tunisian squares of the cat, the fish in his bowl, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 with blue fun fur yarn for their hair. It would have been adorable – if it ever got done. I just didn’t have enough time before the baby shower. So when the soon-to-be mom mentioned that she liked afghans made of soft, thick yarns, I went with that.

I had at first crocheted a Cat in the Hat head, so I sewed him onto one of the corner squares and added facial details. Luckily it worked with just one, because by that time I had forgotten how I had made him and misplaced my notes! It turned out pretty cute and cuddly. Maybe someday I’ll have a reason to make another with all of the characters in different yarns.

Nyan Cat Kitty Costume

Remember the Giant Felt Popt-tart? Well, here’s who I made it for:

Our cat, Shadow, went as Nyan Cat this Halloween. He enjoyed it immensely, as you can see.

Not familiar with the Nyan Cat phenomenon? Here’s the pastry cat in all his glory:

No, nothing else happens. There’s no need to watch the whole thing.

Anyway, I thought I’d give an update to the tutorial on how to turn a felt Pop-tart into a Nyan Cat kitty costume.

Nyan Cat Costume Tutorial

1. Follow the instructions to make a felt Pop-tart here, but before sewing around the pastry edges (Number 5), pin some rainbow ribbon or fabric into one of the short edges. I used three ribbon strands of each color (about 1 yard in length) because I coudn’t find any rainbow fabric, but fabric would be easier to deal with. If you use ribbon, running a regular glue stick across the inside edge of the felt helps to position and hold the ribbon before sewing.

2. Finish Pop-tart as per instructions. Then cut two small rectangles (mine were 2″ x 3″) out of felt, a stronger material, or both. (I made two of cotton and two of felt to cover them.) Fold the rectangles in half, and cut twice into the folded edge. Unfold.

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