Flashback Friday – Christmas Doily

I’m a fan of sparkles. I don’t exactly enjoy loose glitter all over the place, but I do love a little added sparkle, especially on holiday items. Years ago I came across some sparkly holiday yarn by Red Heart. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I must have been entranced by the sparkliness, ’cause I picked up a skein each of red, white, and green. I apparently also picked up a free project sheet, as I later found it in my crochet pattern binder and decided to put my glittery yarn to use. I made this:

It’s not quite a doily, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a centerpiece, either. The project sheet simply calls it a “table center.” A rose by any other name… Anyway, it took me a while, but I was finally able to track down an online version of the pattern for those who may wish to crochet their own. I made this as a beginner, so it’s a fairly easy pattern to follow. I wish now that I’d made all the motifs the same, rather than alternating like the example. Thoughts? I’m sure these motifs would also work for other projects, such as a pretty winter scarf. I’d love to see what you do with it!

 

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.

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.

Flashback Friday – Hubby’s Cape

As I mentioned in Six Favorite Things I’ve Made, my husband is incredibly tall. Six feet, seven inches to be exact. Clothes and shoes his size can be hard to find. And costumes? Forget about it!

Hubby wanted a nice cape, and I was happy to oblige. Not only did I sew him a cape that actually fits (it reaches to the floor), but homemade costumes tend to be a lot better than store-bought. I used good material and fully lined it, so this cape looks great and will last. In fact, he’s worn it for a few Halloweens already. He loves it. Usually he dresses as a vampire, but he’s gotten creative with it, as well. You can do a lot with an awesome cape!

Flashback Friday – Candy Corn Witch

I made this candy corn vest (complete with candy corn buttons!) for my sister last Halloween and told her how to make the skirt. She wore it with black boots and a cute candy corn-painted witch hat. Sadly I can’t seem to find the pictures we took of our costumes last year, so I set this up on my dress form to get one.

 

Flashback Friday – Medieval Peasant Costume

I actually didn’t remember which costume I made first – this medieval peasant outfit or my Strawberry Shortcake ensemble. I sewed both during high school (back when I had more time to do such things!). However, being that I’m wearing glasses in this picture it must have been when I was a sophomore. I, happily, got contacts my junior year.

I was excited to use grommets on the corset/vest, but they were such a pain! Luckily I now have several tools for inserting the obnoxious things. It’s a fun costume and I’ve worn it many times. I think my mom even borrowed it once. A peasant costume comes in handy!

Flashback Friday – Renaissance Costume

I love sewing. I also love theatre (my minor) and Halloween. So it’s only natural that I love making Halloween costumes, right?

I sewed this Renaissance dress for my sister a few years ago. I think I may wear it myself this year. I used McCall’s pattern 4997 if you’re interested. However, it calls for quite a bit of material, which can get really expensive. I used some fabric I already had on hand, and took out some of the fullness in the skirt and sleeves to make it fit. I added an extra layer of trim and lots of silver to make it flashy and fun for my sister to wear on Halloween. I’d love to make another dress out of this pattern, without any changes, but I’m not sure which colors to go with. I’ve seen it in blue and white, which was really pretty.

Flashback Friday – Watercolor Painting

I am not a painter. Period. But I do enjoy painting with my old watercolors occasionally, though usually for small things such as ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). I took a couple painting classes back in high school, and I seldom created anything that I liked. My paintings often had a harsh, rigid look that I didn’t like. I found that oil-based paints made it worse, but water-based paints helped create a softer look. This painting was one of the first I ever painted that I actually liked. It’s not that good, especially close up, but it has the feel I was going for and I love the colors. So when I recently came across some awesome “floating” frames, I bought one thinking it just might work for my old painting. I haven’t decided where to hang it yet, but it makes me happy to actually see it out and not hidden in a closet somewhere.

Flashback Friday – Marine Blankets

When my first little brother to join the US Marines left for bootcamp, I wanted to make him a surprise gift for when he returned. A sort of thank-you-for-being awesome, you-survived-the-torture sort of gift. He didn’t have a comforter for his bed, so I decided to make him a quilt. To celebrate his awesomeness, I made an iron-on of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor for the middle of the quilt. And, of course, I had to make a matching pillowcase. I was, and still am, not a quilter, but I think it turned out pretty good.

So when another one of my little brothers also joined the Marines, I of course had to make a blanket for him, too. But instead of a quilt, I chose to crochet it. I believe I actually thought it would be easier! =0P

I decided to use the tapestry crochet technique, so I had to first make a chart. I wanted to make it of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor again, so there was a lot of detail to work out in Photoshop. Once I got that worked out, I started to crochet. And boy, did I crochet! That afghan may have been my most time-consuming to date. Trying to keep the sides even was really difficult, and nearly drove me mad! Needless to say, the poor guy didn’t get his blanket right after bootcamp, but I did get it done eventually. And it was SO worth it! Though I have been avoiding large projects in tapestry crochet with more than two colors ever since.

If you are interested in crocheting an afghan for a Marine in your life here is my pattern (chart only) as a pdf: Marine Afghan Pattern by the Sweet Seamstress. It is in tapestry crochet, which involves carrying the other colors of yarn inside single crochet stitches.

The top reads “Don’t Mess…” and the bottom says “…With the Best.” Quite applicable for more than one reason.

If you are/were in the US military, Thank You for Your Service!

Arick's at Christmas

 

Flashback Friday – Kitchen Curtains

Many of the projects I make are for others – for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, and sometimes “just because.” Due to this, I often don’t get so see my creations later on down the line (luckily I’m getting better at remembering to take pictures). I get to enjoy the “oh, wow!” sentiment (hopefully) when I present them to their new owners, but that’s the end of that.

So unlike most of the things I sew and crochet, my kitchen and dining room curtains are a project that I get to enjoy every single day – well, except when we’re enjoying another cruise. =0)

I already had towels and other kitchen things when the hubby and I were married, so I had planned on continuing to use those until we bought our first home. Little did I know it would be several years! I had planned on decorating the kitchen with an ivy design in green and white – I saw so many adorable ivy fabrics in stores. However, when we did indeed buy our beautiful home, cotton ivy fabric was nowhere to be found!

After a lot of searching and stocking on Ebay, I finally found some fabric I liked. I hadn’t ever sewn anything but plain curtains and valances, so I was a little intimated – but I had a vision in my head and had to recreate it. I BARELY  had enough fabric, but I was able to pull it off. And I still LOVE my kitchen curtains. The ruffles just make me smile, and the gingham tiebacks (my hubby’s suggestion) are just stinkin’ cute.

Do you have a favorite project you get to enjoy every day?

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