Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Holidays to you

It's already nearing the New Year! My, how time has flown by this year. I made gifts, made a few new greeting cards and even made a special item for a friends son. My spouse and I both are recovering from colds, it has been slow goings. Thankfully the weather has decided to be warm and Spring-like, which honestly has been a good thing. I have been very busy so here is a review of all the end-of-year goodness going on!

my finished greeting cards
In time for the holidays I finished my blue police box, Tardis greeting cards! It was my way of showing my love for the timeless show I grew up with. I hand drew the image, hand painted it then scanned it into my computer. I sized it down a little then printed copies to sew onto cards & bookmarks.
felt foxes for sale in my shop
I also finished up my felt foxes! One is a dark orange the other a deep red. I hand embroidered the details on their faces and body. Then I machine stitched front to back pieces and they have a wide base (which lets them sit up right). They are so adorable and I loved making them both! You can find them here in my shop for sale. 
plush owl toy for friend

Here is the adorable owl plush toy I made for a long time friends son. I drew up a sketch after she asked me about making an animal plushie. Together we worked out the colors and printed fabric and this is the end result! The face details are felt and machine sewn. The wings can open up and close with velcro. It is shaped a bit like a pillow so it can sit upright or be snuggled with at night. It's big and soft and no pieces should come off (no buttons or choking hazards). I'm excited to ship it out in the next few weeks for her to surprise her boy with.

It's has been an adventurous year for certain. Learning new things to craft, reading new novels, checking out new places and events in my city with my spouse. I hope you have had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed some relaxing time with family and friends. May the new year bring us all good health & happiness! 
photo by

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The holidays have begun

Well the weather outside... can't make up it's mind! We have had hail in October, early snow storm in November - now it goes between late spring-like weather to winter again. And when it gets cold I just want to stay snuggled in a warm blanket and hot tea.
I have been working on a few things. I finally listed my necklaces in my Etsy shop ~ two have sold within the first week! So do stop over and grab one before they are gone. All hand crafted by me and from a smoke-free home.
my cat eye glasses necklaces

my round glasses necklaces

only two mustache necklaces are left! 

My newest crafting pursuit has become felting with needle. I had tried this at one time many years back (more then a decade ago) and wanted to try it again. I found an adorable hedge hog kit with all the tools I needed: felting needle, colored wool and a foam square pad for working on. I found my kit at Michael's craft stores and was able to use a 50% off coupon for it. The supplies are very affordable and the kit is a wonderful way to start learning.

felting hedge hog

I decided my hedge hog needed a texture for 'fur' so I am using wavy, textured yarn. I made my ears from flat felt (sold in a 8x11" square) then used the needle to attach them. I have started watching video tutorials to learn new techniques and projects to make. I like videos by Flying Mio and also ones by Maqaroon. They are really easy to do once you have a little practice, you can make almost anything with needle felting! 

Malea the cat, adopted! 

And a happy announcement! After more then a year in foster homes with my feline rescue group, Malea the cat has been adopted by a friend of mine. She is considered a senior cat since she is older then 5 years in age. She had grown a tad chubby and had to be put on a special cat food and diet. But have no doubt, she is the sweetest girl with the most friendly demeanor. I'm so happy she has taken to her new family without a hitch. If you are able to this winter season, please donate or volunteer with local charities and groups that have meaning to you. The only way these groups succeed is by help from volunteers and donations. Have a safe, healthy and thankful holiday weekend! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Up and coming crafts, my pets

Is it really November already? How time can fly by when autumn arrives! Just an update on a few things I am working on for my etsy shop CraftinessbyB.

my felt fox mascot
I am inspired by many things, be it from a pattern book or something I saw. Sometimes it's children's things that get me thinking "I can make that into something else!" I saw these adorable felt animals as finger puppets in a crafting magazine. And I thought I'd do my own design of the animal but make them into little plush mascots. They will sit upright and be just big enough for a desk or bookshelf. And to make them a little more attractive I am doing a lot of machine sewing for them. I love to hand stitch but sometimes it's too much to do an entire project that way. Above is a fox in orange, I also plan to make a deer and maybe a polar bear.

my hand drawn greeting card
I have two new holiday greeting card designs. You might figure out the above one fairly easily. I draw my cards by hand then do colored pencils and water colors. I'd like to have these completed soon if I can get my home printer to cooperate again. 

And of course I have these distractions around my house (ie: the pets). I swear they make it their daily mission to keep from completing projects in a timely manner. But that's ok just look at how cute they are!
don't read pet me instead!

my boy cat Howl just wants to nap

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween paper lanterns DIY

It's almost here ~ one more week to Halloween! I love Halloween as a child, it was so much fun and perfect autumn weather. My mother would always have a project to make, be it a scarecrow or ghosts to hang from branches. Not only was decorating fun but deciding on a costume was too. We'd plan and often make our own - my mother would do our costume makeup.
I wanted to make a easy DIY project for either Halloween or autumn. It require minimal supplies and can be done in less then 30 minutes. I decided paper bag lanterns would be a fun, easy project!
What you will need for this project:
- an assortment of paper bags
- pen or marker
- scissors
- spray paint or spray glitter, color of your choice
- battery operated candles (I would advise against using actual candles inside paper bags)

To start: Pick any bag you please, I have this medium sized one collecting dust. Use your pen or marker and design any face you like. Remember, you are going to cut out the shapes, so you might want them thick. I just used scissors to cut my face out, poke the scissor gently into a shape - then cut around your outline.

design your bag using pen or marker

I made two bags, one medium one large. You could even use the small lunch sized bags too! Once you have the bags cut, bring them outside. Now, for this step I used spray glitter in orange. It is very messy, so I used dish washing gloves and laid plastic down. Spray the exterior of the bag in enough spray paint or glitter to cover any design printed on the bag. 

bring it outdoors to spray it with paint or glitter

It shouldn't take long for the project to air dry outdoors. Once it was dry, I cut points or triangle shapes, at the top of my bags. If you aren't going for a jack o' lantern design, you could also do autumn themes. Ideas I have in mind are: initials, house number, leafs, trees, gourds, almost anything you fancy. If you search online you will certainly find an array of design t pick from.

finished paper lantern

Use battery operated candles for safety, place a few inside the lantern. Here are a few pictures of my lit paper lanterns. I can't wait to put them outside for Halloween night! 

finished lantern bags

I also had a chance to go to a costume party this month. I think I had too many sweet treats, I swear I felt myself fall into a sugar coma that night. It was so much fun and I designed my costume after watching a tutorial online. I decided on a Fawn with a head piece crown I made from craft supplies (I added antlers and felt ears). Here is the link to the fun makeup I used by FreshBlush on you tube. Here are pictures of what I wore with it, which I had in my closet already.

my fawn head piece, with moss and felt ears I added

my fawn costume
Have a safe & happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

DIY customized sneakers!

A simple DIY project to customize your very own kicks (or sneakers). This project does involve sewing with a curved needle - which may not be suitable for unskilled crafters and smaller children. You can use fabric glue instead, which I will include in the directions.

You will need for this:
- fabric sneakers, similar to those famous canvas types (or any old one you like, I used a pair bought at Target)
- stash fabric, a smaller piece big enough to cover the area on the sneaker you want to
- a curved needle, often an upholstery needle is good and tough for this / alternately, you can use fabric glue instead of sewing
- straight pins and a fabric marker (optional)

My photo is below the instructions, I ended up adding steps to help you make these! 

1.) To start, decide what part of the sneaker you want to cover in fabric. For mine, I wanted to cover just the heel of the sneaker. You can either lay the fabric piece over the heel (as I did) and trace the shape with a fabric marker ** these will fade away on their own OR with a little soap & water ** or you may use paper to trace it.

2.) Next you want to cut the fabric with the traced shape on it. You want to cut at least 1/4" outside the shape you traced, you need some fabric to fold under and sew/glue onto the shoe (this keeps any frayed edges from being exposed).

3.) You want to pin the fabric piece to the shoe. You may have to wiggle it around, move it here and there, to get it to lay nicely. I just stuck the straight pins standing up, to keep the fabric the way I wanted. Be sure to tuck that 1/4" of fabric underneath, this helps prevent any frayed edges from being exposed.

4. Sewing) To sew the fabric on, use the curved sewing needle. I just started at one side and slowly worked my way around. The fabric shoe should have fabric on the outside and probably a tougher (thicker) fabric on the inside. You want to sew just to the outside fabric - since it will be on your foot, don't worry too much if stitches are uneven.

4. Gluing) To glue the fabric on, use the glue as directed. Some is quick dry, others you may have to hold in place a while before it takes. Start at one edge and work around, tucking under that 1/4" of fabric as you go. This method is best for beginners and children - but please, don't glue your fingers together! You can easily wear gloves to do this safely (and without a mess).

5.) And that is it, I hope you can have a fun time decorating and customizing your own kicks!

I added flat lingerie elastic instead of laces, they stretch and are oh so pretty. You can find lingerie elastic on Etsy at a super affordable price.

And in exciting news, my shop item was featured in an Etsy Treasury List!! Here is a screenshot of it, it was my felt dango Japanese sweets!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Crafty projects galore! Yukata Obi, Custom Kicks

Summer has started to come to an end ~ but that doesn't mean your crafting should! I will be sharing shortly a few projects that I have done and some How-To's. Here is a preview of what I have in store for you:

I made (yes, from scratch!) my 2nd ever pre tied obi! This one I made to match the yukata (summer kimono) you see in this photo with rabbit print. I plan on sharing more photos of how I went about making this. And if you fancy having one made, I do take custom request orders placed through my etsy shop.

Turn some plain sneakers into custom kicks! I will show you a DIY project of how to add some fabric to your sneakers for a fun, custom style and look. 

For all my geeky, nerdy friends out there ~ I give you... my adorable dog in his Halloween costume! I actually plan to make another costume for sale in my etsy shop - so do keep an eye out for that. He is about 20 pounds, and I have just enough fabric for a 2nd cape K9 costume for a dog of this size. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lisette blouse top

It's still summer, still warm & humid. But I think... yes, it's starting to cool down some (just a little). I will take that as a sign autumn will soon arrive! I love the change in seasons, I like switching out my wardrobe and bringing out seasonal decorations. Sometimes I find season appropriate projects to work on or even some holiday gifts.
Well I had been waiting for a while to sew a blouse top by Lisette patterns (by Simplicity). I don't know why I waited so long ~ perhaps I felt the project would be daunting. Well surprise, surprise - it wasn't! It was one of the better patterns I've worked with when it comes to sewing clothing.

Lisette pattern #2211

Now when you make clothing, you pick a size according to your measurements. I decided to go for size 14 on this one. Only after I got it together did I realize... I could have gone down to a size 12. Sometimes you only learn by trial and error! I did a tuck in here and there (at the shoulders & sides) and it fits just fine. I used 100% cotton fabric for my top, which sometimes can make clothes a bit boxy. But some cottons are more light weight, so it depends on the fabric you pick and what it's made from. The pattern suggested anything from cotton to linen would be just fine. 

Lisette blouse top, finished

I bought a bunch of the Lisette patterns at a pattern sale (at my local JoAnn's). I'm so happy I did since I can no longer find a few of their patterns online anymore. I snagged some patterns for clothing: pants, shorts, skirt, long and short sleeve tops, dresses. They also had a pattern for several different sized bags, so I picked that also. Although I make bags for my etsy shop (found here at sewingB on etsy) I swear they are the hardest thing to sell! And I love to make them ~ maybe I just need to gift them to my friends as presents, hmm?

My next project might be a Simplicity skirt! I'm torn between another clothing project of maybe a small bag or clutch? Honestly, I have fabric just sitting around waiting to be sewn into stuff. 

possible next project?

I'm still selling handmade items in the local boutique in my city. I hope to pop in shortly and see how my necklaces are selling. I also have new things to bring in, see if the owner would put them on commission. I've been stitching these doodle sketches on fabric, then leave them on the hoop. That way I can add pretty ribbon and a person could hang them up to display. I'd like to bring in four total, so far I have a finished Doe and am working on a Bluebird. 

stitched Doe
I hope everyone has been having a relaxing summer and are looking forward to a new season! I might do a sale in my etsy shop soon, not certain yet ~ I will keep you posted! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Alter what you have (shorts!) & EcoFriendly beauty

Ahhh summer has been lovely so far: plenty of rainy days, a few big thunder storms and plenty of greenery growing tall! My garden is flourishing and I hope to plant a bigger variety next year. My spouse built be beautiful raised garden beds. Our own soil in the side yard was just full of stones and chunks of cement blocks.
my two large garden boxes!
my toadstool
I found that adorable toadstool (it is ceramic, so it's OK outdoors) at a local store on deep discount. I have lettuce, arugula, peas, squash and some herbs growing. I love going outside to pick food for a salad now! 
So into the crafty fun, yes? We often purchase clothing, tuck it away for a season, go unpack it and... it shrunk, it got stained or something else. So what to do? Why ~ alter it of course! And it's super easy to do, a beginner can do alterations to existing clothing. I did this to some shorts I bought last year when they were on sale, out of season. They were very short - like, I was afraid to 'expose' my bum! 
I started by letting the hem of the shorts down, you can use a seam ripper to do this. If you don't know what this is or how to use it, please go to this link to MakeSomething for simple instructions. I already picked out some cotton fabric that I would add to the bottom of the shorts (at the leg opening, I let the hem down). I used a fat quarter of fabric, they often run for just $0.99 to almost $2.00 a piece. 
the fabric to add to hem of shorts
I measured my cotton fabric for the shorts leg opening. You can do this with the fabric laid flat and a tape measure. I then took my fat quarter fabric and decided the width I wanted - I went with 4"s, this let me fold it right in half (as seen above). I did a little zig-zag stitch to the raw edge just to give it some staying power. 
cotton fabric pinned to leg opening
Then you pin the cotton fabric to the bottom of the shorts, the leg opening. You can stitch this with a straight stitch of decorative one. Do this to both leg openings - this is a simple solution to too tiny shorts. I'm really happy with how these came out and I will certainly do this again in the future. You can also apply this same solution to long pants that are just too short at the ankle.
one side complete

Now my EcoFriendly project ~ a simple alternative (and saves on cost) to using cotton balls. These are just squares of fabric made with flannel (the printed side) and organic cotton batting. Here is a good link to what type of batting I had purchased - Honey Be Good. Batting is pretty handy stuff, it is typically very wide so you don't need a huge cut of this. It is often used as the lining or backing to sewing projects (such as quilting). But it has many other uses too, like cloth diaper linings to homemade face towel. 
First decide what flannel you want, often it is printed. And you may pick any shape you like best from circle to heart! I did a simple square, easy right? For this project I'd suggest two layers of batting and one layer of the flannel print fabric.
flannel print, solid batting
To help the pieces now get too frayed I used pinking scissors for the edges. Please note: these will fray some regardless - but for something so small and easy I didn't want to cover the edges. Next step is to pin the pieces together: flannel on top, batting (both layers) below the printed flannel. Then you sew about 1/4" from the outside edge.
sewing the squares together
Once you sew around the shape, just back stitch a few times, then snip off any thread. It's just that easy to do! I made several of these with scrap flannel I had, I like variety and cute prints. 
my collection!
I use these in place of cotton balls for toner or makeup remover. You can wash them by hand or put them in the washing machine. But do note: if thrown in the washing machine, try to put them in a mesh bag (such as lingerie type) or they may just go missing in the depths of you machine! I personally hand wash mine and then just lay them out to air dry. I might make some in heart shapes in the future. 
I hope your summer is filled with fun, tasty eats and much crafting! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Little sewing purse

Sometimes you don't want a big sewing project. The smaller, easier the better! So I tried my hand at a small project: a little purse with key ring. The pattern was from a zakka sewing book, the one I've been drooling over for like 2 months now. It was actually smaller then I was used to working with so I made mine about 1" larger in overall size.
the finished purse

large enough to hold lip balms & cards
I used a peal metal snap closure on mine since I disliked the full zipper suggested in the book. I also found that trying to sew the bias tape edge by machine didn't.... so smoothly. I ended up sewing that edge on by hand or else the back side wouldn't be stitched on properly. You could use any fabric you want and I decided to mix and match my prints on both sides. 
It's been a fun project for lazy start of summer. Since the hand stitching takes up much time I may reserve these as holiday presents and gifts. Sometimes you make things so nicely you can't bare to sell them!
a bright one being sewn

this might be best for a teenager
I hope to sew some clothing this summer, once I regain my crafting room. Yep, it is still being lived in by the rescue kitty and kittens I am watching.

yep, still have kittens galore!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I give you a post on adorable kittens

I swear Kentucky just hops over springtime. It stays a few weeks, then we just go right into the heat and humidity! Does anyone else live where it feels like that transition between seasons can be short?

Well any who ~ my spare craft room is rather full. Oh yes, fostering cat and kittens is a chore! But really now, it's probably the best chore to ever have *ha!* Everyday the adorable kittens get a little bigger and mom cat is super affectionate.

foster mom cat, Emma
Emma cat, whom I named after blessed patron Emma (of lost families) was taken from a high kill shelter the day she had her litter! And on the way out, she adopted two orange kittens from a cat whom could not be taken. She immediately took to her adopted kittens, now the entire litter is a family. Now for what you really want, 14 day old kitten photos. 
litter has two tabbies, both boys

two orange kittens, both boys

one tortoise color, a girl

one all black with this white spot, a girl

the orange ones get some bottle time

the kitten pile of adorableness!

Emma and litter are staying until the end of June. Kittens are not available for adoption until the are: over 7 weeks in age, over a certain weight, weaned from mom, eating solids. So my craft room is a little noisy with a lot of fur. I finished more necklaces for the local boutique, four of the fifteen have sold! And I have a cute small project in the works from the awesome Love to Sew: Zakka style gifts by Cecilia Hanselmann.