I'm Janimal, happily gainfully employed Momma to a sweet girl. Livin' it up in Atlanta with a great husband and a good job. Sometimes I make stuff and here's my spot to show it off! Life is good, so I'm sharing....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Red Flair Washer Necklace

A short time ago I was invited to a function where we all wore red "flair". Yep, flair. I was asked to wear red flair that showed my personality. Huh?!
I had a heck of time figuring out what flair to wear.
I have a rocking pair of patent red maryjane heels, and own a few red garments, but flair? I was light on flair.
Flair. I kind of like saying it now.

Anyway, in my search for flair, I decided to try my hand at making something. I searched the web and came up with a few neat tutorials for making necklaces with washers and ribbon. You can check out some tutorials here and here and here.

So, here it is, the flair I did wear. I should've taken a pic wearing it but alas...

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I think it looks better in person and on an actual neck than laying on my shaggy rug.
Different colored washers and ribbon could be a whole other look. It was a fun, quick, satisfying project. With a bonus that my flair was unique. (Good thing, I had considered wearing a red scarf from Target and another chick showed up flaired out with the very same Target scarf!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mod Podge Simple Mirror

LURVE the website Mod Podge Rocks. It's eye candy to see all the awesome creative projects people make with Mod Podge. The different pretty papers used for the projects are so yummy! I am really into scrapbook paper, but not so much into scrapbooking. So searching for things to Mod Podge using pretty paper is SO my cup of tea. Last post I read was about Mod Podging your broom. FANTASTIC! You may see me have a go at that in another blog later.

On a recent weekend, my lovely BFF came to visit. Going to the mall with my BFF is better than going to the mall with anyone else. We hit dressing rooms and have a good giggle when we try stuff on that looks ridiculous, and manage to trade clothes back and forth and help the other one "style". A true friend to shop with doesn't let you leave the store with bad clothes, no matter how much you swear you can pull off those horizontal stripes, loud print dresses, leggings that come with an awesome muffintop, etc. But I digress.

We hit Bloomies and Clinique was having a "gift". Which came with this plastic mirror.

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I think the shag rug really makes it look fancy, eh?

Handy enough, but I decided it was time to break out the MOD! And...I decided this was simple enough that I could practice my tutorial skills. I know that anyone who might stumble across this blog can probably figure out how to glue paper to a mirror. So this tutorial is more for me than for you. I'm new to blogging and I LURVE the awesome tutorials I find on other blogs, so want to practice so hopefully I can add some decent tutes myself as time goes by. My guess is that if you are operating a computer to read this, you likely mastered glueing paper in the 3rd grade. But bear with me, I need some practice, k?

Here are my supplies:

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Mirror, Mod Podge, a brush and sharp knife.

I painted Mod Podge onto the mirror with the brush. I took a picture, but all you see is the same mirror again, with the Clinique logo partially obscured from the layer of Mod. But the secret here, is to brush it on with the mirror OPEN. Otherwise you might just glue the thing shut. Don't ask me how I know.

I stuck the piece of scrapbook paper on, and let it dry. I then cut around the outside of the mirror with the knife. No picture of cutting because I couldn't snap a picture and wield a knife at the same time!

Then brush more Mod Podge over the top,a couple coats if you like (letting dry between coats):

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And then you have a pretty mirror for your purse:

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My first tutorial. :-)

Wool Felt Rose Hairclips

One of my favorite sites is the Purl Bee. Lots of great ideas, patterns, and quality materials.

I recently came across THIS post to make wool felt roses for little girl barrettes.

The tutorials on Purl Bee always have great pictures, which helps so much! You can whip up these roses really fast and I had fun putting them together. I'm travelling for business soon so I will pack some felt and a needle and thread to whip some up from my hotel room while I watch bad TV.

Here are a few my felt roses following the tutorial:

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I put one on a hairclip for Delilah, and one on a pin for me to wear. I think I may make quite a few as a lovely addition to a gift instead of a bow.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Embroidered Bib

Sewing for babies is so much fun!

A co-irker recently became a Grandmother for the first time. She's a lovely person and that little girl will be very spoiled! They picked a very cute name for her and I was thrilled to have time to make something before Granny hopped a plane to meet her for the first time. So I made her this:

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(Still loving my embroidery machine!)

This same new Granny gave me a pillow when Delilah was born with her name embroidered on it, so my guess was she would like this kind of thing.

I made a BUNCH of bibs for Delilah while I was pregnant. Bib making was really satisfying to me. They are made pretty quickly, so gratification is speedy. And the fabric possibilities are endless! This one was made with a light cotton backed with a thicker fleece. When I make bibs I try to make one side a heavier fabric to give the bib some power to absorb the goops that babies drool.

To make, just trace around a bib you have for a pattern. ((I think this might be a tutorial at a later date. But since I really don't have any followers reading me right now, I'll do that later!))

I cut the fabric, and sew together right sides facing with a few inches open at the bottom for turning. Clip seams -- which is VERY important! After turning, iron flat and whipstitch closed, then run it through the sewing machine again to finish. I use iron on velcro which I also handstitch to make sure that stays on there.

If I had more time, I might've made some matching burp cloths. I wanted to give this to her fast so she could take it with her on her flight, so no time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Simple Skirt, and Applique

I made a skirt for my little girl! And an appliqued shirt to match!

Link to the skirt pattern: Lazy Days Skirt

There is good news and bad news....
BAD NEWS : I don't have a picture because my model hasn't worn it yet.
GOOD NEWS: I made another one - and have pictures of that one! So here is a pic of Delilah modelling skirt and appliqued shirt #2. (Recognize the shirt? I stencilled on a similiar one in a previous post.)

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OK – she’s 1, and way more interested in the letters on the fridge than posing for pictures. Delilah styled up her skirt and shirt with a pair of leggings to keep warm.
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That’s little cupcakes on the skirt, and a little cupcake on her chest

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Mommy I don’t want to get my picture taken!!!>

Despite my uncooperative model, I think you can get the idea.
I'll show you outfit #1 later. It's got lots of cool dots and the applique on the shirt is a circle of the skirt fabric with initial D embroidered in the middle. This pink one has a small cupcake cut from the fabric on the shirt. I think the appliqued circle looks better - you'll see! Skirt #1 has a ribbon hemline, which I didn’t apply to the cupcake skirt. I really like the ribbon hem so I’ll go back to that for the next one.

Seriously, I am so excited and proud of this. Other than the occasional Halloween costume, I have never made any garments before. This skirt was an accomplishment for me. I had never appliqued before either -- another first.

This pattern was SO EASY. Seriously, if you can sew in a straight line, you make this skirt. I swear. I made the second one in half an hour.

I used this easy peasy pattern here: Lazy Days Skirt

To figure the length and elastic width I needed, I measured a skirt we already had. To make a 10 inch long skirt, I cut my fabric 12 inches long. This was so easy to cut - just a snip and a tear and my one long rectangle was ready to sew. For the elastic, I cut a piece 18" wide.

Once the skirt was done, OF COURSE I had to have a top to match. But I really do not feel ready to tackle an actual shirt. I mean, sleeves, yikes. So I decided to applique a plain white shirt and then a pink shirt for the 2nd skirt.

For the applique - I am a rookie with my machine and will have to practice the machine applique options later. So this go through, I embroidered a piece of matching fabric with a D initial. I used a roll of tape as my template, and drew a circle around the D. (I chose a circle because a) simple and b) the fabric design was circles) I laid the fabric on top of a piece of fusible web, and cut around the circle through both the fabric and the web.

With me so far? Next time I do this I will post pictures. Personally I always do better following pictures when I make something.

Anyway, I then placed the fusible web on the middle of the shirt, with the fabric circle over it, and ironed it in place.

I then played with the stitch settings on my sewing machine to choose a nice stitch for around the circle. I decided to use a thread that was more "matchy" to the fabric so that any wonky stitching wouldn't show so well. Next time I might use a contrasting thread like I did for the initial. A quick spin around the circle on the machine and my first ever applique was done! For the cupcake, I cut out a cupcake and a matching piece of fusible web. Ironed it on, took a few stitches around the cupcake, and done!

:::::EDIT::::: Once on her, I thought this skirt was too long. I didn't get it because I followed the measurements of the other skirt that fits great. Well, I realized my mistake. Instead of measuring from the 0 on the measuring tape, I measured from the beginning of the tape, not paying attention. So there is an extra inch. DUH! That's ok - D is growing like a weed and the length will be fine!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Delilah's Art, An Awesome Blog to See, and Spoonflower

I came across the most AWESOME blog yesterday. Filth Wizardry.

This blog is FULL of FANTASTIC projects to work on with preschoolers. There are so many great ideas I can't wait to try with Delilah. The kids in the pictures are having so much fun being creative and they are learning with each project. Just so cool! I had to read every single post. Brill. And a bonus that this awesome Mom also happens to be British (like me) and drinks a lot of tea (like all British people, including me.) There is an adorable video about making crepe paper roses right now with the cutest video. That British accent reminds me of home.....must watch more BBC America.....

Delilah is not quite ready for most of those projects yet. She is just getting into crayons. This is a masterpiece she drew for me that is taped over my desk at work (pic quality not awesome but you get the idea - picture taken on my Blackberry):

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I love love love love it. I am tempted to upload it to Spoonflower and have it printed on some fabric. I am such a Mom! Don't know Spoonflower? --- oh, you gotta check it out. You can easily upload any design and have it custom printed on the fabric you choose. You can even order a swatch first to see how it looks before ordering yards and yards and yards. And -- this is cool -- designers sell their original fabric designs.

TaTa for now. I have lots of projects I need to upload photos to show off. I've been sewing things on my fancy new machine and have some no-sew projects too. Now I've seen the Filth Wizardry blog, I am excited that in the future this won't just be a blog about the stuff I create, it will include projects Delilah and I work on together. That makes me a happy Mommy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Birdy Fabric

When I picked up my new fancy sewing machine, before L lost his mind of boredom being in a sewing store and Delilah broke something, I managed a quick peek at the fabrics they were selling and managed to grab a pretty precut yard of this stuff:

I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, I just saw it and couldn't resist those little birdies. And now I am DYING to go back to the sewing store and see what other irresistable cuties are sitting in that precut bin.
Thank you to the people at Discover Sewing - the fabulous dealer where I bought my machine and this yard of delicious cuteness. They were awesome in explaining my machine, and I know I'll be back with more questions, and, to buy more fabric.

Now what will do with my birdies?!?!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ruthie's Tomato Soup

My Mother-in-law's recipe for Tomato Soup. Hits the spot on a cold night!

1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 soup bone (optional)
2 celery stalks
1 carrot
1 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
10-12 fresh tomatoes chopped
salt n pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup uncooked rice plus 1/3 cup

Put all ingredients in a large pot 1/3 cup of rice. Add enough water to cover vegetables (add some vegetable stock if you like). Bring to a boil. Skim any foam off the top, lower heat, and cook, covered, until all vegetables are soft.
My MIL then ran it through a food mill but I use a blender. Return to pot and add 1/3 cup rice and cook for about a half hour until rice is done.

Soooooooo goooooood!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New sewing machine!

My sewing machine was a gift 15 years ago. It has been used sporadically over the years, and despite NEVER being serviced or even cleaned properly, she still works well. Here she is:

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(please ignore the messy table!)

Not fancy, but has gotten the job done for me. Now that I am sewing on a more "semi-regular" basis, and am trying to improve my skills, it's time for a new machine.

Last weekend I bought the Brother 900d machine. I think I am about to become an embroidery FOOL and Delilah will have her name on everything! That is, if I can figure out how to use it properly. It's so fancy compared to what I am used to, I am a bit intimidated! Last night I managed to add a decorative stitch to the bottom of a tshirt, and embroider Delilah's name on a piece of white fabric.

Here is the machine and a picture of my first shot at machine embroidery:

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Note the paisley square on the right front of the machine? That's scrapbook paper I cut to fit the little window. I'll likely replace that with a picture of Delilah (because I am crazy photo momma with that kid) but for now the scrapbook paper works.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Teasing my kid and Happy Valentines Day

I am making a collection of felt food for Delilah to play with. I figure by the time I slowly make a nice collection, she'll be old enough to enjoy it. Last night I made her this:

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(In case you can't tell, that's a banana made of wool felt.)

I had ordered the pattern from wwwlillybeanmarket.com to get me started on making felt food. It's remarkably easy and moving forward, I think I'll be able to wing it and not have to buy more patterns. (Famous last words!) But I will say having the shapes already worked out for me, and the handy videos gave me some confidence as a beginner felt food maker. The site has lots of neat patterns and sells quality wool felt. If you have any interest in felt food, check em out. They sell the food already put together for reasonable prices -- which is reeeeeally tempting me.

So - this morning I gave the banana to Delilah. She got pretty mad. She hit the fake banana and wailed. Turns out she was pretty disappointed it wasn't a REAL banana after I gave it to her. Good thing we had bananas in the house or it could have been a tough morning. The girl likes her bananas!

One more thing to show you. Our last minute Valentines from Delilah. I took a picture of Delilah (not my favorite picture but it features her HAND the right way and that's what I needed), and I uploaded it to Picnik (if you don't know Picnik - trust me it is AWESOME - I don't have the first clue how to photoshop and this is such a user friendly photo editing tool even I can use it.) I added some text and a picture of a bear, and sent it off to CVS for prints.

After picking up the prints, I made a two slits with a sharp blade by her hands, and slipped in a DumDum lollipop. I think it turned out pretty cute! Here's a photo of the final product.

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Wish I had thought of this sooner and would have had time to mail them to people. Ah well, next year. And that gives me time to get a better picture for next Feb! (This Valentine was not my original idea. We received a Valentine's picture/pop years ago, long before Delilah was born. I have wanted to do this ever since and FINALLY got to do it. Chances are, we'll be doing this next year also!)

Soft alphabet rag quilt letters

There are SO many talented and crafty bloggers out there who inspire me. I can get lost on the internet for hours checking out all the awesome creative blogs out there. I have started a list here of some of my favorite blogs that give me inspiration to get creative. It's going to continue to be a work in progress as I discover new blogs. I'm looking forward to creating a looooooong list!

(Just a note - many of the projects I have posted, and will post, are created from tutorials and patterns provided by other generous talented bloggers. I will do my very best to give credit every time. If I ever post something and am remiss in giving proper credit, please let me know and I will rectify that right away.) And if you draw inspiration from any of those projects, please be sure to give the original source props!

Here's a project I have been working on following a tutorial from ohsohappytogether. I followed her Rag Quilt Letters tutorial here and have had so much fun making these letters for Delilah. I haven't quite finished all the letters yet but here's a pic of my progress.

I am SUPER proud of these letters! There is a new tutorial for lowercase letters too. I will add that to the long list of projects I really want to do. For now I have just a few more letters left to have a complete alphabet for D to play with. She's a bit young for them now, but so far she has enjoyed tucking them under her chin and making me giggle.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Delilah models and some stuff I've sewn

I really have meant to update this blog more often, but like with most things in my life, it's tough to maintain consistency.
As previewed in my last post, here's a shot of the NIN shirt made with freezer paper modelled by my pretty girl.
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((Way cute if I say so myself.))

Perhaps this blog will turn out to be a craft blog after all. Perhaps it will be fun one day to look back on my projects and see a progression in my skills. At least, I can hope they progress! I recently joined a sewing group and will go to my first meeting this week. I would call myself an "advanced beginner" when it comes to sewing. I've made simple things like pillows and bibs, but have stayed away from stuff that scares me, like clothing! But I want to do more.

Lately I have been into sewing toys. I found the Black Apple Doll from Martha Stewart's website and made a few for Delilah. For other novice sewers out there, it's a simple and easy pattern, and very satisfying to make. Also, I ordered some wool felt and have been working on a handsewn felt doll and made a few birdies. I'm planning on making some felt food for Delilah to play with. There are TONS of good ideas for felt food out there.

Here is a pic of one of my attempts at the Black Apple Doll - this is spacedoll (with a skinny pink version in the background). (Make your own by following the pattern here.)

For skinny pink doll, I had just downloaded the pattern, and used scraps and a needle and thread to handsew a doll while visiting my Father-in-law over Thanksgiving. No polyfil was available so I used cotton balls!! Delilah loved the doll and it was a labor of love - but ohhhh it was so much easier to run the pattern through my sewing machine instead of all that handstitching!

As for felt crafting, here is the "bluebird of happiness". I stitched him while watching Boise State win the Fiesta Bowl. GO BRONCOS! I drew a simple birdie on paper, then cut him up as a pattern on wool felt, then handsewed him together in between plays. He's happy because Boise won! Since then he has been joined by a yellowbird friend, but she's been a bit camera shy so just bluebird here today. And a pic of the pattern I drew below.

(And again, please forgive my photography skills. A new camera is on my wishlist, but a new camera means learning how to use it - which takes time I am not ready to commit.)