Monday, May 25, 2009 in crafty things

Some ephemera for you

Once upon a time, I bought a hundred year old Latin Grammar textbook at a yard sale for a whole dollar. Inside the pages were some notes, scribbles taken down in class and forgotten. You should see the pages of the book itself, they’re pretty awesome too.

We scanned in the notes and I’ve uploaded loaded it to Flickr.


You can download the full sized 2504 x 3229 one here. All I ask is that you use this for personal use *only*. That’s non-commerical, peeps. 😉

As a side note, one of my “someday” ideas for a website is a place where I upload scans of all the neat stuff I find in library and secondhand books.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 in crafty things

The easy way to attach bias binding

Last weekend, my mom brought up some binding for me to do, and since talking to her and others I realized everyone thought there was only *ONE* way to attach bias binding to a project. There’s not! Today I’m going to walk you though step-by-step, and show you how to do it in one go through the sewing machine.

Ready? … Read More »

Monday, April 27, 2009 in crafty things


I am lost in fabric.

Mom was here on the weekend and we played with fabric. We also bought fabric, but only a little bit. I sewed some stuff for her, but I’m not supposed to tell because it was for a class and she sucks at binding. She gave me some fabric, and it wasn’t even part of my (belated) birthday present. Aw, she loves me. 🙂

And today I got up from the computer, went to start supper, then sewed. And sewed. I sewed for two hours because I was inspired to make a tote bag from a charm pack and some scraps. (Also Ron figured out why the plugs out there weren’t working.) Mom brought me some scraps from her local shop that the lady there was throwing out. I KNOW!  I can’t bear to just toss out fabric – the amount of one print and a bit was enough to completely line my tote bag. All it took was some creative piecing.

I am also jazzed that my library now emails me to tell me when my books are due. Library trip tomorrow, who’s with me? And to tie it in, I’ve made a couple of totes for the library to sell so they can raise money. I’m nice like that.

Anyone need a tote? 😀 “Seams” like I’m on a roll. 😉

Charm pack tote:

Using moda’s Natural Garden charm pack, I made two disappearing nine patch blocks  from this tutorial.

Nine patches

I think the charm pack had 32 or 40 5″ squares, all different. I arranged the patches in a pleasing manner first, saving the ones I didn’t like so much for the sides of my box tote. I had 4 blocks left over, which I eventually used on the inside.

nine-patch variation

After I did the block, I sewed nine patches in a very long row for the sides and bottom of the bag. I had to carefully piece one long edge around three edges of one block, then the other edge to the other block. Then my outer bag was done. Since I need to work on my accuracy, I was extra careful to iron, pin and align seams. Iron every seam before it crosses another seam – this is the difference between something looking handmade and it looking hand crafted.

Bag lining

I pieced all of the scraps I had from one coordinating print all together, continually holding them up to the blocks as I went to best take advantage and minimize waste.

bag inside

When I saw that I needed a bit more, as luck would have it 4 of the leftover charms fit right in. I put that strip right up the middle of one inside panel. Since the inside is pieced differently, I boxed the bottom by pinching the corners and sewing a triangle shape.

Inside and outside of bag all done

I still have to make the handles using a scrap piece and some plain fabric from my stash. All in all, given half of the fabric was free, and mom got a discount on the charm pack, this is my $7 CAN tote. 😉

(Not counting the two hours to sew it together, and the other hour to arrange the fabric and do the math.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009 in crafty things

Tinfoil Man

In the wee hours one morning, I thought of one of the things in my Mom Bag Of Tricks. This little craft is cheap, easy and keeps kids of pretty much all ages occupied. Even snarly teens. It also works best if you don’t try it a lot.

You’ll need some tinfoil, that’s pretty much it.

Step 1: get some foil
Pull off a sheet of tinfoil, any size. It doesn’t have to be square, just not too long.

Step 2: make two tears on top, one up from bottom
Make two tears down from the top, and one tear up from the bottom. You can cut it, but it’s not necessary.

Step 3: squish!
Squish the sections together a little to form limbs, and scrunch the top middle section loosely to form a head.

Bend the limbs a bit to give it personality.
step 4: enjoy!

You only have to show a child how to do this once, and it keeps them occupied for a few minutes as they make more and use their imagination, although it’s not really super-quiet. Especially with boys around.

I got this idea out of an old craft book I had from Sunshine publishers – remember them? They did a whole array of seventies craft books. I loaned my Children’s Crafts book to a fellow Girl Guide leader about ten years ago and haven’t seen it since. I miss that book.

Saturday, April 5, 2008 in crafty things

I made myself a purse

One of the things we did while my mom was around, was go into town and hit up the little quilt shop. They have awesome fabric for cheap prices and a ton of patterns, including some I wanted and knew my mommy would get for me. (See previous entry where I mention I am spoiled.)

I’ve been on a quest for a decent purse for me for *ages*. Part of the problem is I’m not sure what I want. I like small bags, but I like being organized. Despite my messy creative tendencies, there’s organization in there, I swear. I am also picky about straps and how they feel and hang off my shoulder.

For some reason, I have been drawn to the Miranda Day Bag from lazy girl designs, and mom graciously bought me the pattern. We didn’t roll our eyes at each other oncethrough the whole store. (It’s tiny though.)

This afternoon, I figured I was too tired and scattered for anything else, plus I was surrounded by fabric, so I made the bag. It took four hours, including picking out fabric, familiarizing myself with the directions, skipping over a chunk of them and figuring out my alternatives. 😀 Initially, the sides are designed ot be quilted, but since my chosen fabric is a heavy canvas type I decided to skip it. Also, I was going for quick gratification. (ie; I’m LAZY. ) I also cooked a bit for Emma, cuddled Ron and talked to the girls. The other thing I skipped was interfacing – I’m ether out of it or I can’t find it to save my life. Like I said, the fabirc is reather heavy, and when I ironed it with the batting, the battign stiffened up a bit too. My lining turned out rather sheer for black, so I’m definitely going to make sure I interface the next bag.

See? I already said I’d make it again, it’s that nice. I really like it. Now I have to make a wallet. They have a pattern for that as well, but I’m gonna wing it. You can get Lazy girl Designs online, but hit up your local quilt shop first to support the little guys. I thought the Miranda bag was well-designed and cleverly constructed. I’d definitely look for their patterns again.

Picture will be added as soon as my batteries recharge, both for the camera and my own.
I used a beige & black fabric ofarchitectural drawings of Roman columns with a black heavy twill with a fine woven stripe. I lined it with black cotton and more of the colum fabric from the end of the piece I had that was all wrecked with the dye runs. That made it look really interesting though, and inside I’m the only one who sees it.

My Miranda day bag

Well, probably only me will see it, as the bag seems sturdy enough to keep me from dumping it upside down accidentally like the one I have now.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 in crafty things, holiday fun, humour, linky love

And now for some handy links

Some awesome things I found today whilst surfing:

I am glad Thanksgiving is over in Canada, otherwise my mom would have found some way to wear this hat. I am not sure what is more remarkable – the skill level, the ugliness, or the fact the model is actually smiling.

On the other hand, I kinda wish I’d seen this tutorial on making roses from maple leaves back when we still had leaves. At least not dried up ones.

My friend Heather writes in two blogs. At Chocolate Bytes, she’s giving away a theobromine molecule t-shirt. Mmmmmm, theobromine. On her other blog, The Food Bowl, you can send in submissions for the Pet of the Week. I know you have pets out there!

And to finish, a quiz:

91%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

That was a no-brainer. Duh.