Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dinosaurs are cool

I was REALLY into dinosaurs when I was little. We had this program at our elementary school called "Gifted and Talented" and somehow I managed to slide into it under the radar. What it amounted to was our school counselor asking us what special subject we wanted to learn about. I picked dinosaurs as my special topic, and other than a trip to the local field museum, I'm not sure what came of that whole "research project".

When it came to picking out some more fabric for my bucket sunhats, I had an affinity for this great dinosaur print fabric. It's not cheesy, with big, goofy smiling dinosaurs, and it's not scary with gnarly-teethed, bloodsucking dinosaurs. It's just representational. I like it. And it's nice and sturdy so I figure these things will last a while. Probably longer than the kid can stand to leave the hat on his/her head before pulling it off and throwing it on the floor or eating it.

I also sold a pair of pants in my etsy shop and I got a picture today of the tyke modeling them. I'd say they look pretty spiffy on her! I like to please the little people...after all, I think they secretly control the world!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dressing Boys

Many mamas and papas probably agree, while there are TONS of really great clothes to buy for boys these days, there are multiple tons to buy for girls. I find that especially true for buying handmade (or even finding patterns to make my own) things for boys. And I've heard it's even harder for older boys in the 5 - 11 age range. I did a little scouring of Etsy and thought I'd highlight some things I thought were particularly cute and reasonably priced. Take a look!

Boy's Stuff Holder Apron by FrayBabyBibsandMore
Baby Boy's Bubble Suit by MorganNichole
Lizard Boxers by bonghivestiti
Wild Side Two Piece Set MOOSES! Meece? by bonghivestiti
Baby Sweater by CreationsByDanielle
Denim Sunhat by JenSport
Boys Romper by maryelizabeths
Toast Onesie by ediblebaby
Monster Joe Tee by nissalisa
Life's a Beach Shorts and Shirt by ThePurplePecan
Sailor Shorts by Bluebirdbaby
Red and White Stripe Hansel Jacket by finleystudio
Mini Cooper Tee by Charlie and Sarah
Vintage Cowboy Shirt (pictured) by inchwormsfinebaby

Any other recommendations? I'd love to hear what people find out there!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yay for No Coast Craft-o-rama

The "little craft sale that could" got named Best Craft Show by our local paper, the City Pages! I am so proud of our team of volunteers for putting together such an awesome event, and I'm so excited we got recognized. Yippee!

No Coast Craft-o-rama will be December 5th and 6th this year, again at Midtown Global Market, so mark your calendars and get ready! The application should up up on the web site very soon. And we hope to have a new web site design sometime this year, too!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Gearing up to Loose My Locks

I'm super excited! I'm going to cut all my hair off! It's been 8 months or so since I had it cut last and I finally have enough to donate to Beautiful Lengths for women suffering from hair loss due to cancer. They require 8 inches and I'm up to about 9 or 10 now, so May 6th it's all getting chopped and I'll be sporting a new summer 'do!

Now the hard part: what summer 'do should I do? I have curly hair, so it's got to be something that doesn't require straightening. I used to check this "mad rad hair" site for hair ideas, but I think I lost my bookmark. Where's a good place to look? Hair magazines? Hmmm...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Little Retro Pants

I was browsing through some of my old craft books recently when I saw these awesome knit pants for kids that buttoned up the side of the pantleg. Sadly the pattern in the book wasn't for the pants, but the coat that went with them. I thought the pants were so cute that I tried to make a spin-off linen pant for my guy (given that my knitting skills probably aren't even adequate to knit pants, much less sans pattern).

What I did was take a pants pattern I had and cut it up the outer hip side. Then when I cut the front piece out, I added a couple of inches on each of the bottom pant legs so that I could form a tab when I sewed them up. I'm somewhat happy with them, although they are about 100 sizes too big for my guy. I'm tempted to sell this pair and make another, much smaller pair for Baby Pumpkin. I'm thinking these are about a 2T (19" waist, 16 1/2" length from waist to bottom). And what to wear on top...?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Another Cute Sunhat!

The first hat turned out so cute (and has apparently gotten many compliments already out and about!) that I made Baby Pumpkin another one. I still like the spaceman hat, but this one has a certain charm about it, too. When we go on our bikes he'll have to wear a helmet, of course, but he can wear this one out to the beach or zoo or in his stroller.

Mr. Pumpkin got me into bike riding a few years ago, and we now have a whole house full of bikes. I have a Rocky Mountain that I use for commuting and we each have vintage Dunelt bikes for cruising around on. Even our baby is all set with a brand new trailer! Needless to say we are all looking forward to some nice spring weather so we can get back outside. I've already taken the first ride to work, and boy was my behind sore! But it feels great being a bike commuter. And it's a great way to avoid the bus — so depressing sometimes, with everyone nodding off and jabbering on about their jobs.

Anyhoo, really looking forward to some biking weather! Roll up that pantleg, strap on the helmet and giddyup!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spaceman Spiff Hat

I never thought I'd see the sun again, given that a few days ago we still had sun. But, alas the sun has shone again on our wintry village in the northland! And how it shines right in the eyes of my wee Pumpkin when we go strollering along!

I really searched for a handmade hat to buy, but couldn't find the perfect one. Then I found a pretty okay one at the thrift store, and decided I'd make a hybrid of that and a pattern I bought. It's got a chin strap that fastens with velcro, so it actually stays on the wee one's head, even when he tugs at it. If I could just get those infant sunglasses to stay on...

While looking for the perfect sun hat for a boy, I found these cool things on etsy:

Squid Hat
Mohawk Hat (made in Minneapolis!)
Jungle Animal Summer Hat
Very Un-boy-like Laura Ingall's Wilder Bonnet
Plaid Wool Driving Cap (for kids!)

Sometimes it's so hard to find cute stuff for boys, I thought I'd share! Any other good hat finds?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vintage Button Barrettes

I have the pleasure of meeting and discovering so many local artists and crafty types through my work with planning the No Coast Craft-o-rama. One of these talented peeps is Lil Fish Studios. She does the most beautiful things with vintage buttons! I was so inspired by her work, that I ran up to my craft room and started working. She makes it look so effortless, but putting together those beautiful colors, shapes and textures is MUCH easier than it looks.

I whipped up a barrette to wear with what I have on today (brown t-shirt, red's Saturday!) and one to wear with whatever yellow might now be stocked in my wardrobe. I think they turned out okay. Hopefully the glue sticks!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tee Shirt Bag Reconstruction Project

My sister emailed me the other day with the promise of making a million dollars overnight. Pyramid scheme? Selling our panties on eBay? No! Making market bags out of t-shirts! Recycling is so 2008, according to Al Gore and Leo diCaprio, right? I'm on board, treehugger that I am.

So I've had this t-shirt that says "Phillies" since high school. Back then it was "fashionable" to be a teenage girl who wore shirts 20 sizes too big. I think. Or maybe it was just me. So anyway, back to the shirt. I got it at Goodwill and I wear it now as a sleep tee. Well, not anymore. After tonight I'll be selling my t-shirt for ONE MILLION DOLLARS to the first bidder. It's pretty fly, I think.

It was really easy to make, and I'll have to draw up a tutorial if anyone wants it. My sister wanted a prototype so this is what I've come up with. Stylish, sturdy, and easy to smoosh into your purse or glove box for that impromtu stop at the local co-op or farmer's market. What could be better?!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Twirly Skirt for a Birthday Girl

I have a couple of nieces, and one has a birthday coming up in May. She's the younger of two girls, and so she's worn her share of hand-me-downs. Our family is pretty religious about shopping at garage sales, too, so her hand-me-downs are thrifted garage sale wares to begin with. So sometimes I like to set her up with some fancy duds that are brand new, and all her own. When she was born I made her this totally sweet little outfit with a hat and bloomers, which was about 20 sizes too big so it, too, got worn by her older sister and maybe never fit her at the right season to be handed down to her.

This year, I made her the Twirly Skirt from the House on Hill Road tutorial. I think it turned out so cute. I used the fabric Sagebrush Sweethearts by Alexander Henry. The greatest thing about making a skirt that has a casing and ribbon at the top is that it could pretty much fit me, so it should last her a good long time. Now my challenge is to find a shirt and tights to go with it. Any suggestions? I'd like to purchase, not make (especially the tights...that's way beyond my skill level!).

There's another big birthday coming up in May -- my mom's! Any idea what to get for a Granny who has everything?!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Buyer's Remorse

Usually I don't splurge on expensive things. Sometimes I buy a ridiculous pair of shoes or an expensive piece of cheese at the grocery store. But usually if I have a high-priced purchase to make I do a decent amount of research before I take the plunge. Like my fancy camera. I looked around, went to a camera store, emailed friends and then made a purchase.

This weekend I think boredom got the best of me, and I made a purchase I kind of regret. I bought a Viking Emerald 118 at a Viking dealership inside a Jo-Ann's. I have been sewing for my entire life (since I was 5 or so) on my mom's New Home Full Rotary machine, and I actually love it. It's totally reliable, I've never had it serviced, and it does the job. So why did I go astray? I'm not sure. Maybe I thought it would make me a better sewer. The whole time I was buying it I was thinking about how I could "make up" the price by selling stuff I sewed with it.

Tonight was my second night using it. Last night I whipped up a cute little purse to hold all the feet and doo-dads that came with the new machine as an excuse to use the automatic buttonholer. But tonight...ah tonight. I couldn't get the dang thing to do anything without jamming. The last thing I did last night was lower the feed dogs to test sewing on a button, and tonight the darn thing won't advance the fabric and really just wouldn't do anything without getting tangled and making a sad sound.

So, back to the store I go, I guess. No returns. Oh, well, hopefuly they'll at least tell me what I did wrong, or fix the machine, because right now I'm about to run screaming back to my old workhorse a whole lot poorer than I was a few days ago...

Anyone have any experience with these machines? I hope I didn't pick a lemon!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Little Man Outfit

I finished up a little outfit for my Pumpkin over the weekend. I think the jacket turned out so cute. The outside is a really soft flannel with dogs and dog bones and such all over it. Very sweet. I think next time I make the pants I'm going to leave off the knee pads, or sew them in a different color or something because first of all their placement is all wrong (and I'm afraid I'll destroy the fabric if I try to move them) and they just don't look quite right on a patterned fabric. But, we'll see. It won't fit him for a while so I'll just have to wait and see if it looks as cute on as it does laying on my floor!

Speaking of Pumpkin, he had his first carousel ride over the weekend. I don't think he quite got it, but he did crack up at an older girl in front of us in one of those teacup things that spins around wildly. He thought that was pretty funny.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wee Bird

My family called a week or so ago, eager to find out if I'd seen any spring birds (Robin) yet. I haven't, but of course everyone else has. I live further north, I tell myself, so maybe they haven't arrived yet. But it did remind me that I need to go empty out my birdhouses and stock the feeders to welcome the spring birds back.

I made myself a spring birdy out of the Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts book tonight. It whips up really fast. To make it a little more "custom" I put a jingle bell inside. Now it's a musical ornament. I got the idea from a gift Granny bought for Baby Pumpkin in the Apple Blossom Baby store which, by the way, is so awesome.

Anyway, my next project is going to be a skirt for one of my nieces. Now, if my sister could just send me those darn measurements. Otherwise it's going to be another craft recon where I end up keeping it for myself!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Stash to Treasure

After I cleaned up my craft room, I discovered many little treasures I had been keeping around for years, waiting for a purpose. What better purpose than to make them into something to sell on, eh? Of course some of the stash will be made into gifts, maybe some for my family, but ideally I'd like to get it out of my house and in the hands of a new owner.

This tote bag I put together over the last two nights. It was fun, and I hope someone likes it.

Tomorrow night I'm hoping to make one of those cute bird ornaments from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. I'll let you know if it turns out.

My crafting in the kitchen last week turned up an amazing recipe. It's the Oven Crespella from Gourmet. It's a new favorite, it's SUPER easy, and it features copious amounts of Nutella. How can you go wrong!? Sunday I'm going to dinner at a friends, and I'm hoping to try Giada's Nutella Ravioli's. Any reviews?