Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And the Winner of the Mantel Challenge is...


Pulling in her third win in a row, Sara takes it with her Blinging Rudolph Stocking.  You can read more about that project here.  You can read about Sarah's project, the Pink & Aqua Mantel, here.

Check back with us tomorrow to see what the next project will be!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For the Mantel! Challenge Submissions are Here

Here they are! Our crafts for a Christmas Mantel ...

We have a Pink & Aqua Mantel up top ... see more pictures here!


Blinging Rudolph Stocking ... see more pictures here!

Check them out and let us know what your favorite craft is - don't forget to vote! :)

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The Mantel Challenge: Submission

So here it is, my holiday "mantel."  Actually, it's the top of my quilt rack because my fireplace looks like this:
There's just no room for more decoration, even at Christmas time!  Which is not to say there's no Christmas involved in my fireplace.  It has this Santa mug built in:

But, I digress.  We're here to talk about my challenge mantel.  I decided to decorate an entire mantel and I made one new craft to be included.  Let's start with the new craft:

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Blinging Rudolph Stocking ... a Challenge Submission

For the mantle ... I've always said I want to / should / would make my kids handmade stockings, and now I can say 1 down, 1 to go! This is a killing two birds with one stone kind of project as I'm entering this knit stocking over here in hopes of winning a super fancy serger! :) What a fun and easy contest ... spread the word!

So that's how I came up with a stocking for this challenge - fits the mantle criteria - check, need one in the house - check, can enter in a contest - check!

I have recently amassed an insane amount of knit fabrics (help! someone stop me!) so I didn't have to stop at all for this challenge. I just turned to the closet and looked for Christmas colors + pink! (I think I was inspired by all the yummy peppermint chocolate goody boxes @ Trader Joe's! I'm obsessed w/ the Joe Joe's and that beautiful red, white and pink striped box gets me every time!)

I enjoy applique work so it was a given that I'd use that technique to spruce up this stocking. I couldn't leave Rudolph with a plain old nose, so I spruced him up with 3 hot fix crystals :)

I know we are supposed to be crafting for the mantle, but my Christmas decor is not coming out until after Thanksgiving comes down, so for now, it has to 'hang' with some doll dresses I recently made!

Oh and here's a peek at another fun Christmas craft I made ... I saw something similar on Pinterest and couldn't help but re-create it. I used ruffles leftover from this skirt to make the Blinging Rudolph Stocking. I cannot wait to get a picture of a special little one in this skirt! It's pretty tiny in person!

Be sure to vote for your favorite Christmas Mantle Craft!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knitted Sweater

So, I alluded to it in this post ... that years ago I actually knit myself a couple sweaters. I seriously feared that they didn't fit anymore, so haven't tried them on for over FOUR years! After knitting the GAP-tastic Cowl and seriously re-igniting my knitting crush, I tried them on. Hallelujah, they fit! One is a little tight, but it'll do.
This sweater was knit with the Zephyr Style Rusted Root Pattern. I used to really enjoy reading their blog and knitting from their patterns. This is knit from the top down in one consecutive piece - that's really the only way I'll knit clothing. Seriously, who wants to knit a bunch of pieces only to have to sew them together?

That's probably I've always been a big fan of Stefanie Japel's (aka Glampyre) work as well ...

I gotta point out that the design of this is so clever. Across the bust, there are not yarn overs or holes for the obvious reasons ... but as you knit farther down the sweater and need the extra width to accomodate the middle and hips, the pattern expands and you have yarn overs which make for a beautiful leafy pattern.

I wish I could recall what yarn I used, but I have no idea. I guess this was knit sometime in 2005 or 2006 ??? I am just crazy enough to have saved ALL my yarn labels, so I bet I have it somewhere in my bin of yarn goodness, but I'm not brave enough to tackle that project just yet. Resolution?

Anyway, I love knitting again. Made two more cowls since this one, and am planning to crank out some more for Christmas presents - people seem to love them! :)

Happy knitting / crafting!
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Next Challenge ...

Decorate that Mantel! For this challenge, we must have something to spruce up the old Mantel for Christmas!

Mantel projects are due on Wednesday ...
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And the Winner of the Thanksgiving Challenge is...


Sara's adorable Giving Thanks banner walked away with the win, giving Sara here second win in a row.  You can read more about Sara's banner here.  You can check out Sarah's apron here.

What will we be up to next?  Come back tomorrow and find out!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

GAP-Tastic Cowl & Knit Along

Yay for knitting! A couple weeks ago, I saw that Shannon of LuvintheMommyhood (love that blog name!) was hosting a Carefree Cowl Knit Along! I have been itching to knit something and was happy to jump right on this bandwagon!

She did a fantastic roundup of cowl patterns of all kinds ... I really liked this simple yet stylish one. It's the GAP-tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley (on Ravelry). I went w/ the EXACT recommended yarn and had this Cowl done in no time!

Seriously, I can barely watch TV (or just sit, or ride in a car frankly)  without having something else to do ... and if I have a project on the needles, you can believe I'm knitting and watching! After 8pm generally when the kids are down ... because then I can turn on Criminal Minds without worrying they'll have nightmares for life.

Anyway, this cowl is really versatile and the yarn is surprisingly soft! I haven't knit as much the last 4 years (I seem to have shifted to sewing) but it was really nice knitting again. I think it's this time of year or something. :)

On another random note, I pulled out the sweaters I knit over 5 years ago this past weekend! I was so afraid that none of them would fit, but all but one did fit! I was thrilled ... I am going to put them back in circulation now that the weather is cooler here. Update ... here's one!

Finally, I've already started and just about finished another cowl - the Marian pattern by Jane Richmond. I'm using a really light blue yarn and it's soo pretty. I **think** I'm going to gift both of these for Christmas but just may have to wear them until then!

Thanks luvinthemommyhood for the great inspiration; it's nice to be back in the knitting ring! I think I'm addicted -- for the second time in my life!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Challenge - The Submissions

We're getting for our next major holiday with these projects!

Thanksgiving Apron; more picture and description here.
"Give Thanks" Banner;  more pictures, description and tutorial here.

Please vote for your favorite Thanksgiving project ... voting closes Tuesday @ midnight. :)

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Give Thanks Banner - A Tutorial & Challenge Submission

Give thanks...although I try to do it everyday, now is the season to deck the halls with it, right!

For this challenge, I was sort of all over the place with what to do. I settled on making a banner, bunting, garland thing (what is the official word?). But, I was again all over the place -- to use all felt, to make triangle shaped flags, to use woven or linen? Then, I found some leftover linen and decided to go for that organic look. It sort of fell into place then.

I found these felt leaves from last Thanksgiving (I bought them for my kids to play with and these were our leftovers - yay!). Also, I recently bought this Martha Stewart paint set on sale at Michael's; it's Pearl and Metallic and I've been dying to try it! Once I had all the "ingredients" in place (sidebar: it's so nice to have finally built up SUCH a craft supply that I practically never need to shop to create; it's all already here!) this came together nicely.

I put together a quick tutorial below with pictoral step by step.

Close up of the letters - these colors are truly amazing! The really are pearly or metallic :)

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Challenge Submission: Thanksgiving Apron

Thanksgiving?  Really?  Didn't we just celebrate the 4th of July?  I'm just not prepared for the winter holidays.  So when it came to this challenge, I drew one huge mental blank.  It doesn't seem very original, but I finally settled on making myself a new apron.

I was able to make this quickly.  I serged together 2.5 inch strips of gold, orange and brown fabrics.  I thought they looked Thanksgiving-y--sort of like turkey feathers.  I then cut out the arm holes, and hemmed the edges, except the top edge.  That one I decided to fold over so I could string the neck strap through instead of attaching it.  Last, but not least, I added the neck strap and the back ties.  Within an hour, I had a new apron.

I'm hosting the family Thanksgiving this year and I'll be wearing this apron, for sure.

Be sure to vote for your favorite Thanksgiving craft! 

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Bobbie Socks & Bows - Small Contribution

Back in the summer, I participated in Lil Blue Boo's Bobbie Socks & Bows Drive. This was an "event" she organized for poeple to make and send (or just buy) white lace bobbie socks and white hairbows. The adorable little girls at Three Angels Relief in Haiti are the ones in need. Lil Blue Boo posted all about the need and organized effort here.

Let me just tell you, I LOVE doing stuff like this (especially in theory) but this time I wanted to actually do it!

I made several pairs of white socks with lace sewn onto the cuff... and I made quite a few simple white hairbows with pearls in the middle.

To think that THIS (simple socks and a bow) is all these little girls want. It's a far cry from the princess dresses, Scooby figures, candy and long list of other "wants" my own children have. Pretty humbling. Time to start teaching these girls about the ways of the world, how we can help and how blessed we are.

Not to mention the fact that my family has sent support to Haiti for years -- before the Haiti earthquake, my stepdad had organized a medical mission to Haiti ... the earthquake hit, and they still went! They were more needed than ever. The organization he works with in Haiti is Hearts for Haiti. Basically it's a Christian-based children's orphanage. I've seen my stepdad's pictures from prior trips and quite frankly they are heart-breaking and inspiring at the same time.

Anyway, I enjoyed participating and knowing that something so small brought a smile to a little girls' face!

Lil Blue Boo just posted pictures from the school of the girls wearing their new socks & bows! Yay! I didn't even realize that I had never posted pictures of this project (shame shame!) but here it is. Sharing this now seems even appropriate, since this is the month for giving thanks. :)

Here's the post of all the people who donated - wow! so many!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Next Challenge

Projects due on the blog next Wednesday! Hope everyone had a fun Halloween ...

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And the Winner of the Accessories Challenge is . . .


In a squeaker of a battle, Sara wins the tiara in the final day of voting with her chiffon flowers!

Read more about Sara's Chiffon Flowers here
Read about Sarah's Shrinky Dink Jewelry here.

Check back tomorrow to find out what we'll be up to next.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Perfect Present for a Crafty Little Girl

A couple weeks ago, my oldest niece turned 10! This confirms my suspicion that time really does fly because well, a lot has happened in 10 years (I've graduated college, moved to Arizona, had 3 nieces born, gotten married, had 2 kids, etc)!

I was excited to shop for her on this 10th birthday because we are now to the point where she enjoys crafting, can handle the hot glue gun and really LOVES all my supplies! She is a girl scout so she is always making these little S.W.A.P. pendants (brooch kind of things made mostly of felt with embellishments). Everytime she comes to my house, you can believe we're getting into everything craft related!

So, I decided to give her a getting started kit. I got her a nice "tupperware" organizer thing (hoping for her parents' sake that she keep her stuff picked up) and filled up the three drawers with some basic supplies, such as:

Needless to say, this present was a hit! My niece LOVED it ...and her little sister is already asking for her own set (specifically the glue gun) for her birthday.
This would be my own Sleeping Beauty dying to get into Ella's present!
Happy birthday sweet girl!

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