Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas and Quilts

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Well technically its no longer Christmas but its okay. I didn't make as much this year as I had the years before, mostly because I'm lazy and there hasn't been enough time. That and I also don't feel that the effort I put into making things isn't exactly appreciated. Anyhow I did make my first full-size quilt for my bf and his grandma as Christmas presents. I mean, who doesn't love blankets? I case you haven't noticed I DO! I have like a million that I just keep around at home. (which my sister never fails to remind me about) Dunno, there's just comfort in them. Like Linus and his blanket. Anyway.. 

The first quilt is supposed to be a 'quick quilt' in that it should be something easy, quick, and done in a day. I, however, beg to differ. I found the idea here  It was time consuming, and my sewing machine threads for some reason kept getting caught up and tangled. I wonder if it was just because I made it at a larger scale. It did take a day to make.. albeit an entire day but still a day nonetheless :) Anyhow here's how it turned out. 
Not tooo bad. I think the contrasting stitches make my mistakes stand out A LOT though haha. 

A close up. Looking at it again, it looks better with more lines all over it like the tutorial shows. Oh well. Maybe next time.

The quilt I made for my bf came out so much better than I thought, and I was super happy about it :) The fabric is this really cute fabric (Camp Sur by Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Organic Fabrics) I found from one of my favorite online fabric stores.. and reminded me of the trip we took to Yellowstone. An inspiration for a camping quilt! The pattern is loosely based on this quilt from a blog I frequent. Many firsts with this quilt. I ran out of basting spray.. and it being Christmas eve at 10 at night, I resorted to using my quilting pins for the first time. 
It wasn't too hard using them.. but I also ran out of quilting pins. I guess the blanket was too large. If I had a choice, basting spray wins. Even though it makes my room smell like glue. 

Aaaaand here's the final product! Love love this camping quilt. I would say it's almost a full-size quilt. 

 A close up of my favorite piece.. the tent and SUV and trailer :) 

Things to keep in mind for the next quilt. Don't make anything bigger than full-size. Unless of course I upgrade to a better sewing machine. My old Target Singer can't handle it. Too many lines to quilt and it kept jamming on me :( 
Also, I previously read tips on how you need to keep the back of the quilt and the batting larger than the quilt top itself. Which I didn't ever do with my baby quilts and didn't understand why it was necessary. Until now. The quilt top was so big that I guess I didn't realize I lined it up wrong and ended up with about two inches of the bottom part hanging off the edge. And I couldn't just cut that part off.. it was part of the design of the quilt! So what I did was take a two inch fabric remnant of the same color and added it to the backing. It worked fine but it was still annoying taking extra time that I didn't have. Surprisingly, the quilt didn't take too long. A day of cutting and sewing and second day of quilting and binding. I'm sure though, if I ever get around to making that chevron quilt it'll take a big longer :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chevron Stockings and Hot Cocoa in a Jar

Yay! So the holidays are here, and my sister and I decided not to get a tree this year.. mostly because of the canines in the home and the uncertainty of a certain animal that likes to make his mark everywhere :). Anyhow I still wanted to decorate a little to make the apt feel just a little bit more festive.

Burlap bunting and lights for the window

I made some felt chevron stockings to hang over the fireplace.. using the exact same technique that I used for Grayson's chevron quilt :) 

The layout. I made the minimal amount of squares needed haha. 

Annd cut out a stocking for the backing and used it as a template to cut the pattern out.. sewed it together and voila! A stocking ;)

I used my silhouette to cut out letters (smiley monster font) for an outline for the names. If you look at it up close.. you can see my squares are super crooked..

Buuuuut not from far away!! And yes.. I did not forget my dogs. I mean, they are my children after all :) 

I recently went to a Christmas party with my coworkers.. and since they already got the gifts I thought I would post it. It's a super cute idea I found here from pinterest A"Grown up hot chocolate gift" idea. I made my own hot chocolate mix with a recipe I found here . One batch that I made was enough to fill a dozen mason jars, using half a cup per jar. 
Here they are ready to be packaged. I added chocolate chips and marshmallows. 

If you add one and a half cup of hot water (or hot milk) it's enough for a full mason jar to drink out of :) I tried it myself with the jar just to test it out and realized that the glass makes it too hot to hold.. so I took extra felt and made some personalized cup sleeves! 

The finished product. It was pretty well received.

I added some tags with instructions on how to mix the cocoa and, of course, the Bailey's. Cute and simple. And you get a canning jar out of it :) 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crochet Minion and Cake the Cat

So I've been really lazy and just been posting pictures on my Instagram rather than updating my blog. Must be all the thanksgiving eating ;) Anyhow I've been trying to crochet everything that I want before the holiday starts and I have to begin with the present making!

I love love Despicable Me and have been wanting to make a Minion forever. I mean, I already made Agne's unicorn!  As far as the pattern is concerned, it was simple enough to just make up as I went along but there are a couple of websites with free patterns posted. Like here and here.

AND theeeeeen.. I totally started watching Adventure Time mostly because I've had requests for crafts related to that show. Funny enough my first (and favorite) episode is Fionna and Cake. I was so confused and thought that maybe Fionna was Finn's cousin or something but it turns out it was just Ice King's fan fiction. Booooooooooo. Still gotta love a tv show that does its own gender swap. 

Anyway, since I already made Jake the Dog, here's his gender swap version Cake the Cat! It's funny how fast I can crochet something when I really want it done. I whipped up Cake in about 7 hours.. during the new episodes of Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and a couple episodes of Supernatural.. 

I feel the makings of Fionna's rabbit hood coming soon to go with Cake the Cat haha! Maybe when the Christmas rush is over ;) We'll see. I'm becoming a hoarder with all these softies that I've made that I can't let go. I swore that Mac the unicorn was going to be the last one, but then I made the Minion, and Cake! Cake will be the last.. I swear! And yes, there's Hobbes still going strong! He's getting a little worn down but is the unofficial leader of this motley crew :) 

Hopefully I'll be able to get a couple of posts before the holidays. Maybe some easy peasy DIY stuff? Until then, Happy Holidays and happy crafting :) 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Modge Podge iPad Case

Anytime I get any electronic device (i.e. phone, Kindle, iPad) the first thing I do is spend all night making a case for it. For my iPad, I actually made two cases.

First one is like a notebook thing with a pocket for headphones and charger. AND its supposed to stand up but it was too flimsy and its a little bulky so I stopped using it after..

I made this envelope sleeve. It's a little snug but I love it!

And then my aunt came back from China and brought with her a bunch of iPad cases. It's ugly.. 
(case in point)

But it'll be good for school. So googled mod podging on fabric and went to work!

I read somewhere to modge podge the fabric first and then glue it on. So I painted a layer.. and left it overnight to dry. Then I glued it onto the case and left THAT overnight to dry. 
The end result. 

Not too shabby! I know.. you can still see the writing through the white pattern on the fabric. Should've used white fabric underneath it or something. Oh well! It's a little stiff from all the glue.. but it doesn't matter I'm only using it for school. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Baby Name Chevron (or Zig-Zag) Quilt

Here's my third quilt! And I am happy to say that it is getting easier. This is my first time using a blocking method.. from this awesome tutorial here. As soon as I saw it I had to make one for my friend Kris and her new baby. For a project like this, you just have to find the perfect person to give the gift to. I've learned that some people don't appreciate handmade gifts like they need to be appreciated. I mean, it wasn't hard, just very time consuming. Like I posted about before, I am in looooove with the chevron pattern. Which to some people say its technically not chevron.. it's zig zag. Whatever you want to call it, here it is! 

Getting the general layout before sewing it together. I double checked everything more than twice. I had no intention of using my seam ripper! 

Final product. Love how it came out!!! 

You can see some areas where the stripes are a little uneven. I have a feeling this goes back to my crooked sewing. HAHA. By far, the longest I've taken on a quilt. One day of cutting and sewing. One day of quilting and then a day of appliqueing and binding. I'm planning to make a queen-size one for my bed... which'll probably end up taking a week if I ever get around to it :)

I also made this car seat cover from this tutorial here. Super cute and super easy! My favorite combination  :)

Happy early Christmas Grayson! Hahaha

EDIT: I've been getting a few questions on how I did the name "GRAYSON" I basically followed this tutorial here.. using the font "smiley monster." I actually just reversed the letters on photoshop and held the heat n bond up to my computer screen and just traced from there (the lazy way hehe) I then ironed onto the fabric and sewed around the letters with a zig-zag stitch (my preferred way). Hope this helps! Thanks for the compliments :) 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Costumes :

It's Halloween time! I love Halloween mostly because I love making things :) When I was younger Halloween was all about revealing costumes purchased from Legg Avenue.. you know the sluttier the better! However I think I'm over that period (Or just older and fatter) and am leaning more towards comfy and cute. Mostly comfy (and cheap!).. i.e. my costumes the past two years. 

Cheshire cat in 2010. Super easy.. I messily threw together a pink and purple skirt from knit fabric and had a striped purple and pink tank. Crocheted ears attached it to headband and then a tail to attach to the skirt.. and VOILA! Cheshire cat :) Probably came out to less than $10.

Glee fanatic over here. So of course I was a female Warbler in 2011. Found a JCrew blazer at Goodwill (score!) for $8. Sewed on bias tape I bought from Jo-Anns $2. Bought the patch from ebay for another $2 and then the tie somewhere online for $15. $27. The tie made it a little expensive :) AND BTW NOONE REALLY KNEW WHO I WAS! 

So this time around I REALLY wanted to be comfortable. I saw this  on pinterest and had to make it! You can read the tutorial if you want.. it's pretty detailed but I was too lazy to and just kind of looked at the picture.

I just took my most comfortable dress and used it as an outline for the fish costume. Then added a hood and cut out scales and glue-gunned them to the dress. I just bought two yards of fleece fabric (on sale!)  at Jo-Ann's for < $10.

Aaaaand here's how it came out! Not bad.. of course it looks way cuter on that little kid. Stupid me I used fleece. Should've stuck with the knit fabric. Living in southern California for so long you would think that I would know by now that it would still be like 80 degrees at the end of October. At least it was sleeveless ;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Adventure Time: Finn's Backpack

So Halloween is just around the corner, and earlier this month my friend Barbara asked me to make her Finn's backpack from Adventure Time to add to her costume (which I really should start watching since earlier this year my coworker had asked me to crochet Jake the Dog from that show too!) Anyhow never having made a backpack before.. Challenge Accepted!!

For those of you who aren't familiar, here's Finn, his backpack, and his dog Jake. Haha.. they're a little weird looking if you ask me.

So here's the final product! I completely winged it.. I just kind of put the bag together the same way as my Amy Butler weekender and it didn't come out too bad. I just wish I should have used something stiffer to give the backpack more shape. Oh well! 

It's a fully functional backpack, with a large zippered pocket big enough to store a sword and whatever else you might need for those adventures ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lap Quilt

I've been practicing my quilting and used this lovely fabric I found at my local fabric store, Sew LA, to make my second quilt. I made it as easy as I could. 2 yards for the front, 2 yards for the back, and then quilt and bind away! Took only an entire day to make. Still struggling, but thats okay I'm keeping this blanket for those cold days of snuggling on the couch with a good book :)

Still having a lot of trouble with the binding. I think the problem is I don't sew in a straight line and can't maintain the 1/4 in.. or cut the layers together evenly  

AND THEN.. I somehow sewed the binding together the wrong way HAHA.  Oh well. That's why I'm keeping it. 

The finished product in use. Looks cute on my couch.. if you're looking from far away. :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fish FIngers and Custard

I'm geek and I am in love with certain things. Harry Potter for one, Doctor Who two. Okay and Sherlock. And Once Upon a Time. And LOTR. Okay let me stop before I look like a supergeek. But I do get very attached to certain characters. And last Saturday was the last episode of the eleventh doctor's current companions, Rory and Amy Pond, my favorite companions by far. I would be lying if I said I didn't cry. A lot. I'm like the Doctor, I hate endings especially endings to something as wonderful as the Ponds. I wanted to throw a doctor who party.. but unfortunately for me, nobody I know watches Doctor Who. Which means I have noone to get my Doctor Who references, my tardis mug, my tardis phone, no one to make Doctor Who crafts for. I have no support whatsoever. Hence this post, just to rant a little and let anyone here who watches doctor who to shoot me an email. I'd love to talk to you. Really. Just don't be a creeper. Thanks.

Anyhow, I think I'm just going to spend the rest of my week brooding and eating fish fingers and custard. For those of you who don't get it, the Doctor had just regenerated into his eleventh reincarnation, and meeting little Amelia Pond for the first time needed something to eat and henceforth came fish fingers and custard.

Aaaaaand here's the fish fingers and custard. Of course being vegetarian I can't exactly eat real fish fingers and custard. I found this and its delicious! 

Would've looked more realistic if I had made the cookies thinner. I forgot they spread a little when they're baked. HAHA. Oh well. There's always the Christmas episode to look forward to. Until then, Bye Bye Ponds. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Baby Quilt :)

I did it! It's done and now I've discovered a new hobby. After months of putting it off and worrying about the technicalities of it.. I've finally made my first quilt and I am oh so proud of it because despite minor hiccups and setbacks its complete and I'm so excited to get started on more.

As a beginner, I decided to go the easy way and quilt in two inch horizontal lines. As you can see, I just eyeballed the two inches. I mean, those lines are purposely crooked I swear. It adds character ;) Then I appliqued the baby's name and used quilt binding to finish it off with this tutorial here

Close up of the applique. Yeah, you can see I need more practice with sewing curves. 

Favorite thing? Picking out the fabric!! I probably spent like two hours at Joann's wandering around the  nursery print until I finally decided on this super cute train pattern for the backing and then coordinating colors for the borders. Hence the little train applique :) Also I did really enjoy the quilting part. Although it was pretty tedious.

Hardest thing? Surprisingly the binding! I think it might have something to do with the fact that I can't cut in straight lines and the quilt layers were a little crooked. It really frustrated me.. and for awhile I didn't understand how to miter the damn corners. BUT its over, I'm done and next time I will definitely make an effort to cut the fabrics cleaner. Next project? A chevron quilt of course! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scrapbook Box

My bfs birthday is eight days after mine. Considering we just got back from a week long road trip I didn't have much time to make something big. So I found this on pinterest and went to work.

It was actually really easy to make. I just added pictures that I printed from iPhoto and little notes from what we did while he was 24. It's a really cute idea. What would have been neater is if I got that darn watch I bought him from Nordstrom on time, I could've put it in the box and it would be two presents in one! Too bad. But such endless possibilities with this! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Disney's Coast to Coast Challenge/Snow White Running Costume

September is here! I recently did the Disneyland Half Marathon on my birthday because my friends suckered me into participating in Disney's Coast to Coast Challenge. For those who don't know, runDisney offers an additional medal for those who complete a marathon in Disneyworld and Disneyland in the same year. Really, I just wanted to go to Disneyworld. And that third medal. Anyhow I did DisneyWorld's Half Marathon in January of this year, and just this past Labor Day finished with Disneyland's. Let this be known. I am not a fit person. I do not run on a normal basis. I go to kickboxing class about 3 days a week only because if I didn't I would look like a hippo. If I had my way I would eat carbs and desserts all day and never exercise. Unfortunately I was gifted with what I think is the slowest metabolism in the world and if I so much as look at a cupcake I gain five pounds. True story. Weight has and forever will be a constant issue in my life. Buuuuut I DID A HALF MARATHON. How?! Honestly I have no clue. If you asked me a year ago to do a half marathon I would have laughed in your face. For the half in January, I worked out the week before we flew to Florida. I ran 3 miles one day, and then the next day ran 9 miles. Five days later I finished a half marathon. Two hours and 59 minutes, but I did it! More importantly, I didn't stop. Funny enough, I told myself at that time that I would totally train for the one in Disneyland. HA! If anything I ran less, just 3 miles three days before the race. But I finished that too! What an experience. Some things that I learned about while doing the challenge. 

1. It's all mental.
    Really. Those sayings about running being 90% mental and 10% physical is true. By mile 5 my head already started playing games with me, but I kept telling myself 'Don't be a loser, you have to finish.' I always always looked for each mile marker, boy did they help boost moral. Especially at after mile 10.

2. It's mostly about having fun.
    Face it. I'm not going to be first, second, or third. EVER.  Maybe like 14497th. Mostly everyone is there to celebrate fitness/personal goals and in Disney's case, taking pictures with the characters and enjoying the run through Cinderella's castle/ the backlots of Disney parks. Stopping to wave at Mickey, high-fiving Donald, or cheering along with everyone else makes it an easier run and keeps the mind off other things, like aching joints.

3. That you can push yourself a lot farther than you think.. if you just stop thinking
    I really never thought I would be able to run 13.1 miles. I cringed at a 6k and only competed in 5ks. I  really surprised myself at finishing my first half marathon. I'm always saying "I can't do this I can't do that" however, at that time I was so nervous about it I just didn't think.. and followed everyone else around me. And then I was done.

Best thing about the challenge? Disney. I saw that it was the norm to run dressed in disney characters.. and at this time I am obsessed with Once Upon A Time's Snow White/Mary Margaret. Soooo the first time around I was lazy threw together a pathetic looking costume.
I just sewed ribbon on a dri-fit shirt and made a fugly skirt.

And some of these runners go ALL OUT. The costumes they made were so cute. So I swore that for the one in September I would make a cuter one. 

I found this pattern at Jo-Ann's during a sale. Got it for $1 :) Love sales.

I also found this pretty knit 'dance' material. It was light-weight and similar to that of dri-fit. So I went with it. I picked the Alice costume, changed the colors and omitted the apron. It actually was super easy because I didn't have to worry about lining or zippers. When I was done, I thought that it needed a collar, and never having made a collar on a dress before.. I just winged it. It came out pretty awful but you can't really tell. 

The dress. Pretty satisfied.

The dress in action. Of course when I saw her I ran back and waited in line to take a picture. I couldn't not. 

Laaaast thing. During the expo they had a stand that framed your medals in an awesome way for $200. That was their 'cheap expo discount'. I was tempted.. but the cheap side of me won out and decided to try to make my own. I bought a shadowbox on sale at Michaels... about $8 and went to work. 

The end result.

Ugh. It took me about 3 hours of cutting/repasting to figure out what I liked and how to get the darn medals to stay in place. And I still don't really like it. I tried to pinterest it.. but all I really found was stuff like this  and I wasn't sure how many more halfs I'll run. Oh well. I'll leave it be until I figure out something better. Ideas?

**Ending note. Today is 9/11.  No matter how many years have passed the victims of that tragic day will never be forgotten.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chevron Love

Chevron has been all over the crafting blogger's world for the past year and its really gaining popularity. Like I said before I am in love with it obsesssssed with it. I mean, I've made.. 

Chevron striped chair cushions for the dining table

Chevron throw pillows and crocheted chevron patterned afghan

My next plan was this! that I found on pinterest (of course) whenever I gather enough courage to actually start a quilt. But theennnn I saw this. I've made Amy Butler's Weekender before, and remember being really really frustrated because it was so hard to sew through. I told myself that I was just going to make this one bag and that is ALL. 

But I never used it. Maybe partly because of the color (I'm not really a pink person) and partly due to the fact that I couldn't shoulder the bag thus making it a nuisance to carry. After I read through the link... I was inspired to give it another go with some of the tweaks from Stitches and Scissors, this time with a color that  I love :)

My new weekender.. in a lovely aqua chevron with longer handles

And an extra zippered pocket on the other side

And pockets on the inside! I also machine sewed the top of the lining to the bag and it was so easy and came out nice and clean :) I stuck with the Peltex instead of her Decobond. I made sure to cut the Peltex a little smaller so I didn't have to sew through all those layers. It was still hard though. 

My sister said it looks like a large diaper bag...but I still love it and am so happy and excited! My new weekender, just in time for my roadtrip from WY to CA. A nice little bday present to myself.