Monday, December 31, 2012

a year in review, and hope and dreams

Looking back to this year favorite projects,
I realized we have similar tastes,
I mean your favorites are usually mine too,
isn't it great how it works out!

High on the list is my work for Miss C.'s dolls:

the ranch,

Then came the fun of crate making
or how to make your soda cans "sexy",
well maybe not, but definitively prettier!

and how to transfer image onto wood with a laser printer.

Now, here are some work that is not as popular as the previous one,
but that has had a great impact in our life,
which matters greatly to us!

make-over of the patio,
back yard fence (they are actually the same color!)
updating upper cabinets,
and island.

You can see on the last picture that the island is white,
and that the upper cabinets have lost their doors temporary,
yes I have been working on priming, painting and more painting.
I am almost done with the upper part of the kitchen,
but there is a long way to go for the rest of the kitchen.
So this year, one of my goal is to finish the kitchen,
I hope to be done by Easter, but we shall see!

I know Miss C. will come up with more sewing
and doll projects for me to work on,
we are not planning anything yet,
well except some more accessories for Kaya.

Happy day!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

a little late deer pillow

Are you tired of Holiday decorations?
Probably, but I saw this tutorial from Sewing under Rainbow
very late and I still wanted to make it,
so here it is:

Isn't it just perfect?
I used some gray from Kona, and some prints Blitzen from Basic Grey.

Yes, it will be ready for next year,
but there are still a few more days before we take done the tree,
so not totally too late!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

yes, Santa came with the snow

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas,
ours was very successful,
with a nice pile of teared up papers and bows.
and of course, presents!

Yes Miss C. has received her doll,
and has enjoyed the little moccasins I made for her.

Brick Master has remained cool, new shades always help!

and we had our first snow on Christmas Eve,
it was quite a treat.
Now I am finishing all the sewing I did not get to do before Christmas...

Happy Day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

another pair of moccasins and some gloves

After the success of my first pair of moccasins for Miss C.'s future doll,
I set out to make another pair,
a little fancier: with some beads!

I used the same pattern, but this time I used lighter suede,
while still using the same fleece on the inside.
Kaya is supposed to be a Nez Perce (Pacific Northwest area),
but Miss C. was born in the land of enchantment and the Pueblo people,
which means I wanted to use some turquoise on the clothes.
I apologize if the mixture of style offends someone,
it is not the intent.

I also sewed some gloves,
first I tried using the pseudo-suede, but there is no stretch in that fabric,
and the hand would not fit through.

So I made another version using fleece,
and adding some fringe on the seams,
it seemed too plain otherwise!
(I know it might appear that I am using a lot of cliches
to make this wardrobe for the doll!)

Happy sewing!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

doll outfit for a friend

A few days ago, Miss. C. was invited to an impromptu Bday party.
The parents did not wish us to buy presents,
so we did not, but of course I sewed something,
they did not say anything about that!
I guess not too many people make presents themselves!
This little girl always bring her doll when she comes over,
so I figured she would enjoy a new outfit for her doll.

I knew what to make: a pair of jeans and a top.
I had just purchased this pattern from Liberty Jane patterns
and I was looking for the opportunity to sew it,
it does not real fit the style of Kaya that I have been working on for Christmas.
I used a pair of old jeans (one leg is enough, well I guess it depends 
on the size of the previous worked fine here!)

It turned out really good, my doll is not an AG so
it does not fit as well as it should,
the Madame Alexander dolls do not have hips as wide as the AG,
it still looks a lot better than the jeans I made from a trousers pattern!
Miss C.'s friend has an AG doll, so it would be perfect for her.
And this one has real pockets, front and back.

Next I made a cute tank top, using another pattern from Liberty Jane patterns.
I sewed this pattern before, and it is a fast and easy project.

The original plan after that was to make an oversize, over the shoulder top,
 using some knit I had.
Well the knit was not good for this project.
So I scraped the idea, and decided to make a cape instead.

I followed this very easy pattern from Strictly Homemade,
I used a light weight faux fur fabric and some off-white fleece,
it started to look really good,
I just needed a final touch: gloves!
I sewed them with the same fleece,
from a Simplicity/McCall pattern.

I hope the Bday girl enjoys playing with her new doll outfit,
I had fun making it last night and this morning,
it was the perfect antidote to the ugliness of yesterday's events.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

little moccasins

This Christmas, Miss C. is getting her first real American Girl Doll,
she is very excited.
Because it is such an investment, we decided that she would only get the doll
and that I would make the accessories.
She will receive Kaya, so I am working on Native American inspired things,
 I am not sure I will have time to do all that I envisioned but I will try!

So far, I made this cute pair of moccasins.
it is a little intense, but not hard.

There are a lot of little parts, but the instructions are really clear, and
easy to follow, there is a little bite of hand stitching which turned out
to be hard on the fingers, the pseudo-suede is actually hard to sew!
The result is quite cute, a perfect beginning.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

embroidered ornaments

Last summer ( I mean summer 2011), the kids and I spent
a month at my parents, enjoying the French lifestyle
and visiting family.
During some of the downtime,
I did some cross stitching.

My mom and I used to spend a lot of time during
the summer months embroidering.
So I stitched a few little embroideries for the winter
to make as ornaments.

Well Christmas  came and went last year
and I totally forgot about them.
But this year I remembered and finally treated them properly.

They are fairly traditional,
after all who doesn't love deer at Christmas time?
For the back I used some Liberty of London,
it is well know that I have a thing for linen and Liberty!

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

making ornaments with the Brownies

After the semi-disaster of the butterflies brooches,
I was eager to revisit sewing with the Girls scouts.
Making ornaments seemed like the perfect occasion to start anew.
With about 30 minutes for our craft, I came up with an easy project that
everybody would succeed at making, no matter the ability.
So here are the ornaments we made:

Before the meeting, I cut a lot of stars,
luckily I have a die cut for it!
I wanted to make sure we had enough color to please 
all the girls, there is no crying in Brownies!

After choosing 3 stars (at least 2 different colors)
we made a star sandwich:
the middle star is slightly twisted and sticks
out of the 2 other stars that are perfectly aligned.
Then we stitched around the layered stars with 
a simple running stitch, keeping everything simple!
At the top, we made a loop to hang the ornament.

This project was a total success,
all the girls made an ornament,
and they are turned out beautiful!

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

little framed owl ornaments

Here are some cute owls ornaments I made: 

So cute, right?!

During Thanksgiving break, I was able to do some hand embroidery,
It is not my first pattern from Mollie,
I embroidered the tea cup, the gold fish and the cupcake using her patterns.

To set up those cute little owls as ornaments,
 I decided to not use a mini embroidery hoop,
but to make my own frame out of wood veneer.

To make the frame I used my sizzix die cut machine and cut 2 frames,
one of wood veneer and one of cardboard.
The veneer is not sturdy enough to stand on its own,
so I glued it to the cardboard with wood glue.
To hide the white cardboard (recycled with boxes)
I used some stamping ink to give the back a similar shade,
I also did that on the edges of the frame, inside and out.

Then I cut a piece of cardboard, larger than the frame opening.
I also cut my little owls, making sure that there were a lot of space around them.
The owls were started and ironed, making it easier to work for the next part.

I them wrapped the little owl around the cardboard,
folding the corners and attaching it all the back
with shipping tape!
(I know, not very classy but effective!)

More tape was used to attach the embroidery to the frame
and some twine to the back of the ornament.

Now to make the back more presentable,
I hot glued a square of orange/brown felt.

 and there you have it,
cute little ornament in wood frame!

Happy day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

little decorated Christmas tree

We have not yet purchased our Christmas tree,
but I have already decorated the little tree
that sits on the side board behind the dining room table,
our mantel of sorts.

I made all the trimmings, except for the star at the top. 
I was inspired by this advent calendar tutorial from the Graphics Fairy-DIY.
I used the images to make simple rosette ornaments,
decorated with some glitter.

I also sewed a few years ago a sweet ruffle tree skirt,
inspired by this tutorial from Miss Mustard Seed,
I made it out of osnaburg, it is much lighter than canvas,
so it does ravel a lot but it still looks nice.

Miss C. and I strung cranberries on dental floss
to add more red to the tree, I had never done it,
it was something we both enjoyed!

With a die cut machine, we made some silver words (Noel, Joy)
that we placed throughout the tree,
and we called it good.

Now we need to get a big tree to decorate with ornaments
we collected over the years,
no theme or fanciness,
we are an everything-goes-Christmas-tree family!

Happy day!

The Graphics Fairy

Sunday, December 2, 2012

mittens of many uses

Yesterday I showed our "heirloom" advent calendar,
 I would like to demonstrate the many use of mittens through the house!

Besides the advent calendar, my other favorite way is this one:

more details here.

Because the mittens can be made in any color that suits your fancy,
it can fit just about any decor.
Here are a few color ways I used for making mittens, besides the ever popular red!

1234, 56.

And finally it is perfect for just about anything!

Will you be making any mittens this Christmas?

Happy sewing!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

it is advent calendar time!

While I have not been posting regularly
(as if it ever happened!)
I have been busy getting ready for Christmas.

Last year, I ran a cool series that I called 
"the 12 days of mittens".
I had fun finding ways to use mittens to decorate the house.

The best one was the advent calendar:

You would think that which such a calendar,
we would be using over and over,
(considering the time it took me to make all those mittens!)

Well here is a reality check, it is LEGO all the way,
with not one but two calendars,
I am sure you can find which one belong to whom!

If you are interested in making your own mittens,
I made 24 mittens using this technique
(here is the simplified version)

1, 2, 3.

Tomorrow, I will review the "many" uses of mittens!

Happy sewing!

Coffee, bunny and Easter eggs

Can anyone have too many bunnies, really? OK, maybe, but I am not there yet! I changed my cocoa station from last winter to a spring coffee ...