The Table Guy

John and I finally finished our table! We started it a month ago maybe? I don't remember. It seems like forever ago. 

We used our old picnic table and old redwood studs we removed during our kitchen redo. I tried to find a pic of the old table and discovered some awesome stuff.

Cousin Jessica carving pumpkins! We totally miss you, Jess!!
After a hail storm:
Before the raised bed and miniaturized:
Baby Bee!!
So, we took that table and cut it crosswise giving us the pieces for the top. The legs are two actual 2 x 4's screwed together. 
 Now I just have to find chairs...or talk John into building a bench. John sure is lookin' handsome these days!

Boxes Day

I stitched these boxes up for our (monthly?!) Treat Yo'self Festivities. Whereupon my lady friends and I get together, (monthly?!) to exchange little nothings and talk about how awesome we are. It's a lot more fun if you're one of the awesomes...which is pretty easy: show up...and be awesome.

Each box was specific to the person. So, that's who my friends are: a diamond, a raven, an art deco tulip and a cameo.

Sublime Stitching Patterns: Roaring '20's, Gothic Grandeur, and Embroidered Effects.

Rockin' Around the Zippered Pouch...

We are giving our teachers gift cards this year and I thought it might be nice to have a little pouch to put them in. So I grabbed my infinite pile of felted sweaters and got busy.
After I added a needle felted design, I used some iron on adhesive to iron the fabric to the felted wool. It's paper backed so you iron one side to the fabric, peel the paper off and then iron the fabric to the felt. It's pretty and it keeps the wool from stretching as you sew.
Then I added zippers! Which was hard!
But they're cute, right?!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
The Shabby Nest

Blue Trio Cups

I just added these little cups to my etsy shop! How cute are they? Hot chocolate never tasted so good!

There's nothing worse than wanting everything you put in your shop!

Poker Box

I've been meaning to post this for awhile. But my electricity went out and I got the flu. It was like being Amish, but, like, if an Amish person was injected with an alien who lived inside their stomach and made their life a living hell. Except worse.

On the plus side, I learned that I am a master fire builder. So there's that.

Moving on to embroidering boxes...

Aren't they cute?! And the boxes alone are pretty cheap. You just need the patience to poke some holes and you're all set!

The first thing I did was get a small paper mache box*, around 3" in diameter, and a pattern. This pattern is from Sublime Stitching's Winter Wonderland. If you are registered at Sublime Stitching, you can purchase pdfs. They are a bit cheaper and almost instantly in your inbox. It's delightful! And since we are poking, you won't even need to transfer the design as you would with fabric! So you can just print and poke!
Next you tape the design to the surface. I used a painting masking tape and took a bit of the tack off by sticking the tape to my pants first. Sounds crazy, but you don't want any paper coming up with the tape.

Then you poke. I use a thumbtack with a rubber top. After poking for awhile with a regular thumbtack, you're fingers want to commit suicide. So do yourself a favor and find a comfy one.

For where to poke, I poke a hole at the intersections first, then at long stretches of lines. If it's a continuous line, I poke the ends, or intersections, then the center, then the center of those. Sometimes you have room for two holes, where you divide by three, sometimes you just need one poke. Just try to get them even.
When you're done, you'll have a bunch of holes punched that make no sense. Keep your pattern piece to refer back!
Now find your embroidery floss and some tape.  Thread your needle and cut a few tiny pieces of tape. I used the same making tape, but I didn't untackify it. 

You can tape the end of the floss to the inside of the box away from any holes and away from the edge. Then pull your floss through and you're ready to go!
Some intersections end up with quite a few threads going through. The snowflake, for example, has 6 threads coming through the center. You can kind of make the hole a bit bigger with your thumbtack if it gets hard to pull your thread through.
About halfway through...normally I try to be a little neater on the back, but this snowflake was so small I just went for it.
When you reach the end, you can use a second piece of tape to secure the other end. If you're awesome, you could use the same piece!

Here's an example of a larger box with lots of colors and tape:
To cover all that mess, I add a pretty piece of wool felt. 

To get the perfect circle/shape for the box, I measured the inside and used open office to create a pattern. I just make a 2-3/4" circle and printed it. I'm sure there are better ways, but this is the fastest and easiest for me.
See, a circle out of paper!
To cut it out of felt, you just tape the circle to the felt. I would use smaller pieces of tape than I used. Like maybe five skinny pieces that stick out like a kids sunshine drawing. Below is the wrong way but the gist is pretty close!
If you do it this way, you'll miss the curves. So do it the sunshine way and we'll all be happy.
See? Pretty. To attach, I use spray glue. Which, I know, caustic horribleness. But! It keep the stitches together and safe. And it doesn't leak out through the holes. Just spray a light coat on the felt and then attach.
And now you have your super cute little gift box!  And it was cheap and easy! Right?

If you don't want to make them, I have some in my etsy shop!

*I've done this with a paper box, but it's not quite rigid enough to withstand the endless poking.

Also, the embroidered lady is from The Roaring 20's pattern at Sublime Stitching.

Circlie Garland: Holiday In

I've had a bunch of felt circles sitting around my house for five years. I remember them being expensive which meant that I was waiting for the perfect craft idea. I couldn't just stick a needle in them! Do you know how much they cost?! So silly.

I originally wanted to blanket stitch around the outside and connect them to make a garland. I think I put that project off because it was a LOT of work.

So I decided to just sew them together.

First I had to figure out what order they were sewn in.
It actually took me a while...Then I got Hartwell to make little piles for me while I sewed them.
The sewing is the easiest part! The machine just sucks the circles under!

Here they are on the tree:
Full tree:
I would've loved a shot of the whole garland when it was finished. But this morning I was awakened by a bouncy four year old who asked, "Can we decorated the tree now?" So as soon as it was finished, it took about 30 minutes, it was wrapped around the tree. And then covered in ornaments.

Flowers of Felt

Yay!! Another felt ornament! Just something to do while I watch nonsense at night...

These petals are about 1-1/2" tall. (If you're wondering about the red line around the pattern, just remember, it's not too smart to use white paper on white felt).
First, cut an odd number of petals, I used 9, but 7 also works, (and 8 looks good, too, for some reason). I used wool felt but felted sweaters work, or anything else...
Now we just pinch the base in half and pull a knotted, matching bit of embroidery floss through all nine petals.
To finish, pull the needle through the middle of the floss by the first knot. Pull it tight and knot the thread but don't trim it. You can keep the needle threaded and use it for the next few steps.
You're left with a floppy little flower.
I fanned out the petals a bit, left side:over, right side:under:
Now you have a cute little flower! You could stop here and make a brooch or a headband or some pasties! But we're gonna sew it to felt circle. The circle I traced using a glass, the glass a former jar of Bonne Maman Jam.
Once the flower is stitched on, I just attached the flower at the center of the circle, you can attach buttons! Or felt balls! Or whatever!
Finally, I blanket stitched around the circle starting and ending with the bit of ric rac felt I used for a hanger. Then I leave my last knot showing because it's handmade! And we should be proud of our handiwork!

Just think of the excellent color combinations! The possibilities are endless!
That just makes me want to buy shoes.