Creative Friday: Craft show display and knitted goodies

The time has come for my first craft show with an official business and I would be lying if I said I haven’t been a little anxious…actually, at this moment I’m rather calm. However, it’s 10:30 at night and I still have to gather all of my stuff together and have it ready for the morning. I’m just glad I’m not traveling very far to get to the location. Last night I finally created the display I have been thinking about for the last week or so.

Image

With the exception of buying the jute ribbon for $10 I made it with things I had/found. The frame was a find from a friend’s yard sale and I got it for free. I spiffed it up by painting it with a nice brown and then put a coat of gold glittery paint on top. The frame didn’t have a back, so I brought home some boxes from work (books are always delivered in wonderfully sturdy boxes), painted them, and pieced a few flaps together to fit the back. Then I wrapped the ribbon around the back and hot glued it down. When that was in place I hot glued the cardboard to the frame, and voila! Lovey display! (Not to worry, I do have enough barrettes to fill in the whole thing and then some.)

I’m excited to see how it all goes tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I have a product that will draw attention and interest. I just have to be sure to keep it that way. I stuck with just barrettes for my first foray into the craft show world; they are quick to make and don’t require a lot of investment (mostly just the clips as I have yarn and buttons abounding). After this push I’m going to try to get my Etsy shop underway and do bigger items; stuffed animals, photo props, and the like. God only knows what wonderful thing are waiting just ahead, and I wouldn’t have it any other way (more on that to come 😉 )

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Creative Friday: Aprons & Teddy Bears

Ok, so my idea for posting fun stuff I’ve made or am working on on just Fridays hasn’t really worked thus far. I’ve had a few ideas since it’s after Christmas (and gifts have been given), but then Friday comes and goes and I haven’t posted anything crafty….so here it is, even if it is Saturday 🙂

These are a few things I made for Christmas presents. I made a few aprons from some old jeans (old and a little too big) and some fabric left over from other projects. I found a couple different tutorials – thank you, Pinterest. This one from Creative Green Living uses the front of the jeans and look like overall shorts. I, however, ended up using this one from A Girl and a Glue Gun. It was pretty easy and used just one leg of the jeans so I was able to make 2 aprons out of one pair. The thing that took the longest was cutting & ironing the fabric for the edges. I ended up doing a couple things differently from the tutorial. I made long ties for the around the neck instead of just the loop; I wanted to make sure the wearers would be able to adjust that how they wanted as they weren’t here to try them on. I also used wider pieces of fabric for along the top and the bottom of the aprons. There was a little frustration with the sizing as I was making them for people smaller than myself, but I was thrilled with how they turned out (plus the fact that once I was on the right track with the sizing, sewing was the easy part).

ImageImage

For the one with the ladybugs I was able to use the back pockets from the jeans. I found the idea to make this apron somewhere else initially and had already taken the seam out down the inside of the pant leg. For the other I used fabric from another pair of jeans for the pocket; I just traced the outline of the original pocket onto it. I also followed the tutorial for cutting the pant leg right down the middle of the back. I’m not sure which way I like better, as it was a little more difficult to make it look symmetrical the second way, but the bottom did seem to lie flatter. Pros & cons, I guess.

 

I also made this cute bear. I’ve made a number of them over the past few years for little ones. The pattern is fairly simple and quick to make. If it is a project I’m really focused on I can usually finish it in a week. A few years ago I bought some pattern books from Barbara Prime’s Fuzzy Mitten line. The pattern for this bear was included, but this link to the pattern is her updated version.

Image

I didn’t make the overalls this time around. Instead I knitted a hat and scarf. I made up the patterns for those myself. The scarf wasn’t hard, but the hat took a few tries to get the right number of stitches so it would fit his head. Sadly (as it happens often) I didn’t think to write down the pattern as I knitted it. I’ll figure it out next time around 🙂 The one change I made to Barbara’s pattern was knitting all of the pieces in the round instead of flat. I really despise sewing seams, so I make sure I don’t if it’s not necessary. As soon as I”m done with my current project, I have a few more of these cuties to make.

I hope you have some fun crafts in the works! Maybe these inspired you to look up a few ideas or make them completely on your own. I’ve said it once, and you’ll probably hear it again; my favorite thing about the creative process is just that – being creative. I find making patterns my own, whether is be with little tweaks here and there or big changes, that I had more of a part in creating the item. That being said, there is nothing wrong for following a pattern as is. I have actually learned that the hard way more than once. I am guilty of thinking I have a better way of executing a pattern without really knowing the purpose of a certain section, or just not reading it through properly. I once knitted a couple of dog ears in the round only to find out I was following the pattern the wrong way as they were meant to have a seam at the top and not the side – oops. We all live and learn. And if we find a way to make it better along the way that’s an added bonus.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Creative Friday: The Mitten

One thing I enjoy to no end is creating and have henceforth decided that Friday will be set aside to share such creations. Here is my latest: a giant knitted mitten along with a slew of felt animals to go inside.

Image

“What a strange thing to make,” you may be thinking. Well, I assure you, it is not so strange if you are up on your children’s literature. I made this set for my niece for her 2nd birthday, giving with it a copy of Jan Brett’s The Mitten. It is probably her most well-know picture book that tells the story of a mitten, dropped in the snow by a little boy as he is going out to play. One by one, the animals find the mitten and cozy their way in with the others to be nice and warm. The story ends with the mouse sitting on the bear’s nose, tickling it and making him sneeze. All of the animals fly out of the mitten just as the boy realizes it’s missing and goes to find it. Boy and mitten are reunited, though one is now slightly larger than the other (one of the mittens, that is; neither of them get to be bigger than the boy). The story is a Ukrainian folk tale (which makes it even more special to me as that is part of my heritage) and the illustrations are intricate and beautiful. There are side panels on each page that show which animal is coming next as well as insets that show where the boy is during the story. They are so well thought out and executed that The Mitten has earned it’s place on my list of favorite picture books. Now that you’ve had a nice book review, let’s get back to the creating.

I had made a mitten for this purpose a few years ago and thought it fortuitous to stumble upon the pattern I wrote up for it when I started on this one. Sadly, after knitting the main piece once, the thumb three times, and trying to sew the thumb at least 4 times, I know I had to find another way. That’s when I remembered this great book at my library: Leisure Arts’ Snow Day Sets to Knit. So, using two strands of DK yarn and size 13 double pointed needles I got to work using the basic mitten pattern and making a few adjustments with the length (the size of the width was just right as written). This is how the finished mitten turned out.

Image

I like it for the most part, but should I do it again, I might make the thumb a little smaller; it seems to be just a tad too wide.

I bought some lovely felt at a local yarn & fabric shop/craft studio. At first I thought it might be too expensive, but when I started working with it I realized that the felt I could have gotten from one of the big chain craft stores would have never held up to both my sewing and a two-year-old playing with it. I found the basic shape I wanted all of the animals to have by searching images on Google and traced them our free-hand from there. For the most part, I cut the felt details on the animals free-hand as well and really couldn’t be more thrilled with how they all turned out. And here they are, top to bottom, left to right: owl, mouse, bear,badger, fox, snowshoe rabbit, mole, and hedgehog.

Image

This is what I really love about creating things; when they are your own, you can do them however you want! I’m so thankful that, for the most part, God gave me a desire to create in a way that things don’t have to be perfect when I first start out. They tend to take shape along the way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are making something and it ends up not being “perfect,” it’s ok. It is your creation and you have every right to be proud of it. I do realize that in some crafts “perfection” is important, such as checking your gauge before you start knitting a sweater…this is why I have yet to knit a sweater 🙂 But if you are making, say, a little felt hedgehog, and one ear ends up being bigger than the other, no sweat, he’s still cute, and your 2-year-old niece probably won’t even notice. Plus it makes it unique. It is evidence that these items we craftily create were not bought in a store. I don’t know about you, but I love that as well. Happy creating!

Love & Blessings,

KJ