Latest Projects Show and Tell

Our desktop is a few years old, which means “ancient” in technological terms.  Anyhoo, it’s having its fair share of quirks.  Phil, being the official bread-winner around here, needed a computer that actually works and picked up an HP laptop not too long ago.  I’m just sayin’, but I’m not too crazy about the new interface/browser that comes on all these new-fangled computers.  (pause)  I often voice my concern to Phil about what I’ll be like when I’m actually an old fart talking about “kids these days” and “remember the good ol’ days,” not being able to keep up with the latest and greatest.

Given the state of what has now been relegated to “my computer,” I pretty much only use a computer when Phil leaves his laptop at home because it takes the normal amount of time to get stuff done.  Aaaand I don’t get around to posting here because it involves wasting an entire day downloading pics onto my desktop computer files, taking a million gajillion  years for the computer to cooperate, stop shutting itself down, and unfreeze so I can edit said photos and upload them to my server, etc. etc.  It gives me a headache just thinking about it!

Well… I’ve got the laptop, the desktop is somewhat cooperating, and I’m updating while the kids are in bed!

So… can you believe the year is more than half over?  People think I’m kidding when I feel like I’m always preparing for Christmas, but as soon as one Christmas is over, it’s almost the New Year, which means almost Spring… which is close to Summer… which is very short as we all know… and then preparing for a new school year… and before you know it the whole Holiday Season is upon us and… Christmas!  So get ready for Christmas folks.  Especially if you’re the one in charge of shopping and cooking and cleaning.

But, I digress.  I wanted to share my latest crafts!  As soon as I dropped some of my things off at Mills Creek, Alyssia at Tula Tinkers requested some more items.  While I like to sew (and craft in general), when I’m working at it non-stop and feel pressured to finish already, it’s not quite as enjoyable.  Just like I’ve always liked to cook and bake… until I had to do it 3+ times a day just to keep a whole bunch of people alive.  Oh, and stay within a budget.  And make it healthy.  And yummy.  And not the same ol’ thing every day.  I really like pizza take-out.  We decided to limit it to once a month. *sigh*

On with the “show” part of this show-and-tell…

So this first one isn’t actually mine, but Phil does such wonderful work I had to show it off.  Someone requested a checker board, but he got carried away making a chess set and these were the results.  These pics are actually of two different boards – I want to say walnut and cherry, but I’m not 100% sure.  We looked around for nice chess pieces made in America, and while we found some that fit the bill, it doesn’t help to keep the cost low.  So, they’re really nice sets.

On my to-do list for a while now has been a pillowcase dress for Gwen.  This ended up being my need-a-break-from-my-other-projects project, spurred on because my mom sent me a link to a tutorial and asked if I could make some dresses for her Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes this year.  Figured I should try it out first!  I put together my own spin on two tutorials, first making a dress for Addy (the one on the right) then tweaking it to make the one for Gwen.  My preferred tweaks, in case you’re interested: 1) Instead of making patterns for cutting out the armholes, follow the cutting directions for the corners, then simply seam the edges.  2) After finishing the armholes, make channels around neckline for elastic and sew it in.  Making a channel for a tie to go around the whole dress is cute, but I don’t think it looks as nice or fits as well – though it is adjustable (I used this method for the righthand version).  3) Use some contrasting fabric for DIY bias and finish off the armholes using this super-easy method except I like to finish it off by stitching in the ditch since I think it looks nice and clean.

Okay, these headbands were actually in my last batch of crafts but I didn’t get around to organizing the photos.  Apparently, some local photographers were picking them up to use in photo shoots.  I love to see them in action!  Babies make them look so much better.

When Addy was still a baby (*sniff sniff*) I got a wonderful nursing/teething necklace from KangarooCare on Etsy (and later a teething toy).  I had seen these fabric necklaces floating around and decided they couldn’t be hard to make, and I was already sewing, so why not?  I made one for myself, made a few for gifts (some with flowers on them), then started to whip up a batch to sell at Small Circle… and then Small Circle closed and I was heartbroken.  Well, interest has revived, I ordered some luscious new fabric, and made a whole slew of them.  The one I’m wearing is the one I initially made for myself; the colors are amazingly versatile and go with so many outfits.  It’s so simple, really, but I get compliments every time I wear it.  I want one in every fabric I have!

I love me some baby sewing! It is a tough reminder that I no longer have an official baby in the house, though.  Aside: recently we were at the dinner table, I looked around at the kiddos, and crestfallenly remarked, “I’m so sad that all my babies are growing up.”  Phil looked at me and said pointedly, “NO!”  Me (innocently): “What?”  Phil: (knowing look)

So, baby shoes… things just do not want to stay on those little baby feet.  When they start walking, it’s just as well, because bare feet on the ground is good and natural for little ones.  But until then, those darned socks and actual-shoe shoes for kiddos who don’t even walk in them are kind of a waste of money.  My mother-in-law gave me two sets of baby booties – a pair of hand-me-downs and another that she bought at a craft fair.  Adeline lived in those booties!  I was so sad when she finally outgrew them.  But dude… I can make my own!  These were the first two pairs I made.  Since Addy was walking by then she got them good and dirty and I got sick of washing them; now I use them as slippers for her.  I wanted to try a pair of moccasins, buuuut I’m still perfecting those.

Next on my list: car carriers.  Lots of cutting little pieces and detail sewing, so I procrastinate.  Get your Christmas orders in now!  Good thinking, Heidi… my cousin knows to ask ahead of time so I have enough time.

I will be taking a brief sewing break to do some kids’ crafts for VBS next week.  Our theme is based on 2 Peter 3:18 about growing in the grace of the Lord.  It’s a nice springboard for garden-themed activities, and the theme verse for my craft is about the vine and the branches.  This week I’ll be putting together supplies to make a cluster of grapes magnet and Phil’s going to help me with a grape vine display so all the kids can hang leaf-shaped name tags on it.  Keep your fingers crossed for me – I’m a little nervous!  All those kids… it’s hard enough being in charge of the three that are my own!