Friday, April 30, 2010

Feature Friday - Yermits

I fell in love with these creatures the first time I saw them! Meet the Yermits... Yeti + Hermits = Yermit. They are made from recycled wool, other materials, and bits of magic! You can find these fabulous little guys strumming a guitar, playing a saxophone, or working on their laptop, in Yermit's Etsy shop.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Off Topic Thursday - Baby Legs good karma giveaway!

I have always been a big fan of Babylegs. I wish I would have known about them when my son was crawling, but I discovered them when my son was 20 months or so and potty training. He wanted to use the potty, but was frustrated because he didn't have the coordination to get his pants down in time. It was winter, and I couldn't leave his legs bare, so Babylegs were the perfect solution! Above is a typical morning outfit at that time (we didn't leave the house like that, lol!)... beanie hat (he refused to take them off & even slept in them!), pj top, underwear, babylegs, and socks. On cold winter days the babylegs served as an extra layer, and protected his little legs when his pants hiked up. I even wore his black & yellow striped ones as arm warmers one year when I was a bee for Halloween. The possibilities are endless!

Now I just stock up on them when they are a good price & give them as baby gifts to friends & family. They had a fantastic sale for Earth Day on 2 different styles, Tulip & Vine, so I bought a bunch. They sent me 5 extra pairs by accident! I emailed them right away to let them know, and to ask them what they wanted me to do with them, and they said to keep them! If you know me, then you know I love good karma, so this calls for a giveaway! I will be giving away 2 pairs of the Babylegs, one pair to 2 different people, and you can choose from the 2 designs (Tulip & Vine)! Since I have to pay shipping out of my pocket on all these giveaways, I am limiting this giveaway to US & Canada only.

Ready for the details?

Mandatory Entry:
* Go to my shop and let me know which sweater is your favorite.

Want extra entries?
* Follow my blog, and if you already do just say that.
* Do something kind... Slip a sweet note in your husband's lunchbox, play that game you've played a hundred times with your kid that you hate to play (but your kid loves), a random act of kindness to a stranger, bring some baked goods to a neighbor (that's what got someone the winning entry in one of my past good karma giveaways!) , and let us know what you did! It will make you feel good about yourself, make the recipient of the good fortune happy, and it will get you another entry! No fair posting something you already did, or were planning to do anyway!... it's makes it more fun this way!
* Blog about this giveaway & link to it.

Make sure to leave a separate comment for the entries you complete!

Deadline: Tuesday, May 4th at midnight, Central time zone. I will use to pick the winners and post it the following morning (May 5th). **please leave an email if your blogger profile does not include it. I need a way to contact you.** Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The winner of the Earth Day Resweater giveaway!

I consulted with, and it told me that #51 is the winner!

" Gayle said...

I've been a follower for awhile now!"

Gayle, you are the winner! Congratulations!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - Hot water bottle cozy

This week I have no creativity in me, so it's a good thing there are others out there with great ideas! The New New blog has generously agreed to share their hot water bottle cozy tutorial with all of us!

I wish I would have known of this tutorial when my son was an infant. He had colic and severe reflux, and the only thing that would soothe him enough to fall asleep at night was a warm hot water bottle against his tummy. We used them every night. He would go from red faced screaming to fast asleep in literally seconds. Just putting that out there in case anyone is currently going through that & might be looking for another trick to try!

Oh, and I need to add that their use of chalk is brilliant! I don't know why it never occurred to me to use it, but I will now!

On to the tutorial! Everything below is taken directly from The New New blog:

Make Your Own Hot Water Bottle Cozy

It's been a rough winter so far. Cities across the country are reporting record lows and there's been lots and lots of snow. On a super-cold day when I am feeling a bit under the weather, there's nothing I like more than curling up on the couch with a hot water bottle and a cup of tea. The only problem with hot water bottles? Sometimes they get too hot (I like things to be just right!) and the plastic doesn't feel good on my skin. Here's a tutorial for making a super soft hot water bottle cozy with a felted sweater and some yarn scraps.

What you need:
Large turtleneck sweater
Fabric Scissors
Tailor's chalk
Yarn scraps
Yarn needle
Sewing machine
Straight pins

Felting the Sweater:

First you need a felted sweater. If you're a crafty nerd like me, then you probably already have a bunch of them "just lying around" for a project like this and you can skip this step. If not, grab a large 100% wool sweater with a turtleneck and throw it in the washing machine on hot and then the dryer. This process will bind the fibers in the sweater so that the yarns don't unravel when you cut through them.

Making the Cozy:

1. Lay your sweater out flat and lay the hot water bottle cozy over it with the top over the turtleneck as shown. Trace around the water bottle adding a 1/2" seam allowance all the way around.

2. Following the chalk lines, cut through both layers of the sweater with fabric scissors. If you are having a hard time cutting evenly through both layers, pin the layers together first and then cut.

3. Now you are going to embellish the front of the cozy. Using your tailor's chalk again, draw a bunch of straight lines across the width of the cozy. You can make as many or as few as you would like. The lines can be even or random, it's up to you!

4. Thread the yarn needle with yarn, knot the yarn and sew a running stitch over one of the lines. Continue until you have sewn over all of the lines. I used a few different contrasting colors of yarn and varied the widths of my stitches for a little added design interest.
5. Pin the front and back of the cozy together right sides facing and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance around the cozy. Don't sew across the turtleneck part: this is how you will get the water bottle into the cozy!
6. Trim the seams and turn the cozy right side out.

7. Voila! You have a soft and pretty cozy for your water bottle.

If you can't find a turtleneck sweater, you can make an envelop opening for your water bottle to fit in. When you are cutting your pieces, cut the back part of the cozy about 3" longer than the front. Cut the back piece in half. When you pin the pieces together, overlap the two back pieces and pin to the front right sides in.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Feature Friday - What are they up to now?

I thought it would be fun to go back to a few shops i've already featured and see what they are up to these days.

It looks like Hereyougodesign's Etsy shop has added some cute recycled wool headbands...

The Sassy Crafter, a recycling diva, is turning old planters & recycled wool into fun pin cushions...

Heartfeltbaby is still making beautiful recycled wool clothing...

and so is Devilmademedoit...

and Plytextiles is still making pillows that are works of art.

That was fun! Should we revisit more next week? I'd love to do more this morning, but i've got a rummage sale and some garage sales calling my name! Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!!! Reweater giveaway!!!

In honor of Earth day, I am giving away your choice of any 2 sweaters in my shop!!! Ready for the details?

Mandatory Entry:
* Go to my shop and let me know which sweater is your favorite.

Want extra entries?
* Follow my blog, and if you already do just say that.
* Do something green that you've never done before and tell me what you did! It can be as simple as using a cloth napkin with your lunch today, instead of paper.
* Blog about this giveaway & link to it.
* Blog about ways to be more environmentally friendly. (you can blog in the same post about this giveaway & being greener, and still get 2 entries).

Make sure to leave a separate comment for the entries you complete!

Deadline: Tuesday, April 29th at midnight, Central time zone. I will use to pick the winners the following morning (April 30th). **please leave an email if your blogger profile does not include it or you don't have a blog. I need a way to contact you.** Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - wool throw blanket to hooded poncho

I have to start this by apologizing for the horrible pictures. Not only am I the least photogenic human on earth (seriously, i'm not just being modest... people that love me have agreed with me), but the pictures just did not want to turn out today. My camera is crabby.

Ok, now that I have that out of the way, I apologize now for not having a starting point with the blanket, and this is more of an instruction than a tutorial, since I wasn't able to document each step well. I started to do something else with the blanket originally & it didn't work out, so here is where we will begin. Take your felted wool throw blanket (if it is not felted, it will unravel) and cut a rounded diamond shaped hole in the middle, and cut a slit all the way down where your front will be.

create a hood by using an existing hood as a template. I only had a small felted hood to work with, but I just wanted the general shape and made mine bigger.

I then sewed it to the neck of the blanket/soon-to-be-ponch0.

Now take a scarf...

... and fold the width in half, not the length, and sew it to your hood, sewing down past the hood until you have the whole scarf sewn to the poncho. The scarf becomes the edge of the hood, as well as the "lapel" of the poncho. I think the longer the better on the scarf too.

Now you have a hooded poncho! You can drape it the way you want & secure it with a brooch, or leave it loose the way it is. I promise that it looks much better in real life!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

City wide garage sale finds

This weekend was our city wide garage sales! Well, technically it's not our city, but it starts at the end of our block. Sorry I skipped Feature Friday this week, but I was so busy with the sales.

I was a little worried that my son wouldn't last 2 days of garage saling, but he did great and almost had as much fun as me. Toward the end he just wanted to go home & play with all his new stuff, and so did I ;) . I will save the sweaters for Sweater Sunday tomorrow, but here's a few things I was thrilled about...

My son's been into Star Wars lately and I found what looks like everything Micro Machines ever made Star Wars in the early 1990's, new in their boxes! Here's an example, but there's 2 big boxes full!

I also found this unopened Playmobil advent calendar...

I couldn't believe that I found this cheerful sturdy little handmade felted bag for only $1! It is the perfect bag for carrying our water bottles, and will keep them cold longer, because wool is insulated.

Jack's favorite thing ended up being these Legos. He has played with them every second we've been home the past 2 days. It surprised me, since he never played with the bigger Duplo or Mega Blocks. I guess he was just waiting for the good stuff ;)

I was keeping my eye out for some cheap beaded necklaces to repurpose into coasters, like the ones in the tutorial Lavendar Tree shared with us, and I really hit the jackpot at one garage sale! They are the perfect sized beads, and this represents the amount of beads in 38 necklaces... score! This is the perfect project to take with next week when I go to my first "Do it in public". It's a group of ladies from the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Festival (one of the shows I will be doing in July), that gather together to do fiber related projects in coffee shops, etc. I'm really looking forward to it!

I even scored some great stuff for Spots... a dog bed, a dog carrier (for when we go on vacation, and have to leave her alone in the cabin), and this awesome vintage Pyrex dish that I couldn't pass up. I don't need any more Pyrex in the kitchen, but it makes an adorable dog dish, eh?

Well, I got lots of other treasures, but I think i've rambled on enough. I hope you have all done well in your saling! Tell me about all the treasures you have found lately! See you tomorrow for Sweater Sunday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Off Topic Thursday - getting rid of smoke smell part 2

If you read last week's Off Topic Thursday, you know that I bought some Star Wars toys from someone and they reeked of smoke. I took my blog reader's suggestions, and have experimented with a number of methods. Ready for the results?

1. Baking soda. I put a few figures in a bag of baking soda for a week. The results? After washing off the baking soda there is still a faint smell of smoke :(

2. Ivory soap. I put a few figures in a bag with a bar of Ivory soap for a week. The results? After washing off the baking soda there is still a faint smell of smoke :(

3. Anti-Icky-Poo. I squirted some Anti-Icky-Poo (pet odor eliminator) and let it dry. This worked! :)

4. Outdoor air. I left some figures outside for 2 days. I didn't want to leave them out any more than that, because I didn't want them to fade or get ruined. It didn't work :( . Honestly though, I didn't give it a week, like the other methods, so I will call this one inconclusive.

5. Kitty litter. I put a few figures in a bag of kitty litter (thanks for the kitty litter, Nata-Leigh!) for a week. The results? After washing off the dust there is no smell of smoke. It worked! :) The only down side is that they smell like kitty litter now.

I will be using the Anti-Icky-Poo on the rest for convenience.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - easy dog sweater

If you've been following my blog, then you know that we recently adopted a dog, Spots. Since she's a short haired dog, she gets cold easily, so I set to work making her a sweater. Since it's spring I decided to use a light merino. Since I have a pattern now, whipping out a couple of heavier weight ones won't be a problem in the fall. This probably took me less than a 1/2 hour from start to finish and will be much faster the next time around, now that I have the pattern. On to the tutorial!

First, make your pattern. This is the basic shape you will want:

I won't bother giving the measurements of mine, since every dog is different, but you see the basic shape of it. Measure your dogs neck loosely and make the top of your pattern half that. Measure your dog's waist and the bottom of your pattern will be half that. Cut your leg holes and try them on your dog. If you use newspaper for a pattern, like I did, it will be no biggie to throw it in the recycling and start again if you mess up your first pattern. I may or may not be speaking from experience ;)
Next select your sweater, neck, and legs for your sweater. I chose different colored cuffs from another sweater, but it can all come from the same sweater. I used a turtle neck from the sweater for the neck, but a piece of ribbing, or even a stretchy piece of wool folded in half would make a fine neck.

Cut out your pattern pieces (one with leg holes, one without), with the sweater's hem at the bottoms, and sew them together "right" sides in.

Now you will add your legs. Don't worry if the cuffs are a little smaller than your leg holes... just stretch them a little as you sew them together. When you look inside your legs you should see the seam. That way you know it is going on the right way. Sew your neck on too.

Flip it right side out, and ... voila! Dog sweater! Easy, eh? I love recycled wool :) She loves her new sweater, and if I hold it out Spots will come running and stick her head through the neck. She had a blast playing in the yard on Saturday in her new sweater, even though it was a chilly spring morning.

Edited to add: To add a "skirt" to this sweater, go here.