Because crafts are like crack.

Should auld projects be forgot… December 31, 2010

Filed under: General Crafting,My Life — Casey @ 9:47 pm

And never brought to mind! (please?)

2010 was quite the year as I started my new life as Mrs. V (well, not technically since I still haven’t changed my name). On the crafting front, this gave me a chance to really dip my toes into papercrafting. I got to venture into whole new aisles of the craft store! It was also the year that I started with Photoshop Elements and began exploring masks and actions. Still not really confident with that program. I am never sure if what I am doing is making the picture better or worse.

New Year’s marks not only the start of a new calendar year for me, but also the start of another of my trips around the sun; it is also my birthday! So this is my chance to really go beyond resolutions and set some goals. I need to create a little accountability for projects I have envisioned for years. Oh, and can we just pretend that I already workout three time a week, floss daily, and follow a strict budget and don’t need to make any resolutions in those areas? Phew. Thanks.

So here is my countdown to New Years:


This blogging is a new endeavor, but I would like to keep up with posts. Not only will this give my mom something to read, but it should help me keep focused on the remainder of my goals. Ideally I would like to average a post a week. Since I know there will be several weeks that I’ll be doing good to sleep, it wouldn’t hurt to work ahead during these cold months.


Hold a knitting and/or crochet “class”. I have so many people wanting to learn and I always talk about having a group over some weekend… but other things keep coming up. No more! 2011 will be the year of the yarn classes!


Complete a project for each baby born this year and make sure the baby receives it in a timely manner (way before the 1st birthday).


Complete a photobook for Costa Rica and wedding pictures including all of the editing.


Practice. Practice. Practice in Photoshop. I just need to spend a lot more time playing around.


Work through some UFOs.


Put together a real crafting center that works. No more dragging 6 boxes upstairs for each project.


Finish decorating the bedroom. Say goodbye to the last of the dorm furniture and create a peaceful space to which we can return each night.


Throw 4 parties… preferably with themes.


And as a Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to me… I will make something nice for myself this year.

So here’s to a Happy and Crafty 2011!


Making the Rounds December 28, 2010

Filed under: Sewing — Casey @ 6:40 pm

This is the pattern for the baby ball that is famous in my family. My friend’s daughter calls it the Casey-ball.

Click here to download the PDF of the pattern.

However, a simple pattern can be created for any size ball. I have done this demonstration with a nine-inch cake pan, but keep in mind that will make a ball with a nine-inch diameter… about the size of a basketball. I think that is a little large for a baby to easily manipulate. Ideally the ball would be between about 5 and 7 inches. I think my grandmother might have used the lid of a Cool Whip container as a template sometimes.

Begin by tracing and cutting out a circle.

Fold and cut the circle in fourths. Alternatively, you could cut the circle into fourths using a mat to divide the circle equally.

For the top pattern piece, draw or imagine a line from point to point of one of the quarter circles. Fold along this line.

Cut out the pointed oval/eye shape. You may want to use this as a template to create a pattern form that lies flat.


Now Stash Away! Stash Away! Stash Away All!

Filed under: Quilting,Sewing — Casey @ 1:06 pm

With the presents unwrapped and the cookies all eaten it is time to relax and enjoy my vacation time until the New Year. A day off work means a trip to the local fabric store and a chance to replenish a stash slightly depleted by the Christmas festivities.


These gorgeous reds and greens happened to be on post-Christmas sale! It is time to start on the 2011 Christmas crafting. I decided to replace our acrylic felt tree skirt from Target will a real heirloom-quality homemade skirt. Or as I told the brother-in-law, “It’s time to crank Christmas up to an 8!” With a little luck and a lot of time, those quarter yards should soon look similar to this!

To go to a fabric store without peeking at the baby fabrics would be ridiculous considering the number of newborns and pregnancies in our lives right now.

I love this vintage circus print. It reminds me of the logo of the gift shop at the Children’s Hospital where I volunteered with my grandmother as a child.

These animal prints are going to make some adorable matching toys for newborn twin boys!

But the best part of the day may be a conversation overheard at the cutting counter:

“So what are you going to be making with all of this new fabric?”

“Probably nothing but a bigger stash.”

Too true.


Sisters! December 27, 2010

Filed under: Knitting — Casey @ 12:23 am

Normally in the month of December the phrase “Sisters” automatically takes me to the delightfully campy Haynes duo in White Christmas. These costumes define fluorescent blue.

This Christmas I drew the name of a 1 1/2 year old cousin in a gift exchange so I focused on a different “sisters” that are a little less retina damaging. I have been meaning to work my way though the reversible toys in Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Toys. I have a lion and elephant with no ears, and about three rows of a turtle going right now. And I had all the gorgeous organic yarn I need for the Itty Bitty Sisters Reversible.

The dolls are relatively simple in nature. The only difficult part is the  amount of whipstitching required in putting everything together. I always sweat of the placement of arms, eyes, etc. and usually feel like my creations recently escaped from a circus sideshow. But I read Laura Ingalls one too many times as a school girl so I am in love with the idea of laboring of homemade dolls for Christmas.

The best part of these dolls is that the “legs” of one doll is really the body of the other! So these two sisters are really one and the same! Two toys in one make these an excellent toy value.

As a side note, even the husband thought this project was cute and that Ms. Anderson must be incredibly talented. Baby kittens barely get noticed as cute in his world, so I would call that an incredibly high recommendation.


Merry Christmas to all! December 25, 2010

Filed under: General Crafting — Casey @ 11:02 pm

We have had a wonderful holiday and Santa brought some exciting crafting surprises. I made a couple gifts, but focused a lot of energies on my present wrapping.

I think I might be in post wedding paper product withdrawal as I found myself creating elaborate gift tags. And we are going to ignore the amount of money I spent on ribbons this year.

I even created gift receipt envelopes!

One might think that the end of the holiday season would signal a break in the crafting, but for every project completed, two spring up in its place!


Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! December 12, 2010

Filed under: General Crafting — Casey @ 5:35 pm

When it looks like this outside…

I figure it is Mother Nature’s way of telling me to craft. Of course I assume that just about any time the mercury drops below 40 degrees. Essentially the axial tilt of the earth is all for my crafting pleasures.

These tote bags from ashleyannphotography.com seemed a perfect addition to a couple of Christmas presents. Maybe it is my need to carry needles and skeins everywhere I go, but I find I can never have enough totes. So I made a stop at Hobby Lobby earlier in the week and raided my craft corner.

I started by ironing the bags to make sure I could get a smooth final product. I used spray adhesive to stick the doilies to the bags. These are the twelve inch doilies, but a smaller doily would look great centered on the bag. Per the directions on the back of the can, I made sure to let the glue dry for a couple of minutes to make the bond tacky, but not permanent.  I made sure to press firmly all around.

I used acrylic paint, but fabric paint would work well. I started by using a sponge brush, but switched to a regular paintbrush as the sponge was applying way too much paint. I think I might try using a stippling brush the next time. Be sure to get all of the little holes and remove the doily while the paint is still wet.

While I waited for the paint to dry, I printed letters from the computer. I found a font I liked and used enlarged it to 400 pt. I traced letters onto the freezer paper, glossy side down and then cut out the letters with an exacto-knife. I found it worked best to pull the knife down towards me and turn the freezer paper as needed. Try to make as few as cuts as possible to prevent burrs on the paper. Remember these will make a stencil, so I had to save the center part of the A.

The stencils were then ironed onto the bags and filled in with a brush and paint.

I think the final product is cute enough to dress up a present. I will probably fill them with nice lotions or a pair of pajamas for some friends.

Some time in the future I will get some more doilies and try again with the paint. I have decided that a lighter hand is better. I was also a little surprised that the doilies were not reusable, but they seemed to lose shape after being peeled off. I may try to make it to the cake supply store to look for other variations of doily patterns. I have never noticed before if there was some sort of doily standardization.


Maybe Santa will bring me a ball winder

Filed under: Crochet,Knitting — Casey @ 2:54 am

Although I am not sure that would help. There has to be a better way to wind these skeins. It takes me an hour to untangle each. Why don’t they all come in nice center-pull balls?

The finished product is not pretty.

God forbid a project requires multiple skeins.