Craft-a-Day: Pincushion

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I’ve been working on 2 long-haul projects: finishing a cardigan and finishing a crochet afghan. Both of these projects are tedious for similar reasons:

  1. they both involve following a pattern – total lack of creativity as I go along
  2. because I have to follow a pattern, I have to LOOK as I go – mutli-tasking impossibility (ie I can’t watch movies!)
  3. the cardigan is a lace pattern AND I’m on the sleeves with increases and decreases… enough said
  4. the afghan is Tunesian crochet, started years ago by the mother of an old friend. it’s not something *I* would ever choose to make, but I want to do this for my friend, to remember her mother. however, everything about it: the butterflies, the acrylic, it’s just NOT me

So to keep the creative juices flowing, I’ve started a Pinterest board I called Craft-a-Day, relatively quick projects I should be able to do in-between working on the long-haul stuff.

Today’s quick project: a pincushion.

I used a tiny scrap of fabric left from one of my eldest’s baby dresses, a little bit of trim from a discount kit I found at Michael’s last week and some stuffing that had fallen on the floor. So I cleaned too! super fast, no pattern, but now my pins aren’t all over the place and the next Craft-a-Day project might now result in me stabbing myself by sitting on loose pins!

 

Guess What? I need YOUR help to kick cancer’s ass!

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Well hi there, it’s been a while. Sorry I’ve been busy. I got breast cancer. I know, can you believe it? It’s getting to be a bit of a joke of cosmic proportions.

The good news is that my surgery (mega-double-take-everything-off-thrown-in-new-boobs) is a week away. For the last 8 weeks, while I have been trying to prepare and not have more than one panic attack per day, I have been knitting and crafting my little fingers off. For a good cause. I will be walking my 5th Weekend to End Women’s Cancer with 8 awesome friends (probably more will join) and we need to raise over 21,000$ to participate. Everyone is fundraising in their own way, but I also set up a blog and an online auction. We will all be making things or gettings things donated, which we will then auction off, with 100% of the money going straight to the fundraising. My store is funding the auction and the shipping.

I’ve made a bunch of things already, but I need your help!

  • if you are a crafter, make something cool and donate it, we will sell it and raise money
  • if you are a craft lover, or just a good shopper, come back on May 15th (til June 1) and buy up all the goodies
  • share the link, join the Facebook Event, follow our Facebook page! Help me get the word out!!!

For now, let me leave you with today’s creation, a pair of tattoed lovelies sewn and embroidered from a panel I bought on Spoonflower in the early days. it’s by My Paper Crane.

Ubercrafty in New Jersey: Will Work For Wine

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Unless this is the very first time you read one of my posts, you will know by now that I have a ‘penchant’ for wine as we say in French. Combine that with a 3-night stay at my friend’s in Jersey during my annual work-play trip to the NYIGF and you have got a serious fun time on your hands. To pay for my room and board and copious amounts of red wine, I agreed to make Mrs. Figby some kitchen blinds. Instead of taking you step by step, I will first point you to her blog. Go read it, I’ll wait here….

For the record, I was not hung over, just slightly dehydrated.

We were working from this tutorial that she found online.

Let me just tell you how I tweaked it to make it work for us:

  • I don’t glue, I sew. So we measured the windows and added 2 inches on each side for seam allowance and sewed those down. I added an inch at the top, which eventually got hot glued to the very top of the mini-blind header. And I added 5 inches to the bottom: 4 inches for a large reverse hem and 1 inch to fold over. Since the first slat is installed at the edge of the 5 inches, we got a really nice heavy bottom to the blinds when they are up and they hang perfectly over the ledge of the window when they are down.
  • I didn’t glue the slats as per the tutorial. Instead, I took scraps of fabric and made 2 inch strips that were less wide then the over all blinds. Then I sewed these on to the back where I wanted to slide in the slats, much more like a traditional construction of roman blinds. It took longer than gluing them on, but the finished product is that much stronger and more polished. If you had a plain fabric or a pattern that would not be disturbed by pleating, you could just cut your blinds 2 inches longer for each slat you want to put in and make pockets in the back. For the record, the small windows have slats every 8 inches and the large windows have slats every 9.5 inches. Don’t ask my why I decided that, I guesstimated the first ones and decided we should have the same number of slats on the second one.
  • The one annoying thing is that the inexpensive mini-blinds only came with right-hand ropes. If I were to this for my house, I would hunt around for either reversable blinds or try to find some used ones that have a right and a left-hand rope to have the ropes on the outside. Luckily for me, my *client* didn’t seem to mind!

before and afters, for your enjoyment!

 

 

The tale of the Ugly Hannuka sweater

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if you don’t know this about me already, I am Jewish by choice, having converted before marrying my husband. Coming from a long line on non-practicing catholic French Canadians, the holidays to me meant crafting and decorating. Something Jewish holidays are sadly lacking in. I mean, really, for a group of people on year 5772, where are the crafts and decorations? I feel like I have already made Menorahs out of every possible material, from toilet paper rolls to shot glasses, plubimg pipes to old cell phones (OK, that last one wasn’t mine, a friend’s husband just did that).

I have noticed a new trend amongs my friends (and the Today show)…. The Ugly Christmas Sweater competitions/parties. And frankly I’m jealous. There is no Jewish equivalent. Well, there is now!


Take on 30$ Joe Fresh sweater (I’m sure Joe didn’t meant for it to be ugly, but frankly, it sort of is),

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut up an old cardigan that got shrunk in the wash, sew it together, and you get the First Ugly Hannuka Sweater!

 

Proudest parts of this sweater: the chamash, which is meant to be higher than the others, is on the zipper, so when my husband puts it on, he ‘lights’ the sweater. And the little flames have tiny holes in them and I used the buttons from the cardi at the top of the candles, so my girls put the flames on the sweater according to what day of the holiday it is. And we are actually doing it every day!

 

Sleepy owl

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Will be shipped off to a new little one…..

Harry Potter Cross-Stitch

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Since Big Girl got her special cross stitch pillow, I had to plan something for Little Girl, who would never let me off the hook. The entire time I was cross-stitching the first pillow, my girls were discovering the magical world of Harry Potter, through the first 6 movies. The devoured them. But amazingly, it was Little Girl, all of 5 1/2 years old, who REALLY got into it. I mean, REALLY. She is obsessed.

Coincidentally, it was about the same time that Wee Little Stitches poped up on my blog radar, so I immediately bought the set of 3 Harry Potter patterns. I started the first one Saturday and I already finished it! My plan is to make a small but wide pillow to decorate her bed, with Harry Ron and Hermione in the middle, the friends on one side and the foes on the other.

Sing to Me – FINISHED!

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When I broke my arm in late February, my crafting came to  a screeching halt. With only one good hand, I was severly limited. But I figured out how to cross stitch while bracing the hoop with my cast, so I set out to do a couple of little projects, monograms for my girls doors. They held my attention all of 4 evenings. If you know me, you know why I call myself UBERcrafty….

As a long time reader of a ton of blogs, I have always admired the fantastic illustations of Helen Darkin of Orange You Lucky! Some of her illustrations are even on products I sell at the store. So I contacted her and got her permission to use one of her illustrations and turn it into a cross-stitch pillow for my eldest’s bday (ok, so I overshot her bday by 6 weeks…. it was a lot more stitches than I anticipated!).

Today, I finished it…..

*sidebar: I contacted Helen and asked for permission because I think it’s very very important to encourage artists and respect their products. I was willing to pay to use her image, but she graciously allowed me to do it without charging me. If you see anything you like on the internet (a pattern, an image, etc) please contact the person before manipulating or using their work)

Tiny stitches

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This is what I’ve been up to since I broke my arm. With the permission of blogger Orange you Lucky, I’m turning one of her illustrations into a cross-stitch pillow.

2nd project with 1 hand

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NJ

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For my darling 5 y.o.’s door, my first one-handed work.